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Distinctive Gem or Alex Park?

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
Hello everyone,
My SO and I are in search of the perfect lab emerald cut diamond. Do you recommend working with Jonathan at Distinctive gem or Alex Park? Distinctive gem charges significantly more (thousands). We want a 3+ ct colorless vs1+. I know distinctive gem cuts their own ideal diamonds. Are they worth it?
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
13,649
Distinctive gem is amazing and easy to work with. Alex park has amazing offerings, but typically you need to enable notifications and jump on stones *immediately* in order to get them. It definitely won't be as easy or straightforward of an experience vs working with Rhino. I like both of them, but for something super critical like an e-ring stone I would recommend working with distinctive for ease and comfort.
 

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
Distinctive gem is amazing and easy to work with. Alex park has amazing offerings, but typically you need to enable notifications and jump on stones *immediately* in order to get them. It definitely won't be as easy or straightforward of an experience vs working with Rhino. I like both of them, but for something super critical like an e-ring stone I would recommend working with distinctive for ease and comfort.

Thank you! My gut has been telling me to stick with Jonathan with Distinctive Gem. My brain is telling me to save money. I want the best for the best value.
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
Thank you! My gut has been telling me to stick with Jonathan with Distinctive Gem. My brain is telling me to save money. I want the best for the best value.

Keep in mind that Jon/Rhino offers a free diamond concierge service to help you find the perfect diamond at the price you want...even if it's not from his inventory. It's a win, win!
 

Sprinkles&Stones

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
874
Jon 100% for sure, no questions. Why? Alex isn’t easy to work with. Jon is by far one of the easiest, patient, kindest vendors. I’ve made MANY purchases with him. Alex sells nice stuff, but you have to do all the heavy lifting and catch the good stuff vs the not so nice stuff. With Jon, anything you get is gonna be awesome. :)
 

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
381
Another vote for Jon - I have him my budget, my preferred specs, and he sourced two perfectly matched diamonds for me. Sooth, easy, and pretty good communication.

You don't have to purchase from his inventory, he will be able to find whatever you are looking for (as DejaWiz mentioned).

The "perfect" emerald cut will vary based on your tastes (although his August Vintage emerald cut is spectacular!), but you don't have to go that far (or spend the premium on that cut) to get a great stone.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
4,509
Getting a diamond from Alex is a bit like striking the lottery sometimes. They go so fast! So it can be quite hard to get one from Alex.

I guess it depends on how urgently you want the diamond and how much you are willing to pay… you pay more for better service and time… if you are very flexible and don’t mind trying your luck, then maybe Alex else I think Jon may be a less stressful purchase.
 

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
Jon 100% for sure, no questions. Why? Alex isn’t easy to work with. Jon is by far one of the easiest, patient, kindest vendors. I’ve made MANY purchases with him. Alex sells nice stuff, but you have to do all the heavy lifting and catch the good stuff vs the not so nice stuff. With Jon, anything you get is gonna be awesome. :)

Thank you! You’re making me feel much better!
 

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
Getting a diamond from Alex is a bit like striking the lottery sometimes. They go so fast! So it can be quite hard to get one from Alex.

I guess it depends on how urgently you want the diamond and how much you are willing to pay… you pay more for better service and time… if you are very flexible and don’t mind trying your luck, then maybe Alex else I think Jon may be a less stressful purchase.

Thanks! I prefer good quality from someone I can trust. :)
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
I would never spend money with Distinctive Gems because of racist content he failed to call out from his friends on his personal social media, but I get that that’s not a dealbreaker for everyone.

Do you know for a fact that he didn't have such a conversation either over the phone, in email/text, or face to face with them?
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
Of course not, but “liking”’ the racist comments really sends mixed signals if he called them out after.

You are at liberty to interpret and feel however you want about it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns...that can be useful and important.
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
So, I pondered a bit which lead to some research.
My opinion based on my findings is this: Jon has built up quite an amazing reputation over the decades and a very loyal clientele...not just in his area 40 miles east of NYC, but nationally and, to an extent, even globally.

His willingness and dedication to assist and educate anyone and everyone (Rhino's School of Rock on YouTube, for example) plus help them find the diamond/gemstone of their dreams (whether they buy from his stock or not) lays a precedence that he is an upstanding human.
The amount of positive and diverse customer testimonials here and across multiple business review sites instills a confidence that is getting harder and harder to find. Such a reputation is always earned, not given.

I'm going to echo what many other have stated in this thread: choosing Jon is likely to be the more advantageous route because of his willingness to ensure that the end result for each and every one of his clients (regardless of their walk of life) is, quite simply, happiness and satisfaction.
 
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MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
12,413
Of course not, but “liking”’ the racist comments really sends mixed signals if he called them out after.

