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Need advice on Hearts On Fire (aka Wallet on Fire)

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jukester

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
3
My girlfriend really has her heart set on a Hearts On Fire engagement ring. I''d done a lot of research
on diamonds and thought i was ready to make a great selection online until she dropped this bomb. My questions: Is a HOF diamond really that spectacular to warrant the unbelievable premium in price? Are other brands of Hearts and Arrows diamonds comparable? Is this all just marketing hype; can unbranded diamonds with very similar cuts be just as good?

My search had been for the following and I found many that fit within my budget of $4,000-5,000.
Cut: Ideal
Color: D,E,or F
Clarity: VS2 or above
Carat: .80-1.0
Polish/Symmetry: Excellent to Ideal
Fluorescence: Little to none.
Now i''m faced with the decision to either pay substantially more for the same size diamond or have a possibly very unhappy fiancee on my hands.


If anyone has actually purchased HOF diamonds, please relate your experiences. Also, what is an average price for an HOF diamond with the specs related above?

Thanks much.
 

Mexi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Messages
119
To me - NO.
As a consumer, not an expert, the HOA did not do it for me. The one HOA I observed was in a high end mall, at Christan Bernard Jewelers. It was a 1ct F SI1 for $11,000. I think way over priced for a H&A stone.

I believe you can find a comparable stone on the internet at a substantial discount from the HOA price. I don't think your girlfriend will be able to tell the difference.
 

clementine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
131
I bought an UNbranded Hearts and arrows (F SI1, 1.64) for $12,900 - it is literally ON FIRE!!!

I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money on the name and went for the larger, better cut diamond.

Just my 2 cents.
 

BetsyA

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
28
Hi Jukester,

I'm going to reply with a previous read that I posted a while back on this forum. Too long to rewrite so I hope I can transfer it properly.

I will say that I think the HOF are a great alternative to the shopper who cannot buy from the vendors on this forum for one reason or another. I do own one but I want for you to read my previous post. I would definately make sure your fiance is fine with another brand of H&A before buying one.

Here goes trying to transfer it.
Betsy

I just want to give a bit of advice on shopping for a diamond.  I read so many posts which I want to respond to concerning where to buy a diamond but don't want to sound pushy.

I will share how I bought my diamond and maybe this can help others make a decision.  My husband and I bought my diamond from a jewelry store which we have always bought from.  The table was 60%, the depth was 63.3.  The jeweler told us the cut was Very Good Class 2.  .75 H SI2.  The color was actually a G-H..very white looking and the SI2 was truly eye clean.  But we knew nothing about what to look for in the cut.  We were at the mercy of the jeweler.

Then I stumbled upon Pricescope.  The more I learned the more I became convinced that my stone did not have the greatest cut.  After much confusion I realized I had to go back to the store.  Thankfully the store had a great return policy and although we had gone beyond the 30 day money back return period they have a 90 day exchange policy so we were able to pick something else out. 

They had a very poor selection of ideals and none that would work for us.  The selection was not nearly as great as what is available online but I had no choice. I had to pick something from the store.

Anyway, the only decent cut I could find was a HOF and because they are so expensive I had to go smaller in size .  I ended up buying a .655 HSI1 that is beautiful but I did go down in size   (OUCH!)  And the stone cost me $800 more!  Double OUCH!!!  The cut is much better so I can be satisfied.  The numbers are right this time and my diamond really sparkles.

But I know that if I could have bought online I would have been able to find a bigger diamond of equal or better quality. 

What advice do I want to give?  Make sure that wherever you end up buying has a great return policy.  And keep in mind that the selection is much better online.  There is so much to choose from!  I love my diamond but if I had a chance to start over, I would definately order from a vender here on PS.  I run numbers through PS and I can get the same or better specs on a diamond and gain 10 points in size for what we paid for my diamond. 

BetsyA Yeah, it worked!
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
Don't you mean "Hearts on Overhead"


We were among the first handful of retailers in the United States to sell HOF diamonds, but we soon discovered that we could source diamonds of comparable quality without having to pay a premium for a brand name that "strongly suggested" we maintain a minimum mark-up which we felt was absurd... Do a little research and carefully evaluate the consistency of the Hearts & Arrows pattern, polish and symmetry grades, etc. and we think you'll discover that you can do much better with a non-branded stone... Spend your hard earned $$$ on getting a bigger, better diamond, not a brand name.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
You're not going to notice a difference between a HoF and any other H&A diamond. This may just be the only H&A your GF has seen so she doesn't know that there are many others out there cut similarly.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
We saw HOF as the first stones we looked at. They were amazing. Very beautiful. Could have been the jewelry lights, who knows, but the woman put 2 next to each other in a 3 stone setting to show us how they work and we were seriously gaga.

