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I need help with everything


umidunno
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Hi I just started reading this forum about 4 days ago and I know nothing else but what you guys have posted so I just wanted to get some things straight. My first issue is my girlfriend is a biology major and she is all excited about lab created diamonds. I am concerned because everything I have read says that no company produces colorless or near colorless diamonds and I can't seem to find one that will sale one now anyway. Secondly, I have looked online and have realized that many of the online sellers of diamonds are all juiced up. I have been reading some reviews and when I go through ten pages of reviews and they are all good even the bad ones had good things to say when they posted a 1 star rating I get suspicious. I was looking to spend no more than $800 for an engagment ring and have realized that this is probably a minute amount of money in the diamond world, go figure. Any way I was wondering what I could expect for that kind of money in aspect to clarity, color, size, cut. And after reading the reviews I would like one with a little fl and a gia report. After looking online I realize for only 800 that a gia report is maybe improbable probably due to testing prices. Can anyone help? I know this is probably more than you can answer on this forum but if you have spare time and would like to help me out you can email me at godismywill@yahoo.com. I would greatly appreciate it.

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That’s a lot of questions.

 

RE: Synthetics.

This business continues to evolve. There are a few clear stones on the market now, but they’re still almost impossible to find and they’re expensive. There are also lots of fake synthetics flooding the market. By this I mean synthetic versions of other things that are being sold as synthetic diamonds because of all the press synthetic diamonds are getting. It’s become a remarkably complicated business for what should be a pretty straightforward product. If you want one, choose your dealer very carefully or you’re likely to get stung. Watch out for slick websites and ebay.

 

RE: Online dealers.

‘All juiced up’ is a pretty good phrase. A quick Google search for ‘discount diamonds’ now produces 7.36 MILLION hits. Sorting through that in a rational way is an impossible task and so the real question is not whether there are good dealers online, it’s how to separate them from the 7.35 million that you should avoid. This is where things like this forum, 3rd party appraisals after your purchase, referrals from your friends and your own good shopping skills come in. The first part of your shopping exercise should be about finding the right dealer, not about finding the right stone. For some reason, people insist on skipping this because they think the only difference is the price. The same rules apply on the street by the way. Shop for a dealer, then for a stone, not the other way around.

 

RE: Prices.

You’re correct that $800 is a modest price but it’s not out of the question. Diamond prices are generally based on a compromise of weight, clarity, color and cut. At the top of the page here you’ll find a link to a lookup chart called ‘find online jeweler’. Enter some sample parameters like 0.35-0.38cts, SI2-SI2, H-H and see what you get. At the top of the results page is a chart where you’ll get the opportunity to narrow down your search and change your parameters to look for other things. Play with this for a while and you can get a pretty good idea how some of the attributes relate to the prices.

 

RE: GIA

GIA grading for a stone of this size costs about $75. That’s about 10% of the cost of the stone. For most people, this is still worth it because of the reduced pain of the shopping experience but it’s up to you. Whatever you buy, and wherever you buy it, someone is being paid to grade it. Who? The grader may not be the best place to hammer the budget. GIA grading doesn’t make it a good stone, and not all GIA’s with similar specs are the same but it’s a pretty good place to start, despite the price.

 

Neil

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Most well connected dealers can get you pretty much any stone and most can be pretty competitive on price if they want (they may not want to). Some add quite a bit in the form of value added features like trade up programs, convenient display facilities, etc. and these things come with a cost so it’s helpful to select a dealer with the ‘bundle of benefits’ that you want. Paying extra for a dealer with a good financing program, a prestigious brand or charming sales girls that make the selection process easy is ok, for example, if fine as long as you’re interested in that feature. If you don’t want the financing anyway then you’re not getting anything for your extra money.

 

There’s a tendency in the Internet age to count diamonds as a commodity and to shop for them the same way you do new books, computer parts or airline tickets. Pick a SKU and buy it form the cheapest supplier. This almost always leads to trouble because diamonds aren’t nearly as easy to describe as it seems like they should be. If you played with the search engine like I suggested above, you’ll notice that superficially similar stones can vary in price by a factor of 3 or so. This difference is generally because of cutting and accuracy of grading although there are occasionally other topics. Making sensible compromises is the whole game and you’re relying almost entirely on the dealer about these things. That’s why choosing the right dealer is so important.

 

By the way, financing is almost always a bad deal, I use that as an example only. I am definitely not recommending this route.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

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