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Recently checked-out e-rings at Tiffany''s, Cartier, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc.

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fanboy

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My own personal search for a ring didn''t lead me to one of the big Fifth Avenue stores, but I did drop in over the weekend to check out what they had to offer. The prices were high across the board, of course, but service and quality varied. Anyway, I thought this little ''report'' might be interesting to some.

1. Cartier. Very snooty, and bizarre sales tactics. I and a few other well-dressed men were completely ignored in the bridal section. The only customers given attention were an older couple and a group of high school girls gaggling over which ring was ''theirs''. One particularly bratty young lady asked in all seriousness to view the ring she''d certainly be getting in a few years. I can appreciate a young woman''s excitement over a future engagement ring, but excitement and entitlement are not the same thing. At any rate, you''d think a sales associate would be eager to speak to men standing around in the bridal area who are probably itching to get a rock and get out of there.
At any rate, back to the rings. ~$69,000 buys you a 2.02 carat F VS1 Asscher-cut in a art deco setting with pave. Very pricey, but the quality of the setting was excellent. Very nicely detailed, and very nice pave. Milgrain was very, very fine and evenly applied. All the settings for engagement rings are done in New York City. They didn''t know what a ''Royal Asscher'' is; one sales woman told me in a very condescending tone of voice: "Asscher is a cut, not a brand." I went on to explain the ongoing existence of the Asscher family and their new patented cut, but she just gave me a blank stare and responded: "Yes, well I''ve never heard of it." Well, then.

2. Harry Winston. Very friendly and very impressive store. There''s a very small front room with ''public'' display cases. Only a handful of rings are on display; the rest are in a vault and can be brought out to view upon request. When you walk in, a sales associate greets you with a smile and asks if you''d like to speak to someone privately in the much larger, ''private'' room. You sign in, and someone promptly takes you to meet with your private consultant. The private area has a dozen or so desks where you sit down to have your consultation. You then talk about what you''re looking for and they bring you examples to look at and compare. Prices are high, but I don''t remember anything in particular.
Harry Winston is the only one of the major stores on Fifth Avenue that does micro-pave extensively. The micro-pave looks similar to Leon Mege''s and they also use double claw prongs a lot . . . hmm. I personally liked that their rings tend less toward the antique/art deco look and are usually pretty simple in form. Not even a hint of snobbiness. The man I consulted with, however, did make the dubious claim that they haven''t lost a micro-pave stone yet.
Apparently, they really don''t sell many Asscher-cut diamonds, so they don''t bother stocking them. I was told that Asscher-cuts have proven a tough sell given their smaller face-up size.
The most personal and lavish shopping experience of the four. I can certainly see the appeal of buying from here.

3. Van Cleef & Arpels. Very friendly, like Harry Winston. Very small engagement ring collection; and very, very expensive. A 2.02 carat E VVS2 Asscher-cut diamond in plain platinum setting was over $70,000. Apparently, they only carry D-E-F and IF-through-VS2 diamonds. A nice sales woman sat down and showed me everything with great patience; she even pulled up the GIA report in .pdf format on the computer for me. Unfortunately, the selection here is really sparce; they will theoretically do custom work, but only on rare and exceptional stones. As a general guideline I was told that ''rare and exceptional'' meant at least 5 carats. Then, after you''re stone has qualified, you get to pay the $25,000 commission fee (separate from labor and materials).

