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Archive for June 9th, 2008

Helzberg Diamonds

Monday, June 9th, 2008

helzbergBefore you buy diamonds and jewelry from a Helzberg Diamond Dealer, it is a good idea to read this write up and find out who and what Helzberg actually are and how safe they are.

It is always a good idea to do your own due diligence before buying from any diamond dealer or jeweler online.

Who are Helzberg
With 270 stores nationwide, Helzberg is currently owned by the Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. group.

Helzberg Diamonds was founded in 1915 by Morris Helzberg and remained in his family for 80 years until it was acquired by investment guru Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 1995.

During the 1990s. Helzberg opened more than 45 in the 1990s. The company sells a wide selection of diamonds and precious gems — mostly set into rings, but also set into other jewelry; Helzberg Diamonds also sells men’s and women’s watches. One of the larger national jewelry chains, the company operates more than 260 stores nationwide and offers a 60-day return or exchange option and free jewelry repairs for 12 months after purchase. Helzberg had sales for fiscal year ending December, 2007 were $479.7M.

Helzberg are based in North Kansas City, MO and the CEO and Chairman is H. Marvin Beasley, and Joyce Hrinya is the Director in charge of Marketing and Customer Satisfaction:

Helzberg Customer Service
Helzberg encourage their customers to call in person at any store as well as phone on the generic number Customer Service at 1-800-606-279.Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm CST. Or you can send an email by going to the contact page on the website

You can order online by creating an account. One can also order without creating an account and ordering as a guest, but you cannot track your order this way.

Helzberg state on their website: “At Helzberg Diamonds, we know our customers come to us for their most important and heartfelt purchases. That’s why your personal satisfaction is, and always will be, our number one priority. We stand behind your purchase because we believe in the quality of Helzberg Diamonds jewelry, and we want to maintain a long, happy relationship with everyone who shops here.”

Helzberg Products
Helzberg have a very extensive rang of diamond products.

All products are clearly shown with good quality pictures and diamond, jewelery and watch prices clearly marked. Diamond information as regards, carats, cut, clarity and color are listed. The gold or other precious metal info ration is also provided. Also all diamonds are graded (a grading report is supplied) as well as reviews by prior customers who have bought the product.

Here is a generic list of what you can expect on the site.

Engagement Rings
Wedding Bands
Bridal Mountings
Anniversary Bands
Solitaire Enhancers
Men’s Diamond Bands
Promise Rings
Colored Gems
Watches & Accessories

Also Helzberg have their own diamond and jewelry collections.

Helzberg Diamond Masterpiece
Helzberg Radiant Star
Helzberg Limited Edition Collection
Studio Bondanza for Helzberg
Helzberg Imperial Moissanite
Journey Collection at Helzberg
Helzberg Signature Collection
Helzberg Diamond Symphonies
Helzberg Luxury Gold Collection
Helzberg Diamond Masterpiece
Helzberg Radiant Star
Helzberg Limited Edition Collection
Studio Bondanza for Helzberg
Helzberg Signature Collection

Helzberg Payment Options
Helzberg Diamonds take Visa, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and of course, the Helzberg Diamonds Credit Card.When buying online you can’t use checks, cash, credit vouchers or gift certificates. For those purchases, you will need to visit a Helzberg Diamonds. You can find a store near you from the store locator on the website.

You can use the Helzberg Diamonds Credit Card account to make an online purchase, when your card arrives and not before.

Helzberg Diamonds also have a Layaway Program.

How to Buy Helzberg Diamonds & Jewelry
You have a choice. You can visit a Helzberg shop or make a purchase online. The price of diamonds could be slightly cheaper online however but you cannot look over the diamonds or jewelry however.

It is better to open an account, if buying diamonds and jewelry online as you can then track the progress of your purchase.

The ordering process is simple and straight forward. There are lots of pictures for you to see what you are ordering and the price of diamonds and jewelery is clearly displayed.

All orders are shipped through UPS. Packages are never marked so it is not possible to tell the contents by the packaging and a signature is always required upon delivery. In addition Helzberg insist that all orders over $1000 US Dollars must be shipped to the billing address.

Helzberg insure their shipping of course.

Provided you have set up an account prior to ordering you can track your order by visiting My Account on the website.

Helzberg Warranties
Are Helzberg Diamonds’ products guaranteed? What is the guarantee?

Helzberg have a Helzberg Diamonds Guarantee which you can read more about on the website. They claim it is a comprehensive guarantee policy, virtually unmatched by any other jeweler.

Which brings us to returns.

Helzberg Returns
Helzberg have a simple returns and exchange privilege. If for any reason you decide to return or exchange your purchase, you have 60 days (*30 days for unworn watches) to do so. Just take your purchase to any Helzberg Diamonds store the location of which can be found using the store locator on or you can call by phone.

If there is no Helzberg Diamonds store located near you, or you decide you want to return your purchase using UPS, Helzberg will arrange to have your purchase picked up by UPS - at no cost to you. Just call for an authorization number and instructions. Please note that all jewelry returned using UPS must pass an inspection before they will issue any refund or exchange.

However, all purchases made in a store must be returned to the nearest store location.

All refunds made by corporate check are sent through mail. Allow 10 business days for mailing. Refunds to a credit card or debit card are processed by a credit card processor daily and then forwarded to the appropriate banking facility for posting. Posting to your account my take 10-14 business days.

More Information on Helzberg
Helzberg has a stated policy on conflict diamonds as stated here.

