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Zales - Overpaid? Quality?

Phasers

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
26
Hi,

I was at Zales this past weekend and I bought an engagement ring (well stone really, the ring sucks I plan on replacing it) for my longtime gf. It is a "Zales Signature Diamond", Round Brilliant cut. They had it listed for $12,995, and I ended up walking out of the store having paid $8300 ($~8995 with sales tax) in a take it or leave it deal. It is on a simple 18 karat yellow gold band with 4 prong platinum setting--like I said, needs to be replaced. On to the diamond details, and why I am skeptical and am thinking of returning.

Certification is through GS Laboratories
GSL Certificate#: 038854
Certification Date: 11/25/2009
In the picture on the certification card, it is already set on the ring.

Anyways on to the details:
Shape: Round brilliant cut
Weight: 1.50 carats
Clarity: SI-1
Color: J
Cut: Excellent
Pol / Sym: Very Good / Very good
Meas: 7.26 x 7.22 x 4.56

And from what i can tell from the diamond diagram on the card:
Girdle Diameter: 7.26mm
Table: 57.80%
Crown: 15.30%
Girdle: 2.00%
Pavilion: 43.00%
Top Angle?: 35.50 degrees
Bottom Angle?: 41.10 degrees

The only reason I bought this ring was the 30-day return policy in case it's not the best deal, but I've never heard of GS Laboratories (http://www.gemscan.com/) before, and the more I think about it, the more unlikely it is I got a good deal at Zales.

Thanks in advance for everyone's input.

edit: It kinda looks like this: http://zales.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pZALE1-9396458t400.jpg but again I'm considering the setting a wash, and as far as I'm concerned, the cost was for the diamond alone.
 

Gibson486

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
91
I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that you did alright and that we need to see the diamond....

However, yeah, it's a mall store and you likely overpaid. That said, I have seen nice diamonds at mall stores, but i am pretty sure you can do better. That said, 9K for that is what I would expect for the diamond alone, even if it were GIA certified.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I am not sure about the lab but would advise you to stick with GIA or AGS.

I think you can do much better. The HCA gives

Light Return: Good
Fire: Good
Scintillation: Good
Spread: Good
Total Visual Performance: 4.3 - Good - Only if price is your main criterion

are you open to looking online? we can try to find you some good candidates
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
well it's hard to value other lab's graded diamond since they may be few grades off. that's why most PSer suggest buy only GIA or AGS graded diamonds
 

Frenchcut

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
280
Do you know why it was still for sale when the certificate dates back to 2009? It looks like a long time to sell a ring (since you specified the diamond was already set on the certificate picture I understand the ring is for sale since then ?!)
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
2,476
minmin001|1305317675|2921043 said:
well it's hard to value other lab's graded diamond since they may be few grades off. that's why most PSer suggest buy only GIA or AGS graded diamonds
Yup. You're "SI1/J" stone from GSL might be an I1/K (or worse...)

Bottom line, I didn't even have to look at the specs of your stone to know that if you bought it at Zales, you almost certainly overpaid. I would return it ASAP and get a GIA graded stone.
 

Phasers

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
26
slg47|1305317601|2921042 said:
I am not sure about the lab but would advise you to stick with GIA or AGS.

I think you can do much better. The HCA gives

Light Return: Good
Fire: Good
Scintillation: Good
Spread: Good
Total Visual Performance: 4.3 - Good - Only if price is your main criterion

are you open to looking online? we can try to find you some good candidates
Yes I am.

Here are some pics of it I just took with my phone btw: Sorry it's only a 5.0MP camera.
1_18.jpg
2_16.jpg
3_14.jpg
5_7.jpg
 

Phasers

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
26
Frenchcut|1305318250|2921048 said:
Do you know why it was still for sale when the certificate dates back to 2009? It looks like a long time to sell a ring (since you specified the diamond was already set on the certificate picture I understand the ring is for sale since then ?!)
Honestly, I don't know? Old Inventory maybe? They had another one from 2007, it was an H color, SI2. otherwise pretty much the same.
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
you certainly can get a GIA or AGS graded diamond and a simple band for that price~ (also no sales tax so that can go into the diamonds)
 

Phasers

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
26
Well I'd like a nice compromise between size (near 1.5 carat) and clarity/color. Just want a solitaire diamond mainly, perhaps some small diamonds along the band which I'll get later. And I'd like to stay under $9k.

Any suggestions? I've seen some on Blue Nile and the James Allen site looks promising, I'm just hesitant to buy online when I can't see in person.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
Yeah, you pretty much have no idea what you actually got with that grading report.
The BGD one posted above looks very nice if you are okay with the flourescence, or here are 2 more:

http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/8265/
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2627532.htm

ETA: We double posted! Okay the GOG one is much closer to your price goal of $9K. I think 1.3 is a very nice size and a good compromise in terms of size and quality. I think you will be hard pressed to get a well-cut 1.5 for that price.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Well, cut is SUCH and important factor. Getting an "ideal" "H&A" "excellent" cut stone will make it incredibly sparkly- hide body color, and depending on the location of inclusions- help hide them as well. The better cut a stone is- the more sparkly it is...

here are good options for ideal/ excellent cut stones:

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1363423.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1336409.asp


I definitely wouldn't skimp on the cut- --think about it- do you want a stone that is duller? If you get a 1.5ct good cut stone, the actual face up size if it's cut steep-deep maybe smaller than that of a 1.3! or even a 1.2!

here are some other stones in the "ideal" but non-true hearts cut:

skinny arrows- http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1364259.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1379278.asp


always verify with a vendor whether or not the stones you are looking at are "eye clean" meaning you can't see an inclusions from face-up from a certain distance from the stone.
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Phasers|1305320889|2921083 said:
Well I'd like a nice compromise between size (near 1.5 carat) and clarity/color. Just want a solitaire diamond mainly, perhaps some small diamonds along the band which I'll get later. And I'd like to stay under $9k.

