Diamond Downgrade program gives you Cash For Your Diamond and a perfect CZ Replica replacement for your cherished jewelry 0
Journalists have known for decades what anyone who tries to do so finds out pretty quickly: it’s hard to sell a diamond for anywhere close to what you paid for it. But if you need cash and fast...what’s to do?
Enter CubicZirconia.com's "Diamond Downgrade" program, which allows you to keep your jewelry, just sell the diamond for fast cash at a fair price, have it replaced with our 5A/AAAAA cubic zirconia...and be assured that no one will ever know the difference.
- Danny Welsh
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The 4C's of Cubic Zirconia 0Diamonds are universally measured against the “4C’s standard”: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. All these characteristics can also be found in top-quality cubic zirconia stones, such as those manufactured for use in our CubicZirconia.com finished jewelry and sold through our website.
In this blog post, let’s discuss how these two stones compare. The more perfect the diamond, the harder a jeweler has to work to determine if it's really a diamond...or one of our cubic zirconia stones! Let's see how...
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Ring with Cubic Zirconia center stone plus real diamond accent/melee stones 0Customers hoping/expecting to replace an inexpensive but flawless and colorless 5A CubicZirconia.com CZ center stone with diamond at some point in the future commonly ask us if it is possible for us to make our jewelry with a only the largest stone being cubic zirconia while natural diamond accent stones (also known as 'side stones' or 'melee stones) are used in the remainder of the piece. Yes, this is possible. Here's the details.
Certified cubic zirconia: IGI - IFI - GIA - AGS - EGL - CIA (or whatever stone certification)...we’re not interested 0
We’ve seen what an IGI Certification looks like and, frankly, we believe it’s just a useless piece of paper designed to jack up the price of cubic zirconia stones being sold by other companies than ours.
As a customer, what information does an IGI Certification give you apart from the carat weight? You should have been told the specific dimensions of your stone in the first place before purchase-- so you should already know this information. You certainly know that when you buy our stones. Does this report tell you the cutting quality? Does it confirm the color or clarity? It doesn't even confirm the claim to be a certain quality.
So if you're asking why we don't provide this service, it doesn't seem like a necessary cost to pass along with each purchase. In fact, it’s not just IGI certification that deserves our disdain. IFI- GIA - AGS - EGL - CIA or whatever, we’re not interested.
We do not acknowledge any independent, industry-wide and international authority on the making of diamond-quality synthetic cubic zirconia stones. That means anyone out there claiming to make a better stone or a "certified" stone may as well be making that claim up from thin air as far as we are concerned. Certification schmertification. That whole industry gets nothing but our disdain.
The diamond industry, as a cartel, has an incentive in banding together to adopt generalized rules for grading of stones. The makers of cubic zirconia are much more informal, and not at all working together. Therefore, what other makers of cubic zirconia call certain grades of CZ, we can't control. We also can't help it if our competitors want to manufacture inferior stones to ours and call them "6A (AAAAAA)" when we call our best CZ stone "5A (AAAAA)" (see our FAQ's “What does “6A quality” or “6A quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” question for details).
Our expertise is all the assurance our customers need, and as for CubicZirconia.com, we make and sell 2 grades of cubic zirconia:
- 5A/AAAAA cubic zirconia (the best: sold wholesale, sold retail, and used in our retail finished jewelry product line; see our FAQ question “What does “5A quality” or “AAAAA quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” for more details) .
- 3A/AAA cubic zirconia (lesser grade: sold wholesale in bulk lots only and most often for use in cheaper ‘costume jewelry’; see our FAQ question “What does “3A quality” or “AAA quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” for more details).
Our process to make 5A/AAAAA cubic zirconia is simply to use the absolute best formula for making cubic zirconia that we know of, consistent for producing perfect color and perfect clarity every time (see our FAQ question “How is cubic zirconia made?” for more details).
The 5A/AAAAA stones that make it through our quality control process are perfect, with zero internal inclusions or blemishes. The same stones we sell as 5A/AAAAA at retail prices on our website, are the same stones we use in our finished jewelry. To our knowledge, no better cubic zirconia stones exist.
