Smart Jewelry Shopper

How to Buy Jewelry & Gemstones With Confidence


Diamond Buying Mistakes

avoid diamond buying errorsThe wonderful world of diamonds; so wide and varied, so intriguing and exciting; and yet so confounding and mysterious to many others. Buying diamonds is something huge for most people like you and me.

If one does not tread with care, you could be prone to making many mistakes and end up with badly made decisions. A little education and a lot of caution would stand a prospective diamond buyer in good stead.

These are some common diamond buying mistakes you should avoid:

1. Not setting a budget.

How much you are willing to spend should be your starting point for this whole experience. For those that do not set a firm budget, they often find themselves yielding to pressure from sales associates and society. This could lead to increased debt and buyer’s remorse.

2. Not knowing thyself.

Know yourself and your values. Know why you are buying a diamond, your motivation.

3. Buying the first piece you see.

Don’t rush. Haste makes waste. Shop around a little bit and compare diamond prices. Prices tend to differ from retail store to retail store even if you compare 2 diamonds that are exactly the same.

4. Taking too long.

Don’t shop around too much or you could become a victim of information overload and decision fatigue: you will soon start hating the whole experience and might find yourself forced into a purchase you are not feeling comfortable on all levels.

5. A lack of education.

It is not the color and clarity that majorly determines the pricing of the diamonds. The truth is that the largest determinant in diamond pricing is the way it is cut. The color and clarity only set the ranges that usually overlap after the factor of cut is considered. It is the cutting that can account for as much as 50 % price variation.

Also, many people assume that a diamond grading certificate will provide all the required information. Before purchasing diamonds, you need to go further beyond the certificate since the grading alone will not be adequate. For example, the table percentages and depth of a diamond need to be examined as this can help determine if the stone is properly cut and how the diamond will physically look like. The point I am trying to make here is that diamond cutters can cut the stone in a way that makes it appear correct on the certificate even if it is not perfect.

diamond buying mistakes6. Not checking up on the reputation of the seller.

It would be advisable to choose an established seller affiliated with professional trade agencies. A reliable seller will have accreditation from an institute like the Better Business Bureau.

7. Buying when in doubt.

So, you have educated yourself, screened many sellers, done all the groundwork…and still, you don’t feel the inner peace about buying. Many people would still go ahead to buy at this point and yet this is exactly the point at which they must say a loud no. When in doubt, don’t make any purchase decision or you might buy and regret. It is a very simple rule of thumb to applies to anything else in real life.

8. Not walking when you receive slipshod treatment.

If you are on the receiving end of this for any reasons, you should truly walk out of the store. There's no reason for you do business with people who do not treat you with respect.

9. Not asking about the return policy.

There should be a full guarantee of exchange and refund in writing. You should have the option to change your mind even after you buy.

11. Trying to buy a gem on sale.

Exercise some caution here as something fishy could be going on. Sometimes, stores can mark up prices higher than usual and then marked them half-price during a sale. This gives the false impression to the customer that they are getting a product at a great price when they are not.

12. Not insisting on a GIA or AGS grading certificate.

Contrary to popular belief, not all laboratory grading conforms to industry standards. Individual laboratories set their own rules on grading diamonds. Jewelers know this and purposely assign inferior quality diamonds to these lenient labs (EGL & IGI) to obtain higher grades in order to raise the profit margins at the expense of the customer.

My advice to prospective buyers is to read reviews on several grading labs so as to know which ones have good grading and do not inflate the grades. GIA & AGS are the most reliable diamond grading labs in the world. To be sure of the quality of the diamond you are purchasing, stick with these two.

13. Buying from a chain store or blindly from the internet.

diamond buyer bewareAssuming that all diamonds are properly cut is a big mistake. It has been shown by statistics that 95 % of diamonds are not proportionally cut mainly because the diamond cutters want to obtain the highest value from original shape of the rough stone.

Most people usually assume that if they narrow down to a specific color and clarity grading, and then look for the lowest price, they will have the best diamonds. By doing this, you will end up with the worst cut in that color and clarity range. Also, these diamonds may also have some intrinsic shortcomings in the material.

Without proper knowledge, you could end up paying a too high price for an inferior diamond.

14. Not buying a diamond just because you want a large one and cannot afford it.

Balance the 4 C’s and lower your criteria for colour ranges and clarity. If you choose a gem of good cut, SI1-SI2 clarity, and I or J color grade, this could make up for size with added brilliance.

Buying diamonds can be a fun and enjoyable process with proper education.

Being aware of the commonly made mistakes by consumers in diamond buying will give you more confidence in the shopping experience. You should read up on the 4 C’s of choosing a diamond: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Thereafter, decide on the perfect combination of the four C’s that you desire based on what you can afford.

If you are buying a diamond, you might as well buy the best of what you can within the budget you have. All the best in your shopping experience...