We often hear the words diamonds are a girl’s best friend but in reality picking a diamond is an important task as they are the most highly sought precious gems in the world. There are some great places in the world where the diamond trade is flourishing thanks to their entrepreneurial spirit and quick thinking, however there is also the people who find ways to take advantage of people’s desire to own something precious and beautiful. When you’re looking for that perfect diamond you must keep in mind that there are many ways you might be taken advantage of by unprofessional jewelers across the world. Here we will cover some of the most common scams out there on the market and how you can recognize and avoid them when looking for diamonds:
Chemical Color Coating
This is a very insidious and smart way of changing the color of a diamond by the application of a small dot of blue or purple paint at the lowest point of a diamond. This is what is commonly called the culet and from there the color may spread through the rest of the stone often counteracting the yellowish tint seen in lower grade diamonds. You can imagine the reason for masking the color yourself so to avoid being scammed the only way to counteract this is to ask them to wash the diamond in an ultrasonic cleaner. Should they refuse to do this for you it might meant that they may be potentially trying to hide the quality of their stones.
Avoid Buying Diamonds on Vacation
One of the things you must absolutely remember when it comes to diamonds is the fact that in some countries you have no control over what you’re really getting. This can happen anywhere from Mexico to the Caribbeans so avoid buying something when traveling abroad. Avoid the chance to buy cheap diamonds at lucrative prices since without the expertise of a professional you can be easily scammed and sold a different stone, which only looks like a diamond. There are always unsavory characters willing to take advantage of gullible people around the world.
The Deposit Scheme
Sometimes a dealer might offer you to leave a deposit while you take a diamond for appraisal. This is a monumentally bad idea as the deposit must be refundable and you must have a written statement that it is so. If you don’t have one of those this may be used against you as a way to appropriate your money while giving you a credit toward another diamond, effectively binding you to them as you have already given your money. On the agreement form make sure the full details and measurements concerning the stone are written down so you will have a way of proving the connection.
It is highly unlikely that any jeweler won’t try to hide the flaws of a stone in order to sell it at a more lucrative price. The most common way of trying to mask a surface flaw is to place the flaw under a prong in the ring whenever that is possible. Fracture filling is another way a diamond can be “fixed” in such a way that it fills possible cracks and flaws. The best way to avoid that is to have the stone free of any ring or fixture so it can be properly examined and for it to have a written statement from the jeweler that no clarity or color enhancements have been used. A certificate from one of the three major labs dealing with diamonds should be obtained too. These labs are the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS labs and EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) and they offer the know-how and equipment needed to accurately appraise the quality of a stone.
Bait and Switch
What are essentially you paying for one stone and receiving a completely different one set in the ring once everything is over. You may take the ring to an appraiser later on to find the truth however the jeweler will often claim you switched it or something similar to avoid responsibility. The best way to avoid this is to have the complete information, clarity, color and measurements of the stone in writing and on the receipt so you will have a paper trail leading to them.