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NY diamond district worth the trip?

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mrmarius

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Hello all... I intend to purchase an engagement ring in around 6 months. I am beginning to do research. My brother-in-law has advised me to make a trip to NYC (I live near DC) to the Diamond District to purchase my diamond. I have done a few searches here and found some what-I-think-to-be-good prices. In general, do folks think it will be worth my time to make the trip up there to purchase my diamond, as opposed to a website, local store, etc? I will most likely be looking for a 1.2-1.5 ct well-cut Princess, E-F, VS1-2.

Thanks for all the posts on here... they are invaluable to someone like me! Myself and my (hopefully) fiancee-to-be are very appreciative!

Thanks,
Marius

:wavey:
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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You can physically see and examine many diamonds in the NY Diamond DIstrict, but are you mentally tough enough to buy well there? That is up to you.

You can sure go there to look and learn. You can use the Pricescope search ability to find the price range and quality you'd like to buy.

You can do well in a diamond district, but you will likely spend less and waste less effort working with many of the vendors on this site.

I suggest you establish a budget and size range, then search anywhere you choose. Let the personality of the sellers and what they have to offer be your guide as to where to spend your money. No one can tell any individual which way will be best for them. We are all different.
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
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Good advice. Yep, that is what I worry about. I don't count myself among the best of negotiators. On the bright side, my brother-in-law offered to go up with me and help out. He is a native, so that will help... and he wants to take me to the place where he got my sister's diamond and hope the repeat business thing will get me a better price as well.

Is it realistic to think I might save 15% on prices found on this site? I think if I can save 15% on a 6K-7K diamond that would make it worth the trip.

thanks,
Marius

:wavey:
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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No. I do not believe you can possibly save 15% on the prices found here. There may be an occasional exception due to secondhand purchasing of diamonds by individual dealers, but the vast majority of store keepers will charge as much or even substantially more than the Pricescope listings.

Some diamonds on Pricescope are listed multiple times at lower and higher amounts. That sort of variance is normal, but most are well within a 15% spread.
 

mbn

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2001
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212
I think the NY Diamond district is similar to the LA Diamond District. I believe that many of the local stores buy their diamonds fr. the LA Diamond District wholesale price then sell them to the public at a markup. Majority of the jewelry stores I went to got their stones fr. LA Diamond District. I figured if you buy straight fr. the Diamond District, you would eliminate the middle man markup, hence save you some money, but I could be wrong. Let's see what the experts say about the subject.
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
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Sep 15, 2002
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I haven't been to NY yet, but here are a couple examples (admittedly pretty simplistic)... these are princess cuts, btw...

bluenile.com: F/VVS2 1.09 ct, VG cut, 68/67 D/T, exth-med $6631
nydex.com: F/VVS2 1.07 ct, (?) cut, 73/72, vth-tk, $5279

bluenile.com: D/VS2 1.00, VG, 68/72, med-think $5840
nydex.com: D/VS2 1.01, 76/72, eth-tk $4838

so it appears I will not be going with bluenile. :))

In general, nydex.com seems to have better deals.

I will keep studying... :read:
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
63
Dave -

I was looking around some more and here are some listed prices for 1 ct "well-cut" round diamonds from http://www.diamondregistry.com/price.htm, a place located in the Diamond District...

D/VS1 5400-6000 D/VS2 4300-5300
E/VS1 4400-5300 E/VS2 4100-5000

And from the pricescope.com price stats (from the 2A cut category)

D/VS1 6317-7256 D/VS2 5053-6496
E/VS1 5528-6703 E/VS2 5155-6089

Even the 3B cut prices are higher on pricescope. This seems to suggest to me that it might be worth a trip up there. For example, using these prices I would save about $1088 on a 1.5 ct D/VS1 diamond. Any comment? I realize my crack analysis here is pretty simplistic. :confused:

Thanks,
Marius
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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15,305
I have the greatest respect for my friend and Colleague Dave Atlas and AGA cut grades, however they are a guide as fancy cut diamonds are very complex to analyse by proportions.

Also what one person calls well cut may be anothers rubbish.

If you can visit the district, and you have obviously learned a lot in a few days here, then consider getting an ideal-scope and visiting a mall to do a little home work first.

And you caan still have a district stone and an online stone sent to Dave for a side by side comparison and his very valuable opinion.
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
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Sep 15, 2002
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63
I am defintely not questioning anything about Dave. I was more just trying to figure out the seemingly large discrepancy in prices... which I understand is difficult without more information. Sorry if that is how my last post came out! Just trying to educate myself.
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
Mrmarius,

Pricescope price stats are based on internet e-tail prices.

