Kay Jewelers "Love's Embrace" necklace---real or fake diamond?

Before I get to the situation, in order to avoid a repeat of the thrashing I got on a BBQ Pit by some oh so wonderful food snobs, I need to point out the following so I don’t get heckled by jewelry experts as “white trash”:

  1. I do not typically shop at shopping mall jewelry stores. There’s a local Mom and Pop jeweler that I use. But my wife has been seeing these commercials for that damned “Love’s Embrace” necklace from Kay Jewelers, and to my surprise, specifically asked for it for Xmas.

  2. With the exception of her engagement ring, I have never spent over $500 on a piece of jewelry. I’m lucky in that my wife tends to prefer lower price antique type of jewelry (or so she claims, right ladies?) but because I have been somewhat financially blessed over the past few years, and my wife has been very wonderful and supportive despite the demands of my job, I decided to splurge a little and get there the 1/2 carat version that retails at $1299 (which I ended up getting for $899):

It’s a stunning looking piece, even for Kay’s. :slight_smile: OK, maybe some of the fellas here think $10,000 is splurging for a piece of jewelry, and I sound cheap, but to ME $1000 is a lot of money for a necklace, and I’d say the same thing if I was a billionaire. :slight_smile:

  1. As a male, I know NOTHING about what a good value is in a piece of jewelry, but I know my wife’s tastes very well, and rarely does she ask for a specific piece, but I seem to hit a home run every time when I surprise her. So please excuse my ignorance about jewelry (though I know the markups are astronomical).

Here’s what’s troubling me: While wrapping the gift, a salesman (who was not the one who sold me the necklace, but was assisting the woman who sold it to me) mentioned that the diamond had been cut by some famous diamond cutter. I asked him to repeat the guys name. He did (and I have no idea or appreciation who it is), and then, just as I was signing the credit card slip, the salesman, who probably should have kept his mouth shut, drops the following bomb:

“It’s not a real diamond, but you can tell her it was cut by blah blah blah.”

My heart dropped down my throat. Did I just almost pay $1000 for cubic zirconia? Is this a diamond made in a factory? Nowhere in the ad or on their website do I see any indication if this is a “real” or “not real” diamond. It just says “diamond”. I wanted to ask the salesman to repeat what he just said, but for some reason I froze up, took the necklace and left the store, wondering what have I just done?

Or, based on your knowledge of jewelry, even though its a manmade diamond (if thats the case), it’s still a very nice piece made of white gold, and I should take heart in that I did not buy a blood diamond?

Or did I just get ripped off by Kay Jewelers? If my wife likes the necklace, thats fine, but I’d rather pay a few hundred for a smaller one if its a fake diamond. Or am I just being a cheapskate? I mean, I don’t mind buying a fine piece of jewelry, but I want the real deal.

Please advise, jewelry experts!

You just bought a real natural diamond. Just not a real nice one.

Note that in the specs on the linked page they say

That’s a bottom end diamond.

If you had, I think you’d have a small claims court case. AFAIK diamond simulants in general sell for a lot less than $2000/carat.

If it’s pretty and your wife likes it, I don’t see why you should care how it rates on the standard diamond quality scales.

One benefit of cubic zirconias is that they’re basically flawless, so they wouldn’t have a Clarity rating anywhere near that low.

Clarity grading system link - the Kay webpage has a guide but I can’t link directly to it.

What does your paperwork say? Or labeling on the item?

Find out or it will continue to bother you, especially when you see her wearing it.

You might want to consider taking it elsewhere and telling them you don’t want a value appraisal, just a rating of the stone and its quality. Or bring it back and tell them what happened and that you are very disturbed about what the salesman said.

I don’t think CZ’s get color and clarity ratings, do they?

By Kay’s website, under the specs, it’s stated that this is a diamond, with minimum color and clarity ratings. If anything, you should be able to get a certificate of authenticity, I would think, if you’re concerned. It’s not worth an appraisal.

It sounds like you have a pretty good relationship with the smaller estate jeweler you usually use. You could probably have them take a quick look at it, takes 2 seconds, just to tell you it’s real. If it’s a place you use regularly, I really don’t think they would mind.

That sales guy sounds like a real knucklehead!

Damn, that guy knows nothing about good customer service. What a doofus.

That’s fine with me. I just want to make sure its a real diamond. It’s just that when I saw the $80, the $200 and $300 versions, and I think theres a $500 version, I was like “eh”. But the luster of the $899 version blew them all away.

