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Old Lizzy
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 05-16-03 , 10:57 AM


Hi Everyone!

Today in the Wall Street Journal (first page of entertainment section) there is an amusing article by this title. It address "diamond shrinkage", upgrades, and the every-growing engagement ring.

I am quoted in the story, and guess how the reported found me? Through Diamond Talk! You just never know what kind of fun being a DT member will bring you!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 05-16-03 , 11:01 AM


Post the article link if you can.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 05-16-03 , 11:10 AM


If all goes well I am getting my soon to be fiance/wife 1.25 carts.

Like you said, why wait.

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Please please give us the link
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 05-16-03 , 05:35 PM


I can't find the article online so please give us the link or maybe cut and paste or scan it for us.
Thanks,
Pookarina

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 05-16-03 , 05:59 PM


Lizzy,

I just read the article and I found it very, very amusing. Leave it to the Journal to come up with new "lifestyle" articles every week.

I hope you don't mind, but I went back out of curiosity to read some of your previous posts. It turns out that we had "chatted" briefly about your 5-carat oval ring which flattered your hand (and nails). Have you ever posted a picture of the ring that you described in the Journal article?

Maybe the woman who owns the 7-carat canary-yellow diamond is also a member.

Cheers,
AGSHF

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No Links :-(
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 05-16-03 , 06:43 PM


Unfortunately, you must be a subscriber to get to the link online. I will try to scan it tonight or tomorrow, it is very amusing :-)

AGSHF, I do have a picture of my ring somewhere, that I took using Juan "famous" tortilla warmer technique. It's at the office, so I will get it online soon.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 05-16-03 , 10:24 PM


I read the article this morning as well. Some of my friends have large stones (3ct. and above) but (don't flame me here) those with the big ones are 2nd wives of successful men. I am still waiting for mine - after 26 yrs. of marriage. Business is so bad now, I would not even dream of asking. Even though, hubby keeps telling me to get it. Today, my copies of W and Town and Country arrived. T&C has lots of eye candy. My husband remarked "Too many people in this world have too much money" What do ya'll think? Those that do have too much - I hope they use it wisely and help others.
Me ? Still trying to decide on a sim.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 05-17-03 , 01:22 AM


Lizzy, like everyone else I wanna see your quotes. How exciting.

Is there any mention of clarity-enhanced diamonds and customer feedback from them in this article?

The reason I ask is, I got a clarity-enhanced diamond very early this year. Bought it on Ebay as an I1 and sent it to a company to be enhanced. The wonderful man from this company that I contacted ended up calling me about a month later and asked if I wanted to do an interview for (I believe it was) the Wall Street Journal. Apparently they had contacted him to get some consumer feedback and he thought I would be a good candidate to give my feedback to them.

I ended up chickening out and (shh) didn't call him back because I wasn't sure if I wanted to post as someone giving advice on these types of stones because I didn't even have it that long. Now I am trying to sell this ring. The enhancement was great (I1 to VVS) but the cut is less than ideal and I need the money anyhow.

I still think I would rather have a "natural" diamond for the E-ring anyway. At the time I wasn't sure if I would care or not. It's completely psychological too but there you go.

Fact-wise, I think if you get a good one that wasn't full of fractures to begin with (mine had one small crystal pre-enhancement) it shouldn't pose a durability problem and will wear, for the most part, like a regular diamond. All you really have to avoid is a jeweler's torch (they say boiling acid too, but who sticks their hands in that?)

In retrospect it would be cool to see my name in print on the subject (I have some poems published, but that's another thing) but if they wanted a clear answer I didn't have it for them because I didn't even have my own yet.

I am glad to hear that one of us DTers got in on the deal. Wall Street Journal, yeah!

Looking forward to reading the article.


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Wow!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 05-17-03 , 01:55 AM


That is so cool, you guys!!!
I give it three "cool"- ies with cool-eyes!

I was interviewed a few times about PalmPilots and their use for the first few years after they came out and before they really hit big.
It felt so funny seeing my name in print.

I even got into Good Housekeeping's Family Finance book or something like that. I spoke about the non-professional techie point of view. How I used the PalmPilot to keep my life organized even in a non-professional way.

