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Am I crazy to shop Tiffany?

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bfready

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Forgive me if I open a can of worms that''s been running around this site, but I feel the need to have the answer directed at me.


I''m looking to buy a particular ring for a particular lady. I''m looking at something .75 ct. around G color and VS1 or VS2. Being new to this and wanting to get the best, I priced Tiffany to see what their prices were like. I can get a discount of 20%, making a $7k ring cost $5600.


Is Blue Box markup still too high?
 

Mara

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well tiffany is typically like 40% markup so if you are getting a 20% discount you would probably still be paying 20% over...i would at least price out reputable online vendors who sell H&A so you can get an idea of what else your money can buy you. for a nicely cut .75cish i would imagine you could spend about 4500 for stone+tiffany style ring (wf has a .76 G VS2 H&A for 3400)... so it's about a thousand less?
 

kcoursolle

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Crazy, no...it depends on how much thrill you get from knowing it''s tiffany''s. However, as Mara mentioned you can get a similar stone and setting that is the same or probably better quality for still less even with your discount. However, if the blue box is worth it...then it''s worth it. This is a personal decision.
 

gail013

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Well, is it worth it to your GF that it came from TIffany''s? I think it''s so funny that most of their stuff is so basic but they can charge so much for it. I know lots of people here who would rather put that ''Tiffany markup'' into a larger stone, or nicer setting.
I have never been thrilled with the Tiffany line, except for a few standout pieces, and the blue box doesn''t mean anything to me. I went in there to look at stones and was horrified by the prices, and for me, I wanted something different. Their engagement ring selection is too limited for my taste.
 

bfready

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Well she''s not one to want any sort of fancy setting, in fact in look at various places online she always comes back to the Tiffany setting as her favorite. Not to mention that she doesn''t want a solitaire as large a 1ct.

I guess if I don''t go blue box and have that "prestige" going for me, I certainly want to get the best ring for the $$.
 

niku414

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This is my PERSONAL opinion. If you do decide to get a ring at T & Co, I don''t think you are crazy... :) but I do think you have to know that you are paying a "mark up" price for the diamond itself because of the Name... and not necessarily the quality of the diamond -- and it seems like you already know that :) so i say " whatever makes you or your gf" happy... so be it. There is really no price you can put on "feeling"
 

Adylon

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I think you answered your own question... if she doesn''t want a 1ct+ diamond and she loves the tiffany ring and it''s in your budget then just buy what makes her happy?
 

lumpkin

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With Tiffany you should be able to count on excellent after sale care. Personally, I''d love to have a Tiffany''s ring. If your fiance doesn''t want bigger, and the extra money isn''t a problem, it might be worth it to you. I don''t think you are CRAZY, at all, but everyone has different priorities. Most folks here would rather have bigger through an on line vendor, but there''s something to be said for buying locally, as well.
 

diamondfan

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The Tiffany threads often generate intense debate. I think, as long as you know the issues and are a savvy shopper about what the diamond should be, go where you want. I reallly do not get why it creates such an outcry. If you wish not to buy from a store such as Tiffany''s, don''t. If you do, and you know you are paying more, and you know that you could find as nice or nicer stones elsewhere, but you still like the idea of Tiffany''s, it should not matter. I think sometimes the general consumer makes assumptions about Tiffany''s or other high end stores like Harry Winston, and there are many educated and wise folks here who just like to make sure the poster knows that for the same amount and a bit of searching on line you could find more (bigger and or nicer)...or for less you could get what Tiffany''s would sell you. As long as that is a known element, the rest of the commentary is moot in mho. If it fits your budget and is the size and setting and quality she wants, do it. I do not think you can go wrong on that level, and their service and after care are great too. If the blue box will be important to her, than go for it. I am sure she will be happy, whatever you get her!
 

curiopotter

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I also don''t think you''re crazy for wanting one. As long as you understand you''re paying for a considerable markup, then there''s nothing else anyone can tell you. There''s always "in the style of Tiffany" rings, but if it''s not going to make you or your fiance happy, then get the real thing.

:) Be happy with your choice!
 

bfready

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I certainly don''t want to just jump into buying the first ring I see.

