Sourcing

Blue Nile Gets Into Diamond Buybacks

SourcingJan 23, 2017

Blue Nile Gets Into Diamond Buybacks

The e-tailer is officially partnering with a company called Mondiamo after testing the service on its own website for seven months.

A screen shot from the homepage of Mondiamo.com, a new website powered by Blue Nile that buys diamonds from the public

Seattle--Blue Nile announced that after seven months of testing, it is launching a diamond buyback program in partnership with a company called Mondiamo.com.

Based in New York, Mondiamo is owned by Adama Partners Inc., a venture firm that invests in, operates and builds businesses in the jewelry and gemstone markets. The company is the strategic advisor to The Fancy Color Research Foundation, which provides, among other services, a price index for fancy colored diamonds.

In a phone interview with National Jeweler Friday, Adama co-founder and Senior Vice President Oren Schneider said they have spent the last few years building a consumer-facing, online-only service for buying diamond jewelry that includes a proprietary algorithm for evaluating current market prices for diamonds. They started a “very low-key” beta test of the service on BlueNile.com in June 2016, he said.

Now, Mondiamo has launched its own website, which is powered by Blue Nile and uses the e-tailer’s live pricing data for Gemological Institute of America-graded diamonds to give consumers a guaranteed cash offer range for their diamond jewelry, sight unseen.

Consumers come to the website either through Blue Nile or on their own and input their GIA report number and the diamond’s carat weight. For non-GIA reports, they enter the name of the grading lab and report number along with the four Cs, with the price being adjusted based on a proprietary algorithm. (Offer ranges are not provided online for diamonds without grading reports, but those stones can be sent to Mondiamo to be evaluated and receive a cash offer too.)

Once a consumer accepts the offer, Mondiamo sends them a free and insured shipping kit and he or she then sends their stone to the company’s office in New York for authentication and final evaluation, with the diamonds graded by Mondiamo’s “highly experienced gemologists,” Schneider said.

He noted that by accepting and shipping the piece, the consumer agrees to the transaction pending the physical evaluation, adding that in nearly 100 percent of transactions so far, the payment was higher than the lowest amount offered.

Mondiamo gets a cut--15 percent of the total value of what they are a buying back (including the value of any precious metal or side stones) or $200, whichever is higher--and Blue Nile gets compensated for every referral, meaning every customer that comes to Mondiamo.com through Blue Nile.
In addition, everybody who sells a diamond through Mondiamo gets a $150 coupon code to use on BlueNile.com.

In

a news release announcing the new service, Blue Nile said the same thing that other diamond buyback sites that have launched in recent years have said: that the process in general is too opaque, and provides consumers little to no transparency when it comes to the true value of the diamond they are selling.

Their service is available only in the United States and Canada now, but Blue Nile said there are plans to expand it globally.

Seattle-based e-tailer Blue Nile is one of a number of companies trying to gain a foothold in the lucrative secondhand diamond jewelry market, which is estimated at about $1 trillion globally.

De Beers opened the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV) in New York in August 2014.

The program, which allows consumers to sell their diamonds directly to De Beers via the IIDV website or through one of the program’s partner jewelers (which now number 27 and also are Forevermark dealers), tested for 18 months before officially launching in March 2016.

There’s also Worthy.com, which allows consumers to put their diamonds up for sale directly through the Worthy website or via a retail partner. The diamond is then put up for auction, which the consumer can monitor in real time. At the end, he or she can decide to accept the purchase price or take back their stone.

The partnership with Mondiamo also provides a new service that can be offered by Blue Nile, which is looking for ways to diversify as its sales have stagnated, opening stores and expanding its selection of non-bridal jewelry.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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