Many people believe it’s risky to buy a diamond without seeing it.
However, it is possible to buy a high-quality diamond online by making your purchase with a reputable online jeweler. These jewelers offer images, and videos, of their products, along with detailed descriptions, so you know what you’re buying. Reputable online jewelers provide certification for their diamonds.
A reputable jeweler will offer personalized customer service and a money-back guarantee. The major online retailers buy stones in higher volumes than your local jewelry stores. This allows the online retailers the ability to negotiate aggressively, according to Michael Bisceglia, the president of the catalog and online jewelry retailer, Stauer. Also, their prices are lower since they don’t have overhead costs such as a retail location and salesperson commissions.
When you shop online, you can get a great stone that fits your budget and choose the setting rather than limit yourself to what your jewelry store has in stock, according to Alastair Smith, the author of How to Buy an Engagement Ring. If you’re strategic about selecting the color, cut, clarity, and carat, you can get a bargain on an impressive diamond.
Here are some things you need to know before you buy diamonds online to get the best price:
Stick with a Reputable Retailer
The largest online diamond and jewelry retailer is Blue Nile. However, there are plenty of reputable jewelry retailers, including Whiteflash, James Allen, and B2C Jewels. Before you buy from any online jewelry retailer, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recommends you check out the jeweler.
You should find out how long the company’s been in business, look at the shipping and return policy, read online reviews, and see if they belong to any jewelry trade association. These associations have strict requirements when it comes to service and quality. Reputable retailers provide certification for the stones they sell. Although some independent labs provide gem analysis and grading, Smith says, GIA certification is preferred.
Consider Buying Shapes Other Than Round
Diamonds come in nine common shapes. All these shapes have a huge price saving over the round cut, according to Smith. For example, an oval diamond costs about 25 to 30 percent less than a round cut diamond. Asscher cut diamonds are 35 to 40 percent less. So, by choosing a shape other than round, you can save money without sacrificing on size.
Watch the Weight
Diamond weights are measured in carats. Smith says, most people want to buy a 1 carat engagement ring. However, if you want to save money, you can go slightly smaller. To the untrained eye, you can’t tell the difference between a 0.97 carat diamond and a 1 carat diamond, but the slightly smaller diamond will case almost 10 percent less. So, when you’re shopping online, compare the various weights.
Clarity measures the number of natural flaws or inclusions in a diamond. You pay more for an internally flawless (IF) diamond. If you opt for a diamond with a slightly lower clarity grade, such as a slightly Included (SI1) stone, Smith says, you can get a diamond that does not have obvious flaws but costs 30 percent less that the so-called flawless gem.
Compromise on Color
A diamond’s color refers to its saturation and tone. The whiter or, the clearer a diamond is, the more it costs. The color scale ranges from colorless (graded D) to brownish or yellowish in color (graded Z). You pay the most for diamonds that are graded D through F. By choosing a diamond with a G through I grade, you’ll save money, but according to Smith, you won’t see a noticeable difference in the color.
Don’t Skimp on Cut
You can save if you opt for a lower color grade, lower clarity grade, and slightly lower weight. Smith says you should opt for the best cut. The cut is the diamond’s proportion. This determines how well the diamond reflects light. The cut scale can range from poor to excellent.
Some people sacrifice cut to get a larger size. According to Smith poorly cut diamonds will appear dull. After all, the whole point of having a diamond is to have sparkle.