There are many ways to buy diamonds today. For example, you could go along the traditional route of your high street jeweller. Be recommended by a friend to a manufacturer or diamond dealer in Hatton Garden, the jewellery district in Birmingham, or what is becoming increasingly popular buy from an online shop.
High Street Jewellers
Hatton Garden is the UK’s most popular and famous jewellery-buying street. It is renowned for its array of engagement rings and ‘doing a deal.’
Some love the bartering that goes on as they stroll through the 60 + shops, while others feel uncomfortable with sales assistants trying to pull them off the street, but the major complaint I hear is that everything looks the same.
The other issue with going retail is that most want to sell finished jewellery, not loose diamonds.
Manufacturers and dealers
In the past, you could only visit a dealer or manufacturer if you had an introduction. But that is not the case anymore as they, too, will advertise their services directly to the public.
Some manufacturers and dealers carry finished jewellery pieces, but for most, they will have loose diamonds and settings for you to choose from, and some will offer a truly bespoke service.
The rise of the online retailers
The growth in online diamond sales over the past few years has been enormous. Their prices, on the surface, appear incredibly cheap. Some of that is down to the fact that they have been set up as turnover businesses pack it high and sell it cheaply; on the other hand, it’s down to intelligent marketing with headlines such as; Cheapest loose diamonds, Lowest UK price guaranteed, Why pay retail and pay double,
The most extensive collection of GIA-certificated diamonds in Hatton Garden, to name just a few.
The truth is there is no guarantee that any of those statements are true or false, but they indeed work in drawing people to visit the site.
However, most are working from a worldwide list of diamonds available to the trade. To prove this point, if you were to choose three online sellers and pick a certification number from the first one, you would find the same stone on another site.
Diamonds are not, on the whole exclusive to one online retailer. And the reason why sometimes you have to wait up to ten days for delivery. The stones could be at many locations worldwide. So when you buy a particular diamond, you get an email shortly after saying it is no longer available and you have proposed an alternative.
How do you choose where to buy diamonds from?
In the competitive world, we all now live outside the branded shops, I do not believe you will pay double what an online jeweller will charge you, and you have the safeguard of buying from bricks and mortar.
The advantages of working with a manufacturer are that most will not be trying to sell finished pieces of jewellery but will be giving you the opportunity of picking your diamond and having a bespoke ring made just for you.
Buying online means you will first have to take a crash course in becoming a diamond expert by learning about the 4C’s, which, although important, are only part of what you need to know.
From there, you will need to start scrolling through long lists of diamonds and, in the end, pick one, whether on price alone or combining cost with the diamond’s characteristics.
The online retailers also offer you the chance to pick a ring setting. They call it bespoke, but I have never been comfortable reaching a mass-produced ring bespoke.
The alternative way to buy diamonds
There, of course, is a final alternative buying method, and that is to go to a personal jeweller like myself.
All my jewellery is designed with my clients and handcrafted in my Hatton Garden workshop.
Then as a diamond expert, I will guide you through finding your ideal diamond by taking you way beyond the diamond 4C’s.
I will allow you to choose from a selection of diamonds in front of you rather than a list. For your peace of mind, all my diamonds are GIA certificated and competitively priced, and I guarantee this by keeping abreast of the market prices.
I do not make unsubstantiated promises of being the cheapest, just the best.