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Best Countries To Buy An Engagement Diamond And Setting?


James Brown
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Hi,

 

I'm based in Russia where diamonds aren't particularly good value, so was looking to combine a little holiday with buying my fiances engagment ring and diamond.  Where do people believe the best value is to be found? Dubai? Antwerp?  Other places? I'm really looking at Europe/Asia rather than the Americas for destinations.

 

Any advice and potential retailers greatly appreciated.

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In terms of price, availability of stock, concentration of shops and ease of avoiding tax, you can't beat New York for diamond shopping. It's just the biggest market, and one that is intensely price competitive - with all the good, bad and ugly that derives from it.

 

European locations are beset by high prices and large local taxes - though you may be able to get some (most?) of the VAT back by exporting into Russia "legitimately", and in general I have found what's available in various "diamond districts" in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Tel-Aviv rather underwhelming and often overpriced, even ex VAT (for that matter, in New York too - the "good" stuff is seldom at street level!).

 

Dubai and the rest of the Middle East have the disadvantage that the majority of diamonds is sold "sealed" - so you can't see them properly prior to purchase, which in my view rather defeats the purpose: one may as well order from a reputable internet dealer, then.

 

South Africa (and bordering countries) are risky, and retail prices are sky-high; same for India, Sri-Lanka and Thailand (the latter two more for coloured gems than for diamonds), though retail prices may be more moderate on average, you need to know exactly what you are buying and from whom. Not a place for a one-off, first-time purchase.

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Hong Kong can be an option. If you know your diamonds well you can buy loose without certificate and there are certification booths by GIA, IGI, HRD. You can also buy certified diamonds.

 

If you can attend a gems fair there you have a world options.

 

Although for jewellery big retail stores like Chow Tai Fook sell their products at quite a premium!

Edited by Furqan Shafi
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If you know your diamonds well you can buy loose without certificate

 

Particularly if you know your diamonds well, you will not buy loose without either knowing the vendor or having a reliable lab report...

 

??? Certification "kiosks"? What do you mean?

 

 

I agree, but I haven't had to purchase from somebody I didn't trust, so it didn't cross my mind. Perhaps best to buy certified now with synthetics and simulants making their way into the market. Specially the synthetics.

 

They have stalls GIA, IGI and HRD submit your diamond and get the graded diamonds back next day. A sealing facility is also provided should you need to get your unsealed diamonds sealed. Corrected now.

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No correction required; only clarification - for which, thank you!

 

BTW - I don't know about IGI or HRD, but GIA will charge you for the honour of getting a 24 hr turnaround... although if one is on vacation and wanting to buy, it's probably the only option.

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