Q: London's Hatton Garden, Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, New York's 47th Street and Dubai are the best places to bag a diamond bargain, right?
A: With so many jewellery stores all in such close proximity, and the store owners and staff under such intense sales pressure, something has to give. The result is an unrealistic price-per-carat war at the detriment of product quality, honesty and personal service. Not a week goes by where we don't receive an email from an unhappy consumer seeking advice on why the bargain diamond they recently purchased from one of these places now looks so dull and awful. Or they've had their new diamond ring independently valued to find it's true value is less than 20% of the "bargain" or "wholesale" price they were convinced of by the store.
A tip for those of you who still think you can beat the system and get a diamond worth buying and at wholesale, especially those of you in banking used to making a deal or two. Rare, true excellent cut, natural untreated diamonds never sell at large discounts, if the price seems too good to be true you can bet your last dollar it is. I guarantee you this, every so called "wholesale" or "discounted" diamond you will ever see has one or more (sometimes all!) of the following value destroying flaws.
* The diamond is supplied without a full lab grading report.
* The diamond's cut proportions does not meet with GIA class 1 or 2 cut.
* The diamond has polish and symmetry grades less than 'very good'.
* The diamond is not natural, i.e heat or clarity enhanced or even man made.
* The diamond is cut heavy to maximise profit at the sacrifice of light return. i.e total depth above exceeds 63% of the diamonds width (round brilliants).
* The diamond has optically imbalanced proportions. i.e the sum off all parts does not equate to the total depth.
* The girdle has extreme differences in the minimum and maximum percentage.
* The girdle has not been polished or faceted.
* The diamond has extra facets that should not be there. (Often added to cut away flaws)
* The table size is above 57.5% on a round diamond and above 65% on squares and rectangular shapes.
* The diamond is supplied without a written guarantee that it was sourced from a legitimate supply under the auspices of The Kimberly Process.
* The diamond has negative fluorescence when exposed to UV light.
* The diamond can only be purchased mounted leaving you unable to fully inspect what you're really buying.
Am I right or am I right? Recently purchased one of these so called "wholesale" priced diamonds either in a retail store or a "cool" online site, or one operated by a well known hairdresser? Check through the above list and see how many times your diamond fails this basic quality check of a diamond worth buying. Now congratulate yourself on buying a stone that will never sparkle as it could have, is not rare and may never appreciate in value. No Kimberly Process Certificate? Congratulate yourself again on buying a diamond that may have helped fund wars in Africa, the drugs trade and even terrorism. In fact you might as well have bought cubic Zirconia, would have looked just as good and offered much better value for money.
For the record: Is this list unrealistic? Do such perfect diamonds exist with such a high level of service from the jeweller? Daniel Prince diamonds are guaranteed 100% free from all of these value destroying flaws.
Q: Only Tiffany, Cartier and De Beers sell the best diamonds?
A: Yes these stores do sell some pretty wonderful diamonds, they also sell some questionable ones too! If it wasn't for their "the sky is the limit" price tags and lack of personal service (have you been into a Tiffany store lately...) these stores might even be worth considering. You really do need to be able to tell the difference between a good diamond and an average one before handing over your VISA in one of these places. But if you're out of time, and money is no object, these stores are a good place to just walk in and out and within 30 minutes you could be the owner of a really nice diamond.
For the wise: It is possible to get an even a better cut diamond without the big name price tag. You just have to do your home work and be patient when shopping around. Makes no difference whose name is on the box. Diamond beauty and sparkle comes down to just two things 1) cut, and 2) purity. Of course a little personal service during the buying process would be nice too!
Q: The best diamond bargains are with the American on-line retailers?
A: These large corporations are no fools, they buy diamonds for what they are worth and sell them for what they are worth! So many factors give a diamond its true value, by reading this one page alone you will understand that it is impossible to judge a diamond's beauty and value by price, size and the so called "certificate" that accompanies it. Only a fool would buy a diamond costing thousands of pounds from across the Atlantic without seeing what it looks like first. "But if I don't like it I can send it back, so what's the problem?" Shipping packages back and forth across the Atlantic is a risky way to buy anything never mind a package that has to be clearly marked as "diamond ring" and it's full value disclosed - this is a legal requirement for U.S & U.K customs. Warning: If you mark the description as "Documents Only" and your package is checked by customs, you risk loosing not only your diamond but your money too. FedEx and UPS packages are being checked almost systematically due to the heightend state of security that we now live under. Don't say you wasn't warned...
Q: The best bargains are with the on-line retailers based in the U.K.?
A: hmm... I really can't think of anything interesting to write about these guys apart from note their inaccurate claims of "ideal cut" and the way they all love to push certificated diamonds as if this was some sort of guarantee of quality and value. All that's left to say is...if you chose this path we do wish you lots of luck, you're gonna need it! oh, and have you ever wondered why all their rings look very very similar?
Q: A diamond must be good if it has a GIA "Certificate"?
A: Don't be fooled!
* "The Gemological Institute of America does not certify anyone or anything" (As stated on the GIA website)
* The GIA considers the following terms unacceptable for advertising purposes: "GIA certified diamonds" and "GIA certificated diamonds" (As stated on the GIA website)
Just like all the other so called "certificates", the GIA lab grading report is simply a subjective assessment of diamond colour, clarity and cut, it is not a guarantee of quality or value. The GIA will now even "certify" worthless man made diamonds! Send the same diamond to the top four labs in the world, GIA, EGL, AGS and IGI and you can almost guarantee the diamond will come back with different results from each lab, this clearly disproving the sales myth that anything has been guaranteed or certified. I'm not suggesting you ever buy a diamond without an independent lab report, in fact we never supply a diamond without at least the GIA version. There is just so much more to a diamond than the papers it come with. Only the uneducated would ever buy a diamond on-line simply because they see the words "GIA Certificate" or "GIA Certified diamonds" which you now know is a false and illegal statement. Although breaking the law does not seem to bother many dealers in Hatton Garden and Birmingham's jewellery quarter who make these claims on their websites and retail store fronts.
And finally...after reading this page if you still feel the need to search the Internet day and night until you find the website offering the biggest diamond at the lowest price, we wish you lots of luck.
For those who understand we are here to help you as much as we are here to sell you a diamond, read more in our guide on How to Buy a Diamond and
also the importance of Diamond Comparison. Every week we also handpick a small selection of diamonds avaiable on a first come first served basis as our Diamond of the Week, and if you still have questions feel free to contact us anytime!