De Beers launches pre-owned diamond valuations

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Company to provide diamond valuations for consumers trading stones.

The De Beers Group has launched a retail-focused programme created to gain better insight of diamond re-selling and the associated consumer experience of buying pre-owned stones.

The research programme will launch in the US as of September, running into early 2015. De Beers will work with a number of small retailers to better understand the re-sale market for diamonds, and the impact it has on consumers and the lasting value benefit of pre-owned diamonds.

The move comes as De Beers seeks to gain a better understanding of the impact and perceived and real values of a pre-owned diamonds of consumers. It also responds "to feelings of frustration among customers selling diamond jewellery that they were being treated unfairly by certain segments of the jewellery trade". As a result, the programme will aim to provide greater transparency in the valuation process, trustworthy jewellers to assist in providing respectful service and leading market prices for diamonds being bought.

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The programme will operate out of a new standalone entity created by the De Beers Group, the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV), based in New York.

According to the IIDV site, the initiative aims to "support our partners by conducting sophisticated identification services and providing independent, up-to-date selling price information to customers".

It will do this by offering two types of diamond valuations for customers: a quick quote, done in-store by the retailer and a more in-depth "send-away valuation", where the item of jewellery is sent to the IIDV’s laboratory in New York, where it is removed from its settings and fully analysed. Once a piece has been accurately valued, IIDV provides a Market Price Quote, which is then communicated to the jeweller, who transmits this information to the customer.

The Market Price Quote is based on transaction data for similar pieces at a given point in time, based on data collected by De Beers Group, which is updated every week and contains more than 100,000 different prices for various types of diamonds.

De Beers’ senior vice president of Strategic Initiatives, Tom Montgomery, said: “The practice of consumers looking to sell back their diamonds isn’t new. For the vast majority of people, a diamond is something they keep hold of forever and never look to sell. However, for reasons such as death, divorce or financial distress, some people will always look to re-sell their diamonds.

"Some retailers have expressed reservations, however, about how the current re-selling experience could impact consumers’ views on diamond equity in the long-term. We believe that the only way to gain a true understanding of diamond re-selling activity by consumers, is to run this small-scale programme to assess how re-selling has developed, how it might evolve and how it impacts upon consumer perceptions of diamonds.”
 

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