After seeing some of the Elsa Peretti “Diamonds by the Yard” bezel set studs at Tiffany & Co, and even almost buying a pair there on impulse despite the price and the lack of confirmation of cut quality, I decided that I should look more into other options before I went off the reservation and plunked my hard earned cash down for the name-brand pair. Afterall, I wasn’t really sure this option was the best there ever was, despite what the lovely saleswoman was insistent upon being “a Tiffany diamond” and “of course it’s the best there is, it’s from Tiffany.”
Editor’s Note: The content and all photographs contained herein are provided by Amy of the exceptional blog: According to Ame, which is a blog that I’m sure you will enjoy reading… she purchased a pair of diamond stud earrings from Brian Gavin Diamonds awhile back, and has been kind enough to share her experience with my readers! Many thanks Amy, you’re the best!
There are a lot of things I research before buying, not just diamonds, but obviously, when I am plunking down a ton of cash, I want to know I am buying the best I can get for my money. I am not really someone that is scouting for a deal. Sure I like a great price, but only if it’s on exactly the item I want. I am not going to settle to get a great price. And when it comes to diamonds, that’s especially important.
I know, mostly from experience and research, that not a lot of vendors supply ideal cut diamonds in super small sizes, but it truly does make a difference, especially when someone is looking at wedding bands and dainty diamond studs such as the style I was considering. And what I have learned by doing this research, and by being well educated, both on my own and by the industry, is that Tiffany isn’t exactly known for having the best diamonds there ever were, no matter what they tell you in their sales pitch. They really do like to play on your emotions with that marketing, though. What I also know is that Brian Gavin Diamonds, an online-based ideal-cut diamond and jewelry vendor, made a really nice set of bezel set studs, that looked near identical from the front to the Tiffany version.
You see, I have a bit of a reputation. Whether this is good or bad is up for debate. I am known in a few parts of the web as a “cut nut,” both on my own blog, and on a few internet forums, both for luxury goods and diamonds. I don’t have a problem with Tiffany products necessarily, I even own several, including my diamond wedding band. But I also know enough about diamonds to know that well-cut diamonds are the way to go, and I get my kicks checking them out, and poring over the minutia within the most ideal of ideal cut diamonds, and buying from the best vendors in the business, those who recognize the best cutting, or in this case, do it themselves. And that often means that I don’t buy from Tiffany.
Not only am I a “cut nut,” but I am ridiculously detail-oriented, and incredibly particular about the workmanship of my pieces. I looked at several pairs of the Elsa Peretti studs in my local Tiffany store, and found something unsavory about each one, not even factoring in the less than favorable diamond cut quality of the available pairs. While that might be because I am in a smaller market store for them, it felt indicative of the supply in general. I decided to keep looking beyond the brand, so to speak. This, of course, isn’t a necessity purchase, like underwear and socks and food. This is a first world luxury, and I had time and money to throw at this “problem.”
After having pored over a ridiculous quantity of really close up images of both brands’ settings, I decided to go with the Brian Gavin Diamonds option, not only for price, but because of the known significantly better diamond quality. What I think I loved most about the bezel from the Brian Gavin Diamond’s version was that the thinness of the metal made it appear like the diamond was just floating on your ear. I was looking for dainty studs, and the daintiness was a big deal to me, especially given the size of the diamonds was a total weight of 0.30 carats (0.15 carats per ear.)
The transaction was flawless, the workmanship is absolutely amazing–they passed my 30x louping examination, even–I’ll admit that very little has ever met that standard–and the diamonds are, as I expected, perfection. When they arrived, I was not even able to sit and gawk at them for many hours after claiming the package. I had to stare longingly at the unopened FedEx box for, like, 3 hours, because I was wrapped up in a time-sensitive project, and had no other choice. It was hellish. Torture! My hundreds weren’t fitting in my wallet, and my diamond shoes were too tight!
When I finally did tear into this box, it was like angels singing. Holy. Hellfire. These are amazing! I was in no way disappointed. And this was just viewing them at night, in the worst possible lighting in my entire house. So I knew they were going to make me squeal and clap when I saw them in daylight.
When I mentioned earlier that these were near-identical to the Tiffany pair, I really do mean that. These are convincing enough to have fooled multiple sales associates at my local Tiffany location on my last visit when I was getting my wedding band checked out, and playing around trying on a few new designs. In fact, the Brian Gavin Diamonds’ bezels were some of the nicest, and thinnest, I’d seen, more consistent than even the ones in the case at this particular Tiffany’s location. And especially in smaller diamond sizes, which was what I was after. The sales person I worked with most that day complimented me on them several times, and said I selected the perfect size and really nailed the look, and that she was surprised that Tiffany sells this style in such large diamond sizes since that defeats the purpose of the entire design. All the while, complimenting me on someone else’s work. I didn’t have the heart to tell her they weren’t Tiffany.
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