Are Diamond Cartels Losing Their Vice Grip on the Industry?

Are Diamond Cartels Losing Their Vice Grip on the Industry? 0

Is a diamond really a girl’s best friend? Well, that’s definitely a matter for debate, especially in an era where most females of marriageable age prefer to be called women. We can tell you one thing for sure. Diamond cartels are nobody’s best friend. As if we didn’t have enough reasons to loathe this monument to capitalism at its most base level (and by “base” I definitely mean “crass”), we are now seeing more evidence that diamond cartels have artificially inflated price of these not-so-rare-after-all gems.

CNBC recently reported that, in fact, the market is seeing a downward trend in the price of diamonds over the past few years. The marketplace is changing rapidly, and the effect is a much lower price for diamonds, the world over. In fact, Martin Rapaport, Chairman of Rapaport Group, calls the diamond industry a “volatile trade.” Diamonds, it seems, are hardly an investor’s best friend these days. Further, financial analysts are beginning to speculate that diamond industry trends may be signs of pervasive deflation from a macroeconomic perspective.

Between April 2014 and April 2015, diamond prices have dropped by 15 percent. De Beers, infamously known for spearheading an ad campaign in the 1940’s that made the diamonds an iconic, must-have stone for engagements and weddings, has made it more difficult to finance their purchase. The effect is that fewer people can afford diamonds at their previous inflationary rate. Demand is decreasing, and along with it, diamond prices.

Another factor contributing to the decline of the diamond as the darling of the jewelry industry is a glut that has been created by major fluctuations in Asian markets. A rise of the middle class in countries like China and India led to higher demand in those parts of the world. Retailers responded by stocking diamonds based on projected growth that never came to fruition. After the initial rush of popularity, the market slowed down, and the industry was stuck with a surplus which has driven diamond prices down on a global scale.

An industry financing leader, the Antwerp Diamond Bank, stopped taking on new clients within the last year. It has become too risky to support new diamond manufacturers and craftsmen for new inventory production.

The deflationary trend of diamonds suggests that perhaps this notoriously overpriced stone may soon reach unprecedented low prices that more closely resemble a fair market value. Can you imagine purchasing a full carat diamond for under $1000.00? Dare we say $100? Some observers, including CubicZirconia.com Vice President, Danny Welsh, think that diamonds might one day fall to a much more accessible price for jewelry enthusiasts, especially young couples who are getting engaged. He says:

Consumers are starting to realize that diamond rarity an inflated lie. Eventually, in say, fifty to one hundred years, if trends continue, lab-created diamonds and diamond simulants like cubic zirconia may no longer fill a market need. Customers will be able to buy real diamonds for a hundred dollars or less. This is a more realistic price, even now, given that diamond cartel companies have manipulated the market and kept millions of diamonds in warehouses. Until then, CubicZirconia.com is here, ready to serve you with the highest quality, 5A, man-made diamond alternatives sold at an affordable price-- stones set in high-quality jewelry that no one, not even jewelers with decades of experience, can definitively say with the unaided eye are not diamonds.

Guaranteed to put a little more sparkle in your life, CubicZirconia.com stays on top of market trends and understands their impact on your shopping experience, and your wallet. We are delighted to make your jewelry dreams come true. And hey, if that means you can save for a house, go on a honeymoon or bank the leftover cash, so much the better.


Tekla Luchenski
Staff Writer

Creative financing for engagement ring and beyond...

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?

Danny Welsh
Vice President
CubicZirconia.com

One of our favorite recent testimonials, from Shelly in Arizona! 0

"Woohoo...I'm so excited! I wanted to let you know I received the rings on Friday. YAY! First let me say, my rings are STUNNING! The one ring is so pretty, I really (REALLY) like the peekaboo accent! I'm not 100% sure I like them together. I want to wear both of them together for a bit and see if it grows on me but before I do that I plan to go out this weekend and try the engagement ring with a plain band. I may end up wearing the anniversary band on my other hand. Thank you sooo much-- for all the information, it was very informative and helpful, and for your kind service and words! You guys are amazing! Two thumbs up for communication. Anytime I asked a question it was quickly answered. Wow, wow, wow! I absolutely appreciate the customer service/support you've provided! It was a pleasure speaking to you and your passion for what you do shines through (pun intended :-) )!!! This was such an excellent experience. I am so pleased with the expert help I received, and still in awe when I look at the rings. Thank you tons for everything you've done to help me :). True professionals.

