Lumps of Coal: Hidden Dangers of Disreputable Diamond Buyers

Whether the diamond jewelry you’re considering selling is a precious family heirloom or simply a piece you no longer wear, you deserve to know your diamonds are in trustworthy hands.  And the fact of the matter – troubling as it may be – is that there are dishonest diamond buyers out there.  Before you drop you grandmother’s earrings in the mail, you should know what to watch out for.

Fly-by-night firms.  Always, always, always do a little research before you even contact a company to inquire about selling your diamonds.  Unless you can answer the following questions, you should never consider moving forward:

– How long has the company been in business?

– Where are they located?

– Is there a physical shop/gallery/studio you can visit?

– Who owns the business?

– How are the reviews of this company?

Are there any “Rip-off Reports” or other “Alerts” about the company out there?

Beware of companies whose location and owner you have difficulty verifying.  Even if you don’t plan on visiting a business in person, make sure you verify any phone numbers listed.  While honest people would never dream of setting up a sham company to steal heirloom jewelry, it happens all the time.  Beware in particular of any firms that have “Rip-off Reports” or any other alert from the BBB, as they’re likely to be the sort of firm looking to prey upon unsuspecting jewelry owners. Be smart and careful.

Hidden fees.  Reputable companies make sure you understand their process and any costs involved.  If you’re not careful, though, you may discover that you have to pay for an appraisal or shipping in order to get your mother’s engagement ring back if you choose not to sell it.  Don’t let yourself be trapped by unexpected fees.  Ask lots of questions up front, and if you don’t feel 100% confident that you’re dealing with a knowledgeable, ethical business, then move on.  Keep looking.

Outrageously high offers, especially via email.  When you’ve made the decision to sell your fine diamond jewelry, you want to make sure you get every penny you’re due.  But too many disreputable companies play on the appeal of the almighty dollar.  The problem isn’t the fantastic offer itself.  The problem is that dishonest dealers actually have no intention of honoring that high price.  What you’ll discover – if you make the mistake of sending your jewelry off after you’ve gotten a great offer – is that those offers evaporate in an instant.  There will be some newly discovered defect in your piece that forces a buyer to dramatically reduce or rescind the offer, and you’re stuck either paying those hidden return fees, or parting with your estate jewelry for far less than you’d expected.  In short, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Shady evaluation practices.  It’s important to understand how a given company handles and evaluates pieces before you send off your jewelry.  Some companies will remove diamonds from pieces without asking permission or even notifying owners.  In the process, stones and settings can be damaged, and unscrupulous buyers might even swap out your stones for less valuable ones.  The key is to make sure you understand the process and policies of a company before you send your jewelry for evaluation.

Fortunately, there are reputable, honest, transparent, and trustworthy diamond buyers, and at MJ Gabel, we pride ourselves on making sure our customers understand our process and feel comfortable trusting us with their precious diamonds.  Whether you visit our website or stop in our store, you see our faces, and you know our names.  Our diamond specialists will be happy to walk you through the steps in selling your diamond, and an evaluation in our lab – by graduates of GIA – will ensure you get a fair price.

We value your business, and you’ll never be surprised by hidden fees, pressured to sell your fine jewelry, or disappointed with our service.  When you’re ready to sell your fine diamond jewelry, look for a company you can trust.

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