New York City’s famous Diamond District is home to more than 4,000 jewelers and wholesalers congregated at one single location. Situated in Midtown Manhattan, the entire street is a constellation of small jewelry stores and exchanges selling various types of gemstones, fine jewelry and diamonds.
Did you know that more than 90% of diamonds imported into the US market actually pass hands through the district before making their way to other retailers down the pipeline? Not coincidentally, one of world’s largest and oldest diamond exchange, the DDC, also resides at the heart of the district.
Whether you are a serious shopper or someone who’s just browsing out of curiosity, you’ll find an overwhelming selection of diamond jewelry on display. In today’s post, we are going to take an indepth view into shopping at New York’s famed Diamond District and offer tips to help you navigate the pitfalls of spending money there.
You can find the Diamond District in NY along West 47th Street in between the 5th and 6th Avenue. In the excerpts from Google Map below, I had indicated the district with a red line.
Most stores are open on weekdays and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Do note that the opening hours may vary from store to store and certain businesses only allow visitors by appointment only.
As a consumer, you might assume that the Diamond District at 47th Street is an ideal destination to start shopping for a diamond ring. However, the truth is far from that. In fact, it may actually be more difficult for the average consumer to buy a truly high quality engagement ring than anywhere else.
To the uninitiated, the Diamond District is a huge shark tank. During my visit, I had personally experienced the sinister side of the district where jewelers tried to rip me off by assuming I’m an average Joe who knows nothing about buying diamonds.
Besides aggressive sales people who would say anything to make you believe their claims, you also need to be wary about the false promise of “record low-prices”. I strongly urge you to do your research carefully before buying anything to avoid getting scammed.
Most consumers assume that the Diamond District is full of deals and that they can buy diamonds at wholesale prices. People who believe that are delusional and it is important for you to have realistic expectations.
Here’s my first rule of buying diamonds: Unbelievable cheap deals NEVER exist. As I had explained in my free ebook (simply sign up for the newsletter with your email to download it), if the price of a diamond is too good to be true, its qualities is being misrepresented. A tell tale sign is that these diamonds do not have grading reports from a reliable 3rd party lab like GIA or AGS.
NOTE: If you’re buying a diamond or colored gemstone, make sure you check if the stone is natural and whether it had undergone any form of treatments.
If you intend to shop the Diamond District with zero knowledge, you are asking for trouble and you deserve to get ripped off for not doing your due diligence. Don’t expect the jewelers to give you a complete education and honestly point out negative aspects of their diamonds. Many people had fallen prey to unethical jewelers because they didn’t know better. Don’t let this happen to you.
In my own experience, the sales people on 47th Street are not orientated towards good customer service. Instead, they are extremely sales orientated and would tell you all sorts of stuff just to make a sale. Make sure you read up extensively on Beyond4Cs.com and build up a comprehensive knowledge about the 4Cs before shopping.
Some shops in the Diamond District list their inventory on their websites. To be more productive in your shopping, you may want to shortlist certain items beforehand and make appointments in advance to view them. This will help you save time instead of blindly walking into stores searching for something you want.
Salespeople in the Diamond District area are notorious for their arrogant and aggressive attitudes towards customers. On my last visit, I entered about 13-14 jewelry stores and stopped by countless of booths in jewelry exchanges.
What I noticed was a stark difference in the way customers get treated, depending on the kind of customer you are identified as. In my own experience, the sales person changed his attitude completely as soon as he knew I had no intentions of making any purchase.
Besides a cocky attitude and obvious displays of being inpatient, I was treated with a lack of respect when I started probing for details of individual jewelry pieces. In one instance, I was refused to be shown an item and had a sarcastic remark thrown at me “You aren’t buying anyway, why do you want to see it?” (What? You mean everyone who walks into your store MUST buy something?)
Could you imagine facing someone who said that to you if you were shopping for a 10k engagement ring? It really makes me wonder how these shops can survive if they treat all potential clients in this manner. Anyway, this type of customer service simply irks me and gets on my nerves.
Besides poor service, here are some shady marketing tricks that sales people would use to instill false urgency in an attempt to make you commit to a purchase.
– They will tell you that the item you are viewing is a “hot product” and will be gone by the time you return to the store again.
– If you buy now, they will reduce the price by XX% and this special deal is only valid if you commit immediately.
– They will act like giving you a “special discount” is a big deal and will call their managers, CEO, mother, father or even their imaginary boss to get the discount “approved”.
Now, I’ve been around in the industry long enough to tell you that these tricks are basically lies to prey on greed and impulsive shopping behavior.
Here’s my advice and it also pertains to jewelry shopping in general. You shouldn’t never feel intimidated by the salesperson to ask any questions you have. The job of a sales person is to help you with a purchase and not to scare or pressurize you. If you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to walk away from the situation like I did; simply hit the door and move on to the next store.
The New York Diamond District has more than 4000 businesses and the majority of them are selling the same merchandize. Since the product offerings overlap from one store to another, you should browse around a little to get a feel of the prices being offered. Needless to say, you shouldn’t be making a big ticket purchase at the first store you enter.
Now, one of the most common mistakes people make when performing price comparisons is that they aren’t comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. When comparing diamond prices, you should be using 2 diamonds with similar specifications and paperwork for the comparison. For example, a 1.00 carat G VVS2 diamond graded by EGL is not the same as a 1.00 carat G VVS2 diamond graded by GIA.
Also, you need to beware of misleading banners and advertisements that say “wholesale” prices. This is a marketing gimmick. Wholesale prices don’t exist on the retail storefronts and if you are in a store who claims this, walk away. The real “wholesalers” don’t deal with the public and will only sell to people in the trade or other jewelry businesses.
Here’s a piece of advice to help you in your negotiations with sales representatives. Never tell them how much your budget is or how much you want to spend. If you do, this will set the price that they will charge you. Instead, you want to maintain a bargaining leverage by getting them to show you items you are interested in before mentioning prices.
One common trick jewelers employ to misrepresent their diamonds is through the use of appraisals with overly inflated values and shady grading certification. Bear in mind that NOT all grading certification are made equal.
If a vendor tries to sell you a diamond with a certificate from dubious gemological labs like EGL, GAI, IGI, GALA and etc…, I can assure you that the grading standards are poor and the diamond will be overgraded in its true properties. That is to say, a G VS1 diamond graded by an unknown lab would likely be a J SI1 if the same stone was graded by GIA. You’ll end up paying more for a diamond that only sounds better on paper!
In order to know exactly what you are buying and that the diamond is being represented correctly, you should only consider diamonds graded by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (America Gem Society).
Let me make something clear; you should never shop with the mindset of returning a purchase for a full refund. You want to make the right purchase the first time round by doing it once and doing it well. In my opinion, any return policies the vendor offers is just to safeguard your purchase and to eliminate risk.
