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The Secrets of Tiffany

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DoctorZ

Rough_Rock
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Jun 22, 2003
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Why is Tiffany so secretive about their cut? They do not have any certificates or reports whatsoever at the store. (they keep a GIA certificate in their NY store and will send it to you after the purchase of the diamond). When I asked about crown and pavillion angles, the salesperson was like "huh??" She replied that Tiffany doesn''t have any bad cuts in their stock. Also, they don''t let you examine loose stones. What''s the deal?

What does anyone know about the mystique of the Tiffany diamond?
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
DoctorZ, welcome to the forum


I guess the reason is that people who buy from Tiffany care more about the name and blue box


Tiffany indeed sells well cut stones but you can find better cut diamonds elsewhere without Tiffany' price.

I recall somebody also mentioned that salesperson at Tiffany knows a bit more about diamonds than average salesperson in a mall store but still not as much as a internet savvy consumer...
 

rbjd

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
154
I'd be willing to bet the reason they withhold information about their diamonds is that SOME of their diamonds ain't all that nice. I'm sure Tiffany goes through a lot of diamonds, and the more you find out about cut, the more you start to realize that only a small percentage of diamonds are cut extremely well. I bet Tiffany's standards are a little looser than, say, GoodOldGold's standards.
 

DoctorZ

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63
Thanks for the reply. I know what you mean about the fact that some Tiffany salespeople know very little about the product they sell. It's pretty scary that I did about 2 hours of web surfing on Pricesope and other info-rich sites and gained more diamond knowledge than she has. Or maybe she was just bluffing because she knows that once we get into the important details, Tiffany would not be able to compete. Hmmm...
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Far be it from me to ever defend Tiffany when it comes to e-rings...(hee hee) but I think a few forum members shopped around and in the process went to Tiffany and were able to get crown and pavilion angles on the stones they were considering...more info than just a GIA cert and I think they were also shown the GIA cert before purchase.

I may be wrong, but I think that I remember reading that from a few posters. So..maybe it was just the store and/or salesperson you dealt with? Sales tactics...bah. Hopefully the posters can weigh in so that all the facts can be known.

But seriously.
In my so humble opinion, you are much better off not purchasing from Tiffany when it comes to e-rings. As others have noted, you can surf around, learn about stones and buy an amazing stone online or offline with a company who is free with their information and education.

Good luck!

 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
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Tiffany & Co. has an excellent reputation within the industry for both the quality of the merchandise that they sell and their successful marketing strategy, but it seems to us that they truly leave a lot to be desired when it comes to customer service and education. Awhile back we were dragged into a Tiffany store (quite literally) by a friend of ours while shopping for clothes in Seattle, our friend seemed oblivious to the fact that we really did not want to go into the store because we're in the trade and had latched ahold of Robin's arm and had her in the store before Robin could regain her balance... The funny thing is that the salesperson all but ignored our friend who seemed thrilled just to be standing in the store, but the saleswoman had "diamond radar" and picked Robin out of the crowd within seconds... As soon as the woman approached, Robin identified herself as a member of the trade and tried to explain herself by explaining that our friend insisted that we see the store... While we were standing their chatting, a thirty-something gentleman approached the counter and was approached by one of the salesman, the customer announced that he was looking for an engagment ring and we were surprised to hear the salesperson ask whether he had done any research regarding his purchase and further surprised when the customer indicated that he had been looking on the internet... But what amazed us most was the salesperson's response to that statement, almost as if he didn't even hear what the customer had said, he reached into the display case and pulled out a diamond while saying "That's very nice, this is a Tiffany Diamond" and that was essentially the end of his presentation, literally. We were totally dumbfounded.

