Originally Posted by DaveDr89
So, from highest to lowest for apples to apples value, do we have: Tiffany's or other "high experience" locales Mall jewelers Custom places like Leon Mege or VanCraeynest (previous link) Online vendors ?? perhaps this isn't right question, as I assume the point is that the custom places can create quality that the mall jeweler cannot ...
You have to consider the stone, the settting and non-tangibles (buying experience, importance of recognizable brand name,etc. ) separately. Diamond stones are a commodity and you can get virtually identical stones from any places on your lists the only difference being the price you paid. Settings are a more of personal consideration. Some people really like the settings sold at high-end stores, some prefer something unique and custom made and some put no value on the setting at all.
Originally Posted by dah328
Has anyone considered uncertified diamonds? Certified diamonds are definitely priced at a premium, but if resale value is not a consideration and the stone is relatively small (<1.2ct), would they be worth a look?
I don't think it's worth it. The cost of certification, whether wholesalers or retailers are paying for it is very small (<$50 IMO). An uncerified stone, especially in 1.0-1.2ct size would be a red flag for me as the current industry practice, especially for online merchants, is to have every stone even as small as .3ct certified. 10-15 years ago diamonds below 1.0 ct did not normally get certified, but the practice is different now. Incidentally, I trust AGSL and GIA certifications the most, with EGL being one step behind and all other lab's certifications taken merely as suggestions.