Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Uncertainty purchasing a Neil Lane from Kay Jewelers

PrincessNin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
4
Hello All!

So I stumbled upon this website when I was googling concerns about Vera Wang and Neil Lane engagement rings. I found a Neil Lane ring from Kay that I love but when I asked the sales associate for the grade/quality ratings he said that Neil Lane doesn't certify his diamonds. I was confused and in turn ended up here.

The ring I'm interested in is a oval center diamond with double halo and a split band with diamonds when it nears the center of the ring. It is priced at $4,249 and total carat weight is 1ct. Side note: when I told the guy that was helping me at Kay about the Vera Wang quality grade at Zales he told me that often times Zales lies about their certifications/numbers.

So the Vera Wang ring I like is very similar but it is a 3/4 ct and doesn't have a double halo (single halo instead) and no split band but the band does have diamonds on it like the Neil Lane one. According to the tag it said the ring had an si2 and H rating. This ring is priced at $2.499 but it will be around $2,000 because of a sale.

Please let me know what you all think and any recommendations. My boyfriend is coming home from a work trip tomorrow to go look at the rings and cancel the original tulkowsky that we had on hold at Kay but I want to make sure I am making the right decision. Thank you in advance!

Side note: I'm trying my best to not purchase online because I like being able to try the ring on and look at it under the microscope before we buy it. Also, I'm currently in Lynchburg, VA but we travel a ton for baseball and we will be in Cleveland, OH and then AZ in the next few weeks. I'm open to visiting vendors in person but not sure how I feel about buying a diamond online.

_5571.jpeg

_5572.jpeg
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,486
Very happy to see you started a thread here! :wavey:

If you are ever in TX then you could visit whiteflash. Or if you're in NY then Good Old Gold or ID Jewelry. I am probably missing other reputable vendors, so hopefully the experts can chime in soon.

As I said in your Hangouts thread I'd STRONGLY advise you against buying from the vendors you mentioned and would steer you in the direction of our recommended vendors. The experts here can find you something of far superior quality that's in your budget as they have for many others in the past. And I think the idea of seeing "in person" before buying is a valid one, but these days it's so easy to return--plus the recommended vendors often have photos, videos, and extremely zoomed in views so you should be able to get an extremely good idea of what you are buying before you "pull the trigger".


I'd start with the basics: What do you like about the rings in the picture? What's the max budget? What stone size are you hoping for? What style? Basically give us as much info as possible and we will find you something great :)
 

n64bomb

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
91
Please post your budget and what you are looking for :) We understand your apprehension with purchasing a stone online, but what if you could get your stone online verified and seen beforehand? Good news, with some sites, you can!

Ok, I'll be direct. Chain jewelers and mall jewelers have a 400-500% markup (zales, kays, and so on)
Independent jewelers have a 50-200% markup
Online jewelers have a 15-30% markup (blue nile, james allen, b2c jewels, whiteflash, and so on)

With a large majority of the online sites they have virtual inventory where most of these sites have a large index they all use that has virtual inventory. This means they can't give you imaging on the stone...not good.

With some vendors, such as jamesallen.com, they have a actual 3d image of the diamond where you can zoom in at up to 20x and turn the diamond at all angles. They can also get you imaging (ideal scope) if you ask. That is the best route based on your knowledge level to be honest. That would give you the best price and value, and you would still be able to get what you want and be safe to see the stone magnified and have the imaging on the optical symmetry and light performance. James Allen is a little more expensive than bluenile and b2cjewels for this reason...they own their inventory rather than sharing "virtual inventory" and they take actual pictures and imaging to make available for you. They can also have a diamond expert share their screen with you online and guide you through. You also get 30 day returns, so you can get an independent appraisal done and check everything when it comes in.

If you are dead set on having the stone from locally, find an independent jeweler (think a jeweler where it isn't in a mall/chain and it is a lot of times a family business with the last name of the family as the business name ie Sawchucks Jewelers or Phillips Jewelers.

You could also go to an independent and negotiate a flat rate for them to make off getting the stone for you and setting. Say you have a 5,000 budget, you could offer them 1200$ of that budget to work with you to find your right stone/setting. That would be your best bet if you really want an independent type jeweler. You would have to negotiate that with the jeweler, but I would think if you offered a jeweler 1000$-1200$ in profit to make from you versus 0$ if you go somewhere else, they will do it. It isn't a high margin transaction for them, but they will still do it...you just need to negotiate the exact amount; I would try to do a flat amount rather than a %.

So let me ask you a question: lets say you spend all of your 5000$ budget consider some scenarios:

1. You go to kays and get a stone/ring combination that they bought for 1000$ total. Your stone isn't gia/ags certified, so the VS2, H specs they tell you could be more like SI1 I. Low quality diamond that is smaller and with a lesser cut. So you get 1000$ of value for 5000$.

2. You go to an independent jeweler and pay their standard rate and get a stone/ring combination they bought for $2000-$3,333. You get a better diamond with a better cut. So you get $2000-3333 of value for $5000. You may or may not actually get an ags/gia cert so you would probably have to make your deal contingent upon a 3rd party appraisal unless the stone has a gia/ags certification.

3. You go to an independent jeweler and offer them 1200$ of your budget in profit for labor and markup on the stone/setting of 5000$. You work with them and they order in what you want and check it over with you and it is AGS/Gia certified. You get 3800$ value for 5000$ and a lot better diamond, bigger and a better cut.

