In his excellent book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey espouses habit number 2, Begin with the End in Mind, as a primary driver to success in anything. This habit is quite possibly the most important consideration when buying a diamond, because beginning the process of buying the right diamond at the right price requires forethought, and most importantly focus. It is in the spirit of “focus” that we want to tell you what NOT to worry about when you ultimately buy your gem. So without further ado, please find our list of the most incorrect 5 Diamond Myths.
Diamond Myth number 1 – A diamond from one part of the world is better than a diamond from another. Walk into the Diamond District in New York City and you will find 1500 jewelers packed on one city block, 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. If you walk up to the first booth in the first store at the top of the diamond district you may find Igor (names changed for obvious reasons), the Russian diamond dealer. Igor will tell you (in a thick Russian accent) that “Russian diamonds are the best in the world because Russian jewelers are the most precise stone cutters on the planet.” The booth next door will have Ira. Ira is of Bulgarian decent and he will tell you that there are good diamonds and bad diamonds from every part of the world, and that it is a combination of factors, the least of which is the stone’s country of origin, that determine its quality. Believe Ira. Country of origin makes no difference in the quality of the stone.
Diamond Myth number 2 – When you buy a diamond online you get an inferior stone. Online dealers such as James Allen, Blue Nile and a host of others have been selling diamonds online for decades. They offer diamonds at a discount, but that does not mean that the diamond is inferior, it means that they don’t have the overhead of a brick and mortar store and that they pass the savings on to you. They sell diamonds that range in price from thousands to millions of dollars. It is the buyer’s knowledge about the 4 C’s of color, cut, clarity and carat weight that ultimate drive value, not whether they bought the diamond online, or in a brick and mortar store.
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Diamond Myth number 3 – You must spend three month’s salary on an engagement ring. This is as antiquated as saying that you can only marry a man or woman that was introduced to you by a family friend. Some people have spent years saving for the perfect diamond, others will struggle to scrape together a week’s pay. This ultimately is a decision between the man and woman.
Diamond Myth number 4 – All diamond grading labs are the same. Let’s start with what a diamond grading lab is for those who don’t know. Diamond dealers send their inventory to labs to independently “rate” the diamond’s quality for 4 to 6 characteristics (i.e. color, cut, etc.). Some labs “over-grade,” while others are quite conservative. All things being equal you want the lab that is conservative. For more information on diamond labs see Jewelers.NYC’s report on diamond grading labs here.
Diamond Myth number 5 – There is only one perfect diamond for her. Nope, there are millions. New York has ½ a billion dollar’s worth of diamond inventory flowing through its city every single day. This means that an astute diamond buyer will trade off a little on one characteristic that may go unnoticed (say color) for an improvement in another that will definitely be noticed (say carat weight).
So there you have it, five things you don’t need to worry about, so that you can focus on what’s really important – getting the right diamond at the right price for your upcoming occasion.