I am interested in purchasing a pair of diamond stud earrings while in St. Thomas or St. Marteen ( 3/4 to a carat in size). I need suggestions on where to shop for these while in these two places - who has the best prices still offering good quality?? Thanks in advance for your help!
The best advice I can give you is know before you go. Check out local jewelry stores and find what you like. Most will give you a mini lesson in color, cut, clarity and carat size. I've found many times that I can actually buy better for less money at home.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Diamonds International is a good stop on any of the "islands". They have a New York office also. Remember that if you purchase loose stones you do not have to pay any duty on them when you come back into US. Set stones you do. We did not do our homework before we left and even though we felt like Diamonds International gave us some good advice, we declined the purchase in Mexico. At that time we were looking for a single stone 1 ct or more to do a new wedding set. (anniversary present) We happened to be shopping in the gift shop on the Carnival Inspiration and found some beautiful diamond stud earrings set in white gold. The staff was very knowledgeable and gave us more info than in Mexico. We bought them, I love them and we were provided with all the paperwork from the gift shop. We know the color, clarity, carat, etc. I showed them to my jeweler when we got back and he said we made a good purchase. He would have actually rated them higher in color than Carnival did...........I was very pleased and we have a guarantee from them. All this to say, maybe check out the gift shop also before you go into St. Thomas or St. Maarten, look at their selection, get a mini lesson and prices and then decide. I know we will.................Two things that my jeweler did tell me. Sometimes the loose stones (usually amethyst, topaz, that kind of stone) are cut a little differently and might require a custom made setting to get them to fit AND when you buy set diamonds, many times the clarity may be rated lower because of an inclusion that might be under a prong. If you are buying them to wear he said not to shy away from a lower clarity if the inclusion is under a prong OR can be set under a prong. You get just as pretty a stone, bigger and whiter probably for less money and no one will know if that little white spot is under a prong. Also with earrings, I didn't know this but everyone else probably does, there is a setting called a "martini" setting. It's three prongs and if you hold up the earring sideways it does look like a martini glass. These as pierced earrings will sit in the hole in your ear closer. Jeweler said people get these so that earring doesn't protrude from the ear. It sits REAL low in the hold in your ear, perfect for a second hole or someone who has real long hair. I told you more than you wanted to know didn't I??
as the others have said be informed before you go. Go to your local jewler, find something similar to what you are looking for and use that price as a guideline.
Attend the ships port shopping lectures, with a large ticket item such as diamonds i would stick with the major stores and the ones that the ship recommends. We have had very good luck with Royal Caribbean and Diamonds International. Less pressure sales in St.Maarten over St. Thomas. IF you find something that you love, buy it! don't wait and hope to find the same thing on another island for a better price, you will be dissapointed. Shop the sales at the ships jewerly store.
I would suggest Omni Jewelers in St. Thomas in the Charlotte Amalie area. It is a Carnival Ship recommended store and I have shopped and bought there. Although, I have not purchased any diamonds there, I would still try...
My husband knows someone that bought a pair of diamond earrings at Ballerina's in St. Thomas. She was told that they were very good quality and paid about 800.00 for 1 carat earrings. When she got them back to the states she had them apprasied and was told that one of the earrings was almost perfect, therefore they appraised for almost $10,000.00 Not a bad deal. She had told us about this place but we never had a chance to make it there. I bought a pair of Tanzanite earrings from Diamonds International in St. Thomas and they are very good quality and also the price was right. We talked her down from $800.00 to 350.00. If the merchants are hungary, they are willing to deal. Just keep acting like you are interested but can't pay the price. Nine times out of ten they will deal with you. Oh yeah., my husband also got a beer out of the deal.!!!! Weird... But he was happy.
I am a wholesale Diamond Broker in Los Angeles.There is no way anybody in st.Thomas will beat our prices.My name is bryan and I would be happy to help you.Please call if I may help you or offer any advice.We have been in business for 54 years.818 3869155