Top 20 Diamond Scams

The 20 most common scams in stores
and 13 precautions to avoid them.



The Value of the Famous Rapaport Diamond Price List

The Rapaport Diamond Report is the monthly wholesale diamond price list used by dealers worldwide to keep up with changing market prices. But the list is not easy to use. In fact, most stores use the list incorrectly and pass their ignorance on to consumers when they sell stones. I need to explain this one a bit.

Things have changed drastically since I created this site in 1999. I used to tell shoppers to ask to see the price listed on Rapaport for the size, shape, color and clarity of your diamond. But the prices given on the “Rap sheet” as it is known in the trade is NOT enough information to price a diamond. The number you find on the charts is only the starting point. That number needs to be adjusted by many factors, including every detail about the cut (proportions and symmetry and polish) as well as other quality factors like fluorescence. Price also varies hugely from the cutter to the store depending on the store’s credit rating, how much they are buying from that source, whether this stone is being borrowed on memo to show you, or purchased for cash without a prospective buyer, etc.

The pricing of diamonds is a very complex matter.

How To Find Out the Rapaport Price

The Rapaport price list is copyrighted, so we cannot show any details here. Ask your dealer (or a true friend in the trade) to see the latest copy of the Rapaport Diamond Report (which is published monthly). If you can find a copy, look up the per carat price for your diamond. More about how to use the Rapaport price list.

Caution: Diamond prices are so complicated that it takes years of experience to use the Rapaport price list effectively. Even with the Rapaport list in hand, you need to adjust for 9 other factors not included in the list. Ask your jeweler for help or you will certainly make mistakes as you go.

How Can Stores Sell for Less than the Listed Wholesale Price?
The Rapaport Diamond Report is intended for use in all situations in the diamond market. It is used by new, one-time buyers in New York City looking for a single stone, and it is also used by dealers who trade in millions of carats every year. So the prices on the Rapaport list are high cash asking prices used as the starting point for negotiations. Different dealers can buy at different discounts from this list.

These discounts are the key. If your dealer is well-connected, he can buy at better discounts. If he is efficient and keeps costs down, he can offer you a diamond at such a good price that it’s almost like buying wholesale. But it is complicated. Every shape sells at different discounts. Some shapes are not discounted at all. And these days, the cut grade of a diamond can make a huge difference in the discounts. Ideal cuts can actually sell for more than Rap, even to a dealer in the case of a super-ideal, which is what we call stones that have hearts and arrow patterns.

Better Than Using Rapaport
Whether you have access to a Rapaport Diamond Report or not, we strongly suggest using the online price databases that list REAL prices on REAL stones, instead of monkeying around with price charts and formulas and calculations that will never be better than an educated guess. So now I do what I am telling you to do… And I am saying this as somone that invented, created, and maintained a pricing algorithm here on this site for the first few years of this decade.