Gee, talk about repeating myself.
I should write myself a reminder not to do that.

In my PalmPilot, of course!
Actually, I call it my brain.
It has really saved me!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 05-17-03 , 09:05 AM


Dear Bethann,
I love my sim and even though it was my 30th anni gift, it still is gorgeous, and I feel so thrifty---we still have three kids in college and one in high so my priorities are else where. Actually I think it is great that people have more money now. Was seeing all these videos on China this week at school, I sub at the high school, and that is a counrty that is pulling itself into the 21st century with abandon and hard work. They are definitely trying to spread the loot around and I think it is great that so many american companies are helping them. I know conditions there can be difficult, but even America went thorugh it's sweat shop phase; pre labor union, and great injustices are done. I think it is just like going through labor to give birth. Not wanting to be flamed for my point of view, but yeah, I believe in trade among the countries to get everyone wanting something that someone else has and trading amicably for it so everyone makes a profit and everyone gets a goodie. Simplistic, but thats me. So please no flames about things I cannot change, OK? LOL. Sincerly, Susanp

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Clarity Enhanced
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 05-17-03 , 10:07 AM


Synicgrrl, did you get your diamond enhanced by Yehuda? Because the president (I think his name is David Yehuda) was quoted in the article. I bet this is the one they wanted you to interview you for! There were no customer quotes from a consumer about the clarity-enhanced diamonds. My quote was basically about how people ask me if my diamond is real (I do get asked that a bit). I personally do not have a problem with clarity enhancement, but I can understand if you do not like the cut of your diamond that you would want to sell it. I think an enhanced diamond is still a "natural" diamond though.

Bethann and SusanP, I completely agree with your points of view. I fortunately have been able to trade up a few times to get the diamond I have now (still the 1st wife of a moderately successful IT professional, I'm certainly no trophy :p. I am sure if I waited longer, I would never be able to get the diamond I have now. When our first daughter starts college in 10 years, I can assure you I won't be spending ANYTHING on myself :-) I just read the John Grisham book "King of Torts" - it sickened me to read about the excesses of the very rich.

Pookarina - that is very cool that you were in publications about Palm Pilots. Much cooler than diamonds. I've been complaining to my friends, "I have three businesses, but get into the WSJ for my diamond obsession!"

Lizzy

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 05-17-03 , 10:15 AM


Here's the article -- I read it yesterday and thought it was hilarious. My husband didn't find it funny at all.

'Big' Diamonds Get Bigger
As Brides Age, Compete

By LAUREN LIPTON
Special to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


Maybe Chris Lynch shouldn't have waited seven years. By the time he proposed to his girlfriend, his friends' sweethearts had two-carat diamond rings, leaving Mr. Lynch nowhere to go but up. His 27-year-old fiancee's new solitaire: 3.13 carats. "She now has one of the biggest on the block," says the Iowa telecommunications executive.

Gentlemen, here's a new reason to fear commitment: ring inflation. Even in these times, the benchmark size of an "impressive" diamond has crept up, from a single carat in the 1990s to two or even three today. Diamond behemoth De Beers Group says sales of stones a carat and larger have outpaced smaller ones -- up 81% from 1996 to 2002. And it's not just at the fancy places: One big Southeastern mall chain, Reeds Jewelers, just began stocking two-carat solitaires in October. And warehouse retailer Costco says it's selling $20 million a year of diamonds from 1.5 to more than six carats, after introducing them two years ago. "Amazing, given the economy," says Megghan Harruff, a merchandise manager.

Behind the run on large stones: Older brides with higher expectations, megarock celebrity engagements (thanks, Jennifer Lopez), and new technologies that can make flawed diamonds look more perfect. Competition from Internet vendors, meanwhile, has helped to make big rocks cheaper. The industry has been happy to push them, too, with stores running new bigger-is-better campaigns and one national chain taking out newspaper ads for multicarat rings -- with no-interest financing.

Still, life with a large stone isn't always happily ever after. Some of the attention these rings draw is surprisingly negative. From an investment standpoint, most big stones at best keep pace with inflation. And the elation may be short-lived: Even a spectacular stone, many wives say, can start looking average after a few years. (They even have a catchphrase for it: "diamond shrinkage.")

