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tataW

Mark Broumand

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I was just wondering if anyone has purchased jewelery from MarkBroumand.com. He has gorgeous rings, but I am kind of skeptical of purchasing diamonds online.

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Never heard of them. However, browsing the site, they seem to use EGL to grade diamonds, which in my view is a serious negative point in any serious jeweller.


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Hi tataW,

 

All of my rings are 100% guaranteed and I have a risk free money back guarantee. If for any reason you are not fully satisfied with your purchase you can send it back for 100% of your money back! I only want to provide excellence in quality and service and if you try us out I am sure you will be very pleased. I know it is difficult buying over the net but I can guarantee you that if you liked the pieces in the pictures you will love it even more in person!

 

davidelevi, I know a lot of VERY reputable jewelers that use EGL Certified Diamonds. Some of the biggest names in jewelry use EGL! They are a great independent lab that certify diamonds and give honest opinions on them. : )

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Mark, good of you to reply, though I fear that 5 months after the original posts may be a bit late for tataW.

 

On EGL: their opinion may be honest (as in: no malicious intent), but the general consensus - as well as my experience - is that they are plain unreliable, and generally soft. And the biggest problem is the lack of consistency, not the grading in itself. EGL-US has somewhat sorted out its act, but EGL-Belgium and EGL-Israel are not to be touched with a barge pole (or rather - a sign that something is amiss with the grade). Incidentally, EGL, like all other labs, don't "certify" anything.

 

The fact that "some of the biggest names" use them, is neither here nor there. Zales, Kay and Jared are very large and well known in the US - and use EGL. Does that make them purveyors of fine jewellery? Not really. And in fact, Jared's use AGS for their top tier diamonds. Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Graff, ... (I could go on for half a page), which I would consider truly "fine" and reputable jewellers, don't use EGL - they rely on in-house grading or for important stones use GIA.

 

With the exception of some - and not all - antique pieces, where EGL's willingness to grade set stones gives them an edge (albeit relative), I see no reason whatsoever why I, as a consumer, should put up with an EGL report.

 

Let me ask you a question: if as a supplier/seller I brought to you two loose diamonds with identical colour and clarity grades, one graded by EGL and the other one graded by GIA, say G/VS2, would you take the grades without looking at the stones?


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Hi Mark,

 

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for posting.

 

I’ve never heard of you before today either and can’t comment on either your company or your products but I flatly disagree with your contention that an EGL or EGL-USA grading is sufficient information to make an informed shopping decision, especially in the price points of the stones you’re listing on your site (the cheapest individual stone I see listed is $109,000 :o ). I would also suggest that your offer of a 7 day return window with a specific exclusion of any ring that’s been sized BY YOU, is not the same as a 100% satisfaction guarantee on everything you sell. You can, of course, offer whatever terms and conditions you want but in the competitive online marketplace, that’s actually a fairly weak return policy. It would help to specify 7 days from when and to when (shipping time both directions and the handling of weekends and holidays can be critical issues when the window is so short) and excluding items where all work is done by you seems unnecessarily harsh.

 

Copied from your website FAQ's:

http://www.markbroumand.com/diamonds-faqs.aspx#returnpolicy

 

"What is your return policy?

We are here to make sure you are 110% satisfied. We pride ourselves in delivering exactly what we promise. You are more than welcome to return the item within seven days if you are not fully satisfied for any reason. Items must be in original condition. No returns on items that have been resized at your request. 100% refund will be given on your return minus shipping charges. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns toll free (866) 676-9676 or click here to contact us via the Internet. All returns must be accompanied with a return authorization number (call or e-mail us in order to obtain this information)."

 

 

By the way, the BBB record you link to in the footer of your website is for what seems to be a completely different company that shares the same address. If markbroumand.com is a subsidiary or a trade name of this other outfit, Don Marcos Jewelry, it sure seems like this should be proudly mentioned in the 'about us' section of your site as well as in the BBB's 'additional dba's' section. If you're not, why are you linking to their BBB record?

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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I don't know anything about him or his business either, but just wanted to toss out there that as a business owner I don't place much value at all in BBB reports, site seals, etc. when I shop online; BBB is basically just a strong arm group that 'resolves' complaints simply by merchants being scared to end up with a bad status on a complaint and giving in when they know they're right since you basically can't have a favorable outcome by anything less than the complainant saying they're happy with the outcome. Of course they encourage you to sign up for their service by implying that they may be able to help you further with disputes if you do.