Most of the internet diamond dealers are brokers i.e. their prices are based on wholesale prices plus small (5%-10%) margin for the service.

At the same time, some wholesale companies are trying to sell directly to consumers and you might find a better deal. This company may be one of them.

At any rate you have to compare apples to apples including what grading reports they are using and what other services and return options they provide.

It would be really interesting to make a full price comparison for the diamonds they offer.
 

Rina

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
8
Spin off question regarding the NY Diamond district... since the internet has fewer options for those consumers looking for older, antique rings... does it make sense to go there for such a purchase? IF so, is there any general consensus on how much to try and bargain for? (I'm terrible at bargaining, so any advice would be great)

Thanks
R
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
63
Leonid,

I'd be happy to help with that when and if I go head up to NYC. Of course, it most likely won't be until February or March. I would certainly let folks know how I did and what I found.

Marius
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
That would be great Mrmarius.

I just checked nydex.com.

For example they list this princess diamond:
1.06 E VS1 76.3% 69.0% MD NN VG VG NN 5.57-5.48-4.18 11685109

They also show Rap price for this category: 6,900 $/ct. They call it Wholesale $/carat.

They offer it for $5,230

I ran a search on Pricescope and found similar stone:
1.06 E VS1 61% 69% GIA thn-med no gd vg no 6.13x5.84x3.56

Different vendors offer it for less than $4,900

This stone might be better, btw, because it is not as deep and will look larger than the first one.
 

fire&ice

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Jul 22, 2002
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7,828
----------------
On 9/15/2002 3:53:51 PM

My brother-in-law has advised me to make a trip to NYC (I live near DC) to the Diamond District to purchase my diamond.
:wavey:
----------------


I know nothing about princess cut stones; but, I do know my geography- www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com - a pricescope vendor is near DC. I also use a jeweler in Charlottesvill, VA if you want to drive there - I'm not sure which side of DC you are on - C'ville is not that far from warrenton,etc.
 

Alexander

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
1
I live in Westchester NY and I got my wife's stone in the Diamond District. Like Nike said - "JUST DO IT!.

I saved a lot of money!!!! The ring I bought appraised for 2 1/2 times the price I paid.

YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME WITH THE VENDERS DOWN THERE. USE THEM AGAINST THE NEXT GUY. YOU WILL WIN!!!

I did the same thing for the wedding bands.

The same type of wedding bands would have coast me two to three times the price in Westchester (my own county) And I am only 30 -45 min from NYC.

I am on my way down to the Diamond District today for some X-Mas shopping.
 

jeffd

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
45
Hi, I've been lurking here for a bit. My college roomate has an uncle who owns a shop in the nyc diamond district. My friend used to work during the summer in the shop. I got my e-ring there but my friend got me a "family" discount, so there was no negotiation. On the day that I picked out the ring, I spent about four hours in the shop with my friend. I saw enough in those four hours to know that the average consumer does very poorly there.

Based on what I've read here, I think you'll do better with one of the vendors that are oft recommended on this site.

luck,
jeff
 

laxgirl4493

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
18
If you are coming to NYC you might want to give Jonathan at Good Old Gold(no pressure) a call he is out on Long Island about 25 min fron NYC. This place is great check out his web site and info on him in the forums. Good luck
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Thanks for the plug laxgirl. Hi mrmarius. If you are sincerely interested in finding the *best* cut qualities in princess cuts (as Gary has said, about 90% of them out there are duds) we incorporate Ideal-Scope/LightScope technology (and have both instruments in our store) and BrillianceScope technology in locating and purchasing the finest princess cuts available for our clients.

As Gary has also mentioned about current cut grading charts ... going by a limited set of numbers guarantees nothing. Princess cuts have 3 pavilion angles to be looked at, 2 sets of crown angles + table size as well as crown angles/height and pavilion depth. Princess cuts are indeed a puzzle which I am currently studying but I haven't witnessed one that hits the nail on the head to define what is "ideal". What can be even more confusing for consumers is that some Sarin machines will only give one pavilion angle while a MegaScope will tell the other. Fortunately I'm able to measure all 3 and Lord willing will be able to sort out numerically what are the finest but even then not many people would be able to determine that with most cut measuring devices.

