New York City is a prime tourist destination on the US West Coast. Tourists, for whom there is so much to see and do, troop from far and wide to take in the sights and experience the local culture. At the heart of the city lie majestic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Times Square and Central Park are other significant points of interest for adventure lovers.
If you cherish a laid-back urban experience, you might consider a trip to the city's enchanting beaches. According to this article by CNN, New York was ranked among the world's most incredible cities.
But how does this relate to buying diamonds?
The ambiance of the city adds extra inspiration to your diamond shopping experience. Imagine buying engagement rings in a city that has lots of romantic getaways. Would you need to scout for better places to propose to your partner? We are assuming that you would not. However, that is an experience you rarely find anywhere else. But as you will discover, several reasons make the Big Apple an excellent diamond trading center.
Why Should You Buy Diamonds in New York?
New York is home to established diamond stores. One such store is James Allen, located at 551 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, Suite 601, New York, New York. Their 24.7 customer support and amiable staff set them apart from their counterparts. James Allen is also one of the few diamond merchants to deploy the 360° Display Technology. Not only do they ship worldwide, but they also offer additional services free of charge, such as engraving and consultation services.
We also have Ben Moses Jewelry Designer, known for their staff of talented craftsmen. Ben Moses Jewelry Designer primarily deals with classic and vintage styles.
R&R Jewelers is another family-owned store that deals in high-end diamonds. With a history spanning over three decades, this store boasts a wide selection of handpicked loose diamonds. Additionally, they sell designer jewelry. The staff at R&R believes in customer appreciation. If you are looking for a store that can fashion a diamond to your specifications, R & R is the place to look.
Designs by Kamni believes that adequate information should precede every purchase. Therefore, they delight in educating their customers on the practical details of diamonds. Most notably, Kamni diamonds are handpicked, conflict-free, and GIA-certified.
Jangmi Diamonds is another popular jewelry store in New York that takes diamond grading seriously. Selling only GIA-certified diamonds, the store keeps a team of well-informed, hospitable, and patient staff. However, it is their soft selling techniques that make them outstanding.
Secondly, the GIA has a local office in New York City. The institute has been a game-changer in the jewelry industry and grades diamonds based on the 4Cs and other parameters. With local offices in New York City, you can quickly enlist their services.
You may happen to have bought a diamond whose quality is questionable. In such cases, you can always visit their offices and seek their expert opinion. Better, you can consult with the institute before heading down to the diamond store. GIA offices are located at 50 W 47th St 8th floor, New York, NY 10036, United States.
Where to Buy Diamonds in New York City
We should begin first by addressing the "how" question. The best way to buy diamonds in New York is through the internet since doing so comes with numerous rewards. The most obvious one is the ability to shop from the convenience of your location. You can seamlessly place your order and have the stone delivered to your address.
Buying online also enables you to compare prices across several stores, which is another fantastic convenience. Walking from one physical store to another comes with several challenges; most notably, it is physically and mentally exhausting. Before you find your preferred jewelry, you will contend with all manner of sellers and will come across those trying to upsell low-quality diamonds. You may also encounter sellers that deal in high-end jewelry, though their prices may be well above market value.
When you physically check into a jewelry store, sellers begin analyzing you. The merchants can readily tell if you are the kind of shopper that would easily splash on jewelry. Fortunately, you will not find these tactics in the online trading space where you can sample diamonds from store displays, ask all the relevant questions, and then place your order. The only time you will physically visit the stores is during the actual purchase, which will only apply if the store does not ship to your location.
But even when shopping online, you should take all necessary precautions. Remember, it is a virtual world, and you could fall victim to common jewelry frauds. You may get a stone of a lower quality than what you order. Click here to check out other common scams associated with online shopping.
But there is no need to worry because reliable jewelry dealers still exist. But how do you establish the reliability of a diamond dealer?
As you view a company's online displays, check for their reviews of them online for a start. Insist on legitimate review websites because such websites make it difficult for companies to sponsor their reviews.
Apart from positive feedback, go with a company that deals in graded diamonds. Although every diamond that you come across in New York will likely come with grading certification, the real deal is to check the grading authority, especially in the case of lab-grown diamonds. If in doubt, only order from a company that deals in GIA-diamonds. The next consideration is the company's return policy; if the store offers a lifetime warranty, you would not be required to look beyond.
When you are done, you can proceed to compare prices. While doing so, ensure that you are making an "apple-to-apple" comparison. In simple terms, the diamonds should be similar in all other parameters.
However, it could be that you are looking for the brick-and-mortar experience, especially if you are a tourist looking to experience the streets of New York City as you shop for your jewelry. In this case, your best bet would be to head to the New York Diamond District.
