How to Avoid Diamond Switching

­­Are You Worried About Diamond Switching?

loose mine cut diamond cushion shaped

An Old Mine Cut Diamond Under Magnification. Its Unique Characteristics are Easily Identified.

So are jewelers! It’s a two-way street of worry between us and new clients, but a jeweler with a good reputation would never risk their good standing by taking your diamond.

Most people who join the jewelry fold do so because of a dual drive: the love of beauty and the desire to help their clients. They would not compromise their personal and profession integrity just to make a quick buck.

I was curious to hear what other jewelers had to say about diamond switching, so I asked them!

“What Would We Gain?”

Diamond tester verifying diamond in ring

This Diamond Tester Lights Up Green When Touched to a Real Diamond.

Jay, a jeweler in the Minneapolis area, explains, “If we swap a client’s diamond with a Cubic Zirconia, they can easily identify the fake with a diamond tester. If we swap their diamond with another that’s similar enough to go unnoticed, what would we gain? And if we swap it with one that IS noticeably different — presumably of a much lower quality — what’s the point? Please call the police, you caught us red-handed!”

When it comes to diamond switching, there’s simply too much to lose and not enough to gain!

How Often Do Diamonds Get Switched?

Jay adds, “I am still waiting for a customer to show me evidence that a jeweler has ever swapped a diamond. After 27 years, the only evidence that has been presented to me is that ‘the grandmother of a person they met in the produce section of the grocery store had her diamond swapped by the jeweler down the street.’”

Personally, I have not known of one legitimate case in over 32 years of being a jeweler.

“But I Saw on TV That Someone Switched a Diamond in New York”

Peter E. Schlosser, a Goldsmith at Jewelry Works in Greater St. Paul Mn. says, “Once in a blue moon a jeweler is caught doing it, and that’s national news with lots of press. But, more often than not, a woman believes she has a diamond when she actually has a Cubic Zirconia.”

Peter has seen this happen three times. I’ve seen it twice. In both cases, I had to explain to an unhappy bride that her “diamond” wedding ring wasn’t the real deal.

What are Some Jewelers Doing to Allay Fears of Diamond Switching?

Tool to Prevent switching dimaonds

This Dino-lite Digital Microscope is Used to Take Magnified Images of Precious Gems. Image – Rico Shen

David Olmsted, a Master Jeweler in Pennsylvania, uses a specialized camera called a Dino-Lite to take pictures of clients’ diamonds. This lets him review a diamond’s characteristics with a client and then take a picture for them to keep. If they get back a diamond that doesn’t match their picture, they have clear evidence that the diamond was swapped.

Deycy Valerio, a Customer Relations Specialist in the Norfolk Virginia area, explains, “I try to educate and show my client what to look for to identify their stone.”

Like Deycy, I frequently advise clients to identify their diamond’s unique markers and inclusions by examining it with a loupe.


A Loupe Lets You See Your Diamond and Its Unique Characteristics Up Close.

As jewelers, we understand that clients worry about having their diamond taken – those things are valuable! But, ultimately, there’s still a level of trust required for us to do business together.

In the words of Jay, “We have all the high tech camera stuff and explanations about our stellar reputation after 27 years. But, in the end, I look them in the eye and ask if they trust me. If they don’t, then I say ‘Thanks for stopping by, but go find somebody you trust.’”

How do You Check a Jewelers Reputation?

For hundreds of years, jewelers established the trust of their clients simply on the basis of a handshake and a verbal agreement. If you didn’t have a long-time family jeweler, finding a jeweler you trusted required speaking with their past clients or simply taking the jeweler at their word.

YELP Review

Example of an Online Review From YELP.

With the advent of the internet, however, finding an established jeweler with a good reputation is easier than ever. Sites like YELP and AngiesList allow users to review businesses and share their experiences.

If you have a hard time trusting online reviews from strangers, you can always ask your friends who they go to!

3 Simple Tips to Give You Peace of Mind

1. Look at your diamond under a loupe. Any jeweler will have one, or you can buy your own!

loupe for inspection of jewelry

This $15.00 Triplet Loupe from Rio Grande Will Get the Job Done

2. Take a picture of your diamond. You can even do this with a phone camera! I recommend downloading a camera app designed to take macro photos, or buying an attachable macro lens for your phone.

Cell phone with macro lens attached to camera to view diamond

My Phone Fitted With a Macro Lens.

3. Check your jeweler’s reputation. Whether you look at online reviews or get in touch with a jeweler’s previous clients, checking for a good reputation will help you find a jeweler you trust!

This question comes up once every six months or so, and I thought it was high time I addressed it with a little help from my jeweler friends!

Your Personal Jeweler,


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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Team Havlik
8 years ago

Hi Calla-

I am a mediator in small claims court and shortly after reading this article, a case came up involving the theft (or, replacement) of a diamond from a ring. I immediately thought, “probably not” but I was wrong! It was replaced but not for nefarious reasons. Anyway, it was fun to have a real-world experience with this topic.

7 years ago

Thank you for the insightful article. I agree there is a level of trust needed. I have a question for you since I unfortunately don’t know any jewelers to ask. How would you feel about a family company where hands have recently changed (2 months ago) son is now in charge and our first time working with him. We showed him a ring which we didn’t know much about except for a few on the spot comments from other jewelers and asked him what he could tell us about it. He was quite impressed as many others have in the… Read more »

Jan Ehlers
Jan Ehlers
7 years ago

We just realized that the my daughters engagement ring is a CZ and not a real diamond. After looking at it closely under a loupe we saw the letters SWA something ZIRCONIA. Now her fiancé has to go in to the jewelers to settle this. How should he handle it?

Katie Grimm
Katie Grimm
7 years ago

I took my 1 ct. diamond ring to a small family jewelry store to have it remounted. I had an insurance policy on the diamond. They did switch the diamond. I had to take them to small claims court. I did not get my diamond back. I ended up getting a settlement from my insurance company and they settled with the jewelry store. I was devastated. It truly does happen be aware.

6 years ago

I just got my diamond tunnel bracelet out of the pawn shop. The diamonds don’t look the same, appearing much cloudier than before. I have pictures of the bracelet from before. How can I go about proving the diamonds were switched and get restitution?

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
4 years ago

It’s really interesting that most of the worry about diamond switching comes from women who had actually had a Cubic Zirconia in their ring the whole time. In my opinion, it would be better to sell a Cubic Zirconia ring to a pawn shop and get money for the gold rather than put a diamond in. That way, you could have more funds to buy the real thing.

Daniel Bateman
Daniel Bateman
3 years ago

I too am in the diamond business. I just started a gold buyers company called Pacific Northwest Gold Buyers. One of the reasons I started this company is because of a horrible experience I had with a Jeweler I did business with for over 12 years. I brought a large 2.5 ct diamond to this Jeweler named Nicoli, who has a Jewelry shop located on Aurora in Shoreline, Washington. He switched it out in less then 2 minutes from behind the safety glass in his shop. When he handed it back, I knew immediately. I confronted him right then and… Read more »