This in general is a thing I (and I think many) have struggled with recently with divisive opinions being prominent on Facebook and social media. Do we separate the art from the artist’s personal perspectives? Is this something I should comment on so others know or is ignorance bliss? Is it my job as a consumer to do the research or their job to keep their personal views hidden if they don’t want it factoring in. For those that saw The Good Place they have an episode where they highlight how complex consumer decisions are these days. I think everyone makes this decision for themselves and draws their own line. And the concept isn’t new to diamonds (people wanting to support conflict free etc). For me personally, I read what I think Jpie is talking about and reached a similar conclusion, but that’s not at all to detract from the skill and customer service both of which are great.

Edit: I will be the first to admit I don’t do research. It’s more that once I know I can’t unknow. I also still buy from Amazon all the time even though it doesn’t align with my wanting to support small business and I think Jeff Bezos is a jerk. Just to say that there’s no “right” and I’m the last to judge lol.
 
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Cristallo

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
148
Have you tried to DM Alex? I have and found him straight to the point but in a good way. I was looking for a FY diamond and liked his honesty and would not hesitate to purchase from him.

We bought our e-ring from Jon. A couple of months ago I was interested to custom cut a pretty large earth grown diamond from his august vintage line. He promised to follow up with an estimate as soon as he had more price information but never did...It was disappointing especially since I was a returning client.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
9,387
The political position of some on social media sends me insane. Views on vaccines, and those who pretend that being required to have a vaccine equates to living in a police state makes me want to hit somebody. De-friend them at the very least. But I'll say this for Jon.....

I do business with him on occasion. But I de-friended him on social media due to our conflicting views on various issues that I hold dear. However, because so many of my friends follow him, his posts still occasionally pop up on my feed, and one about vaccines did that just the other day.

It was public, so I posted a clearly conflicting position. His response? He sent me a friend request, bless his little cotton socks!

Jon and I disagree about a lot of things. But we handle it with grace and a live-and-let-live attitude. Separating the political position from the person is essential in these times, which I can only compare to walking a minefield.

Being a (hardline) Democrat voting, pro environment, anti guns, conservative, evangelical Christian means that my ethical and political peer group numbers about...oh, let me think...about....what was that number again?...oh yes, I remember - ONE. I'm pretty sure I could find something I consider to be HUGELY important, ethical, fundamental, or downright imperative to disagree over with EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Yet somehow I still manage to have friends, a social circle, and vendors who I trust and with whom I deal, without compromising my morals or losing my voice. There's a limit, I agree. Hitler, for example, could be selling the biggest, most beautiful diamond on the planet for dollars in the single digits - and I'm still not buying. But somewhere between that - and common political disagreements - I can find enough common ground to be able to interact in a positive manner without feeling I'm selling my soul.

And, knowing Jon as I do, I'd advise people to be careful to separate his political position from his view of individual people, which I've always found to be positive.

My own experiences have taught me to be slow to judge. People's positions are complicated and multi-layered, and even their positions with which I might degree often co-exist in the one person with grace, generosity and deep morality.

People are complicated.

Re the vendors question - I've bought from both. I had one of the most beautiful diamonds I've ever owned for a jaw-dropping price from Alex, and a bunch of lovely things from Jon over the years. During that time, I've also still done business with Good Old Gold. So that hits all bases, pretty much. All experiences were good and the pieces I bought, outstanding. So in other words, after ALL those words...

I'm no help at all!
 

hmr_mama

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
494
Do you know for a fact that he didn't have such a conversation either over the phone, in email/text, or face to face with them?

Whoa. You’re accusing someone of being racist. That’s a heavy accusation. Can you please screenshot the racist content so the rest of us can make an informed assessment?
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
Whoa. You’re accusing someone of being racist. That’s a heavy accusation. Can you please screenshot the racist content so the rest of us can make an informed assessment?


I did no such thing. Did you quote the wrong post?
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
505
Sorry, I couldn’t find the original post in the thread and thought quoting your post in which you replied to it would quote you both. ‍♀️

Thank you for clarifying. :)
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
3,887
The political position of some on social media sends me insane. Views on vaccines, and those who pretend that being required to have a vaccine equates to living in a police state makes me want to hit somebody. De-friend them at the very least. But I'll say this for Jon.....

I do business with him on occasion. But I de-friended him on social media due to our conflicting views on various issues that I hold dear. However, because so many of my friends follow him, his posts still occasionally pop up on my feed, and one about vaccines did that just the other day.

It was public, so I posted a clearly conflicting position. His response? He sent me a friend request, bless his little cotton socks!

Jon and I disagree about a lot of things. But we handle it with grace and a live-and-let-live attitude. Separating the political position from the person is essential in these times, which I can only compare to walking a minefield.

Being a (hardline) Democrat voting, pro environment, anti guns, conservative, evangelical Christian means that my ethical and political peer group numbers about...oh, let me think...about....what was that number again?...oh yes, I remember - ONE. I'm pretty sure I could find something I consider to be HUGELY important, ethical, fundamental, or downright imperative to disagree over with EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Yet somehow I still manage to have friends, a social circle, and vendors who I trust and with whom I deal, without compromising my morals or losing my voice. There's a limit, I agree. Hitler, for example, could be selling the biggest, most beautiful diamond on the planet for dollars in the single digits - and I'm still not buying. But somewhere between that - and common political disagreements - I can find enough common ground to be able to interact in a positive manner without feeling I'm selling my soul.

