We are reader-supported. Buying through any red colored link on our site may earn us commissions. Learn More.

Q&A: $20,000 for 3 Carat Stone. Interested in Brokering Service.

By Mike Fried,

Hello, your service looks very interesting, How does you commission work? You find my perfect diamond and show me the details. You give me the contact and I pay you and the seller? I am buying my finance an engagement ring. I have give or take 20k budget for the diamond. I want it to be at the least 3+ carats, eye clean and a decent color. I can go with either a round, radiant or princess. Seems rounds aren’t a good value due to the demand that has driven the price up. I guess, to put simply, if you can find me the biggest stone above 3 carat, at the least J color, VS2, ideal cut and eye clean for 17-18k, it would be a good deal for both of us. Thanks


Thanks for writing.  Let me clear up a few things before we begin:

1) There are two services I provide.  One, I will help you choose the best diamond for your budget from online stores.  This service is free for you, as the various stores I work with (and I only work with the biggest and best and cheapest) pay me a commission for this service.  The other service I provide is I will help match you up with a stone direct from a wholesale company.  For this service, I charge you 10%. With your budget, it will most likely be cheaper with the 2nd brokering option.

2) The reason why rounds are more expensive has nothing to do with demand.  The reason is due to the yield from rough.  Yield from rough for princess cuts is over 80% whereas yields for round stones are about 40%.

Having said that, lets get to work!

In terms of rounds, it looks like it will be tough to get in your budget.  Here’s a the cheapest 3ct  J VS2 on James Allen:

James Allen didn’t have any J VS2 Princess Cuts, but they did have this:

Compare that with the attached screenshot.  This is a search I did on Rapnet, the largest industry-only wholesale trade site.  The first stone (too deep) and 2nd stone (table way too big) have a ugly makes , but the 3rd stone looks VERY nice.  So your price would be what’s written there + another 10%.  So that would be 17,627.

See the next screenshot for Radiants.

Have a look at all of these, and let me know what you think!


Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge









Thank you. If you offer me significant savings, I would rather you find me the perfect diamond. But do you refer me to the dealer? How do I pay the diamond?and do I get a return policy? If recive the stone and have to get it set I suppose. Sorry I am a bit time restrained. I work in Dubai and need this to shipped to the U.S. and forwarded to Thailand or just forwarded to Thailand. I am meeting my girlfriend in Bangkok on the 16th of December to propose. Sorry after some research from you sight. I am set on a brillant round, 3carat+, ideal, SI1, J, fnt blue flourescent if possible. I can go up to 23k. Thanks.


Hey C. Got the perfect stone for you:


The total price including my commission will be 21,452.

The diamond can be shipped as soon as the money is paid. The way I usually work is that you pay me and the stone’s owner separately.  This way you know I’m only taking exactly my 10% fee and nothing else. And also, you can feel better knowing you’re wiring your money to an established diamond wholesale company and not some stranger you met on the internet.

Since every time the deal is with a different dealer, I can’t make a set return policy.  Usually the dealers are understanding and want future business, so they’re willing to give me some time.   You’ll have at least a week or two for sure, but I will try to negotiate for a little more.

We could have to stone shipped either to you in the US, or direct to Dubai or Thailand.  Not a problem.  Btw, I used to work quite a bit in Dubai as well.  Leo Schachter, my former employer, has an office in the Gold Land building in the Gold Souk.  I used to go there every month or so from Israel (through Jordan – one of the few countries in the region with relations with both countries).

But if you’re concerned about having the stone inspected during the window of time when you can return it, I would recommend you take delivery in the US and bring it to a local professional independent jewelry appraiser.

Let me know what you think.  If you are interested in this stone, I’ll make the call tomorrow.

Btw, how are you going to have the stone set?  Would you like me to help you with this as well?

Enjoy your Sunday!



I took a look at the link. It doesn’t have all the information like a regular GIA report. I like to know how the inclusions look like, even if not very accurately in the diagrams that’s usually on the report. I have look through your site pretty extensively and or thru all the online diamond inventories. I am finding similar stones on blue nile for approximately the same price as your service. Do you have access to the stones. Due to the size, I want this stone to be eye clean as you call it. In fact, I have found larger stones such as this: Blue Nile LD01553603 that looks from the diagram  “eye clean”.

These two are still available at Bluenile after the discount comes to your approximate price.