4. Tiffanys. My least favorite store of the four. The store itself is loaded with tourists and both floors (are there more than two?) have a distinctly department store feel. It''s a giant open space with stations for different categories of jewelry. There''s no way to make a private purchase here. No one came to help me or offered assistance, but when I asked for it, I got it.
~$33,500 buys you a 1.6 carat F VS1 cushion cut diamond in the Legacy setting (halo, pave part way down shank) with G-color pave. For ~$44,000, you get the same setting with a 2.02 carat H VS2 cushion cut diamond. Very pricey, particularly considering that the quality of the setting was pretty unimpressive: the halo does not have set sides, instead curving downward toward a milgrain edge, the milgrain was not evenly applied on both rings I saw (you could see a bit of waviness in the edges of the halos), and one ring had a deep scratch under the halo. I understand a delicate ring can be preferable, but these felt rather tinny in comparison to the settings I''ve seen at Cartier and Leon Mege''s atelier.
They offered to put the rings I was interested in on hold and were very eager to answer my questions. However, there was no GIA report readily available. I was told I might be able to get one if I really wanted.
I understand that all of these stores mass-produce thousands and thousands of engagement rings, but Tiffany''s did the worst job of hiding that fact. It''s just awkward to advertise the unique and antique styling of the Legacy ring, and then show two dozen of them in the same display case. A big turn-off if you want to maintain the self-illusion that your ring is stylistically unique.
 

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Madam Bijoux

Ideal_Rock
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Cartier has spoken: there are no such things as Royal Asschers. We are delusional. (Bailey Banks & Biddle never heard of them either.)
 

Independent Gal

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That somewhat echoes my experience. I have always got EXCELLENT service at Van Cleef and extremely crappy service at Tiffany which feels vaguely like a mass market store. Cartier has always given me decent service in terms of attention, but it feels kinda... slimy and unfriendly.

First prize still goes to Graff for excuisite customer service (and fabulous diamonds of course! At least their fancy cuts and fancy colours... less impressed with their RB''s). I swear that''s my first stop when I win the lottery.
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

Interesting--thanks for sharing. Last year this time, while in Honolulu, I visited Cartier, HW, Tiffany and Bulgari. I had just purchased my 6.12ctw upgrade and was looking for, well, comparisons. I was welcomed and well received in each of the aforementioned stores, but noticed, like you Fanboy, varying degrees of selection in ER rings. While HW''s jewellery was seriously glamerous didn''t see that many ER''s; but I could have easily walked out of Cartier with a large Aschoka (sp?) ER set in pave. Left me speechelss, it was wonderful in every particular. I look forward to visiting VCA one day (none in Canada) so that i may drool over their rubies.

cheers--Sharon
 

Krissie

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Interesting!!

I was in the Cartier on 5th Ave in early May - picked out an early birthday gift (the gold Love lariat necklace) and had a really fab sales assistant. I can''t remember her name - it did take a little while for her to approach me, but once she did, we hit it off really well.

When I was there in May I looked at the classic 1895 platinum solitaire setting and was quoted $28k for 1.57 G VS1.

Did you by chance see any of the Declaration engagement rings? Mine is 1.11 D VS1 with the side baguettes - we picked it out at the Bond Street store a couple of weeks ago. SO wants to do a surprise proposal, but it''s killing me waiting for that to happen when I know that baby is mine!! I miss it
 

fanboy

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Date: 6/26/2007 3:10:15 PM
Author: Krissie
Interesting!!

Did you by chance see any of the Declaration engagement rings? Mine is 1.11 D VS1 with the side baguettes - we picked it out at the Bond Street store a couple of weeks ago. SO wants to do a surprise proposal, but it''s killing me waiting for that to happen when I know that baby is mine!! I miss it
I don''t know any of the rings by name. I was really only look for their Asscher-cut diamonds, which they didn''t have many of. Beautiful stuff though.
 

diagem

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Date: 6/26/2007 1:49:30 PM
Author:fanboy
My own personal search for a ring didn''t lead me to one of the big Fifth Avenue stores, but I did drop in over the weekend to check out what they had to offer. The prices were high across the board, of course, but service and quality varied. Anyway, I thought this little ''report'' might be interesting to some.

