Manmade Melee, and Russian “SmallS”
An exclusive interview with David Grunberger, Grunberger Diamonds
Grunberger talks about Melee, and Russia
Roskin Gem News Report
We wanted to talk to David Grunberger of Grunberger Diamonds to find out if manmade melee is competing with the natural mined diamond market. We also talked about the ban on Russian diamonds and how it is affecting the small goods sector.
Grunberger Diamonds: A Legacy Of Ideal Cut Diamonds
If you are unfamiliar with Grunberger diamonds, now is your chance to get familiar.
Grunberger specializes in small diamonds. Very small diamonds. While they carry larger than 0.15 ct., their specialty is concentrated in 0.15 ct. and smaller. As David says, “15 pointers down to 600 per carat.” That’s 600 stones per carat… or 0.0016 ct. each – roughly 1/6 of a point! And Ideal cut!
It is hard to imagine such small diamonds being cut to such precision, but once you see it, you never forget it.
Let’s talk about Russia
Adhering to the ban on Russian diamonds is honorable. “We are definitely not buying Russian goods,” says Grunberger. “However, the ban on Russian rough will affect the availability of smaller sizes. The Russians have the biggest stockpiles of better colors in small rough.”
And since there is no Russian rough coming into the market, rough prices will be unpredictable.
Price increases for rough started during covid, and then again when the war against Ukraine began. “Rough prices are stable now for the moment,” says Grunberger, “but rough is still priced higher than it should be, when compared to polish prices.”
Time for Manmade Diamonds to squeeze in?
So, if you are having trouble getting enough natural rough because of the Russian ban, does this then give an opportunity for synthetic rough to enter the market? Let’s see if this makes economic sense.
Gruinberger suggests that labor cost, being a large part of the total cost, discourages the production of small manmade melee.
“It only pays to do manmade smalls if you can go VS and better because the labor cost is the same.”
Grunberger gets specific. “While the percentage for labor cost increases as the stone gets smaller, the profit margin shrinks. This means that manmade small diamonds have less of a competitive advantage than natural small diamonds.”
The Edge for Cutting Ideal
Grunberger is known for their “make,” cutting to ideal cut proportions with hearts & arrows. As Grunberger says, “Here at Grunberger Diamonds, the four Cs are Cut, Cut, Cut, and Cut.”
The homogeneity in their cut makes the Grunberger melee so much easier to set, especially true for pavé work and CAD design. Consequently, Grunberger sells to high-end designers and brand names that value this competitive advantage. But he also sells to the up-and-coming designers, as well as traditional jewelry manufacturers that value precision and who are looking for that maximum bling.
Testing just to Make Certain
When a production of finished goods comes in, Grunberger diamonds immediately screens all stones to make certain all are natural. As their slogan says, “All natural. All the time.”
“Our company is a closed circuit – no middlemen. We buy our own rough, mostly Canadian. We test it all for natural and manmade. We ship the rough to our own diamond manufacturing facility in Vietnam to be cut and polished, cut to ideal proportions, hearts and arrows. Once polished they are then tested in our main Antwerp office, and then distributed to our sales offices worldwide.”
In the New York office, they do testing, but on a smaller scale. “If we send a parcel to one of our clients, and they use 9 out of 10 carats and then send us back one carat, we should test it just to be safe – to make sure there were no accidents.”
To Manmade or Not to Manmade
Grunberger knows that there is a market out there for both natural and manmade diamond, but they have chosen to stay true to their business. Grunberger carries only natural goods.
For more information on Grunberger Diamonds, log onto the website here.