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Forevermark Diamonds

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ODBA Discount CodesIf you’ve heard of Forevermark then chances are you are wondering what this new diamond brand is all about. Forevermark is a division within the De Beers family of companies and was initially launched in the US market in October 2011. Today, Forevermark diamonds are sold worldwide through a network of authorized retailers. Should you buy a Forevermark diamond? Let’s find out…

The Forevermark Diamond Promise – Beautiful, Rare and Responsibly Sourced

The Forevermark diamond promise is, “each Forevermark diamond is beautiful, rare and has been responsibly sourced”. If we break down each segment of this statement we can take a closer look and see for ourselves if Forevermark stands up to their promise.

Forevermark diamonds are beautiful. Well, their website says so anyway; “Forevermark diamonds are genuine, untreated and natural, their beauty unleashed by master craftsmen using skill and artistry passed down through generations”. This statement is a little confusing as it leads one to believe that Forevermark’s master craftsmen actually cut/alter the diamond in some way. However, we know that Forevermark diamonds are already cut/polished and supplied by various diamond sources worldwide. The only thing that the master craftsmen actually do is grade the diamonds and inscribe them at the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Antwerp Belgium.

Forevermark also promises that these diamonds are rare as they have said that less than 1% of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond. So, let’s take a look at what we can expect to see in a Forevermark diamond:

  • Cut – ranges from ‘very good’ to ‘excellent’ (according to Forevermark Grading Report)
  • Color – ranges from ‘D’ to ‘L’ including fancy colored diamonds
  • Clarity – ranges from ‘FL’ (flawless) to SI2 (Slightly Included)
  • Grading – each diamond comes with a Forevermark Grading Report

The above range of diamond characteristics is hardly rare. In fact, it pretty much spans the entire spectrum of loose diamonds that are used in most jewelry today. Also, pay attention to Forevermark’s diamond grading. Forevermark does not supply diamond certificates from 3rd party gem labs like GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, or HRD (which are all independently run). They instead provide their own private grading reports. Remember, the point of sending a diamond to a laboratory is to ensure that the diamond has not been treated or enhanced in anyway while confirming the diamond is of natural origins and not synthetic. An additional safe guard is to ensure that the diamond’s cut, color, clarity and carat weigh characteristics are held to the same standard. We already know that GIA and AGS are the most popular gem labs in the USA and have consistent standards by which they grade all diamonds. Generally, a diamond lab report is only reliable if it is from an independent and qualified laboratory. This is because they are able to provide an objective evaluation with a consistent standard. The fact that De Beers grades their own diamonds should be something that every consumer should strongly think about.

As you know cut is the single most determining factor to a diamond’s beauty and brilliance. When Forevermark grades their diamonds as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, what does that really mean? Does this compare to a GIA excellent cut or an AGS ideal cut? There are so many questions pertaining to the standards of Forevermark’s diamond cut, that we cannot be sure what quality the cut really is. All we know for sure is that they make it very difficult to compare and evaluate with other diamonds, which is probably what they were aiming for. If you cannot compare apples to apples, then how do you know if you are getting a fair deal?

And finally, Forevermark promises that each of their diamonds is responsibly sourced. However, there is no specific data that illustrates the life path of a Forevermark diamond. The consumer doesn’t get any official paperwork proving it originated from a specific mine. Therefore, their claim to ethical diamond sourcing is on the same level as any other diamond dealer that adheres to The Kimberley Process (a government, industry and civil initiative to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds).

The Forevermark Inscription

Forevermark by DeBeers

Forevermark by DeBeers inscribes each of their diamonds with a laser inscribed number on the table facet. How is this different from a GIA or AGS graded diamond with the lab report inscribed on the girdle?

One of Forevermark’s major marketing tactics is their Forevermark inscription. This unique number with the Forevermark icon is inscribed onto the table facet of each diamond and is just 1/20th of a micron deep. This inscription cannot be detected by the naked eye, so doesn’t affect the visual beauty of the diamond. However, how necessary is this table facet inscription? Afterall, most diamonds that are sent to independent gem labs like GIA or AGS and have the lab report inscribed onto the girdle of the diamond anyway.

Forevermark – The Good And The Bad…

Forevermark has collaborated with some of the most innovative and creative jewelry designers in order to offer Forevermark unique jewelry settings and engagement rings exclusive to them only. So, if you like one of their rings, you can only get them from Forevermark! This is a good thing (for them anyway).

One very bad thing is that Forevermark diamonds are not sold online. You can only purchase them at authorized brick and mortar retail stores (Neiman Marcus, Rogers Jewelery Co, and Ben Bridge for example). This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For those of you that like to look and feel a piece of jewelry before you purchase, then of course going to the store makes perfect sense. But, do keep in mind that the lower costs normally associated with purchases online are not found with Forevermark diamonds. This is because to maintain an actual store-front, retailers have to pay rent, wages, electricity, etc. You don’t have all these expenses when you are working with a strictly online diamond vendor. That is why diamonds sold online are much cheaper than diamonds bought in a store.

One more not so good thing,…De Beers believes that they can charge more for their Forevermark diamonds and jewelry because of three main reasons; the power behind their brand, their unique table facet inscription technology, and accessibility. You see, De Beers is banking on their brand name to lure consumers in and then impress them with their unique Forevermark inscription. Are you sold?

Since Forevermark is sold only at select retail stores, price comparison is difficult. However, Benbride.com does list Forevermark engagement ring prices online. Here are a few examples:

Forevermark Prices listed at benbridge.com

At first glance you wouldn’t think that anything was wrong with these prices,  however there is no information given about the color, clarity, or cut grade for each diamond above. If you were to go to Ben Bridge’s website, you’d notice that there is no specific information on any of these individual diamonds. This is perhaps the biggest problem with big name brands with big price tags. You aren’t being told the whole story on purpose. Their aim is to get you in the store so that they can tell you their best marketing lines to purchase a branded diamond at premium prices. Don’t forget, they will also try to sell you what is left in their personal inventory, rather than helping you find a diamond that fits your personal requirements.

Final Thoughts

Should you buy a Forevermark diamond? Well, it really comes down to branding and price mark-up. Forevermark may indeed offer some ideal cut diamonds set in beautiful engagement ring settings but there is definitely a cost premium to them. If you aren’t interested in paying for a name, then I would strongly advise looking at other online vendors that specialize in top cut quality diamonds for a fraction of the price. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

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