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I just purchased a beautfiul ring from Mark who was gracious, helpful and very easy to deal with. This is an honest and very knowledgeable Jeweler who we can be proud of. His designs are exquisite and my wife is thrilled to death with the ring we purchased. My fears of buying expensive Jewelry online have been alleviated since I have found Mark Broumand a name we all can trust.

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Wow, I never thought I would get so much attention on this diamond forum :rolleyes: I must say, David and Neil, you both seem very knowledgable and judging by the number of posts you both have you like to help and give honest opinions and answers. I commend you both. As you both might agree with, judging a diamond based on what company the certificate is from is a very wrong way of going about it. Granted, GIA is one of the largest and most reputable companies out there, along with IGI, HRD, AGS ect.. EGL USA might not be as well known but their grading system is pretty straight forward. They judge color and clarity based on the same types of characteristics as GIA. They might not be as harsh as GIA in their grading but they are fair and straight forward. Of course prices in the market for GIA diamonds are more than EGL diamonds for that reason as well.

 

Personally, I buy diamonds for my inventory based on their individual characteristics and beauty and not what a piece of paper is telling me. I personally feel that creating a unique piece out of metal and diamonds is a work of art and I take great pride and pleasure in it. I am not merely selling a diamond to sell a diamond. I am not in this business to compete with names like bluenile who list diamonds off of diamond dealers inventory list, wait for a purchase, then source it and stick it into a solitaire and call it an engagement ring. I personally have a passion for creating extraordinary pieces. Each one of the rings I create takes a great deal of time planning, work and meticulous labor. I like to call it sweat and tears :D

 

In this extremely competitive and sometimes scary internet world where consumers make decisions based on what they seen the screen and not in person is tough. That is why I have pictures of all the different angles of the actual piece and I never use stock photos! We even have videos of our pieces to give our clients a better overall look of each piece. I also offer a no questions asked 100% money back guarantee on all purchases from the date the customer receives the product. I want the customer to be completely comfortable with purchasing online.

 

I own a jewelry store in the jewelry district in Downtown Los Angeles where I have built my reputation one customer at a time. Honesty to me is the best policy. Since I started on the internet I have had many customers come in from all over the world to look at my pieces and personally choose one in person. I have also had many customers who could not come in, especially international customers that have purchased from me and have been extremely happy with their purchase. Both on GIA diamonds and EGL diamonds. Ron actually just purchased a gorgeous Pear Shape Diamond engagement ring from me and it was EGL USA certified and he, more importantly SHE, loved it!

 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is you can't judge a diamond by its certificate alone. Beauty, brilliance, and the overall combination in a diamond and exquisite design and craftsmanship on a piece speaks so much louder than the simple letters you read off of a certificate. Those letters are there to help you make an informed decision but they should not be the overall reason to purchase or not to purchase a diamond.

 

I guess I go based on love and feeling! ; )

 

Mark Broumand

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Mark,

 

Yeah, I have no social life. :rolleyes: This makes for good advertising for me and yes, I enjoy helping people through a difficult shopping process.

 

Any dealer with sense, and I’m going to assume you fall into that category, buys diamonds for inventory based on the merits of the stone so this comes as no surprise. Unfortunately, the ‘piece of paper’ has a huge amount to do with the cost, your cost has a huge amount to do with your selling price, and your selling price compared to your competition is a big issue for your customers. That’s just the way the world works. This means that the reliability of the grading on that ‘piece of paper’ is an ENORMOUS topic, especially in the price points where you’re trying to sell. A single grade difference can be tens of thousands of dollars and an untrained eye, or even a trained one for that matter, is hard pressed to tell the difference. You’re right that EGL is looking at mostly the same sorts of features in terms of weight, clarity and color, but they simply aren’t using the same scales. They also don’t apply their own scales consistently and they aren’t consistent between the several labs using the EGL brand. THOSE are the reasons that EGL stones using the same words in the description are so much less expensive than GIA’s. EGL-J simply doesn’t mean the same thing as GIA-J or even what a different EGL-J means. If it did, every EGL graded stone in the country would be shipped by the dealers to GIA for regrading because they could charge extra for that GIA ‘premium’. On a 4 carat stone, GIA charges $288 (plus shipping) in lab fees. That’s nothing. If your stones are actually in inventory and are properly graded, my advice to you is to immediately get them regraded by GIA (AGS if they’ll give it ‘ideal’ cut grade), raise the price by $500 to cover your costs and some profit and you’ll still be WAY under market. Your stones will sell both faster and easier and, if you want, for more money. Both you and your customers will benefit by it. What's the downside? You surely know this already, so I again ask, why are you selling and asking your customers to rely on EGL?

