Top 20 Diamond Scams

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



All About Diamond Prices

Diamond Pricing: Where can I find out more about the whole diamond market and the usual markups? Are diamond prices inflated?

Motto: Buyer Beware

If you are feeling a little uneasy about spending hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars on a diamond, that’s good. You need a healthy dose of caution to avoid the many diamond scams and pitfalls of the complicated diamond industry. See our simple precautions and our description of the 20 most common scams.

Although they still occur, most scams are overpublicized by the media to sell newspapers or magazines. Most jewelers are honest. But honesty does not necessarily translate into low prices. One store might sell a diamond for $2,000 while another sells the same stone for $5,000.

Why such a difference? In the diamond trade, you will find every style of business from a discount broker in a tiny downtown office to a large retail chain store in a high-rent mall.

Each of these businesses has different expenses and therefore different markups. Markups are necessary to cover costs, but with the efficiency of the Internet, costs are coming down. This can represent big savings for you, the consumer — if you shop intelligently.

Every diamond is unique…no two are alike. That means you can never compare apples with apples when it comes to diamonds. Never. Even if two diamonds have the same color, clarity, shape, and carat weight (the 4 Cs), you could still have up to a 10 – 40% difference in value due to proportions, finish, age of the certificate, fluorescence, etc.

So how do you compare prices from one diamond to another and one dealer to another without becoming a gemologist? Talk to a professional, or get information from experts. But remember the information is biased if the expert sells diamonds, since he or she will try to persuade you to buy a diamond from that store. An unbiased expert can tell you the true wholesale price from the info on any good lab certificate, adjusted for each factor of color, cut, carat weight, clarity, fluoresence and other complicated factors.

The information in this Web site is truly unbiased. We do not sell diamonds, nor do we accept commisions, referral fees or advertising from any diamond dealers. The sale of our information to the consumers that need it is our sole source of income.

Getting a Good Deal

How do you tell a good deal when you see one? If you want to learn it all and do it yourself, you need access to the Rapaport wholesale price list, which is hard to find. Then you need to adjust the Rap price according to shape, fluorescence, crown angles, etc. — 13 pricing factors in all. Knowing the 4 Cs on a diamond is not enough to know how much a diamond should cost.

Doing It All Yourself

Ask your jeweler to show you the Rapaport Diamond Report and help you calculate the wholesale price on your diamond. Then find out how much of a discount he is willing to give you. No, that is not a typo. These days, you should be able to buy a diamond at a price that is actually below the high cash asking prices listed on the charts in the Rapaport wholesale price list. But prices vary considerably, according to the 13 quality factors. Be sure to use our How to Read a Certificate report to learn how to make the proper adjustments.

WARNING: Don’t compare two diamond prices in dollars. A diamond priced at $5,000 might be a better deal than another diamond priced at $4,000, once you consider all 22 subtle factors of quality (the 4 Cs and 18 other important factors). The only good way to compare values is to do it like diamond dealers do… compare the discounts from Rapaport.

You are looking at one diamond priced at $5,000, which is 10% off the Rapaport price for that size and quality, all factors considered. Another stone for $6,000 is a higher quality, and 15% off wholesale. Which is the better deal? You get more for your money with the second one, so it is a better deal.

Getting Expert Help

If you want to save time and make sure you don’t make a costly mistake in your calculations, we strongly recommend using our expert Diamond Pricing Tutorial , which teaches you how to use the large online diamond databases to calculate and prices for any diamond.

Just enter the data from any diamond certificate using the easy pull-down menus and click Submit. The program instantly adjusts for 13 quality factors and searches our database of 270,000 possible pricing combinations to send you the price you should pay.

Wholesale Price List

See how the diamond market works and learn how to read the Rapaport Diamond Report, the “blue book” of the diamond trade. If you are not an expert diamond dealer, please go through our easy, fast, step-by-step Diamond Pricing Tutorial to learn how to calculate what your diamond should cost.

Certificates Are Crucial

Learn why it’s crucial to insist on a “certificate” from a respected third-party gemological laboratory when you buy any diamond. Without a certificate, you are not getting the quality you want…. guaranteed.