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  #1  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:32 AM
hazz24 hazz24 is offline
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Default Experiences with Diamonds international?

My Dh and I were on our last cruise Dec 2007 and are going on same one this year 11/30. We stopped into Diamonds International in St Marten and i was looking at a 3 stone Diamond ring (1CT nice size stones) the price given was $699.00. We did not buy because we did not budget for it last year but are now planning on buying one this year. What should I research before buying? I'm really clueless about this stuff. If it shines I like it but I know nothing about what to look for or what to ask to make sure we do not get taken. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:41 AM
Macwoman Macwoman is offline
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Red face Diamonds

You should do some shopping before you go. There are the 4 C's to diamonds and want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you get a price. Plus if there is something wrong with the ring later down the road you may have trouble getting service. You will also need to make sure you get a certificate of the appraisal while there at Diamonds International. You should try a local jewelry store first to see exactly what you want and then bring that list with you and ask for the EXACT same ring and see what kind of answer you get.

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  #3  
Old January 28th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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You need to learn about diamonds, how they classify them and the lingo used.

Cut, carat, clarity, and color are the 4C's. The internet is a wonderful thing because all this info is easily available. I would also go to a local reputable jeweler and start researching prices this way you will know if you are getting a good deal or not.

Don't be afraid to bring notes with you to the islands. If you know that a 1 ct, f color, vs1, round stone in a nice setting at home goes for example 1000$ then when you are down look you have something as a point of comparison and you are comparing apples to apples.

I have bought about 6 pieces from DI and every time they have appraised way higher then what I bought it for. They also have a location in NY so getting it serviced in the states is not an issue.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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I use to work for a jelwer years ago. Just recently we were in Cozumel and I went to Diamond International to look at diamonds. We heard all cruise abou the great deals you can find there. Well IMO this is not the case. The deals you get there are no better than what you can find here in the states. Just remember you get what you pay for. Watch out for "filled diamonds". Many of the diamonds I look at were very poor in quality. Now this may just be in Mexico and I can't speak for other ports. There are many sites out there to help you learn. We can't post sites on here for advertisement reasons but do a search for Diamond Quality Guides and you will find plenty. Hope this helps and good luck!!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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I bought a pair of earrings at DI in St. Thomas that appraised several hundred more than I paid. Very happy with that and DI. When we are on our Nov cruise, I plan to shop at DI again. Have a great cruise.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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Thank You all for your advice. I will start looking online now so by the time we get there I should know all about them. Is there any better location to buy from (ex one island better then another) or all they all the same?
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Old January 28th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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The duty free allowance is much greater if you shop in St. Thomas.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I have bought several pieces from DI. I was very happy with them - they appraised about 3 times what I paid. However, you also have to bargain for the jewelry! Do not pay the first price they tell you. Last year in Belize my friend and I really worked the poor sales person to death. We sent him back and forth to the manager many times trying to come to an agreeable price. We were very happy with the end result!
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroleb View Post
I have bought several pieces from DI. I was very happy with them - they appraised about 3 times what I paid. However, you also have to bargain for the jewelry! Do not pay the first price they tell you. Last year in Belize my friend and I really worked the poor sales person to death. We sent him back and forth to the manager many times trying to come to an agreeable price. We were very happy with the end result!

Thank You Carol. again I am not a good jewerly shopper but with the advice I'm getting here I hope to find a nice piece.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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The so called "shopping advisor" on the ship will try to work everyone into a frenzy and try to say that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not true. The main criteria for the stores to get on shopping advisors "recommended list" is that they pay big bucks to the cruiseline. The recommended list is nothing more than advertising. And who pays for the advertising in the end? You do. The stores will guarantee that your jewelry will appraise for 50% more than you paid, but they always use the retail price for appraisals, and nobody pays retail.

If you see an inexpensive piece of jewelry that you really like, it doesn't hurt to buy it. But I can't imagine buying an expensive diamond on a cruise. You would basically be stuck with it. It is better to establish a relationship with a local jeweler, and you can probably get a better price than on a cruise.

If you buy an expensive diamond. Make sure it has a grading report from a reputable agency. The two most reputable agencies are GIA and AGS.

Some good online store are bluenile.com. goodoldgold.com has an excellent diamond tutorial site. Another great website to find the going prices for diamonds is pricescope.com.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:14 PM
hazz24 hazz24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou33 View Post
The so called "shopping advisor" on the ship will try to work everyone into a frenzy and try to say that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not true. The main criteria for the stores to get on shopping advisors "recommended list" is that they pay big bucks to the cruiseline. The recommended list is nothing more than advertising. And who pays for the advertising in the end? You do. The stores will guarantee that your jewelry will appraise for 50% more than you paid, but they always use the retail price for appraisals, and nobody pays retail.

