Costco is a superstore that sells everything, you name it, and they have it. From bulk food items and toiletries to affordable clothes at a reasonable price. It is a family-friendly store. However, when the name Costco is heard, no one exactly expects to purchase diamonds and jewelry. If you are looking for good deals on diamond jewelry, then a simple answer is at Costco! You are probably already a regular customer at Costco, so why don’t you give the Costco diamonds a try. After all, it offers a wide range of products at reasonable prices.
You must be wondering whether these diamonds at Costco are worth buying and if it’s a good deal. Here is the detailed answer to your query.
Background of Costco Jewelry-Journey of Costco to Becoming a Jewelry Vendor
Costco Wholesale Corporation had created an excellent business model of providing bulk products with thin margins. For a retail store chain, they provide one of the best services with a fantastic return policy. Costco partnered with Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and used to have a remarkable reputation for jewelry, too. When Costco sold jewelry and diamonds with GIA certifications, products were priced affordably, thus making it a go-to for diamond jewelry among the people. Unfortunately, the quality of the jewelry seemed to have declined over the past few years. This is because Costco now only offers its article description on a diamond which is less than 1 Karat.
You’ll receive a GIA certification if you buy a diamond greater than 1 Karat. This raises a significant challenge: Most people prefer to purchase diamonds weighing less than 1 Karat. The dilemma is quite clear; it is impossible to know the actual quality of the bought diamond. