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Blue Nile Advice


macca10
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Hi,

 

I am from Melbourne, Australia and am looking to buy an engagement ring for my girlfriend that is approximately US $10,000.

 

She likes both Pear & Round shaped diamonds, however does have a preference for Pear. Blue Nile seems to be the best value, however with mixed reviews I would love some advice on the following rings before choosing, I have selected diamonds with the help of Blue Nile, however all advice is welcome :)

 

http://www.bluenile.com/halo-diamond-engagement-ring_20828

 

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-engagement-ring-platinum_7815

 

Cheers,

Macca

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There are two separate issues here.

 

1. The quality of the setting. As you have seen, Blue Nile has mixed reviews as far as its metalwork is concerned. I don't have direct experience with Blue Nile, but I would not buy a "cheap" micropavé setting (and these are at mid-to-cheap end) unless I had the vendor available next door to fix problems. Ask Blue Nile how they would help with fallen out stones etc. including dealing with Australian customs, and consider your local options before committing.

 

2. The main diamond. If you go for a pear, be warned that you have no reliable information over its cut. Blue Nile makes up dreams provides a "cut grade" based on non-transparent criteria (presumably some combination of depth/table and information provided from its suppliers) which I consider frankly useless. If this sounds like competitor bashing, bear in mind that:

  • Blue Nile never sees any of the stones it sells - they are shipped to you by BN's suppliers;
  • There are no widespread, lab-administered cut grading systems for non-round stones to help you (or them) assess cut quality, and
  • The information provided on reports (usually table and depth%) is primarily useful for stone identification, not for assessing cut quality.

Again, the Blue Nile model has many advantages, but if you are dealing with a fancy cut (i.e. non-round) and/or a low-clarity stone internationally, I would choose a supplier that can look at the stone and ideally send you comparative photos and video prior to shipping, rather than dealing with Australian customs in trying to avoid paying duties and taxes for a stone that needs to be sent back because it is unsatisfactory...

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While Blue Nile is a widely respected diamond seller, there are other options as well. You could also consider buying a loose diamond which enables you to spend your money on a brilliant diamond you otherwise may not have been able to afford. Based upon your listed specifications ($10,000, Pear/Round) here are a few fantastic options that I recently came across when I was in the same position as you, looking for an anniversary gift for my wife of twenty years. Coincidentally, my budget was about the same as yours.

 

http://www.diamondhelpcenter.com/diamonds/Pear-1.06-Ideal-D-1421885

http://diamondhelpcenter.com/diamonds/Round-0.90-Good-D-1303868

 

Certainly, Blue Nile is a legitimate option, just make sure you shop around and exhaust all of your options. Good luck to you!

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I ordered a diamond and sent it back with no problems- free shipping, free shipping back. The reason for the send back was I changed my mind on the setting, so I needed a larger diamond.

 

They charge a fair price. I was actually able to find a local jeweler that would sell me the very same diamond on BN for 1.5K less. In this case it was 3-4% savings. BUT they didn't have a return policy and I couldn't use a CC, so I declined.

 

In the process of trying another diamond from BN.

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There’s a lot to be said for buying the diamond, the mounting and the assembly labor from the same source. It saves on fingerpointing if something doesn’t go well. BN is a well regarded and consistent supplier if they have what you want in their catalog. ‘Taint custom made to fit your stone but then it isn’t priced like custom work either.

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There’s a lot to be said for buying the diamond, the mounting and the assembly labor from the same source. It saves on fingerpointing if something doesn’t go well. BN is a well regarded and consistent supplier if they have what you want in their catalog. ‘Taint custom made to fit your stone but then it isn’t priced like custom work either.

 

Agreed. I tried VERY HARD to keep it local and single source, but it just didn't happen.

 

Good luck OP. If you get the diamond from BN and don't like it, call them, they will email you a fed ex label, and drop it off at a fed ex store.

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Thank you so much for all of your responses, definitely has given me a lot to think about.

 

Whilst I like the idea of buying a separate diamond, it is much more convenient for me to buy the diamond/setting and essentially the whole ring in one purchase due to my rural location, lack of decent jewellers around etc.

 

I have also been searching ebay and have found a few rings I like, from what seems to be a reputable seller:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-80Ct-Oval-Cut-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-EGL-/140529291083?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item20b832cf4b

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-30-Ct-Round-Cut-Diamond-Engagement-Set-E-SI1-EGL-/160565916643?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item25627973e3

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-80-Ct-Emerald-Cut-w-Round-Cut-Halo-Diamond-Engagement-18K-Gold-Ring-H-VS1-EGL-/160688204089?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item2569c36939

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-81-Ct-Asscher-Cut-w-Round-Cut-Dual-Halo-Diamond-Engagement-18K-Ring-D-SI1-EGL-/160690546833?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item2569e72891

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-23-Ct-Radiant-Cut-3-Stone-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-EGL-/140315057224?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item20ab6ddc48

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3-21-Ct-Pear-Cut-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-14K-Gold-/140576195463?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item20bafe8387

 

Whilst the diamond shapes vary with these rings, after further discussion with my girlfriend's Mum, we have discovered that she likes a particular style of ring and is less fussy on shape.

 

As I am looking to buy a ring in whole online, I would appreciate recommendations as to which one of these or the blue nile rings I should purchase.

 

Thanks again, your help has been invaluable during this exciting time!

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I see two big issues. The ebay guys are selling EGL graded stones and BN is selling GIA graded stones. That's an important difference and, frankly a plug for BN. The ebay guys are nearby and BN is halfway around the world. That's a plug for ebay. Customs can be a pain. How to choose? Just like you would with any other kind of store. Look into the dealer and decide who deserves your business and then push on the details of the product. I'm going to guess that the Aussie place is a small scale operation and they can get just about anything you like. They just haven't put up the ad for everything possible. BN has a limited selection of mountings but what they've got is reliably in stock and of consistent quality. Again, this is choosing the style of dealer you want to work with.

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