We then carefully cut these stones to ideal diamond-weight carat proportions (see our FAQ answer to “How do your cubic zirconia stones compare with natural diamonds as far as cuts, shapes, facets, measurements are concerned?” question for full understanding of what that means).
Lastly, we get rid of any stones that aren't flawless, or have any issues with creation or cutting (these are set aside as 3A/AAA stones to be sold only in wholesale lots to other jewelers that want the absolute cheapest CZ stones they can get because they focus on making cheaper ‘costume jewelry’).
For these reasons, we can assure you that the 5A cubic zirconia stone(s) you're buying loose for setting yourself or already in our finished high-quality cubic zirconia jewelry is the very best cubic zirconia we at CubicZirconia.com can make, or have ever seen made.
With the longevity of our site (online since 1999), and the reputation we enjoy from having served thousands of satisfied customers...we think that ought to seal the deal! If need be, we’ll even send you a sample pack of stones at our cost and risk to 100% convince you. Just reference this answer and ask us!Take a look and you’ll agree: certification schmertification.
An Open Letter to CubicZirconia.com from Your Friendly Local Retail Jewelry Stores 0
B. Diamond IV
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
c/o Danny Welsh
Bedford, KY 40006
RE: Have you considered letting us have some of that money?
I write to you in the spirit of collegiality, and with all due respect for your company in the jewelry industry, from the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe on behalf of my clients, the Transatlantic United Retail Diamond Sellers. As the world's largest association of retail store jewelers, my client objects to your omission of such retailers from your low-price, quality jewelry sales business plan, and doubly objects to the use in your company’s man-made stone marketing of terms “diamond-quality”, “visually indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye”, or “diamond-equivalent” (terms which have not been approved for use by the self-elected governing body of this association, of which you have refused to become a member despite our repeated invitations).
My client hereby orders you to cease and desist! Or just cease. Or desist. We can discuss the options. See, that's a situation known as "negotiating." Something you apparently wouldn't know much about, CubicZirconia.com. Since you have not responded to our repeated previous inquiries about becoming a member of our august association, let me attempt to reason with you. Allow me first to explain the great number of ways in which my clients feel that your e-commerce business model offering diamond simulant cubic zirconia jewelry at so-called “fair” prices is not only misguided and short-sighted, having blindsided my client’s member jewelry companies, but even potentially un-American.
First of all, the prices offered on your website are a problem because they are simply too low to allow retail jewelers to resell your products and pay the considerable overhead costs of running brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, employing salespeople jewelry consultants that have families and timeshare vacations to think about, and building in-stock jewelry inventories so customers can walk in the door to browse and walk out the door with a financing agreement for jewelry they couldn’t quite afford to buy with cash in an arrangement that will earn the jewelry retailer a healthy interest over the next 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 or 72 months in addition to a the healthy profit on jewelry sold a diamond ring they’ll cherish until the time comes that we fervently wish for when they can trade in the diamond for a bigger more expensive one to start off their next marriage, doubling or tripling the store’s original profit while they think they got a deal because it’s our gimmick to “buy back” their traded diamond forever.
Secondly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because, as you know, by including the center stone for all engagement rings offered as a single purchase at a single price listed right on your website, you have violated the 100+ year-old secret jeweler agreement adhered to since the founders of our association took the first of sacred annual blood-oaths jeweler code of ethics not to publish pricing for diamond center stones because therein lies the greatest opportunity to maximize engagement ring sale profit by marking up the price on allowing unsuspecting inexperienced first-time customers the exciting opportunity to negotiate their own center stone price to be the best they can. I'm telling you, people love negotiating. Consumers hate having a clear, fixed price that everyone understands and you get everything you need and want to buy all for that one price. The retail jewelry store with fixed ring mounting prices and diamond prices revealed only during a customer’s intimidation by indoctrination by personal conversation with the store’s friendly salespeople jewelry consultants as a model lets customers feel as if they got a deal, while not really getting a deal. Everyone wins. Plus, to wit, everyone knows that haggling over prices is deeply ingrained in American culture so what you’re doing is un-American.
