Where to go for diamonds in NYC???

Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Where to go for diamonds in NYC???

Dear Fodors,

I am really excited because I am looking to propose to my girlfriend on New Years! I am heading to New York next week for business and I am really interested in some of the great diamond boutiques and jewelers in the city. My girlfriend has incredible style, is really worldly and loves interesting jewelry so I want to get her something that fits that. I have heard of some great diamond places in NYC and would love to take advantage of this time to get something spectacular. I already have an appointment at Harry Winston, but any other ideas for some real NY, high-quality designers?? I really would love just a run down of some of the greatest boutiques and high-end shops. Does any one on this site have recommendations?

Thank you for your help!
luvmygirl is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Doyle and Doyle in the Lower East Side carries beautiful vintage jewelry and a nice selection of gorgeous engagement rings...They have a website, but not everything is up there. Sounds like your girlfriend might like something like that--maybe an old mine cut or european cut diamond in a filigree setting?

Congratulations and best of luck!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Make sure she has input on whatever you choose. It's not always a good idea to "surprise" a woman with an expensive ring that you picked out yourself.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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If you have the time, do visit The Clay Pot in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Really great, unique jewelry; the shop is known for their wedding and engagement bands. www.clay-pot.com has lots of info and pictures. (Don't worry, Park Slope is not a very far trip from Manhattan! )

I also would recommend Michael Eigen Jewelers for beautiful artist and designer bands, though I'm having difficulty locating a website for them. (1200 Madison Ave at 88th St., New York 800-780-3861 or 212-996-0281)

ggreen is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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If you are a member of the aristocracy or a mere millionaire, you will head to Verdura for a ring.


My good friend, The Countess de Billy, owns several Verdura pieces.

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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Van Cleef and Arpels
all within a stone's throw of Harry Winston.




mclaurie is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Wow! This is so great! Thank you very much. I will add them to my list. What about Soho Gem or Fred Leighton? I have heard some good things but I dont know....Thanks for your help!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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I hope you're done your homework on how to select a diamond - and know the approximate cost of a good quality stone. (Aways buy the best quality you can, then look at the size - there's nothing worse than a diamond with obviouss flaws.)

IMHO unless you REALLY know a good source, the best places to shop for proven quality is Tiffany, Cartier and Harry Winston. But - their prices reflect not only their quality but their names/locations.

Obviously we don;t know your circumstances - but unless you're trust fund babies, think about your overall financial goals for the next 5 years - not just the ring.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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I have to disagree with wliwl. My hubby proposed with a ring that he selected without my 'approval' and it is that much more special. I'm assuming your girlfriend doesn't know about your proposal plans and having her pick out the ring in advance sort of kills that whole thing. If you know what styles she likes, great. If not, see if you can do a little observation before your trip.

An aside... my hubby obviously paid attention beforehand if I happened to be looking through a magazine and saw an interesting ring ad as my ring is perfect and I was completely surprised. He had a whole covert operation to propose.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I agree with NYtraveler. Do some homework. Understand what you're getting. Shop the big-name stores. But buy somewhere else. You will get a lot more rock for your money at Fortunoff or even the diamond district (I did say he should know something about what he's doing first) than at Tiffany or Harry Winston. In 5 years, she won't care what color the box is, but she'll wear that stone on her hand for the rest of her life.

Congratulations (in advance)!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I also disagree with wliwl. If you have her help pick it out, you will ruin the surprise.

My DH did an amazing job picking out a ring and proposing. He went to college and med school in NYC for 12 years, but now lives in Nashville. He purchased my ring from Mondera (www.mondera.com). I don't think they have a store, but they do have offices in Manhatten that you can visit if you would like to meet with a sales person. DH did his shopping online and over the phone. He had a great experience. I can't say that I'm at all an expert in diamonds or jewelry, but I can say that his experience with Mondera was good. He got a good deal, as he priced diamonds with the same stats in stores here in Nashville and they were about 20% more expensive.

If you aren't comfortable enough with her preferences to know what kind of ring she would want, buy the diamond and have it put in a temporary setting. After you propose, she can help pick out a permanent ring. This is a much better option than having her help you before the proposal, IMO.

