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Should I buy a diamond ring in Antwerp,Belgium?


beverlybush
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Hi Beverly,

I would strongly advise you to buy here in the US.

From so many aspect buying in America is far more advantageous to you.

Oddly enough many of the world's largest diamond markets make horrible retail environments.

Antwerp, 47th Street in NYC are 2 examples.

 

By all means visit Antwerp!

It's a lovely city to go to lunch in on your way to Amsterdam or Paris......

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Hi Beverly,

 

If the point is to buy a souvenir of your travels to a wonderful place, by all means, Antwerp has some fine jewelers, some great restaurants, diamonds are pretty easy to pack for the trip home and it makes a good story to tell you friends that you’ve shopped there. If you’re looking to get the best diamond for the best price, this probably isn’t the right approach except for people who are residents of Belgium, maybe not even then.

 

Thanks to FedEx and the Internet, location has very little to do with the price of diamonds. Antwerp jewelers (or dealers, wholesalers, brokers, siteholders, diamondtaires and whatever esle they are calling themselves these days) don’t pay any less for the same goods as similar dealers anywhere else in the world so the real question is the relative merits of the value added by the dealer you select. There is a lot to be said for shopping in your home country where you are familiar with the laws, the currency and where it’s relatively easy to deal with things like returns and repairs if needed.

 

The US is by far the biggest and most competitive diamond market in the world. The laws are relatively reasonable, the payment systems are well established and easy to navigate, shipping is secure and easy, and taxes are low. These all give some pretty strong advantages to the US dealers when compared to their overseas competitors.

 

The bulk of the budget for what you are describing will probably be in the labor for designing and assembling the ring, not for the diamonds themselves.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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  • 4 years later...

I say stay with your local jeweler. I travelled to Antwerp 2 months before my wedding and contracted with Philippe Harold to produce my ring. Three weeks before the wedding, he suddenly cancelled the contract without warning and told me that he has enough business elsewhere, so isn't interested in us any longer. He is a complete jerk and now we risk not having anything for our wedding. The reason there is a disagreement is because we asked him to be specific about what metals are used in the white gold alloy he makes, but he said this is none of our business and that it is a rude insult to ask him that!

 

He also claimed that the internet is a conspiracy, that he is the best in the world (even better than every other place in Belgium), that jewelers outside of Belgium are crap, and that people who chose platinum are idiots. The guy is psycho.

 

AVOID PHILIPPE HAROLD AT ALL COSTS!

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Wow. That really sucks. I hope that you're not out of pocket for getting nothing from him and that you're able to find something fast. Good luck and let us know how things come out. I am guessing that since that is a very old post (2006), that the original poster won't ever see, and that most folks on here wouldn't be dealing with someone in Belgium (I think the majority are in the US), but it's always good to hear experiences--good or bad--that folks have with any jewelers. It's that kind of thing that people should be able to have access to when doing their due diligence researching who they're going to entrust such an important purchase to.

 

Thanks for sharing and sorry you had such a bad experience.

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