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Need Advice>First Time Diamond Buyer


norcal618
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The saying goes the devil is the details.  Mostly the details aren’t present here so I’ll try to give some clues where to look.

 

#1 Grading.  I-1/I is pretty standard fair for earrings but it’s no great shakes.  More importantly, most graders are taught that +/- 1 grade is the standard for accuracy.  That means I2 is a choice.  That’s ok too but be aware that it’s the very bottom of the scale.  These aren’t the sort of stones that get lab grading on them because the cost of the lab work is more than the stones but, realistically, I2 and even I1 mid-color 0.17’s cost about $500/ct.  That means you’ve got about $100 worth of diamonds here.

 

A pair of 14k white gold earring parts goes for about $100 although that too has detail issues.  Super lightweight findings are cheaper than heavy ones and certain designers want a lot for their names.  We have no clues to go from. 

Setting labor is worth about $25 each.  As with the above, the discount places can do it for less, possibly by quite a bit, and the fancy joints will charge more.

 

That adds up to $250.  That’s about where you are so I would say the price is decent enough but no great shakes.      We’re down to splitting hairs on how they handle shipping and sales taxes.

 

‘Free’ appraisal?  I guess that depends on what they deliver and what you want.   Anybody who wants to can call themselves an appraiser and can write a report that says whatever they want.  Whether or not it’s useful depends on who wrote it.  As with the above, there’s no clues here.  Some are worth less than they cost.

 

The same applies to the warranty.  Some are good, most are nonsense, and we’ve got nothing to go on to pick which direction this one goes.  Read it.  It's probably posted on their website. 

 

Can you get similar earrings for less elsewhere?  Probably.  Does that mean this pair is a bad deal?  No.  If the stones are on the high side of the grades, more like SI2/H, the mountings are really nice, the workmanship is superb and the store is someone you want to do business with, it’s not bad at all.

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Thank you for the reply. Am I allowed to state the name of the jeweler here on this forum? I looked around on their site and I can't find any info pertaining to a free appraisal. I've only found earrings of the same or similar specs for the same price or less on one or two other sites. The jeweler that I'm considering purchasing from seems to have a decent reputation, while the discount jeweler that I viewed online made me apprehensive. Then again, I know nothing of the subject of diamonds. Which discount jewelers do you speak of here?

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Sure, state away.  Just mind your manners and it's fine to say pretty much anything you want.  

 

Reputations are important.  More important than price in many cases. 

 

I don't recommend specific jewelers because it's a conflict of interest as an appraiser to do so and not everyone values the same things in any case.  Often the local brick and mortar style stores do surprisingly well with this kind of thing.  They're easy to make and the get the parts they can recover from things they're scrapping out.  I'm not talking about the chain stores, look for the sort of place that has a working goldsmith in it with their name on the sign out front.  Most even small cities have them.   It's a bit more work than Google and you have to actually ask, but the deals are there if they want to do it.  

Edited by denverappraiser
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I forgot to mention, there is no sales tax, and free overnight shipping. And it comes with a janky bead bracelet in sterling silver, as a gift for spending over $250. Lol.

Tax is worth about 10% or so depending on where you are, that's $25, and shipping is worth about $35 if both you and they are in the US.  I think my running total is up to $310 now.  

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Awesome, thank you for your opinions. I know this isn't a big purchase, but I like to make informed decisions. The jeweler that I'm considering is called Ritani. I understand that it would be a conflict of interest for you to make a recommendation, but hopefully someone else will chime in with some feedback on the particular jeweler. They also have a half carrot set for $500, and I would consider them, if I was confident they would be worth the price. I also stumbled across Century Diamonds, and Dara's Diamonds, both of whom were considerably cheaper in price. They seemed to be the same outfit, just operating under different websites. I mostly found good reviews, but I found a couple that concerned as far as the quality of their diamonds.

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Of the 3 you mention, Ritani has by far the best reputation. There are plenty of others at their price point or slightly cheaper - many of which advertise on this site. Apart from browsing online, have you tried calling a few of them and seeing how you get on? At the end of the day, once you are reasonably sure that you are spending your money wisely, spending it pleasantly has some value too.

 

(BTW - diamond and gemstone weight is measured in carats; carrots are appreciated by another type of bunny).

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Of the 3 you mention, Ritani has by far the best reputation. There are plenty of others at their price point or slightly cheaper - many of which advertise on this site. Apart from browsing online, have you tried calling a few of them and seeing how you get on? At the end of the day, once you are reasonably sure that you are spending your money wisely, spending it pleasantly has some value too.

 

(BTW - diamond and gemstone weight is measured in carats; carrots are appreciated by another type of bunny).

Thank you for the suggestions! I actually called century diamonds. The lady I spoke to didn't seem very helpful, or very friendly. I think I will go check out some local jewelery shops tomorrow, and see what they have to offer. If I don't find anything I like, I feel like the pair from Ritani would make sense. Oh, thank you for the spelling lesson. I was almost certain that my spelling was wrong but laziness got the best of me. I really appreciate the help, thank you.
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Good luck - let us know what options you come up with!

I ended up going into a local brick n mortar store, and found what I was looking for. I got a pair of 14k white gold, three prong basket, with .33 carat LDS round diamonds. The jeweler said they are S1,H-I. I paid $400. They are a tad more expensive than the ones I considered online, but I think it's worth the peace of mind of being able to see them before purchasing. The diamonds look wonderful. I can't see any inclusions, or cloudiness, and they look crystal clear to me, so I'm happy. I do suspect that the carat weight isn't quite at the .33 mark, because they look a tad smaller that other .33 carat diamonds I've seen, but they look great, and I'm sure she'll love them.

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  • 1 year later...

I purchased a diamond ring, diamonds covered ring for my wife for our second marriage anniversary last month and she was so happy with this surprise of mine that I could not stop myself from writing this review. I really liked three things about CenturyDiamonds Outlet- Their quality and authenticate diamonds, the affordable prices they provide and yes the huge variety of options that they have in diamond jeweler. I am surely gonna shop there again for the Christmas and New Year gifts. Thank you CenturyDiamonds for making this occasion so memorable. 

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