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Buying diamond from Costco?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Babyboychoy, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Babyboychoy
    Rough_Rock

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    by Babyboychoy » Aug 16, 2015
    Costco is my hubby's favorite store. In order to make him feel his money well spent, I agreed to buy diamond from there. We are looking at 2ct and above. I really don't mind buying my diamond from there, they have GIA cert etc and very good return policy. The problem is do you know they have inscription number in diamond? If I take it to local or online store for a Tiffany style reset, how do I know that's my original diamond? Does costco have good price and their stone is top quality? Thanks a lot!
     
    


    


  2. ecf8503
    Ideal_Rock

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    by ecf8503 » Aug 16, 2015
    Look for GIA certed XXX stones to start with. Then run the numbers through the HCA https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

    You want a number under 2, but once under 2 lower is not better. This helps weed out some of the not-so-excellent excellents, as GIA's excellent category is very broad. And as far as I know, Costco does not have idealscopes and ASETs for light performance evaluation, which would be the next step after finding a stone with an HCA under 2.

    Some stones have the GIA number inscribed on the girdle of the stone, some don't.

    If you pick a stone with inclusions (VS or lower) it's easier to identify your stone. If you don't like the Costco setting and you take it to another jeweler for a reset, ask them to show you the inclusions under a microscope first, note those inclusions on the work ticket, and then when you pick up the reset stone have them show you the inclusions on the scope again. Inclusions are like fingerprints - no 2 diamonds are the same.

    As far as price, I can't say - I've never considered buying a stone from Costco, but my brother did for his wife years ago. I don't know how they compare to other reputable online vendors like James Allen, Whiteflash, Good Old Gold, Brian Gavin, etc. Don't rush into anything though - go look, ask what they can get that they may not have in hand, then compare prices with other vendors on similar stones.

    Keep in mind there is a very hefty price jump at the 2.00 carat mark; it may be worth your while to look for one slightly smaller - they will look the same. The problem is that most cutters like to retain weight to hit that magic 2ct mark; an ideal cut stone wastes more rough. But keep an eye out for the 1.9x ct stones - they can be a good deal, but don't compromise on cut quality, as that's what makes the stone sparkle! And an ideal cut stone will face up larger and whiter than a less ideal cut one.
     
  3. kittycat1988
    Rough_Rock

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    by kittycat1988 » Aug 16, 2015
    BBC, your post reminded me of this bloomberg review article: http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-05-06/tiffany-vs-dot-costco-which-diamond-ring-is-better "“A diamond is a diamond,” says Russell Shor, a senior industry analyst at the Gemological Institute of America, the premier rating and certification agency for diamonds. “If you have a stone from a top jeweler with the same grade as the discount place, they’re basically the same thing.” Good Morning America tested this theory in 2005, when it appraised both a Tiffany diamond and a Costco diamond. As it turned out, the $16,600 Tiffany cut was valued at only $10,500, whereas the $6,600 Costco version was actually priced 17 percent under its appraised value of $8,000."
     
  4. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
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    by denverappraiser » Aug 16, 2015
    Costco is a reputable outfit but they're not a panacea. For starters, their return policy isn't nearly as good as it appears at first blush, or as good as it used to be. If you modify the item, for example if you have it sized, that voids your warranty. They don't sell loose diamonds so you have to pick a ring from a rather limited selection and, as above, if you have your jeweler reset it in something else you've voided your warranty. That may be ok but it's not the 100% return forever thing they advertise and it applies to nearly every customer.

    Obviously their salespeople are useless and the lighting in the warehouse couldn't be worse for examining stones. It's effectively impossible to compare things on site. It's basically the same as buying sight unseen from the online outfits where you're asked to choose using nothing but the lab docs. They're price competitive and, with a bit of effort, they can get you pretty much anything you want from their special order people, but the selection in any particular store is severely limited.

