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Ethical Practices That Good Retailers Show

diamond ring galorePurchasing the perfect diamond is a major investment and also an important decision to make. The only thing more important is selecting the appropriate diamond dealer or jeweler. You should always be aware of proper ethical practices that good diamond retailers show and interview your jeweler according to these standards.

Any place which doesn’t measure up to the level of integrity and reputation you deserve is not worth your time or money. If you are not a diamond expert, it is imperative you do your research and insure you are not being scammed or duped in any way.

There are plenty of alternative and decent places who pride themselves in their commitment to customer service and integrity. These are the places you should frequent when purchasing something as costly and special as diamond jewels.

Kimberly Process

This process, also known as KPCS or Kimberly Process Certification Scheme is a global initiative which strives to thwart rebel forces and terrorists from funding criminal activities through the use of “blood diamonds” or conflict diamonds. It is an ethical practice which has been adopted internationally since 2003.

Retailers should be able to provide the authenticity of the diamond’s history going back as far as the mining process. This ethical practice insures a diamond purchased has not been part of an underground forced labor scheme or funding of violent or malevolent activities.

Examination Process

Hopefully before you decide to seek out the perfect diamond, you have done a bit of research into what is called the 4 C’s. These include the diamond’s cut, carat, clarity and color. The diamond’s certification should tell you in detail the ratings for each category but it is helpful to understand these in depth before hand.

Once you have this knowledge, you will want to examine your stone thoroughly before purchase. Each and every retailer or dealer should allow this careful study with ease. If they are hesitant or not helpful in any way, you will want to look elsewhere.

A diamond should always be examined with a 10x loupe for maximum magnification. This allows you to best see any inclusions, marks or details within your specific diamond. Every diamond is unique and part of the buying process is getting to know the intricacies of the diamond. If a retailer makes excuses or says they don’t have a 10x loupe but possibly a lesser level of magnification they are purposely hiding.

This is not an ethical practice and they do not want you to see your diamond thoroughly. With lower magnification powers, you are not able to truly get to know your diamond. Often jewelry stores have high levels of bright light which can throw off the color balance and make a diamond appear more brilliant and clear.

This is deceptive.

Ask to view your diamond either in a darker setting or with a dark material beneath in order to see its true nature. If a retailer is not willing to allow this, they are simply hoping you are ignorant and won’t examine your stone carefully.

This is an important process. Most diamond appraisers take hours to carefully study the intricacies of a diamond in order to verify its authenticity and measure the value of the 4 C’s. Since all jewelers should know this, there is no reason why you cannot be as thorough in your investigation.


3 stone diamond ringA prominent jeweler will be able to provide you with the certification of authenticity for your diamond. These are usually from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society).

Certification is the only assurance you have of the quality of your diamond. This report is certified by an accredited independent laboratory. Do note that some labs aren’t as strict as their grading as others.

For example, the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) or IGI (International Gemological Institute are well known for their “inaccurate” soft grading system. Also, if your retailer suggests an independent appraisal or an in house appraisal, you should be more wary.

These are not nearly as accurate as a gemological laboratory and may not have your best interests in mind. Independent appraisers are not required to have a legal education or any training requirements in order to become experts and therefore the experience is wide and varies.


Not all but many diamond retailers provide bonded protection to prevent any unethical behavior from occurring upon purchase of your diamond. This includes diamond switching.

Returns and Exchanges

If a diamond retailer is not offering a money back guarantee of 30 days or more you should look elsewhere to purchase your perfect stone. This is extremely important and one of the most prominent thing to look out for when buying your jewelry. Reason being, if a jeweler is not willing to allow you to return a diamond or exchange, you have to consider why. Is there a problem with the stone which they didn’t want you to know?

Did they switch it for another lesser quality stone? Is the craftsmanship not up to par and therefore the piece unworthy of return? Any decent retail store will allow you time to insure you have the perfect fit, sizing and style for your diamond. This goes for any online retailer as well. Always ask this up front before considering a purchase.

By understanding the ethical practices that good diamond retailers show, you will have a much more educated visit to your jewelry store. When making an investment of any kind you should pride yourself in high standards and expect the same from any retailer. If you feel there is anything being hidden or any level of integrity not being met through your examination process, it is a good idea to seek your diamond from another more reputable source.