It's not all as clearcut as we would like it to be.
It's funny, we live in a society now where you can and probably will buy anything online. Certainly this refers to the Millennials. However should an engagement ring be one of those things too? You see there are still some things that I believe shouldn't be bought online. There are too many mistakes that can be made, no matter how much convincing you give yourself that you've done all the correct due diligence.
Fast forward 15, 20 even 40 years time and what story will you have to tell your children and grandchildren? The proposal is one story. That, I'm sure, won't be bought online, but the ring? Suddenly you miss out on the journey, the experience that your parents and friends went through. It's one thing doing your weekly shopping online, but the ring has to be that one thing that you do the legwork for and go to the shops yourself.
So what should we look out for?
When you're starting your journey you will see on every single website you visit information about the 4C's. This will explain to you the carat, cut, colour and clarity of a diamond. It will explain how to see inclusions (natural marks) in the diamond. It will explain the colour grading chart. It will also talk about the weight of a diamond (carat) and also the basic symmetry of a stone (cut). What you'll be missing out on is actually seeing the diamond in the flesh. Seeing the lustre and scintillation. Seeing that beautiful kaleidoscope of colours as you hold the diamond in a pair of tweezers and inspect it under a loupe.
"I've seen the same diamond online and it's cheaper" is exactly the mentality we all have today. I'm just as guilty as the last person of doing that too. Yes it can work and yes it often does with branded goods that you can compare from place to place. I can assure you though that this sort of comparison does not work in the diamond business.
I was sitting with a client a short while ago and he was in the process of buying from me a 2.20ct diamond. He claimed that the same diamond was available online for a few thousand pounds cheaper than what I was quoting him. I asked him to find out the certificate number, which he did and it was the same diamond that I had in my hand in front of the client. I then asked him to call the website and see if it was available. The reply was "sorry sir that one is gone, but I do have a similar one which you can have". My point is that had he ordered it online they would have sent him a diamond that was the same characteristics, for arguments sake D vs1. However it would not have been the same diamond. Having looked at the certificate online of the other diamond, I can tell you that it was an inferior stone. This was based on the characteristics which aren't told to us within the 4C's.
My point is, what can you do and what would you be allowed to do, once you receive the stone and you suddenly realise that there is no life in the diamond. It doesn't have it's sparkle. The colour actually looks a bit off? Trust is everything and it's what keeps diamond traders and jewellers in business. No, it's not me being bitter and wanting a larger slice of the market. If I wanted to do that I would have set myself up as an online retailer. Like all industries there are experts and when making a significant purchase you need to know that you received the best advice and not just the lowest price. Think of your children and grandchildren. What story are you going to tell them in years to come? What story are you going to tell your soon to be fiancé too? In todays society we all prefer to do business with someone we know, like and trust. Don't let this be the exception to the rule. Enjoy the experience.