10 diamond buying questions
Buying a diamond or engagement ring?
But before you commit to that deal, make sure you ask the jeweler these 10 important questions.
Once you find the answers you’ll be in a much better position to make a great buying decision.
To buy or not to buy… it all boils down to these:
1) What’s the quality?
But you also want to know if the diamond is shallow or deep (losing light). Does the diamond have a thick or thin girdle (thin girdles are dangerous and chip easy). Is the culet large? (Does it look like a bullet hole in the center of the stone?)
Does the diamond have fluorescence? Is it an ideal cut? Is the diamond listed as CT or CTW? (carat weight or carat total weight – big difference).
All of this diamond info can be found in my ultimate diamond buying guide.
2) Is the diamond certified?
You want to make sure the diamond quality is guaranteed by an outside independent appraiser (like GIA – the best). Otherwise, you don’t really know what the true quality of the diamond is. It could be anything. It could be grade bumped.
Find out if it’s certified. Who certified it (it really does make a difference when comparing apples to apples). And find out if the diamond is laser inscribed (report number etched right on the side of the diamond girdle).
3) Can I see the diamond under a scope?
Telling you the quality is one thing… But actually seeing it with your own eyes is another. You must see the diamond under 10x magnification (a 10x jeweler’s loupe just cut it). Viewing diamonds under a microscope will allow you to compare different clarities and colors easily. You’ll be able to fully appreciate what it is you’re buying.
Looking at a I3 clarity diamond and a VS diamond is like night and day.
Look at the inclusions and flaws and blemishes. Look at the inscription number. Look at the way the facets line up and how thick the girdle is.
You won’t know any of this unless you scope it.
Scope every diamond!
If they won’t let you scope the diamond, DON’T BUY IT!
4) Does the diamond have a warranty?
You should find out if the diamond has a warranty, service plan, and appraisal. If it comes with these, find out what any of the requirements are (i.e. 6 month cleaning and inspection or you’ll VOID the warranty).
Find out if they have a service plan (usually called an E.S.P. for extended service plan) that will cover any repairs on the mounting. Also find out if these plans are renewable and how much it costs?
Service plans are a must to buy when it comes to jewelry.
They’re worth every penny; repairs, retippings, solderings… Fixing jewelry is not cheap. Buy a plan if they have one.
Jewelry appraisals should come with all purchases and they should be free of charge. Appraisals list the replacement value of your diamond and ring so you can turn it into your insurance company (which also means: get it insured!)
5) Tell me about the mounting:
You want to find out everything you can about the mounting. What type of metal is it? 14kt? 18kt? (softer) Platinum? Titanium (titanium can’t be sized). Is the metal gold plated? Two-tone plated? If it’s white gold, it probably is rhodium plated. Which means it will wear off over time and need to be re-rhodium plated… How much will that cost?
You also want to find out about the quality of diamonds in the mounting (if any). Do they match the center stone? Are they pave set, invisible set (I don’t recommend invisible set), tension set, or channel set?
What happens if she doesn’t like the mounting? All good things to know.
6) Are the repairs done on site?
You want to know if your engagement ring is staying on the premises or not?
Is it being shipped out to a repair center located in Texas? Many stores do this.
Jewelry stores that do on-site repairs are generally faster, cheaper and in some circumstances, they will do the repairs while you wait.
If they send your diamond out of the store, they have no control over how long it can really take or if it will get lost in the mail, stolen, or switched.
7) What’s the bottom line price?
Can they get you a better deal? Do they price match? Is it cheaper if you pay cash? Will they throw in the tax? Is setting, sizing and labor an extra charge? What about engraving? Will they throw in free jewelry cleaner and a polishing cloth? How long will this offer be good for?
8) What payment plans do they offer?
Do they have 12 months interest free financing? 6 months? (What are the requirements? Down payments? Late fees?) What about 90 days same as cash? Monthly payments? Do they accept credit cards? Layaways? Is the financing done in-house?
9) What’s the return policy?
Do they even have a return policy? (some only give you 7 days). Is there a restocking fee? Does the return policy apply towards special orders? What if the item gets scratched? What’s their exchange policy? What happens if she says “NO“? Are you stuck with it?
10) What’s their trade in policy?
Do you have to spend double? Triple? Or will they do an even trade (even exchange)? Do trade-ins apply towards sale merchandise? Does the diamond value appreciate? What happens with the trade-in if the diamond gets chipped?
Other things that you may want to ask:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many locations do they have? (in case you move).
- Are you dealing with a certified diamontologist or a gemologist? (experts in diamonds and gems.)
- Can you view it under different lighting situations? (by the window, outside, in the shadows… Just to see how the diamond will look in “real life“)
- Are cleanings and inspections free?
And just for kicks, ask them:
“What will other jewelers say about you?”
You may get some interesting replies.
And if you have a diamond question you’d like answered, contact me here.
Top Recommended Vendors:
James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.
Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.