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Tales from the secondary diamond market

dreamer_dachsie

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With diamond prices rising, I think it would be nice for PSers to share the successes and failures they have had buying diamonds on the secondary market.

So for those of you who have braved the waters, please post a brief story of where you bought the piece, what percentage of full retail you paid (best guess), any special precautions you took when buying the piece that you would not have taken on the primary market, anything you wish you had done differently, and any other details you think will be good for other consumers to know.

Pictures mandatory :halo:
 

vintagelover229

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What a great idea!

I found mine on a site that can't be named here as it has a forum part as well as a classified section as a part of their board which is where I found my piece. I bought it from a seller named pinkbow and this person had also consigned with JBEG before with good reviews and so I felt comfortable with the purchase of this amount from a private seller. The listing stated that the stone (which showed evidence of arrows in the photos) was a RB in a 1930 fishtale prong setting (which had a WG head and a YG shank) and the listing price was 5,000.00 and it was estimated to be 1.6 carats H in color and VS2 in clarity. I emailed the seller (bc it was such a smoking good deal) and she offered it to me for 4500.00! At that point my SO and I had only dated a few months and we already knew we were going to be together so we couldn't pass up this ring. I took it to my appraiser in Houston and it came back as a 1.64 H VVS1 (he thinks flawless but there is something under a prong. He's not sure but he thinks its a light scratch from setting that could easily be buffed out making it an IF stone). It was also only .05 degrees off from the ideal specs (which explains the arrows!). This was last summer (before the huge price increase) and its replacement value was 25,500.00$$ (which I looked up stones with my specs back then and it was at least 16k starting depending upwards of 20k for the stone with my specs (which I NEVER would have been able to afford). It's not on my finger yet but I'll show some listing pics and then a few of my own :)

I've had a lot of amazing luck on the secondary market. I also have a 1ctw martini OEC diamond earrings (H-VS2-SI) that were 1100.00 (not sure what they'd retail for) and quite a few other pieces such as my diamond pendants, sapphires by the yard necklace, a few different diamond and non-diamond bands that I've gotten all on the secondary market. In fact I think I've only bought 2 stones (both now gone) from a jeweler all the rest have been secondary market finds :rolleyes:

I've got a few more photos but I have to post it on another post. So here are a few to get started.

5867503.jpg

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P1000914 - Copy.JPG
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
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Here is one more of the ring and a few of the earrings I bought along with a diamond pendant I bought that looks like a snowflake. Not sure the total carat weight but it's probably about .75ctw or slightly more (center is at least .3-.4 OMC) :bigsmile:

P1000891 - Copy.JPG

9208885.jpg

!BkGrmq!!2k~$(KGrHqUOKjsEsn6p3t2WBLWKZTITOg~~_1.JPG
 

diamondseeker2006

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55,610
Now that I have my major diamond pieces almost complete, I plan on really focusing on the secondary market for future jewelry items. These are not major diamond purchases, but I did find that wonderful VC ring recently at probably a fourth of what it would cost new and I am getting a smaller item for Mother's Day which I will post then. I can't get new pieces made for these prices, and the hunt for them is actually fun! I really love art deco, so it is nice to hope for some original pieces! And it would be an huge bonus to find some nice antique diamonds!

Vintagelover, your pieces are AMAZING!!!!!
 

butterfly 17

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I have gotten quite a few things from the secondary market as well. In fact, I would say the majority of my stuff, other than my ACA and BGD items, I have all gotten on the secondary market.
:naughty:

For example, I have two diamond rings that were both purchased on the site that can't be named here. Normally, I am pretty picky about clarity, but I got these two rings at such a steal that I had to just jump on them.

One is a 1.50 G SI2 pear that came in a platinum solitaire setting that I think I paid $1750 for and had it appraised at $9500. I have always wanted a pear diamond, pears and cushions are my favorite shapes after RBs. I knew the seller of this ring because she has posted here infrequently and I remember seeing the ring posted in the pear thread.

I also bought MaryAlaina's cushion set in the pink diamond halo for $900. It is a GIA certed D I1 1.02 carat stone with little pink diamonds around the halo and white diamonds on the band. I received the receipt when we made the purchase and the price of the ring back then was $3400. I don't know what it retails for now. The diamond alone based on the specs. would go for about $2500-$3000.

I have always wanted a cushion and a halo ring with pink gold. I was always perusing the halo thread and even saved MaryAlaina's ring to my folder as one day I was thinking I would love to have something similar. I had no idea when I bought it, it was her actual ring because it was a different seller. I was very happily surprised!

