An Insider’s Guide to Buying a Natural Diamond
There are some hard and fast rules when it comes to buying a natural diamond, however, the biggest mistakes are made by relying solely on the overtly marketed 4Cs, shopping around because no two stones are ever the same and lastly not engaging an expert.
Buying a diamond is an overwhelming experience, particularly given its often one of the major milestone purchases in someone’s life. There’s a number of factors which come into play, and according to Ron Bensimon, from Bensimon Online, contrary to common belief there’s more than just the 4Cs that need to be considered.
Why People Make Mistakes When Purchasing a Diamond?
Ron Bensimon has been in the jewellery and diamond trade for more than thirty years and has witnessed first-hand the mistakes people make when purchasing a natural diamond.
There are hundreds of thousands of natural diamonds available for purchase at any one particular time in the world, and they can be purchased a number of ways; from a retail store; from an e-tail or online store; by a diamond wholesaler or second hand from an individual or pawn dealer.
Conventionally, buying a diamond takes place in retail environment, where a customer walks into a store, selects a ring design and a sale process takes place. There is often little focus of the actual diamond itself and its specific qualities compared to something of similar value.
“The problem with this methodology is that people are buying the diamonds available in store at that time, versus buying what is right for them,” says Ron Bensimon.
Retail stores have limited amounts of stock compared to an online diamond platform. An online platform can house a far greater number of options due to their accessibility to a wholesale online diamond marketplace, which is shared with its customers through a website.
“The pitfall of buying online however, is not doing research to find a trained Specialist who can help with the search or just trying to search yourself, which can be a minefield,” says Ron Bensimon.
What are Some of the Common Mistakes?
“The biggest misconception when searching for a natural diamond is relying only on the 4Cs,” Ron continued.
According to Ron Bensimon, there are so many more factors that need to be attributed to the purchase of a natural diamond.
When considering the 4Cs, logic would convey a high Clarity and Colour stone increases its integrity, but this isn’t always the case. Other factors, only a trained Specialist understands come into play, which can compromise the appearance and monetary value of a diamond.
Ron Bensimon explains, “an example of this is a VS Clarity diamond with a visible black inclusion in the centre of the table will be priced far more expensive than an SI2 Clarity stone with no visible inclusions. This means the SI2 Clarity diamond, which has the lower grade Clarity ‘on paper’ has hidden inclusions and is 100 per cent eye clean meaning it is a better stone to look at to the naked eye.”
This integral information is not communicated in any grading certificates or information on the internet, this is where it is essential a trained Expert with a longstanding understanding of diamonds should be involved in the process.
“The ultimate mistake is buying a diamond unaided and overpaying unnecessarily. A Diamond Specialist can navigate through the diamond’s technical components to ensure you end up with the very best stone for your budget,” says Ron Bensimon.
“The cost benefit to buying strategically with a Diamond Specialist is the customer is likely to end up with a diamond that is visually better, be it a higher-grade colour, cut or weight,” he continued.
Purchasing from retail or an online store without any assistance runs the risk of being caught up in the marketing jargon and being sold something with lesser qualities than understood, often for an inflated price.
According to Ron Bensimon, another mistake people make when shopping around for diamonds is shopping itself, you can’t shop and compare prices of diamonds because no two diamonds are ever the same.
“If you attempt to do so, you will always find a cheaper diamond, but it will never compare exactly to the original stone,” says Ron Bensimon.
Diamonds are priced according to how strong or weak they are in their category. While two stones may have an almost identical GIA certificate, they could have up to a 40 per cent to 50 per cent price discrepancy. It will most often come down to the technical aspects of the stone’s Clarity and what a trained eye can identify.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Other factors to consider when purchasing a nature diamond include milky appearance, brown tint, a recut and when buying a fancy cut if the proportions are doing justice to that particular shape. For example, oval shape diamonds can be a lot wider in proportion, which creates an imbalance in the perfection of the stone, making it look odd when set in a ring.
The Importance of Diamond Specialist
“Speaking with a trained Diamond Specialist is paramount when purchasing a diamond. The guidance and access to their marketplace is invaluable and will often save you up thousands of dollars compared to researching and educating yourself online,” says Ron Bensimon.
There is an art to identifying an excellent natural diamond, and while there’s a number of Diamond Specialists or Experts available, not all are the same. Time has to be invested in finding those that have an inherent understanding of natural diamonds and their monetary value to truly add value to a search.
“You wouldn’t buy an expensive car without a mechanic imparting their knowledge and recommendation first, the same goes for a diamonds,” concluded Ron Bensimon.
Ron Bensimon is a trained Diamond Specialist, completing his Diamond education with the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA).