5 Facts You Need to Know About Buying a Diamond Online

Author The Diamond Team at Long's
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Date Jul 7, 2014

Buying a Diamond OnlineWe love some of the big online diamond stores, like Blue Nile. Its interface is amazing and they have revolutionized how to learn about diamonds from the comfort of your home. But be careful… buying a diamond on the Internet can be confusing. Here are a few tips to help navigate:

1. The difference is in the details

Searching for diamonds by grade is a great place to start, but can truly be frustrating since prices of identically graded diamonds vary by 30% to 40%! How can this be?

Even diamonds with the same 4C’s have major differences that impact the beauty and the value of each diamond. There are important nuances – not addressed by cut, carat, color or clarity – such as the placement and visibility of any inclusions, the crispness of the inherent crystal material, how the angles of the facets come together to reflect light, the size of the diamond’s table relative to its overall measurements, and the thickness of the girdle, to name a few.

To make sure you get a great diamond for your budget, we recommend ALWAYS seeing a diamond first and having an expert take the time to explain the differences to you.

2. Quantity isn’t quality

A big list of diamonds is impressive but it’s about quality just as much as quantity. Make sure you understand the quality standards of the store. Some e-tailers are brokers who don’t see the stones for themselves and just want to bring consumers and diamond cutters together, regardless of quality. Others selectively buy diamonds to build an offering that meets their quality standard. As we discussed above, the 4C’s are only the beginning of the story, so make sure you get the whole story on a diamond before you buy it.

3. If it’s online, there might be a reason

Some diamonds are listed exclusively online for specific reasons. For example, a diamond cutter will manufacturer hundreds of diamonds at a time and then go through a process of selling them. First, they approach retailers with trained diamond buyers, who hand pick the best looking diamonds out of the batch. Eventually, the diamond cutters have a pile of stones that have been rejected by retailers for looking a little “off”. Many of these stones are listed online are a last resort of selling them directly to consumers who get hooked on the inexpensive pricing. Again, it is also possible to buy a beautiful diamond online so talk to an expert and look at different stones to ensure you get a great price AND a quality stone.

4. Don’t settle for shoddy service

A diamond ring is like any car… it occasionally needs to be serviced. Diamond rings are meant to be worn and that means life happens. The prongs, which hold the diamond in place, can become loose or a small, accent diamond can be chipped or lost, or the ring could even crack or break under stress.

We recommend getting a complementary ring inspection by an expert jeweler every few months. If you buy online, make sure they will inspect it regularly, even if it means you need to mail the ring to one of their service centers. One advantage of a local source is that your jeweler can inspect it immediately, fix any problem quickly, etc. We’ve had plenty of customers look over our jeweler’s shoulder while he fixes their ring!

5. Buying in one place is your best bet

Buying a loose diamond online then bringing it to a local jeweler to be placed into a ring is TRICKY. There could be questions of “who is responsible?” if the diamond is damaged or falls out of the ring someday. The online store will say that they didn’t set the diamond so the jeweler is responsible. Meanwhile, the jeweler who sold you the ring might say that it was a flawed diamond with inherent structural issues and you should hold the online store accountable.

Do yourself a favor… get the diamond AND the ring from one place so you can build a relationship and hold someone accountable, just in case you need help down the road.

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