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HELP! Buying a large diamond on line-vs B&M store-

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
Hi all,
I need advise. My husband and I are looking for a large stone for me for an upgrade. We started months ago looking at local stores-(says) wholesale- and long standing jewelry stores in our city. I was given this site as a help from a friend which led us to Blue Nile, James Allen, Whiteflash etc where we have been looking. As novices we are overwhelmed. I find the B&M experience "comforting" my husband looks at them as just salesman wanting to make a sale for way too much $. I worry about buying a stone on line. We have watched many YouTube videos on the buying process dos and donts, and all about the 4Cs. We keep trying to figure out exactly how to balance the 4Cs but come to no decision. At the latest B&M store we were shown a 4.5c round stone-SI2, K color, triple excellent, slight fluor,for $62k. My husband didnt like the K color. The owner of the store wasnt going to bring this stone in as it had a K color but his supplier said it was one to see. They said they felt it was graded too low. It was a beautiful stone but my husband didnt like it or the $. We go home, he starts looking at similar stones on line and finds some but at a lot less $. So here we are again on the constant cycle of $ Online VS B&M. Can we trust a store? They told us on line only has the "dogs" of stones available, is this true? We have a good budget, we think, for a 4.5-5 ct round stone. So again, HELP! Thanks, Cindy
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,359
You have already been shown some of the stones that others have bought and there is a ton of reading info to be found on this site. There would not be thousands of people on this site that would have bought online if they were all 'dogs'. B&M stores will always tell you that about online purchasing as they want you to purchase from them. There have been many satisfied customers on this site that have bought from B&M stores as well so you can't completely count them out either. You have to decide what you want and who comes closest to having what you want for the money you are willing to spend.

My best advice to you would be to narrow down exactly what you are looking for in terms of size, color and clarity. I would only consider buying AGS or GIA graded stones to insure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. If you are working with a set budget, then tell us what that is and we will try to help you get the best cut stone in the largest size the budget will allow.

I will also add that you won't find a large supply of stones in the 4.5 - 5.0 range. It might be that you would have to contact a few vendors to inquire about the availability of stones in that size range. They do exist certainly but just may not be in house to access as readily as smaller carat weight stones.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,723
HI:

^. +1. Notwithstanding, there are excellent B & M stores that also have a strong online presence. You could have the ease of looking, online, at a database of stones, then have the stone called in to see at a B & M near to you.

Are you looking for a modern round brilliant? What is your budget?

cheers--Sharon
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
Yes I am. I want to be in the Ideal-excellent cut which I have been seeing is the most important? Again, so much information out there.
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,687
I have bought many ideally cut MRB stones online so yes, it is perfectly safe as long as you use a trusted vendor. I agree totally w/ MGR on her recommendations above.

So what is your budget and the specs that you are looking for? Stones in this size are quite pricey so I hope you have a realistic budget to match your wants and needs.
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
Thanks Missgotrocks for the information. Our budget is 70k, that being said, its crazy a lot of $ we feel we should be able to get a good stone in that size. Maybe some wiggle room-a big maybe. I current have a 2c center round stone at a vs1 J color that is great so that is what my husband is looking at in comparison to the upgrade stone. I think he is looking more toward a 5c size-even though Im not sure a size difference can be seen between 4.5-5, maybe price? In researching I think I want to begin with cut-Ideal/excellent-claritiy- if its "eye clean" Im ok with VS2? I think? color probably not below a J since that is what I have now. I have read that a lower color if it has fluor can be brighter and a lower cost. Its the idea of a lower color with fluor compared to a higher color rating. We have had this discussion on the "ratings" being pretty suggestive GIA/AGS person to person, is this correct? So when a B&M store says-this stone is this rating but to our eye through assessing it was graded too low, can we accept that as true? Or is the salesman coming through for a sale. Is a 4.5 ct K color SI2 triple excellent stone for $62 a bad price? Looking on the sites on line we do see similar stones lower cost. Again, the dimensions mentioned on the certs are hard to figure out-beyond the normal 4 Cs. Wow! I hope Im not being too complicated. I appreciate all of your help. Thanks, Cindy
 

Sagefemme

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
291
Honestly, not only is the online buying experience fine, it's BETTER than being in a store with a salesperson yapping at you and breathing down your neck.........with online diamond buying the stone is sent to your house, and you can view it to your heart's content in your own home and workplace, to see how it performs in your own settings, which of course is where you will be viewing the stone for the rest of your life. If you don't like it, send it back and get another one sent to you to look at. For a purchase of this size, whatever shipping costs you incur (and some online vendors will pay the shipping) are tiny compared to the cost of the diamond. I wouldn't do it any other way. I've bought diamonds from two different vendors recommended on this forum, and each time the buying experience was lovely.

