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Macy''s Diamonds -- To good to be true???

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by erainman, Oct 3, 2007.

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  1. erainman
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    by erainman » Oct 3, 2007

    I''m searching fora 2ct round stone H-I color range, SI1-2. Based on my research, a well-cut stone of this type will cost me around $12-15K.


    I have a quick question that I was hoping you guys could help me with: Do you know anything about the diamonds that Macy''s uses in their engagement rings? I got a flyer this week for their semi-annual diamond sale (link below), which lists a 2ct. diamond engagement ring for $8,159.00 (down from $12,000.00).

    http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=171283&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results


    With an extra 15% off, that ring would cost me roughly $7,000.00, which is far less than what I could expect to pay at a B&M or even online for a 2ct stone (and would leave me with plenty of $ to reset the stone into something more unique). Of course, if these stones are of horrible color/cut/clarity then maybe it doesn''t make sense, but if not, maybe I''m closer to buying than I thought!

    Thanks for all of your help!
     
    


    


  2. Modified Brilliant
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    by Modified Brilliant » Oct 3, 2007
    Unless I''m missing something, the ad doesn''t mention color, clarity, cut and whether it comes with a lab report.
    Also as stated, the variance can be +/- 0.05 ct. so you will probably get a diamond under 2.00 cts.
    More info is sorely needed.

    Jeff Averbook, G.G. Graduate Gemologist/Appraiser

    www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
     
  3. LadyJ76
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    by LadyJ76 » Oct 3, 2007
    I'm anxious to see the responses on this one. My bf's mother was recently given an e-ring from Macy's and asked my opinion on it. All I know is that it was an 1.7 total ct, F, SI1 or SI2, and seemed to be a pretty good cut....I'm no expert, but I know what sparkly looks like and I find myself staring at it often [​IMG] I did notice a black inclusion though that isn't noticeable unless you're up close and looking for it. She told me they payed about $7,000. I imagine you just have to see it in person and decide what your priorities are as far as the specs. Sorry, not much help but I'm sure the experts here will have some valuable input. Personally, I would go to one of the reputable vendors that are mentioned on PS instead...
     
  4. surfgirl
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    by surfgirl » Oct 3, 2007
    Wait, wasn''t this posted last week? Annyway, if it''s too good to be true it is. Nobody gives away diamonds for a penny less than they have to. Period. The "sale price" is a misnomer because it usually is the more realistic price. They just jack up the "regular" price to make you feel like you''re getting a deal. Please, don''t buy an engagement ring at Macy''s. You can do so much better online or just shop around. I know Ben Bridge (large west coast chain) has 2 ct. solitaires in 18k white gold plain setting for about 12.5k. That said, I''ve seen them and they aren''t nice stones. In fact I looked at one once and the manager, who knows my tastes said he wouldn''t sell it to me because I would never be happy with it (he was right!). You can do better online.
     
    


    


  5. kellyfish
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    by kellyfish » Oct 3, 2007
    There was a thread a few weeks ago that mentioned Macy's and i think it was mentioned that some of their diamonds might be clarity enhanced.
     
  6. MoonWater
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    by MoonWater » Oct 3, 2007
    I don''t know anything about the quality of the ring but the reviews are hilarious!
     
  7. diamondjim84
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    by diamondjim84 » Oct 3, 2007
    Could these be enhanced diamonds? The price would justify if they were enhanced, no?
     
  8. Diamond*Dana
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    by Diamond*Dana » Oct 3, 2007
    I would pass...the diamond quality that I have seen at Macy''s was not very good at all.
     
  9. Mara
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    by Mara » Oct 3, 2007
    Ditto. I''d recommend Costco over Macys if you absolutely have to buy at a store like that.

    You will basically get what you pay for when it comes to diamonds and cut quality.
     
