Tricks and Scams to Avoid When Buying a Diamond or Engagement Ring
So you’re ready to start shopping for a diamond engagement ring? Congratulations! But how can you be sure that you’re dealing with a reputable diamond dealer or jewelry store?
Unfortunately, most people do not have the opportunity to sit with a jeweler who truly understands the nuances involved in the selection of a beautiful diamond and properly-crafted engagement ring. Not only can working with the wrong store result in the selection of an inferior diamond, it also can leave you open to being taken advantage of by someone just trying to make a quick sale.
The purpose of this article is to inform consumers of the most common ‘tricks and scams’ that buyers encounter while shopping for a diamond ring. We’ve discussed this topic when potential buyers mention they have found a seemingly ‘great deal on a diamond,’ but feel we need to shed light on this information for the general public as well. Here are a few things to lookout for as you go through the process of selecting a diamond engagement ring:
- We often hear stories about jewelers telling potential customers that the grade of a stone is higher than it actually is on the certificate or that a diamond is a GIA certified diamond when it really isn’t. Inevitably, when asked to produce this stone for the quoted value, the store is unable to do so because ‘it has been sold’ or another excuse is made. Know exactly what you are being quoted on.
- Some stores use special lighting in an attempt to deceive clients by making diamonds appear whiter than they actually are. Ask to see each diamond you are considering in a variety of lighting environments, both inside and outside of the office. We often see two diamonds that look the same on paper (even on GIA certificates as pictured above) but have vastly different values. There is always a reason. Talking to a professional in the industry can help explain the reason behind these differences.
- Clarity enhanced diamonds are diamonds that have been altered to try and improve their clarity grade or appearance. Fractured Filled and Laser-Drilled diamonds can easily be slipped past a novice eye and these treatments dramatically decrease the value of a diamond. GIA does not certify Fractured Filled diamonds and Laser Drilled will be listed on the Key to Symbols on the certificate. Make sure to ask if any non-certified diamonds you are considering are treated and if they are the prices should be adjusted significantly.
- Beware of ring tags that only offer the Total Carat Weight instead of the different weights for the center diamond and other stones in the setting. Consider this a red flag if these weights are not clearly laid out or explained. Also, if a tag displays the total diamond weight as a fraction, ask for the exact weights of the center diamond and side stones.
- Inclusions in a diamond can sometimes be hidden underneath one of the prongs if the stone is set in a mounting. Although this may be acceptable if they are delicate, white inclusions that can’t be seen with the naked eye, it is good to ask so you know exactly what you are buying.
- Many retailers sell off make goods that are improperly cut for weight. Most of the time you end up with a small table and too much weight underneath. Conversely, there is a new craze where retailers sell diamonds with large tables (to appear bigger than they are) and almost no weight underneath. Both result in lifeless and dull diamonds with no brilliance of fire.
We believe that the selection of your diamond and engagement ring should be a pleasurable and rewarding process. From start to finish, you should feel that you’re being handled with integrity.
One of the many areas in which we differentiate ourselves from regular retail jewelry stores is in how we educate our prospective customers. We believe that it is important for people to gain knowledge in as many aspects of selecting a truly beautiful diamond as they wish.
With over 30 years of experience in the diamond industry, Ascot knows diamonds. We are here to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of and we always select the finest examples of each diamond grade for our clients to choose from. Every diamond is as unique as a finger print so finding a true professional in the business is crucial when you are purchasing something that will be worn and cherished for a lifetime.