Secondly, the majority of diamonds sold in the district aren’t well-cut and more than 90% of goods sold there are sub-par in my opinion. On top of that, the majority of shops on the 47th Street have difficult return and exchange policies.
Before handing your credit card or cash over to a jeweler, you need to be crystal clear on the type of return or refund policies they have in store. If you are a first time buyer, the semantics of return and refund can be very confusing and the context can be different from other forms of retail businesses.
In short, return means you can only return the item and exchange it for another item. Any money you paid will be locked in with the jeweler and converted into the form of a credit. A refund means that you can get your money back. It is best to get all the refund/return terns and conditions written out in black and white.
For me, the rule I abide to when buying diamonds is simple; NO REFUNDS = NO PURCHASE. Speaking from both a professional and a consumer point of view, I will only buy diamonds from vendors who offer NO QUESTIONS ASKED refund policies for 14 to 30 days.
The rationale is straightforward here: if I’m going to be unhappy with my purchase, there’s no way I would buy anything else from the same jeweler again. I’m not going to let my money be locked in with the jeweler and be forced to spend my credit with him/her. Having a return period of at least 2 weeks will give me sufficient time to evaluate the newly purchased piece of jewelry.
If the jeweler you are working with won’t allow a refund policy and only accepts returns, don’t do business with them since these are the kind of people who won’t stand behind their products. Find someone else who would and with the amount of jewelers on the 47th Street, I’m sure there will be someone who would gladly offer you such terms.
Hawkers may be some of the most colorful characters found on the Diamond District in New York City; carrying banners, handling out leaflets and smooth-talking unsuspecting clients into the stores. Personally, I find them to be a huge nuisance because of their aggressive attitude and annoying pestering.
In my opinion, their presence cheapens the district and makes it look like a 3rd world flea market. Based on my own experience and visiting stores touted by hawkers, businesses that hire hawkers tend to offer mediocre products. If you think about it logically, would any respectable business need to rely on street hawkers to solicit business?
From emails sent by readers, I heard horror stories about unscrupulous merchants who trick unsuspecting customers by showing them a particular certificate and selling them a completely different diamond. Unethical vendors take advantage of customers using this switching scam with the hope that they can’t tell the differences in quality. The best way to prevent such rip-offs from happening is to use a loupe or microscope and ensure that the inclusions shown on the certificate matches up with the diamond you are buying.
Another similar scam that ignorant customers get conned by is the use of doctored and fake certification papers. To avoid this, make sure you know how the original grading reports for GIA and AGS look like and verify them against their respective online databases with your mobile phone.
Lastly, regardless of the amount paid for any purchase, always request a printed sales slip which clearly indicates the vendor’s name, address, date of purchase, purchase amount and any applicable sales taxes. Any verbal claims/guarantees that were made by the jeweler should also be written down. This will give you grounds for pursuing legal actions in the event the claims are found to be false.
At any point in time, if a jeweler or store makes you feel uncomfortable, listen to your guts and leave. There are literally hundreds of other shops and exchanges within walking distance that may be better worth your time.
Shops along the NYC diamond district don’t accept cheques and prefer to deal in cash transactions. In my opinion, it is best to make purchases using an American Express credit card. In the event of a dispute, AMEX usually takes the side of the customer and may help you perform a charge back to get your money back.
The only type of jewelry I would recommend buying at the diamond district is precious metal based jewelry because they are sold by weight and aren’t as complicated as buying gemstones. For example, gold bangles, gold bracelets, platinum wedding bands can easily be compared in terms of prices and styles.
Unless you are looking at metal jewelry created by well-known designers, the prices offered to you shouldn’t be drastically different from one jeweler to another. When buying gold or platinum jewelry, look out for a quality stamp or hallmark (e.g. 18K, PLAT 950) which indicates the kind of material used.
All in all, I can sum up the Diamond District in 2 words – Buyer Beware! In reality, the 47th Street is a huge beginner’s trap for buying diamonds. If you don’t want to take the risk of buying jewelry and end up receiving something else for what you actually paid for, avoid the area.
If you had been to the NYC Diamond District, I would love to hear about your experience and details of what you bought (if any). Do share it with us in the comments section below.
Is it important to appraise the diamond engagement ring after buying it? My friend advised me to get a separate appraisal performed on the same day after buying any jewelry from the NY diamond district. I also read that we should get an appraisal done in order to check the quality of the engagement ring.
He did mention a couple of places where I could visit:
1) State Gemological Appraisal & Lab
55 West 47th St. Booth ME-22-384
2) Accredited Gemological Institute
37 W 47th St Suite 503
New York, NY, United States
3) Gemological Appraisal Industry
20 West 47th Street
New York, NY, United States
4) Appraisers WorldWide
105 West 55th Street
New York, NY, United States
5) Universal Gemological Lab Inc
71 West 47th Street #204
New York, NY 10036
Bunda Jewelry Appraisers
608 5th Avenue #701
New York 10020
What are you thoughts on this and do you have any appraisers in the New York region to recommend?
If you had heeded my advice above and only stick to buying diamonds graded by GIA or AGS, an appraisal may not be necessary. The reason why many people often advice getting your jewelry appraised is due to the rampant scams and misrepresentations that happen in the diamond district.
If you are buying an uncertified diamond or a stone with dubious grading origins, I recommend an appraisal because you won’t know what you are getting. Since you know better than to buy uncertified diamonds after reading this article, I trust that you won’t do something silly like this.
For more information on appraisals, read this link: https://beyond4cs.com/faq/getting-your-purchase-appraised/
With the list of appraisers that you mentioned above, I have no prior experience with any of them and can’t offer any comments about their service. In general, I would avoid those that have an affiliation with sellers or those that sell jewelry themselves. Basically, you want to find a truly independent 3rd party service that will not have any conflicts of interest in providing a honest opinion.
Upon entering the district, there’s a bazaar-like atmosphere amid the brightly lit windows and you’ll also notice people straddled to walkways on both sides of the street. These are the hawkers on 47th Street. Like you mentioned in your article, it is best to avoid them.
Personally, I tend to avoid the stores by the walkways and prefer browsing in the jewelry exchanges which houses 100’s of independent businesses under one roof.
If I’m not wrong, there are more than 20 different exchanges located there and they sell everything under the sun in these exchanges.
One word of caution though, you do need to know what you are doing at these places or you’ll get fleeced.
I’m a tourist from France and I recently bought a diamond ring from a jeweler in the diamond district of New York. The sales person assured me that I was buying a natural diamond and it had a grading report that clearly indicated it was a “Natural Diamond”.