We're actually glad that Tiffany seems to take a "keep them in the dark" kind of approach to selling their merchandise... We like the trickle down effect of their advertising that we benefit from on a consistent basis... It seems that their marketing approach just begins to wet the appetite of the more intelligent diamond buyers who in turn decide to do a little more research on the internet and eventually end up here on PriceScope where they are introduced to those of us who provide complete information to our clients... A few years ago we picked up an absolutely excellent client who had been asked to leave the NY Tiffany store after repeatedly asking why they couldn't provide him with the crown and pavilion angle measurements for the diamond he was considering... It seemed a bit absurd to us because it is our understanding that the NY Tiffany buying office has "several" Sarin machines on the premises and it would have taken very little effort to obtain that information for Sak. But rather than do that, the store manager asked Sak to leave... Well, we were more than happy to sell him a diamond... No doubt that the other dealers here on Price Scope have tales of their own to tell, perhaps we should all chip in and send the staff at Tiffany a thank you box of brownies or something for all of the business they drop us


In terms of proportions, as far as we've seen in the past during appraisals and such, the round brilliant cut diamonds sold by Tiffany & Co. seem to range from AGS-2 Very Good to Zero Ideal Cut but without the proportions information there is no way to tell for sure... For the price you're going to be paying for that little blue box, it sure would be nice to know what you're buying to begin with because that's a good 15% spread in terms of price...
 

Paul Varjak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
14
After the buying is done, it all comes down to two things: are you in love with the item(i.e. does the diamond look fantastic to you) and did you make a prudent choice given your financial situation? If the answer to both is yes, you made a great buy, no matter what you bought or what you paid for it. It really does not matter about the grading lab or the actual numbers or letters on the report. Specifications are fun to play around with for comparison and give you some idea of what to expect before you see a stone, but the proof is in the looking. You look at your diamond, not the report. No one I know really buys diamonds for investment, so the report is really only an a comfort zone for the average consumer, a standard for the trade and the insurance companies.

The real pleasure of diamonds is the pleasure of observing them. I have never had the same pleasure of looking at a report. Know the basics and look at a lot of diamonds before you buy. Compare diamonds side by side. You will soon know what looks good to you and you will no longer need a report to tell you what your eye sees. If you, the purchaser, cannot tell the difference between two stones, does it really matter what the report says? Buy what you like at a price you can afford.

Tiffany simplifies the buying for people by providing very-good to great-looking stones without people having to bother with a lot of shopping around. And yes, that comes with a price. The buyer's time is worth something too. If you spend 100 hours looking for a stone and you figure your time is worth $25/hr, then is the $2,500 you saved by not getting it at Tiffany's by simply walking in such a deal?

When I want a diamond something, I walk into a trusted place like Tiffany's and an hour later walk out with something I know I will enjoy without the hassle of endless comparison. The time I save is worth something to me. For some, its not. Of course, if your thrill is in the hunt, then go shop yourself silly.

Diamonds are pure luxury items. After you buy them, it does not really matter what they are worth in terms of cash, because what they are worth is what they are worth to you. I don't think overpaying for a luxury item makes you a fool. If you like it, want it and have the resources, buy it and enjoy it.

I think these ideas will horrify those in the trade because it takes away the importance of reports and deal-making in diamonds.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
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Uh, I just a consumer but I actually love looking at the reports attached to my diamonds. But then I *am* a cut geek.
 

DoctorZ

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 22, 2003
Messages
63
you're really making a case for Tiffany. I was just about to give up the whole blue box idea until I read your post. Now I have to think about it more because you make some interesting points. Thanks for the input.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Furthermore, although I think value is indeed one of the main reasons why diamonds aren't cut into odd fancy shapes, another crucial reason is that diamonds are cut to maximize light performance while colored gemstones are cut to maximize color.
 

baloo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
39
I also considered the Tiffany way out. My girlfriend has known for a long time that she wants the Tiffany Lucida. I didn't give it much thought until recently and we wandered over to a store. Lovely ring and stone, the lighting certainly works for them. I checked out a couple of other stores and found the I could get nearly double ct weight for the same price.

I stumbled across this place and I've been opened up to a new world. (The Diamond community would have to be one of the friendliest around. For that I thank all of you.)