 

Cut grading is a whole additional can of whoop ass. Cutters and dealers will choose a lab in order to get, or avoid, a particular cut grading scale and the various labs approach this VERY differently.

 

Take as example this stone from your site for $97,000, including a comparatively inexpensive mounting.

http://www.markbroumand.com/product/403ct-...1D95938743.aspx

 

Comparable stones in the database here range from $62,000 to a whopping $174,500.

(searched for 400-4.25/G/VS1/round)

 

That’s a $100,000 span! What’s the difference in these stones? Is yours a ‘deal’, right where it belongs competitively, or $20,000 overpriced? Is that $174,500 one a ripoff and is the $62,000 one a bargain? These aren’t rhetorical questions, I’ve not seen either your stone or any of these others so can’t comment on the value and I’ll take your word for it that you’re competitive with what you’re selling. I happily agree that there are other factors that contribute to the price but it’s easy to observe that the cheap ones are graded by EGL and the expensive ones are graded by GIA or AGS. Coincidence? If the difference were merely the branding on the lab, and GIA will apply their branding for $288, why are there ANY EGL graded stones available? (that one is a rhetorical question). Even if YOU aren’t inclined to rebrand stones for the extra hundred grand that’s on the table, why didn’t your supplier or their supplier do it? That’s who chose EGL in the first place. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you’ve read some of my advice here you’ll notice that I’m very supportive of people buying things because they love them, buying them in-person when they can, and buying from dealers that they trust even if it costs a bit extra, but in the end, this particular question IS about the money and the money, to a large extent, is about the grading.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Mark, thanks for the reply (and above all for keeping it civil), and I apologise if I have been dismissive.

 

I understand your point about being a jewellery creator, rather than a diamond retailer, and that as such the emphasis/marketing/USP/message of your business - call it what you will - is about the beauty and craftsmanship (art?) of the whole piece and that the main stone's grading report is only a "small" part of that.

 

However, I also think Neil's reasoning is perfectly valid, and that - unfortunately - those small details about colour and clarity make a huge difference in what is a fair price for something, particularly for relatively expensive goods like those you stock. An H-SI2 can be as beautiful as an F-VS2 - or even more beautiful, but I'd like to know what I'm buying.


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Glad Neil posted how much GIA charges, I had been curious about that, seems like a trivial thing on a large stone and why there's no reason to purchase a large stone that hasn't been graded by a 'premium' lab.

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The complete schedule of GIA report prices is available at:

 

http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/fe...fees/index.html

 

also on the same page there is a link to turnaround times


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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If you have one, the grading fees are the least of your worries. Getting the diamond moved from A to B (for example to and from GIA) could be considerably more expensive...

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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$2,474 to grade a 40 carat. :D

It's a curiously specific number isn't it? I wonder why they didn't go for a nice round $2475 or do like the Walmart folks and call it something like $2,746.88 in the hopes that it'll look like a bargain while actually raising the price.

 

Neil

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Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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If you have one, the grading fees are the least of your worries. Getting the diamond moved from A to B (for example to and from GIA) could be considerably more expensive...

 

If anyone needs that done, I'll come pick it up and transport it for you.

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I just bought a ring from Mark Broumand in March 2010. It was one of the most satisfying purchases I have ever made. Mark is a real professional and can absolutely be trusted. His coustomer service is unbelievable. We exchanged no less than 20 long emails. I did the transaction through the mail and it went perfect. I had the ring appraised and the appraiser said that I got a good deal. I looked at hundreds maybe even a thousand rings before I bought it and it is hands down the most beautiful ring I found. His hand made craftsmanship is superb. Mark really does seem to be a world class jewelry designer and selling diamonds just goes with that. He is not in this business to move diamonds, but his diamonds are very fairly priced and exactly what he says they are. I got my ring and stone 25% cheaper than anywhere else I found. Bottom line is you can trust him! Ask Mark for my number and you can call me for a reference.

 

Matt G.

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I'll go with denverappraiser & and the ever guiding davidelevi.

Credibility is hard work.,so think about it.

So tataw, re-asses your doubts.

In my opinion, if going for a diamond why not aim for the sky (GIA's grading)

As a woman, I would appreciate a comfy-grading lab regardless of the description of the diamond.

Don't get me wrong but ~~~it's like I knew 'her' because of him, so no worries!

 

Cheers!