Welcome to the New York Diamond District
The New York Diamond District is the most popular place to buy diamonds in New York, with a history dating to the early 1920s. The District is located in Midtown Manhattan, West 47th Street—the Fifth and the Sixth Avenues surround it. NYC Diamond District is strategically located at a short distance from significant points of interest; notable mentions include Madison Square and Times Square. You can follow this link for directions to the NYC Diamond District.
Over the years, the District has seen a substantial expansion due to the high number of jewelry merchants trooping into New York every year. With over 4,000 wholesale and retail jewelry dealers, the Diamond District offers an experience of its kind. You can choose to buy your diamond from standalone shops or visit shops featuring scores of jewelry counters. But like many other diamond districts, adequate preparation is paramount.
How Accessible Is the Diamond District of NYC?
Its ease of accessibility makes the NYC Diamond District stand out. As we mentioned earlier, the District is nestled in midtown, implying that you can get there using any means of transportation.
The most popular mode of transport is by train. All the B, D, F, and M trains stop at the 47th Street Rockefeller-Station. The terminus is the 6th Avenue entrance into the NYC Diamond District. You could also opt for the N, R, and W trains, all of which pass through 49th Street.
If you prefer bus transport, your options are unlimited. Numerous non-stop buses ply the Avenue throughout the day. Besides, you could also take a taxi or drive yourself there.
Most importantly, you should understand the best times to visit. Shops in this District open relatively later than other shops in the city. Business hours typically run from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The ideal visiting hours are mid-morning or in the afternoon, right after lunchtime. Also, if you are visiting from out of the US, take into consideration the public holidays.
December might be the best time to go shopping for diamonds on this street. Around that time, most shops open unusually early and close late to cash in on tourists' high presence in the city. If you are visiting during the winter months, make allowances for heavy traffic.
The convention is to schedule an appointment with a jeweler in advance so that you can prepare your questions and have them addressed before buying your jewelry. You will discover that most reputable traders primarily work with appointments.
How to Prepare Yourself Before Visiting the Diamond District
Presently, it is estimated that over $500 million diamonds are traded here every day. In other words, the street accounts for over 90% of all diamond trades throughout the country, most of which, fortunately, are high-end jewelry with proper grading certification. However, you will not always get fair bargains when shopping for diamonds on this street, and that is where adequate preparation comes in.
Similar to shopping online, you should acquaint yourself with the necessary information on diamonds in general. Begin by understanding the elements that determine the quality of diamonds. First and foremost, learn about the 4Cs – Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity. Next, try to uncover the jewelry styles and designers that are in vogue. For instance, two popular styles include the Edwardian and Art Deco, while some famous diamond designers include Tacori, Ritani, and Verragio. Always choose a merchant that deals in not just fashionable but luxurious designers.
You may also want to learn more about the different styles of engagement rings. For instance, we have Angular Style rings, Floral Motif rings, and Halo Style rings.
After acquainting yourself with necessary information on what comprises a high-end diamond, proceed to establish the seller's reputation. Here, you will need to go back online and check on reviews. At the very least, buy diamonds from a seller with an online presence. According to this article in the New York Post, online shopping is now a popular trend among jewelry buyers. Therefore, a reputable merchant should have already aligned itself accordingly by having a website. Avoid any merchant without Google or Yelp reviews. Word-of-mouth recommendations may come in handy at times, though they are not always reliable because every diamond shopper has their unique taste and specifications.
Once you have located a seller, do not buy a diamond without proper documentation. Insist on the GIA or AGS grading certificates and do not take any seller at their word. Insist that they provide proof of certification and then confirm if it is valid.
When interacting with a trader, ask as many questions as possible. The trader should be happy to clear your doubts and suspicions. Avoid sellers that try to rush you into deciding, especially those who publicize their jewelry as the most affordable. Throughout your interactions with dealers at the NYC Diamond District, always keep your guard up. If you doubt a seller, politely walk away.
As for getting the most affordable deals, avoid shops that face the streets, such as those on the 6th Avenue side of the Diamond District. Most diamonds in such stores are overpriced. Plus, these shops are often too crowded, making it difficult for you to sample the displays carefully. Instead, insist on stores located above the ground floor and avoid shops that sell their diamonds in complete rings. You may be carried away by the elegance of the ring at the expense of the quality of the diamond in it. Therefore, your best bet is to visit shops that deal in loose diamonds.
However, remember that price variations should not be huge. For instance, you may come across a shop offering a diamond for $30,000 and another selling the same diamond for $6,000. Though it looks like the best bargain, the second diamond is likely a low-quality gem.
Shopping for a diamond at the NYC Diamond District is a beautiful experience. The District has numerous stores that stock various diamonds guaranteed to make you say 'wow' at least once. Moreover, the reasonable prices will have you tripping over your feet to buy one. So, next time you are in the city, check out the online stores and be ready to be amazed.