Buying loose diamonds online can be a scary prospect, thoughts of whether or not you are getting a good price? are the diamonds real or fake? or even, what makes a "good" diamond. The diamond market is one that screams "caveat emptor" *(buyer beware).
But fear, not all will be answered in this definitive guide to buying loose diamonds online we will also cover the diamond grading systems and how to get them certified.
What's the Advantages of buying diamonds loose?
Loose diamonds not to be mistaken with raw diamonds (yet to be cut and shaped) are significantly more affordable than the diamonds set in jewelry, some diamond jewelry has up to a 400% markup on price.
Uncertified diamonds are much MUCH cheaper than certified but carry a far greater chance of being fake though with the buying guide below it is possible to mitigate risk while keeping the saving and getting them certified.
Diamond grading consists of four main parts: Carat Weight, Cut, Color, Clarity often called the four C's the infographic below should serve as a rough guide to understanding the grading system.
Clarity (Rated FL - I3) FL being Flawless or the best quality and I3 being the worst with very visible imperfections.
Color (Rated D - Z) D being colorless and Z being very yellow.
Carat (weight) The higher the carats the better!
Shape/Cut with round or "princess round" being the most sort after...
Buying diamonds online
The main concern when purchasing diamonds, not just online be anywhere is if they are real! There are always people out to take your money and make a quick buck! but with the right precautions, we can mitigate the risk of being ripped off.
Where to buy
The easiest and arguably one of the safer options to procure diamonds is via eBay, How is eBay safe? can't people just sell fake diamonds as real? or lie about the total carats? (sometimes called grade/carat bumping) well yes, they can but you can "mitigate" the risk almost completely.
How to mitigate risk when purchasing from eBay and other sites.
Mitigating the risk of purchasing diamonds is actually just common sense, buy diamonds only from sellers with a good reputation and high feedback (with site like eBay) making sure their feedback is from diamond-related sales and not just cheap random items which they have sold to raise their positive feedback count.
Pay only with Paypal which gives you 45 days to open your dispute if said item (in this case a diamond) is in any way not as described or if you are unhappy for any reasonable reason. Do not ever pay with sites like Western Union and MoneyGram which are often used by scammers because the payments are almost completely irreversible.
Get the diamonds certified as soon as you receive them by someone who is a "Diamond grading certified/Registered jewelry " and if what comes back is anything other than what was described in the auction open a deal dispute via paypal/ebay.
Note: Man made diamonds are not worth as much as natural ones also google all unknown terms used in auctions so you understand what you're buying! for example "Treated diamonds" as Wikipedia put them:
Clarity and color enhanced diamonds that sell at lower price points when compared to similar, untreated diamonds. - source
Summary: Buying loose diamonds can be a financially beneficial, fun, rewarding experience when caution and common sense is applied.
The telegraph wrote a rather interesting article written, which is a tad parallel to this post about Buying a diamond and paying for your holiday while on holiday.
Are you buying diamonds for your next project? Let us know about your project in the comments.