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Diamond shopping/ Zales? Online?

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NikKay

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
1
Hi,

I have been shopping around to upgrade my current wedding ring set. I found a Scott Kay platinum and 18 karat yellow gold wedding set. The engagement ring is bezel set with one round cubic zirconia measuring approximately 7.5 mm, but can be replaced with a diamond, the top of the ring measures approximatley 8.5 mm wide. The wedding band ( size 6 1/4) is set with 11 round brilliant cut diamonds having G color grade, VS2 clarity grade, weighing .33 carats total weight, ring measures 5.5 mm at the top. The rings together measure approximately 12.5 mm wide at the top and tapers to 4.0 mm at the bottom.

My current ring is 14k white gold with a .40 ct round center stone, and approximately .40 carats of channel set round diamonds on the side. It hasnt been appraised or graded, but the center stone is very white and pretty. I paid $1,000 for it. The band has 1/4 ct. channel set round diamonds, and I paid $300 for it. I also have an old engagement ring that came from Zales, it is platinum and 14 kt. with 1 cttw., it cost $2,200. I have the original receipt and can trade it in for full cost. I paid $300 for it. But the center stone in it is god-awful, cloudy, reflects almost no light, I cant believe Zales sold someone something like this for $2,200!

Questions:
How large of a diamond am I going to have to buy for the Scott Kay ring? Would it be a good deal to buy the loose stone from Zales @ a $1,900 discount? How can I get the best amount of money out of my current set?

Thanks!
 

bingbongbug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
61
Considering that you aren't "in" to your current rings for much money, I'd say forget about them and start all anew. Stay away from chain stores like Zales. They have little selection and -high- prices. Look around at home for the small jewelry stores, and look online. You'll do better, even considering the $1900 "discount" from Zales because they are waaay overpriced and sell what you can see for yourself is junk.

Good luck!
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
Hi Nikkay:

I wanted to reply and let you know my most recent experience since I have purchased diamonds from Zales.

In December I went to purchase my girlfriends christmas present from the mall. I met a salesman there, and he was very friendly and helped me to understand some of the basics of diamonds. I mentioned some of the ideal cut things I had heard about such as the Leo diamond cut, hearts and arrows, etc. He discounted most of this and the use of the differents scopes, such as the brilliance scope, firescope, etc. as gimmicks used in the industry to try and convince buyers that their specific diamond was better by finding a device that showed this. Unfortunately, I fell for the line and purchase $6K in earrings and a necklace from him. They were no doubt beautiful diamonds though, and I don't necessarily regret the purchase, but when I went back to buy the engagement ring recently, he wanted to sell me a $13,500 diamond ring from their "signature collection". This is the same collection I bought the earrings and necklace from, and these stones really had some great fire to them (at least to my untrained eye). I was almost ready to buy the stones, but I decided to do some internet research. My research took me to many sites, including this one, and I began reading everything that was posted here at pricescope. I learned quite a bit.

The first thing I did was punch in the diamonds already sold to me as excellent cut diamonds. It turns out that they really sold me Good cut diamonds by the HCA "Holloway Cut Advisor". These were all good across the board, which totally surprised me. They looked good to me afterall. I began searching more and more. I found that Zales utilizes IGI as their service of choice. It turns out that on many sites it explains that IGI has a very loose standard and tends to overstate diamonds (not a good thing for me). I then went through all the tutorials I could find on diamond grading, and learned a ton of information. Needless to say, I didn't buy the diamond from Zales....What did I get you might ask?

I purchased a diamond from a reputable dealer online recommended on many sites "Whiteflash.com". I spent $11364 for a 1.55 cts H VS2 diamond (The liberal rating on the good looking Zales diamond was I SI1, I wonder what it probably really was? and remember they wanted $13,500 for this diamond). This stone in the HCA was a 1.3 ideal cut diamond (Zales told me I could not afford an ideal cut diamond for the price range and cts I wanted, and that's why they didn't carry them because they were not good values for their customers money, and that you, and I quote "Couldn't tell the different anyway from one of their Signature series and an ideal cut", I think I beg to differ if you are a discriminating consumer, and also don't feel like being ripped off) Before I purchased this diamond from Whiteflash.com, I was able to review the Sarin results, the AGS certificate, a picture of the actual diamond, and what they call the "ideal scope" image (I believe this is their light leakage equivalent, the other pros on the board would know what this is).

So in the end....I received MORE diamond for the money (forgot to tell you that the diamond they wanted to sell me was 1.54 cts, so I got actually a little bit more), a better color, a better cut, a better clarity, a better price, and also received certification from AGS, a more respected and trusted firm, and I am having an independent auditor confirm all the results, so there are no questions about the diamond quality!

Now the final step, is to call the Zales rep and tell him that I'm sorry, I found a far better deal online and that I won't be purchasing diamonds from Zales any longer.

I hope this helps. I think that what people are told varies by the actual representatives that you may get in your local shops, but there was so much mis-information from even their manager when I tried to ask more questions that I now believe they are just out for the money and don't care about their customers (sorry to whoever was the Zales dealer posting in here).

