Buying a diamond is a big investment and you want to make sure that you are getting the best diamond possible for the money you are spending. If you are researching where to buy lab-grown diamonds, you want to be able to spot good vendors with good products and avoid bad vendors that are out to take advantage of you. This handy guide will help you choose the right lab-grown diamonds vendor for you.
Check The Dealer’s Reputation
In the business world, reputation is everything, and companies with a bad reputation should not get your business. While it is unrealistic for any company to have a 100% satisfaction rate, they should be able to satisfy the vast majority of their customers and when something goes wrong they should try to make it right. If many customers have had trouble with a particular vendor, the chances are great that you will have trouble with them too.
So how do you find out about a lab-grown diamonds vendor’s reputation? One of the best places to start is a 3rd party review site where customers can rate the vendor and leave comments about the products and services they received. Another good place to look is the customer testimonials on the vendor’s website, as happy customers are often excited to tell others about their pleasant experiences.
See What Kind Of Lab-Grown Diamonds They Sell
Despite the fact that they are considered synthetic, all lab-grown diamonds are not equal. There can be big differences in color and clarity, so they are graded using the same scale as mined diamonds and that grade should be certified by a reputable laboratory. Trusted entities include the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and European Gemological Laboratories USA (EGL).
When researching where to buy lab grown diamonds, it is good to stay away from vendors that tout their “in-house certified” diamonds. This phrase can be a red flag that the vendor might not be dealing in quality diamonds and is hoping that your limited knowledge of diamond industry practices leads you into purchasing an inferior diamond with dubious certification.
See How Competitive Their Prices Are
Diamonds that are similar in grade are generally similar in price across vendors. While there is bound to be some differences in pricing between vendors due to several variables, like where they get their materials, prices that are very high or very low compared to the others are a dangerous sign. Higher prices may indicate that the vendor is overcharging their customers while prices that are surprisingly low may indicate that the vendor is selling an inferior product and is hoping that the low price will help you overlook that.
The easiest way to see if a vendor’s prices are fair is to compare their prices to the prices of other vendors selling similar items. You can do this by taking the specifications of a certain type of diamond and looking up pricing online or asking the vendor to send you a quote. By comparing the prices of different vendors for diamonds similar in grading, you will be able to determine an average price for the type of diamond you want.
Check Out The Information About The 4Cs
A lab-grown diamond vendor that is reputable will have no problem providing their customers with information regarding the 4Cs of diamond grading: cut, color, clarity, and carat. The value of a diamond is determined by how close to colorless it is, the quality of the cut, whether the diamond has internal blemishes or inclusions, and the diamond’s physical weight.
Clear and concise information is needed if you are going to make an educated decision about what diamond to buy. A lack of information or neglecting to provide it when prompted is a big red flag. If the vendor seems cagey about answering your questions or is dismissive of your concerns, they are probably not the right vendor for you.
See If There Is A Trained And Certified Gemologist On Staff
In addition to their salespeople, a lab-grown diamonds vendor should have a trained and certified gemologist as part of their staff. Also called jewelers or gem experts, they are trained to figure out a diamond’s make, value, and authenticity using microscopes and other equipment to study the stones. A certified gemologist is qualified to answer any technical questions you may have about lab-grown diamonds and can provide detailed knowledge about the diamonds you are interested in.
Some diamond vendors only have a single certified gemologist on staff while others are completely staffed with certified gem experts. As you are trying to determine where to buy lab-grown diamonds, ask vendors if the gemologist on staff is available for a consultation. If they are not, ask when they might be available to talk to you. If your request is ignored or you are brushed off, it may be a warning sign of what the rest of the transaction will be like.
Review The Return Policies
The best lab-grown diamonds vendors will have clear policies regarding warranties and returns for the items they sell. The terms and conditions of these policies will determine what hoops you will have to jump through if something goes wrong or you change your mind after you’ve made your purchase. Return policies can vary from vendor to vendor and some vendors do not have a return policy at all, just an “exchange” policy.
If, for any reason, you are unhappy with your purchase, you will want to have the ability to return the product for a refund of your money. While having a small “restocking fee” for returns is not outside of the norm, excessive fees designed to discourage returns are not. Before you make your purchase, review the vendor’s return policies so you will know how long the return period is and whether the return will be subjected to any fees.
The best lab-grown diamonds vendors are trustworthy, sell quality products at a reasonable price, are willing to provide the information you are looking for, and are reasonable about returns. The vendor you ultimately choose should have transparent business practices, give good service, and know how to satisfy their customers when issues arise. There are many lab-grown diamond vendors available to choose from, but some of them are clearly a better choice than others. You should never buy a diamond from a company that doesn’t stand behind its products.