“Helzberg Diamonds is committed to the ongoing global effort to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, a term that refers to diamonds that have been used to fuel decades-long wars and atrocities in many African countries, and that are suspected to have financed terrorist activities.”"Helzberg Diamonds is committed to upholding the highest human rights standards when purchasing diamonds and jewelry. We are also working with the industry to ensure that all members of the supply chain purchase diamonds that come from sources that meet the same high standards.”

Click here to learn about the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme - a system designed by the World Diamond Council, the Jewelers of America, and the United Nations to certify the sources of uncut diamonds.Recently, Helzberg Diamonds was among eight retail jewelers recognized by Oxfam America and Earthworks for their efforts to support reforms in the gold mining industry. These reforms include respecting basic human rights as outlined in international conventions and law.

If you have bought any diamonds or jewelry from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Zales Diamond Store

Monday, June 9th, 2008

zalesBefore you buy diamonds and jewelry from a Zales Diamond Store or, it is a good idea to read this write up and find out who and what Zales actually are and how safe they are.

It always pays to do ones own due diligence before buying from any diamond dealer or jeweler online.

Who are Zales Diamond Store
The Zale Corporation are considered the largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America, with over 2,300 locations. The company sells inexpensive jewelry and other items through Zales and other outlets such as, Zales Outlet, Peoples Jewellers, and Gordon’s. Also low-end jewelry and accessories at its Piercing Pagoda kiosks.

Zales was started in the 1920s by Morris (M.B.) and William Zale in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 29, 1924. There it remained until 1946 when the headquarters were moved from Wichita Falls to Dallas Texas. The corporate offices were housed in the Mercantile Bank Building, the first of several subsequent locations. The company continued to expand and prosper and in 1952, a profit sharing plan was introduced to employees.

In 1957, Zales announced the initial public offering of its stock (ZLC), began trading its public shares on the American Stock Exchange the following year and have continued to do so ever since.

Zales underwent an interesting history of the subsequent years, including filing for bankruptcy in 1992, recovering and increasing sales to over 1 billion dollars in 1994, and eventually grew to its current size of around 2200 retail stores in the US Canada and Puerto Rico, under a diverse range of brand names including, Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon’s Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewelers, Piercing Pagoda, Plumb Gold, and Silver & Gold Connection. Zale also has two online sites, and

The web site went online in 1997 and, as you can see, most visitors come from the US with most other countries in the less than 1 percent range.

United States 89.7%
South Korea 2.4%
Canada 2.2%
India 1.5%
China 0.4%
United Kingdom 0.4%
Germany 0.3%
Indonesia 0.3%
Australia 0.3%
Puerto Rico 0.2%
Mexico 0.2%
Algeria 0.2%
Thailand 0.2%
Portugal 0.1%
Ukraine 0.1%
Israel 0.1%
Other countries 1.8%

President and CEO of Zale Corporation is President and CEO Neal Goldberg . John B. Lowe, Jr., is the Chairman and the current Vice President and Treasurer is David H. Sternblitz. Other recent board members include, Richard Breeden and Jim Cotter.Mr. Breeden served as Chairman of the United States Securities & Exchange Commission. He has served on the boards of numerous public and private companies in the U.S. and Europe. He currently serves as the non-executive Chairman of the Board of H&R Block, Inc., and as a member of the board of BBVA of Spain, one of Europe’s largest banks.

James M. Cotter is a founding partner of Breeden Capital Management and is a Senior Managing Director of Richard C. Breeden & Co. Prior to joining Richard C. Breeden & Co. in 2005, Mr. Cotter was a senior partner and Vice Chairman of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Mr. Cotter joined Simpson Thacher in 1971 and became a partner in 1975.

Currently The Zale Corporation is based in Irving, Texas. The ticker symbol for Zale Corp. is ZLC and it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. At the time of this write up, the share price was around 21USD and the market capitalization was in the 900 to 920 million US dollar range.

Zales Diamond Store Customer Service
All prices listed on the Zales site are in U.S. dollars.

If makes a permanent price reduction on an item, they claim you may request a refund of the difference within 30 days of the date of your original order.

Contacting customer service at is easy as it is available twenty- four hours per day, seven days per week. The web site can be used to check order status, find answers to common questions, or to send a direct message to the team.., constantly offers special deals to encourage sales. Specials are constantly changing, however, so you need to visit regularly if there is something you have in mind and are waiting for it to come up in a sale. have 45 reviews of customer service at Zales and an average rating of 2 ticks out of 3. A variety of reviews, some very good and some very poor with many in between.

The problem with reviews such as this is that people rarely mention good service but are very quick to mention bad. Any company with such a high volume turn over are going to get their fair share of complaints, some may be valid but likely some will not be, so it is difficult to judge the quality of customer service except by ones own personal experience. As was stated above, it is always a good idea to do one’s own due diligence when buying online.

Zales Diamond Store Products
Zales have perhaps one of the largest ranges of diamond jewelry and accessories ranges including gifts, watches etc.

Here is just an idea of the products Zales markets and sells. The full range is available on site.

Loose Diamonds
Jewelry Boxes
Popular Collections
Shop By Material
Men’s jewelry
Children’s jewelry
Online Exclusives
Personalized jewelry
Engagement Rings
Three Stone Rings
Promise Rings
Wedding Bands
Bridal Sets
Loose Diamonds
Wedding Gifts
Bridal Catalog
Movadov Wittnauer
Caravelle by Bulova
Online Exclusives
Gifts for Dad
Graduation Gifts
Gift Cards
Reminder Service
Gifts for Mom
Wedding Gifts
Baby Gifts
Jewelry Boxes

Zales Diamond Store Payment Options
Zales will accept the following payment options.

