Looking for just the right diamond?
Did you know that there is a way to buy a nice diamond and save $$$$?
We’ve found a simple secret to saving big bucks when it comes to buying diamond jewelry.
And you can do this without compromising on quality. As a matter of fact using this simple technique you can often get a much better quality diamond on top of saving big bucks!
Maybe this is your first time buying a diamond or you’ve already bought diamonds before. If you have bought diamonds before then you will know that a little knowlege goes a long way.
Knowing just a couple of diamond terms will make it easier to choose, and in some cases you will know more than the jewelry store clerk.
Why certain diamonds are sold cheap
You may have passed by a jeweler in your nearest shopping mall and noticed that they always have a sale on. Big bold signs scream out “20% off” or “up to 40%* off”. And that can translate into a nice big sum. But do you ever wonder why they are always on sale? And what conditions apply?
You will find that high quality diamonds maintain high value and therefore will not dip below a very narrow margin if they ever get sold at a discount.
Many jewelry stores may only have staff that have a relatively basic level of knowledge, and may not even be aware of the low quality stones they are offering.
In our survey of jewelry stores we found that few sales clerks could answer enough questions about diamonds to give us a satisfactory amount of information which we would deem crucial for making an informed purchase.
See our page about treated stones (enhanced stones) to see what some manufacturers do to get some use out of inferior rocks.
If you want to know how to buy a diamond and NOT GET RIPPED OFF, read on.
Diamonds are valuable because they are difficult to find, difficult to mine, and they are rare. The more rare, the more valuable. Last year only 750 completely clear, flawless diamonds were found which weighed around the 1 ct mark and slightly above. That is why they are so valuable. If we could dig 120 miles down into the earth at the right places we might find more but even digging 5 miles down is practically impossible in the best of conditions, so 120 miles is out of the question.
When synthetic diamonds were introduced in 1976 some people thought this might spell the end of the diamond trade. However real diamonds held their value and continue to be sought after as highly prized possessions. While synthetic diamonds can make decent pieces of jewelry, we have seen that after more than 35 years they haven’t and will never replace real diamonds because natural diamonds continue to be seen as authentic treasures.
Here are three things which are good to keep in mind:
- If you are buying a diamond it must be accompanied by a grading report. This means it has been examined by a recognized grading lab and has all the details about the diamond’s color, shape, etc, down to the smallest speck, and whether those specks can be seen. This is a very important detail, which will help you choose the best diamond within your budget. If you can’t get a grading report from a diamond seller, then they can tell you pretty much anything and you won’t know whether it is true or not. A grading report will tell you if the stone has been treated in any way.
- Paying by credit card or Paypal gives you better protection if you should ever have difficulty with a refund because credit card issuers offer protection against fraud, as does Paypal. If you have bought a 2 ct diamond and find out it is not 2 ct, you can file a complaint through your credit card company. The companies which are on my list of top 10 diamond jewelry websites give a “No Questions Asked” Money Back Guarantee.
- Keeping the grading report will be a big help in getting your diamond appraised, and will make it easier to sell should you ever wish to sell your diamond.
The big secret to saving $$$
So here is the secret to saving $$$ when buying a diamond: buy from a recommended jeweler.
No matter how much anyone knows about diamonds they can still be “taken for a ride” if the dealer is unscrupulous.
For this reason we have teamed up with the wonderful people at DiamondHelpers TM who have invested an enormous amount of time and effort to put thousands of jewelers through a number of secret shopper tests. See more about this incredible endeavor here.
That list only comprises USA jewelers.
However there’s great news for everyone, overseas and USA shoppers:
You can also save a ship load of money by buying online. The same rule applies when buying online as when you are buying from a local jeweler: buy from recommended jewelers. As I knew that a recommendation from little old me would not suffice, I scoured hundreds of websites to find the best, most highly rated diamond dealers.
I came across a few websites that you would definitely need to avoid, though I didn’t think that linking to disreputable websites was a good idea. I was then inspired me to write this: How To Identify A Fraudulent Website
My goal is not to emphasize the negative, but rather to accentuate the positive.
Why online prices can be soooo good.
Online diamond sellers are at a huge advantage when it comes to pricing because they can offer a huge selection of stones without the huge overhead costs that a retail bricks and mortar store has. The overheads are simply lower. And they can use technology to give you all the information you need to buy your perfect diamond. This is why knowledge is all you need to buy the perfect diamond.
Tip: You can get a bigger diamond for your dollars by choosing one that has a little more coloring in it, like an H, I or J grade. Have it set in yellow gold and its color won’t be as noticeable.
