to ask if anyone knows anything about buying diamonds?

(52 Posts)
Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 15:49:24

Which would you say is the rip off here?

Can it be possible that a particular diamond ring in Boodles can be priced at almost 4 times the cost of what appears to be exactly the same ring in another London shop which supposedly buys directly from the wholesaler? The less expensive retailer claims the diamonds have the same carat, cut and clarity and come with a GIA certificate (presumably though these can be faked)?

I would obviously expect a mark-up when buying from somewhere like Boodles or Tiifany, but can they really charge 4 times what a ring is worth elsewhere? Or is the other ring likely to be of a lesser quality than it claims?

peneleope82 Thu 13-Oct-16 15:57:04

My husband's family in the jewellery industry so all my jewellery has been made for me by a jeweller they know rather than bought from a shop. My wedding ring for example is valued for insurance purposes (if we had to rebuy from a shop) for over twice what we paid for it. I imagine Tiffany could easily charge 4 times that as people are willing to pay for the brand name.

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:01:30

Thanks Penelope. Maybe it's s good idea to get an insurance valuation before buying then, if possible?

BikeRunSki Thu 13-Oct-16 16:06:00

Are the diamonds both sourced from the same place? Are they both ethical (or otherwise?).

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:08:14

Well apparently the ring from the less expensive retailer is made with diamonds that are "ethically sourced", but no idea how to prove this.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Thu 13-Oct-16 16:09:34

Ones that fluoresce are usually cheaper (although how you'd tell that yourself I don't know - whip out a UV light during your appointment?).

anyusernamewilldo Thu 13-Oct-16 16:15:12

Not that I know much, but there are different grades of diamonds, clarity, colour, etc vary, so a stone that upon appearance looks them same, may be very different grades and very different prices.
This may explain it better:
www.gia.edu/gia-about/4Cs-Clarity
If you are not bothered by that and the rings look the same I would go for the cheaper, as you will be paying more just because it is Boodles.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 13-Oct-16 16:16:00

You say the diamonds have the same carat, cut and clarity; was colour omitted accidentally? Because if one's substantially whiter than the other for example, that's quite important.

Otherwise I still think it's extremely possible for a well-known retailer to charge 4x the price for comparable stones and jewellery.

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:19:44

Thankyou. Yes both are apparently "F" colour and VS1 clarity.

blueistheonlycolourwefeel Thu 13-Oct-16 16:21:17

I bought my diamond from a diamond trader and had the ring made. If I had bought it ready made, I would have paid a lot at least double more for it.
Ensure you know what you want and read up on colour, cut, clarity, carat etc.
I would highly recommend Quality Diamonds.
Look at the certificate.

PetraDelphiki Thu 13-Oct-16 16:28:07

I think if you ask to see the GIA certificate you can check it with them...

Yono Thu 13-Oct-16 16:44:08

Boodles could easily be 4 x the price of elsewhere. You will be paying for the name and, to some extent, the security of buying from them. I'm sure they will sell you what they claim to sell you although it will be at a price.

Cut is also very important. It can really effect the sparkliness of a diamond.

GIA certs are good. You can check your cert is legit by contacting GIA - but I don't know if there is a cost. You can check the diamond matches to cert yourself. It takes a bit of time to get used to the loop but ou just match up any imperfections on the cert to the diamond.

You should also double check if the diamond has been 'enhanced'. If it's F coloured and VS1 then I doubt it will be but you should double check.

Fluorescence can be a problem but not always. I have 1 carat earring with great C's but one has noticible Fluorescence . In bright sunlight it goes a tiny bit milky. I quite it and it cost a LOT less than the diamond in the other earring. Otherwise they are a perfect match.

I get diamonds from Australia or Canada so I know they are conflict free. I get them direct from approved sellers. The diamonds have microscopic ID. The ones from Canada have tiny microscopic polar bears lasered inside them. Its a way to push up the price but I do not mind.

There is a lot of rubbish talked about valuations for insurance. A lot of valuations are vanity valuations. How is it possible for something you have just bought for X amount to be worth more than X? I have my jewellery valued at the actual cost it would cost me to replace it not an artificially high amount.

