While a new luxury car drops in value every year, investment-grade diamonds are forever and should hold a solid place in estate planning, said Carl Blackburn, owner of Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers in La Jolla.
“Investment-grade diamonds can be as small as 1 carat but extremely valuable due to their rarity (such as a natural fancy pink diamond) or they can be larger diamonds over 3 carats, where the rarity is due to the scarcity of these sizes. Investment-grade diamonds may go up 1- to 2-percent per year, depending on size, color and quality.”
Blackburn, in the jewelry business since 1993, said he learned about selling estate and antique jewelry from his father, Charles. Blackburn began by selling everything from a $200 antique ring to a $20,000 signed, estate piece. He later partnered with the owner of San Diego Jewelry buyers before launching his own solo business in 2007.
In July 2013, Blackburn launched a new business service becoming a high-end diamond and Swiss timepiece broker for both sellers and buyers.
“When clients bring large diamonds and high-grade Swiss timepieces to sell, I act as a broker by first appraising their items properly and offering them the best possible price,” Blackburn said. “When they’re looking to acquire a specific item, I provide the same personalized service and can obtain almost anything they’re looking for because of my many contacts and reputation in this industry.”
Blackburn can get credit of up to a half-million dollars on a single item, a key factor for clients seeking a broker with the ability to present them with several large ticket options to choose from. He doesn’t handle jewelry worth less than $5,000, and primarily closes deals on pieces worth $50,000 or more.
“I just recently brokered a 10.5 carat cushion cut diamond worth $150,000,” Blackburn said. “If I obtain someone a Rolex for $5,000 or $10,000, I typically charge 10 percent for that service.
“When you buy a brand new luxury automobile, every mile you put on that car will cost you, but an investment grade diamond that costs you $100,000 keeps going up in value and it’s worth more every year. When you buy estate jewelry, you avoid paying the full retail price of new jewelry. You can spend your money more wisely by buying your family heirlooms in this fashion.”