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Old MMMarc
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 02-17-01 , 05:04 PM


Does anyone know if it is safe to buy a diamond from Ashford.com ?

The above "Ask Diamond Talk" post was filled out online at http://www.diamondring.com/forums/n...amondq uestion


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safe is as safe does
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 02-17-01 , 05:33 PM


Honestly,

Why don't you do a little research with us diamond and jewelry dealers here?
Couldn't hurt...could it?

Stuart Locascio, GG, ISA
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Monsieur Marc...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 02-17-01 , 06:27 PM


Forgive bingostu. The correct response to your question (AGBF glares at bingostu) is:

I do not know Ashford myself, but look it over and read this site and *then* decide. In my opinion you will get more personal service and a better price from the vendors here than from Ashford. OTOH, if you see a stone you want and it has a GIA or an AGS cert to back up its claims, you are probably safe with Ashford.

Many stones are listed with multiple vendors. The same stone you see at Ashford may be listed at others sites and available through other vendors here.

Take some time and read up. Maybe someone who has bought from Ashford will post about the experience here in response to your query. I have not. I have bought from the Tradeshop; Blue Nile; and Jan and Brad of Diamond Brokers of Florida who post here. I trust all three places I have dealt with. ray Elsey of the Tradeshop is charming and accesssible. Being able to talk with Jan and Brad here is a real plus for me, though. They are accessible here *all* the time. (As are Ice and other vendors who are regulars here.)

What have you seen on Ashford that drew you? What are you looking for?

(Parlez-vous francais? A Montreal, vous devez parler francais....mais est-ce que francais votre langue preferee?

AGBF

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 02-17-01 , 06:31 PM


AGBF--
show off

NDnewbie newbie who doesnt know french

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got my shades on...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 02-17-01 , 06:45 PM


I didn't say anything bad about Ashford. I just mentioned that there are dealers here that can help him too...

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 02-17-01 , 07:20 PM


I went to one of the finest jewelers in Montreal, and looked at a few round diamonds. I compared diamonds with the same carat, color, cut, clarity and shape to those found at Ashford and a few of the sites listed here. Unfortunately, I didn't have any of the other specs of the diamond such as the table size.

I found that the same diamond listed in the US sells for about 2500US less.
The diamond I saw in Mtl. was Carat .75,
color F, clarity VS1, cut premium, shape round.

Next time I go to a store here I'll get more details about the diamond, so that I can make a better comparison.

What I really want to do is get the beat value/quality for the price.

I would also be intersted in driving down to NY or closer to Mtl. if there are any good dealers there.




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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 02-17-01 , 07:27 PM


MMMarc,

Check out http://www.goodoldgold.com

Jonathan is in NY (Long Island) and has a brick and mortar store.

You will learn a lot about diamonds and diamond cut from him and his website, and could always take a ride down to him.

lawmax

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Re: got my shades on...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 02-17-01 , 07:56 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by bingostu
I didn't say anything bad about Ashford. I just mentioned that there are dealers here that can help him too...

bingostu
TAS Fine Jewelers


I know, dear. No one was accusing you of bashing Ashford. It just doesn't make consumers feel truly *welcome* to greet them (as they tiptoe tremulously in here for the first time) by asking what's wrong with buying from *US*? What are *WE*, chopped liver!!?

First we *introduce* ourselves, *then* go in for the kill...I mean, sale

AGBF

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 02-17-01 , 08:33 PM


I think that Ashford is on the brink of bankruptcy, too. That might be an important factor.

I would strongly recommend talking to Martin Sheffield at http://www.usacerteddiamonds.com . Despite the clever marketing ploy name, he's Canadian. He can help you out as far as navigating the customs and border taxes. Unless you have really strong patriotic ties (nothing wrong with that), our Canadian friends have generally found it cheaper to buy in the US either in person or on the web, even with all of the taxes and everything. But you probably already knew that.

If you can go see Jonathan, do so. He's a wealth of information. Plus he's got this great Eightstar that I'm dying to see in person .

Shelby

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 02-18-01 , 09:23 AM


Shelby is right.

give a call to Martin in Toronto. He works very hard to find the best value for his clients.

