Monday, November 28, 2011

Top 5 Mistakes When Buying a Diamond

As we inch closer to December, "engagement season" continues to roll on!  As promised, this week we're offering more helpful information to those of you interested in popping the question.  If you missed our previous "Proposal Guide" blog post, you can brush up on that before reading on about some common mistakes people often make when choosing a diamond.  Once again, we've teamed up with the experts at the Diamond Center and asked them to give us a list of common mistakes when buying diamonds.  Just to preface this list, here's a brief word about how diamonds are graded (and priced).  If you're not familiar with the "Four C's" of diamonds, here is a quick breakdown:

Diamonds are graded on a scale based on 4 main factors:
1.  Cut - Various shapes (princess, oval, marquise, cushion, round, pear, heart, emerald, radiant, etc)
2.  Color - Is it colorless, or does it have a hint of yellow?  More color can drastically reduce value.
3.  Clarity - Is it clear, or does it have a milky quality?
4.  Carat Weight - Overall size.


MISTAKE #5:  BUYING BASED ON PRICE POINT OR DISCOUNT
This seems like a good idea, but you could be asking for trouble.  This is why…the lowest price diamonds are normally the ones with the worst cut and CUT can affect the value of a diamond up to 60%. Disreputable jewelers can manipulate pricing by giving “percentage off” in order to give the false perception of a “deal”.

MISTAKE #4:  BUYING A DIAMOND ON THE INTERNET
Diamonds should ONLY be purchased after viewing a selection of comparative diamonds.  Use your best tools – your very own eyes.  Certifications can only establish rarity, the human eye can determine beauty. 

MISTAKE #3:  ASSUMING A BEAUTIFUL STORE CHARGES MORE THAN A MALL OR STRIP CENTER STORE 
The most expensive rents are experienced in the malls where percentage rents are paid.  Independently owned jewelry stores own their buildings, reducing their expenses dramatically.  These expense savings result in advantages to you.

MISTAKE #2 – “SELF EDUCATION “IS SUFFICIENT TO PROPERLY JUDGE VALUE
True diamond expertise is acquired over many years and involves viewing thousands upon thousands of diamonds for comparison. Consulting a professional with a trained eye can help rule out lower quality diamonds.


MISTAKE # 1– ASSUMING A “LAB” REPORT EQUALS A “GOOD DIAMOND”
Even though the diamond has a report or “certification” remember that you still need a trained consultant to evaluate all of the characteristics. Diamonds are certified after they have been rejected by several buyers for the purpose of creating value that is difficult to see. 

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