1. Cartier. Very snooty, and bizarre sales tactics. I and a few other well-dressed men were completely ignored in the bridal section. The only customers given attention were an older couple and a group of high school girls gaggling over which ring was ''theirs''. One particularly bratty young lady asked in all seriousness to view the ring she''d certainly be getting in a few years. I can appreciate a young woman''s excitement over a future engagement ring, but excitement and entitlement are not the same thing. At any rate, you''d think a sales associate would be eager to speak to men standing around in the bridal area who are probably itching to get a rock and get out of there.
At any rate, back to the rings. ~$69,000 buys you a 2.02 carat F VS1 Asscher-cut in a art deco setting with pave. Very pricey, but the quality of the setting was excellent. Very nicely detailed, and very nice pave. Milgrain was very, very fine and evenly applied. All the settings for engagement rings are done in New York City. They didn''t know what a ''Royal Asscher'' is; one sales woman told me in a very condescending tone of voice: ''Asscher is a cut, not a brand.'' I went on to explain the ongoing existence of the Asscher family and their new patented cut, but she just gave me a blank stare and responded: ''Yes, well I''ve never heard of it.'' Well, then.
The Asscher family exist in Holland (Amsterdam). Its NOT a new patented cut..., but rather a very old one (i think expired long time ago!) A few years ago a big Diamond manufacturing Company struck a deal with the Asscher family by using their RA name! The problem was that no one was willing to pay the high premium for the "Royal" Asscher when you could get the exact same Diamond cut for less! I am surprised that the Cartier employee didnt know about this existance!

2. Harry Winston. Very friendly and very impressive store. There''s a very small front room with ''public'' display cases. Only a handful of rings are on display; the rest are in a vault and can be brought out to view upon request. When you walk in, a sales associate greets you with a smile and asks if you''d like to speak to someone privately in the much larger, ''private'' room. You sign in, and someone promptly takes you to meet with your private consultant. The private area has a dozen or so desks where you sit down to have your consultation. You then talk about what you''re looking for and they bring you examples to look at and compare. Prices are high, but I don''t remember anything in particular.
Harry Winston is the only one of the major stores on Fifth Avenue that does micro-pave extensively. The micro-pave looks similar to Leon Mege''s and they also use double claw prongs a lot . . . hmm. I personally liked that their rings tend less toward the antique/art deco look and are usually pretty simple in form. Not even a hint of snobbiness. The man I consulted with, however, did make the dubious claim that they haven''t lost a micro-pave stone yet.
Apparently, they really don''t sell many Asscher-cut diamonds, so they don''t bother stocking them. I was told that Asscher-cuts have proven a tough sell given their smaller face-up size.
The most personal and lavish shopping experience of the four. I can certainly see the appeal of buying from here.
Harry Winston is better known for using the standard Emerald Cut version..., and even when their E/C''s are squarish (and they have a lot of them)..., they refrain from using the "Asscher" name for the cut. Which is in my opinion smart!

3. Van Cleef & Arpels. Very friendly, like Harry Winston. Very small engagement ring collection; and very, very expensive. A 2.02 carat E VVS2 Asscher-cut diamond in plain platinum setting was over $70,000. Apparently, they only carry D-E-F and IF-through-VS2 diamonds. A nice sales woman sat down and showed me everything with great patience; she even pulled up the GIA report in .pdf format on the computer for me. Unfortunately, the selection here is really sparce; they will theoretically do custom work, but only on rare and exceptional stones. As a general guideline I was told that ''rare and exceptional'' meant at least 5 carats. Then, after you''re stone has qualified, you get to pay the $25,000 commission fee (separate from labor and materials).

