How Ada Diamonds Is Different
How Ada Diamonds is Different
An Interview with the Founder
Lindsay Reinsmith is co-Founder and Director of Sales at Ada Diamonds
Q. Why did you found Ada Diamonds with your husband?
A. When Jason and I got engaged in 2011, we were early adopters of lab diamonds and knew we wanted to use them in my ring. We had a hard time sourcing lab diamonds and getting the rings created. When the diamond growing technology had advanced significantly by 2015, I wanted to make another piece of custom jewelry using lab diamonds. Again, access to the diamonds was limited and the process frustrating. So we set out to create the company we wish had existed all along: an online custom jeweler selling exclusively lab grown diamonds.
Q. What is “commitment to excellence” and why is it so important?
A. Our commitment to excellence is central to our corporate culture and critical to our client-focused model. Every diamond we curate, every design we create, every client engagement we service are all treated with the highest levels of integrity. We are not satisfied with the status quo, and we strive to provide a five star experience to every client. Simply put, we treat our clients the way we would want to be treated.
Q. What is the one thing you wish clients knew about lab diamonds?
A. Lab diamonds are powering the future of humanity. There’s a widely held belief that all lab diamonds are perfect and flawless. Those that are perfect are used for a wide range of high tech use cases like laser lenses, surgical knives, and high pressure anvils. Lab diamonds with even the smallest imperfections are not good enough for high tech uses, but they serve a role in the gemstone market. When you buy a lab diamond ring, your money is directly funding the research, development, and advancement of modern computing, telecommunication, medicine, and space exploration.
Q. How can similar lab diamonds be priced so differently, especially from web site to web site?
A. Just like mined diamonds, lab diamonds are priced based on their quality characteristics, notably carat, color, and clarity. When clients reference a “similar” diamond, it’s important to note that all diamonds are unique snowflakes that vary in price significantly, even within one grade. For example, a 3 carat D color round may vary by $10,000 between a VS1 and VS2, even though those are considered “similar” diamonds.
Q. What about other web sites that offer lab diamonds for lower prices?
A. We know that other public listing sites operate on very low margins, which is why they are able to offer low prices. However, low margins mean low quality service and low quality jewelry. It means cutting corners everywhere you can, often times not even inspecting the diamond before sale, using cheap metal castings, and utilizing low cost labor overseas. It means focusing on quantity, not quality. It is simply not possible to offer our level of client level service, peace of mind, and luxury quality jewelry (all made in the USA) at such low prices. Public listing sites will take advantage of your lack of gemological knowledge and will sell you any diamond available, regardless of quality or value. One of my Sales Managers recently remarked that when she used to work at a competitor, she would often sell lab diamonds completely sight unseen to the public. Knowing what she knows now, she would never do that again.
Q. Why does curation matter?
A. There are criteria beyond the 4 C’s that our Concierges use to determine the best lab diamonds for your price range. Sifting through a large database of diamonds with wildly different prices is a suboptimal buying experience, especially for someone with no gemological training. With curation, our clients have the peace of mind that they are making the right choice because a trained eye that they trust has examined their diamond before their purchase. We supplement our curation with hours of inspection and media. Our staff has inspected more lab diamonds on the market than any other retail sales team. We appreciate quality and know it when we see it.
Q. What is some advice you have for a first time diamond buyer?
A. Don’t extend your search unnecessarily for the right diamond. Often times we meet clients who want to feel like they’ve exhausted all of their options before moving forward with a diamond. There is a fear of “missing out” on the perfect stone if you end your search too quickly. But in a supply-constrained environment, there may not be additional quality options to consider. You should trust that you are purchasing a rare and unique product and that your Concierge is only showing you diamonds worth considering.
Q. Why does Ada Diamonds only sell H and better in color?
A. Here at Ada, we’re proud diamond snobs and value quality over quantity. We specialize in high color and high clarity because we believe that is where lab diamonds shine brightest. Most clients choose to work with Ada in order to achieve a higher quality, larger lab diamond over a mined diamond for the same investment.
Q. Why should someone choose a custom ring?
A. Most mass-produced settings on the market have three main problems: they are made with the cheapest materials possible, they are often made for a “range” of center stone sizes and may not be structurally sound, and they often feature mined diamond accent (melee) stones. The best way to guarantee a one-of-a-kind ring that is made to last a lifetime is with a custom setting.
Q. Can setting quality really vary that much company to company?
A. I recently had the opportunity to examine a competitor’s setting with my own two eyes. This particular competitor is an online discount retailer also located in San Francisco. I was genuinely shocked with how terrible the quality of the ring was. One of the prongs was already loose (after only 7 days!), the stone was set crooked, the prongs were uneven and gigantic, the band tapered awkwardly and the finish uneven and uncomfortable. How could anyone with a sense of excellence have allowed that setting to pass quality control?? There is a level of artistry that goes into properly setting an engagement ring, even something as simple as a four prong solitaire. It is that subjective, indelible quality that you know only when you see it. The reality is, most jewelers just don’t care about quality. To them, you are just another customer, another number. But here at Ada, that is never the case. We are unapologetic in our high standards, and damn proud of it!
Q. What is your favorite part about being Director of Sales at Ada Diamonds?
A. Easily my biggest joy comes from reading our Yelp and Google reviews. For most of our clients, this is the most expensive purchase they’ve ever made. We have the honor of playing a small part in this chapter of their love story. Our clients are often so relieved when they find us and our client-focused model. You can really get a sense for the magnitude that the Diamond Concierge Process had on their experience.
Q. Why does Ada Diamonds have a bridal minimum?
A. Custom jewelry is more expensive to offer than mass-produced jewelry. Jewelry made in the USA is more expensive to offer than jewelry made in Thailand or Mexico. Our level of artistry and quality control requires that we work with clients interested in investing at least $3,500 USD in their bridal piece.
Q. Is there a re-sale market for lab diamonds?
A. Yes! We make financial offers to the public for their independently graded lab diamonds through our Public Purchase Program. We are a supply-constrained industry. If you no longer want or need your lab diamond and it meets our standards, we will happily make you a financial offer. It is worth noting that an engagement ring is just like any other luxury purchase and should not be treated as an “investment” or place to park your money, regardless if you are buying a mined or lab diamond. Because wholesalers have to make a profit re-selling your diamond, you will never be able to re-sell your diamond for what you paid for it at retail.
Q. Where does the name of the company come from?
A. Ada Diamonds is named for Lady Ada Lovelace, affectionately known as the Enchantress of Numbers. Ada Lovelace is often credited with being the world’s first computer programmer. Her vision of "poetic science" inspires us to create pure science, pure diamonds, and pure poetry every day. We are proud to support initiatives in her honor to advance computing and women in STEM such as the Lovelace Medal and Ada Lovelace Day as part of our Sixth Element Program.