After running the pilot of its pre-owned diamond valuation and buyback program for 18 months, De Beers has now officially entered the second-hand diamond business. De Beers launched the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV) for the same. The program is currently available only for De Beers’ own Forevermark brand diamond jewelry and at IIDV affiliated participating jewelers but the company plans to expand the program to other jewelers in future.
Consumers who no longer wish to hold on to their Forevermark jewelry or loose diamonds can go to these IIDV participating jewelers for selling the same. Depending on the stone, consumers can either opt for an in-store valuation, which will be assessed by IIDV within an hour or go for a lab valuation with IIDV. Based on the results, IIDV will make a buyback offer to the consumers and if accepted, either the retailer will issue a check or IIDV will make a direct bank transfer to the consumer. The program accepts any jewelry provided it contains at least one mined diamond. Alternatively, IIDV has also set up a buyback website where consumers have to submit a form, send their jewelry and receive an offer within 3 business days.
In this second-hand diamond market, estimated to be around USD 1 billion, De Beers has made a lowest buyback offer of USD 25 only and highest one at USD 6 million till date. The move by the company is to address the diamond resale and valuation problems faced by diamond consumers worldwide. The program aims to instil the notion among consumers that diamonds have a lasting value.
An important question that remains though is what De Beers plan to do with these second-hand diamonds bought back. De Beers plans to run IIDV as a profitable unit and has accordingly set up a website for the diamond trade where wholesalers can go through and buy the IIDV inventory. IIDV is though separate from the De Beers’ gem lab – International Institute for Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR).
Considering the diminishing mined diamond production and supply, De Beers’ IIDV second-hand diamond buyback program is a strategic move, amidst the company’s dimmed prospects as ‘diamond market enters uncharted waters’.