These comments make me smile because it reminds me of the crash course I got 10 years ago when I was shopping for my wife’s engagement ring, and with the ring I chose I ended up sacrificing carats for clarity because the diamond I selected was so amazing looking, and it paid off, as she spent the next two months staring at it with a smile on her face. :smiley:

Not a bad thought. Only problem right now it it is grift wrapped. But if I can get it out, I might just do that. I do have a good enough relationship with my jeweler and spend enough money with him and her that I think they would be happy to look at the diamond. I really like that suggestion.

There is a very, very good chance I might have misheard him. I get very nervous when I’m spending that kind of money. So if I repeat what he said to Kay I might be getting him into trouble unfairly.

That said, the number one rule of closing a sale is as follows: once the sale is closed, shut the FUCK up. It’s very possible the kid was trying to impress with me with his knowledge, or that he was impressed with who cut the diamond, or was genuinely impressed with my purchase, but if he had never said a single thing, I would have walked out very very happy. Now, I’m spooked over what might have been a simple miscommunication. If I was the saleswoman who sold me the necklace, I would have jacked the punk up against a wall.

Reminds me of this scene in Glengarry Glen Ross:


What SamClem said, about the diamond.

As a jewelry seller, which I used to be, I was always quite upfront with people. To the point of telling them that if they wanted a very good stone, rather than just a pretty sparkly one that (in our place) was on the small side, they should look into loose diamonds, which we didn’t deal with. Most people who are that into the quality of diamonds already knew that and didn’t shop there.

Because that’s the truth. Zales, Kay, Bailey Banks & Biddle, etc., the chain places you find in malls, do not have the high grade diamonds. We did have some certified stones, which weren’t the lowest grade, but they weren’t the highest, either. And it was very rare to have a certified stone less than a carat.

BUT, if you were a billionaire, I doubt you would think twice about spending $1000. The sum total of a piece of jewelry is more than merely the stone, after all. Diamonds tend to have higher quality settings–hand made rather than cast, 14k gold rather than gold-filled. That doesn’t mean CZs or other stones can’t have quality settings, though.

I wouldn’t have paid that much for that piece, but then I don’t love it (I’m not a diamond fancier). If your wife does, then go for it and don’t feel bad. It’s not just the diamond, it’s the design of the whole thing you’re paying for.

The salesman ought to be fired. If it’s really a diamond, he shouldn’t tell you it’s a fake; if it’s a fake, he shouldn’t sell it to you as a diamond.

Just looking at the website, it looks like they’re all diamonds; the differences are the metal of the pendant and the size of the diamond. 1/15 carat+sterling silver, on up.

Could he have meant that it was a lab-created simulated diamond, rather than a natural one?

The stuff you bought at Kays is real diamonds. What you must understand is that there are a lot of different diamond grades. Lower grade diamonds are quite cheap, and that is what these chain stores sell. They are in the market to allow people who aren’t rich to be able to get nice looking jewelry for their significant others.

My wife inherited a bracelet covered with diamonds. When we took it in to be appraised, the diamonds themselves were worth about $40 each because they were low grade and very small. In fact, the labor was worth more than the individual stones since each setting was hand done. But, as the jeweler told us, it was still a beautiful piece of jewelry. It might not be worth $100,000, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.

Were you ripped off? Well, you could probably have gone down to the Diamond District and buy something similar for maybe a few hundred less. Maybe you could have gone to a local jeweler who might be able (with a bit of distain) got you something similar for maybe $100 less. However, both places would have tried to convince you to spend more money ($2000 minimum) and buy a higher quality stone. They would have told you that what you want is a bad investment. They would have derided your cheap tastes (you want glitter? I’ll give you a piece of paper and paste glitter sprinkles on it.!) In the end, you would feel like an idiot for even thinking about such a purchase, and you would have had an argument with your wife about the whole thing.

Basically, your wife said “I want that!” and you bought it, and she’ll be thrilled that you did. What more could you want out of life?

How true.

A lab-created simulated diamond IS a real diamond, but created in a lab. They’re cheaper than natural diamonds. It’s possible that this is what the clerk meant.

I know it’s a typo, but given the concern about whether you bought a fake diamond at real diamond prices, it’s an amusing one.

I thought this was true about any secondary market for diamonds. Buying diamonds because they’re pretty and sparkly is good, but buying diamonds because you think the price is going to go up (or even maintain!) is bad, unless you’re a certified jeweler who can buy at wholesale.

I don’t think lab-created diamonds have a lot of flaws, though, do they? These diamonds are listed on the website as being pretty flawed.

Yep. They’re typically pretty clean, but off color. Not the case here. It was a real, natural diamond.