Author Topic: Sticker Shock  (Read 10683 times)

Offline clgwli

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Sticker Shock
« on: February 27, 2011, 05:29:22 PM »
So I went into a certain blue box store today.  It was spring like outside and I wanted to check out some bags at a Coach store and the jewelry store just happens to be just down the way from there, so I figured "what the heck"

I wandered around for a while just looking at what they had... maybe getting an idea or two for myself in the future.  I found the yellow diamonds and I looked at them.  Now for the store they are reasonably priced, but compared to here... OMG!!!

I looked at a teeny 20 point FIY cushion bezel set for about $2300.  They had a 63 point oval FY for $6400.  

I put the FY next to my Y-Z and the color was nearly the same.  The FIY did beat out mine but it didn't look near as intense as I thought it should.  I kind of wonder how lenient the grading is.  She kept talking about how wonderful the mine they have is.

She also did a poor thing of making a negative comment about my earrings.  I was looking at a style similar to something David created for someone else (those pretty dangle rounds) and she said my earrings must be uncomfortable and very heavy.  Not very brilliant to do that.  Plus the hoops are sooo comfy.  I wear them all the time and have even slept in them since I forgot to take them off.  They are that comfortable.  I even told her that and she smugly said "Oh really!"

But I figured if I wanted to spend $2K on a FIY ring, I might as well get this one http://rockdiamond.com/index.php/jewelry/loose-diamond-25ct-intense-yellow-cushion-diamond-r3408

or if I wanted something to blow away the oval bezel I could try this one
http://rockdiamond.com/index.php/jewelry/loose-diamond-83ct-cushion-cut-fancy-yellow-vs2-gia-beautiful-cut-r3587 and still have money left over for the Pink Lemonade above  ;D
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 05:30:56 PM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
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Offline SaoriViola

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 06:12:25 PM »
argh i hate smarmy jewelry people.  especially since anyone who spends even a bit of time on this forum probably knows more than most sales people at those places.  just burns my britches.

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 07:32:16 PM »
Some people don't realize that when they give a back-handed comment that they've given a negative impression of the store they work for.  Prices are a bit high there, no?  haha.  I was in the blue box store last when I was 18 and thought then that they were horridly overpriced.  The differences in color grading of the yellows is sometimes subtle.  It also depends on how it's set - does the setting help enhance the color?  David uses 18K, which is a darker yellow and really helps bring out the color of the diamonds.  I like my Y-Z radiant:  she impresses people (most of whom have not ever seen a yellow diamond in person) and is such a pretty lemon shade.  If they only knew it was ONLY a Y-Z.

Squigs, what did you find at Coach?  They've had a lot of nice bags lately.  I was off this past Thursday for my birthday (my religious holiday) and hit two stores (one boutique, one outlet).  I got my Christmas shopping done for my co-workers - they're all getting cosmetic bags.  Had to beg them to allow me to buy 12 because they have a limit of three of anything - I promised that they were Christmas gifts and that I had no intention of selling them.  I picked up three Kristen bags - bone patent, black patent and studded pewter.  I have to put my stuff in them and see how they hang and then decide which is for me - I'm leaning towards the bone patent.  I can't keep them all though.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:39:58 PM by DiamondsAreForever »

Offline clgwli

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 08:11:29 PM »
You know what irks me about the blue box store is that in the "fine jewelry" area, the people there are usually GIA trained or the like.  They still don't seem to know a whole heck of a lot.  Once my son starts school I have intentions on doing GIA courses online (the easy peasy ones that aren't expensive) so I am not sure how these people get away with acting like they do.  I suppose they gloss over the technical talk because it is a name that all should trust....

