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Tiffany''s Experience

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Jax172

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
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948
So with my enagagement ring on hold for the moment as we wait for the new stone to come in and to have my setting fixed, I am ringless.

But it was a good time to go "browse" in Tiffany''s. We wanted to see what kind of mark up they really have and to see the setting everyone goes gaga over.

Here are my observations:

First, we bought a 1.34 G VVS2 H & A from GOG

At Tiffany''s we looked at a 1.32 G VVS1 Round in their traditional setting. We also compared that to a 1.28 E VS1 and a 1.3 H VVS2.

First, let me say WOW that setting is gorgeous and all the "tiffany style" copies do not even come close to the original Tiffany setting. I can certainly understand people getting stuck on that setting and wanting to buy at Tiffany''s just to get it. If their markup was more reasonable, I would understand it more.

Second, the 1.30 size on me is perfect. It''s big but not toooo big (as if there is such a thing )
I couldn''t go up in size much more without it looking really ridiculous on my finger (3.75 size).

Second, the G color is gorgeous. We compared an E and a G side by side. My fiance couldn''t see the difference. I could see a very slight difference. But the G was not yellow, just a tad darker (but that''s not really the correct word). They both sparkled like mad and were clear white stones. I will never be able to pay a premium for a D-E colored stone now. The G is a perfect balance of color/cost. So happy we went with it. (I originally was holding out for an F)

Third, wow what a markup! The Tiffany ring was priced at $16,200 plus tax. My completed ring (1.34 G VVS2 H & A with Vatche Platinum Royal Crown) will have a final cost of approximately $11,400 (no tax).

Like I said, it was an educational experience. Yes, they do have nice diamonds, but certainly not more beautiful than the diamonds we have gotten from GOG. I learned that a G color is pretty similar to an E when set and is good enough for my eyes!
And I finally got to see the Tiffany setting up close. It really is gorgeous but for that markup I don''t think I could do it for just a setting and a name. No offense to anyone who would, but I''m more happy getting a quality stone online and a nice platinum setting online.
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
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4,607
"I learned that a G color is pretty similar to an E when set and is good enough for my eyes!"



I have a G color diamond and have just got a J color diamond. At first I was a bit disturbed about the J color and when I looked at the G next to it I could see a tad more yellow. But then I can see yellow in a G color so to me the difference between the two did not matter. I thought if I am going to get yellow in the G what does it matter if I see a bit more in the J. I think if I had a D color I would feel worse about the J color. I read however that Dave Atlas said when a stone is set you may not be able to tell the difference between a G and a J color and I certainly cannot face up. From the side I certainly can but I see yellow in them both.

I would not mind getting the Tiffany solitaire but I would say you are very wise to go for the ring you are getting instead of pay that markup for a ring which is probably holding a not bad but not as good cut diamond as the one you picked.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
Jax - if you scrutinize the numbers, is the markup really ridiculous?

Your ring: 1.34 G VVS2 H & A = $11,400
Tiffany: 1.32 G VVS1 = $16,200

Tiffany cost 42% more than your ring.

I believe the difference in price from a VVS1 to a VVS2 should be around 10%. This is just my observation from comparing diamonds of the same ct/color but different clarity from vendors here.

So, it cost 32% more. Now, you said it yourself, the Tiffany setting looks gorgeous. How much is that worth to you? Maybe 10% more? 15%? 20%??

So, let's just say 15%. So, now we are down to 17%. With the service and convenience plus after sale support if you so need it, isn't it worth the 17%?? 17% to me is like buying a brandname and storebrand. Brandname can of soup like Campbell cost $0.89/can. Storebrand might be $0.59? That markup is around 50% believe it or not.

The internet dealers here have lower overhead but one day when they are as big as Tiffany as a company and name recognition, their prices will be as high as Tiffany.

Again, I don't mean to make this into why buy Tiffany. Just an observation I have.

Other things to consider:
- Sales tax. With sales tax, the savings buying internet will be more but we cannot fault a store for that. It is a state tax. So, blame your state or buy it from a state w/ no tax.

- Cut. Everyone here emphasizes on cut. So, all my numbers go down the drain if someone says that the Tiffany cut is inferior. I would love to a vendor here or a gemologist take a diamond from Tiffany and do a sarin test on it. Then, at least we know if it is really as bad as what everyone says.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
I once compared a F color and an I color Hearts on Fire side by side and was amazed at how little difference there was face-up. I'm usually pretty sensitive to color, but this really drove home what a difference cut quality makes.
 

