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Sunday, February 5th
When it comes to buying a valuable gemstone like a diamond, you may be inclined to shop in person. However, there are true benefits associated with making an online purchase. For example, you will have access to a much wider selection of diamonds online than you would in person. This enables you to comparison shop and find the best quality at the best price. More than that, you will not feel pressured by a salesperson when you shop for your next diamond online from home.
The benefits of buying a diamond online may be too good to pass up. However, as is the case when you buy anything online, you need to do your research to get a good deal on your purchase. What steps should you take as you walk through the online buying process?
Learn About the Four C's
Diamonds are graded using the four C's, and these are cut, clarity, color and carat. Each of the factors plays a role in the beauty of the diamond as well as its value. With this in mind, regardless of whether you shop for a diamond online or in person, you should be educated about the four C's.
The diamond's cut, for example, describes both the shape of the diamond and how many facets it has. A Round Brilliant cut is the most popular cut. In addition to having a round shape, it has 57 facets. These enable light to enter the gemstone and to reflect off of the angled surfaces. As a result, the cut can impact how brilliant or fiery the diamond looks. A few of the other popular cuts are Princess, Oval, Cushion, Emerald and more.
A diamond's clarity describes how many internal and external imperfections can be seen in the diamond under a 10-times magnification lens. Some of these imperfections may not be visible with an unaided eye, but they can impact brilliance. The imperfections come from mineral accumulation during the natural formation process. Diamonds with fewer or no imperfections are exceedingly rare and are more valuable.
Diamonds can also become discolored by the minerals that are absorbed during the formation process. Colorless diamonds have a glass-like quality, and this gives them a brilliance that makes them more valuable and rarer. Diamonds are graded on a color scale that ranges from colorless and near-colorless to visibly colored. Some of the diamond colors that you may find are blue, pink, gray, yellow and brown. Both the hue and the saturation level are taken into account with the grading process.
When you look at the carat weight of a diamond, be aware that several factors may make a heavier diamond look smaller and vice versa. For example, imperfections in the diamond can make it weigh more or less than other diamonds that have the same physical dimensions. In addition, the diamond's cut will impact how large it visually seems.
Another important matter to consider if you are buying a diamond in a setting is its total carat weight. This refers to the collective weight of all of the diamonds in the piece of jewelry rather than the weight of the largest stone.
Read the Diamond's Grading Report
Diamonds that are sold by reputable sources will each come with their own diamond grading report. Grading reports should be generated by reputable sources, such as GIA, rather than by the seller. The report will detail everything you need to know about the four C's so that you can make an informed decision. You should be aware, however, that there are fraudulent grading reports circulating for some diamonds. If the report is from GIA, you can easily run a check on the institution's website to verify its authenticity. Simply confirm that all data on the seller's report is accurate before you make your purchase.
How can you confirm that the diamond you are interested in purchasing corresponds with the grading report in front of you? The diamond should have a laser inscription. Usually, this is a tiny number that has been laser-etched onto the diamond's girdle. It may only be visible under magnification. This number should match up to the number listed on the grading report.
Research the Jeweler
When you buy anything online, you need to ensure that the seller is reputable. Does the seller have good reviews? What is their return policy? These and other questions are relevant when you are buying a diamond as well. Before you make your purchase, research how long the seller has been in business and what associations they are affiliated with. For an added sense of confidence, research those associations to determine what guidelines the members are required to meet.
In addition to conducting research in these areas, take time to read consumer reviews. These should be off-site reviews on independent websites rather than reviews on the jeweler's website. Consider calling the business directly as well. Pay attention to how easy it is to reach an informed person, and ask specific questions to gauge their knowledge level. Finally, look at the transaction policies. Is the transaction secure? Will the seller insure the shipment? Where is the shipment coming from? What is the seller's return policy?
Consider Paying with a Credit Card
When you take these steps before buying your diamond, you may enjoy a high level of confidence when making your purchase. However, there is one additional step that you can take to add a layer of protection to your shopping experience. Many major credit card companies offer some type of refund policy that can provide you with recourse. For example, if you find out that your diamond is not actually a diamond after it arrives and the seller is not refunding your money, you may be able to get a refund through your credit card company.
Be aware that not all sellers accept credit card payments. When you pay with another payment method, you limit the recourse available to you. Before paying with a credit card, however, confirm your creditor's buyer's protection policy.
Appraise the Diamond
By taking all of these important steps, you may make your purchase confidently and receive your diamond in the mail without a hassle. Before you consider the transaction finalized, take one more important step. Contact an independent diamond appraiser. Ask the appraiser to confirm that the description of the diamond matches the actual diamond that you received. The appraiser may also provide you with a written valuation of the diamond. This can be saved so that you can properly and fully insure your purchase with your insurance provider.
In the event the diamond does not correspond with the description or the value is significantly off, you understandably want to return the diamond. This involves walking through the steps in the seller's return policy. If you run into an issue with the seller's return policy, you will need to work with your credit card company to seek essential recourse.
Added Benefits from Shopping Online
While there are many steps to take when you are buying a diamond online, these steps should also be taken when you make an in-store purchase. However, when you shop for a diamond online, you can enjoy the added benefits that come from an online shopping experience. From access to more diamonds to the ability to conveniently walk through your process without pressure from a salesperson, it makes sense to make your next diamond purchase online. Simply keep these tips in mind so that you can make a smart selection with confidence.
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