Bates talks diamonds on ‘The Biz’

The number of new diamond brands is creating change and excitement in the diamond industry,JCK Senior Diamond Editor Rob Bates told viewers of The Biz, a national news and business program on the CNNfn cable television network.

Bates appeared on the daily noontime program to discuss changes in the diamond industry for consumers and how the industry is faring in the face of the recent terrorist attacks and economic changes.

“Branding has basically exploded in the diamond industry,” Bates said in response to a question from show host Susan Lisovicz. “A couple of years ago there were one or two brands. Now it seems like every week there’s a new brand.”

He continued, “[It’s an] attempt to get more designs, get different kinds of jewelry, [and] to add a little more excitement. You used to just go to the jewelry store and there was a round brilliant or maybe a princess cut. Some of the new cuts are really lovely and have different features.”

Bates brought with him several different diamond rings to illustrate the differences in brands, including a Lazare Kaplan Ideal cut, an Ascher cut, and the Ashoka diamond from William Goldberg Diamond Corp.

He noted that engagement ring sales have remained strong, and even grew in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and recent economic uncertainty. “[The diamond industry] has been hurt to some extent, but sales are still holding pretty steady.”

Also during the approximate five-minute segment, Bates discussed the growth of the female self-purchase market, and outlined ways in which consumers can protect themselves when buying diamonds.

Bates advised consumers to buy diamond jewelry only from someone they trust. If they are still concerned about the quality of the diamond, they should have the diamond appraised by an independent appraiser, be sure to get everything in writing, and obtain a minimum 10-day money-back guarantee.

On the growing number of women making jewelry purchases, Bates said, “The female self-purchase market is actually-not only for engagement rings but for all diamond jewelry-something that’s really growing. A lot of women have the financial resources and are acquiring jewelry for themselves.”