Another ring I purchased through ebay was a Ritani endless love sapphire ring. I can't remember what I paid, but it was a little over $1000 and this ring was purchased by the seller for $5800 as she sent me the receipt with the ring. I am sure it would cost a lot more now.

Another piece I have is a Simon G bracelet, I think I paid $2200 for it and it retails for $9000. I only know this because I went to a retailer of simon g and they had the same exact bracelet but with a tiny bit higher carat weight (mine is 2.94 ctw, the store's was 3.01 ctw) and they were selling it for $9500.

Those are the major pieces I can think of. I have a lot of smaller pieces as well that I paid about 1/4 to 1/2 the retail price.
 

butterfly 17

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Oh, I also got the Whiteflash Harmony set in platinum from a PSer who upgraded her setting to a three stone. I paid 1/4 the retail price of the Harmony set plus whatever it cost me to change the head and resize the rings. :mrgreen:
 

minmin001

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How did you buy from a PSer since we can't post our personal information on here?
 

diamondseeker2006

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butterfly...I need you to be my mentor!!!! You have gotten some really amazing deals!
 

mrs jam

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What a great thread idea! I buy most of my more expensive items on the second-hand market, but so far no major jewelry purchase. That's probably the way I'll go, though, whenever I'm ready to take another diamond plunge. There is an upscale pawn store downtown here that has amazing deals on some beautiful Tiffany pieces. There are several Tiffany pieces I love, but I would rather let someone else take the hit of paying full retail price. I will happily get in inspected and appraised and pay far less. After all, there's no such thing as a brand-new diamond. I've noticed on Pricescope a couple of times where a member has bought another member's trade-in stone. Kinda neat!
 

dragonfly411

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Would someone mind clarifying what avenues are considered the secondary market? Just so everyone is clear? Does this include thrift shops, antique shops, relatives? etc?
 

vintagelover229

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minmin001|1303917609|2906192 said:
How did you buy from a PSer since we can't post our personal information on here?

The site that we can't name here has a forum part of it and many PSers are on both boards. However you don't have to post on the board to buy/sell on the classified section there. They have a section for feedback and most transactions have gone well but there is always risk involved. That is how most of us have bought/sold our pieces with PSers.

Dragonfly: I don't think it matters where the piece came from as long as it's not "retail" pricing KWIM?
 

butterfly 17

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minmin001|1303917609|2906192 said:
How did you buy from a PSer since we can't post our personal information on here?

hi Minmin001,

Alot of us post on the site that can't be named. I have sold things there myself and sold to PSers and I have purchased from PSers there as well. Some of us don't realize that they are PSers until after the purchase has been completed.

I purchased the pear only because I was familiar with the sellers name as being here on PS under the same name. I was a little worried about that purchase actually because I had never seen a thread about her pear, but when I did a search for her name, I saw she also posted the same ring in the pear thread, so I was a little more comfortable after seeing it.

The cushion from MaryAlaina was an accident. I had no idea it was her ring. I have purchased a Simon G ring from her prior to this ring though, on ebay. I knew when I purchased the Simon G ring that it was her because I had seen that ring on a thread she posted here on PS. I guess I like her jewelery, lol!

The harmony set was also by accident. I saw the set on the site that can't be named, contacted the seller (who's name is completely different on PS) and it looked so familiar that I think I asked her if this set was made by WF and it turned out the be the Harmony set. I made her an offer and she accepted my offer. She was so nice, even sent the set to WF directly by registered mail for me.
Of course, I had to contacted WF to make sure they were willing to resize the rings and they custom made a new head for my diamond.
I did not know she was a PSer at first, but eventually figured it out through our emails.
She even posted a reply on my upgrade thread, lol. Such a nice person too.

The Harmony set is actually just my permanent "temporary" set, until I figure out exactly what I want to set my diamond in. I love CharmyPoo's two rings and may one day do a combo of split shank with cushion halo, but for now the Harmony set is perfect! At least I know if I ever decide to sell them, I will get at least what I paid for them. :mrgreen:
 

butterfly 17

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diamondseeker2006|1303917831|2906196 said:
butterfly...I need you to be my mentor!!!! You have gotten some really amazing deals!

Well, after seeing your amazing Van Craeynest treasure, I think you need to give me some of your mentoring skills.

I have actually been very good this year, I have only purchased one thing, lol. I have been on Maternity leave since the beginning of the year, so I feel guilty buying something when I am not working and my husband also retired last July. Perhaps when I go back to work in May... :devil: But probably not.

