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Birks Engagement Ring Sale - Worth It?

ind_engineer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
7
Hello Everyone,

I was hoping I could get some opinions/advice from everyone here.

Brand names such as Tiffany's, Birks, Cartier etc aren't necessarily important to myself nor my girlfriend, which is why I've been browsing online for engagement rings. Basically to get more bang for my buck so to speak.

Last night my girlfriend and I were browsing through stores looking at rings for ideas. We found a ring that she fell in love with at Birks. Generally we wouldn't consider it from a B&M store such as Birks, but they're currently having a 20% of sale on all their rings that are greater than 1 carat. The sale ends this Sunday.

The ring we found is 1.01 carats, "F" colour, vs2, excellent cut, excellent symmetry, excellent polish.
The setting has 28 small diamonds for a total weight of 0.36 carats and is platinum.

The price is $16,500 + tax (CAD) after the discount. (Approx $13,000 USD)


I've been playing around with different options online last night and today to try and compare this price to ones online. Would you say that the discount has now made the Birks ring worth it or are there significant savings to be made purchasing it online even with the discount. (If it were within about $1000 I would likely just go with the Birks since we've seen it in person and know that she will love it, the setting is perfect and just peace of mind)

Thank you in advance for any help! 13530490_10154250886530762_1965012506_n.jpg
 

pr0pel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
31
Is the $13K USD your max budget or are you okay with spending more/less? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say even with the 20% discount, it is still overpriced. You can get a 1.1+ ct F-G/VS1-2 for around $10K USD from one of the preferred vendors here and with $3K left over, you can get a spectacular plat band. With the diamond in the store, they probably don't have aset or idealscope images compared to the ones online which lets you view all those. The advantage to buying online already outweighs the B&M since you can see every feature of the stone online and know you're going to get an excellent stone with a lifetime trade up guarantee. Does Birks even have a guarantee like that?

You can also probably shave a little money off by getting a diamond closer to 1ct like the one you're looking at and choosing a less blingy band. For example, this band from WF is VERY similar the one you have and it's ~$1700

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/eternity-wrap-diamond-engagement-ring-2608.htm

If you take $1700 off $13000, that leaves you with $11300 which can probably get you around a 1.25ct or more round brilliant.

I'm sure the other experts here can weigh in some more.
 

breanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
188
Nope. I'm Canadian, and also saw the sale when looking at their bands for inspiration, definitely way, way over priced, even with 20% off. I'd personally say those specs are overkill for a 1.00c diamond as well. You can go much larger in carat, lower the clarity/color while you'd never really notice to the eye, and still not spend that much.

I just bought a 1.42, SI1 eye clean, J color diamond, looks more like an I for 4-5k less, not saying you have to go that route necessarily, but there are better options than Birks for sure.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,171
ind_engineer|1466722164|4047306 said:
The ring we found is 1.01 carats, "F" colour, vs2, excellent cut, excellent symmetry, excellent polish.
The setting has 28 small diamonds for a total weight of 0.36 carats and is platinum.

The price is $16,500 + tax (CAD) after the discount. (Approx $13,000 USD)

I've been playing around with different options online last night and today to try and compare this price to ones online. Would you say that the discount has now made the Birks ring worth it or are there significant savings to be made purchasing it online even with the discount. If it were within about $1000 I would likely just go with the Birks since we've seen it in person and know that she will love it, the setting is perfect and just peace of mind)
Probably not.
Can't really say for sure without more details on the diamond. Do you have the GIA report link?

The best of the absolutely best cut 1.0c F VS2 costs about $10k USD. That leaves $3k USD, which buys you practically any setting you can want.

Simply put, I have done alot of luxury watch and diamond shopping and market research in Canada. I don't do Birks.

breanne|1466733817|4047366 said:
Nope. I'm Canadian, and also saw the sale when looking at their bands for inspiration, definitely way, way over priced, even with 20% off. I'd personally say those specs are overkill for a 1.00c diamond as well. You can go much larger in carat, lower the clarity/color while you'd never really notice to the eye, and still not spend that much.
+1
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,497
Price wise, you can do better online. As a fellow Canadian, for convenience, B&M wins (but that rarely outweighs the savings online shopping offers). But 'worth' depends on how much something is loved. People buy Cartier and Tiffany and other brands not because the materials are worth more, but because they love the style (or sometimes status) that these things bring. Or the mind easing 'guarantee' of quality that the brand suggests. And sometimes we value things more simply because they are extravagant and expensive. If your SO loves the ring, happiness is guaranteed even if you pay more. How much that's worth to you is a personal decision. I can say that years ago DH offered to buy me a Birks ring. I was frugal and we went a different direction and I have always secretly regretted it. Now we're midlife and there are always other priorities (plus DH is sentimental and it feels rejecting to suggest an upgrade). So maybe do a heart check as well as a price check, and whichever way that falls will tell you which way to go.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,086
Here's a comparable diamond at WF, a GIA XXX Expert Selection 1.00ct F-VS2 listed at $8,997:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3625406.htm#

Someone above posted a link to a WF setting somewhat similar to the Birks setting; the (platinum) WF setting is listed at $2,095 (though to my eyes it is not nearly as graceful in terms of flow and silhouette as the Birks setting). Here's a link to the Platinum version: http://www.whiteflash.com/engagemen...ternity-wrap-diamond-engagement-ring-2607.htm

So for the roughly comparable WF combo:
$ 8,997
$ 2,095
$11,092

I do think the Birks setting appears better crafted and more elegant so a true comparative setting would cost more than the WF comparable. Also, the WF combo does not take into account whatever taxes/duties a Canadian purchaser would incur.

