Buying diamonds overseas, can often be fraught with danger. Particular if it is from a place like Afghanistan. We always recommend extreme caution when considering to purchase a diamond from a source that you don’t know. If someone offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Case story – Defence force (name withheld)
A client came to see me to show me a diamond he was sold on deployment in Afghanistan. The diamond was sold to him by a man know as “Aussie Mike” who gave him all the assurances of the diamond’s quality. Claims such as “you can trust me, I service all the defence personnel”, and “These diamonds are a fraction of the price you can buy them back home”, are all statements that are synonymous with a great con man, looking to con someone into buying diamonds overseas. He was also promised that if he wasn’t happy with the diamond he bought, he had a contact that could help “move the diamond for him”. All claims which proved to be false.
The diamond that was promised to him was a 1ct G colour and VS clarity diamond, which would have been valued at more than $10 000. He paid $5,000 for what he thought was a bargain, from a man who claimed to be giving him the deal of a lifetime. At a time where our defence personnel have been away from home for several months, it is perfectly understandable that they would want to pick up something special to take home to their loved ones.
What he received however, was no where near what he had been promised.
Buying diamonds overseas – Colour
Here is the diamond the client purchased on the right, next to a GIA certified G colour on the left. As you can see the colour is visibly lower and yellow. I believe this colour to be closer to an N colour, which is a variation in the price of approximately $5000 dollars.
Buying diamonds overseas – Size
A perfect cut 1ct diamond should measure 6.5mm in diameter. The diamond the client bought from overseas measured only 6.3mm, which is closer to a 0.90ct. As seen here the diamond on the left looks larger in diameter. The diamond on the right should be significantly cheaper because it is a much deeper cut stone and doesn’t sparkle as well. This should reduce the price by about $1000 – $2000. As well as being poorly cut the diamond did not come with an internationally recognised diamond grading certificate. Which would have most likely graded this stone as a good cut grade. A good cut grade stone would have made the stone approximately $2000 cheaper.
Buying diamonds overseas – Clarity
The diamond which was supposed to be a VS clarity, actually had a large visible feather on the girdle and has been graded as an SI2 clarity. The price difference for this variation is around the $2500.
Had the client purchased the exact same stone in Australia, he would have paid around the $4500. Not only that, but the diamond would have come with all the correct papers, certifying it. Diamonds world wide are always priced exactly for what they are. So if someone is offering you a diamond for $5000 less than what it would cost locally, there is always a reason why. It is always better to purchase your diamond from a reputable jeweller.
As a qualified diamond grader, gemologist and valuer, i personally like to check and grade each diamond that we sell to ensure each diamond has been correctly graded. That way you have the peace of mind knowing that you are getting exactly what you have paid for. Long term looking for value for money is always better than a bargain.