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New York Diamond District


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All - Made a couple of previous posts and appreciated everyone's feedback. A slightly different question today.


I will be traveling to New York next month, and would like to go through the Diamond District. Typically, what are the pros and cons of looking for a diamond in this area? Could I expect to find B&Ms with Internet pricing (or really close to it) considering the competition in this condensed area? Obviously, the ideal (no pun intended!) would be to physically inspect the diamonds and find them priced comparable to online database listings. Nothing can replace actually inspecting the diamond firsthand.


I have found some great online places that have pictures, certificates and other types of reports (thanks, Diamond.info!) which probably would work, but in theory, the physical selection of stone to review in my criteria would be much higher in the District.


Thanks in advance everyone,


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Hi Eggman- It's a great theory, but the reality does not match.

The efficiency offered by selling online simply can't be replicated by a walk in store.

If a store carried a large selection, they'd have to charge a price that would allow them to do maintain the financial burden- as well as overhead.

Many of the internet selling sites own few, or no diamonds. Combine this with far lower operating expenses, and you have the reason for the price discrepancy.


The 47th Street Diamond District, at the retail level, is truly horrible.

The pressure to sell, and meet the huge expenses associated with maintaining a retail presence drive so many sellers to intensely aggressive selling techniques.


I'm absolutely sure there are a few good sellers- but the chances of you stumbling upon them are slim.


As a general rule- if one place is waaaay cheaper than others, it's a great reason to skip them.

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Shopping on 47th street can be good entertainment and it’s a worthwhile experience for anyone looking for a diamond who happens to be there but do hang onto your wallet. It’ll be something you can tell your grandkids but, before you decide that great bargains abound (which you will DEFINITELY be told), here’s a few casual observations.


#1 New York City merchants and workers suffer under the highest tax burden in the entire country. The storefronts at street level have the highest rents and the employees have a higher cost of living than ANYWHERE in America. Care to guess where all of this money comes from?


#2 FedEx and comparable services can deliver any diamond below the stratospheric price points overnight, to anywhere in the country for less than it costs to park in Manhattan. The value of location as it applies to diamonds has plummeted in the last few decades to where it's now almost irrelevant.


#3 The most price competitive marketplace in the world, by far, is the US Internet market. A Google search for ‘certified diamonds’ produces over 1,500,000 hits. The sharks on the street don’t even come close.


There are some good dealers in the city, some of whom are active right here on this board, but you won't find them on the street level and you won't be able to visit them without an appointment. It may be worth your trouble to book an appointment or two while you're in town.



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I went down to the diamond district a few weeks ago. If you know nothing about diamonds, DO NOT GO THERE. They will all try to rip you off. I went to 3 different places and got the same story. I asked to see loose diamonds and they were trying to sell me absolute CRAP for flawless diamond prices. I played dumb to actually see what they would show me. They showed me diamonds that they claimed were D & E color and the cuts were so horrible that it didnt matter what color it was. They just didnt have that brilliance or fire. I even upped my price range just to see what they would show me and they still showed me awful diamonds. You will not find a deal there unless you really know what your looking at. I did find a diamond a few weeks later in NYC but it was not at the diamond district but a referral through a good friend who is a jewelry designer. Do they really have the inventory in NYC diamond district that they claim to have?? I dont think so.

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The New York diamond district is more like a tourist attraction. The truly educated shoppers, shop in the convenience of their own home, and study how diamonds are cut etc and compare prices for like and kind diamonds with accurate GIA or AGS lab reports. If you can get more info on the diamond than a couple of average numbers, like photos etc, it will really help as well. You can have 10 diamonds with similar numbers and all will look different. That is why light performance analysis is so important. To help you tell the differences in the faceting. Believe me, you will do better online and probably not have to pay sales tax, unless you are in a state that has a use tax. Look for a good upgrade policy too and someone that is honest and with a good reputation that will take care of you. The margins are slim online and definitely worth it if you are working with the right vendor to help you make a wise choice.

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