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Top Ten Diamond Frauds and Scams

Feeling ripped off?

There are many ways that people can get ripped off by jewelers when dealing with diamonds and buying diamond engagement rings.

I call them diamond frauds and scams.

But do keep in mind, that it’s only a scam if you allow it to be.

These top ten frauds are more of an eye-opener and words of caution

It’s to alert you when shopping for diamonds in jewelry stores.

A little diamond knowledge is the number one way to prevent yourself from being scammed and duped.

So study up!

Understand the signs to look for. Buying diamonds could turn what should be an awesome experience into a very expensive nightmare.


The top 10 diamond frauds are:

1) Diamond trade-ins:

It may sound like a good deal, the jeweler may be offering you a lot of money for your diamond trade-in, but is it really worth it?

Normally, no.

It doesn’t matter how sweet the deal sounds, what matters is how much you end up paying for that diamond ring.

Before you take the deal, compare prices everywhere of rings with the trade-In and without. That way you’ll see if their “great” trade-in price is good, or a rip-off.

Read more: Diamond trade-in fraud.

2) Certified diamonds:

People are under the impression that if a diamond is certified, it must be good.


The name “certified diamond” can make any poor quality diamond sound legit and valuable. But that certificate (really known as a diamond report) may amount to nothing. What matters the most, is what the quality of the diamond is and who certified it. It really makes a difference.

A certified diamond with I clarity and K color is not a great diamond. Check the cut, color, clarity and carat weight first.

Just because it’s certified, doesn’t mean it’s good.

And out of all the certificate companies out there, I recommend only GIA.

Read: Why buy GIA certified diamonds?

3) SI3 clarity:

If you check the clarity chart in any jewelry store, you’ll see there are 11 clarity grades in all: FL, IF, VVS1-VVS2, VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2, I1-I2-I3.

Looking at that list you’ll see that SI3 is not one of them. Still jewelers try and sell SI3 clarity diamonds (really just I1 clarity diamonds). Jewelers are just trying to make that low clarity diamond sound better than it really is.

Don’t fall for it!

Check the charts. SI3 is not a part of the 4 C’s of diamond grading.

4) Approximate carat weights:

You’ll see this all the time in magazines, ads and jewelry catalogs. Jewelers are listing diamonds with “approximate” carat weights.

The ad may say that you’re buying “approx. 1/2 CT“, but you may end up only getting 43 points.

Watch the carat weights and ask what the exact weights are before you buy.

Read more: Carats and carat weights.

5) Diamond retail price:

Talk about sticker shock…

Isn’t it amazing how some jewelers can sell a $15,000 diamond ring for only $2,999? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The fact is: jewelers can put any retail price they want on their diamonds. Then they host elaborate 50-70% off sales to make it look like they’re slashing huge prices and giving out great deals.

But always shop and compare before you decide… Don’t focus on what the retail price was, or what the “appraisal price” may be. Focus on what you’re paying instead. Ultimately, that’s the only price that really matters.

The bottom line. Read more about sales fraud here.

6) Diamond clarity:

Don’t let jewelers fool you.

Clarity is not the most important factor when shopping for diamonds.

Jewelers love to push clarity and nothing else.

But the fact is, cut is the most important factor. This is because diamond clarity is mostly dealing with microscopic inclusions that you’ll never see with the bare eye.

But cut deals with things that you can see.

Things like light, brilliance, sparkle, angles and proportions.

Cut is way more important than clarity.

7) Multiple color grades:

If you’re buying a single diamond, and the tag says that the diamond color is E-F-G, or H-I-J, then don’t buy it.

Believe it or not, some jewelers show diamonds with 3 color grades. THREE??? That’s not good. Single diamonds should only have one single color. Like “G“.

Sometimes you’ll see a diamond ring marked with 2 color grades like G-H, but that’s only because either the ring has more than 1 diamond in it, or that stone is a borderline stone and they are trying to make it sound better than it really is (when you hear G-H, you’ll think G). The truth is, if it’s marked G-H, it’s probably the lower; H. Read: Diamond color grading scams.

8) Diamonds sold on the net are cheaper:

Everything sold on the internet is cheaper, isn’t it?

Sure it is, but until you get it home and inspect it, do you really know what you’re buying?


Just because a diamond sells with a certificate or paperwork to back up the quality, doesn’t mean that the diamond is going to look good. This is because you could compare 10 diamonds of the exact same clarity and color, put them all side by side, and you’d see 10 different looking diamonds.

Every diamond reacts differently to light.

Every diamond is cut differently. You really have to see them to know if it’s full of life and sparkle. Usually diamonds sold cheaper on the internet have a very good reason why they’re cheaper. Like poor cuts, shallow stones, deep pavilions or even horrible fluorescence.

Always see a diamond magnified first before you buy it, no matter what the price may be (this is why I recommend James Allen. You can see the real diamonds, at 10x magnification, before you buy it.) :)

9) Diamonds with more facets sparkle more:

Not true!

A diamond will have the same amount of brilliance and fire if the diamond has 58 facets (the normal) or 100 facets.

The only difference will be the size of those sparkles.

You may get twice as many sparkles of light, but that light will only be half the size. So do you get any extra sparkle? No! Just smaller sparkles. Read: Are extra diamond facets worth it?

10) Diamonds are a great investment!


Diamonds are not a good investment.

They’re like a car. As soon as you drive it off the lot, it’s worth only half of what you paid for it.

And if you ever tried to sell the car ring in the future, you’d probably only get 20-30% of what you paid as well (if you’re lucky).

So don’t buy diamonds as an investment.

Buy them for the beauty and romance and the joy of wearing them.

Read: Should you sell your diamonds?

There you have it, the top ten ways jewelers will try to mislead you and pull the wool over your eyes.

If you’re heading out to buy a diamond, do your homework first.

Read all about the the 4C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

Save yourself a lot of grief and protect yourself from diamond fraud.

Diamonds may be forever, but so is the feeling of getting burned.

Don’t allow yourself to get scammed by a shady jeweler.

Knowledge is power.

And if you want more knowledge, read my kindle books:

How to Buy an Engagement Ring.

101 Ways to Save Money on Diamonds.

Or, take my recommendation:

Pick up some VS, colorless, excellent cut diamonds here at James Allen.

Cheers! :)

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Jewelry Secrets Author

Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist\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. Check out his Amazon books here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard here.

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