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Hi Im New And Looking To Get An Engagement Ring


Diamondguy28
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Hey guys,

Im new and wanted to get some advice on a ring. So I hear that Bluenile is pretty good and that was what I was going to go with but stumbled upon this review: http://everydayreviews.net/2012/05/the-diamonds-factory-review/

 

This says that diamonds factory is a lot better and cheaper as long as it has a GIA certificate, then you're all good. Prices are a lot bettter, haven't really heard of the company though. Any insights?

Edited by Diamondguy28
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That review is so full of taurine excrement that I don't even know where to begin from. I would not even call it a review, but a blatant (and dishonest) advertisement for a vendor.

 

If you want, when I have more time I'll demolish it point by point, but in all just ignore it.

 

Incidentally - I work for a Blue Nile competitor... before someone accuses me of shilling.

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I'll let Davide take the time to pick it apart since he made the offer.

 

No, it doesn't mean anything at all about what they're selling. This is about that advertisement. I didn't even click through to look at their site and we don't even KNOW that they are the ones behind this 'review'. That's for you to decide. As I said, I've never heard of them but I see a large number of Internet type advertising from various companies and I have to say that it's not unusual for a company to post this sort of thing on the 'review' sites in the hopes that it'll bring them shoppers. I'm not all that big on Blue Nile but people shop there for good reasons and they are definitely the big dog in the Internet diamond business. Lots of competitors like to take pot shots at them. It's possible to beat them by a few percent on prices(or not), it's possible to offer better information or better service, or designs you like better, or better terms, or just nicer people on the phone, but the claims being made here are simply not credible. When they make statements that are demonstrably false, like that BN has b&m stores throughout the country or that their prices are 30% higher, it calls into question their other claims as well.

Edited by denverappraiser
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In the following, where there is quoted text it comes from the URL http://everydayrevie...factory-review/ as it was at the time of this post (4 May 2012). Since the internet can be surprisingly volatile, I have saved a pdf copy of the review...

 

When buying a diamond, ALWAYS make sure that they have a certificate from a reputable diamond grading lab. In this case, it would be GIA. Always go with diamonds that are rated by GIA because they are the industry standard.
This is pretty good advice, but it is factually incorrect. There is no "industry standard" for grading diamonds, and that's at the root of many problems. GIA has its own standards, and it is pretty good at maintaining a high level of consistency in grading colour, clarity and (for round diamonds) cut. There are other labs that are as consistent, but may work to different standards (e.g. AGSL on cut), which are perfectly fine though not directly comparable.

 

This may seem like nitpicking, and perhaps it is, but it is a good example of how this review is deceptive. At the very least the writer does not know what he/she is talking about and has not bothered to check the facts. At worst - well, let's not go there.

 

A 2 carat diamond rated by GIA could be rated as a 2.3 carat diamond by a lesser reputable labs such as GRA.
No it could not. This is the one parameter on which the buyer can be quite assured, since there is a well defined worldwide standard for "carat", instruments to measure weight are not expensive and they can be very precise. A jeweller's pocket weighing scales is less than $50 on eBay, and it will tell you clearly the difference between 2.0 and 2.3. 2.30 to 2.29 requires a more precise tool (at $200), but it is easily achievable, and labs typically use scales that measure one thousandth of carat without any problem.

 

Apart from the questionable grammar, I would also point out that while GRA is not a paragon for consistency and grading reliability, there are other equally bad or worse offenders. Why pick on GRA?

 

First of all, the Diamonds Factory price for a diamond of the same exact specification is $10,000 less! (see the screenshot of the top row on each)
But they are not the exact same specification AT ALL!

 

Also, if you look closely, I only have the princess cut selected on the Diamonds Factory website and I have both princess and the round cut selected for the Blue Nile website.
Precisely. It's a pity that a princess cut will cost about 2/3 of a round diamond of the same weight, colour, clarity and (as far as it can be comparable) cut quality. This is because a round requires a significantly larger weight of rough than a princess of the same size (and it can be a little more labour consuming to cut too), and it is a fact fairly independent of the vendor.

