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Finding a Local jeweler

Contributed by FindMyJeweler.com

To be successful in your diamond search, here is the first and most important rule you need to know:

It is not WHAT you know, but WHO you know

A determined, dishonest jeweler will usually find a way to fool you no matter how much you think you may know. On the other hand, an honest, established jeweler will give you a good deal no matter how little you know, because they know the value of building a long-term business based on enthusiastic customers that tell their friends. They do whatever they can to gain your trust and confidence, because it's in their best interest to have a strong, positive reputation in their community. They want your business for life, not just for one purchase.

A common mistake is to shop around for a specific diamond at a specific price, before selecting a jeweler. The fact is, most jewelers have access to the same loose diamond inventory from the national wholesalers, so in fact nearly any jeweler can get you the diamond of your dreams. The difference is in the jeweler!

9 Questions to ask your Jeweler

  1. Does this diamond come with a grading certificate from one of the two most respected independent gem labs: GIA or AGS?
  2. Do you offer a written money back guarantee? (you should get at least 10 days, and the guarantee should be written on the receipt)
  3. Do you specialize in loose diamonds and fine jewelry? (as opposed to birthstones, class rings, crystal, and watches)
  4. Have you been in the diamond business for at least 10 years?
  5. Do you have a microscope so I can see this diamond under proper magnification? (Microscopes are better than a loupe.)
  6. Do you have a GIA-trained gemologist to answer my questions?
  7. Do you have a full-spectrum diamond light for color grading (instead of the regular display lights found in most jewelry stores that artificially enhance color)?
  8. Are you a member in good standing with the jeweler's trade associations like the Diamond Dealers Club, or Jewelers of America, or the American Gem Society?
  9. Will you show me the Rapaport wholesale diamond price list, and how it works? (Remember Rapaport prices listed in the basic charts are only the starting points)

When you find a jeweler that can answer a definite "yes" to these questions, there's a good chance you have found a respected diamond specialist. Such stores tend to have the best service and integrity.

6 signs of a jeweler to avoid

In contrast, if you're looking for top-quality diamond jewelry, here are the top 6 signs of a jeweler to avoid.

  1. They only sell diamonds with EGL, IGI, or other certs (you should stick with GIA or AGS certs).
  2. They sell laser-drilled stones (GIA always labels stones with laser drilling, but some labs do not).
  3. They sell clarity-enhanced diamonds (GIA will not issue a report on a clarity-enhanced diamond).
  4. They only show you diamonds with a loupe for magnification instead of a gemological microscope.
  5. They sell poorly cut stones (poorly cut stones should be priced significantly less than well-cut stones).
  6. They use pushy sales tactics instead of educating you about diamonds first (so you can make educated, intelligent choices).

Remember, your first job in your search is to find a skilled diamond specialist you can rely on to honestly tell you what they see with their experienced eyes. If you select a true diamond professional first, they will be the best qualified to help you find your ideal diamond. A true diamond expert will describe what they see, in your own terms. Since they look at so many diamonds every day, their eye is better trained to know a good stone when they see one.

Find an expert to trust, then rely on their judgement to guide you in finding your dream diamond.

FindMyJeweler has already done all the work

For over 10 years, FindMyJeweler has tested 10,000+ local jewelers using "secret shopper" tests performed by a diamond expert. The FindMyJeweler diamond expert asks the 9 questions above, checks for the 6 signs of a jeweler to avoid, and much more.

FindMyJeweler is a great starting point for buying locally. Find your local jeweler at FindMyJeweler »