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Why Invest in Precious Metals & Gems ?
Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are considered to be precious metals because they are rare. Their rarity makes them expensive and difficult to mine and valuable to industries and investors alike.
Industries often use silver, platinum, and palladium as key components within appliances, electronics, and car parts. Precious metals – particularly gold and silver – have been chosen by the free market for thousands of years to serve as money.
Investors hold physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium as an alternative asset and to protect against inflation and financial turmoil.
Like physical precious metals, when you buy investment grade diamonds they eliminate counter-party risk (i.e. you have them in your possession and if your bank or broker goes bankrupt, it doesn’t matter as the assets are in your possession).
Investment grade diamonds are more portable than gold bullion or platinum bullion! You can walk though any airport with $10,000,000 of diamonds in your pocket and no one would even be able to tell.
Recognized as valuable everywhere on the planet.
Investment Grade Diamonds
Definition of Investment-Grade Diamonds
Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not an extremely rare gemstone. The world has an abundance of small, imperfect diamonds. However, large diamonds, clear diamonds, and flawless diamonds are not often found, and diamonds that combine large size with clarity and lack of flaws are rarer yet. These diamonds fall within the classification of investment-grade gems for their rarity and beauty. When compared with standard diamonds, investment-grade diamonds have greater rarity and greater purchase prices but also see greater increases in value, also called appreciation, over time. The ideal quality of diamonds’ four C’s, cut, clarity, color, and carat, vary between white diamonds and color diamonds, but investment-grade gems will lean toward the higher, rarer end of each characteristic.
Qualities of Investment-Grade White Diamonds
The same grading of standard diamonds applies to investment-grade white diamonds. The white diamonds considered investment-grade are those displaying great clarity and color, cut to maximize the diamond’s sparkle, and considered larger than commonly found.
The 4 C’s
Although each of the four C’s hold importance, a white diamond’s cut is the characteristic with the most material influence on a diamond’s beauty and value. The fire and sparkle prized in investment-grade white diamonds come from the details of the cut. Often confused with shape, the cut refers to the proportion and finish of a diamond and receives an assessment of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. Investment-grade diamonds should have a rating of Excellent, Very Good, or Good. Avoid Fair and Poor cuts as the diamonds are either cut too shallow, which lets light leak out of the bottom, or too deep, which allows light to leak out of the sides. Investment-grade diamonds are cut to allow light to reflect back out of the top and minimize leakage.
A white diamond’s color assessment falls between the letters D and Z in the alphabet. The letter D, the highest quality on the color spectrum, indicates a diamond has zero color, and the letter Z indicates the greatest presence of color that falls within the white diamond category. As the absence of color raises a diamond’s value and appreciation potential, investment-grade diamonds hold a color assessment of D, E, F, G, or H.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond, and one carat weighs 200 milligrams or .20 grams. Larger diamonds, those with a greater carat weight, are rarer than smaller diamonds, so a diamond’s value rises in proportion to its carat weight. Investment-grade diamonds with the highest potential for appreciating are those weighing .75 carats or better.
A diamond’s flaws gain visibility in the absence of color, so clarity largely affects the value of white diamonds. This holds true even if the flaws are not visible to the naked eye. Purchase investment-grade diamonds with a clarity assessment of Flawless (F), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVSI), or Very Slightly Included (VSI) for maximum appreciation potential. For investment purposes, avoid diamonds designated Slightly Included (SI) or Included (I). Rarely do these diamonds see an increase in value.
To maximize the potential for appreciation, most investment-grade white diamonds are round brilliant cuts, and investment-grade fancy color diamonds are square, radiant, or oval. There are, of course, many exceptions to these generally accepted preferences.
Certification of Investment-Grade Diamonds
Holding a paper certificate for a diamond increases greatly its potential for increased value. The certificate offers physical proof that the diamond has received an appraisal by a reputable, unbiased entity such as the Gemological Institute of America. In addition to verifying and validating the qualities that determine a diamond’s value, the certificate, by detailing blemishes and inclusions, may help identify a specific diamond in the event of loss or theft.
All investments are subject to the whimsical nature of the market and to fluctuations in supply and demand. Investment-grade diamonds, however, rarely fall in value. Even if the value does not greatly rise, when these diamonds are liquidated, investors rarely see a reduction from their initial purchase price. In a worst-case scenario, investors break even rather than see a profit, but they do not see a loss.