When I returned home 2 weeks later at the end of my holidays, I decided to bring the ring to a local jewelry store for a check. The jeweler told me that it was fracture filled and the stone is only worth about 50% of what I paid. At this point, I’m both angry and shocked. I brought the ring to a professional appraiser and paid a fee of 30 Euros to get the ring examined again. The results were the same.
As it turns out, there was a small comment in the report that remarked C.E. and at the point of buying the diamond, I didn’t think that it meant clarity enhanced and that the stone had been fracture filled (or something like that).
Now I have no recourse as the only way I can do something about the ring is to fly back to the United States and confront the store. I hope my story is shared and that your readers avoid the scams. Please forgive my English as it isn’t my native language.
Would you have any idea if the 47th street diamond exchange is open on Saturdays and Sundays? That’s about the only time I would be able to visit. Also, are diamonds cheaper in the diamond district if we were to compare an identical stone to other retail stores? i.e. both stones are GIA certified D color VVS2 triple excellent.
The opening and closing hours for various stores vary from one business to another. The stores along the main walkway are generally open on weekends but many of those that are located inside the higher levels of buildings aren’t.
Diamonds are priced as commodities. In general, if you don’t shop at branded stores like Tiffany or Cartier, you shouldn’t expect to see a huge premium on the pricing of a diamond. Based on my experience, the pricing in NYC isn’t cheaper. On the contrary, they are generally higher because of the expensive rents that the stores have to pay. This overhead is always factored into the list price of products you see there.
From recent experience, shopping around diamond district without doing research and reading reviews is not recommended. You have to be very careful because if you don’t know much, you will get scammed.
When I visited with my boyfriend, I did my research and dig up reviews and listened to peoples’ recommendations. You really have to look around and make sure that when you make an appointment with a jeweler/designer, you read up and know what to expect.
This article was VERY helpful. I just came from the diamond district with my BF shopping for a GIA certified diamond engagement ring.
My question to you is, how can the district price their rings significantly cheaper than well known stores like Zales, Kay’s, etc??? We have seen the GIA certificates, the quality ranged from vs1-vs2, F-H color, 3 Xs for a 1 carat.
How can this be? Other than the bait and switch, are there other scams like fake certificates?
You are wrong. The diamond district doesn’t offer fantastic prices. It’s just that Zales and Kay’s are too overpriced to begin with. You are basically paying Tiffany-like prices at Zales and Kay’s where there is an extraordinary markup.
If you want to compare pricing the correct way, read this: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/
Hello how would one rate a colored stone from the 47th diamond district since black stones aren’t GIA certified if I recall correctly?
GIA does grade fancy black colored diamonds. Those that aren’t sent to GIA for grading are purposely done so for a reason. And that is usually for jewelers to make more money at your expense due to intentional misrepresentation.
Hi, after exposing one of the diamond vendors in the district for some shenanigans after we almost purchased my diamond (we had the certified check and I happened to find the same stone online from a wholesaler at $13K reduction) I have decided to go the online route, can you tell me why every site I explore features the same inventory of stones? I have matched certs/specs from at least 5 NYC websites to Dubai Diamond Wholesalers site. So where are the stones coming from? Are they coming from one central locale, and essentially whichever dealer can sell the stone will pay the wholesaler? Thanks
These retailers get the diamonds from the same database of suppliers. This is true for the majority of the diamonds you see online with the exception of a select few vendors who curate their own signature diamonds. In such cases, these diamonds are “exclusive” to them and you won’t find them being listed anywhere else.
If you are going the online route, make sure you read this: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/
These vendors handpick and keep an in-house stock of ideal cut diamonds that you can’t get elsewhere.
I have been looking online at a site called http://www.lumeradiamonds.com and was curious if you have ever heard of it and if so what your thoughts are on the site.
Their business model is very similar to BlueNile’s and that means you buy blind. It is not a website that has my seal of approval especially if you want to be able to cherry pick the best of the best.
When you say Lumera Diamonds is like Blue Nile and that you are buying blind what exactly does you mean? They say all there diamonds come with a GIA certificate but this is all new to me so I am sure there is more to it then that. If you could just briefly elaborate on what buying blind means.
Thanks for the help!
Also, all you need to do is to compare what kind of information they provide for their diamonds against reputable vendors I frequently recommend.
I’m headed to nyc this month and was wanting to surprise my wife with a diamond tennis bracelet. I contacted one of your recommended on line vendors and they said their bracelets start at $8k. Itshot.com has a huge assortment at all price ranges. I’m so confused. Any recommendation for a 4-6 carat diamond tennis bracelet? Help save my surprise!! :)
I live on the west coast. I have had a frustrating time trying to find a place, on-line or physical building where I can buy gold charms for a bracelet. I have exhausted the on-line sites where I can’t find what I want. I realize that the merchants of the Diamond District in NYC deal primarily in diamonds. By any chance do you know a source for gold charms in NCY. Thank you in advance. Eileen
Hi Paul… great information. I’m in Canada, and have been shopping online for a diamond. As a poster above, I’ve seen idjewellers mentioned on several forums. Any knowledge of this outfit? Any tips for buying from Canada? Thanks!
Unfortunately, I have no prior experience with them and can’t offer any insights to their service standards/product quality.
The advice I would give universally when it comes to shopping for diamonds is: read Beyond4cs.com in full before hitting the stores; whether online or offline. The resources here will equip you with knowledge to avoid scams and ripoff tactics .
Hi Paul. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
I am shopping for a black diamond ring. Can you please recommend a store or online site that is reputable? I’ve seen such a wide range of prices in black diamonds that I don’t know who to trust. Thank you!!
Go to Leibish: http://www.leibish.com/black-diamonds
They are one of the top vendors in the world who deal with black diamonds and other fancy colors.
I received some diamonds from my mother and would like to make a necklace with them. Do you know a reliable jeweler in Manhattan who can do this and appraise the stones?
I want to be sure that the diamonds won’t be replaced..
Many thanks in advance for your help.
Unfortunately, I don’t have someone in the Manhatten area I can refer you to.
I’m looking to buy a ring from James Allen(based in NYC I think) and dispatch it to New Zealand ( where I stay) via FedEx.
Is there any way to avoid local taxes of 22% percent?
Nope. Legally, it can’t be done as avoiding taxes from the New Zealand government constitutes a criminal offence.
Thanks for this article! Hoping you can help me out..
I’m looking for a Peach Sapphire for my GF’s engagement ring and saw one that I’m seriously considering. It’s a 1.91 carat oval cut and looks good to the naked eye. Some minor inclusions can be seen with a loupe but I understand that is common with sapphires. They want $695.
When I asked about a certificate, she said that her husband is a “GG for GIA” and would create the certificate if I decided to buy. She didn’t seem to be pressuring me at all and was glad to hold it for a few days while I decided. She also told me that all sales are final, something about the pricing being wholesale (no returns).