  10. Linda74
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    by Linda74 » Oct 3, 2007
    I actually brought up Macy''s last week. I had seen a 2 ct RB set in platinum on a girl''s hand at a wedding. It was purchased for $4200 at their sale...(coupon, upon coupon). I had heard about this and really wanted a gander at the stone because I could not believe it to be true unless it was pure junk. I was really surprised at how sparkly, clear and white it looked. Mind you, I only grabbed her hand under bright lighting for a quick view. Fast forward a couple of months and my future son in law asks my opinion. He had seen that ring and known we were all dismayed. So, we visited Macy''s to have a first hand look. Initially, the rings look great and the settings are substantial, some with many lovely designs and side stones. But, the center stones I saw all had visible inclusions from six or so inches away. Perhaps others would not notice them, but if they were sitting on your hand day after day, they would bother you. The certificates were a joke. I think they said IGI...basically a little card which fits in the box and gives a range for color and clarity. Nothing noted about cut quality. Also, if you get a stone with sidestones, they give the weight as total diamond weight so you don''t know the center stone weight. We are now using Pricescope vendors to find a stone. I think the guy who got the 2 ct. for $4200 just got a great one...but I am also sure if I had the ability to really study it there would be many flaws. You really do get what you pay for.
     
    


    


  11. crystalheart1
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    by crystalheart1 » Oct 22, 2007
    I have to add my 2 cents .. You have to really examine some of their diamonds.. I looked at quite a few rings at Macys
    and some were cloudy, cracked, yucky stones.. but maybe there was one pretty decent , eye clean diamond every now and then. So to put it into perspective - out of 10 rings , maybe one stone was fairly nice and a great buy when you get it for about half off of the regular selling price ( which can be done with sales, and coupons etc )

    I saw a beautiful 1.5 rb with baquettes in white gold for about 4,200 - after all the discounts. The stone looked very nice and I couldn''t see any inclusions with 10x mag. There was also a 1 ct tw channel set 5 stone in platinum.
    It was on clearance - the regular price was 2,700 but the Sales Associate quoted me 500.00, and with another 25% off my first purchase it came to 400.00. She took an extra 20% off in error, but said she would sell it to me for that price anyway. It sparkle and shines and I get compliments and stares everytime I wear it.

    I guess you just have to be lucky.
     
  12. PaperStars
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    by PaperStars » Oct 22, 2007
    Now I was told by someone who works at Macy''s that their diamonds are clarity enhanced. They are suppose to disclose it if they are asked.
     
  13. FireGoddess
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    by FireGoddess » Oct 22, 2007
    They are supposed to disclose it, period.

    There are plenty of stones at Macy''s that aren''t piles of frozen spit, and to a layperson, can look bright and white and sparkly. HOWEVER, if one of these people were to EVER lay eyes on an AGS0, they would quickly realize there is NO COMPARISON between the 2. But most of these people will never, unfortunately, see the AGS0.
     
  14. crystalheart1
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    by crystalheart1 » Oct 23, 2007
    I saw many stones at Macys that were not Clarity Enhanced.. The flaws were very visible. I also checked with someone and was told if they had any that were, they would have to disclose it. By a rule it varies store to store but Macys would be involved in a major Law Suite if they were selling stones that were CE and did not mention it.

    I wonder why some people make blanket statements with out truth in what they are saying?
     
  15. PaperStars
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    by PaperStars » Oct 23, 2007
    Well, I was told by someone that works at Macy's that the stones are clarity enhanced, where he got his information, I don't know but that's what he told me. Maybe some of them are and some aren't? Maybe that's what he mean't? Maybe he was confused and thought they are were? I don't know. Anyway, It wouldn't be the first time someone didn't know what they were saying. One time I went into a mall jeweler and the person there told me there was no such thing as pink sapphire.
     