And the quality of the experience aside, you will get a far better stone for your $$ online.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,359
stuandcindy|1459023191|4011409 said:
Thanks Missgotrocks for the information. Our budget is 70k, that being said, its crazy a lot of $ we feel we should be able to get a good stone in that size. Maybe some wiggle room-a big maybe. I current have a 2c center round stone at a vs1 J color that is great so that is what my husband is looking at in comparison to the upgrade stone. I think he is looking more toward a 5c size-even though Im not sure a size difference can be seen between 4.5-5, maybe price? In researching I think I want to begin with cut-Ideal/excellent-claritiy- if its "eye clean" Im ok with VS2? I think? color probably not below a J since that is what I have now. I have read that a lower color if it has fluor can be brighter and a lower cost. Its the idea of a lower color with fluor compared to a higher color rating. We have had this discussion on the "ratings" being pretty suggestive GIA/AGS person to person, is this correct? So when a B&M store says-this stone is this rating but to our eye through assessing it was graded too low, can we accept that as true? Or is the salesman coming through for a sale. Is a 4.5 ct K color SI2 triple excellent stone for $62 a bad price? Looking on the sites on line we do see similar stones lower cost. Again, the dimensions mentioned on the certs are hard to figure out-beyond the normal 4 Cs. Wow! I hope Im not being too complicated. I appreciate all of your help. Thanks, Cindy
If a GIA or AGS stone says K, it sells for the cost of a K color stone. It could be at the high or low end of a color grade but you are still paying for a K. If they felt it was truly graded too low, they would have sent it back for another look by GIA. Unless they could show me that in comparison to another stone or stones, I would take it as a sales gimmick.

There is no way to tell if the K color, SI2 stone is well priced at 62k without the specs of the stone meaning the table, depth, crown and pavilion angles. If it is poorly cut, it isn't worth much at all to me. All GIA triple excellent stones are not excellent cut - there is far too much leeway in their cut grading system to be absolutely rock solid sure of that.

Before you decide on any stone, please get the specifications from the GIA cert and post them here. You will be sure to get unbiased, educated information based on any stone,

Here is a super ideal cut stone from Whiteflash that is H in color and VS2 in clarity. You can see that the price reflects all of those elements. It is much whiter and clearer than the K color, SI2 stone you are referencing but only you can determine what color and clarity limitations are important to you. The lower color/clarity combos will show up more in a stone of this size so just something else to keep in mind.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3600672.htm?source=pricescope
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,687
MRB's tend to show color easily so I would stick to J and higher colored stones, depending upon your color tolerance. My personal favorite is an I color for the value. I would also be careful w/ SI2 stones in the 4+ ct weight size--eye clean SI2 stones are very hard to find.
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
HI Sagefemme,
The information is good, the diamond you sent me is so appreciated, prob way over budget even for a wiggle room, but great. On BlueNile- Im sure you are familiar-they dont carry K color diamonds, do you or anyone know why? Originally my husband and I thought it was because that color was not good. But then the fluor came into play. Hmm
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
Thanks m-2-b, we will take that info. Are you a seasoned buyer or professional? I am the hugest novice
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,687
stuandcindy|1459025188|4011428 said:
Thanks m-2-b, we will take that info. Are you a seasoned buyer or professional? I am the hugest novice
Not a professional but a diamond enthusiast, lol! I have also alerted Diamondseeker2006 to this thread so she can help you with your search like she has done for so many others!
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
Thank you so much I appreciate all of your help. I was looking at Diamond Pros a few months ago, Im not sure of them as they do take a $ from where I would purchase which I guess is ok but they they dont like WF, When through my contacts with WF I asked them directly about DPs they said they dont give commissions to referrals? So DPs wont recommend them at all saying they are not a good company? This has been in the last month, info. again, we are new at this. I dont want to stir up issues. :hand:
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,359
stuandcindy|1459025862|4011436 said:
Thank you so much I appreciate all of your help. I was looking at Diamond Pros a few months ago, Im not sure of them as they do take a $ from where I would purchase which I guess is ok but they they dont like WF, When through my contacts with WF I asked them directly about DPs they said they dont give commissions to referrals? So DPs wont recommend them at all saying they are not a good company? This has been in the last month, info. again, we are new at this. I dont want to stir up issues. :hand:
You have to realize that a company like Diamond Pros isn't going to recommend any company that they can't get a commission from. It has nothing to do with the company but more to do with the money. Do a search on any of these vendors and you will see their track records.

