It’s easy to be fooled when it comes to buying diamonds. For such a precious gemstone, they’re incredibly complex, and a layman buyer might not know the difference between diamonds and moissanite or cubic zirconia at a glance. That can lead to a purchase from a less-than-reputable retail jeweler.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for shady dealers to take advantage of this. A few years ago, a shop in Williamsville, New York was caught selling what the owner claimed were real diamonds, but were actually moissanite and other man-made stones. Hundreds of customers were affected by the scam, and it looks like they will not be reimbursed for their “diamond purchases”.
At Brilliance.com, we always urge potential customers to check online reviews and to understand that local jewelers should be held to the same scrutiny as online diamond retailers. To avoid having something like this happen to you, we suggest the following precautions:
Choose Graded Diamonds
Make sure you purchase a loose diamond that is graded by GIA, AGS, IGI, or EGL. Always make sure the official certificate is given to you and verify or cross-check the report number against the online database of each diamond lab. These certificates can be faked with the right printing equipment, so it’s up to you to do your due diligence and make sure that the report number is legitimate.
Get a Third-Party Opinion
When you purchase a diamond from a retailer, it is never a bad idea to have an independent gemologist review the diamond and confirm that what you purchased matches what you paid for.
Whether you’re buying online or in person, you always want to be 100 percent sure of the validity of your purchase. If you’re buying locally, bring a third-party jeweler to the shop to check out the diamond before you sign a bill of purchase. Buying online? Make sure the return policy covers you, and get the diamond checked out locally once it arrives.
Check Online Reviews
Check online reviews and see what past customers have to say. While there is no retailer that has 100 percent customer satisfaction, we suggest you look at the bulk of a company’s reviews for a snapshot of the service you may get. In general, if a retailer is shady or untrustworthy, the reviews reflect that. Yelp is a good start for consumer reviews, and so is the Better Business Bureau. If you have local family and friends, check with them and see if you know anyone who’s dealt with this jeweler in person. Their insight can be valuable.
There’s no such thing as too much education when it comes to buying diamonds. From quality to sourcing and beyond, the learning is never-ending, and for such an important investment, it’s important to know what you’re getting into so you only buy from a reputable retail jeweler. That’s what Brilliance.com is here for. For more information on proper diamond certification, visit our diamond certification page.