4. Tiffanys. My least favorite store of the four. The store itself is loaded with tourists and both floors (are there more than two? Yes i think 6) have a distinctly department store feel. It''s a giant open space with stations for different categories of jewelry. There''s no way to make a private purchase here. No one came to help me or offered assistance, but when I asked for it, I got it. They have quite a few private rooms. The private rooms are required by insurance Companies to show the more expensive pieces.
~$33,500 buys you a 1.6 carat F VS1 cushion cut diamond in the Legacy setting (halo, pave part way down shank) with G-color pave. For ~$44,000, you get the same setting with a 2.02 carat H VS2 cushion cut diamond. Very pricey, particularly considering that the quality of the setting was pretty unimpressive: the halo does not have set sides, instead curving downward toward a milgrain edge, the milgrain was not evenly applied on both rings I saw (you could see a bit of waviness in the edges of the halos), and one ring had a deep scratch under the halo. I understand a delicate ring can be preferable, but these felt rather tinny in comparison to the settings I''ve seen at Cartier and Leon Mege''s atelier.
They offered to put the rings I was interested in on hold and were very eager to answer my questions. However, there was no GIA report readily available. I was told I might be able to get one if I really wanted. Tiffany claims their name backs the quality of the Diamonds (And i agree with therm)
I understand that all of these stores mass-produce thousands and thousands of engagement rings, but Tiffany''s did the worst job of hiding that fact. It''s just awkward to advertise the unique and antique styling of the Legacy ring, and then show two dozen of them in the same display case. A big turn-off if you want to maintain the self-illusion that your ring is stylistically unique. In my opinion it shows the power that Tiffany has!!!
I would rather walk into a jewelry store and see they can accomodate me with a lot of different erings (like Tiffany''s) compared to walking into VC&A and notice their ering department is limited!

But I must admit..., its a nice report on these 5th. Ave. Jewelry stores.
 

Phoenix

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Hmm..interesting report and makes a nice comparison with service here in S''pore! I love Tiffany''s here, particularly in the higher end diamond section (the SA''s in the silver section vary, some are better than others). I''ve had SA''s in Tiffany''s show me many many diamond rings over the course of several yrs and have always received excellent and friendly service even though I''ve only purchased smaller items from them. Their knowledge of diamonds and cuts as well as brands is not always up to scratch, but the same can be said for all other high-end stores here (I am not even going to comment on mid to lower-end stores!!). Cartier''s service is also excellent but they have this annoying habit of asking me for my name and addressing me by it, as if we were long lost friends, which I find rather weird and intrusive. VC&A has only recently opened and I have yet to pay them a visit but I expect them to be equally friendly and eager to please, same as Tiff''s and Cartier''s. Unfortunately, HW is not here, yet!

None of them seems to have a private section where you can go and sit and fawn over the "private collection", shame!
 

winternight

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Interesting report. Personally I hate shopping on 5th for some of the reasons you listed. Its just overrun with tourists - then again the selection there is better than some of the smaller stores. My fiance and I did a run of Tiffany, VCA, and Cartier in a non-5th Ave. location and were treated very well in each store - he was even wearing a sweatshirt and jeans and I was also dressed casually without much jewelry - so I think it just depends on the person you get and the location.
 

Beacon

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Date: 6/26/2007 1:49:30 PM
Author:fanboy
My own personal search for a ring didn''t lead me to one of the big Fifth Avenue stores, but I did drop in over the weekend to check out what they had to offer. The prices were high across the board, of course, but service and quality varied. Anyway, I thought this little ''report'' might be interesting to some.

1. Cartier. Very snooty, and bizarre sales tactics. I and a few other well-dressed men were completely ignored in the bridal section. The only customers given attention were an older couple and a group of high school girls gaggling over which ring was ''theirs''. One particularly bratty young lady asked in all seriousness to view the ring she''d certainly be getting in a few years. I can appreciate a young woman''s excitement over a future engagement ring, but excitement and entitlement are not the same thing. At any rate, you''d think a sales associate would be eager to speak to men standing around in the bridal area who are probably itching to get a rock and get out of there.
At any rate, back to the rings. ~$69,000 buys you a 2.02 carat F VS1 Asscher-cut in a art deco setting with pave. Very pricey, but the quality of the setting was excellent. Very nicely detailed, and very nice pave. Milgrain was very, very fine and evenly applied. All the settings for engagement rings are done in New York City. They didn''t know what a ''Royal Asscher'' is; one sales woman told me in a very condescending tone of voice: ''Asscher is a cut, not a brand.'' I went on to explain the ongoing existence of the Asscher family and their new patented cut, but she just gave me a blank stare and responded: ''Yes, well I''ve never heard of it.'' Well, then.

