Author Topic: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds  (Read 9967 times)

Offline clgwli

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Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« on: May 24, 2010, 09:18:57 AM »
I thought I would share my story here about other stores I went to recently.  As many of you know I have a beautiful looking Y-Z radiant coming my way (hopefully soon)  and I am excited.  I have been wanting a yellow diamond for a long time and the right things happened at the right time.

I wouldn't have even gone to a local jeweler if I hadn't seen the pictures of the small yellow radiants that David posted a week or so ago.  I thought I knew what I wanted and then I saw those pictures and kind of freaked out.  I realized I needed to decide what shape of radiant I *really* wanted, and of course the only way to do that is to try things on and see.

Since it was the weekend (May 15th) I went to three family owned stores.  Two I have used in the past for various needs and one I just heard good reviews on.  Each of these stores do have two locations in my city so I trust that they are doing well.  I admit I have a third store that has made me my earrings I wear, but I know their stock is smaller and I really needed a bigger store to try things on.  So while they are lovely and have fixed my vintage pieces wonderfully, I didn't visit them.

Store #1:  They have been in business since the late 40s.  In the last few years they opened a second store at a newer town center area.  I've used them for jewelry repair before and they did decent given the delicate setting. Not the best, but given the store size I wanted to go try them out.  I walked into the original store and told the guy what I was looking for.  He really was nice, but must have misheard me and brought me out an E colored stone.  So we spent some time looking at sizes and shapes.  We looked at some of the colored diamonds they had too just to admire and he went to the computer to look to see what they had available in what I was looking.  The only one they had in store was an L colored stone in that shape.  He noted a .90 U colored diamond in their system but didn't have it on hand to show me.  He took my information down and said he would call me so I could at least hear more information on the stone once they had it in hand.

It's been over a week and while I realize they are not open on Sunday and have limited hours on Monday, I still haven't heard one word from him.  I would have told him thanks but no thanks, but still the lack of call was not good IMO.

Store #2: This is the store that someone recommended to me.  I walked in and told the person that I was looking for a low colored radiant and wanted to try on some shapes to see what I liked.  She said they didn't have a lot of radiants in stock, but I could try out princess and emeralds to see the shape.  I loved that idea and it really helped me realize I needed a rectangular shape.

This one took a turn for the worse because when I said low colored stones, she asked me what I thought of J colored stones.  I looked at her and said "No thanks, I do not like I-J-K colored stones"  In general they are too yellow to be colorless, but too colorless to be yellow.  It's just a range I do not care for.

The only had one stone in their system that I could call in.  And if I wanted I could pay the $35 shipping fee to see it.  It was a .74 L colored radiant that faced up really small.  It was about the size of a 1/2 carat stone I saw at the first store.  She said she would call her rep and see if there was more and then she'd call me back a few days later (I believe she said she would call on Tues or Weds).

Yep you guessed it.  No call.

Store #3:  I have used them mostly for sterling and gemstone items in the past.  They have a nice selection of loose gems on hand and that is a bonus for me.  I have bought one teeny diamond (like 4 points) set in sterling but nothing major from them.  I have noticed they have carried more colored diamonds lately, but from what I can tell most of them are enhanced (they carry a lot of aqua blue)

They had some other colored diamonds out that day which is not normal for them.  I told them what I wanted and my budget.  One of them tried to sell me a 1 carat light yellow cushion for more than double my budget.  One other just for fun showed me a pinkish brown diamond saying that pink was one of the most rare and given this one was pink it was a steal.  I could see the brown in the stone but they all dismissed it.  Given it was a 2 carat round in a very fancy halo setting for $15K I had my doubts that it was what they claimed.

So since they had nothing on hand, again they took my information and told me they would call mid week last week.  

Strike three!

Now I am an upfront kind of person.  I don't like screwing around with things or playing games.  I was honest with every single one of them and said I was shopping around at other stores.  I don't think it is fair to be anything than honest.

They all were given the same information and knowledge that I was looking at more reliable places.  You would think that might light a fire under their butts and get them to try to win me with either good customer service (means a ton to me) or with a fabulous deal.  None of them did either of that.

