by daneelolivaw » Mar 12, 2019 This is my first post here and it's pretty exciting to see all the passion and energy on the topic! I thought I'd share my awesome experience buying a a loose Crafted by Infinity diamond from Wink Jones at High Performance Diamonds. My fiance is very opinionated on the style of her setting so we looked at several rings and settings at local jewelry stores where we live. That gave me a decent idea of the design that she wanted, although I still planned to buy a loose diamond so that she could go into precise details with the craftsman on the final setting design. However, given that we had spent so much time looking at rings together, I was struggling to think how I could surprise her (I had proposed with a placeholder ring). She left the budget constraints to me, and we both agreed that the high end super ideal cut hearts and arrows stones from the likes of CBI and Brian Gavin were out of reach for my budget. Additionally, I had a James Allen diamond from an earlier time in my life that I could trade in for 100% of its value if I bought another JA stone that was 2x or greater in value, so I just assumed I would go with another James Allen stone. I worked with Vincent Chan from Prosumer diamonds to look for James Allen True Hearts stones and we found a couple of really good ones with near perfect optical symmetry, almost (but not quite) perfect crown and pavilion angles, etc. As a point of comparison, we also found a CBI/HPD stone and a Brian Gavin stone that were priced similarly to the James Allen stones. This was a surprise to me, as I had assumed that CBI would be out of reach. However, there was still the issue of the trade-in. With 100% of the value of the old diamond applied towards the new one, it still felt like JA would be a better value. However, I decided to give Wink Jones a call just to see if there was any way to reduce the difference in price via a trade-in. The first time I spoke to Wink, I was immediately struck by why folks purchasing diamonds from him speak so highly of him. Wink is one of the kindest, warmest people I had ever spoken to. It was clear right away that he *loves* this field and is obsessed with the quality and craftsmanship of his products. He did not apply any pressure whatsoever, and said I can email him the GIA report for the old stone and he would get back to me within 24 hours on a trade-in estimate. The next day I got the trade-in estimate, and while it was obviously not 100% of the original value, it did make a significant dent in the delta between James Allen and HPD. I now had to decide whether the extra amount for the CBI/HPD rock was worth it. Very tough decision! A few things tipped me over to CBI/HPD. First, as I mentioned Wink has a zero pressure approach. He offered to send the stone over to me so I could check it out in person, and return it if I didn't like it, without any down payment necessary. He also put a hold on the stone for a few days so that I could take my time in making a decision. The lifetime upgrade policy and 80% buyback policy for HPD were big factors in tipping me over to HPD as well (I definitely would not be able to afford another 2x upgrade with James Allen if I wanted to upgrade it in the future!). Lastly, I figured that since my fiance would keep this diamond for life, I wanted to buy the very best, very finest stone I could afford. I pulled the trigger on the stone and we both loved it after seeing it in person. My fiance was always struck by how Cartier, Harry Winston, and Tiffany rings exhibited more brilliance, fire, and sparkle than rings we saw in local jeweler shops. When we saw the CBI diamond, we were amazed at how its light performance was just as good, if not better than the Harry Winston rings we had seen. And this was comparing the CBI diamond in our home lighting versus Harry Winston in jewelry store lighting! I then decided that we should also get the setting made by Wink's craftsman, esp since the pave diamonds would also be H&A stones. My fiance wanted to check out the work in person before making a decision on the setting, so we thought about flying out to Boise to see a sample piece in person. When we mentioned this to Wink, he said he would just send us a sample piece via Fedex that we could inspect, saving us time and money from flying out to Boise. We loved the sample piece as well, and decided to go for it. We just sent the diamond back to have it mounted in the setting and can't wait to get the completed ring back! Working with Wink, Melissa, and Jamie has been a pleasure. We will probably buy more diamond jewelry in the future and I will not hesitate to work with Wink again.