[August 2017 Update]
Every six weeks or so I reach out to other local jewellers to see how our engagement ring prices fare. Although we never market ourselves as the cheapest per se I’ve always been very confident that our prices are excellent. This time round the average saving was a staggering 19%.
Before we get to the juicy part - you can find our latest excellently priced 1,00ct diamond options HERE.
For our 2,00ct market study click here.
The Design - A Platinum Halo With A 1ct Centre Stone (Our Leila)
I asked for a quote on a platinum diamond halo ring with a 1ct center diamond graded by the GIA.
Let's get into the price comparison right away, but please read the crucial information below the table;
|Diamond||1.00 H VS2||1.00ct J VS2||1.08ct I VS2||1.00ct I VS2||1.00ct I VS2||1.00ct I VS2||1.01ct I SI1|
|Diamond||1.01ct H VS1||1.00ct J VS1||1.00ct I VS1||1.00ct I VS1||1.00ct I VS1||1.00ct I VS1||1.00ct I VS1|
*All our diamond options were 1 clarity higher than that of the other jewellers. That means our prices are actually even better than the comparitive table above shows. Three jewellers dodged the request for GIA certified diamonds. All our prices include the most expensive metal choice - platinum.
Already convinced? Simply mail us at [email protected] and we'll get our best deals over to you right away.
Who Are These Seven Jewellers We're Benchmarking To?
They're easy to find and I'd encourage you to reach out and test my findings;
- Jewellers must rank on the first 3 pages of google's results for “engagement rings South Africa” and a few similar searches. This excludes adverts. Anyone can run adverts Google. I didn't reach out to every single jeweller on the search results. I generally gave traditional mall-based jeweller a skip.
- Jewellers must have a studio/store/showroom where diamonds can be viewed before the purchase. A stone might seem fine on the certificate but the inclusion is clearly visible when you inspect the diamond.
- Jewellers who are under cautionary notices from the Diamond Dealer’s Club have been excluded. If someone's running a dodgy business I'm not interested in their pricing.
Every quote received was then matched to what we would ask for a similar stone. All our options were 1 clarity higher than that offered by the other jewellers. To further validate the results – my quotes are valid for anyone to accept for a month after this blog is published. So yes, you are more than welcome to order a platinum halo at my prices above.
If someone beats you to the deal I’ll offer a similar stone at a comparable price.
Understanding The Unique 4C Requirements of 1,00ct Diamonds
You’ve probably crossed paths with the “4C’s of Diamonds” while doing your diamond research. It’s a great tool to simplify diamond specifications and demonstrate how these 4 main characteristics affect the price and appearance of a diamond.
You can find a comprehensive article "The 4C's of 1 Carat Diamonds" , but here’s a quick rundown covering most bases;
0.) Basecamp: Proper Certification.
Intensively studying diamond specification combinations online is a waste of time if you can’t use the information to make a better diamond purchase when you visit your jeweller of choice.
The 4C model will show you how to maximise and optimise specifications to get a show-stopper diamond, but remember you’ll be using the 4C information supplied by the jeweller or grading laboratory.
To ensure these pointers are actionable stick to independent, well known and reputable grading laboratories that will accurately grade the 4C specifications of a diamond.
1.) Carat (Size/Weight)
Size drastically changes the 4C minimum requirements. As a diamond increases in size imperfections are easier to see. This blog deals with 1,00ct (6,5mm diameter) diamonds so let’s pin the carat to uno.
1,00 Carat is a stunning size and will do any design justice.
Every survey we’ve carried out has clearly shown ladies prefer white looking diamonds without obvious tints of yellow or brown. Keep this in mind whenever you view diamonds.
Every diamond shape has a unique influence on the perceived colour of the diamond once it’s cut into shape. These are my recommendations of minimum colours that will appear white for the most popular diamond shapes;
- Round Brilliant - J
- Cushion - I
- Oval/Pear - I
Under these specifications the diamond won’t be yellow all of a sudden. You just have a risk of spotting a faint tint in sunlight, or whenever the diamond is held right next to a whiter diamond.
3.) Clarity (Greatly Affected By The Size Of The Diamond).
Every round diamond, regardless of size, has 58 facets.
As you increase the size of the diamond these 58 facets are spaced further apart, making the facet structure less dense, and impurities easier to spot.
Diamond clarity is graded under 10X magnification, which is harsh. There’s no need to pay a premium for something you can’t see or appreciate with the naked eye.
So, ensure the diamond is 100% eye-clean and rather increase the size or colour of the diamond.
Unfortunately we’re seeing more and more VS2-clarity 1,00ct diamonds on the market that have visible inclusions. We don’t stock or sell visibly included diamonds so we often recommend and buy VS1 and better clarities. We won’t compromise our extremely well curated diamond stock.
4.) Cut Grade; The MOST IMPORTANT C!
Diamond cut is often confused with the diamond shape (Round, oval, square). It actually refers to quality of workmanship and how well the facet-layout and proportions are executed.