And, knowing Jon as I do, I'd advise people to be careful to separate his political position from his view of individual people, which I've always found to be positive.

My own experiences have taught me to be slow to judge. People's positions are complicated and multi-layered, and even their positions with which I might degree often co-exist in the one person with grace, generosity and deep morality.

People are complicated.

Re the vendors question - I've bought from both. I had one of the most beautiful diamonds I've ever owned for a jaw-dropping price from Alex, and a bunch of lovely things from Jon over the years. During that time, I've also still done business with Good Old Gold. So that hits all bases, pretty much. All experiences were good and the pieces I bought, outstanding. So in other words, after ALL those words...

I'm no help at all!

It goes beyond political views and gets personal when it’s posting and encouraging racist remarks of the type that has led to the rise of hate crimes against people of my ethnic background. I choose not to contribute to the livelihood of the people who perpetuate that even if others on the internet really like him. I do respect that it’s a choice each person gets to make.

@hmr_mama I posted the original comment that Deja quoted. I deleted my post because I didn’t want to deal with replies like yours, but Deja already quoted me around the same time I deleted my post. I figured at that point that the horse is out of the barn.

I will not be posting the racist content and engaging any further because I don’t need the trauma of justifying my feelings to have them invalidated when the inevitable handful of PSers declare that it’s not racist and some people think everything is racist.
 
Last edited:

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
So, I pondered a bit which lead to some research.
My opinion based on my findings is this: Jon has built up quite an amazing reputation over the decades and a very loyal clientele...not just in his area 40 miles east of NYC, but nationally and, to an extent, even globally.

His willingness and dedication to assist and educate anyone and everyone (Rhino's School of Rock on YouTube, for example) plus help them find the diamond/gemstone of their dreams (whether they buy from his stock or not) lays a precedence that he is an upstanding human.
The amount of positive and diverse customer testimonials here and across multiple business review sites instills a confidence that is getting harder and harder to find. Such a reputation is always earned, not given.

I'm going to echo what many other have stated in this thread: choosing Jon is likely to be the more advantageous route because of his willingness to ensure that the end result for each and every one of his clients (regardless of their walk of life) is, quite simply, happiness and satisfaction.

Thank you! We have decided to move forward with Jonathan. He has been incredible to work with!!
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
5,086
Thank you! We have decided to move forward with Jonathan. He has been incredible to work with!!

You won’t regret it. Jonathan is so easy to work with and he has such a warm personality. I’ve purchased from both Jonathan and Parks and, while I love both diamonds, the experience I had with Jonathan is top notch. Parks‘s diamonds are priced very well but they go extremely quickly...which can be frustrating if you are trying to snag one (or miss the “perfect” one. I think, for an engagement ring, that Jon is the perfect choice.
 

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
You won’t regret it. Jonathan is so easy to work with and he has such a warm personality. I’ve purchased from both Jonathan and Parks and, while I love both diamonds, the experience I had with Jonathan is top notch. Parks‘s diamonds are priced very well but they go extremely quickly...which can be frustrating if you are trying to snag one (or miss the “perfect” one. I think, for an engagement ring, that Jon is the perfect choice.

Thank you! Thank you!!!!
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
9,387
It goes beyond political views and gets personal when it’s posting and encouraging racist remarks of the type that has led to the rise of hate crimes against people of my ethnic background. I choose not to contribute to the livelihood of the people who perpetuate that even if others on the internet really like him. I do respect that it’s a choice each person gets to make.

@hmr_mama I posted the original comment that Deja quoted. I deleted my post because I didn’t want to deal with replies like yours, but Deja already quoted me around the same time I deleted my post. I figured at that point that the horse is out of the barn.

I will not be posting the racist content and engaging any further because I don’t need the trauma of justifying my feelings to have them invalidated when the inevitable handful of PSers declare that it’s not racist and some people think everything is racist.

Hmmm. I understand the whole "I'm not going to justify this and have no need to" response - but you*have* also opened the door to accusing Jon of being a racist, and you need to justify that or retract. Throwing it out there then running is not ok.

My god kids, who are like my kids, are Asian. And if a vendor with whom I do business is also racist, I'll be the first to jump on the wagon of blame. But I don't believe for one second that Jon is racist, and I can't find this post to which you're referring. So none of this is holding water and I feel this thread needs to be deleted.

Threads like this are out there forever, and having one in existence that accuses a member of being racist is like an unexploded bomb.
 

phatenigma

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
12
Have you tried to DM Alex? I have and found him straight to the point but in a good way. I was looking for a FY diamond and liked his honesty and would not hesitate to purchase from him.

We bought our e-ring from Jon. A couple of months ago I was interested to custom cut a pretty large earth grown diamond from his august vintage line. He promised to follow up with an estimate as soon as he had more price information but never did...It was disappointing especially since I was a returning client.

I did and he said to remind him on Monday.
 
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