Learn everything you can...make an informed decision....ask questions...if it doesn't sound right....RUN.

I guess this is also my chance to thank all of the people on the Pricescope boards. For their honesty and willingness to share the real information that can help an average consumer such as myself. Maybe one day someone will ask me...."Are you in the trade?"


Prothius
 

caratgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
634
Hi NikKay,

What is the cost of just the Scott Kay setting? Maybe you could trade in all of the other jewelry to just get the setting. That way, you have a nice quality setting for your new stone that you can purchase online.
 

diamond dazed

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
92
Great idea, Caratgirl! I think using the credit for a setting is a fabulous idea, but stay away from their diamonds. Their "discount" from your trade-in won't get you even close to what you can get around here.

Prothius, cool story! I'm so glad you found this board *before* you bought elsewhere. Somebody recently went through the process of trying to get a refund out of Zales, and, to their credit, they did finally give it, but it took a lot of unpleasant work on the part of the buyer/returner to get them to that point.

My DH and I were just discussing how cool this whole diamond thing is -- by stumbling on these boards, we now pay less, WAY LESS, for diamonds that are out-of-this-world beautiful. Sometimes I still get out my BPS (before Pricescope) diamonds and loupe them, then loupe my APS (after...) diamond (one so far, two more arrive today!) -- the difference is shocking. I can't believe how in-the-dark I was......

Congratulations, Prothius, on your purchase. I'm sure you're going to have some fun louping it when it arrives -- you did buy a loupe, didn't you? Everybody's gotta have one of those! ;-)

kris
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
Actually, as part of my purchase from Whiteflash, they provide a Free loupe, tweezers and diamond cloth! I'll be set to finally start looking at diamonds the way I hear you pros talking about it. I'm hoping to learn a lot by comparing the diamonds I bought from Zales and the new one I have coming. I just know there's going to be a world of difference!
 

knowverylittle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Messages
98
Good write up Prothius.

Last night we looked at a low-end and a high-end Mall Jeweler. The low-end store could care-less about us, the girl was slouched on her chair and probably chewing gum - finally she said "OK which one do ya' wanna' see then". From memory they were selling an I1 J 0.75ct for over $5K. Even sans-loupe it looked terrible.

Both stores probably had blue tinted lighting because I could not see much color in even a J stone. In a better Jeweler I once visited even a G color was easy to spot. If it is special lighting, then I think that it is a dirty trick to play on customers.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
----------------
On 1/7/2004 11:32:37 AM Prothius wrote:

Actually, as part of my purchase from Whiteflash, they provide a Free loupe, tweezers and diamond cloth! I'll be set to finally start looking at diamonds the way I hear you pros talking about it. I'm hoping to learn a lot by comparing the diamonds I bought from Zales and the new one I have coming. I just know there's going to be a world of difference!----------------

HeeeHeee! Pro! Try same universe! Solar system!


Be gentle when doing the introductions!
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Hi,

Zales is a store you DO NOT want to purchase from! Some chain stores have nice stones, but Zales is not on of them. . .and regardless of quality (or moreover, LACK of quality) you'll be highly overpaying.

Your best bet is just selling your ring through the paper or on eBay, cutting your initial losses and then buying a VERY nicely cut stone from one of the many reputable vendors mentioned on this site. In the long run, you'll save money AND you'll end up with a dazzling ring.

If you're looking to replace the 7.5 mm size, you're looking at a diamond around 1.5 carats.

Michelle
 

highendgems

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
51
whiteflash is a good and reputable dealer. however over $11K is a bit high for that stone. i did not catch if it was GIA certified? if so, then $11K is fair, you just did not get a big break by shopping online. if it EGL (Israel or International) certifed, you got ripped off. if it is EGL USA certified, you paid about 500-$1,000 too much (acceptable if it has alot of fire and nice cut). if it is IGI certified you probably bought a CZ (just kidding).

you would expect to pay around $11K in a reliable brick and mortors retailer (and i dont mean zales). no offense, but as far as i'm concerned zales is like buying a diamond at wal mart.

there are 3-4 reputable dealers that offer good prices online. some guy just bought the same specs (1.52ct) similar to your stone, but with a much better cut for under $7,200 at azabias. check recent posts for that thread.

still, seems like it is a beautiful stone and she will be thrilled!
 

highendgems

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
51
i read again and see AGS did the cert...very trusted lab, so brownie points there...they are probably the best. still, their parameters for ideal stones conflict somewhat with the HCA results. basically, you end up paying more for the super ideal name brand but you are getting nothing more than what a well cut stone should be IMO.

becuasue it is AGS, that means the color is probably a real H (maybe even G.) so you did not get ripped off at all...you could have just been a better shopper by going with a different lab and paying close attention to dimensions and angles and determining for yourself what the best 'ideal' cut is.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
DISCLAIMER: Highend doesn't have the FIRST clue what he's talking about. Take that with a grain of salt, please, before considering his comments.




Highend.....YET AGAIN....wrong. Why doesn't this surprise me?