Credit cards:
American Express
Zales Diamond Card (Zales have their own credit card available also)

Other forms of payment

Zales Gift Card e-Gift Card

Zales do not accept

Personal checks
Layaway plans

Further Information About Zale Diamond Store Payment.
Zales do not charge your credit card until the product ordered has been shipped but Debit and Bank Check Cards may reflect deduction of funds immediately upon order. As part of the security with credit card payments Zales will be comparing your billing name, address and phone number to your credit card monthly billing statement. And will likely cancel any order that does not match this also supports Verified by Visa (VbV), a security technology that authenticates your Visa card and ensures that only the authorized cardholder is placing the order. If the bank that issued your Visa card supports VbV, you may be prompted to enter your password or to sign up for VbV as you check out.

PayPal is an alternate method for purchasing your order. It enables any individual or business with an email address to securely send payments online. With a PayPal account, you can choose to pay with your credit card, debit card, bank account, or PayPal account balance for any purchase you make. Your credit card and bank numbers are not seen by Zales or any of it’s staff.

Zales Diamond Card. Zales Diamond Store also have their own credit card which you can apply for. There are financial charges to the card of course, as is with any store credit card. You can buy jewelry with your Zales Diamond Card as it is accepted at all stores nationwide as well as online at

Charges, with credit approval for purchases made on the Zale Diamond Card. As of May 1, 2008 APR for Purchases are 23.73%; Default Rate APR 27.73% (Rates may vary). Minimum Finance Charge $1.50. See card agreement for details including when the default rate applies.

How to Buy from Zales Diamond Store
Buying online is a matter of opening an account, selecting what you want from the range of products and simply ordering it and going through the usual process. When you have chosen what you would like to buy you will be directed to a page to enter your personal details, name address etc. IF you are paying by credit card , these details MUST match what is on the credit card statement otherwise Zales will likely refuse the order. Once this is done you will be sent to a page to select your shipping options. After you have selected how you would like your purchase to be shipped you will then be transported to the payment selection page. Payment can be by gift card, Zales credit card, standard credit card or PayPal.

Once you have selected and entered the information on your payment this will be confirmed and, with the exception of the gift card and PayPal which will be charged instantly, your payment will be deducted from the card when the product has been shipped. You should keep the receipt that you are sent to you email as well as the one the screen.

There is provision for personalized jewelry and this is a matter of picking from a range of products and indicating what personalization you require, such as a name, message etc, inscribed on the piece. You can also pick out gemstones you like and where you would like them placed in the piece you have selected.

Some items have free shipping on them and the value of the products offered is no more than 700 US dollars. only accepts orders for the United States, U.S. Territories and APO/FPO. They will not accept order from outside the US. Residents of Canada and Puerto Rico will need to go to a Zales or Zales branded store to buy from them.

Orders shipping to U.S. Territories may only be shipped via FedEx International Priority and may require additional business days for delivery. Likewise, orders to APO/FPO ship via USPS and may also require additional days for delivery.

Returns Policy of Zales Diamond Store
If you are dissatisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 30 days of the date your order was shipped from Zales.

You will get a full refund of the purchase price, not including shipping & handling, unless you can show the item was damaged or incorrect. provides you with two easy methods of returning an item. Either Returns by Mail or to a Zales Store. If you purchased your item from a store you cannot return it by mail and must return it to that store. If there is damage to an item upon delivery, you should call Zales customer service center immediately.

Please read the information on your original packing slip.
Pack the item securely.
Use the original package, if possible.
Enclose the return portion of the original packing slip with the item.
If you do not have your original packing slip, you will need to provide your name, address, phone number, email address, and order number.
All return shipping charges must be prepaid. Zale will not accept C.O.D. deliveries.
Keep the Return Tracking Number from the package you are returning to ensure that the package is returned to their distribution center.

You can expect a refund within 30 days of receipt of your returned product. Refunda will be credited to the same form of payment used in your original purchase.With regard to Returns to a Zales Retail Store

Place the item securely in the original package.
Enclose the original packing slip with the item.
If you no longer have the packing slip, take a copy of your Ship Confirmation e-mail or your online purchase receipt displayed during checkout.
All products will need to be returned in good condition, in original boxes, and with paperwork and accessories to ensure a full credit.
Take the package to any Zales retail store.
The store associate will process your return. Refund will be credited to the same form of payment in your original purchase.

Allow 30 days for the credit to appear on your billing statement.

Zales Diamond Store Warranties
Individual items such as watches for example may carry warranties such as a manufacturers 3 year warranty.

Also Zales offers a Jewelry Protection Plan on your jewelry purchases, with the exception of watches and online clearance items. Additionally, all diamond merchandise over $200 is included in their Lifetime Diamond Commitment, with the exception of online clearance items. If you order an item covered under that guarantee, you will receive a letter detailing the conditions.

You may have your Zales diamond cleaned and inspected as many times as you want, free of charge, for as long as you own it. To maintain your Lifetime Diamond Commitment, you need only take your diamond to Zales every six months for cleaning and inspection, along with your record-keeping card. When you take your diamond to a Zales store for each semi-annual inspection, a Zales associate will verify the inspections on your record-keeping card.

Zales lifetime diamond warranty applies to diamond rings, diamond earrings, diamond bracelets, and diamond necklaces with a retail value of $200 or more. The Lifetime Diamond Commitment does not cover theft, disappearance, loss or damages other than that incurred in normal wear, and only diamonds in their original settings that have been inspected and repaired by Zales are covered under this warranty.

Clearance items are not covered by the Zales Lifetime Diamond Commitment and are not eligible for the Lifetime Jewelry Protection Plan.