All things being equal, I wouldn''t hesitate to go to T&Co. But many of you say I can get better quality for a lot less. Everyone please tell me your top sites to check out for something fitting my specs. I''ve read a little about bonded diamonds. Are these the way to go, and is there really a big markup on them? Thanks in advance. You guys are all very helpful.
 

JulieN

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bfready, do yourself a favor and forget everything you read about bonded diamonds.


The Superbcert Tiffany replica is supposed to be very good copy. With a 3/4 G VS2 "super ideal" from an online vendor, that'd probably save you 1000.
 

egs1

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I say buy whatever ring you like...you are definitely not crazy if you buy Tiffany! 20% off from Tiffany is nice too. One thing though...if you buy the knife edge Tiffany setting, just make sure you try the wedding ring with it before you buy it...that setting can be hard to match.
 

Gypsy

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YOu're not crazy. Seriously at 20% off with the size and everything she wants... and the fact that she loves Tiffany... I think you should definitely get her the real thing. Also, Tiffany does have a trade up policy if her tastes change in th future.

ETA; "Best ring for the money" is what you want... isn't the best thing for the money her ideal ring? Which according to you is a Tiffany solitare? So, you would be getting EXACTLY the best ring for your money if you got her the Tiffany.
 

Unearthed

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You kind of asked your question in a weird way which makes it a bit hard to answer. Are you crazy? No. Can you spend 2k less and get the same thing without the brand name? Yes. Or you could buy bigger and better for the same money without the brand name for the same money. Just a quick example: I just bought a .72 H VS2 H&A from James Allen for 2540. Even if you improved on the color and bought a platinum solitaire...you''re looking at 4k.
 

bee*

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I dont think you''re crazy at all. Ive searched high and low on the internet and in the shops in Ireland and Ive never seen a ring as nice as the tiffany lucida. It''s absolutely beautiful and luckily D and I have the funds available so we are going to purchase one in July. If you have the funds and its what your g/f would really like, I''d say go for it. I know that I can get a stone for far less than I am paying in Tiffany''s, but I have never found a setting that I like as much. Ive seen the vatche setting, and its just not the same as the lucida. Personally I also dont want to go above a 1ct as Ive never been into huge diamonds so in terms of getting a bigger diamond I dont want to go down that route anyway, but I feel that Tiffanys has the most beautiful settings. Wish I could also get 20% off though!
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/19/2007 1:45:19 AM
Author: bfready
I certainly don''t want to just jump into buying the first ring I see.

All things being equal, I wouldn''t hesitate to go to T&Co. But many of you say I can get better quality for a lot less. Everyone please tell me your top sites to check out for something fitting my specs. I''ve read a little about bonded diamonds. Are these the way to go, and is there really a big markup on them? Thanks in advance. You guys are all very helpful.
http://www.goodoldgold.com/Home/

http://www.whiteflash.com/diamonds/Default.aspx

http://www.jamesallen.com/

I have bought from the first two, they''re both great. And I have only heard good things about JA.
 

UCLABelle

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I just got a T&Co ring from a 3rd party. Before that, I never "DREAMED" of a T&Co ring, but now after having it (and already taking advantage of the wondering "after care policy" diamondfan was talking about with two polishes and cleanings!) my husband-to-be and I agree we would have bought the ring from there originally had we realized how "special" it felt to me, how great their customer service is, and how amazing the diamond/setting/etc is....

Just my opinion...
 

bfready

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Thanks Ellen. I''ll check those out.

I should clarify my question... I think I was concerned I was crazy to consider T&Co. after reading all the posts and other websites talking about that ridiculous Tiffany markup. I''ve always said that when the time is right for me to buy a ring, I''m only going to do it once so I was going to get the best. Until I started reading some books and message threads, I thought that Tiffany (or some of the higher priced "designer" stores) was the best. My gf doesn''t have to have Tiffany brand. Her only requirements were "not too big, no yellow gold, nothing secondhand". She just wants the tiffany setting. I''m sure that once the box is opened, whatever color it happens to be, she won''t really care. So my question really is where do I find the best? I want a combination of a good stone, quality platinum tiffany setting, and service both before and after purchase.
 

tanalasta

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Sometimes it''s also a matter of whether the price difference between ''very very good'' and ''the absolute best'' is worth it. Bit like how a D colour diamond is ''the best'' but not worth paying the price difference if a lower colour grading is also very good and acceptable.

