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how to buy a diamond with Pricescope

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raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
Hi,

I thought I''d post a quick howto on buying a diamond. I didn''t see this on Pricescope, but now that I''ve bought a diamond with the help of the friendly folks here, I thought I''d write up a step by step of how a newbie might go about buying a diamond. Not sure if this is helpful or not, but thought I''d share. If it''s useful, maybe an admin can make this a sticky ...



1. Read the Pricescope knowledge section for information about diamonds. You want to learn the basics about diamonds.

2. Go visit a brick and mortar store to look at a variety of diamonds in your price range so you can get an idea of where you want to spend your money: clarity, color, carat. Don''t compromise on cut. Don''t buy yet!

3. Check out Pricescope and the various Pricescope vendors for diamonds that meet your budget and criteria. This will help you get a sense of what you can get for your budget. Important things to keep in mind:

- Understand each diamond is unique, and that a GIA or AGS certificate tells only a part of the story. For example, a diamond graded SI1 could have an occlusion that''s invisible or one that''s right in the middle of the table (bad).
- You want to see a diamond before purchasing. Ideally, you''d get a magnified image of the diamond, the GIA/AGS certificate, and Idealscope/ASET images to look at before purchasing.
- The HCA is a useful tool to check the dimensions of your diamond, but the definitive answer is in the way the diamond looks.

4. Once you''ve picked a few diamonds that you might be happy with, put the diamonds on hold, and post the specs and images to the Pricescope forum. The friendly folks can help you decide.

5. Buy the diamond!

6. Mount the diamond in your setting. You should then get the setting appraised by an appraiser (check out the Pricescope appraiser section) so that you can get the entire ring insured (most insurers will not insure loose diamonds). An appraiser will also be able to double-check that the diamond actually matches the certificate for your peace of mind. Send the appraisal to your insurer who can add it to your homeowner''s policy.

7. Good luck with the proposal!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
Nice job! The only thing I''d sort of have a different view on is that if you buy a lab certified stone from a respected vendor, you can have the jeweler who sets the stone confirm that the stone is the one on the cert and they will also provide you with an insurance apppraisal. I would only use an independent appraiser if I was getting the stone from a source I did not trust, a stone that was not certified, or perhaps a very expensive stone (such as $30,000+). For many of us, using an independent appraiser means sending the ring off again, and I would avoid doing that unless absolutely necessary.
 

walletnotonfire

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
19
Cool! I wanted to add a few things while the experience is fresh in my noggin''! Just my 2 cents, I''m no expert so definitely take it as potentially helpful :) Thanks for the post raz!!!

Date: 3/30/2009 7:20:00 PM
Author:raz91
Hi,


I thought I''d post a quick howto on buying a diamond. I didn''t see this on Pricescope, but now that I''ve bought a diamond with the help of the friendly folks here, I thought I''d write up a step by step of how a newbie might go about buying a diamond. Not sure if this is helpful or not, but thought I''d share. If it''s useful, maybe an admin can make this a sticky ...




1. Read the Pricescope knowledge section for information about diamonds. You want to learn the basics about diamonds.

Also, I would highly recommend GoodOldGold/Jon''s tutorial and diamond videos link (especially for face-up comparison of colors for ideal cut stones link).

2. Go visit a brick and mortar store to look at a variety of diamonds in your price range so you can get an idea of where you want to spend your money: clarity, color, carat. Don''t compromise on cut. Don''t buy yet!


3. Check out Pricescope and the various Pricescope vendors for diamonds that meet your budget and criteria. This will help you get a sense of what you can get for your budget. Important things to keep in mind:


- Understand each diamond is unique, and that a GIA or AGS certificate tells only a part of the story. For example, a diamond graded SI1 could have an occlusion that''s invisible or one that''s right in the middle of the table (bad).

- You want to see a diamond before purchasing. Ideally, you''d get a magnified image of the diamond, the GIA/AGS certificate, and Idealscope/ASET images to look at before purchasing.

- The HCA is a useful tool to check the dimensions of your diamond, but the definitive answer is in the way the diamond looks.

If you are wary about how the stone will really look in person, invest in a diamond toolkit (Idealscope, loupe, Hearts and Arrows viewer). They can be found for $50-$75 from highperformancediamonds and exceldiamonds...

