Better diamonds: Costco or Tiffany's?
Breakfast at Costco may not have the same ring to it, but we wondered: Can a Costco diamond ring hold up to one from Tiffany's?
This post is by Claire Suddath from partner site Bloomberg Businessweek.com
Discount wholesale club Costco sells Tiffany engagement rings. Sorry, “Tiffany” engagement rings — diamonds set in silver bands that look like real Tiffany rings, and are even called “Tiffany” at the store, but have nothing to do with the upscale New York jewelry store.
The jeweler says the rings are falsely presented as authentic Tiffany products and is now fighting Costco in a multimillion-dollar trademark suit that seeks to determine whether Tiffany has become the Kleenex of diamond rings — or if Costco’s rings refer specifically to the store that’s actually called Tiffany’s.
Unlike Wal-Mart Stores, which offers diamond rings for only a few hundred dollars each, Costco sells its rings for upwards of $40,000. These lavish prices put the wholesaler, which is known more for its bulk grocery items and free food samples than for luxury goods, in direct competition with expensive jewelers.
We were curious: Is a Costco ring worth it?
On a WeddingBee.com message board, when a woman asked for others’ opinions of Costco jewelry, most of the responses came from women who said that while they weren’t opposed to a Costco diamond, they weren’t really for it, either. “I love Costco for grocery items but I have never even thought to look at their rings,” one woman replied. Another said she thought about shopping there, but: “I was concerned everyone would ask where we got the ring.”
The assumed benefit of a Costco ring is that even at $40,000, you’re getting a higher-quality diamond than you’d be able to afford at a more prestigious store. As with any other name-brand product, Tiffany’s reputation (not to mention the classy Audrey Hepburn endorsement) raises the price of its jewelry.
Meanwhile, that Costco diamond might actually be worth more than its price tag. In 2005, Good Morning America appraised both a Tiffany diamond and a Costco diamond. As it turned out, the $16,600 Tiffany cut was 58% more expensive than its $10,500 value, while the $6,600 Costco version was actually 17% under its appraised value of $8,000. On the WeddingBee.com blog, several women admitted to having Costco rings and said that when they had them appraised, every single ring was worth more than they paid, sometimes by thousands of dollars.
Tiffany offers more services than Costco. Its expert jewelers teach customers about the different cuts and qualities of diamonds. And once a ring is purchased, it can be returned for cleaning or resizing at any time.
Costco doesn’t resize rings. But it does sell six-pound packages of cheese.
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I bought my wife a ring for $5000 at Costco......had it appraised and it came back at $7700.
She doesn't know where I bought it but her friends are always telling me how awesome it is.
So, although not a classy jewelry store, I apparently got a great buy!
Do your research, the "Tiffany" rings that Costco sells are set in platinum bands, not silver bands as you stated.
By the way - it's not a silver setting it's PLATINUM.
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