But remember, as wise MrsSalvo always says, a deal is only a deal if you are getting exactly what you want.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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dragonfly411|1303920677|2906242 said:
Would someone mind clarifying what avenues are considered the secondary market? Just so everyone is clear? Does this include thrift shops, antique shops, relatives? etc?
I am no expert on all the definitions of this type, but I would consider any purchase of a "used" or second hand item to be buying on the secondary market, no matter what the actual source, when the item is represented as such by the seller. The item could be bought from private sellers, or from dealers who specialize in used and vintage or consignement goods (like JBEG), though I personally am a little more interested in the former than the latter because the latter would likely charge a little more and the buying process is simpler.

I would not include buying upgraded stones from retail vendors, since they are sold at retail prices.

The primary market would be direct from retailers (though they sometimes sell upgraded stones that might be "used", the prices are still regular retail so I would not consider those to be secondary market sales).

So yes, yes, and yes to the examples you gave.
 

butterfly 17

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dragonfly411|1303920677|2906242 said:
Would someone mind clarifying what avenues are considered the secondary market? Just so everyone is clear? Does this include thrift shops, antique shops, relatives? etc?
I think secondary market means something previously owned no matter where it was purchased from, even though it may not have been used before, not necessarily cheaper though as some antique, one of a kind, and designer pieces cost more.

I consider the site that can't be named and ebay a secondary market, but I don't consider Pearlman's a secondary market, unless you are looking in their previously owned section.
 

mrssalvo

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A friend of mine alerted me to a Michael B wedding band on ebay that was in my size, which is rare b/c it's a 3.5. The auction had no reserve and started at $99. I forwarded the link to my hubby and he ended up winning it for under $500. It checked out and retails for $3500 new.

I'm a huge fan of buying second hand. I like that more and more vendors are starting second hand sections to their sites b/c I think it's a great way to find great pieces without the worry of them being authentic. I miss Signed Pieces and all their Tiffany items!! Ebay can be great but you really do have to know your stuff as to not get swindled!
 

HopeDream

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Ooh! I'll bite

Just recently I was Searching for a ring I could wear instead of my engagement ring, during rougher situations.
I didn't like the various options I saw at the maul, and was casually browsing ebay, when I came across a 12 stone 1/3ct channel set band in Platinum in my size. The pictures weren't great, and the ring appeared dirty, but I figured that for $350 it was a risk I was willing to take. I thought it unlikely that anyone would set complete frozen spit in platinum. The seller was highly rated, so I was pretty sure I'd receive my purchase.

When the ring arrived I gave it a good cleaning, and the melee diamonds appeared eyeclean at 6 inches, though quite freckly at 16x (SI quality?) and "traditional" cut quality. I'm not sure of their colour, but they look quite white. The band pairs fairly well with my e ring, so I'll probably use it as a wedding band. I'm satisfied with the purchase, and a comparable ring from Brilliant Earth sells for $1350 http://www.brilliantearth.com/Channel-Set-Round-Diamond-Ring-(1/3-ct.tw.)-Platinum-BE2CD10R30/, so I think I got a pretty good deal :bigsmile: .

454frtreasure1.png
 

dreamer_dachsie

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To all the people who described their purchases, what steps did you take to ensure the pieces were as represented (if you did not already state it in your post)?
 

minmin001

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lol, with all the stories I think I'm gonna start looking around myself now~ :bigsmile:
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
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Dreamer_D|1303862441|2905761 said:
With diamond prices rising, I think it would be nice for PSers to share the successes and failures they have had buying diamonds on the secondary market.

So for those of you who have braved the waters, please post a brief story of where you bought the piece, what percentage of full retail you paid (best guess), any special precautions you took when buying the piece that you would not have taken on the primary market, anything you wish you had done differently, and any other details you think will be good for other consumers to know.

Pictures mandatory :halo:
There are a few precautions I take when I purchase on ebay.

First, I check their feedback. I have not purchased a jewelry piece from anyone with no feedback or less than 10. Also, if they have negative feedback, I check to see what it was, was it from a buyer or a seller. If it was from a buyer, I check to see what it was. If it seemed like a reasonable negative feedback ( ie:it took long for them to receive the item), then I am okay with it. If the negative feedback is something like- never received item, item not as described, damaged, beware- dishonest, described as new but obviously worn, etc., I then check to see if it was a one time deal or if it happened quite a few times.
If the negative feedback is from a seller, I don't take that into account as much as I am more concerned with feedback from someone who bought from the seller. Ebay also changed so a seller can no longer leave negative feedback for a buyer.

I then do a history check on the seller to see what they have bought and sold lately. Does the seller sell jewelry all the time or is this a one time deal. I will also contact the seller and ask why they are selling the item, sometimes they don't even know they have an item for sale :errrr: .

