Ideally, a diamond should be purchased after viewing it in person to see how it interacts with the light around it. Because no two diamonds are the same, the viewing experience for each will be unique. Since more and more consumers are taking advantage of the convenience that shopping online offers, the diamond industry has been working on gaining consumer confidence to make buying diamonds online a common and trustworthy practice.
If you are considering purchasing a diamond this holiday season and want to take advantage of sales online, here are some tips to help you in your search:
Figure out your budget beforehand – Knowing what you are willing to spend on a diamond will keep you focused from the very start of the search
Do your research – Educate yourself on the 4 C’s of diamonds (Carat, Cut, Color, Clarity) and determine which of these variables is most important to you. What shape are you looking for? Are you willing to sacrifice size for quality, or do you prefer a larger stone with some clarity characteristics, or neither? Making these decisions will help guide your diamond search.
Get a grading report – Make sure the diamond that you are buying comes with a diamond grading report by an internationally recognized laboratory, like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These reports will give you a breakdown of the details of the specific diamond, without giving you a value of the stone. It is objective, which is what you want.
Investigate the company
- Are they reputable?
- What are the reviews from previous buyers?
- How long have they been in business?
- Where are they located? Are they international, or are they right next door? Convenience can be handy, especially if you can make a trip to the jeweler to see the stone in person.
- What is the return policy for the diamond? You want to stay away from purchases where you cannot return the diamond for a full refund, because you will want to get the stone verified by a certified appraiser after the purchase
- What payment methods do they accept?
- How will the diamond be shipped, and is there insurance coverage?
- Do they have a Customer Service department where you can speak to a live person, should you have questions?
Once you feel comfortable with the purchase, bring the diamond to a reputable an independent appraiser to have them verify that the diamond matches the certificate and was purchased at a fair price. They will also provide you with a written insurance appraisal.