Andy Reynolds of London Diamonds recently went ‘undercover’ to show how the diamond market needed changing. Here is what he found …

We indulged in some play acting recently.

Let us pretend that your partner has been dropping hints about diamond earrings for their birthday. You know this will be more expensive than a book voucher or petrol station flowers, but how much more?

The platinum setting for earrings is not expensive, the platinum cost is around £300, add the labour charge and some profit into the mix to make it £500. Let’s double that figure so we are giving even the most expensive and exclusive jewellers a chance to appear competitive in our little experiment.

We called 5 of the best known jewellers in London posing as a dutiful husband. The stud earrings must each be 1ct each, round cut, E colour, VS1 clarity with GIA certificates for reassurance.

Before we made the calls, we checked what the same stones would cost to buy from us ( put us to the test, just click here ).

There were lots of stones available to buy that matched the specification of our ‘pretend wife’. Most ranged from £5,000 to £8,000 per stone. Remember, these are all GIA certified (click here to find out why this is so important).

Of the 5 jewellers we called, 4 gave us a price. In all cases, they could not supply stones of quite the right quality, but surely this would be reflected in the lower price? Perhaps.

One brand was unable to give a price for the earrings as ‘it’s such a personal thing and the phone is so impersonal’.

Now, back to the 4 companies that DID quote us.

The cheapest quote was for £19,500 and the most expensive was £32,900. But, the lowest quote was for stones that were of a far lower quality than we specified, SI1 clarity rather than VS1, a huge difference and like comparing a Ferrari with a Ford.

The other quotes ranged from £25,500 to £32,900. These stones were closer to the desired spec but interestingly, all offered to supply lower graded stones, for example, F colour rather than E, and VS2 rather than VS1. Not huge differences, but significant all the same.

The price of buying the earrings from London Diamonds is £15,000 for two 1ct, E colour, VS1 clarity, round stones.

Diamonds will never be cheap, but they can be good value.

To find out more visit www.londondiamonds.com or call +44 (0) 207 993 4020

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