I had a lot of reservations about 1) buying a quality CZ (especially online), 2) buying any type of jewelry sight unseen and 3) getting the design I wanted without paying the high price for custom jewelry. I did extensive research, both online and in jewelry stores. I knew what size stone and cut I wanted for the engagement ring but I didn't see any wedding bands on the site that grabbed my attention. I sent an email with a pic attached of one I had found online and asked if it could be replicated. Danny called me and said he could replicate it, but then offered other suggestions. One being a ring that wasn't listed on the site. It was perfect! I also absolutely love that CubicZirconia.com works with Palladium.

I'm super excited! I would (and will) recommend CubicZirconia.com to anyone looking to buy a diamond and why they should choose a quality CZ vs a diamond. Save your money and have the wedding/honeymoon of your dreams. We rented a house on the beach last October for my birthday and had 14 people with us. It was such a blast that we decided to do something similar for a wedding, except with a bigger house-- with our savings purchasing CZ over diamonds. We're planning it for 5/24/15."

Shelly Mizell
Arizona, USA

"Give Cubic Zirconia a Chance as Diamond Replacement for Bridal Jewelry" says Journalist

"Give Cubic Zirconia a Chance as Diamond Replacement for Bridal Jewelry" says Journalist 0

Here's an interesting article from TheFederalist.com author Rachel Lu: thefederalist.com/2014/08/08/give-cubic-zirconias-a-chance-to-replace-diamond-wedding-rings/

We are happy that Rachel is giving the idea of cubic zirconia for bridal jewelry a recommendation, but frankly some of her praise of the practice is a little back-handed-- and we know our customers deserve better, frankly!

Here's the message we sent to Rachel....

Yes, Rachel, I totally agree that "the social expectations placed on brides are genuinely onerous". However, the real social expectations are placed not just on the bride-- nor just on the groom-- but on the couple themselves. When did we as a culture ever allow the wedding—the events of a single DAY, and those leading up to it— to take on more importance than the entirety of two lives together bonded in marriage?

I am very happy you are giving the idea of cubic zirconia for bridal jewelry a recommendation… As you stated and I can do no better: “A man needn’t have thousands of dollars to spare in order to make a good husband. The cubic zirconia can supply what couples really need from an engagement ring—tradition, beauty, and a public symbol of their matrimonial intentions—at a fraction of the cost.”

However, I hope you’ll allow me to disagree with your word choice in a few areas, in the spirit of courtesy and goodwill.

You say: "Alchemists spent years trying to make artificial gold, but now that we can make artificial diamonds, almost nobody wants to wear one."

Ahh, but there you are somewhat generalizing a falsehood! In order to make the same statement true both to the industry statistics I have access to as well as my own anecdotal experience as Vice President for www.CubicZirconia.com, an online leader for cubic zirconia jewelry and gemstones, I'd amend the statement you made to read:

"Alchemists spent years trying to make artificial gold, but now that we can make artificial diamonds, almost nobody wants *admit* to wear*ing* one."

Many of our 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 my company compared to diamond 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.

You’d be amazed what an extra $2,000-30,000 can do for a couple starting out in their new life together, and that’s an average US dollar figure for savings our customers experience buying our jewelry versus the same thing crowned and set with diamonds instead of cubic zirconia.

I also have to respectfully disagree with this statement: "Very few can tell the difference with their naked eye." (speaking of telling the difference between CZ and diamond by visual look).

Listen, that is not true at all in my experience. In fact, I have a standing $10,000 wager at 10-1 odds for anyone who claims differently and is prepared to back It up under laboratory-controlled conditions at a local university, under video-taped and 3rd-party audited circumstances. Frankly, no one has ever taken me up on the wager and I’ve made it publicly through our website as well as individually to many highly-trained and certified jewelers and gemologists.

Here’s the truth diamond jewelers and the mining cartels don not want the public to know: Anyone who says they can tell the difference between diamond and the top-quality 5A Cubic Zirconia with a visual naked eye look only is lying, only giving anecdotal evidence based on flawed experiment set-up, or comparing diamonds to poor-quality CZ manufactured by companies trying to save money on quality. Or...they could be trying to sell you diamond jewelry!

Study after study and test after test with "blind" provisions where the testee has no pre-existing knowledge about the gemstones to be shown, and where multiple sets of gemstones are provided where one is highest-quality CZ and one is diamond, have proven that the highest quality cubic zirconia gemstones are *visually indistinguishable* from diamonds without certain tests.

That doesn’t mean no one can tell the difference between CZ and diamond, that’s not what I’m saying…Such tests that CAN tell the difference can include:

a) hardness tests (diamond is much harder mineral than synthetic CZ—which doesn't really make it better for jewelry if you think about it, though I guess it comes in handy if you get locked out of your house and need a handy cutting tool to cut the glass in your entry door to reach through and unlock it)

b) use of certain tools such as a jeweler's magnifier glass or a digital mineral scanner)...

