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Buying a Tiffany engagement ring, used or new?

ian213

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
2
First off, I'd like to thank all the users of this site for being so insightful and allowing someone like me to glean a ton of knowledge about buying an engagement ring for free just by browsing your forums. A couple weeks ago I knew absolutely nothing about diamonds, settings, the 4 Cs, etc and now I feel like I minored in engagement rings.

I plan on proposing soon and have been ring shopping with my girlfriend. I wanted to get a feel for what she liked so I took her to all types of jewelry stores as well as browsing all the typical online stores pricescope users typically recommend. She fell in love with the round brilliant cut solitaire from Tiffany and that is what I plan to get her. I realize I could find a larger and better color/clarity diamond for the same price or a close replica of the ring for much cheaper but I know she would absolutely adore the Tiffany ring and to me the price difference is worth it for a one time purchase of something she will wear everyday for the rest of her life.

Here's my dilemma....

After visiting a few Tiffany stores and comparing prices of different color/clarity/carat combos I found one I liked in the .80-.90 carat range for ~$9000. Now, I know she would be happy with this size ring (or any size Tiffany ring), but when I was telling my dad about the ring I was thinking of purchasing he suggested I should probably get something that is at least a carat. The rings I looked at that were over a carat ran from ~$13,000-$15,000 and while I could afford to pay that if I needed to I'd much rather put that extra money toward a vacation or down payment on a house. Out of curiosity, I ended up browsing used Tiffany rings and came across one that looked amazing, was bigger (1.05-1.15 carats) and also cheaper ($7500-$8500). This ring has the same color/clarity of the new ring I was looking at and has excellent precision of cut/polish/symmetry as well as an excellent grade using the HCA tool to measure cut. The carat size also happened to be a number that is very significant to both of us and because Tiffany engraves that onto the inside of the ring I think that would be a really nice added touch. She was initially hesitant about getting a used ring but now seems to be on board because this ring seems so perfect and I suggested we might be able to get it remounted into a brand new setting that would make the ring feel brand new and not used. It looked great in the pictures they had and appears to have the original diamond certificate and appraisal from Tiffany. It also comes from a jewelry store that has nothing but good feedback.

Having said all that, here are a few questions I had:

Would Tiffany allow one of their rings to be remounted into a brand new setting and if so, how much would that cost for a platinum solitaire?

I would also want to get the ring re-appraised by Tiffany, any idea what that would cost?

It would need to be resized 3 sizes anyway so getting it remounted with a brand new setting would be well worth it to me as I could get a bigger ring that felt new for as much or cheaper than the smaller ring I was looking at even taking into account the cost of remounting and re-appraising.

I know Tiffany doesn't like seeing used rings sold, would it be better if I pretended I inherited the ring?

What precautions should I take when buying a used ring?

The store offers a 30 day money back guarantee policy and appears to have all the paperwork for the ring assuring that it's legitimately a Tiffany and Co ring so assuming the appraisal checks out I feel fairly safe that it's not a fake.

My only real concerns are

A) Tiffany won't remount the ring in a brand new setting
B) They won't re-appraise the ring in my name
C) It wouldn't be wrapped in the little blue box

If I could be sure those 3 things would happen I'd definitely go with the used ring and never look back.

Which ring would you go with in my situation? Any other advice for how to proceed?

I plan to call the jewelry store selling the ring tomorrow and get more pictures and possibly haggle on the price and then call Tiffany and ask about getting the ring re-mounted and re-appraised. I also plan to let them know that I will be shopping for wedding bands at their store so they have an added incentive to keep me a happy customer.
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
503
I don't think Tiffany will remount the ring. I know that they sometimes offer valuation reports, but I'm not sure if they'd do this for someone who wasn't the original owner. Discussion on these boards has shown that Tiffany is becoming less and less accommodating to people who bring in items they have bought second hand. I certainly wouldn't lie and say you inherited it. When you purchase something at Tiffany, they add it to a profile that lists everything else you've bought, so they might see who previously bought it and see that they are still buying things at Tiffany which would make the lie apparent.

If I were you, I'd buy an amazing stone and put it in a Vatche U113 setting rather than pay the premium for Tiffany or buy Tiffany second hand.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,769
Having said all that, here are a few questions I had:

Would Tiffany allow one of their rings to be remounted into a brand new setting and if so, how much would that cost for a platinum solitaire? They will 'allow' you to do anything you want. It's your ring. THEY won't do it.

I would also want to get the ring re-appraised by Tiffany, any idea what that would cost?
They won't do it at all. Appraisals by others vary depending on the appraiser.

It would need to be resized 3 sizes anyway so getting it remounted with a brand new setting would be well worth it to me as I could get a bigger ring that felt new for as much or cheaper than the smaller ring I was looking at even taking into account the cost of remounting and re-appraising.
Tiffany will resize almost anything they've made. Most other jewelers are happy to resize almost anything.

I know Tiffany doesn't like seeing used rings sold, would it be better if I pretended I inherited the ring?
No.

What precautions should I take when buying a used ring?
Vet the dealer. Get everything in writing. Have a return/refund policy. Get it appraised by an expert working for you, not them. Use a credit card.

The store offers a 30 day money back guarantee policy and appears to have all the paperwork for the ring assuring that it's legitimately a Tiffany and Co ring so assuming the appraisal checks out I feel fairly safe that it's not a fake.
That's a good start.

My only real concerns are

A) Tiffany won't remount the ring in a brand new setting.
B) They won't re-appraise the ring in my name
C) It wouldn't be wrapped in the little blue box
You may be able to buy a used box as well if that's important to you.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,691
ian213|1465891955|4043787 said:
A) Tiffany won't remount the ring in a brand new setting
B) They won't re-appraise the ring in my name
C) It wouldn't be wrapped in the little blue box

If I could be sure those 3 things would happen I'd definitely go with the used ring and never look back.

