De Beers officially jumps into the diamond buyback business

Rob Bates

Now any consumer with unwanted diamond jewelry can sell it to De Beers. De Beers has given the go-ahead to its diamond buyback company—the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV)—after an 18-month pilot.

The New York City–based service was opened in 2014 with four participating jewelers; its website now lists 14.  For now, it is available only to jewelers who carry its Forevermark diamond brand, but it may make the service available to other jewelers, though that will “likely be a different business model that we are still developing,” says Tom Montgomery, De Beers’ senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

There won’t be geographic exclusivity for the service, he says.

The launch has several differences from the pilot:

The IIDV has put up a consumer-facing website, which allows consumers to sell jewelry online. The service has them fill out a submission form, send in their jewelry, and they will then receive an offer within three business days.

– The company has answered the persistent question: How will it sell the diamonds? It has launched a trade site, which can be seen here, which lets wholesalers browse the IIDV inventory, which is now in the low seven figures in value terms.

The company has also bought pieces on the market to round out parcels.

We want to sell the goods rather than try to accumulate them,” says Montgomery. “We are a business. This is not an endeavor or activity we expect to be loss making. We don’t expect it to be a huge profit generator, but we expect to break even in the next few years.

As before, consumers who trade in diamonds through jewelers have two options: They can get an in-store valuation, which results in a price quote within an hour, or consumers have the option of sending the piece to the IIDV lab, which takes longer but generally results in higher offers, it says. Retailers get a commission for sending in the piece if the consumer accepts the offer.

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Source JCK Online