Why then did we decide to focus and dedicate an entire section to pink diamonds?
- Pink diamonds are extremely rare. Their rareness vastly surpasses that of canary yellows for example. As such, fewer retailers deal with them and naturally even fewer write about them.
- While it is hard to accurately measure, based on our own experience (as well as other supporting articles across the web), I think it is safe to say that pink diamonds are the most sought after of all colored diamonds.
- Combining rarity and demand (or in other words - low supply and high demand) and the result is that pink diamonds are extremely expensive.
Now combine all of the above, add poor education due to the low amount of information that is out there or worse yet - disinformation - and you get a recipe screaming for unintentional misleading, deceptions and scams.
Safety Tips for buying Pink Diamond Engagement Rings
Beware of Vain promises and empty dreams -
No such thing as free gifts. Search for reasonable prices.
It's true that it is practically impossible to compare prices of pink diamonds! Each is truly one of a kind. In fact, we have a few pink diamonds for sale of the same shape (same cut) and with the exact same color grading written in their GIA certificate and their prices are different. And I'm not talking minor differences, in some occasions the difference can be as high as 30%-40%.
So what should you do?
Use your common sense and instincts as well as basic diamond knowledge. For example, a pink diamond cannot and will not cost like a white diamond or a champagne diamond. Keep in mind that when it comes to such purchases it is better to be on the safe side and maybe missing out on a good deal rather than buying a pink diamond for $200 dollars less just to find out it’s a fake.
Also check out tip no.2 because these two usually go hand in hand…
Beware of Shady websites and jewelry stores -
The days of the Internet did LOTS of good to consumers giving them direct access to merchants, suppliers and even manufacturers. However, it’s a blessing in disguise. Just like you can contact everyone through the Internet, everyone can quite easily create an Internet website and "connect" with you. There are a few ways to deal with this problem:
- Check who is behind the website. There are tools and websites such as Whois.org that will enable you to check the registered owner. In some occasions it might be blocked, in others such as in known jewelry stores (branded stores) it would probably be registered under the store's name.
- Pay with PayPal. PayPal is known to be pro client. This means that you can dispute any deal up to 30 days (or 45) after purchase. Do note that with PayPal normally the maximum transaction allowed is $10,000 that may not be enough when it comes to pink diamonds (* regulations and Terms of Service constantly change - please check with PayPal for exact current information).
- Search for authoritive vouches. While there is no "black list" for problematic sites, there are many neutral and authoritive organizations that you can contact or check their websites in order to see that the spoken jewelry company that you want to purchase from is in fact legit. Examples from within the diamond industry are the Natural Color Diamonds Association, Israeli Diamond Industry, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, etc. Note that one does not have to be registered in all but one objective official place is a good start.
Use the power & transparency of the Internet -
- check forums such as Pricescope for reviews and recommendations, check ratings sites like Trust Pilot. However, these work better with branded companies and companies that "live" on the Internet for a few years - not so much on new websites and companies.
- Google the company. But go beyond the limits of Googling their brand name try Googling the following strings: "Brand Name reviews", "Brand Name testimonials", "Brand Name fraud", "Brand Name scam". While the first two are nice to have, the last two are clear warning signs.
- Search for Mentions and Quotations - Reputable companies and authoritative websites tend to get quoted over time. I’m proud to say that we’ve been quoted in websites such as Jeweller Magazine, Mining.com, Lifehack.org and more.
In-House Grading -
In a sentence… In house grading means NO Grading! Do not buy a pink diamond without a gemological certificate! True, certificates cost money (quite a bit), and issuing them takes lots of time – even months, however – there is no way that a pink diamond does not have a certificate (or at least no logic reason). Insist on it. If the retailer insists that his in house grading is perfect – tell them you are patient and willing to wait for the diamond and even willing to add the apprx.$150 for the certificate fee (assuming it receives the same grading ).
None GIA Certificates
Exactly like the previous bullet point, in a sentence – none GIA certificate means NO certificate. We said it many times throughout the blog as well as in the other guides, when it comes to colored diamonds, the GIA is the grading authority, the only authority. The differences between gemological institutes may be vast – and this means lots of money. Do you have any idea what is the price difference between a half a carat fancy pink diamond compared to half a carat intense pink diamond? A LOT! – In today's world, the only reason (once again – logic reason) for a pink diamond to have an IGI certificate (or any other) is that it got a better grading from them than the grading they got from the GIA.
