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Buying strategy, diamond selection, from Australia.

Temjin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
8
Hello all,

It would be great if I could get assistance with my purchasing strategy. I've already spend a considerable amount of time on researching what to look for in a diamond on this website, which by the way is simply amazing! I've used the search database extensively to short list the diamonds I'm looking for.

So here are my plans.

- I'm from Brisbane, Australia.
- My preferred diamond specification would be 0.65 to 0.75 carat, I/J color, VS2/SI1, "fairly tight" TIC portion range and not necessary a branded H&A. I have a preference toward a logical selection criteria, best value with highest "practical" performance.
- Budget is limited to around $4000ish inclusive of that darn 10% GST in Australia.
- Would be a surprise to my gf and looking to propose in approx 8 weeks time. (not much time left! :D)

Selection strategy

- I've spent a bit of time to randomly view certificates on signature diamonds (from <0.5 ct to 1.0ct>) from various reputable seller from PS (i.e. GOG, Whiteflash, etc) and tabulate the range of portions that these professional sellers had deemed as "ideal". Most of these signature diamonds fall within a fairly obvious tight range (within TIC, CA 34.2 to 35, PA 40.6 to 40.95), so I used it as part of my search criteria. (P.S: total of 163 diamonds data collected)
- Then I did a search via PS database and found quite a large number of candidates that satisfy this strict range. Result was that a large number of them do not belong to their "signature" range and most are from Bluenile and BC2jewels. (likely because I was looking for I/J color, VS2/SI1 clarity)
- I've observed that the price of these short listed diamonds are on average, more expensive than other diamonds with the same characteristics minus cut portion. This kind of made me believe there is indeed a premium behind the cut range of these diamonds.

Purchasing strategy

- I will be looking to buy the diamond and have it delivered to a jewellery of my choice to set it on a ring.
- I have not yet decided on what type of setting I want, but I would be looking to get it on a platinum channel set and perhaps a custom made.
- I am undecided on whether to have the diamond appraised in the US or in Australia, or be done at all. Is it even necessary based on my selection strategy? (I'm sure the purist will say yes due to optical symmetry, more below) There would be logistic difficulties if I have the diamond appraised in Australia and I found it's not suitable.

I have a number of questions I would like to get advices from the experts here. This will be divided between the technicality of the diamonds and the purchasing strategy itself.

1) Optical symmetry.

I am aware that there could be GIA Ex diamonds with identical portions but one has better optical symmetry performance over the other. I understand a helium report that covers all facets will determine whether it has good optical symmetry or not. (and that the variations must be kept to a minimum) Therefore, I simply cannot determine the level of performance of the diamonds I've short listed based on certificates data alone.

However, I don't want to fall into the trap by getting a perfectly tight diamond at a much much higher premium but don't provide the equal in light performance for value.

So how far should I take this to? Note that I don't think my gf would note the differences, and I'm talking about the diamond being only worth $2.5kish. And being located outside the US, it can be difficult to appraise multiple diamonds.

I probably know the easiest and painless strategy is to buy from the likes of GOG, etc. And perhaps I will, but just asking if there are other alternatives since I'm looking for specific color/clarity range.

2) Platinum price.

The spot rate for platnium has dropped recently, and is now below gold, which is a rare occasion. I know the price changes happened only quite recently, so most manufacturers would not have time to source the metal at this lower price. In fact, I've already hedged it by buying Platinum ETF on the stock market in the last day or so. :D

- What is the best way then to take advantage of this lower price? For example, ask for a jewellery to custom made a ring for me but source the metal at the current spot rate?
- My preference is to get Garry Holloway (preciousmetals.com.au) in Victoria Australia to make me the ring as they are highly recommended here. I have not asked them the question above yet, but if they cannot do it, I may decide to get it from www.ausbullion.com.au as they are a bullion dealer and they claimed they can pass on the savings when the price movement in raw materials work in my favour.

3) Independent appraiser.

Now if I have to get the diamond appraised, do anyone have recommendations on who to use? Would most sellers (i.e. Bluenile, BC2jewels) allow the diamond to be sent over to an appraiser (paid by me) before finalising the sale to me if I approve?

How much would it cost to do a helium scan and a idealscope image? (if that's all I need)

I will be doing more search on the type of settings I want and will be asking around for quotes.

Thanks again for the help everyone!!!

Cheers,

Temjin
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,500
Hi there, congratulations on your plans! I am no RB expert and will leave it to others here to comment on the stones. However, I do have a Holloway ring (which I love!) and should probably let you know that having HD set your ring will not leave you enough budget for the stone; in fact if you have it set by them in platinum it will take up almost all of your budget and even in 18K white gold it will take up over half.
 

Temjin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
8
pancake|1317980220|3035210 said:
Hi there, congratulations on your plans! I am no RB expert and will leave it to others here to comment on the stones. However, I do have a Holloway ring (which I love!) and should probably let you know that having HD set your ring will not leave you enough budget for the stone; in fact if you have it set by them in platinum it will take up almost all of your budget and even in 18K white gold it will take up over half.
Hi pancake, thanks.

I haven't got a quote yet, but I do suspect it being quite expensive.

I would still hope a platinum ring be not as expensive than gold due to the extreme rare spot price differences.