She also mentioned that it was most likely unheated when I asked (but couldn’t say for certain until it was certified/inspected). She went on to say that most of the stones she gets from the this mine are not heated.
I was with my friend who is a young jewelry designer. She’ll be designing the ring for me and has been helping me look for the perfect stone. After looking at a bunch of other stones from other dealers that were either poor quality or over-priced, she thinks this one is great.
So, what concerns me most is the fact that I couldn’t see a certificate from GIA when I was there and the “no return policy”. Should the certificate already be made and available? Is a no return policy ALWAYS a deal breaker? Would it matter if its her HUSBAND certifying the stone, even if he’s certified by GIA?
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated as I really have no experience with gemstones and only know what I’ve researched.
I’m not an expert with sapphires but from what I know, most sapphires have heat treatments. It’s pretty normal. The “no return policy” is the deal breaker for me. It’s not as if you were customizing a piece of jewelry. Price and quality wise, you can probably do some comparisons here: https://www.jamesallen.com/gemstones/
I want to give a shout-out for ID Jewelry in the diamond district. I think it was two or three years ago my husband and I purchased a diamond eternity band from there. I don’t have all the specs with me at the moment, but we didn’t go for a chintzy ring. It was well above average in quality and size to compliment our already 2+ carat solitaire engagement ring. We shopped quite a few stores on 47th as well as the insanely priced jewelry houses (Graff, Cartier, Tiffany, DeBeers, etc etc) and ID Jewelry was the best find. We had the eternity band shipped to our home in Minnesota to avoid taxes. Got it appraised at a local jeweler near home and I think it appraised for triple the cost of what we paid. I did alot of researching online before we even set foot in the diamond district and it paid off.
There were alot of customers in the ID Jewelry store (they have a positive reputation!), but all four of the sales people we spoke with (including the owner who does the actual diamond cutting) were informative, straightforward, and nice. It probably was a little easier for them to show interest in us since we were seriously looking to purchase, but even so, it was a much more comfortable environment than most of the other stores we stopped at.
To conclude, absolutely do your due diligence to understand diamonds in general and ideally each store specifically before shopping 47th St. This was a pretty decent article.
Can you stir us in the direction of resolving issue with diamond district jewelry. My wife bought a 3 + carat diamond which was misrepresented at time of purchase and lack of disclosure about fluorescence and verbally told it was a G and the certificate came through as an H…Upon private appraisal the color is actually a J/K and not a VS2 but a SI1. Of course, we immediately indicated issue to Jeweler who of course inposed no cash refund but upgrade possible. Foolishly we bite the bullet and said ok, let’s go for an upgrade. This has been going on for over a full year where we make visits to their store and they continue to not show us natural diamonds even though we have made it crystal clear we do not want enhanced diamonds. They do appear to be pull diamonds from a collective group of diamonds as available to other jewelers in the area. They have admitted out of respect for us they want to rectify the situation and give us a better diamond which of course we biting the bullet would pay more, but so far, they have shown us nothing which meets our natural, no enhancement criteria. They did try to sell us a diamond which we almost bought which was gorgeous and then when we left the store to make a final decision realized on the certificate it was HPHT. When we returned and said no way, you did not disclose this to us, the salesmen literally lied to our faces and said he had disclosed this to us. They also advertise on their site that they WOULD give a 100% refund IF their ring certificate did not match what ring was received…My wife has great faith that folks will do the right thing, but this jewelry group are very kind, charming but obviously slick and not willing to do the right thing. At this point, she wants to tell them she did find a diamond available to many stores in the diamond district….IF they can show this to us and she is satisfied with this ring, she would purchase it but if they cannot deliver , we want a refund and are willing contact the attorney general, consumer protection groups, BBB for selling falsely…Oh the diamond was EGL and wonder if we could join in a class action suit that we read about. They also in their written advertisement that ring price would fair market value or above.. Well, we overpaid based on our appraisal.
What legal advice or advice in general to pursue getting a refund at this point.? And online we were able to see that they did have some settlements but no details or specifics available.
There has to be some Achilles heel for jewelry stores so they do do “the right thing”. We have in good faith followed their policy but they just are not coming through with any diamonds that are not clarity enhanced or have a yellow tint. Thanks for listening.
correction….”They do NOT appear to pull diamonds from collective group in the diamond district. We have purchased and/or when shopping at some other jewelry stores, all would be able to pull diamonds my wife had viewed online.
Great website. I’ve been reading your different posts.
Would you recommend any stores in the NYC Diamond District? Given we go after doing research…
A Yelp search showed many 5 star rated places such as Jangmi, Ultimate Jewelry Designs, Kent New York, I.D. Jewelry, etc. I will admit that I work around that area and whenever I walk on that block it definitely feels like another world… full of salesmen who will tell you whatever to make a sale and just want to get you inside their stores.
Or is the online route better? Such as JamesAllen.com?? I don’t like Blue Nile’s business model since they don’t physically hold their own diamonds, so will likely not go with them.
Looking for ~around these specs:
Carat: 2 carats
Cut: Ideal or Signature Ideal
Clarity: Not sure but I think VS2 and up?
Color: D E F or G
Looking for a truly sparkly and bright white shiny diamond. I here the cut is what makes it sparkle.
Thanks for your help.
It’s a better idea to get in touch with me via email.
Thank you for your tips! I’m looking to update a ring setting. Do you have tips on purchasing a new setting? I am very interested in watching them change out the setting and not leaving it with anyone for days.
Thank you for any advise you can share.
It’s unlikely that you can get a new setting and get the stone swapped out within a couple of hours. My advice is to find a reliable jeweler to do the work and ID your stone before and after the setting.
I dealt with this one jeweler on canal st in ny for custom chains 3 times and everything was fine, this last time though he has my money for some chains and my watch to ice out, but he is ducking me out and wont answer or respond back to me, i know where his booth is and he posts lots of stuff on instagram, it has been 6 months! he is defiantly ignoring me. what you think i should do?
If you have a dispute with a jeweler, you should call the Consumer Affairs Hotline at 311.
I bought an engagement ring in 2013 from a seller named Garo. My relationship has ended and I tried to sell my ring in a jewellers in England. This ring cost a lot of money. The jewellers told me that the certificate wasn’t real and they wouldn’t buy it. The cert says GAI on it!! I have contacted the seller! Has anyone got any suggestions as to what I can do? I want to sell the ring (it is beautiful) – I begrudge selling it for peanuts when it cost me a lot.
