Selecting the ideal diamond or piece of jewelry can be a daunting task, and a dishonest jeweler may take advantage of an unknowing customer. Over the years, many false facts and rumors have been shared by local jewelers in order to scare customers into making a purchase. Here are seven of the greatest myths suspicious jewelers are likely to tell their customers:
Certification is Not Necessary.
When purchasing any diamond above ½ carat, always ask for certification of the stone from a reputable lab such as the GIA or AGS. If you are working with a truly honest jeweler, he or she will not hesitate to provide one.
Unscrupulous jewelers may “grade” their own diamonds and, in doing so, may exaggerate the color, cut or clarity without marking them on the certification. Be firm when requesting the certification. If your jeweler is reluctant to provide you with a reputable certification, consider working with a different jewelry professional.
Buying Loose Diamonds Online is Unsafe.
Online jewelers offer a larger selection of loose diamonds than most “brick-and-mortar” jewelry stores because they are able to list their entire inventory of wholesale diamonds. Traditional stores usually have a small supply of loose stones to show a customer at any given time. To combat this shortcoming, a dishonest jeweler may tell you it’s unsafe to purchase a loose diamond online.
Simply because a company sells loose diamonds online does not make it unsafe. Like any other online purchase, you do need to investigate the seller and the company to ensure they have a good reputation. The best, and safest, way to determine the safety of an online diamond wholesaler is to check their online reviews and make sure they are part of accredited business organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Online Diamond Retailers Can’t Compete on Service.
Today’s technology allows you to shop and compare prices from the comfort of your own home, something underhanded jewelers may say is impersonal. You can certainly select any online jewelry site, visit it, and make a purchase without ever interacting with another human; however, many people like the ability to discuss their options with a store clerk or jeweler before buying anything.
Look for retailers offering live, online chat or a phone number if you want a jewelry-buying experience with a personal touch. Talking to someone live gives you immediate answers to any questions you may have, makes your buying experience more personal, and gives you peace of mind about the reliability of the online jeweler.
Another excellent way to choose a personable online retailer is to look for a jeweler who offers custom work. In order to customize any piece of jewelry, you will need to talk to your jeweler throughout the process. Any online company offering such a service is dedicated to meeting the needs of their clients and will make every effort to personally connect with you.
You Have to Set Aside at Least Three Months of Your Salary For a Good Diamond.
This is perhaps one of the most well-known myths told by untrustworthy jewelers. For some odd reason, many people–especially men saving up to buy engagement rings–believe that three months’ salary equates to an impressive diamond.
An honest jeweler will not encourage this myth, but rather will work to provide the client with the best piece of jewelry within his pre-determined budget.
White Gold is Stronger Than Platinum.
In a word, false. White gold is most often available in two purities: 14K and 18K. The higher the karat, the purer the gold content. For example, 14K white gold contains 58.3% pure gold, while 18K contains 75%. Gold is a very soft precious metal, so the higher the pure gold content in a piece of jewelry, the softer (and less durable) the piece.
Platinum, which is 90-95% pure, is a very dense precious metal, which makes it stronger, heavier, and more durable than gold. Because of its strength, Platinum protects stones better than white gold. Therefore, it is advisable to have your center stone set in platinum. White gold tends to change color with wear and time, so it needs to be replated with rhodium to keep its color and shine. Platinum does not require any plating and is the same color throughout, so jewelery made from this metal requires less maintenance.
Diamonds Are Indestructible.
Registering a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, there’s no doubt that a diamond is one of the toughest stones on Earth. Despite this, if diamonds are improperly handled or placed in settings carelessly, they can still chip or crack.
Before you purchase or have work performed on a diamond, make sure the jeweler has insurance and that it covers all work done on the premises. Shifty jewelers may work in even the classiest shops, so it is always a good idea to ensure the jeweler is covered in case your diamond breaks during a repair; otherwise, you will be financially responsible for replacing it.
Different Diamond Certification Agencies Grade the Same Way.
As a general rule, you should purchase a diamond that comes with a certification from a reputable agency. Such institutions include the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gemological Society (AGS), the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), and the International Gemological Institute (IGI). All four agencies provide certifications, however, not all certifications contain the same information nor are they graded the same way.
The GIA is the most rigorous with their ratings of color and clarity, while the IGI and the EGL are not. Learn more about the differences between EGL vs. GIA.