Smart Diamond Buying
Prices and quality vary widely among jewelers in Utah, so a little homework for smart diamond buying goes a long way and is well worth your time. Moreover, a diamond ring is so symbolic that feeling ‘buyer’s remorse’ is especially painful.
Here are some good rules to follow that will help you avoid inferior, overpriced diamonds and find the one diamond you can be truly proud to give.
Do your homework
Learn how diamond grades are determined, so you can ask good questions. A good place to start is The Diamond Grading
section. Generally, the more you know, the less you’ll pay.
Don't ignore any of the 4C's
There are four quality factors for determining diamond value, called the 4C’c. These are Carat weight
grade (not the diamond shape!). Often couples are given only two or three of these 4C’s. If any of these four diamond grades are left out, you can rightly assume you are not being told the whole story.
Dealer grading is not necessarily accurate
Diamond grading standards vary widely among jewelers (even though they are not supposed to!) Some grades are left out. Most quoted grades are inflated. Salespeople are often allowed to make up their own grades. To discover if a quote is accurate, read Questions you should ask
. Also, follow the “rules” in the diamond grading
Get complete quotes in writing
To get a complete quote from a jeweler, use this Guaranteed Complete Quote form
. This form assures the grading is accurate, because it requires a jeweler to guarantee in writing their grading can be verified by The Gemological Institue of America (GIA) or The American Gem Society (AGS
). If a jeweler does not have the confidence and expertise to fill out and sign the form, I wouldn’t buy there.
Don't be fooled by wholesale claims
Many, many, many times we have seen people buy poor quality and pay too much, because they were told it was a “wholesale” price. Or perhaps they knew a friend who promised a great “deal” and they failed to actually compare prices with other jewelers in Provo (especially Wilsons!). Regardless of how good it sounds, ask questions (Questions you should ask
) and make sure to compare any quotes with other jewelers.
Be wary of certified diamonds
There are all kinds of merchants in Utah lately that use “certificates” to validate their diamond grades. These non-authentic “certificates” look credible but do not have the legitimacy of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Diamond Grading Report or AGS
(American Gem Society)Diamond Quality Document. These grading reports (GIA, AGS
) are the industry standards, and a wise buyer will not accept other grading reports. (For more information on “certified” diamonds see our Certified section
Salespeople who use pressure have higher prices or work on commission
Avoid these merchants and dealers. There is no reason to pressure customers if the jeweler doesn’t mind you comparing their prices and quality. Also, a commissioned salesperson sells what’s best for him, not you.
Always buy a loose (not mounted) diamond
Imperfections and low quality can easily be hidden on a mounted diamond. Find a place that shows their diamonds separate from their rings and then mounts the diamond in the ring of your choice.
Low overhead does not necessarily mean low price
One dealer may mark up very little (even charge his cost) and yet, because of his buying price, may be charging more. Don’t assume the price is low just because you are in someone’s home or small office.
Be very distrustful of sales
Compare the bottom line price after the ‘sale’ and you’ll find that the “regular” price is highly marked up to enable a continual “discount”. Ironically, this “discount price” is usually more than a normal price elsewhere!
Put guarantees and freebies in their proper perspective
Some guarantees are nice but most are fluff with many disclaimers in fine print. “Freebies” are not really free. These have to be paid for in extra mark-up to cover the cost, no matter what the salesperson tells you. Decide where to buy based on the core issues of quality and price first, and then consider guarantees and freebies to see if they add anything significant.
Trust your instincts
If you feel uneasy about any salesperson or dealer, don’t buy there. You may not even know why you feel that way, but it’s probably valid.
Follow these smart diamond buying tips and you will get the best deal for the money.