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There are a bunch of online jewelry distributors that all essentially provide the same services: a broad range of products, tools for browsing, custom designing your product, financing campaigns and lower prices compared to offline stores.
However, there is one particular company called The Diamonds Factory which seems to be in line with the rest and is relatively well-known in the United Kingdom. In this review, we take a look at how this vendor is different and check out some of their product offerings in greater details.
Diamonds Factory claims that they have the best diamond prices on the planet, by providing “factory prices”. And the surprising thing is, they actually seem to provide prices that are reasonably lower than that of their competitors.
However, knowing the power of diamond cartels like De Beers, it is very unlikely that any company providing industry-standard quality could survive with prices that are way below the industry standards.
Once you pay a little attention to the product designer application, you will unravel the reasons behind the apparently lower prices. Let’s take a look at two random examples of ring listings found on The Diamonds Factory here and here.
When the pages first load up, I’m sure most people will be shocked to see incredible prices being offered on the listing pages. What appears to be a large, flawless diamond mounted in a setting is seen to the left of the page.
However, once you take a closer look at the variables on the right, you will see that the default pricing shown is actually for the price of a diamond with a color grade of H-I, a clarity grade of I1 and a certificate issued by Diamonds Factory ( how clever! ). Caveat emptor.
There’s a reason why these rings are unbelievably cheap. The truth is that you are not going to get the stated quality because the diamond isn’t accurately graded to GIA’s standards. Read my article on the differences between diamond grading labs to find out more…
This isn’t all. Here’s a search I did within their inventory and I want to highlight some crucial details that unsuspecting consumers may not know about. Look at the “Lab” column and see how many percent of their stones were actually graded by reliable labs like GIA and AGS.
I did a count and the numbers were surprisingly LOW. Out of 20 diamonds, only 2 were graded by GIA. That’s a measly 10%. The rest of the 90% are diamonds graded by labs which would make me run as soon as I see them.
Here’s the inventory listing of a search for G – SI1 – 1 carat rounds…
Now, do you see why they could offer “factory” prices for their diamonds? The bulk of the inventory is made up of diamonds with reports from unreliable sources. THIS is the reason why they are priced at cheaper prices. The truth of the matter is that you will be overpaying in value if you were to purchase any of these seemingly “cheap” stones.
Aside from that, we had also put the main diamond search function to test and selectively looked for “Ideal” cut round brilliant diamonds. What I found was that their filtering system and criteria for categorizing diamonds as “ideal” didn’t turn out to be as ideal as I thought (pun intended).
Don’t believe me? Simply slide the bars to limit your search to “1.00 – 3.00 carat ranges”, “round diamonds”, choose “GIA & AGS” in the advanced settings and “Ideal” for cut ranges. Telltale signs pointing to diamonds that are not cut properly include physical dimensions that fall short of ideal cut ranges and poor faceting proportions.
In short, the default filtering parameters aren’t useful and you will need to tinker with it heavily in order to get better results.
You can try plugging the details from the diamond reports into the HCA software to see what it predicts. This is a quick and dirty method to instantly weed out diamonds with bad proportions.
Of course, my point here is NOT every diamond listed is a dud but rather, you need to do a lot of work to find a diamond that “performs” well. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of having such a search filter in place if you have to go through so much hassle to make a proper selection?
Shopping online should be a convenient process and not a hassle.
There are some standard “financial” features that almost every other competitor in the market also provides. Price match guarantee (that is entirely their interest, after all) is common, and so is the 30-day money back guarantee which TheDiamondsFactory provides.
When it comes to online jewelry retailers, live customer support is a pretty standard business practice. However, after waiting more than two hours with a “Live Chat” window open, there was still no response. For online shoppers who are looking for immediate answers to their questions, this is a real bummer.
On the other hand, The Diamonds Factory does provide viewing services at their office and this is a feature that pleasantly surprises me. If you want to view diamonds in person, you simply need to schedule yourself for a consultation with them.
Truth be told, this is an uncommon practice for online stores and might reveal more details about the product you are about to buy.
If you decide to schedule a viewing appointment, my advice is to go with a mindset of gathering information. I don’t recommend making any purchase on the spot and stay firm if you are pressurized into a sale.
This is in lieu of the type of certificates typically used for their diamond jewelry. If need be, you might want to ask an independent specialist/appraiser to accompany you on your visit.
You will most probably not end up with a potato in a box if you decide to buy something from them. Overall, The Diamonds Factory still looks like a decent place (there are many other sites that fare worse in our reviews…) to do casual shopping.
This is contingent on the knowledge that you know exactly what you are doing and that you only consider buying GIA/AGS graded diamonds. On the bright side, they do have some sleek looking designs in their wedding ring designs.
Personally, we can’t recommend a service that we feel isn’t up to our highest standards. The Diamonds Factory is one that we think you should give a miss given that there are better alternatives in the market.
Regardless of where you decide to shop, it is important to fully understand what you are buying and make sure that you only buy GIA/AGS certified diamonds. This will ensure you get exactly what is stated on the grading report.
In order to buy the best diamond for your budget, you need to make your decisions based on tangible data like videos, scope images and cut precision data.
If the vendor doesn’t provide them readily, don’t be shy to ask for them. If they refuse or can’t provide the information, ask yourself why you want to work with the vendor in the first place.
A listing that offers full transparency and tangible data to help you make better decisions.