Really we are. There are some top rate diamond experts who lurk here and it is not (usually) an adversarial issue with the jewelers. We’re all selling something, some diamonds, some jewelry, some appraising, some advertising, but the common thread is that we’re here to help YOU. Hopefully this will come back to us in the form of you supporting our own businesses but it’s entirely optional. All advice here is completely free and comes with no obligation whatsoever. We get asked for specific and personal advice on individual stones fairly often and it would be VERY helpful in giving useful answers to start with a few guidelines.
1) Say in the headline what you’re asking. ‘Advice on princess cut diamond’ would be good, as would ‘What do you think of this one?’ ‘Should I buy this 2.50ct. GIA/VVS2/F pear cut?’ is even better. ’Diamond questions’ is not so good. ‘My jeweler is too expensive’ isn’t so great either. Try to be different from other posts around the same time so it’s easy to avoid confusion between you and other posters but it's ok to have the same name as something last month.
2) Tell us what you want. Shape, size, budget, speed requirements, etc. Are you fitting it into an existing ring or buying a new ring to fit the stone after you get it? Do you love a particular clarity or length/width ratio? Are you looking for a storefront in the UK or an internet souce who ships to Singapore? The advice is not the same. Let us know your shopping parameters and we can do a much better job of answering quickly.
3) Be specific. Find a particular stone or two to ask about instead of open ended things like ‘What’s the best marquise available for $5000?’ Don’t post a list of more than 3 stones for comparison in a single question.
4) Provide ALL of the information you have. This is tricky and it’s the problem area for a lot of people. Give us the weight, clarity, color, shape, dimensions that you know, the name of the lab that graded it and the report number if you have it. Post photos if you’ve got them. Feel free to link directly to the advertisement but be aware that some people have complained that they posted a link to ask questions about what they thought was a great deal only to find that someone else jumped in and bought it while they were talking. They didn't even get a thanks for the referral. If you’re going to be asking about a stone currently available online, contact the vendor first and see if you can put it on reserve for a few days while you think about it. Most are pretty cooperative as long as you don't abuse the process.
5) Include the style of the dealer. Not all stores have the same business models and a local jeweler will almost always cost more for the same stone than a discount online place. A boutique at a resort will be still higher and a secondhand deal from an individual will usually be less. This isn’t an endorsement or condemnation of ANY of those and each has it’s merits but it’s just the facts. The guy in the parking lot who says ‘hey buddy, wanna buy a diamond?’ may have very attractive prices and you may even want to do business with him (or not), but we can’t know that this is what’s going on if you don’t tell us.
6) Don’t be coy about the price. It’s one of the nice things about the internet. YOU are anonymous. Some people have more money than others and we don’t care. Really. If budget is your hot button and you’re willing to put in some effort to find the cheapest deal, tell us that’s what you’re looking for. Similarly, if you’ve got the money and you’re just looking for a painless and risk free deal that’s going to be as little hassle as possible, tell us that too.
7) Pictures are worth a thousand words. Scans of the cert, photos of the stone, ASET, Idealscope, Brilliancescope, photomicrographic images, and anything else you’ve got really help. They also make it more interesting for other readers who are following your story. If you have trouble uploading, consult with the admins. It’s free and there are no significant limits on how much you can include.
8) Say please and thank you. Your mother was right about this.
9) Pay attention to the advice given. Feel free to ignore any or all of us and it's even ok to argue if you think we're wrong but don't just ask the same question over and over again in the hopes that you'll get a 'better' answer the next time.
10) Tell us how it worked out in the end. Pictures are always good. It wraps up the story for other readers and it makes the gurus feel good that we've helped someone. If you’re REALLY happy, come back and post an endorsement of the jeweler(s) who treated you well. Start a new thread with their name in the title. They deserve it and it’s extremely helpful for the next shopper. Especially if we’re talking about a storefront jeweler, be sure to include the location.
11) Have fun. Life is short. Diamonds are cool. Try not to stress out.
Edited by denverappraiser, 09 June 2011 - 10:49 AM.