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Help experts. B&M vs. Online (Maintenance? Price?)

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sincraft

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
15
Ok,
well been working on this for awhile now. About a year off and on and , whenever going to a ''mall'' jewellery stores, I ask for what I am looking for, I get strange looks - attitude, and a ''You better be ready to pay $20,000 for these items:
-VS1 or better.
-Very good Symmetry and Polish
-D,E, or F color
-No culet
-No flouresence
-Princess cut

-At least 1.01 in size to 1.08

So, I am confused. Why is it I can find exactly what I am looking for more or less from $5-$8k?

The settings we looked for are WAY too big for here liking. We finally found one that is great (princess side stones with matching band)....

However like I said, I am totally confused as to why the B&M stores are SOOOO much more other than overhead of course.
They NEVER have the stones I am looking for and all have to call me back after an extensive search and proclaim prices from so far $17k to $25k!!!!!

So my question is, can anyone tell me of the top online dealers.
I would never buy without viewing and realize some do ship to a jewellery store near you or appraiser. Lately though I haven''t found my links to the online vendors that ship to a jewellery store near me, only a ''trusted'' appraiser. (back pocket dealers?)

Finally AND MY BIGGEST ISSUE. ALL Mall stores offer free insurance for up to $15k as long as you bring your ring in for maintenance every 6 months and they say that without this maintenance, you WILL eventually lose your princess cut diamond out of your setting!!)

Therefore, does that totally negate the possibility of buying a diamond online. We haven''t researched the possibility of our homeowners covering it, but what about the maintenance. If it is free for life from say ''litmans'' who has been in business for over 80 years and will continue to be around, how much is maintenance every 6 months?

I thought I had things figured out until all of these issues popped up.

Thanks for your input!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,052
Please do not consider for another moment that the "warranty" offered by a jewelry store would take the place of your own insurance on a diamond (not to mention that the conditions are rather restrictive)! You can get a stand-alone jewelry policy from either Chubb or Jeweler's Mutual, and your homeowners is also an option. My stone is currently on the homeowners, but we are thinking of switching to Chubb. Do a search on this forum and you'll see pros and cons of the options I mentioned.

The top dealers of princess stones as far as I am concerned...considering reputation, service, honesty, and high quality stones would be Good Old Gold, WhiteFlash, and Winfields. Sites can be located by looking above under Resources, then Diamond Vendors.

You're going to be happy to see some wonderful stones that meet your specs!!!

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/1978/

http://www.whiteflash.com/aca_princess/A-Cut-Above-Princess-cut-diamond-54174.htm
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,052
Just wanted to add that those vendors will allow you to pay for the stone, send it to you, and give you from 10-30 days to send it back if you don''t want it (WF and Winfields 10, Good Old Gold 30). I have done this with two of the three with no problems whatsoever. This works well when there are none of the reputable independent appraisers nearby.
 

sincraft

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
15
Hmm the question I have is why is the price such a difference?

Also - you mentioned that the in store insurance is not comparable to home owners or chubbs? As in, the in store is better or nowhere close to as good?

Whiteflash I visited. Was not impressed with the selection and they seem to be pushing a signature princess cut and another with clipped corners. Based on my months of reading these 'custom' stones are attmepts to take otherwise lower grades stones and boosting their values through these methods. Do you know if this holds true with their sig series diamonds?

Also - why such a LOW selection on their site? Most sites I visited seemed very functional and as if they spent alot of time in creating an interface that was both functional and representative of selection needs, whereas whiteflash you had to muttle through the selection process to find only a few diamonds. Is this a smaller operation?

Also - I am never going to pay for a stone in full prior to being able to reach over and grabbing a stone out of someone's hand if they try to default on me. I had a friend do this and what was sent was an EXTREMELY flawed yellow diamond for $8k and they would not return the diamond. He called and called and eventually found out that they ran back to pakastan or somewhere like that.
And this was a seemingly large online vendor.

Whiteflash seems to have a pretty good rep on this website, any affiliation anyone is aware of?

Thanks. Sorry if I am paranoid but I am trying to get the most beautiful diamond for the most beautiful woman. :) Alas, I'm not big on credit and want to pay with cash on hand without breaking the bank beyond the emergency money for such things like a new furnace, health etc that may arise. Just protecting the future ya know. :)

When you looked for your diamond, did you get strange looks when you asked if they have a fire/brilliance machine onsite? lol?

Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!

EDIT: I looked on Good Old Gold or whatever it was, the diamonds actually seem MORE than mall diamonds now? Any reason? All the specs look the same..?? Am I missing the 'next' level of understanding? I really though I was able to get internet prices for much cheaper than mall stores with better certs. What is the top cert now adays? I saw ALOT of EGL at the local dept stores and SI2's with great everything else in great settings for like $6. That good old gold has them JUST diamonds for $6 with matching specs.

