April 9, 2010, Newsletter Issue #176: Purchasing Diamonds Through Online Auctions

Tip of the Week

Yes, you can buy diamonds and other gemstones through online auction, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Diamonds are usually sold in one of three forms: uncut, cut but unset, and cut and set in jewelry. The diamond market is tightly controlled, with quality uncut diamonds being offered to only certain members of the diamond industry. For this reason, never trust uncut diamonds available online, as they will either be fakes or of very poor quality. When examining a cut diamond, you want to keep in mind the "Four C's": Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut. The carat is the weight of the diamond. Be aware that a heavier diamond isn't necessarily a larger diamond. The clarity ranges from flawless to imperfect -- note that only a few hundred flawless diamonds are put into circulation each year, so your chances of finding one in online auction are slim. Color ranges from colorless to yellow. Cuts come in several different styles. A quality diamond will always comes with certified paperwork from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.).

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