Any suggestions? I've seen some on Blue Nile and the James Allen site looks promising, I'm just hesitant to buy online when I can't see in person.
Please dont be hesitant to buy online. I can GAURANTEE that if you listen to these helpful consumers and buy from a PS approved vendor, you will be MUCH HAPPIER than with the one you already have. I was in your shoes a few months ago when I found Pricescope. I have been thanking my lucky stars ever since :)
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
The pictures that are being posted are magnified, they are showing you what you what you would see under a scope, not usually what you would see with your naked eye. But it is always good to check to see if they are eye clean. If you were to magnify the diamond you just bought I'm willing to bet you would see the same inclusions if not worse :twirl:
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Phasers|1305322043|2921102 said:
I think I'm leaning towards this one. Alot of the ones posted have visible blemishes in the pictures, but this one seems a good size for a smaller stone, and I don't see anything too obvious looking at the picture.

I'm gonna call them for details, get the other pics of it, and ask if it is "eye clean"

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1363423.asp

also keep in mind- those stones are zoomed in WAY more than you will ever look at the stone, so if other stones intrigue you- inquire about the stone and the inclusion and "eye clean" factor on them as well.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,608

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,816
Phasers|1305322043|2921102 said:
I think I'm leaning towards this one. Alot of the ones posted have visible blemishes in the pictures, but this one seems a good size for a smaller stone, and I don't see anything too obvious looking at the picture.

I'm gonna call them for details, get the other pics of it, and ask if it is "eye clean"

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1363423.asp
Whew! It always makes me kind of sick when people find PriceScope after their return period is over, so this is a relief! Truthfully, there is no way I'd buy a diamond without GIA Excellent Cut or AGS Ideal Cut grading. You have no idea what that diamond really is, but I can pretty much guarantee you that it is not what they represented it as and that you likely paid more than it is worth.

This stone looks great! I hope it is eyeclean but if not, there are others!
 

Bella_mezzo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
5,754
You've gotten great advice and stones already. I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see how gorgeous these ideal cut stones are:)
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
23,969
I can't add anymore advice than what you've been given already but I think you'll be stunned at how much nicer of a diamond you will have if you go with a GIA EX or AGS0 diamond.
 

Dandi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
5,562
Hi Phasers, congratulations on your upcoming engagement! I second and third the valuable opinions already voiced here, and the other thing is that the settings from places like BGD/WF/JA are beautiful, and very wearable and durable, so if you end up getting a ring from a PS vendor, rest assured you'll be far more satisfied with the quality of the setting as well as the diamond - no need to replace!

I live in Australia and have purchased from 3 different PS vendors now (BGD, WF and IDJewelry). It was nervewracking initially to say the least, particularly buying sight unseen, from the other side of the world, but now, I would never buy anything retail again! I'm hooked :bigsmile:

Good luck!
 

kdn2684

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
34
Phasers|1305320889|2921083 said:
Well I'd like a nice compromise between size (near 1.5 carat) and clarity/color. Just want a solitaire diamond mainly, perhaps some small diamonds along the band which I'll get later. And I'd like to stay under $9k.

Any suggestions? I've seen some on Blue Nile and the James Allen site looks promising, I'm just hesitant to buy online when I can't see in person.
$9000 is a big budget. You certainly can get something really nice for that. If you prefer to see the item in person before you buy, then you should consider WhiteFlash. It's located in Houston and you can fly there and see the diamond before you make the purchase.

Bottom line. i would much rather buy a diamond online after seeing the ASET and Idealscope rather then in a store where they use lighting that makes the diamond look better then it actually is.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775
That grading report sounds pretty precise - more precise angles than GIA, certainly! I wonder if it also accurate?

The numbers - well, they aren't what we'd usually consider "safe", but safe numbers don't guarantee a pretty stone and "unsafe" numbers don't guarantee an ugly stone. You have it in-hand, what do you think? If you love it, why not take it in and compare it with other stones of different proportions, see if you keep coming back to it as your preference? We can't tell you anything helpful from your pics.

If you decide you are uncomfortable with the whole deal and don't in fact love your stone then the JA also looks nice, request IS to confirm the simulated ASET and ask if it's eyeclean to your specifications, whatever they are (clean from 6" face-up? from 12"? from the sides?)... certainly you can get a similarly spec'd stone online for less than you paid at Zales.


ETA:
arctan ( 15.3 / [ ( 100 - 57.8 ) / 2 ] ) = 35.95deg
[ ( 21.1% of 7.26 ) * ( tan 35.5deg ) ] / 7.26 = 15.05%
 

Phasers

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
26

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
Honestly out of those three I would go with the J SI1. If you were going to go smaller 1.25 range I would rather them look at this one

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1370831.asp

Factor Grade
Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Excellent
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 1.6 - Excellent
within TIC range

Rather than the I you had picked

Factor Grade
Light Return Very Good
Fire Very Good
Scintillation Very Good
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 2.3 - Very Good - Worth buying if the price is right


I honestly would not even consider the K you picked out

Factor Grade
Light Return Good
Fire Very Good
Scintillation Good
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 3.7 - Very Good - Worth buying if the price is right

You would be much better off have them check this one to see if it's eye clean

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1363422.asp

Factor Grade
Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Excellent
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 0.8 - Excellent
within TIC range

If it was me I would call them back and replace the K and I with different diamonds for them to check such as the ones I listed, otherwise they really aren't doing a fair comparison to see which one is the best, I will pretty much bet the J will be the best :twirl:
 
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