Yep. GAI isn’t a lab that grades to similar standards as GIA. I’m sorry to tell this to you but you were most likely ripped off when you purchased the ring. I have described classic scams like these in the write up. For your case, it’s probably too late to do anything now. You just have to chalk it up to a bad experience and be more careful the next time you buy an engagement ring
Too bad I didn’t read this site first, I went to the diamond district last May with my GF. We went to several stores shopping for an engagement ring. We ended up at a shop we liked, the people were nice, they offered us bottled water and all. I brought a ring from them that was label a E- VS1 1.06 carat ring, it was a loose piece and we sat it in a white gold band. The whole thing cost $4300, that alone should have told me something, when it sounds to good to be true, it is. They gave me a cert, but it was EGL, I had no clue, foolish me. Well as life happens we terminated the relationship, so I said I would sell it back recoup something back and treat myself, but when I showed the ring to local NJ dealers they said no way, EGL is fake, and the ring is label C.E, a filled stone, and they rated it a I/S1, maybe I can get $1500 for that. Reached out to the guy I brought it from a few weeks ago and he doesn’t want to buy it back, not even at a reduced price. Now I am stuck, I might turn it into a earring or tie clip. I should have known better, but the excitement on my GF face during the search got the best of me. I am writing with the hope someone will learn from my error in judgment. Do your research…these dealers need to earn a license to sell, I don’t think they are governed by anyone.
Paul….I would like to sell my emerald earrings with diamonds on it.
Can u plz suggest me a genuine jewellery store where I can I sell my precious jewel.
Any suggestion would be really appreciated
Bring it back to the store you bought it from to see if they are willing to buy it back from you. If they don’t want to take it in, then this write up here will help you out in finding a diamond buyer in new york. But be prepared that you are gonna take a hit and get a lot less than what you paid for the piece.
Hi Paul, your website has some very interesting information, thanks for sharing! I have a diamond that I bought from the diamond district 2 years ago (its fully GIA certificated) and I am going back at the end of this month and am looking to upgrade the diamond to something with slightly better colour and clarity and also to change the shape (From Princess to Emerald cut) How can I know that I am being an offered a good price to trade my current diamond back in and then to upgrade? DO you have any tips and also can you recommend and store in the diamond district where I will get good reliable advice for this upgrade? Many thanks!
This should help: https://beyond4cs.com/loose-diamonds/trading-in-an-old-stone-for-an-upgrade/
You might want to talk to James Allen: https://www.jamesallen.com/
Great information and thank you for all your unselfish effort.
Can you recommend a Diamond ring designer and casting company in NY, NJ and /or Pa who will make a custom setting for a fee and mount stones provided by the customer?
Also, I’m interested in purchasing a matched pair of step-cut Trapezoid side stones to match a emerald stone that I own for the setting I wish to have made. Can you recommend some reputable dealers in side stones, especially trapezoids?
I would recommend you to contact James Allen as they are great with custom designs and can help you source for what you need. For more info, read this: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/
My name is Bratislav Poljak and I am on vacation to USA the next month. I want to know which are the best jewelry stores in nyc diamond district because I want to buy a wedding ring.
In my opinion, the best diamond store is James Allen. They are reliable and offer competitive pricing on their inventory.
Very interesting piece on 47th street a good eye opener! Do you know anything about Empire Diamonds (dialadiamond) in the Empire State Building ?
Also, do you know anything about Anzor? They have quite a website. I am looking for a channel band of sapphires and diamonds in the $1000 range, so not the diamond of my dreams. Do I dare buy online from them? They are a 47th St jeweler. Thanks.
Nope. I have no experience with Anzor or Empire Diamonds. Read through the common scams and misrepresentation techniques in my ebook and this article. If the jeweler displays any of those signs, dump them and keep searching for a trustworthy business.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge on diamond buying. Are you familiar with antique jewellery buying? If so, where are the best places to buy an engagement ring New York City?
I see a few antique jewellers around the diamond district but after reading your article it makes me think they could be potential trouble.
Can you get GIA certificates for antiques?
Hi Paul – I’ve really been doing my homework (online) but can’t seem to narrow down the avg price of a diamond, no setting, with the following critera:
– Round; 1.5CT
– E,D color
– Ideal or better on cut
– VVS2 or better
I am seeing ranges between 19k-24k online. What should I expect to pay at the NYC DD. Thanks and great work!
You can do your research on prices using this link. Just be prepared to get hassled, ripped off and overpay with most of the stores you come across in the NYC DD.
Any place in NYC you reccomend going with my GF to try on rings? She has no idea what type of cut she wants and is looking to try a bunch of options.
You can practically walk into any stores to try rings to see what type of designs she prefers. The keyword here is try and not buy. Taking note of prices and types of diamonds being sold would also do you good. Once you get an idea of what she wants, you may want to refer to this list of reliable vendors to do serious shopping: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/
Loved your article, thanks for opening my eyes.
Id like to know more about Tiffany, is it that much overpriced?
Where can I go and buy a diamond ring without thinking twice about it?
Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/tiffany/
This is a list of retailers that had been tested personally and are highly recommended: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/
What is your take on engagement rings from Macy’s are they legit, over priced, good deals or fair deals? Where is the best place to buy a diamond ring in NYC?
You will be much better off working with a vendor who sells properly graded diamonds and the ability to cherry pick your own stone. One of the best places to buy an engagement ring at New York City would be James Allen. They have a showroom you can visit with a pre-booking of an appointment.
I am trying to buy diamond stud earrings. I found some good 0.5cttw diamond studs on itshot.com. What is your opinion/take on the site and what they offer?
They are not a vendor I consider to be reliable in their listing description and to provide a piece of quality jewelry.
Nice write up Paul!
I agree with you about this NY based district.
In my experience, all jewelry/diamond districts are shark tanks just waiting to feast on the uneducated and uninformed consumer.
Every shark tank does have good fish in it though.
You really do have to do your homework and due dilligence in order to find the honest vendors who operate with integrity and complete transparency.
One thing that I would like to add, is something that I instruct all diamond shoppers to do, even if the purchase is accompanied by GIA/AGS certification.
No matter where you are purchasing from!
Get the diamond verified against the GIA/AGS certificate by a 3rd party GIA certified gemologist.
Every single time.
Though there are many reasons to do so, here’s a compelling reason that I learned about several years ago out of the Toronto jewelry district in Canada.
Jewelers would send a diamond to GIA for certification.
The diamond would return to the jeweler from GIA as:
Round, 1.00ct, D, VS1, EX-EX-EX, Fluor – None
The jeweler would return the same diamond to GIA several times to be recertified.
The result? The same diamond, going out 10 times for certification and coming back certified under different GIA report numbers.
10 certificates, all authentically certified by GIA.
Selling diamonds of lower quality, with the extra GIA certificates produced by the higher quality stone.
Newer technology at GIA ‘may’ prevent this from happening today.
