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I need some advice... 


I've recently purchased a Tolkowsky diamond. Since I don't know the first thing about diamonds I'll admit that I was probably a little quick to pull the trigger.  However, the diamond is beautiful, it sparkles like crazy.  It's .97 carat weight, with SI2 clarity and a color grade of G. Initially I was really impressed with the GSI and Gemex reports but after doing a little more research I'm worried that it may all just be malarkey. 


So... Is Tolkowsky a good brand?  Is it a desirable diamond? Can I trust this GSI report? Is the name respected in the industry? 


Furthermore, I bought the diamond at Jared's, which I later learned has kind of a "cheap" reputation.  Now, I didn't spare any expense when purchasing this diamond, or the setting, so I would hate to have the name of the retailer tarnish the image of the diamond.


I just really love my girlfriend and really want to get her the nicest ring that I can afford. In which I did with this ring. So I really just want some verification on the Tolkowsky brand, and if Tolkowsky isn't as nice or desirable as the store/reports make it out to be; what other brands should I consider?


Thank you,  



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No, GSI is not reliable in terms of colour, clarity or cut grading.


Jared wouldn't be my port of call for something that says "luxury", but they aren't a bad place, and as far as diamond brands go, Tolkowsky isn't a bad one, but diamonds aren't really branded successfully by anyone (differently from jewellery).


Whether the diamond is desirable doesn't depend so much on its brand, but on its objective attributes, and you seem to be happy enough with those.


In terms of what other brands you should consider, it really depends on what you want the "brand" to do. "The nicest ring you can afford" at Tiffany (just to mention a "better" brand than Jared) may well be less nice than what you have bought now, but it will carry more cachet just because of the little blue box. On the other hand, you could probably get a nicer diamond for the same price by not buying a Tolkowsky at Jared.

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Thank you for responding.  However, I think your post has brought more questions to mind.  You mentioned that Tolkowsky is not a bad brand but then said diamonds aren't really branded.  Later, however, you said that I could buy a "nicer" diamond by not buying a Tolkowsky. Which implies that the brand does carry some weight. Or are you saying that Jareds is over priced?


Secondly, If the GSI is not a reliable grading source then how do I grade the diamond that I bought vs other diamonds?  


Sorry if it sounds like I'm arguing. I'm truly not. I'm just full of questions and want to make sure I'm buying the right diamond and ring. Again, thank you so much for your response.  

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Diamond branding: "weight" as in price, yes. After all, they do have to pay for marketing and advertising. "Weight" as in: "knowing it's a XXX brand I'm happier/feel safer/whatever else" no. At least, not to most people.


Jared is definitely not cheap. "Value" is a different question, and given they do relatively well, enough people find value in what they do, be it having a nationwide chain, a large variety of stock or the amount of advertising.


As to the grading question - the most immediate answer is: Since grading makes a huge difference to (fair) price, if not always to looks, it's in your financial interest to buy a reliably graded diamond. Only buy a diamond that is graded by someone you regard as a reliable source. It could be the lab, it could be the seller, it could be your own expert; it could even be yourself. Personally, I would not buy a significant diamond (meaning costing over $3000 or so) without it having a report by a lab that I trust or having grades confirmed by an expert that I trust.

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You're so right, I took the ring I bought to a different jeweler and they weren't really impressed with the ring and had never even herd of Tolkowsky.


... So I took that Tolkowsky back, thank god for the 30 day return policy.


Anyway; not that I've bought another ring yet, but, it looks like I'm going to be able to get a Tacori or Verragio ring with a diamond that actually has a GIA rating for the same price.   


Thank you so much for your advice and help. 

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An appraiser who has never heard of Tolkowski?  That's one of the most famous names in the history of diamonds.  That's like a software engineer who's never heard of IBM.  I certainly have no problem with criticism of the current promotion of the brand but any gemologist who has never heard the name has been living in a cave.  (Marcel Tolkowski wrote a book in 1919 called 'Diamond Design' that revolutionized the diamond cutting business.  His name and the content of that book has been part of nearly every conversation about diamond optics ever since.)

Edited by denverappraiser
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