Diamonds - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Diamonds

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Valentines Day is almost over, but if you're looking for a diamond for another special occasion you know it can be a daunting search.  Do you buy from a reputable jeweler, a department store or do you go online? You may be surprised about where you can get some of the best deals.

If diamonds are a girl's best friend then BlueNile.com is Sam Wysong's savior.

Sam Wysong/Proposed to Girlfriend: "I dislike shopping...very much. I just like simplicity."

And simplicity is what this Stuart man got when he designed and ordered this 2-carat stunner for his girlfriend of 12 years: a $10,000 purchase and he never once stepped foot into a jewelry store.

Sam Wysong/Proposed to Girlfriend:  "The picture did it no justice. It exceeded my expectations."

Lois Ballard/Sam's Fiance: "It is a rock..(laughs) It is gorgeous, yeah!"

And if the appraisal is any indication, Wysong got a great deal. Blue Nile values the ring 40% higher than what he paid for it.

But Delray Beach Jeweler George Kientzy says you can get those same deals at your local jewelry store.

George Kientzy/Jewelry Store Owner: "If the customer walks into the jeweler and says here's what I can get online and here's the price. The jeweler can pick up the phone and get the same stone 9 times out of ten and beat the price."

Marlene Hammer has been a long-time customer of Kientzy and Company but has also bought jewelry online.

Marlene Hammer: "I find that I'm often disappointed. The intensity of the stones is not the same, the weight is lighter. Here you know what you're getting."

Kientzy doesn't think online jewelers hurt his business, but the dot-coms are cutting into the major jewelery retailer's profits. Blue Nile is second only to Tiffany and Company in diamond ring sales.

As for Sam, the online jeweler may have been the final push in getting him to pop the question.

Sam Wysong/Proposed to Girlfriend: "Yeah... we had to wait for technology to catch up. (laughs)"

Regardless of whether you're buying from a jewelry store or online you should always check out the company. Make sure they are reputable.   And find out what recourse you have if you don't like the ring. For instance, Blue Nile offers a 30-day return policy. You can get a refund or exchange within that time period as long as the jewelry is not engraved.
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