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How to Buy a Diamond: Insider Secrets for Getting Your Money's Worth, Sixth Edition Paperback – July 1, 2008
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From Library Journal
Buying guides for gems and jewelry appear on the market with some regularity, and these two are similar in scope and content to their predecessors. Cuellar, founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, covers the standard topics of the four Cs (carat, clarity, color, cut), as well as the fifth C, cost. Various chapters focus on everything from ring settings to insurance, investment, and selling diamonds; other tidbits include carat size charts and even a list of 101 ways to be romantic. This serious yet lighthearted guide is geared to anyone looking for inside information on purchasing a diamond. Matlins's (Jewelry and Gems, LJ 5/1/94) work is equally informative yet more serious in nature. Each of the seven parts focuses on a variety of topics from the historical significance of pearls to pearl types and quality, from selection to caring for and wearing pearls. The two most important sections deal with insider tips and advice from the experts and what to ask when purchasing pearls. Other features include price guides, special charts, and a special color photograph section. Both of these books are suitable for public libraries.?Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Educate yourself before you make the big purchase." -- Money's Worth
"He's what people are talking about." -- USA Today
"Inside informtion on purchasing a diamond." -- Library Journal
"The book helps make dreams come true." -- Houston Chronicle, March 27,1997
"Whenever anybody asks me about buying a diamond, I give them this book. It's filled with a lot of common sense, practical advice. Diamond buying can be difficult, this book can help." -- Rob Bates, Editor, National Jeweler magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Fred puts a lot of emphasis on finding an un-warped stone and eventually points the reader to his own store for "advice." In several months of research about round cut stones, I have found that most people in the business or hobbyists do not necessarily respect his opinions.
Let me explain ...
After trying to locate a reasonably priced stone that matched Fred's guidelines for dimensions, I called his 800 number looking for guidance. I found several stones on bluenile.com that matched all of Fred's recommended dimensions (but were low in price and therefore too good to be true?) but every time I asked the guys at DCI (Diamond Cutter's International, Fred's company), they told me it was an okay stone but warped meaning that the measurements around the stone weren't symmetrical all the way around. Even though the dimensions all matched the ideals for what Fred said in his book, according to DCI, the stones all suffered from a so called tragic flaw that Fred only devotes half a page to.
Yes, this is an important point and they did assure me that bluenile's prices were fair but I was still getting a warped stone which I should avoid. I asked for advice on where I could find a non warped stone because, after lots of phone calls and several months spent visiting jewelry stores, none of the local jewelers in Boston including those in the Diamond District on Washington Street had those types of stones. Except Tiffany's (but they don't have unmounted stones) and I didn't want to pay the 50% price premium for a brand name. I got an email back from the DCI guys with two stones that they could sell to me. I was a bit taken aback. I thought it was a conflict of interest to try and write an informational book about buying diamonds all the while pushing their own agenda and eventually scaring customers to purchase from him.
I ended up with a beautiful round cut, .98, G, SI1 (very nice, eye clean), GIA ideal cut for just under $4400 in Feb. 2006. I had it measured again by GIA and the certification was almost identical to the one I got from the dealer But it was supposedly warped according to Fred's DCI guy. This stone should have gone for $7500 according to Fred (if it were un-warped).
Readers should realized that ultimately, this book will point you to DCI and Fred's own diamond store. See one poor sap's comments, (Derek M. Hardwick "A Very Happy Customer") who fell for the entire scheme. Fred not only made a buck off of the sale of the book but lead this reader right to his store! Google Fred's name for more information about lawsuits against him. And check out this thread and look for his threads on Pricescope.
I recommend it to all that are in the process of buying a ring. I wish my husband had read this book when he was buying a ring. He unfortunately did what majority would do. Go to one shop and be sold on a ring just cause he thought it was a good deal and doesn't like shopping around.
I also really appreciated the part where Fred gives you the tools to identify what kind of ring would work best for your Fiancee. Absolute must advice to men that are clueless about buying jeweler "ASK her best friend or Mother or someone that is very close to her" Don't go out and assume this is what she likes or wants.
My dad is in this industry so I know a fair bit to say a lot of what Fred mentions is true.
Happy I purchase this book as I now get Hubby to read it and learn for the future :)
p.s. Robbins Brothers is not the way to go
Explaining that a VVS clarity diamond is not the best choice for worn jewelry, confirmed by other sources, was helpful and saved me some money.
Recommending to "buy shy" (0.49 ct instead of 0.50 ct) is a handy tip, and saved me some money while getting the look I want.
His relationship advice, stories of crooked sellers, and anecdotes are interesting, amusing, and can be helpful.
However, there are significant problems.
His explanation of the proper cut for the Round is essentially correct, but more research shows his understanding is becoming outdated and may mislead people. The "ideal" is based on a 2D ray-trace of a diamond which ignores some aspects of dispersion. Today, full 3D models of diamonds can be performed. With that, his disagreement with GIA's new recommendations for "ideal" may well be incorrect and misleading people from good purchases.
Worse, his recommendation for choosing proper proportions of a Princess cut seem to be plain wrong. I'm still looking into this, but right now my understanding is that if had bought my Princess-cut diamond according to his proportions, I'd have a poorly cut stone.
While buying shy is a money saver, I'm not convinced it is nearly so useful today as he suggests. Prices I've seen don't jump dramatically at the round carat weights.
His recommendation on fluorescence are not universally held. My jeweler recommends some degree of fluorescence for non-colorless stones to mask the yellow and improve the perceived whiteness of the stone. This is a matter of taste and I'm choosing to believe my jeweler over Cueller.
For anyone looking for diamond buying advice, be wary of Cueller's book. While he provides a lot of useful information to the ignorant (like me), that is also what makes it so risky. The ignorant can't readily identify the weaknesses and errors in his book without further research.