Tag Archives: diamond upgrade

10 reasons why you should sell your diamonds IMMEDIATELY

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All across the country, many people can be found who own diamonds.  Some women wear them on the forth finger of their left hand to indicate that you shouldn’t ask them out; others sport large versions of the stones, hanging from their ears, as an alternative to “spacers”; certain gentlemen, who recite lyrical words for a living into microphones, have diamonds embedded into miniature avatars of themselves that hang from gilded chains around their necks.  Then there are the people that have diamonds hidden in their attics, in tiny treasure chests, saving them in the event of a complete economic breakdown where we must resort back to a pre-civilized barter system.  Of all the multitude of the diamond hoarding human classifications, there is one thing that unites them: they all should sell their diamonds ASAP.

Here’s why:

1 – Walking around with valuable pieces of glittering, sparkling glass fragments on your body is a surefire way to draw the attention of criminals looking to make an easy score.  Just look at what happened to Batman’s parents.  Ditch those pricey pieces post haste, before you become the prime target for a malicious mugging/horrendous hugging.  

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2 – In the same way that you become the pièce d’ résistance for professional bandits, you make yourself ready bait for bothersome relatives and deadbeat friends.  They won’t rob you in quite the exact aggressive manner as the aforementioned gem-snatchers, but they will bombard you with nonstop requests for monetary assistance.  The ugly, glittering truth is that they are not even to blame; by wearing diamonds you turn yourself into a walking billboard for ostentatious luxury and arrogant opulence.   

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3 – You work hard every day at your job.  You put in extra hours, you follow up with all business leads that may benefit the company – you even attend the damnable Holiday Party every year with a warm (however forced and obsequious) grin on your face.  Think you’re due for a raise, right?  NOPE.  Not with that huge rock on your finger/ear/nose.  You look like you have too much money already.  Sorry, you can email HR though – who’ll promptly delete your complaint, for all the same gem encrusted reasons. 

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4 – Diamonds are very hard, and in some cases, very sharp.  Now, what do you think happens when you lose weight?  Your digits shrink and your rings become loose.  The harmless activities of every day life can cause your ring to droop down, and when you go to close your hand around a plump orange or send a hilarious (in your mind) tweet – OW!  Your backwards set diamond has just stabbed ye, and it’s off to the E.R. for an afternoon of agony.  

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5 – Let’s paint a similar scenario: you’ve dropped some pounds and all your clothes are now hanging on you.  You casually attempt to hail a cab and – whoosh – your ring goes flying off your slender finger and into the night.  Oops.  You are not even aware of this until later, when you realize you’ve just lost an item that cost thousands upon thousands of greenbacks.  

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6 – You may be grinning to yourself at this point, thinking “Ha!  I never lose weight – in fact, I’ve been steadily gaining girth for years!”  Well, touché.  Oh, you may want to consider this though; those who have amassed extra poundage and have rings that are now permanently stuck on their fingers are at a great risk of losing circulation entirely and, ultimately, needing to have their finger amputated.    Won’t be so funny anymore, when you’re walking around giving people ‘High Fours.’

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7 – Diamonds are forever.  That is, until you can’t find them anymore.  If you happen to fall into the grouping of people who squirrel away your diamonds in remote corners of your cellar, attic or furnace, there may come a day when you are ready to remove said stones and: WAH?  They’re missing!  From actual squirrels (and other pesky varmints) that just love to burrow into tight places and pilfer shiny things to similarly rodential children and grabby roof shingle repairmen, there’s a whole host of creatures/people who can get to your gems before you do.  Sell those rocks before they get their grubby little mitts on them first.  

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8 – For every old diamond that doesn’t get sold, a “new” diamond must be excavated from the ground to meet diamond consumer demand.  This endless stream of terrestrial destruction has anything but a positive impact on the environment; in fact, it wreaks havoc on certain sensitive ecosystems, which can ultimately lead to the decimation of endangered species and worldwide environmental devastation.  So, essentially, every time you don’t sell your old diamonds, the air we breathe becomes poisonous and a baby seal dies. 

