I had the same dilemma. I ended up buying 2 *loose* Blue Nile signature ideal diamonds, and examined both of them with my own H&A viewer and ideal scope. Both lived up to my standards as far as hearts and arrows are concerned. You can see the images here:Date: 4/4/2009 7:08:43 PM
Which should I go with a Blue Nile Signature diamond or a GOG H&A ideal? Are all Blue Nile Signature diamonds H&A diamonds? The budget is going to be pretty tight ,around $3,000. I''m hoping to get around .75 carats.
Yes, you definitely need to do so. Jon the owner is a great guy and you will have a wonderful time viewing diamonds!Date: 4/5/2009 9:03:13 PM
yes, they are based in Long Island. You will need to call them and make an appointment first, I think.
It cost $25 to send back a diamond to BN. I just did it about 2 hours ago. So if you want to see both, Order the one from BN and compare it. Worst case it will cost you about $25.Date: 4/6/2009 2:56:22 PM
buying diamonds through BN or through GOG are two different processes. if you feel you want the help of an expert right there with you to explain and guide, then a vendor like GOG would be the way to go. but if you want to do the process by yourself and perhaps save a few bucks, you might want to try BN. if you decide to do the BN route, you might like to have your stone checked out by an appraiser if you want the extra images and info which BN doesn''t offer. expert info like GOG can offer you comes at a price and only you can decide if that''s worth it to you and how much help you need.
both processes can be a lot of fun -good luck!
I second Blue Nile and would go a little further to save money. You don''t need to pay the markup for the BN Signature line. Search among the non-signature ideal cuts at BN and look at the GIA/AGS certificate for an inscription that says "H&A." They''re not easy to find but they''re definitely out there. These diamonds are likely to show true H&A or at least a pattern very close to it. If you really want to check the H&A for yourself, you can buy a viewer online or borrow one from a store that carries the Hearts on Fire brand since those stores like to show off the H&A as a sellling point.Date: 4/6/2009 4:31:30 AM
Oh and here''s Blue Nile''s link that claims their signature ideal diamonds are all H&A:
So while initially a skeptic, I''ve come away quite satisfied with Blue Nile and would happily go back to them if I were to buy a diamond in the future. But just to satisfy my anal self, I would still buy the signature ideal diamond loose first and take H&A photographs before getting it set. A word of advice is you should purchase the Jeweler''s Mutual insurance on the loose diamond. It''s a quick click away from the Blue Nile site and all information gets populated automatically so it''s really easy. The cool thing is if you return the diamond within 30 days, you can cancel the insurance completely FREE of charge. That is, they reverse all insurance charges so you don''t pay a penny for the duration that you keep the diamond. And that also means that if you choose not to keep diamond and ship it back to Blue Nile, you can do it via UPS/Fedex and not pay any insurance becaues JM would cover it. I have email proof from their sales rep saying they cover shipping of loose diamonds. So it''s a bit of hassle to buy a loose diamond, but at least it won''t cost you much.