Diamonds aren’t the most common item to buy online because they’re just so expensive – people prefer to see exactly what they’re spending money on in person before they throw down their hard earned cash.

What if you only have time to browse online stores instead of spending hours going in and out of shops, though? Or what if you can’t find the perfect diamond ring anywhere but online?

Follow these ten tips for purchasing diamonds online the right way and avoid the hassle of getting roped into a scam.

  • 1. Make sure the diamond seller has a positive, reliable track record. Check out online reviews and only go with sellers who have stellar feedback. The more above and beyond a seller went for a customer, the better.
  • 2. Educate yourself on the price of certain diamonds. You’ll be able to spot a deal that’s truly too good to be true. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with market prices, stick with sellers that offer products within a certain reasonable range.
  • 3. It goes without saying that you should learn the four “C’s” when shopping for a diamond – cut, clarity, carat and color – but if you’re looking for a specific diamond, go even further in depth in your search for information. For example, colored diamonds come with their own set of qualities to look for.
  • 4. Only buy a diamond that’s accompanied by a certificate. Certificates are issued by gemological institutes and they include all of the diamond’s attribute information. They also guarantee that you aren’t buying a blood diamond. True diamond aficionados won’t settle for anything less than a GIA certificate from the Gemological Institute of America.
  • 5. Request to see a photo of the actual diamond you’ll be purchasing and don’t assume that the image online is of the specific ring you’re interested in. A lot of companies showcase their stock online with sample photos, which is totally normal. Before you make such a big purchase, though, you should be able to see exactly what you’re buying.
  • 6. Only buy from legit, registered diamond dealers or manufacturers. Don’t let a flashy website fool you – even scam artists can have a few professional-looking web pages set up. To find out if you’re dealing with a bonafide seller, ask them for their certifications, find out if they’re part of the diamond exchange and perform a basic Google search to see what other information you can dig up.
  • 7. Don’t ever pay for a diamond over the Internet if you’re not offered a secured payment option. Your personal and credit information should both be kept completely private. First, check for a safety seal from Symantec SSL or VeriSign. Then, make sure that you’re in a URL with “HTTPS” at the beginning of it instead of just “HTTP.” A lot of people prefer to pay with PayPal, because they feel like it keeps them safe from scams.
  • 8. Make sure that the shipping option you choose is fully insured – no quality company will ever ship a diamond without insurance.
  • 9. You absolutely don’t want to buy something as important and pricey as a diamond online without making sure there’s a return option. Only buy from a company that offers a 14-day money back guarantee, regardless of why you want to return the diamond.
  • 10. If you have the option to only pay a partial amount of the total cost, take advantage of it. That way, if you do end up having to return the diamond, you won’t be chasing down thousands of dollars, but just a portion of the overall cost.

Article written by jewelry expert Alice Galert – author of Bluenile reviews and many other jewelry store reviews at diamondstoresreviews.com.

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