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Comparing Tiffany's Pricing


strwbryk
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Hello,

 

We are looking at a Princess cut diamond with the following specs:

Clarity: VS1/VVS2

Color: G/H

Carat: 1.5

 

Tiffany's came back with the following price quotes:

1) a 1.64 CT, I, VS2-$21,000

2) a 1.52 CT, H, VS1-$23,100

3) a 1.52 CT, H, VVS2-$23,200

 

In comparison Blue Nile has the following diamonds for sales with similar specs.

1. 1.56 CT, H, VSI, Signature Ideal, $12,041

2. 1.62 CT, G, VSI, Signature Ideal, $14,931

3. 1.51 CT, G, VVS2, Signature Ideal, $17,616

 

Are the Tiffany's prices solely inflated due to the name or is there any other quality difference between what Blue Nile or other retailers offer for similar specs? We all know you pay a premium for the Tiffany's name but they heavily market the quality of their diamonds compared to other retailers. We are trying to figure out what other quality differences would cause the Tiffany's pricing to be so much higher other than the name when comparing similar diamond specs.

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Tiffany's is not a cheap place to buy stuff. Surely you knew that. The reason people shop there is because they like the confidence in knowing that they will get quality merchandise, quality craftsmanship, excellent followup, no hassles and a 'Tiffany' experience. These are fine enough reasons and nearly everyone who shops there goes away happy.

 

Blue Nile has a similar pitch but on the other end of the scale. They sell good stuff cheaply. They're a huge company and it's more comfortable to be shopping with them over their less expensive competitors and the 'premium' for their brand isn't quite so steep. At the same time, they're less expensive than most of the 'full service' jewelry stores that most of us are familiar with. As with the above, nearly everyone who buys from them goes home happy although they don't enjoy the brand loyalty that Tif's does (and their stock has taken a beating lately because of it but that's another subject).

 

Rely on grading by GIA or AGSL. Period. Accept no substitutes.

Edited by denverappraiser
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"Brands' are always more expensive than generics. When shopping an on-line Vendor, keep in mind that two diamonds with the same lab report "numbers" can face up significantly different so it is important to obtain additional information about the stone(s).

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Thank you both for your great feedback!

 

Denver Appraiser-In regards to your comment about the different certificates I've noticed there is another one called EGL listed on this website when searching through diamonds for sale. Would this also be considered a reliable certification of diamonds?

 

Barry-I'm not sure what you mean when you say diamonds can face up differently? What additional information would you recommend that we look into?

 

Thanks again!

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In answer to your questions:

 

1. Face up appearance in terms of the diamonds light refraction comprised of brilliance (white light), dispersion (colored light-i.e; colors of the rainbow, and scintillation ( 'sparklies'). The amount, intensity, and distribution, and combination is determined by the facets alignment, individual facet size and facet angle. A lab report will not give you this information and therefore two diamonds with the same exact numbers may face up differently.This is especially true of fancy shapes where the physics of light refraction is more haphazard due to the irregular shape architecture of the diamond. So, it is important to have the Vendor that has these diamonds physically in-house or can bring them in from the manufacturer and provide you with this information.

 

2. EGL-USA color and clarity grading standards are a bit looser compared to GIA and AGS and again the Vendor should have the diamond on hand to review the diamond for you.

Edited by barry
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I would not recommend relying on EGL grading for a diamond purchase. The fact that diamondreview accepts advertising for them is a business decision by them that I think is NOT in the consumer best interest but it may be unavoidable for keeping the site up. You'll notice that it's the majority of the stones available.

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I would not recommend relying on EGL grading for a diamond purchase. The fact that diamondreview accepts advertising for them is a business decision by them that I think is NOT in the consumer best interest but it may be unavoidable for keeping the site up. You'll notice that it's the majority of the stones available.

 

Exactly why I recommended that the diamond be reviewed in person by the participating vendor.

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Hi,

 

It's also the setting. In the UK in Birmingham there is an area called Jewellry Quarter, it's where the settings are manufactured for sale and distribution to the UK. The diamond bourse is in London. There are also boutique artisans and crafstmen who help you create something hand-made to a unique design. Quality craftsmens. In the future I would like to get our engagement ring reset using one of these when we hit the 10 year anniversary. Rambling on a bit but I would expect Tiffanys to have very quality craftmanship on the settings too rather than just use the mass produced average quality manufactured settings.

