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Am I Getting Ripped Off?

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peaches

Shiny_Rock
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This is my first post here. I hope it doesn''t run too long...


My fiance and I have decided to change the center stone in my engagement ring. We had a great experience with the jeweler who originally sold my fiance the ring so we decided to go to them for the upgrade. On top of that, their trade-in policy allows us to subtract the cost of the original diamond from the cost of a new diamond. Sounded like a great deal.

I got in touch with the jeweler and gave her a general idea of my ideal stone: EC, 1.25 - 1.5, VS1 or higher, F-I color. Then I visited the shop at the end of last week to see what she had to offer. She showed me two EC''s (sorry for the incomplete specs)...

Diamond 1
Size: 1.37
Color: H
Clarity: VS1
Girdle: Medium
Cost: $8,140

Diamond 2
Size: 1.25
Color: E
Clarity: VS1
Girdle: Medium
Cost: $8,900

After visiting the shop, I went home and began looking around online (Blue Nile, Pricescope search, etc.) for stones that fit the same criteria. I immediately noticed that the prices online were significantly lower than what the jeweler offered. And most of the stones were either larger and/or had better color or clarity. For instance, I found the following diamonds on Blue Nile...

Diamond 3
Size: 1.3
Color: H
Clarity: IF
Cut: Very Good
Girdle: Extremely Thin to Medium
Cost: $7,774

Diamond 4
Size: 1.32
Color: E
Clarity: VS1
Cut: Very Good
Girdle: Thick to Very Thick
Price: $7,656

I understand it''s impossible to accurately judge the quality of a stone without seeing it in person. But based on just these specs, are the jeweler''s prices what I should expect to pay at a brick and mortar jewelery shop?

Thanks in advance!
 

Moh 10

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
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1,004
Ripped off?
Well B&Ms, with their higher costs, cannot compete price-wise with Internet vendors but the term rip off is rather harsh.
Even with their higher prices some shoppers still feel more comfortable at a B&M.

Personally I like the effect that high-visibility has on Internet prices.
I worry about paying too much (being ripped off, I guess).
I feel like that instead of the price being determined based not on the maximum the seller can get out of me in the privacy of their store, but on what the competition will bear when the customer clicks their mouse to compare online.

In the store you are out of your element and they have home court advantage.
Online you are alone at home and more in control.
The relative ease of comparison shopping online (compared to B&Ms) assures prices will not be too high since that vendor would perish.

I also prefer buying from a PS vendor because I can call the vendor onto the carpet here if there is an issue.
The world is watching, and they know it.
For the buyer, online diamond buying from a PS vendor is inherently superior to B&Ms, but the shopper must overcome their trust issues.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
436
Sorry, maybe I shouldn''t have use the term "ripped off". Especially since I haven''t purchased a second stone yet! :)

My main question is whether I would be over-paying if I bought a diamond from my jeweler rather than going with a stone I found online. Do the prices I quoted seem reasonable for a stone of that description?
 

Moh 10

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
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1,004
You will pay a higher price at a typical B&M compared to a legit Internet vendor.

Whether the comfort and benefits of going to a B&M justify the higher price is up to you.

Keep in mind this forum with many members who are not only comfortable buying online, but they prefer it.

Oh and you have not posted enough info to judge those diamonds.
There are other factors that affect the price.
Can you post Idealscope and ASET pictures?
Which lab graded them? GIA? AGS? EGL? IGI?
Unfortunately this makes a difference because they all do not follow the same grading standards.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
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436
I actually don''t have any issues with purchasing a stone online. I''m searching on pricescope as we speak. :)

The main reason I was considering going to our original jeweler was because of the trade-in policy. But now it''s looking like the jewelry store prices aren''t the best deal even WITH the trade-in!
 

Moh 10

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
1,004
I believe Whiteflash and Goodoldgold and other PS vendors also have trade up policies on some of their diamonds.

They also have return periods.
You can get a full refund, less shipping, if you return it within their timeframe.

I would never buy an emerald cut without Idealscope and ASET pics and PS vendors should have these.
They tell you how well the diamond is cut.
Cut, not color or clarity, determines light performance and how beautiful it will look.

I'd make sure it is graded by GIA or AGS, the most reputable labs.

Also you may get a discount if you mention PS and pay by wire.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
436
Thanks for all your suggestions, MOH. They''re really helpful!

Unfortunately I don''t have any specs for the diamonds other than what I listed. I''m also not sure what to look for in an Idealscope or ASET photo. Are there threads I can check out that would explain that?
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
https://www.pricescope.com/idealscope_indx.asp this could help as a starting point. There are good tutorials/info on GoodOldGold''s site as well; most of the pictures/images refer to round, but the principles are to some extent valid for fancy shapes.

Read this https://www.pricescope.com/fancy.asp as a primer, and search PS for "asscher pattern"

One last comment on prices - while it''s impossible to judge a diamond, particularly a non-round - with way more info than what you have, and while it''s impossible for a B&M stock-owning vendor to match the cost structure of a drop-ship pure internet retailer, there are very few true bargains out there. For example, the girdle thicknesses in the two BN stones you posted are red flags. We don''t know if they represent a problem, but they may, and someone like BN that never sees the majority of the stones they sell cannot help you understand if they are a problem or not.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
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Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
436
Thanks so much for the links. I''ll check them out.

You bring up a good point on BN girdle thickness. I''ve been noticing that several of the ones I''ve seen are somewhere between slightly thick and very thick. I know that a thicker girdle can hide extra diamond weight but would that be enough of an issue to drop the price of a diamond significantly.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. :)
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
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23,295
Date: 3/28/2009 1:28:49 PM
Author: peaches
Thanks so much for the links. I'll check them out.


You bring up a good point on BN girdle thickness. I've been noticing that several of the ones I've seen are somewhere between slightly thick and very thick. I know that a thicker girdle can hide extra diamond weight but would that be enough of an issue to drop the price of a diamond significantly.


Thanks everyone for your feedback. :)
yes
and you know nothing of the overall cut quality which can have an even bigger impact.
With an EC numbers tell you less than 10% of what you need to know to select a good one.
The numbers on the report leave off some very important ones and that is crown height which is one of the most critical also p3 angles are not given which is also critical.
So the numbers on the report are 5% of what you need.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
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strmrdr: What is a p3 angle? (Sorry, totally new to some of these details...)
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
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makemepretty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
987
You might be over paying a little but they''ll deduct the cost of your original diamond, no where else will do that for you except the jeweler you bought it from. If you sold your original stone you would never get close to what you paid. So, while you might pay a little more for your new stone, you''ll be evening out with recouping the original cost for your first stone. :)
 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
3,369
I think it''s important to know exactly what they''re offering you for the trade-in and exactly how much the stone is going for. Just like when you trade in a car, having two variables makes it more difficult to evaluate whether or not you''re paying more than you realize.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
436
Thanks Makemepretty and Phoenixgirl!

I think you're hitting my question on the head. At the beginning I felt I had no choice but to go with my original jeweler since they offered the trade-in policy. Even if I found what seemed like an amazing deal online I would have no choice but to take the best stone the jeweler offered me.

But it turns out that the price on the jeweler stones after trade-in is only a few hundred dollars less than some stones I've seen online. And these stones are either larger, had better color and/or better clarity. So I guess looking online is a viable option.
 

peaches

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
436
GREAT point!!!

I actually have an asscher pendant already (that''s the shape of my current stone) so I''m thinking of getting an RHR instead... :)
 
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