Buying Diamonds in Hong Kong: A Complete Guide

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If experience is a focus in your diamond buying journey, a shopping trip in Hong Kong is sure to tick some boxes. A bustling melting pot of East meets West culture, Hong Kong promises shoppers and experience they will never forget. The diamond industry in Hong Kong has grown rapidly over the past decade, and this lively spot now rivals New York when it comes to diamond trade.

As home to some sensational venues and expensive retailers, Hong Kong is a hot spot for a luxury shopping experience. Does this make it a good place to buy diamonds? My guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Buying a Diamond in Hong Kong: The Pros

As always, let’s begin with some positive takeaways from a Hong Kong diamond shopping experience.

  • If money is no object, there is the opportunity for a truly remarkable experience at a top-end luxury retailer. Harry Winston, Cartier and Tiffany & Co all have exquisite stores located in Hong Kong with every inch of the glossy veneer we expect from these big-name brands. I must stress the word experience; if you have read my reviews of these companies, you will know the prices are incredibly high and you can find diamonds of equal or great quality buy shopping online – for a fraction of the price. Click on any of the names above to read my reviews of these retailers.
  • There are a huge number of diamond retailers in Hong Kong; from top end brands to local favourites like Chow Tai Fook and independent jewelers, there is a lot to see which presents the opportunity to really shop around and make comparisons.
  • Hong Kong is a very cool city. If you love the bustle and bright lights, you are sure to be taken in by Hong Kong’s incredible atmosphere. If you do manage to find a great diamond, I have no doubt it will be accompanied by wonderful memories of this place.

For me, this is where the positives come to a close. Hong Kong falls foul to all the usual issues when shopping bricks and mortar/diamond districts, plus a few issues unique to this area which we will explore shortly.

Buying a Diamond in Hong Kong: The Cons

These are some of my biggest concerns when shopping for a diamond in Hong Kong:

  • There is little to no emphasis on cut quality. While many of the salespeople are friendly, there is a distinct lack of knowledge pertaining to diamond quality. In the worst instances, information is given that is entirely false. The only retailer who stood out for a sharp knowledge of diamond quality was Harry Winston – even Cartier showed worrying gaps in staff education when it came to cut quality.
  • There are cultural differences when buying diamonds. Most notably, an emphasis is placed on clarity, or ‘purity’ across Asia. While I advocate for a focus on cut quality (the most important quality aspect) I accept a degree of personal preference comes into play. Remember that for most buyers, eye-clean is absolutely the goal and going for the top clarity grades will result in huge price hikes for something that simply cannot be appreciated by eye.
  • Upselling! Pushy sales tactics and upselling will destroy any shopping experience and with such fierce competition across Hong Kong, the pressure to close the sale is palpable. This can lead to rushed decisions and overspending!
  • Hong Kong jewelers predominantly use GIA and IGI to provide lab reports on diamonds. The credibility of the GIA is faultless, but IGI diamonds often carry inflated and inconsistent grades – for this reason I do not recommend them. Ignore the sales patter and accept only GIA or AGS certified diamonds.
  • Shoppers have had experiences in Hong Kong jewelers where diamonds have been sold as hearts and arrows but without any imaging or performance reports to support this claim. Upon closer inspection, many of the diamonds are a world away from the perfect symmetry we want in a diamond and do not display the hearts and arrows patterning at all.

Should I Buy Diamonds in Hong Kong?

If you are armed with knowledge and are extremely confident in your ability to assess diamonds using nothing more than a jewelers loupe – you are sure to find a good diamond tucked away in one of Hong Kong’s vast array of jewelry stores. But, if you’re that assured, it’s unlikely you’d be reading this page! The majority of buyers are walking into a challenging buying experience that can be easily avoided by choosing to buy online.

Expect diamonds in Hong Kong to be a minimum of 30% pricier than the online equivalent. Furthermore, you will lack the utter transparency that brands like Whiteflash, Blue Nile and James Allen offer. High-res images, performance reports and 360 videos are the tip of the iceberg – these companies go above and beyond to ensure exceptional diamond quality and provide all the evidence to back it up!

If you find you are set on buying in Hong Kong for whatever reason, be sure to consider these tips:

  • Choose only AGS or GIA certified diamonds
  • Do your research and ask in-depth questions about cut quality – if the jeweler seems unsure or gives false information, walk away
  • Contact me for specific advice choosing a beautiful diamond for the right price.

Richard Jenkins, The Diamond Guru

Get free assistance from the Diamond Guru today. You’ll be glad you did!

  • Secure the best quality diamond for your budget.
  • Don’t pay over the odds for your diamond ring.
  • Have piece of mind that you didn’t get ripped off.

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