Just about every “diamond dealer” uses the technical terms created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). But some unscrupulous dealers say their stones are much better than they really are. Some others simply don’t know how to grade accurately and end up exaggerating to sound good. Either way, you could easily end up with LESS than you bargained for.

Treated Diamonds
These days there are many ways to artificially treat diamonds to hide their visible imperfections. Diamonds can be dyed, coated, laser drilled or even filled-in with glass. These treatments often aren’t permanent, and many dealers won’t even tell you they are there. This deception means you’re paying far too much for the quality you’ve really gotten.

Those ads you’ve seen for “one-carat total weight” diamonds or “half carat engagement rings” are deceptive. The weights are rarely exact, and often are exaggerated. Total weight does not mean the weight of the single center stone but the sum of ALL the stones–so it’s hard to know what you have really bought. This practice is not only deceptive, it may also be illegal.

False Pricing
Many “SHARKS” inflate their prices beyond fair market value so that they can claim “50% OFF!” It may be legal, but it sure is deceptive.

Diamond Appraisals
There are no federal, state or local laws regulating who can appraise jewelry. Only qualified appraisers, not affiliated with a jewelry seller, can be independent. An honest and accurate appraisal should be an independent one. Don’t be afraid to ask.