As for the blue box yellow diamonds, they were bezel set mostly.  At least the ones I was most interested in given I am pretty sure I want a bezel set on my Sunny.  Yeah I wanted to see more bezels in person I guess.  According to their site it is 18K YG.  My Y-Z is actually only in 14K YG at the moment.  I admit to not spending a lot of money on the setting since I knew I wouldn't keep it long ;)

The lady at the store did ask where I got my yellow and guessed it to be a FLY or FY which I get a ton.  I don't mind and I can only imagine how lovely she'll be in a richer yellow gold some day. 

I've been in that store a handful of times and more than once I have not been all that impressed with the items.  Definitely not the price... and oddly, not the service at all.  I've had to seek out sales people and wait for some for quite a while.  So far I haven't bought for that reason alone.  The price doesn't help either.

Coach was more of a research trip... I left just as undecided as I was before.  I was considering buying a smaller bag for an upcoming trip so now I need to look more and go back again if I can decide in time.  I'm so terribly indecisive 

Unlike the blue box store, I had excellent service.  Kind of funny how that works... all the bags I was considering were $300 or less and I was treated like gold. 

I am in love with Coach Patent Leather.  Sadly they didn't have anything in the size I was looking for.  But there were some cute Poppy bags that had a nice shimmery leather that I like almost as well.
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 08:23:06 PM »
The patent leather of old was usually in a stiff,  box like purse.  I really like Coach's crinkled patent, of which the bone and back are.  It is sooo soft too.  I have a MIA tote in cranberry red crinkled patent that I love and believe it or not, get lots of positive comments on it from mostly, get this, MEN.  DF gave me the Conversation Hearts key fob for Valentine's Day and believe it of not, it looks great on the purse, considering the colors don't match.  Must be the blingy rhinestones.  And the SAs at Coach are awfully nice:  one of them taught me how to make a flower rosette with a scarf Thursday.  It was neat.

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 08:26:54 PM »
OOoh, yellow diamonds, sorry, I seem to have ADD lately.  Did they have Certs for the stones?  I know cut can influence the saturation of color to some extent.  Although, a GIA cert for a 20 point diamond might not be cost effective.  Bottom line, always have to see the stones in person before committing to buy.  The exception being David, whose wonderful photography eliminates the need for such a thing 

Offline Mrs Mitchell

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 03:57:57 AM »
I have never actually been in the blue box store. There isn't one in Scotland as far as I know, and there are way, way more exciting places to visit when I'm in NYC.

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Offline Trinkette

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 07:14:31 AM »
When comparing fancy colored stones, remember there is a large range of color within each grade, as well as a difference between grades. So, for example, your Y-Z may have just missed being a fancy, and their small fancies may have been on the lighter end of their grade, lessening the gap between perceived color differences. Also, size (as well as cut, as we all know) does play a role in the appearance of color. And, as a thing of nature, each stone may appear darker or lighter than its [unset] grade may indicate... light and color are unpredictable.

I think the blue box store is like any other big retail store... they have great sales people and terrible sales people, regardless of their training. And, as the blue box store has a ton of sales associates, I am sure they have their share of crummy people, and people who just can't get over themselves. Too bad.  Honestly, I have encountered some marvelous blue boxers over the years. Of course, they can't bring what David has to the table, but then, we are not comparing comparables, are we?

As far as GIA training, I can tell you first-hand that the way the blue box sales person approached you is NOT how GIA  teaches salesmanship (and I am sure it is not in the blue box manual either)! It could be that the comment about how heavy your earrings are was meant as a casual opening to initiate conversation with you... however, it certainly was a stupid remark to make! As far as technical talk, there are things and certain phrases that a trained sales associate must tell you (to meet FTC guidelines), un-factual things they can not say, and then, there are methods they are trained to use in order to sell the "romance" of gems and jewelry. Most people do not have your knowledge, so I am sure that the thoughtless, pat answers of a poor sales associate may suffice for many shoppers especially if they are thought to be "just window shoppers" (another mistake many sales people make dismissing potential buyers). Most likely, your associate felt intimidated by your knowledge and didn't have the experience or ability to deal with her personal insecurities.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 07:18:28 AM by Trinkette »

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 07:19:18 AM »
All that being said... Here's to David!  :notworthy:

Offline clgwli

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2011, 11:37:54 AM »
DAF, I admit the leather of old in general was much thicker and more stiff than current.  I have a classic bag that was handed down to me and I was shocked how tough it felt compared to my others.

