The Diamond Pro

Diamond Shopping in Brisbane: Limited and Pricey Selection

By Michael Fried

Scared of getting ripped off? Don’t want to waste your money? Confused by all the choices? Contact us.

Let me start by thanking you, our readers. To write this guide, I had to spend a few days on the Gold Coast. I had to sacrifice time in freezing cold Europe and have a weekend in paradise instead. Yes, we did a lot of work. But we managed to enjoy some time on the beach. So thank you.

Buying Online Vs. Buying at a Local Retailer in Brisbane

Let’s get something else out of the way. We believe that you should buy a diamond from a reputable online retailer like Blue Nile or James Allen. Even after negotiating, the retailers we visited in Brisbane were 30%-40% more expensive than online vendors. You can read more about the big differences in our specific store reviews.

We realize that not everyone wants to buy a diamond online, so we cover the local Brisbane options below. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you’re paying a premium to buy from a local retailer. Make sure that the store you choose justifies that premium.

Where to Buy a Diamond in Brisbane

There are plenty of jewellers scattered around the city. The highest concentration of jewellery shoppes are clustered in the same area as other retailers: Queens Plaza. While most shoppes were not on the main promenade, it was pleasurable to stroll around.

I have to be honest. Of the three cities I spent time in during my trip through Australia, Brisbane was the most disappointing. Our favourite jeweller that we secret shopped in Australia — Cerrone — does not have a location in Brisbane. Overall, we found the selections in Brisbane to be a bit underwhelming.

Tips for Buying a Diamond

There are several aspects to consider when buying a diamond. That’s one big reason we recommend buying online. If you’re shopping in a store, though, keep these five crucial things in mind.

  1. Certification – If you’re uncertain of a diamond’s characteristics, you won’t know if you’re getting a good deal. Thus, any diamond you’re considering should have an AGS or GIA certificate. These are the two most consistent and reliable lab grading entities. Unfortunately, there are many less stringent labs that inflate their quality claims. It’s easy to fall into a trap of overpaying for a low-quality diamond. Fortunately, the majority of places we visited in Brisbane only offered GIA certified diamonds. There were a smattering of places that relied on the Australian laboratory GLS. I don’t know enough about GLS to comment, though.
  2. Cut – While shopping in Brisbane, most of the round diamonds we saw were excellent cut. A diamond that’s designated as excellent or ideal is a great start. To make sure the diamond has the greatest brilliance, keep the table percentage below 60% and the depth percentage below 62.5%. Consult our shapes guide if you’re buying something other than a round brilliant.
  3. Fluorescence – In general, this issue isn’t so high on our list. Usually, we place more focus on Cut and Certification, but the retailers in Brisbane were stronger than normal in these areas. Fluorescence still remained a lingering issue. Many of the colorless diamonds in Brisbane had a medium or strong fluorescence. We recommend staying away from these levels of fluorescence. Check out our fluorescence guide for more details.
  4. Clarity – In many ways, clarity is the simplest issue to look out for, but it’s still very important. We recommend looking for an eye clean diamond. When a diamond is eye clean, it’s free to the naked eye of blemishes and inclusions. If you’re shopping in a store, move the diamond away from the super-bright lighting to get a better look. There won’t be so much sparkle hiding any imperfections. Take the time to look while you’re in the store, so you don’t end up at home with a noticeable inclusion.
  5. Take your time – Many times, shoppers get excited about a diamond they see. The salespeople then influence the shopper to make a quick decision. Sometimes, this is a decision that’s later regretted. That’s why it’s important to take your time. Sleep on your decision. Compare what you found in the store to what’s available through a reputable online dealer. You can also contact us, and we can help you decide if you’re getting a high-quality diamond at a great price. Write down the GIA certificate number of any diamond you’re considering. We’ll give you our honest thoughts on the diamond.

Diamond Retailers in Brisbane

Canturi

Canturi is a fine jeweller that works hard to live up to their luxurious standards. The store was well appointed and the staff was very helpful. The diamond quality was a bit inconsistent for our tastes, though. If you’re shopping with Canturi, contact us before buying. We’ll review the certificate of any diamond you’re considering to ensure you get the highest quality.

Wallace Bishop

We recommend avoiding Wallace Bishop. The service and value were lacking when we visited. Overall, it was an underwhelming experience.

Independent Jewellers

Diamonds International (Brisbane)

Not to be confused with the U.S./Caribbean-based Diamonds International company, the Diamonds International in Brisbane was downright delightful. The owner was pleasant and very knowledgeable and did not pressure us in any way. All the diamonds were GIA certified, well cut and in the general range for qualities we recommend. They were our favourite stop in Brisbane.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

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