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SF Bay Area Diamond Search! Derco?

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Upgrading_finally

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2003
Messages
23
Hello,

I went to Joe Escobar Diamonds and realized that they did not have the inventory of stones the quality that I wanted to see. So I only got to see 1 stone, not really in my range.

I am planning on going to Derco to take a look. This is a big trip for me as I live on the S. Bay. Any suggestions to what I can do to make this a worth while trip for me? Should I call them to let them know what I''m looking for?

Anyone who''s been there and may have bought are welcome to write back!

Thanks you so much!
 

Pelican_Racing

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Messages
6
I was going to go up to Derco yesterday, had a pass waiting for me. I called Judy and she honestly said she could not match the best price I found on a specific diamond.

It sounds like you should be pretty knowledgeable before you go. I've heard they match/beat internet prices, but it's probably for 90% of the time. Sometimes, they can't do it. I don't think the fact that I needed something by this weekend had anything to do with it. Just in case though, don't mention you are in a rush (if you are that is).

I'm working with David Jordan at Willow Glenn Custom Jewelers and he's GREAT! Couldn't match the internet price on the diamond, but he's making a custom setting for my girlfriend.

-Hong
 

AnnaMagdalena

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
70
Hi there--
I've been lurking for awhile but this is my first post so I hope I don't mess up...

I like Derco--I went there a few weeks ago and their prices are very good. I heard about them, and about the salesperson who helped me, Katherine Chiljan, on this forum.

-I don't recommend communicating with them via email. I emailed them 10 days ago with questions about the stones I saw and still haven't received a reply. I finally called and got some of the info I needed.

-Bring an Idealscope if you have one. I find it difficult to compare stones in my mind that are from different stores with different lighting.

-Prepare a list of specifications that you should know about each stone before deciding: table, depth, crown, pavilion, etc.

-Since you're coming up here, you might want to visit or call Union Street Goldsmith and talk to Kaye Rodden. 1909 Union Street, 415 776 8048. They spent a lot of time with me and even though they didn't have exactly what I wanted, they seem eager to find what I want if I give them the go ahead. They carry 8 stars too,and have a Firescope in the store.

-Have you tried Davidson $ Licht? They are down your way in Santa Clara. I got to look at stones in a BrillianceScope!!

I hope that's helpful. Good luck!

-Anna Magdalena
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Also, Derco is in a huge complex of jewelers. I've only bought from Derco, so I don't know who else you can trust, but you can certainly go look at *a lot* of gems.
 

Easter

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
2
I also think a trip to Derco would be worth your while. i've been a couple of times now in the past few weeks - the first to look at diamonds, the second for settings.

On the diamonds front, they have an excellent inventory. I was shown several stones that met a relatively narrow criteria that I was looking for. It certainly wouldn't hurt to call first and let them know what you're interested in - you have to let them know you are coming anyway so they'll have a pass to the Jewelry Mart at the door for you. Pricewise, they were slightly higher than what I had seen on pricescope, although as I wasn't ready to buy that day, I didn't push them on price, and I didn't ask them about matching an internet price. I've heard conflicting stories from others on the board - it seems that sometimes they will match prices, sometimes they won't. Another issue for me (I made the plunge and bought online yesterday) was that I hated the idea of paying sales tax. That was money that could go back into the stone!

With regards to settings, they have a good inventory there as well. In fact, the prices on the settings that I was shown were significantly below what I've seen for comparable rings online. They can set stones in just a few hours. They will set a stone bought away in a setting purchased from them, but they mentioned that they won't take responsibility if something happens to the stone in the process.

Also, if you haven't been to the Jewelry Mart in SF, where Derco is located, its pretty cool just to spend some time walking around. There are scores of jewelers, and I visted several others while there just to get some experience looking at stones.

Hope this helps, good luck!!!
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
We're familiar with both Derco and Joe Escobar by reputation... Both are excellent establishments, we're a little surprised that Escobar's didn't have the selection of high quality diamonds you expected, they used to specialize in those... Maybe a special request is in order... As far as the SF Gift Center goes, Derco is one of the very few places we consider to be fairly reputable... The Mart is definitely a buyer beware scenario... Quite a few of the vendors in there were popped for "under karating" according to a news paper article that surfaced a few years ago... As with everything else, buy with a condition of sale that provides an adequate inspection period and full refund / not credit in the event of your dissatisfaction and take your purchase to an independent GIA Graduate Gemologist for verification!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I visited Davidson & Licht in Santa Clara at Valley Fair Mall a few times, they had some settings I liked. The salesman I worked with..maybe his name was Paul..was pretty helpful and I was referred to him by a friend at my kbox class who got her ring there. I wasn't super interested in buying a stone there, I wanted to buy online, but I was interested in what he could tell me about their stones and how they 'sell'. They sell their stones for around 10% OVER rappaport value...which was definitely more expensive than the online stones we were looking at and all they had were GIA certs..no other info. Certainly did not offer me any Bscope reports!

Wherever you go, just be sure to be informed...many jewelers will assume you know nothing and if you start speaking as though you do, will feel intimidated or threatened and either discount your knowledge or lose some interest.

I don't recall if we asked you this before but are you adverse to buying online? Chances are you can find the breadth of stones you are looking for, for cheaper than B&M and with more security/peace of mind on the info the vendors give you. I never really thought I'd say that...but in some cases its true.

Regardless...good luck on your trip to SF!
I have heard the Jewelry Mart is fun...just take everything with a grain of salt!
 

Upgrading_finally

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2003
Messages
23
Thank you all for replying about Derco.

