2014 An Excellent Time To Sell Diamonds
Naturally, predicting where gold prices will head in the coming year is an imperfect art, at best.
Looking to sell your diamonds or jewelry? For years now, consumers interested in recouping the value of their jewelry have focused squarely on gold, thanks to dramatic price gains that captured business headlines around the world, particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis. But given that gold prices declined by 30 percent in 2013, has the era of “We Buy Gold” finally come to a close? We assess what happened to diamond prices in relation to the fortunes of gold prices and why 2014 is an excellent time to sell diamonds.
Gold Price Is Highly Volatile
Naturally, predicting where gold prices will head in the coming year is an imperfect art, at best. However, some of the world’s best gold-market analysts, veteran forecasters with the London Bullion Market Association, believe average gold prices will range from $1,067 to a maximum of about $1,379 in 2014. Gold prices ended last year at about $1,200, which was quite a change from the Sept. 2011 all-time high of $1,921.15 an ounce. Indeed, this reversal of fortunes marked the end of a 12-year run in which gold prices had headed in only one direction, up.
Copyright: BullionVault 2014
In examining why gold soared to such heights, one cannot ignore the role of investment impulses that, from a certain perspective, could be seen as somewhat irrational. In times of economic uncertainty, many investors instinctively regard gold as a safe harbor.Nostalgia for the Gold Standard, and even perhaps an unconscious bias connected with the weight and solidity of the metal itself, tend to convey a reassuring sense of security that is clearly part of the allure of gold. The hype came from respected metals experts on cable TV, and a Main Street boom of Cash For Gold Businesses. The availability of online transactions also fueled the run-up as buyers and sellers alike sought to capitalize on the gold trend.
In retrospect, however, gold ended up being riskier than many had anticipated. People who invested in gold via funds suffered big losses last year, writes Telegraph reporter Richard Evans, in a Jan. 2014 article. The popular BlackRock Gold & General and Way Charteris Gold Portfolio Elite funds lost half of savers money, while the Junior Gold fund declined by 65pc, the worst performance of the 1,500 funds available to British savers.
Diamond Prices Have Been Stable In 2013
By contrast, the comparatively strong demand for aftermarket diamonds means consumers still have an excellent way to transform their jewelry into cash. This category of investment has not been subject to dramatic headline-capturing swings over the past few years. Instead, its year-over-year gains have been modest and consistent. Yes, the value of diamonds has increased, but diamonds, unlike gold, do not attract disproportionate attention in times of economic uncertainty, and thus this category is far less subject to wild swings, says Benjamin Burne, CEO of White Pine Trading LLC. “All in all, diamonds have traditionally held their value over time, which is precisely what we are seeing today.”
Indeed, a report by IDEX Online Research indicates that new-to-market, polished diamonds held their value in 2013, a strong barometer for the valuations of aftermarket diamonds as well. There appears to have been a rise in retail sales of 2 to 3 percent [in 2013], IDEX reports. Online sales continued the rising trend of recent years. U.S. jewelry retailers have recorded a reasonably solid year, aided by rising stock exchanges and housing prices.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) tells much the same story, noting that certified 1-carat polished diamonds rose 0.2 percent in December, even as prices for smaller certified diamonds increased at a faster pace. This continued a trend witnessed throughout the year. For the year 2013, RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds rose 10.1 percent. The slight declines in other categories were miniscule compared to the steep drops seen in gold: RAPI for certified 1-carat polished diamonds fell 4.5 percent, for example, and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds declined by just 0.7 percent.
Gold Price Drop Has No Strong Influence In Jewelry Prices
This is good news for consumers who are interested in selling engagement rings and other diamond jewelry. But could gold-price volatility undermine the value of jewelry that contains both diamonds and gold?
While it might come as a surprise to some consumers, gold typically plays a relatively insignificant role in valuations of diamond jewelry, less than 3 percent of the value of the average piece purchased by White Pine, for example. The reason is simple enough: These pieces contain relatively small amounts of gold; their real value comes from the diamonds themselves. “With gold prices down by 30 percent, some consumers might instinctively feel that 2014 is not an ideal time to sell their jewelry,” says Matthew Howe, General Manager, WP Diamonds. “But the key point to remember is that diamond jewelry is simply in a different valuation category altogether. The value of engagement rings, for example, is determined overwhelmingly by the qualities of the stone. Gold makes up a very small proportion of the total.”
Looking To Sell Diamonds?
WP Diamonds is a leading online diamond buyer. “We buy recycled, polished diamonds either loose or in second-hand diamond jewelry, from the very smallest melee to one carat and above, and offer them for sale to a network of buyers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and Australia,” Howe explains. “This is very different from, say, bringing your jewelry to a local store and crossing your fingers in hopes you will be offered the best-possible price. If you are looking to sell your diamonds, we strive to offer the best possible service in the industry.”
In addition, WP Diamonds is always in the market to buy, which is not always the case at local pawnshops and jewelry stores, where cash reserves tend to be limited. Indeed, WP Diamonds specializes in buying diamonds directly from the public and has unrivaled knowledge of the second-hand diamond sector. “The breadth of what we purchase, moreover, is extraordinary. Yes, we buy internally flawless diamonds, or those with the best D color around, but we also purchase broken, O+ colored diamonds in poor condition. Sell your diamonds to us safe in the knowledge that you are working with the experts.
As diamond specialists who live and breathe the subject, our experts are happy to answer your questions; they strive to provide solid, independent advice. There are very few diamond buyers in the market who specialize in purchasing diamonds through the Internet,” Howe adds. “WP Diamonds gives the public to access significantly better prices than they would find at traditional second-hand jewelry outlets.”
Diamond buying is a specialized field; only companies with access to the biggest diamond markets in the world are able to offer a comprehensive service with reliable and accurate valuations from GIA-trained professionals. White Pine leverages the scale and reach of its global business network, more than 1,000 diamond wholesalers, traders, brokers, retailers and manufacturers in 11 countries, to help consumers get the best possible prices for their diamonds. Last year alone, the company’s diamond trading totaled more than $100 million thanks to this global network, which spans fast-paced diamond markets such as India, Israel, New York City and Hong Kong. “Our experts carefully analyze all goods sent to us and then sort those diamonds per the needs of specialty buyers known to pay premium prices for specific types of assortments,” Howe says. “We sell consumers diamonds right alongside our own. The result is simple enough: maximum returns for the consumer.”
Looking to sell your diamonds? The process is simple. You can send your items to us with free insurance and free delivery from anywhere within the United States. Just locate your local FedEx outlet and use the shipping label we provide. Any questions can be directed to our customer service team, which will be happy to help.
“Nonetheless, how consumers go about selling diamond jewelry can have a major effect on the value they recoup” Howe says.