Is This Deal Too Good to Be True?

Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 in Informational.

luxury price tag

When making a high ticket purchase, it makes sense to shop around and compare prices. Whether that means searching online or visiting various local retailers, it’s helpful to know what you should expect to receive given your budget. So what happens when, after countless hours shopping, you find a deal that seems too good to be true? Well, unfortunately it most likely is. Here are two reasons why you should be weary of that relatively inexpensive jewelry piece or gemstone (especially if you’re purchasing online).

  • With jewelry and most other goods, you pay a premium for quality. When looking to purchase fine jewelry, you need to pay attention to the little details and ask the right questions (if that information wasn’t already offered to you). Is the jewelry gold filled (meaning that it’s actually a less expensive metal with a thin gold layer on the outside)? How’s the gemstone quality? Are the prongs too thin to properly hold the gemstones in place? All of these and more are questions to keep in mind when trying to figure out why one jewelry piece is less expensive than a similar one. Good jewelers will make sure you’re aware of all the various quality factors to ensure you leave their store knowing exactly what you paid for.
  • When looking to purchase a loose gemstone such as a diamond, you’ll most likely encounter grading reports/certificates. But not all grading certificates are alike. There are no set universal standards for grading gemstones so one grading company can assign a grade that’s very different from another company. Because of this, you need to make sure the gem is graded by an accredited grading company. Some online scammers will even try to mislead you into thinking their grading certificate is genuine, when in fact, it’s not. Even if you do have the accurate certificate, you’ll still need to verify that the gemstone you paid for is the one you received. This means making sure the gem’s color, cut, clarity, and carat weight all match up to the certificate. Unless you have a proper gemstone scale at home and know how to accurately determine the gem’s color, cut, and clarity, you may want to rethink making that online purchase.

To further emphasize how important it is to buy only from a knowledgeable, trusted source instead of someone who has “the best deal,” here’s a story that recently surfaced about a fraudulent diamond inscription. A jeweler submitted a diamond to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) because that jeweler noticed inconsistencies with the GIA report and the actual diamond’s characteristics. The diamond was inscribed with a certain GIA certificate number that was supposed to match up with a natural, untreated diamond. The GIA ultimately determined that the diamond was synthetic and that the font used for the diamond’s inscription was not the same font used by the GIA.

Stories like these are unfortunately becoming more prevalent not only in the jewelry industry, but in other industries as well. While it would be a lot nicer to live in a world free from intentional deceit, that is regrettably not the world we live in today. So before you make a purchase on a deal that seems too good to be true, make sure to cover all your bases and only purchase from sources you trust.