More Information on Zales Diamond Store
CORPORATE & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY page and governance guidelines. As Public Company with Shares the Board of Directors and company management have a responsibility to the shareholders to improve profits. Sometimes this takes precedence over the value of the customer. A fine balance, when it comes to the costs of customer service has to be weighed against the profit margins and dividends for shareholders.

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.


Monday, June 9th, 2008

novoriWhen it comes to the price of diamonds, it is a good idea to read reviews of diamond dealers and find out more about them. Read this review about Novari before you buy diamonds from them.

Who are Novari
Novori Inc., are a diamond retailer based in Bellingham, WA 98225. The President and Chief Executive Officer is Harold Schaffrick. The company has been in business since December the 7th 2005 and registered as a Better Business Bureau member from that date.

Novari Customer Service
Novori offer free FedEx shipping within the USA. A no risk 30 day money back guarantee. All rings are made within the USA.

Their office hours are Monday to Friday 9 AM to 5 PM (Pacific Time) and they have people on the phones so it is more than likely you will get a real person and not a machine when you call their toll free number. After hours you can leave a message and will get a call back the following day. have an extensive privacy policy and state they do not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to others.

As far as speed of service is concerned, directly payment is confirmed the diamonds are shipped within 7 days of receiving the order. For customized rings this can understandably take a bit longer. All diamonds are shipped by FedEx fully insured and will require a signature upon delivery.

Novori Inc. will also ship to other countries but any international orders it is wise to contact first.

Novari Price of Diamonds
Novori offer a very extensive range of diamonds and diamond jewelry products. The prices are reasonable and a 30 day return money back policy is in effect if the diamond piece is not what you expected.

These are loose stones and you can choose and select the type, quality and diamond price to suit you.ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Solitaire Rings
Rings with Sidestones
Three Stone Rings
Matching Bridal Sets
Tension Rings

Demeter Jewelry
Sareen Collection
Tulip Collection

Plain Wedding Rings
Diamond Rings

Plain Wedding Rings
Diamond Rings

Diamond Studs
Diamond Earrings
Diamond Bracelets
Diamond Pendants

Diamond Certification at Novori
Novori state, “To ensure the value of a diamond has been properly determined, an independent laboratory will inspect and write a report on each individual diamond. These reports include a physical inspection of the diamond and a written report called a grading report or diamond dossier, which will accompany the diamond. A gemologist will place the diamond under a microscope and carefully determined its proportions, color, symmetry, fluorescence, cut, clarity and carat weight. This inspection can take 30 to 60 minutes to complete.These laboratories exist to protect consumers and the diamond industry by creating standards used to grade loose diamonds. Some grading labs may have their own standards and may be more rigid in one category but more lenient in another. The most common independent certification laboratories groups include:

GIA - Gemological Institute of America
AGS - American Gem Society Laboratories
EGL - European Gemological Laboratories
IGI - International Gemological Institute

Novori prefer diamonds certified through GIA, AGS or EGL (USA). These laboratories have an excellent reputation in the North American market for providing accurate and consistent un-biased reports. To avoid disappointment in the diamond you purchase, you should always insist that a grading report from an independent laboratory be part of your purchase.”

Payment Options with Novori
All payment is expected to be made in full prior to shipping. Novori do not accept deposits or accept C.O.D. All payments must be in full in one transaction. The price of diamonds are shown on the website and all prices are in US dollars.

Payment methods include, credit cards for orders under $8,000USD. This can be a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card. For your security, a Credit Card Purchase Authorization form may be required to be completed with your ID and signature for credit card purchases.

Credit cards: Credit card payments are accepted on orders of $8,000.00 and under. Bank wire: Arrange payment through your bank and receive a 2.3% discount. Bank wire payments are accepted on orders of $250.00 or more. also accept debit cards but bear in mind that there are often daily limits set by banks that may make it difficult for Novori to process a debit card payment.

Wire transfers are acceptable and provide a 2.3 percent discount. This is basically where you have your bank transfer the funds direct from your bank to Novori’s bank. You will need to get instructions from Novori and you can expect it to take up to 3-4 days.

Novori Returns, Refunds and Exchange
If you are not totally satisfied with what you have received from you can apply for a refund or exchange. The diamonds or jewelry must be returned within thirty days however.

Items that have been worn, altered or damaged in any way may not be accepted for return. Also items may not be accepted if they are returned without all of the original documentation and packaging materials.

Any refunds on purchases made with a credit card will only be credited to the same card. Delivery charges are not refunded.

You can also return your diamond or jewelry item within 30 days of shipment from Novori, to exchange it for another selection. For an exchange, they will issue you credit for the price of the item (less any additional shipping upgrades you may have purchased) and you can apply this credit to the purchase of any other selection of your choice. If the new item you wished to purchase costs more than the credit you have remaining, of course they will charge you the difference.

Comparison purchasing is not supported by Novari. Comparison purchasing is when you buy several items with the intention of keeping the item you like best and then return the remaining items.

If you wish to return or exchange any purchased item call Novori Inc., prior to returning the item.

The Last Word on Novori
Novari provide an extensive range of diamonds at a fair price. It is always important to remain in contact with Novori at every stage of the transaction and always keep a written record of any phone calls.

Novori Inc state, “To ensure your diamond is an untainted symbol of love, we are committed to selling only conflict free diamonds. Conflict free diamonds are diamonds that have been mined in countries where there are no conflicts or civil wars and most of these countries adhere to a stringent regulation to control the exportation of diamonds called the Kimberley Process.”

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

diamonds.comReview before you buy from them. Find out exactly who you are dealing with and how secure they are.

