How Likely Are Jewelers to Switch Diamonds?
While there certainly are jewelers who would try to swap your diamond, they are most likely in the minority. Generally, for most jewelers, the gain from switching is not worth the reputational risk and the resulting damage in lost business.
In order for the jeweler to gain a lot from switching, the difference in quality between the swapped stones would have to be substantial.
However, in such a case, that difference would also be pretty obvious to the customer, and few jewelers are likely to take such a risk.
If you think you have a reason to be concerned, though, and want to protect yourself against switching, there are several ways to do so. Let’s see what they are.
Laser Inscription: The Diamond ID
If your diamond is certified and comes with a grading report, the stone will most likely have a laser inscription engraved on its edge.
This small engraving consists of letters and numbers that serve as a unique identifier for your diamond and can be read with a loupe. If you take a look at your diamond’s certificate, the same ID should be listed there.
When you are at the store to get your diamond back after a jewelry repair, you can check the stone’s ID under magnification and see if it matches the number on the certificate.
If your diamond doesn’t have an inscription, you can always have the stone inscribed at a diamond grading lab that provides such a service for a fee.
Check out these loose diamonds — each of them comes with a grading certificate in which you can see the above-mentioned ID number that is also inscribed on the stone.
Diamond Inclusions: Unique “Birthmarks”
Having a laser inscription on your diamond is the best way to identify it, but what should you do if the stone is not inscribed?
In such a case, you can use some of the more visible inclusions in the diamond as identification marks.
Look at your diamond under magnification and pick one, two or more flaws and remember their location.
When you visit the jeweler to pick up you stone, take a look at it again, and see if you can find those inclusions to confirm that you have your original diamond.
Let’s see how this works in practice: Here you can see real loose diamonds in 3D and rotate them to view their inclusions. Pick any diamond and click on it to examine it more closely from all sides — you’ll be able to identify small specks, lines, spots, and other imperfections, which can be used for identification.
Diamond Plot: A Map of Inclusions
A diamond plot is a map of the inclusions in your diamond and is usually a part of the diamond grading report.
Since each stone’s diamond plot is unique, you can use this document to check the identity of any diamond that has its inclusions plotted.
If your diamond is certified and comes with a diamond plot as part of the certificate, refer to it when you are getting your stone back – check whether its inclusions are where they are supposed to be as verification that you have the right diamond.
Remember: Check Your Diamond While at the Store
One final thing to remember is that you should check your diamond while you are still at the jeweler’s shop.
If you leave and come back later claiming that your diamond was switched, there is no way to prove that the stone you have with you is the one that the jeweler gave you back.
That’s why you should inspect your diamond right after you receive it.
If your stone has an inscription, you can ask the jeweler to verify the inscribed number and put it down on a piece of paper before you leave your jewelry at the shop.
This is just another way to document that the stone received by the jeweler is the stone described in your certificate. And even if you come across someone who is likely to switch diamonds, showing that you can identify your stone would discourage anyone from swapping it.
Finally, don’t get paranoid; most jewelers are unlikely to switch your diamond – it’s just not worth the risk and the potential hassle.
If you want to have peace of mind, take some simple precautions, like the ones described in this article, and you will be able to minimize the risk of having your diamonds switched.