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

Posted By Jim On 09/12/2008 @ 6:44 am In Personal Finance,Your Take | 53 Comments

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 [3]) 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?


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[3] a 2005 ABC News story about this very subject: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Moms/story?id=1197202

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