I know what you are thinking - why would a guy who owns a jewelry store in Meridian, ID be giving advice on buying a diamond from the internet? The fact is, some people do buy internet diamonds; if that's a possibility, it never hurts to know what to expect!
We all know (or at least are told) that the internet is cheaper than brick and mortar stores where you can look and learn about what you are buying. I agree; when it comes to diamonds and diamond jewelry, dozens of internet companies appear to be less expensive than Lee Read. Most jewelry store owners think I'm nuts to say that, but it's true.
The fact is, image for image, the internet is less expensive, so if what you are looking for is an image of a diamond engagement ring, save money and buy the least expensive one you can. If you are looking for a drop-dead gorgeous diamond and a well-made ring, I recommend a brick and mortar store.
No one online tells you they sell dull diamonds or lightweight mountings, and you certainly can't tell from looking at an image on your phone or computer screen. Internet companies know the temptation to save money is a compelling motivator, and they spend millions on slick websites and fancy 3D imaging. They also know you won't have anything to compare it against, and after 30 days, they are off the hook.
I just watched a young couple shopping in my store try to decide between three beautiful engagement rings. The woman tried each of them on a dozen times; she was very concerned about how it felt on her finger as she should be since she will be wearing the ring every day. Both she and her fiancé wanted to see several diamonds in different kinds of light. She observed the ring from shadow to bright sunlight because, again, she will be wearing her engagement ring in all these conditions. Anyone can take a picture and photoshop it to look great…but you're not wearing a picture on your hand!
To be fair, I buy things on the internet, particularly if it's hard to find locally. However, I also consider the risk. First, can I afford to be disappointed? Second, is it expensive? And, third, is it a generic enough product that the little details don't matter? I would rather buy a car on the internet than a diamond engagement ring; at least with the vehicle, you're getting a name brand, and it's not a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.
The big draw to buying engagement rings and bridal jewelry on the internet is because it costs less. Many guys just don't understand how something as small as a loose diamond and an engagement ring can cost so much. Diamonds are not important to many men, and there has to be a way to buy one and save money. This sounds reasonable; after all, how hard can it be?
Would you buy a new car without a warranty? Of course not, but that's what you are doing when you purchase a diamond engagement ring online. To you, it's not a big deal because it will be up to her to get any work done. Sure, local people will work on it, but she will have to pay for everything and wait a long time to get it done. At Lee Read, we are cost-efficient, and we make sure our customers don’t have to deal with long wait times.
Everyone has heard of the 4 Cs, so as long as it comes with a diamond certificate, and all the Cs are close to the same, then the 5th C, the cost is the determining factor. Again, all of this sounds reasonable, and internet merchants go out of their way to convince you that all diamonds of the same grade look the same. Sadly, they don't, and you won't realize that until she is wearing it—more on why coming up.
So, what should you expect when you buy an internet diamond? First, warm up your credit card because you have to pay for it before looking at it. Yes, they come with amazing looking pictures of the diamond spinning on your computer screen, but the videos don't tell you anything about how it sparkles in real lighting. Using the 4 C's to buy a diamond is like buying a truck based on a beautifully produced video and a description of the wheelbase, towing capacity, engine displacement, and the color. Forget about how it rides, accelerates, or the feel of the leather and a hundred other things that are important to you. Hmmm?
Next, don't expect a GIA certificate when it arrives even though you are promised one. The GIA is very clear in that they only provide subjective "diamond grading reports," not "certificates" that guarantee anything. Nowhere on the document will you find the word "certificate." The reality is, the GIA can grade the same diamond twice, and the grades can differ in each report. Learn more here.
However, if I'm getting an ideal cut or a triple excellent, I'm buying the best. Again, Ideal in diamond grading doesn't mean it will look great. If the diamond is cloudy, it may not even show on the grading report, but an Ideal cut diamond can quickly look dull. Learn more here.
But, even if it's technically not the brightest diamond out there, how will she know? Just make sure you're not around when her friends want to see her engagement ring for the first time. Women compare their diamonds. Just like guys notice what truck his friend is driving. It's not a competition, but how it sparkles is a definite reflection on you. No one, including you, wants her to have the dull diamond, but many dull diamonds are sold on the internet.
If you want to learn more about how to buy the best diamond, regardless of whether it comes from Lee Read, click this link. What do you have to lose? In 11 minutes, you will know more about how to buy a beautiful diamond than many of the people that sell them on the internet.
Just click the button to the right to text Rebecca and discuss any other questions you may have with a real jeweler.