    


    


  16. MichelleCarmen
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    by MichelleCarmen » Oct 23, 2007
    I wouldn't trust anything a Macy's sales person says. Once one sales woman told my husband that Macy's gets all their jewelry from Fred Meyer (which is a chain store around the NW that sells groceries, clothes, housegoods, gardening, and of course jewelry, all in one location)! My husband and I were baffled by that! I did check out Fred Meyer once and found a horribly cut J SI2 1/2 ct. pendant and it was about $1,000 and it was really cloudy. The sales girl told me it was a "great cut." I hope that isn't one of the stones Macy's eventually purchases! [​IMG]
     
  17. crystalheart1
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    by crystalheart1 » Oct 24, 2007
    Is it such a bad thing to get a nice looking ring at a price that is within your budget?

    Some people want a bigger size and maybe lesser quality ... so a 1.5 ct ring for 4,100 is not such a bad thing .

    At least you are not getting ripped off, you are just paying for what you get. Just make sure you get the ring when they have a super sale.. like less 20 % and then another 20% off and then 15% is how to make it work for you.

    The rings ( some ) are not that bad. Just make sure you are taking a good look[​IMG] I got a 1ct plat band for $400.00 dollars and it looks great.
     
  18. johngalt2004
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    by johngalt2004 » Dec 9, 2007
    It has been implied here that Macys sells clarity enhanced diamonds without disclosure. Is there any evidence to back this up? That is a pretty serious charge to lay on a big department store (with presumably deep legal pockets) and I would be a little bit surprised if they would risk their reputation doing something crooked like this.

    Certainly you can get more/better for your money on line. Certainly the mall store "ideal" stuff with IGI/EGL certs is not the same as top drawer AGS/GIA goods, but it seems sometimes people on PS can get carried away slamming Macys (or "maul stores") like this.

    So about the accusation that they sneakily sell clarity enhanced diamonds.... Can anyone prove it?

    By the way, they represent most of their diamonds as I1 clarity anyway... their "better stuff" as SI1. The promote their color grades as the differentiating quality factor. So since they aren't hanging their hats on VS clarity, it seems unlikely they are enhancing.
     
  19. CaptAubrey
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    by CaptAubrey » Dec 10, 2007
    As a point of further clarification, it isn''t really Macy''s we''re talking about here. Macy''s doesn''t actually operate any of their jewelry counters. Those counters are leased and operated by Finlay Fine Jewelry, a company that is easily the least-known large jewelry retailer in the country (I think they''re top-10 something by sales). Finlay operates most of the department store jewelry counters out there. Among other things, they''re notorious for offering "sale" merchandise that is simply "discounted" to merely reasonable levels from ridiculous ones (I''m aware of at least one case in which they got sued for it, though they won).

    I do agree it is extremely unlikely that they would be selling filled diamonds without disclosure, as doing so would open them up to all kinds of legal liabilty. However, their disclosure for such may not be as prominent as it should be (perhaps, buried in the fine print on the ad).
     
  20. johngalt2004
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    by johngalt2004 » Dec 10, 2007
    fwiw: I just got off the phone with the people in the Citrus Heights, CA store (Macys West) and told her I had read on the net that the fine jewelry dept was leased. She said the only dept that is leased is kids shoes. She said the jewelry dept is "all Macys". This from the store Manager''s office.

    Maybe California or Macys West is different? I asked if this was a change and she said it has been this way as long as she''s been there = many years.

    Not like I want to be the flag waving defender of Maul stores here... but I do happen to like Macys as department stores go... they have always been good to me so I hate to see them ripped by innuendo and rumor. The staff at the store in Citrus Heights CA is top notch and all Macys. Not the stones, but the staff.
     
  21. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Dec 10, 2007
    John, from Finlay's 10-K filing with the SEC: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/898684/000095013607002608/file1.htm

    "We primarily operate licensed fine jewelry departments in major department stores for retailers such as Federated Department Stores, Inc. (‘‘Federated’’), The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (the ‘‘Bon-Ton’’) and Dillard’s, Inc. (‘‘Dillard’s’’). We sell a broad selection of moderately priced fine jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and watches, and market these items principally as fashion accessories with an average sales price of approximately $248 per item. Average sales per department were $917,000 in 2006 and the average size of a department is approximately 800 square feet.........