[Edited by jbacon on 02-18-01 at 08:29]


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a consideration
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 02-18-01 , 12:16 PM


IF I understand correctly, and there is some question of that , Canada has a VAT tax, in addition to the price of the diamond you would need to consider whether or not you would be liable for this taxation when you bring a diamond into your native Canada. A Canadian dealer might be able to advise you, as might Canadian customs.

AS for whether Ashford is reliable, I have never done business with them, nor have I seen any of their accounting information. IF they are a publicly traded company this information should be available in the public domain in the form of investor statements. However it has been reported that many of the internet diamond dealers are having problems with obtaining additional venture capital, as several of the Venture Capital firms have been very disappointed with the return from there previous investments. This lack of available funds has caused severe problems for some companies, (although I am not making any accusations). This is not just limited to the jewelry industry but seems to apply to internet only retailers in general.



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 02-18-01 , 02:04 PM


I've never bought diamonds from Ashford, but I've bought other jewelry from them.

They were incredibly accommodating and I had great customer service with them over the phone.

They're based in Houston, TX and I've visited their store before. It's very nice.

I don't know if they're going out of business or not, but pricewise, you can definitely get a better deal on diamonds.

Good luck!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 02-18-01 , 02:34 PM


Shelby,

That Eightstar persuaded me that I was interested in looking at cuts with more side (all but table and cullet) facets in diamonds over about 4 carats to see if they looked better that way or not.


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Canadian taxes
Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 02-18-01 , 04:37 PM


MMMarc,

Greetings from a fellow Canadian. You've probably heard all this, but I'll post it for any other Canadians who may be reading: You have to keep in mind the following costs when buying a diamond from the U.S. on the internet:

10% Excise tax on item+shipping
7% GST on total of item+shipping+excise

Buying from a Canadian-based internet seller like Martin in T.O. or Van-daaz in Montreal doesn't change this (as far as I know), because their stones come from the U.S. too.

But as you've noticed, even after adding all those taxes (and appraiser's fees if you're safety-conscious) you can still pay thousands less by buying online -- and get a better diamond in the bargain.

I definitely think knowlege is power. If you haven't done so already, reading all the tutorials on Jonathan W's site (www.goodoldgold.com) might be a good idea. He's within a reasonable weekend-trip distance from MTL, if you want to see stones "live".

Some other sites show you AGS certs right online, a big plus in weeding out the chaff, because those certs (if correct) give detailed cut information.

If you decide to buy "sight-unseen" over the internet, I definitely recommend having an expert examine it for you before you pay for it.

I wonder how long we'll have to wait before a Canadian-based cutter starts to cut super-ideal stones from Canadian diamond mines and retailing them online? I would have bought Canadian if the prices/quality had been comparable to the U.S.

Anyway, happy hunting!

John



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 02-18-01 , 10:28 PM


Jamesd...

Quote:
That Eightstar persuaded me that I was interested in looking at cuts with more side (all but table and cullet) facets in diamonds over about 4 carats to see if they looked better that way or not.


What did you mean by more side facets? As in higher number of facets or bigger facet ratios?

What did you observe about that 4ct EightStar that persuaded you?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 02-18-01 , 11:19 PM


Shelby,

Where did you hear that Ashford was on the brink of bankruptcy? I've heard the same thing about Mondera, but I don't have any proof. Most folks I talk to our optimistic about Ashfords prospects.

MMMarc,

Archer is absolutely right. Even with a 17% tax, online prices are a bargain. Folks in the UK are paying a 17.5% VAT, and still finding values on the internet. That itself speaks volumes.

Jim Schultz

http://www.DirtCheapDiamonds.com



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 02-18-01 , 11:50 PM


Jim,
You know, I'm not sure. I can't give you any solid articles or anything to back it up. So it could be just an unsubstantiated rumor. Sorry for making it sound like I had more info than that .

Shelby

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 02-19-01 , 02:55 AM


Johnny Boy,

The Eightstar was doing their usual peerless job on the brilliance and dispersion fronts but there was so much light coming out of each facet that I thought there could be more sparkling if each was half the area, without significantly compromising the effect of the superb cut. A sixteen star, perhaps.

Those facets were very impressive, paricularly when the light caught the diamond just right for the really great dispersion it was showing in the red range. Truly spectacular.