What about sites like Blue Nile and Adimor?
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
Date: 12/3/2006 1:11:57 AM
Author: sincraft
Hmm the question I have is why is the price such a difference?

Also - you mentioned that the in store insurance is not comparable to home owners or chubbs? As in, the in store is better or nowhere close to as good?
You should be sure that the policies are comparable.



Whiteflash I visited. Was not impressed with the selection and they seem to be pushing a signature princess cut and another with clipped corners. Based on my months of reading these 'custom' stones are attmepts to take otherwise lower grades stones and boosting their values through these methods. Do you know if this holds true with their sig series diamonds?
The ACA princess are very beautiful. If you don't like clipped corners, that's fine. The X factor looks pretty good under ASET, very nice symmetry. Also, clipped corners prevent chipping.




Also - why such a LOW selection on their site? Most sites I visited seemed very functional and as if they spent alot of time in creating an interface that was both functional and representative of selection needs, whereas whiteflash you had to muttle through the selection process to find only a few diamonds. Is this a smaller operation?
They are one of the most popular internet vendors. Whiteflash owns all of their diamonds and are in the office. There are gemologists on hand you can talk to. I don't use the WF interface, though; I use the PS search engine.

Machines that try to measure fire? Brilliance is much more easily understood.

Jared's apparently carries AGS 0 princesses; you might try them.

The most coveted report is probably an AGS 0.
 

sincraft

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
15
IS GIA ok? For example...what about this diamond?

http://www.adiamor.com/D-6530801.htm
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
I thought you wanted a princess.

No link to the actual GIA report means no go for me.

I only go with GIA if no AGS options are available. I like to be efficient.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
I think everyone''s given you good advice. I could also recommend GOG, and the option Diamondseeker presented to you. Actually, for that one, the IS image seems oddly weak, but since its AGS0, I may have misread it, or it may have been photographed poorly. Also, they do sport Gemex for measuring brilliiance, along with ISEE, for same.

I''d also recommend both WF, all infinity options, including Winfield, and SuperbCert, who has AGS0 options. Re WF, like Julie, I just use Pricescope''s search option to find them. They advertise having the biggest inhouse option around, and tend to believe them. Other operators have what looks like big lists, because they are all virtual. Though, then again, WF should have those, too.
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
EDIT: I looked on Good Old Gold or whatever it was, the diamonds actually seem MORE than mall diamonds now? Any reason? All the specs look the same..?? Am I missing the ''next'' level of understanding? I really though I was able to get internet prices for much cheaper than mall stores with better certs. What is the top cert now adays? I saw ALOT of EGL at the local dept stores and SI2''s with great everything else in great settings for like $6. That good old gold has them JUST diamonds for $6 with matching specs.

What about sites like Blue Nile and Adimor?
in all fairness you can''t compare GIA or AGS certiificates to EGL Europes... the EGL Europes are much "softer"
 

jenniegirlm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
165
Date: 12/3/2006 1:11:57 AM
Author: sincraft
Hmm the question I have is why is the price such a difference?

Also - you mentioned that the in store insurance is not comparable to home owners or chubbs? As in, the in store is better or nowhere close to as good?

Whiteflash I visited. Was not impressed with the selection and they seem to be pushing a signature princess cut and another with clipped corners. Based on my months of reading these ''custom'' stones are attmepts to take otherwise lower grades stones and boosting their values through these methods. Do you know if this holds true with their sig series diamonds?

Also - why such a LOW selection on their site? Most sites I visited seemed very functional and as if they spent alot of time in creating an interface that was both functional and representative of selection needs, whereas whiteflash you had to muttle through the selection process to find only a few diamonds. Is this a smaller operation?

Also - I am never going to pay for a stone in full prior to being able to reach over and grabbing a stone out of someone''s hand if they try to default on me. I had a friend do this and what was sent was an EXTREMELY flawed yellow diamond for $8k and they would not return the diamond. He called and called and eventually found out that they ran back to pakastan or somewhere like that.
And this was a seemingly large online vendor.

Whiteflash seems to have a pretty good rep on this website, any affiliation anyone is aware of?

Thanks. Sorry if I am paranoid but I am trying to get the most beautiful diamond for the most beautiful woman. :) Alas, I''m not big on credit and want to pay with cash on hand without breaking the bank beyond the emergency money for such things like a new furnace, health etc that may arise. Just protecting the future ya know. :)

When you looked for your diamond, did you get strange looks when you asked if they have a fire/brilliance machine onsite? lol?

Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!

EDIT: I looked on Good Old Gold or whatever it was, the diamonds actually seem MORE than mall diamonds now? Any reason? All the specs look the same..?? Am I missing the ''next'' level of understanding? I really though I was able to get internet prices for much cheaper than mall stores with better certs. What is the top cert now adays? I saw ALOT of EGL at the local dept stores and SI2''s with great everything else in great settings for like $6. That good old gold has them JUST diamonds for $6 with matching specs.

