Man Frustrated with Buying a Diamond Online

Pitfalls of Buying a Diamond Online

Let’s start with the obvious: I’m biased. I started Kimberfire almost two years ago because I truly believe we offer consumers the ideal platform from which to buy diamonds and diamond jewelry. While the web is a great place to buy many things (very happy with my new winter coat!), it is not a great place to buy all things.

With that out of the way – I have heard from many customers and friends that starting the diamond search is overwhelming, and it is challenging to know what to look out for. It’s convenient to start out online and definitely a good way to get a sense of design styles and what’s out there generally. If you’re thinking of actually buying online, though, here are some things to keep in mind.

Large Selection is Not Always a Good Thing

You check out a site and they have a huge list of inventory. Seems great, right? Not always.

A little known fact about the various online-only diamond merchants is that many of them don’t own every diamond that is offered for sale. These websites are all linked up to virtual inventory – diamonds currently owned by and sitting with diamond manufacturers around the world. In practice, this means that these online retailers may not be able to tell you what they think of a certain diamond, or how it looks. If asked, they will call the manufacturer and ask for an assessment of the diamond to relay back to the customer, who then has to make their own judgment call.

Unfortunately, many of these websites do not actually see the diamonds they sell… EVER. To save on costs, the diamonds often get shipped directly from the manufacturer to a jewelry sub-contractor who sets the stone in a ring and ships it to the customer’s door. An important purchase like this deserves a bit more quality control than that.

A Penny for Your Dollar

Ring builders are a lot of fun. But often when you select a given set of characteristics, a wide range of prices come up for similar diamonds. Certain things can make a big difference – for example, there is a bump in price when you hit 1 carat – so a 0.95 carat diamond and a 1.00 carat diamond will be priced further apart than, let’s say, a 0.70 carat and 0.75 carat diamond would be. Often times, though, the differences are not as clear.

I always advise my clients to see their diamond in person. This allows you to be confident that it was a good deal without having sacrificed anything on quality, or if a more expensive diamond is chosen, seeing the diamond in person will help you understand why it is more expensive. Without understanding exactly what is going on inside your diamond, it is just impossible to tell if a given price is justified, in either direction. I say this a lot because it’s true: no two diamonds are the same. There are very different types of inclusions within the same clarity grade, different tints within the same color grade, etc.

Recently, I brought a diamond into the country for a client and, on first look at both the certificate and an image, it seemed like a truly amazing stone – not just for the price (which was great too). The image showed minimal inclusions for a diamond of its clarity, and the inclusion plotting on the certificate seemed very minimal. The diamond even looked great on first glance in person. On closer inspection though, the diamond had a very apparent haziness to it, which was very off-putting when put side-by-side with another diamond of similar characteristics. It turns out the diamond received its clarity rating of an SI1 not due to any particular inclusion but due to a cloud of microscopic inclusions that were spread throughout. The material was not attractive and needless to say this diamond went back to the manufacturer and was replaced by a diamond the client was able to truly fall in love with.

If this client had received the diamond at his home, he may have been satisfied and carried on with it. Unbeknownst to him, though, he would have had a diamond that truly was not the great deal he expected it to be, did not shine like it should, and worst of all would not be an attractive option on the resale market if ever needed at any point in time.

Kimberfire, Your Diamond Expert

The bottom line is that buying a diamond is one of the most important purchases you will make in your life. Without a guide on your side, it is easy to be mislead, uncertain, or to be stuck having to exchange a number of diamonds for one that you’re really happy with.

Trust and knowledge are big parts of the diamond game. Traditional jewelry stores certainly offer a high level of service and quality control, but are not for everyone. This is why I created Kimberfire: to provide you with prices competitive to online merchants and at significant discounts to traditional retail, while still enabling you to inspect your diamond in person alongside someone you can trust.

If you’re interested in working with us to find your perfect diamond, be sure to check out our website or call us at (416) 861-8110 to book your free private consultation. I look forward to meeting you!

Toronto Skyline

Kimberfire On Career Buzz Radio in Toronto

A gem of a career. A career in gems.

I was recently a guest on Career Buzz, on CIUT 89.5 FM in the Greater Toronto Area, as part of a special 1-hour long segment on careers in diamonds! Joining me on the show was a good friend, and former Chief Gemmologist of Ontario, Ron Gashinski.

The show took listeners through the twists and turns in my career that led to the founding of Kimberfire and explored the journey of a diamond from mine to polished gem.

Have a listen!

Career Buzz is produced and hosted by Mark Franklin, president of CareerCycles. Since 2006, Career Buzz radio has been empowering lives, enriching careers and energizing organizations.


(Photo Credit: Jamie In Bytown)

Image with Text "We Believe in a Better Way to Buy Diamonds"

A Brilliant Way to Buy a Diamond

Hey there,

I’m Jonathan Goldberg, the founder & CEO of Kimberfire – a better way to buy diamonds, custom engagement rings and fine jewelry in Toronto, ON, Canada. I thought I’d start off our blog with introductions to myself and to Kimberfire. Please check back often for future posts catered to both men and women on diamonds, engagement rings, diamond jewelry, marriage proposals, personal style and more! Who knows what we’ll come up with.

Diamonds and high-end diamond jewelry are my passion. I am an internationally trained diamond grader with experience working in a diamond-cutting factory in the Middle East, in diamond sector business development in the busy diamond-trading centre of Antwerp and in the wholesale diamond trade in North America. Yes, I actually sat for hours each day cutting diamonds from rough stones into the polished diamonds we’re accustomed to seeing in jewelry – it was an awesome way to learn all about them!

As a break (at times fun and at times not so fun) between all that luxury goods sector experience and founding Kimberfire, I went back to school for my MBA (fun) and spent 3 years at one of the large Canadian banks as an investment banker (had its moments!).

While in banking, my friends who were getting engaged would always ask me about the best place to buy a diamond engagement ring. Should they buy online? Should they go to one of the many retail stores? A common phrase I heard was, “I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars at ‘X’ on a ring online without seeing it, but I don’t want to pay the prices being asked by ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ locally.”

I would always agree with them – as no two diamonds are alike! I have manufactured diamonds with my own two hands and I will not buy one without thoroughly inspecting it in person first. Diamonds come with many different types of inclusions and quality of material, even within the same clarity grade. The diamond that I approve of in person is the one I want to take home with me to give to my loved one.

Friends, and friends of friends, were thrilled when I navigated my relationships with diamond manufacturers and suppliers to source their perfect diamond – at the most competitive prices. They were ecstatic that I was able to find diamonds at the lowest prices possible (those typically only seen online) while also providing the opportunity for them to see their diamond in person alongside someone they trust, the same way they would be able to at only the highest-end stores. These were the fundamentals that shaped Kimberfire.

Kimberlite is the rock in the earth where diamonds are found. Fire is the scintillation and brilliance of our hand-picked diamonds. ‘Kimberfire’ is not only a new word for diamond, but also a new and brilliant way to buy one.

I look forward to meeting you and to building a relationship that will last through many of life’s memorable moments to come!

All the best,