I came home that night and wrote an e-mail to David giving my requirements and letting him know I was looking other places.  I did want to give him first crack at everything and figured he would get back to me on Monday or Tuesday with some ideas.  I held the e-mail overnight by accident and sent it out Sunday.  That afternoon he got back to me.  I appreciated his honesty and quickness in reply.  And even if he hadn't had something for me to look at, the fact that he did get back to me so quickly spoke volumes to me.  Given it was Sunday I didn't expect it at all.

So my lesson learned is that even non-chain stores can really lack in quality and service.  

Unfortunately for those three stores, I won't be going back to any of them.  Poor customer service is not acceptable in my eyes.  Even though my budget wasn't huge, it wasn't teeny tiny either.  So while I realize they wouldn't make a ton of money off of me, they would make something I'd hope.  Fortunately the one small store is still available for my sterling and I have another that specializes in watches so I am covered for those items.  

Just thought I would share my bad stories about jewelers I had recently.  I had waited to post this wondering if anyone would reply.  
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 09:20:11 AM by clgwli »
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Offline SaoriViola

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 10:57:47 AM »
so last weekend i went to New Orleans with my MIL and her friends to the International Jewelry Fair/General Merchandise Show.  it was HUGE, and the first time my MIL and I had gone, so we unwittingly started looking on the wrong side, and not for several hours did we get to the quality jewelry material, and by then i was quite tired and not super enthused about dealing with expo vendors.
anyways, of all the hundreds of vendors there, i met exactly ONE jeweler who i felt was honest and upfront about her diamonds and finished pieces.  she had beautiful pieces, and several nicer yellow diamonds but even she didn't use GIA certs (of course, none of the vendors did, the closest i got to real certified stones was EGL, blech). 
some people had just crappy looking rings that had 'retail' prices of $90,000plus but offered "show prices" of $50,000 with NO CERTS, and when i would ask they'd act like it would be a huge hassle and add cost, like $250 makes any difference when you're spending $50K.  ugh, the whole thing just pissed me off, and what made me angrier was that so many people will be duped into thinking their buying quality jewelry at good prices, when the opposite couldn't be more true!  not a single vendor had ANY information about their pieces, and they ALL said their melee stones were VS.  more like BS.
anyways, this is all just to say that i feel your pain, the nice woman and David are some of the only jewelers i've ever met who appreciate and are not threatened by an educated consumer.  and in David's case of course, promote the education here on his forum.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 10:59:09 AM by SaoriViola »

Offline Mikla

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 11:02:49 AM »
You are both exactly on point.  I would go even further and say that when I've looked at colored or colorless stones at various retail establishments, the salespeople would give me somewhat inaccurate and sometimes outright false information.  Forget about asking for a GIA report.  My experience with that is similar to the commercials about used car salesmen when someone asks for a CarFax report.  Their focus seems to be on getting that one sale, not getting a customer for life.  I can tell you from experience working with David on more than ten custom pieces, he wants a customer for life and not just one sale.  There's almost always an AGL or GIA report unless the stone is so inexpensive that it really isn't worth the cost.  Even then, if you really want a report, he'll send it off for you for a modest fee.  If he makes a mistake, he fixes it.  If he can get a good deal on a stone, he passes the savings on to you.  He won't set anything in a subpar mounting (no soldered-on, one-size-fits-all peg heads).  David has his factory insert metal when sizing up instead of stretching the band out.  There's no bait and switch.  He calls you back, or emails, promptly.  There's no incentive for me to say any of these things; IMHO, you just can't do better than DBL.

Mikla
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 11:53:58 AM by Mikla »
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 12:27:21 PM »
And yet... and yet. The fact is that for most jewellery customers, the purchase of a piece is a rather infrequent event, if not a once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime. Which in some ways means that there is rather limited space in the market for someone like David who provides extraordinary service and expertise. Cross that with the rather specialised field in which DBL operates - fancy colours and unusual stones - and the chances of finding someone as good are pretty much zero.

Offline SaoriViola

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 12:30:30 PM »
true point about the infrequent customer OMC, which is doubly why it's a shame that people get conned into buying inferior jewelry.  it just makes me mad how high pressure and low quality most jewelers are, but it also makes me love DBL all the more.

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 12:51:49 PM »
But you see - the point is that precisely because it is an infrequent purchase that people get ripped off. As a provider of services to an infrequent purchaser, you can choose to take the high road, provide excellent service (which costs!) and charge them accordingly, dividing the cost of your services by the low number of purchases. Or you can go the easy road, and squeeze them by providing poor service - chances are the poor sods won't be back anyway, so I as a dealer don't need to worry about it.

