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nervous to buy online...site recommendations?

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snowgie17

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
19
I''ve finally decided on all the specs I want for my girlfriend''s Princess cut e-ring, and while I''m aware that a lot of people purchase the stone and ring online, I''m still nervous. Even with a third-party verification like the GIA certificate, is there a way to really "know" the stone matches the certificate? Where could I go to get it checked out/verified professionally? And do online stores allow for this "trial" period in case you don''t like the product after you actually get to see it?

In general, I''d love to hear anybody''s recommendations for sites they liked, and/or why it is advantageous to purchase online.

Thanks!!
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
I had an excellent experience and saved considerable money by buying online from a reputable vendor. Some sites I would recommend: whiteflash, jamesallen, goodoldgold, bluenile, and engagementringsdirect. All of these sites are trustworthy and if you do searches for them on this site many threads will come up about people''s experiences.

You can *know* your diamond matches the certificate by having it independently appraised after purchase. You can find a pricescope recommended gemologist by going to the resources tab, then appraisers, and then your area.


For me personally, I purchased my engagement ring diamond from james allen and I was very happy with their service and the quality of their diamonds. I had the stone appraised just to make sure and everything checked out with compliments on my stone purchase. I am having whiteflash create a custom wedding band for me and so far I am really happy with their service and the quality of their stones. Just in case you are curious, here is my current thread with the waxes to check out their diamonds and the wax work. They have been excellent to work with so far, very good service and advice.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/wf-wax-pic.54193/


Hope this helps, welcome to ps!!!
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
One more thing...most of these sites have very good return policies. You could easily order and return within the period if you wanted (minus shipping costs). Many of these dealers also have trade up policies if she ever wants a bigger stone or something different.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
I bought my ring from whiteflash. if you go to pricescope https://www.pricescope.com/sift.aspx you can bring up the same diamond for a few vendors. Whiteflash matched Abazio''s price on a stone I wanted for about $500 cheaper than they had listed. They have a 100% trade up policy. Others have 80%. I would look at each policy.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
26,968
Local jewelers have diamond checkers, microscopes and calipers.

Using these tools you can verify:
1. It is a real diamond.
2. The inclusions match the lab report plots
3. The dimensions match the report

You can also ask them to pull out an H stone to see if it is close to your H.

Many jewelers will do this for free, especially when you ask them to show you high-end platinum settings for the stone.


If you are really concerned I guess you could continuously videotape yourself picking up the package, driving directly to the jeweler, zooming in on traffic signs and stopping to zoom on on the date on papers in newspaper machines, and arriving at the jeweler, opening the package at the jeweler and taping the verification process - all without stopping the camera or letting the diamond out of view. Start with a fully charged battery.

This may sound nutty and excessive but I think the vendors video tape the opening of return packages.
Must be a reason.
 

Jointlock

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
5
Hey Snowgie,
DO NOT hesitate to deal with Whiteflash. I posted 2 weeks ago with virtually the same questions you had. I was on a strict budget. A GIANT THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ADVISED AND RE-ASSURED ME!!! I picked up the ring today at Fed Ex and it is unbelievable. I got a 1ct H SI2 that looks so ideal its incredible. The cut is beautiful, and the stone is immaculate. Celina at Whiteflash is a doll, and she went out of her way to get me a better and slightly cheaper stone than I had picked out. The setting is beautiful. If I bought this ring retail I can assure you they would have passed it off as a VS1, F and charged at least double what I payed. I looked at sooooo many stones in the B&M''s, and there is a MAJOR difference between grading. Whiteflash is very strict and to get a .90 that looks this good for such a reasonable price is amazing. I know my girlfriend is going to be very happy. If shes happy then I am happy. Search your stone on Pricescope, then call Celinaand tell her Chris D from NYC told you to call her....because she gave a working DAd on a budget the ability to give my sweetie much more of a ring than I couldgotten anywhere else. Congrats on the upcoming event. Chris
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Dad,
I must have been just like you because I got my ring today from Whiteflash too and started looking 2 weeks ago. I bet your sweetie will be super happy. yOu are so sweet!!!!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
you can read up here on the vendors and you''ll get ton of consumer feedback on who''s good and who isn''t. I would also recommend Bill at Icemine.com or Wink Jones at Winfields (both Pricescope vendors) for a princess. Both have the new AGS 000 princess stones which are just amazing so definitely consider them in your search. I have purcased from 3 online vendors and each time the process was very smooth and all had wonderful customer service. I think once you start making phone calls and emailing, building a relationship many of your fears will slip away.
 

avlis

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
237
well, since we are pluggin vendors..

I have been dealing with good old gold(GoG) for my E-ring. they have been great, giving me all the info I want and not presuring me to buy one stone over another. I have actually just reserved a stone with them for a $500 deposit, and they are sending the stone to an independant appraiser of my choice, AGA. now GoG works with AGA alot, so i think if i chose some random appraiser they never heard of, i wouldnt be able to do this, but i will be getting a second opnion on my stone before actually sending GoG money.

if you pick the right vendor, i dont think there is a single concern to have. if you makes any difference, GoG has a B&M store as well. thier prices might be slightly higher because of this, but I felt more secure knowing this, and they have a helium scanner.. ooo what a machine!
 

mtrb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
207
snowgie - first off don't be nervous. YOu have come to the right place. All of the vendors represented here are of the highest quality and professionalism... That should make you feel better. We wouldn't be here flaunting our stones, and experiences if they werent. They really are awesome.

