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How to shop B&M''s?

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annadragon

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Thanks to PS I''ve learned how to shop online for quality diamonds! However, we''ll be in Chicago at the end of this month and my FI wants to take a jaunt down to Jewelers Row. Are all the classic questions I ask internet vendors moot? Usually I''m looking for the cert #, so I can input all the data into the HCA (is there a portable HCA calculator?), then asking about eye-cleanliness and an IS image. Should I get my own Idealscope? I''d feel silly pulling it out, mainly due to my complete inexperience with that actual tool.

As a side question are most Chicago diamond dealers on Wabash Ave? Do any require appointments?

Thanks, Anna
 

Lorelei

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Anna,

You could ask the jeweller to use his computer and run the proportions of the diamonds you like through the HCA that way if you are looking at round diamonds, and getting your own IS could be an excellent move, nothing wrong with whipping it out if you are comfortable doing so!
Think of it this way, you will be spending a lot of money on your diamond, you have taken the trouble to learn how to find a well cut and beautiful diamond and part of that will involve using a tool you have learned is of value to help you spend the money wisely. Practise handling the IS at home and you should do fine, but if you are a bit fumbly when in the actual store, try not to worry about it - just say you are excited!!
 

kcoursolle

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It''s definitely worth bringing and ideal scope and a loup!! The good jewelers you wouldn''t mind buying from won''t feel uncomfortable if you ask to use it and do so!
 

karend26

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 30, 2008
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141
I used my Idealscope at many different places, from mall stores to small family owned jewelers. No one seemed to mind or looked at me funny, although no one knew what an Idealscope is. And, let me tell you, I saw a LOT of bad diamonds, light leaking all over the place!
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 6, 2004
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5,951
Thanks to Lorelei for proposing what I sometimes do...getting your B&M to partner with you, turning on the computer, and help you with the HCA.

Your question, though, Anna...


Date: 2/2/2009 2:05:26 PM
Author:annadragon
(is there a portable HCA calculator?),
has been asked over the years, and may be near the point of having been surpassed by pretty readily available technology.

I wonder if anybody with a gadget like Apple''s i-phone have been able to bring up Pricescope on the fly and do this, themselves?

But, also as you and others have agreed, using an idealscope, brought live, is probably a good idea...with or without HCA calculation.
 

Ayers

Rough_Rock
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Jan 21, 2009
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During my shopping experience, I did use my 3G iPhone to connect to this website''s cutadviser and input angles/% for the HCA score. Most B&M''s that I dealt with hadn''t heard of HCA, but were willing to oblige me with the numbers I asked for. I''m sure most smartphones could handle the task.
 

chrono

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37,374
Yes, many good jewellers have a PC and internet connection available. I would hope they wouldn''t mind assisting you with using it to input the HCA. Learning to use the IS and bringing it along while shopping is also a very good idea.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/2/2009 5:47:28 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Thanks to Lorelei for proposing what I sometimes do...getting your B&M to partner with you, turning on the computer, and help you with the HCA.

Your question, though, Anna...



Date: 2/2/2009 2:05:26 PM
Author:annadragon
(is there a portable HCA calculator?),
has been asked over the years, and may be near the point of having been surpassed by pretty readily available technology.

I wonder if anybody with a gadget like Apple''s i-phone have been able to bring up Pricescope on the fly and do this, themselves?

But, also as you and others have agreed, using an idealscope, brought live, is probably a good idea...with or without HCA calculation.
That was your excellent idea Ira!!!
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
21
Date: 2/2/2009 2:05:26 PM
Author:annadragon
Thanks to PS I've learned how to shop online for quality diamonds! However, we'll be in Chicago at the end of this month and my FI wants to take a jaunt down to Jewelers Row. Are all the classic questions I ask internet vendors moot? Usually I'm looking for the cert #, so I can input all the data into the HCA (is there a portable HCA calculator?), then asking about eye-cleanliness and an IS image. Should I get my own Idealscope? I'd feel silly pulling it out, mainly due to my complete inexperience with that actual tool.


As a side question are most Chicago diamond dealers on Wabash Ave? Do any require appointments?