2. Harry Winston. Very friendly and very impressive store. There''s a very small front room with ''public'' display cases. Only a handful of rings are on display; the rest are in a vault and can be brought out to view upon request. When you walk in, a sales associate greets you with a smile and asks if you''d like to speak to someone privately in the much larger, ''private'' room. You sign in, and someone promptly takes you to meet with your private consultant. The private area has a dozen or so desks where you sit down to have your consultation. You then talk about what you''re looking for and they bring you examples to look at and compare. Prices are high, but I don''t remember anything in particular.
Harry Winston is the only one of the major stores on Fifth Avenue that does micro-pave extensively. The micro-pave looks similar to Leon Mege''s and they also use double claw prongs a lot . . . hmm. I personally liked that their rings tend less toward the antique/art deco look and are usually pretty simple in form. Not even a hint of snobbiness. The man I consulted with, however, did make the dubious claim that they haven''t lost a micro-pave stone yet.
Apparently, they really don''t sell many Asscher-cut diamonds, so they don''t bother stocking them. I was told that Asscher-cuts have proven a tough sell given their smaller face-up size.
The most personal and lavish shopping experience of the four. I can certainly see the appeal of buying from here.

3. Van Cleef & Arpels. Very friendly, like Harry Winston. Very small engagement ring collection; and very, very expensive. A 2.02 carat E VVS2 Asscher-cut diamond in plain platinum setting was over $70,000. Apparently, they only carry D-E-F and IF-through-VS2 diamonds. A nice sales woman sat down and showed me everything with great patience; she even pulled up the GIA report in .pdf format on the computer for me. Unfortunately, the selection here is really sparce; they will theoretically do custom work, but only on rare and exceptional stones. As a general guideline I was told that ''rare and exceptional'' meant at least 5 carats. Then, after you''re stone has qualified, you get to pay the $25,000 commission fee (separate from labor and materials).

4. Tiffanys. My least favorite store of the four. The store itself is loaded with tourists and both floors (are there more than two?) have a distinctly department store feel. It''s a giant open space with stations for different categories of jewelry. There''s no way to make a private purchase here. No one came to help me or offered assistance, but when I asked for it, I got it.
~$33,500 buys you a 1.6 carat F VS1 cushion cut diamond in the Legacy setting (halo, pave part way down shank) with G-color pave. For ~$44,000, you get the same setting with a 2.02 carat H VS2 cushion cut diamond. Very pricey, particularly considering that the quality of the setting was pretty unimpressive: the halo does not have set sides, instead curving downward toward a milgrain edge, the milgrain was not evenly applied on both rings I saw (you could see a bit of waviness in the edges of the halos), and one ring had a deep scratch under the halo. I understand a delicate ring can be preferable, but these felt rather tinny in comparison to the settings I''ve seen at Cartier and Leon Mege''s atelier.
They offered to put the rings I was interested in on hold and were very eager to answer my questions. However, there was no GIA report readily available. I was told I might be able to get one if I really wanted.
I understand that all of these stores mass-produce thousands and thousands of engagement rings, but Tiffany''s did the worst job of hiding that fact. It''s just awkward to advertise the unique and antique styling of the Legacy ring, and then show two dozen of them in the same display case. A big turn-off if you want to maintain the self-illusion that your ring is stylistically unique.
Not sure about that. Last time I was in the Tiffany 5th ave store they did have private rooms. And we definitely have them in the California stores as I have used them. Sound like they have raised their prices even from 1 year ago! They do have a very large selection though.
 

diamondfan

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Fanboy, most Tiffany''s do have a private area. I have gotten two e rings there, both upgrades, and was always taken into a private area to view the loose stones and pick up the ring. The NY store is a flag ship store and as they sell china and sterling and other items the store is larger. My local store is much more intimate. Since I was getting a large stone, I was never left out on the sales floor to look at things. I am amazed Cartier did not know the difference between the stones. A Royal Asscher is the original cut, and the other is basically a square emerald cut.
 

fanboy

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Private area or not, I was never offered to go there at Tiffany''s. When I asked about different rings and styles, they merely herded me off to another station and handed me off to another sales associate. In contrast, Harry Winston appears to only do consultations privately.

