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Robbins Brothers purchase question

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
Hi,

Some of you may remember me from starting this thread:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/gia-vs-igi-my-robbins-brothers-experience.217545/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/gia-vs-igi-my-robbins-brothers-experience.217545/[/URL]

So after sitting on my purchase decision for a week, today I decided to return to Robbins Brothers and return my IGI "Excellent" 1.02 Ct G color I1 diamond which I paid $8000 for (Coast ring setting + center diamond + warranty + setting fee). I was honest with them and told them I thought I could get more for my money (or more for less money) online at Ritani, Whiteflash, or James Allen with a GIA certificate.

What ended up happening is that they showed me a 0.90 Ct H colored GIA certified Excellent cut which was the same price as my 1 Ct IGI diamond ($5900). On top of that, the manager gave me ~$500 off (so $5400) and refunded that amount to my credit card. Not too bad. I agreed to this and walked out with a new center diamond and a $500 extra in pocket (Total now $7500 with Coast 1/10 ct setting and tax and service fees). However, I am not sure that I am still completely satisfied. Though it is an Excellent GIA cut and the facets look much cleaner to the naked eye, the diamond under bright light looks dark/gray and I believe this is because the Depth measurement (61.1%) is a little long. The Holloway Cut Adviser rates this diamond 4.5 (although better than 5.9 previously).

I am certain that Ritani, Whiteflash, or James Allen could still beat Robbins Brothers in terms of price and GIA diamond quality. For this reason, I'd still like to make a purchase from them. Return policy at Robbins Brothers still applies so I can still take it back if need be.

Here are my questions:

1. What do you think of the GIA diamond (and price) that Robbins Brothers newly gave me today? (Cert attached)
2. Do you think I should leave it at this or continue to shop at these online vendors for a better diamond? One problem I'm having is that I can't find a setting that I like on Whiteflash for example. I got a very classy and clean Coast designer setting for only $1050 from Robbins Brothers and haven't been able to find anything comparable.

Thank you!

img_1856_copy_copy.jpg

img_9981.jpg

img_9982.jpg
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
31,605

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Here, I'll help you.

Round diamond 101:

The entire purpose of faceting a diamond is to reflect light.
How well or how poorly a diamond does this determines how beautiful it is.
How well a diamond performs is determined by the angles and cutting. This is why we say cut is king.
No other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. An ideal H will out white a poorly cut F. And GIA Ex is not enough.
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want? Well, we have tools to help you with that. But that is not enough.
What you need after that is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does. https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/firescope-idealscope
It shows you how and wear your diamond is reflecting light, how well it is going at it, and where you are losing light return. That is why you won't see us recommending Blue Nile, as they do not provide idealscope images for their diamonds. All our best vendors do though.

Now if you want to skip all that... stick to AGS0 stones and then all you have to do is pick color and clarity and you know you have a great performing diamond. Because AGS has already done the checking for you. That's why they trade at a premium. With AGS0 stones you don't strictly need an idealscope image. But getting one is nice to confirm performance and that is why almost all our best vendors provide them for you. Not all AGS0's are created the same though, so if you want to make sure it's the very best cut, post it and we'll evaluate it for you.

Generally you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.4. Crown angle 33.5-36. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-41 (there is a little give on this)

And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA does for you.

ON COLOR:

It is important to remember is that color is graded FACE DOWN. Where there is NO light return. Not face up where there is light return and refraction. You wear diamonds set. FACE UP.

Within one color grade, even the labs can't agree on the color grades of stones and something could be a "high" H or a "low" E. So... no. Not really. Within 2 color grades it is hard. Not impossible. But very hard. And it gets harder once set. If you are talking ideal rounds, or any stone with ideal light return and no sharp corners it gets harder still because the ideal light return masks body color.

Generally we say to be conservative stay above H in a round. But MANY people have happily bought white I or even J diamonds when trying to eek out a little more size.

This is how I think of it.

Ever gotten one of those HUGE paint fan decks? Where there are literally 100s of colors of whites? And when they are RIGHT next to each other you can TOTALLY tell that one is bluer/colder and one is a bit warmer and which one is one is TOTALLY warmer. One there's one that's slightly greener. One that's slightly pinker? But really. They are all white?

