DIAMONDS could be an investor's best friend, an expert who sells the precious stones to retail investors said yesterday.
London-based diamond wholesaler and retailer Vashi Dominguez has launched an operation selling the shiny stones in Ireland.
Generally referred to as the TV diamond expert, Mr Dominguez provides expert commentary on a regular basis to the media.
He has been featured on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, Channel 4, ITV, and in newspapers in England including the 'The Financial Times', 'The Guardian', 'The Independent', 'The Telegraph', and 'The Times'.
He said yesterday that investors here would be able to buy the sought-after stones for up to 70pc less than their retail price in jewellers through his website Vashi.ie.
In Dublin with €250,000 worth of stones, Mr Dominguez said the price of three-carat diamonds has risen by 145pc between 1999 and 2011.
Polished diamond prices vary widely depending on a diamond's carat, colour, clarity and cut.
However, in contrast to precious metals, there is no universal world price per gram for diamonds.
Asked about the possibility of consumers being ripped off with synthetic diamonds, Mr Vashi insisted that the diamonds he was selling were fully validated.
He was not involved in the sale of any blood diamonds – stones produced in conflict areas or mined by children.
Mr Dominguez said individual stones could be bought from €5,000 for a one-carat diamond.
He sources the diamonds, which are mainly produced in Canada and Australia.
Diamonds bought on his website are dispatched by courier and insured.
Mr Dominguez is a Spanish entrepreneur and founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Vashi.
Investment experts cautioned that anyone thinking of investing in diamonds needs to seek independent financial advice.
Consumers can also invest in diamonds by buying shares in companies that mine the precious stones and through investment funds.