I''ve been to many different Tiffany''s before. Whether or not there is a private area to view things, the stores are usually teeming with people walking this way and that between the different display cases. Often you aren''t even led to one from another, but merely pointed in that direction. To me it is clear that Tiffany''s is obviously trying to accomodate a much larger economic spread amongst its customers. That''s fine if you want to buy a $100 Elsa Peretti sterling silver heart-teardrop-jellybean pendant, less fine if you''re purchasing $30,000+ diamond ring.

My only point is that this kind of shopping atmosphere does not lavish as much personal attention--on average--per customer.
 

Madam Bijoux

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In my dealings with Tiffany's, they took me into a room when we did the actual transaction and I needed to sign papers, etc. When I'm trying things on I always stay out in the front area.
 

surfgirl

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Madame B, my experience echos yours at T&C. I was always led into a private room for viewing, including the NYC store. Yes it''s big, it''s their HQ. VC&A has always been nice to me, as well as HW. But I much prefer Graff over the whole lot. Their selection, service, atmosphere, all impeccable.
 

UCLABelle

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Fanboy-I have to agree with DiamondFan. Even I (a young-looking, and young, girl in jeans) was taken to private rooms in a number of different T&Cos when "seriously" looking at a few nice pieces. I am sorry you didn''t have the same experience. I also am shocked you found the Legacy to be of "poor" quality. Having seen many of them up close, also through a loupe, ALL seemed exceptional, and my heart beats fast everytime I am near one... I also find their customer service to be wonderful, and one benefit to owning a e-ring from a store with many locations (unlike VCA and HW) is that everytime you want it cleaned and polished, the chances of finding a store near you are pretty high. Everytime I go on Vacation (NY, Maui, Philly, Costa Mesa, LA), I always get my ring polished and cleaned. It is divine...

You should also take a look at DiamondFan''s honker, it may make you think twice about the quality of Tiffany''s...


I hope I am not seeming too defensive, just giving my thoughts. It is true that at HW and VCA you get fewer pieces to see, and they seem (and perhaps are) rarer. I agree with that. You probably feel more "special" by sitting in a near empty store, with a few SA devoted to you, and if that is important to you, then buy from there. However, I disagree that the quality at T&Co is poor, and that the e-rings and finer pieces are mass produced. It may appear that way, but I 100% believe that each setting there gets an enormous amount of attention, and is perfected, just like at Cartier, Harry Winston, and VCA.

Anyway, did you decide on a ring?
 

diagem

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Date: 6/28/2007 3:29:55 PM
Author: UCLABelle
Fanboy-I have to agree with DiamondFan. Even I (a young-looking, and young, girl in jeans) was taken to private rooms in a number of different T&Cos when ''seriously'' looking at a few nice pieces. I am sorry you didn''t have the same experience. I also am shocked you found the Legacy to be of ''poor'' quality. Having seen many of them up close, also through a loupe, ALL seemed exceptional, and my heart beats fast everytime I am near one... I also find their customer service to be wonderful, and one benefit to owning a e-ring from a store with many locations (unlike VCA and HW) is that everytime you want it cleaned and polished, the chances of finding a store near you are pretty high. Everytime I go on Vacation (NY, Maui, Philly, Costa Mesa, LA), I always get my ring polished and cleaned. It is divine...

You should also take a look at DiamondFan''s honker, it may make you think twice about the quality of Tiffany''s...


I hope I am not seeming too defensive, just giving my thoughts. It is true that at HW and VCA you get fewer pieces to see, and they seem (and perhaps are) rarer. I agree with that. You probably feel more ''special'' by sitting in a near empty store, with a few SA devoted to you, and if that is important to you, then buy from there. However, I disagree that the quality at T&Co is poor, and that the e-rings and finer pieces are mass produced. It may appear that way, but I 100% believe that each setting there gets an enormous amount of attention, and is perfected, just like at Cartier, Harry Winston, and VCA.

