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the tiffany premium?

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jstur13

Rough_Rock
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Jul 11, 2002
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1
i have begun the search for a diamond and know little at this point (though i am trying hard). i am still in the research phase of my search and have not actually spoken with others yet or done and price comparisons.
that leads me to my question. does tiffany grade their own stones? i feel as though this would be a conflict of interest but someone told me that they did. are certain certificates more highly valued/prized? i am in nyc and though i will go to the tiffany and cartier stores, i want to take advantage of the 47th st. diamond district. will i pay a significant premium on the stone itself by purchasing it at tiffany instead of in the diamond district? will the premium that i am paying buy a better reputed diamond?
thank you
jed
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Sep 3, 2000
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6,397
Tiffany uses many GIA graded stones. They also grade many of their own. They are very strict graders from the most conservative side of grading. They are tougher on themselves than the GIA. Ocasionally, I understand they just can't live with a GIA report that is too liberal and they toss it out and do it themselves.... I'd tell you that on the grading side of things you can take their grading to the bank and have no fear. They are not the least costly place, but it is a super fine establishment that has made many folks very happy over a long period of time.
 

Bingo

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Apr 25, 2002
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11
I was recently in a very similar situation to you, and was close to buying a "blue box". I then started to research things a little more, and came to conclusion that, with a little bit of work, I could buy a diamond that was at least as well cut, if not much better. Particularly if you are prepared to use the resources on the Web, you will save a lot of money as well.

I compared a few prices, and found that the "premium" is anywhere up to 100% per carat - comparing a "super ideal cut" diamond from the web and same other C's. This is however not to disparage Tiffanys, as they clearly have additional costs, and do a great job of making the buying process painless...it is a very "experiential" buy. At the end of the day it's what you are comforatble with, but using the combined knowledge on this board, could be a great way to get a superlative diamond at a keen price.

We ended up with something spectacular from a web-based dealer, that we just can't take our eyes off...Good Luck!
 

putlovr

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Jul 12, 2002
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6
I own a Rolex watch. Actually two, but the gold one never comes out of the safe deposit. Does it keep good time? Yes. Any better than a Swatch? No. I could buy another watch that is at least as good if not better for less than half the price, and still be a quality Swiss watch, even a name brand.

I was a sucker for the Rolex advertising I'd seen for years. Do I regret it? No. I feel better because it is a Rolex. I paid for the brand because that's what I wanted. In Hong Kong you can buy the nearly identical gold band with the original watch for significantly less than with the original band. I could have, but didn't. I wanted the Rolex.

My point is, there may be something special about a Tiffany diamond--certainly the quality is good. But you can get equal quality elsewhere. I knew someone who had been married for years and finally bought his wife a "Tiffany diamond". It was well under a carat and I was shocked by how much he paid. I could have gotten one well over a carat of equal quality for the same price. But it came in that blue box and who knows, to his wife, it may be more special than a bigger rock she haggled over on 47th street or picked up on the internet.

My advice--make your own decision. I would guess the "Tiffany premium" could be as much as 100% and that's over what someone else sells it for and makes a fair profit! But if it makes it special, go for it. BUT--

MAKE THE BUYING PROCESS AN EXPERIENCE. AND MAKE THE PICKUP SOMETHING SPECIAL. Assuming its Tiffany on Fifth Avenue, go to a very special lunch first and then pick up the ring. Or rent a hotel room, even if you live in Manhattan, and pick up the ring, have a special dinner, then go to the hotel and enjoy. In other words, if you are paying for the aura, for the good feeling, then pay a little more to enhance that specialness.

PS. I haven't bought from Tiffany's but can understand it. See my next post recommending Sde Diamonds of Israel.
 

putlovr

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
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6
my wife just looked at a stone at Tiffany's, actually a ring with baguettes. But the diamond was 5 carats. The price I paid for the stone was half the Tiffany price, yet the stone I got (GIA) is the same color and has better clarity (mine was IF, Tiffany's was VS!). So that suggests more than a 100% premium for Tiffany's.
 
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