There are a number of commonplace mistakes or scams that may occur when you are purchasing a diamond engagement ring. Not all jewelry stores are trustworthy and honest; some individuals do prey upon uninformed consumers so it's essential to protect yourself from these scams and mistakes when buying a diamond engagement ring.
- 1.7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ringdesigned & custom built by Mike Nekta
2. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring There are a number of commonplace mistakes or scams that may occur when you are purchasing a diamond engagement ring. Not all jewelry stores are trustworthy and honest; some individuals do prey upon uninformed consumers so it's essential to protect yourself from these scams and mistakes when buying a diamond engagement ring. 3. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring The Diamond Switch Some unsavory jewelers will switch your loose diamond with another diamond of lower quality. So it's important to avoid this costly mistake; you must ensure that the diamond in the finished engagement ring is the same diamond that was selected and purchased. Here's how this situation typically plays out. Many diamond engagement ring shoppers opt to select the diamond and the setting separately for a more customized piece of jewelry. The couple purchases the diamond, the setting and the jeweler tells the couple to return for the finished ring in a week or two, sometimes longer. During the shopping process, you may thoroughly inspect the loose diamond from all possible angles, but identifying that diamond several weeks or even months down the road can be extremely difficult, especially for the untrained eye. So it's extremely easy for the jeweler to replace the diamond with another one of lower quality. (continues on next page) 4. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring The Diamond Switch (continued from previous page) "A diamond variation in just one color grade can make a big difference in terms of value," explained Mike Nekta, owner of Mike Nekta Engagement Rings in New York City's "Diamond District." He added, "You should ask to have the diamond set in front of you, while you wait. Usually, setting a diamond in the ring takes about 20 minutes. It's worth waiting for it and watching. Keep an eye on your diamond at all times. this way, you know that the diamond you go home with is the actual diamond you selected in the first place."designed & custom built by Mike Nekta 5. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring The Deceptive Lighting When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, it's important to pay attention to the lighting system in the jewelry store. Extremely white, bright lights are not uncommon, but it's important to be especially beware of lighting systems with a blue tint. "Many lighting systems have a blue tint. This will make a yellow diamond look white since the blue cancels out the yellow tones," Nekta cautioned, adding, "It will also make the diamond appear brighter than it actually is. Unless you're planning on taking one of those lights home with you, your diamond is not going to look like that when you come out of the jewelry store. To avoid this pitfall, it's best to view the diamond in different lighting conditions. A more dimly lit region of the jewelry store or the area near the front window of the shop can provide a more realistic, authentic view of the diamond's true coloring and luster. If possible, ask to view the diamond outdoors, in natural sunlight. Honest, trustworthy jewelers will have no qualms about allowing you to view the diamond outdoors, in the company of a security guard. This will provide you with an accurate idea of what your diamond will look like in "real life," once you've left the jewelry store. 6. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring Blue-White Diamonds Blue-white diamonds are sometimes marketed as "special" or "rare" diamonds to unsuspecting engagement ring shoppers. But most often, so-called blue-white diamonds are diamonds that have a blue fluorescence -- an undesirable quality in most instances. "Blue fluorescence in the diamond may affect the diamond's overall appearance, especially under lights that have UV rays, such as sunlight or blacklights," Nekta explained. He continued, "Diamonds with blue fluorescence usually trade for a lower price, so if you to purchase a bluewhite diamond, ensure you're getting it at a discount." Nekta recommends avoiding diamonds with blue fluorescence, unless you're buying a diamond with an "L" or "M" color rating. The reason for this exception? The blue off-sets the yellow tone in "L" and "M" color diamonds, making them appear more colorless. When purchasing a colorless or near-colorless diamond, it's best to avoid the blue fluorescence, as it can give the diamond a white cast, as though the diamond has been dipped in milk. 7. