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help - local vs online


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Hello, I am looking for some help deciding between purchasing locally vs online...


First the local diamond


EGL Certificate

Princess Cut

1.05 ct


depth - 75.9%

table - 74%

crown height - 8%

pavilion depth - 60%

girdle - medium polished

finish grade - very good

purity - si1

color - f

photoluminescence - none

price - $5500



uniondiamond.com diamond


GIA Certificate

Princess Cut

Select Ideal Cut

1.07 ct


depth - 73.2%

table - 72%

girdle - medium-thick

culet - none

polish - excellent

symmetry - very good

clarity - vs2

color - e

fluorescence - none

price - $5536



this is the mount we chose in platinum




now, between the diamonds, in my opinion there's no question to go online, but i feel really guilty not going with the local store since it was reccomended by a family member and they gave us a great price on the ring and band.....what to do, what to do....i'm thinking about ordering the online diamond to make a comparison in person between the two....there's always the 30 day return policy....who knows

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Guilt is not a terrific bit of baggage to have involved in this. I would print out the Union advertisement, show it to the jeweler and tell them straight up what you’re thinking. They know that what you want is the best ring, the best shopping and the best support, all for the best price. It’s up to their salespeople to convince you that the best way to do that is to have them involved. Skip the guilt and make them do their jobs.


It usually costs a little extra to have the jeweler set a stone that they didn’t sell but it shouldn’t be a big issue. Do check to make sure they will take the breakage risk on their setting services. This is an area that’s often different when you buy from two separate sources. This risk isn’t huge but it’s not zero either and, for me it would be a reason to use a different setter. It’s not out of the question that your jeweler will be able to get that same diamond or that Union may be able to get that same mounting. Ask ‘em.


Ordering in the stone from Union and comparing it directly with the one at the jeweler is a perfectly reasonable plan and most jewelers are happy to be cooperative as long as you mind your manners and allow them to use sensible security procedures to prevent stones from being shuffled. Bear in mind that you will incur some shipping charges if you don’t buy the one from Union.



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Another thing to consider - the relationship as you continue to buy jewelry, have jewelry repaired, or just have questions you would like answered.. While I agree that price is a big consideration, this local relationship can be valuable over the long haul and should be considered in the process..

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HI Confused,

Generally speaking- and specifically when considering high color/clarity diamonds like these- Id only consider GIA.

But in this case, the local guy has an advantage other than the report- you can see the diamond.



There are also websites that show multiple photos if the actual diamond. That would give the website more of an equal footing.

I'd not advise buying aprincess without even a photo.


Written by someone who LOVES diamonds!

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Rember another thing is with your local you will need to pay taxes.

You're required to pay taxes anyway.


Sales tax is imposed on the buyer, not the seller, and it comes from you local taxing authority – State, county, city etc. If you live in a state with a sales tax, they also have a ‘use tax’ with an identical rate and identical rules for what is taxable. In cases where the merchant isn’t required to collect tax, you are expected to get the form from your state, fill it out and remit the taxes on all of your out-of-state purchases. Yes, this includes jewelry bought over the Internet. The merchant doesn’t collect the tax, but you still owe it. :D


Check with your local state department of revenue website for details.


An FAQ from the NY department of Taxation and finance.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Almost every answer to the orig post gave you reasons not to purchase on-line diamonds. Scams, endless comparisons to make sure you weren't burned, tax nightmares.


Do yourself a big favor and go see a reputable jeweler in a large, well stocked store. Every mall has several. All the worries that you have to contend with in on-line buying to save a buck or two or well worth the convenience and piece of mind that you get in a relationship with a real human being in a well established jewelry house.

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No question that there are benefits to buying in a B&M store. You get to physically see the diamond. There are also scams and less than reputable dealers. We have read many stories here from consumers that have been burned in terms of merchandise quality and accurate representation, Returns, Exchanges, and Upgrades.


But on-line diamond buying is not necessarily the Black Hole of Calcutta. Internet diamond and jewelry sales are surging and there are many fine and reputable on-line dealers.


Indeed, one can make the convincing argument that it is safer to shop with on-line diamond dealers as they have greater public exposure and a dissatisfied customer can have a greater impact on them than in a B&M venue.

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Scams, frauds and ripoffs are out there and plentiful, even at the mall. It’s not the stores location or the way they communicate with their customers that makes one better than another. It’s the character of the people behind the counter/keyboard that makes them deserve your business. For what it's worth, I think Union (the dealer mentioned in the original post) is a B&M store.



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