Sunday, October 13, 2013

Diamond Scams

When it comes to diamonds, there are 
numerous scams to avoid. Most scams are 
minor, but there are some major ones that 
come up from time to time concerning the 
buying and selling of diamonds. Scams 
occur simply because most people who buy 
diamonds – for whatever reasons – don’t 
know that much about diamonds. Therefore, 
they are easily fooled. 

A common scam that most jewelry stores 
participate in is the Carat Total Weight scam. 
The tag on the piece of jewelry, usually a ring, 
only states the total carat weight of all 
diamonds in the piece, instead of listing the 
total weights separately for each diamond. 
This leads consumers to believe that the main 
diamond in the piece is actually bigger than it 
is. Ask what the total carat weight of the center 
stone is. Also beware of fractions. Jewelry 
stores are allowed to round off diamond 
weights. This means that if the jeweler tells 
you that it is a ¾ carat diamond, it is 
probably between ½ and ¾ carat – but 
closer to ¾. 

Jewelry stores often run ‘fluorescence’ 
scams to varying degrees. Referring to a 
diamond as a blue-white diamond is such a 
scam. A blue-white diamond sounds very 
unique and special, but in fact, this type of 
diamond is of lesser quality – even though 
the jeweler will try to make you think you are 
getting something special. Jewelry stores 
also like to show their diamonds in bright 
lights. Lights make diamonds shine. Ask 
to see the diamond in a different, darker 
type of lighting as well.

Some truly unscrupulous jewelers target 
those who want appraisals on diamonds 
that were given to them as gifts or that were 
purchased elsewhere. They will try to tell you 
that the diamond is worthless, or worth less 
than it actually is worth – and offer to take it 
off your hands or trade it for a much better 
diamond, along with the cash to make up 
the difference. This is called low balling. 
Get a second, third, and even a forth opinion 
before taking any action.

Another common dirty trick is to switch the 
diamond you have chosen and paid for with 
one of lesser quality and value when you 
leave it to be set in a piece of jewelry, or 
leave a diamond ring to be sized. The only 
way to avoid this is to do business with one 
trustworthy jeweler. Avoid jewelers that you 
have not done business with in the past.

There are many more scams that jewelry 
stores commonly pull on unsuspecting 
consumers. Just use your best judgment, 
and purchase your diamonds with the 
utmost care and consideration.