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FCD's in St. Thomas??

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
We'll be traveling to St. Thomas next month and wondered if there were any REPUTABLE jewelers for fancy colored diamonds? We go every couple of years, but I usually am buying brand name jewelry (Chopard, Doris Panos,etc) and I already know US prices and quality ahead of time and know the stores in St. Thomas that carry them are reputable and authorized dealers. But with FCD's where should I look? I'm not necessarily looking for a bargain- but wouldn't want to get ripped off or scammed either. Where I live in the US almost no stores carry them, so it's difficult to see them in person. I know there are several online dealers, but I'd at least like to see some in person that are nice stones. Any recommendations?
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,400
Be VERY careful.
There are some good retail jewelers there- but they are mixed in with a lot of less than good ones.
As you've already pointed out, a brand name is easy to verify- but with Fancy Colored diamonds there's a lot of potential pitfalls.

The best jewelers in St Thomas will be glad to mail you a purchase- so you might want to pick out a stone (or a few)- then come back, check around and order if you feel one is the right stone for you.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,946
I'd never buy any fine gems, especially FCDs which are so expensive and specialized, at a tourist mecca.

I collect GIA-graded natural FCDs and all of mine below are from www.fancydiamonds.net aka Leibish & Co.
They have around 1000 FCDs in stock and have superb service.
I've even returned/exchanged several with no hassle.

I agree with you that seeing FCDs in person is the best.
FCDs change their color and look dramatically in real life as you move them around - so how can you capture its personality and color in any pic?
I've bought about 20 online from Leibish and returned 8 of them.
If I had seen them live I may not have returned any.
I will also add that I'm a photographer and, after viewing 20 examples, IMHO Leibish has very true to life FCD pics.

Recently I saw many of Leibish's FCDS live in Las Vegas at a gem show and walked away with the blue emerald cut below that I had not liked online.
If you can swing it and are serious about seeing a huge selection of FCDs (small and large, entry-level to high end) live, I recommend flying Israel to view their FCD collection in person.
If I could start over that's what I'd do.
If that ain't gonna happen Leibish has an excellent return policy.
They even wire the funds back into your account if that's how you paid.

fcd3.png
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
thank you RockDiamond for the warning and Kenny(you have a beautiful collection) for the suggestion. However, we are not going to St. Thomas to specifically look for diamonds or jewelry-just a needed break, and I thought if anyone had suggestions for any fancy colored diamond jewelers while we were there I'd check them out.
Not sure a trip to Israel will be anytime in the near future (LOL)-maybe Vegas next year =)
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,946
If you DO see FCDs while on vacation I'd only consider FCDs that were graded natural by GIA. PERIOD!
Also I'd avoid older reports as GIA is constantly developing new techniques to detect new manipulations by man.
It's a cat and mouse game.

Also to get a feeling for the price, look for a comparable FCD online.
You'd never find a perfect match but you may get some idea what premium you are paying when buying at a B&M in a tourist mecca.

I'm not saying don't buy.
I'm just offering suggestions that may help make a better informed decision.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,400
You're welcome PJ!

St Thomas is LOVELY!
It's an amazing tourist destination.
Sure clean beaches- and the ocean is like a bath- nice and warm!.
I'd suggest taking a boat ride over to St John.
Go to Megan's Bay ( sp?)- it's a lovely beach

I liked renting a car there- but I'm adventurous- they drive on the "wrong" (left) side of the road there.

I'm sure you'll see some FCD's there- and it's a great opportunity to pick up some hands on viewing time. Make sure to look at the stones or rings in lots of different lighting- not just the strong showcase lights

Before I opened Diamonds by Lauren, I used to supply diamonds to the jewelers in St Thomas.
I stopped selling there once the site took off - it's been about 10 years already.
But I did go back to visit to find a lot more FCD's that I used to see back when I sold there.
One of the storekeepers told me that I was the first salesman to sell FCD's to the jewelers there- at the time they only sold white ( or K-L-M color) diamonds. That made me feel very nice:)
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
kenny|1312403931|2983379 said:
Contact NCDIA, Natural Color Diamond Association

http://www.ncdia.com/where-to-buy/member-list-wtb/trade-members/

I don't see a listing in St. Thomas but perhaps they could assist you in finding one.


NCDIA
52 Vanderbilt, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10017
phone: 212-644-9747
fax: 212-840-0607
e-mail: [email protected]
thanks, Kenny- that's a great idea!! I'll get in touch with them. I knew to only use GIA reports, but didn't think about the older ones not being correct. I probably won't buy anything there, sounds too risky, but it should be fun to look!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Messages
8,400
It's not accurate to say that older GIA reports are necessarily a problem.

Given the difficulty grading these colors, even GIA is not all that consistent in the color grades.
I do agree that over time they've changed in a general sense- but that does not mean older reports are, per se, problematic.

Of course the scope of the project has a bearing on this as well- a $4000 Fancy light Yellow is not in the same category as a $500,000 Fancy Intense Green
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
Rockdiamond|1312405207|2983396 said:
You're welcome PJ!

St Thomas is LOVELY!
It's an amazing tourist destination.
Sure clean beaches- and the ocean is like a bath- nice and warm!.
I'd suggest taking a boat ride over to St John.
Go to Megan's Bay ( sp?)- it's a lovely beach

I liked renting a car there- but I'm adventurous- they drive on the "wrong" (left) side of the road there.

