A new diamond price application for iPhone users launched recently. Called iDiamonds, the app states that it wants to be “The Suggested Retail Price for Consumers”. It has diamond education content from the Gemological Institute of America, and the prices for unmounted diamonds are endorsed by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. The company releasing it has some experience with diamond prices: they run IDEX Online, which is an electronic trading platform used by the diamond industry, and they index diamond prices in a purely academic way, versus “interpreting” diamond price trends the way the Rapaport Diamond Report does.
Full disclosure: I just released a Diamond Price iPhone application in November 2009, called idazzle Diamond Prices. Yes, we provide diamond pricing information and diamond education as well, and sell it for the same price (.99 cents). At that price, compared to the price of the app development, we should see a profit somewhere around, ohhh, 2015. So I am not reviewing this with the intent that I want to sell more units than they do. I really could care less about sales. I mostly did the app to actually be HELPFUL to consumers, and to provide some interesting cross-traffic and support the information on the idazzle website. For the idazzle Diamond Price app, we provide a suggested price that a consumer should pay IN A PHYSICAL JEWELRY STORE, and that price is slightly more than an online-only retailer for some very good reasons outlined here.
iDiamond App Features
All in all the iDiamonds App is very clear and easy to use, with the standard Apple wheel-thingy to help you scroll through various factors to come up with their Suggested Retail, and the Price Per Carat. I find it quite “light” in that they have 2 shape choices, “Round” and the very generic “Fancy”. I know from my extensive diamond pricing research that different diamond shapes have very different pricing, so I’m not sure how helpful/accurate/useful it is to lump ALL shapes other than round into one category. Also, nowhere on the app do they define the cut grade they use for their Suggested Retails. The Diamond Cut grade is simply THE most important factor in determining price. It is so important that the idazzle Diamond Price App calls out distinct pricing for four cut grades: Ideal, Very Good, Good, and Fair. The iDiamonds GIA-sponsored diamond education information is moderately helpful–it’s the same info consumers see over and over on almost any diamond website.
The thing I take serious issue with is their main purpose: Diamond Prices. If their pricing is supposed to define Suggested Retail Pricing for Consumers, consumers are going to find their wallets considerably lighter if they follow the iDiamond pricing guide. My initial gut response that the prices were high was confirmed when I did a brief analysis on 4 diamond size/shape combinations. To be clear, iDiamonds talks about consumers buying at a discount from their Suggested Retails; they say the discount depends on the retail channel, cut grade, the grading lab used, and other factors. But they never define a discount (20% off their suggested price for an internet retailer, 10% off for a physical retailer, for example). It seems to me that by trying to be endorsed by the industry, they have made their pricing so high as to be completely useless. And borderline ludicrous.
I compared a certified .50 ct Round, 1.00 ct Round, 1.50 ct Asscher, and 2.00 ct Round in quality ranges most consumers would shop for. I found that for the .50 ct and 1.00 ct Rounds, their Suggested Retail prices were 54% OVER the actual price of a comparable diamond I found on Blue Nile (the 1.50 ct Asscher and 2 ct Round weren’t much better at 41% and 27% over, respectively). In comparison, the idazzle Diamond Price suggestion from my app was 3% more for the .50 ct Round and 16% more for the 1.00 ct Round. So if a .50 ct Round, H color, VS2 clarity, Very Good cut diamond sells for $1227 on Blue Nile, idazzle recommends paying $1265, and iDiamonds recommends paying $2663.50, over twice as much!
Sure, you can spend the .99 cents and get the iDiamonds App. If you can glean some nugget of information from this that will help you make a better diamond decision, fantastic! But I cannot in good conscience recommend that you actually use their pricing as a guide. Please, before you purchase anything, do some research. Spend some time poking around the idazzle website. Get some idea of what online prices are, get a price or two from a reputable, local jeweler and then make an informed decision that will also be a great value.