Anyway, did you decide on a ring?
Tiffany''s collection type e rings are produced in huge amounts of pieces!!! That is a fact..., Tiffany is a public Co. and the numbers proove this fact.
On the other hand..., originality is too tiffany''s strong part! They design/produce a lot of one of a kind pieces!!!

One thing is for certain!!! Tiffany''s Quality Control is one of the stringent I''ve personaly have encountered..., sure mistakes happen (especially when Tiffany produces huge numbers of pieces!!!) But most of them get caught before reaching the showcases!

And you are 100% right UCLAb, you better believe it each setting gets the attention needed!
 

diagem

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Date: 6/28/2007 11:09:59 AM
Author: surfgirl
Madame B, my experience echos yours at T&C. I was always led into a private room for viewing, including the NYC store. Yes it''s big, it''s their HQ. VC&A has always been nice to me, as well as HW. But I much prefer Graff over the whole lot. Their selection, service, atmosphere, all impeccable.
Graff has one of the most exquisite collections of Diamonds..., after all that is his label!!!
Graff puts an emphasis on the "rocks"..., but I (personaly) prefer the craftsmanship (metalworks) of Tiffany/Cartier or VC&A any day.

There are some new/old players that are definitely giving Graff a run for his money when it comes to "rare rocks"..., time will tell!
 

surfgirl

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DG, the reason I so enjoy a visit to Graff is precisely because they focus on the gem, not the setting per se. To me, I''ve never understood the desire to fuss up a magnificent stone with a lot of extraneous "extras" such as melee, halos, ''super sides'' (ie: side stones so wonderful that they take the focus away from the center stone), etc. To me, that IS the beauty of Graff! Though I would also say that I''ve seen many many wonderful stones/rings at Graff that are under 2 ct and still fantastic. That look of "here is a rare and wonderful stone, enjoy it without any distractions!" is what I truly love about Graff''s ering selections. If only....
 

diagem

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Date: 6/28/2007 5:40:32 PM
Author: surfgirl
DG, the reason I so enjoy a visit to Graff is precisely because they focus on the gem, not the setting per se. To me, I''ve never understood the desire to fuss up a magnificent stone with a lot of extraneous ''extras'' such as melee, halos, ''super sides'' (ie: side stones so wonderful that they take the focus away from the center stone), etc. To me, that IS the beauty of Graff! Though I would also say that I''ve seen many many wonderful stones/rings at Graff that are under 2 ct and still fantastic. That look of ''here is a rare and wonderful stone, enjoy it without any distractions!'' is what I truly love about Graff''s ering selections. If only....
If i am not mistaken..., The majority of Graff''s e-rings incorperate side-stones..., but they disappear when flanking his "rocks"!!!

If you put your emphasis on "GEMS", there is a new kid on the block breathing up Mr. Graff''s back... (and I bet will sur-pass him rather quickly)

New to the retail comunity by name, but the fastest accelerating Diamond cutter turned entrepreneur..., and is considered by many in this field as a wizz-kid!!!
Opened his first retail store on London''s Bond Street a year ago..., and opening his second store in a couple of weeks on Madison and 62nd. in Manhattan...

The name: Leviev.

For Gem lovers..., worth following up on him...
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
12,823
Date: 6/28/2007 6:03:10 PM
Author: DiaGem
If i am not mistaken..., The majority of Graff''s e-rings incorperate side-stones..., but they disappear when flanking his ''rocks''!!!

If you put your emphasis on ''GEMS'', there is a new kid on the block breathing up Mr. Graff''s back... (and I bet will sur-pass him rather quickly)

New to the retail comunity by name, but the fastest accelerating Diamond cutter turned entrepreneur..., and is considered by many in this field as a wizz-kid!!!
Opened his first retail store on London''s Bond Street a year ago..., and opening his second store in a couple of weeks on Madison and 62nd. in Manhattan...