The same applies to jewellery settings. For instance, the workmanship of a T&Co original setting is exceptional. I''m not saying it''s ''the best'' but the setting (not the diamond) is up there with the rest. They use a platinum-ruthenium Pt950 alloy for most of the platinum work but also have white gold etc... available and their classic knife-edge setting is well known, much loved ... and not only because of the T&Co makers mark.

Mark Morrell is another exceptional e-ring designer with worksmanship to match and his ''flame'' and ''sunburst'' settings in Tiffany style 6-prong solitaire are stunning.

http://www.mwmjewelry.com/SunBurst_1-26ct_Sz5-25/

The ''blue box'' markup is high but only you can tell if it''s worth it or not for your fiance. Is the smile on her face and the enjoyment of opening that blue box worth paying the extra for compared to the smile on her face and appreciation if it was a similar ring in a blue box NOT stamped T&Co? You''re not crazy to consider the T&Co brand. If you were, that would make many other people out there ''crazy'' and that''s a lot of people seeing how many rings T&Co sell.

For instance, I paid for an IF, colourless grade diamond solitaire. For that price, I could have gotton a larger Ct weight or even a Tiffany setting of the same size (and possibly similar cut) if I''d gone down in colour/clarity. Most would think that was extravagant. I wasn''t one of them.

However, I think your last post answered your question ... you simply want a combination of a good stone, quality platinum tiffany and setting - and are willing to pay for it but consider both inside and outside the ''blue box'' circle... that is something I tip my hat off to you for. All the best.

So as to where to get an ideal stone/setting?

You will get fantastic stones from Pricescope / GoG etc... and if you want to make doubly sure ... post the specs and IS images on PS (AFTER you reserve the stone so nobody else poaches) and one of the more experienced members will be more than happy to give you their opinion. If you were considering T&Co, browse Harry Winston, Cartier and other boutique designers. They may be up there with the ''best'' in setting design and craftsmanship but boy, do they charge for it (and whilst their settings are divine, their diamonds couldto be fantastic but not super-ideal fantastic). So also consider Garry Holloway''s store in Melbourne (they have a website - ask them to send a catalogue) and the other vendors recommended here.

Oh, and Mark Morrell is quite highly regarded along with Vatche etc...
 

mrssalvo

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if she wants the tiffany and you can afford it, get her the Tiffany...
 

1895femme

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Jan 29, 2007
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My engagement ring is the Cartier 1895. My fiance and I fell in love with it. The mark-up was well worth it because no other ring was as beautiful to us.

After looking at many different diamonds, we found that I am color sensitive, so we bought a colorless diamond.

Good luck finding out what is best for you! Keep us posted!
 

jaz464

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Date: 2/19/2007 7:09:12 AM
Author: bfready
Thanks Ellen. I''ll check those out.

I should clarify my question... I think I was concerned I was crazy to consider T&Co. after reading all the posts and other websites talking about that ridiculous Tiffany markup. I''ve always said that when the time is right for me to buy a ring, I''m only going to do it once so I was going to get the best. Until I started reading some books and message threads, I thought that Tiffany (or some of the higher priced ''designer'' stores) was the best. My gf doesn''t have to have Tiffany brand. Her only requirements were ''not too big, no yellow gold, nothing secondhand''. She just wants the tiffany setting. I''m sure that once the box is opened, whatever color it happens to be, she won''t really care. So my question really is where do I find the best? I want a combination of a good stone, quality platinum tiffany setting, and service both before and after purchase.
Well, if it is not THE Tiffany ring she loves but just the Tiffany style, I would purchase elsewhere. Why spend the extra money if it will not matter to her as long as the diamond is beautiful?
 