4. You go to an online retailer with a 22% markup and get pictures and imaging of the stone to verify its eye cleanliness, good transparency, and you get the optical imaging from the retailer to prove the light return is good. You get 4098$ of value for 5000$ and a lot better stone with the cut and size. You get an ags/gia cert so your diamond is legit.

What is the best option for you?

You will want to get an ags/gia certification. That way you know what you are getting because other labs vary greatly and with consistently, so they can overstate a specification in a diamond and you will overpay. :)
 

PrincessNin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
4
I want an oval shape with a halo around. I'd also like diamonds on the band and I'm really looking for a diamond with the best clarity and best color for around $3,000-$5,000 (max $6,000). I'm looking for 1 ct to 1 1/2.

The thing I like about the Neil lane is the size of the ring all together. It looks big and I like the fact that it has a double halo (idk if that's what it's called). Also, I loved how a tulkowsky double band made the ring look (also from Kay).

The Vera Wang ring I also liked but the center of the diamond seemed a bit dark for me and the ring itself seemed so light and almost cheap feeling.

Thank you so much for all your help! I truly appreciate it.

_5573.jpeg
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,486
Is the 6K max budget for both diamond + setting? I just want to make sure we're posting things within budget :)
 

Marquise_Madness

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
292
Do you have a Pinterest or photos of the style of rings you like?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

PrincessNin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
4
Yes, 6K is the max with the setting and the stone. And I don't have a Pinterest of the rings I like but I've been looking at jamesallen.com and have found a couple halo with split shank that I like. Still looking though
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
4,279
PrincessNin|1472752103|4072300 said:
Yes, 6K is the max with the setting and the stone. And I don't have a Pinterest of the rings I like but I've been looking at jamesallen.com and have found a couple halo with split shank that I like. Still looking though
I suggest you contact Yekutiel at ID Jewelry and see if he can help you to find a stone and setting within your budget. He's great to work with and is highly recommended by many on this forum. I can personally vouch for his honesty and willingness to put the customer's needs first. Good luck - you have come to the right place, there are many here that will be able to help you to make a good decision. Glad you're not wasting your money at Kay Jewelers. Ugh! :wavey:
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,486
Queenie60|1472752359|4072304 said:
PrincessNin|1472752103|4072300 said:
Yes, 6K is the max with the setting and the stone. And I don't have a Pinterest of the rings I like but I've been looking at jamesallen.com and have found a couple halo with split shank that I like. Still looking though
I suggest you contact Yekutiel at ID Jewelry and see if he can help you to find a stone and setting within your budget. He's great to work with and is highly recommended by many on this forum. I can personally vouch for his honesty and willingness to put the customer's needs first. Good luck - you have come to the right place, there are many here that will be able to help you to make a good decision. Glad you're not wasting your money at Kay Jewelers. Ugh! :wavey:
Was just about to post this advice as well! ID jewelry is excellent and they will provide photos, videos, etc, of stones for you along with finding incredible options within budget. They carry a variety of setting options, so if you call or email them and describe what you're looking for I'm confident they can find you something great.
 

Marquise_Madness

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
292
PrincessNin said:
Yes, 6K is the max with the setting and the stone. And I don't have a Pinterest of the rings I like but I've been looking at jamesallen.com and have found a couple halo with split shank that I like. Still looking though
James Allen has great value. And you can compare the weight of the settings on the Kay website and the James Allen website to see how they match up. The split shank and halo are very popular so you should be able to find them there and on Blue Nile as well. (I think Blue Nile has Vera Wang as well!)

Edit: not Vera Wang. They have Monique Lhuillier.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

n64bomb

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
91
James Allen had offered a discount to pricescope users. I'm not sure if they still do, but you could ask about it if you go with them. I thought it was around 5%.

Also, when buying online, you don't get hit with the tax, so that's another benefit. Although, you are still supposed to report it to your state and pay it, but let's just say what mama (meaning the IRS) don't know won't hurt her!

:)
 

nycspring

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
209
Just wanted to chime in and give another vote for ID Jewelry. I live close enough to visit them in person (in NYC's diamond district), and they are wonderful. My engagement ring setting, wedding rings, wedding earrings, and anniversary ring are all from IDJ. My e-ring diamond is from another jeweler (my husband picked it), but if we could start all over I would have gone to IDJ for that as well. From the countless positive reviews I've seen of IDJ's long distance orders, I know that they will send you pictures/videos of the diamond/etc. and make you feel comfortable throughout the whole process. They will give you better customer service over the phone/email than Kay or Zales would in person. I bet you will be happier with a ring you get from IDJ than one that you get at from Kay or Zale- it will definitely have better quality diamonds and craftsmanship. And no, they don't pay me to say these things! :lol:
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,382
n64bomb|1472756909|4072334 said:
James Allen had offered a discount to pricescope users. I'm not sure if they still do, but you could ask about it if you go with them. I thought it was around 5%.

Also, when buying online, you don't get hit with the tax, so that's another benefit. Although, you are still supposed to report it to your state and pay it, but let's just say what mama (meaning the IRS) don't know won't hurt her!

:)
I do believe you get taxed if the online store has a presence in the state you are shipping to.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top