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mustafa

Are Graff diamonds a rip-off?

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Hi guys, 

 

 I am very new to this whole area, and am currenty thinking about choosing a diamond for the engagement ring. I have considered a number of chain-stores, as well as websites, and after some consideration cannot decide where to buy. My parents are a bit old-school and tell me to just get a ring at Graff, but I just don't understand the pricing. For 15,000$, say, I coul get a 1.5 IF, E color, Excellent cut diamond online, GIA certified, while for the same price tag I'd be lucky to get a 1.0 carat at Graff, or at least that was my impression. Obviously Graff probably only has D color, F, Excellent cut diamonds, but I'm just not sure. My girlfirend's cousin got a Graff ring and everyone was excited about that, but when I looked at it the setting was nearly non-existent and the stone itself was probably 1 carat, so I do not get why people get excited about the name. 

 What would your advice be on where to buy and what are the implications of bying at chain stores, not only Graff but say Tiffany, De Beers, etc., over online loose diamonds at Blue Neil and etc? Maybe I don't understand something or just am a pleb. Thanks for reading this, realize this is a question that probably was asked a 100 times before. 

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It depends on what you (she) value(s). Yes, you can get more diamond (size, colour, cut, clarity, whatever takes your fancy) for your bucks if you shop online, but there are some reasons for shopping at high end stores:

1. Generally the quality is uniformly high (though sometimes there are zingers there too, and low-end "true" chain stores are the worst offenders)

2. Service levels are much higher - including advice, but I would say that most people shopping at Graff don't want the detailed advice... if anything they want the peace of mind and someone taking care of the "technical stuff" for them

3. The cachet of presenting something coming in a signed box

4. Cup of nice coffee/tea, comfy sofas and you actually see the diamond before it's handed to you in a nice box and luxury carrier bag closed with a ribbon by a smiling, smartly dressed sales assistant instead of in a double brown cardboard box sealed with packing tape thrown at you by a sweaty courier who is already rushing to the next delivery.

Kind of joking on the last one, but only kind of - all those things cost, and have to be paid somehow. Some people actually like and value that rather than getting an extra 0.5 carats; can't say they are wrong, though I'd do different.

The other issue to consider is that even though Graff (and Cartier, Tiffany, De Beers and more) have made their name and reputation on fabulous jewels - and can still procure those if one is in that market - when one shops for "mass luxury" the goods aren't that different from a "good but less luxurious" seller. So I'm not surprised that if you (or your girlfriend's cousin) shop at Graff for a 1 carat ring you get something just like someone else's one carat ring...

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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I concur with Davide on all points.  I would say there is a value to dealing with Graff and other high end retailers when you are looking to purchase truly high end pieces.  They do charge a hefty premium for their name but if you are looking for a 15 carat fancy vivid blue diamond, Graff may serve you better than Blue Nile as they make it part of their modus operandi to seek out truly exceptional diamonds.  That said, when it comes to bread and butter merchandise, by which I mean 1/2 carat to 3 carat white center stones, you will get substantially better value from some of the online retailers like, BN, JA, Diamonds by Lauren, myself (DiamondIdeals) and a number of others, without sacrificing quality.  Most of us provide great customer service, but that is something you can assess for yourself by direct contact.

 


Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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Nearly everyone who buys from Graff, Tiffany, Cartier or any of the other ‘houses’ in the jewelry business goes home happy, even though similar merchandise is available elsewhere for less and they knew that going in. Sometimes quite a lot less.  Why?

Largely I see it as a matter of trust, not price. If you buy from Graff you can be confident that they are selling what they say they are selling, that’s it’s of fine quality, that they will charge your credit card once, for the correct amount, and that if you have a problem they will still be around next week to take care of you. This is all true. They make no claim that they are the ONLY places where this is true, that they are in any way the best, and they certainly don’t claim to be the cheapest, but these are very reliable companies. Homework is not required.  If you buy from Graff you will get a fine piece. If you don’t like the prices, you know where the door is.

In answer to your question, no I would not call that a ripoff, but I would add that I don't shop there because of the prices. 

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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