DeBeers launches International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV)
Steve’s breakdown: We’re talking about a used diamond market that’s being headed up by DeBeers. The challenge is getting folks to bring in their diamonds because of “divorce, death amor financial distress” convincing jewelers to participate in the program.
Start with Tom Montgomery of DeBeers as your first contact.
NEW YORK, NY: When a diamond is not forever, the newly formed International Institute of Diamond Valuation will gladly take it off your hands.
Launched by De Beers Group of Cos., the world’s largest diamond supplier, IIDV is headquartered in the Big Apple’s Diamond District at 50 W. 47th St., and claims to offer the best prices for second-hand stones.
These gems are often the result of “the three D’s: divorce, death and financial distress,” said Tom Montgomery, De Beers senior vice president of strategic initiatives.
De Beers has been testing the concept in its 6,000-square-foot lab, where it examines and buys stones via a network of jewelers across the country. Fourteen are signed up so far, including Marisa Perry Atelier in the West Village.
Consumers can send their unloved diamonds directly to IIDV as well.
De Beers is tackling the secondary market, estimated to be worth up to $1 billion, amid a slowdown in diamond sales. Last year, De Beers brought back its iconic marketing campaign — “A Diamond Is Forever” — after a brief hiatus.
“We’ve posed as sellers and discovered that industry practices leave a lot to be desired, with [pawn shops and jewelers] trying to figure out what customers are willing to pay rather than what the diamond is actually worth,” Montgomery said.
One retailer, Jewels of Lake Forest (Ill.), has been participating in the De Beers pilot for the past six months, during which most customers accepted IIDV’s prices.
“Last year was a challenging year in the diamond business,” said store owner Dru Anne Smyth, who is hoping customers will snap up new baubles with some of their newfound cash.