With so many jewellers popping up, purchasing diamonds online should be quite straightforward. However, in reality, the rapid shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar business model has overwhelmed many modern buyers with multiple options but limited knowledge on how to choose the right one and what to expect during their purchase journey and transactions. 

That’s where we come in. As a market leader, we believe it’s our job to educate and guide buyers so they can make a confident purchase. Here’s what to know when buying a diamond online: 

Convenience Comes With a Cost 

People shop online for convenience, but who knew that shopping for diamonds online comes with a price tag? That’s right; buying a diamond online from an international seller can lead to several unforeseen costs. This is likely to skyrocket the final price of your purchase. 

In other words, what initially seems to be a budget-friendly transaction may turn out incredibly complex. Here’s a detailed look into these fees and how they impact the overall cost.

Import Courier Expenses

A large part of the import costs are the courier costs. Companies like FedEx, DHL, or Toll are often hired to make this happen when shipping diamonds. These companies charge a significantly higher rate than usual when shipping valuable items. 

The exact amount depends on the service class, distance, and weight of goods, often leading to an increase of several hundred dollars in the final amount. For example, express shipping with higher insurance values is costlier than regular shipping.

Foreign Currency Exchange Rates

When you buy diamonds from online retailers abroad, the transaction is generally conducted in the currency of the seller’s country. Plus, with the spot exchange rate being so volatile, the total amount in the buyer’s currency is nearly unpredictable and always more expensive. 

In addition, banks and payment processors add a margin on the exchange rate for their profit, substantially increasing the final total. These additional charges easily add up to thousands of dollars. 

Insurance on Goods

Any valuable item (such as diamonds, in our example) would require insurance in transit in case of loss, damage, or theft. Insurance premiums may be calculated according to the value of the item. For example, a shipment of high-priced diamonds will involve a higher cost in insurance than a smaller shipment of lower-priced diamonds. This is a necessary expense to ensure that in the unlikely event of an issue during shipping, the buyer is compensated, but it does add to the overall expense.

Customs Clearance Charges

Customs clearance is another hidden cost. Imported goods need to be cleared through customs – inspected, and then taxed. Charges to clear customs include administrative fees, inspection fees and brokerage fees. These fees can increase the final cost of the purchase dramatically. More importantly, they vary from country to country, so you never know what to expect.

Goods & Services Tax (G.S.T.)

In many countries, including Australia, imported goods are subject to Goods and Services Tax (G.S.T.). It is calculated as a percentage of the item's final price, including all expenses incurred from purchasing the diamond to shipping it. 

In Australia, this tax is 10 percent. For example, if the final cost of a diamond, including shipping and insurance, is 10K Australian dollars, the G.S.T. would be 1,000 Australian dollars.

Additional Sales Duty

An additional sales duty may apply if the purchased diamond is made into a piece of jewellery. In Australia, the sales duty is 5 percent of the sale price. 

Thus, if a diamond made into a piece of jewellery sells for 15K Australian dollars, an additional 750 Australian dollars would be charged as sales duty. This extra cost can be substantial, particularly for diamond jewellery pieces.

Aftercare Costs

Beyond the initial purchase and import costs, aftercare expenses are often overlooked. You must be mentally prepared for this hidden cost when buying a diamond online. 

Let’s suppose a diamond falls out. In such a situation, you must return it or request a refund. This involves shipping the item back, which incurs all previously mentioned costs again. So, all this should be factored in when purchasing diamonds online. 

Imageries Can Be Misleading- What You See Is Not What You Always Get?

When it comes to what to know when buying a diamond online, keep in mind that diamond imageries online can be misleading. That’s right; sometimes, jewellers exploit images to get more sales. They enhance the visuals using online tools or sometimes take pictures of their diamonds under ideal lighting conditions to make them look more visually appealing. Hence, the diamond ring you order online from an international jeweller may not always be how you expected. In other words, diamonds in images may look brilliant and larger than they are in reality- all thanks to the tools and lighting. 

Customisation Option May Not Deliver As Intended

Online jewellers offer the option to customise your jewel, which is great, but sometimes, the final product may not turn out how you envisioned. Therefore, before you purchase or customise, you should learn about the virtual tools the seller offers to customise diamonds and their policy on setting adjustments and returns. 

Buying Diamonds Online - FAQS

Why are diamonds cheaper online?

In general, diamonds sold online may seem cheaper because online retailers don’t have to pay business overhead costs like storefront rent, lighting, & other costs associated with running a brick-and-mortar store.

However, you may be charged extra when you move to the transaction stage. This is a hidden cost that is not disclosed upfront. It includes taxes, insurance, clearance charges, and other expenses to deliver the diamond to your doorstep. 

Is purchasing diamonds online better, or should I buy them locally with a live diamond specialist?

Well, it is best to buy locally and from the store. You can touch and hold it, compare it, and visually assess if it’s the perfect piece of jewellery for yourself or a loved one. 

What are the factors to consider when buying diamonds in person? 

When you visit the store, the best way to assess the quality of the diamonds is to focus on the 4C’s- cut, colour, carat weight, and clarity. 

Is diamond insurance necessary? 

Yes, insuring your diamond protects against loss, theft, or damage. Some online retailers offer insurance options, or you can purchase a separate policy.

Wrapping Up

In a nutshell, purchasing diamonds online is risky, especially from an international jeweller. Therefore, it is advisable to shop from a trusted, reputed, and local jeweller like Varoujan Jewellers. We have been in the business for over 47 years and have built a stellar market reputation based on our high-quality diamonds and superior customer service. We welcome you to visit our boutique and explore your options. Our local and certified diamond specialist will guide you and ensure you make the best purchase. We treat clients with integrity and respect. We can assist you at every stage of the process, helping you create a mind-blowing and bespoke diamond jewellery piece that fits your liking and is within your budget. For more information, contact us today or visit our boutique today.