Thirdly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because the prices should not change so frequently. We said “fixed prices” that included the center stone cost for an engagement ring built right into the listed price were bad, and that is very bad. However, I must now call your attention to a business practice that is even worse in our educated and experienced opinion wisdom from having done this jewelry business many decades and even a century before there was an “internet” for you to disrupt the retail jewelry store business model offer your jewelry with a 60 day money-back guarantee worldwide to customers browsing on their computer or other device, and fulfill orders via made-to-order manufacturing and insured shipping carriers. My clients are of course referring to your misguided policy of decreasing the price for products you sell when your cost to purchase the gold, silver, palladium, or platinum precious metals used to manufacture the product(s) decreases.
Note: This practice is noted in Exhibit 43 here http://www.cubiczirconia.com/pages/faq-custom-designed-cz-jewelry#q5 (Q: What variables make up your price for a custom cubic zirconia jewelry piece?), and Exhibit 44 here http://www.cubiczirconia.com/pages/faq-custom-designed-cz-jewelry#q15 (Q: How long is the custom CZ jewelry price quote you’ll give me good for?).
If the cost of gold goes down after you set your gold jewelry sales price, in the jewelry business that’s supposed to just be extra profit for you! Hello, the rich get richer, and we in the jewelry industry have manipulated paid close attention to gold and other precious metal prices for centuries, and we deserve to keep that money! You’re leaving money on the table by educating customers about fluctuating metal markets costs, and making a huge mistake by discounting your customers’ jewelry prices to reflect your wholesale hard costs savings to manufacture the jewelry in their order. My client is deeply concerned that this practice is just not smart for the long-term viability of your business ,and besides none of its member retail jewelry companies wish to invest the money needed to create an e-commerce website or lose money by being forced to create digital-price in-store display cases capable of competing with such an absurd service anyway.
Fourthly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because the prices are on a website, and the retail jewelry store members of my client’s association do not have that e-commerce capability with their brochure-style website because they just started on the internet a little later than in 1999 when your company’s first website went online my client feels you should reconsider having a “website” for your jewelry business at all. After all, for over 100 years, jewelry retailers among my client’s members have been selling rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and more without any need for that newfangled frivolity. Truly, we feel a responsibility as your jewelry industry brethren to share this obviously unknown business intelligence with you: our internal Academy for Diamond Studies (ADS) research shows that wholly 83.6 percent of jewelry shoppers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia thoroughly love going to the local jewelry store, while 16.4 percent of these shoppers state in yes or no survey questioning that they love it so much that he/she would “live there if I could”. [Note: Respondents to ADS survey 8 years of age and under, jewelry store described as "Disney World" in a common metaphor we use in our marketing, said fact clearly disclosed in the fine print of Appendix 8c.] Surely you can understand that your CubicZirconia.com website, while it is functional and even kind of nice, simply cannot compare to the shopping experience of local jewelry stores where my client’s retail jeweler members provide an expensive-to-upkeep a wonderful atmosphere with gleaming gold-chased glass display cases, non-offensive soft Muzak, marble floors covered with elegant carpets, stylish wall coloring and functional décor accouterments. Seriously, online on a “website” how can you give your customers free cold water in paper cups or espresso available for 25 cents per Fabergé replica ceramic mug (drink as much as you like!)? You simply can’t.
