- It has more than 18,000 polished diamond categories across the 4Cs, covering diamonds weighing up to 30 carats, with clarities ranging from Flawless to I3 in colors from D to P and in the various shapes.
- It provides the wholesale price of a “top stone” within the 4Cs, i.e. the price of a polished stone that has no comments or other irregularities.
- Mercury Diamond™ has a separate table with discounts and premiums for over 400 types of irregularities. This table, together with the Mercury Diamond Price List™, can therefore provide the wholesale market price of any specific diamond.
Several factors that ensure that the Mercury Diamond Price List™ can operate at high precision:
- It is based on real transaction prices and other hard market data. It is thereby helps to avoids the possible disconnect which might occur between asking price and other information supplied by diamond players, and the actual prices which diamonds are traded.
- In addition, the Mercury Diamond™ proprietary table of discounts and premiums for irregularities collects transaction data for individual stones, and can factor in the impact of irregularities and net it off the price of a top stone shown on the Mercury Diamond Price List™.
- It can complement lack of market data through a proprietary process of association, based on the established industry principle that price changes of certain diamonds are closely linked to price changes of similar stones.
The Mercury Diamond Price List™ is fully independent and has been validated by one of the Big Four accounting firms, which regularly reviews Mercury Crystal Clear®, a pricing system for both rough and polished diamonds from which the List is derived and which is patent pending in the United States.
A selected number of independent polished diamond valuators review each monthly List before it is published.
Why share the Mercury Diamond Price List™?
Ehud Laniado highlighted his belief that diamond price lists should be based on actual transactions, whether the List or other transaction-based lists, as an alternative to benchmark lists that are based on asking prices or other proxies which do not sufficiently reflect the prices at which polished diamonds are sold.
Laniado believed that with Mercury Diamond Price List™, manufacturers would be better positioned to determine a maximum purchase price for rough diamonds by following a simple equation: the fair price per carat of a rough diamond should equal the price of its polished value (using the Mercury Diamond Price List™) divided by the number of carats of that rough diamond, minus polishing and other costs and margin.
For example if the Mercury Diamond Price List™ indicates that the price of a 4-carat sawable rough diamond that will yield two polished stones of one carat each, is worth $20,000 in total when polished (excluding any irregularities) and assuming a 15% cost and margin, the maximum price that should be paid for the rough diamond is about $4,250 per carat.
The same would apply for a 4-carat rough stone that would yield 1.52 carats (color E, clarity IF) when polished:
1.52 x $13,500 (i.e. the price per carat for that polished stone as per the table below) = $20,520 which is the market price of the diamond when polished.
Then $20,520 divided by 4.25 carats (total weight of the rough diamond) minus 15% = $4,104 per carat, which is the price per carat at which it would be profitable to buy the rough diamond.
Mercury Price List™ for 1-1.99 carats
On a broader scale, more widespread use of such a list in the industry will allow manufacturers to act as gatekeepers and keep rough diamond prices in touch with reality. It would, for example, help prevent a situation where some midstream players are pushed to buy rough diamonds at prices that are not on par with their equivalent polished transaction prices.
More transparency on transaction prices will help attribute profits more accurately, according to the value each player adds along the diamond value chain, whether it is polished diamond manufacturing, wholesale trading, jewelry designing or retail activity.
Thus, when applied across the whole pipeline, the List could in fact help ease the pressure overall and allow companies to operate more sustainably.
For instance, the margin challenges faced by some manufacturers is partly the very consequence of a lack of sufficient transparency in diamond pricing, which has kept the prices of rough diamonds artificially high. A more transparent pricing system, as per the example above, would help midstream players pay more realistic prices for rough diamonds and sell their polished product at sustainable margins.
Similarly, a list that is based on transaction prices over the past month where value addition is known across the diamond pipeline would, short of a more complete spot and futures markets for diamonds, provide greater transparency and certainty to end consumers about the true value of their diamond. This, in turn, would help stimulate demand and thereby further help diamond companies to operate more sustainably.
The List is only the beginning for more accurate and clear diamond pricing.
Mercury Diamond™ has developed a range of tools based on the Mercury Diamond Price List™, derived from the Mercury Crystal Clear™ system that can be used for various applications. For example, it has developed tools to evaluate entire parcels of rough diamonds across the run-of-mine.
The Mercury Diamond Price List™, together with the other Mercury Diamond™ tools, can also apply in other way that could help strengthen our industry, including for:
- Retailers, jewelers and other businesses pricing their inventories.
- Banks or other credit providers assessing collaterals.
- Companies and financial institutions purchasing and selling diamonds for wealth preservation.
1The use of the Mercury Diamond Price List™ is subject to the Terms & Conditions of Use found at http://www.mercurydiamond.com/terms.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity. None of the information made available here shall constitute in any manner an offer or invitation or promotion to buy or to sell diamonds. Investing or trading in diamonds carries a high level of risk and therefore you should become aware of all the associated risks before entering into any transaction. No one should act upon any opinion or information in this website (including with respect to diamonds values) without consulting a professional qualified adviser.
The List is the exclusive property of Mercury Diamond™ ("Mercury") and not of Mr. Ehud Arye Laniado who assumes no liability in connection with the List and any of Mercury's publications. Readers are advised to review all relevant information provided by Mercury in connection with the List including any disclaimers.