To my calculations, the Birks ring you found, on sale, which your GF loves and which is local to you and which appears to be a quality piece... is totally worth purchasing.


ETA: to add 13% taxes to the WF comparable:

$11,092
$ 1,663
$12,755 (USD)
 

tracylt

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
125
cmd2014|1466775408|4047486 said:
Price wise, you can do better online. As a fellow Canadian, for convenience, B&M wins (but that rarely outweighs the savings online shopping offers). But 'worth' depends on how much something is loved. People buy Cartier and Tiffany and other brands not because the materials are worth more, but because they love the style (or sometimes status) that these things bring. Or the mind easing 'guarantee' of quality that the brand suggests. And sometimes we value things more simply because they are extravagant and expensive. If your SO loves the ring, happiness is guaranteed even if you pay more. How much that's worth to you is a personal decision. I can say that years ago DH offered to buy me a Birks ring. I was frugal and we went a different direction and I have always secretly regretted it. Now we're midlife and there are always other priorities (plus DH is sentimental and it feels rejecting to suggest an upgrade). So maybe do a heart check as well as a price check, and whichever way that falls will tell you which way to go.
Agree.

I personally owns several items from Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpel, Bulgary etc. and most of them contain diamonds (although none of them are engagement ring). My Cartier Love bracelet with 10 diamonds - many people say it's over priced, but would I rather go out and buy a similar bracelet with supposedly bigger and/or better diamonds? Absolutely not! I still think my money was well spent!
Before I started reading posts on this forum, and even after I became frequent lurker here, none of those lost their appeal to my eyes. They're still good quality pieces & diamonds. I have to admit, when someone compliments me on my bracelets/necklaces, I always proudly say "Oh it's Cartier/VCA/ect.". It is much shorter than explaining "Oh they're 10 diamonds with total carat weight of XX, clarity XXX and color X..." :D I guess it all depends on personal perspective. If you do decide to buy one, I want to see it because (don't laugh) I live in America and I've never heard of Birks before, so I am very curious!
 

tracylt

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
125
marymm|1466779367|4047498 said:
Here's a comparable diamond at WF, a GIA XXX Expert Selection 1.00ct F-VS2 listed at $8,997:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3625406.htm#

Someone above posted a link to a WF setting somewhat similar to the Birks setting; the (platinum) WF setting is listed at $2,095 (though to my eyes it is not nearly as graceful in terms of flow and silhouette as the Birks setting). Here's a link to the Platinum version: http://www.whiteflash.com/engagemen...ternity-wrap-diamond-engagement-ring-2607.htm

So for the roughly comparable WF combo:
$ 8,997
$ 2,095
$11,092

I do think the Birks setting appears better crafted and more elegant so a true comparative setting would cost more than the WF comparable. Also, the WF combo does not take into account whatever taxes/duties a Canadian purchaser would incur.

To my calculations, the Birks ring you found, on sale, which your GF loves and which is local to you and which appears to be a quality piece... is totally worth purchasing.
:clap: :clap: :clap: Words of wisdom!
 

breanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
188
We don't pay duty on diamonds brought into Canada, and the taxes would be the same at 13%, at least in Ontario, it could be less otherwise.
 

pr0pel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
31
If OP lives near the border, you can have it shipped to a US fedex location and you know the rest.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,171
Be aware.
1. Birks performs its own internal grading and provide in-house certificates for many of their diamonds. Ensure the diamond is GIA.
2. Their Canadian Diamond certificate is also in-house.
3. Instead of providing diamond education, they are all about promoting their brand and their "8Cs". They focus on how "arctic", "icy" and "Canadian" their diamonds are, just like chain mall stores do their promotions....

I agree the setting is beautiful; roughly, I give 3k for the setting. So it depends on the quality of the diamond.

As I wrote, a proper assessment cannot be made without the GIA report of the diamond; cut quality and fluorescence along with others affect the price greatly. If the diamond is a top performing GIA XXX with 54~58/40.6~40.9/33.5~36 proportions and somehow you verify its light performance to be similar to WF's ES stone, it may be a reasonable buy. But I am not optimistic.

If the stone is graded in-house, run.

Having that said, I don't mind Birks' small jewellery pieces, such as cluster/pave earrings and necklaces. Actually, some are beautiful and they use good quality melees.

But when it comes a big stone for an engagement ring, I would avoid Birks.
 

ind_engineer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
7
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their insight and replies.

I decided not to rush into it and did not purchase the Birks ring. I'm working on getting a custom ring done and taking my time looking for the right diamond.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

breanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
188
I used to be a huge Birks lover, as a young girl I'd go into the store and gaze at their rings, I own one that was passed down from my grandmother, which I love, but their prices don't make sense to me now. I swore I'd have one of their engagement rings, instead, I had their 'amorique' setting remade for $975 in platinum, and a 1.42 GIAXXX, SI1-J color stone, done with taxes etc for less than 11k. A very similar ring at Birks is being sold for 24k+ before tax.

Take your time, some people love saying it's a "birks" ring, but if that doesn't matter, you can have one made with a bigger stone, for almost half the price in a lot of cases.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If brand name is very important to the wearer and they are willing to sacrifice size to get the brand and are knowledgeable about the trade offs, then yes.

If not, then no.

Our preferences and even yours do not matter. Only your lady's preferences matter. Which is why we recommend clear communication over guess work.
 

isaku5

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,296
breanne|1466781063|4047511 said:
We don't pay duty on diamonds brought into Canada, and the taxes would be the same at 13%, at least in Ontario, it could be less otherwise.
Also keep in mind the currency exchange. ;))
 
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