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Recent Good Experience at James Allen.com


revelation17
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Dear Fellow Forum Members,

I am writing to post some good feedback about a recent experience I had shopping at James Allen.com / Dirt Cheap Diamond. I worked directly with Jim Schultz, the owner of James Allen / DCD and I was able to come away with the perfect ring (at least I thought so) at a great price. I was not looking for the cheapest diamond (you can find that in pawn shops) but the stone that fit my criteria and at the best value.

 

An upcoming proposal to my long term girlfriend prompted my search for an engagement ring. She’s the picky type and what a quality diamond. After about 2 weeks and 30 hours of researching diamonds, I came across the Diamond.info forums and was looking for more detailed help. I also came up with the following criteria for my engagement ring (in order of importance):

 

Shape: Princess cut solitaire

Cut – Excellent to VG, depth in the range of 64%-75%, table in the range of 60% to 72%

Color – G or higher

Clarity – VS1 or higher

Carat – 1.5 or higher

Mounting - platinum or white gold

*note that my criteria for a good gemstone might differ from others, but cut, color, clarity, carat was the order that was most important to me.

 

In reading through the posts some more was when I found references to DCD and Jim Schultz. Not that I went to him exclusively, I also considered Blue Nile, Mondera, and other smaller retailers like Nice Ice, Union Diamond, Abazias, Engagement Ring Direct. However, through calling him up about a ring and also talking with him to get more educated, I knew that he was one of the most knowledgeable single sources I’ve come across and could help me immensely in looking for a ring.

 

Each day, I’d run through the Diamond.info search tools with specialized search on BlueNile and Mondera sites. You can’t believe after learning about this stuff how many of the diamonds out there were inferior cut with outrageous prices. I’d occasionally find a quality gemstone in a while and note it. Then I’d call up Jim and we’d discuss the batch I found and what was good and bad about each of the stones.

 

Jim and I talked about various rings and little tidbits, like for example, it’s more prevalent for buyers on this board to recommend larger depth % than table %. But this does not necessary guarantee more beauty/fire in the stone, smaller table comes with drawbacks as well – I didn’t know that! And difference in Excellent cut, symmetry and Very Good cut, symmetry is sometime quite subjective and may not warrant the increase in price. And the gap from VS1 to VVS2 is frequently less than from VS2 to VS1 – interesting as well. And diamonds that have disproportionately large amounts of its carat weight in the bottom of stone contribute very little to brilliance and ends up costing lots!

 

After looking through and eliminating hundreds of stones and looking closely at about 2 dozen or so and seriously at perhaps 5-7 of them, Jim was able to guide me through the process of finding the stone that fit my criteria. I mean I must have talked to the guy for about 5 hours total through a 2 week span. Even though he was busy, he was always willing to help! Finally, we found the perfect ring for me that was

 

Shape: Princess cut

Cut: Very Good

Polish and symmetry both Very Good; depth 72%, table 71%

Color: F

Clarity: VS1

Carat: 1.71

Dimensions: 6.77 x 6.48 x 4.67mm

 

Jim was very upfront about the pricing including how much the wholesale price of the stone was and what his profit margin was. Though I could have probably gotten it $200-300 through another internet retailer, I know I would not have had the same service from a Blue Nile representative (I called them) or even smaller, cheaper site compared to Jim.

 

Overall, I was very pleased with the experience. Jim and his team’s customer service are second to none. Jim and Jen were able to email me the GIA certificate, custom Sarin report and IdealScope images on the diamond upon request. Nobody would go to the extra mile like them. Most importantly, Jim was able to offer his expertise on why particular stones were favorable over others. Altogether, it’s a very subjective process and can be nerve wracking without knowledgeable people to guide you through it.

 

I’d highly recommend anyone purchasing a diamond out there to do their own due diligence and buy from whomever you feel is the best. But do give Jim a call to talk to him and learn more about diamond the buying process and strongly consider him to purchase your diamond from. Thanks to all the forum folks who are always posting good information online and helping me pick out the “perfect” ring. In the end, we were at the Eiffel Tower and she said yes!

 

-Mike

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