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9 – Owning a diamond engagement ring leads to divorce.  Statistics show that out of all divorced couples, over 80% of them had a diamond engagement ring exchanged (well, this documentation refers to ‘married coules,’ but all divorced couples were married at one time, so whatever).  The numbers don’t lie.  Sell your diamond engagement ring right now, or the chances are highly in favor that you will get divorced.  Already divorced?  Well, there you have it then.  Best to sell any residual diamonds before they can do any more damage.  

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10 – Finally, we have the most substantial (and serious) reason.  While diamond demand has not waned dramatically in the U.S., international diamond prices have seen a significant downward spiral.  This is no passing trend; it’s just the way things are.  Take a gander at what some of these news sources have to say on the matter: Forbes, Time, MarketWatch.  The smartest economic decision you can make in this very moment is to sell your diamonds now, before things get exponentially worse.  The good news here is that at Diamond Lighthouse we can help you recover the absolute highest value for your diamond jewelry (typically any piece that features a diamond 1 carat and higher).  Our unrivaled open bidding platform will get you the best price for your diamond, every single time.  Find out more, right…NOW!  

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-Joe Leone

How Much Should You Spend on Jewelry?

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The average U.S. household spends only $167 on jewelry per year, but that number varies greatly by region. The northeastern U.S., southern and central coastal California, and the east coast of Florida, for example, spend the most on jewelry per year, while the northwest region spends less than $50 annually per household.

The popular concept of smarter spending has a lot of people taking a closer look at how much they spend on everyday items, and jewelry is often an impulse buy. Self-help and finance blogs discuss budgeting and making realistic financial plans, which often results in cost-cutting or looking for ways to get some of your money back.

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But when you’re buying new jewelry, how much should you be willing to spend? What’s the price tag on feeling pretty or scoring a compliment from your moody boss? The obvious answer to this dilemma is: spend the amount that makes sense for you, whether that’s based on your region, your social circle, or your personal style. The decision, however, is more complicated than that, and probably varies with every piece you look at. It’s not easy to choose between shelling out more cash for nicer, longer lasting jewelry over less costly, trendier pieces. It’s hard to place a number on the value of the little boost in self-esteem you might get.

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Websites like Pinterest and Instructables make Do-It-Yourself a viable option for saving money on a lot of important items including jewelry, but there are certain pieces that are essentially impossible to DIY. And that’s one element of DIY that people often overlook before diving in to a project: the cost of the materials and tools, which is one part of what goes into jewelry-making. When you’re deciding how you want to better your budget, consider how original you would like your jewelry collection to be. If originality is important to you and you want handmade jewelry from an artist or smaller manufacturer on a site like etsy, plan to spend a little bit more than you might for a similar piece from a larger manufacturer, like Forever 21, who outsource their work and user cheaper materials specifically so they can offer their products at a low price point. Some smaller companies even begin to outsource once they gain popularity so they can manage the costs and offer their product to more customers, saving 400-500 percent by having someone else produce their designs.

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Choosing how much to spend on jewelry may also depend on the materials you are looking for. If you’re more concerned about the look than the actual material, sterling silver is a good substitute for silver and white gold, and purchasing gold-coated jewelry can save you a lot of money if you prefer the darker color. In addition, synthetic gemstones can be created to look like a natural gemstone, so if you are here because you are aiming to sell your diamonds, a man-made stone might be a great replacement.

Another consideration for choosing an amount to spend on jewelry is whether you value the experience of going into a physical store and trying on the jewelry or whether you are comfortable buying it online. Online stores are often cheaper, simply because renting a brick-and-mortar space is expensive for the business.

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If you are not looking for a specific piece, buying jewelry at an overstock or auction site can be a way to find great deals. Sale jewelry is typically marked down temporarily, while clearance and overstock jewelry are usually marked down because the manufacturer or retailer wants to make room for other products. Because there is an incentive to get rid of it, clearance and overstock jewelry can offer a steeper discount, but the selection may be limited.