Who Are, not to be confused with (a Rapaport company), are based in Las Vegas, Nevada. They are purely an online Diamond Jeweler and do not have a shop front or sell retail through a shop. state they have a database of over 40,000 loose diamonds and hundreds of styles of jewelry and are constantly adding new diamonds and designs. Customer Service
In one area of the site state they have sales consultants available by phone from 6am to 5pm PST Monday through to Friday on a toll free number yet in another they state “8am-5pm (PST) Monday - Friday” is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. So in compliance with the state tax law, they are required only to collect sales tax on orders shipped within the state of Nevada. They do not charge sales tax for shipments to any other state.

Information on their website about diamonds, such as cut, clarity, color and carat weight, is available as is information on gold and other precious metals.

There are customer service consultants available on the toll free line for further information also. Products claim that all their diamonds are either GIA or AGS certified but for an additional cost they will supply an additional independent appraisal from a registered appraiser to further verify you the purchase.

Information on each diamond product is very basic.

e.g 14k Yellow Gold Diamond Stud Earrings 1.00tcw
Earring Information
Style code: 130
Metal: 14k Yellow
Closure: Pushback
Diamond Information
No. of diamonds: 2-0.50ct round
Total Weight: 1.00 ct
Color: G - H
Clarity: SI1 - SI2
diamond price $2,809 so they are not cheap either.

Another example

18k Two Tone Gold Three Stone Anniversary Setting (3.50tcw)
Ring information
Style code: 408
Metal: 18k Yellow
Band Width: 3.8-7.00 mm
Ring Height: 8.5 mm
Thickness: 2.00 mm
Diamond information
Center Diamond
Side Diamonds
Diamond price is $430.

Note there is no information on the side diamonds provided. Shipping
Orders are normally processed by as they are received. Diamonds they have in stock are shipped within 1 or 2 days provided payment is verified. In the case of a diamond that requires setting then the order would take longer. Generally around 5 to 7 business days. deliver orders within the United States, and its territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands) only.

If you are overseas you will need to visit set up a mail forwarding account with other external service providers such as US Global Mail for example, and then you can place an order with using the US mailing address acquired. ship to the billing address only unless specified differently at the time the order is placed. If you want to ship to a different address you will need to advise your credit card company (if paying by credit card) and have this address added to your account. insist that the billing and shipping address must be verified by the credit card company or issuing bank.

All orders are shipped and insured via Federal Express or US Postal Service (to APO/FPO address and US Territories). If any other courier service is requested, additional shipping charges will apply.

As FedEx is unable to deliver to a P.O. Box address a physical street address and a signature upon receipt is required for delivery. Payment Options accept all the usual major credit cards, American Express, VISA, MasterCard & Discover as well as wire transfers directly to their bank. Upon request when the order is placed bank details are supplied to the customer. do not accept payments by check, personal or corporate or postal money orders. Returns Policy offer a 30-day warranty against manufacturer defect of the item. According to, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 30 days from receipt of the order provided the item is in the same condition as it was received. No questions will be asked and you will receive a complete refund of the purchase price of the piece (excluding the shipping charges). Upon receipt of the returned item it will be inspected by Items not in original condition and/or packaging, showing signs of wear, or that have been personalized with engraving will not be accepted for return. advise a sensible precaution when shipping diamonds which is, for security reasons, do not write ‘diamond’ or ‘jewelry’ anywhere on the outside of the box. Security state they only use insured carriers, specifically FedEx. All shipments are insured for the full value of their contents until signed for by the recipient. The incident of loss is no greater than any other purchase you may make over the Internet. If in fact the shipment is lost, we will provide a replacement or a full refund. has an extensive privacy policy which is well worth reading. uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to connect with the customer ’s computer. This protocol is the finest security available. SSL encrypts sensitive customer information and guards it from interception and misuse so the customers credit card and private details are secure. also state that, “Protection of offline customer information is of paramount importance as well. All customer information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Employees are granted access to personally identifiable information on a strict “need to know” basis”, and the servers which store personally identifiable information are located in a secure environment, in a locked facility. Warranty Guarantee offers a limited 30-day warranty guaranteed against defects in manufacturing and workmanship. This warranty, however, does not apply to items subjected to excessive wear, abuse, or physical damage whether accidental or otherwise.

Last word on state they are committed to working with suppliers that abide by the Kimberly Process Act that guarantees that each and every single purchase is documented as a diamond from a legitimate source and is conflict-free.

If you have bought any diamonds or jewelry from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Diamond Registry

Monday, June 9th, 2008 logoRead this review before you venture forth and buy diamonds from You will be glad you did. Find out what the price of diamonds are at

Who are the Diamond Registry
Diamond Registry was started over 40 years ago in 1961 by Joseph Schlussel, a diamond industry expert for over 40 years. In 1997 was started and began servicing the public.

Schlussel has been often quoted as an industry expert in the New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Money and on CNN.

Diamond registry are located in the famous Fifth Avenue in New York.

Diamond Registry Customer Service
Distinct from the many other diamond dealers with their customer service consultants and executive, Joseph Schlussel, the owner and president of, personally inspects every diamond sold by Each diamond sold comes with an official weight slip from the Diamond Dealers Club, accurate to the thousandth of a carat, and the certificate measurements and cut verified by a computer printout.

If you call by phone, you are very likely to get Schlussel himself who is very helpful and accommodating and will discuss all the intricate details of the diamond and the certificate.

Every customer can get a free E-praisal by a respected appraiser Mervyn L. Cohn, past chairman of American Society of Appraisers Gems and Jewelry Committee.

You can also get a free quote without you having to provide them another stone as a baseline.

When you select a diamond, you can get a fax of the full and unabridged Certificate as well as send you a computer analysis printout detailing the megascope analysis of the diamond you have selected.

