Top 20 Diamond Scams

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



RAPAPORT Price List:
What is it?

What is the Rapaport Diamond Report and price list and why is it important?

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 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.

There are enough dealers on the Internet now that prices and markups are sliding. But there is also enough demand on the finer goods, due to education on the net, that premium goods command premium prices, all the way up and down the channel. This makes it a good time to buy a diamond… if you shop and compare intelligently. Some shops are skilled at making a profit at your expense, so you have to be very careful. The key is knowing where to buy, and which stores are honest and which have the best prices.

We did the research for you already, and tested and rated all of the top 24 online diamond dealers and only found 6 companies that earned a perfect score. Then we eliminated the ones that received any poor consumer feedback, and now we are left with two companies that have truly proven over the years that they have the customer in mind. Or rather, they have the savvy to know that by putting the customer first they actually build profit by word-of-mouth advertising from the loyal customers they are creating.

So in the end, these are the two stores that seem to really realize that giving good deals is great for business in the long run. All the others just want to look good, but they dont seem to hold to their word about refunds or service after the sale if you have a problem. Not good! You can read the reports we wrote about our testing results and background research on Union Diamond and Blue Nile and see what we mean. They do it right.

And if you prefer to buy locally, please do yourself a favor and register to read the test results on the best of the 10,000 stores my staff and I tested in the U.S. over the past 7 years. Just enter your zip to find the best local jewelers. These are the ones that we tested and found to have the best combination of excellent prices, service, selection and expertise.

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.

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.

Please go to the Diamond Pricing Tutorial page that I wrote. It will guide you step-by-step to calculate a price for any diamond, in just a few minutes. This is now the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out what your diamond should cost, without a doubt.