What about sites like Blue Nile and Adimor?
Most stores offer a warranty that covers loss of the stone from the setting or damage to the stone, but will not cover the loss of the ring itself whether it was through theft or "mysterious disapperance." This is where personal jewelry insurance comes in. I heard some people say that mall stores do this so that you have a reason to come to their store 2x/year (as part of the warranty provision) and get a chance to check out their new merchandise and that they can make a new sale.
 

sincraft

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
15
Wow you guys are great!

Question though. It seems like all the dealers that are mentioned on here are more, well smaller and don''t have the selection. The bigger stores are all virtual then? They actually don''t have the stones therefore the mentioned stores do and have the certs onhand?

I thought GIA was the cream of the crop when it came to rating now everyone is saying AGA is?

We were at a local mall store that stated it was 20% more for a cert''d stone. Is that hog wash or are they correct? (OF COURSE we want the cert for $10k!) lol.

Anyway - thanks for the advice. I''m going to make some picks and post them at a later date and hopefully you guys can pick it apart for me :)

Also - what about maintenance? Is this necessary or is this (like someone posted) a ploy to get people into the store.
IM VERY WORRIED ABOUT the princess cut and how it sits on the setting. The XFACTOR one on whiteflash looks interesting but I''ve heard stories about ''custom store cut'' diamonds in that, they are taking a normal Princess that has a SI rating and turning it into a better rating by clipping the corners and selling it for much more than they would normally. Is this true?

Thanks all!!!!!!!!!
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,772
Hi,

Before you buy online, do a search on the vendor to obtain feedback from others who have dealt with them. I seem to have seen quite a number of bad experiences on this forum with Shenoa, so please check the vendors out before you purchase. Other vendors such as GOG, Whiteflash seems to have a number of good feedback.
 

jaz464

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,022
Yes, your ring should be checked twice a year to ensure the prongs have not been bent and are holding the diamond securely. I bought my diamond online and had it set by Whiteflash in a custom setting. No I do not send the ring back twice a year for maintenance. I just take it to a local jewler (not a mall chain) and they check my prongs for free in a few minutes of waiting. Most places will be happy to do it because they like for people to come into their store. The mall warranties would not persuade my to buy in a B&M. If you miss a single maintenance check, even by 1 day, the entire warranty is often voided. Many here have had problems with them becasue there are so many hoopes to jump through and stipulations. Since you need regular insurance as well, and maintenance can be conducted for free by a local jeweler, these warranties are pointless to me. Simply a marketing ploy.

AGS and GIA are both great and you will be safe with either. I strongly recommend WF as I have dealt with them twice and am very happy. Right now, they may be low on inventory because it is such a busy time of the year. Someone else on here said they would be getting more diamonds in by mid December.

GOG sells very high quality diamonds. If you are finding their prices higher than B&Ms than I doubt you are comparing apples to apples.
 

neren

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
28
I used WF for my ring and they are awesome. My ring came out beautifully
more than what I expected. They are really awesome, Katie is the gal who helped me out, she is very helpful.

As far as the search I did used the PS since it gave more option...
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
Date: 12/3/2006 11:40:02 AM
Author: sincraft
The XFACTOR one on whiteflash looks interesting but I''ve heard stories about ''custom store cut'' diamonds in that, they are taking a normal Princess that has a SI rating and turning it into a better rating by clipping the corners and selling it for much more than they would normally. Is this true?
Well, are you getting an SI stone or a VS stone? There''s nothing wrong with that.

I think you are mixing it up with making a new cut and branding it in order to charge a premium, such as the Leo round.
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Where are you located?

I bought from B&M mainly cuz I couldn''t make up my mind btw stones so I kept going back and forth while I figured out what I wanted. Would of cost a fortune in shipping had I went through online. Price was close enough.

The "free" maintenance is horse poopy. I''m not surprised you got that line of crap from maul stores. I imagine that''s where you got the massive prices too. There''s a reason PSers avoid maul stores if they can.

I''ve moved. I''m no longer near the store I bought the e-ring from. So, had they offered any kind of "maintenance" program, I''d be out of luck. Think about how likely you are to stay in the area before giving their programs a lot of weight.

That''s aside from you being able to check your ring yourself. My wife checks hers at least once a day. Never had a problem yet. Plus, a loupe is likely many times less expensive than the markup you pay at a maul store.
 

the other Jake

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
423
Def get an seperate insurance policy. I got one thru Chubb and it gives me over 10k in coverage for less than $150 a year and practically no maintenance. If i lose the stone or it gets damaged, I can get it replaced where I want or take the cash value. I bought my stone from Whiteflash it was a level above anything I saw in the stores at a cheaper price. Their inventory is low because of the holidays/ V-day... it''s the busiest time of the year for jewelers. If you are interested in my diamond buying experience see this link
 
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