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Branded Diamonds


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Hi everyone!


I'm a newbie to this forum but certainly not to buying diamonds. I've also posted on another forum as I would love to get as much advice as possible.


I consider myself a fan of all things shiny. I am currently studying with GIA on Diamond Essentials and it is all very interesting. I've been on eBay for a while and find it a great place to go if the seller is one to be trusted.


Anyways, my questions is about Diamond "Brands". I saw another thread regarding branded diamonds but I have specific questions regarding certain cuts manufactured by the large chain stores.


First off, I bought myself a LEO diamond and love it. It is very shiny and bright and is an IGI graded H color SI(1) .70 marquise. Compared to my engagement ring which is a 1.02 GIA certed F VS(2) I find it much nicer. But I know it varies from stone to stone. And I know "cut" is probably the most important of the Four C's.


Anyways, I am asking professional opinions for the "LEO" by Kay and Jareds, the Zales "Octillion" and the Helzberg "Radiant Star".


Since I usually purchase on auction, I am not paying ridiculous chain jeweler/mall prices. Other than having a name brand - anyone out there with more advice... or should I stick with higher graded better cuts with GIA and EGL certs?


Another question there is I am considering a Helzberg "Radiant Star" diamond, 1.05 carats, with an IGI cert of I color and I(1) clarity. The polish and symmetry are both good/good.


It also includes the GEMEX Light Performance Report,

white light (brilliance): Very High

color light (fire): High

scintillation (sparkle): Very High


Anybody think it is worth the asking price 1500? I've heard a lot of good and bad about the branded cuts from the mall stores so I would love to hear everyone's opinion on here.


Thanks and much appreciated for replies with advice before I buy it.

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There are two ways to look at brands:


1) Those that are heavily marketed.... ala Gucci, Tiffany, Prada, you name it. Is there a lot of panache with the name? Yes. Is the product "premium" well ... that's debatable.


2) There are also those that offer exceptional quality/value where their name stands for something.... think Hearts on Fire.... BMW... Lexus. There's no quesiton you get performance and high quality out of a Lexus, same goes for the HOF which I think is a great brand.


Now the question is, how much of the diamond brand you're consider is marketing and how much is value? And how much are you willing to pay for marketing and how much are you willing to pay for value?


There's no doubt people will pay through the nose for Tiffany, Gucci, and Prada just for name's sake and there's nothing wrong with that if you know this going in. Are you one of them?


I would argue there is little "value" in most jewelry store chain brands to be quite honest. They are adding a diamond brand for the sake of branding to increase margins, not for the sake of giving value on a premium product. Does their proprietary cut shine better then a poorly cut stone? Yes. Does their proprietary 1000-facet diamond perform better then a run of the mill round brilliant cut to ideal proportions? Not any that I have seen. Having said that I don't think there is much marketing value in them either. When was the last time your friend bragged about a "Radiant Star" or a "LEO" diamond and how many people would know what they heck they're talking about? So why do they ask for so much more money if they're short both on marketing and value?


Now did I understand you correctly that they are selling a 1.05ct I1/I IGI-graded stone for $1500? Whether that is a good price or not I guess depends on the accuracy of the grading, and how nice it looks. If that branded diamond was $5000 I'd say no way. But $1500 is not too bad provided it's a nice stone, and natural/untreated.

Edited by Adylon
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