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My experiences from buying a diamond on 47th street in NYC

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by patric_j, Feb 17, 2004.

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  1. patric_j
    Rough_Rock

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    by patric_j » Feb 17, 2004
    my diamond buyer story (happy ending)

    I decided to propose to my girlfriend after dating her two years. I wanted a simple Lucida style setting with a round diamond. I wanted something as close to 1.5 carat but wanted to stay under it to avoid the extra premium for diamonds in that size. I wanted colorless and good cut, didnt care too much about clarity, meaning SI1 or better. The setting must be platinum and with tax be under $10 000.

    I live in New York and after checking out Tiffany, Zales and FortuneOff I started working the 47th street, so called diamond row. Shopping there is a horrible experience that I don¡¦t think can be compared to any other market in US at least. However, since its much cheaper there compared to the chain stores it's worth it.

    Most shops or booths there will try to trick you so you can't trust the way you can trust Zales for example. If you enquire for something that looks weird on a diamond they will always tell you its OK and in fact their wife's diamond have such a thing so so its harmless. I dont know how many times I heard that.

    I started reading everything on www.goodoldgold.com/. If you read and understand that stuff you will know more than most people working on 47th street. Usually only the manager of the store knows this stuff, while the other workers in a store dont know more than the very basic of diamonds.

    If they ask you what it will take for you to buy a diamond right at that moment, dont even bother answering them. There¡¦s something wrong with the diamond and they are only trying to hurry you so you make a (costly) mistake. Diamonds are expensive so theres nothing wrong with thinking over the purchase for a day or so. This will give you time to check out all details on the GIA report.

    Another sales trick is to say it will be gone by tomorrow. Some diamond convention or something like that starts tomorrow they will say and most likely the diamond will be gone tomorrow. Dont fall for that, there¡¦s usually no stress, just them trying to create stress and make you buy their diamond without checking out competition.

    If you buy an expensive diamond with a good gut, make sure you get a sarin (AGS) report. This is the only way to know you actually getting a good cut. The GIA report don't grade cut.

    If the shop is serious you should get a copy of the GIA report. There¡¦s no reason for them not to give you a copy, unless there¡¦s something wrong with the diamond they don't want you to see and be able to consider in peace and quiet.

    After checking out a few diamonds, you should now what kind of cut, size, color and so on you are looking for and is within your budget. Don't forget to check around for settings at the same time. Try to find 2-3 similar diamonds that you like so you have a few to choose and compare. Usually it's hard to find these diamonds in the same store.
    Theres an excellent web service available, which will check the data on the GIA report. I found it to be very useful: http://www.diamondhelpers.com/fivesteps/diamond-price-form.shtml. It can only check that the price given matches the GIA report.

    Most of stores and booths on 47th street were bad experiences, but two were very professional. One was www.davidsdiamonds.com/. The other was Peter J Germano Inc on 50 W 47th Street. I ended up buying the diamond at the last mentioned store, mainly because they offered a diamond with a little better cut, almost ideal cut according to AGS. Both stores were very good to work with, experienced personal and never stressed you or asked you to do a purchase.

    I choose a Lucida style setting with a round diamond: (tiffany lucida). I added two some small diamonds (0.08 C) that I had emburnished in the setting close to the big diamond to make the setting a little more unique. The diamond is 1.33 C, D color, SI1 clarity and cost $8100 not including tax. The cut is on the AGS scale a 1. The diamond and the setting look amazing.

    The proposal was pretty smooth. I picked her up after school on Saturday (Valentines Day). We were supposed to go to dinner and on the way we passes Rockefeller Center, where the ice rink is, nice place. I told her I had brought my camera and asked if I could take a picture of her. I went down on one knee to get a better angle and asked her to look to the side away from the camera. I quickly switched the camera for the box with the ring and popped the question. I got a "yes" back!

    To summarize this, if you want to do some shopping on 47th street, you must read up and know your stuff otherwise you will likely be tricked. A GIA certificate is no guarantee that the diamond is anything good, so you must be able to understand the certificate and learn to appraise the diamond from that. You can save a lot of money compared to chain stores so it is worth it.

    /Patric

    fsdfardfds.jpg
     
    


    


  2. pqcollectibles
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pqcollectibles » Feb 17, 2004
    Very pretty ring!! [​IMG]

    Many Congrats on your engagement [​IMG] and best wishes for your future together!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Nicrez
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Nicrez » Feb 17, 2004
    Patric_J, couldn't agree with you more. I dealt with over 28 shopkeepers and jewelers in the Diamond District on 47th. My experience was the same. I read PS, I knew more than any sales people (literllay almost ALL of them) and the owners were knowledgeable, but unwilling to help at times, when you sounded intelligent about what you wanted.




    As I say, ALWAYS know your stuff before jumping into a pit of lions, and the "Diamond District" is just that to those who "trust" these jewelers. Their profits are HUGE when they can sell you a badly cut D VV1 for twice the price...Some where helpful, but maybe the more people learn about diamonds before they buy them, the nicer they will be because it will be the norm that people understand cut, and they have no choice but to give you what you ask for!