I started researching and the more I researched, something dawned on me. I WANT to spend time searching for what I think is the perfect ring. You mention 100 hours ? I've come close. $25 an hour ? Well my rate is over well $100 so sure, my *time* is adding to the price but I'm not doing this in work hours, I am doing it for my own education, curiosity and pleasure during my spare time. You can't put a $ value on that.

Most importantly, when I give my girl her ring, I'll know that I put a lot of effort into finding her my own vision of what she wanted. I could have taken the easy way out and slapped a credit card on the Tiffany counter but that really doesn't convey what I am prepared to do to make sure she has a ring that will blow her friends away.

Compare the two scenarios. She's recounting the whole engagement for years to come.
"Baloo bought me a Tiffany"
"Baloo spent hours researching, studying, comparing cuts and settings. Made calls to the US while I was asleep. Organised delivery when he knew I wouldn't be home and bought me this very unique, absolutely gorgeous ring"

You decide which means more.

Bottom line, my girlfriend is worth the extra effort to make sure she has a ring which will make her smile for the rest of her life. I'm really not sure the Tiffany would have had the same effect in the long run.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 6/26/2003 10:50:41 AM baloo wrote:
Compare the two scenarios. She's recounting the whole engagement for years to come.
"Baloo bought me a Tiffany"
"Baloo spent hours researching, studying, comparing cuts and settings. Made calls to the US while I was asleep. Organised delivery when he knew I wouldn't be home and bought me this very unique, absolutely gorgeous ring"
----------------
Some might say the second scenario equals to being cheap


Look at it this way. Do celebs. shop here? No, they just go to the most expensive and glamarous store and slap down their credit card. Hollywood only cares about how much money was spent. Not necessary the quality.
 

dancingmelimel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
187
On 6/26/2003 10:58:48 AM jlim wrote:

----------------
On 6/26/2003 10:50:41 AM baloo wrote:
Compare the two scenarios. She's recounting the whole engagement for years to come.
"Baloo bought me a Tiffany"
"Baloo spent hours researching, studying, comparing cuts and settings. Made calls to the US while I was asleep. Organised delivery when he knew I wouldn't be home and bought me this very unique, absolutely gorgeous ring"
----------------
Some might say the second scenario equals to being cheap


----------------
[/quote]

Ok, I know you were kidding, (kind of,) but the second scenario is only being cheap if you would spend less money on the same quality stone by not buying from Tiffany's. If you would spend the same budget, and get a lot more for it, that's not cheap, that's smart.


-Melissa

P.S. Someone please answer my latest question on the New I Color thread. I'm desperate!
 

baloo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
39
hehehe jlim. I'm a glass half full kind of guy so that never occured to me.

But in saying that, I had a fixed budget of what I was going to spend. Had I gone to Tiffany I would have stuck with it.

After all this research, I have now blown my budget by 40%.

In the end, a Tiffany would have been cheaper for me ! hmmmmmmm, maybe that in itself is another benefit of going the Tiffany route...
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Baloo-your post made alot of sense!! I highly agree (of course!). The part about the US calls while she was sleeping was very touching....I would much rather tell that story than 'he went in and slapped the card on the counter and bought me this .25c lucida--oh but look it has the Tiffany engraving against my hand WHICH NO ONE CAN SEE'.

But that's just me

 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 6/26/2003 11
5:39 AM baloo wrote:

hehehe jlim. I'm a glass half full kind of guy so that never occured to me.

After all this research, I have now blown my budget by 40%.

In the end, a Tiffany would have been cheaper for me ! hmmmmmmm, maybe that in itself is another benefit of going the Tiffany route...
----------------
As you can guess, I'm a glass half empty kind of guy. I should really change my perspective.

Actually, you might spend the same or more at Tiffany. If everything said here is true, when you are Tiffany, you might be so disappointed at what offerings they have at your price point and you'll then be willing to pay top $$$ to get their really really good stuff


dancingmelimel - actually I started out wanting a 0.5ct D/E IF/VVS1. I was going to spend $3500 for the diamond and $500 for the ring. Turns out I can get what I want for relatively cheap if I buy from the online vendors here. So, had I stayed with my initial criteria, I would not have spend the $4000. So, the rest of the money goes back into my savings. Just because you budget x amount of money to spend, you don't have to spend all of it. At least that's how I live my life.

