We understand. Buying a diamond that will cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars online can be a nerve-wrecking process, especially if this is your first time doing so. The prospect of handing over such a huge amount of money to an anonymous, faceless seller can be a rather concerning one. And even more so if you are buying this for an important, once-in-a-lifetime event, like an engagement proposal. You wouldn’t want to end up getting stiffed and end up with your saved up funds gone, and messing up the entire event.
Fortunately, just as the internet can be a scary place where anyone can claim anything, it is also a place where anyone can say anything. All you have to do is to do a bit of research, and cross-check anyone’s claims – the credibility of any online diamond store can be researched at a click of a mouse, and any positive or negative reviews for them is open for all to see. With that, you can quickly discern the legitimate online retail diamond jewellery stores, and those which are out to scam you. If you do your due diligence online, you will never be ripped off!
If you look at it, in a sense, it is even safer than buying from a local brick and mortar jewellery store – even though you may have the psychological peace of mind of having someone face to face to you, you are still dealing with someone who you have never met, and is not necessarily looking after your best interests when making recommendations. In fact, instead of being able to take your time to learn and research, as well as make countless comparisons with similar products, you’ll have to take their word for it on the quality and cost of the diamond jewellery. And don’t forget, diamonds sold at brick and mortar stores are definitely sold at a higher price due to their higher overheads!
So how can I identify a legitimate online diamond store?
Your very first step is to simply look at the website itself! Good web design and good site infrastructure are your very first clue. Legitimate companies spend time and effort in not only making their websites look good, but also work well. Does it look great? Is the website easy to navigate? Does everything work as it should compared to other legitimate websites you know? Good websites are time-consuming and expensive to make – scammers are usually unwilling to make the investment into making their website that good. If a website looks like it is stuck in the early 2000s, then that’s a huge hint to bring your business elsewhere!
Any self-respecting website selling diamonds online in this day and age will also have a built-in diamond viewer of some sort. Not just pictures of diamonds, but high quality and 360° diamond viewers that allow you to rotate and view their inventory from any angle, and in extremely high definition images. The best sites will allow you to magnify and view the diamond in a level of magnification that is even better than viewing through a loupe in a brick and mortar store!
Most importantly, be sure that the online diamond retailer you are looking at has the right kinds of certifications for their diamonds. The two best kinds of certifications come from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Gem Society). These two gemological institutions are the most well-respected diamond grading institutions in the industry, and they are also independent institutions, ensuring that the grading is unbiased and objective. If the retailer instead offers in-house grading as opposed to certification from these two institutions, it is best to avoid them, as we cannot be sure that they are truly unbiased.
Of course, the most important thing to do is still to do your due diligence and have a bit of research on the retailers you are interested in. A quick google and you will be able to gather consensus about the credibility of the retailer in question. Make sure you read reviews from independent websites, like ours.
Will my diamonds be shipped safely?
After finding a retailer that is legitimate, you may have another worry on your mind – will my diamond jewellery be shipped safely? Won’t a greedy postman or someone else handling my shipment steal such an expensive package?
That definitely seems like a legitimate worry to have in first glance! However, let us set your worries to rest. Any legitimate diamond retailer would have considered this factor well beforehand – after all, they are even more worried about their shipments getting hijacked by unscrupulous individuals – they send out hundreds or thousands of shipments a day!
A legitimate online diamond store would send their diamond products in discreet packaging, and the return address would be obfuscated – which means the sender cannot be identified. The package would look like any normal parcel with no hint of the valuable stone sitting just inside! This is also the same for their return labels – they are designed in a way that does not reveal the receiver, ensuring that even if you are returning a diamond product for any reason, it’ll still safely reach its destination without the contents being revealed! Furthermore, all these packages will require a signature from the stated recipient before the package is even handed over, ensuring that only the intended recipient will receive the package.
Finally, diamond products should be sent with insurance. This ensures that even if in the event that the parcel in question does get lost in a stroke of extremely bad luck, the item in the parcel is fully insured, so both you and the seller are protected and reimbursed for the loss – meaning they can send you the product again with no loss.
Shopping for diamonds online is an extremely safe activity, and even brings more benefits to you than shopping in a local brick and mortar diamond shop. All you have to do is put in a bit of effort in research – make sure their website is of high quality, that they offer GIA or AGS certificates, that they have a good return policy, and of course, have good reviews on independent third party websites like ours.
Still a little nervous about taking the plunge? Why not take a look at our reviews, or send any of your concerns to our diamond consultants?