Industry giant Martin Rapaport announced today, the official launch of RapNet’s new “Instant Inventory for Diamond Jewelers” which provides retail jewelers and internet dealers with access to virtual inventory consisting of more than 1.5 million diamonds, valued at more than $8 billion dollars. This service enables jewelry stores and internet diamond dealers to offer millions of dollars in diamond inventory, without actually investing money in a single diamond, or purchasing diamond grading equipment of any kind. The only investment a jeweler has to make is the time spent subscribing to the Instant Inventory for Diamond Jewelers service and setting up the basic search parameters that their inventory will consist of.
Step 1: Subscribe to the Service.
Step 2: Set Diamond Inventory Parameters.
Step 3: Choose the Suppliers you work with.
Step 4: Set Profit Margins / Prices.
Step 5: Customize Template Settings.
BANG. You’re a diamond dealer. This is one example of what RapNet suggests that your virtual diamond search engine might look like. Pretty snazzy! But what if your customer actually wants to know something about a diamond that they are interested in from your virtual diamond inventory? No problem, because more and more diamond cutters are investing in state-of-the-art diamond imaging equipment, so that they can provide those images in their virtual listings.
How do you think that virtual diamond dealers such as B2C Jewels, Blue Nile,
Enchanted Diamonds, James Allen, Ritani, and Zoara, have been providing you with those diamond videos, clarity images, and reflector scope images, such as ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows scope photographs? They’re mostly all provided by the diamond cutter or diamond wholesaler who is holding the diamond in their inventory… Which explains the wide variety of image quality and detail.
When you search the diamond inventory of
Enchanted Diamonds, you will be presented with a wide variety of diamonds that Enchanted Diamonds picks up from the various multiple listing services (MLS) relied upon by the diamond industry to market diamonds globally. Diamond MLS subscription-based services, such as RapNet, IDEX, and Polygon, were originally designed to enable diamond dealers to trade diamonds worldwide, and until recently only provided very basic details about the diamonds uploaded to the system. However recently more and more diamond dealers have begun to provide diamond clarity photographs, diamond video, ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows scope images in an attempt to harness the power of the internet, to increase their sales.
Notice the wide variety of background colors, focal depths, image quality, and diamond size varies in all of the diamond clarity photographs, there is no degree of consistency. However, diamond clarity images of some sort are better than no images at all.
While I do not always agree with the cut score assigned to the diamond search results provided by
Enchanted Diamonds, I do find it helpful to sort the results by cut score, since the options presented in the 100% Cut Score category tend to be closer to what I’m looking for… Thus I have fewer diamond details pages to sift through, to find the few diamonds that meet my selection criteria by the numbers.
One of the things that I like about the options presented when I search for diamonds on James Allen is that the high-resolution video of the diamonds that are provided on the diamond details pages were all taken by James Allen, using a state-of-the-art imaging system that was actually developed by one of their partners. Thus there is a degree of consistency in the high-resolution diamond videos provided by James Allen. Unfortunately, they rarely provide the reflector scope images that are necessary for me to judge the degree of optical precision exhibited by the diamond.
Let’s say that you’re looking for a round brilliant ideal cut diamond in the range of 1.60 to 1.99 carats, E-color to F-color, VS-1 to VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal Cut, and you search on James Allen for diamonds, and you
Search Enchanted Diamonds (Bankrupt 2019), using my basic search criteria that are encoded into those links; when I flipped through the options, I decided that the following two diamonds are the best options available at the moment.
This 1.71 carat, E-color, VS-1 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from James Allen, obviously has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, which means that it received the top score of GIA Excellent for polish, symmetry, and proportions; this grade does not take optical precision into account, and this is something that can only be judged by viewing the diamond through an ASET Scope, an Ideal Scope, and a Hearts and Arrows Scope — yes, it is necessary to see all three reflector scope images, because they provide different detail.
Since we don’t have an ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, or Hearts and Arrows image for this GIA Excellent cut diamond being offered by James Allen, the only thing we have to go on is how the diamond faces-up in the high-resolution diamond video, and the detail provided on the diamond grading report. Based upon the numbers, the 40.8 degree pavilion angle should produce a high volume of light return; while the 34.5 degree crown angle is likely to produce a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) however this will be skewed a bit, due to the 80% lower girdle facet length, which usually has the effect of producing sparkle that is smaller in size, more like the pin-fire type sparkle seen reflecting off of the tiny mirrors glued on to the side of a disco ball.