Which ring would you go with in my situation? Any other advice for how to proceed?
A - No, they will not.
B - No, they will not without written proof of either purchase (you lost your evaluation) or written proof of inheritance (your grandmother lost her evaluation).
C - No, they will not.

You can get a Tiffany ring "on the cheap", certainly, by buying second-hand. When you pay retail you're paying for both the brand and the experience - they really have no incentive to give you the new Tiffany experience (new boxing, new mount) without the price tag: the bands are at very different price points after all.

Now, if you or a close family member has a long history of purchase with Tiffany, an SA who looks out for your interests, all of those three desires are viable. In your particular situation having the piece resized by Tiffany (it will come back polished like new) and using the servicing paperwork as proof of authenticity is certainly a possibility, if that'd be mind-clean for you both.
 

cjhom

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2016
Messages
30
Here's what I would either do..

1. Save a few thousand bucks and go with the new Tiffany .8 Carat
or
2. Spend the same $$$ for a 1+ carat U-113

I wouldn't want my future wife to wear a used ring/diamond unless the ring was passed down. I value knowing that the ring was made solely for her and only her (or passed down). Some people wouldn't mind a used ring and if you and your SO are totally fine with it I'd say it's the way to go since you value the Tiffany brand.
 

rocks

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
727
I know with certainty that tiffany will reset one of their rings into a new mounting. A friend of mine did it at the ny store. She however was the original owner. She went from their classic solitaire to a three stone
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,797
rocks|1465942536|4044055 said:
I know with certainty that tiffany will reset one of their rings into a new mounting. A friend of mine did it at the ny store. She however was the original owner. She went from their classic solitaire to a three stone
...the only problem would be that the OP wouldn't be the original owner.
 

rocks

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
727
Understood. My post was intended to clarify tiffany's policy.
 

ian213

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
2
I figured I'd post an update since my experience with Tiffany differed from some of the advice I got and hopefully it'll be helpful to anyone making a similar decision in the future.

The two stones I was deciding between initially were:

New 0.87c I VS1 (triple excellent) round brilliant in classic Tiffany 6 prong solitaire setting for $9050 (HCA score: 1.5)
Pre-Owned 1.13c I VS1 (triple excellent) round brilliant in classic Tiffany 6 prong solitaire setting for $8000 (HCA score: 1.2)

I went with the 1.13c after haggling a bit and getting it for $7000. The jewelry store had it on consignment from the original owner and was able to get all the original paperwork and even found Tiffany ring boxes for me to use when I actually give it to her. The ring looks beautiful in person and was definitely as advertised.

I took it into Tiffany and they were very friendly and accommodating, they didn't seem to care that I wasn't the original purchaser of the ring. They were willing to resize the ring or remount the ring into a brand new setting for me. They said the cost to resize it up 2.5 sizes would be ~$150. They sent it out to NY and will let me know the cost of a remount via email before they do any work on the ring, but as long as the cost of the remount isn't exorbitantly expensive I will probably go that route just for peace of mind that it's now a brand new ring. I also asked about an appraisal/retail price update and they said they normally charge for that but since I'm paying for the resize/remount already they'd be happy to do it for free. They also listed me as the new owner of the diamond in their records.

Overall, I'm very happy with the experience and I think it's definitely a viable option for price-conscious shoppers who also value the Tiffany and Co brand. Buying a used ring is probably not for everybody and I did see plenty of Tiffany and Co rings that were most likely fakes while I was searching but if you're willing to be patient and get one with the original paperwork from a reputable dealer I think it's a good way to go.

I was able to get the exact ring I wanted, one that retails for ~$15,000 in the store, for $7000 + the cost of remounting. When I looked for loose stones with similar specs they were around $6500-$7000 on Whiteflash/James Allen/etc and that doesn't include the ~$1800 I'd pay for the Vatche U-113 platinum setting so I feel like I paid a good price for the diamond even discounting the Tiffany branding and setting.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had purchased a few small things from the same Tiffany store before and was in their computer already so that may have had a small impact on how they treated me but the items were comparatively inexpensive (<$500) and I saw a different SA every time I was there so it's not likely that had much of an impact.

Best of luck to all the other people searching for the perfect engagement ring! Now it's time to plan my proposal...
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
23,892
That is great news. Please post pictures when you get the ring back.


Marcy
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,359
That is truly awesome! So glad they worked with you - you have a great ring for a great price!
 

Monnyjay

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
1,418
Fantastic, you did well. I think you got a great deal. I have always found Tiffany to be very accommodating, I have a pendant in platinum I wanted to lengthen, it was no problem and quite reasonable. I purchased the item from a jeweller on consignment also. Best way to get what you want to get the real thing at a discounted price :wavey: :
 

tweeter8177

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
570
Glad you had a good experience! Good luck with the proposal and I would love to see hand shots too!
 

tracylt

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
125
Yayyyyy. So happy for you! Thanks for posting your experience with Tiffany & Co.
 

dimitri07

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
3
Sorry to bud in here like this, this forum is huge. And I want to propose to my fiance and was wondering if anyone could share some knowledge, I have some knowledge of diamonds but really nothing much when it comes to rings. I generally like aquamarine, the feel, the color and some other things. This is the ring I happened to like : https://www.azeera.com/product/show_pro_customize/39?stone=Aquamarine&metal=14kWhite&accent1=&accent2=
Although I don't know much about metal tpyes, etc. ANY tips are appreciated. Thanks!
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
7,425
Start your own thread with this topic - you'll get many more responses that way. Welcome to Pricescioe!
 
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