Fifthly, my client’s member jewelry stores do in fact use your company’s cubic zirconia stones instead of actual diamonds as a cheaper alternative stone to set in store-displayed rings and other jewelry pieces (for insurance purposes). However, my client and its member retail jewelers feel it is slanderous in the extreme for your company to publicly disclose this fact to potential diamond jewelry buyers, when we don’t and have worked very hard never for them to know. After all, the super-friendly salespeople jewelry consultants at these stores have undergone extensive training to explain that cubic zirconia are in fact worthless, and these stores only use the cubic zirconia “diamond” rings and other jewelry pieces in the display cases as props to show customers before purchase. When they purchase the ring or other jewelry piece based on the model and the salesperson’s jewelry consultant’s expert guidance and knowledge about diamonds, of course before they leave the store our client’s member jewelry retailers would insist on the need to “give the jewelry a final polish before you take it home”. As you know, that’s when the salespeople jewelry consultant will send the piece in the back for a technician to un-set your cubic zirconia stones and switch to the real diamond the customer thought they already had bought now that money has changed hands. Again, we feel that you must stop educating disclosing these jewelry trade secrets to customers, who my clients have put so much time, money and effort into persuading that they don’t want ‘fake’ cubic zirconia and do want ‘real’ diamonds.
My clients know you see yourself as a disruptor, CubicZirconia.com, but I don't think you understand how many everyday people whose apple-carts you are upending. Jewelry stores are financial ecosystems in their own right, stimulating economic activity in a range of related sectors both in their local areas and throughout the region where they’re located. The black-velvet-padding industry depends on retail jewelers, as do the interior-glass-washing service providers, and for that matter the low-budget elder-statesman-voiceover radio-commercial business is absolutely co-dependent upon a thriving retail jewelry store landscape. Think about how you're missing out on that one by not working through retail stores like my client’s members to sell your jewelry. [Script: An obviously silver-haired older guy with a voice full of gravitas says, "Now you have a friend in the cubic zirconia business. Come on down to the store! Or go online to CubicZirconia.com"]. Seriously, talk about advertising that ROCKS!
Now, you may enjoy selling your cubic zirconia jewelry as a low-cost alternative “visually indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye”-- with no middlemen and no haggling, offering dynamic prices that change as your hard fulfillment costs to ensure you keep only the same “fair” profit on each sale of each piece of jewelry in your catalog -- and keeping all the money. But I ask on behalf of my clients, have you considered letting us have some of that money? It is our position that we would like some of the money.
In return, we offer our beautiful buildings with glass display cases, highly trained sales staff that are already experienced in selling your cubic zirconia jewelry product (while calling the pieces in the display cases “diamond” jewelry of course…wink, wink :) ), and let’s not forget the luxurious ambience and free coffee urns super-affordable espresso machines so your customers can sip while they shop.
I'm telling you, CubicZirconia.com, your customers need us. What happens when they're wearing their new engagement ring and the center stone falls out? Okay, yes, you'll email them a lifetime warranty request form to send back along with their engagement ring to have the free replacement CZ stone set for like 25 bucks and mailed back to them. But I digress.
I’m telling you CubicZirconia.com, we need you, the timing is perfect for you to consider a change in how you do business. Our relationship with the diamond cartel the diamond mining companies is complicated. It has been ever since the public found out about “blood diamonds” began demanding to know where the diamond stones we sell in our jewelry came from and how they were mined and we didn’t know and couldn’t have cared because of how much profit we were making our answers weren’t good enough to satisfy them. That humbling realization prompted us to create a robust ethics certification process with Diamonds University Professional Education. Salespeople Jewelry consultants certified under this course are courteous, professional, trained to say “our diamond stones are from Belgium and Canada” educate customers about my client’s member jewelry stores’ responsible diamond sourcing practices buying from sellers in non-conflict countries, and plus each is required by law to disclose how many felonies they've committed. Now, my client’s member jewelry retailers have taken charge of the problem and as an entire industry organized itself based on the notion that the miners and sellers must be trusted to do the right thing, every time, so long as they tell us they did and put it in writing where the diamonds we sell actually originated!
However, it appears that despite DUPE’s efforts, customers aren’t buying it. Increasing numbers of what were once our customers are now buying from your company and a handful other diamond simulant jewelry makers.
Honestly, we really do need you each other, CubicZirconia.com
We just need you to increase the prices on your website.
A lot. Maybe double, maybe triple.
The accountants will have to crunch the numbers and think of how to make it work along those lines, so the wholesale prices you give us are closer to what your retail prices on the website are now, and we can keep the difference as our own profit.
