Diamonds in St. Martin
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Hey everyone! We are setting off shortly on the Freedom and will be stopping in both St. Martin and St. Thomas. We are considering waiting until we get to the island to shop for an engagement ring....Has anyone had any good/bad experiences of shopping on these islands?Imperial Jewelers St.Thomas. Very good merchandise / negotiable. Been there several times as a regular shopping stop for us when there - we email them in advance. Get greeting cards from them on the Holidays. Google their web site. Visit them for yourself and decide.
Grandeur (3 times - Maiden voyage +2)
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The only thing I would change in that note is that now we have had 22 years of pleasant experience shopping with Shiva's.
I will add that after visiting the island for 30 years (we started young ), we have three trusted jewelers along Frontstreet, Shiva's for top-end, Ballerina for middle to top, and Ocean for lower end, but very nice pieces.
We shop with each of them on every visit.
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I like Ballerina. Have purchased several things and been very pleased. Last time I was there (few years ago) they brought in more selections from their other store - very accomadating and I found just what I wanted.See Sammy awesome guy took very good care of me!!
They charged us rip-off price yet with extremely poor customer service.
After we paid, we had to wait forever for them to charge the credit card, write the receipt, adjust the wrist band etc etc. The reason for the delay was because they were busy chit-chatting, serving beer with another group of customers who bought more expensive watches then we did.
At that point we were only an hour away from the our ship's latest embarkation time, worrying that we may miss the ship, we tried to rush them; the response we got was "if you want this to be done properly, you'll have to wait".
After they got the 1st watch done, we couldn't wait anymore, so we told them we would take the 2nd watch as is, without adjusting the wrist band. That guy was so bad that he just left the watch at the table, so we have have to put the watch inside the box ourselves.
After we got back to the state, we found out that the price they charged us are 50% more expensive than the listed price in the states. What a rip off!
We will never ever go back to that shop again!
Also in response to an above quote about joes jewelery i did buy a rado watch from their rado boutique a little while back and it was a very good price, but yes they did take awhile to write up the receipt.
I will give you this suggestions/advice to use at your favorite store,
1. Take the sticker price of what your looking at and divide it by 4. That should be your starting point in negotiation, and be ready to walk and try your next favorite store if theyre not playing ball close to your 25% initial offer. (you can always come back to them later, they aren't going to raise the price because you had to step out suddenly to meet someone!)
Diamonds with inclusions- like little spots and "feathers" are worth much less than near perfect diamonds, so keep that in mind, its not always a bad thing though because if you cant see the inclusions easily, its a good way to get a bigger rock for less money.
Dont be afraid to ask them to look up the value, or bring an ipad, and use an online diamond calculator, using the stores free wifi, to find the value. you can also ask them to make up a certificate for the diamond, even if its not official gia certificate etc.
use diamond calculators online beforehand (google search diamond value calculator)to get an idea of the type of diamond you want and price range.
As for watches, go on ebay before the trip and find the lowest price for that brand and type of watch new in box. Thats typically the "grey market" price just above wholesale. Use that as a starting point of negotiation. Many times though for brand name watches its hard to get them to go below suggested retail price, so you will really only be saving the sales tax over buying it domestically.
Does anyone else share these views?
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