What You See Isn’t Always What You Get: The True Dangers of Buying Diamonds Online

We live in a digital world. And whether you’re stuck in a traffic jam or sitting on a beach, buying anything from anywhere has proven to be one of the many great conveniences the Internet provides.

But there are times when online shopping isn’t as convenient and user-friendly as we’re led to assume. And what’s near the top of the list of “purchases you never want to make online”?


Let’s imagine a scenario… Let’s pretend that you’ve walked into a jewelry store and find yourself standing at an empty counter. You ask to see the store’s selection of ¾ carat square diamonds. The clerk politely responds, “Sure, no problem. If you’d like to pass me your credit card, I will promptly charge $4,800 to it, and you may see your diamond in four to seven days.”

Would you buy?

Well, this is exactly what happens online everyday. Intrigued and excited by discounts and “deals” online, customers find themselves quickly disappointed and stressed when their purchase finally arrives. Why? Well, there are several reasons:

Cut, Clarity, Carat and Color Just Aren’t Enough

Diamonds, while definable by these four characteristics, are each as unique as two different people. Picture a male who’s 5’10”, thin, brown-eyed and has short brown hair. Now think of the number of people that describes. Tens of thousands of people in the world share those same characteristics, just as tens of thousands of diamonds in the world share the same stats for cut, clarity, carat-weight and color. But they’re certainly not the same.

When you buy a diamond online, you will receive a certificate stating that the stone falls into a set of parameters. However, that certification has very little to do with how the stone will actually appear. Factors like florescence and the actual appearance of the stone speak volumes about what a stone actually looks like.

Despite the fact that there are a limited number of diamond cutting centers in the world, and travel to these places takes time, effort and a good amount of money; the majority of professionals within the jewelry industry will still travel rather than opt for the “simpler” online transaction.  Even wholesale, diamonds are still purchased by professional diamond buyers, who can touch and see each piece, themselves. They know it’s a necessary part of picking the quality stones out from the crowd.

Tricks of the Trade

When it comes to diamond sales, especially diamond sales by some online retailers, there are a few “tricks” you should be aware of.

Offering Discounts

This one is probably pretty obvious, but it’s prevalent enough to earn a mention. If a retailer’s offering you 50% off, you may want to ask yourself, “just how much is their mark-up is to begin with?” Rest assured they are still making a profit, and that retail price you see is nowhere near what the stone is worth.

Clarity Enhancement

Now this is a doozy. Sounds like something that’d yield a more beautiful, more valuable stone, doesn’t it?

Clarity enhanced stones typically begin as low-quality diamonds with many inclusions. The inclusions are drilled into and blasted apart with a laser to make them less visible. Then, the cracks left by the laser are filled with glass.

Not only are “clarity enhanced” diamonds not 100% stone, they are in as much danger of cracking or breaking apart as a cracked windshield. A simple sizing of the ring could explode the stone. We recommend avoiding “clarity enhanced” stones.

Offering “Range”

Do you see 1.0 carat diamonds with the same specs but different pricing, perhaps varying even thousands of dollars? In this case, the most expensive must be the best quality…  correct?

Not necessarily. Again, there are so many factors that go into pricing with larger retailers: overstock, bulk purchases, etc. – and again stones rated the same can be SO different in appearance. You still can’t be sure what you’re getting. Don’t be fooled into paying more!

So… What Now?

995462_587892581262500_1022576647_nWe can’t tell you the specific practices of any of the online retailers you may consider. But we can tell you about our practices when it comes to selling diamonds:

– We travel to the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp, and handpick the stones ourselves.

– We never mark up a stone just to give the perception of marking it down later. We believe in a fair price, and a fair price is what you get at Stones Jewelry.

– We work within nearly any budget. Before clicking that button online, trying to save some cash – Come check us out! You won’t be sorry you did.

If you would like to learn more about our diamond selection or check out our collection of stones for yourself, stop by to see us! Our entirely knowledgeable staff can assist you in picking the perfect stone and setting, always eager and happy to help.

One Comment

  1. Stones News & Announcements » Blog Archive Stones Jewelry Discusses a Diamond’s Four C’s: Part II – “Clarity” » Stones News & Announcements Says :

    Posted on October 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    […] more diamond education, feel free to read our piece on “The True Dangers of Buying a Diamond Online”; this article provides some excellent tips on what to look for and avoid when purchasing an […]