We would like advice on where is a good shop to buy a diamond ring in St. Thomas or other South Caribbean Infinity Port of Call. What are the pros and cons regarding a complete ring versus a loose stone to be mounted in a setting? We've heard bad reviews about Diamonds International. A good price is not the only consideration. Would like to hear comments regarding quality, knowledgable staff, reputation and something we used to call a 'guarantee' if it still exists.
A loose stone is a rock as far as duty is concerned . No matter how much you spend there is no duty on the loose stone.
Check carefully(emphasis on carefully) on your cruise lines' guarantee policy. They will cover you for certain things but not for "buyers regret". In other words they will not be able to help you if you get back to the states and don't like what you got or find out that you paid too much. They will be able to help if you shop at a recommended shop and find that the 2 carat diamond you bought is really a .5 carat . Be careful spending big money in the caribbean. There are reputable deallers and those who are not so reputable. The biggest pressure you feel is that you can't come back tomorrow for it , as the ship is sailing in two hours. Do lots and lots of homework before you go on your trip. Know exactly what you would pay at a reputable shop in the states .
I just posted a very PRO about Celebrity Jewelers in St. Thomas V.I., my husband and I and some of our friends went on a cruise back in December 2001 last year, my husband bought me a very beautiful diamond ring for our 20th anniversary. When we got home around March time frame a diamond fell out of the ring, I e-mailed Celebrity Jewelers in St. Thomas where we bought the ring, within 5 minutes I had a response as to where to send my ring, when I e-mailed back and said I was leary about putting my ring in the mail they gave me an address and phone number of a jeweler about 45 miles from my home, (We live in Southern California), I got in contact with them and arranged to drive down and have my ring repaired, they not only fixed the broken prongs, but replaced the diamond and tightened all the other stones and polished the ring for me. We were so impressed and all of this was done at NO/CHARGE.
I can't say enough about Celebrity Jewelers, they had incredible customer service and the prices were GREAT!
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions.
Not sure what you heard about Diamonds International, but I bought a beautiful 1 carat diamond ring there in 2001. I had it appraised at home, appraised at 2 times what I paid for it. It is the most beautiful ring, sparkles like you would not believe. I love it, and everytime I look at it I think about the wonderful cruise. This was a ten year anniversary cruise fro me & hubby and the ring was my gift.
But, there are MANY, MANY stores to choose from. But do give Diamonds International a try. The service was great, and very easy to get them down on price. They have a store in NY so at least if you have a problem you can deal with someone in the States.
About 10 years ago I was frazzled after shopping all day in St. Thomas...hot, tired, confused. Wandered into the LAST store on the left side of Main Street, a small "ma and pop" shop, not fancy or overpowering like the others. The owner, Parminder SIngh, told me to calm down, got me a Diet Coke, and went about his business. I spotted a ring I loved and asked him the price....it was well below the other "fancy" shops. In the 10 years I've dealt with him I've sent him literally dozens of customers and he and his beautiful wife, Pinky, have become good friends of mine. I strongly recommend the shop: Little America, 21 Main Street. If you go there, tell him Carol from Michigan sent you and he will give you an extra discount. You will not be disappointed. Every piece of "good jewelry" I have came from him and he is a kind and good man.
Diamonds International gets my vote. Bought a .60 ct. H color,v v S2, for about 40% of what we could have gotten it at home for. Reset it in old engagement band.
Buy with confidence at D.I.
I have bought several "investment grade" diamonds at Diamonds International, and ALL were bargains! About 40 % cheaper than in the states. I always purchase just the stone, and then I don't have to even declare them at customs. Put it in a setting, and then you are required to declare them and pay a duty on their value. When you are at 3 carets and up, that can be a big chunk of change! Get just the stone, and go thru the settings catalog at your local jewelers when you get back home, at your leisure. Oh yeah, and of course there is no sales tax down there like at home either!
Know your prices before you go. Also learn something about color, cut, clarity, and size (carat). If the diamond has been IGI certified that is your guarantee, you'll get the certificate that says what the diamond is (e.g., 1.1 carat, H color SV1). I would find the diamond I wanted, work out a price, then choose a setting. I would have it set in the caribbean because you'll pay less for the setting there. If you go over your duty amt., you'll have to pay from 2-4% of the cost, but it is far less than the tax you'd pay buying it at home. Make sure that the jeweler you choose also guarantees the workmanship, setting, etc. When you get home, make sure you have enough homeowner's insurance to cover your new purchases.
I have bought 3 very nice rings at Chardows in St. Thomas. That is my personal favorite. St. Thomas is also my favorite place to shop in general, especially the flea market. I've bought several knock-off purses, wallets and bags there and got good deals.