You 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