We looked at an H SI1 I think around 1c for $11k. There was a G SI1 .80 for $7000 I believe. It was a hefty markup.

Over time we saw other stones and the HOF faded from our memory a little. Does your GF know you are looking? If so, maybe take her to see some H&A stones and see if she likes the way those look. You can get a great H&A stone for relatively little extra brand markup, definitely not like the HOF brand. I haven't seen an H&A in person and don't know how they would compare to a HOF, but I have seen pictures and they are amazing to behold--plus we all know that film and/or digital cannot capture the best thing about a diamond, it's soul and those myriad sparkles that warm the heart. (ooh sappy for me!)


Anyway--if she does not know you are looking, you are stuck in a tough spot, you want to please her but don't want to pay markup for something you aren't sure you can quantify. Personally I'd get her a H&A stone and just educate her after the fact. If she does not know that you are looking and you surprise her with an amazing H&A or similar within your budget, chances are VERY HIGH in my opinion that she will still love the stone (if she's any type of girl to keep that is) and be impressed that you didn't take the branded aka easy way out and drop a load of cash on a stone for the name. I would be anyway..and I definitely appreciate a smart and good deal--esp on a beautiful item.

Good luck!!
 

Spyder

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Messages
50
Just get an excellent cut H&A stone, preferably one from a vendor that supplied a photo of the H&A pattern. Then when your gf asks about it, show her the photo to assure her that it is H&A, maybe buy an inexpensive H&A viewer as well (after the stone is mounted you can only see the Arrows), and all in all, since the stone will be quite a fine stone, gf should be thoroughly satisfied, and if not then immediately exchange gf for one with more sense.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
I am currently working on closing a deal where I'm getting a H&A, 1.33ct, SI1, J stone for about $5500. For me your specs don't fit... I feel since you can't tell the difference between an SI1 and a VS2 with the eye, essentially there is no difference. And I've been told a stone with a lower color rating won't show its yellow with the super ideal cut we are talking about. This allowed me to set my sights on a larger stone.


----------------
On 5/27/2003 11:24:16 PM Spyder wrote:
if not then immediately exchange gf for one with more sense.
----------------
Hahaha... well said. If your gf is really bent on the stone's stats, maybe not telling her any of the stats is the best way. Especially if you get stats that meet or exceed her "expectations". Or maybe thats just my way of thinking...
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2000
Messages
1,374
What I found out is that they limit the area dealerships on HOF. So, everybody in the good old boys group can keep the price up. Its not like you can go down the street and buy them cheaper, but a 150 mile radius to the next store that will tell you the same thing.

Remember the fire from the jewelers lights are not the same fire you get out doors.

Also there is no copy right on how to cut a diamond , Barry , Nice Ice and A cut above~ have diamonds that would compair if not exceed HOF .
Just my 2 cents
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2000
Messages
1,374
We all find things out late.

Like lowest fare .com is not the lowest fare. $800

Air Gorrilla.com $415

ouch


that was a $400 lesson on not letting a name make you think your getting the best deal.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
O.K. - everyone on the forum can collectively slap me.........but I would seriously rework your parameters. A G/H SI1 well cut stone *will* knock her socks off.

And.......you can get a stone with the same sparkle as HOF for MUCH MUCH less. Ask your girlfriend if she would rather have 1/2 HOF or .90 (same cut quality) non HOF.

Good Luck.......don't fall prey to the hype.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Just to add three more things:

When I was pricing HoF, I think they came to about 30-40% more than other H&As. I'd have to dig up my notes to be sure, but it really was like paying Tiffany prices.

I bought an unbranded H&A for my mother last year. Believe me, it looks just as wonderful as the HoFs I saw.

Oh, and finally, when I looked at the HoF, I compared an I with an F and was amazed how little difference there was between the two face-up. I'm rather sensitive to color and was just blown away. Would I buy an I? Probably not. I just *like* knowing I have a higher color even if I can't tell the difference.

I actually suspect that the best thing to do in your GF's case is to get a H&A loose, with a H&A viewer, so when you present it to her she can inspect the hearts and arrows. I remember the H&A presentation and that was one of their strongest marketing tools. If she's seen their presentation, being able to view the H&A may be a better way to go than presenting the stone already set.
 

jukester

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
3
Thanks everyone for the excellent feedback. I'm going to a HOF dealer this weekend to see and price for myself. However, from your comments, i think i'll be leaning away from HOF, saving some money while at the same time getting a comparable diamond. Hopefully I won't have to take Spyder's advice and exchange my girlfriend.

Thanks again,
Jukester
 
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