Diamond Buying Guide: Is it a Fake?

With so many imitation or inferior diamond jewelry pieces available, inexperienced diamond shoppers may be duped into buying a fake. To avoid the hassle of being scammed, most people only buy jewelry from reputable diamond retailers such as those located in the mall. Unfortunately, jewelers of this sort tend to be expensive. Hence, jewelry buyers often seek out least expensive retailers. This might include online diamond jewelry retailers or discount diamond jewelry shops. Because many retailers operate diamond scams, the risk of buying a fake is higher with independent jewelers. Quality imitations such as certain cubic zirconia and moissanite can pass for a real diamond. Thus, some dishonest retailers will charge real diamond prices for imitations. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid buying fake diamond jewelry. Consider the following tips for spotting an imposter.

âÂ?¢ Some jewelers have a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” In other words, if the buyer assumes that an imitation diamond is real, the jewelry will not disclose the truth. To outsmart the buyer, some discount or wholesale diamond jewelers will purposely not include price tags on the jewelry pieces. This way, they can size up the customer, and price the jewelry accordingly. Pricing the jewelry high also leaves room for negotiating. Therefore, even if a customer is able to negotiate a lower sale price, they will still pay more than the jewelry is worth.

� Imitation diamonds are typically set in inferior metals. Moreover, the setting is generally flimsy. If buying from an independent jeweler, closely examine the setting and mounting. Even if the jeweler affirms the authenticity of a diamond, if the metal looks cheap or shabby, the diamond is likely a fake.

� Quality imitation diamonds closely resemble real diamonds. However, real diamonds are more durable, and less likely to have scratches or nicks. Furthermore, quality metals that accompany real diamonds have a unique luster or shine. If the diamond in question has imperfections or scratches, pass on the jewelry piece. It could possibly be a quality imitation, in which the jewelry is attempting to pass as a real diamond piece.

� Each diamond piece includes a grade from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Before purchasing a diamond piece, request a copy of the GIA certification. If the jeweler is unable or refuses to provide this information, assume the diamond is an imitation and walk away.

âÂ?¢ Get the diamond appraised by an independent appraisal. Some jewelers will offer free in-house appraisals. However, if the diamond is a fake, the jeweler can easily fluff the diamond’s worth. Instead, ask to have the diamond appraised by a company not affiliated with the jewelry store.

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