Rapaport - News

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How do I buy a diamond and avoid all the scams

How do I buy a diamond and avoid all the scams at the jewelry stores?
Let's separate scams into two categories: major and minor. Frankly, major scams rarely occur... but when they do, the media overpublicizes them to sell newspapers or magazines.
On the other hand, minor scams are very common and are found in almost all of the major jewelry chain stores to some degree. Such scams persist simply because it is hard for consumers to educate themselves before they buy. That is why we decided to stop selling diamonds and start offering this much-needed information to help consumers buy intelligently.
Below are the common scams and mistakes we see every day...and tips to help you avoid them. We also wrote a few basic precautions to protect you against almost any trick you might encounter.

Blue-White Diamond A jeweler tells you, "This is a blue-white diamond."
This is a very old term that is now carefully controlled by the FTC because of misuse and scams in the past. The dealer will probably tell you that it is a better diamond, but actually it is just the opposite. Blue-white refers to the fluorescence that results in natural light, which contains ultraviolet wavelengths. This blue fluorescence actually makes a colorless diamond look a little oily or milky in sunlight and decreases its value. However, for stones with a faint yellow color, a moderate amount of fluorescence can make it look whiter because it cancels some of the yellow. Solution: Avoid any jeweler who still uses this term and walk out, since he may have old habits established by scam artists of the past.

Carat Total Weight (ctw)
The tag only states the CTWMany jewelry tags only list the "carat total weight" of diamonds in a ring and do not list the center stone separately. You can't compare prices with another ring if you don't know the weight and quality of the main diamond. This is crucial because one large diamond is worth much more than 6 small ones that total the same weight. For instance, if you have one G/VS2 diamond weighing 1.00 carat, it might be worth about $5,500. But 10 smaller G/VS2 diamonds totalling 1.00 carats might only be worth about $1,800. Big difference! And normally, smaller diamonds at such stores are much lower quality than this example, so the actual ring would be worth still less.
Solution: Ask for the weight and quality of the center stone by itself, in writing. Leave the store if they can't or won't do this. They don't have your interests in mind.

The 50% Off Sale Huge Sales at Jewelry Stores
If you see a sale price in the newspaper, don't fall for it. You will probably pay much more than the regular price at an honest dealer. We know of a major store in Florida that marked gold chains up from $100 cost to $500 regular price, then marked them half-price during a sale. That means the customer paid $250, thinking it was a great price. This same thing happens with diamonds on sale. Liquidation and "going out of business" sales are usually no different. We heard of one store in New York City that has been going out of business for 15 years.
Solution: Don't fall for sales of any kind. If a dealer can afford to mark it down, then he marked it up too high at the start. (Courtesy: diamondhelpers.com)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Determine if your diamond is synthetic or real in 1.5 seconds

With diamonds, you want to know that you're getting what you paid for. You can do that by trusting a jeweler, or you can get a fancy gadget designed to analyze diamonds. And if you're like me, you trust gadgets much more than you trust people.
The DiamondNite Diamond Moissanite Tester let you know if your precious gem is a synthetic diamond or real diamond within just 1.5 seconds. Unless it's a synthetic diamond that's chemically identical to carbon diamonds, in which case there's no real way to tell them apart. Which makes them the same, so you shouldn't really sweat that, right? I'm no jewelery expert.
(Microkhan, Via Boing Boing Gadgets - Courtesy: dvice.com )

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Amazing Dance

Tiffany Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring

Diamond Quality is nothing short of perfection

Tiffany diamonds are never enhanced or heat treated, and only the best stones are accepted by the company. This rigorous attention to detail means only the very best diamonds get cut into superior engagement rings. For example, of the eleven grades of clarity, Tiffany only accepts the top six ratings, all of which appear flawless to the naked eye. In terms of color, only diamonds rated I or better are accepted.
Because of these unyielding standards, Tiffany rejects many stones with very minor flaws, inclusions, or imperfections that may be acceptable to other jewelers. You can be assured that a tiffany diamond engagement ring is handcrafted to last a lifetime.