One great rule of thumb for a jewelry purchase is the dollar-per-wear rule. To follow this rule, ask yourself how many times you anticipate wearing a particular piece, and if that number is the same as or lower than the price, then it is probably a good purchase. However you decide how much money to spend on jewelry, remember to make the choice for your own reasons, not someone else’s.

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What Is Sustainable Jewelry?

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In recent times, some of the most popularly proffered buzz words relate to the environment.  “Going green,” “eco-friendly,” and “ethically derived” are just a few of the oft uttered (and marketed) phrases that are essentially straight forward and universally understood in their meanings.  But what exactly is “sustainable jewelry,” and why is it something to strive for?  Nobody is throwing their jewelry items in the garbage (hopefully), so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is this; the way that the precious metals and gems that make up jewelry pieces are obtained can have a significant impact on the environment.  First, the methods employed in removing these ores and stones from the ground can have an extremely negative effect on surrounding soil, vegetation and ecosystems.  Often, the surface soil of a mined area is completely decimated; this topsoil is the main area where new plants can grow, so after the mining is finished, the land remains barren.  Toxic chemicals used during this ‘soil stripping’ process obviously contribute to more of the same thing.  The chemicals which are disseminated about typically do not stop their subterranean spiral at the soil; they proceed downward to whatever water flows beneath, contaminating that as well.  Well, once the soil is poisoned and eroded and nearby water is rendered malignant, that’s it, right?  Nope.  There’s even a lovely sinkhole or two to look forward to.

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When thinking about this sort of environmental devastation, it can be all too easy to envision that this only occurs in remote parts of the world, where the environment is not regulated, correct?  Nope again.  The organization Ethical Metalsmiths reports that right here in the good ole US of A, one of the most virulent (and fervently active) industries is metal mining.  The unrestricted practices endemic to this business have lead to 96% of the nation’s annual arsenic emissions, and 76% of the yearly lead that is released into the atmosphere and earth as well.  The conditions in certain African, Central and South American countries are even worse as ground contaminants have reached alarmingly dangerous heights.

(more information on Diamond Mines)

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Next comes the hazards inherent in jewelry manufacturing.  Vast amounts of energy are routinely consumed to create different glass materials, which are frequently colored with noxious dyes.  These harmful substances then end up in the ground and leach their way into the water supply too.  Even if a company adheres to fairly strict practices in regards to the allocation of hazardous chemicals and the proper disposal of waste, there are still the production factors to consider.  Some companies may develop their jewelry through sound means, but end up creating a huge amount of waste in the packaging, delivering and distribution of their items.

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So when a brand or particular designer claims to make truly “sustainable jewelry,” they should be taking each and every one of the aforementioned environmental considerations into account.  In the actual creation of the jewelry pieces, they should be using recycled metals whenever feasible.  Such materials can be easily acquired, and dynamic designers all over the world have found innovative ways to let these up-cycled metals really stand out.  In addition to the metals used, various other vintage articles can be craftily assembled, making the jewelry not only environmentally conscious but uniquely conceived as well.  Rubber, vinyl, plastic; all make great additions to jewelry and can be literally extracted from places where they would otherwise go unused or harm their natural surroundings.  Many designers repurpose materials too; an old phone cord can be fashioned into a daring new bracelet, a chunk of chandelier crystal converted into a fascinating Art Deco inspired necklace.  The way that sustainable jewelry is put together must be considered also, in a manner that wastes as little natural energy and resources as possible.

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There are many designers out there today making totally sustainable, chic and wearable pieces.  Here is a list of just some of the coolest and most environmentally responsible talents currently revolutionizing the industry (from ecosalon.com).