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My fiance and I were recently shopping for an engagement ring and as luck would have it, I fell in love with the Harry Winston micro pave – cushion cut ring. After talking it over, we decided that for the price HW was offering (and yes, we did negotiate them down 25% off the sticker price), we could be getting a lot better quality of a stone. (Not to discredit the HW diamonds, but the price range given to us didn't compute with the quality color, clarity, cut we could get elsewhere of the same price). So now we knew what setting we wanted and what type of diamond... but where to go?

 

We had recently moved from Chicago to LA and came across glowing reviews of Mark Broumand on other boards and thought since he was local we'd go and meet with him. He reassured every single concern we had regarding diamond quality (and even found us a diamond with our specs and a GIA cert) and custom made the ring we had dreamed of. (okay, I dreamed of, haha)

 

I wasn't involved in the negotiation, but my fiance has said multiple times how great Mark was able to work with him and in a pretty quick turn around (long story short, we had a trip planned and Mark was wonderful enough to finish the ring earlier than promised so my Fi could change plans and propose in Rome).

 

My ring is, simply put- stunning! My father is an avid gemologist who about fell out of his chair when he saw the quality of my stone. I can't say enough glowing reviews about Mark, but if you'd like any more details, feel free to PM me. I'm not a dealer, just a very satisfied customer.

 

Oh, and here's a video of my ring that he posted that I recently found! (and of course it IS prettier in person!)

 

 

-------------Edit---------------

Side note: I was extremely picky. Mark was even patient enough to help find a diamond with the exact l/w ratio I was looking for. LOL, perhaps I was a little overly certain of what I wanted, but he was great and in the end, I got exactly what I had *hoped* my dream engagement ring would be.

Edited by Adrie V

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I just bought a ring from Mark Broumand in March 2010. It was one of the most satisfying purchases I have ever made. Mark is a real professional and can absolutely be trusted. His coustomer service is unbelievable. We exchanged no less than 20 long emails. I did the transaction through the mail and it went perfect. I had the ring appraised and the appraiser said that I got a good deal. I looked at hundreds maybe even a thousand rings before I bought it and it is hands down the most beautiful ring I found. His hand made craftsmanship is superb. Mark really does seem to be a world class jewelry designer and selling diamonds just goes with that. He is not in this business to move diamonds, but his diamonds are very fairly priced and exactly what he says they are. I got my ring and stone 25% cheaper than anywhere else I found. Bottom line is you can trust him! Ask Mark for my number and you can call me for a reference.

 

Matt G.

 

Just to add to this, I also bought from Mark Broumand on-line (after finding him on eBay). He was professional, helpful and for all of my concerns about buying something this expensive on-line (earrings that were in the $20K range), provided value. I had them formally appraised by completely independant GIA trained appraiser, with no knowledge of either what I had paid or the details of EGL certificate, who rated them almost dead on with the certificate ratings. He also said that I had gotten a very nice deal. After a year of researching this purchase, was very pleased and I would be extremely pleased to deal with Mark again.

 

Mary Susan

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Mary Susan, I'm very glad that you are happy with your purchase - but two wrongs don't make a right... EGL and the appraiser may both be wrong, both opinions are unfortunately valueless when it comes to trading the diamonds, and incidentally the "almost dead on" between a D-IF and E-VVS1 is worth about 70% of the price of the E-VVS1. I am ready to bet whatever you want that you won't be able to tell them apart once they are set, even with a loupe.

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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.... I had them formally appraised by completely independant GIA trained appraiser...

 

Mary Susan

Hi Mary Susan,

 

I too am thrilled that it worked out for you but I do want to comment on the above misstatement for the benefit of other readers. GIA doesn’t train appraisers. In fact there isn’t even a single appraisal class offered in their curriculum. What they DO teach is gemology, which is stone identification and grading. No, they are not the same thing. Most jewelry appraisers in the US are GIA graduates and correctly identifying the property is important to appraising but skills at appraising, to the extent that they have them, come from other venues. American Society of Appraisers, International Society of Appraisers, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and the American Gem Society are some examples of outfits that DO train jewelry appraisers. All offer credentials that can be checked by potential clients. Appraisers can also learn their craft from some non-jewelry trainers like the American Association of Auctioneers and The Appraisal Foundation.

 

Congratulations again on your purchase.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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My fiancee and I found my dream ring on Mark Broumand's website. He was incredibly professional and courteous. Being that the internet is hit or miss on dependability - Mark Broumand made our fears disappear. The ring, the service, and the price were beyond perfect. I could not be happier.

 

I have since had my ring (re)examined by GIA and the proposed C's were the same as what the reevaluated C's were. No gimmicks here...just a beautiful ring at a beautiful price.

 

A+ to Mark Broumand and I hope to use you for all my jewelery purchases.

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