Fair trade with diamonds
With the first issue of the Rapaport Diamond Report in 1978, Martin Rapaport brought light into the darkness. Finally the previous obscure diamond prices became transparent. Martin Rapaport is an american independent businessman, and an international respected expert in the diamond trade. Moreover he is a strong advocate of the Kimberley Process, the regulation system for the international trade with rough diamonds. Since 2003, state certificates of origin prevent the trade of so-called “blood diamonds” on the world market. In Martin Rapaport`s opinion, the “FairTrade” issue is not only a new sales argument for the jeweller, but also a chance of differentitation for the entire “industry”. Honourable jewellers have now the opportunity to offer not only the best service and products, but also ethical correct diamond jewellery. There are two different Rapaport price lists, which are published weekly. One is valid for the classic Round Brilliants, the other one for the so called “Fancy Shapes” such as, Emerald Cut, Pear Shape, Heart Shape, etc.. Both Lists are divided into separate table’s, depending on the Carat (Weight); there is for example a price table for diamonds in the range of 1.0 – 1.49ct, the next table shows the prices for diamonds in the range of 1.50ct – 1.99ct and so on. Again each table shows in vertical columns the Color and horizontal columns the Clarity, based on the GIA standard terminology. The prices are stated in US$ without VAT. Depending on the country, where a diamond is sold, of course local VAT has to be added.
If you ask yourself why there are two different price lists? - the explanation is quite simple. The classic “Round Brilliant” is undisputed the most popular, and especially that shape causes the highest losses of the rough diamond during the cutting process; especially if the diamond cutter does not want to compromise regarding the quality. This fact causes logically into a price difference between the “Round Brilliant” and the “Fancy Shapes”, and at the end in 2 completely different price lists. If you compare for example a 1carat “Princess Cut” diamond in the best quality (D/FL, US$ 13'000.- per carat) to a “Round Brilliant” cut diamond, of the same weight and quality (D/FL, US$ 16`700.- per carat), you have to pay for the “Round Brilliant” 3'700.- US$ more; that corresponds to nearly 25% plus.
In January 2016, Martin Rapaport released additional guidelines, especially for the “Round Brilliants”, to classify them in certain graduations from A1 (the best)- A5, B1-B5 and C1-C5, depending on which specific criteria they fulfil. The Rapaport price list is based on A3 diamonds; consequently we use in our house only A1 – A3 diamonds, which means for our customers, that they will receive as usual no compromise. As you can see this is a very complex matter and you should only compare the same with the same.