A few questions from a complete novice

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Apr 9, 2007
I''m looking to buy my wife an upgraded ring for our 10th anniversary, and I''m consused about a few things. I''ve read a lot of the tutorials here and elsewhere, and I''ve visited a few diamond stores, but there are some things I''m not clear on. BTW, looking to spend under $5k if I can find something decent for that. At least 1 carat, preferably round.

1) Is GIA always GIA? I went in one "wholesaler" in Dallas, and this guy there suggested that some places (e.g. Zales) will say a diamond is GIA but that it really isn''t. Could there be any truth to this? Doesn''t seem that would fly legally for too long, so I find it hard to believe.

2) GIA cut grades? Some places have cut grades from GIA while others don''t. Is this just because it''s sort of new, and maybe some have older inventories? Should I insist on buying a diamond with a cut grade as I definitely don''t have the trained eye to tell the difference?

3) St. Maarten? We''re going to St. Maarten for our anniversary, and I''ve read that they have all of these great deals on diamonds. I''d rather buy the ring ahead of time, so that it can be a surprise, and so that we don''t have to spend a bunch of time shopping around while we''re there, but if you really can save huge money, I''d wait unitl we''re there. Any thoughts on the legitimacy of this, or do you basically get what you pay for whether in Texas or St. Maarten?

Appreciate any feedback.



Jan 21, 2006
I can''t answer all of your questions, but I''ll address a couple of them. The cut grades are based on the GIA certificate and are excellent, very good, etc.

About St. Maarten...Some people have come here to PS after purchasing a product from an Island vacation. They took it to an independent appraiser and found that the quality of the diamond was not what the sellers said it was and it was much lower. Later they had a terrible time trying to return the item and some have even used attorneys or other legal action. So are the diamonds "a good deal," probably not and the headache is really not worth it.

By the way, if you are in Texas, you should definitely check out They are highly recommended here and have gorgeous diamonds.

Here are a few diamonds I saw on whiteflash from their "a cut above line"
You''d have to make sure this is eye-clean from WF, it may or may not be:

Some people aren''t comfortable going down to a J in color, but others find they face up very white:


Jan 13, 2006
I agree with k, I wouldn''t recommend the St. Marten route.

And I ditto checking out WF.
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