Now, I do quite often recommend buying diamonds online because it is way cheaper than buying at brick and mortar stores and some online vendors even offer you benefits that go beyond what a brick and mortar store could offer you.
See my diamond store review section to find out more about that. However, a question that arises very often in the minds of the visitors of my website is: “Is it safe to buy diamonds online?”
Many of my visitors have concerns about the safety of shopping for diamonds online and write me mails with questions. This is absolutely reasonable and justified. This is why I thought that I should address these questions from different angles.
How do you know that the diamond vendor is not a scam?
Many people think that diamonds are one of the few areas where it does not make any sense to buy a diamond online. For this reason they assume that any diamond vendor must be a scam that only charges your money and does not send you any diamond at all.
However, the internet is getting more and more common for buying just about anything. Amazon for instance is just experimenting around with how to deliver perishable vegetables to its customers and I believe that in the long term it will even succeed in doing so.
Anyway, there are good reasons to buy diamonds online. Typically a diamond with the same 4C parameters that you could find online will cost around 30% – 70% more than at a brick and mortar store.
Furthermore, the really good online stores such as James Allen will even provide 40x magnified high definition 360 ° videos of all their diamonds!
This way, you even get to have a closer look at the diamonds than at a brick and mortar store where you would have a 10x magnification loupe at best. Plus, you have a much larger selection to choose from.
It is obvious that there must be a number of legit companies out there on the internet as you can find in any industry. You should therefore check the vendor’s credentials before considering to buy there. All the online vendors reviewed on my website for instance are absolutely legit vendors as I know from my own experience or from visitors of my website.
Of course there are differences in customer service, conditions of purchase and overall shopping experience with different online vendors. This is why you should compare different websites to each other in advance.
How can you be sure that the diamond will arrive at your place?
All the diamond vendors I know send their packages in a way that does not show the sender. Thus, it says nowhere on the package that your package was sent by a diamond vendor. The same also applies to return shippings where you will be mailed a return label that does not give away the receiver, the diamond vendor.
Therefore, the likelihood of the diamond being stolen is as low as it is with any usual package. All diamond vendors I am aware of require an adult to sign for the package.
Naturally, all packages are sent with an insurance that is included in the price. At least this is the case with the diamond vendors I have reviewed so far. Thus, the sending of the diamond via post does not pose any financial threat.
However, some diamond vendors offer free return shippings and some don’t. As the insured shippings can easily cost around 100$ or more depending on the value of the diamond it is important to get acquainted with the online vendor’s return shipping conditions before ordering!
How do you know that the diamond you have chosen online is really the diamond you have received?
I have explained in my post about diamond grading labs that you should only trust diamonds graded by GIA or AGS. These are currently the two most reputable grading labs which are not only comparably strict but also pretty reliable and consistent in their grading policy. This way, you can actually be sure that that the 4C parameters on the grading report are accurate!
Every diamond that is graded by GIA or AGS has a unique signature number and many of them are laser inscribed on the girdle of the diamond. These signature numbers are very tiny and can hardly be seen with your bare eyes. You would definitely need a magnification loupe to make out the content of the inscription.
However, not all diamonds that have been graded by GIA or AGS have the grading report number inscribed on the girdle!
You will therefore have to make sure that you get a diamond with the grading number inscribed on the girdle.
You can find the information of the laser inscription of the grading number in a GIA report under “Additional Grading Information”:
For AGS graded diamonds you can find it in the “Comments Section”:
If you don’t find any information about the inscription on the grading report, it means that there is no inscription on the diamond. I would recommend not to choose a diamond like that.
Having the grading number inscribed on the diamond will save you the costs of having to go to an appraiser yourself to confirm that the diamond in question is the one the grading report is about.
This becomes particularly important if you – for whatever reason – should want to resell the diamond.
What if you don’t like the diamond you have received?
What if you don’t like the diamond you have received?
Sure, the good online vendors will let you have a very close look at your diamond from all angles before you buy it. This way, the risk of you not liking the diamond and returning it is greatly reduced.
But still, you might want to return the diamond for some reason and of course, you don’t want to bear the costs for the insured return shipping which can easily amount to 100$ or even more.
This is why you will have to have a look at the return policy of the place you intend to buy the diamond at. Many online diamond vendors offer a 30-day or 15-day “money back guarantee” but hardly any offer free return shippings.
James Allen for instance is currently the only diamond vendor that offers free return shippings (within the US). This means that you won’t even have to pay for the return shipping in case you want to send the diamond back. As insured return shippings can easily amount to around $75 – $100 that can at least save you some money. Go and check out James Allen's conditions for purchase if you want to know more.
Conclusion: Is it safe to buy diamonds online?
Thus, if you look at all the necessary details in advance, I feel that it is pretty safe to shop for diamonds online.
Nonetheless, you should do your homework and get all the necessary information beforehand: not only on the diamond vendors but also all the information for your diamond education. Because the more you know about diamonds, the more likely you are to make a good deal and thus, the safer your entire diamond journey will be.
If you have any more questions, just drop me a mail or leave me a comment!