 

This is because Blue Nile only had one princess cut diamond with those specifications. The Diamonds Factory has about 10x the inventory Blue Nile does!
No they don't. As at the time of writing, BN lists 92440 loose diamonds. TDF lists 110,839. That's about 20% more. However, BN only lists GIA and AGS graded diamonds, while TDF also has IGI, HRD and EGL-USA graded stones. Taking those away (as recommended by the reviewer...), leaves TDF at 91,967 - pretty much the same as BN.

 

The comparison is also unnecessarily specific by restricting the listing to diamonds of exactly 2.00 carats; broadening the search to a more sensible 2.00-2.10 comes up with 15 diamonds on BN and 18 on TDF - basically the same on both, and plenty enough to choose from!

 

Finally, there is one small but very important snag. GIA does NOT grade princess cuts for cut quality. Thus the "very good" cut grade has been attributed by BN and TDF. Unfortunately, neither company is particularly clear as to how they came to the conclusion, and chances are that the criteria used are not the same, thus marring any comparison (and incidentally, I would not trust either site to grade cut accurately, but that's another story).

 

I ended up buying from thediamondsfactory.com because they were cheaper, on average about 30%.
And I suppose you would end up buying a bicycle because it is on average cheaper than a Rolls-Royce (or a Hyundai). Which it is - it is healthier and greener too - but it's not quite a valid comparison.

 

Picking the 2.0x H/VS1 stones selected above, the average price per carat on TDF is $9007; BN is at $9212, so TDF may actually be slightly cheaper on these specific (and probably not perfectly comparable) stones, but it's 2%, not 30%.

 

I did another test using 1.0x G/VS1 Excellent cut rounds (about 120 stones on each site, more comparable because at least the cut grade is GIA's in all cases and there's far more stones so smoothing variability): here the average price/carat is $9084 on BN and $10068 on TDF, so the conclusion can as easily be reversed - and more: here it's 10%, not 2% - depending on the characteristics of what one is looking at.

 

Incidentally, there is no 1.00 G/VS1 Excellent cut round on TDF - so who's got more stock?

 

I relied heavily on the fact that GIA is a trustworthy diamond lab and as long as the diamond had a rating from them, I could go cheaper.
I can't quite follow the logic. GIA will grade a Q-R I2 poor cut just as well as a D FL Excellent cut. The report only helps you to know what you are buying, but there are still significant differences in desirability (beauty, rarity, demand) between diamonds - even with the same grade - and they are generally reflected in the price. Going cheaper in diamonds normally gets you something different, not just cheaper. You may prefer the cheaper stone, or you may not be able to afford the more expensive one, but it is not like buying a standardised, mass-produced item like say a car or a piece of electronic equipment.

 

[TDF] mine their own diamonds and own their own factories.
Now, do they? And how do you know? Their site does not make any such claim - they only say that they own jewellery factories, not diamond mines or cutting establishments. They do play on the "manufacturing" label, and I think this is clearly disingenuous on their part - but nowhere do they claim that they mine or cut.

 

Because they mine, cut and sell all within the same company, they cut out all middlemen.
They don't mine, they don't cut - or at least we have no indication that they do, and as far as I know they don't. This automatically makes them middlemen. I also suspect that they - like Blue Nile - don't actually own any of their diamond stock and act purely as middlemen in that regard, though differently from BN they may own or control the jewellery making. There's nothing wrong with that - it's what a retailer does.

 

Of the 120 G/VS1 stones that I picked up for the price comparison, about 20 seem to be advertised by Blue Nile as well. And generally at a cheaper price (by the usual small percentage) than TDF. If they were mining and cutting them, surely their price would be lower? And BN would not have these stones listed for sale?

 

Blue Nile actually has brick and mortar retail stores throughout the country.
Really? Can you give me one address? One, never mind "throughout the country". They don't, and are quite proud of the fact. Some online diamond retailers also have stores - whether through the country or in one place - but Blue Nile is not one of them; also, FWIW, some of these "brick and click" dealers are cheaper than Blue Nile, again by a couple of percentage points. Edited by davidelevi
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continued...

