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Archive for October 20th, 2006

Buy Genuine Diamonds Part Three

Friday, October 20th, 2006

buy genuine diamonds part threeThis is part three of Buy Genuine Diamonds

Another thing to watch for is altering the grading of diamonds on certificates. This is most rare as certificates from gemological laboratories are usually laminated to prevent such activities. Check the edges of a laminated certificate. If the edges look like they have been tampered with then walk away and do not buy that diamond as it is quite possibly lower grade than stated on the certificate.

Fake certificates are also obtainable. These come from “similar” sounding names to existing laboratories but are actually fake and the laboratory does not really exist.
An “official” local gemologist certificate is most likely owned by the jewelery store you are thinking about purchasing from and so is hardly likely to give an impartial assessment of the stone.

Don’t accept certificates from labs with familiar-sounding names like “Gemological Institutions of America” (instead of Gemological Institute of America), or “American Gemological Services” (instead of American Gemological Society). If it is not from the true GIA, AGS or EGL gem labs as described on other pages of this site, don’t believe it.

Check the yellow pages in your country to find the real gemological laboratories in your country.

That is not to say that the smaller jewelers are not selling the genuine article. Just that you have no way of verifying that without a proper certificate.

Sometimes a dealer will ask you to leave a deposit while you take the diamond for an appraisal elsewhere. This is fine provided that you get a written guarantee that the deposit is refundable if the appraisal does not satisfy you and you return the diamond. If this is refused. Leave the shop.

Also ensure that the exact measurements of the diamond are written down also including the weight, color and clarity on the agreement form.

Always compare prices yourself. Do not accept the compare price charts and list prices of the dealers. These are couched in such a way as to make their diamonds look cheaper. In fact genuine diamonds are all very much the same price. The only way a dealer can offer you a ‘cheap’ diamond is they are disguising the quality of the diamond and it is less than you are told.

Three other points to watch for, although not very common these days.

Make sure it is a genuine diamond and not a moissanite. Again a proper genuine certificate describing the diamond will help here.

Some diamonds have a fracture and this is filled by melting a type of crystal into the surface fractures of a diamond. This is fine but this should be stated at the time of sale and the price reduced accordingly. Be aware also that many laboratories will not give a certificate for fracture filled diamonds

Lastly there is the situation where a diamond might be “painted” or chemically coated. This is a deceptive practice and involves just a tiny spot of purple or blue pain on the lowest tip of the diamond, also called the culet. Unless you look real close you my not detect it. It makes an inferior diamond look more like and expensive diamond so is something to watch for.

A way of detecting this is to ask for the diamond to be ultrasonically washed in front of you. If the dealer refuses. Its bye bye dealer.

The above are just a few points to watch for when buying genuine diamonds. There is no substitute for doing due diligence and understanding all about diamonds and the price of diamonds and their value.

This way you can be sure you are buying genuine diamonds!

This is the last of a three part series on Buy Genuine Diamonds

Buy Genuine Diamonds Part Two

Friday, October 20th, 2006

buy genuine diamonds part twoThere is something called the Fraction System. Here you need to be careful also and make sure you are getting exactly what you are paying for.

You look at a diamond and the tag states it is a 3/4 carat diamond. Looks fine and the price seems right. However the FTC allows jewelers to “round off” diamond weights and guess in what direction they round them off!

A diamond labeled as a 3/4 carat weight diamond may actually weigh anywhere between .69 and .81 carats. This can be a lot of money as,apart from anything else, the price of a diamond leaps up exponentially with the increase in weight. For example you might buy a diamond that has been ’rounded down’ to .69 carats when it is advertised as .75 carats (3/4 carat). If a diamond of G/VS2 is worth about 2,100 dollars but you bought a diamond you thought was .75 carats and paid 3000 dollars you will have lost 900 dollars. Imagine your surprise when you come to get the stone valued at some date in the future!

You need to get in writing the exact weight of the center diamond and if they profess being unable to do so then I suggest you leave the store and go elsewhere.

Many dealers will give an in house appraisal of a diamond they are selling. You don’t hire a fox to guard the hen house and you don’t expect to get an appraisal in your favor from the dealer selling, you a diamond. In all cases you should get an appraisal from an independent gemologist or appraiser.