Mara - to answer your question. I am not totally adverse to buying online. My only concern is that I have done a ton of reserch online, but have not actually seen a lot of stones to say that what I want is indeed, what I want. So, just like many first time buyers, I want the best of both worlds... I want online prices in a B&M store (so I can see the stone in person before I fork out the bucks). I also want to buy the stone where I can get the setting that I want so I don't have a beautiful stone, but can't wear it!

I guess that's why it's been 3 months now and I still don't have my ring. Hubby is getting mad at me for being online so much that he's said to me "why don't you just buy whatever you want and get this over with!"


Am I asking for too much????
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144

----------------
On 3/14/2003 9:39:44 AM Upgrading_finally wrote:
So, just like many first time buyers, I want the best of both worlds... I want online prices in a B&M store (so I can see the stone in person before I fork out the bucks);

I certainly understand your line of thinking on this. I really believe, though, that you can have the best of both worlds even with an online purchase.

Yes, you can see what you're buying before you put out the $$ at a B&M store, but you can only see that limited inventory they have on hand. With an online purchase, you see the stone after you fork out the $$, but that shouldn't matter as long as you purchase from a vendor with a generous return policy. If you don't totally love it, you can return it. Either way, you wouldn't get stuck with a stone you don't love.

Yes, it may cost you shipping to return it, and yes, it's more of a burden than seeing before you buy.....BUT the tradeoff is you get much more to choose from and increase your odds of finding a really beautiful stone sooner rather than later.


I also want to buy the stone where I can get the setting that I want so I don't have a beautiful stone, but can't wear it!

I guess that's why it's been 3 months now and I still don't have my ring

Call me crazy, but here's how I see this. Buying an online stone means that you might have a stone but be unable to wear it for a week or so (that's being conservative....many posters on here have shared stories of having their online stone set within a day or two.)

How is that better than not being able to wear it because you don't have it at all? Your desire to purchase the stone and setting together so you can wear it immediately has brought you to this place 3 months later where you don't have the stone OR the setting.

My point is, in either case, you can't wear it now, so what's the difference? In fact, you're more likely to have it on your hand sooner if you go the online route.

Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. Hope it helps.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
You aren't asking for too much but it may be hard to find it...as you have noted with your 3 month timetable. I wouldn't have really said this before but I firmly believe that if you use some of the online tools to help you with your purchase, it is almost as good as seeing the stone in real life, and then when the stone arrives, chances are your breath will be taken away. It sounds as though you are looking for very top quality stones, and maybe the B&M stores you are visiting are not able to help you. Willow Glen Jewelers did carry some nice looking stones, they carry 8*s as well in case you are considering those. I was recommended to Shreve and Co as well as being a top notch place, but I was not super impressed with the mall service..again.

If you care to take a little drive to Aptos, I highly recommend our jeweler, Jeff Garrett of Garrett Jewelers. He and his wife own their little store down on the beach area...and he has been in the jewelry biz for over 30+ years, some of those years were spent as the VP of Kay Jewelers I think. Anyway--we called him (we have worked with him before) told him what we wanted and he offered to match our online pricing. He may have done this because we have done biz with him before, but he was open to the suggestion. I figured all he could do was say 'No we'd love to help but we can't meet those prices'. However he called in a few stones..and we chose one. This is after I'd wanted to buy a stone online and narrowed it down to what felt as though it could be the right one. I also sent him an IdealScope as a 'thank you' after all was said and done as he and his wife were SO incredibly patient with me and all my anal details and I was very grateful. So you can see stones through the scope should you ask. He doesn't do Bscope or anything like that, but he does have a keen eye..and when we found our stone which is larger table, shallower depth, at first I thought..what is he bringing in for me?! But in the end he was right, the stone was amazing...and he had a very good eye. The other stone he brought in for us was very similar to the stone I was considering online, and he got me crown and pav angles and it had an excellent HCA score, but we still liked the other stone better. Let me know if you would like his contact information!
 

Upgrading_finally

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2003
Messages
23
Thanks again for the replies.

I think if I found a setting that I like (after trying it on) and I can buy online - example - brand named ones, I'd be a lot more willing to buy the whole thing online. But I do think that settings are like clothing. It might look great on the hanger, but hideous on me. Not saying that I have misshapened fingers/hands for rings, but I have very small hands. Most rings/settings that I find are too thick or fancy for my taste.

Also, sometimes looking online and seeing/trying on in person can change minds. I look though thousands of settings (I check on www.czplatinum.com - not buying cz's but they have great variety of settings) and would have never picked this one out... But I once went to a jeweler and tried it on and loved it. Maybe someone's seen this somewhere online I can get? It's very simple and common, but have never seen it at the sites on PS.



NJ052.jpg
 

rbjd

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
154
If you are in the Bay Area (where my girlfriend's parents live), I'd suggest calling ahead of time and check out Ida's Gems in Cupertino. They are only about an hour south of SF. They are one of the vendors here on Pricescope, which is how I found them in the first place. We were up there over Christmas/New Year's and just popped in unannounced.

Anthony, who runs the store, was very upfront and honest with us. He let me look at several stones with my IdealScope and my H&A viewer. He was very helpful. He carries SuperbCert stones and even had one on hand we took a look at (still the most beautifully cut diamond I've ever seen in person).

I know his prices tend to run a little high on Pricescope, but I got the impression he's aware of that and would be willing to come down to more competitive levels. He's still in the running for my business.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Wow I had no idea that Idas Gems was in Cupertino. We are about 10 min away. I might pop in there and check out their SuperbCerts...never seen one in person!!!
 

rbjd

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
154
Mara, let us know if you go there. I just popped onto Ida's website and don't see a SuperbCert link anymore. Maybe Anthony still has the one he showed me. He's a nice guy and has a nice little shop there in Cupertino.
 
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