Wow, what a great concept of buying diamonds online! Who could have thought of such a novel idea? The person who came up with the idea of taking loose diamonds and putting them on the Internet must be a genius! Imagine buying diamonds online, it’s never been done before! Or has it?
Back to the future!
If we went back in time about 100 years ago, the cutting edge of retailing was a big thick book that most households had and in addition to the Bible, this was probably the most read book in most homes. When a new edition of this book was distributed, everyone couldn’t wait to get their hands on it! Inside of this book was a whole world of new and exciting concepts never before seen by many of its readers. People could find good quality farm implements, the newest of appliances, and even entire houses. The book? The Sears catalog.
R. W. Sears was not the first person to have a catalog and offer goods through the mail. The concept goes back hundreds of years. But it was Sears that improved on the system and he built an empire on this form of retailing.
What is the attraction of buying diamonds online?
Probably the most obvious reason buying diamonds online has become more commonplace is because of the lower prices of diamonds online to comparable diamonds being offered at local diamond jewelry stores. diamond hk But an important safety element to buying diamonds online is the GIA diamond grading system along the diamond grading reports that most diamonds come with these days.
The Wild West of retailing?
The Internet is an amazing place, you can travel the world without leaving the house! Just as you have to use judgment in where to shop in the “real world” you also need to use proper judgment of where to shop when buying diamonds online. The Internet is starting to mature but there are still some basic things you must do to avoid having an online transaction turning out to be a bad experience.
You need to be a smart consumer!
I say this because we are dealing with a product that is like buying a TV but it is also not like a TV. Huh? OK, I’ll explain, if I am looking to buy a new TV, I’ll go to the electronics store, learn about all the features, compare the pictures of each TV, and find a nice model that I like. I might buy it in the store or I’ll write down the model number, I’ll check around at other stores, and then check the pricing on the Internet. The way you shop for diamonds starts off the same but it become difficult to “shop around” because there are no model numbers. TVs are made so that every model comes off the assembly line exactly the same. Because diamonds are all a bit different you will need to do your homework before you go think about buying diamonds online.
5 Tips for buying diamonds online –
Tip #1 – Get a Working Knowledge About Diamonds- This does not mean that you will have to become an expert about diamonds but before you consider buying diamonds online you should understand the basics. Three of the 4Cs are pretty easy to understand but when it comes to the Cut it starts to be more complex.
Tip #2 – Diamond Grading Reports Are a Must- There are only a few different diamond grading reports that will help you when buying diamonds online. GIA, AGS, and GCAL would be the only reports that I would feel comfortable recommending for buying diamonds online. I say this because these diamond grading reports do have a “Cut Grade” which is extremely valuable when making a blind purchase like this. There is a slight difference how they go about doing this but I would tend to prefer the AGS and GCAL reports because they directly measure the optical efficiency of the diamond.
Tip #3 – Judge an Online Retail Like You Would a Local Diamond Jewelry Retailer- For a number of years I was a traveling Sales Rep for a Manhattan based jewelry manufacturer. Because I needed to visit many jewelry stores on a daily basis I ended up being able to quickly “size up” a jewelry store after visiting many hundreds of diamond jewelry stores. Some of the key indicators were the decals on their front doors indicating membership in different industry associations, the information listed in their yellow page ads, the diplomas / awards that were hanging on the walls, or the quality and quantity of the diamond jewelry that were in their showcases. You will need to do a similar judgment about any online diamond retailer that you are considering. Don’t be fooled by a lot of pretty pictures and graphics because in a matter of 45 minutes anyone could put up a website that could look exactly like the best of the online diamond retailers. Pay careful attention to the “About Us” page, it can tell you a lot and read all of the fine print on the “Policies” page. Try to stick with the big, well known online diamond retailers.
Tip #4 – Decide on Your Budget- If you have a clear idea of what is a comfortable amount to spend on your diamond(s) then it will help you make decisions on what will be the most important qualities you need to have in your diamond(s). With the 4Cs when you adjust one of the Cs you can then adjust one of the other Cs. Your money will always be well spent when you try to keep the Cut of the diamond as high as possible within your budget.
Tip #5 – Use a Credit Card- By using a credit card it will give you some protection in the transaction. The credit card companies do give you some additional clout if you need to solve some problems if they are encountered. Some of the big online diamond retailers are now started to offer a bit of a discount if you use a wire transfer because it saves them the price of a credit card processing fee. If you feel comfortable with the company, then you could save a few additional dollars.
It will require some work on your part to make this process of buying diamonds online a satisfying and rewarding experience. It is possible for just about anyone to do this.
Diamonds might be forever but it doesn’t need to take forever to learn how to buy diamonds online.
Do your homework and good luck!
Bud Boland has been in the jewelry business for 40 years and has done everything from watchmaking, diamond setting, jewelry making, and has been a Gemologist for nearly 35 years. He is a Graduate Gemologist from GIA, which is also the place where he was an Instructor. He has taught about diamonds to hundreds of students from all around the world.