    "Our largest host store relationship is with Federated, for which we have operated departments since 1983. During 2006, store groups owned by Federated accounted for 57% of our sales "

    As of February 3, 2007, we operated a total of 349 departments in five of Federated’s eight divisions, which excludes 194 departments that were either divested or phased into the Macy’s East or Macy’s West divisions during the first half of 2006.


    Department Store Based Fine Jewelry Departments: Host stores benefit from outsourcing the operation of their fine jewelry departments. By engaging us, host stores gain specialized managerial, merchandising, selling, marketing, inventory control and security expertise. Additionally, by avoiding the high working capital investment typically required of the jewelry business, host stores improve their return on investment and can potentially increase their profitability."

    The report lists the Macy's divisions it serves; the list doesn't appear to include the Macy's West division, so that might account for what you're hearing at your local store.
     
  22. johngalt2004
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    by johngalt2004 » Dec 10, 2007
    there it is... all clear now.
     
  23. CaptAubrey
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    by CaptAubrey » Dec 10, 2007
    eh--nevermind. It does look like they got out of the Macy's business after all.
     
  24. oldminer
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    by oldminer » Dec 10, 2007
    Always beware of the possibility of an inflated and unrealistic "retail" price coming right along with a special, one time only, lucky you today sale" price of $,,,,,,,

    When it comes to merchandise, in genral, the price you are being asked to pay is most likely the correct price for "retail" when you are in a department store or large retail establishment. The truth is that "retail" and "discount" have just about lost their meaning with US consumers. If everything is on "SALE" most of the time, then the regular price is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Consumers are constantly falling for phoney "sales". Since this nonsense still works, the stores keep doing it.

    Shop, find out the "value" and buy when you are confident the price is fair. You''ll also discover when a true bargain is looking right at you.
     
  25. Nicrez
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    by Nicrez » Dec 10, 2007
    It was no 2ct solitaire, but a friend''s daughter asked me to go with her to get a pair of 35pter studs, and of course she wanted the best for her $250+...

    I went with her one day to Kay''s and Zales, Macy''s and 47th Street. The WORST diamonds we saw (for the most money) were in Macy''s. Even with their super sales, the studs looked AWFUL. They were the most expensive of the three. Then Zales followed with $300 for a pair of awful looking little studs, that they seemed to have just ONE pair in that size. Kay Jewelers was the better with then studs, a slight selection and at $250.

    In the end I found a pair of lovely F clean SI1''s at a local estate shop on 47th (negotiated) for $150. Just saying that honestly, the best thing to do is stay away from large stores that mass sell these things, no matter how attractive their pricing. Sometimes (usually) in jewelry it''s cheap because it''s really cheap looking....

    Good luck!
     
  26. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Dec 10, 2007
    From the 10-K report, it looks like perhaps not entirely out....?
     
  27. CaptAubrey
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    by CaptAubrey » Dec 10, 2007
    Well, it''s a bit ambiguous, i.e., were there other Macy''s counters besides the 194 that they held on to? I don''t know--I don''t have the time at the moment to research it, unfortunately.
     
  28. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Dec 10, 2007

    No need - it was in the information I posted above.....

    As of February 3, 2007, we operated a total of 349 departments in five of Federated’s eight divisions, which excludes 194 departments that were either divested or phased into the Macy’s East or Macy’s West divisions during the first half of 2006.

    They didn't hang on to the 194....those were divested, after which remained the 349 they continue to operate. There is further mention in that same 10-K (which I didn't quote) saying their agreements for operation with Macy's run through 2009. Also, within their growth plans, they note the intention to open 3 more departments within Macy's locations in 2007.


     
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