I agree to spend your money on quality above size. Decide on a budget first.

Good luck with everything! MY DH took me on a surprise trip to NYC to propose. (He kidnapped me at 6:00 AM one morning...my mom and sister had packed a suitcase for me and given it to him. I thought we were going to breakfast and we ended up on a 3-day weekend trip to NYC. He even had asked my boss for the day off.) Anyway, nothing can replace a surprise proposal.

Have fun!!!!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Make SURE anything you buy is returnable. A girl likes to be on board with something she'll be wearing for a very long time...
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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I agree with WLIWL. I have a very expensive diamond (ahem) and I helped pick it out - and it was very romantic shopping together. We saw it as a big investment for both of us. I just didn't want any old big diamond. I was fussy, and it sounds like luvmygirl's gf might be too.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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There are any number of "named" jewelers, as mentioned. Also, add Bailey Banks & Biddle who have shops around the country. There's even Isacc the Jeweler who garnered his fame from the hip-hop clientele... he does offer other than "bling" in the teeth!

But, with all, you're paying as much for their names/packaging as the quality of stone and setting.

So, educate yourself before going anywhere, whether locally in your own town, named shops, small unique stores, or a 47th St. jeweler. In all instances, it's still best to have a recommendation.

And, if your GF is the fussy type, with her own sense of style, I'd include her in the selection. Let the surprise be when/where you propose, even if she thinks it'll be NYE, choose another time/place.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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I agree with shoefly; picking out a ring together is a very romantic experience and a treasured memory.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Well - I think picking out a lifetime ring - which is a major expenditure - is a significant error without input from your fiancee (unless you know she doesn;t care - or you're willing to have it returned/exchanged). (I would have a big problem with it even if the ring were exactly the one I would have picked out - are you going to be partners or what?) (Think about someone buying you a car without consulting you - only this has tons of romantic overtones.)

There are so many factors - color of stone, cut of stone (and how if fits with your fiancees hand/finger shape), style of ring, other stones (if you want) - that it's practically impossible to get just the right thing.

With many couples they pick pout the ring together - but the actual locale/time of the proposal is the surprise.

(And a real surprise proposal can be fatal - unless you're absolutely positive you're on the same page. One of my nieces recently received a "surprise" proposal from her boyfriend - that really was a surprise - and the boyfriend was shattered when she said no. They had been seeing each other for about a year and a half - but she was still in college - and thinking about grad school and her career - marriage was at least 4/5 years away in her mind - and he was a nice guy, but not the one. She thought she had made that clear to him, but he heard what he wanted to.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Definitely do your research and understand the four Cs. Cut being the most important of the four. Followed by Clarity, IMHO.

Understand what you want, know how much you can spend.

Find out if she'd like a certain shape, to start with. And does she prefer platinum, white gold, yellow gold?

Within those parameters, pick out a few for her to decide upon.

Make sure you get certification documents, and can return the ring, just in case.

Have fun and best wishes.
Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Thanks (I think) GGreen for posting the Clay Pot website. I picked out about ten thousand dollars worth of trinkets I just had to have.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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It sounds like your girlfriend has very specific and refined taste. If that's the case, she may want to pick out her own ring. Then again, maybe not...

Good luck!
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Of course, every woman is partial to her own engagement ring, but I wanted to give a plug to a small designer in the Lower East Side called Little King who created my engagement ring. They are not just a jewelry store; they make and design their own jewelry. If youíre looking for something really special, Iíd recommend thinking about having a custom ring made there. My fiancé went to Little King with some samples of my jewelry and worked with them to create a filigree-inspired engagement ring using his grandmotherís diamond. IMHO whatís most striking about it is the setting and ring itself (while most engagement rings only focus on the diamond) and the diamond fits it beautifully and is very sparkly thanks to their design which lets light in from the sides. They also sell diamonds, you don't have to have your own stone. Not only is it the only ring for me, it means so much to me that he didnít buy something off the shelf, but had it created to suit my tastes. I believe he worked with them remotely (via emails) after the initial meeting and he said they were wonderful. Itís also pretty cool to see the initial drawings made by the designer. Check them out: www.littlekingjewelry.com. Good luck!
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