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A Mall Store Experience

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Looking, Jul 11, 2001.

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  1. Looking
    Rough_Rock

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    by Looking » Jul 11, 2001
    I decided to venture into one of the big National mall chain stores to see if all the B&M horror stories I have heard are true. I ask if their diamonds are certified and the salesman said many of them are GIA Cert and that GIA is the ONLY certification they would carry. I ask to see loose diamonds. He shows me a GIA certified round 1.07, J, SI2. The price tag said Retail price $10,000 (ha!), Our price: $4959. I ask him about cut and he said it is not ideal but very good. I asked about getting detailed cut information and he said he didn't have immediate access to that info. Then he goes on to explain that the lower price they were selling it for was due to the J color. However, he assures me that a GIA J is really like an H because the GIA is "so strict."
    It was hard not to laugh out loud.
     
    


    


  2. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Jul 11, 2001
    Hi Looking, at least they carry GIA certed diamonds.Just yesterday I also had an experience with one of the biggest Canadian diamond retailer - Spence Diamonds.Friend of mine asked me to help him with diamond purchase and I suggested starting with Spence Diamonds. They advertise that gemologist will show you stones and you will see the difference with microscope and other gem gadgets.It was quite pleasant experience actually. GIA graduated gemologist was very correct and intelligent. No sales pushing at all. He's shown us different loose diamonds under the microscope to see difference in clarity, difference in color with master set and even cut with proportion scope.They don't have any AGS ideal cut stones but insisted that all their stones are very good cut. They do not carry any GIA certified diamonds neither "because GIA graduate gemologist can do the grading himself and issue an appraisal". Although they have a few diamonds with HRD reports which are "as conservative as GIA" while "AGS reports are too liberal".I brought the Ideal-Scope and shown light leakage. The gemologist was absolutely indifferent to all this stuff.Finally we got to the question about the price. It was 2x for the similar GIA certified diamonds in the internet. No room for negotiation.We expressed our gratitude for his time and walked away.Now we plan to visit smaller independent jeweler this week. I'll post what we will find.
     
  3. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Jul 11, 2001
    Hi Marki,That's right - HRD certificate is from Belgium.Since my friend didn't want to buy diamond at Spence anyway we didn't pay too much attention to accuracy of their grading. I just wanted my friend to see a few rocks and see the difference.It seems you spent much more time there...I think they are doing rather good job with education although they don't concentrate on the internet savvy consumers of course.Their prices is a different story of course...
     
  4. marki
    Rough_Rock

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    by marki » Jul 11, 2001
    I'm posting the following for my beloved who has read-only access to this discussion group (damned firewalls at her office ;-) )--
    Thanks for posting your experience at Spence, Leonid. It was great to hear about another Canadian consumer's adventures. We went to Spence a few weeks ago, and here's what happened to us:After perusing their many diamond ring designs, an impeccably groomed salesman led us into a romantically lit office and introduced to the 4c's. Carat size, colour and clarity were carefully demonstrated and explained, but when it came to cut, we were shown the standard "too deep, too shallow, just right" diagram and were told, just as you were, that "All our diamonds are of very good cut." When I asked if their diamonds were certified, I was told that Spence did its own certification (in Belgium, where the diamonds are cut, apparently) for colour, clarity, and carat size, and that getting a GIA cert wasn't necessary and would only add to the cost. No mention was made of any other measurements, features, or characteristics which might be listed on a GIA or AGS cert.Then he got down to business, asking us what size, colour and clarity of stone we'd like to see. We mentioned the type of stone we were looking for and he said, "Oh, I'll go get one from the safe." When I asked if we couldn't see more than one, we were told that this wasn't usually done for "insurance reasons." After some persuading, he agreed to bring out two. One was listed as an H colour, but to our eyes looked more like an I when viewed beside their master set. The other also looked to be a step below what he claimed, though he insisted the colour matched the master and that the problem must be with us.He then showed us the stones in the proportionscope, which brings me to my question: What the heck is this proportionscope and how accurate is it? What we were shown was the silhouette of the stone we were looking at superimposed over a diagram of an "ideal" stone. Both of the stones we saw matched up perfectly with the "ideal" diagram. Coincidence?! It seemed to us that there was a lot of information were weren't getting from this type of analysis, but we wanted to hear some other opinions.As for the price, our experience was similar to yours. The salesman also seemed anxious to close, asking about which stone we preferred, our timeline, and when we'd be ready buy.Now we're waiting to hear about Leonid's visit to an independent jeweler ...!
     
    


    


  5. lawmax
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lawmax » Aug 6, 2001
    The "Maul"...LOL...that's very funny! [​IMG]
     
  6. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Aug 6, 2001
    25! Rodentman, now I understand why you need something really special!
     
  7. rodentman
    Shiny_Rock

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    by rodentman » Aug 6, 2001
    I'm new to the forum here but I've been up and down and round about and back again. Been so many places I can't remember where or when. Many hours logged on Internet researching diamonds.I just had to go to the "maul." (Mall of America in MN, the country's largest.) Went to a "chain" store where I asked for at least a half carat, E-F color, no worse than VS2, Ideal cut. They told me I'd need to know someone at Tiffany's to get an ideal cut and their "very goods" were good enough. They didn't know what H & A were. They wanted 3K for a .52, G, SI2, very good cut.I am looking for about .50-.60, E-F color VS2, H&A. Been all over the place, and have it narrowed down to about the $2.5K price range. Wish I had more $. One B&M private store had a G, SI1, Ideal .50. Wanted 3.5K but would sell for 3K. I'm still working on it. Got a quote on a .68 Eightstar E for 6.8K. I forgot the clarity since it is too much $ for me.I'll let you know.
     