Once you know a few things about the diamond you want you can browse the online stores and buy whichever one you like. The variety is great! And you’ll also be able to find higher quality diamonds when browsing online. So the same money buys you a better diamond! Most retail stores can’t afford to keep very many higher quality diamonds in stock.
So which online stores are the good ones?
That’s exactly what I wanted to know. And here is how I worked it out.
I started with the knowledge that there are 250,000 diamond sellers worldwide. I narrowed down the list of those selling online to the best sites. The first test they had to pass was the customer service test. Not only these companies show a high regard for their customers, they are aware that a single complaint is bad for business. If any company had negative complaints to be found anywhere on the internet, I investigated to discover more about the nature of the complaint. Some of those complaints were made by people placing an order on the 22nd of December, expecting a their diamond to be delivered before Christmas. A complaint such as this, I felt was not being fair to the company, and had to account for that in my assessment.
I also chose companies that give more than the standard 7 day return policy, starting from offering a fairly decent 10 days from when you sign for the package, all the way to a hugely generous 101 days (from dispatch).
Important: always read the return policy. This is particularly important if you are having custom work or engraving done to your ring. Some vendors do allow for engraved rings to be returned, though there may be a re-polishing fee.
What to look for in a diamond that will hold value
The diamond that will have the highest value to start out with will also keep the highest value . Get one with the least inclusions. The top of this scale is an Internally Flawless diamond. Pretty rare and highly valuable. Then comes the VVS1 and VVS2. These are beautiful and right near the top of the range of perfection, just below Internally Flawless. Then there is a VS1 and VS2, still pretty darn good. Then there are the SI and I, these possibly won’t sparkle quite as much and will not be as valuable. The thing that any investment guru tells you is that you make money when you buy an asset below the regular price. So if you are paying retail price for a diamond, and ever need to sell it, you may find it difficult to recoup your investment. I compared diamond rings online with identical ones at retail jewelers and noticed there was a minimum 15% price difference, sometimes up to 25%! So you can take the budget you would have spent at a jewelers, reduce it by 5% to 10% and go to one of the sites I have listed and get a higher grade of diamond.
Retail stores still have the advantage of you being able to see the diamond, try it on, see if it’s for you, and see the diamond sparkle. The online stores know this and this is why they give generous return policies, often mentioning specifically that it is a “No Questions Asked” return policy. Many people have taken advantage of this in order to get the diamond ring or jewelry which is exactly what they want. The online stores know that there is little loyalty on the internet and people can go to another online retailer within seconds, so they are making it easy to buy from them, and make sure you feel like you are getting a good deal, with good service. Try asking for a Diamond Dossier or Grading Report at a jewelers. If you are not faced with a blank stare you might be given some vague reason why you can’t see it. Many of the sites I list show you the diamond grading report while you are browsing for diamonds.
What? Another Secret to saving even more?!
Even though the above information alone can save you a big pile of money, here is another BONUS secret which will save you even more.
Let’s say you are looking for a 1 carat diamond ring.
Since the larger the diamond is the more rare it is, and the more valuable it is. But a one carat diamond is such a nice round number that there is a huge demand for these stones, even though they are so rare. Jump down a few percentage points in size and if you compare the price of a diamond that is 0.96 ct and a diamond that is 1.02 ct you will find that the price difference is 15% to 20%!
One carat diamonds are highly prized, and very valuable.
But they are in such demand that you can use this to your advantage and save a heap of money. And the way you do this is by looking for a diamond that is just BELOW one carat. If you get a diamond just below one carat let’s say from 0.92 ct to 0.98 ct, you have still got a real nice diamond and it is only going to be less than half a millimeter smaller. Take this example: I found a 1 carat diamond online cut into a “round brilliant” shape. It measured 6.44 mm accross. This is already a pretty good size diamond. Then I found a 0.92 carat diamond cut into the same shape a “round brilliant” and made sure it was the same clarity as the 1 ct diamond and the same color grade. The 0.92 carat diamond measured 6.23 mm. The difference between the two diamonds’ sizes was 0.21 mm. That’s a fifth of a millimeter! I bet you can’t even hold your thumb and index finger that far apart with any consistency! You tried to didn’t you? Both diamonds I compared were F on the color grade, both diamonds were VS1 on the clarity grade, both diamonds’ cut was rated “excellent”. Guess how much you could save by buying the 0.92 carat diamond? $3,000!
So what’s the nest step?
Well, as I see it there are a few options.
Where do you want to go from here?
Or…we can save you even more money:
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