Diamond Registry Products has a very simple and easy to use search engine for finding that diamond you have always wanted. You do have to understand something about diamonds in terms of what cut, color, carat weight and clarity you would like in order to pick out the diamond you want. do provide information about the various aspects of diamonds of course to help you make a decision.

All diamonds sold by are examined and evaluated by Joseph Schlussel prior to shipment.

Shipping is free on all diamond purchases.

Diamond Registry Payment Options
Diamond Registry accepts credit cards as well as bank wires for diamonds. To get an exact diamond price you need to fill in a ‘Free Diamond Price Quote’ form. The form asks every aspect of what you require in a diamond including any special requests. Diamond registry then contact you and discuss price.

Diamond Registry will offer to send the diamond to you with a CONDITIONAL INVOICE With a full Money Refund for the period clearly specified on the invoice if you are unsatisfied. There is no refund costs to return the diamond other than delivery or shipping.

Security at Diamond Registry
Diamond Registry states:

“The buyer’s name is confidential because of the Diamond Registry’s strict privacy policy.” also, “When you are buying from, you know the diamond is described accurately, without any misrepresentation or exaggeration.”

Diamond Registry have a very simple website and do not run a shopping cart or take credit card payments online. All business is conducted by phone and fax. is a member in good standing of at least three of the following six professional organizations?

Diamond Dealers Club
World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Jewelers Board of Trade
Gemological Association of Great Britain
Jewelry Information Center
Jewelers Vigilance Committee

The is also a member of leading trade organizations, including the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. have a policy on Conflict Diamonds as follows:

“As members of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses we subscribe to the Kimberley Process adopted by all diamond exporting countries. We require that all rough diamonds purchased by us are in compliance with United Nations resolutions and come with the following statement.”

“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in the funding of conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.”

However, missing from the website is a privacy policy and terms and conditions of service.

Diamond Registry Wholesale
The Diamond Registry also offers whole sale diamonds to dealers and trade members of the Diamond Dealers Club. One has to pay for membership and demonstrate that one is a diamond dealer but then one can obtain diamonds in parcels or lots at a discount for resale.

Mostly this would be the contact details of customer in your locality for you to see and make sales to.

Final Word on Diamond Registry
The Diamond registry is a small business principally administered with a hands on approach by Joseph Schlussel. This means that, although the website is very simple and not extremely comprehensive, the service is still excellent and Schlussel has evidently built his business over 40 years by work of mouth.

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Blue Nile Diamonds

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Blue are considered one of the largest diamond and jewelry dealers online. But what are they really like? Read this review before you venture forth and buy diamonds from Blue Nile.

Who are Blue Nile
Blue Nile has grown over the years to become a large online retailer of certified diamonds and jewelery.

The CEO of Blue Nile is Diane Irvine and the chairman is one Mark Vadon

Blue Nile has been reported as being larger than the next three largest online jewelers combined by Internet Retailer Magazine.

Blue Nile are listed on NASDAQ under the symbol NILE. The company has been awarded the Circle of Excellence Platinum Award, which recognizes the best in online customer service as ranked by actual consumers. Blue Nile is the only jeweler to have ever received this award, and has done so every year since 2002.

Blue Nile is also one of only two recommended diamond dealers by Robert Hensley’s Diamond Helpers who gives it a 35 out of 35 rating.

How to Buy Diamonds from Blue Nile
Blue Nile pride themselves on making the buying if diamonds and diamond jewelry simple and easy to understand. The diamond price system is not difficult to use and only requires you enter what you want in the way of a diamond.

You do need to have some information about diamonds to use the system however. This is not the fault of the system but rather the complexity of diamond pricing generally. However at no effort has been spared to provide a very easy to use search engine to find the diamond you want.

A great deal of attention has been given to making the process of buying a diamond and the ring it will be set in. Including a very large selection of rings of white gold, yellow gold or platinum and a range of styles.

You simply go through selecting the diamond first of all, There is a wide range of diamonds to choose from and a wide range of diamond prices also.

Once you have picked your diamond you select it and then are taken to an area to pick the ring and setting. Again this is relatively simple but, again, depends on you knowing what you want.

Once you have picked the ring you add it to your shopping cart and then go to the shopping cart to purchase your item(s).

Blue Nile Customer Service
The customer service offered by is excellent. Very fast and efficient. The online facilities are easy to use ands the range of diamonds and rings available are very extensive. You can easily reach the staff who are helpful with knowledge and suggestions. The phone response time is excellent with a real person on the end of the line rather than a machine. An impressive quality these days. The customer service line is open from 8am to 7 pm seven days a week so it is not difficult to get a person to talk to. have been Forbes preferred online jeweler for around 4 years.

The amount of information on each diamond is very comprehensive and Blue Nile have evidently gone to a lot of trouble to ensure the customer gets the full story on each diamond.

All products come gift wrapped. Each product comes in a distinctive, matte blue packaging.

Blue Nile Costs and Shipping
Although it is difficult to do a one for one comparison with diamond prices, the price of diamonds and rings offered by are favorably comparable to other diamond dealers. Blue Nile rely on the age old method of turn over so the prices are among the cheapest available.

Blue Nile will accept a range of payment methods including credit card, direct bank transfer and bank wire. You can pay online with the credit card or call and speak to someone to do a wire transfer. A bank wire will give you a 1.5 percent discount it is useful to know.

Shipping overseas is available but only loose diamonds are shipped overseas. There are some restrictions such as a minimum amount of purchase depending on the country.

The online security for credit card payments is excellent and the system is fully secured. Credit cards accepted are: Amex/diners/mc/visa/discover.

PayPal is also accepted.

