You purchased your diamond engagement ring online. You're feeling great because you got a great deal. Your ring arrives and suddenly that feeling of pride turns into "Huh?!".
Unfortunately, we see you after this letdown happens. And, sadly, it's happening more and more. The question we most often hear is "Why doesn't this diamond that is GIA certified look anything like your diamond with the same grading specs?"
The short answer is that online diamond retailers are still a secondary market for diamond houses. We fine jewelers review hundreds if not thousands of diamonds per year up close and personal. The diamonds we reject make their way to the online retailers. Also, the online retailers don't seem to be held to same stringent standards and practices that we proudly adhere to.
Take for example this screenshot from an exclusively online retailer:
We admit, the technology this retailer employs to give you the best look at a diamond without seeing it in person is pretty impressive! However, this particular diamond is being sold as a GIA certified G color / VS2 clarity diamond. You can clearly see that there is an inclusion (spot of black carbon) right on the table of the diamond. That same diamond in our case would be classified as a G Color / SI2 clarity diamond. If you can see the inclusion with the naked eye it's an SI2 or worse.
Confusing huh? Unfortunately this sort of thing is becoming more and more prevalent in our industry. When I show you a diamond in our store I'm going to show you where every inclusion is located in the diamond. I'm going to show you why we consider it superior or inferior to other diamonds. We're going to provide you with all of the information you need to make a smart diamond buying decision. We're going to back up our diamond with a certified appraisal. Finally, we are indeed GIA certified Diamond grading experts. Would you believe that one of the largest exclusively online diamond retailers was founded by ten hedge fund partners that have absolutely no jewelry experience!
We revere diamonds for their rarity, uniqueness, durability and, of course, sparkle! Each diamond is unique. We take pride in searching through thousands per year to find the most gorgeous diamonds at the best value for our customers. Strictly online retailers treat diamonds as a commodity which is defined as a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee. Yuck!
Buy online if you must. But, buyer beware! Don't worry, we've been here for 163 years and we'll be here to help you once you come to your senses!