The benefit of an independant appraisal after the sale, and the small fee charged by independent GIA certified gemologists (with no ties to any jewelry store – ‘Appraisers’ who only do appraisals for a living) far outweighs the risk of not confirming larger purchases.
Even the most reputable vendors and diamond dealers can make a mistake.
One of the largest diamond dealers I work with once shipped me a diamond.
GIA – Princess – 2.04ct – F – VS2…
I opened the parcel, took the stone and placed it on the diamond scale…
I was shipped a 2.09ct – F – VS1 and invoiced for the cheaper stone.
The diamond had been mixed up from the diamond dealer’s side, which would have cost them money – But we caught the mistake.
If I hadn’t checked the stone, and my customer didn’t check it, the error would just carry on un-checked.
Human error happens! Plus crooks are out there as well.
There are people behind every transaction, and behind every process is another person.
Intentional scams do happen. Unintentional mistakes and mix ups do happen as well.
The moral of my little rant…
CONSUMER DUE DILLIGENCE: Double check everything, before and after the sale, and have peace of mind.
Keep up the great work here Paul, you are providing valuable info.
In 2012 on our 22nd anniversary my husband and I chose a 2 carat emerald cut diamond we paid a little over 5000 for the diamond. I had since then taken it in to have the prongs lasered, I’ve had it cleaned at least three different diamond stores, I also purchased a diamond band to go with the ring later at a jewelry store ( all these places being in Nebraska since that’s where i lived). After my ring being looked at at least five times I was always asked where was it purchased because the setting was not something that was common in nebraska. When I said in the diamond district they had asked if I wouldn’t mind telling them what we paid for it . we always ask , well what do you think the ring is worth and how much do you think we paid for it and at every single place we were told between 18 to 20,000. I do have a lot a diamond jewelry and I do know just by looking most of the time what is quality and what’s not so I’m not totally clueless. but I guess my experience is totally different than most peoples experience. because I seem to have a ring that most of the jewelers thought was worth four times more than what we paid, but yet others seem to talk about they were being scammed.
You can get a good deal you just need to be aware of how diamonds are graded and do your homework before you go.
I am totally happy with my ring
Hey Paul, your page was extremely helpful, I recently visited NYC diamond district and had thoughts on a Rolex. What’s is your opinion on purchasing a diamond Rolex from the district?
I think NYC would be a decent place to get a Rolex. Just make sure you get it from an authorized retailer and check out the prices before you make a commitment.
Regarding buying a watch, if you buy it from an authorized dealer you have to pay list price. If you buy it from a wholesaler there is a significant discount. Just make sure the watch has papers. Usually there is a warranty too. However, the warranty is not a make it or break it; to pay full price for a warranty (which will only cover some problems, that you may have, which will either way not be that expensive to fix) is ridiculous.
I have a tennis bracelet with diamonds in sterling silver. it’s stamped 925. It’s beautiful. However, I don’t know if these are real diamonds at all. I did the tests I read about online but can’t tell. Do you know of a place in Manhattan that will look at this at no charge or very little? Someone who is honest? I do see diamond tennis bracelets set in silver so I know they exist. I found this among my mother’s jewelry after she passed away so have no idea. I am familiar with the madness on 47th Street and don’t want to get false information.
Just walk into a couple of stores and see if they will help you do a quick check for free. It’s a really simple task. And if they don’t want to, pay an appraiser (neutral 3rd party) to do it.
You often refer to James Allen as an online diamond seller. However, when I search online, James Allen comes up with a location:
551 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10176
I think this is the same company? It does appear that consumers can visit the store?
It’s the same company. They do offer a physical showroom by appointment only.
I have a 5 carat oval H color and everything appears good with two triangle baguettes in the setting
I want to buy a 9 carat emerald cut that has the right width to length and no visible flaws, say an “I” in color also set.
I am looking to trade the oval towards the emerald .
Is there a ballpark price I should be paying to upgrade in size, such as $100,000.
Who would you recommend I go to if I was Iiving between Ft Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida or do you not know anyone there …then of course you seem to know NYC best, can you help
Pricing depends on a lot of factors and I cannot offer you a clear cut answer. JamesAllen.com specializes in large sized fancy shape diamonds and have the channels to source for them. Give them a call or visit their showroom at NY.
What a great website you are running – very informative!!
I’m currently looking at a few stones on James Allen. One is smaller but complies with the ideal parameters of table, depth, crown & pavilion & one is larger & slightly outside these.
Here are links to the stones
Or a bigger stone slightly outside these angles: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.81-carat-f-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1829424
Smaller stone within ideal parameters: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.71-carat-f-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2575447
How important is it to consider the ideal table,depth, crown and pavilion angles when selecting a diamond?
Also, in your opinion, do these stones represent good value for money?
P.S. These are what I have been using to search for:
Crown Angle: 34-35 (sometimes 35.5 with a 40.6 PA)
Pavilion Angle: 40.6-40.9 (sometimes 41 with a 34 CA)
Neither diamonds are good enough to be passable for purchase.
I would recommend these instead:
Compared to the ones you selected, these 2 White Flash diamonds are cut to way better standards and for sparkle.
Love your blog! Never knew there was so much to learn about diamonds, and really appreciate all the knowledge that you’re sharing on here! I ran across the following website and was curious if you’re familiar with them at all?
Appreciate any insight! Thank you!
Never heard of them nor do I have any prior experience with the website. When I did a quick browse, what I do see is that they are listing virtual diamonds and provide nothing beyond a grading report. It’s not how I recommend shopping for diamonds.
I did my homework well and I know what I want. Also I will make sure I only buy a diamond with a GIA grading. So today we went to the diamond district. First in a big room with loads of little shops. They first came with diamonds with ‘normal’ prices and they showed us the certificates, we did trust it kind of… then he was on the phone and he was promising us a stone that was same size and cut but really cheap, about 3000 dollar less … that moment the trust was gone.
Then we went to a real shop, nice people, not pushy.. just friendly, called: Roman Malakov, do you have any experience with this shop??
They offered us a 1.8ct round, H color, SI, excellent cut for 15.000 dollars. GIA report.
What do you think? Trustworthy?
Thanks for your great page!!
Price is on the high side while cut quality is a BIG question mark. Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/
I can tell you that the general consumer will almost NEVER find “deals” or truly well cut diamonds in the district via store hopping.
Yes I already thought so!but if it’s says on the GIA report that’s it’s triple excellent it must be truth, right?