Blue Nile LD01597600


Blue Nile LD01582937

If you can let me know that the stone you recommended is better, find a bigger diamond of similar quality for a similar price or can haggle with the sender for me, its hard for me risk the return policy and add the additional time with the setting.  I value your service and you site is a vault of information. If we can both benefit from this exchange.

Worst case scenario, I am actually in Afghanistan on a project for next few weeks and returning to Dubai mid December before heading to Thailand. If you have contacts there, and we are unable to find a diamond before then, I can always take a short trip to the Souk.


There must be something in the air.  You are the 3rd person in the last month who is based in Afghanistan to contact me for help.  I will take a look at these stones in a bit and get you an answer.  I can get you a scan of the other stone, but I need to request it from the stone’s owner and they’re not working today.  The GIA report check was all I have available today.

Btw, what discount are you referring to from BN?



Haha.. yes a lot of money is being poured into Afghanistan. I am here to get my little chunk or rather the biggest chunk for my company. Yes if you get me the report, that would be fantastic Ira. I decided to get married, short notice, and have to shop online while I am here on this project.

I meant the wire discount, unless you have a top secret code your willing to share for a percentage!


No, I wasnt’ aware of any, that’s why I was asking if you knew about one!

I’ll ask for the cert tomorrow.  I’m in the middle of a long email to you now.  You’ll get it in a sec.


I checked the three stones.  Here’s the thing about eye-cleanliness:

Odds are on a 3 carat stone that an SI1 is eye clean.  There’s certainly no guarantee, but the odds are probably between 60-70%.  I2s, however, are most likely NOT eye clean on a 3 ct stone.

You shouldn’t be fooled by inclusion plots on a GIA cert.  They give you absolutely no indication of eye-cleanliness.  You can have a feather that’s a dead white inclusion, or you could have a feather that’s completely translucent.  But on the plot, they will look exactly the same.  The plot only tells you type and location of the inclusions.  It doesn’t tell you anything of their strength or color, which are the most important factors determining eye-cleanliness.

For the SI1 I was recommending, I was going to have a colleague inspect it in NY before it shipped to you.

As far as your three suggestions go, I like the 2nd stone the best.  Ironically, it’s owned by my former employer Leo Schachter in Israel.  I had already seen the stone in the Rap results I generated this morning when I found the faint fluorescent stone I sent you earlier.  That stone was listed at 28% back and this stone from Leo Schachter is listed at 25% back. I called them to see if they could lower their price so I could offer you another stone.  I am still waiting for their response.  Needless to say, I will make sure to beat BN’s price to make it worth your while to buy through me.   I can also have the stone set for you in NY, or alternatively, I can have the stone shipped to Dubai for you to pick it up there.  I also spoke to them about extending the return window to 30 days.  If I can get them to go down to 28% back, so I could provide you that same stone for 21,455. That’s about $500 cheaper than BN.   Additionally, I could go into the diamond bourse myself and inspect it with my own eyes to guarantee eye cleanliness or not.



I think I will rely on you expertise. Shopping from some data on certs seems crazy. Do you operate out of nyc? I am a New Yorker myself out of brooklyn.

Can you view the stone you suggested first as well?

Once I know, I can make a decision and find a setting from Tacori or alike.


I’m in Israel, but I have a close friend in NY I can send to inspect the stone.  I myself can inspect the stone in Israel.

Both of my parents are brooklynites.  Both went to Midwood.

I’ll let you know about the cert for the first stone tomorrow, and whether or not my former employer can lower their price.



How are we doing on the hunt?

What do you think of this stone below?

Blue Nile LD01493739


That stone says not available.  And also don’t know if it’s eye clean.  The SI1 looks concentrated dead center based on the plot. Not conclusive, but needs to be checked.

Called for the cert once already today.  They weren’t in yet.  About to call again.

Still don’t have a definitive answer from my former employer about the other stone.  I’ll have all the answers soon for you.  Sit tight!


Update: they didn’t have a scan, so in the meantime they faxed me a copy. I’ll scan it and email it to you in a bit. I’m writing to you now from my blackberry as I give my baby a bath before bedtime 🙂


Update:  The fax was really poor quality. So I called them back and asked them to scan it.  The secretary then passed me to the boss and he told me that the SI1 is not a nice SI1.  He said if you study it carefully you can definitely see the SI1 with your naked eye.

