Post # 1
Hi all, I’m a new bee and my partner and I have been ring shopping for the past few months to get a feel for what we like.
We started out shopping at mall retail stores, which I’ve heard many times are generally poorer values for e-rings, but it was at a mall retail store that I fell in love with a ring. I’ve tried on many rings at many stores, including non-mall stores (Shane Co. and similar) but have not found any other ring that I love as much as the one at the mall. I’ve also never seen other similar rings online (bluenile, brilliant earth, etc.).
This ring costs $6,200 and I don’t want to overpay — but I’ve been unable to find another ring with similar quality of detailing and metalwork on both the e-ring and the wedding band (it’s sold as a set). I’m trying to do research on how to gauge the value of this ring and the center diamond but don’t really know where to start. When I first tried this on, the store showed me the quality of the diamond through the machine thing that allows you to see fluorescence, etc. and it appears to be of very high quality (inclusions, symmetry and fluorescence) but I don’t have the specifics on the center stone.
Are these rings overpriced? Are mall jewelry store prices negotiable? Any tips?
(These pictures don’t do the ring justice — it’s delicate and very fine metalwork. The e-ring has diamonds all around, with milgrain detail. The band has scrolled metalwork that you can see in the pics. These special details are what make me love this ring more than others I’ve seen. Here are the ring details from the store website: Two piece diamond wedding set in platinum, 3/4 carat round center. Additional diamonds equal 1/2 carat total weight.)
Post # 3
You are going to end up overpaying at a mall retail chain store. The markup is hilarious. Is there anyway you can buy the setting and then go buy a stone elsewhere?
Post # 4
Ask them for copies of it’s certified papers and bring it to a local jeweler and have them make an estimate based on the information. You could also get all of it’s facts and make a comparison on bluenile and see what they would charge. Mall’s tend to be lower in price and lower in qualitiy when you are under the 2k mark. When you are over they are usually supplying you with similar quality as a private jeweler (my mom was a private jewler all of my life until she retired)
Post # 5
Like Miss Tattoo said, the markup on diamond rings are so high that they are not an investment. In the end, you should just pay what you feel the ring is worth as a pretty piece of jewelry. Is this ring worth $6,200 for you? What does your SO think?
That said, if you buy just the setting and buy the center stone wholesale, you can probably get a better quality stone for your money, so you could get a better deal for the ring than you would at the mall.
Post # 6
My friend use to work at JB Robinson and he said as soon as the ring leaves the store, it loses half it’s value. Take the Leo diamond. The only reason why it’s so marked up is because the cutter lasers his name into the diamond and it’s cut in a different way to make it look shiny. Buy a $6000 1ct Leo from Kays and try to sell it for the same amount even with your certificates. It’s not happening. In fact, go check out EBAY for 1ct NEW Leo diamonds. Most are at $3000
Post # 7
@Miss Tattoo: Yep. This is true and it goes for all diamonds. As soon as you buy a ring from a jeweler, that same jeweler wouldn’t pay more than 50% (and likely, much less) of what you just paid for it. This is why you should judge a ring on how beautiful it is an how much you like it rather than on it’s monetary value.
It’s funny because it’s not like diamonds change, even over years unless they get chipped lol. They’re just artificially marked up so high!
Post # 8
We got my ring from a mall store since I already had a promise ring from there and I used it to “trade up/upgrade” to my e-ring (which I’m still waiting to actually receive from bf). So the upgrade essentially got me $800 off, which was great, but we also waited for the ring to go on sale. The store had a $1000 off sale plus an extra $500 if you spent over x amount of dollars. So the $4500 ring would have been $3000, plus then they took $800 when I traded in my old ring. Maybe you could wait for a sale like this then the price will be more reasonable? I also got them to check around at all of the stores for the best quality stone possible before ordering it in. You might as well, you’ll pay the same price. I got an F colour instead of an I this way!
Also, my mom’s friend tells me that she negotiates at these types of stores. I’ve never tried it, but apparently it’s possible.
Post # 9
@MademoiselleL: “Also, my mom’s friend tells me that she negotiates at these types of stores. I’ve never tried it, but apparently it’s possible.”
Oh yeah definitely! No harm in negotiating! That is definitely a good way to get a better deal aswell.
Post # 10
Thanks for all the quick replies! Am loving weddingbee more and more. I’ll check into whether we could purchase just the setting and find the center stone elsewhere… I guess I never even thought about asking since there is already a diamond placed in the setting!
@deathbydesign: “This is why you should judge a ring on how beautiful it is an how much you like it rather than on it’s monetary value.” I don’t know much about diamonds or jewelry at all but it makes a lot of sense to think of it this way — we might have to sit down and really consider whether this ring is worth that much money to us.
I think a lot of my hesitation so far is that I don’t feel like I know enough about diamonds and my partner is not very good at researching — he tends to believe what people tell him — and I want to know how to ask the right questions.
Post # 11
How much is the setting? How much is the stone by itself?
I think you could get a pretty near perfect 3/4 carat stone for $4,000 online… probably closer to $3500… and that’s GIA or AGS certified, colorless, at least VS clarity, excellent or even “hearts and arrows” cut. The setting of course, would be extra. A lot of stones in retail stores will be EGL or IGI certified… THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING. EGL and IGI are not as respected in the industry, b/c their grading criteria isn’t considered as tough.
Also, pricescope.com is a great resoruce for diamond selection.
In your case, I would buy the setting from the mall store since you can’t find anything else you like as much, and the stone from an online retailer such as bluenile, whiteflash, jamesallen, briangavin, or goodoldgold. I’d check ahead of time to find a jeweler who will mount the stone to the setting you purchased from the mall store.
Post # 12
Like other posters said, I think you should shop online for a similar setting and find a stone separately, and you’ll be able to get a lot more bang for your buck. Mall retailers have to afford their rent and salespeople, and that overhead means anything you buy at the mall will have a huge markup. Part of why you fell in love with the ring at the mall is because there’s bright lights, professional salespeople gushing over you, you got to try it on, etc. Now that you’re away from that and you have decided what style you like, I bet you can find something online that’s even nicer (seriously girl, for $6k you should get a whole carat in the center!).
Post # 13
@researchingbee: I strongly suggest you look into online retailers like adiamor.com, brilliantearth.com, or bluenile.com at LEAST for the center stone.
That way you can preview GIA certs ahead of time online as well as have the stone appriased when it comes to you and then decide whether you want to keep it or send it back.
My FI bought my ring and setting online and it appriased for well over what he paid because buying the same quality ring & diamond ina brick and mortar retail store would have added so much to the price.
This one is kind of similar with a round halo and is $2,000 for the setting:
They have a ton on the website and you can search for settings and diamonds separately and since you are ordering online they expect you to get it appraised after the fact and then possibly return so the return policy is good too.
Post # 14
Also, .75c rounds of high quality range from $2,600 – $3,100 on the website:
Cut: Excellent or higher
Color: F or higher (colorless)
Inculsions: VVS2 or better