This article here will address the questions about 3EX diamonds and why you will find alot of junk within this broad grading cateory: https://beyond4cs.com/truth-about-gia-triple-excellent-diamonds/
I used Kent Jewelers in the Diamond District. I found the experience to be classy, ethical, professional and intriguing. It was one of those shops that has a bunch of counters in it and it is effectively a “booth,” but a major cut above some of the stuff you see in there. I bought a GIA certified stone. Seller provided an appraisal also. Before getting it insured, I took it to an independent appraiser who appraised it for about 20% more than what I paid, about 10% more than the appraisal the store provided. My father had a similar experience there. Two of my friends were blown away by the prices and service received there too. They were equally excited by the appraised values. Everyone has a “guy,” but THIS GUY is great. I love the process that seems a tiny bit shadey. “Go bring this down to the basement across the street to get it polished” type of thing. But the entire exchange was more assuring than most places down there. Nonetheless, my advice on getting things polished or repaired in the DD is to eliminate the middle men. A ring polishing and dipping could cost 50-100 dollars at a counter. Find where the counter brings the pieces. It’ll be 5-10 bucks. Usually in basement of a shop. Access is more public than it appears once you understand how these markets work. Not too hard to ask a few questions and learn where the food repairmen are for cheap.
I think the romance of New York got into our brains. A simple google search may have prevented us from making a mistake, which was buying a diamond ring in this district. First shop on the left. Had it valued here in Australia and we have truly been conned. Very angry and sad.
Hi Paul, great article and feedback from comments. I have been searching online for loose stones, as I feel all the in-person jewelers are scam artists. They will barely tell you the full specs of the stone, much less show you many options. Online seems to be the best to compare all values and review the full certification reports. Plus they offer great return policies, as you recommend as well.
Have you heard of Yadav or Adiamor? These seem to be two very large conflict-free wholesaler sites, with physical locations in San Francisco and LA respectively. They have reasonable pricing and beat anything so far the jewelers have offered. Any thoughts? Thanks!
There is no such thing as a “wholesaler” site. Any business selling to a consumer directly is a RETAILER and if these business misrepresent themselves in this manner, they are outright misleading consumers.
Thank you thank you thank you! I am planning a trip to NY for another reason and am in the market for diamond earrings. I thought I would kill 2 birds with 1 stone and am SO glad I read this before I wasted my money!
Question – in case I don’t really care about the characteristics of the diamond as long as it appears big and sparkly, is there a trick to get a good price for diamonds which other people may perceive as flawed? (Stones that undergone treatments etc)
With enhanced diamonds, it opens up a bigger avenue of ABUSE from vendors and you are going to get into bigger rip offs.
Reading with interest! I have a love for vintage, in particular Art Deco rings and have identified some that I am interested in…how do I know that all is well and above board with them and the supplier? Your advice is very much appreciated…
You don’t until you get to deal with them. A good sign is that they are selling antique cut diamond rings with reports from GIA. So, in that regard, the color/clarity ratings should be consistent and reliable.
What about diamonds that they sell at Macys? what do you think they overpriced because they always have sales. I bought a diamond ring that was 800$ on sale for 200$
Well, you can absolutely sure that the diamond isn’t worth $800 at all. In fact, it probably doesn’t cost more than $100. Like I said, sales don’t exist. It’s just an illusion of preferential pricing. How would you like it if I told you that a cup of Starbucks coffee costs $100. But since you are in store, I’m going to give you a 95% discount and sell it to you for $5. Great value right?
Here is my thing about Diamonds. Who gives a shit. I picked out my own engagement ring from Zales, i have a price point i wanted to stay in; under $1500 and i ended up finding a ring i LOVE and was exactly what i wanted. Is it a lower carat, yes! Is it slightly flawed…yes. But do i care, not at all.
In my opinion diamonds are only worth what you are willing to pay for them.
That’s perfectly fine if you think that way and there’s nothing wrong with your opinion. There’s a thin line to being oblivious to what you are buying and finding out you had been ripped off.
For most people, when they realized how much they overpaid for a piece of inferior quality diamond and that they had been purposely sold a misrepresented diamond, they experience a totally different feeling. And I can tell you that it is most definitely not love.
There are endless scams in the diamond district, many off my friends including myself have been ripped off there, one time i was purchasing a gold neck chain, i agreed a price and the seller said do you want to take a photo, i said no why?, he said so you can put it on a website, i said no i don’t have a website, i made payment and he put the neck chain in his pocket and said to me come back tomorrow, i said “no” i have paid and want it now, he said ok 1 second, went behind his counter and then come up and said follow me, i followed him to a booth window where someone was repairing jewellery, i couldn’t see much as a small window, he said something to the guy in the window in Russian and passed him the neck chain and a tissue with something in it, he then turned around to me and said he is getting it cleaned, when the chain was passed back it had the fastner changed, i argued this with the seller and he said “do you have a photo”, very sneaky
I’m looking at eternity bands. Nothing crazy. Are they subject to all the same concerns, negatives, scams, etc? I found a reputable seller who was very matter of fact. Is it worth their time to try and swindle someone for a $1000 eternity band?
Also, he is offering an appraisal signed by a graduate of the GIA. Is that just worded oddly or am I overthinking? He does have a heavy accent.
Having an appraisal signed by a GIA graduate means nothing and it is NOT the same as getting a diamond graded by GIA institution. The heavy accent has nothing to do with what is being sold here. That guy could be a scumbag or could be the real deal. There are plenty of GIA graduates around (myself included) and you should never trust an appraisal or what the inflated numbers tell you to make you feel good. That appraisal document is just toilet paper for a lack of a better word. There’s really no way around it if you are buying an eternity ring. You can’t trust the documentation and the safest way to shop for an accurately represented jewelry is to know how to assess it yourself. Otherwise, get the eternity ring from a reliable vendor like White Flash.
You say there is “no way around it for an eternity band” – is that because proper certification would be of the diamonds and not the ring itself? I think that’s a dumb question and if so, my apologies :) This thread is more about individual diamonds than diamond jewelry….?
So one last thing.. back to my ring.. the man I met with in person is really an online retailer. I asked to see the ring since I work in the area, and met him in his workshop with 5 or 6 other people there working on various projects. He comes highly recommended online. 1000+ good reviews on Etsy, Facebook, Yelp. If he was shady it would be pretty hard to hide on the internet given his visibility. I am getting a very customized (odd perhaps) ring made for me at a reasonable, not unbelievable, good price. I felt good about him when I met him.. he answered all my questions and explained the whole process quite well. I guess I’m seeking some sort of validation. At what point does one throw caution to the wind? You said there are good dealers out there – perhaps I stumbled on one? Does it really matter as much when buying a ring with multiple .10 carat diamond baguettes? Or am I driving myself crazy for no reason. It’s $1000, not $10,000. The customization is what makes it hard. My jeweler will do it, but at a huge premium. Any online retailer I’ve tried to work with has been difficult. Mind you, I need this eternity band in a size 13!
I appreciate your input.
