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Buying a diamond in/from Singapore

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cowboystu

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
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111
I am living in Singapore for several months, and have come to the time that I want to get engaged. I am having problems deciding on the best method. As I see it, I basically have two options. The first would be to buy the diamond locally, while the second would be to deal with someone back in the states. Through my personal contacts and postings on this site, I feel confident that I would be able to get a quality product and a good appraisal in the states, but I can''t find much information on things here in Singapore.

If I buy from a local comapany:
Does anyone have any suggestions for good dealers and appraisers here?
Is there anything in particular that I should be aware of when purchasing here?

If i buy from someone back in the states:
How would I go about this since I am overseas?
Would I be foolish to buy something that I have never seen (assuming that I got an appraiser who did BrillianceScope, Sarin, etc..)?


Thanks for your advice...
 

LesleyH

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2000
Messages
506
Cowboystu:

We have found that more and more customers from Singapore have felt very comfortable purchasing from us. Hearts and Arrows diamonds have been the standard in the Far East for many years and it seems like our A CUT ABOVE's work really well over there.

Shipping via FEDEX priority international gets the package to you in 2 to 3 days. Be sure that there is a solid return policy at the company you decide to buy from. It's also helpful if the company offers some sort of documentation that the stone has been checked and verified - just adds to your piece of mind.

LesleyH
www.whiteflash.com
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
You'd have more piece of mind if you bought from the States.

I *do* know of a jeweler in Singapore, though, who's the only guy I would trust if I lived there. Sweet guy. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to look him up and first see if he can help you. If you'd like his email address, PM me.
 

Skälby

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Messages
1
Hej, I live in Sweden, but often went to the far east. I found Singapore is a very interesting place to hunt for Diamond. I used to go to this: Singapore gems & metal, 7 kung chong rd. tel. 64759733, wish I were there and rob my husband's card...
 

Taurus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
14
Hi Cowboystu,

I live in singapore and have had the same fear before. However, after doing my own research, i think it makes economical sense to buy via Reputable internet vendors. Why pay extra premium of 50% or more(setting price+diamond+insurance+delivery+4%GST) for identical products & limited knowledge of B&M staffs?

I've a great experience with Lesley from Whiteflash and have purchased a small diamond from her. And it was verified by a GG that it is as good as what's being stated in the AGS diamond quality document. I'm fortunate and didn't regret to have made the purchase via whiteflash...
 

cowboystu

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
111
--------------------
Why pay extra premium of 50% or more(setting price+diamond+insurance+delivery+4%GST) for identical products &limited knowledge of B&M staffs?
--------------------
Is the price difference really that great? How much was it to get shipped here? Will Whiteflash send it to someone like RocDoc, or other 3rd party for verification?

Luckily I think I can avoid the GST if i do buy from here since I am on a work visa and will be leaving in 3 months.
 

Taurus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
14
Yes you can always find out by doing a price search in pricscope and compared to those offers in the stores. If i did not remember wrongly, Aspial quote me a HOF 0.31/E/VVS1 around SGD4700 approx USD 2600! I'm sure you can get it at more than 50% via the search.

As for shipment, insurance and 3rd party verifcation(GEMEX), i think it depends on your amount and size of purchase, Lesley should be able to assist you at [email protected]
You may not be charged with GST but it will be good to find out directly from Fedex singapore. I think there is certain rule to waive taxes off jewellery.

Fyi, don't get me wrong that i'm not trying to promote Whiteflash. Alternatively you can look at other vendors. I just felt that Lesley and ACA from whiteflash is excellent...
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
I am sure that Lesley has a beautiful diamond that's calling you
!!!
 

yeewl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2002
Messages
192
It depends on what are you want. Color, clarity, size and most importantly, cut. I wanted the biggest bang for my buck since my hubby gave me a GVVS1 0.438 Monick diamond back in 1993. So it's size, color, clarity (no lower than VS2 if want to buy a bigger stone and set in 5 claw solitare).
Last September, I finally bought a 0.82 E VS2 with GIA cert from TAKA jewelry for S4781 (US2732). I have to save every cent for this gem. I also bought a 0.32 FVS2 for S$910 US$520 (also from TAKA)
Round brilliant cut

Measurements: 5.95 x 6.02 x 3.72 mm
Weight: 0.82
Depth: 62.2%
Table: 59%
Girdle: Medium to slightly thick, faceted
Culet: None
Polish: Good
Symmetry: Good
Clarity: VS2
Characteristic: Feather, crystel
Color: E
Fluorescence: None
Comments: None

I invested on an idealscope ( from gary) and an IGI Home Study Correspondence Course before purchasing the 0.82. Do your homework and decide what you want most (size vs cut). You can also purchase a H&A from Taka. They had a sale early this year. The biggest size is0.62VVS1 S$4200 US$2400 or EVVS2 S$3883 US$2218 with cert. Sorry can't remember whether it's AGS or another company. Places like Soo Kee and Asprial are expensive. I kept all the newspapers cutting (price list) so as to compare and decide which is best. As for setting, I had it set in platinum 950 for $450 US$257 5 claw solitare.
 

cowboystu

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
111
----------------
On 2/20/2003 1:38:54 AM yeewl wrote:
You can also purchase a H&A from Taka. They had a sale early this year. The biggest size is0.62VVS1 S$4200 US$2400 or EVVS2 S$3883 US$2218 with cert. Sorry can't remember whether it's AGS or another company. Places like Soo Kee and Asprial are expensive. I kept all the newspapers cutting (price list) so as to compare and decide which is best. As for setting, I had it set in platinum 950 for $450 US$257 5 claw solitare.
----------------

Is that to say that the largest H&A they ever carry, or that you looked at?? I am thinking bigger than that.