Of course there is a third way - create a loyal following, and keep your costs low. Which works fine as long as you are an owner-manager business, but creates all sorts of issues when you want to expand...

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 01:09:16 PM »
Wow- what an amazing thread
Guys, your words mean so very much to me.

OMC- thankfully, many thousands of folks a day find us.....
I'd say the percentage of people spending more than $2000 on a piece of jewelry who don't look on the internet, at least to shop, are shrinking quite rapidly.

In terms of expansion...we're working on that too!! ;D
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 01:09:33 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 01:22:53 PM »
I admit while I don't live in NYC, we seem to have a LOT of jewelers here.  Not quite sure why, but any old jewelry store is a dime a dozen.  The two I have frequented the most really have their own niche, but awesome customer service.

The first one is the very small family owned shop.  As a person who wanted quality diamond earrings under 1/10 ctw, I had one option and that was to go to a jeweler who was willing to customize such small earrings.  They were the first to begin to educate me about stones and the cuts  We've had frank discussions about when a flawless diamond is worth it and when it isn't.  We did a lot of talking and looking which I appreciate.  I've bought quite a few small pieces from them (5 holes in each ear means lots of earrings).  I can take any piece in to be looked at, cleaned and tweaked if needed.  They are quick to hand out cleaner for me at no charge and love to just talk about what they have.  They are very high end and in a rich part of the city I live in.  It shows.  But when I need little things done or work done on my family pieces, they were the first I went to.  They never batted an eye at any request of mine and I loved talking with them about diamonds in general.  I've been a loyal customer for about 12 years now.  I'm only 33 so that says a LOT!

And since I'm a loyal person, I have a tendency to shout out when I have a great experience.  So because of that my sister had her engagement and wedding ring custom made there.  I also tell any friend who wants any local work done to go there.

The other shop I go to does sell jewelry but I don't care for what they have.  A lot of it seems to be for the more ornate older lady crowd LOL.  But I go for watch repair and care.  When I walked in there with a watch I needed many links removed from, the lady looked quickly and said "Oh a Tissot!"  Then followed up with the comment that they don't see many of those in these parts.  And considering I've only seen a handful of Tissots locally I believe her.  They do all my work in shop and usually while I wait.

Now I am still ever so anxiously waiting on my first from David and while I am not sure how often I can come back (I do have ideas of things I want that I know he can do, but will have to wait) I admit I am thrilled with everything so far.  He reminds me so much of the store that has made my earrings.  I'm not doing a huge purchase, but he's making me feel special already.  So quality and service seem to be very high.  

I do feel bad for my friends who don't realize this kind of service is out there.  I don't mind paying a smaller premium for great service.  It's much better than charging more for inferior quality and not treating people all that great as some chains do ;)
Elaine aka Squiggly
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Offline Mikla

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 02:56:28 PM »
But you see - the point is that precisely because it is an infrequent purchase that people get ripped off. As a provider of services to an infrequent purchaser, you can choose to take the high road, provide excellent service (which costs!) and charge them accordingly, dividing the cost of your services by the low number of purchases. Or you can go the easy road, and squeeze them by providing poor service - chances are the poor sods won't be back anyway, so I as a dealer don't need to worry about it.

Of course there is a third way - create a loyal following, and keep your costs low. Which works fine as long as you are an owner-manager business, but creates all sorts of issues when you want to expand...

I am sure that there is a lot of truth in that, OMC.  I wasn't an avid jewelry purchaser until I found DBL and realized that I could really trust them.  It takes a lot of time to create a loyal following and expansion is difficult so consistent quality is a must.

But, my jewelry gets noticed and people ask about it and where I got it all the time (and David gets the referral).  So even though a person might not be a frequent purchaser, they are the best advertisement that David could ever have, IMHO.  There's already some trust built up when someone gets referred to David from an existing client that has some education about diamonds from the forum.  And that's why good quality, fair dealings, an open forum, and great customer service really count.

Mikla
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 03:06:52 PM by Mikla »
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Offline Piglette

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 04:55:34 PM »
Just have to jump in here --

I have purchased two rings directly from David, and love both.  I also have one of his well-cut, well-chosen stones, purchased "second-hand" from another DBL devotee (the "Nopie" stone, as some will recall).  Love all of it!

