Post # 1
The fiance and I have been engaged for two years and are finally able to have saved up for the proper engagement ring we want. We’ve been talking to a jeweler about it and we picked out a diamond yesterday. Silly me, got home and checked out comparably diamonds in brilliant earth and blue nile. I found several on blue nile that are compareable to the one we picked or higher quality (presumably–without having seen these diamonds) and $500-$1000 cheaper.
My question for you is this: is that to be expected for working with a real-life jeweler as opposed to getting something online? Or are we being ripped off? We put down a $500 deposit on the stone so he won’t have to send it back to his dealer or w/e. Should we get one of these diamonds online and see what we think and then ask if he can use it and release the other diamond and use the $500 toward the ring?
I feel kinda bad for picking such an expensive stone, especially since we had originally intended to avoid diamonds and now i found “better” (potentially) cheaper ones online.
Post # 3
btw: Obviously we’re being overcharged for a diamond by the sheer fact that we’re buying a diamond. But are we being overcharged even by normal diamond-buying standards?
Post # 4
Retailers mark up the stones something terrible. You are always going to pay more at a retailer than you do online. You just have to ask yourself if you are comfortable buying online vs a brick and mortar store.
Post # 5
Usually it is less expensive to buy from an online retailer, just like with any product, because online retailers dont have to pay the expenses of running a brick and mortar buisness.
Post # 6
As the first option, I would tell your jeweller that you found a near identical stone (but do make sure it’s as close to identical as possible – not just the carat weight and colour, but also clarity, even cut and fluorescence etc) for $xxx cheaper and ask him if he’ll match the price or you’ll put the deposit towards your setting and order the diamond online.
Something tells me if the difference is not massive, he may meet the price (if you can prove to him that the two stones are comparable). It’s worth a shot anyway.
Post # 7
im actually quite surprised you didnt shop around prior to purchasing one with a jeweler, especially having saved for two years. i would talk to the person you bought the diamond from and just be honest with them about the price and the one you found online.
Post # 8
Did he give you a copy of the GIA certificate (or other lab certificate if it’s not a GIA certified stone)? That way you can grab all of the details from the certificate and make sure you’re really comparing stones that are the same (if not better) in all respects.
Post # 9
It doesnt say where you are from, but often there are “diamond districts” in large cities. IF you are near one try to find it. It may be a building with mayn jewelers that you need to call ahead to get in or, as in NYC, its a street. At these places the competition is so high that you get great places.
As a general rule, jewelers you find advertised on the radio, TV or just in malls, you are going to be significantly overcharged. Once you know what you are looking for Cut, Clarity, etc, you can buy it anywhere. Even wal-mart, Costco, Online for better deals.
Post # 10
I would suggest you visit http://www.pricescope.com — there is a wealth of diamond experts on that site and they will give you good advice.
Post # 11
We actually ended up paying a few hundred dollars less at our jeweler than we would have with Blue Nile or Brilliant Earth. Our jeweler quoted us a price range before she got in the diamonds that met our specifications, but they all ended up being a bit cheaper than her quote. She said that a lot of that has to do with cut, though. I wanted an Asscher cut, and she said that a lot of her diamond merchants liked to clear out the less popular cut stones, so they offer better prices on them. If I had wanted a Princess or Round cut, we would have ended up paying a bit more because those are more in demand cuts.
Before you decide if you’re going to order a diamond online and release your other stone, check with the jeweler and find out what they charge for setting a stone you provide. Our jeweler would have charged us $350 on top of what she charged us for my custom setting if we had wanted to provide our own stone.
Post # 12
We tried rings on at brick and mortar stores, but purchased online. The same stone would have been about $1000 – $1500 more at a brick and mortar store, once you factor in that there is no tax if you buy online. In short, you definitely save money if you buy online. But there are perks to buying your ring from an actual store, too, and some people just aren’t comfortable with the whole online thing.
Post # 13
I think sites like brilliant earth and blue nile have less overhead so the stones aren’t marked up as much. We got my diamond from Blue Nile and it was 1/2 the price if we had bought it at a retail store (obviously every diamond is different, but we comparison shopped and that’s what we found).
If you’ve found something you love though, I think it’s worth the slight markup to have it perfect. Yes we bought my stone from blue nile, but I wouldn’t have bought a setting from that site because you can’t actually see it first. And the time and energy the jeweler put into helping you achieve the perfect ring has a value too, so it might not be as bad as you think.
Post # 14
stores definitely charge more than stores. you weren’t ripped off, per say, but you were definitely charged more than you could have gotten it online due to dealer markups. i would print out a couple of comparable diamonds from blue nile and go to your jeweler with them. if he won’t budge on price, consider just leaving your deposit (obviously do that if the diamond online is $1,000 cheaper — you’ll still save $500, but not if the difference is less than your deposit).
Post # 15
The perk of a brick and mortar store is that you get to see the diamond in person before you buy.
I knew my fiance was going to be spending thousands of dollars for something, and seeing it in person before the purchase was important.
We wound up with an absolutely beautiful stone with a little lower specs than I had planned, because I saw it in person and realized I didn’t have to have the exact specs I thought it did. I wound up going lower on the color scale, but got the highest grade in cut, so it had the most sparkle. Going lower on the color scale (I originally wanted a G or higher, but wound up with a J – but there is absolutely no visible yellow to the diamond whatsover).
I double checked the diamond specs against what was for sale on Blue Nile and found out the prices were comprable (maybe a few hundred dollars different at most).
We went with a small, family owned store. The huge chains (Jared/Robbins Bros/etc.) have much bigger mark-ups then a small, local store. The small store does have a little overhead, but not nearly as much.
So, in our situation, going with the brick and mortar store SAVED us money, since we decided on lower specs than our original plan. Plus it is nice to have a place to go for your fine jewelry needs. We’ll be back for maintenance on the ring, and for our wedding bands.
We also get the value of my diamond credited toward a future purchase should we decide to upgrade. Blue Nile may also do that, but I’m not sure.
I ended up choosing a designer band by Simon G and they were willing to give us a discount. After researching online, the band was cheaper than anything I found there. So online isn’t always going to give you the best deal.
Just food for thought.
Post # 16
I still say look online like a PP mentioned you do save money online and http://www.pricescope.com is a great site. While I’m not engaged yet i’ve learned a lot at the site and plan on getting my ring setting and diamond from a highly recommended vendor. They have some great and trusted vendors such as http://www.whiteflash.com , http://www.engagementringsdirect.com and http://www.briangavindiamonds.com just to name a few. While blue nile is nice you can still find a better deal by checking out pricescope and some of the vendors mentioned. If you talk to the vendors they might even ship you the diamond to inspect or at the very least give you a trial period to see if you love the diamond. I hope this helps and good luck with whatever you decide to do.