Having met the website owner, Nissan Perla, during the September Hong Kong exhibition, I had a chance to find out how Diamond Registry can simplify the process of buying diamonds, what should a first-time buyer pay attention to and what changes in diamond trade have happened over the past 15 years.
KP: How did the idea of creating Diamond Registry come about?
NP: Back in 1961, the diamond industry wasn’t quite customer-friendly, it was very secretive. So, the founder of Diamond Registry, Joseph Schlussel, came up with the idea of creating more transparency between two separate worlds: diamond wholesale industry and customers. It all started with a monthly printed newsletter, containing insider tips on diamond wholesale industry and prices. Later, in 1997, Schlussel launched the website and reached out to a wider audience – anyone in the world interested in wholesale diamonds could access the information on the platform.
KP: Back in 1961, what were the arguments to explain that buying diamonds through a newsletter was a trustworthy way?
NP: To be honest, Joseph did not have the need to formulate many arguments. But in retrospect, I can say that a combination of accurate information, frequent diamond price updates and being the only public source at the time made the initiative a success. While transparency, candour and real-time information is more of a standard today, back then it was uncommon for a business to behave like that, especially in the diamond business. The newsletter was the pioneer.
KP: How has the Diamond Registry changed since you took over?
NP: After the death of my dear friend, Joseph Schlussel, his wife and children asked me to continue his legacy. I carried on developing Diamond Registry website into the primary source of diamond information from educational materials to wholesale prices, industry news, trends and more. We now operate with offices and clients all around the globe.
KP: How does the DR work when it comes to buying diamonds since there is no direct purchase online scheme?
NP: In reality, 80% of the customers don’t really know the diamond options or how to get the best deal for their budget. So, they either call us or fill in a free online diamond quote form to ask for information regarding a loose stone or jewellery piece. Our GG (GIA Gemmologist) consultants pick up on the enquiries and help clients by telling them what they should look for and send them details regarding diamond quality. The selection is narrowed down and clients can view the diamonds at our office or their homes, and then have a piece of jewellery made if needed.
KP: What if a client is in a different country?
NP: Then they can pick up the diamonds from one of our agents in their country. We can also send the stones directly to clients.
KP: How can you guarantee a wholesale price to your clients?
NP: We get diamonds from manufacturers worldwide – they are the original source. So, we sell stones to retailers all over the world and if people buy from us, they buy diamonds like retailers buy their stock. This cuts out middle-men and clients manage to get a wholesale price on diamonds.
KP: If I am a first-time diamond buyer, what should I start with?
NP: Start by determining your budget. Then read up on diamond shape, size, colour and clarity. That is why our diamond education section covers the 4Cs.
KP: How do I figure out the wholesale diamond pricing?
NP: They are based on a Price Per Carat, an insider term of the diamond world. It means that if you wish to buy a 2.5 ct stone that is listed as $5,000 per carat, you need to multiply $5,000 by 2.5 to get the final price.
KP: Has the diamond buying pattern changed in the last 15 years?
NP: Yes. About 15 years ago, people would turn to trusted retail stores or go to places recommended by friends.
However, today, they mostly go online first because they are now used to online shopping. Besides, there is a growing preference for coloured diamonds (just look at recent diamond auctions) and clients are better educated when it comes to buying stones.
KP: What is the most ridiculous myth about diamonds that you have heard?
NP: If you put your diamond under your pillow, the next day it will double in size. Jokes aside, there is an untrue notion that diamonds are unbreakable. In reality, diamonds are almost unbreakable, especially those with a lower clarity grade. For example, a loose diamond with a crack or deep feather can harm a diamond’s natural solid form and crack under the use of extreme force. But don’t be afraid to wear your diamonds, they are unlikely to break, especially those with high clarity grade.
KP: Do tell us a beautiful engagement story.
NP: There is a beautiful story that started with a bunch of diamond quotes that I received from a lady who was looking for an engagement ring. During the conversation, we narrowed down her choice to the diamond size, colour, clarity, shape and engagement ring style. Then, her boyfriend contacted me without knowing that I had already spoken to his girlfriend. Knowing what the lady wanted, I helped him buy the ideal diamond ring. Can you imagine she fainted when she saw that he got her the dream engagement ring that reflected every desire she had?