Wholesale Diamonds: a Buyers guide
We have all heard of the story of diamonds and their crazy mark-ups. I would not be surprised to hear that some of you have wanted to peer behind the scene of diamond wholesalers. Do they live in a land where diamonds flow like wine? Let me invite you on a behind-the-scenes tour of diamond wholesale.
What defines wholesale?
We are probably all familiar with the concept that buying in bulk gets you better prices. Well, that is referred to as economies of scale and it works on most things that we can think of. From humble groceries like eggs and milk, to exotic products such as sports cars and fighter jets all are subject to this phenomenon. Diamonds are not special in this regard also.
What are the most common wholesale diamonds?
Melee, diamonds are usually under 0.20ct and especially under 0.15ct each are often used as side stones and fill the spaces on a jewelry piece with sparkle and shine. These smaller diamonds are almost always bought in bulk by the jewelry brands to produce their standard offerings.
Large stones most likely used for center stones can also be bought in bulk. Round brilliant engagement rings are a standard offering across the industry and round brilliant diamond cuts are very standardized and uniform thanks to automated machine-aided cutting. So round brilliant diamonds under and around 1ct are also often bought in bulk.
But if there is a need for very exclusive stones they can be bought in bulk as well. Some brands have pieces that call for Fancy Vivid Yellow and Pink diamond melee and they buy these on a wholesale level. But if it comes to larger stone 3ct. and up or larger fancy color diamonds, wholesale is often impossible.
What are the pros and cons?
One of the most significant benefits is cheaper prices. With a larger order, you have a lot more bargaining power on your end. It is not uncommon to negotiate diamond prices about 10-20% lower than the standard industry offering. I hate to break it to you, but diamonds are diamonds. They are sparkly, desirable, and valuable no matter where you go. You also have more choice especially if you are trying to make a matching pair of stones often used in earrings or a layout of many stones forming a design. A larger selection means it is often much easier to create these matched pairs and layouts.
Choice also extends to choosing better quality stones. For example, fancy shaped diamonds can vary greatly in their face-up appearance even though that information is not reflected in their diamond reports. This is where a bulk order will give you the edge. By ordering a larger amount you can compare and choose the stones that you think appeal more to you and are more fitting for the particular project you are working on.
Is it all rainbows with bulk orders? Not really. The first con is that everything needs to be checked. For example, Let's say a CVD diamond gets mixed into a parcel or bag of 10,000 natural diamonds by mistake or intentionally, but you set out to create a 100% natural diamond only necklace. Sorry, but you have to check every one of these diamonds with an expensive fancy machine. Secondly, you need to know what you are doing. Let's say you want some great-looking emeralds to make a neat eternity band. What is the optimal crown height for your emeralds? The diamond reports don't tell you that information. So how would you know?
Could you and should you wholesale?
In my opinion as an ordinary consumer, no. First, in order to gain access to the wholesale side of the diamond business, you often need an established business and even in that case, newcomers are often subjected to higher mark-ups compared to the established big players in the industry. If you want low prices this is not the best way to go at it. Secondly, to effectively find the stone you are looking for, you need some gemological/diamond knowledge (have you chatted with our gemologists yet?) to check the stone for you and their expertise to evaluate the diamonds.
But why do you have to jump in the water from the deep end when you have Rare Carat doing all the work for you. Not bragging or anything, the prices on Rare Carat are surprisingly approachable and much closer to wholesale prices than many other sources. The price indicator next to every diamond is another great addition that allows you to instantly compare prices much like a seasoned diamond trader, but without the need for decades of industry experience. The final icing on the cake is a team of gemologists who will look and check the diamond for you.
So, being on Rare Carat is kinda like buying diamonds wholesale without the risks and resources required. You get fantastic prices, vast choices, and a team of gemologists to help you navigate the intricate world of diamonds.