I probably need to go to the Coach Factory store near by to see if they have any good skinny minis because I am not happy with what is out now for them.  I prefer leather so hopefully a good one of old will be found or one they make just for the factory stores before I decide on a bag.  If I can't find one I like I might just not buy at all.

As for blue box and certing.... from what I understand now *they* grade the stones.  GIA no longer does it for them.  I could be wrong.  

I also very much understand how yellows are graded by GIA at least.  My Y-Z was graded from the side where a FLY is graded from the top.  So flip my Y-Z to top and it very well could look darker than a FLY.  Also knowing there is a range for the colors, mine could fall on the darker range.  I haven't had the ability to compare my stone to other Y-Z to see where it falls on the range though.

Now I don't know what blue box does for grading Fancy vs D-Z though.  Their ranges might be bigger or smaller too?  I don't know.  It was a totally interesting obvservation that I had with the colors.  I bet if I put Sunny in a bezel she will get even more vibrant in color.

In general I am not impressed with my blue box store.  It opened several years ago and after being told how *wonderful* the service is there, I figured I had to check it out.  I was even considering the Lucida since I loved how it looked on my hand (that cut is amazing I admit), but three times in a row I had crappy service.  To the point where I wrote to the headquarters to tell them how I felt.

I did speak with the general manager on the phone about it and while service is better, it's still not what I expected.  I haven't been to a flagship store though.  I have better things to do in NYC or Chicago when I go visit LOL

I nearly bought a Somerset diamond ring from them about 2 years ago, but now I'm very much turned off.  Probably better for me though... I can spend the money at DBL or Coach  ;D  Of course mostly for our vacation coming up soon too.  A nice spa day would be money better spent IMO ;)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 11:40:49 AM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2011, 12:17:22 PM »
All that being said... Here's to David!  :notworthy:

Here, Here!  To David and the DBL staff!  It doesn't get any better! :git: :bigclap: :hello2:
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 01:13:47 PM »
Awwww= thank you guys!!!

I'll admit- I was so curious, I went into Tiffany's on 57th Street to see what they were doing with yellow diamonds.
A very surprising aspect to me was that they are selling their stones with only internal gem reports- no GIA!
They showed me a ring and told me the stone was Internally Flawless- without  a GIA? Wow, I was a little shocked, I'll tell you that.


Squig- it's a real shame you were treated that way.

I suppose that when a company expands to the degree Tiffany has, standards inevitably fall off- - and customer service is a tough one to maintain in any event.

In terms of GIA training- having never taken a single GIA course, I can only relate my experience with those who have.
Sadly, my experience is that GIA preparation is sadly lacking the practical aspects that are what really seem to make the difference in both assessing and buying, as well as customer service and sales technique.
Trink can probably fill us in more thoroughly on this one.

Did you find a lot of what you learned in the GIA course to be very practical Trink?
David
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2011, 02:16:23 PM »
I admit I don't really go for internal gem reports only.  Although, with a small & inexpensive stone I'm fine with it.  I have a hard time swallowing their prices w/o a real grading report.

I have been told from outsiders that their grading is pretty consistant and pretty strict.  However, that doesn't help me feel better about their goods.  I think they want to bank on their name alone.  While I enjoy some names (yep Coach for example), I can't do the over inflated prices for a name that really lacks in service.

Maybe some day I'll try a flagship store to see if I am wow'd.  I know I am done looking at my local one for sure.

While I am a picky person, I am not snotty about service.  So for me to have complained that loudy, you know they have to be not so good.  I actually prefer writing in about good service (and do it often) than I do about bad. 