Some diamonds have flaws and you should ask a jeweler to take a diamond out of a setting to show you the underside or the area when the prongs hold the diamond in place as that will be where any flaws are present. You might consider a small flaw does not matter but it does when it comes to the value and the price of the diamond. Diamonds in rings sometimes turn and that sudden black spot you notice is not new but was previously hidden by the Claws or prongs.

For Part 3 go to Buy Genuine Diamonds - Part 3

Buy Genuine Diamonds Part One

Friday, October 20th, 2006

buy genuine diamonds part oneYou don’t need to know ALL about diamonds in order to ensure you are buying genuine diamonds and not fakes.

However, there are some diamond scams or cheats that occur sometimes and it is best to be aware of them.

There is no substitute for educating yourself about diamonds and understanding how they are graded and what the most common ways of tricking consumers into buying poor quality diamonds art a high price or even fake diamonds sold as real.

Here is a list of the areas to look out for.

Sometimes a jeweler will tell you that the diamond you are looking for is a, “This is a blue-white diamond.” This might sound nice but it is an old term and not used much these days. The term blue-white refers to the fluorescence that results in natural light, which contains ultraviolet wavelengths. Blue fluorescence can actually makes a colorless diamond look a little oily or milky in sunlight and decreases its value. With stones that have a faint yellow color, a moderate amount of fluorescence will make it look whiter as it will cancel some of the yellow.

So ignore the term blue-white when used by a jeweler. It is said to impress and does not necessarily describe a good quality stone.

Jewelers often list total carat weight of a ring and not the center stone separately. This can be a problem as the center stone is generally of a higher quality than the surrounding smaller stones. If the carat weight of the center stone is proportionately less than the additional smaller stones which are often of a lower quality. This can mean the value of the center stone is less than implied and this can make a difference a thousand dollars or more.

In addition you cannot properly compare the carat price of a diamond in a ring with another diamond in another ring this was as you don’t know the actual carat weight of the diamond. This can be crucial as a larger diamond of the same weight as the total weight of 6 smaller ones say is proportionately worth much more. The value of a one carat diamond is worth much more than the total weight of 6 smaller diamond of the same quality.

For instance, if you have one G/VS2 diamond weighing 1.00 carat, it might be worth about $5,500. But 10 smaller G/VS2 diamonds totaling 1.00 carats might only be worth about $1,800.

Smaller stones are also usually of poorer quality as it is the bigger stone people look at and rarely do people consider the smaller stones in a ring.

The way to over come this is to ask for the weight of the center stone in writing. If the jeweler will not give it, go elsewhere.

Discounts and sales.

In a nutshell if a jeweler can sell a diamond at half price then he has marked it up far too high in the first place. It usually means that the actual value of the diamonds for sale are much lower than even the sale price and therefore the quality is also.

Ask to see a certificate from an independent gemological laboratory and see what the jeweler says. If he says, “huh?” or “it is not needed for this particular diamond”, go elsewhere.

You get what you pay for and if you pay for cheap diamonds you will get exactly that.

If you go to a store to buy a specific diamond you have seen advertised and are then told when you get there that, “That diamond has been sold but here is a great one.” Don’t buy. This is called the Bait-and-Switch and quite common in many stores. It is illegal but difficult to monitor and so many stores will get away with it.

Do you notice that all jewelery stores have heaps of white light? This is to show of the diamonds in the best possible manner. This is fair enough, every jeweler wants to show off his wares in the best possible light. But some go a little further. Some light bulbs have strong ultras violet wavelengths and these tend to make most diamond fluoresce blue. Of course this is artificial and the easy answer to this is to take the diamond outside in natural light and look at it there. Then you will see the true color of the diamond.

Again, always ask for a certificate from an independent laboratory and if the jeweler will not supply one, then goodbye jeweler.

Another reason for getting a proper certificate is that some jewelers engage in the popular art of grade bumping. Here they will state that the diamond is of a higher grade than it actually is. This can make a difference of a thousand dollars or so to the price of a diamond.

In part two of Buy Genuine Diamonds there are more points to watch for when you venture forth to buy that diamond you have always been wishing for.

For Part 2 go to Buy Genuine Diamonds - Part 2

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