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Celebration Vs. Sitara Vs. Leo


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#1 bbutler

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:48 AM

I've done a bit of homework on diamond buying, but I wanted to get an independent opinion from those more knowledgeable than myself - I am about to purchase one of the following three diamonds.

Option A: Celebration Diamond from Zales - .72cw, F, SI(2) with a table of 5.87-5.85 (large for a 3/4) $3995.00

Option B: Sitara Diamond from Littman - .71cw, H, SI(2) Ideal cut $3999.00 (on sale from $5300 retail)

Option C: Leo Diamond from Kay Jewelers - .70cw, I, SI(1), Good/Good (Pol/Symm), table 5.6-5.6 $4299.00

They are ranked in the order I'm favoring them, but I'm still undecided. Does anyone have any prejudices/opinions for or against any of these particular stones or stores?

I'm also considering a smaller independent local jeweler, but I'd like to be able to have the ring serviced / warranty kept valid and if I move (a possiblity) I would lose that service.

Thanks so much!

#2 jan

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:51 AM

Have you looked at any independent jewelers or online to compare diamonds? I know you think you are comparing stones, but the stores you are comparing are all mall type of stores. They mostly carry stones with IGI and EGL lab reports and stones that they put more faceting on the stone so they can brand it.


Most people will think the more facets, the brighter the stone, but it's not true. I think if you do more shopping, you will be shocked about how nice of a stone you can get for the $4000 range. In fact, currently we have a gorgeous GIA Excellent cut grade SI1 G .96 ct. for $4790 just as a comparison. This stone gets very high light performance.

Edited by jan, 19 November 2008 - 09:57 AM.

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#3 bbutler

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:53 AM

A spoke with a local independent jeweler (GIA grad) Tues and and he is bringing in a number of stones for an appointment Thursday afternoon. He estimated I could get a (loose stone) 3/4cw, G-H range, SI (1) for about $3-3.4K, plus the cost of a ring (14K white gold cathedral mount size 6.5 ~ I'm guessing another $300 or so).

I'm eager to see what he has, but I'm also concerned about not having a larger company's warranty. I will having a "floating article" policy on the ring via my homeowners insurance - but the "Mall Store" warranties cover more (i.e. regular inspections, rhodium refinishing for life, etc).

I would like to get something GIA certified, but I was told the Celebration is GSI certified and the Sitara (all IDEAL cut) GSI Certified. Is GSI cert trustworthy, or is that just an "opinion" certificate and not an actual guarantee of what the diamond is?

As for facets - the number really doesn't matter to me as long as the sparkle is nice (which is hard to judge in the Mall environment).

Your stone sounds really nice, as well - but is that just a loose stone? I am trying to stay at or near $4k total (excluding tax/warranty)

Thanks so much for the response, btw!

#4 jan

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:42 AM

I've never heard of GSI. I would stick with AGS or GIA lab reports and ideal and top cut grade diamonds. As an example, you could get an AGS graded ideal cut hearts and arrows diamond .79 ct. SI1 H for $2900 and a 14kt 6 prong cathedral mounting in 14kt white gold for $200.
Jan
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#5 bbutler

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:57 AM

I think it's actually GS Laboratories...(my mistake) Regardless, I think I will stick to a AGS or GIA lab reported diamond. Hopefully my meeting with the local independent will go well tomorrow. With all this research, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed!

Thanks so much for the help!

#6 jan

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:00 AM

That's a good idea. Good luck with your search. If we can be of help, just let me know. :huh:

One other thing I would add, is not to worry so much about warranties. As long as you have the diamond insured, then you are covered. Warranties are only as good as the company and lots of times there are restrictions on them, such as abuse, and mysterious disappearance. But as I mentioned above, if the stone is insured, then you are covered.

You might want to check into jewelersmutual.com for insurance.

Also look for a great upgrade policy in the future. Our for example is a 100% upgrade policy in the future with no restrictions about how much you have to spend etc.
Jan
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#7 diamondsbylauren

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:08 AM

HI Butler!

Wow- it's amazing how the mall stores put a "spin" on things!
For example- none of the labs you menioned are recognized by dealers as reliable. It seems like everyone and his brother is calling diamonds "Ideal Cut" with nothing behind it.

Generally speaking, the mall store's warranty is about getting you to come in to the store for periodic inspecition. Once you're in the store, they have a shot at selling you something else.
If you're buying a solitaie especially, there's really not a lot of "service" it will need.
If you notice the diamond is loose, it will need to be tightened- that's really about it.

I agree that the prices quoted are high if you are comparing to more aggressive brick and mortar, as well as online sellers. You should be able to find a great ring for your price.
We can also show you one!

#8 denverappraiser

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:33 PM

Prepaid service is a remarkably difficult thing to value. As David pointed out, most rings don’t actually involve much service. Let’s take a hypothetical $5,000 purchase.

There’s an initial sizing required, which costs anywhere from $10 - $50 or so depending on what you have and every 3-5 years there’s likely to be some prong repair, at a cost of about $50-$100. The guarantee against the stone coming out and the like is usually useless to you in part because the risk is low but, more importantly, that’s probably covered by your homeowners insurance anyway. Toss in a polish and rhodium job worth $25 once a year. Since most new items include that initial sizing anyway no matter where you get it so this means that the warranty is, realistically, saving you about $50/year. Even if we ignore the inconvenience of needing to use the same store regardless of their convenience or even skills, this makes the net present value something like $500. I would discount that by at least another 50% because of the inconvenience and the loss of opportunity to choose another jeweler who may be better and we’ve got a ‘value’ on the warranty of $250. By all means tweak those numbers however you like and $250 is $250. Take it if the deal otherwise merits it but I wouldn’t recommend this as a deciding issue on a $5000 purchase.

Neil
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#9 bbutler

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:30 PM

Wow - everyone here has been incredibly helpful!

Over the last two days, I've taken the advice from this forum and visited three local independents, two of which top my list now! They seem much more sincere, the "warranty" for service is free for life, and they took the time to order several rings in my price range for me to look at. Do either of these sound like better deals than what I was looking at previously? (I'm thinking I'm getting a lot more for my money here)

0.90cw - SI(1) - H - 6.20mm table with a 60/61 ratio - GIA Cert - $4000 (includes 14K ring)

0.89cw - SI(2) - H - 5.95-5.89x3.94 GOOD/GOOD (Polish/Symm) EU Gem Lab Certified - $4000 (includes 14K ring)
(Note: Girdle - Thick to Extra Thick)

I feel pretty good about both of these. Also - does anyone have any thoughts on 6 prongs vs 4 prongs on the overall appearance. I can't decide if either enhances / detracts from the diamond itself.

Thanks to everyone so much again - you've really been a life (and money) - saver!

#10 Asit Shah

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:54 AM

The important thing is why you would prefer one diamond over the other and what is your criteria of better diamond?

 

As an average consumer I do not understand clarity or color as I cannot verify them myself and hence I do not consider these aspects as important. However, what I consider is how "BEAUTIFUL" is my diamond going to look. This means the light performance of the diamond has to be high and when it is worn people will notice it.

 

So buy a diamond with better light performance - if you want your diamond to look more beautiful / brilliant!