Post # 1
Hi ladies (and gents!),
BF wasn’t crazy about buying online so he found a local DC jeweler for us, supporting local economy is important to him and bf really liked the jeweler (nice guy) so I guess he just paid a premium for the customer service experience which is fine…
Except I have this unsettling feeling that I could have gotten a way better deal online and it’s driving me crazy. I’d been doing tons of research (truthaboutdiamonds.com) and diamond searches at all of the major diamond dealers online (JamesAllen, BlueNile, Zoara) and found stones with better specs for the same price or lower than the stone we ultimately chose last week and ordered to be set yesterday. The jeweler, while a super nice guy, thinking he was doing us a favor by pointing out ways to save money after I went a little over budget on the stone, bad mouthed platinum so much that he convinced bf to go with white gold which annoyed me because I’m leery of the maintenance associated with white gold (redipping, etc). Well, bf totally sipped that kool-aid and refused to budge, I negotiated with the jeweler to give me complimentary redipping for life. I felt like I would be overstepping if I’d attempted to negotiate beyond that..ie if I’d picked the diamond online, I wouldn’t have gone over budget and I’d have enough leftover for platinum. harumph!
At the end of the day, my bf will have a beautiful, albeit overpriced ($29k) ring in his possession in a few short weeks, the deposit is down and he isn’t too concerned about the money so there’s not much I can do about it at this point. Why can’t I just be happy and excited? How do I shake this feeling that I could have “saved” him $4k+ every time I think about it? Or even worse, what if I look down at my ring and think “I could have had a better one?”
I feel horrible and ungrateful…help bees 🙁
Post # 3
Okay – deep breath! Now, I worked for a family owned jeweler for 8 years, and I have seen this type of thing a LOT. Remember this – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Diamonds sold online are often far, far different from what they appear.
Example – let’s say you’re comparing a 2ct round, E color VS2 clariy brilliant cut diamond – one at the local jeweler, and one online. They are identical, right? Nope. The biggest factor, and one that is often left out of online consideration, is the CUT. Now, maybe you already know this, but the proportions of the diamond, and how well it is cut, make 100X more difference in the look and sparkle of the stone than the clarity and color do. Cut-rate online dealers often sell high-color high-clarity diamonds with poor cut proportions, and customer think they’re getting a better deal. They’re wrong.
The other thing to consider is that this is often the second largest purchase a man makes in his life, next to a house. There is something to be said for purchasing it from a place with a solid reputation, and for having somewhere to bring it to for the lifetime of the ring. A physical, brick and mortar place that has your back, for as long as you wear that ring.
Just a couple of points. Either way, enjoy your ring and congratulations on your engagement!!
Post # 4
I would only buy locally but I like to shop around, because I like to pay the lowest price I can without compromising on quality. However, this meant it took months and months for the whole ring process to come together. Remember that time can = money, and even when you have a lot of time, not everyone enjoys endless trips to many different jewelers, squinting through loupes and haggling away about prices. That might not stress you out, but it might stress out your BF. Part of what you are paying for here is the experience… which includes his experience.
And keep in mind, truthaboutdiamonds.com isn’t a neutral source. It’s got a very strong bias toward marketing low-quality stones. I understand that, there are many more low quality stones and jewelers need to sell those. But as a consumer, I felt that its bias was not helpful and not accurate. It really suggested one could compromise far more in clarity without noticing it than reality proved when I went squinting at diamonds. I was kind of angry that I had been told one thing (that these low clarity grades were really very clean, and higher than that was only visibile with a microscope) when I can, in fact, see the inclusion in my VS1, unaided. And it’s a nice VS1. So… just take what’s said on the internet with a grain of salt. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Post # 5
I should say first that the most important thing is that you’re happy how the ring looks, then that’s the most important thing :). It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘if I did this then I would have saved’ thought, I invest in stocks, so I feel it every day, but your bf had good intentions supporting local businesses (I agree to a certain extent). I applaud him for that ideal, and countries might be in a better financial shape if more did the same.
