HOW TO BUY A DIAMOND
Before you purchase a diamond, read How to Buy a Diamond: Secrets from Underwood's. This free booklet contains important, factual and unvarnished information about what really matters when shopping for your diamond:
- Why credentials and integrity of the seller are important
- What actually determines beauty and value
- Why some diamonds are so much more valuable and beautiful than others of the same size
- What grading factors can reduce the price of your diamond without giving up beauty
Anyone who has ever shopped for a diamond for a loved one knows the frustration of trying to purchase a "blind item," or an item that requires knowledge, experience and training in order to judge quality and value.
It's a statistical fact that of all the sellers of diamonds in the U.S., less than 5% have gemological training, and an even smaller percentage are actually accredited gemologists with professional titles such as Certified Gemologist or Certified Gemologist Appraiser.
This "blind leading the blind" situation encourages fictitious pricing where a highly inflated "retail price" is placed on the diamond and then deeply "discounted" to make it appear like a bargain. This practice is increasing with the rise of Internet ecommerce sites. In many cases the seller's credentials and reputation are unknown. The sellers may be here today and gone tomorrow, and, of course, there is no recourse.
Your best protection is to buy from an established jeweler with a reputation to uphold. You should insist on seeing credentials (Certified Gemologist and Certified Gemologist Appraiser are the highest titles), as well as a written guarantee of an item's specific quality and value. This written guarantee should be notarized for legal protection. A legitimate and qualified jeweler will be happy to show you his or her certificates and put in writing anything they tell you verbally.