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Warning: Please read the Disclaimer before proceeding!

Fuego (from Soo Kee Jewellery)

Soo Kee's staff prefer to push their Brilliant Rose Diamonds as compared to their Fuego Diamonds. I can only suspect that it would benefit them more to sell Brilliant Roses (as they are more expensive).

What are Fuego Diamonds?

Fuego Diamonds are Hearts and Arrows diamond that are cut to the AGS Triple Ideal standard. The Soo Kee sales staff told me that Fuego is Soo Kee's own brand and the diamonds are cut in Antwerp.

What we can perhaps get out of a brand, is the store's expertise in diamond picking since Soo Kee did not cut these diamonds themselves. I have mentioned that there are good AGS Triple Ideal Hearts & Arrows diamonds, and there are bad ones. Soo Kee's sales staff seem very convinced that the AGS Triple Ideal is all that is required to ensure quality, which leads me to question their quality. Fortunately, these sales people are not the ones who stock their inventory.

I will leave you to decide on the quality of these stones, but I would advise you to take the cut measurements of the stones you intend to buy, and check if it is indeed ideally cut. Then look at them with the Idealscope/Lightscope. I would be most interested to hear what you have to say about these diamonds if you happen to inspect them. (Drop me an email.)

Pricing

If you have gone through the section on pricing, you would be aware that the fair retail price of a AGS Triple Ideal Hearts & Arrows diamond should be no more than about 110% of Rap (before GST). As I mentioned, shops rarely buy diamonds from wholesalers at prices above the Rap price, so they are making a healthy profit already. As a retail chain with shops in malls with expensive rent, it may be fair for them to charge a little more. I will give you the numbers and let you decide if what they are charging is fair.

Below, I have a chart of Fuego prices in July 2004 (when I shopped for my proposal ring). Notice that the Rap price I use is for mid September 2004 because I cannot get information on June/July Rap prices as I am not in the trade. However, Rap prices rose significantly from July to September. So, the Rap prices for July should be even lower, and the ratio of Soo Kee prices to Rap is even higher.

Also, Soo Kee gave us a 20% discount at the time, so I took that into consideration. You may not get the 20% off all the time.

   
Carat Color Clarity  Price in July   After 20% Disc   Mid Sep Rap   % of Rap 
0.504 E VS1 S$ 8,505.00 S$ 6,804.00  S$ 4,034.02 169%
0.55 F VVS2 S$ 9,448.00 S$ 7,348.44  S$ 4,593.60 160%
0.568 F VS1 S$ 8,948.00 S$ 6,959.56  S$ 4,249.78 164%
0.636 E VS2 S$ 9,968.00 S$ 7,752.89  S$ 4,758.55 163%
0.684 F VS2 S$ 9,728.00 S$ 7,566.22  S$ 4,641.62 163%
 
 
(FX Rate: USD1=SGD1.74. Retail price quoted in July 2004 while Rap price is for Sep 2004 due to availability of information.)
 
     
 

This shows that Fuego Diamonds are priced at least 60% above Rap. Assuming that they buy in their diamonds at exactly Rap prices, the markup for Fuego Diamonds would be in excess of 60%. These are conservative numbers because Rap prices for July were even lower, and a large retail chain like Soo Kee should be able to negotiate for better prices for their inventory. Not to mention that you do not get the 20% discount all the time.

Conclusion

Fuego Diamonds are just AGS Triple Ideal Hearts & Arrows diamonds. You will still need an Idealscope/Lightscope to weed out the poor performers amongst the lot. I have my own opinion of their quality and price. I think the visual quality and the price list above speak for themselves. However, I will leave you to decide on whether the price they charge is fair.

 

Next: Hearts On Fire...