I do have to say DBL rocks of course!!  I really love having this place to go to for jewelry.  I can't imagine going anywhere else for fine jewelry.
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline MASPA

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2011, 03:34:07 PM »
I'm in Philadelphia and I am not a fan of the blue box store here either.  I've only made a couple purchases but each time was always a hassle and if you want to make a return forget about it.  Besides, from what I hear the service at DBL cannot be compared.

Offline Sparkly-OCD

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 04:07:55 PM »
In 1992, I was in San Francisco's shopping district and went inside "the C store" (maybe this is the red box store?).  I mentioned that I had some GIA training and appreciated their lovely pieces.  Just as I was ready to leave, the salesman produced this gorgeous ring that was kept in the safe.  It was a 4 carat yellow radiant diamond ring, pure yellow,  flanked by 2 carat trilliants.  The price tag was 1.25875 million dollars; the specs of the diamond didn't stick in my mind, but the price did!  It was the first yellow diamond that I had seen, and it was huge and stunning.  I had so much fun trying it on.

This morning, I realized that David does something like this all the time and doesn't charge a million bucks!  Sorry Big Guy; I've been taking you for granted.  :1087:

Gee...I just popped the bubble of one of my best memories. :sad5:
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: Sticker Shock
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2011, 05:47:45 PM »
it's true, the prices on some of the biggest and most expensive pieces david carries is truly astonishing!  he has the most beautiful exotic diamonds out there, i can't believe the other guys get away with shenanigans like that!  of course, there will always be people in the world who equate value with cost, and so actually WANT to pay absurd prices for their things.  let them have it i say!  i'll stick with my David.

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2011, 05:57:42 PM »
Hey, MASPA, we're neighbors (sorta).  I'm in the Trenton area. 

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 06:09:53 PM »
Sparkly:  did you try it on?  Four carats = good size. 

Offline MASPA

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2011, 07:26:09 PM »
Hey, MASPA, we're neighbors (sorta).  I'm in the Trenton area. 

Small world.  I work in Willow Grove, so were even closer neighbors..errrr...sorta.   ;D

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2011, 08:08:31 PM »
Ahhh, Willow Grove Mall was a favorite shopping spot a few years back (Filene's Basement and the Bloomingdales were great).  Also, a little further down 611 is Salus University, where I earned my doctorate.  I'm a half hour away from the Mall.

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Sticker Shock
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2011, 08:13:44 PM »

D, in the entry-level diamonds course, there wasn't too much that I didn't already know, or, at least hadn't seen or read about before the course (of course, it hadn't all "stuck" in my mind either, lol). However, to be fair, with a few exceptions, I found the course to be extremely thorough and well organized (I have the notes to prove it) in terms of the BASICS of diamonds and diamond retailing. If you were someone who came in with very little diamond knowledge or experience, the amount of information presented could be quite overwhelming.

That being said, I was surprised by a few things. First and foremost, the heavily-hit message regarding the 4-Cs (like, the 4Cs is all there is to consider when examining/comparing diamonds...AGHHHH!). Of course, the 4Cs concept is GIA's "baby" so to speak, so I should not have been surprised.

Also, marketing/sales approaches, sample conversations with customers, are threaded throughout the course. IMHO, if you are planning a career in diamond retail sales, then you'd have to be a complete dunderhead to not "get it" in terms of how to communicate with customers interested in diamonds whether you agree with the approach or not, GIA is very clear about how they think diamonds should be marketed (all based upon a classic sales model). They do teach some practical (yes, practical, I say) things to consider including safety and security measures when working a retail jewelry business.

And then, there were some notable omissions... like how to hold a loupe, how to hold a diamond with tweezers, how to unwrap a diamond in papers. (A-hem, Big Guy  :-* ). This is essential, PRACTICAL, information that should be covered in the basics.

I would have preferred learning more like a gemologist and less like an aspiring jewelry sales associate. However, considering that is exactly what most people end up doing, I guess the approach works fine.