Don't buy from the mall....But where else?

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HLYflute Posts : 1,282 Registered: 2/5/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 11:12 PM Go to message in response to: HLYflute

I just did a quick price look up for comparison's sake. For a 1/3 round solitaire in white gold:

Non-certified: $500
Certified: $800
Leo: $1300

Again, if you know the 4 C's and know what you're looking for... Ask to see the understock for the non-certified, and look at the diamonds with a magnifier.

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Charlotte09 Posts : 1,021 Registered: 2/22/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 1:24 AM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

Zales and Gordons are both jewelery stores in malls and they have been wonderful to FH and I with my engagement ring and wedding ring purchases. They ran great sales and have helpful payment plans. I have heard people say that mall stores for fine jewelery are poor quality. But I have a diamond expert in the family who FH and check out my diamonds on my engagement ring and who checked out the wedding band as well. She told us that the diamonds were great quality.
I would just highly recommend shopping around. Some local stores might not charge as much because they have to make all the business they can. Other non-chain stores might be able to afford to mark up their rings, and different places could have different perspectives on value on different rings. The quality of the ring does matter with pricing too.
I would suggest doing a bit of internet diamond research if you are worried about quality. And then shopping at many different places and compare what you like and the costs and diamond weights and such. That way you will be able to figure out how pricing and such are in your area.
I do recommend Zales and/or Gordons jewelers because they were great for my FH and I, plus I get complements on my ring all the time.

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independant2406 Posts : 58 Registered: 12/8/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 4, 2009 7:45 AM Go to message in response to: HLYflute

HLY. You make some good points. Although I know alot of people care about the 4 C's and all that, I'm the exception I guess. I've held an almost perfect diamond next to a cheap, low quality one, and honestly I didn't see enough of a difference to make me care. When I visited the local jeweler I told her I wanted a specific diamond cut and band, and I didn't care about the quality as long as it looked good, and there wasn't any visible difference.

When I was at the Mall jeweler the experience was all about pressuring me into seeing some unknown difference in a microscope thing... I really honestly couldn't see a difference so the pressure they put on the sale and pumping the quality of the diamond just kind of turned me off. Plus the lady woudn't shut up to let me think about what I wanted...and I had to pay to have the white gold re dipped every year and pay if I needed it resized at any point, all of which was free at the local jeweler lol. It's just my experience though. By the looks of the other posts it seems like some people have had good luck at the larger chain stores.

Just depends on what you're looking for I guess. :)

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 2:17 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

its not that the mall jewlers mark their stuff up, its that you get less quality for more money than you should be paying.

I had a friend who's sister is a jewler (out of her home). She would tell me that you cant get anything better than MAYBE an I (as in the letter I--eye) quality which is basically shit. And they will charge you the same amount for this shit 'I' quality when you can go to a privately owned jewler and get an E quality for basically the same.

The important things to know are all about the 4 C's before you shop. Most likely a diamond is going to be one of the bigger purchases in your life, so you want to get the BEST price for the best quality you can afford.

It takes lots of shopping around and if you find a good deal at a mall jeweler then great, theres nothing wrong with that. HOwever I think you can get a better quality at an independent jeweler. It just depends.,,,

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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Ayaya Posts : 15 Registered: 10/14/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 9:21 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

http://www.collinsfamilyjewelers.com/
This is where we bought our rings at.
It is very close to my grand mother in law's hose and she has been shopping there forever so she took us one day so that we can get some ideas of what we want. They are so great have great selection of rings, inexpensive to expensive, and everytime we are in the area, we just stop by and chat a little bit but never been pushed to buy anything. I've never shopped online there but sure they have great service too.

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VermontFutureMrs Posts : 34 Registered: 1/6/09
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 1:33 AM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

My Engagment ring was from Jcpenneys! They do really have beautiful jewelery, I picked it out myself. It is a 1 ct. three stone diamond ring with 6 smaller side stones. AND it is certified and the stones are colorless diamonds. I love my ring.

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 8:08 AM Go to message in response to: VermontFutureMrs

Have you thought of buying a diamond that has been made in a laboratory? There's a really great retailer out there called Diamond Nexus Labs (their website: http://www.diamondnexuslabs.com
) They have some really beautiful jewelry and the diamonds cost a fraction of the price of real ones!! They have a 30 day return policy too, if my memory serves me. When I go to buy a diamond wedding band eventually (right now I have a simple gold one) this is where I'll be buying from! This is the ring I'm a little obsessed with:


It's 3.75 carats, all flawless and colourless diamonds, for $875!!! Or you can buy diamonds loose here too, the one I saw was again flawless and colourless, .54 carats for $84. Seriously, every bride should know about these people!!

Here's a link to a science website supporting the idea that man made diamonds are just as beautiful as natural ones now: http://www.popsci.com/beers/article/2006-05/flawless-man-made-diamonds


IMG_7875.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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2012BrideToBe Posts : 6 Registered: 1/6/09
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 11:06 AM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

The experience we had was way better with the non-chain store (still in the mall though).

There are 4 places that sell rings in our mall: Charm Diamond Center, Crescent Gold and Diamonds, Peoples, and a small local store called Spicer Smith and Cole.

Anyhow, here is what it boiled down to from worst to best:

Peoples - We were not in the store no more than 5 minutes before the sales lady was trying to get my FH to purchase a ring then and then, explaining the financing program. We found a ring there we did like but when looking at the 4C's it did not meet our expectations. But get this, the girl literally said the 4 C's didnt matter because nobody will be looking at the ring close enough to notice and wont care anyway. Great and dandy, but it will be on my finger for the rest of my life, I will notice the difference and no, we were not buying a ring then and there.