When all is said and done, producing anything new will always require energy and resources of some sort.  Hopefully we can collectively agree that jewelry should be made in as sustainable a manner as possible.  It’s nice to own pretty things; it’s also nice to live on a pretty planet.

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-Joe Leone

How to Haggle

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If a price tag says an item is “$80,” then that’s how much you have to pay for it, right?

WRONG.

From cars to dental appointments to Tickle Me Elmos, you can always get a deal.  Here are some extremely useful tips on how to get the best price for just about anything.

1 – Don’t appear too eager 

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Whether you’re in a high end clothing store on 5th Avenue in New York City, or a street market in Nepal, you have to give off the impression that you are ready to “walk away” at any time.  Not to say that you should come off as rude or arrogant, by any means; just appear that you are not too committed to the wares that are being sold.

2 – Do your research

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If one store is offering a plasma television for one price, and you have a print out from their website confirming this, then you can leverage this info for a better price another store (pending their price is higher).  Often businesses will be able to match their competitors’ rates.  If you’re at a local shop, who is competing with a larger name chain, explain that you would rather give them the business, especially if they can give you a slightly better deal.

3 – Timing is everything 

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The beginning of day (or the end), the end of month and the end of a quarter: all great times to seek a stellar price.  At the end of certain periods, stores are looking to unload any unsold inventory.  Just forget the holiday season; this is clearly the worst time to try to cop a deal (as demand is at its highest).  However, right after the holidays is a gold mine of sales/flexibility on the part of vendors.

4  – First ask the salesperson, and then the manager 

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Some salespeople only have so much wiggle room when it comes to negotiating prices.  Ask to speak with the manager; they often know exactly what is in stock, and what they would like to move.  Asking the right person a simple ‘can you give me a sales price on this item’ can save you oodles of dough.

5 – “I can pay in cash…”

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A quick trip to the ATM can lighten the burden on many a purchase.  If you approach practically any business with a cash offer, it obviously is more appealing to the owners as they will not have to pay the high fees involved with credit card transactions.  Most customers like to pay with credit cards, so they can accrue points; this costs the business every time.  The more expensive the item or service, the more a cash sale ends up saving the seller.  Bring cash; ask for a deal.

6 – Go for the floor models / flawed items 

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Retailers are often more than happy to offer discounts on floor models/slightly scuffed up or damaged items.  Just ask!  A 10-20% discount is the norm, but the sky is the limit if they haven’t been able to/do not foresee being able to sell the merchandise in question.

7 – This is not a contest

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The goal here is to get the best price for yourself – not to just “win” the sale “argument” for the sake of winning.  Check your ego at the door.  Keep the conversation light.  The best negotiators interject a little humor even, to get the seller on their good side.  If the talk is going on and on, back and forth, exercise something referred to as the “psychology of silence.”  If you just clam up, and the salesperson keeps talking and talking, pitching and pitching, they will eventually feel uncomfortable with your silence.  They will often lower their price just to end the awkwardness.

8 – Buy in bulk

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The more items you purchase, the greater a discount you should receive on each.  This is sales math 101, and you should always employ this technique.

9 – Be willing to compromise

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Sometimes stores simply can not lower their prices on select items.  If you find yourself in this situation, just ask what else they can hook you up with.  Many businesses have things that they can easily part with (which cost them virtually nothing), but can really sweeten the sale for you.

10 – Leave your card

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It never hurts to leave your information behind.  A salesperson or manager may not be in the right mindset to give you a deal on the spot, but come closing time…and they have not met their quotas…they may be singing a different tune (then the odds are forever in your favor).  This is especially true when dealing with roadshows or outdoor sales, where vendors may be reluctant to want to pack everything away and cart it back with them to another locale.  Just leave your number behind with a smile – you may be surprised how friendly a call you’ll receive later that day.