Shipping is by FedEx priority overnight. And is delightfully free.

Financing is also available. Diamonds and diamond rings can be big ticket items and often finance is desired to help with the payments. Blue Nile has partnered with Bank of America to provide finance. A fast decision is available on most applications.

Terms are generally, 3 months same-as-cash or a line of credit with a repayment term of up to 60 months with an annual percentage rates as low as 8.99% on Credit lines up to $25,000. Of course, if you apply for a line of credit here, your financial situation may require different arrangements and interest rates.

Blue Nile Security
Blue Nile have a privacy policy and standard terms and conditions available on site. Blue Nile state that no information about their customers is given to third parties without that customers permission.

The have a secured site for credit card transactions placing of orders. Blue Nile has partnered with Google Checkout also for those people who have a google account set up for shopping securely.

The site is generally clean and easy to use. It is fast loading and efficient and various sections are easy to find.

When you buy diamonds from Blue Nile, your purchase is covered by Blue Niles insurance from the time it leaves their jeweler’s workshop to the moment it arrives at your door.

Blue Nile 30 day Returns
Blue Nile offer a generous 30-day return policy. This gives plenty of time to make sure you are happy with your purchase. If for any reason you are not satisfied, you can return any item without custom engraving in its original condition within 30 days.

The Last Word on Blue Nile
Lastly Blue Nile state that, “Blue Nile, along with the global diamond industry, has a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds. Through measures such as the Kimberley Process, which tracks diamonds from mine to market, the industry in partnership with the United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations, polices diamond exports to prevent the trade of illegal diamonds.”

Blue Nile diamonds are purchased through dealers adhering to the Kimberley process and all Blue Nile diamonds are warranted to be conflict free.

Blue Nile supports the Kimberley process, which is an International process to track and certify diamonds. In April 2003, congress and President Bush passed a law adopting the Kimberley Process that requires all US diamond retailers to buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels.

Blue Nile is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM ET and Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM ET

More information is available at

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Union Diamond

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Union DiamondAlthough Union Diamond are one of the most well known diamond dealers in the US it is a good ideal to find out more about them by reading this review before you buy diamonds from

Who are Union Diamond
The Union Diamond Corporation was started in September 2001 by Scott Anderson, CEO and Tony Rixom, COO of Union Diamond. Union Diamond used to be a wholesale operation selling loose diamonds to jewelry stores and other dealers. However they have extended their operation to sell direct to consumers.

Union Diamond Corporation now sells wholesale and retail loose diamonds, pre-made and custom-made jewelry, and watches online and through their showroom in Atlanta, Georgia. All their products are distributed from one location. Their customer service includes education by live diamond experts offering telephone consultations. including advice from diamond industry veterans president and CEO Scott Anderson and COO Tony Rixom.

This is a smaller but growing operation that gives excellent, personal service and great prices.

Union Diamond Customer Service
According to reports and feedback from past clients, the customer service of is nothing short of superb. The consultants are very knowledgeable about diamonds and also very patient and helpful. Something often missing when a person asks many inane or ignorant questions by phone. After you have called they call back right away. They email in minutes. They go into any level of detail needed to satisfy your query. They will even fax you a cert, or a Sarin report, or any photo of a setting. Pretty much anything you want virtually instantly.

In various follow up tests, every staff member amazingly showed an excellent level of knowledge and patience.

Union Diamond Products
Union Diamond have access to an extremely wide and diverse range of products, partially because they are really wholesales originally and evidently have retained all the contacts that wholesales would have. You can ask for what you want, and if they do not already have it in stock, they will be able to get it for you in a day or so.

This includes all the cuts, sizes, grades, unusual shapes even as well as extra fine qualities for the discerning buyer. They have a very simple and easy to use search engine. It is also very fast and orderly and very clear.

Usually a diamond grading report accompanies any of the loose diamonds. The most common will be a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or an American Gem Society (AGS) report. These laboratories are recognized world over and are totally independent of Union Diamond.

The price of diamonds at Union Diamond are very competitive. The margin on the diamond price is small and they offer some of the cheapest I have seen around.

Union Diamond Payment Options
Union Diamond accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. All orders paid for by credit card pay the stated price. Union Diamond Corporation state, “All credit card orders must be shipped to the billing address. We are happy to send your order to a work or alternate shipping address but that address must be placed on file your credit card company. All packages must have an adult signatory for release.”

However, paying by bank wire will give the customer a 3 percent discount from the regular stated price. On a big ticket item, this is a worthwhile saving. But you have to make your choice in the beginning. You cannot change midstream to get the discount. This is likely because the merchant incurs fees for credit card use. Bank wires are cheaper for the merchant so they can offer the discount.

Returns Policy of Union Diamond
The Union Diamond Corporation (”Union Diamond”) offers a Thirty (30) day return guarantee. As most dealers only offer 7 days this is quite generous. This does not apply to custom order however. Whereas a standard order item can be resold, custom made products are understandably much more difficult to sell.

Union Diamond state, ” In the event that a customer decides to exchange an item, the exchange must be made within the 30 day return and exchange period from the date of shipment. The exchange of an item does not extend the original return and exchange policy and the customer should be fully aware that any such right to return or exchange any item under our 30 day return policy will expire after the 30th day of the date of the original shipment.”

Full details of the return policy is on the website.

Union Diamond Warranties
Union Diamond also warrants that all merchandise will be free of workmanship and manufacturing defects. They also suggest that you contact your insurance professional and have the item fully insured.

