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The Truth About The Diamond Pro

By Mike Fried,

One enjoyable result of the site’s growing traffic is the increase in personal inquiries we receive from readers through the Contact form. We’ve been keeping track of the questions our readers ask and have put this article together to answer the most common one to quiet that nagging voice in the back of your head and let you move on to the task at hand: finding that perfect rock!

The #1 Question

The most common question we get goes something like this: “Not to be rude, but why are you offering this super-helpful, friendly advice to strangers for free? Where’s the catch? What’s in it for you?”

That’s a totally valid question. The simple answer to the question is that we aren’t doing it for free. The service is completely free to you (the reader), but don’t worry – we do get compensated for our time. Keep reading and we’ll explain.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Diamond Pro’s Affiliate Marketing

As a publisher on the internet, there are several different ways you can generate revenue. You can charge advertisers for advertising space either on a pay-per-click basis, or on a flat-fee basis. Or, like us, you can set up what’s called an affiliate arrangement, where the advertiser pays the publisher a commission for actual sales generated by traffic originating from the publisher’s site.

Investopedia defines this type of agreement simply: “Affiliate marketing is a marketing scheme in which a company compensates partners for business created from the affiliate’s marketing tactics.” In other words, publishers (like us) receive a commission when one of our readers purchases a diamond ring or other jewelry from one of our advertising partners.

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Affiliate marketing is everywhere nowadays. Amazon.com has the most popular program, called Amazon.com Associates. Ever used a coupon site like slickdeals.net? I’m personally a major fan of hot-deals.org, as I’m a sucker for a great deal on gadgets. Well these sites and many, many more all make money through affiliate commissions.

Even large media sites, like the New York Times’ Wirecutter section, operate affiliate arrangements with companies that make and sell the products that meet their strict review standards.

In our case, we check with the diamond companies we’ve made these arrangements with to verify which of our readers bought the diamonds we recommended and our commission is based on that list of purchases. So while we would never sell your info for marketing/spam, we do send our affiliates the names and email addresses of the readers we’ve helped personally. This way they can verify that we helped you out and we receive compensation for our time and effort.

The current list of our affiliated vendors is: James Allen, Blue Nile, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Leibish & Co, Clean Origin and Abe Mor.

You will easily be able to identify any links on our site that go to our affiliated vendors. These links will be in red and underlined, like this: James Allen.

The Diamond Pro Difference

Diamond advice sites typically don’t offer much more than banner advertising. If you’re on their site, and you click on a banner ad for, for instance, Blue Nile or James Allen, a cookie gets placed on your computer that can then be tracked by the relevant site. Then if you purchase something from their site within 30 days, the owner of the site earns a commission. That’s it.

We believe we are different. Yes, we also have plenty of passive content on our website like our Education and Guides sections (based on our expertise in the diamond trade), our thoroughly researched reviews and our voluminous Diamond Q&A section. But we don’t stop there. We are one of the very few that offers a truly value-added service to the reader: level-headed, honest and personalized advice.

Another thing that sets us apart from the rest is our approach. You could say that while other diamond affiliates are entirely passive in their approach, our service is a much more active one. When you contact us, we get to work right away, scouring the internet to find you the best diamond for your buck. You can see from our feedback on iVouch that the people we help are always very grateful for the time and effort we dedicate to helping them find just what they’re looking for.

Benefiting From Objective Advice

Another question we often receive is “Are you affiliated somehow with James Allen?” Again, a very fair question deserving an honest and open response.

The truth is that we actually affiliate with 6-8 sites on a regular basis. If you check out our “Diamond Q&As”, you’ll notice that we recommend diamonds from Leibish, Ritani, Since1910, Brian Gavin Diamonds and, yes, even Blue Nile, depending on the customer. Having this agreement with the industry’s leaders provides you with the peace of mind that our advice is fair and objective. In other words, as long as a company is legit, we have no issue commenting on and recommending their diamonds to you.

So the straight answer is yes, we are affiliated with James Allen, but no more than we are affiliated with any other affiliated diamond vendor. In fact, James Allen’s commission rate has declined over the years, yet we continue to recommend them the most. We recommend James Allen most of the time because, simply put, they are the best.

Offering Professional Opinions

We have always been committed to providing our readers with our professional opinion on anything and everything related to diamonds, no strings attached. Our genuine interest in making this complicated process easier on you is why we do what we do.

It’s a pleasure for us to play a part in helping you decide on that perfect diamond…

Editorial Guidelines

The Diamond Pro’s goal is to provide accurate information that helps people get the best diamonds and jewelry at a competitive price. The most difficult type of article to produce is a review. In these articles we are using our expertise and general experience in the diamond industry as well as our specific experiences with that retailer. It is important 

Here are the guidelines we use to ensure that we are giving you accurate information with as little bias as possible.

Secret Shopping Brick and Mortar Retailers

The bulk of our reviews were written about physical retail locations. Every review we’ve done is a result of secret shopping trips to that retailer. A few notes on how we secret shop to ensure accurate information:

  • 95%+ of our secret shopping trips involved multiple diamond pros. For example, Jenny and I would go on a secret shopping trip.
  • We would not reveal ourselves to be knowledgeable about diamonds or that we are there in a professional capacity. We pretend to be a couple looking to purchase a product.
  • We do not direct the salespeople towards certain products or qualities. Other than basic personal information (budget, size expectations, setting style), we allow the salesperson to recommend products to us.
  • When possible, our reviews are based on multiple secret shopping visits. This mainly applies to larger chains with multiple locations.

When secret shopping, these are the primary areas we focus on. We try to be as consistent as possible, but we do use common sense. For example, when going into a luxury retailer with average products costing more than $100,000, we expect the experience to be better than the experience in a store where they sell $2,000 products.

The Experience – we are looking at how the shopping experience makes us feel

  • The overall ambiance of the retail location. Do you feel like it’s an appropriate place to purchase such an expensive item? Do you feel comfortable and catered to?
  • Are the salespeople attentive? Is it hard to get help? Conversely, do they suffocate you so you can’t shop at your own pace?
  • Are the salespeople knowledgeable? Do they provide correct and applicable information about the products? Do they try to deceive or misguide you?

The Product – Here we look at the quality and quantity of a retailer’s product offering.

  • Do they have ample inventory to provide consumers with what they want (as opposed to trying to sell them something that isn’t perfect, but that is what the retailer has in stock)?
  • Is the quality of the diamond what they claim it is? Do they use GIA certification? 
  • Is the quality in the range that we recommend to our readers in order to get the best bang for their buck? Or do they only have qualities that are too low or too high?

The Value – Is the retailer is charging what we feel is a fair price for their product

First we compare the retailer’s products to similar products from our recommended vendors. Are they more expensive? If so, by how much? Then we take the experience into account. If the retailer is providing a unique experience when shopping, does that justify the premium they are charging? This is going to be subjective, but we work hard to remove bias as much as possible.

We do not need to convert every single reader into a sale. We believe that if we provide accurate information and partner with the companies we feel offer the best value to you, the consumer, we’ll do fine. There is no need to “bash the competition” unnecessarily. If you look at our list of reviews, you will see that we give several retailers high ratings despite not earning one penny from them.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
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
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

Please enter your email address to receive your 25% off coupon code:

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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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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