…none of which lies under the original article’s definition to ask whether someone admiring her ring would be able to tell the difference!

If thousands of blind tests have 50% saying the diamond is CZ and 50% saying the CZ is diamond based on respondents' best visual guesses, you can safely say that "any random person who was admiring your ring" will NOT be able to say for sure whether your ring is set with diamond or CZ.

And my public challenge of $10,000 at 10:1 odds says no gemologist or jeweler can do it either, unaided, under the conditions of a true test such as those briefly outlined.

So what WILL make any random person think your cubic zirconia bridal jewelry is CZ rather than diamond?

First, CZ often comes in large sizes, larger than what people may see frequently in diamond jewelry. After all, who not a celebrity, heiress or billionaire/billionaire’s wife would wear a 4-5 carat diamond outside in public? This means that when you're looking at a HUGE "blingin-awesome" clear gemstone out in public, many people will assume it's a synthetic gemstone CZ rather than diamond...simply because a 4-5 carat diamond will run in the six figure dollars and some people can't fathom the risk of losing that investment or having it stolen.

 

Also, if you don't appear to be affluent, the tendency of people is to believe that you couldn't afford diamond so it “MUST be CZ”. The same goes doubly for friends and family, who know your financial situation. This is a reason for some CZ buyers electing for 1 carat or 1.5 carat center stones because they believe whether it's CZ or diamond is nobody's business but their own and they're saving tens of thousands of dollars buying CZ vs diamond on an engagement ring for instance-- while it remains "believable" for their financial situation that it COULD be diamond (something important to some buyers).

Second, many people have the assumption that cubic zirconia usually comes in inferior settings (that can be easily spotted). As an industry-wide assumption, it’s a safe one and very true. The internet and flea markets are filled with fifty dollar engagement rings that are brass plated with sterling silver or a thin crappy gold plating that will wear off quickly, and there's surely a market for that though these cheap products will turn your finger green and there is no metal value in them.

However, there's a large contingent of consumers that want the highest-quality metal settings commercially-possible paired not with diamond but CZ. These customers buy pure 950 Platinum rings with good-sized CZ center stones that would cost $30,000 or more for $1500-3000 set with CZ instead of diamond.

The market for hiqh-quality metal jewelry like 18K White and Yellow Gold, 14K White and Yellow Gold, 10K White and Yellow Gold, Palladium (more durable than gold, similar look to Platinum but cheaper), and pure .925 Sterling Silver are all expanding. These customers know the value is in the precious metal, because many of them believe that diamond costs are artificially inflated anyway-- though that's a story for another day!-- and purchase jewelry that has true resale value because of the purity of the precious metal chosen for manufacture (unlike plated brass metal which has essentially zero resale value).

So that was fun…I love the article, but in my experience the words we use to describe something can make more of an impact than the theme. The theme of your article is to let couples be in love, reduce stress, focus more on the marriage and life together than on the events of one day (wedding), and fulfill societal obligations balanced with what’s in the best interests of the couple. So I hope you don’t mind my wanting to more clearly define a couple of what I felt were generalizations!

As far as your statement that "most people see the synthetic diamond as a symbol of cheapness and inauthenticity."—that’s another story, entirely! What is this claim based upon? I'm sorry if I seem offended, but frankly I am.

What could be a more authentic gift for a newly engaged couple to give *themselves* than the secure knowledge that they bought their honeymoon for CASH, put a down payment on a home in CASH, or paid for their entire wedding with CASH not 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?

If it’s inauthentic to snub 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 expensive wedding and expensive engagement jewelry…then it’s the kind of inauthentic men and women I talk to daily are certainly happy to accept with increasing numbers.

All it takes is putting pencil to paper and seeing the difference, like our customers do who find the perfect diamond ring in Sterling Silver, Gold, or Platinum, and ask us to create an identical copy set with Cubic Zirconia as a custom quote. When you start thinking of what you can do with that extra $2000, $5000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 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 advertising by some of the richest and most ruthless capitalists in the world (diamond mining concerns), go into debt for a fairytale and ignore the realities of life and marriage being more than one day, and be just another ‘me too’ story…or they can choose differently.

wedding ring in love with heart shadowI really like your closing sentence: “Celebrate love. Give the bridal couple a good ‘welcome to adult life’ sendoff. Let’s give the cubic zirconia a second chance.”


That’s truly what a wedding ought to be about!

And if you can pay for the wedding, the honeymoon, AND the down-payment on the house with savings from diamond versus cubic zirconia—and have NO ONE know the difference but you two, unless you tell them— then…why not?

Danny Welsh
CubicZirconia.com