Love is in the air this Valentine’s Days and some couples might be considering tying the knot. But when it comes to buying the perfect diamond ring for your better half, how do you know you are getting something that’s worth what it costs?
In the world of diamonds, there’s a lot to choose from.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good quality piece,” says Jane Ramsey, a gemologist and appraiser at Tenhagen Appraisals in Miami. “It’s all in who you go to.”
Ramsey shares some tips before you buy that special ring for that special someone. First, where to buy from.
“Buying online, make sure they’re reputable,” says Ramsey. “Make sure you have a good return policy and then go for it.”
Ramsey recommends websites like Blue Nile, White Flash or James Allen. Discount stores like Costco are another popular option.
“You’re not going to have the selection [at Costco] you would in a jewelry store or buying a diamond online,” says Ramsey. “And you’re kind of on your own. There is not someone in the jewelry area. They can take it out of the case and say, ‘Here it is. Do you want it?’ But you can’t ask them questions.”
Then there’s your brand stores like Tiffany & Co., where many times you’re paying for the name.
“They [Tiffany & Co.] have higher standards as far as diamond grading goes higher than GIA (The Gemological Institute of America),” says Ramsey. “They are so particular on the quality of their stones. So, you know you’re getting a great quality diamond.”
The GIA is viewed by many as setting the standard for grading a diamond’s cut, clarity, color and carat, known as the four C’s.
But how do you know you’re getting a diamond and not something like cubic zirconia or moissanite, that look very similar to the naked eye?
“You can sometimes tell a moissanite because you’re looking for the double of the facets or you’re looking for the pinkish orange flash,” says Ramsey.
Ramsey says she’s had clients come in thinking they had a real diamond when actually is was not.
“You know you’re spending a lot of money on this purchase and it’s an important investment and it means a lot and you want to make sure you’re getting a nice quality piece,” says Ramsey.
Ramsey also recommends trying to negotiate with the seller to get the best price, then get your diamond appraised to make sure you got a good deal, followed by getting it insured to protect your investment.