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Your Take: Would an Engagement Ring from Costco Bother You?

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Diamonds are commodities. They’re rated by organizations on the four “C’s” (clarity, color, cut and carat) and the “value” of the diamond depends on those specifications, nothing else. So why can Tiffany’s charge $16,600 for an engagement ring when a no-name store could only charge six thousand dollars less? (a 2005 ABC News story about this very subject) In my opinion, it’s all in marketing that robin’s egg blue box that Tiffany’s jewelry all comes in.

Nowadays, you can buy an engagement ring from a variety of sources including but not limited to warehouse stores like Costco and online sites like Blue Nile and Amazon.com. You can get them for far cheaper from these sources, but it begs the question… would it bother you if you knew your engagement ring came from a budget big-box type of store?

I think Tiffany’s is the only brand capable of charging such an exorbitant premium (there are a few others but Tiffany’s is the only one everyone knows about). So for many, if it’s not Tiffany’s, then it almost doesn’t really matter where it came from, right?

I’m fairly confident my wife wouldn’t care if the ring came from Costco. (it didn’t, but they were certainly in the running) While I would never receive an engagement ring, I don’t think I’d care about the name of the store listed on the receipt.

How about you? Do you think it changes anything?

{ 53 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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53 Responses to “Your Take: Would an Engagement Ring from Costco Bother You?”

  1. Catherine says:

    I’d care.

    My husband paid a premium to get a Canadian diamond. It was important to him, so it was important to me.

    I would not have cared if my diamond was used/vintage, but if it was new, I was happy knowing where it came from.

    I think there’s a related question of “would you care if your diamond was lab created/simulated” and I think for me the answer to that is “no”.

  2. Ron says:

    If the first question she asks is, “Where did you buy it?” …you need to keep move on… I’m just sayin’

  3. Miranda says:

    Wouldn’t care. Of course, my wedding/engagement band (I have a custom-made with two small emeralds and one small, high quality blood-free diamond) only cost about $400. We went to a local jewelry designer and maker and had it made. She charged us more than cost, but not a whole lot more.

    The mark-up on jewelry is so great that, even at a 70% off sale at most retailers, there is still a 100% or even 200% profit.

  4. Catherine says:

    (to clarify: wouldn’t care if it came from Costco if it were Canadian. Maybe they even sell them).

  5. Scott says:

    Agree with Catherine – I bought Canadian for my wife at Brilliant Earth online. It cost slightly more than a similar diamond at Blue Nile or other reputable online sites but there’s some family history behind Canadian diamonds so I thought it was worth it for the sentimentality. She could have cared less where it came from really, but thought it was nice that it had a family story behind it.

    In my opinion, buying online is definitely the smartest thing to do so long as you’re careful to get it from a reputable source (and of course then go have it inspected and appraised within your 30 day return window to guarantee you got what you paid for). Generally speaking, brick & mortar jewelry stores are a thing of the past. Many have closed up and many more are on their way out because they can’t compete with the online business.

  6. Bentle says:

    I work in the bridal jewelry industry and I can definitely say if you look at the quality and craftsmanship of a Scott Kay, Verragio, A. Jaffe, or some other major designers piece as opposed to what you’ll find in Costco… there is a huge difference. It’s like buying a Timex as opposed to a Tag Heuer… or a pair of shoes from Payless vs a pair of Adidas.

    (I have a low opinion of TIffany by the way but like you said…everyone knows of them. However, people that are in the know about jewelry do not buy there.)

    • FactChecker says:

      Your analogy falls short of truth. Costco sells high end merchandise including engagement rings that are usually “one-off’s”. Do illustrate thus point, allow me to mention some of Costco’s high end merchants (timepieces): Breitling, Cartier, RW, Rolex, and the overpriced Tag Heuer.

    • Cable guy says:

      Costo sells Tags and Addidas. The rings at Costco usually appraise for a few thousand if not more than what you pay for – and all their diamonds are near flawless.

  7. Kay says:

    Yes. I have one from Target. It bothers me only because I KNOW he didn’t look anywhere else – and that he bought it on sale (for less than a day’s work… so he didn’t even try to save up to show commitment). Which is fine, but it’s not a lovely ring and if you expect a woman to show it off (and he did/does) it has to be a NICE ring. I don’t have a local Costco’s, but I’m assuming they are close enough to one another……

    • Missy says:

      Sorry but Costco and Target are not similar at all

      • David Waligora says:

        You can get a ring from costco for lke 50K, so really not the same at all. Costco is all high quality (for the most part) the only down side is that it’s not a unique piece.

        I got my men’s ring from costco and saved a lot.

        I ended up getting my fiance’s GIA certified diamond from blue nile and saved about 4 – 5 hundred. The band I got at a local store because she fell in love with it. The guy at the store tried to find my a com-probable diamond for the cost and couldn’t do it.

      • Oksana says:

        Target doesn’t have expensive rings. Costco’s rings go into the $100,000 range. Big difference! I’d love a ring from Costco. One from Target would bother me.

    • donna says:

      i would duplicate it with my own money and taste albeit what i could afford without financing and be sure it’s beautiful – cubic
      zirconias are beautiful – if he’s so blind
      he’ll never know and you shall have a pretty
      ring – it’s probably just some guy thing that he just doesn’t get – it’s more important he puts out the trash for you. good luck. be good
      to yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Costco is high end I mean super high end Vs quality and almost all flawless.

  8. jim says:

    Catherine, Scott: What’s a Canadian diamond?

    Bentle: I would agree with that, I imagine the craftsmanship of the setting and other stones would be superior at a smaller place.

  9. Cap says:

    Bentle brings up the point of setting and bands etc. which is why I’d care if the ring was from Costco or many places where they’re sold “as is.” For a wedding engagement ring, I figure most people would put the time and effort into selecting the right jewelery for the right person.

    It’s probably not only the perception that it may be a bit ghetto to get a ring from Costco, but also a bit of of “effort spent into looking for the ring” involved.

    I’m sure the stone in itself is fine at Costco though, if they’re honest about the specs and source. Wouldn’t bother with Tiffany too, still plenty of good local jewelry stores in my area with decent selections and price. May even end up getting the stone and setting from two different places.

    But at the end, I guess it also depends on the person the ring’s intended for, and what will truly make them happy (as Ron said, some may even trigger red flags. heh).

  10. Fortunately, I have fulfilled my wife’s “big rock” expectations. She has studied diamonds for years (a close friend was a NY diamond cutter) and as long as the diamond met certain aesthetic and grading requirements, she wouldn’t care that it came from Costco or even Walmart. In fact, if the lower cost meant a bigger rock with equal quality, she would be all for it. That’s why I love that woman!

  11. Shadox says:

    Why WOULD you care? It’s the quality that counts not the retailers profit margin… unless you are the retailer, of course… :-)

  12. CK says:

    My wife specifically asked for a blood diamond from Kmart.

  13. Mike says:

    I myself, being a man could care less about diamonds. I would hope she wouldn’t care as much about where it came store wise as she would where it came from heart wise. That’s what’s important

  14. Amanda says:

    I wouldn’t care at all. It’s the quality of the ring / diamond that matters, not where it was purchased!

  15. plonkee says:

    I wouldn’t care if it came from a Costco type store (I think the equivalent in terms of social standing in the UK would be Argos). However, I have sentimental ties to a an area that specialises in jewellery manufacture, and ethical issues with diamonds in general.

    On the whole, I’d rather be involved in the selection – which is normal in my circle. I’m not as bothered by the stone itself as long as the ring is platinum, and suits me. I think I’m probably slightly unconventional?

  16. Grace says:

    I think people are just wasting their money buying an engagement ring from Tiffany. It’s all about the quality of the stone, you can get so much stone from a wholesaler for the same price you’d pay at Tiffany. The whole setting argument is silly, any good jeweler can copy and duplicate what’s so called the “Tiffany setting”. I don’t care my ring didn’t come from Tiffany and if my husband was able to find a quality stone at Costco, all the power to him!

  17. Amber Jones says:

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind knowing that my ring came from somewhere like Costco or Walmart (it didn’t – it came from Friedmans actually). To me, a ring is just a symbol, and as long as it doesn’t turn my finger green, then I’m ok with it! :D

  18. I can think of a few other places, like Harry Winston’s for example, that have the same cachet as Tiffany’s. In answer to your question, though, if I loved the ring, I wouldn’t care where it was purchased. In fact, the excess of Tiffany’s would more likely be a problem for me. The only thing I would have a problem with, along this same vein, is if it was represented to be something other than what it was. A Costo ring in a Tiffany’s box, a “real” diamond that was actually a simulated one, you get the idea!

  19. Todd A says:

    My wife is pragmatic enough to recognize quality wherever it would come from. However, I actually bought her engagement ring diamond from a close friend at the time, who was trained to be a jeweler (but was otherwise employed). And, it’s been pretty special, because of that.

  20. Meg says:

    I don’t intend to have any idea where my (future) fiance bought my engagement ring. I don’t care if the ring isn’t expensive or ginormous, but I’m not going to lie: it would bother me to know it came from the internet or from Costco (or Wal-Mart, which also sells them).

  21. d says:

    I would proud that I was marrying such an intelligent man. I would feel secure knowing my husband-to-be will be wise with our financial security.

  22. he got my ring online. he could have proposed with a twist-tie for all i cared, and i would have been ready to die of happiness anyway.

  23. Anna says:

    My husband bought my engagement ring online at Mondera. I don’t love it because of the price, where he got it or how big the stone is. I love it because he spent months researching stones, comparing settings, taking me to stores to try on different cuts before picking a setting and stone separately that Mondera put together in a ring. It was the thought and the effort he put into the ring that makes it special. The ring just happens to be a visual representation of the love behind it.

  24. Michelle says:

    I have been researching diamonds with my bf for a few months. We are practical with our money and I’d hate to see him get ripped off. Quality is definately number one and if any of you have looked specifically at the specs of the diamonds that are sold are Costco, I think the prices are beyond comparable to what you would find at a jewellery store. For example: On the site right now you can buy a
    .72 carat cushion cut( like princess but soft corners)
    D color which is colorless( best on the scale) VS2 clarity( very slightly included)
    18 k white gold for $3999.
    I think that’s a good price, but it depends what you’re looking for and how much research you’re willing to put in. They also have a fantastic return policy , although with jewellery in order to return it has to be appraised and checked by a gemologist to make sure it’s the same stone being returned)
    Also , each diamond is GIA grading.
    So to answer the question, I wouldn’t care where my partner got the ring from – as long as I know he didn’t get taken, and got his moneys worth!

  25. MissMartha says:

    Good point Michelle! You want to marry a smart man who gets his moneys worth!


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