4. Once you''ve picked a few diamonds that you might be happy with, put the diamonds on hold, and post the specs and images to the Pricescope forum. The friendly folks can help you decide.


5. Buy the diamond!

From what I have found out, all internet vendors have great return policies (10-30 days). But when returning, generally you''ll pay for return shipping (~$20) plus the original shipping cost (~$20-$50; often this is included in the price of the diamond). The only vendors that I think do not charge the original shipping cost upon return is JamesAllen and BlueNile. Might or might not help your decision-making...

6. Mount the diamond in your setting. You should then get the setting appraised by an appraiser (check out the Pricescope appraiser section) so that you can get the entire ring insured (most insurers will not insure loose diamonds). An appraiser will also be able to double-check that the diamond actually matches the certificate for your peace of mind. Send the appraisal to your insurer who can add it to your homeowner''s policy.


7. Good luck with the proposal!
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
This is a very helpful thread if anyone - particularly new members who have successfully purchased - would like to share their thoughts on what helped them through the process, it would be very useful!
 

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
Great feedback, if anyone has anything else to share, I''ll update the top post and also add links!
 

Diamond Explorer

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 7, 2008
Messages
294
I think this is a great thread and could use some development. Maybe it should be linked to in some other threads.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Date: 3/30/2009 7:20:00 PM
Author:raz91
Hi,

I thought I'd post a quick howto on buying a diamond. I didn't see this on Pricescope, but now that I've bought a diamond with the help of the friendly folks here, I thought I'd write up a step by step of how a newbie might go about buying a diamond. Not sure if this is helpful or not, but thought I'd share. If it's useful, maybe an admin can make this a sticky ...



1. Read the Pricescope knowledge section for information about diamonds. You want to learn the basics about diamonds.

2. Go visit a brick and mortar store to look at a variety of diamonds in your price range so you can get an idea of where you want to spend your money: clarity, color, carat. Don't compromise on cut. If you are shopping for a modern round brilliant, try to make sure you get to see some 'ideal' cut diamonds. Branded Ideal cuts may be easier to find that others, so if you are in a hurry visit you local Hearts on Fire, Lazare, etc dealer. Make sure while you are there to compare the ideal cuts to 'good' or 'very good' cuts side by side. Make sure you see all the diamonds in as many lighting situations as possible including while your head is obstructing any light source, and a main light source. Don't buy yet!

3. Check out Pricescope and the various Pricescope vendors for diamonds that meet your budget and criteria. This will help you get a sense of what you can get for your budget. Important things to keep in mind:

- Understand each diamond is unique, and that a GIA or AGS certificate tells only a part of the story. For example, a diamond graded SI1 could have an inclusion that's invisible or one that's very visible for a variety of different reasons, inclusion location can be informative, but don't reject a diamond just because of the inclusion location- You want to see a diamond before purchasing. Ideally, you'd get a magnified image of the diamond, the GIA/AGS certificate, and Idealscope/ASET images to look at before purchasing.
- The HCA is a useful tool to check the dimensions of modern round brilliant diamonds but is a pass/fair score anything under 2 generally is worth pursuing, anything over 2.0 may have promise but will largely depend on the price and an understanding of why it recieved the score it did. But the definitive answer is in the way the diamond looks especially in any fancy (generally defined as diamond shape/cut style other than a modern round brilliant) diamond shape.

4. Once you've picked a few diamonds that you might be happy with (please understand that with some fancy cuts this can take a very long time depending on what your requirements and budget are) , put the diamonds on hold, and post the specs and images to the Pricescope forum. The friendly folks can help you decide.

5. Buy the diamond! Make sure you understand ALL the vendor's exact policies including warranties, returns and upgrades, as not all policies are equal. If you have a question, do not hestiate to contact the vendor with it. It is best to go straight to the horses mouth for questions about policies.

6. Mount the diamond in your setting. You should then get the setting appraised by an appraiser (check out the Pricescope appraiser section) so that you can get the entire ring insured (most insurers will not insure loose diamonds). An appraiser will also be able to double-check that the diamond actually matches the certificate for your peace of mind. Send the appraisal to your insurer who can add it to your homeowner's policy. This section needs more work
.