bfready

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Ok. You''ve all convinced me. I''m going to at least check out some prices at your suggested websites and make a few phone calls. I want to see what I can get. I don''t think she''s somebody who has to have the brand - that''s probably my ego talking. She''d rather have the nicest ring I can get for my budget. I''m sure I''ll be on frequently with specs to post and more questions to ask. Although somewhat stressful, this is a very educational experience.
 

lumpkin

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May 24, 2005
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If I wanted the Tiffany style solitaire, but decided against the brand, I would go to Superbcert for the setting. It is as close to the Tiffany design as you can possibly get without going to Tiffany. If you find a diamond from another vendor, I believe they will set it for you in their setting.

http://www.superbcert.com/
 

alamb

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I don''t know if anyone else saw the today show last Friday where they went bought diamonds at various b&m and then had them independently appraised. One of the vendors they went to was Tiffany''s. The Tiffany diamonds were graded one color and one clarity level less than had been stated by Tiffany''s. Tiffany''s no longer uses GIA, they use there own appraisers which they claim are more strict than GIA. It appears this isn''t true. So on top of the very high prices, you aren''t necessarily getting what you paid for either.
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/19/2007 9:54:27 AM
Author: bfready
Ok. You''ve all convinced me. I''m going to at least check out some prices at your suggested websites and make a few phone calls. I want to see what I can get. I don''t think she''s somebody who has to have the brand - that''s probably my ego talking. She''d rather have the nicest ring I can get for my budget. I''m sure I''ll be on frequently with specs to post and more questions to ask. Although somewhat stressful, this is a very educational experience.
Trust me, I tried the B&M route, it didn''t go well, to say the least. I am over the moon with the ring and studs I purchased online. We''d love to help you, and I promise, you won''t be sorry.


As for the setting, if she wants the absolute closest to the Tiffany setting, use the link lumpkin gave you.

However, if she just wants that style, I would hands down go for the Mark Morrell Sunburst setting. His work is outstanding.
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
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I can''t add too much to what has already been said.. Of course you''re not crazy to shop Tiffany!

I must say that I find sentiments like: "Well, if the ''Blue Box'' is important to you..." implicitly insulting. There is obviously more to owning a Tiffany ring than its packaging!

I think UCLABelle''s post bears repeating:
I just got a T&Co ring from a 3rd party. Before that, I never ''DREAMED'' of a T&Co ring, but now after having it (and already taking advantage of the wondering ''after care policy'' diamondfan was talking about with two polishes and cleanings!) my husband-to-be and I agree we would have bought the ring from there originally had we realized how ''special'' it felt to me, how great their customer service is, and how amazing the diamond/setting/etc is....
I think if one''s budget allows one to purchase his "perfect ring" from Tiffany''s, then he should definitely consider going for it.

I think that the ''special feeling'' that comes with owning an original Tiffany is real, and certainly worth something....not only to the original owner, but to his/her heirs as well.

widget
 

kev_800

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Well, since you asked, this is my opinion. I think the average diamond purchaser who purchases from Tiffany & Co buys there because they want to know that they''re getting an excellent stone in an excellent setting, worry free..... thats why their care program is so important to their marketing -- its a ''worry free experience'' so long as you come in with a big fat wallet.

For someone who is willing to do some research and investigation by checking out stones, you can do much better for the same price. There are platinumsmiths who can create a ring that is similar to the Tiffany & Co design and has equal or better crafstmanship.

There is a big benefit to me in order to get an AGS or GIA certified diamond, too. If you feel uncomfortable about buying online, purchase with your credit card and don''t pay off your balance until you get it independently appraised. That way you have recourse. Besides, with the four or so diamond sellers mentioned in this thread - superbcert, ja, whiteflash, gog, I highly doubt youre going to get a raw deal.

Be aware though that the more you research and the more educated you become about diamonds, the more you''ll find yourself willing to spend. Weird, I know. Just try to keep to your budget. There are other important things in life than an engagement ring...
 

bfready

Rough_Rock
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Feb 18, 2007
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Ok, I''m sure I can figure these things out without a lot of effort, but you guys are the experts so I''ll ask.
1. What is b&m?
2. One of the sites talks about knife edge platinum settings, and they are considerably more than the same 6-prong solitaire. What''s the difference?
 
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