B. Diamond IV
Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe
Representing Transatlantic United Retail Diamond Sellers
Creative financing for engagement ring and beyond... 0
Couples looking for alternatives to going to the jewelry store and signing up for payments to go into debt on a diamond engagement ring are in a very powerful position, in my experience, because they're open to the idea that where they can start shopping for a symbol of their everlasting affection doesn't have to be where advertising-driven societal norms tell them they should start.
As an alternative, some customers have begun to learn to do simple math and paint the picture for themselves of what's possible with the savings of Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond for engagement jewelry.
For example, when you pay $2000 for a platinum-and-CZ engagement ring from our company, CubicZirconia.com, you're likely getting a piece of jewelry that no one can look and see the difference between it and a platinum-and-diamond version of the same thing from a retail diamond store -- often from the same manufacturer-- at a cost of $25,000 or more instead.
What could your readers do with the $23,000 difference? Book a two-week honeymoon? Put a down payment on a house? Start a college fund for their children? CubicZirconia.com customers have done all those things and more.
In a nutshell, many of our happy customers are like myself— proud to buy and wear cubic zirconia gemstones as an alternative to overpriced diamonds that are visually indistinguishable.
However, many are also happy that the non-discernible difference of high-quality CZ such as that used by our company compared to diamond engagement jewelry allows the couple to ‘pretend’ that their bridal jewelry is diamond, and secretly invest the difference in cost in things that actually bring them joy, pleasure, better financial standing, and/or advance their position in the world as a couple with a new and brighter future together.
What could be a more creative or authentic gift for a newly engaged couple to give *themselves* than the secure knowledge that they paid for their entire wedding with CASH, paid for their honeymoon package with CASH, and/or put a down payment on a new home in CASH— without needing help from mom and dad— all with the hard cash savings between the diamond ring and a high-quality CZ engagement ring none of their friends or family could tell the difference between anyway without being told?
You’d be amazed what an extra $10-30,000 can do for a couple starting out in their new life together, and that’s an average US dollar figure for savings our custom engagement ring customers (CubicZirconia.com) experience buying our jewelry versus the same thing crowned and set with diamonds instead of cubic zirconia.
When you’re looking for creative ways to finance your dream engagement jewelry…perhaps the answer is not to stretch to finance it at all, but instead imagine what else you could purchase with the money you had earmarked already, by electing a more inexpensive choice for engagement jewelry.
Buyers of high-quality CZ engagement jewelry once worried about the upcoming cost of staging their dream wedding often realize that the money they need to spend on their dream wedding was right there in their bank accounts already before man and woman become man and fiancée?
How cool is it that this couple can access that money simply by choosing a different option for engagement jewelry than what society says is the norm with diamonds?
There’s nothing wrong with snubbing traditions perpetuated by a consumer culture that causes couples to go into DEBT to live up to an impossible standard to please other people and receive a one-time ego boost for an ultra-expensive wedding and expensive engagement jewelry…and men and women I talk to daily are certainly happy to accept the trade-off of choosing CZ vs diamond with increasing numbers.
All it takes is putting pencil to paper and seeing the difference, like our customers do who find the perfect diamond engagement ring or wedding set in Sterling Silver, Gold, Palladium, or Platinum, and ask us to create an identical copy ring or set with Cubic Zirconia as a custom quote. When you start thinking of what you can do with that extra $5000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000 or more…it tends to make smart couples realize they have a choice.
They can choose to support consumer traditions fueled by hundreds of years of hard-core brain-wash level advertising by some of the richest and most ruthless businesses in the world (diamond mining cartels), go into debt for a fairytale and ignore the realities of life and marriage being more than one day, becoming just another ‘me too’ story on the road to a rocky relationship strained for YEARS by mistakes together in the relatively brief engagement and wedding planning process…or they can choose differently.
I’ve even seen couples can pay for not only the wedding, but also the week-long international honeymoon, AND the down-payment on the new home for the married couple—all with savings of buying Cubic Zirconia bridal jewelry versus diamond bridal jewelry—and have NO ONE know the difference but the happy couple themselves.
How’s that for creative financing?