The name: Leviev.

For Gem lovers..., worth following up on him...
Yipee!
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
12,823
Fanboy,

I''ve had the same experience as you at Tiffany wrt service. Even when I was trying on 3+ ct stones, I had to do so over the counter. The only time I''ve been led to a private room was when I lodged a complaint about a sales associate.

Check out Bulgari and Fred Leighton as well. The service was impeccable.
 

UCLABelle

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
2,360
DiaGem -I guess when I think of "mass produced" I associate that with a "production line" of "poor made" items...and therefore didn't think their e-rings, or other larger priced items, would be "massed produced". With a father who runs a company with factories in China (computers, LCDs, etc) I think of it that way...and mass produced to me is 100,000 items a week (which I am sure they do for some items, but I don't believe this to be true of their other items, at least I "don't think")
...but I am glad you mentioned their quality control (which you know I think is great), and their designs...yummy!

Leviev looks amazing....
I would like a few of those necklaces...
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
While I am sorry you had a bad experience at Tiffany's, however, there are many people who do not feel as you do. I have only ever had great experiences there, and at Harry Winstons, Kauffeman de Suisse, Graff, Chopard, Cartier and any other store I have walked into. Not to say every sales person was op notch, but the attitude and behavior of the SA's has not ever been unpleasant. I do not shop at the 5th Avenue Tiffany's because it is likely to be jammed every day,especially on a Saturday, but I do not hold that against them, good for them. Perhaps they might reorient the store so that the nicer pieces are in an alcove and away from those people you mention who only want a key chain, but that is not how the store is set up. I have been to Tiffany's all over and that store is the busiest. I would make prior arrangements, especially on a Saturday, if I thought I might like to have some privacy or special attention. Of course you can purchase your ring where you felt you were treated best. I bought two very expensive rings and large diamond studs there and did get a report from both Tiffany's and GIA when I asked for it. I would buy from them again no issue.
 

fanboy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
219
Diamondfan and others,

My experiences were my own and it's entirely expected that others' experiences will differ. I did not mean to imply that my personal experience would necessarily be indicative of anybody else's. Nonetheless, my experience is still indicative of at least what one might encounter at these different stores and I thought the information might be useful or interesting to some.

I stand by my assessment of the Tiffany's Legacy ring. Whether by design or execution, the halo section of the ring only appears resolved from above; the side of the halo is a single edge, as the top curves down to meet it. This is clearly a less labor-intensive design than the halos typical of Leon Mege's work, for example. Also, there definitely was unevenness in the application of the milgrain on several rings (crooked along the edge of the halo). Of course, you don't have to take my word for it.

Tiffany's most certainly does mass-produce its rings--by sheer number of its merchandise, this is necessarily true. This doesn't mean anything good or bad, of course. Also, there is obviously an advantage in having so many rings available for customers to view; this much is obvious. I was only pointing out that seeing so many at once could be somewhat disillusioning to someone looking for a unique ring.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I never looked at the Legacy, I got an emerald cut stone and it was brought in just for me to see loose. So as far as the legacy setting etc I cannot comment. But I think anyone could have a bad experience at any store, it can vary on a given day. My only point is to walk into a huge store like that which is not only a high end jewelry store and as such has lots of traffic and not make seek to make special arrangements and then come away annoyed seems to miss the point. I dealt with an SA and then higher level management when I got my second stone and I was called to come in to view stones at my convenience and taken into a private area. I would assume that this is doable any time a client is looking at items beyond the basic. Or if you just told an SA, this is very hectic and busy out on the main sales floor, can we go into a more quiet area to look at things? I am sure they would accomodate that. And honestly, whatever people think of each of these stores is dependant on their experience, and as I only have had good ones I have no problems deciding to shop there. Had I had an issue, I would certainly decide what to do then.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Ugh, that is annoy how the sales lady treated you at Cartier!!! Sounds quite selfish.
thanks for the reviews.
 
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