A Guide to Shopping in New York’s Diamond District

As many visitors to New York know, the area near 47th Street in Manhattan is crowded with small shops advertising great prices on every kind of diamond, gemstone, and gold jewelry. It’s the New York Diamond District, and it seems logical that it would be the best place to pick up a specialty item like an ideal-cut diamond or a perfect engagement ring. Right? Not necessarily.

Issues with New York’s Diamond District

With over 4,000 diamond retailers and wholesalers in one district, competition is fierce and it is this competition that breeds some of the unseemly sales practices that color the New York diamond district experience. Whether it’s pushy salespeople who will say anything to close a deal, or questionably quality and prices, the diamond district can be a dangerous place for customers to try to navigate.
47th Street
Image Courtesy of WikiMedia
The core issues are misleading prices and a lack of proper certification. There is no such thing as a bargain diamond. Instead, there are beautiful diamonds at a fair price or a low-quality diamond with inflated and misleading quality grades. The New York diamond district too often deals in the latter. They begin by offering ‘too good to be true’ prices and work on the knowledge that the average customer will be unable to identify any quality issues by eye. Combine this with some timeless sales tricks (offering a ‘one time only’ deal, add-ons such as in-house certification etc) and before you know it you are leaving the store thousands of dollars lighter with no real understanding of what you have bought.
Many of the New York diamond district retailers know that tourism makes up a huge part of their trade. The assumption is that these customers won’t be returning any time soon which means after-care, returns and trade-up policies will range from poor to non-existent. When purchasing a diamond, we believe in empowering our customers with a diamond education and the necessary follow-up services to give them total peace of mind. For the majority of our customers, buying a diamond is a rare and special event that requires the utmost care and respect. The New York diamond district neglects this essential step in the process and leaves their customers out on a limb.
Diamond Education
There are ethical concerns that not only surround the customer experience but the diamonds themselves. Certification and accurate diamond documents do a lot more than tell you the quality of your diamond. A respected retailer will be able to assure you on any concerns you have regarding ethical trading and mining. We encourage you to read our social responsibility promise to understand what a trusted retailer should be providing.
Naturally, there are good retailers in the Diamond District as well. But with all these pitfalls and over 4,000 retailers, it is a roll of the dice whether you encounter a respectable seller or a scammer.

Tips for Shopping in the New York Diamond District

We understand that for many people visiting New York, the diamond district is an exciting place to experience and you may wish to purchase something as a reminder of your visit. While we advise caution when shopping in the diamond district, we have put together some helpful tips to avoid scammers and get the most from your experience.
  • Stick to fashion jewelry, like earrings and bangle bracelets. Don’t try to make important jewelry purchases, like diamonds, in a store where you aren’t 100% sure of the integrity of the owner and his willingness to stand behind his product. Certifications help (providing they are from international recognized labs), of course, but some of the worst jewelry stores may attach bogus certification to your diamond and hope that you won’t be able to tell the difference.
  • Many Diamond District jewelry stores do not accept checks; some accept only cash—you have to decide if you are comfortable with that kind of transaction. If the store seems suspect or you are being pushed into buying, don’t be afraid to walk away. This may prompt the salesperson to offer you a better price, but keep in mind that many of the stores in the New York Diamond District sell essentially the same merchandise. Even if the diamond offered is a better price, there is always a reason behind that offer.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away when you are surrounded by jewelry items worth tens of thousands of dollars, but if you only have a few hundred to spend, look for a simple gold piece of good quality and walk away happy.
  • Avoid ‘big purchases’ with large financial or emotional implications. The risk of making an unwise purchase is very real in the Diamond District.

Why Choose Whiteflash?

We’ve told you what to avoid, but it is just as important to know what to look for. You won’t find misleading information or pressure with us – we believe in quality, fair pricing, and full transparency. And we support our customers from start to finish.
With thousands of online reviews from third party review sites such as Google and Yelp, along with free shipping and a money back guarantee, it is easy to see the kinds of brilliant experiences that we are creating each and every day with customers all over the world. And we would love the opportunity to do the same for you! And to make your online buying experience more comfortable we offer a One Year Buy Back Guarantee on the purchase of any Whiteflash in-house certified diamonds.
We pride ourselves on our super-ideal cut diamonds and top quality diamond light performance in general, but offering an exceptional experience goes above and beyond the diamonds themselves. An in-depth diamond education for every customer, highly trained GIA and AGS staff, social responsibility and a continued relationship with our customers are some of the values at the core of our business. Having the confidence to shop with us will be built around our commitment to generous policies and exceptional standards.
The infographic below highlights our core value package including our Complete Satisfaction Guarantee, Lifetime Trade-up Benefit:
Shop With Confidence at Whiteflash
We don’t believe in secrecy or gimmicks; we believe in education and transparency. You can read more about us here, however please use our live chat or call us directly so one of our diamond consultants can help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the right price.

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