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring The "Spready" Diamond On occasion, jewelers and jewelry store salespeople will market a large table size as a more desirable trait in diamonds. In fact, it's the exact opposite, as a diamond with a wider diameter will be worth less. Nekta explained the reasoning: "The wider diameter can make the diamond look larger, but you lose something very important -- you lose brilliance. The diamond is designed to have a certain depth. The facets are arranged at certain angles so the light enters the stone and reflects out to give you the brilliance, the fire, the scintillation, the sparkle. Your diamond is supposed to sparkle, that's what diamonds do! But it's not going to sparkle if it's improperly cut." While a "spready," wider 1-carat diamond may look larger, it's going to be less brilliant and less valuable than a properly-cut 1-carat diamond that has the standard 6.5mm diameter. So when shopping for a diamond engagement ring, avoid improperly-cut diamonds. They may appear wider, but they will lack brilliance and thus, value. And definitely avoid paying more for a so-called "spready" diamond. 8. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring The Bait and Switch The bait and switch advertising scam is a very common tactic that unfolds when a jewelry store advertises diamonds at extremely low prices, with the objective of attracting engagement ring shoppers into the jewelry store. Unfortunately, the extremely low-priced diamonds don't exist; the super low prices were a ploy to get customers into the store. Since the super-low-price diamonds are "sold out," the jewelry store salesperson tries to sell you a similar -- but pricier -- diamond engagement ring. "Diamonds are a controlled commodity. All of the world's diamond mines are controlled by huge cartels. Everyone is basically getting them at the same prices, so if there's a crazy low price, it's probably too good to be true," Nekta remarked. A similar scam involves posting a "stock" image of a specific stone or ring in catalogues or the internet. No two diamonds are alike, therefore, it's important to get a photograph of the specific item so you know precisely what you're purchasing. 9. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring Super High Clarity A common mistake involves purchasing a diamond that has more clarity than necessary. It's easy to see how and why this would occur -- the salesperson is driven to sell the more expensive stones. And diamonds with "flawless," "VS1" or "VVS" clarity sell for a higher price, but it's important to understand that this super-high clarity does not impact the diamond's appearance to the naked eye. So when shopping for a diamond engagement ring, don't favor extreme clarity over size. "You have to have a good understanding of how much clarity you need in the engagement ring," Nekta explained, adding, "When shopping for an engagement ring, you're typically looking for the most impressive looking ring. "When you're down on one knee, proposing marriage. The first thing she sees is the size and the brilliance of the diamond. She's never going to look at it through a microscope." So instead of opting for a smaller diamond with super high clarity, it's typically best to opt for a slightly larger diamond of a more moderate clarity. In short, the diamond doesn't need to be perfection under a microscope; opt for something that looks attractive to the naked eye. 10. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring Total Karat Weight Carat Total karat weight can be a point of confusion when shopping for a diamond engagement ring. carat Total karat weight refers to the weight of all of the stones in the ring, so unless you're purchasing carat a solitaire, this complicates matters and makes it difficult to evaluate the true value of the jewelry. Diamond size is a major determiner of value; larger stones are exponentially more valuable since they're scarcer. Therefore, a ring with three diamonds with a total karat weight of 1 karat is going carat carat to be of significantly lesser value than a 1-karat solitaire diamond engagement ring. 1-carat When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, it's important to focus on the primary diamond -the centerpiece of the ring. Nekta recommends asking for the weight of the central diamond, in Mike Nekta recommends asking for the weight of the central diamond, addition requesting the karat weights of of the other secondary stones in the ring. In short, don't in addition requesting the carat weights the other secondary stones in the ring. In short, don't consider total karat weight as a whole; consider each stone independently, with primary carat emphasis on the central stone. (continues on next page) 11. 7 Costly Mistakes or Scams to Avoid While Buying an Engagement Ring Total Carat Weight (continued from previous page) Also beware of fraction carat weights; get carat weights in decimals instead. Otherwise, it's easy to pass off a stone with a .98 carat weight as a 1-carat stone; in reality, a 1-carat stone is in a different price range. That .02 of carat weight can make a significant difference in terms of value.designed & custom built by Mike Nekta 12. 7 Costly Mistakes or