Diamonds

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    For those who have been through the rites of getting one for the other half, I need some advice. I see some brands in the market, like Lazare, but there are some with no name from typical jewelry store.

    Besides brand, what other things should I look out for, besides 5Cs that I have read about.
     
  2. Ed13

    Ed13 Senior member

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    I purchased my wife's engagement ring through an estate sale liquidator. Make sure the item has been properly appraised. I paid about 20% of retail value. Stones can then be placed in a setting of your own design.

    By going this route I was able to afford a much better ring than my budget at the time would have allowed. This has paid off in spades over the years.
     
  3. dirk diggler

    dirk diggler Senior member

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    call my diamond broker. I know that sounds strange, but my buddy suggested I contact him instead of going to a store since I would avoid the mark-up. I got my wife's ring (2.75 carat, E color, vvs2, princess cut) for approx. $11,000 vs. the $16,000 diamond stores wanted to charge me. I will never pay retail again:

    Moe Elm
    Inter Diamond, Inc
    650 S. Hill Street
    Booth E-5 or office 727
    Los Angeles, CA 90014
    213/308-6495
     
  4. coachvu

    coachvu Senior member

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  5. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    I'll quote myself, from this thread: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=12440
    Damn, I'm happy the tradition in much of Europe are just plain gold bands for engagement rings, like wedding bands. You just move it from one hand to the other at the time of marriage, or get a similar wedding band. Few things depreciate as badly in value as jewellery does. I would do this: - Get some technical knowledge and impartial advice, particularly when you've picked a few candidates. Neat trick: Make a deposit and take the candidate to an auction house or a dealer in antique jewllery - they normally do free valuations, and normally won't mind looking at it at all. It's part of their business plan to provide the service. This would also render a gemmologist's certificate unnecessary - you can always get a new valuation with a certificate later, if necessary. - Buy from a reputable auction house or specialist dealer. A trip to the New York or Antwerp diamond districts is very educational, and might offer a good deal. Buy vintage, and if you plan to buy for the stones, seek out formerly really expensive jewellery in as bad a taste as possible, and then chuck the brooch/stick-pin/pendant. Or buy a good ring as it is. - Have the ring restored or re-set at a good jeweller's, if necessary. These very often do not have store-front shops, just hidden-away messy workshops. A few thoughts: - The importance of the difference between old- and new-cut brilliants is overrated. An old-cut diamond with a good precise cut can be far nicer than a new-cut one. The rarer cuts, like baguette, marquise, rose-cut etc. can sometimes be bought for far less. One of the tricky points of a brilliant-cut stone is that they rarely can be re-cut without a significant reduction in size. This makes re-cutting brilliants almost pointless, but can in some cases heighten the value of other cuts, particulary the oblong ones, like baguette and marquise. - Few people are able to discern slight imperfections in a stone. If you can't see them, and practically noone else can, what's the point of paying for perfection? Not a very romantic thought, I know, but this is really about getting practical value for money. - The idea that it's bad luck to buy an old/second-hand/used engagement ring is another part of the deBeers mythology. Don't listen to it - fantastic pieces of antique jewellery have been destroyed because of the idea. Apart from that, an old piece will very often have a far better setting and general goldsmith's work. No point in destroying it, if not absolutely necessary, for reasons of taste or other.
     
  6. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    I think part of the problem is not that DeBeers has brainwashed American men, but that they have brainwashed American women that the engagement ring is a sign of how much they are valued. Also, they know their friends and adversaries will be looking over the ring too determine whether they really "scored". It's a bit like the idea of what kind of man have you got if he's picking flowers for you from a field? It's neither fair nor right but, unless you're engaged to a European, I would be aware of this current.
     
  7. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I think part of the problem is not that DeBeers has brainwashed American men, but that they have brainwashed American women that the engagement ring is a sign of how much they are valued. Also, they know their friends and adversaries will be looking over the ring too determine whether they really "scored". It's a bit like the idea of what kind of man have you got if he's picking flowers for you from a field? It's neither fair nor right but, unless you're engaged to a European, I would be aware of this current.
    Agree. It used to be more of an East Coast thing. My wife and I would chuckle when we were back East that everybody had a three and a half carat ring. It didn't matter whether they were perfect and beautiful, or looked like they were about to crack, they were all the same size... huge. The same thing held true for necklaces, tennis bracelets etc. It was always all diamonds and no style. Over the last ten or so years, it has become that way out here as well. For a few years, when we saw them we figured somebody was new from New York or Philadelphia, but now they are everywhere. I don't think that I have seen my wife wear her engagement ring since the day we married. The diamond in it was one of my grandmothers, but really we only did it because I already had the diamond and we figured we would do something with it. A month or so ago I went to the opening party for the Paris Bienalle antiques show. Before that night I had always seen diamonds and jewelry as an affectation or a trying too hard status symbol. That night I changed my mind a bit. Some of the women were wearing pieces of jewelry that were among the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, anywhere. They had absolutly no relation to the gaudy, big, flashy stuff we see here. I imagine that many of the pieces were in the not-so-low seven figure range. Possibly they were more. Cartier and VCA were also showing and selling some of their antique pieces. They were also exquisite. What I came away with was the idea that jewelry can be amazing, but there is a huge difference between what appears tacky and gauche, and what really is stunning. The dividing line is not a low number.
     
