Shopping for diamonds on the Internet is about as crazy as throwing lit dynamite with your teeth. It is really a crap shoot. At the end of the day you will get what you get and have very little to say about it. That is why it is important to purchase diamonds from a reputable online jeweler. So how do you know who to buy from? They all say they are reputable, and their diamonds are high quality, etc..
This article is part of a series of diamond reviews we will be doing on the most popular Internet diamond dealers. The Union Diamond 3 Carat Bezel Pendant we reviewed will also be included in our Holiday Buyer’s Guide this year because it is a pretty nice pendant. That said there are some things you need to know.
The first pendants we received from Union Diamonds came with 1 live diamond, and 2 CZ’s (on purpose). The idea was to review the quality of their diamonds on the first pendant and have a look at the actual design of the various pendants. What we look for is a great cut, clarity, size, color, and overall value. Then we look at the design of the piece.
All of the 3 Carat Bezel Set Solitaire Diamond Pendants that Union Diamond sent were supposed have the following attributes for their stones:
- SI (Slightly Included) (SI1-2)
- Near Colorless (G-J)
- 3 Carat Round
Now the problem is SI1-SI2 is a pretty big range and there is a $4,000 difference between SI1 and SI2 which means it is a roll of the dice as to which one you would get. The other part of it is while they say Near Colorless the diamonds we saw had a little color and were just borderline J in our opinion (the second one was just barely I). Lastly, there was quite a bit of florescence. We told them we felt that the first diamond was a little too borderline to feel comfortable with and they sent us the “best diamond” they had in their diamond bag in response. The second diamond was also borderline, the color was a little better but it had a cavity on the bottom. It was a small cavity inclusion under the girdle, but if you shaved it off it brought the diamond down to 2.99 carats and now we are talking about a $10,000 difference in price. There is literally a $10,000 retail price difference between 2.99 and 3.0 and that is a line item. So they left the cavity on the diamond which is perfectly acceptable and what anyone would do, it is good for the buyer and the seller alike because it isn’t a chip. It is also good because of the location no one would see it so it saves you money. I tend to avoid cavities on SI1-S12 stones if they are the difference between a .99 and 1.0 because they tend to turn dark with normal wear due to trapped dirt and oil. Something under the girdle like the one Union Diamonds sent won’t show so it’s not a deal breaker.
They sell their diamonds on their website and on Amazon. The ad says the List Price is $59,499 which I believe is misleading. It suggests that the market retail price is about $60k when they are selling at the full market retail price at $30k. This suggests that there is a 50% savings when there is not.
That’s the dirty little secret stuff. Value wise what are we looking at when you get a Union Diamonds 3 Carat Bezel Set Solitaire Diamond Pendant? They are charging between $29,749-$30,749 for the piece. They do custom work, they can place any stone you want (you can name your own attributes like VVS, Flawless, etc…) and they will do it. You can request GIA Certs on your stones, the whole nine yards. If you know what you want you can order it from them directly and their designs are stunning. You will be charged accordingly for custom orders, but their director of marketing assures me that they aim to please. The diamonds Union Diamond sent are very eye catching and look great. HOWEVER, if you buy their stock pieces I think you should be prepared for a great looking stone that is selected to look great in the bezel piece from a straight view look but have some pretty decent flaws in areas that the bezel obstructs.
From a value perspective it really is a decent deal. Obviously jewelers need to make money and their profit ratio on the pieces we evaluated is certainly reasonable. The Union Diamonds (diamonds) we looked at had great symmetry and polish with an truly excellent cut. This means that the Union Diamond we reviewed had some terrific light return. The Union Diamonds had excellent sparkle, the fire pattern changes dynamically and flashes of light are seen scintillating across the crown of the stone when it is moved in the light.
Every stone has a story, the way it is cut, the way it plays tricks with the light, where it is from, how it was treated and much more. Union Diamond has an good product at a reasonable price point. We give them 4 out of 5 solid stars.