To top it off, Tiffany & Co. also enforces their own guidelines of precision, symmetry, and polish called the four Cs of diamond quality. This precision refers to the specific dimensions of every single facet on the stone: each angle, every surface and all of the planes must be cut perfectly and exactly proportioned for optimal brilliance.
Diamonds are cut with symmetry, this aspect of the stone equally important, because a poorly cut stone will appear lopsided and have less sparkle. Then the diamonds are polished which enhances its natural beauty. The Tiffany standards mean that only the best diamonds appear in Tiffany’s platinum engagement rings.
Tiffany Diamond Engagement Ring Certification
Tiffany & Co. is so assured of its engagement rings’ quality that each one is accompanied by their personal certification. Make sure you get the original certification letter that accompanies each diamond engagement ring. While other jewelers offer diamond certifications, a Tiffany certification is a acknowledged standard and guarantees your diamonds authenticity, quality, and increases it’s long terms value.

The high quality of a Tiffany engagement comes with a high price tag. The pricing on Tiffany rings ranges from just over $1,000 to well over $1,000,000. Depending on the diamond and setting design, a one carat diamond engagement ring ranges from $9,500 to approximately $35,000.
Only the Best for the love of your life
A true Tiffany can only be bought at one of the company’s retail stores. Tiffany stores can be found not only in multiple locations in the United States, but throughout the world in countries such as Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Germany, China, Korea, Australia, Italy, and more.
The good news it that internet commerce means that more certifies original tiffany engagement rings are making their way to the internet, especially on eBay.
There I found certified a variety of Tiffany Diamond engagement rings for 30% - 50% off. Brand new or lightly used rings that are part of a diamond legacy. One of these Tiffany diamond engagement rings could start a new life with you and your fiancé.
With exceptional quality and timeless design, there is no higher standard for a ring than a diamond engagement ring by Tiffany. For a truly exceptional proposal the choice is simple – get the little blue box.

Instant Expert: Upgrading Your Engagement Ring

We know you’d be happy with a twist tie as long as you’re married to Mr. Right, but if your engagement ring isn’t the fairy-tale bauble you’ve always dreamed of, consider trading up. Trading in your rock has become more popular than ever-from stone swapping to adding more bling to your existing ring.
The trend with young adults is that they’ll get a $10,000 ring, and a few years later, they’ll want it to be larger,” explains Vinod Ahir of Laxya Diamond. “It’s a way of showing their appreciation for the longevity of the relationship.”
Work with your original jewelerBefore you even think about upgrading your ring, find out what your jeweler’s policy is. It can vary: for example, WhiteFlash.com offers a lifetime policy on their branded diamonds, which allows you to trade them in for the full value you paid; Tacori applies a percentage of credit (usually around 75 percent) toward purchasing a new ring; and De Beers will upgrade your ring depending on an on-site appraisal of its current value.
Brush up on the basics
* Cut: Keep in mind that round and princess cuts are easier to upgrade than fancier cuts like radiant, pear, or cushion.* Quality: A higher-quality diamond is more likely to receive a higher upgrade value. Your diamond should be in the same condition as when you received it.* Certification: Certified diamonds (AGS or GIA) are more easily upgraded than non-certified diamonds. Always ask to see the certification for the new diamond.
Get more bling for your buck
* Don’t round up: Going from a 1-carat to a 1.9-carat is cheaper than going to a 2-carat, but you can’t tell the difference visually.* Skimp on clarity and color: You might assume that the four Cs are all of equal weight, but that’s not the case. Clarity and color aren’t as important as cut or carat when it comes to making a visible difference.* Buy used or estate jewelry: Search for estate sales in your area and frequent the classified section of the newspaper for deals.* Shop overseas: Take a second honeymoon to the Bahamas, Cayman islands, or Mexico, and save 40 to 60 percent on new jewelry.
Weigh the sentimental factorNot willing to part with your original rock? Consider these options:
* Try a past, present, and future ring: You can place the upgraded stone in the middle (which represents the present) and have two other smaller stones set on the outside (to represent the past and future).* Reuse a portion of the ring: Take your original stone(s) and have them remounted as earrings or a pendant.* Keep the original setting: If the size difference isn’t significant, you may still be able to replace the diamond without affecting your original setting.* Add anniversary bands instead: If the idea of altering your diamond in any way leaves you uneasy, take a different route altogether by adding stackable diamond bands.
Whether you insured your first ring or not, now is the time to cover your new assets:
Insure your new ring
* Get appraised: If you’ve added value to an existing ring or purchased a new one, you need a new appraisal in order to update your existing insurance policy.* Secure a rider: Ring insurance is best purchased as an extension to add on to your renters or homeowners policy. You must provide all your receipts and an appraisal.