Let’s face it: everything you buy today in store is also available online, and often for far cheaper. While some thought it was a fad at first, Internet shopping is here to stay. These days, if you were looking at a pair of runners, you would be silly not to look at the online offers first!
At the DCLA laboratory, we are asked everyday, “How does this work with diamonds and diamond jewellery?”
While buying diamond jewellery and diamonds online may seem like a simple choice, the truth is that there is one huge difference that puts the online jewellery industry in the “customer-beware” box. The difference is that when it comes to diamonds, you have no clue what you’re buying without an independent certification. If you buy a TV online, chances are it will be the same model, make and carry the same guarantee available at the store – but with a diamond, however, you have no idea whether what you’re paying for is what you really get.
When purchasing a diamond online or not, you should always ensure that it is covered by an IDC-recognised certification. The IDC rules are the internationally-recognised and accepted rules for diamond grading and diamond certification as set out by the WFDB, IDMA and Cibjo – the world’s highest authorities in diamonds and jewellery.
If you buy an IDC-recognised certified diamond from your trusted brick-and-mortar store, you will get the diamond you are expecting. It will undoubtedly cost more than purchasing online, but you will have a face to go with the purchase.
If you buy a diamond online, this is unfortunately a different story.
Local sites seldom own the goods listed. In fact the people trying to sell the diamond probably have never seen the diamond themselves. This is because the diamonds are not always in stock at the particular store but are instead part of virtual lists populating the site from overseas sellers. These virtual lists are filled with stones that aren’t actually owned by the site you’re viewing them on. Hawked from overseas anonymous sellers, often there’s something seriously wrong with these diamonds that would make it impossible to sell them traditionally.
So are there any safe sites to buy from? Yes, certainly, if the goods listed are actually in stock and available immediately. Make sure you always check that the diamond has an independent diamond certification from a respected laboratory. That way, you’ll always know exactly what you’re getting. Also, never put a deposit on a diamond to be sourced or delivered and never buy a diamond without seeing it first.
Not all laboratories have the same grading system, equipment or official master stones for comparison. This you will hear from all the recognised laboratories and the honest retailers and dealers. Armed with the correct information from an independent source, you can take charge of the diamond market whether online or off, and get the best deal for your money.