    I take specific exception to the news people using appraisals as a test for value. That's not how it works. In most cases an appraisal is estimating the replacement cost new, at retail, locally. A Tiffany branded stone can only be replaced new at Tiffany's, and at Tiffany's prices. You may or may not want to buy one but it's not correct to say that Costco is the same thing and could be replaced the same way because it grades the same at the lab. Obviously beating Tiffany prices is no great trick and rather few people go to Tif's thinking it's a cheap place to buy things. A far more fair test is to compare them to the non-branded stones offered by the advertising dealers here (the database accessed at the top of the page titled 'pricescope your diamond'). Those are generic GIA graded stones from the very same pool that the Costco people are selling out of. By all means buy from a jeweler you trust, and if that's Costco, so be it. I think you'll find that Costco is generally price competitive but it's not a slam dunk.

    Lastly, mostly Costco uses IGI for their grading, not GIA although this varies with the special order people. These are not the same thing and the phrase 'GIA equivalent' can mask a lot of sins. Pay attention.

    FWIW, Costco is my favorite store too.
     
    


    


  5. ennui
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by ennui » Aug 16, 2015
    You can also browse for diamonds on the Costco website, since the selection in the warehouse is probably limited.
     
  6. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Dancing Fire » Aug 16, 2015
    Neil
    I'm pretty sure their 1ct+ stones come with both GIA and IGI papers.
     
  7. Madison2
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Madison2 » Aug 16, 2015
    Out of all the vendors on here that are willing to provide aset scopes, etc, and images of how well the diamond you buy will perform why would you want to buy from a store that does not provide this and not such a great return policy?
    IDK, but if it were me spending thousands of dollars, I would want to be sure I am getting the best bang for my buck and know that the diamond I am buying is well cut and will perform well in various lighting conditions. I would also want the personal touch of someone who can assist me with my setting if I didn't like the ones only available through Costco. Who will you turn to if something goes wrong down the road with the ring? Don't get me wrong, love costco for other things but just not my diamond ring that I will want to have for many years and the comfort of knowing I have a jeweler who will be there in case I need him down the road to assist me whether it be an upgrade, cleaning, sizing, whatever.
     
  8. jerichosmom
    Shiny_Rock

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    by jerichosmom » Aug 16, 2015
    FWIW, ive used my Idealscope to look at their diamond tennis bracelets. Many of the stones had nice symetry and arrows. Why don't you arm yourself with a HEarts and Arrows viewer, an Idealscope and whatever gadgets you can get your hands on and examine the Costco diamonds as thoroughly as you can? I understand your husband....(my hubby's favorite store is Costco too and he wouldn't blink to get me gems from there but would fight me tooth and nail if I suggested a PS vendor).

    If you do get a diamond from there, take it to a good appraiser who has all the gadgets to check for light performace for you. I know it won't be able the same as testing it loose, but it would put your mind at ease with what you're getting. Plus your hubby will feel comfortable with the purchase since he's adamant about using Costco.
     
  9. Babyboychoy
    Rough_Rock

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    by Babyboychoy » Aug 18, 2015
    Thanks for everyone's quick responses! Sorry couldn't get online as often as I want with two toddlers! I actually have a mixed feeling buying a diamond from costco too. Just like JERICHOSMOM said, he might not feel comfortable buying online but we never discussed that. As suggested to also look online, how about this one?

    http://m.costco.com/Round-Brilliant-2.04-ct-VS1-Clarity-D-Color-Diamond-Platinum-Solitaire-Ring.product.100160917.html

    Triple EX,2.04 ct, D, VS1

    This one has HCA score 2.3? Not so good? It looks like it has the GIA inscription in it? Can the stone be removed for testing and put back for the same mounting so I can return it if it turns out not so good? The appraisal is often done in loose stone or can be in setting as well?

    For under 50k, what other better options? I wanted the biggest stone I can get with the best cut in G VS1 or better.

    Also excellent vs ideal in cut, which one is better? Sorry for all the newbie questions!
     
  10. Red_Velvette
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    by Red_Velvette » Aug 18, 2015
    I don't know the answer to your questions but just wanted to throw in that if you do end up buying a diamond from Costco, make sure that you have the executive membership which gives you 2% back on all your purchases at a certain time of the year. (for us it's around February or March) If you don't end up getting at least the cost of the membership back, you can request the difference and they will give it to you.
     
    


    


  11. ecf8503
    Ideal_Rock

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  12. JDDN
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