Sometimes you can see when they purchased the item on ebay (at least with bags, I buy a lot of bags from ebay) and read the feedback that was left. I also do a check for completed items under the seller's name. Sometimes you will see that the person already sold the item the month before or a few months ago. Then I ask them what happened with that transaction and why did they relist the item again.

Ebay used to let you contact the buyer of the item. I did that once. I contacted a buyer of a listing that ended (bag related) and told them I was thinking of bidding on an item but saw they had purchased the same item from the same seller the month before. I asked them if they received the item because the seller listed it again. They told me they did. I then contacted the buyer and asked if they had more than one and was told no. I asked them why did they relist the item then if the buyer told me they already received the item. The seller subsequently ended the listing.

I also try to see of the pictures listed are similar or copied from another auction. Some sellers don't have the item and copy the pictures of other authentic auctions onto theirs. Lots of times you will catch them too. Well, it happens with bags alot, lol.

If the pictures are generic (10 listings from the same seller with the same exact picture), I ask for closeup pictures. I ask for pictures on the hand, neck, etc. If it is a ring, I ask for side profile picture to see if it is out of round as that really bothers me. If the ring was resized, I ask for pictures of were it was resized to see if there are any telltale marks or if the band is now too thin.
Since I am picky, I also ask if there is any damage, missing diamonds, scratched up gold/metal, chips anywhere. I won't buy/bid on anything that has a lot of damage as I don't feel it's worth it for me to pay alot of money to have it fixed.
If it's a designer piece, I ask for pictures of the stamp. If it says Tifany and it's missing the other f or looks like someone scratched it in with a razor blade, beware!! lol!

I also ask for original receipts or appraisals (it just seems more authentic that it is real, esp. if it is an expensive piece, KWIM. Example, you have a ring worth $9000, but somehow misplaced the info for it or the dog ate it, unless it was a gift) and original boxes if they have it.

I also ask about the return policy. When I purchased the Ritani ring, the seller allowed me to return it if I could not get it resized and I did not know if I could until the ring was dropped off at BBB and mailed out to Ritani. She was willing to accept it back after that long in my possession.
If there is no return policy, then pictures are the best way to go.

Lastly, some pieces are priced so well that you just have to go for it and cross your fingers and pray for the best. I have to say that I would only be comfortable doing this with second hand designer pieces only because at least with a designer piece, you can hopefully get what you paid for if you decide to sell later. ETA: Also with a designer piece, you have an idea of what it's retail value is already or can easily search for it on the internet or by making a quick phone call.

Whew, that was a lot of stuff!
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
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mrssalvo|1303922116|2906264 said:
A friend of mine alerted me to a Michael B wedding band on ebay that was in my size, which is rare b/c it's a 3.5. The auction had no reserve and started at $99. I forwarded the link to my hubby and he ended up winning it for under $500. It checked out and retails for $3500 new.

I'm a huge fan of buying second hand. I like that more and more vendors are starting second hand sections to their sites b/c I think it's a great way to find great pieces without the worry of them being authentic. I miss Signed Pieces and all their Tiffany items!! Ebay can be great but you really do have to know your stuff as to not get swindled!

Hi mrssalvo!
I think I remember that ring and I immediately thought of you, but I couldn't remember your size, lol!
 

HopeDream

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I verified that my piece was as represented: It was stamped "PLAT", heavy like my platinum e-ring, the same color, and had the characteristic platinum patina. The melee diamonds were sufficiently included to be identified as diamonds (I don't know of any situations where inclusions are added to cz melee). Eventualy I may take it to a jeweller for verification, but I think their findings would be consistant with mine.

I felt protected against misrepresentation because ebay has steps buyers can take if the piece is dishonestly represented, and most committed sellers don't want to risk their credibility.
 

butterfly 17

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Forgot to add, I don't buy from a brand new ebayer, even if they have 300 feedback, because all their feedback could be from buying from someone and they may not have ever sold anything themselves. They have to have at least a few months history established.

Also, make sure the story ads up. If they tell you I am selling my stuff because I am going through a divorce, fine. But if they are selling the same ring and listed it 5 more times or they keep listing the same ring after someone has already bought it, I would not bid.

Lastly, be wary of shill bidding. Sometimes you want something so much that you are willing to pay alot more than you thought, but some sellers will get their friends to bid on the item to raise the price to what they want. I once bid on something only to find that everytime I bid on it, the price was going up higher by "new" bidders with zero feedback.