If you see an inexpensive piece of jewelry that you really like, it doesn't hurt to buy it. But I can't imagine buying an expensive diamond on a cruise. You would basically be stuck with it. It is better to establish a relationship with a local jeweler, and you can probably get a better price than on a cruise.

If you buy an expensive diamond. Make sure it has a grading report from a reputable agency. The two most reputable agencies are GIA and AGS.

Some good online store are bluenile.com. goodoldgold.com has an excellent diamond tutorial site. Another great website to find the going prices for diamonds is pricescope.com.
I'm not looking for an expensive diamond just a nice bright shinny one. Its for my right hand as i have my engagement ring and wedding band that I bought from here. Thanks for the advice I will check out the online stores you mentioned. I have lots of time and lots of research to do.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazz24 View Post
I'm not looking for an expensive diamond just a nice bright shinny one. Its for my right hand as i have my engagement ring and wedding band that I bought from here. Thanks for the advice I will check out the online stores you mentioned. I have lots of time and lots of research to do.


I think the biggest difference is in the Caribbean you will see a lot of different designs then you would find here in the states, more unusual
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Hi! I am going to add my two cents here. I worked in the jewelry industry for 15 years.

I have found that you will indeed get better deals in the Caribbean. I have bought diamonds and other jewelry in Aruba, St. Thomas and in Mexico.

You will also find very different pieces that you wouldn't find in the states. Everyone here is saying you need to know diamonds and you should. Do some reading...learn about color and quality. You want to buy something sparkly and in order to do that it needs to have a nice color and be a good quality stone. So learn that.

And bargain!!!! I have gone to DI several times, but found that there are other stores on all those islands where you could get the same quality stone for quite a bit less! And I have gone back to those stores and purchased more.

The stores I have purchased in Aruba and in St Thomas I continue to have a relationship with, so I don't think getting service is an issue. In fact, in April I plan on trading princess cut diamond earrings in for new ones in St. Thomas!

St. Thomas is my all time favorite island for jewelry!

Thing is, know what you want, shop around...when you find it, you will know then ENJOY IT. That will make the purchase all the better!!!! Best of luck. Jewelry is my favorite purchase on a cruise!
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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I so agree with Fegan01970. I buy all my jewelry in STT. First time I bought a 5 carat diamond tennis bracelet. We bargained and bargained some more. Got it to what we wanted to pay for it (it was the EXACT design I wanted). Got it home and it appraised for more than double what I paid for it. Had it appraised again last year as I changed insurance and now it appraises for about 3 times what I paid for it. Got it from a small jewelry store in Havensight (he has since moved to town). Since that first purchase, I have kept going back to the same store as I trust what I am getting. They always do right by me. When they decided to close the store in Havensight and only keep the one in town open, I got a letter with the address, email, etc. next year when we go back I want to get diamond earrings to match the necklass we bought there a couple of year ago. Owner told me to just email a picture of the necklass, tell him what I want and he will have it waiting for me when I get there.

This store was never recommended by the ship, and yet I think they have some of the nicest stuff we have seen. We are not experts by any means, but we did know our 4 C's and did not what we wanted before we went there. Key is finding a jewelry store in the islands you have good luck with and sticking to them.
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Last edited by karena1; January 29th, 2008 at 05:02 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:59 PM
hazz24 hazz24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fegan01970 View Post
Hi! I am going to add my two cents here. I worked in the jewelry industry for 15 years.

I have found that you will indeed get better deals in the Caribbean. I have bought diamonds and other jewelry in Aruba, St. Thomas and in Mexico.

You will also find very different pieces that you wouldn't find in the states. Everyone here is saying you need to know diamonds and you should. Do some reading...learn about color and quality. You want to buy something sparkly and in order to do that it needs to have a nice color and be a good quality stone. So learn that.

And bargain!!!! I have gone to DI several times, but found that there are other stores on all those islands where you could get the same quality stone for quite a bit less! And I have gone back to those stores and purchased more.

The stores I have purchased in Aruba and in St Thomas I continue to have a relationship with, so I don't think getting service is an issue. In fact, in April I plan on trading princess cut diamond earrings in for new ones in St. Thomas!

St. Thomas is my all time favorite island for jewelry!

Thing is, know what you want, shop around...when you find it, you will know then ENJOY IT. That will make the purchase all the better!!!! Best of luck. Jewelry is my favorite purchase on a cruise!

Will you tell me what store you frequent as we are stopping in St thomas also. Our stops are St Marten, St Thomas, San Juan, Antigua, Barbados, Tortola, and Dominica. I thought St Thomas was a bit over priced but I did not go in every jewler (there are too many to do that) and St Marten was more reasonable but like I said I am no expert and really do not know all about diamonds. If you are not comfortabe putting tne name out on cruise critic could you email me at foxi0871@yahoo.com. Thanks a bunch
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