GladAllOver Thu 13-Oct-16 16:52:50

It's no different to buying top brand handbags. You are paying for the name .

rubybleu Thu 13-Oct-16 17:02:23

All the details of the diamond should be on the grading certificate. Not all diamond grading associations are the same - GIA (best) as well as AGS and EGL. A diamond certified by GIA can be identified on their website using its registration number, which is microscopically engraved on the girdle of the diamond. Cut, colour, size, clarity (including a diagram of flaws), whether the stone has been enhanced and fluorescence is noted on the certificate.

Cut is really the important aspect. Colour and clarity matter less - anything up to H is considered colourless and most S1 diamonds are clear to the human eye. Unless you really want a flawless or colourless diamond you are really just paying for the higher grading.

Cut is what makes the diamond sparkle. If you prioritise nothing else, make sure you find a diamond with a HCA score of under 2.

www.pricescope.com/tools/HCA

Fluorescence is not a bad feature in itself unless it's "strong". My engagement ring has faint fluroescence noted on the GIA cert which I can't spot under UV lighting.

A good website to check UK diamond prices is 77 Diamonds who run a database. There is huge variation between dealers, so you can get a good feel for what you should be paying on this website.

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:11:15

Thankyou so much for this info Yono.

Yes Glad, I guess it is a bit like buying handbags, in that brands can charge what they like!

This is the ring - it's the Boodles Waterfall ring, but you can buy exactly the same in Hatton Garden, it seems.

Maybe in this style ring, some of the smaller diamonds are lesser quality and that may largely account for price differences?

Endoftheroad16 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:12:28

Jewellers have huge mark ups. A friend who used to work for a jewellery chain told me it can be as much as 400%!! Apparently this is because they dont sell that much and so what they do sell has to cover the costs of everything else that's sitting in their safe for months on end unsold.

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:14:22

Thankyou ruby - I will try and find out about the cut as well, but I guess it's tricky with the mini diamonds?

IrregularCommentary Thu 13-Oct-16 17:19:32

My engagement ring was bought from the jewellery quarter in Birmingham (Hatton Garden equivalent) and cost about £2.3k. A ring with a lesser quality diamond bought from a high end high street jeweller would have cost over £4k - add in a name like Tiffany's and it'd probably be more like £5k.

If the GIA cert says the diamond is of equivalent quality with the 4 Cs then I'd buy from the wholesaler. You really are just paying mark up otherwise.

tristerflexu Thu 13-Oct-16 17:20:43

You only have to look at the sale discount on diamonds on the high street to see that the mark up is insane. My family are in the jewellery business and we would never ever buy on the high street, even Tiffany etc as quite frankly it's a total rip off. Find a dealer and ask them to refer you to a setter and you'll get a beautiful bespoke piece for a fraction of the cost. My engagement ring was made by someone who sets for Garrards and it was a fraction of the cost of even somewhere like Goldsmiths

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:24:04

Thankyou - that's all good to know. As I say, I would expect a mark up but not 4 times the price! Crazy.

JaneAustinAllegro Thu 13-Oct-16 17:25:12

all of you jewellery people - can you tell me where you insure? my mum has offered me an amazing but £££ piece of jewellery which is going to cost at least £200 / year to insure but because of the nature of it, I'll hardly ever wear it (large emerald, so soft stone). I'm trying to think ways around not sounding really ungrateful... I'd probably get a decent replica of it from Carat that I wouldn't be afraid of wearing for one year's insurance cost!

CeeCeeEnnEss Thu 13-Oct-16 17:31:57

I would also recommend Quality Diamonds. They're amazing value.

peneleope82 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:42:04

Just a point on valuations for insurance - my husband is qualified/certified in this and doesn't do 'vanity valuations' but does value at retail even if it was made at cost by his jeweller. Logic being that circumstances may not be there to have the piece of jewellery remade at cost and so may need to be replaced retail. (Not overblown Tiffany prices, just 'going into your average jeweller' prices). It's to protect the purchaser as much as anything else.

Theoretician Thu 13-Oct-16 18:20:22

I've read that diamonds should not be regarded as a store of value in the way gold is. You can buy and sell gold at comparable prices, but you usually can't selling a diamond for anything like what you paid for it.

Skyblue79 Thu 13-Oct-16 18:36:47

Thanks everyone for this. My engagement ring was from Tiffany many moons ago, but never mind! You live and learn obviously. confused
Definitely leaning towards the lesser expensive one now as long as I can be reassured about the GIA and the cut. I need to somehow warn DH there are other options before he goes to Boodles!

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