Ebay now lets you check who is bidding against you and even though you can't see their actual name anymore. You can click on a bidders name, it will show you how many times the person has bid in the past two months and who's items they bid on. If you see the same bidder always bidding on the same sellers auctions all the time and never winning, then that's definitely a red flag.

Okay, I think that's it.
 

Sky56

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vintagelover, your ring is gorgeous and thanks for sharing your story. What a great find at a super price! I buy just about all my jewelry at coin, antique and pawn shops. This way, jewelry collecting is affordable and there is the possibility of finding great bargains. I've made mistakes, but I remedied them by trading those items for things I liked better at places like pawn shops.
As I have gotten better educated from sites such as these, my eyes now only go to bright, VVS-VS clarity, well-cut stones when I hunt second-hand.
 

Sky56

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My two emerald-cut diamond rings from a coin shop - the wide band is a re-set I did after I bought a ring with an old plain four-prong setting. The other one is a modern heavy platinum setting with an antique vibe to it. I did various trading from my collection with the dealer to arrive at owning these rings, but I do know I paid far less had I bought similar stones new.

2ringsA 001.JPG
 

AprilBaby

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I have purchased from the site that can not be named, but my best buy was last Christmas; diamond gallery in Naperville has lots of second hand pieces at 60% off. Many people turn in gold for cash, especially yg and I only wear yg! I got a 2ct yg diamond bracelet that sells new for $3200 for $500. They have lots of loose diamonds and tons of estate pieces they will bargain on. I figure why buy new when I can get a bargain used?
 

diamondringlover

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Ha I have bought most of my recent jewerly used :tongue:

1. most recent a very nice 14k Jabel yellow gold 2mm band from the non named board and I think I paid $50 for it

2. i got a pink tourmaline 6.8mm cut by barry for $70 on the non named board, it has been set by Daniel M and I should have it in the next couple of days

3. my most exciting purchase was from Ebay, I got my 5 stone band there, .75CT, VS1, F color set in 18K yellow gold, I paid a whopping $500 for it :appl: it appraised out at $2300 (which I know is way inflated)

4. also from Ebay is my 14K yellow god 4mm scatter band with 10 diamond total weight .30, SI1 and SI2 probably H-I, I got that for $200, it has almost 5 grams of gold, so its was a really good deal

I have bought multiple rings off ebay, most of them for around $30 bucks, with the price of gold now they are worth about double that or more.

I am always looking for a good 2nd hand deal as I cant afford most new stuff.
 

MyDiamondSparkles

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I bought a diamond ring off of Ebay once, but never again. It was really a bad experience and the diamond was misrepresented in every way possible. I did get my moneyy back, but it was an emotional experience I wouldn't want to repeat. I posted about it here, but I'd have to go find the post--it included some really ugly photos of a diamond that was so full of carbon spots--like 500 of them no kidding! Funny how the seller failed to mention that fact. :-o

I still look around every now and then on EBay, but would shy away from any purchase and "if" I ever did make a purchase there I would want a GIA report on the diamond and a return policy of no less than 10 business days.

Plus, I wasted a ton of time looking myself. I am self employed, so if I don't work I make less money. If I had $1.00 for evey hour I spent looking on Ebay and all of the other web sites--just a $1.00 an hour, I could have easily afforded a more expensive diamond and let someone professional do the looking for me. I suck at choosing good diamonds and clearly there are people who have made it their profession and my hat is off to them. :)

I liken this to trying to sell your house yourself--instead of hiring a Realtor. Or representing yourself in court instead of hiring an attorney. Some times it turns out good, but a lot of times there's a horror story behind it. I am pretty sure those here who have great stories really know what to look and ask for. For me, I probably didn't know enough to know that I didn't know enough to know what I was doing....crown angles, table size, depth all that stuff matters.

I'm not saying don't purchase on the secondary market, I'm just saying that buying online is hard because you really are relying on photos (usually not very good ones) and what the seller says. Go in with eyes open or think about using a professional. I love www.jewelsbyericagrace.com... They sell vintage and modern jewelry and have great, great, GREAT photos and suberb customer service. :)

Hugs,
MDS
 

dreamer_dachsie

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MyDiamondSparkles|1303939712|2906505 said:
I bought a diamond ring off of Ebay once, but never again. It was really a bad experience and the diamond was misrepresented in every way possible. I did get my moneyy back, but it was an emotional experience I wouldn't want to repeat. I posted about it here, but I'd have to go find the post--it included some really ugly photos of a diamond that was so full of carbon spots--like 500 of them no kidding! Funny how the seller failed to mention that fact. :-o
Here is your thread: https://www.pricescope.com/communit...i-can-not-lie-real-ugly-diamond-story.153929/
 
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