Jax172

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
948
First of let me say we were never considering buying at Tiffany's. For a number of reasons. 1.) Their markup is way high for what they sell. Yes, they have beautiful diamonds, but they are not any better than the stones you can get online. They are not H & A and we wanted an H & A. They are not independently certified and we wanted a certified stone. 2.) We're not interested in a name, but rather a quality diamond at a good price.

Second, even if there is a 10% premium for a VVS1 instead of VVS2, that still leaves a 32% MARKUP for what? A diamond that is not H & A and is not independently certified. Is there diamond really so much better that it comands a 32% markup? I've seen many a beautiful non Tiffany diamond that equals and surpasses their brilliance. Therefore, does their name command a 32% markup? I guess so if that is your thing.And yes, it's a no brainer that if you buy at Tiffany's you'll PROBABLY get a pretty nice stone. But we'd rather put more time and effort into educating ourselves so we can find a gorgeous stone online and get a better price.

Third, no setting and name is worth paying 32% more. At least to us it isn't. I realize some people may have the extra money and may want to pay for that Tiffany name and setting. But not us. The setting is pretty, but truthfully I like my Vatche Royal crown more and it feels alot heavier.

Finally while it is true that the state determines the tax factor, you have to admit that the fact that we didn't have to pay tax buying outside the state was a definite plus in this situation. And we didn't sacrifice any quality or beauty. I'm not saying the tax was a fault of Tiffany's, just that it was an added bonus of not buying from them.

Certainly if someone truly wants and needs to have a Tiffany ring I wouldn't fault them at all. It's a personal choice indeed. But it is nice to let people know there are options out there. You don't have to pay their markup to ensure a beautiful stone. You can get equally nice things if not better for less online.
That is all I was saying. If you still want to buy at Tiffany's go for it! They do have nice diamonds. I think some people who come here might like to know that they don't have to buy a Tiffany ring to find quality. Only point I was making.

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On 5/5/2003 9:30
7 AM jlim wrote:

Jax - if you scrutinize the numbers, is the markup really ridiculous?

Your ring: 1.34 G VVS2 H & A = $11,400
Tiffany: 1.32 G VVS1 = $16,200

Tiffany cost 42% more than your ring.

I believe the difference in price from a VVS1 to a VVS2 should be around 10%. This is just my observation from comparing diamonds of the same ct/color but different clarity from vendors here.

So, it cost 32% more. Now, you said it yourself, the Tiffany setting looks gorgeous. How much is that worth to you? Maybe 10% more? 15%? 20%??

So, let's just say 15%. So, now we are down to 17%. With the service and convenience plus after sale support if you so need it, isn't it worth the 17%?? 17% to me is like buying a brandname and storebrand. Brandname can of soup like Campbell cost $0.89/can. Storebrand might be $0.59? That markup is around 50% believe it or not.

The internet dealers here have lower overhead but one day when they are as big as Tiffany as a company and name recognition, their prices will be as high as Tiffany.

Again, I don't mean to make this into why buy Tiffany. Just an observation I have.

Other things to consider:
- Sales tax. With sales tax, the savings buying internet will be more but we cannot fault a store for that. It is a state tax. So, blame your state or buy it from a state w/ no tax.

- Cut. Everyone here emphasizes on cut. So, all my numbers go down the drain if someone says that the Tiffany cut is inferior. I would love to a vendor here or a gemologist take a diamond from Tiffany and do a sarin test on it. Then, at least we know if it is really as bad as what everyone says.
----------------
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
I believe I read somewhere that Lazare Kaplan cuts the diamonds Tiffany & Co sell.

I think Tiffany & Co are way overpriced as well but on the secondary market a vintage Tiffany & Co ring will probably cost a lot more than an even better quality generic diamond ring.
 

Jax172

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
948
True, but hopefully most people that buy engagement rings don't have to end up selling them on the secondary market later. I like to think that isn't something someone considers when purchasing an engagement ring...

----------------
On 5/5/2003 8
1:40 PM pyramid wrote:

I believe I read somewhere that Lazare Kaplan cuts the diamonds Tiffany & Co sell.

I think Tiffany & Co are way overpriced as well but on the secondary market a vintage Tiffany & Co ring will probably cost a lot more than an even better quality generic diamond ring.


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Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
There was a Tiffany ring on eBay a few months ago with all paperwork from Tiffany, letter, appraisal, etc. Was a resell from a failed engagement.

Anyhow--it was a 62% table. Not quite AGS0....not even remotely close. I'd heard that Tiffany didn't always sell the most technically excellent stones....that auction seemed to corrobate.

