I had a customer shopping and comparing diamond engagement rings.
The lady was looking at single solitaire diamonds and had been all over town collecting business cards and prices.
I asked her what her favorite quality was, and she hands me a card.
On it, it listed the diamond clarity as SI2-I1 (not great clarity), and the color was listed as H-I-J color???
You’ve got to be kidding me? If this was her favorite, then I’d hate to see what her dislikes are.
Let’s face it, if it’s listed as an SI2-I1, then it’s not really an SI2, it’s an I1 (read more: What are I quality diamonds?). No ifs, ands, or buts about it. They just threw the SI2 in front of it, to make it sound better.
By the way, the other thing I quickly noticed, is the fact that she wasn’t looking at a certified diamond either (that would have been listed).
So I figure she was shopping at the mall (just a hunch. They’re known for vagueness.)
I flipped the business card over, and sure enough, she was.
Diamond color scam:
So let’s look closer at this H-I-J color scam.
When you’re dealing with one single diamond, giving it 3 color grades is impossible.
Who are they fooling?
A single diamond should only have 1 single color grade.
One real color.
The problem is opinions.
Diamond color is subjective and sometimes there can be a borderline color. Diamond color could lean more towards one color than another. That’s why sometimes, you’ll see diamond color listed as 2 different grades (always side by side grades though): like G-H color, or E-F color. It could be G, it could be H, it just depends on the diamond grader. And even then, they still usually pick one, not both grades.
NEVER EVER should one single diamond get 3 grades. Come on… All that shows, is that they don’t know what the real color grade is (or they’re just randomly picking out a stone to fill that order).
Are they just guessing?
One of the colors listed has got to be right??? Right? My guess is, if they’re listing 3 different colors, the lowest color on the List is probably the correct one. The other 2, are just to make it sound better.
Don’t fall for it!
More than one diamond:
The only reason why you should ever see diamond color listed as 3 different color grades (G-H-I), is when you’re dealing with more than one diamond.
If the ring has a couple of diamonds in it, and the appraisal is listing diamond carat weights and quality together, then it can actually list things like: 1.00 carat total weight, SI1-SI2 clarity, H-I-J color.
One of the diamonds could be SI1, H-I color, and the other diamond could be SI2, J color.
Combining diamonds when grading, and doing diamond appraisals will give you these types of multiple color grades.
But, my thoughts are, if you are dealing with diamonds that are that different, then each diamond should be listed separately on the diamond appraisal. Sadly, that’s not always feasible. Like when you’re dealing with a tennis bracelet that has 58 diamonds in it. Grading each and every single diamond would be a nightmare. Likewise with an anniversary band. Anniversary bands can have tons of diamonds in them. Grading each individually would be insane.
So you see, listing diamond quality and color together on an appraisal works great in some instances.
The only reason why websites, catalogs, and salespeople would list 3 different color grades is to give them room to switch and swap stone quality in case they sell one. If they’re out of the J, they’ll just grab a I. That way, they always have at least one diamond in stock that fits that criteria.
But it’s not good for comparing prices or finding the best deal.
A J colored diamond is NOT the same price as an H.
So who loses?
The bottom line
If you’re shopping and comparing diamonds, watch out for those diamond color scams.
Single stones don’t have 3 different colors, nor 2. One only!
If you look at GIA certified diamonds (Which I highly recommend), you’ll learn what the true color and clarity of the diamond is. You will never have to rely on the jeweler’s crazy guessing games.
E-F-G??? I don’t think so.
Unless you’re seeing double.
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.