That being said… I have an account on Pricescope.com and we tend to get a lot of people in the same situation. @FutureCuomo6610 : While I agree that some people do unfortunately get scammed by online stores, you’ll find many people who buy diamonds from reputable vendors, with proper certifications (from AGS or GIA) and are far cheaper than those you find locally (those like Whiteflash, Good Old Gold, etc). What I discovered buying my own ring is that a surprising amount of physical stores (especially chain stores) sell sub-par diamonds, with questionable certifications from EGL, or even with no certifications at all. So if you buy an E VS2 from store that uses EGL certifications, you might think you’re buying a great stone, but you’ll actually be buying an H SI2. These stores couldn’t tell me even half of the information I could find online, such as the specific pavilion/crown angles and depth/table percentages, let alone interpret the information to any use (this might be centered on chain stores, not necessarily all local stores). In my experience, if you put a GIA Triple Excellent 2ct E VS2 round from an online store, and put it next to a GIA Triple Ex 2ct E VS2 round from a physical store, you would be shocked at how much more expensive the physical store is.
@joya_aspera: I agree, truthaboutdiamonds.com isn’t a neutral source, they have a bias towards james allen due to them being an affiliate. But the general advice he gives on where to compromise (ex: color) is generally accurate. To be fair, 99% of VS1s are completely eye clean if graded by GIA/AGS. Most VS2s, some SI1s and rare SI2s are eye clean
Anyways, as for the OP’s situation, it sounds like you like the ring :). Remember that you’re going to be wearing this for the rest of your life, and that it’s one of those times you really only buy it once. In the long run, the extra money really doesn’t amount to much
Post # 6
While I agree that there are great deals to be had online (WITH great and reliable certification and excellent cut), there is something to be said for your BF feeling comfortable and satisfied with his experience. Some people really do want the experience and the reassuring feeling of buying from someone they can speak to personally with a brick and mortar presence that they can return to with questions. Like a previous poster said, the difference in the dollar amount on a large purchase like this can be outweighed by the aforementioned things. Your BF is happy with the decisions he made, and as long as you are happy with the ring (leaving price out of the equation), I would leave things alone. It is important for BOTH of you to be happy with the ring and the experience.
Post # 7
I don’t know what to say, other than just try to forget it. Just focus on how much you love the ring and how excited you are to be engaged. Don’t let a pricetag get you down. Your guy isn’t worried, so don’t spoil the fun! Just enjoy your beautiful ring!
Post # 8
Thank you all so much for putting it in perspective for me! I was having a coupon clipping, bargain hunting, haggling, price matching, crazy moment which isn’t even me normally (maybe it should be though lol)! The stone is amazing and the ring in total should be gorgeous (haven’t seen it all together) and after all is said and done I’ll be so happy to have it and be engaged to my best friend. *whew* Give me a few months for pics but the specs are 2.27 carats, GIA XXX, H, VS2 set in a .38 18k WG half circle band. And now the waiting really begins!
Post # 9
Post # 10
@plantobee: My VS1 is GIA-graded. I can see the inclusion. Before we bought it we looked at many other diamonds (only GIA or AGS graded) mostly from the VS and VVS clarity grades. My VS1 is a better VS1 than average (one tiny black pinpoint). We could have gone for clouds, and called it “eye clean,” but what’s the point of paying for a perfect cut, just to mar the performance with clouds?? I personally really hate the term “eye clean”… it’s very deceiving, and is not, nor will ever be an official term. You could call a completely clouded-over diamond (aka “milky white” or “fancy white”) eye-clean if you wanted, and what would that mean? It would be graded I3 and that would tell you what you need to know. GIA and AGS don’t penalize clouds by mistake… they are the worst inclusions for performance.
Online vendors like Blue Nile list diamonds from wholesale stocks that don’t move quickly. There is often a reason that that diamond has not moved for a while. My GIA certificate was very recent and I almost got my diamond bought out from under me while we were still haggling with vendors, by someone in Hong Kong (it was shipped to a vendor there in between when we first saw it and when we bought it). It never would have lasted long enough on the market hit an online listing.
When I say buy in person, I’m not referring to the mall or a chain store.
Post # 11
Also, you helped out a real live person and not a corporation. That is awesome!