Friday, January 16, 2009
You get what you pay for.
I should just stop there and go get some sleep but I wont! So you are making cinnamon buns for a living, and so are two other people on your street. Now how do you get and keep your part of the market share and thus stay in business??? Well I know 2 (legal) ways, 1. sell a cheaper bun, if you add fewer expensive raisins then you can drop your price. And 2. sell a better bun, if you stuff the bun with juicy fruit and smear cream cheese icing all over the top you can probably sell them at a higher price.
Now imagine that the Bakery Mafia have regulated the requirements for cinnamon buns, and to be called a 'Cinnibun' the dough must weigh a certain amount, a minimum of raisins must be added and a maximum sweet gooey cheese quota has been tabulated....and now we have the diamond industry.
I can buy a 60pt, GH colour, SI2 clarity, round diamond for a variety of prices, because some dealers carry stones that barely make the grade and other take pride in selling stones that are almost too good. Dealers cant fudge the weight, the scale says what the scale says...but maybe the cut isn't as well proportioned so you spend money on a fat girdle which means the stone is a little smaller in appearance, maybe it looks like a 57pt instead. Luckily the guy selling fat stones charges less so the price between the well cut 57pt and the mediocre cut 60pt are probably the same.
Colour is judged with the diamond laying table down and the stone is compared against tinted cubic zirconias...then how come the diamond can be graded differently by two different appraisers? Because the companies that create the cubic zirconias don't use the same grading scale. A sad joke in the business is " Buy an 'I' and sell an 'H'". But the most interesting difference is in clarity, and that's because I can see a colour difference to the naked eye, I can see a badly cut stone, but I cant count all the specks - I can see the amount of dough, I can see the cream cheese but I cant count the raisins. The minimum is 8 raisins per bun, the maximum is 25, and this is where my cinnibun analogy fails because I think more raisins is better but fewer specks (inclusions) in your diamond is better...I guess you have to pretend you hate raisins.... Anyway, some diamond dealers sell the minimum and others the max, and this is reflected in the price. So like i said, you get what you pay for....which leads to my next post, 'If a deal seems to good to be true, it is'.
Well Christmas has come and gone again. Its a stressful time in the jewellery business, our busiest season, which is one of the reasons I havent been writing - too busy to rant! The ring pictured above was one of my favorites this Christmas. Chuck and Diane showed up with a collection of rings they had bought at auction and a picture of what they would like...seems easy right? Actually it wasnt bad, but its very important to discuss potential 'unhappinesses' before they happen. The diamonds were of different qualities and colours, after looking at the stones it was decided that it was more important to match 3 stones by colour than clarity because clarity is judged under 10 power magnification and colour we judge with the naked eye. So I could see a colour difference but not see a clarity difference. The next hurdle was altering the ring design to fit the diamonds but keep as close to the feel of the picture. The diamonds in the original picture were not as graduated in size, so the altered design has a step down between the center stone and the side stones, and then to continue the pattern we stepped down from the side stones to the band. This also brought the band down to a width that Diane was comfortable with. The side profile, the part that Chuck liked best, was not altered by the changes.