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Colorado Babe

Purchasing Jewelry at the Ports of Call

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10 hours ago, wendychloecruiser said:


The cruise lines also get a kick back percentage of purchases.  

How does the cruise line even know you bought something?

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Not to say this will happen to the OP but......

 

I purchased a bracelet on a cruise ship with a "lifetime guaranty."  It broke shortly after I got home.  No problem, I thought, I mailed it off with the little guarantee card that I was so happy I saved.  

 

The package was returned to me marked "no such address."

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17 minutes ago, jsf said:

How does the cruise line even know you bought something?

The jewelers are so scared of the cruise lines that they voluntarily report every sale that they make to a passenger of the ship. I have been dealing with a jeweler on St. Maarten for years. I am not referred to him by the cruise line yet he still lists my ship on the sales receipt every time and he and I have had multiple discussions about it. After all these years he obviously knows that I am not an agent of the ship making a buy to see if it gets reported.

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We've been sailing to the Caribbean for 25 years and every cruise dw purchases jewelry for herself or our three daughters.  On most islands it's just homemade items from the native markets but she has a couple of favorite stores in St Maarten where she's picked up some expensive pieces.  Never gave much thought to fakes or appraised value and maybe that's dumb.  My focus was more on how delighted she was with a piece.   Since she'll never sell any of it we value each piece as priceless (even the hand made ones).

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7 hours ago, jsf said:

How does the cruise line even know you bought something?

  
In addition to Ocean Boy...when you purchase something, the shop always asks what ship you’re on.  Furthermore have you ever been on a ship and when you get back to the ship there’s a “recommendation” that you “register” your purchases on the premise of getting future insurance?   Nope... the cruise line wants to know the take from the shops.  

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10 hours ago, nukester said:

DIamonds international is th e worst and poorest quality of them all....... ripped us off 10 yrs and I never will buy from them.

 

note your being taken for a sucker and the savings is so small but quality is so poor

 

stay away from di

 

only in your opinion. 

We have made numerous purchases from them over the years.  Every single one has been appraised at or above the value advertised.

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Is there something wrong with lab created diamonds? It seems to me that, being created in a lab, their CCC could be made exceptionally flawless, and at half the price, why not? Of course, I don't know much about diamonds. 

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24 minutes ago, rusty nut said:

Is there something wrong with lab created diamonds? It seems to me that, being created in a lab, their CCC could be made exceptionally flawless, and at half the price, why not? Of course, I don't know much about diamonds. 

I issue is that they passed off a lab created diamond as a natural one and charged the price of a natural one. There is nothing wrong with a lab created diamond if you know that's what you are buying. 

Edited by Iamcruzin

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I used to buy many pieces of jewelry in the Caribbean but sadly during the last 4 years that has not been the case. 
 

Having been in the business many moons ago I know first hand what to look for (yes it’s easy to be fooled by the manufactured stones!) and the approximate price that would make buying in the Caribbean worthwhile. 
 

I do still look at pieces but would NEVER trade “up” since I have found far too many of the stores showing what may be genuine stones next to the manufactured stones. 
 

An example. For ladies looking at any ring with a cluster of diamonds or precious or semi precious stones. They will always provide you with the total carat weight. What matters is the carat weight of the largest stone! For the most part, the smaller stones if lost can be replaced quite cheaply. Eg. a good quality ruby in an eternity band ring that was $20 to replace. 
 

If you are given a price and decide to walk away, then suddenly are asked “what would you like to pay?” WALK away quickly!  I have found many many vendors in the Caribbean now seem to try out the highest price they believe you will go for. Only if you are prepared to walk away will they offer a better price. I can often buy identical pieces here in Canada for less in Canadian funds than in US funds in the Caribbean even at duty free and supposedly no tax. 
 

I’m so sorry OP for what you have endured. I truly hope you are able to resolve everything and get your original piece back or be compensated appropriately by the jeweller or insurance.  You deserve a lot of credit for posting your experience!

Thank you!

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2 hours ago, rusty nut said:

Is there something wrong with lab created diamonds? It seems to me that, being created in a lab, their CCC could be made exceptionally flawless, and at half the price, why not? Of course, I don't know much about diamonds. 

The issue is that he sold me a natural diamond and gave me an appraisal stating it was a natural diamond.  This diamond has no value in the U.S. according to the jeweler who is appraising it since it was made in a lab.  The band that it came with has natural diamonds.  The jeweler in question is supposed to change out the 1.72 CT diamond as soon as he receives the appraisal from our jeweler. Claims he has an office in NY. We shall see. 

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1 hour ago, Chip and Dale said:

I used to buy many pieces of jewelry in the Caribbean but sadly during the last 4 years that has not been the case. 
 

Having been in the business many moons ago I know first hand what to look for (yes it’s easy to be fooled by the manufactured stones!) and the approximate price that would make buying in the Caribbean worthwhile. 
 

I do still look at pieces but would NEVER trade “up” since I have found far too many of the stores showing what may be genuine stones next to the manufactured stones. 
 