Then you pick one after agonizing over this white or that white and when it's on the walls and people are like: Oh. You painted again. And it's STILL white. Great.

And you're all... BUT it's BLUE white. Or it's a WARM white now. It used to be ____ white. It's TOTALLY different.

It's like that. You are talking about shades of white. D is colder... J is warmer. But it's all white.

YES. If you have an accurately graded F and an H THAT HAVE THE SAME PERFORMANCE you are going to be able to tell them apart when you compare them. Just like you would be able to tell if you painted your walls a warm white, but painted the crown molding a cold/straight white. But both are STILL white.


I want you notice all the qualifiers thought. I'm talking about stones with the SAME performance. An ideal H will out white an F that has compromised light performance from a poor cut.

NOTHING impacts the appearance of a diamond as much as cut. CUT is king.

You want the shinest whitest and brightest diamond out there: Cut is King. No other factor, not color or clarity or anything else impacts how white bright an shiny a stone is.

ON CLARITY:
http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/SI/ and http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/VS/ Generally we say that eyeclean SI1 and VS2 are as high as you need to go with round brilliants.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
jtrend|1448869764|3955543 said:
Thanks! Does James Allen offer ideal-scope images?

Yes but, annoyingly, they've suspended them till after the beginning of the year because they are busy.
 

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
Thanks, truthfully here's my dillema.

- I really like the settings offered by James Allen (inexpensive and A LOT of choices).

- However I really like the diamond selection and ability to see ideal-scopes from "on-hand" diamonds at Whiteflash.

Is it bad to buy the diamond from whiteflash, setting from James Allen, and have it set at like Robbins Brothers (for their fee)? The only thing I worry about is the appraisal (I would like one appraisal) and what happens if the diamond falls out -- who's warranty covers it? Who is at fault?

What is the easiest way to go about this?

On a related question, does the Perfect Circle/Jeweler's Mutual insurance cover when center or side diamonds get chipped, lost, or damaged? Thanks again!
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
31,605
jtrend|1448870525|3955547 said:
Is it bad to buy the diamond from whiteflash, setting from James Allen, and have it set at like Robbins Brothers (for their fee)? The only thing I worry about is the appraisal (I would like one appraisal) and what happens if the diamond falls out -- who's warranty covers it? Who is at fault?

What is the easiest way to go about this?

The best way is to get the diamond and setting from the same vendor.
Doing otherwise can be a can of worms ... if they'll even set the stone.

Appraisals that come from even fine vendors are often far in excess of what you paid. :roll: :roll: :roll:
That makes no sense and I'd not want to over pay for insurance premiums.
Ask your insurance co if they'll accept the receipt for proof of value.

I wouldn't let Robbins Brothers near your stone or setting.
Do a search here about them.
Better yet, read what the community had to say about them in your other thread.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Yes. It's a bad idea.
Ask JA if they will sell you the setting by itself.
Then have them send it to WF and they will set the stone in it. The stone vendor should be the one setting the stone. Not JA and noy some Third Party
 

MarionC

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,246
and I would add not to get frazzled by what you are going through. It's typical when you are learning about diamonds!
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
3,403
jtrend|1448866203|3955536 said:
Hi,

Some of you may remember me from starting this thread:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/gia-vs-igi-my-robbins-brothers-experience.217545/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/gia-vs-igi-my-robbins-brothers-experience.217545/[/URL]

So after sitting on my purchase decision for a week, today I decided to return to Robbins Brothers and return my IGI "Excellent" 1.02 Ct G color I1 diamond which I paid $8000 for (Coast ring setting + center diamond + warranty + setting fee). I was honest with them and told them I thought I could get more for my money (or more for less money) online at Ritani, Whiteflash, or James Allen with a GIA certificate.

