Shocked by July Cover

I was shocked by your July cover. The photograph of a solitaire diamond with retail markups of 100%, 150%, and 200% is ludicrous. I am a jeweler in a very well-educated, very affluent section of central Connecticut, and I specialize in better-quality 1-ct. to 5-ct. certified diamonds.

If I even attempted to suggest to my clientele that a 100% or 200% markup was my selling price, I would be laughed out of my community. I am forced to compete with the best qualities and best prices New York and Boston have to offer.

The only jewelers who make large markups on diamond solitaires are dishonest discounters and high-end guild stores like Tiffany, which can command emotion-driven profits because of their image. I suspect I am like many other jewelers, working hard to make 10% to 20%.

I don’t want to see this cover photo showing up in the wrong hands and threatening the already thin margins honest jewelers have left.

Mitchell S. Rosin, The Diamond Man, West Hartford, Conn.

Markups Questioned

I have taken your magazine for years. I’ve been an active jeweler for more than 25 years and maintain a successful store I’ve had for 10 years.

Consumers have always expressed how huge the markup on jewelry is. As we all know, the percentage has gotten slimmer. The cover of your July issue shows a diamond ring being marked up 100% or 150% or 200% when in your magazine the article on the poll of retail jewelers indicates the markup is around 33%. Retail customers and people who do not read the article but happen to see the cover will think, again, that jewelers are ripping them off.

People do get ahold of the magazine, like it or not, and it doesn’t help the trade. Please don’t exaggerate critical points that can only hurt.

Kit Kuhn, A Jeweler Designed for You, Gig Harbor, Wash.

Editor’s Note: Our nationwide survey of retail jewelers showed that the typical jeweler gets 200% of what he or she pays for a diamond that retails for less than $3,000. For more expensive stones, markups are in the 30% to 60% range. In many instances, though, respondents reported 200% markups even for very expensive jewelry. A markup shouldn’t be confused with a margin, which is the selling price minus cost. Our survey focused on markups, not margins.

Rap Report Unrealistic

Your July article on N.D. Reiff Co. and Rappaport pointed out that the Rappaport Report was used by many jewelers as a retail price list from which they can discount.

This is a valid observation, and I believe this has contributed greatly to the gross profit problems that jewelers face on selling diamonds.

This problem could be easily overcome were Rappaport to print a price list that truly represents what he states his list represents. He states that the prices in his report represent the “high cash asking price.” I doubt that anyone has ever had the nerve to ask the prices shown on that report.

If the Rappaport Report reflected the true “high cash asking price” for an average cut diamond, there would be no need to worry about a retailer showing the report to a consumer, as there would be no room to show any kind of reasonable discount.

Therefore I say, Mr. Rappaport, give us a more realistic report and thereby let us make a profit.

Donald Silverman, Albert Robbins Jewelers Inc., Philadelphia

Large U.S. Diamonds

As a gem and jewelry historian, I thought I should point out an error in the July 1998 issue of JCK. On page 101, the copy below the photos states that the 28.2-ct. rough was the largest rough diamond ever found in the United States. Actually, it is the third largest.

The Uncle Sam diamond, discovered at the Crater of Diamonds in 1924, weighed 40.23 cts. in its uncut stage. Also, the Punch Jones, another Arkansas diamond, discovered in 1928, is a 34.46-ct. crystal.

Jim Becker, American Jewelry Co., Vero Beach, Fla.


On page 42 of the August edition of Open to Buy, an incorrect price was given for SUPERFIT products. The products are keystone priced from $240 in 2 mm to $1,000 in 10 mm. For more information, contact SUPERFIT, M.A.B. Inc., 28 W. Eagle Rd., Suite 203, Havertown, PA 19083; (800) 765-7111 or (610) 449-4383, fax (610) 449-5304.

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