 

The four C’s consists of carat, color, cut and clarity. Skimp out on any one of these and you have a mediocre diamond at best.
Define "skimp" and "mediocre". My wife has (among others) a VVS1 - which only has a tiny patch of internal graining, and could well be considered flawless - and an I1 stone; they are both beautiful and admired by other jewellers, jewellery collectors and our friends. For sure there are diamonds that are pretty and others that are quite ugly, but the statement above is at the very least using too broad a brush.

 

Clarity and carat are the most sought out properties.
No they are not. They are essentially rarity factors, though large diamonds (over 10 carats) are so rare that they do have a particular market.

 

Carat is the weight (heavier it is the bigger it is)
Not necessarily. A poorly cut diamond may be heavier than a well cut one, but it may easily seem smaller - and in fact be smaller in its visible surface.

 

If the clarity rating is low, then light will not shine through it and the diamond will be murky. Usually this is due to small deposits in the diamond that are often times visible with the naked eye if the rating is low.
Apart from the vocabulary (it's not a "rating", it's called grade; they aren't "deposits", they are inclusions), this is generally true. However, what is also true - and not clear from the review - is that diamonds graded I1 can be "less murky" than diamonds graded VS1, depending on a multitude of factors, and equally there are SI2 that are perfectly eye clean and SI1 that look like a peppered steak.

 

Color is important as well because a low color rating will mean that your diamond will not be clear, but have a yellow tint.
Clear is one thing, colourless another. A vivid yellow diamond may be perfectly transparent, but colourless it is not. It is also worth as much as - or more than - a perfectly colourless diamond.

 

This aside, colour is a matter of purely personal preference; there are a lot of people that prefer the warmer whites of H and I to the iciness of a D or E, and there are those (like many of my customers) that love the faint and light yellows just as much. "True" coloured diamonds are by far the rarest and most valuable - and in my opinion the most beautiful - of diamonds.

 

After clicking on the setting, the site brings you to a marvelous display of the ring in 3D.
Which is a CAD rendering that may look like the ring that you are going to receive... or not at all, depending on the care taken in actually manufacturing it. Also, the image of the diamond is a pure simulation - the same for any choice - so it is not at all representative of what you would get.

 

I really think that the Diamonds Factory invested the most time and money to their site.
Each to his own, but I don't find this comment particularly fact based. The two sites are remarkably similar in interface and feel, actually. FWIW I find the BN site a touch more polished - for example allowing the user to key in values for filtering rather than using the slides, or enabling side-by-side comparison of an arbitrary number of stones rather than "only" 4. The TDF site also shows a number of bugs: it freezes quite often, it does not display correctly pages if set to show more than 20 records and it does not keep filter values in memory when moving about.

 

One thing about the setting, my fiance has really small fingers and her ring size is a 3.5. It is amazing that they have that size listed because there are other sites out there that do not list that size and charge extra for a difficult size.
There is nothing particularly "difficult" about a small size, though smaller merchants may need to order uncommon sizes on spec, and this increases cost. However, since BN is the comparison here, they list 3 or 3.5 as the lowest size on all of their settings (3 for plain shanks and 3.5 for pavé ones) and they don't charge extra. So what's the big deal?

 

I received the ring within a week of ordering. I know that when spending over 10 grand on a product, it doesn’t seem like much, but I really appreciated the free shipping, especially because it was overnight.
Overnight or a week? And frankly, free outbound shipping is pretty standard - BN offers it, we offer it, a lot of other people offer it. BN will also deliver stock within a week or less and we will ship same day of payment if the item is in stock. So, while there is nothing wrong with the statement, it's not a particularly unique characteristic of TDF: it's what you need to stay in the retail jewellery business nowadays.

 

[The diamond] will also retain its value with the certificate so it is important not to lose it.
Diamonds are terrible stores of value, and while a report (which is not a certificate) may help you appraising, identifying and reselling a diamond, it won't make a jot of difference as to its value. A GIA report for a 2 carater costs $150 (plus a few weeks wait), and this is what the the report is worth.

 

ETA: please note that I'm slating (heavily) the review, not the dealer(s). In the very best of cases, it does not establish much in favour of a particular merchant. In the worst case, it is blatant shilling, and not even convincing at that. The merchant and its merchandise per se could be absolutely fine - or not - but the review is not a good basis to determine that, unless it can be established that it has been "manufactured" by the merchant.

Edited by davidelevi
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