I used James Allen and they were great.

Many others swear by Good old Gold and White Flash.

Many of the stores also have a 30 day return policy. Everything is done by overnighting Fedex/UPS with these vendors. Everything is also insured,so no one gets hurt.

Really this is the best way to buy a diamond. Have faith and trust in the PS community. We wouldn't be here if we didn't have full trust in the vendors here.

Keep in mind they are only allowed to advertise here after they have proven themselves to the community. The questionable ones have no ads here.



Oh and as to why you should purchase here... many of the B&M stores won't even carry the high end of stones, and if they do you are going to pay a LOT more for them. Lower end stones marketed to the masses tend to have a higher profit margin...and when B&M stores have to pay their rents..this is where they really focus.

Certificate is the other reason. Do not settle for anything other than a GiA or AGS certification. Try that in many B&M stores. Watch how many EGL and IGI certs they try to pawn off to you..lol. Many are not worth the paper they are printed on.
 

snowgie17

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
19
Thanks everyone for feedback!

If I don''t see a band or ring setting I like online, and decide to just purchase the stone by itself online, is it possible to bring the stone to a local jeweler and have them set the stone into a band in front of me? I guess I''d be really nervous about dropping off my diamond and not getting the same one back!!! And when getting a stone appraised, can they also do this so I am able to watch?

Also, is it common to negotiate on the price with the online vendors? I suppose I am naiive and thought this only occurred in the Brick & Mortar locations...

Thanks!!
 

jaz464

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,022
It is definetly possible to watch an appraisal. I would only choose one who wanted you to watch because I learned so much by watching mine. It was about 1 hour or a little longer and he ran all kinds of tests and told me all about the results while the appraisal was going on.

As for watching the setting of your diamond, I don't think so. I guess it could be possible but I have not heard of it happening. If you don't trust your jeweler so much that you have to watch him/her set it, I would choose another jeweler. I would buy a loupe and learn how to use it. Know your diamond's unique characteristics. When you drop the diamond off to be set, have the jeweler point out your diamond's inclusions under a microscope. When you come to pick up the ring, have them again show you the same inclusions under the scope.

It is possible to find local jewelers to set diamonds not bought from them. Sometimes it just takes some searching. The best advice is to not walk in and say "can you set my diamond I bought online?" If you have to, tell them it is an heirloom diamond. And ask if they will take full responsibility for your diamond while they are setting it, in case of chipping or other damage.

Some people here have bartered a little bit with online vendors. Most do not give more than a few hundred off at the most because the prices are usually so competitive already (at least with the most reliable online vendors).
 

mtrb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
207

Negotiation is not very common. The profit margins are much slimmer online. I would say that you will get a much better deal here with the listed prices than anything you can negotiate with a B&M store. Think of it as a no haggle dealership, versus having to sit there for 4 hour to get the same deal.


You surely can buy your diamond here and have it set at a B&M..absolutely.


Finally, I would say if you have a GIA certed diamond (not sure about AGS), the certification number is right on the girdle. So just check when you pick it up. Don''t leave the store until you check...


The reality of it is though... no jeweler wants to ruin his/her business by switching stones... especially reputable ones.


I think your worry is fairly unfounded. Its very rare that this happens otherwise it will ruin a business. Media just sensationalizes everything.

 

snowgie17

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
19
So hypothetically...let''s say I buy the stone online without being set to a band, and once the stone arrives in the mail I take it to a local jeweler to have it set. If there is a problem down the road, like a chip, or if I want to upgrade the size, would I go back to the local jeweler for that, or the online vendor?
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
Date: 12/3/2006 9:54:44 PM
Author: snowgie17
So hypothetically...let''s say I buy the stone online without being set to a band, and once the stone arrives in the mail I take it to a local jeweler to have it set. If there is a problem down the road, like a chip, or if I want to upgrade the size, would I go back to the local jeweler for that, or the online vendor?
First of all, you should insure your ring once it''s completed. This is just a good idea period. If it gets stolen, lost, damaged, etc. the insurance company will either replace it or give you money to replace it depending on your policy.


As far as being damaged while being set...this is a different can of worms. You could purchase your stone online and then have a different jeweler set the stone. You need to check with the vendor setting your stone to see if it will be insured under them. Often times...it''s not. Unfortunately, it''s difficult to insure a loose stone your self. It''s a small risk that something will happen during the setting process, but it is possible.

For problems down the road...depending on what happens this may be something to take up with your insurance company (say if you lost the ring or crushed the ring during an accident or something). For normal wear and tear (rhodium plating, polishing, sizing, etc) you would take it to a jeweler (either the one who set your ring or another if you prefer). If the jeweler who created your setting made a *mistake* with the integrity of the ring, I would hope that they would be the ones to fix it. However, you need to make sure of this and see if your setting will have a warranty and what the jeweler''s policy is for this.


For upgrades, you need to check the policies of the place where you bought the stone from. Some vendors have upgrade policies and some don''t. If the place you bought the stone has a policy, then you can upgrade through them. If not, then you will have to find a place to trade in or consign your diamond (usually for a low price).


Hope this helps...I know it''s a lot to think about.
 
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