Now the challenge with pin-fire type sparkle, is that our human eyes can experience difficulty dispersing smaller flashes of white light, into colored light… thus ideal cut diamonds like this, tend to appear to be more brilliant than fiery or exhibit a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, but this largely a matter of personal preference.
The inclusions within the diamond look great by the way! Just a couple of tiny diamond crystals, which are essentially just tiny diamonds that were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed, no big deal, they’re completely innocuous.
This 1.70 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, GIA Excellent round diamond listed with
Enchanted Diamonds, received the same excellent rating from the GIA for polish, symmetry, and proportions. The 40.6 degree pavilion angle should produce a high volume of light return; while the 34.5 degree crown angle produces a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion; and the 75% lower girdle facet length should provide broad-spectrum sparkle, which is larger in size, and bolder, brighter, and more vivid than the pin-fire type sparkle exhibited by the diamond from James Allen, but this is a matter of personal preference.
In this instance, we don’t have any video of the diamond, because the diamond cutter who listed the diamond with the MLS, does not have the capability to provide diamond video; however they did include a diamond clarity photograph, hearts image, arrows image, and an ASET Scope image of the diamond within the MLS details.
This 1.70 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, GIA Excellent round diamond listed with
Enchanted Diamonds actually exhibits very nice optical precision, the hearts are relatively even in size and shape, with only very little variance, and I’d like to see a bit more of a gap between the hearts and the pavilion main facets that separate them, but all in all, it’s better than what I expect to see from the average ideal cut diamond that was not specifically cut to exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows.
The ASET image looks pretty good, but if you look closely at the image provided above, you’ll be able to see that light is reflecting differently off of the lower girdle facets in the upper left quadrant of the table facet, than it is in the lower right quadrant of the table facet, and this might explain the differences that are visible in the table region of the diamond in the arrows photograph.
Also notice the dark black muddling around the tips of the arrows pattern exhibited by the diamond in the red arrows photograph, and then wander back to the diamond clarity photograph and ponder the differences in tonal value that are visible in the upper girdle sections (the two elongated triangles that separate the tips of the arrows) which vary from practically translucent, to light and dark grey.
Put all of this information together, and it becomes apparent that while this diamond exhibits better than average optical precision for an ideal cut diamond, it is still not on par with the degree of optical precision exhibited by a Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond, nor the hearts and arrows diamonds produced by Crafted by Infinity which are marketed via High Performance Diamonds.
But not everybody is looking for that degree of perfection, nor do they want to pay for it… it takes about four times longer to polish diamonds to the degree of optical precision necessary to produce a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows; and it can result in a loss of diamond rough upwards of 7 – 10% more than it takes to produce an ideal cut diamond of the same carat weight — which is obviously going to be reflected in the price!
The question then becomes… What level of light performance and sparkle factor do you desire? And do you want to buy a diamond from a dealer who works primarily with virtual inventory that is re-published off of the various multiple listing services relied on by the industry, or do you want to work with diamond cutters like Brian Gavin Diamonds, and Paul Slegers of Crafted by Infinity / High Performance Diamonds who maintain exclusive in-house inventory, and who provide detailed clarity photographs, high resolution video, and images of their diamonds as seen through an ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows scope where applicable.
For instance, just take a look at all the detail provided for this 1.702 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature hearts and arrows diamond, they provide you with a high-resolution video of the diamond, a clarity photograph, ASET scope image, Ideal scope image, hearts and arrows photograph, and of course all the usual detail pertaining to polish, symmetry, and proportions.
Congratulations to Martin Rapaport and the Staff of Rapnet on the launch of their new virtual diamond inventory service for diamond jewelers, I’m sure that it will provide all of us with more options to choose from.
I’ll be here to help you conduct more effective searches for diamonds, regardless of what vendor and marketing style you prefer, and you’ve probably figured out that I work with the most reputable diamond dealers to be found online, and that I’m not afraid to pull any punches… I always call things the way I see it, and focus on helping my clients find the best options available; all you have to do is drop me a note via my free Diamond Concierge Service form, providing me with the details of the diamond you seek.
Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)
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