You buy a big beautiful diamond. It’s a massive 1.50 carats.
The clarity is exceptional – VS2 clarity. The color is impressive – F color. You spend $13,000 for the diamond and are completely happy and satisfied with your purchase…
How can this be?
And here’s where it gets worse… You could have bought an SI1 clarity, G colored diamond for only $9,000.
Talk about being furious.
That’s a $4,000 rip off!
Many would want to sue over this…
Hold onto your hats…
It really is completely legal…
Suing will do you no good. And guess what? This probably happens all the time.
Welcome to the real world.
It’s called grade bumping, and it’s been happening forever. And the funny thing about it is there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.
Fact is, it’s not against the law. Jewelers can bump up the clarity and color by one full grade and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) approves of it.
It almost gets your blood boiling.
Why do jewelers grade bump?
Well, for one, it’s allowed.
If they can bump up the clarity and color they can make more money on the diamond ($4,000 for this one example.) That’s a lot of profit.
And two, because when it all comes down to it, grading diamonds is all opinion.
It’s someone’s opinion of what quality the diamond really is. That’s all grading is… An educated and trained guess.
Of course, this is all based upon years of experience and know-how, and most jeweler’s are truthful when it comes to grading, but it’s still just an opinion.
They could be wrong.
(Accidentally or purposefully.)
Who’s to say that one person’s opinion is any more accurate than another? Every opinion is different and you’re going to get different results. Even the expert’s opinions are not always exact. That’s why GIA uses 3 expert diamontologists to grade their stones. It’s how they back up their gradings, claims and reports.
Opinions are like…
Because grading is opinionated, the FTC allows for some slack and leniency. Diamond grading is not an exact science. Jewelers can be off by a grade higher or a grade lower (but no more than 1 single grade) and this is perfectly acceptable.
You could buy a J color and have it turn out to be a K. You just don’t know.
It doesn’t matter how much you spent for it either. It doesn’t matter what the salesperson told you. If you buy a diamond, it could be off. Simple as that.
It could be an entirely different clarity or color than what you paid for.
You could lose a lot of money.
Is this ethical?
Not really. But how can you stop someone’s opinion?
This isn’t to say that all jewelers do this. But it can and will happen if you don’t know how to prevent it.
This can be prevented.
And, in fact, there is a very easy way to avoid being grade bumped.
Buy only GIA certified diamonds.
When a diamond is certified by an outside independent laboratory, the color and clarity that they list on the diamond report is factual and positive proof that the quality you paid for is the quality you’re taking home.
No more grade bumping.
Buying certified diamonds is the easiest way possible to totally prevent your diamond from being bumped.
So if you want to protect yourself and your diamond, if you don’t want to get ripped off… Then look into GIA certified diamonds.
Certification removes the jeweler’s opinion from the equation.
(It keeps the jeweler honest.)
And it also keeps that $4,000 right in your pocket where it belongs.
And that, my friends, is grade A advice.
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.