It is not necessary to pay anyone a commission for finding you a nice stone - there is too much help to be had from consumers and vendors free of charge.
 

Sagefemme

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
291
You will find many, many, MANY extremely satisfied Whiteflash customers on this forum. In fact, try to find a very dissatisfied Whiteflash customer on the forum with a legitimate gripe--it's not easy to find. I would be very curious what DiamondPros could possibly mean by "they aren't a good company." They clearly are a good company. There are very knowledgeable members of this forum who will give you, for free, the same type of advice you might get from Diamond Pros.
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
I thought that also, but some of the front runners to me as far as "sources" were ones who take commissions. DP the first one, there was another one I cant remember the name, had that info at the end of the dialog. I will keep a look out, Thanks!
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
On my first on line search I saw WF, I contacted their CHAT and was chatting with what was the owner, who knew, it was surprising. When I discovered this I asked her about it as it is unusual and she said she often gets on line with chat as she can. I also asked her about the WF names of Brian (sorry I cant remember his last name right now) she told me what they did. Interesting. We all have to trust people, this is such an emotional and costly venture, it makes us question everything, makes me crazy.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,359
Always be leery of anyone that wants to collect money from a company or yourself for their finders service. Do you contact a company to help you find a car? No. You can do that legwork yourself and don't need to have the price of anything bumped up to accommodate a company - and that's exactly what happens with the companies that they recommend you buy from.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,742
Stuandcindy: as the others have said--avoid the "finders" services. You don't need those. The forum posters at large can help you find a winner. Mom2Boys has extensive experience with stones of that size especially, but also with several vendors. But all of the regulars on here can definitely help you find a winner.

Sagefemme|1459026494|4011441 said:
You will find many, many, MANY extremely satisfied Whiteflash customers on this forum. In fact, try to find a very dissatisfied Whiteflash customer on the forum with a legitimate gripe--it's not easy to find. I would be very curious what DiamondPros could possibly mean by "they aren't a good company." They clearly are a good company. There are very knowledgeable members of this forum who will give you, for free, the same type of advice you might get from Diamond Pros.
Uh, don't go into absolutes with that one. Because I am one who was a VERY not happy customer with a significantly legitimate situation that colored them for the negative for me for good, and there are a few more beside me. But not because of their diamonds, it was because of their workmanship and customer service (lack thereof) after the sale. I would like to think it has improved since then since most posters are happy with them and Brian Boyne posts here often to help rectify issues that get posted here. Just so we're clear.

I have, however, had great experiences with Good Old Gold, Brian Gavin Diamonds and High Performance Diamonds. Repeatedly with all three.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,076
A nice thing about vendors like WF and others mentioned here is that not only are they proven to be trustworthy, they all have quite a public exposure here, no vendor is going to do something which would jeopardize the trust of Pricescopers. I hope that idea eases your mind a bit.
Could I suggest that when you are spending this much, might you consider a visit to the vendor of your choice?
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,742
Jimmianne|1459027902|4011458 said:
A nice thing about vendors like WF and others mentioned here is that not only are they proven to be trustworthy, they all have quite a public exposure here, no vendor is going to do something which would jeopardize the trust of Pricescopers. I hope that idea eases your mind a bit.
Could I suggest that when you are spending this much, might you consider a visit to the vendor of your choice?
I think this is EXCELLENT advice.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,737
Hi, and welcome! I will tell you that I have dealt with multiple vendors here, and both Whiteflash and Good Old Gold have actual showrooms or jewelry stores. It is not like ordering blind like you would from some vendors. They give you all the info on the stones. m2b has diamond from WF that is over 4 carats and she did that without going there. I have bought diamonds from them for studs in the past, and my daughter's engagement ring diamond came from them. I did actually get to go see their beautiful facility last month, but all my purchases there were done without going there. It's super easy because the diamonds are top cut quality! We have another member here who just bought a 5.5 ct ACA from WF in the last few weeks. They get new top diamonds in relatively frequently, so sometimes you just have to let them know what you are looking for, and then they can alert you when it comes in. I also have bought diamonds from Good Old Gold, and I have never been to their family owned jewelry store.