For Christine Henderson, it wasn't that her rock shrunk -- her lifestyle just got bigger. When the 40-year-old mom got engaged a few years ago, she was delighted with her one-plus carat ring. Then came her husband's lucrative Wall Street career and early retirement to Palm Beach, Fla., and something befitting the couple's new station in life: a seven-carat, canary-yellow diamond. "I really thought I wanted a three-carat ring, but then I thought, 'Set your sights big,' " Mrs. Henderson says. "We grow up."

Oversize Push

The $27 billion U.S. diamond-jewelry industry -- $4.3 billion of that is engagement rings -- is taking that sentiment to the bank. It's De Beers, of course, that controls much of the world's diamond market and popularized diamond engagement rings, and then persuaded grooms to spend two months' salary on them. But while past De Beers brochures assured buyers that "Smaller Is Beautiful," last summer its marketing arm came out with a campaign pushing larger diamonds. Caption under a small stone: "Where'd you get that diamond?" Under a much bigger one: "Where'd you get that man?"

Even grooms in good financial shape can find the price daunting. Jewelers pay about $10,000 to $100,000 for three-carat stones and then mark them up 15% to 100%, says New York diamond dealer Joseph Schlussel. But sellers themselves say they're surprised so many men are buying: When exclusive New York jeweler Fred Leighton Ltd. expanded its line of engagement rings last year, it expected to sell lots of one-carat stones -- but those have gone unsold, it says, while nearly half of buyers have gone for three-to-five-carat versions.

For Whitney Mantooth, buying an impressive stone for his girlfriend recently meant putting off buying a new Mercedes and starting an M.B.A. program. The business owner in Chattanooga, Tenn., says he'd just sold his ad agency, too, so he had some money on hand. "She caught me at the right time," he says.

To the chagrin of the guys who paid retail, some new technologies are making the three-carat club easier to enter. Irradiation treatments can turn less-expensive stones into fancy colors that are rare in nature. Another, "clarity enhancement," involves filling flaws to make lesser-quality stones look more perfect. That's what Yehuda Diamond Co. does, and the New York manufacturer says its clarity-enhanced stones sell for about one-third less than nonenhanced versions -- and that business has grown fivefold in five years. "It's good for me that women want to show off," says company president Dror Yehuda.

But as these rings go mass-market, the backlash is brewing. Some see them as ostentatious, while others assume the wearer sacrificed quality for size. Meanwhile, simulated stones have become more realistic-looking than ever. So even if there's little chance that a $20 dime-size cubic zirconia will fool anyone, the $425, three-carat version from Impostors, an upscale-fakes chain, just might.

'I've Been Following You'

That's been a problem for Liz Hoffswell, who wears a 3.25-carat pear-shaped diamond in a Michigan town where most are significantly smaller. "I have people tell me all the time it's the biggest they've ever seen," says the small-business owner, who once had a couple shadow her at a wine-tasting event. Finally, the wife came up to her. "I've been following you all evening," the woman said. "Is that real?"

To avoid such questions, some people are taking the opposite tack. At Tiffany, where the average engagement ring is under a carat, they're seeing some buyers choose smaller, high-quality stones. Even the sellers of simulated diamonds say many customers are opting for smaller stones to throw off nosy friends and coworkers. Also popular: rings featuring three smaller (lower-price) stones instead of one big one.

Big-rock lovers, however, are unmoved. Even if their stones aren't great investments, they say, they still hold most of their value -- which was a good thing for Nikki Salerno. The Bel Air, Calif., actress was wowed when her boyfriend of six months proposed during a private hot-air balloon ride, with an 3-carat princess-cut diamond ring. Three years later, she's sold it for $25,000 to help cover legal fees in her divorce. Still, she says, that hasn't soured her on big rocks. "I would never go smaller," she says. "No way."

Write to Lauren Lipton at lauren.lipton@wsj.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cutting-Edge Cuts
In the past few years, diamond sellers have increasingly marketed "signature" cuts at premium prices. Here, some new ones -- with typical prices for a high-quality two-carat stone. A caveat: Comparisons can be tricky because slight color and quality differences can sharply affect price.

