When considering the requirement to create a critical mass of buyers of diamonds for wealth preservation, Ehud drew many parallels with what is also required to reinvigorate traditional consumer demand for diamonds in both cases, transparency sits on, or perhaps trumps, the podium.
Ehud discussed at length how more transparency can be achieved and how it would benefit the diamond industry.
He also provided detailed accounts of how he applied "Mercury Crystal Clear™" and other principles of transparent diamond pricing, for example when selling diamonds at auctions for record prices.
"Last week [May 17, 2016], I made another record-breaking diamond sale. The 15.38-carat, fancy vivid pink, VVS2 Clarity, Type IIa Unique Pink Diamond sold for $31.5 million at Sotheby's in Geneva, becoming the most expensive Fancy Vivid pink diamond to ever sell at auction. I set another record in November, when I sold the Blue Moon for $46.5 million – the largest sum paid for any auctioned jewel. In November 2011, the Sun Drop sold for $10.9 million. You may be asking, what is my secret?"
"Over recent years, I have extensively discussed several key principles: the need for transparency in polished diamond prices; the importance of knowing transaction prices of polished before buying rough diamonds; the necessity for full disclosure of information about any diamond offered for sale; and above all, the central role that rarity plays in long-term diamond value. Together, these principles provide the framework to purchase an asset that has a resale value."
Ehud's account of the story of the Blue Moon, from purchase to sale, illustrated this in practice.
"All of the principles above were at play with each of my record transactions. Let's take the Blue Moon, for example (later renamed by the buyer, The Blue Moon of Josephine). It started as a 29.6-carat diamond found by Petra Diamonds in January 2014 at their Cullinan mine and offered on tender the following month. I, along with several other experts, examined the diamond closely. We considered what could be polished from the raw stone, and then placed a bid for it based on our understanding of the market.
"Understanding of the market" may seem like a vague description, so allow me to explain. When looking at a rough diamond, you need a great deal of expertise in order to assess the best way to polish it. With the possible outcome in mind, you valuate the potential price the polished diamond could be sold for. The latter requires carefully tracking the market, knowing transaction prices of diamonds of the same color, clarity, size and any possible irregularities the diamond may have.
Armed with that knowledge, my company, Cora International, placed a bid for the rough diamond that reflected its potential polished outcome, the cost of planning and manufacturing the rough diamond, target profit, which we subtracted from the expected selling price."
Ehud's vision is that these principles be shared widely with the audience that is trading diamonds for wealth preservation."We need to ensure that the knowledge that the diamond industry has on these diamonds and which investors already possess for fancy color diamonds is shared and reaches a wide audience."