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.