Guide on Selling Diamonds: Watch Out for Scams! (Part 1)

Guide on Selling Diamonds: Watch Out for Scams

Diamonds are highly-prized possessions, most of which are either rings, bracelets, necklaces, or tiaras. If you have decided to sell them, then you need to know exactly what to watch out for to avoid getting tricked into selling diamonds for a much, much lower rate. Here is a guide on some of the most common tricks that jewelers, pawnbrokers, and private buyers use to mislead, cheat, or deceive sellers like yourself.

Two Categories of Diamond Scams

Before we head out to discussing the types of scams, it would be beneficial to know the kinds of scams that are out there. Keep in mind that these are not official terms, and instead act only as a guide for small, independent sellers in their search for a legitimate buyer.

Major Scams – Major scams are what we can label the illegal actions performed by a buyer or jeweler in order to get more than what he rightfully deserves to get from a sale, and at the expense of the seller. One fine example is when a local jeweler decides to switch a loose diamond that is priced at thousands of dollars for a similar-looking cubic zirconia that is only worth a couple of dollars.

While these types of scams rarely happen, it is never a bad thing to prepare yourself for the worst especially when you have diamonds to sell. There are only a few buyers who would have the guts to even attempt to do something like this, and none of these people can do it for a long time without getting caught. The best thing to do – a careful research on any of the buyers you are considering selling diamonds to.

Minor Scams – No matter how minor scams appear to be, whether you are selling antique diamond jewelry or loose diamonds, these buyers can really take so much from the real price of your high-end jewelry. These so-called minor scams are frequently found in many jewelry chain stores. Some of their activities include misleading clients about information on their diamond ring appraisal, overpricing, and not honoring the guarantees they provide.

Why are There Scams Anyway?

When looking at scams, it is very likely that they remain a nuisance is because sellers are not as informed about selling diamonds as they should have. While jewelers are not exactly criminals, some of these buyers are so eager to make a profit that they will try to do what they can to squeeze as much money from you as they can through their time-tested “tricks”.

When uninformed sellers make bad decisions, the jeweler multiplies his or her profit, which also gives that person more reason to continue on doing it.

Common Scams and What to Do About Them

Listed below are some of the most common scams that diamond sellers might see every day. We have also provided some helpful tips that guide you on how best to avoid them.

Scam #1: Using the “This is a Blue-White Diamond” Line

When a jeweler or any buyer gives you this line, beware. This has fooled many people and it is an old term that has caught the attention of the FTC because of misuse and scams in the past. You’re probably scratching your head asking what is “blue-white?” Actually this refers to the fluorescence that results in natural light – and this contains ultraviolet wavelengths. This blue fluorescence makes colorless diamond look milky in sunlight or oily and reduces its value. Now for stones with a faint yellow tinge, a small amount of fluorescence makes it look whiter, since blue cancels out yellow.

What to do: Once you hear this term from your jeweler, walk out and never look back. Clearly, this jeweler may still retain old habits from scam artists of the past.

Scam #2: When the Tag Only States the Carat Total Weight

It can be unfair, but some jewelry tags only list the carat total weight of the diamonds in the ring, completely ignoring the center stone. If you don’t know the weight and quality of the main diamond, then you can’t compare the prices with another ring. Why is this important? One large diamond can be worth so much more than 7 small ones with the same weight. Imagine a diamond weighing 1.00 carat worth $4,500 then compare 7 smaller diamonds totaling 1.00 carats which is worth $1,600! See the difference?

What to do: Always ask for the weight and quality of the center stone, preferably written and certified. If they can’t do this for you, then something fishy is going on and they probably don’t deserve your business.

Scam #3: Do Not Fall for the 50% off Sale at Jewelry Stores

See a sale price in the newspaper? Careful! Sometimes, it’s better to deal with an honest dealer than stores going on sale – some stores have been on a going out of business sale for the last decade… In fact, we’ve read horror stories of people who’ve bought items at 50% off, only to find out it has been marked up so high, the actual retail price is lower than the “sale” price.

What to do: Deal with legitimate jewelers or dealers, and always do your research when it comes to these “sales”.

Watch out for the continuation of this blog for the list of scams you may encounter when selling diamonds. Also check out today for more information on selling luxury items.