But in the end, I wanted to get a 0.8ct and those cannot be found at my budget. So, I ended spending almost 50% more when I got my .8 E/VVS1 with a simple Vatche setting from WhiteFlash.
 

Paul Varjak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
14
If you want to spend your time, regardless of its worth $25 or $250 an hour, tracking down the the biggest stone you can get for the money works for some and not for others. It depends on one's priorities. If one wants to spend time and effort to maximize ct weight for the money, then go for it. I was just making the point that people undervalue their time.

However, I question the a priori notion that a bigger stone, equal in all respects but size, is better. Its only bigger. McDonald's has supersized the world into the American mindset. Size is not everything. Scale and context of what your buying counts too. Some may find a 3ct rock on a size 3 finger a bit, well, nouveau riche. I know several wealthy people who have beautiful solitares less than .5 ct (old money) and several .com millionares with giant rocks on the hand. Plus, the Tiffany's and Cartier's of the world have proprietary designs that may be a deciding factor when difference between the real thing and a knockoff matters. And to get the setting, you have to buy the real thing from them.

I don't fully agree with the assumption that years later, a woman would want a bigger diamond with higher report numbers over a smaller Tiffany diamond. Yes, people get too wound over the name, but with Tiffany's or similar, you get a buying experience. Forget the name but value what the assured quality you get by the name. Years later, do you want her to remember signing the UPS delivery slip or the time you went together to a B&M to pick it out? Factor that in too.

In the end, buy what you want, enjoy it and the memory of getting it, whatever methodology you choose.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
Paul - though I agree pretty much with what you said, but you'll find countless women on this board touting the shrinkage factor. Apparently, to women, after a while, the diamond seem smaller and they want a bigger diamond. As a guy I cannot understand this mindset esp. if the ring was meant as an engagement or an anniversary ring.

I guess I'll find out in the near future if my gf will feel the same.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 6/26/2003 12:27:50 PM Mara wrote:

the counter and bought me this .25c lucida--oh but look it has the Tiffany engraving against my hand WHICH NO ONE CAN SEE'.

----------------
Is it a problem no one else can see? I thought the ring is the symbol of love bet. 2 people. Does it matter if you can see the engraving or not?
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
----------------
On 6/26/2003 1
7
8 PM jlim wrote:



----------------
On 6/26/2003 12:27:50 PM Mara wrote:

the counter and bought me this .25c lucida--oh but look it has the Tiffany engraving against my hand WHICH NO ONE CAN SEE'.

----------------
Is it a problem no one else can see? I thought the ring is the symbol of love bet. 2 people. Does it matter if you can see the engraving or not?

----------------

Yes its a problem if it was bought BECAUSE it's a Tiffany ring. Shouldn't it come with a hang tag kind of like the Coach bags? That way everyone can know it's a Tiffany ring! That would be the only point I could see in paying the extra markup.

Again--the ring is NOT a symbol of LOVE, but rather a symbol of a COMMITTMENT. But as with any SYMBOL...it's viewed subjectively. Aka 'that is a big ring, he must really love you'. Or 'that is a small ring, couldn't afford more?'
People view things however they tend to *think*..that will never change!
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
----------------
On 6/25/2003 12:43:36 PM Paul Varjak wrote:
When I want a diamond something, I walk into a trusted place like Tiffany's and an hour later walk out with something I know I will enjoy without the hassle of endless comparison. The time I save is worth something to me.
----------------
You walk out with something you paid a lot for and so are more likely to want to enjoy it. Did you really get the best you could have gotten? Nope. Personally I wouldn't give that up just to get what I want NOW.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 6/26/2003 1:13:21 PM Mara wrote:

Yes its a problem if it was bought BECAUSE it's a Tiffany ring. Shouldn't it come with a hang tag kind of like the Coach bags? That way everyone can know it's a Tiffany ring! That would be the only point I could see in paying the extra markup.

