Icecap only wants you to invest in diamonds if it’s a good fit, and makes sense for your specific needs and portfolio. For many people it likely isn’t a good fit. Please read Icecap’s blog post on this topic to help you determine whether diamond investment could make sense in your case.
One of the key benefits Icecap provides to investors is narrowing the bid/ask spread for diamonds. One of the reasons the spread is so high in the normal jewelry market is that there are so many things about a given diamond that must be checked, in person, by a gemologist, before a bid can even be made. This creates huge inefficiency. However, some diamonds require little if any of that, and diamond experts can bid on those kinds of diamonds “sight unseen.” Icecap’s program standards ensure that only those “easiest to sell” diamonds are part of our program.
Here’s an example: We only allow round shapes, because other shapes are more subjective, and often need to be seen in person to get a sense of how the light is reflecting. Also, round diamonds are the most popular and hence have the highest liquidity.
Very few diamond suppliers have program standards as tight as Icecap. One of the few that does is Tiffany & Co.
Diamond e-tailers, in particular, often offer diamonds that may read well on the 4C’s of a GIA report (cut, clarity, color, carat-weight) but have many other properties—outside the 4C’s—that make them less desirable and difficult to sell. And even their 4C’s grades may be incorrect.
To put this in perspective, we believe few, if any, of the diamonds offered on the world’s largest diamond e-tail sites would pass GCAL verification or be eligible for trading on Icecap’s diamond marketplace. Diamonds that have passed such tight screening cost more on the wholesale market, but we consider this screening essential to make Icecap diamonds easy to sell, not just easy to buy—a critical factor for investors.
In today’s market, any diamond of more than several thousand dollars in value should have a full grading report (“certificate”) from the Gemological Institute of America. However, that’s not good enough for Icecap’s diamond marketplace. GIA certificates do not deliver perfect quality control, and thus certainty. Jewelry buyers don’t necessarily care, but investors do. Investors can’t afford surprises when it’s time to sell.
Thus, Icecap subjects every diamond to secondary screening, beyond the GIA certificate, by GCAL (Gem Certification & Assurance Laboratory.) GCAL has the tightest grading standards in the industry, and guarantees their grading with an insurance policy. No other lab in the world provides such guarantees, not even GIA. Thus every Icecap diamond has two certificates, not just one.
Good news, no prior diamond expertise is required. Icecap provides you its “Value Index”, a tool that estimates how “good of a deal” every diamond is, at a given price point.
Icecap determines a “par value” for every combination of color, clarity and carat weight. This is basically what a diamond would cost on the wholesale market, with mathematical adjustments to show how it would be priced on the Icecap marketplace. That number is “par.” Then every diamond is ranked by its asking price as a relationship to that par value. This allows a buyer not familiar with diamonds to know which diamond to buy: the one that ranks the best on the Value Index. Therefore no knowledge of diamonds is needed. The investor should typically buy the best priced diamond, and the value index shows which one that is. If more budget is available, then buy the next one, and so forth, until the budget is met.
Icecap was founded and is owned by some of the most reputable and well known people in the diamond industry. They include:
Jacques Voorhees (CEO) – Inventor of online trading marketplaces in the diamond industry, with the first one (Polygon, launched in 1983) setting the standard for all those that came after, including all of today’s online etail sites with searchable diamond inventory such as Blue Nile.
Krista Olson (COO) – Formerly sales director of JCK Show (largest B2B jewelry show in the world) and co-founder of Luxury by JCK (the most elite B2B jewelry show in the world.)
Bill Boyajian – 20 year past president of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which invented today’s “Four C’s” system of diamond grading.
Jeff Fischer – President Emeritus of Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the jewelry industry’s watchdog ethics group, and previously a Board of Governors member for the GIA.
Charles Stanley – Past president (2011-2023) of North American operations for De Beers Group, the largest diamond mining company in the world.
If the diamond is still in storage with Malca-Amit, you effect a sell order by filling out the order form on the Icecap website. As part of this, you will have available an online “calculator” to help determine the price at which you wish to sell, including the price needed to achieve “top of value index” status and be (likely) the next diamond sold.
If you’ve taken delivery of the diamond, the diamond will need to be returned to GCAL for re-grading and verification. (Shipping/grading fees apply). From that point, the process is similar to that for a vaulted diamond. Contact Icecap for more details.
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