Charm Diamond Center - Not bad, but we were basically dismissed because we were a young couple. The sales lady had no interest in helping us or answering our questions, presumably because we didnt look like the people about to spend a ton of cash.


Crescent Gold and Diamonds - Nice help and the lady took the time to show us the certification certificates of the diamonds we were looking at and had no problem answering our questions. Also explained their warrenty on the diamond and how so long as they checked it every 6 months, the diamond is covered if it falls out and gets losts. On the other hand, they were way overpriced. For the diamond quality we were looking for (1/3 to 1/2c, at least SI..), they had nothing to offer any less than $1400.

Spicer, Smith and Cole - The lady chatted with us for over an hour and really helped us select something that we both liked, with the quality we were looking for. Also took the time to explain the differences between white gold and yellow gold. While it didnt come with a warrenty, I got a beautiful ring for a great price and heck, so long as I take care of it and have it checked on a regular basis by a jewler, the chance of losing the stone is pretty low. Lastly, they were able to offer something the chain stores couldnt - rose/pink gold. I had totally forgotten about this until I seen a ring in that color. For anyone who hasnt heard of it, its basically yellow gold but instead of combining that with yellow metals, it is combined with pinkish ones like copper. Looks like a really shiny gold with a pink tone. While not for everyone, I really liked it because it reminds me of my grandmothers wedding ring. Anyhow, we plan to go back to get our wedding bands there for sure.

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CaribbeanBride08 Posts : 1,474 Registered: 6/13/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 11:52 AM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

My husband bought both my e-ring and wedding band online from Security Jewelers in Duluth MN. They are a family owned business who's been around for many years. He said they were exceptional to work with. Plus, by buying out of state, he didn't have to pay sales tax. This saved him a couple grand. So if you're thinking about buying online, I'd suggest you give this store a try.

Jay was the sales person my husband worked with. I think he's either the son or the grandson of the founder.

Here's their website: http://www.securityjewelers.com/index.php

And yes, stay away from the places like Kay, Ben Bridge, Zales, etc.


One other thing - never buy a diamond without a gemologist report (ex: GIA). Without this report, you won't know if you're getting the quality of diamond the jeweler is claiming it to be.


 

 

Tobi & Brian - April 21, 2008

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Sandals Grande Spa & Beach Resort, St. Lucia

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 12:14 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

I suggest independent jewelers for all the reasons Artbride said.

We found our jeweler (okay, actually, he found it) through friends. About 3 of the women in my circle got their rings from this same jeweler, and he remembers each of us, and each of our rings. I adore this guy -- he talks to me commonsensically, clearly takes great pride in creating my ring, and just feels like someone I want to give my business to. It's such a personal thing, your ring, so I wouldn't want to trust it to an impersonal source, like a chain store.

Price shop, and hit the phone book (like Art said). And though I wouldn't buy one on-line, I wouldn't be shy about using on-line prices to try and negotiate the best deal.

__________________________________________
My new favorite website: www.poptimal.com

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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CaribbeanBride08 Posts : 1,474 Registered: 6/13/07
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 1:30 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Really, don't knock the buying online unless you've tried it. I guess since my husband knows a lot about diamonds (even more than I) he felt comfortable doing it. He would never, ever have bought it w/o first seeing the GIA report. I think he worked with the sales guy for a month or more. It wasn't like a quickie decision. Oh and he also ended up ordering it 1.5 sizes to big. Security Jewelers paid for us to ship it back to them overnight and again back to me overnight.

And for those who said you may get just as good quality and lower cost w/o a report than you would with a report, I respecfully disagree. Without a report, you don't know what the heck you're getting. It may not even be a real diamond but boy howdy it sure is shiny. Or, you take it to get appraised and they tell you the clarity and color is different than what the jeweler sold it as. You have no recourse and are stuck knowing you overpaid for a lower quality diamond.

 

 

Tobi & Brian - April 21, 2008

Photobucket

Sandals Grande Spa & Beach Resort, St. Lucia

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Leli Posts : 89 Registered: 1/12/09
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Jan 12, 2009 7:02 PM Go to message in response to: bridetobeMLE

I've heard this too, so I did my own research. I've found the Pricescope.com is very useful tool in this sort of thing. There are seperate forums dedicated to finding the right ring. It looks like a poorly designed website, but the forums are very useful. The website that I found most recommended was WhiteFlash.com. Many of the users on PriceScope had custom rings done for them, with the wax models and everything and they turned out very beautifully. Here's an example of someone who used WhiteFlash's custom ring process.
http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=39817

And here's a helpful thread on the process.
http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=86722

Another thing is, a lot of higher ups from web-based stores actually post on there to answer questions about their business. Not to mention, it answers questions you may have about a vendor that you think sounds too good to be true. I know I sound like I'm plugging, but I really think it was useful in researching the perfect ring.
I've also read the BlueNile.com is a great place to find a ring. You can pick your diamond, and then pick your setting. They only sell their settings if you buy their diamonds though. I hope this helps!

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IdealD Posts : 3 Registered: 2/8/09
Re: Don't buy from the mall....But where else?
Posted: Feb 10, 2009 10:28 AM Go to message in response to: HLYflute

We bought my engagement ring from an online diamond boutique. There are a few reputable and reliable vendors. I had many unsavoury experiences with mall stores which led me to go online and look for alternatives. I couldn't stomach being given the hard sell. This is the site I found http://pricescope.com

Some online diamond boutiques of choice on the site;

http://whiteflash.com
http://goodoldgold.com
http://jamesallen.com
http://engagementringsdirect.com

Hope this helps

IdealD

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