At this point in my life, I have a modest budget.  (Of course, eventually my kids will be finished with their expensive schools.  Right?)  However, I do have two sisters and two sisters-in-law.  (Well, two sisters-in-law whom I LIKE -- LOL.)

One of my sisters, in particular, loves diamonds, and she has a much larger budget than I.  (Can you say "five-bedroom beach house with an elevator" ?  "Caribbean cruises" ?)  She had already found DBL on-line, before she saw and asked about my most recent purchase (a while back now), and it seems likely that she -- and/or the other relatives -- may become [a] client/s of DBL in the not-too-distant future.  We all sure spend a great deal of time trying on each other's jewelry, comparing gemstone shapes, colors, and sizes, and discussing clever ways to justify the expense of self-indulgent purchases!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 04:56:15 PM by Piglette »

Offline SaoriViola

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2010, 10:19:27 AM »
now i have to go search the forum for this "nopie"...  :)

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 12:05:41 PM »
We love Nopie.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 12:06:52 PM by Trinkette »

Offline clgwli

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 01:14:46 PM »
now i have to go search the forum for this "nopie"...  :)
If you find it let me know.  I tried to search and came up with nothing :(
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Offline Sparkly-OCD

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2010, 03:04:47 PM »
Here is a picture of Nopie.  I couldn't find the stats in the thread with the picture.  But knowing how things go around here, I would guess that the diamond is in the N-O-P range.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.  -Mark Twain

Offline Sparkly-OCD

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2010, 03:07:20 PM »
Maybe Piglette will share the stats.  It is a beautiful diamond!  Round brilliants are my favorite.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.  -Mark Twain

Offline SaoriViola

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2010, 03:44:17 PM »
very very pretty.

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2010, 03:58:24 PM »
Thanks, Sparkly!  I couldn't find NOpie, either!  Beautiful diamond.
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline clgwli

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2010, 04:12:44 PM »
Oh thank you so much!  I don't know why I couldn't find it.  That is a nice looking stone there.  And now I feel stupid for not getting NOPie before now.  I wondered why it was named as such  ;D
Elaine aka Squiggly
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Offline Piglette

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2010, 09:51:02 PM »
Hello, All --

Will have to photograph "Nopie."  Also look up exact stats.  But too busy now grading finals, and don't want to highjack this thread.

Nopie is, indeed, N-O-P range.  Now set in yellow gold, thin band with channel-set diamonds, millgraining, "surprise diamonds" on the sides of the head.  I love it! 

Nopie is about 1.86 carat (plus or minus), beautifully cut -- no eye-visible flaws.  Faces up like almost 2 carats.  Sparrr-kulll !

More later --

-- Piglette

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2010, 09:56:14 PM »
HI Piglette...
Here's the stats of your rock

ITEM #: R1937
14Karat White Gold Diamond Ring

  WEIGHT: 1.84ct
  SHAPE: Round Brilliant
  COLOR: O-P
  CLARITY: VS2
  MEASUREMENTS: 8.10 - 8.10 x 4.70 mm
  TOTAL DEPTH: 58.0%
  FLUORESCENCE: NONE

It is a lovely lovely......
David
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Offline Mikla

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2010, 07:54:03 AM »
 There's almost always an AGL or GIA report unless the stone is so inexpensive that it really isn't worth the cost.

Oops!  I meant AGSL not AGL!   :1087:
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2010, 09:11:04 AM »
We undertood exactly what you meant to ay, in any cae!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 09:11:33 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Mikla

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2010, 09:47:35 AM »
Thanks, OMC!   ;D
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Offline Piglette

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2010, 08:36:19 PM »
& thanks, David!

Offline shiba

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Re: Reasons to go with people who *know* colored diamonds
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2010, 08:39:14 PM »
I just added to a thread exactly about this sort of thing.  There is such a lack of knowledge, consumer and salesperson, around here that I have become hyper paranoid to what I am being told.  I think there are more and more people tired of feeling "ripped off" and are finding alternate vendors via the web.  Even my boss, who has a very generous budget, has had enough.  He has been a loyal supporter of a particular store for a long time.  For his 20th anniversary he made a large purchase, online.  He was quite upset with the local store and said the price difference was so significant that he had to do it.  I mentioned that if he was ever looking for coloured diamonds to let me know. :angel: 

And nopie is gorgeous!