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Help With The "peerless Ideal" Diamond At Jared (am I Getting Ripped Off?) + My Shopping Experience


benn
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Well. I am finally getting engaged. To the love of my life. To my best friend. That means i'm also buying my first diamond and she wants it by the weekend.

 

I took her ring shopping and although I enjoyed the personability and straightforwardness at the local mom and pop diamond shops more than the chain ones, and liked Shane Co.'s warranty, she has fallen in love with a ring (and diamond) that she really loves and it is at Jared. The setting is in white gold and although I would have liked to have bought platinum, my pocket book will thank me and them for the fact that its only in white gold. The setting is very beautiful and is a great price for such a nice setting (<$500), much better than similar settings elsewhere (even Shane Co.) and I think her heart is set on it. Aside from the annoyance of having to take the ring in every 6 months, Jared's warranty seems comparable to Shane Co's and similar or better than some of the locals. Their staff of stylish pretty boys with well trimmed facial hair was a little to slick for my taste, but I guess it fits the shop.

 

After she found the setting, we began to look at diamonds. Jared has diamonds under the brand name "Peerless Ideal Ideal cut" or something to that effect. They are "triple 0" AGS diamonds and there is a big difference between them and a typical very good cut diamond. She immidiately told me she'd be happy to sacrifice size for a quality ideal cut diamond and that that was her biggest priority. My concern is that the diamonds seemed priced significantly higher than Blue Nile's signiture ideal cut (which are similar triple 0 ideal cut, polish, hearts and diamonds, etc.) and other vendors who have similar cut diamonds.

 

I don't have the specifics, but I was wondering if anyone knows about these "peerless" diamonds or has experience with Jared's? The salesmen acted like the sticker price is their only price but I suspect they may be willing to negotiate if it makes the difference of a purchase or not. I was thinking of printing off some similar Blue Nile signature ideal diamond prices and certs and taking that in to do some bargaining. Am I wasting my time? Do their salesmen have the option to negotiate? Any other negotiation tips? Am I getting what I pay for in paying the premium for these diamonds, because I just hate to get a bad deal, but at this point I don't have much choice but buy the setting from Jared's that my sweetheart likes so much, and I don't think they'd be too happy with me bringing in a loose diamond from somewhere else and probably wouldn't give me their warrantee.

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She immidiately told me she'd be happy to sacrifice size for a quality ideal cut diamond and that that was her biggest priority. My concern is that the diamonds seemed priced significantly higher than Blue Nile's signiture ideal cut (which are similar triple 0 ideal cut, polish, hearts and diamonds, etc.) and other vendors who have similar cut diamonds.

 

It exhausts me all this marketing cut tagline stuff. And I can tell you, as a marketing professional for over 20 years, that that is exactly what all these descriptives are. Because companies used to hire me to make up stuff like this for products and services. It's a way to make a product, particularly one in a hotly competitive market, stand out. It works, too.

 

If she's already told you that she wants size over hearts and arrows, don't spend the extra. 9 times out of 10 most guys say "I went for quality" and then the woman says "I wanted size!". So you've got that one straight right off the bat. By quality, men are usually referring to a high color and high clarity rating. DO NOT SACRIFICE QUALITY OF CUT. And I don't mean the rating of symmetry. This is something you SEE with your EYES.

 

You can get a well cut diamond without the brand name price tag. But if you go with most online dealers that are rating their diamonds, they are rating them sight unseen. They are saying it's a great cut and have never looked at it because it's not there.

 

You can get a killer J/SI2 diamond but I would not try to get one without some human eyeball evaluation. There are many dealers who offer this, but most do not. However, a lower color and clarity will allow you to get a beautifully cut diamond for a great price. You just have to link up with a dealer that knows a good cut from a bad cut and can send you several photos if you are dealing online.

 

I would not try and put a deadline by this weekend. If she's going to wear it for the rest of her life, I'd take the time to make sure you get something you can both live with.

 

Your first order of business is to find a dealer you trust. Any good dealer can get a round engagement diamond with almost any numbers. So start with the dealer, then go through them to get the diamond.

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Benn-

 

Your situation sounds surprisingly similar to mine. My girl and I went shopping at Jared, she fell in love with a Peerless, and was even willing to sacrifice size for it.

 

However, by then, I had developed a trust with JamesAllen.com (I was trying to track down a Tycoon cut through them), and I emailed to see what sort of deal they could offer for an AGS-000. They were able to offer similar to what Jared did (Jared: G/SI1, JamesAllen: F/SI2), but with 25% more caret weight (Jared: .74, JA: 1ct) for $100 more. Please note that I'm not a shill for JamesAllen, and I'm sure you can find comparable deals at other large online dealers.

 

A couple of things I've learned.

 

1. Jared says they do not negotiate on prices - that they offer the lowest available price already. In my limited experience, they do offer lower prices than other brick & mortar stores, but they are still significantly more expensive than online stores.

 

2. Just how valuable is Jared's warranty? It doesn't protect against loss. Aren't you going to have to buy insurance for the diamond anyway? Won't that insurance pay for theft/loss/damages?

 

Anyway, just wanted to share my experience. I ultimately bought online, and have been nothing but happy with the results.

 

-BTE

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Thanks so much for your advice! It got me moving in the right direction and I think I figured out what I can do to get my girl the setting she wants and will love ,and avoid the creepy salespeople at Jared as much as possible!

 

Here's the plan.

I looked at jamesallen.com and found their new hearts and arrows diamonds collection with quite a few stones in the range I'm looking for complete with certs and pictures and even pictures of the hearts and arrows... much better priced than the equivilant diamond ("Peerless etc.") which is pure marketing hype at Jared. I called Jared and asked if there are any strings attached to just buying a setting. None. Cool because its a nice setting at a good price, but I was dreading paying too much for a diamond.

 

Then I called my trusted local jewelry shop and diamond broker, Mr Wilson. http://www.wilsondiamond.com/index.html. The store is run by nice people and owned by a respected member of the community who I trust completely and is quality, value, and service oriented rather than the sales and marketing you get at chain stores. I was actually rather disappointed when my girlfriend found "her ring" at Jared rather than Wilsons but now I'm happy again. I called up Wilson's to see if they'd do the setting on a ring and diamond I didn't buy from them, thinking I'd buy the ring from Jared and the rock online. They said sure but also pointed me to their "beat anyone else's price" policy on diamonds and recommended I give them a chance to beat jamesallen and the other online guys with good prices on an equivalent diamond-- making the setting free and adding some warantee stuff. I am excited to give them a chance to do so, because while I love online stores who run a competitive trade, and typically go with them after doing my research, I am always anxious to give my money to good folks in my own community when they are willing to be competitive.

 

Thanks again, I'll let y'all know how my experience goes!

 

 

Ben

Edited by benn
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I would definitely go with the brick and mortar store in that case, even if they were a bit more. I like the family business. Not as much as I like us, but it's good to establish a relationship with a person who is passionate about the business. And a family in the diamond business with a store and all there is to manage regarding a store is passionate about diamonds.

 

I like the sound of this guy. Please let us know.

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