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Diamond District Pricing?

needadvicepls

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
7
My boyfriend and I have been shopping around in the Diamond District in NY for an engagement ring. This is our first time ever buying a stone here. We've bought small pieces of jewelry for gifts and such but never made a purchase this big! Almost all the vendors we went to give us prices based off the Rapaport list. My question is, does this list make a distinction between different grading labs and cuts of diamonds? Or, is it really just an average pricing guide based on clarity and color? We were shown several GIA stones as well as EGL but saw the price come from the same list. I am pretty familiar with internet pricing after months of research and some stones seemed absolutely overpriced. Can anyone explain this to me? Also, is there any room to haggle in the DD or are prices pretty much set?

Thanks!!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,780
Dealers can charge whatever they want.

The Rap list is, theoretically, NY high cash wholesale asking prices for commercial quality goods with accurate grading. That's what Mr. Rapaport says about it anyway. Whether this is to believed is an entirely different question. If you're familiar with online shopping you'll find that it's MUCH more effective to compare specific offers from specific vendors on specific stones than to try and use a hypothetical model of what things should cost. Those dealers can charge whatever they want too, but at least this is basing prices on solid offers for real merchandise. It's not a cooincidence that the retailers would like you to be relying on Rap and are happy to show it to you but they tend to get really offended when you produce printouts off of the Internet that you show to THEM. This is true no matter what their address is and no matter what they call themselves these days (most retailers now call themselves 'wholesalers' and a few even call themselves manufactures, importers, cutters, etc.). It just doesn't much matter. Keep your eye on the deal. If you want to know what EGL graded stones cost elsewhere, look and see what those cost. If you want to see what GIA-xxx's cost, look those up. Rap has nothing to do with it.

Will they haggle? Sure. They may not flex much and they may go a long way but it never hurts to ask. Again, pay attention to the deal at hand, not the 'regular' price that they're supposedly discounting from. They can charge whatever they want, but you don't have to buy. It's not like there's a great shortage of competitors. :-o
 

needadvicepls

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
7
Hi denverappraiser,

Thank you so much for your reply! It definitely cleared up some of my confusion :) We're going back to the district this weekend to look at a few stones we saw last weekend and I've done some online price research as you suggested.

Thanks again!!
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Just out of curiosity, can I ask why you decided to shop in the diamond district instead of with an online vendor? There is no wrong answer, I'm just curious. :)
 

needadvicepls

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
7
Well to be honest, we are doing a little of both. We live close to the diamond district and decided to start our search there so we could physically see the stones and settings. My BF and I wanted to see what stone sizes we liked, what color we are comfortable with, etc. Since we are both new to this it was a lot more helpful to narrow down what we want compared to using an online vendor. We had a few recommendations of jewelers from friends so we decided to check them out.

I am also reaching out to online vendors. Once we sort of settled on what we want, it made it easier to get in contact with online vendors and discuss the specs we're looking for. We actually have a few appointments next week to look at stones.

We're just trying to cover all bases :)
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Sounds like a perfect approach! :appl: And congratulations! Come back and let us know what you decided on, I can't wait to see pictures!!
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,680
needadvicepls|1308868127|2953409 said:
Well to be honest, we are doing a little of both. We live close to the diamond district and decided to start our search there so we could physically see the stones and settings. My BF and I wanted to see what stone sizes we liked, what color we are comfortable with, etc. Since we are both new to this it was a lot more helpful to narrow down what we want compared to using an online vendor. We had a few recommendations of jewelers from friends so we decided to check them out.

I am also reaching out to online vendors. Once we sort of settled on what we want, it made it easier to get in contact with online vendors and discuss the specs we're looking for. We actually have a few appointments next week to look at stones.

We're just trying to cover all bases :)
That is a very very good strategy.
Just don't get talked into buying anything from the diamond district sharks.
After your diamond education you will see that you can get a much better diamond at a much better price with much more generous policies from a PS vendor.

But looking in person to discover YOUR color an clarity comfort zone and size preference is smart, since you have to see diamonds in person for that.

Also keep in mind to ONLY look at diamonds graded by GIA or AGS.
Color and clarity is often graded 2 or more grades more forgiving by other labs.
That makes diamonds graded by those labs seem to be a bargain, at least until you learn that their reports are lies.
A diamond that EGL graded F VS2 may get a H SI2 or worse from GIA or AGS.
Shocking, but true. :nono:
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
kenny|1308869163|2953416 said:
needadvicepls|1308868127|2953409 said:
Well to be honest, we are doing a little of both. We live close to the diamond district and decided to start our search there so we could physically see the stones and settings. My BF and I wanted to see what stone sizes we liked, what color we are comfortable with, etc. Since we are both new to this it was a lot more helpful to narrow down what we want compared to using an online vendor. We had a few recommendations of jewelers from friends so we decided to check them out.

I am also reaching out to online vendors. Once we sort of settled on what we want, it made it easier to get in contact with online vendors and discuss the specs we're looking for. We actually have a few appointments next week to look at stones.

We're just trying to cover all bases :)
That is a very very good strategy.
Just don't get talked into buying anything from the diamond district sharks.
After your diamond education you will see that you can get a much better diamond at a much better price with much more generous policies from a PS vendor.

But looking in person to discover YOUR color an clarity comfort zone and size preference is smart, since you have to see diamonds in person for that.

Also keep in mind to ONLY look at diamonds graded by GIA or AGS.
Color and clarity is often graded 2 or more grades more forgiving by other labs.
That makes diamonds graded by those labs seem to be a bargain, at least until you learn that their reports are lies.
A diamond that EGL graded F VS2 may get a H SI2 or worse from GIA or AGS.
Shocking, but true. :nono:

This is fantastic advice. Because of the recent price increase of diamonds there have been many more questions regarding EGL certed stones, and as Kenny just pointed out, though they appear to be a better value they are NOT, so don't fall the old pitch about certs only being as good as the person grading them,because as Kenny pointed out to me once, though this might be true, if an EGL guy started grading stones as strictly as a GIA guy, he would lose his job, likewise if a GIA guy started graded stones as loosely as the EGL he would lose his as well. Sorry Kenny if I didn't put that quite as well as you did when you gave me that advice! :)
 

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
Hi everyone!

This thread sounds exactly like what my BF and I are going through right now! Thanks so much for everyone's advice!
 
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