Your 1,00ct diamond showpiece should have maximum life, fire and brilliance. If the diamond has been poorly made the size, clarity and colour doesn’t matter… you’re stuck with what looks like a dull piece of glass. Stick to “Excellent” cut grades, and don’t even consider diamonds that have anything less than “Very Good” grade cut, polish and symmetry grades.
The Massive Impact Of Overgrading.
Diamond certification shouldn't be a prickly pear. A diamond is either correctly graded and certified … or not. When a diamond is erroneously over-graded case-studies have shown customers overpay by up to 500%. More information on this topic HERE.
The diamond price a jeweller quotes you is calculated (without exception) on the specifications of the grading report. If you're not highly familiar with diamond colours and clarities, ensure all diamonds you view have been graded by a reputable institution like GIA, DIA or HRD.
The huge impact of overgrading;
- Jeweller A offers a 1,00ct I-colour, Si1-clarity (GIA certified) @ R75 000
- Jeweller B offers a 1,00ct I-colour, Si1-clarity (NON-GIA) @ R60 000
Certain non-GIA labs have been known to overstate colour and clarity by up to 2 grades. This is an extreme example but it clearly shows the massive impact of over-grading;
Jeweller B’s NON-GIA diamond can actually be a K-Colour, SI3-clarity diamond which should sell for no more than R45 000.
R60 000 is an exorbitantly high price for what you’re getting.
The diamond industry has always been self-regulatory. I hope key players like Martin Rapaport keep pushing for proper, standardised certification and grading.
Tread Carefullly Around "We'll Beat Any Price"-Jewellers.
For the sake of full transparency - I want you to buy your diamond from us. I honestly believe we’re the best fit all round for 99% of folks in the market for a 1,00ct engagement ring.
If jewellers put in the effort to build proper supplier relationships that leverage scale for better prices - good for them. That’s what we did and still do.
The “we’ll beat any price” promise has been around for a while and 20+ jewellers promise to beat any written quote. We don’t do price-matching and never will. The reason is simple - I won't drop quality to secure your deal. Jewellers with 3 or 4 employees can’t compete with our prices. And if they do - I’ll bet you my dog, Raphael, corners will be cut somewhere.
Regardless of theatrics no jeweller will knowingly make a loss on a deal. Not even for his mother. Here are three of the most alarming trends we’re seeing at jewellers who try to land a deal - regardless of how.
#1 Quite a few jewellers are quoting without VAT. It's not only deceptive - it's illegal. I have no idea why anyone would buy a diamond product from someone who can't even be honest in his dealings with SARS. Why would he be honest with you?
#2 As discussed, there are lots of over-graded diamonds on the market, and you will probably be offered one as an alternative they can sell at a “better price”. With the grading misrepresented a diamond might seem like a screaming bargain when it’s actually of a much lower quality than you think.
#3 The amount of fake reviews flying around is alarming. They’re easy to spot since they just focus on selling points;
“I was unable to visit Jeweller X in person and was hesitant to do such a large purchase without seeing the diamond in person. Jeweller X made it so simple and I felt 100% comfortable through every step of the way. I was kept in the loop and updated as my ring moved through the multi-point manufacturing process. They even sent me high quality photos to approve the ring when it was finished to ensure I was ecstatic. The ring size was spot-on, and I will absolutely be purchasing from Jeweller X again in the future. With best service and workmanship I’ve ever seen I’ll be referring everyone I know.”
Do you write like that? No one does.
Why can’t they get hold of honest positive reviews?
The golden rule; a jewellery purchasing decision should never be made on price alone. Reputation, craftsmanship, aftercare service and future upgradeability should weigh heavily on your decision. (Link) Here is a list of 15 things we do that makes our offering unique and very attractive.
Want to get her engagement ring perfect? Great. So do we.
Whether you’re in the market for a 0,30ct diamond or a 3,00ct – I know we have the absolute best deal for you. Apart from excellent pricing we also offer the following;
- 100% credit for you Poggenpoel diamond purchase when you wish to upgrade in the future. No limitations like "the new diamond must be 50%+ more expensive than the initial diamond".
- I'm sure our 3 person design team is the best in South Africa. To see our work just head over to any product page.
- The bulk of our work is custom designs. All our designs can be customised to your dream design.
- We don't have a single apprentice in our factory. Every person that works on your ring is highly skilled and experienced.
- We've been around for 20 years. In 5 years time when you wish to upgrade - we'll be there for you.
- Great news; we just opened our Rosebank office to better serve our Johannesburg clientele. You can reach out by email ([email protected]) or telephone; 010 020 6811.
Recommended further reading;
- Guide [2017 Edition] - "Optimising Your R100 000 Engagement Ring Purchase".
- Our Current 1,00ct Best Buys.
- Blog Post; The 4C's of 1,00ct Diamonds
Thank you for taking the time to read. As always I’m available via email on [email protected] or in the comments below.