That K you were shown was very overpriced. Honestly, once I came here and found vendors with better stones for prices that were like local jewelers had for worse quality stones, I have only bought from these vendors since.

What I will tell you is that you will find more well cut stones closer to 4-4.5 cts than you will from 4.5-5. The reason is that when the weight gets close to 5, the cutter will try to reach 5 cts for the price increase at the expense of making the best cut. You will often find that for every carat range. Well cut stones will also not be so deep and may have a larger diameter than a stone of greater weight, as well. Always look at diameter and not just weight to compare visual size.

This is a good option:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3513231.htm

Please do not choose fluorescence based on it making the stone whiter. FL is fine if you just like it. But most lighting we are in does not have UV, so the stone is just not going to look whiter most of the time. It will look its color grade.

https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-flourescence
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,827
stuandcindy|1459017450|4011380 said:
Hi all,
So here we are again on the constant cycle of $ Online VS B&M. Can we trust a store? They told us on line only has the "dogs" of stones available, is this true? We have a good budget, we think, for a 4.5-5 ct round stone. So again, HELP! Thanks, Cindy
No, They are B.S.ing you!.. :bigsmile: You'll get the most "bang for the buck" buying online... ;))
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
909
Here's the "short course(s)":
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/preferred-specs-cheat-sheet-for-rounds.88548/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/preferred-specs-cheat-sheet-for-rounds.88548/[/URL]
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/preferred-specs-cheat-sheet-for-rounds.88548/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/preferred-specs-cheat-sheet-for-rounds.88548/[/URL]
http://niceice.com/diamond-buying-secrets/5-minutes-diamond-buying-success/
http://niceice.com/diamond-buying-secrets/engagement-ring-shopping-30-minutes-or-less/

Color: It's an individual preference. Many feel that J is too tinted for e-ring. I is where most people start noticing tint. That said, the larger the diamond, the more it concentrates tint, even though modern H&A superideas wash tint very, very well.

Inclusions: If you don;t get hung up on totally eye-clean at close distance, in all lighting, at an angle, from the side, etc. You can literally get a fantastic performer at half the price of the same thing in VS1 or VS2. And the larger the diamond, the larger the inclusions are permitted to be. A large diamond graded VS1 will have larger size inclusions than a 1ct VS1. The wearer is who sees the diamond the most, after the novelty of passing it around to friends and family wears off. After that, you are typically the only one who gets close enough to see any inclusions in not-completely-eye-clean diamond. Eyeclean is no longer anything I need. I can accept a couple of very discrete inclusions that don't immediately jump out. I'd rather have cut, color, and size, and non-eyeclean. Seriously.

Cut is what most of PS agrees is not to be compromised on.

The Internet dealers who are on Pricescope don't try to deceive anyone. They hand-pick their branded stones and stake their reputations on them. They do a far better job than the majority of B&M stores. Some, like Good Old Gold, actually have a retail store. Wink if High Performance Diamonds had his own store for years. Todd of NiceIce used to sell diamonds here on PS, and I believe he also had a store at one time. Overhead is lower is there is no actual B&M showroom. B2C Jewels and I.D. Jewelry have a reputation for finding nice diamonds that meet people's budgets.

eta: "In-House stones" are the ones that these dealers have handpicked as worthy of having in their possession to sell. Odds are that the best stones will be found there, and not on what is called the "virtual list," which is stones held by the cutter or wholesaler. Generall ythe great ones get snatched up to be in-house diamonds.

Also, AGS 000 grade is a stricter standard that GIA Excellent. GIA is too lenient and included some poor performers or bad values like "steep/deep" stones. There are vast discussions on here about problems with GIA Ex and why you need to run the HCA and get ASET images for those. AGS has already done that work for you and screens out the poor ones.
 

stuandcindy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
43
A beautiful stone, thank you. I will look at it with the expert at JA. I like that feature.
 
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