Verify the GIA Certificate and its Grading -
This is a two-step problem… The concept of "fake" diamonds and undisclosed treated diamonds probably came to mind at one point or the other. But there is a much simpler and subtle way to cheat you out of your money… What if the GIA certified fancy pink diamond you just bought is actually a fancy light pink? May sound negligible to you but it a 1 carat pink diamond this negligible change may very well mean tens of thousands of dollars! And if we are talking about an engagement ring, meaning that the diamond is already mounted, it would be much easier to trick you (with smart setting tricks I will address later). And forging a certificate is much easier than forging a diamond… There are two ways to do this scam:
Literally forging the certificate, similar to the In-House grading one might decide he creates an "In-House GIA Certificate".
To overcome this you should go to the GIA website's report check tool, fill in the certificate number and check the details.
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* note that this works only for certificates issued after January 1, 2000. If the report is dated after July 1, 2010 then a PDF version will also be available.
- The second scam that can be done is showing a real GIA certificate but that belongs to another diamond. In this case the report check tool will work since it is a real certificate. The only solution is to carefully check the specs in the certificate (such as mm measurements) and compare them to the diamond. A task that is far harder to do when the diamond is already set in an engagement ring (or any other type of mounting for that matter…).
- Literally forging the certificate, similar to the In-House grading one might decide he creates an "In-House GIA Certificate". To overcome this you should go to the GIA website's report check tool, fill in the certificate number and check the details.
Color Enhanced Pink Diamonds -
The damage that you'd sustain by buying a treated pink diamond at the price of a natural pink diamond is astronomical money wise. However, I will not broaden on it since items 3-5 above about grading and certificates will get you out of such a mess…
Engagement rings with Melee Pink Diamonds -
Putting aside the main stone, using melee pink diamonds (melee means small) for a halo or to decorate the shank may cost quite a bit, depending on the actual setting, the amount of diamonds required and their weight (by the way, a halo of pink diamonds surrounding a colorless diamond is astounding).
The prices of strong colored melee pink diamonds can even surpass $10,000 per carat. Even if you are using "only" 40 points you are talking about $4,000 dollars and more. Due to their size these diamonds cannot be certificated or even tested for their source of color (natural or treated). And the problem is not money wise which is substantial on its own - $98 per one diamond for identification and origin report. Even if one wants to determine origin of a parcel based on mathematical statistical significance he cannot because the GIA/Institute will not test such small diamonds…
The scams that involve melee pink diamonds are basically to dilute parcels of real pink diamonds with treated ones in order to gain the spread. Or if the scoundrel has really no shame it can be diluting parcels of treated pink diamonds with real ones… Once again, this is reserved to high-end luxurious colors such as pinks due to their high value. I doubt if it would be worthwhile to do in melee of brown diamonds…
The way to avoid this is to obtain the pink diamonds through an established seller / manufacturer that has better control of the source of the diamonds. And even then, it won't ever be 100%...
Illusion of color and clarity using smart setting tricks -
This one is last but certainly not least… There are great ways to save money on diamond engagement rings using smart setting. For example, in our guide to yellow diamond engagement rings I recommend making sure to mount the diamond in a yellow gold cup EVEN if you intend to go for a white gold or platinum ring. The yellow gold will reflect on the yellow diamond and literally enhance its color. You can also hide inclusions by placing the prongs strategically.
This is why when you are buying a readymade pink diamond ring you should keep in mind that you cannot really asses and appraise the diamond. While it does not matter and should not affect your decision – if you like it then you like it. This should however be taken into consideration when it comes to assessing the ring's value. The solution is quite simple, once again, make sure that even if you buy a pink diamond engagement ring (vs a loose pink diamond) then the diamond should have a GIA certificate (which I already explained above how to verify).
This is it. I hope that you got some good insight on how to keep safe when buying pink diamonds and I also hope that I did not provide some con man with new ideas. The important thing to know is that while most of the above are true to any diamond (with mild adjustments), pink diamonds due to their high value and pink diamond engagement rings which make it harder to check are simply more hazardous.