False claims and costly bargains: How to spot fraud and avoid misrepresentation.

There are many factors affect quality and value in diamonds. When the average person is looking at a diamond already set, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to see differences that can dramatically affect cost. For this reason, we recommended buying any important diamond un-mounted, and mounting it only after all the facts have been verified. But, you don’t have to be a “gemologist” or fear buying jewelry. If you follow a few simple steps, anyone can buy with confidence.

Four key steps to avoiding fraud or misrepresentation:

The first step is to buy from someone accessible and knowledgeable.

Sellers should have the skill to know for sure what they themselves are buying and selling. This is not to say that there are not bargains to be found in flea markets, estate sales, and so on, but you run a higher risk when purchasing in such places because of possible misinformation , intentional or otherwise. You must weight the risk versus the potential reward. In addition, before making a final purchasing decision, ask yourself whether or not you will be able to find the seller again if what you bought turns out to be other than represented. This is equally true when traveling and considering a jewelry purchase abroad.

Second, ask the right questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask direct, even pointed questions. The key to getting complete information about what you are buying is asking good questions so you can be sure you are aware of important factors affecting quality and value.

Third, get the facts in writing.

Be sure the seller is willing to put the answers to the questions you ask, and any representations made about the gem or jewelry you are considering, in writing. If not, we recommend against purchasing from this seller unless there is an unconditional return policy which allows merchandise to returned within a reasonable period of time for a full refund (not a store credit).

Finally, verify the facts with a gemologist appraiser.

It’s especially important to verify whatever has been put in writing with a professional gemologist appraiser. Some unscrupulous dealers are willing to put anything in writing to make the sale, knowing that written assurances or claims about the stone are often sufficient to satisfy buyers’ doubts. So this last step may be the most important to ensure you make a wise decision.

Types of Misrepresentation

Beware of bargains!

Diamonds represented to be better than they are

Beware of bargains. Most are not. When a price seems too good to be true, it unless the seller doesn’t know its true value (which reflects badly on the seller’s expertise).

Scams involving appraisals prior to sale

Beware of jewelers no willing to put the facts in writing, but who offer to let you take the stone, to an appraiser in the neighborhood. This may be a scam.

One must always be careful of recommendations from the seller. While legitimate jewelers usually know better than anyone else who the best gemologist appraisers are in their communities, and their recommendations should be respected, you must still be sure to check the credentials should be respected, you must still be sure to check the credentials yourself to avoid such scams. diamond painting