When it comes to buying diamonds, it's buyers beware! There are a number of common shady practices to be on your guard. Most of them are minor. But there are some major ones that happen when involving the buying and selling of diamonds.
Deceptive schemes work because they are profitable. And the major reason they work is simply because most people who buy diamonds – for whatever reasons – don’t know much about them. Therefore, they are easily fooled and open to fraud.
In this article, I intend to expose the 6 most common deceptive diamond practices employed below:
Lighting and backgrounds
Jewelry stores like to show their diamonds in bright lights. Why? Because lights make diamonds shine with brilliance and can help mask flaws. So ask to see the diamond jewelry in a different, darker light setting as well. Also jewelry stores often use ‘fluorescence’ lighting to enhance the appearance to varying degrees.
Referring to a diamond as a blue-white is another deception. A blue-white diamond sounds very unique and special, but in fact it's not! Actually this type of diamond is of lesser quality – even though a jeweler may lead you to believe you're getting something special.
Total Carat weight deception
A very common practice among most jewelry stores is the Total Carat Weight deception. It's when jewelry, like a ring, is tagged with only the total carat weight of all diamonds contained in the piece. Not listing the separate weights for each diamond. This misleads the person to believe that the main diamond in the piece is actually bigger than it is. Instead, ask what the total carat weight is for just the center stone.
Fractional Carat weights
Also beware of Carat fractions. Jewelry stores are permitted to round off diamond weights. What this means is if the jeweler tells you the ring holds a ¾ carat diamond, it may actually be less than that weight. ¾ carat total weight guidelines set the range to be from 0.70 to 0.84 carats.
Some truly unscrupulous jewelers target those who want appraisals on diamonds that were given to them as gifts or inherited. They will tell you that the diamond is worthless, or quote a price much lower than what it actually is worth. And then offer to "take it off your hands" or say you can trade it in for a much better diamond. Of course along with the additional cash to make up the difference. This is called low balling. To prevent this from happening to you, get a second, third, and even a forth opinion before taking any action.
Another common dirty trick is to switch the diamond you have selected and paid for with one of lesser quality value. This is often happens when you leave it to be set in a piece of jewelry, or have a diamond ring to be sized. One way to prevent this is to only do business with a reputable jeweler. Avoid going to jewelers that you are not familiar with for this type of service.
Unfortunately, there are other deceptive practices that a number of jewelry stores commonly pull on unsuspecting customers. In those cases, use your best judgment. If something doesn't seem right, then avoid it. Purchase your diamonds with the utmost care and consideration.