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Diamond ring- shopping advice needed

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  1. #1

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    Jul 2009
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    Diamond ring- shopping advice needed

    I went browsing for an engagement ring this afternoon and came away quite confused. I asked a female co-worker for advice and was
    told that I should get at least two carats and aim for something better than F grading. I was a bit shocked after pricing some rings that fit this criteria. My girlfriend is relatively petite... the 1 carat diamond seemed of reasonable size, so I compared rings in this range.

    First I went to Tiffany. The service was quite mediocre and prices were steep. I looked at three rings with specs as follow: 1.07 CT, Color: G, VVS2: $130K; 1.01 CT, Color: F, VVS1: $161K; 1.14 CT, Color: F, VVS1: $180K.

    Next I went to Continental Diamond in Harbour City, where a similar ring was less than half the price: 1.02 CT, Color: F, VS2: 65K.

    Last, I went to Prince Watch & Jewelry. The salesman here seemed more professional and spent more time explaining things. On the other hand their ring selection wasn't as big. Priced the following rings: 1.01 CT, Color: D, VS2: 79K (hearts and arrows cut, whatever that means); 1.08 CT, Color: I, VVS: 58K; 1.52 CT, Color: F, VS2: 162K (hearts and arrows).

    Is there anything about the rings that Tiffany sells to justify the 100+% premium? Better cut? Better Polish? Unique styles? The band was platinum, while the other two places used 18K white gold. Should I just look at the certificate specs or is there any other difference in the diamonds sold at different places? Do these prices seem reasonable? I hadn't tried to bargain them down. I know you can get some good deals online, but would really like to see the physical ring before buying. Which other jewelers are worth visiting?


  2. #2

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    Two carats is a very large engagement ring and, in my opinion, would look overly ostentatious on anything but the largest female fingers. Anyone who expects a two carat engagement ring is likely to be extremely high maintenance. You also need to think about insurance costs, how comfortable your girlfriend would feel with something worth a huge amount of money on her finger, and so on.

    There's no reason to justify a price premium between two diamonds of the same size and grading. Platinum is going to be more expensive than white gold.

    On the band I think the only thing you need to look out for, since you seem to have decided on a "silver" rather than a "gold" band, is if you girlfriend has any sensitivity to specific metals. For example, some people have a skin sensitivity to nickel, and some 18ct gold has nickel in it (18ct means 75% gold, so you need to ask what the other 25% is).

    On selection, band resizing, pricing and a general feeling of non-pushiness I have been happy with the service at Gaily jewellers in Queen's Road Central.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    I would recommend Mabelle Diamonds jewellers .They have great quality diamonds and beautiful choices, and they are located all over.
    a great thing about them is their prices are fixed but they do have special offers going on from time to time esp near valentines day or mother's day.
    I went searching around the local jewellers found them too pushy , dropping the prices , that I was begining to wonder how authentic the diamonds were . All the best and congratulations


  4. #4

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    Jul 2009
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    Thanks for the feedback! Back in town after a business trip and back to shopping again. Are the prices quoted to me roughly right? How much should I aim to bargain them down? I'm really tempted to just order from a site like bluenile.com, but it doesn't seem wise buying something without seeing it.


  5. #5

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    I'm with PDLM on a lot of things - I recently did the same shop and was flabbergasted by the 100% premium at the named shops. It's actually quite a lot more than 100% too if you're looking at a smaller diamond (0.6/7ct). Two carats is too big too in my opinion - I saw a few of them and they just look a little obscene!

    I spent a while looking around, and while I think the final prices you got look reasonable (I kept a little diamond diary while I was shopping), I think you'll do better if you go to one of the wholesalers like Dehres (PM me if you want a contact there) - I settled on them in the end because the prices were very good and the service excellent. They didn't have a huge range of settings for the diamond, but the end result was very very nice (so she says!).

    On the subject of White Gold vs. Platinum - I think you need to get White Gold re-coated every few years too, so I went for platinum too.

    (Of course make sure you get a certificate from one of the big certification agencies too)


  6. #6
    jgl
    jgl is offline

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    Another possibility is to do something a little less traditional and get something besides a diamond. *Much* less expensive, more colourful, interestingly different, and without the truckload of bad karma associated with the diamond industry and third world exploitation.

    I've found most of the jewellers along Queens Road to be quite reasonable to deal with. Gaily as suggested by PDLM were definitely non-pushy, but in fact most of them were. The place where I found local jewellers to fall down was on their ability to design a non-standard ring.


  7. #7

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    i notice that you never mention the cut. diamonds are measured on the 4-c's: carat, cut, color and clarity. that could explain some of the difference.

    certainly brands ask for a premium.

    i personally got my ring from bluenile.com and was very very happy with it: not only the quality (which is as certified lke any other ring) but also the price.

    As a comparison, you can get one of your last rings (1.01 CT, Color: D, VS2: 79K) for 47-60k depending on cut, etc. which is a 25-40% discount


  8. #8

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    Aug 2009
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    Wow, I used to work as a diamond wholesaler, it pains me to see good folks ripped off beyond belief. What I suggest you do is, go to the store, take a picture, get a brochure, then PM me so I can fwd you my friend's business card and my number. Go and get the stone off him and ask him to take you to get it set (it's all in the same area), they can pretty much copy whatever design is in the store. You will definitely save 30% at least. You can get stones that come with a GIA, IGI or EGL certificate or you can get stones that are uncertified. If it's a large high quality stone, it will have a cert for sure - nowadays most diamonds come with a laser serial number etched on the stone that matches the cert.

    Last edited by IrKnight; 11-08-2009 at 05:11 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    77

    Get educated. Go to www.BlueNile.com and Diamond Jewelry, Engagement & Wedding Rings, Loose Diamonds, Necklace Pendants, Diamond Stud Earrings & Bracelets, Palladium Jewelry Atlanta Georgia where you will learn just about everything you need to know to take intelligently with sales people in the diamond stores. These are also good references on price. Finally, DON'T GO TO THE CHAIN STORES! Find a small shop that will work with you on price and will give you good service. There are some shops like this just off Nathan road on the side streets in both TST and Jordan (Exit A, north on Nathan Road about two blocks).

    DV


  10. #10

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    BTW, no-one saying congrats to the OP?

    Oh, OP, congrats, big step and all.

    Also, out of interest, is it cheaper (better value) going abroad to buy the ring (i.e. I'm thinking Singapore maybe).

    Also this one month wage rule. Is it really a rule or just a guideline on how much one has to spend.

    Not that I'm thinking of such things....


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