Cut/Store Price* Comments
Ashoka
Jewelry Salon
Four Seasons, Las Vegas $54,000 This antique-looking "cushion" cut is patented. Diamond experts say there's little reason to spend more on branded stones that don't look different; this one, they say, does.
Lilla
Zales Outlet
Irving, Texas $12,800 This 98-facet stone is exclusive to Zales -- that's right, in the outlet mall. Jewelry giant introduced branded stone partly to compete with low-price Internet retailers.
Lucida
Tiffany & Co.
New York $80,100 Famous store introduced this cut, a rounded-off square, in 1999, with other jewelers introducing their own cuts soon after. Cost of comparable nonbranded stone: $78,700.
Tivol Signature
Tivol Jewels
Kansas City, Mo. $58,000 This jeweler has two stores -- and its own cut. It says most buyers pick this over a regular "ideal" cut, even though only a quarter can immediately distinguish between the two.
Venus
Reeds Jewelers
Wilmington, N.C. $17,999 Company says this has more facets than "ideal" cut and is its most successful new product. Made by Russian cutters -- and costs 16% more than similar nonbranded stone.

*Two carats, colorless and internally flawless except Venus (some color and flaws) and Lilla (1.5 carat, some color and flaws).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Updated May 16, 2003


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 05-17-03 , 02:35 PM


Lizzy,

It was actually a man named Sam Hannah from the company Midwest Diamond Importers.

At the time I was searching for a place to send it to I actually contacted Yeuda because I wasn't sure if a crystal inclusion could be removed. I had only heard of carbon and fracture-filling. Yeuda told me they couldn't fix it! I certainly didn't want an EC of all cuts at an I1 and I had a feeling that it could be fixed, so I kept on contacting people and I found Sam and it was done. I also emailed BacciFineJewelery which specializes in selling these stones because their website mentioned they could enhance a customer's stone as well, but they never responded to me.

I did ask Sam for the specifics of the treatment but of course he didn't do the work on the thing so he wasn't sure. My guess is they drilled the crystal out like you would carbon and then filled the spot that was empty after it was removed.

I agree with you that CE diamonds are still natural. It's just that many in the industry poo-poo them so much. Every "informative" book I've read does too. I understand the chemical differences and even the possible durabilty problem it could pose compared to an unenhanced stone (which I still think would pose *no* problem in most circumstances) but there is a lot of backlash about them. Probably because they compete with the non-CE much pricer diamonds and the sellers are getting out their mudslingers to save their sales.

Still, some of their little tactics have worked on me and I have to admit I like the idea of having the untouched natural diamond. Fact-wise I think the stone would be fine, but there's that nagging "you know it's not 100% natural" feeling for me. Which is what they were going for. But, if someone happened to offer me a big, and quality-looking beauty of a stone that was CE I still wouldn't turn it down.

Anyway, enough of that. Read the article, thanks to the person that posted it. Look forward to seeing pics of your ring, Lizzy.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 05-17-03 , 03:30 PM


Thank you wuvpug for posting the article.

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Pictures of ring
Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 05-20-03 , 09:52 AM


Here is the ring! It is set in my original wedding set, I got married 10 1/2 years ago. While the set is the same, this is the 4th diamond that has graced the engagement ring

I am bad!


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With the wedding band . . .
Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 05-20-03 , 09:55 AM


This is the entire set, although the engagement ring is a little off center from the wedding band.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 05-20-03 , 10:21 AM


WOOHOO!!

This is me

"Meanwhile, simulated stones have become more realistic-looking than ever. So even if there's little chance that a $20 dime-size cubic zirconia will fool anyone, the $425, three-carat version from Impostors, an upscale-fakes chain, just might."

Thanks for posting the article!!



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 05-20-03 , 10:33 AM


Thanks for posting that article... VERY interesting!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 05-20-03 , 10:38 AM


I skimmed these posts and I definitely agree about shrinkage. Thank God I'm over it. It just happened. I was obsessed with a bigger better stone for at least 6 months. I'm a little sick of thinking about it. I've got other stuff to worry about! A diamond is not a big deal....but then again, now I'm obsessing about what kind of couch and loveseat to get...and we thought diamonds were complicated...2 cushion, 3, one, tight back, ,loose back, semi attached, skirt, no skirt, legs, no legs, UGH!!! LOL

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Mixed feelings here
Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 05-20-03 , 08:33 PM


I love love love diamonds and sparklies but I find it does leave me with conflicting feelings.

