Whiteflash

When my fiance first mentioned that he was going to purchase my e-ring off the internet, I almost fell out of my chair. I was horrified that he would even consider purchasing such an expensive and meaningful item online. I guess many people still have this preconceived notion that shopping online can be dangerous, so I was not about to let him buy my engagement ring sight unseen from some guy who ran a diamond site using Frontpage (web software program).

But it turns out my fiance did a hybrid purchase online and in person. He really did his research, mainly on Pricescope.com, educating himself on diamond quality and purchasing. It’s a great resource for newbies who don’t know the first thing about diamond selection. The forums are the best source of information for people who want to know what to look for in a diamond beyond the obvious 4 C’s (cut, clarity, carat, and color).

Pricescope has tools called the Ideal Scope and Holloway Cut Adviser you can use to appraise the dimensions of loose stones – they basically tell you how brilliant the diamond will be compared to others. The forums are full of diamond experts or at least people who are diamond fanatics. Pricescope also has many FAQs and various articles to educate people about potential diamond purchases (ie. who to buy from and common mistakes people make). Some of the people on the site are actually diamond appraisers.

Mr. Apple combed the Pricescope forums looking for stories and first hand accounts of consumers (whether positive or negative) who had bought their stones online at sites such as Blue Nile, Good Old Gold, and Whiteflash among others. Whiteflash tended to have great reviews from the forums and it was a plus that they were based out of Houston. So my fiance drove down to Houston from Dallas (approx 4 hour drive) to take a look at a few loose diamonds at the WhiteFlash office.

To his amazement, the diamonds looked so much better than any of the mall diamond jewelers’ – the loose diamonds were much more brilliant and a much better value for your money. Along with the purchase of the loose diamond, they give you a verification report that verifies that the diamond you will be receiving is the same diamond on the diamond grading report (AGS, EGL, GIA). Because Whiteflash is an online vendor, they can send your diamond to any of the 50 states and if you happen to live in a state with no sales tax, you could actually save a ton of money. So he shipped it to my cousin, who lives in Lousiana, and she delivered it to us when she came to Dallas. Boom he got the stone!

After finding the loose diamond and the setting, we needed to get it appraised by a reputable and independent appraiser. Mr. Apple went to Jarvis Gems and Jewelry Appraisals in Dallas to get the final setting of my ring appraised. The cost for a professional appraisal for insurance purposes was $50 which included an appraisal quote, photographs, and an approximate market value of the ring.

My fiance asked the appraiser if he had had any problems with the quality of loose diamonds that were purchased online, and he said basically that all diamonds are the same whether purchased online or from a retailer. There is no such thing as a discount diamond because you’re paying them for the approximate market value. The appraiser told my fiance that he got a really good price for the diamond and that he would have paid a lot more had he gone to a retailer.

All in all, Whiteflash was a great and easy diamond buying experience for my fiance. Their online reputation was very good and we would recommend them as a potential loose diamond jeweler. But like any large purchase, do your research and watch out for fraudulent money making jewelers.

Have you used Whiteflash or any other online jeweler?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Apple

Location:
Dallas
Wedding Date:
May 27, 2007
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  1. Guest
    Miss Bird of Paradise, Guest @ 10:41 am

    yea for pricescope & wf! wf is where mr. bop purchased my rings too. and i purchased his there as well. i’ve been meaning to blog about it, but just haven’t had the time. you must post a pic miss apple!

  2. Guest
    hm, Guest @ 10:42 am

    my ering came from bluenile; we plan on buying both bands at bluenile too! we picked his ring; he gave me a selection of bands to pick from and he will choose the final one as a surprise.

    i get so many compliments on my ering, especially the brilliance of the diamond and the unusual setting.

  3. Guest
    Miss Kiwi, Guest @ 10:46 am

    Ha ha ha, I’m from Pricescope and WF is where my ring is from, too! Well, the center stone. I love WF!

  4. Guest
    Miss Bluebell, Guest @ 10:51 am

    Oooh, yay, yet another PS-er!! Mr. Bluebell didn’t buy my ring online, but I am totally sold on getting any future diamond purchases (haha wishful thinking) from Whiteflash or another reputable online retailer!

  5. Guest
    miss violet, Guest @ 11:09 am

    My computer geek fiance got mine on bluenile.com after doing tons of research. i get plenty of compliments on my ering so i’m very happy..

  6. Guest
    Deco, Guest @ 11:12 am

    Did my (ha! our) research online at Pricescope … learned all about Asschers … but used that knowledge & pricing etc to purchase at a Diamond District vendor. Then I found the wedding ring I wanted at a local boutique jewelry store .. but they couldn’t remember who to order it from! Found it online MYSELF at less than 1/2 the price (in platinum that the store would have sold White Gold if their tag hadn’t been smudged & out of date.) Eventual online w-band vendor: Estatediamondjewelry.com. PRICESCOPE is the best!

  7. Guest
    Deco, Guest @ 11:13 am

    Oh .. almost forgot … HIS ring is from online too … Signed Pieces platinum 4mm milgrain edged comfort fit band. Not the absolute cheapest place we found … but way better than B&M prices … and excellent service/quality.

  8. Guest
    Pencils, Guest @ 11:21 am

    My enagement ring was found online, but it’s a vintage aquamarine set in platinum, not a new diamond. (I didn’t want a new diamond for many reasons.)

  9. Guest
    LA, Guest @ 11:22 am

    Pencils can you tell us more about where you got your recycled ring? I’m interested in recycled jewelry too….I know there was a post on her awhile back about greenkarat.com, just curious if you know of any others?

  10. Guest
    Miss Bird of Paradise, Guest @ 11:23 am

    ha ha, hey who’s your cousin?

  11. Guest
    Pencils, Guest @ 11:34 am

    LA–I don’t know if I’d call mine “recycled,” as it hasn’t been remade, it’s a vintage ring. Once it was someone else’s ring. Or maybe twice! Or more. No way to tell. It came from an estate jeweler in Conneticut.

    http://www.trocadero.com/bradford/

    There are quite a few estate jewelers online, several have been mentioned here on Weddingbee, I think, and also on the Kenzie Kate blog.

  12. Guest
    Nony Mouse, Guest @ 2:38 pm

    My FI got the stone from Mondera.

  13. Guest
    sweetestcutie, Guest @ 3:18 pm

    my engagement ring was purchased through whiteflash as well, and i cannot complain. it has gotten oh so many compliments. it is incredible looking – cut above hearts and arrows. it really has all the sparkle i ever could have fantasized. because we live in houston, it was even sweeter that he was able to meet the diamond cutter and ask all the questions he wanted to be sure it was perfect.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v168/sweetestcutie/myring.jpg

  14. Guest
    cambridge, Guest @ 6:04 pm

    wow, so many PSers here! we just ordered my ring today from WF!

  15. Guest
    Miss Apple, Guest @ 10:10 pm

    sweetcutie – your ring is stunning! I love it!

    I tried to take some pictures of my ring to post along with this blog but the shots are coming out bad…i don’t know if its the camera or the setting i have it on. I will try my darndest to get it posted. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Member
    dragonfly2 42 posts, Newbee @ 10:15 pm

    sweetescutie- gorgeous ring! what size, color, cut rating did you get?

  17. Guest
    Our Rings 1: Branded Diamonds » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 1:15 pm

    [...] Apple blogged about Whiteflash so I thought it may be nice timing to blog about our rings. Like Mr. Apple, Mr. [...]

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