Are craftsmanship between different jeweler that huge of a difference? I know Holloway can do great ring, but not sure if I can afford it on my budget. So I am looking to go for a different one (the bullion dealer) to take advantage of the raw material price movement.

Would be great if others from Australia who brought stones over from the US can advice me what they did with their purchasing.

Cheers!
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,500
Temjin, if I were you I would have the ring made in the States, probably (but not necessarily) from the same vendor that sells you the stone. Prices are MUCH lower than locally here, I think in large part because of greater consumer demand, education and expectation. Metal prices have changed quite a lot in the almost 2 years since we had my wedding rings made, but suffice it to say that my two Leon Mege diamond eternity bands put together cost only slightly less than the cost of my HD plain platinum ER setting. Naturally there are jewellers here who will not charge as much as that, but even so, there is a huge cost differential.

If you know what you want, and in what metal, have it all done and then shipped as a complete piece.
 

Temjin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
8
Hi pancake, thanks for the advice. I've just got some quotes from a jeweller here and ouch, more than twice as expensive than if I were to get from the states. I doubt I could find another one that could be cheaper, so I will be following your advice and have the complete set made over in the US.
 

Budgiesmuggler

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
20
I'm also buying from Australia.

When you search the pricescope diamond search, you'll note that a lot of sites list the same diamonds - you'll see this based on the specifications, and then can verify based on the GIA reports. This is because their websites all plug into the same diamond database.

I've found that Jogia jewelers in Australia also uses the same database as some of the overseas sites, and their prices (with GST) are very comparable to the cost of buying overseas and then paying the customs duty, shipping and insurance. So if you find a diamond that you like I'd also check whether Jogia has it listed. If so, they can arrange for you to view etc in Australia, or at least order for you and avoid paying customs, and get buyer warranty etc in Au.
 

Budgiesmuggler

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
20
And if you're going OS anytime soon you can claim back the GST :)

Maybe take her to NZ for engagement, the GST claimed back would pay for it!
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,500
Just be aware that in taking overseas, claiming the GST back, and then bringing it back in (without repaying it), is not actually legal. I know many do it though.
 

Supers

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
302
I had a quote from Holloway for a ring - was quite a bit more expensive, so ended up getting BGD to make the ring instead.

Not much to comment on your purchasing strategy... I went with buying from a reputable vendor (GOG) and trusting that everyone's raves about the AVC would hold true (they did). I did get GOG to shoot some videos for me so I knew what I was getting.

The only other advice - Ozforex offers great rates and service, and don't forget to claim your duty back as part of the Free Trade Agreement.

Good luck with the search.
 

Temjin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
8
Budgiesmuggler|1318809575|3041691 said:
I'm also buying from Australia.

When you search the pricescope diamond search, you'll note that a lot of sites list the same diamonds - you'll see this based on the specifications, and then can verify based on the GIA reports. This is because their websites all plug into the same diamond database.

I've found that Jogia jewelers in Australia also uses the same database as some of the overseas sites, and their prices (with GST) are very comparable to the cost of buying overseas and then paying the customs duty, shipping and insurance. So if you find a diamond that you like I'd also check whether Jogia has it listed. If so, they can arrange for you to view etc in Australia, or at least order for you and avoid paying customs, and get buyer warranty etc in Au.
Thanks Budgies. :) I'm actually aware of that when I searched their database, but there is still the issue of the settings here being quite expensive in comparison to those in the US.

pancake|1318810316|3041699 said:
Just be aware that in taking overseas, claiming the GST back, and then bringing it back in (without repaying it), is not actually legal. I know many do it though.
Heh. Though of that, but due to timing issues, I can't take this option. Have to cough the 10% GST...grrrrr.. (as if I haven't paid enough tax this year!)

Supers|1318811908|3041710 said:
I had a quote from Holloway for a ring - was quite a bit more expensive, so ended up getting BGD to make the ring instead.

Not much to comment on your purchasing strategy... I went with buying from a reputable vendor (GOG) and trusting that everyone's raves about the AVC would hold true (they did). I did get GOG to shoot some videos for me so I knew what I was getting.

The only other advice - Ozforex offers great rates and service, and don't forget to claim your duty back as part of the Free Trade Agreement.

Good luck with the search.
Thanks Supers, that was pretty much my expectation from Holloway as well.

Did you custom design your ring at BGD? What was it and how much did it cost you? And how long it took you?

I'm looking at settings from http://www.zoara.com right now. They seem to have pretty unique rings and quite well priced as well. Has anyone here used them?

As for rates, I will be using my 28degrees card if the bank wire price is not that much better. No fee, crazy rates. (<0.5% spot rate spread) More info here for those in Ozland. :) http://www.bhatt.id.au/blog/no-foreign-currency-bank-fees-travelling-28-degrees-mastercard-review/

As for claiming back duty, I've read about it and know Whiteflash does it automatically for their customers. Since it is likely other retailers (zoara for example) will not help me in this, are there anything I need them to provide (i.e. specific documents?) so I can use them to make the claim? More info on this would be great!

Thanks again guys! Getting close to it. Still working out the ring size though. For some reasons, I'm finding this to be far difficult than searching for a diamond/ring!! haha
 
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