#19 - You’re Buying a Diamond?

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 at 7:50 pm by LaLonde

This is important!

First, let me tell you, a large percentage of the people in the diamond and jewelry industry are very conscientious and caring people who are extremely concerned that the industry remain at the highest standards and beyond reproach. But, unfortunately, there are a small percentage of people who don’t think this way…and frankly don’t care.

This is true in any profession, bad doctors, unethical attorney, health care fraud, and automotive issues. You name it, it’s there. The majority of the best people in these industries are very sad to know that these things happen in their profession. My profession is not immune to unethical behavior.

When buying a diamond:

1. Do Research

With the internet, there is tons of information available. The website gia.edu is one of the best places to get information, from the leaders in gemology.

2. Purchase From a Local Store

One with a proven track record. Somewhere that you can go back to and discuss issues or problems that may arise. Usually, the jewelers in your area are solid business people, and would be run out of town if they were unethical.

3. Buy a Certified Diamond

a certificate for your diamond. The foremost authority on gemology comes from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). There are secondary certificate laboratories such as EGL and IGI, but they don’t measure up to the standards of GIA. Most high end stores only use GIA certified.

4. A Good Certificate vs. a Suspect Certificate

Make sure your certificate is a recent certificate, one that has been done in the last few years. When a jeweler has a diamond that has a certificate that is 10 or 15 years or more old, that usually means it was taken in for trade towards another larger stone or from an estate or divorce. My first question would be, “where has it been all these years?”

Was the woman who owned it racing motorcycles, skidding on the pavement? Was it being thrown at her (ex)husband and bouncing off the fireplace? Of course, people always say they never did anything to it, and “hardly ever wore it”.

Reminds me of buying a car from a little old lady who “only drove it once a week on Sunday’s”. Found out later that her Sunday drive was down at the Motor City Dragway!

Over time, diamonds can be nicked, chipped, or damaged, and a recent certificate would indicate this. There are people in this business who will deflect their responsibility when the diamond is no longer being represented properly because of a chip or scratches. When confronted, they say things like “I am just a business-man, not a gemologist! I was just relying on what the certificate said!” That’s a lot of baloney. They all know exactly what they are doing, they just don't want to take the extra steps. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to some of these people “the diamond is chipped and it’s not indicated on the certificate”. They reply “I’ll just sell it as-is, the customer will never know!”.

5. Ask Questions

Don’t worry about asking questions, like:
“Can you prove to me this diamond matches the certificate?”
“I need to have a more recent certificate, can you get it re- certified?”
“Can you show me this under your microscope?”
“Can you measure this diamond with a millimeter gauge and match it to the measurements on the certificate?”
“Can you put this diamond on a Sarin DiaScan machine and show it matches the certificate?”
Ask a lot of questions and stay away from people who say they are not qualified, or simply rely on what the certificate says.

6. Support Your Community

Deal with people who are part of our community. People who care about our community and who are making our community vibrant by paying taxes to your schools and roads. Think about this when you go online to buy a diamond from a great-looking website which is nothing more than a small office in a computer-whiz’s basement who could care less about our community.

Written by Daniel J. LaLonde

© LaLonde Jewelers 2018