  8. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Aug 6, 2001
    Hi Rodentman, welcome to the forum [​IMG]Diamonds in the malls are usually much more expensive and sales people are less educated than in independent stores or internet- so your story is no surprise.Why don't you want to buy your diamond online? In the case of ideal H&A diamonds it is even easier because the look is very consistent comparing ordinary cut diamonds. You can easily get what you want within your budget and save on taxes...
     
  9. rodentman
    Shiny_Rock

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    by rodentman » Aug 6, 2001
    Yeah, she's a special lady to put up with me for a quarter century. Size doesn't matter. Neither does the carat weight .I really want quality over size and we are not wealthy, so I think I am on the right track. I hope to make a decision maybe this weekend if I can see the 8* by then....Rodentman
     
  10. rodentman
    Shiny_Rock

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    by rodentman » Aug 6, 2001
    Thanks for the welcome! I am not ruling out the Internet for a purchase. I just needed a laugh over the weekend hence the maul trip. Some stores told me my 29.3 gram PLAT 950 wedding band was not real. It is. The diamond is for our 25 anniversary.
     
    


    


  11. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Aug 11, 2001
    Why would you expect them to be your insurance company?
    They make a $100 setting your stone after costs and you want them to be laible?
    Insure it yourself if you are really worried, or have the stone set by the vendor you purchased it from.
    The risk is very very small anyway.
     
  12. rodentman
    Shiny_Rock

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    by rodentman » Aug 11, 2001
    No disrespect intended. My ins co says they won't insure a loose diamond. I will check on this. Honestly it didn't occur to me that ins would cover potential mounting damage. I also plan to visit the store where I bought the stone to look at their mountings. I didn't mean to disparage any jewelers or the profession.
     
  13. jillibean
    Rough_Rock

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    by jillibean » Aug 11, 2001
    rodentman,If you're interested in insuring your loose stone before you get it mounted, you may want to check out the following:
    http://www.consumersgemlab.com/jewelry_insurance_&_appraising.htm The link goes to Rockdoc's web site (he's a frequent poster on DiamondTalk, and a highly regarded appraiser). He recommends Chubb -- I'm sure they will insure your loose stone. I don't have any personal knowledge of this company -- just trying to give you a lead to check out yourself if you're interested.
     
  14. jillibean
    Rough_Rock

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    by jillibean » Aug 11, 2001
    Just had to reply to this "maul" post! Too funny! I have been looking for a 3-stone ring for my 10-year anniversary, and have had similar experiences. Just went to Jared's yesterday, was shown a 1.5 total weight 3-stone ring H/I color, I1/I2 clarity (NOT what I want!!!) for $2790. The diamonds looked terrible! Very cloudy, just not even pretty. I asked if I could upgrade the stones (I want at least G color, SI clarity), and they said they showed me a platinum ring that was SI clarity (although I think only H color) for $4700 that they said they would TRY to get me in yellow gold. Not that I'm going to buy it there, I was just trying on to see what it would look like on my hand.I haven't bought anything yet, but if you guys haven't yet checked out the www.diamondtalk.com forum, I suggest you do so. Lots of vendors post there, including Jonathan from goodoldgold.com, Iceman from midwestgems.com, etc. Read some of the postings in the customer testimonial section. I know after visiting a couple of the mall stores, I would much rather give my business to one of these fellows. I am going to visit a local independent jeweler to try on some more styles and (out of curiosity) to see if the attitude is any different than the large chains. But I know they will not be able to match the online prices.Good luck with whatever you decide!jillibean
     
  15. rodentman
    Shiny_Rock

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    by rodentman » Aug 11, 2001
    I was "considering" having my diamond set at a maul store. They actually had a setting I liked. BUT they say the risk is mine, if they chip it I am screwed (my word, not theirs) but they would try not to, and if they did chip it they would send it out to be "polished." Just what an Eightstar needs! Of course they continue to badger me about getting one of their diamonds. I had an old setting without a stone and I think I had them convinced it was a "C" color diamond, so clear that it was invisible. AW GEEZ!
     
    


    


  16. Spencer
    Rough_Rock

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    by Spencer » Jun 3, 2004
    Spence Diamonds offers clients the opportunity to view diamonds through equipment designed and sold exclusively by the GIA to allow client's an unbiased view of there diamond. Spence offers H VS2 and above diamonds with independent certificates from GIA, HRD, EGL, and Harold Weinstein. Bricks and mortar retail stores offer value because they offer several key advantages. The local jeweller is there to educate and serve it's clients, not only during the sale but for the lifetime of the client. Offering a huge selection of diamonds and settings under one roof for the client allows the customer to get exactly what they want and choose from several options. A properly trained consultant (Diamond Council of America and GIA Diamond Grading) are invaluable in helping to choose the diamond that best suits the client. A reputable jeweller with a fail safe guarantee is worth a great deal of value.
     
  17. headlight
    Brilliant_Rock

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