So lets move on to the other option.  The one owned by my former employer.  I’m still waiting their answer.  I hope they’ll be able to give it to me tomorrow.

I’ll be in touch.



Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I found this stone which was priced ridiculously cheap.  It’s a J with Medium Blue, so it will face up like an I color.  It’s priced at -36% back, where most of the J SI2 EX cuts are priced at around -25%.

There’s just one downside – the stone is in India.  So I can’t check it, and I don’t have anyone to check it.

The owner says it’s a very nice SI2 and is eye clean.

He says he’ll give you one week to return the stone for a full refund, but for 30 days he said he would need to charge you 3%.

The cost of the stone is 15,411, so your final total including my fee would be 16,952.

I think it’s worth going for.  You just need to time it well that you can have an appraiser look at it for you within that week.

Let me know what you think.



This stone sounds like a good deal. Is this a stone you just found? What are the spec’s? carat weight? If I can see the GIA report, even better a picture, I think I will go for it. As for the return policy, I am having it send to California to my relative to check it for me. This one week does not include the shipping time right? It’ll take 2-3 days to reach California. Can we push for 2 weeks?

The diagram looks pretty clean. You look at these certs everydays and the actual stones. Seems most of the inclusions are concentrated outside of the table. How do you free about it? If we can clarify on the return date, or a possible extension of a week due to delivery time involved, I think this will be a good choice for the price. If they would be so kind to provide picture, we can finalize this sale.

How does this work? I wire money directly to the wholesaler. How can I pursue the return with a wholesaler, outside of the U.S.  Will I be provided an invoice? SInce they operate in India, I am a bit shaky on the business. I can wire the money and not get anything. I am sure you have done this quite a few times. With there be a sales agreement with the wholesaler.. etc? Thanks Ira


In all honesty, you can’t tell what a stone will look like based on the inclusion plot.

I’ll make sure the 7 days doesn’t include shipping time.  There’s almost no chance they’ll be able to take a picture.  I’ve never met a wholesaler who has this service.

Yes, you would wire money directly to the wholesaler, and you would send me the money one of several ways.  I’d prefer it if you could just pop into a bank of america and deposit it directly into my account.

As far as this dealer being trust worthy, you can’t become a member of rapnet unless you’re an upstanding member of the trade.  So just by dint of the fact that they’re on Rapnet, it’s enough to trust that they’ll ship this stone.

As far as the return procedure goes, I’ll have to ask him.  Since there’s very high VAT & Customs in India, I’m assuming he’d have to send you an invoice along so you can send it back to prove that it’s a return of an export and not a new import.

I’ll inquire about these various issues and get back to you asap.


zoomed in on the diagram. There looks to be a big cloud in the center with a smaller one in the table.. I am going to need a picture. Its a big purchase with a foriegn vendor.

The stone, I linked you in Blue nile is one they have on hold for me hence unavailable. Its looks from the Diagram to be extremely clean(perhaps a bad scan).  The price is $22,816. If you can not locate anything on RAPS, this seems to be a good choice. Perhaps we can bypass bluenile on this and can both profit on the diamond. Worst case, you can give an opinion on the stone and you can refer me to the diamond, so you can take a comission from Bluenile.


It wasn’t meant to be!  See email below from the vendor in India.

I have more options better than BN. Don’t give up yet!

Sent from my BlackBerry

From: kunal a nahar
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 12:27:51 +0530
Subject: RE: Inquiry about a stone found on Rapnet

the stone is 80 percent eye clean.





What is 80% eyeclean? So if I had 100% vision, I can see 20% of the inclusion. I am sorry, just a layman joke.

Yea, I rather go thru you, you been a great help and we can both profit.


80% eye clean is 100% BS!



Haha.. copy that. So on to the next stone I guess?



Hey C.  I was away all day today.  I’m going to do another round of calls/inquiries for you tonight.  I’ll get back to you in about 5-6 hours with some more possibilities.


Sorry, VERY long day today.

There’s a stone I hope to take a look at tomorrow.  Either myself or my close friend Yossi (he’s the CEO of www.fancydiamonds.net).  It’s a 3.29 J SI1 with faint fluor.  Right now, they have it priced at 22,800 wholesale.  I know it’s more than what we had thrown around before, but this stone has it all.  It’s BIG.  It’s 9.5mm.  It’s triple EX.  It’s got Faint fluorescence.