    Only one part I got a little scared...You trust Zales? What's to trust? They are NOT all that, as many people will say about Tiffany's, Cartier...etc...
     
  4. Jennifer5973
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Jennifer5973 » Feb 17, 2004
    Congrats! I have posted on here before about 47th street...like anything else, there is good and there is bad (really bad [​IMG])

    You cited the number-one rule when trolling 47th street--know your stuff! And beware the extremists--I, too, love the "it'll be gone in an hour if you don't buy NOW..." I even had one woman grab my arm as I tried to leave her store, shouting "What will it take to make you a customer RIGHT NOW." [​IMG]

    Congrats again! Great ring!
     
    


    


  5. patric_j
    Rough_Rock

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    by patric_j » Feb 17, 2004
    I actually never bought anything from Zales or Tiffany, but I'm sure these two companies can't be compared, they are so diffenent. However, I feel that Zales is more trustworthy than most stores on 47th street. If you don't want to do your homework and can't afford Tiffany, then I would suggest Zales or Kay instead of trying to save some money on 47th street and most likely end up loosing instead.

    /Patric
     
  6. Nicrez
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Nicrez » Feb 17, 2004
    Me personally, I would not trust any jewelery store with as much as $10K. The point of any sales person is to sell you what they have, not always what you want. So rule #1 is BIG purchases is know exactly what you want, find the price market and DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Zales has lower quality, and you would NOT have found your LOVELY ring there...their settings are also not as unique as yours...(post more pics in Show Me The Ring forum!!)




    But I WOULD trust internet salespeople like the ones that come so highly recommended here on PS. We bought from a B&M, but only because we personally found the right stone there... To all looking, good luck, and I say only trust people who have NO vested interest in your purchase, but are knowledgeable of the item... [​IMG]
     
  7. luvmysparklies
    Shiny_Rock

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    by luvmysparklies » Feb 17, 2004
    OOOOhhh...pretty ring! Congratulations and good job fending off the other sharks on 47th! [​IMG]
    Luv
     
  8. Jennifer5973
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Jennifer5973 » Feb 17, 2004
    I agree... After reading all the experiences here, checking out prices/comparison shopping, and my own recent experience, it seems easier to go with the reputable online vendors here.

    But I could also see going for the *thrill* of 47th street if you're near. I guess we never really overcome our basic inctinct to *hunt*...whether it's for food or diamonds.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. hoorray
    Ideal_Rock

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    by hoorray » Feb 17, 2004
    Congrats on your successful purchase! It looks like a beautiful ring.

    We found 47th st to be useful to be able to view multiple stones side by side as we were getting started. Looking for a larger stone, not many B&M stores had a good selection on hand, and I didn't want to have them go to the trouble to bring them in since I knew we probably wouldn't be buying from them. You just have to stick to your plan and say no when the pressure starts.
     
  10. glitterata
    Ideal_Rock

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    by glitterata » Feb 17, 2004
    Pretty ring! Congratulations on your engagment.
     
    


    


  11. caratgirl
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by caratgirl » Feb 17, 2004
    LOL, sounds a lot like L.A., but multiplied by 10...good observations, by the way. [​IMG]

    ps Very cool substantial ring, by the way!
     
  12. icelady
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by icelady » Feb 18, 2004
    Patric,

    That ring is just beautiful.[​IMG] The setting is very unique.

    Congratulations![​IMG]
     
  13. patric_j
    Rough_Rock

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    by patric_j » Feb 18, 2004
    I forgot to mention that after I bought the ring is that I had it independently verified. It costed $40 for a guy to just from looking at the ring check weight, measurements, color and inclusions. This matched very well with the GIA certificate so I feel certain that the diamond I recieved was the one that goes with the GIA certificate. I recommend everyone to do this to sleep better at night.

    Several sales people said they would give me a good price because business was slow. This sounds reasonable to me, except the fact that I was looking for the diamond right before Valentines Day, which should be the busiest period for any decent jewelers. Don't believe a sales person when they say they give you a good price. Find several similar diamonds from different stores and that way tell if the diamond has a good price or not.

    Thanks for your comment about the setting and the diamond, I'm very happy with my purchase.
     
  14. Patty
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Patty » Feb 18, 2004
    Good job Patric! The ring is gorgeous.
     
  15. Nicrez
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Nicrez » Feb 18, 2004
    These people must be selling something else, because business is NOT slow...from December to February is supposed to be the "busy season" for diamond shopping, and also, the prices have gone up twice on the diamonds within the past few weeks. These people may have bad stones in inventory they need to get rid of to get more rough, or more cut stones, but who wants the bottom of the barrell... AHHH! When you hear that they have to off-load a stone at a cheap price, RUN! it's probably not a deal, unless oyu like cut glass!




    Patrik, great stone and the setting is really lovely! CONGRATS!
     
    


    


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