Between mobile food delivery services like DoorDash, grocery store delivery services like InstaCart and of course two-day Amazon Prime delivery services for anything under the sun, it seems today’s greatest commodity isn’t a commodity at all, but instead, convenience and time. With the immediate gratification that comes with services such as these, it’s no wonder each industry is trying its hand at similar models, including the online diamond industry.
What was once considered to be a well thought out process, is now marketed using a similar instant gratification and cost reduction models. Hop online, pick out your diamond and bam, you have an engagement ring at a seemingly reduced price. What more could anyone looking to save time and money want? Well, let's start by debunking a few online buying myths.
Unlike a precious metal such as gold that’s set a certain price, diamonds and diamond jewelry aren't a commodity in the traditional sense of the word. The vast education it takes to understand diamond complexities makes it so. Even though it may seem like you’re getting a good quality GIA grade diamond online, diamonds with the same GIA grade can greatly differ in quality and in price. To understand how this is possible, it’s important to first remember that a GIA certificate is still an educated option. Basically these reports have a list of caveats protecting the grading authority from legal action resulting from inaccuracy.
Diamond Education 2.0
But why the inaccuracy? The general rule applied to grade intolerance in diamond reports, ie) GIA, is one grade for both color and clarity. This means that a 1 carat diamond graded as a G SI1, may vary in color from F, (the top end of the grading scale), to an H, the bottom end.
Similarly, the SI1 clarity rating may vary from VS2 at the top end, to SI2 at the bottom. As you might imagine, this range in a G SI1 diamond can create quite the quality and pricing difference, a 56% price difference to be exact.
This example demonstrates that two different diamonds, with the same grading, can reflect two very different prices while still being graded with accepted international standards. Without the help of a professional diamond retailer, it’s almost impossible to determine accurate quality and cost. Check out the bottom of this post to run your own online experiment.
Diamonds have value in terms of cash money, and obviously a strictly graded diamond is more valuable than a poorly rated diamond. There is always a reason why one diamond is less expensive than another. More often than not, potential buyers believe the difference in price is due to retail margins, however the most common reason for price inequality is diamond inequality. Be sure you’re asking these important questions to any diamond retailer you work with.
The most important thing to consider is to buy the diamond and the dealer, not just the diamond report. Diamond reports do not assign dollar amounts, they only describe diamond characteristics. Remember, no two diamonds are alike, and strictly graded diamonds provide more value and are worth every extra penny.
As a company, we’ve always believed in the value of in-person shopping, especially as it relates to something as important and meaningful as an engagement ring. Twelve years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making one the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same.
To sum it all up, here are our top five reasons to think twice before purchasing a diamond online.
Lack of Trust- Did you know that online diamond stores do not offer any quality guarantee? If something is in fact wrong with the diamond you purchased, (say an imperfection you weren’t expecting, or the color is off), it would result in you overpaying for a diamond you thought was a great deal. The truth is there is a lot to consider outside of the 4Cs that someone who isn’t in the diamond profession would have no way of knowing. Read more about how online retailers cannot offer a quality guarantee.
Quality - A diamond should be inspected top to bottom with a magnifying glass so you have a clear understanding of what you’re actually purchasing. An online website has no pressure to offer you a top quality diamond at a reasonable price since you’re not meeting them face to face after all. This brings us to our next point.
The Customer Experience- Buying a diamond online means making one of the biggest financial purchases of your life completely blindsided. As you might imagine, it takes years to understand and learn how to evaluate a diamond, which is why buying online can be so tricky and unforgiving. Sure you can try to pawn off a faulty diamond, but you will end up losing hundreds, if not thousands in the process. Do yourself a favor and go with a jeweler that prides themselves on the customer service they offer, and has many repeat customers. Check out our Yelp reviews.
Cost- Purchasing a diamond online means you’re not able to work with an experienced jeweler to come up with a diamond ring, (setting and all), that fits within your budget. It’s a common misconception that shopping online will get you a better deal. An experienced jeweler can help you prioritize what is most important to you and your significant other, (say diamond size perhaps), and find you the best options given your criteria and budget.
It’s Confusing- Even searching by ideal cut, grade, clarity, carat and cost, will render you a vast amount of conflicting results. How can you then make an educated decision on which diamond is best?
At La Bijouterie, we take a personalized 1:1 in-person appointment approach. We adopted this way of conducting business over 8 years ago because it allows us to educate the potential buyer and it has proven to be most successful. Now more than ever, customers are seeing the value of uninterrupted appointments. It’s a dedicated time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.
When it comes to customer experience, you can rest assured that your satisfaction is our utmost concern and that your happiness is our singular focus. Curious to learn more? Book an appointment today.
At Your Service,
Founder, La Bijouterie