There’s a 3.22 JSI1 on BN for 23,648, but it’s got a VG cut grade and strong blue.  And, it’s spread is only 9.34×9.42.

I found one more stone, but am waiting for the final word on its availability.  It’s a 3.10 J SI1 Triple Excellent. Medium Blue.  Wholesale price is 20,925.  This stone also has a great spread.

I hope to have some more concrete results for you tomorrow.


Both these look very promising. I await your final opinion on the stones. I do not mind spending a bit more for higher quality. The price you quote includes your commission as well?



No, sorry I wasn’t clear.  When I wrote “wholesale price” I meant before my commission.



In that case, like the second stone better. But if the first stone is of extreme quality for a SI2, I can spend a bit more.



Both stones I sent are SI1s, not SI2s.


Ok!  It’s been a busy morning.  Here’s the update:



The 2nd stone is in California, so I still haven’t heard from them.

The first stone was sold.

But since I got my friend Yossi involved, he started asking around the diamond bourse today and found two other options.

He has both stones in his office now.  Attached are the certs.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Both are triple excellent ideal makes.

1) The first stone is Strong Blue fluorescence, which is actually a plus for a J color stone.  If you see my articles on Color and Fluorescence, I recommend as such as well.  On occasion a SB stone can look milky or cloudy, so in general when buying online sight unseen I don’t recommend it, but Yossi inspected the stone and said there is no milkiness at all.  He did say that the Fluorescence makes the stone look like an I or even an H.  With the loupe, you can see very small black dots in the table.  He said that from 5-10cm (about 4 inches) if you look very hard you can see them with your naked eye, but beyond that they aren’t visible to the naked eye.  This stone is 19,900 (including my commission).

2) The 2nd stone has no fluorescence.  This stone is completely eye clean.  The SI1 is white and completely invisible to the naked eye.  This stone is 23,950 (including my commission).

Lucky for us, Yossi has a great photography setup in his office (for his website – did you see it yet?).  Attached is a photo of the two stones. The stone on the left is the one with fluorescence.  I don’t think you can see the black inclusions in the pic because he focused at a lower depth in the stone.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I personally think the stone with Fluor. is a much better deal.   It’s a better make.  Most ideal cut aficionados prefer smaller tables (53-57%).  The 2nd stone has a 60% table.  Also, it’s just much better value.  There’s an unfair stigma on Strong Blue stones across the board in the industry, when, in fact, the stigma should only apply to higher color stones (D-G).  It’s very rare that an I/J/K color stone with Strong Blue shows milkiness.  So it’s only because of this misplaced stigma that this stone is so much cheaper.

The only caveat I would have is if you or your fiance-to-be are the type of people who are very fastidious, then seeing the tiny black spots at 4 inches might get on your nerves.  Generally, people use 10-12 inches as the standard for judging eye-cleanliness.   Four inches is very close.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

He can hold the stones for one day, so if you’d like either of them, we’d need you to make a decision soon!  Right now you’ll have a week to return it – not including shipping days. But we’ll try to push for more if you give the go-ahead.

Can we get it down  to 19500? I’ll take it now.. I have to try!

We’ll do it for you.  I’m sharing the profit now with Yossi because he helped me so much, so I’ll tell him we each have to tighten our belts a bit more.





Try to get the wire sent asap.  If it takes a week it’ll be much harder to get another 2 weeks after that for you to be able to return it.

Attached are the instructions.  As we say in the diamond business:  mazal u’vracha.  This means “luck and blessings”.

let me know if you have any questions.  And please send me the address you want the stone shipped to.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
Arrow down
Arrow up
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
Arrow down
Arrow up

Still afraid of getting ripped off?

Before you buy a diamond, get personal buying advice from industry veterans. We'll help you get the best diamond for the money.

Ask your diamond purchase question here

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

DISCLAIMER: We don't use your email for marketing. Period.

Please enter your email address to receive your 25% off coupon code:

Here is your coupon code: GFDSF3GF

Diamond Pro

Diamond Pro

  • Unfortunately, the AI chat we worked so hard training is not helping our readers the way we would like. You deserve the best advice you can get.

    Would you like to contact a human diamond pro? Just fill out this email form and we will answer you ASAP (usually within one day).

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.