I have a hard time sometimes putting my love of diamonds and desire for a bigger and better rock all the time, together with my social conscience and the other values I hold regarding conspicuous consumption.

I am not the typical large diamond person- I am not young (ish) thin, blonde, or any of the attributes of the trophy wife. (I thought that was a very interesting point someone made about the trophy wives.)
I am not the least bit snappy dresser or urban cool person. I am not a socializer. I am not a yuppie, for the most part. I am an older Mom who loves rock'n'roll.
I am a jeans and sandals person. Old hippies never die, we just move to the country and spend our time hanging out at home.
Blah blah blah- I don't know why I started down that trail, but in any case, I still love my diamonds.

I know there are people starving in the world.
I know I could be better informed, more politically active, and that I should get more exercise!

Still, for my recreational internet use, I hang out here at DT.
And I would gladly anytime at all trade up for a bigger and better diamond, or maybe just more of them!
I got my Mom's jewelry when she passed away and so I have a little bit of variety in my diamond wardrobe.

But still I would gladly take MORE!
Even if I never saw anyone or if nobody ever saw my diamonds I would still love to have more bigger more better.
I don't care at all about what anyone thinks about my gems. I am not into impressing anyone or showing off.
I just love jewelry, especially diamonds, and shrinkage has set in a long long time ago.

I wish we could feed them and they would grow bigger.
Or they would just grow slightly as they age (or we age).
Or, as someone else mentioned, we could grow them on trees.

So, come on, you scientific types- let's get that going.
Maybe a grafted diamond bush or something like a vine.

Quick, stop me before the guys with the white coats come for me.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 05-20-03 , 08:35 PM


Social conscience and all the rest of that carp aside...
You can take my diamonds away when you pry them from my cold dead hands!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 05-21-03 , 03:41 AM


LOL!

I tend to take my diamonds(& other luxuries) with a side of guilt as well.

When I go to some lectures & meeting with my husband I've turned my rings palm-side or unrolled sleeves to hide bracelets. Not all of the time but I have done it.

I want to be a good, conscious person but then I want to enjoy nice things too.

Sometimes i think about stepping up my volunteer work/donations but then one side of me says that the effort is now tainted and guilt-driven rather than genuine. Hope this makes sense.

***

Great article. When a trend is in full-swing, I always like to guess what the next wave will be. Any ideas? smaller diamonds, gigantic boulders?

something else entirely?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 05-21-03 , 07:14 AM


Mixed feelings here, too

'I am not the typical large diamond person- I am not young (ish) thin, blonde, or any of the attributes of the trophy wife. (I thought that was a very interesting point someone made about the trophy wives.) I am not the least bit snappy dresser or urban cool person. I am not a socializer. I am not a yuppie, for the most part. I am an older Mom who loves rock'n'roll. I am a jeans and sandals person. Old hippies never die, we just move to the country and spend our time hanging out at home.'
Originally posted by Pookarina.

Snap. Yet I love my big diamonds too. What I really want now though isn't a bigger diamond, it's a bigger sofa.

I have sofa shrinkage!

My present sofa is really quite large - a 4 seater - but I've seen those great big 4ft deep 6-7ft long shabby chic sofas that are overflowing with huge squashy cushions and are almost the size of a double bed. I really, really want one; I've got a room big enough to take one; so I'm now saving up for one.

And if other women think that it's too big - I DON'T CARE!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 05-21-03 , 09:27 AM


LOL @ feed them and make them biffer pool...it's not a gremlin!!! LOL...I hear ya about feeling guilty. I don't even wear my engagement ring that much these days...b/c I wish it was bigger? I don't know...but don't feel guilty for wanting nice things. Us girls can't solve all the problems in the world. Be aware of the ills of society and try to make a difference and you can still have those nice juicy diamonds. We work, we raise families, we sacrifice....we DESERVE IT. I know I deserve it!!!
p.s. ANyone out there have a Flexsteel sofa?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 05-21-03 , 09:28 AM


NICE typos...LOL @ feed them and make thim BIGGER POOKARINA.

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