The Rising Price of Platinum. WOW!

The price of Platinum, the metal of choice by Consumers for their engagement rings, wedding rings, and wedding bands has risen meteorically over the past year and on a daily basis especially in the last few weeks. Look at the graph below:

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From mid-December 2007 until today the price of Platinum has risen by $800.00 an ounce!

The weak dollar, rising Oil prices, and power and electricity shortages in South Africa which mines the bulk of the worlds Platinum have all contributed to the this price increase.

Manufacturers of Platinum Jewelry have no option but to raise prices and pass on these price increases to their retail jewelers. As a consequence your Gold and Platinum Jewelry is becoming dramatically more expensive and costly.

Precious Metals Analysts expect these price increases to continue in the forseable future.

Ebay Sellers ANGRY! at Ebay.

Ebay this week announced two policy changes that has so angered its Sellers that many have staged a boycott.

The policy changes are higher listing fees and most significantly the removal of Seller Feedback comments against Consumers that have placed negative feedback against them.

Ebay sellers believe that their inability to now counter undeserved negative Consumer feedback will put them at the mercy of spiteful consumers who post inaccurate and hurtful comments that will negatively impact their business and reduce their sales. Ebay, on the other hand, believes that Vendor feedback which is negative on an Ebay Customer will chase away consumers and reduce their business.

More here: Angry Ebay Sellers

The Future of Buying Your Diamond Engagement Ring On-Line.

The purchase of diamond engagement rings, wedding rings, wedding bands, and jewelery on the Internet has steadily and dramatically increased over the past five years. More and more shoppers are feeling comfortable spending thousands of dollars on-line for an item that is not only expensive but also carries with it considerable emotional and psychological significance.

Our colleague, Ken Gassman over at idexonline.com in an excellent article analyzes the future of on-line diamond rings and jewelery retailing and puts forth some very interesting, thought-provoking, and provocative arguments.

A must read at this link:

Brick & Mortar Stores VS. On-line Shopping

Pushy $alespeople On The Internet? Say It Ain’t So! NO! NO!

One of the things we all loathe when shopping in Department Stores is the pushy salesperson that descends on us within seconds of entering the store and clings to us like a second skin, not letting us browse and breathe and check out the merchandise in a comfortable fashion.

We’ve all experienced this and I, for one, avoid making eye contact with a salesperson who is in the area of the merchandise I’m looking at, hoping and praying that they DON’T come over.

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Radioactive, Stay Away!

One of the pleasures in shopping on the Internet is the peace of mind we enjoy and the absence of being hassled by pushy in-your-face salespeople. This, in spite of the fact that websites do employ sophisticated tracking software to monitor and analyze their traffic, patterns, shopping preferences, and the level of popularity of their website pages and content.

So I was a bit taken aback and surprised when I came across this Consumer’s account of his recent Internet shopping experience.

“One major concern that nearly turned me off completely to …… was the unsolicited phone calls and e-mails. After having previously added an item to my shopping cart, and having entered my contact information without completing the order, I actually began receiving phone calls and e-mails asking me about what ……. could do to help me complete the purchase. My major gripe is that I should be allowed to browse and add items to my cart ANONYMOUSLY and PRIVATELY without concern that I’m going to be chased down just for expressing an interest in an item. I understand the desire to make me a customer, but this is distasteful. Secondly. this was a phone number and e-mail address that I SHARED WITH MY FIANCEE-TO-BE and would have been extremely disappointed to have my surprise proposal spoiled by ……. telling her that I had recently been looking to purchase a ring. I had luckily been able to intercept them, but again, I had to ask customer service to stop these contacts.”

What do you Consumers think? Was this Consumer’s criticism/anger justified? Or was he fair game for the Internet vendor to contact him since he had already placed products into his Shopping Cart and Checkout Page and the Vendor was just trying to be helpful?

Give us your opinion by choosing one of the options in the Poll, below.

Should Jewelers Appraise The Diamond Engagement Rings They Sell To You?

Many Jewelers issue Appraisals on the merchandise they sell at the point of sale. How helpful and valid are these Appraisals? If you lose your diamond engagement ring, wedding band, or jewelry or it is stolen and you file a claim how well will you fare with your Insurance company? Some issues to consider:

Jewelers’ conflict of interest in appraising the merchandise they have sold to you.

Assessing future replacement value vs. current transaction value.

A statement of value demonstrating items worth to whom, when, and under what circumstances.

Informative discussion now going on Here

Shopping By Price Online Can Be Frustrating

One of the wonderful things about buying diamonds online is the comfort of being able to price shop and compare one vendor against another with just the click of a mouse. Many vendors offer diamonds at comparable prices. Some are a bit more expensive and some are a bit cheaper.

Shopping by price is of course a major consideration when buying diamonds online. However, it should not be the sole factor in determining where to spend your dollars. Indeed, many vendors will offer price match policies etc. in the event that you find a similar diamond offered elsewhere at a lower price.

More important (or equally important) are the considerations of a vendors published reputation on the Internet, their commitment to customer service, their industry affiliations, their return policies and customer service policies and the level of information provided.

When these variables are considered, there is often a huge disconnect between those vendors who provide real added value to their customers and those who do nothing but blindly drop-ship the diamonds they sell.

Of course, if you can find a vendor who offers the lowest prices together with the most comprehensive level of information and customer service, “you can have your cake and eat it too”!

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Frustrated with your price search?

Albert Einstein used to say that “Insanity” is defined as the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results….

Gemstone Treatments Becoming more Sophisticated and Harder to Detect.

That was the theme of a morning session of the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) meeting in Tucson, Arizona where gemologists and appraisers are meeting this week to discuss and share information on the latest gemstone treatments and detection methods that can be used to identify stones that have undergone the latest treatments.

Paraiba Tourmaline
Beauty Personified! But Is It “Treated”?

As the gemological community races to keep up with the latest treatments, one thing seems clear: Gemstone treaters, and those who sell their gussied-up wares, are speeding ahead, nimbler than ever.

“To paraphrase Jimmy Carter, we have to declare the moral equivalent of war on these issues, and if you don’t do it, nobody’s going to do it,” panel moderator David Federman, editor-in-chief of Colored Stone magazine, told the audience. “This is like global warming. Deny it all you want, but the glaciers are melting.”

The impetus behind the new treatments is, as always, dollar signs $$$$. Ted Themelis, an expert on Burmese gem deposits, says rough ruby that would sell for $70 to $100 per kilogram could go for $1,000 per kilogram after undergoing treatments that make poorer quality goods look much more attractive.

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Ruby

Lead glass-filled rubies, the heavily treated stones coming out of the gem-trading center of Chanthaburi, Thailand, are often undergoing more than one process.

Among the new treatment techniques discussed during the session are cobalt-infused sapphire and pink-diamond treatments.

Christopher Smith, vice president and chief gemologist of American Gemological Laboratories, said the cobalt-infused sapphire is a neon blue, similar to Paraiba tourmaline or Malagasy apatite.

The treatment is detectable, through the use of a Chelsea filter, through spectroscopy, which reveals bands of cobalt, and through various other methods, including the use of a microscope.

“When we looked in more detail at the color, we saw blotches and black pits in the center of color under microscope,” Smith said.

Branko Deljanin, director of Canadian operations at EGL USA, says colored-diamond treatments are also a concern, with high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT), coating and fracture-filling irradiation among those used.

“Or there’s some combination of all, and that’s the scariest,” Deljanin said.

Buy colored gemstones from a reputable dealer with grading reports from a reputable grading laboratory.