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All About the Diamond District NYC

by Molly Jones
Last updated on July 28, 2023
Diamond District NYC

If you’ve been considering shopping for an engagement ring in the NYC Diamond District, this is the article for you! Below, we break down what the New York Diamond District is. Find out what you should keep in mind if you want to shop for engagement rings or other fine jewelry there!

What Is the NYC Diamond District?

Diamond District NYC
Diamond Earrings

The NYC Diamond District is the largest jewelry district in the world. Surprisingly, it is crammed within a single block on 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

Within 47th Street, over 4,000 wholesalers and retailers sell precious diamond jewelry. This makes it a perfect place to find your engagement ring. The District is a place where you can find diamonds of all shapes and sizes.

It’s also known as 47th Street (though there are other locations throughout the city), and it’s home to many different businesses that sell jewelry and precious stones.

What Is the History of NYC’s Diamond District?

Diamond District NYC
Lab Diamond Jewelry

The NYC Diamond District dates back all the way to 1795 on a street in downtown Manhattan, previously Maiden Lane. It was there that people selling diamonds would set up shop. From there, many Americans successfully purchased a beloved wedding ring or engagement ring.

By the 1900s, financial institutions were looking to establish a stronger presence in the downtown area, and they set their sights on the diamond district. As jewelry stores continued to struggle to pay increasing rent, they considered moving uptown, where builders were specifically building buildings that would appeal to the diamond dealers. And by 1925, New York’s famed Diamond District existed as we know it, on 47th Street near Fifth Avenue.

Jewelry Shopping Tips for the New York Diamond District

Diamond District NYC
Engagement Rings

There are a few important things to consider when shopping for engagement rings or other diamond jewelry in the diamond district. For the most part, it is a good idea to follow as many of the following tips as you can.

Determine the Best Jewelry Stores for Your Needs

Engagement Rings

New York has plenty of diamond stores, and when you consider New York’s Diamond District, this number grows exponentially. So it is incredibly important to consider what specifically you are looking for at retail jewelers.

Do you have a diamond certification that you’re looking for? Some stores only sell AGS-certified diamonds, while others sell GIA-certified diamonds. Maybe you’re looking for the best jewelry designs available and hope to find unique engagement rings with diamonds that have already been placed in their settings. Or maybe you’re looking for loose diamonds and are hoping to compare prices for them in person.

Most of the diamonds imported to America end up in the Diamond District. So getting overwhelmed very quickly at all of your options is very understandable. If you can determine what jewelry sellers best meet your needs, your trip to the Diamond District will be successful.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Lab Created Diamond Jewelry

While it is possible to find diamonds at fantastic prices in New York, if a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Diamonds are expensive because they are rare and beautiful gemstones, and expecting to find a large carat weight at a low price is setting yourself up for failure. After all, diamonds sold in New York have a large portion of their profit going straight to rent. New York is an expensive place, after all!

If you’re looking for the best price for a diamond, the Diamond District may not be your best bet. Instead, shop online at lab created diamond retailers like Clean Origin to find a stunning lab created diamond for the fraction of the cost. On average, our diamonds are 20-40% more affordable than similar mined diamonds.

Do Your Research

Lab Diamond Rings

Buyer beware! As with any large purchase, it is imperative that you make sure you are well-researched and informed in what to look for when buying diamonds or any kind of jewelry. While the diamond industry is known to be strictly regulated, there are always people who will try to take advantage of you by selling you a poor quality diamond. This means that it is even more important to do your research beforehand and know what to look out for.

When in doubt, ask to see certification, either from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the America Gem Institute (AGI). Sometimes, a diamond business will attempt to show you a certificate with an acronym that sounds suspiciously like GIA or AGI but it has added or is missing a letter. If this is the case, run away– you are being scammed.

Get Everything in Writing

Diamond Stud Earrings

It’s common to seal deals with a handshake or verbal confirmation in the NYC Diamond District. This practice originated in the District’s early days, when many people operated on a barter system. And while you can seal your deal with a handshake, you need to also get it in writing, as this will help clear up any confusion regarding price, taxes, or discounts.

It’s also important to receive both the return policy and the guarantee policy in writing. Many times, merchants can say one thing, only to go back on it when backed into the corner. This can cost you thousands of dollars. It is easily avoidable by understanding the return policy and having proof in writing. So get everything in writing…your future self will thank you!

When in Doubt, Shop Online

Wearing Wedding Rings: Try to wear one ring.
Engagement Ring

If this all sounds like too much to consider, you can’t go wrong with shopping online for your perfect ring. Unlike the Diamond District, you won’t find any pushy store owners trying to swindle you out of your money by selling you diamonds with no grading report.

In fact, most online stores have robust return policies and a money back guarantee. And technology has advanced to allow for high quality 360-degree images of your diamond of choice, so you can easily access grading reports and see every facet and flaw for yourself.

Trust Clean Origin for All Your Diamond Needs

Eternity Bands

Clean Origin is a leading online retailer of premium lab created diamonds, offering a stunning selection of diamond jewelry that is sure to dazzle and delight your loved one.

Plus, Clean Origin offers free shipping and resizing, a 100 day return policy, a lifetime warranty, and beautiful certified diamonds. With a wide variety of styles, cuts, and colors, Clean Origin is sure to have the diamond for you.