What ended up happening is that they showed me a 0.90 Ct H colored GIA certified Excellent cut which was the same price as my 1 Ct IGI diamond ($5900). On top of that, the manager gave me ~$500 off (so $5400) and refunded that amount to my credit card. Not too bad. I agreed to this and walked out with a new center diamond and a $500 extra in pocket (Total now $7500 with Coast 1/10 ct setting and tax and service fees). However, I am not sure that I am still completely satisfied. Though it is an Excellent GIA cut and the facets look much cleaner to the naked eye, the diamond under bright light looks dark/gray and I believe this is because the Depth measurement (61.1%) is a little long. The Holloway Cut Adviser rates this diamond 4.5 (although better than 5.9 previously).

I am certain that Ritani, Whiteflash, or James Allen could still beat Robbins Brothers in terms of price and GIA diamond quality. For this reason, I'd still like to make a purchase from them. Return policy at Robbins Brothers still applies so I can still take it back if need be.

Here are my questions:

1. What do you think of the GIA diamond (and price) that Robbins Brothers newly gave me today? (Cert attached)
2. Do you think I should leave it at this or continue to shop at these online vendors for a better diamond? One problem I'm having is that I can't find a setting that I like on Whiteflash for example. I got a very classy and clean Coast designer setting for only $1050 from Robbins Brothers and haven't been able to find anything comparable.

Thank you!



This is my concern. I am not sure of what has been agreed with RB. You may or may not have a problem to return the entire ring to them.
That setting seems like a popular setting... i have attached JA settings page for you. it looks like second row and first on the left is very similar to what you have already.
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/

Jimmianne said:
and I would add not to get frazzled by what you are going through. It's typical when you are learning about diamonds!
+ 1




PS community like to help you as can be seen by what seasoned posters have shown you.

We just hope that you can return your diamond and ring for a complete 100% refund and start over with the recommendations given here.....
Better yet... give us the budget for the stone and the budget for the ring and PSers will help you...
 

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
My new receipt still lists the return date and I asked repeatedly if I could still return it...I can.

My other question is, when you make a refund on a credit card does the negative balance stay in the card until you make more purchases or does it get transferred back to your bank account?

Also, how safe is it to use a bank wire transfer that Whiteflash lets you use for a 3% discount? That way I don't have to return the Robbins Bros ring on my credit card yet...

In general I would like to stay under $6000 total. 1000 for the setting and no more than 5000 on the center diamond. I REALLY like whiteflash customer service and how I can see their on-hand A Cut Above selection. I found this setting which is the same style as the one I picked from Robbins Bros but strangely its 50% more expensive. :(

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/6-prong-cathedral-three-quarter-french-set-eternity-diamond-engagement-ring-3590.htm
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
31,605
jtrend|1448896917|3955604 said:
My new receipt still lists the return date and I asked repeatedly if I could still return it...I can.

Is there any fine print anywhere that states you can only return for store credit or an exchange?
Is there a restocking fee?

jtrend|1448896917|3955604 said:
My My other question is, when you make a refund on a credit card does the negative balance stay in the card until you make more purchases or does it get transferred back to your bank account?

I'm confused by this question.
The store tells the CC company to credit your account with the transaction amount.
This may take a few days, and may be before or after the cut off of the monthly billing cycle, let's say November's billing cycle ends Nov 30.
If your CC company gets the credit instruction Dec 1 (after the cut off) I believe you are on the hook to pay whatever you are supposed to pay for November.
(But maybe if you called the CC company they would apply that new big credit to become the Nov payment.)

If you paid it off in full today, Nov 30, and the credit arrives Dec 1 you will have a big credit sitting in your CC account that could sit there to 'pay' the bill for months to come, or ask your CC company if they can move that money to your other accounts or write you a check.

jtrend|1448896917|3955604 said:
My Also, how safe is it to use a bank wire transfer that Whiteflash lets you use for a 3% discount?
VERY safe if you know the vendor is reputable ... and it's a large purchase so it's nice to get that 3% wire discount.
I've bought many diamonds via wire.
FYI paying by CC gives you certain legal protections if thing go south so that's how I'd pay if I was unsure about the vendor.
 

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
Big question.

