Buying a Diamond
So you want to buy a diamond… and don’t know where to start. Well the fact that you are here means you have started in the right direction… doing your “homework”. You want to know as much as you can learn about diamonds, so that you can make the best decision that you can when spending your hard-earned money. You can’t go wrong with that…or can you? Perhaps you have learned about the 4-C’s, cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, and how cut, color and clarity can affect the beauty and especially the price of a diamond. You have heard that your best bet is to get a GIA certified loose diamond. You know the shape, or the style of cut, that your special someone prefers. You even know preferred metal choice and ring size… you’re all set… right? Well… not exactly. The first difficulty lies in your ability to confirm the color, cut and clarity grades assigned to your stone. Without the proper instrumentation to evaluate a diamond, and the training to understand the evaluation, having knowledge about the 4-C’s just isn’t enough. That’s where we come in. At Palmetto Gems, we have a trained Certified Gemologist from the American Gem Society, with both the knowledge and experience to evaluate your stone to ensure accurate grading. But, you may protest, you have a GIA certified loose diamond report that gives you the grade of your stone. For clarification…the GIA Gem Trade Lab does NOT certify diamonds and does not provide a GIA Certified Loose Diamond Report. The GIA will grade a stone and provide a written grade for that stone, which is the GIA’s Diamond Grading Report, but no certification. So if anyone, in an attempt to sell you a diamond, says they have a GIA Certified Loose Diamond Report, beware! That should be a red flag that they either do not know what they are talking about, (and should be avoided for lack of expertise), or are trying to pull a fast one, (and should be avoided for the obvious reasons).
[Note: Within the trade these diamond reports are sometimes referred to as “certs”. And while this is trade lingo, the GIA is careful to point out that they do not issue certifications or guarantees of a stone’s value.]
But getting back to your “certification”, even if you have a grading report from the GIA, (or some other reputable lab), how do you know it is accurate? As good as the GIA is the fact remains that people do make mistakes, and that kind of mistake can cost you a lot of money. How do you even know this paper belongs to the stone you have? You need a professional to help you through this process. A gemologist can evaluate your stone, and any papers that come with it, and confirm the grade and associated quality of your stone to provide you the assurance you deserve regarding the diamond you are purchasing. One last thought on the subject of certifications, or grading reports, and that is this:
DO NOT BUY A PIECE OF PAPER
Well, what do I mean by this? You must actually see the stone before you buy it. Do not buy a diamond based on a report…a piece of paper…someone has shown you. You cannot judge the beauty of a stone by reading a grading report on the internet any more than you can judge the taste and quality of the food in a restaurant by reading the menu. YOU HAVE TO TASTE IT. The same is true for any diamond…YOU MUST SEE IT IN PERSON.
But Wait, There’s More
The story doesn’t end here. A qualified gemologist can do much more. If you are like most people, you have a budget to which you need to adhere. And you want to get the most for you money…you want the biggest, and best diamond that you can afford. That is another area where the qualified gemologist can help you where a sales clerk cannot. The experienced gemologist can help you determine the qualities in a diamond that are important to you. Whether size of the stone is most important, or if quality in the form of the other 3-C’s, (color, clarity, or cut), are more important. A good way to think of this is as follows: Of the following three selections…
Large Quality Cheap
Pick two! Any two but only two. Thus, you can have Large and Quality, but not Cheap. Or you can have Quality and Cheap, but not Large. Or you can have Cheap and Large, but not Quality. We know which of the 4-C’s we can tweak and in what measure, to save you money and still provide a beautiful diamond. Our job is to help you access your needs and desires, and then find the stone that best matches your desires with your budget; NOT to try to convince you to buy something that we might already have, but doesn’t quite “fit”.
We at Palmetto Gems want you, our client, to be happy. And if you aren’t happy then we aren’t happy. We are not here for a single quick sale. We want you to consider Palmetto Gems as your jewelry professional, and as your friend as well. And as such, we want to develop your trust for a long term relationship. We want you to consider us the next time you have a jewelry or gem question or need. And the only way we can do that is to earn your trust. To do that we try to our very best to understand your dreams and then to make those dreams come true.