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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Avoiding ring diamond scams

How to buy the perfect diamond ring, without spending a fortune?

 The ultimate scam is passing a piece of glass or cubic zirconium (CZ) as real diamond
 The ultimate scam is passing a piece of glass or cubic zirconium (CZ) as real diamond

Although rare, this scam is likely to have the biggest impact on your finances. Being duped into buying a piece of glass as a diamond, can be a crushing mishap.

How do tell a genuine diamond from an imitation? 

Firstly a piece of glass or CZ will not reflect light in the same way a finely cut diamond will. This means that when you look through the imitation you can invariably see clearly what is on the other side (put it on a piece of paper with some print on it). A real diamond scatters the light much better so when you do the same test with the genuine stone you cannot clearly see through it.

Secondly, look at the stone under a 10X magnification. If it is glass, you will see many internal imperfections that look like bubbles introduced in the manufacturing process.

Thirdly look at the stone against a black surface. If it is glass, you will be able to see a lot of the black because the light will not be reflected back at you. If the stone is genuine you will not see a great deal of black because of the way in which light enters and reflects from the internal faces of the diamond back out to the viewer.The label on the diamond ring expresses the weight of the diamond(s) in a ring as ‘carat total weight’ or CTW

This very common pitfall results in many unsuspecting customers being duped. CTW is the combined carat weight of the major diamond in a ring along with all the smaller ones, summed together. You cannot compare prices unless you know the weight of the large diamond as a separate entity to the smaller ones present.

For example, a ring that is composed of a 0.6-carat diamond and four smaller ones of 0.1 carat has a CTW of one carat. Its value would be about $1300 in comparison to a single 1-carat diamond ring, which would be valued at about $5000.

If you’re purchasing a ring with the diamonds already set (not something I would recommend, I think a much better option is to purchase the diamond and then have it set in the setting of your choice), then ensure on multi stoned rings that you don’t mistake CTW for the carat weight of the single stone. "Sir by all means take a look at this near perfect diamond and here’s a X2 (or X5) magnification loupe, to help you"

A diamond should always be examined under a minimum of an X10 loupe if not a specialist diamond microscope. Nothing less than X10 simply is good enough for you to spot all the flaws and make a thorough assessment of the critical factors that affect price. The 50% off sale that ends this Sunday

With everything in life if you remember the old adage ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ you will be just fine. A sale is rarely what it first appears to be, particularly in the diamond trade. Stones are often overpriced and then reduced to give the appearance to the unsuspecting buyer of a ‘bargain’. They rarely are! The Halogen light scam

These days many jewelry stores have these very bright low voltage halogen light bulbs. They produce a very bright light, which is a completely different wavelength to natural light.

My point is that under these lighting conditions the most yellow or flawed diamond looks wonderfully ‘sparkly’ but as soon as you get it out of the door it appears very dull.

Ask to view the stone with the lights down low or in a darker part of the store. Better still check the stones certificate and ensure you get the grade of color you want.Rounding up (always in favour of the store)

As I mentioned earlier a store will have a tendency to round up both color grades and often carat weights to their advantage. For example, a diamond being sold as ½ carat could be anything from 45 points to 55 points. Clearly, a 45-point diamond is of less worth than the larger stone.

Similarly, a slight upgrade to the colour of a stone from for example a J to a G can have a significant impact on the sale value of the stone, as opposed to the actual value of the stone.

The best way to avoid this is to ensure that you only buy a stone that comes with a recent laboratory certificate, from one of the bodies mentioned earlier.Artificially enhanced diamonds

There are a handful of imperfections present in diamonds that can be ‘rectified’ resulting in the appearance of a better quality diamond than is real. For example, imperfections on the surface of a stone can be ‘ground’ away, or filled in the same way that any carbon deposits within a stone can be lasered away.

Both treatments result in what appears to be a ‘better’ and more valuable stone. The truth is very different and stones that have been laser enhanced often become susceptible to splitting in the future.

Fillers used to fill fractures on the surface often discolour with time, and sometimes do not even survive the process used to set the stone into the setting of the ring.

Once again, a stone that has been enhanced will not receive a certificate from one of the testing laboratories mentioned above. Your best bet is therefore to make sure your diamond comes with a current certificate from one of the reputable laboratories.Doctored certificates

Clearly altering a certificate to artificially enhance any of the 4C’s recorded on the certificate is a relatively easy way of selling a stone for more than it is worth.

This doctoring has become increasingly difficult to do these days, as all of the reputable laboratories are laminating their certificates. However, these can still be doctored, but often leave tell tale signs.

Look out for certificates where the laminate looks separated or tampered with. Hidden diamond flaws

The reason why it is often better to buy a loose diamond and have it set in a ring rather than a ring with a set diamond, is because of the tendency in the jewelry trade to hide flaws in a diamond under the prongs of a setting.

This poorer quality diamond can then be passed of as one of a higher grade, based on the fact you cannot see any flaws in it. The flaws are simply hidden behind the prongs of the setting.

The only way of avoiding this is to inspect your diamond when it is loose and before being set. Of course, the other way is to insist on a certificated diamond, where the flaws are highlighted for you to see.


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