Transcript: The Cost of Bling

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This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 29, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Remember that six-karat pink diamond that Ben Affleck bought for J-Lo? I remember that thing. That thing was huge.

Well, my next guest sold it to him. So, when it comes to jewelry, Jim Haag is the go-to guy. He's the managing director of Jacob & Company.

You're the man on this.


CAVUTO: Good to see you.

HAAG: You, too.

CAVUTO: What's going on? These prices, all of a sudden, have ballooned. What's happened?

HAAG: It seems that way right now.

But, if you look back to the beginning of the '90s, there were very few diamond price increases during the '90s. So, if you would look over time, you would see small increases, maybe just about keeping pace with inflation. But, basically, the market's catching up to where it was. I mean, you have seen, I think, in the last year, maybe two years, four price increases — small for diamonds.

But it's catching up. And, over time, it's barely keeping pace with inflation.

CAVUTO: All right. But, all of a sudden, it has picked up a pace of its own. Do you see that continuing?

HAAG: I think, for the foreseeable future, you do, a little bit. But I don't think those costs are necessarily passed along to the consumer.

CAVUTO: I know you help the stars get all this fancy stuff. Who has really stood out, in your mind? Are you allowed to say?

HAAG: As far as stars go?


HAAG: You know, stars, by their very nature, are unique people. You mentioned Ben Affleck before — a great guy, unique person. They all are.

CAVUTO: But they seek you out. What do they want when they seek you out? Besides your expertise.

HAAG: I'll tell you what they want. They want trust. Stars want someone they can trust who won't talk, who they can go to. They don't have to shop around.

CAVUTO: But they also want to make a statement, right? They want a ring that's like a planetary system, right?

HAAG: Some do.

CAVUTO: Right.

HAAG: Some want to make statements. Some want to be really quiet about it.

CAVUTO: Have you ever met a star who is just cheap?

HAAG: No, I haven't.

CAVUTO: Really?

HAAG: Honestly, I have not. And I have very rarely met a star who was not a really great person.

CAVUTO: Really? That's interesting.

HAAG: I mean, very, very few people.

The stars, when they come to you, they respect you. They respect the value of what you are selling. And they really look at you, and they say, I'm putting my trust in you. Tell me what I should buy. And you tell me and I will believe you, as long as everything — as I always find out that what you are selling me is what you say it is, and I'm getting the value I should get, then you're my guy.

CAVUTO: Well, that's understood. You're an institution.

HAAG: Yes.

CAVUTO: But the thing I'm curious about, Jim, is that when they do get something, whether it's like Ben or something, is the size, the expense the big deal, that they know they're going to be written about, anyway, so they have got to keep that in mind?

HAAG: You know, the size and the expense usually isn't the big deal.

The big deal is the emotion. All the sudden, they're thrown into an emotional relationship. You know, these people lead very fast lives. And they're very in the public.

So, all the sudden, they have this amazing romance. They're really trying to keep it quiet, most of them, as Ben tried to do when he bought the pink diamond ring. He tried to keep it quiet for a very long time.

CAVUTO: He did not try to keep that quiet.

HAAG: There were months and months.

CAVUTO: He knew, as soon as the ring was on, everyone — the whole world — would know...


HAAG: No, but it wasn't. See, you didn't know that. You don't know when he really bought that ring.


HAAG: It was months and months that we were very, very quiet about it.

CAVUTO: So, the average American who is looking at costume jewelry, you're just saying, oh, please.

HAAG: How many people today can stand the media scrutiny? You read the magazines. I mean, how many people can be out there and keep anything quiet? But people try to keep it quiet as long as they can.

CAVUTO: Jim Haag, thank you very much. He's managing director at Jacob & Company — a pretty storied life.

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