by fenix » May 24, 2011 Introduction: Prior to my review, I want to include some background information on how I ended up shopping with Excel Diamonds. As a couple we fell in love with the Tiffany channel set engagement ring with a round center stone. We had tried it on a few times, and decided this was to be the one for us. Tiffany’s asking price of $14,500+ including tax definitely made me look for other options. I had searched all the main sites but couldn’t find a setting that matched the beauty of the one we wanted. I came to Pricescope looking for some last minute help/guidance, and a few posters recommended I check out Excel Diamonds for a custom replica of that setting. I saw a few pictures of it here from people who had purchased the setting from Excel and it looked strikingly similar. Excel had a lot of positive feedback so I decided to inquire with them even though I was leaning heavily towards buying it at Tiffany’s because I knew what to expect. Fortunately I didn’t, and here’s my experience: Customer Service: I almost exclusively dealt with Judah, the Director of Sales, through email. I found him extremely helpful as he answered my dozens of emails quickly and with great detail. I tend to be very meticulous and ask a lot of questions. Every response I received from Judah was professional, thorough, and completely attentive to all my concerns. After a few days of back and forth emails, he absolutely earned my business. Never once did I feel any sales pressure and that was greatly appreciated as it took me a few weeks from our initial contact to finally make my purchase. Now it was just a matter of finding the right diamond. Through this step is where I feel Judah went above and beyond. I am a numbers guy, I created a spreadsheet with the top 10 diamonds I was interested in (1 carat, G-H, VS1-VS2) with prices ranging from $8,000-$10,000. I had HCA calculations, H&A ideal specs, you name it. I shared this with Judah, and he recommended a specific stone (1.01/G/VS2) and sent me a detailed report including pictures of it. The stone was in my top 3 based on HCA numbers, however I was concerned because it was “only” a VS2, and it was towards the lower end of my price range. He repeatedly assured me this stone had the most sparkle out of my top 3 and I would not be disappointed at all. He went on to explain in great detail how anything above a VS2 would only affect the price of the diamond as it is rarer, however it would have no impact at all on what I would actually be able to see. I also appreciated that given such a wide range in prices, he didn’t immediately try to sell me on why the most expensive one was the best. I felt that showed a lot of integrity. At this point, I wanted to have a quick final conversation on the phone prior to placing the order. I wrote down a few last concerns I had, and expected a ten minute phone call is all it would take to address them. Judah took well over an hour to educate me on many topics (many of which I didn't even ask), erase all my concerns and give me all the confidence that this was a great diamond. Without reservation I placed the order online. Quality: Waiting almost 2 weeks for the ring to arrive was exciting, and also generated quite a bit of anxiety. Would the ring actually meet my expectations? I can say without a doubt the ring exceeded far beyond what I ever imagined. It is simply gorgeous. I looked at it under all different lighting conditions and it sparkles immensely. I struggle with words to describe it, and it’s near impossible to take a photo that captures its beauty. I will attach a few pictures of the ring (taken with a top digital SLR), but trust me it looks infinitely better in person. I can not wait to see the look on her face when she sees it! (and her family & friends too!) I took it to get an independent appraisal for insurance purposes, and the appraiser confirmed all the obvious. The diamond matched the GIA certificate and it’s absolutely beautiful and of great quality. Conclusion: If you are in the market for an engagement ring, without a doubt I recommend contacting Judah at Excel Diamonds. If you are a fan of the Tiffany channel setting, trust me & save yourself significant money and get it through Excel. It was about 30% cheaper through Excel with a better quality center stone, and it looks the same if not better. I have every intention of getting her the matching wedding band from Excel, and will put them at the top of my list for any diamond purchases in the future. As a sign of my appreciation for the Pricescope community, and for the service I received from Excel diamonds, I felt it was necessary to share my experience with you all. If you are looking for first class service, a stunning product, and a great price, take my word that Excel diamonds is an excellent and honest vendor. I’m so thankful I was referred to them and I recommend anyone in the market for a diamond to reach out to them. You will not be disappointed. Thanks to everyone here for offering their advice and opinions. And a very special thanks to Judah and the staff at Excel Diamonds for a wonderful shopping experience and for creating a stunning engagement ring.