Just as there are various techniques which you should employ in order to garner the best deal when purchasing something, there are instrumental practices you need to use when selling as well.  The most essential thing is to be fully educated on the value of what you have.  If you are selling a particularly expensive item, such as a house, you may contact a real estate broker (who knows the ins and outs of the industry) to help find you the best price for it.  The same applies to jewelry, specifically, diamond jewelry.  Diamond Lighthouse is comprised of a team of thoroughly experienced diamond experts; we can help you uncover the true value of your diamond jewelry.  Next, we take on the responsibility of getting your diamond sold.  We receive a commission from the sale of your jewelry, so it’s in our best interests to get you the most cash we can.  We do all the necessary negotiating to get you the best price possible, allowing you to sit back at home, with your feet up and a smile on your face.

Find out more!

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-Joe Leone 

The Value of Diamonds in Literature

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Diamonds are not the only thing that can stand the test of time. Some of the diamond’s greatest allies in its quest to be immortalized are literature, poetry, and song. Western canonical literature exemplifies the pinnacle of literary achievement, so what better way to help shape what people think about diamonds than to use what helped shape the western culture? Written language has been around for countless generations, and people have been writing about diamonds for many of these generations. Below are a few sparking examples that have graced our works of word and song through the ages.

Though it wasn’t the first time a diamond was referenced, “diamond in the rough” is one of the most commonly used phrases when referring to a diamond. The first recorded use in print was in John Fletcher’s 1647 play A Wife for a Month. “She is very honest, and will be as hard to cut as a rough diamond.” Though the phrase originally referred to a person who is “basically good hearted but lacking social graces and respect for the law,” as it does in this context, the phrase has transmuted to have so much more meaning. You’ve probably heard it used to refer to someone or something that has one-in-a-million style qualities, but has been so downtrodden by his, her, or its circumstances that its true potential is yet to be uncovered.

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The glitz and glamour associated with diamonds was forever written into American literary history with little known gems like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novella, “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz.” Fitzgerald, a known partier and materialistic socialite, used the idea of a diamond “bigger than the Ritz” as a boon to the existence of the antagonist’s family. In the story, the Washington family owns a huge diamond, which is very high in value in the market in which it was discovered. However, the Washington family knows that the value of the diamond would decrease if knowledge of its size was leaked, because its sheer magnitude could supply the whole world with diamonds. In their quest to keep their secret from the world and maintain their high income and social status, they pauperize themselves and fall from grace.

Another famous use of the powerful symbolism inherent in diamonds was in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, when Ben, the tragic main character’s deceased older brother says, “The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds,” a quote that hinges on the monetary and social value and of diamonds being of utmost important to Willy, the “salesman” of the title. In the play, Willy believes that he has a lot of friends and is very “well-liked,” and Ben uses the image of diamonds to convince Willy that, in the wake of many failed business dealings, Willy’s own suicide will provide money and a status enhancement for his family.

Diamonds in literature have flowed seamlessly with the development of the diamond market, and less depressing examples than the above two have emerged from the folds. After the phrase “A Diamonds is Forever” was coined by De Beer’s, the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, wrote his fourth novel that would later be turned to film, Diamonds are Forever. When the book became film, Shirley Bassey wrote a song by the same name for the movie soundtrack. Her song is only one of many of the songs about diamonds that have embedded themselves deep within the American attitude: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” are a few other songs that helped Americans understand diamonds as a symbol of dreams and wealth.

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Other writers looked past their market value as well, instead focusing on their more ethereal qualities of their carbon gleam and the watery appearance that is created by their elusive angles. “The hues of the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be seen if the eye is too near,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It is because of our ability to see value in diamonds, even uncut ones, that we write so often about them and their value. An old Chinese proverb states, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Emerson referenced diamonds in his transcendental writings when he wrote, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” Even noted satirist Mark Twain advised, “Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.” We have always been able to see the beauty in diamonds, even imperfect ones, and not only do philosophers, poets, and songwriters reflect on their value in our lives, they compare their intrinsic value to the way we live.

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Write your own diamond tale and have the happiest ending when you sell your diamond jewelry with Diamond Lighthouse!