Bryan, it’s not a dumb question. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear in the reply. For eternity rings, the diamonds are usually very small and it is not economical to grade them individually. FYI, the cost of grading a melee diamond is going to cost several more times than what it is worth. If a jeweler had to send all the melees for an eternity ring for diamond grading at GIA, the cost of grading (+ other costs like transportation, time and etc) could hit a 4 digit sum.
This article will address your questions: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/what-are-accent-diamonds/
I only know of 2 vendors in the world that use truly well cut melees for their eternity rings. They are White Flash and Brian Gavin. These are businesses I personally vetted. The rest of the vendors (I’ve looked at hundreds if not thousands) don’t use high quality melees.
In your case, I won’t really expect too much from a $1000. I hope this doesn’t come across as rude or offensive but a 1k budget for this purchase is pretty low and really, it is somewhat unreasonable to have too high of an expectation for the price you are paying.
To assess whether the ring is high quality or not, I would have to personally inspect it and I obviously can’t do so on your behalf. In your case, you will need to know what to look out for especially in performance and proper stone matching. So, the onus is really on you to do your due diligence about the vendor’s craftsmanship.
Great site. Do you have any recommendations for the diamond district in LA? Folks have mentinoed Capri Jewelry but there are lots of options!
The diamond shopping zone at LA is a watered down version of NYC’s. I’ve written about it here: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/la-jewelry-district-diamond-ring-shopping/
So glad I found this article! Thank you for publishing it.
My boyfriend and I are going to the DD to ring shop tonight. My boyfriend’s grandfather is in the precious gems business there and is connecting us with a diamond dealer that he trusts. We have been hesitant about buying the ring from just anyone or online because it’s such an important and expensive purchase. I plan on getting it appraised immediately after purchasing and will absolutely not but if he doesn’t do refunds. And yet, I’m still worried.
Love the site, thanks for all your hard work! I recently came into the possession of an old family heirloom, my great grandmother’s engagement ring, that I wish to get appraised. The stone seems pretty large to my uninformed eye (~3 carats, or more) based on the photo scales I’ve seen online, but I have no actual information or certifications.
My questions to you are as follows:
– Do you have a recommendation for where I can get this appraised? As I live in New York City, would I be able to get this done at the James Allen showroom (or somewhere else you recommend)?
– Will the appraisal be able to tell me exact details on the diamonds 4Cs, despite having no background information on the stone?
– If the stone turns out to be well-regarded, I have been thinking about using the stone (in a new setting) to propose. In that case, do you know the typical turnaround timing for placing the old stone in a new setting?
James Allen doesn’t offer appraising services to the public and their core business in NYC is retail. You will need to hire an appraiser to do what you need. A skilled appraiser will be able to assess the stone for you with better accuracy if it is loose. And yes, to answer your 2nd question, they will be able to identify the properties of the stone with no background of the diamond. But the thing is, appraisals are notoriously useless because different people use different standards. It is easier for you to visit GIA at NYC and pass them the loose diamond for grading and this will ensure you get reliable and trusted grading. For turnaround to placing the old stone in a setting, it depends on the design you are looking at and jeweler who is creating the setting for you.
Where do you suggest I look for a diamond station necklace between .25 to .50?
I loved the article. I’ve definitely decided to go the online route. I was looking at some diamonds on James Allen’s website and noticed a diamond that was certified ny IGI. You’ve stated that GIA and AGS should really be the certifications that we should trust. What is your opinion on the IGI certification?
For diamond station necklaces, Blue Nile is a good place to get them. There are plenty of designs at affordable prices to choose from.
IGI is not reliable in grading and the prices reflect that. You should only buy GIA or AGS graded diamonds.
Okay from reading this I gather you only like James Allen, white flash and maybe Brian Gavin. From all the millions of stores, you only trust in these?
I haven’t visited or shopped at millions of stores. I only have experience with thousands of stores and none of those that I come across offer a combination of cut quality, craftsmanship, diamond selection, prices and business transparency that these 3 stores do. If you know any that can beat them in all these aspects, let me know exactly where they are based and what they are selling. From experience, I can only say what I’ve personally encountered and the strict standards I use to review stores. And the sad fact of the industry is that there are plenty of stores that do not have the interests of the consumer at heart and place profits (sometimes even unscrupulously) over ethics. But what do I know? I haven’t been to million of stores yet.
Interesting article, I have a budget to buy a diamond Cuban link necklace, bracelet and custom pendant but with your article I’ll have to up my budget to get the best quality pieces and diamonds. I’ll rather wait than go for their lies in DD about whole sale prices. Rippers. Glad I found your site during my research. I’ll keep reading while I up my budget.
Ps like Paul said. If they ask you for your budget you’re doomed. They all ask the same exact question. Glad I’ve not wasted my time to go in. Including jewelers in Maryland use the same exact sentence. What is your budget.
I am very familiar with the environment and used to know several dealers on 47th Street Jewelry district as I worked for several large fortune 500 companies on 6th Ave., Madison Ave. etc.
I enjoyed your article…very informative, except that you did NOT mention one very, very important thing. How to look at a diamond using a magnifying loupe. People should know about black or other inclusions in the diamond and also to look for holes that were drilled in the diamond where there were black spots etc. The only way to really look for these flaws is to examine the stone alone and not in a setting where flaws can be hidden by the way it was set.
I feel this is an extremely important point for people to know before looking for any diamond!
My other question is if buying another type of diamond piece (ex. a pair of chandelier earrings…) are the diamonds in that guaranteed by one of your recommended certification authorities or is it for only diamonds large enough for a ring or one stone necklace?
I’ve actually written a guide here on using a 10x jeweler’s loupe. The problem with doing this is that most consumers do not have the experience or right skill set to examine a diamond using a loupe. It’s not intuitive and the clarity flaws that you mention require knowledge that needs to be researched beforehand. That’s why it’s much easier to do everything that you say by leveraging on video technology to bridge the gap and level the playing field for consumers. The better retailers online all provide this to help shoppers make better decisions.
I checked out the 3 stores you recommended at the top of this page … what a joke. Not one of them give a straight answer.. Stone not included setting extra no description on the stone…
How is this a joke? That’s a straight answer and the listing pages are transparent. You get to pick your own diamond, you get to control the exact quality of the center stone, you get to cherry pick from 1000s of diamonds with RELIABLE grading certificates like GIA/AGS. You probably want to read more and fill up your knowledge.
Don’t buy Diamonds (or anything) in NYC Diamond District.
It’s always a ripoff–100% of the time.
Buy from a reputable small jeweler in your area that has a great reputation and has been in business for a long time (use Yelp) or Costco sells some great stuff I have seen.
Don’t look for a bargain and you will get some great stuff locally.
Save getting a bargain when you are booking hotel rooms.