By Marsha Thompson
'Tis the season of giving. Diamonds are last minute hot sellers. There are a few important tips to protect yourself from unscrupulous merchants. The jewelry blitz is on. After all, what better time of year to shop for the "stone of choice." Diamonds, a girl's best friend.
John Albriton, owner of Albriton's Jewelers in Jackson showed us some lovely rings, "This is a fine platinum handset ring set with a 4 carat stone." A brilliant gemstone valued at 68-thousand dollars. A stone that comes with an independent rating of authenticity and quality from the Gemological Institute of America. Pricey jewels are offered in all sizes, cuts and clarity. But if you are just going for bling. Well, you may not be buying the best quality. Ralph Destino, the CEO of the Gemological Institute of America says, "Many times someone will ask for the biggest stone. The big rock. It's a mistake to focus only on carat weight." John Albriton says customers should evaluate the 4 c's, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, before making a purchase. The color of a diamond adds value the fastest or the absence of color being the very finest.
GIA, one of the worlds most widely regarded and recognized diamond grading labs says buyers beware. Unscrupulous jewelers are out there. Beware of any seller who refuses to provide you with an independent diamond rating report. And be on guard for those "great" holiday deals. Be suspicious of deep discounts of 70-80 percent off.
Albriton says most of the stones today, very few are not sold without certificates."GIA suggests buyers request certificates, proof of the diamonds identity and true value. Otherwise that sparkling 4- carat diamond you're sporting, may lose it's brilliance when it's time for insurance coverage.
It's also good to get an independent appraisal from a reputable laboratory. A certified appraisal places a monetary value on your diamond.
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