The Initial Phase – Local Jewelry Chain Stores in Singapore

Being the internet geek that I am, I started out by doing some research on choosing diamonds – namely the 4 C’s. I also checked out several local forums for information on purchasing a diamond engagement ring before heading to the stores.

With that, I was feeling pretty confident of picking out a decent ring based on my initial specifications and intended budget.

 
Color: D – I ( Not important at this point. I want to physically view the stones )
Carat: > 0.5 ( Anything less than 0.5 carats would be too small )
Clarity: VVS1 – SI1 ( Again, I need to see if the diamond is eye-clean )
Cut: ??? ( There is no cut grading system for heart shaped diamonds. )

But I Soon Realized How Wrong I Was….

shopping for jewelry in orchard road ion

In the heart of Singapore’s famous shopping street, Orchard Road, I headed for the “jewelry street” at ION shopping mall. For people who had never been to Singapore, you need to know that this is a location where clusters of leading jewelry stores are located side by side.

You can also get access to “up market” international stores like Tiffany & Co in the neighboring malls. The saying was: “If you can’t find a suitable diamond ring along the shopping belt, you probably can’t find one anywhere else in Singapore.”

Even the Biggest Chain Stores in Singapore Have Limited Selections

glass displays at jewelry store

A Tough Search for Fancy Cuts

Walking into the first jewelry store, I told the sales assistant of my intentions of a heart shaped diamond ring and my budget.

The reply was disappointing: “Sorry, we have a limited selection of heart shaped diamonds and currently, we don’t have any that are less than a carat in stock. We currently have two heart cut diamonds that are more than 1 carat in weight and cost more than $15,000.”

I took a quick look and politely left the store without asking for further specifications of the ring as it was way over my intended budget. Moving on, I headed into more stores and made inquiries only to find out that most local jewelry establishments do not carry heart shaped diamonds in their inventories.

With further store hopping, I did manage to find a number of heart shaped diamonds (a total of 8) at one of the more prominent stores. With my budget, the sales assistant helped me to narrow the choices down to a diamond of the following specifications:

   
Color: E ( Looks colorless to me)
Carat: 0.7 ( The size looks OK when set on a ring )
Clarity: VS2 ( Can’t spot any inclusions )
Cut: ??? ( Sales assistant claims it has an excellent cut )
Graded by IGI
Price of loose diamond after discount: $7027
   

Dangers of Buying Diamonds In Traditional Stores

When the sales person was asked how he deemed the cut of the diamond to be excellent despite having no such grades listed in the report, the reason he gave was that the diamond had “excellent” brilliance and sparkled under the jewelry store’s lighting.

Note: Under high powered halogen spotlights and bright lighting, even a poorly cut diamond will sparkle and look “fiery”. Back then, when I viewed the selection of diamonds in the store’s lighting, every diamond looked almost identical to me. And if you are a first time shopper who doesn’t know better, chances are you’d probably be in the same shoes too.

Now, you’ll probably hear many people say things like: “You must view diamonds in person to determine its cut.” My response to this is: Do you know what to look out for? If you haven’t seen the best and set a benchmark against that, how do you know if any of the diamonds you had seen so far are really the best? To me, believing a salesperson blindly is one of the biggest minefield many newbies unknowingly step into.

 

It’s not easy for beginners to tell differences in brilliance from one stone to another under high powered LED lighting. Personally, it took me close to a year and the experience of viewing thousands of diamonds before I can identify well-cut fancies without the aid of any light performance tools like the ASET or Idealscope.

Moving on, I took note of the diamond’s specifications and left the store. Read on to learn more about the SHOCKING discovery after making some simple comparisons to online vendors.

snapshot video

When I first started my engagement ring search, I wished there were magnified diamond videos to help me scrutinize details. Fortunately for you, JamesAllen.com has recently made that a possibility with their revolutionary video technology. Check them out for yourself now!


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6 Comments

  1. Irene-
    August 3, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I came across your experience with buying from B2Cjewels through PayPal. May I know if you encounter any problems with confirming your address and the transaction process?

    Currently, I just ordered a diamond ring from them (paying through paypal) but they mentioned that they have difficulty in accepting the transaction because my address is unconfirmed, and so the transaction is only partially eligible.

    I read online about it but it just states that they don’t confirm most addresses outside of US, UK or Canada. Just wondering if you had the same problem when you paid through PayPal and how did you overcome it.

  2. Paul Gian-
    August 4, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I am assuming that B2CJewels is the one who has difficulty in accepting the transaction.

    Online vendors are usually more careful when it comes to paypal transactions especially for big transactions. In fact, the majority of reputable online diamond vendors do this as they want to avoid fraud and being scammed by overseas buyers. Believe it or not, they are just as concerned as you are about buying/selling online.

    For my case, B2CJewels had to confirm my identity as well as my location. They requested me to send in a photocopy/photo of my identity. What I did was to scan a copy of my identification and scan a copy of a current credit card bill with my name and address on it (Of course, you should blank out the sensitive data with paint or whatever editing software). The delivery address matched the data I supplied.  This should provide sufficient proof that you are a real person to them.

    After that was done, payment was officially accepted by them. You might want to check in with B2CJewels to see what documents they need to get your address ‘approved’.

    Hope this helps and feel free to clarify anything else.

  3. Irene-
    August 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you for your help. I managed to have a successful transaction with them because of you and I will be receiving my heart cut diamond very soon. I am also residing in Singapore and I would like to ask you if you had to pay the Goods Service Tax (GST) upon delivery or after? Does the FedEx personnel collect it or we will have to pay for it separately?

  4. Paul Gian-
    August 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    You are welcome. It’s great to be helping a fellow Singaporean out.

    B2CJewels uses Fedex to deliver their parcels securely. All you need to do now is to wait for them to turn up with the parcel. For overseas delivery to Singapore, you will get your parcel first as Fedex will pay for your GST on your behalf to expedite delivery.

    Usually, after 2-3 weeks of receiving your parcel, Fedex will then send you the invoice via snail mail and bill you for the GST that they had paid earlier.

    Thereafter, simply follow the payment procedures stated in the invoice.

  5. Irene-
    August 12, 2012 at 3:53 am

    The diamond turned out to be very sparkling and good in real life. I cannot stop looking at it. I had it verified by Nanyang Gemological Lab and the person gave a better (E color, VVS range, also because the inclusion is obscured by a prong) but nonetheless, the results were rather close grading for my ring. I actually chanced upon your website while looking out for heart shaped diamonds in Singapore.

    This is the diamond I bought from B2CJewels:

    http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-3020144-0.72-carat-Heart-diamond-F-color-VS2-clarity.aspx

    Anyway, I have attached a picture. Thank you so much for the education on the website, it has been most helpful for fellow Singaporean diamond ring shoppers. :)

    e-ring irene

  6. Sherry Davis-
    April 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    My ring purchase was 3/25/16. The salesclerk was extremely nice. I soon learned she was really misleading and conniving. She hooked me in through my good heard when she appeared nervous & kept saying the manager was watching her. Being a soft-hearted, I bragged on her. In my opinion she set me up. I purchased a ring where she said it was 3-4 carrots; wrong, The store never gave me a description of the ring for my insurance. I also had two rings that were repaired. The sales clerk was open about the cost of one ring, but not the other which the repairs turned out costing more than the value of the ring! When I asked questions, she became rude; showing her true colors. The store is at 4750 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth, TX. If someone from the Jared office wants to call me, I will be happy to give you the name of the sales clerk. I was preparing to purchase another ring; however, I will think twice before I come to Jared again.

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