An example. For ladies looking at any ring with a cluster of diamonds or precious or semi precious stones. They will always provide you with the total carat weight. What matters is the carat weight of the largest stone! For the most part, the smaller stones if lost can be replaced quite cheaply. Eg. a good quality ruby in an eternity band ring that was $20 to replace. 
 

If you are given a price and decide to walk away, then suddenly are asked “what would you like to pay?” WALK away quickly!  I have found many many vendors in the Caribbean now seem to try out the highest price they believe you will go for. Only if you are prepared to walk away will they offer a better price. I can often buy identical pieces here in Canada for less in Canadian funds than in US funds in the Caribbean even at duty free and supposedly no tax. 
 

I’m so sorry OP for what you have endured. I truly hope you are able to resolve everything and get your original piece back or be compensated appropriately by the jeweller or insurance.  You deserve a lot of credit for posting your experience!

Thank you!

Thank you!  I posted this to warn others to be very careful when purchasing jewelry in the Caribbean.  This will mostly be the last time we ever do so.  It's a shame that one bad apple can ruin it for everyone.

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3 hours ago, rusty nut said:

Is there something wrong with lab created diamonds? It seems to me that, being created in a lab, their CCC could be made exceptionally flawless, and at half the price, why not? Of course, I don't know much about diamonds. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with lab created stones IF that is what you want and that is what you receive. 
 

It is quite common to find “lab created” gems now in North America. From my experience they are clearly marked in NA jewelry stores. 
 

The problem is that the value is quite different and in the Caribbean at many many stores, they are not clearly indicating that it is NOT a genuine stone that you are buying. 

 

I will not spend big dollars in the Caribbean now because I have seen some pretty shady situations. I follow when in doubt DON’T!

Dee

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OP, I'm sorry this happened to you and I hope the jeweler makes it right.

We have purchased several pieces from a particular jeweler on one of the islands.  It is not one of the chains promoted by the cruise lines. We were introduced to the store by friends who have shopped there for years and always had appraisals at home to know they were not being ripped off.  We have likewise had the pieces we've purchased appraised at home, and never had any issues.  As have have an established and trusted relationship with this store, we don't buy from any others, and in fact, are making a land-based trip to that island in a couple of months with the aforementioned friends, in part to do a little more shopping there since we don't have any upcoming cruise itineraries to that island.

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59 minutes ago, Colorado Babe said:

Thank you!  I posted this to warn others to be very careful when purchasing jewelry in the Caribbean.  This will mostly be the last time we ever do so.  It's a shame that one bad apple can ruin it for everyone.

You are quite welcome. Sadly this particular person/store was caught and seem to be trying to fix the situation. My hope is that you are happy after they do a correction. 
 

There are many many bad apples in the Caribbean now I’m sad to say. On every island we visited over the last few years we noted that fewer locals owned the stores and most islands one family seems to own and run multiple locations of the Sam store. 
 

We bought a new wedding set for me for our 40th Anniversary. It was purchased in Canada. I would never trust buying in the Caribbean now for a large purchase. 

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 Update: New York office called me this evening and will be sending me instructions tomorrow on where to send my ring to get a replacement diamond. I am now feeling much more confident that this will be resolved in a timely manner. Will keep you all posted.

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6 minutes ago, DaniDanielle said:

Good luck.  What about your original Diamond?

It is gone.  They don't have it anymore.  I had to send them a copy of the appraisal of my old ring as well as all the receipts from where I purchased the new diamond and they are going to replace it.  They want me to get the new diamond appraised by my jeweler afterwards to show they are making this right.  I hope so. 

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I hope you get this resolved! There’s one jeweler in St. Maarten that I trust because of referrals from friends but all I will buy is David Yurman jewelry , don’t have to pay duty.

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1 hour ago, Ukigirl said:

I hope you get this resolved! There’s one jeweler in St. Maarten that I trust because of referrals from friends but all I will buy is David Yurman jewelry , don’t have to pay duty.

Why is it duty free?  Thought most is made in China.  

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8 minutes ago, Seville2Cabo said:

Why is it duty free?  Thought most is made in China.  

I meant to say tax free

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We bought a tanzanite bracelet from Effy's, in the Caribbean this past October. The second time my wife wore it she noticed stone was missing when she took it off. She called them and the couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. They e-mailed us a return shipping label and insured the package for $3,000 (which was $600 more than we paid for it). It was shipped to New York, stone was replaced and we got it back, in Arizona in about 1 1/2 weeks, this was insured also. The stone was a perfect match and we couldn't have asked for anything more.

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On 2/1/2020 at 6:32 PM, mafig said:

 

I've read a lot of complaints about them …. mostly stones falling out.

 

I have, however, never purchased anything from them.

 

 

 

This happened with a friend who bought from Diamonds International in St Lucia

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14 hours ago, Colorado Babe said:

It is gone.  They don't have it anymore.  I had to send them a copy of the appraisal of my old ring as well as all the receipts from where I purchased the new diamond and they are going to replace it.  They want me to get the new diamond appraised by my jeweler afterwards to show they are making this right.  I hope so. 

 

Hopefully you would have done this anyway, even if they hadn't encouraged it.  (Just to make sure, and of course, so that it can be insured.)

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