Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Finding a Diamond Mine in your Own Backyard

Name of your company and URL?

Our company is called Truth About Diamonds and you can find us at www.TruthAboutDiamonds.com

Date started?

We launched in August 2009

What is your product or service?

We educate prospective diamond buyers (usually guys about to get engaged) on how to get the best value for their purchase. We are a team of ex-diamond buyers and salesmen who now use our knowledge to help the everyman. The advice is free to the consumer.

Our business model is very similar to the Travel Agency business. We make commissions from the stores to which we refer clients. We are able to maintain our objectivity because there are a handful of hand-picked vendors that we work with. Each vendor has its strengths and weaknesses, so we are able to match each customer with the specific vendor that best suits him.

Why did you start your company?

It always bothered me that I worked for an industry that was created to convince people that something that isn’t essentially very valuable has an extremely high value – and you need to buy it. The whole institution of the Engagement Ring is only about a hundred years old – it was created by a conglomerate of diamond miners in South Africa known more commonly throughout the world as DeBeers. Unfortunately, they were so successful that it’s almost unheard of to get engaged in today’s world without giving an engagement ring.

That being the case, I wanted to at the very least help people to spend the bare minimum needed to end up with a beautiful looking stone. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of men buying diamonds for engagement rings overspend needlessly.

The reason most people overspend on diamonds is that they’ve bought into the idea that diamonds are a sound investment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Think about it – if you wanted to invest in gold as a commodity, would you buy a fixed weight of gold at the spot price (plus, perhaps, a fee or small commission for the trade), or would you go to a jewelry store and buy a necklace that probably carries a markup of %50? Obviously, you’d buy the block of gold because you could sell it a minute later and the loss would be minimal, if not even a lucky gain. But if you tried to sell the necklace right away, you’d be stuck with at least a 50% loss!

Finding a Diamond Mine in your Own BackyardDiamonds work the same way. Regular consumers don’t have access to true wholesale prices. Even if you go to a small local “wholesaler” (in quotes, because they’re almost always not really wholesalers), you’re still paying someone a profit margin (at least 10%). Only true diamond dealers that have access to the price at the first rung of the supply chain can really claim to have any chance successfully investing in diamonds.

Once people are secure in the false notion that a diamond is a great investment, they’re usually less bothered by the fact that they’re spending extra money on features they can’t visibly appreciate at all. The most common mistake is buying a diamond with a clarity grade that’s so high, the inclusion can only be seen with a microscope.

Just to review, the highest clarity grade is, of course, “Flawless.” Then comes “VVS” (Very Very Small Inclusions), then “VS” (Very Small), then “SI” (Small Inclusions), and finally I (Included). A VVS is so tiny that it’s only just barely visible using 100x magnification! A VS is only just barely visible using a 10x powered jeweler’s loupe. The best value is to be found with the SI clarity grade. These are usually totally clean to the naked eye, but not always. That’s where Truth About Diamonds comes in – we help the diamond consumer find the best SI clarity diamonds that offer great value, but are still completely clean to the naked eye. An eye clean SI clarity diamond will look identical to a flawless diamond, assuming all else is equal. Clarity doesn’t effect brilliance at all. But again, assuming all else is equal, an SI clarity diamond can easily be 1/3rd of the price of a flawless diamond!

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Wow, there are so many! Our website is based on the free open source blogging suite known as WordPress. We use Google Apps for Organizations to handle our email, contact, and calendar management. We use Google Analytics to track our website’s traffic. We use CloudFlare to help us boost our page load speeds. And of course, we use all the various social networking tools, too.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ?

Yes, we have a very active Facebook page with currently over 40,000 fans! The URL is here: http://www.facebook.com/DiamondCoach

We actually offer a monthly diamond jewelry giveaway run through our Facebok page.

We also use twitter, although much more sparingly. The URL is here: http://www.twitter.com/diamond_truths/

How many people are currently working, including employees?

We now have 4 people working on the site.

What is the best advice you never got?

Be patient and don’t be afraid to fail and learn from your mistakes!

What is the one thing that you did right?

Almost accidentally, I managed to secure a domain for my new website that already had relevant content history which allowed me to rank well in Google almost immediately.

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