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Selling Polished Diamonds?
GIA Offers Expert Help...
By: Amanda J. Luke
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Oct 24 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 2159  

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GIA Offers Expert Help

A beautifully finished diamond is dazzling; every facet displays the craftsman’s skill and care. When it interacts with light, each facet and angle affects the amount of light returned to the eye. This is what gives it the face-up appearance and what makes it appealing to your customer.

Verbal Selling – without Instruments:

The widely endorsed GIA Cut Grading System, gives you a way to explain why a diamond looks the way it does and the words to describe its cut quality in a way that is easy to see and understand. It is also a very intuitive system that doesn’t require you to use special instruments during your sales presentation.

Compare & Contrast:

Start with the basics, the GIA Cut Grading System applies to the most important commercial cut – the standard round brilliant – and all clarities across the D-to-Z color range. There are five cut grades: Excellent (Ex), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F) and Poor (P).

If you use the three photos (appearing alongside) as an example, you can explain how diamonds with Excellent, Good and Poor cut grades compare to each other.

A diamond with an Excellent cut grade is very bright. It shows an even pattern with good contrast between light and dark areas, so the reflections appear crisp and well-balanced. This tells you that the cutter made the best possible use of the rough he was given.

If all else is equal, an Excellent cut grade pretty much guarantees an extremely attractive diamond. Diamonds in the Very Good and even Good cut grades are also beautiful; they only suffer by comparison with the best gemstones.

Right Words Important:

When you pull a diamond from the showcase to show to your customers, you will want to use words like “sparkle”, “fire”, “brightness” and “pattern” as you look at it together. These terms give you the means to describe a finished diamond’s appearance: “Isn’t it beautiful? See how much it sparkles. See how much life this stone has!”

Then you can talk about the optical effects that make a beautiful diamond look the way it does; together they give the diamond life and examine its visual appeal.

Brightness – often called brilliance in the trade- is the effect of all the diamond’s internal and external reflections of white light. Well-cut diamonds are brighter than poorly fashioned ones, even if they are of equivalent size, color and clarity. In general, the brighter a diamond is, the higher its grade will be. This is easiest to see under diffused or office light.

Fire-results when white light traveling through the diamond is dispersed into its rainbow of spectral colors. Ask your customers if they can see red, blue, yellow or orange flashes as you rock and tilt it under the store spotlights.

Scintillation – is a combination of sparkle and pattern. Sparkle refers to the spots of light that flash when the diamond, your customers or the light source moves. In an attractive diamond, the reflections should appear even and balanced in size.

Pattern- is the relative size, arrangement and contrast of bright and dark areas that result from a diamond’s internal and external reflections. There must be enough contrast between the bright and dark areas to give the pattern a crisp, sharp look, but no distracting dark areas.

Remember, your customers see you as the expert. You can show them how a diamond will look different in different lighting environments. It is easiest to see brightness in office lighting and fire in spot lighting. The appearance changes accordingly in different balances of mixed lighting.

If you set up different lighting environments in your store, they can decide what they like best. That way they won’t be surprised when they take it somewhere else to show it off and it looks different.

Explain How Everything Works Together:

Next, point out that the whole is greater than the sum when it comes to a diamond’s proportions. Explain that all the numbers they might have heard other people referring to girdle diametre, table size, crown height, pavilion depth- work together to create the spectacular gem in front of them. Emphasize the overall appearance of the diamond, as opposed to any specific number.

Your customers may not have realized it before, but their eyes see those proportions working together for better or worse- when they look at a diamond face-up. Dark areas in the centre, under the table or around the girdle could mean that the shape of the rough forced some compromise. Conversely, bright, even patterns signify a cutter’s attention to detail and precision.

Attention to Craftsmanship:

On this point you have probably been talking to your customers about diamonds and cut in general. But now you can start to talk about design and personal taste. Point out that diamonds are hand-crafted objects and the choices and care taken during design and finishing have a huge impact on a stone’s appearance and desirability.

Have your customers pick out a diamond that appeals to them and explain that design is determined during the fashioning stage. This is when the cutter decide the diamond’s physical shape, including its proportions, weight and durability, based on what the rough can yield.

Next, look at the diamonds’ finish and point out the quality of the polish and symmetry of the cut. Polish is the overall condition of the diamond’s facet surfaces; symmetry refers to the precision of the shape and placement of the facets.

Precision and care in design and cutting give you a diamond with sharper facet reflections, better contrast and a brighter appearance.

Let your customers know that precision of design, cutting and finishing- and the attention to detail- will give them the most beautiful diamonds.

Expertise Inspires Confidence:

One of the most important tools you can use to sell diamonds is the relationship of trust and confidence you establish with your customers. One of the best ways to do that is to show them you know what you are talking about – and you are backed up by one of the most respected grading laboratories in the world.

GIA redesigned its Diamond Grading Reports when it launched its new cut grade earlier this year and you should take advantage of them as selling tools as you talk to your customers about specific diamonds.

Everything you need to reinforce what you have been explaining is right in the report: basic measurement, the 4C’s and even a plot that documents the location and extent of important clarity features.

Your ability to convey this information will make your customers feel at ease with their purchase and this will create their trust in you.

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