Again--the ring is NOT a symbol of LOVE, but rather a symbol of a COMMITTMENT. But as with any SYMBOL...it's viewed subjectively. Aka 'that is a big ring, he must really love you'. Or 'that is a small ring, couldn't afford more?'
----------------
[/quote]

Hmm, I thought you said the ring is love, ok commitment bet. 2 people. Why does it matter who sees it? Maybe the buyer just likes the design or the brand. You know it is a Tiffany. If you love it, why do you care what other people think? Oh, I bet you kept the little sewn on tag on suits too, don't ya?


But I do believe you. On job interview I went to, this guy was wearing a suit with that little tag that says "Calvin Klein" still on it.

Yes, people do view things differently but it shouldn't matter what other people think.

What about you? Do you think along this line? Big ring, he loves me. Small ring, cheap bastard? What if your bf. had bought you a smaller ring and saved a few bucks?

Btw, love and commitment may mean different things to you, but they have always been one and the same to me. Love is the ring to me. Commitment is the marriage certificate.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
250
----------------
On 6/26/2003 1:16:24 PM Nate wrote:

You walk out with something you paid a lot for and so are more likely to want to enjoy it. Did you really get the best you could have gotten? Nope. Personally I wouldn't give that up just to get what I want NOW.
----------------
Nate - I do agree with you. I wouldn't have spent any more money to get something if I can get the same thing (similar or better) else where for less money even if it takes me 100hrs or having to drive 100miles more to get it.

But some people I know don't bother with it. They want it and they want it now. So what if they spend a few bucks more. And I think each and everyone of us is guilty of doing this at one point in our life. No one can say every single thing they bought, let it be grocery or house, they got the cheapest price possible for the same thing.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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31,003
----------------
On 6/26/2003 1:29:43 PM jlim wrote:
Btw, love and commitment may mean different things to you, but they have always been one and the same to me. Love is the ring to me. Commitment is the marriage certificate.


----------------

Love is chicken soup and a backrub while you are sick.

Luxury money is allowing for the ring to be purchased as a pretty bauble that symbolizes (to the general public) a committment to the future.

As usual, Jlim, you go all psycho when it comes to the Tiffany topic....I'm done! I've never had patience for stupidity. The gene pool needs to be MUCH smaller.

(Speaking of Tiffany PR....?)
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Coming from a hyprocrite, I guess I can understand why you would resort to name calling. Yes, the gene pool does indeed need to be smaller.
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441
Leonid, please! You MUST put up some kind of warning about Tiffany-related posts!





 

canadianice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
82
The sound everybody just heard is this thread leaving the road and heading straight for the ditch...

Oh, the humanity!


----------------
On 6/26/2003 2
9:10 PM jlim wrote:

Coming from a hyprocrite, I guess I can understand why you would resort to name calling. Yes, the gene pool does indeed need to be smaller.
----------------
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 6/26/2003 12:57:54 PM Paul Varjak wrote:

I know several wealthy people who have beautiful solitares less than .5 ct (old money) and several .com millionares with giant rocks on the hand. ----------------
And *I* know several wealthy old monied women who sport large stones. And I know several "nouveau riche" women who sport small crappy stones.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
----------------
On 6/26/2003 12:40:52 PM Furthermore wrote:

there are several near - colourless stones there and cuts with high light return. You can actually cut a diamond anyway you please. ;-)))
----------------

No argument, Furthermore, which is why I said cost is definitely one of the main factors. However, one of the main attractions to diamonds lies in the high RI which, coupled with the colorlessness of a white diamond, creates that incredible sparkle. So, cutting a gem-quality diamond in a neat shape can seem a waste.

Perhaps someday, if De Beers loses it's stranglehold on the market and all our diamonds become as worthless as class, then we'll get lots of faceters playing around with different shapes.
 
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