When it comes to diamonds, consumers want to feel confident they’re getting what they pay for. And the building of that confidence relies in large part on you, the retailer, making smart and safe diamond and gem purchases. Scammers exist in the marketplace, but you don’t have to fall victim to them.
Here are five tips for buying diamonds and gems safely:
Be Wary of Unsolicited Phone Calls and Emails
The Gemological Institute of America has reported that counterfeit gem sellers can use unsolicited phone calls or emails to advertise gems and tell prospective buyers they can make a large profit “buying direct from the source.” Don’t feel pressure to act fast. It could be a scam.
Don’t Let the Promise of Profit Cloud Your Judgement
If the offer sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Gem and jewelry scammers prey heavily on those who are most concerned with making a profit, especially in times of social or economic turmoil. Educating yourself on the types of scams out there will result in you being able to spot a phoney dealer.
Shop and Purchase In-Person
The vast majority of buying and selling diamonds and gems have moved online in recent years (the pandemic saw to that). Scammers take advantage of this by posting misleading photos and information so sophisticated-feeling, they can sway even the most seasoned professional. If you’re buying from a new seller, and it’s possible, view and purchase the gems in person, and talk to the gem specialist on staff if there is one.
According to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, scammers have switched out gems in the period between the first viewing and the moment the jeweler completes payment. It’s crucial to inspect the gem again before following through with the transaction, to ensure the gem you’re buying is, in fact, genuine and has not been switched out for a lab-grown (or worse) look-a-like.
Completing an inspection with your own eyes—once when shopping and once before purchasing—will allow you to feel twice as confident about what you’re buying. Remember: more and more lab-grown diamonds and gems are being passed off as mined stones.
Do Your Research
Steps such as requesting and checking references, requesting identification and checking reviews of the buyer online are simple but critical steps to make sure you can trust the seller.
Check Your Insurance
While you should know the basics of what’s covered under your insurance policy, there may be questions about what’s covered when it comes to falling for gem scams. It’s crucial to know exactly what’s covered and what isn’t. And make sure you’re working with an agent who’s an expert in Jewelers Block policies—he or she will make sure your business has enough coverage to protect your inventory, along with your business personal property.