Sam: “Hey there, I want to manufacture my ring with you guys, but can I source the diamond myself? I think I can get it for cheaper?” (not an uncommon call)
Sam, Sam, Sam, you’re about to be bitten in the uhuh and you don’t even know it!
“Sam, Can You Really Source The Same Diamond For Cheaper?” (Beyond The 4C’s)
Although mastering the “4C’s” is a very sound first step to understanding what affects the price and appearance of diamonds, this remains an overly basic framework for comparing diamond quotes.
As a diamond dealer I would never ever purchase a diamond based only on the 4C’s. Unless you can fully explain the impact of various answers to the following questions, you might be better of using a reputable jeweller you fully trust to source your diamonds.
1.) Does the stone emit fluorescence? (can be good, bad or a non-event)
2.) What is the polish and symmetry grading? (Needs to be at least "Good")
3.) Is it an ECG? (can be a good thing)
4.) Which laboratory graded the stone? (some are horrible)
5.) Is the stone milky? (bad)
6.) Does the diamond have black table inclusions? (bad)
7.) Is it a “Zimbabwe stone”? (probably bad)
You can have two diamonds that are identical according to the 4C’s… but vary greatly in appearance and value due to issues addressed in this short question set. Certain answers to these questions can make me walk away from any diamond - even if the price is amazing.
“Sam, Unfortunately Manufacturing Quotes Are Higher If We Don’t Supply The Main Diamond”
Helping a customer pick the perfect diamond rarely takes more than 30 minutes. This also by far the most profitable part of an engagement ring sale. The profit made on the diamond sale then subsidises the manufacturing element of the engagement ring quote.
Finalising an engagement ring design is often hard work. If a jeweller doesn’t make a decent profit on the diamond sale it’s hard to justify the manufacturing and design effort without inflating prices. Some jewellers actually double prices on their settings/mounts/rings if they don’t supply the main diamond.
These higher manufacturing charges can very quickly erode the meagre saving that you enjoyed by sourcing the diamond yourself.
“Sam, Are You Aware Of The Risks Involved?”
…And then there’s the risk issue…(The elephant in the room you were probably 100% oblivious to)
Certain diamonds have an increased tendency to crack and chip during the setting process. This risk can be minimised, but never eliminated. If your jeweller supplies the diamond, he inherently assumes the risk and has to replace the stone if it’s damaged during any process.
On the other hand; if you supplied the diamond yourself - The risk is all yours, buddy. No jeweller will accept responsibility for a diamond he didn’t sell.
Luckily an extremely small percentage of diamonds have this increased tendency to crack and chip - but your’s might be the unlucky little star. Murphy’s Law!
"Sam, Are You Still There?"
Reputable jewellers have a name and brand to protect. There is great peace of mind in knowing that prominent jewellers are much larger than just a single deal. You’ll have checks and guarantees in place - and a commitment to your satisfaction with the complete engagement ring purchase.
Although sourcing your diamond from your friend’s uncle’s cousin might seem like sheer brilliance at first - it’s most probably far more risky than you would initially imagine.
Save yourself from a massive headache; pick a reputable jeweller and use a single entity for the complete engagement ring purchase. You’ll probably end up spending less and your stress levels should be much lower!
I know it can all feel a bit overwhelming at first - an engagement ring is a large purchase. We’d love to answer all your questions so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more information check out our other blog posts, and if you are completely new to diamond buying a great start might be our e-book: “Buying A Diamond Like A Diamond Dealer”. Have a great day!