Run a PS search, buddy.....diamonds of H, VS2 clarity in the 1.5-1.6 range are priced exactly comparable with the diamond listed here. Further, I also went to Azabias MYSELF....the stones there are NOT listed for 7K in the 1.5x, H, VS2 range....they run $9500-10500. Further, the fact that you are unaware of Whiteflash's willingness to work with someone's budget doesn't mean they cannot.




I'm telling you now....I am going to dog every single post you make and correct it until you get your head out of your extremities and STOP posting bogus information. You are doing more harm than good.
 

highendgems

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
51
shhh. are you a certified GIA gemologist? didnt think so. i am. i also am one of the largest tanzanite importers in the US, so i know what sources have the best material and prices as far as gemstones go. i didnt say the person got ripped off or taken advantge of...i simply said they did not save alot. im sorry, but over $11K is too much to pay online for a comparable ring. you are smoking something.

if you say paying over $11K ONLINE for a 1.5 is helping people, then i have 5 to sell you at that price.
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
What is the web address for Azabias? I don't think it was a ripoff for the diamond. There were a few other factors that I did not include in here about the diamond. Here are the exact specs for everyone to check out:

1.55 crt
Diameter: 7.52mm
Total depth: 60.6%
Pavil depth: 43.1%
Pavil Angle: 40.9 degrees
Crown Angle: 34.8 degrees
Table size: 56.1%
Culet .8%
Girdle min: 1.2%
Girdle max: 1.9%
Girdle avg: 1.5%
crown sarin variation: 34.6 deg to 34.9 deg
pavilion sarin variation: 40.6 deg to 41.1 deg
(both of the above measurements are from the sarin and represent the minimum and maximum numbers as seen on the sarin around the diamond)
Cut grade: AGS Ideal 0 rating
color grade: AGS 2.0 (H)
clarity grade: AGS 4 (VS2)
polish: ideal
symmetry: ideal
proportions: ideal

I have also attached the idealscope image, which to me I thought was outstanding. One of the best stones I have yet looked at (indeed my experience is limited, maybe someone could correct me if I'm wrong, plus I still don't totally know how to identify partial light leakage, whether the light pink I see in the picture below is partial light leakage or not).

When I compared all of this data, ran it in the HCA, looked at the idealscope image and all other images of the stone, I thought it was an amazing deal at $11K.

Anyone else agree, disagree? (Also, anyone know how to post multiple images here?)

Prothius, the really new student of Diamonds


IS_AGS-3651303.jpg
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
You got a great diamond at a good price from a great vendor.
Congrates!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
Prothius----pay NO attention to the idiot behind the curtain! He hasn't a clue......the only thing he seems to know about diamonds is that the word begins with the letter "d". THAT'S IT.




Yes, the stone is AMAZING by the numbers, but the proof is in the idealscope. It's a KILLER image.


And no, the pink areas are not leakage. Leakage in an idealscope image is seen as WHITE spaces. Further, you can tell that this idealscope image was taken in the proper lighting from white circle beneath.




Highend wouldn't know a diamond if it bit him in the ass. Don't worry, P......you got a great stone at a good price. The final proof of that will come if/when you put it to an independent appraiser.
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
Yeah thanks. From everything I could find I thought this was a killer deal that Brian and his team at whiteflash put together for me. When I talked to Brian, he said that even though the stone is rated as an H, it faces up very WHITE. I am just chomping at the bit to see this stone and compare it to the zales crap I've already bought. I just know this stone is gonna blow me away. I think that my girlfriend is gonna faint when she sees this stone.

Once again, I can't thank Whiteflash enough for taking care of such a newbie Diamond buyer such as me and teaching me so much about diamonds and the industry. I saw someone else write in another post that the best part of buying diamonds on the internet is the wait...I think I agree, there is definitely this euphoria about waiting for something this beautiful to arrive
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
Oh, I forgot to tell everyone in my diamond specs post that this Diamond is one of Whiteflash's "A Cut Above" series stones. These are handpicked stones by Brian that meet some serious scrutiny.

Take a look at the specs on my diamond, you'll see that this one is definitely "A Cut Above" everything else I was looking at!

Woohoo! can't wait!
 

diamond dazed

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
92
Wow, it is beautiful! That ideal scope pic is top notch. You're gonna love it. I hope you'll post again when you get it, can't wait to hear your reaction when you've actually got it there in front of you.

About that Zales stuff -- if both you and she find it nice, and she enjoys wearing it now -- do NOT loupe it. Please.
You won't ever feel the same about them if you do.... On the other hand, it will really make you appreciate what you've learned and what Brian sold you....

Congrats,

Kris
 

Prothius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
11
Yes I was thinking about that same thing on whether or not to loupe it. I think I will, but I won't tell my girlfriend what I've learned. She really loves how beautiful the stones, and that's why I know she'll be floored when she sees this "A Cut Above" stone from Whiteflash. I'm going to have some good learning louping them though. I've never louped a stone, and the jeweler in Zales only kind of told me how to use his, and I never saw anything. I'm going to be trying to find some loupe tutorials on the internet.

I think you're right about not spoiling the feeling for her current stones
, as they are really pretty. But they are gonna pale in comparison to this other stone I'm sure of it.
 
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