 

 

Thanks

Haider

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In answer to your questions:

 

1. Face up appearance in terms of the diamonds light refraction comprised of brilliance (white light), dispersion (colored light-i.e; colors of the rainbow, and scintillation ( 'sparklies'). The amount, intensity, and distribution, and combination is determined by the facets alignment, individual facet size and facet angle. A lab report will not give you this information and therefore two diamonds with the same exact numbers may face up differently.This is especially true of fancy shapes where the physics of light refraction is more haphazard due to the irregular shape architecture of the diamond. So, it is important to have the Vendor that has these diamonds physically in-house or can bring them in from the manufacturer and provide you with this information.

 

2. EGL-USA color and clarity grading standards are a bit looser compared to GIA and AGS and again the Vendor should have the diamond on hand to review the diamond for you.

 

So if one were to know the facets alignment, individual facet size, and facet angle, that would tell them how much better one diamond would face up compared to another? Essentially is a diagram of the stone needed from the online jeweler? What about facet polishing? As far as value, when 2 diamonds have the same GIA report, can how a diamond faces up be a determining factor for an appraiser? What is a good source that can be used to tell how a diamond will face up based on facet alignment, individual facet size, and facet angle, and how do these variables play into say a princess cut diamond vs a round diamond?

Edited by primetime
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So if one were to know the facets alignment, individual facet size, and facet angle, that would tell them how much better one diamond would face up compared to another?

That would tell them how a diamond faces up compared to another. "Better" is a subjective matter, at least to some extent. There exists diamond simulation software that will create a "virtual stone" from a 3-d scan and produce all sorts of information on the optical behaviour, but it cannot tell you if you will like one "good" diamond more than another.

 

Essentially is a diagram of the stone needed from the online jeweler?

A diagram (like the one in many lab reports) is not particularly useful unless it contains a lot more information. The results of a 3-D scan (Sarin, OGI) can be handy, but there are a number of shortcuts/different techniques like coloured reflectors and automated light reflection measurement (ISEE2, Gemex) which are easier to interpret. At the end of the day, I think, Barry's message is: you need to see the diamond and compare it to others to decide. If you cannot see it in person, you need to trust the dealer to inspect it and tell you what is good and bad about it based on experience and continual exposure to many stones of many types.

 

What about facet polishing?

Irrelevant if Very Good and above (GIA terms). And to be honest, even at Good or Fair you'd have a tough time seeing the differences in real life without magnification.

 

As far as value, when 2 diamonds have the same GIA report, can how a diamond faces up be a determining factor for an appraiser?

Do you mean "Can they appraise for a different value?" Yes, of course, depending on how attractive they look, what sort of replacement market the appraiser is considering, whether one is branded "Tiffany" or "Walmart", ... And it is a fact that they will have different prices in the marketplace depending "only" on how they look - particularly for non-rounds where there is far less information on cut.

 

What is a good source that can be used to tell how a diamond will face up based on facet alignment, individual facet size, and facet angle,

Um - your eyes and the attached brain? More seriously: you can get wound up in the fine details "on paper", but at the end of the day what matters is how it looks to you (and your SO). Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

 

"Good" cut grading systems are precisely an attempt to take into account many if not all of these variables and boil them down to a single overall judgement to help you through the maze. However, the only way to even begin to make sense of all the information you can find on a diamond is to train your eye by looking at many of them and getting as much information about them as you can.

 

and how do these variables play into say a princess cut diamond vs a round diamond?

Two completely different objects. Again, other than writing a book - which would anyway not be much use without "real" experience of looking at different diamonds - there is no short easy answer.

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Denver Appraiser-In regards to your comment about the different certificates I've noticed there is another one called EGL listed on this website when searching through diamonds for sale. Would this also be considered a reliable certification of diamonds?

I do not recommend relying on any of the EGL labs for a purchase decision.

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The GIA plotted diagram has limited usefulness as its one-dimensionality does not provide/convey the accurate location, size, coloration of inclusion(s), or the nature/depth/ of indented naturals or inclusion(s) at the girdle area.

 

Many times the plotted diagram will look egregious and scare away a potential buyer when in reality the diamond is super eye clean. The converse is also true. If you're shopping on-line-You need to work with a Vendor that either physically has the diamond or can have it shipped in to them from the Mfg/Wholesaler and provide you with an "eyes-on" description. Otherwise you're buying blind as the "numbers" on the lab report will not give you the whole story.

Edited by barry
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