More Information on Union Diamond
Union Diamond is located in Atlanta, Georgia 30339, USA and is required to collect sales tax for items purchased and delivered within the State of Georgia. They do not collect any sales tax for items that are shipped anywhere else within the USA so if any sales or use tax is due in your state, it will be your responsibility to contact the state in question and inquire about any possible tax liabilities.

The Union Diamond Corporation also advise that all the diamonds advertised on their site have been supplied from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. Union Diamond Corporation state they guarantee that their diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written and verbal guarantees provided by any supplier of these diamonds.

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Martin Rapaport

Who are Rapaport is the website of, Martin Rapaport, a diamond dealer and somewhat of a crusader in the diamond industry.

Martin Rapaport is the founder of the Rapaport Diamond Report. This has become the ‘authority’ on the price of diamonds throughout the world. He is a member of the World Diamond Council as well as the board of Jewelers for Children and an early proponent of the Kimberley Process.

He is also the host of the Rapaport International Diamond Conference which is held annually in new York and serves as an industry forum between the various parties in the diamond business such as the jewelry industry, governmental agencies, and various diamond industry interests.

Martin Rapaport began his career in the diamond business as a cleaver and rough sorter in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1975 he began brokering rough and polished diamonds in New York City and in 1978, he created the now famous Rapaport Prices List.

He has since created many other businesses but all relating to the diamond industry, including the electronic trading network for traders RapNet and INDEX, and diamond-related news in print and web formats.

Martin Rapaport is now somewhat of a legend within the diamond industry, and is often recognized for his characteristic signature bow tie.

Rapaport Products and Service
One of the most salient products to come from Martin Rapaport is the Rapaport Diamond Report in originated in 1978 and which has been well positioned now as the de facto standard authority baseline for pricing wholesale polished diamonds. The fact that diamonds now cost considerably less is mainly attributed to the Rapaport Diamond Report

Most of the diamond business agreements and dealer sales these days are based on the Rapaport Diamond Report or Rap or List prices.

Some people argue whether Rap set the diamond price or simply reports them. It is a fact that since the report was issued the price of diamonds has dropped but it does not make a lot of difference these days. The fact is, every dealer and diamond merchant uses Rap.

In the trade Diamond dealers ask, “how much back?” Asking for the price per carat, or worse still, the price of the stone shows you are a beginner. Only at the last stages of haggling would you work out the stone cost if it was say $5013 you might demand “OK, round it to $5K!”

To view the Rapaport Diamond Report, you have to be a diamond dealer and you have to pay for the privilege of course. Virtually every dealer works from this list these days. The list are copyright and these copyrights are strictly enforced.

Rap lists diamonds in separate grids of carat weight, with prices in $100’s per carat in rows from D to M for Color and separate columns for each Clarity grade (including SI3 which is a split of SI2 and I1).

Subscribers receive weekly updates of round prices and a monthly update including fancy shape prices (in the center pages of an informative magazine). Price rises are printed bold and rare falls are in bold italics.

Use of Rap has evolved over time. Diamond Traders tend to establish discount levels by agreement between cutters, dealers, retailers and e-tailers dependent on various criteria such as payment terms, volume etc. Cut, Fluorescence and other features such as Symmetry and Polish are not included on the list resulting in some big variations in discounts.

Last Word on Rapaport
Martin Rapaport’s impact within the industry has been profound and resulted in a marked change in the attitude towards diamonds as well as affecting the price of diamonds in the long term.

His commercial price guides have made manipulation of prices more difficult in the diamond industry, and are considered, by many as a step toward commoditizing diamonds. In fact Neil D. Reiff once commented that Rapaport is “destroying” the diamond industry with trying to commoditize diamonds, and that his price guide no longer reflects the wholesale value of diamonds as they are sold, instead, influences what those prices are before they go to market. Rapaport has countered this with the statement that diamonds are not unique, as De Beers marketing claims, and are subject to the same laws of supply and demand as anything else.

In fact, Martin Rapaport is an open advocate of commoditizing diamonds. He tried once in 1982 by filing out a contract proposal to the New York Commodities Exchange to create a diamond commodity market. The effort failed, he claimed, because the “diamond industry didn’t want price transparency.” He is currently writing a new proposal and believes it will only be a matter of time before the idea succeeds, as long as a sufficient criteria of standardization is created. Rapaport has said that diamonds are “definitely a commodity.”

“You buy and sell them for cash. They’re a natural resource with limited supply; they’re well defined; they’re certified; they’re analyzed, graded, tradable around the world.”

Martin Rapaport has been likened to an affable and bubbly version of Bill Gates. A genius with an economics background, he grew up in a diamond family and rose to fame by reporting wholesale diamond prices during the 1979-80 commodity boom when 1.00ct D Flawless reached a dealer price of $36,000 (twice today’s list price).

He has since built a substantial diamond information and service business, and like Gates, he is loved and hated but never ignored.

The Rapaport Diamond Report and The Diamond Price Report are trade price market analysis and indicator tools of HIGH CASH ASKING PRICES. Price reports do not factor in higher prices for better proportions and finish or lower prices for poor proportions / cut, etc.

The Price lists are designed for diamond industry professionals. Not for customers or clients.

So in all diamond situations, if you are buying diamonds always remember to do your due diligence.

Many stores who claim to sell “at or below Rap” or “a percentage under New York Wholesale”, diamonds priced below the market, are simply offering poor quality diamonds, ‘makes’ or dogs that the regular trade can’t move. The Also watch out the vendor who misrepresents the quality of an uncertified diamond. There is never a guarantee with an uncertified diamond. Keep in mind that certified diamonds always cost more than uncertified diamonds.

When it comes to the price of diamonds, you get what you pay for which means you don’t get what you don’t pay for!

If you have bought any diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products from, please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online.

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