When clients come to our store we're able to show them the common 90% stuff that you'll find littered within the diamond district and then we'll also be able to show you the cherries that make up a very small margin of princess cuts and let you compare them side by side. Our prices are comparable to any 47th street price you'll get with one exception ... you'll not only know the numbers on the stone ... you'll know how those numbers perform in terms of light return, fire, brilliance & scintillation. This is one example we recently scanned in and sold within 24 hours of scanning it. http://www.goodoldgold.com/princess_1_55ct_g_vs1.htm Here is another example. http://www.goodoldgold.com/princess__77ct_f_vvs1.htm

Even if you don't come visit us feel free to use the information on our site to help you.

Kind regards,
Rhino
 

barry

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2001
Messages
441
MrMarius;

I would definitely advise that you visit 47th Street
to "see" Princess Cuts. They are impossible to buy
just off the numbers. The fact is you can have
two Princess' cut to the same specs and they will look
quite different.

I'd also recommend you inspect our beautiful SuperbCert
Princess cuts. They consistently max out on light output as measured by the BrillianceScope, and show minimal light leakage on the ImageScope.

Barry
www.superbcert.com
 

sans

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
15
Rhino,

If I chose a diamond from Dirt Cheap, say, because of characteristics important to me, do you accept such a stone for evaluation -- for a fee, of course! (I'd contact you privately for the fee.)

Your site's the BEST.

sans
 

Googleman

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
Messages
53
I think it would be worth a trip to at least go and take a look.

My boyfriend and I live in Chicago and we have visited the diamond district here a couple times. (We think we will end up purchasing over the internet but it helps to go and take a look and see things with your own eyes.) The majority of places we went, the salespeople were nice. Even though much of the information they presented to me was contrary to what I have learned on my own ("any fluorescence will make a stone look milky", "this diamond (table of 62 and depth of 59) is an ideal cut", "clarity is SOLELY determined by where the inclusion falls in the diamond", etc.) most were not pushy at all. They encouraged us to look around for the "right" diamond and if that ended up being the diamond they showed us, they would be happy to sell it to us.

We had one horrible experience, though. This man had us trapped in a little room for about 2 hours and did NOT want us to leave until we had purchased a diamond. He even went so far as to drop the price $2,000 "if we bought the diamond today." He kept telling us we didn't need to look any further because this was THE diamond for us. UGH! The diamond was actually very nice and perhaps could have been in the final running but with pushy sales tactics like that, we have now totally discounted it and will never go back there again! Should we ultimately decide to buy something in the diamond district, I will take my business somewhere else!
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Hi Sans,

Yes we do appraisals on loose diamonds no matter where you purchased it. Thanks for the kind words too. We have alot of new additions coming to the site that is going to be both fun and exciting and will also help make things easier for the consumer or the person just looking to learn. :)

Peace,
Rhino
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
128
I'm coming into this thread late, but I can say this: I contacted two diamond district dealers, both of whom I was assured gave "unbelieveable" deals. I also live in the DC area, and did not drive to NYC, just called. I let these dealers know about deals I had been offered on Pricescope, and neither could beat them -- they couldn't even get close.

I think the Diamond District would be very helpful to:

1) Get a sense of what you are looking for in terms of color, clarity, etc, i.e., learn about diamonds and
2) Perhaps buy a fancy cut (I bought a round).

And I think they are cheaper than most B&M and BlueNile, but the brokers and cheapest guys on Pricescope are significantly cheaper than the DD.
 

klein103

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
10
I just went trough the same thing.

NYC jewelers make car salesmen look timid. I had a very bad experience. I am very sure of myself and comfortable negotiation (i did it for a living), but nyc diamond shopping was not fun. Look at stones near you at a reputable jewler. GIA IS GIA for the most part same with other ratings. Learn the cut proportions from this site. Get as much info as possible. I actually had a jewler get a few stones I found on the price search in, but be fair and let them know in advance what your going to do, which is make them match the price. The way I got them to agree to this is I brought them in a certified check stamped refundable deposit in memo and had a receipt stating refundable deposit. I even paid for the shipping on the stones I didn’t want $200.00 bucks. However next time I am just going to buy online. IT’S A BIG PURCHASE TAKE YOUR TIME AND DON’T HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE THAT YOU WILL NOT FORGET, I SAY STAY AWAY FROM NYC.

Just for the record, I beat the nyc price online by almost 20%

good luck
 

mrmarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
63
Just for the record, I ended up bagging the NYC diamond district idea and ended up buying from dirtcheapdiamonds.com... after I had the diamond and setting appraised, the appraiser's jaw dropped when I told him what I paid for everything.

And all of my (happy to now call her) fiancee's friends/family, etc., think the stone is bigger than it really is!

thanks to everyone on this site for helping and giving advice. Pricescope is what the Internet was created for.

:wavey:
 
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