“A Great Experience.. After a Scare”
I feel compelled to share this story, since reading reviews on this site prompted me to immediately second guess our purchase.
My boyfriend and I visited Diamonds International Cozumel during a cruise on the Carnival Legend. He had been wanting to purchase a ring and had been shopping in the US but was discouraged by the cost of one. The night before our last destination stop, Cozumel, we stopped by the Shopping Experts' table. Gary was extremely helpful talking to us about diamonds (we had no prior knowledge about specifics). He specifically told us about what shape we were looking for and the specifications best for the shape (color, clarity). He told us about Diamonds International and how you can get a lot more value for your money there compared to shopping in the US for a diamond and showed us his wife Renee's ring that he had purchased in the same store. It seemed like all week long we had heard about DI and how great it was so we visited the store in Cozumel when we stopped the next day.
The salespeople immediately took us over to a case of loose diamonds and we compared many different cuts of the shape we wanted (cushion) and went over the important factors like carat size, color, clarity. Renee was there helping us and we were also joined by the store manager. It just so happened the diamond we fell in love with was one she pointed out in the case. Although the diamond was lower on the color scale than we knew we were supposed to be looking for, it was gorgeous, whiter than diamonds with a higher color we compared it to and really didn't seem like it could really be that low on the scale. The manager and Renee said it could be attributed to fluorescence but didn't seem to really know (I don't think it was on any of the reports). Renee helped my boyfriend negotiate a price and we were able to pick up the diamond later in a 18K white gold Tiffany style setting, thrilled with our purchase and thinking we got such a great deal. (for those wondering.. the element of surprise is I haven't seen the diamond in the setting, so I don't know exactly what the ring looks like and he hasn't officially 'popped the question' yet) Anyway....
The "scare" comes when we got home to the US and googled Diamonds International. The first thing that comes up is SCAM and all these BAD reviews. Scary reviews, like we'd made a bad decision and lost money that couldn't and wouldn't be refunded. We immediately made an appointment with an independent appraiser nearby.
The appraiser took one look and said "wow this is a nice ring." He did all his tests and it turns out the diamond is 3 colors higher on the scale (big difference!) and one clarity rating higher. It immediately made the diamond more valuable than we thought, and my boyfriend had paid below the US retail price for such a stone, meaning he couldn't have bought it in the US for the same price.
The unclear part is whether Diamonds International intentionally tried to "scam" us or not based on what we THOUGHT we were purchasing. They used the Retail Replacement Value price on the diamond's certificate as the starting retail purchase price. Apparently, that price is significantly higher than what you could actually purchase the diamond for. Did we pay too much money for the diamond we THOUGHT we were buying? Maybe. Did it turn out to be everything they touted Diamonds International to be, more value for less money? Yes. So I'm unsure if we got lucky or not, but we were THRILLED to learn that we didn't find out the worst about our purchase.
I'd recommend to know more about diamonds if you're going to buy something there. We probably could have bargained lower for the stone we thought we were buying, based on its specifications. It might be a lucky story that it's significantly worth more, but who knows. I'd also just bring a print out from the internet showing what you could buy the stone for somewhere else. That would prevent the confusion about insurance value vs. real retail value and you'd know you're for sure getting a good deal. The negative reviews on this site really scared us, but we couldn't be happier. We are VERY happy with the outcome, and I can't wait to wear the ring with pride!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC