How much extra is a brand name worth?
We recently went secret shopping to see what value for money people are getting by buying engagment rings at one of the world's most famous jewellery companies. Here's what we found out...
Siobhan recently finished a 6 claw engagement ring in 18ct white gold featuring a beautiful 1.02ct round brilliant diamond which the customer chose himself from a selection we obtained for him - see photo. The design is synonymous with that world famous luxury jewellery brand associated with little blue boxes. Oh alright then - it's Tiffany's. Although they didn't invent this design concept, they certainly branded it as their own and made it aspirational.
When we looked at the style on Tiffany's Australian website, we were a bit gobsmacked at how much prices started at. So let's look at the differences between theirs and Siobhan's...
Firstly, the most obvious one is the manufacture. True story - we once went to a Tiffany's store and asked the assistant if the rings were handmade. She said they were. They aren't. She then corrected herself and said they were hand crafted or hand finished. This means that they are cast (mass produced) in pieces, then assembled and polished by hand in a factory in the US.
Our ring was handmade from scratch by Siobhan who spent hours working the metal and shaping it into a strong ring that will stand the test of time to become a future heirloom. If you'd like to see how an engagement ring is lovingly handmade from granules of precious metal, check out our workshop video.
Next is the diamond itself. Tiffany diamonds are certified by Tiffany's. We offer diamonds that are independently graded - mostly by GIA, the world's leading independent gem grading company. The 1ct diamond Tiffany were offering in a 18ct gold ring at a starting price of $19,000 was graded (by themselves) as an "I" colour with a clarity of Si1.
For approx 60% of this price, Siobhan was able to offer a totally handmade 18ct gold ring (in this case white gold) with a 1.02ct G Si2 round brilliant diamond, certified by GIA.
Finally, there was the length of time it took to find out this information: It took Tiffany's TEN DAYS to respond to our online request for more info! Siobhan was able to contact our diamond suppliers to ascertain what was in stock and provide the customer with all the information he needed within a couple of days.
If you'd like your engagement ring handmade in Eumundi, receive photos of the process at the end and to actually be able to talk to the man who will be making your ring, please contact David today.
Meanwhile, here's a summary of our comparisons....
|manufactured||cast in pieces, hand assembled in US factory||handmade from scratch in Eumundi|
|diamond||1ct I colour Si1 clarity||1.02ct G colour Si2 clarity|
|diamond cert||graded by Tiffany||graded by GIA|
|metal||18ct yellow gold||18ct white gold|
* Please note: As we make rings to order and each diamond we use will be different from the last, this is a price indicator only and not a fixed price for future 1ct purchases. Not only does each diamond come with a range of unique characteristics all which affect their cost, but they can also be subject to fluctuations in the exchange rate with the US dollar.