Might well depend on the intended use. I can see total light power mattering in public gatherings where visual range is greater. For closer situations the extra facets might do more.

It's definitely a size effect. Eightstars up to two carats look great and didn't cause this sort of wondering.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 02-19-01 , 07:55 AM


RE: Ashford.com hurting

I can tell you for sure it was on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. I don't know the date but it was between today and Christmas. YOU look it up.

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Also, this diamond hunter has been wasting his time so far. He's trying to competitively shop for the best price online without comparing ALL four apples to ALL four apples. Not knowing each and every dimension and percentage of the diamond is like not knowing the color.

Have you ever comparitively shopped around for a

1.00 carat, VS-1 clarity, White color, Class II-A cut?

Whether you get one from Martin, Ashford, or dig some granny out of the ground for the best deal, KNOW ALL 4 C's.

Joe Sibold, GG

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 02-19-01 , 08:23 AM


Quote:
It's definitely a size effect. Eightstars up to two carats look great and didn't cause this sort of wondering.


Definitely. I remember posting once, long ago, about bigger diamonds being bigger reflectors. Oh, and they are bigger light gatherers too. Makes us all wish for a big EightStar doesn't it? How much was Rhino's 4.16ct stone again?

Quote:
I thought there could be more sparkling if each was half the area, without significantly compromising the effect of the superb cut. A sixteen star, perhaps.


So what you mean is doubling the pavillion mains, all else remaining the same? That would be almost like the Brilliant Rose cut (see pic below), which if I remember correctly did produce a lot of tiny little sparkles but little boom.

If I had such a big diamond and wanted to show it off and it to show off, I'd go for bigger boom.



[Edited by Johnny Boy on 02-19-01 at 07:24]

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I want a 3 bedroom 2 bath
Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 02-19-01 , 08:34 AM


I agree with bigshot. A .75 ct. VS1 F can range greatly in price depending on whether or not that you are looking at a super ideal cut with hearts and arrows, just super ideal cut, or ideal cut or well cut or poorly cut diamond.
Also the neighborhood counts on where you buy the house.
You can buy from an internet only site, that can pull the plug in seconds or you can also buy from an clicks and bricks that has competitive prices, guarantees, the ability to set the diamonds and offers all the services that go with a store at internet prices, or you can buy from a retail store and get all the services but pay more. The choice is yours, but learn all you can before you make the big step. You are in the right place. There is just about everything you ever wanted to know about diamonds, right here in this forum. Thousands of subject that you can research right here. Do a forum search and you'll see what I mean. Just about any question has been answered before. Some people will direct you to certain sites, and you may be surprised to find out there is a referral fee on these sites as well. Just keep an open mind. If you get stuck just ask and everyone will be most helpful. Happy shopping.


Jan


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Oops forgot to answer the question!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 02-19-01 , 08:59 AM


BTW An ideal cut .75 ct. VS1 F can be purchased for around $3600 range.

Jan


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Ashford.com?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 02-19-01 , 09:06 AM


How is Ashford doing? For info, see this site: http://www.wsrn.com/apps/links/index.xpl?s=ASFD

Hint: they're still in a net loss position.

[Edited by Johnny Boy on 02-19-01 at 08:11]

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 02-19-01 , 10:06 AM


It looks that I have a lot of homework to do. So far you have all been very enlightening, and I have come to realize that the first time purchase of a diamond is an arduous and long process, but a fun one.


If I can find a diamond online that I like, can go see ahead of time, have verified by your group, then I would probably consider buying it. I would only buy a stone online from one of the brick and mortar dealers that has a website.

I would have the stone set by a jeweller in Mtl., because if I need anything changed or adjusted it would be a simpler process to go to jeweller around the corner.

So in conclusion, I will try and find a diamond online and have it set by a jeweller in Mtl.

That's where I'm at at the moment. Of course all this could change as I learn more and explore more of the websites that you have all guided me too.

Thank you

Marc








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Re: I want a 3 bedroom 2 bath
Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 02-19-01 , 10:51 AM


Quote:
Some people will direct you to certain sites, and you may be surprised to find out there is a referral fee on these sites as well.

Jan [/B]


Just curious, Jan. What did you mean by this? What sites have referral fees. It would be interesting to know.



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