The “Brian Gavin Select” series is basically a selection of diamonds that comes from both local and overseas suppliers. Brian Gavin has a system in place that tries to separate performing stones from non-performing ones based on a set of parameters.
The truth is, it isn’t an exact science to gauge a stone’s performance (especially for fancy cuts) by numbers or grading reports alone as there are many factors (e.g. proportions, facet alignment) that contribute to a diamond’s overall beauty.
For both ‘Select’ and ‘Everything Else’ categories, BrianGavinDiamonds.com does not own or hold any physical inventory of the diamonds. They do however, offer to help you track down a great performing stone (say for example, a fancy cut pear shaped diamond) based on their experience and have it shipped to their premises for an evaluation.
Once the stone arrives at their location, they can help you perform Sarin scans, capture ASET/Idealscope images, take photographs and even provide an unbiased evaluation of the diamond’s optics/performance.
At this point, you would be well equipped with the necessary information to make an educated purchasing decision. If the diamond does not work out for you, there are absolutely no obligations to buy it at all. However, do take note that the charges for insurance and shipping (2-way from supplier to BGD) would be borne by you in this scenario.
At the point of writing this review, I can’t place an exact amount for the shipping costs. It would vary depending on the diamond’s dollar value. For example, the charge would be around $55 for a $3,000 diamond and $85 for a $10,000 diamond.
If you do proceed with making the purchase, then there will be no charges incurred from the shipping and you simply pay the listed price as stated. In a way, this shipping fees had already been factored into the cost of the diamond.
That said, this is a huge improvement in service over other online vendors like BlueNile. Did you know that the bigger players in the online jewelry market do not offer value-added services like ASET/Idealscope images for consumers?
Even the most basic form of a diamond’s magnified imagery isn’t provided. How would you ever know what you are getting? Well, you can’t and that’s why you seldom see me recommending diamonds from vendors like BlueNile.com or Brilliance.com where you are expected to shop blindly.
While Brian Gavin Diamonds does provides you with these necessary data at no charge (except paying for shipping if you decided to back out), there is also additional waiting time involved due to shipping procedures.
Here’s What I Would Do…
If you are looking for fancy shapes and non Hearts & Arrows diamonds, a better place you should check out is James Allen. This is because they have ready access to their inventory and also provide shoppers with a magnified HD video of each diamond listing. You don’t have to wait nor risk paying a shipping fee in the event the diamond’s evaluation doesn’t meet your expectations.
If you are looking for high performance ideal cut diamonds, Brian Gavin is a hands down a better choice over James Allen or any other vendor for that matter. Just to re-iterate the earlier page, Brian hand-picks each of the diamond in his signature series. With Brian’s seal of approval (and mine as well), they are really the best of the best in optical performance.
As you can see, Brian Gavin’s business model upholds quality customer experience as its number one priority. They try to improve the consumer’s experience by going out of the way to do things other vendors normally won’t.
However, here’s where reality sinks in. No jeweler will stockpile a huge list of diamonds in their physical inventory due to the huge costs involved. And until that is changed, you are unlikely to get ready evaluation of diamonds a vendor doesn’t own.
Anyway, the bottom-line is that BGD wants you to walk away delighted with your purchase (with no buyer’s remorse) and hopefully return for more business in future. To me, that’s a huge plus and a sign of good business practices.
On the next part of our review, we will talk about Brian Gavin’s popular customization service and why many customers have nothing but praise for their custom work…