Thanks, Anna
There are many dealers here on Wabash. Some require appointments and others accept walk-ins. Different strokes for different folks. Same answer for the other question. Some dealers will speak ‘internet-shopping’ with you but others won’t. You may get some head-scratching about HCA, even at good stores, but you will have no problem finding GIA reports. Fewer have AGS of course and only cut-focused stores will have tools frequently talked-about here like the AGS ASET (a multi-colored version of idealscope). More might have hearts & arrows scopes but it’s not the same thing, although you may run into some pros who won’t make that distinction.
I’d say a good question to ask any seller here is “what do you feel your store does the best?” You can find their focus and best foot forward that way. Some places may not be on the cutting-edge of technology and such but they’re still great at what they do.

It is so fun to go seeing diamonds in person. I would urge you to take notes so you know how you felt in different places about different shapes and cut qualities. It can get overwhelming. Be sure you don’t confine yourself to one lighting condition in any store. Your questions about eye-cleanliness can be answered pretty well when you’re there. Just use your standards of course. I can’t tell you what kind of reception you’ll get with your own idealscope in hand. We welcome that kind of thing, HCA assessment, etc., but I know places that have discouraged them. In addition to being a land of great food and drink I just love Chicago for its great and diverse diamonds and jewelry. Have fun!
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 21, 2006
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10,589
Any chance you can just bring a friend''s blackberry or iphone and look up HCA scores online as you are shopping?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I would make sure you check out a couple of Infinity''s if you visit Dimend Scaasi.
 

AndyMN

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
47
Anna,
I truly believe that you''ll love the experience of seeing the diamonds in person, as you can imagine it''s completely different from looking at a list of numbers on your computer screen. Don''t "feel silly" about asking any questions that come to mind or even expressing the fact that you''ve done plenty of research online, believe me, most people walk in to a B and M with little or no knowledge on diamonds (particularly diamond cut). A great B and M will appreciate the fact that you love their product enough to put the time into doing research and ensuring that you are getting the diamond that will truly make you happy. You won''t have to ask about eye cleanliness because you''ll have the opportunity to inspect the diamond up close for yourself! You''ll then take a look at several diamonds under 10x power magnification to see (for those car lovers out there) "what''s under the hood". As Shannon said, be sure to ask the professional to take the diamond away from the counter and look at it in a lower light environment, and if they don''t mind be sure to get it in a natural light situation. Compare the different colors side by side and decide if you prefer an icy white colorless diamond or a warmer color. Be sure to get an idea of what the inclusions look like in your diamond. HAVE A GLASS OF WINE... and don''t forget to have fun! As great as it is to be able to do research online and get an education on diamonds, in my admittedly bias opinion you can''t beat the good old fashioned experience of seeing and touching these little beauties!!! There is a reason why diamonds are so sought after around the world and you''re about to experience in person why that is, enjoy it!
 

hearts-arrows_girl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
1,094
When I was shopping at the B/M I went to for the diamond I have now, I used their IS, and looked up the HCA on their computer, took the diamond outside to see it in natural light, as well as all over the store, under the desk, anywhere I could think of to change lighting situations and get it out of the "Store lights", then had the 3 diamonds I had narrowed it down to put side by side to see which was visually most pleasing to me. I actually got photo copies of the certs on the stones I wanted to consider, then took them home and was able to look them over leisurely, it gave me time to be more careful and not jump into anything. It is always good to sleep on a big decision before sealing the deal. Sometimes we are soooo excited about actually having a stone we like in hand, that we buy it on the spot without looking at enough stones to really make an informed decision. The only vendors that would make you feel weird or like you're a pain in the ass for doing all this, would be vendors who are tying to push a crappy diamond on you, or just want a quick sale. The good vendors are pleased that you are helping them do their job and want you to love your choice.
*Like Andy stated, it is soooo much fun being surrounded by all the diamonds they bring in the room for you to look at. I too compared colors side by side, like an E next to an I. It helped me find out how low I could comfortably go in color. For me, it was H.
Good luck with your search and remember to have fun with it!
 
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