7. Good luck with the proposal!

8. If there is any problem with the ring at anytime that might be the vendor's responsibility (again read your vendor policies carefully), contact the vendor first and try to resolve it with the vendor. If that doesn't work after reasonable attempts, come back on PS and ask for some help.
 

DiamondFlame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
680
Date: 3/30/2009 7:20:00 PM
Author:raz91
- Understand each diamond is unique, and that a GIA or AGS certificate tells only a part of the story. For example, a diamond graded SI1 could have an occlusion that''s invisible or one that''s right in the middle of the table (bad).
You meant ''inclusion'' right? (yeah, just a nitpick) Though some inclusions do ''occlude''.


Thanks for the great idea, Raz. Attaching thread links to the relevant sections would help a newbie.
How about a section on ''pitfalls to avoid while diamond hunting''?
Or ''Common mistakes newbies make.''?
 

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
Thanks for everyone''s feedback. I couldn''t figure out how to edit my original post, but here''s an updated version that incorporates everyone''s comments. BTW, I looked on HPD and Excel Diamonds and could not find the diamond toolkit, so if anyone has a link, please post and I''ll include it. I posted a link to Ideal-Scope for now ...




1. Read the Pricescope knowledge section for information about diamonds. Also check out the GoodOldGold tutorial and diamond videos.You want to learn the basics about diamonds.

2. Go visit a brick and mortar store to look at a variety of diamonds in your price range so you can get an idea of where you want to spend your money: clarity, color, carat. Don''t compromise on cut. If you are shopping for a modern round brilliant, try to make sure you get to see some ''ideal'' cut diamonds. Branded Ideal cuts may be easier to find that others, so if you are in a hurry visit you local Hearts on Fire, Lazare, etc dealer. Make sure while you are there to compare the ideal cuts to ''good'' or ''very good'' cuts side by side. Make sure you see all the diamonds in as many lighting situations as possible including while your head is obstructing any light source, and a main light source. Don''t buy yet!

3. Check out Pricescope and the various Pricescope vendors for diamonds that meet your budget and criteria. This will help you get a sense of what you can get for your budget. Important things to keep in mind:

- Understand each diamond is unique, and that a GIA or AGS certificate tells only a part of the story. For example, a diamond graded SI1 could have an inclusion that''s invisible or one that''s very visible for a variety of different reasons, inclusion location can be informative, but don''t reject a diamond just because of the inclusion location- You want to see a diamond before purchasing. Ideally, you''d get a magnified image of the diamond, the GIA/AGS certificate, and Idealscope/ASET images to look at before purchasing.
- The HCA is a useful tool to check the dimensions of modern round brilliant diamonds but is a pass/fair score anything under 2 generally is worth pursuing, anything over 2.0 may have promise but will largely depend on the price and an understanding of why it received the score it did. But the definitive answer is in the way the diamond looks especially in any fancy (generally defined as diamond shape/cut style other than a modern round brilliant) diamond shape.
- If you are wary about how the stone will look in person, you might want to invest in a diamond toolkit (loupe, Idealscope, Hearts and Arrows viewer). They can be found for ~$70 from Ideal-Scope.

4. Once you''ve picked a few diamonds that you might be happy with (please understand that with some fancy cuts this can take a very long time depending on what your requirements and budget are) , put the diamonds on hold, and post the specs and images to the Pricescope forum. The friendly folks can help you decide.

5. Buy the diamond! Make sure you understand ALL the vendor''s exact policies including warranties, returns and upgrades, as not all policies are equal. If you have a question, do not hesitate to contact the vendor with it. It is best to go straight to the horses mouth for questions about policies. Generally speaking, the Internet vendors have flexible return policies (10-30 days) although you will generally pay for return shipping plus the return shipping cost. If this matters to you, ask the vendor before you buy.

6. Mount the diamond in your setting. You should then get the setting appraised by an appraiser (check out the Pricescope appraiser section) so that you can get the entire ring insured (most insurers will not insure loose diamonds). An appraiser will also be able to double-check that the diamond actually matches the certificate for your peace of mind. Send the appraisal to your insurer who can add it to your homeowner''s policy.

7. Good luck with the proposal!

8. If there is any problem with the ring at anytime that might be the vendor''s responsibility (again read your vendor policies carefully), contact the vendor first and try to resolve it with the vendor. If that doesn''t work after reasonable attempts, come back on PS and ask for some help.
 
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