James Allen offers a lifetime care plan:

Insurance and Long-Term Care

- Do you clean or provide care for jewelry sold on your site?
All jewelry purchased from James Allen is eligible for a free cleaning every six months. You may also return your jewelry to our offices for free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning. Contact Customer Service at 1-877-826-9866 for more information.
- What is covered by your lifetime warranty?
The lifetime warranty on your jewelry covers services like cleaning, polishing, prong tightening and rhodium plating -- all for just a small shipping charge. The lifetime warranty also covers the loss of side diamonds, assuming that the loss was not caused by damage.



Whiteflash does not.


I'm torn. I really want A Cut Above diamond, but I really don't want to shell out $50-100 every year. That will certainly add up! Possibly off-setting the great diamond deal I got. Thoughts?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Oh boy. I have had my rings.for years and I have never shelled out 150 cor the.stuff you.are.worried about.

A good local.jeweler with a bench on site (not Robbons brothers) .will offer you cleaning and prong checks for free every time you go in.

Tightening and polishing are just a nominal fee.

All you have to really pay for.is resizing if you need it and plating, which if you buy platinum you don't need.

No matter where you buy it you need insurance. So that's the same regardless. And insurance is 65 a year or so.
 

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
Gypsy|1448921302|3955740 said:
A good local.jeweler with a bench on site (not Robbons brothers) .will offer you cleaning and prong checks for free every time you go in.

Tightening and polishing are just a nominal fee.


It's free even if you didn't buy the ring from them, or have never bought from them before? Are you referring to chains or mom and pop shops?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
jtrend|1448926892|3955780 said:
Gypsy|1448921302|3955740 said:
A good local.jeweler with a bench on site (not Robbons brothers) .will offer you cleaning and prong checks for free every time you go in.

Tightening and polishing are just a nominal fee.


It's free even if you didn't buy the ring from them, or have never bought from them before? Are you referring to chains or mom and pop shops?

Both. I bought my ring in DE. We lived in NJ. I live in CA now and we have moved 8 times since we got engaged. I've travelled all over the states.

Any time I go into any jewelry store (except Tiffany, Cartier, or Harry Winston or stores like that) I ask them to clean my rings and check my prongs. They do it happily while I browse.

Another local store will even polish my rings for me free while I browse.

You just need to go to a good jeweler and ask. They are happy to provide the service while you browse.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
40,225
ALso, you can clean your own rings (do it all the time) with Dawn, hotwater, and soft toothbrush.
 

JDDN

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 2, 2015
Messages
2,334
So....I have never purchased anything from James Allen, so I cannot speak to this by experience. But if you type in James Allen in the search bar on PS, there are a lot of experiences from customers who have not been totally happy with the quality of a JA setting. I've read many threads and from what I can surmise, they have affordable settings that are better quality than a mall store. Everything is relative especially with respect to a budget. I think you have a very nice budget. I would say a WF ACA stone will be a knock out and I would hands down pay for a WF setting over a JA setting, but that is just me. Be careful of how you interpret their lifetime guarantee. One poster had melee from her halo fall out and had it repaired but the repair was not successful. When she sent it in again, JA recommend for her to pay for an entirely new setting, although it was at a discounted price. Whether that seems or is fair to you, only you can decide. That's just an example to consider.

Cleaning and prong checks will be easy to do as Gypsy has outlined for you. If you find a reputable jeweler with a good bench (not a mall jeweler) you can take your ring in for any needed repairs if that becomes an issue. Regular cleaning and prong checks is simple and you don't have to pay for shipping or be without the ring. I think WF has a nice bench and would trust them with repairs if that ever was an issue down the line. I also think they stand by their jewelry.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Oct 24, 2012
Messages
12,187
I'm very impressed that you were open minded enough to give careful consideration to the comments posted on your original thread, enough so that you are going to pick out a much more beautiful stone, IMHO. I think you don't need to worry about paying for "maintenance". You will find lots of jewelry stores will be happy to do a quick steam clean for you when you pop in. Like Gypsy said, I clean mine in hot water with dishwashing liquid and a soft toothbrush, daily. It's easy, so don't stress about it. I have insured my stone with my homeowners policy. Just talk to your insurance agent.

I have a pair of 6 prong studs from WF and their prong work is very delicate. I am very happy with it. Don't know anything JA. I think you will be very happy with WF's workmanship.
 
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