I'm sure you'll see some FCD's there- and it's a great opportunity to pick up some hands on viewing time. Make sure to look at the stones or rings in lots of different lighting- not just the strong showcase lights

Before I opened Diamonds by Lauren, I used to supply diamonds to the jewelers in St Thomas.
I stopped selling there once the site took off - it's been about 10 years already.
But I did go back to visit to find a lot more FCD's that I used to see back when I sold there.
One of the storekeepers told me that I was the first salesman to sell FCD's to the jewelers there- at the time they only sold white ( or K-L-M color) diamonds. That made me feel very nice:)
Hi RD,
We always rent a car when we go!! We'd go stir crazy staying at the resort. We have our favorite restaurants that we always go to-so definitely use the car daily. Megan's Bay is pretty, but a little too touristy for us. I agree with going to St. John's- the ferry in Red Hook is close to the Ritz which is where we always stay.
I've been reading recently about increased gang violence in St. Thomas- such a shame. It seems to be scaring away many tourists. Since we generally visit every 2 years, I'll be interested to see if the "vibe" on the island has changed. After a young girl from one of the cruise lines got shot near Megan's Bay last summer, I have heard that some cruise lines are considering not visiting St. Thomas anymore.Hope it does not suffer the same fate as St. Croix.
By the way since you used to supply jewelers there- who do you consider the better, most ethical ones?
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,400
you're welcome PJ!
There's been some violence in St Thomas for many years- but thankfully, I've never experienced it.
A USN sailor was shot back in the '90's and the fleet stayed away for a while- but came back.
It's one of the largest ( most popular) cruise ports in the Carib- so I doubt the boats will stop coming.

In terms of recommendations: I'm not allowed to make any, as a trade member.
There are a few prominent stores that have been the subject of complaints here on PS though...if you search, you should be able to find those at least....

Also- NCDIA is a trade group, that is correct- but it's a paid group so that the recommendations made by NCDIA are based on stores paying for those recommendations- which puts some context to what they say.
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
Well- I've definitely heard complaints about DI. I think a lot of the big stores that give the cruise ships kickbacks should be avoided. I'll probably just stick to my favorite jewelers there- I've always been happy with my purchases from them.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,400
Oh- you already have fave's there!

Great!!!
Tell Satish I said hi :naughty:

Seriously that does make this a lot easier for you.
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
Rockdiamond|1312410251|2983477 said:
Oh- you already have fave's there!

Great!!!
Tell Satish I said hi :naughty:

Seriously that does make this a lot easier for you.
Not sure who Satish is... do I get a hint?
 

rubyshoes

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
585
KENNY! That picture of your FCDs almost stopped my heart! Death by diamonds :lickout:
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,400
pinkjewel|1312411826|2983500 said:
Rockdiamond|1312410251|2983477 said:
Oh- you already have fave's there!

Great!!!
Tell Satish I said hi :naughty:

Seriously that does make this a lot easier for you.
Not sure who Satish is... do I get a hint?
Sorry PJ- I should have explained that one....
Satish is a VERY common name for the sect of Indian folks that populate the jewelry stores in St Thomas- they are called "Sindhi"

Since it's such a common Sindhi name, it was possible you'd know someone in your favorite jewelry store there with that name.
Silly joke.

By the way, the Sindhi word for "thank you" is Shukria ( shoo-kree-ah)- in case you want to impress them.
I have some doozies if you want to insult them but let's skip those.
I always seem to learn a few nice words, as well as a few dicey ones in foreign languages.....
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
Rockdiamond|1312478227|2984122 said:
pinkjewel|1312411826|2983500 said:
Rockdiamond|1312410251|2983477 said:
Oh- you already have fave's there!

Great!!!
Tell Satish I said hi :naughty:

Seriously that does make this a lot easier for you.
Not sure who Satish is... do I get a hint?
Sorry PJ- I should have explained that one....
Satish is a VERY common name for the sect of Indian folks that populate the jewelry stores in St Thomas- they are called "Sindhi"

Since it's such a common Sindhi name, it was possible you'd know someone in your favorite jewelry store there with that name.
Silly joke.

By the way, the Sindhi word for "thank you" is Shukria ( shoo-kree-ah)- in case you want to impress them.
I have some doozies if you want to insult them but let's skip those.
I always seem to learn a few nice words, as well as a few dicey ones in foreign languages.....
thanks, RD for clearing my fog- I'll be sure and tell Satish "hi" from you :D
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
I had a friend who bought brand name jewelry in St. Thomas (David Yurman), and when she was back in the states, she realized it was not the real thing. The exact shapes on necklace were not the same as the ones sold in the US. It was really sad. I was a Neiman Marcus with her when she figured it out. Buyer beware.
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
pregcurious|1312509185|2984499 said:
I had a friend who bought brand name jewelry in St. Thomas (David Yurman), and when she was back in the states, she realized it was not the real thing. The exact shapes on necklace were not the same as the ones sold in the US. It was really sad. I was a Neiman Marcus with her when she figured it out. Buyer beware.
I've bought several DY pieces in St. Thomas from Jewels- they are an AD with a very large DY boutique. They are very reputable and everything I have bought from them is authentic. I would not purchase DY from any other jeweler in St. Thomas.
 

satbeachbill

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
38
If you want to just go and see a large selection of FCD's is St Thomas then go to Ballerina's downtown. Lots to see and most are labbed by GIA. At least there you will be able to compare anything you want....side by side in person. :love:
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,210
thank you - I will check it out!! =)
 
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