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Diamond buying tips

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Diamonds 101

Buying Tips

Follow these proven tips to make the smartest jewelry purchase:

1. Choose your jeweler carefully

A dishonest jeweler can cheat or overcharge you no matter how MUCH you know about jewelry. They can sell you cheap imitations, switch diamond certificates, exaggerate the quality using certificates from inferior or affiliated laboratories, misrepresent laser-drilled or clarity-enhanced diamonds, sell fake certificates, and attempt countless other scams.

In contrast, a reputable jeweler will treat you with respect and fairness, no matter how LITTLE you know about jewelry. FindMyJeweler tests to find the Best Jewelers -- by putting them through rigorous "secret shopper" tests and background checks and will provide you with the highest level of integrity, customer service, selection, quality, and product knowledge, all at competitive prices.

2. Avoid the 7 signs of an inferior jeweler

  1. They only sell diamonds with IGI certificates (best to stick with GIA or AGS or at least EGL).
  2. They sell laser-drilled stones (GIA always labels stones with laser drilling, but some other labs do not).
  3. They sell clarity-enhanced diamonds (GIA will not issue a report on a clarity-enhanced diamond).
  4. They will not show your diamond under a scope.
  5. They sell poorly cut stones (poorly cut stones often trade at huge discounts)
  6. They push you to buy right away instead of educating you first so you can make an intelligent choice.
  7. Their salespeople are part-time seasonal workers without years of experience buying as well as selling diamonds and jewelry.

If a jeweler exhibits these traits, it is best to leave and find someone better.

3. First find the jeweler, then the jewelry

Look around and interview jewelers. Find someone you are comfortable with and that comes to you with references, then stick with that expert and let them work with you, so they can locate the right jewelry for you.

When shopping for diamonds, many people make the mistake of looking around at many stores until they think they have found it -- only to find out later that the dealer was not honest about the quality or treatments, and it was not such a great deal after all.

4. Remain open to ordering what you want

Keep in mind that even the largest jeweler cannot stock the endless possibility of jewelry pieces and diamond size/quality combinations. A good jeweler will focus on ordering what you want if they need to, and not just on selling whatever they have in stock that day.

Once you show a reasonable commitment to a reputable jeweler, they will work very hard to find your exact dream jewelry.

5. Learn by holding actual jewelry and looking at actual diamonds

Once you find a reputable jeweler that you like and trust, learn everything you can from them. Go in and learn by holding actual jewelry in your hands, and looking at diamonds in their office under a microscope.

Learn by personal experience, not just by reading articles on web sites or by looking at numbers on certificates. Go in to see how the piece feels in your hand and looks on you. Learn how each of the details on a diamond grading certificate actually affects beauty and value. Don't take anyone's opinion about the numbers -- the numbers should never be more important than what you learn with your own eyes. The numbers NEVER tell the whole story. The main reason to buy from a local jeweler is to see jewelry and diamonds before you buy, so take full advantage of that opportunity and learn by seeing and touching first.

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