Buying from the Secondary Market


Feb 15, 2011
While browsing an antique mall, I found what appears to be a very nice .80 diamond set in a 4-prong platinum ring. The price is $950.00. BUT, there is no documentation, no specs given, and oh, no return policy!! Yet, I have to admit I'm still a little tempted just because it looks so nice.

The antique mall is reputable, but each item is sold on commission from individual dealers. I don't doubt that it really is an eye-clean diamond and that the ring is correctly marked as platinum, but it's just nuts to buy with a no-return policy. Still, I just keep thinking about how nice it looks and I know I couldn't afford that size and that metal in the standard retail market. Throwing caution to the wind just isn't my thing, but there's a part of me that wonders if I am making a mistake by not at least considering it.

Has anyone here ever purchased jewelry from an antique mall under similiar circumstances and NOT regretted it?


Jan 11, 2006
Would never consider spending $950 for an uncertified stone that might not even be real with no return policy. If you are interested, you can tell them to give the owner a message that you'd possibly be interested if they'd give you a 5 day return period in writing. You simply have to get an appraisal. Either they want to sell it or they don't. But no way would I buy it without having it checked out.


Apr 26, 2007
I'm sure somebody has ... but they'll be one of two things:

1) the exception rather than the rule,


2) so madly in love with the design that the materials don't really matter.

I shop at a lot of antique shops, flea markets, etc. - places where you sort of have to decide on the spur of the moment what something is worth to you. I've never spent more than a couple of hundred bucks, and I've never been unhappy with a purchase ... but I know jewelry pretty well, trust myself to loupe a stone and judge color, and tend to be vaguely familiar with the vendors. So, for example, when I bought a pair of cool antique Indian earrings from a dealer and a stone fell out on the same day, she might technically not have had a return policy, but she knew me well enough by sight to figure I wouldn't be bothering to scam her, and exchanged them for a different set.

If you, a) really like the ring, and, b) know the dealer isn't a fly-by-night, sure, it's worth considering! Read up on the difference between old cuts and transitional cuts, figure out how to spot a fish-eye, examine the ring carefully, be sure you love it, and, at the end of the day, be prepared for an appraiser to tell you it might, say, hold a shallow .40 stone instead of a well-cut .80, or a zircon, rutile, or cubic zirconia instead of a diamond. If you love the ring that much, that you'd still think that between the metal weight and the design you'd still love it, it'll be worth it. Otherwise? I'd be wary of anybody who didn't have a return policy. Flea markets and the like are caveat emptor: antique malls, not necessarily, and that's a bit of a risk.


Jun 6, 2011
Hmm, if you are ok with paying $950 for a recently made reproduction of an antique ring using a rhodium plated metal ring mounting a moissonite, then go for it.

Then when you get it appraised, if any of the above turns out to be more valuable, rejoice!

Cos right now, the mindset seems to be - you want to buy a $950 0.8ct eye clean diamond in a platinum setting, if anything goes wrong, you'll be very disappointed.

Without a return policy or an opportunity to appraise, it is the first mindset that you must have 100%, not the second.


Apr 14, 2008
I have never gone through this personally, but if OP paid with a credit card and the "diamond" turned out to be a CZ, couldn't one just have the charges reversed because of the fraud? Of course one would hope the seller would take it back willingly if it were grossly misrepresented.


Feb 8, 2003
No return policy isn't a good sign. Sounds risky to me!

Since there is no documentation or anything, how do you even know if the seller had the stone tested to see if it's a diamond? He/she could just be concluding b/c it looks like one. There are many convincing fakes out there.

I think you're better off going on CL and waiting for what you're looking for, then meeting someone where the stone can be authenticated.
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