Interested in a study? Go into Tiffany and look at 10 stones. Write down their specs. See if any of them have larger than AGS0 tables or a depth of 63% or other things that you may want to watch out for unless you have more information to know that the cut is excellent. But that's right..Tiffany doesn't give you that additional info most of the time!
Their diamonds are 'high quality'.

I have yet to hear a comparison from an expert or someone in the trade of a Tiffany stone against a H&A or a SuperIdeal. I would be very interested in hearing and/or seeing the results. How about not just one Tiffany stone, but a handful. See how they measure up. Then people can really see what they are paying for (besides the name, and the service, support, setting, whatever else is thrown in justify the markup)--hard numbers on paper. For most of those interested in the cut...that's what its all about!!

BTW the Tiffany setting is very pretty. But then again..I would choose custom every time. It's that whole uniqueness thing.


Jax...a 1.3c will look monstrous on a size 3.75 finger..you lucky thing!
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
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On 5/6/2003 1:34
8 AM Mara wrote:

Interested in a study? Go into Tiffany and look at 10 stones. Write down their specs. See if any of them have larger than AGS0 tables or a depth of 63% or other things that you may want to watch out for unless you have more information to know that the cut is excellent. But that's right..Tiffany doesn't give you that additional info most of the time!
Their diamonds are 'high quality'.

----------------
I did that. Though I would not classify myself an expert, I asked for the specs of every stone in my colour, clarity, and size ranges. Because it was less than a carat, I had to work with the Tiffany certificate. In my colour and clarity range, there were six stones (I was looking for D-E, IF-VVS2). Two only had crown height and angle, I think, so those were out of the running as I wanted more information. It's starting to get fuzzy now. The other four scored the exact same on the HCA. Isn't that weird? They were all 1.3. I picked one out of these, based on colour and clarity. Oh yes, and I checked them all with AGS's diamond grading standards and they were also all AGS000, falling into the range of an "ideal". One thing I did notice though, was that none had a score of "excellent" for the spread portion of the HCA. They all scored "very good" and that was also the score on scintillation on some of the stones. I went for one with three excellents, and one very good on spread.


(edited to add: The older diamond certificates only list two angles. The newer ones give four of the measurements, enough to plug into the HCA. With all that above about Tiffany's, I likely won't ever buy there ever again because of the service.)
 

james100

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Messages
80
Why is pulp_princess pulling out these old threads to answer which had the last post in May?

and this is the second one related to Tiffany!
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
----------------
On 9/5/2003 12:52
0 AM james100 wrote:

Why is pulp_princess pulling out these old threads to answer which had the last post in May?

and this is the second one related to Tiffany!
----------------
See, this is what you get for being way too sleepy, surfing Pricescope while waiting for a virus scanner to finish.
I'm going to nap now. Please excuse me.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Pulp...you mentioned that VG on spread on HCA was common for the stones you posted about..that's actually common for alot of stones run through the HCA. Seems as though it's not common to get all EX's....and I have seen stones score almost the same #wise and get VG vs EX on the HCA (e.g. a stone that has 1.3 HCA will have EX EX EX VG and another stone will have 1.2 EX EX EX EX)--so how much is the difference visible? At that point...really not at all I would guess.
Congrats on what sounds like a lovely stone.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 9/5/2003 8:55:55 AM pulp_princess wrote:

----------------
See, this is what you get for being way too sleepy, surfing Pricescope while waiting for a virus scanner to finish.
I'm going to nap now. Please excuse me.

----------------
Stupid question - how can one be on-line & run the virus scanner. Maybe my computer (or probably me) doesn't know how to multi-task. Can I be on line & run the virus scanner?
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
Thank you, Mara. I don't think I remember what it looked like. Tiffany's still has my ring and will have it until October or so. I originally received the ring on July 9th but it has been for so many repairs (this is the fourth time) that I have barely seen it.
I've been looking at others' rings in the meantime to tide me over.
Hopefully, the difference between a 1.3 EX-EX-EX-VG and a 1.2 EX-EX-EX-EX isn't too much and I have a comparable stone to the lovelies on PS.


fire&ice, I'm not quite sure how it was running (it wasn't set up by me) so I'll have to get back to you on that. It may just have been a downloadable virus scanner, if that makes any more sense.
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
----------------
[/quote]

Stupid question - how can one be on-line & run the virus scanner. Maybe my computer (or probably me) doesn't know how to multi-task. Can I be on line & run the virus scanner?

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

From what I've heard, the virus scanner is set to inspect files as they come in and update itself with the newest lists of viruses while I'm online.
 
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