  8. justbrowsing

    justbrowsing Active Member

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    I got my wife's ring (2.75 carat, E color, vvs2, princess cut) for approx. $11,000 vs. the $16,000 diamond stores wanted to charge me.
    That is an excellent - some may even say unbelievable price for that diamond. For example, in the $16,000 price range, Bluenile lists a 2.7 carat, J color, VS1 princess cut, which is much lower quality than what you list. For a 2.3 carat, E color, VVS2 princess cut, Bluenile is asking $29,600. The wholesale price for that diamond is significantly more than $11,000 or even $16,000. Did you get a GIA or AGS report with the diamond? Any significant flaws to explain the discrepancy? For anyone looking to take the plunge into the diamond buying world, spend some time looking through the forums at Pricescope. The online Cut Adviser is also very helpful in determining the quality of round cut diamonds. Regarding "branded" diamonds - Lazare, Hearts on Fire, A Cut Above, etc. The majority opinion on Pricescope seems to be that you are paying a premium for little if any visual improvement over another ideal or even excellent cut diamond. Bluenile and Whiteflash are two well respected online dealers. Bluenile doesn't actually have their diamonds in stock - they are dropshipped from other dealers. Whiteflash has a number in stock and will inspect any diamond you buy through their nonstock listings instead of just dropshipping it to you. I bought my diamond from Whiteflash and paid about 15% less than the local well-respected jewelry store wanted for a similar quality diamond. Plus there is no tax if shipped outside of Texas. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when diamond shopping is the age-old adage - if the deal seems too good to be true, it is.
     
  9. arced

    arced Senior member

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    If you want a good article that looks behind DeBeers and the marketing of diamonds, check out this article in the Atlantic Monthly:
    Edward Jay Epstein
    Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198202/diamond

    It's a bit dated, but it give you a good sense of how the diamond market is structured, and what 'value' means when you're talking about diamonds.
     
  10. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    Go for 'G' color, or lower.
     
  11. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Coco Chanel once called solitaire rings utterly bourgeois and I agree. I prefer women to wear large rings heaped on or something slightly tacky but ultimately tasteful-like Diana Vreeland. Perhaps like Helena Rubinstein: [​IMG]
     
  12. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    Perhaps like Helena Rubinstein:


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    I'm not crazy about jewelry. One or two good pieces, are quite enough.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. dirk diggler

    dirk diggler Senior member

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    That is an excellent - some may even say unbelievable price for that diamond. For example, in the $16,000 price range, Bluenile lists a 2.7 carat, J color, VS1 princess cut, which is much lower quality than what you list. For a 2.3 carat, E color, VVS2 princess cut, Bluenile is asking $29,600. The wholesale price for that diamond is significantly more than $11,000 or even $16,000. Did you get a GIA or AGS report with the diamond? Any significant flaws to explain the discrepancy?

    For anyone looking to take the plunge into the diamond buying world, spend some time looking through the forums at Pricescope. The online Cut Adviser is also very helpful in determining the quality of round cut diamonds.

    Regarding "branded" diamonds - Lazare, Hearts on Fire, A Cut Above, etc. The majority opinion on Pricescope seems to be that you are paying a premium for little if any visual improvement over another ideal or even excellent cut diamond.

    Bluenile and Whiteflash are two well respected online dealers. Bluenile doesn't actually have their diamonds in stock - they are dropshipped from other dealers. Whiteflash has a number in stock and will inspect any diamond you buy through their nonstock listings instead of just dropshipping it to you. I bought my diamond from Whiteflash and paid about 15% less than the local well-respected jewelry store wanted for a similar quality diamond. Plus there is no tax if shipped outside of Texas.

    Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when diamond shopping is the age-old adage - if the deal seems too good to be true, it is.


    Yes- I got the paperwork verified before I purchased the stone. I even took the paperwork (GIA Cert) around to shop the price. Again, this guy is a broker not a retailer. No markup (and no salestax).
     
  15. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    please check out uniondiamond. com , they have one of the most competitive pricing on GIA and AGS certified diamonds in almost any search criteria.

    also , my diamond broker is dan anderson from gemologicalservices.com (his personal website) but i meet him in person and he has helped me , my brother , and many church friends and pastors with their wedding bands and engagement diamonds. he attended the same seminary school as my former pastor.
     

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