My last post warned against the many phony discounts presented to the public day in and day out. It was followed up with an article from the New York Post.
How can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of unethical pricing? The most surefire way is to buy your jewelry from me. My many friends have enjoyed the ease of buying jewelry, or having their jewelry repaired, knowing they are truly receiving a great value for their money. This is how I do it.
When buying a diamond, be prepared! Know what you are looking for and the price range you want. Of course, we all want the lowest price possible. Unfortunately, with the lowest price comes the lowest quality. Know the diamond. Compare, in person, several diamonds of similar weight and grade. YOU need to be the judge and determine if any paperwork associated with the diamond is accurate. This requires you to use a binocular gem scope set to 10 power magnification. You need to look at each diamond not just for the clarity, but also the color. A more difficult determination is how well the diamond is cut, or proportioned. The cut, not shape, of the diamond has the greatest effect on the cost of the diamond. A well cut, or Ideal cut diamond will cost considerably more than an off-cut diamond, resulting in higher brilliance and sparkle. And, don’t just buy a diamond because a piece of paper indicates the diamond is “Ideal” cut. When you compare, side by side, two diamonds of similar weight and color, you will see a dramatic difference between a true Ideal, or Excellent cut diamond to the off-cut diamond.
The color of the diamond can better be seen when placed against a very white piece of paper. The highest color grade diamond will show no color difference between the diamond and the piece of paper. A little color may be acceptable. Again, when possible, compare two diamonds next to each other. If both diamonds are presented as the same color grade, but you can see a difference between the diamonds, you need to look further into the difference and ask why. The whiter diamond will cost more.
With magnification, examine the diamond, up close and personal. Make sure the diamond is really clean of dust, dirt or finger prints. A diamond that has fewer internal characteristics may cost more. A diamond with eye visible characteristics, or inclusions, will cost less. Be cautious of the term, “eye-clean.” You are paying for the diamond and are entitled to fully understand what you are receiving for your money. What’s a diamond look like inside? Here are two pictures. The top diamond is more included and therefore with a lower price. The bottom diamond is much cleaner, allowing the light to flow through the diamond more easily to create more sparkle.
You can get a lower price for a diamond that’s just outside some of the standard weight diamonds such as 1.00 carats. Each diamond should be presented with the actual weight such as 1.00 carats, and not as a one carat diamond. There are companies using ranges for a one carat diamond from 0.95 up to 1.04 carats. Be sure you know exactly what your diamond weighs to receive the correct cost for your diamond.
I’ve written about some of the many companies grading diamonds and how the papers may not be an accurate representation of the diamond. You need to look at the diamond and make your own determination of the quality of the diamond based on what you’ve see.
Here’s a note I received from a diamond vendor who was trying, unsuccessfully, to get my business. “Unfortunately, that’s how EGL operates…. I’m sure the GIA stones cost more… When showing both GIA and EGL stones, it should be a dollar to dollar comparison, not Cert to Cert. The grading is always stricter with GIA, while EGL grading is more generous. A 1 ct GIA RB GSI1 will cost much more than a 1 ct EGL RB GSI1. The EGL GSI1 will be equivalent to a GIA HSI1 or SI2 (at best). That’s why it cost less. When comparing a $3000 GIA stone to a $3000 EGL stone, you will see that there isn’t a difference in the quality of stone. They might have different grading but in the end, you get what you pay for.
Ie. Send an uncerted stone to GIA and say it comes back GSI1. Send the same stone to EGL and it will come back Fvs2. It doesn’t mean the stone is worse, it’s the same stone.”
As I said at the outset of this message, the best way to know you are receiving a fair price and value for you money when you buy a diamond is to buy from me. If I disagree with the paper, I’ll tell you. Then, it’s up to you to say, “YES!!!”