Stu
 

flowerpower

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
65
Hi Stu

I'm not sure what stones Taka has, but I know that if you go to places like Aspial, Larry's Jewellery or Soo Kee, they will definitely have larger stones. Sometimes even if the shop doesn't have stones in the larger sizes, they can bring them in for you from their other shops or contacts within a matter of days.

What I will say is that the level of product-knowledge of many of the B&M jewellers here leaves much to be desired. The majority of the service staff I've encountered are polite but ignorant. Another problem is that they don't do Sarin reports as a matter of course, so you're often stuck with the limited information contained in the stone's GIA certificate and it's difficult to analyse the cut of the stone.

I would highly recommend that you order an Idealscope from http://www.pricescope.com/idealscope_order.asp and bring it with you to any shop you visit. It's an easy way of getting a fair idea of the quality of the cut. Order it soon because it takes just over a week to reach us in Singapore from Australia. I've been using mine over the last few days and the amount of light leakage in quite a number of the diamonds being sold by 'reputable' jewellery shops here is really quite astounding! So be careful and be sure to use your Idealscope.

Alternatively, there's always the possibility of buying a diamond off the internet. I'm in the process of doing so. Will let you know how I get on.

Good luck!

Flower P

 

nautilus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2003
Messages
13
Hi,

Recently, i too had this dilemma of searching for a well cut diamond in singapore. Here are the following things i found out:

1) Taka - sells cheap diamonds but most, if not all of them, are badly cut(confirmed with an idealscope). It's even difficult to find a vg/vg stone there. Also, their H&A's are all IGI certified. After reading this forum, i've heard mixed comments abt IGI grading standards. In the end, i gave it a miss.

2) Aspial - Their HOF stones burns like fire. It also burns a large hole in your pocket. They do have very beautiful stones in stock, but their pricing is way too high as compared to online shops.

3) Sookee - The last time i saw the brilliant rose through an ideal scope gave me a very bad impression abt the cut. The stones were leaking lots of light from the centre. Even with my naked eyes, it looked no different from ordinary stones. I'd dare say that some GIA stones i've seen fare better.

4) tiffany and co - needs no explanation

5)la belle diamonds lucky plaza - found them after i bought my diamond online. It looks like a normal shop but upon further inquiry, i discovered that the owner knows his stuff. He even has a sarin machine! I was completely shocked when i saw it cos common as it is in the USA, this machine is almost non-existent in singapore. Good place to find out more abt diamonds.

In the end, i bought my ACA diamond from whiteflash and till today, i'm still amazed at beauty of this diamond. I never imagined that a well cut diamond could make such a huge difference in appearance. Thanks to Lesley for her great service and very prompt delivery.
 

cowboystu

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
111
Any chance of getting the owners name at the place in lucky? My idealscope is on its way!!

Still torn, think online will end up being the way to go.

STu
 

yeewl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2002
Messages
192
I received their member price list in Aug 2002. The actual price was S$5100. I believe they were trying to clear the current stock. I had to call different outlets just to trace where the stone was so that I can view it using the idealscope. I would love to have a H&A very much but I do not wish to buy another slightly larger (0.62) than what my hubby gave me. The only H&A I have is 0.36 set as a pendent.

At the time of purchase the 0.82, there wasn't any sale for H&A so I did'nt give much thought. I wanted to buy shy, (less than 1 carat) with the tight budget + setting in Platinum. I still have a home loan to repay each month.... My ideal size was actually 0.95.

However, if you wish to buy more than a carat, sorry can't help you there. I still kept old copies of the newspaper cutting. (old habits die hard).. still enjoy monitoring the price. I can lend you my idealscope if you wish..
 

cowboystu

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
111
Any info that you can pass along to me would be great. Do you have the calibration CZ for the idealscope? As i said, i ordered the scope, but it hasn't made it here yet, and i didn't think i wanted the CZ, but now i do. If it takes a while, i might take you up on the offer.

Drop me a line
[email protected]

Thanks
 

flowerpower

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
65
Yes, definitely get the callibration CZ! Just so you know what you're looking for.

By the way, there was one guy who seemed pretty knowledgeable and he was working at Aspial at Citilink Mall. His name is Andra Chew and you can call him at 64231228. He was the only guy who attempted to explain the distinction between scintillation and fire. That said, their prices are much higher than what you can find on the internet. Just to give you an example: their Hearts on Fire diamond, 1.06ct G VS1 is priced at $26,000 (there is a discount on this diamond until 2 Mar and the discounted price is $21,440). In contrast, I believe you can get a Superbcert, 1.05ct F VS1 for US$7780 (about S$13,630).

You do the math.
 

jem_ezell

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
30
Hi

There are so many comments on online purchasing of diamonds. May I check how one will be able to see if any light are lost in the dimonds as for online puchasing, we will not be able to use an ideal scope to check the diamond?

Thanks

Jem
 

kevinng

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
398
Hi Jem, your question isn't very clear.

If you are asking how we can see light leakage of online vendor's diamonds, you can ask for idealscope/lightscope images if they don't already have it on their website. They can take these pictures for you.

If you're asking how you can see them at the shops... you need to bring your own idealscope.

Basically, you don't want to see the following:

Ring of Death

That's a very good example of the 'ring of death'... even though the diamond is AGS 'Ideal Cut', and largely H&A.
 
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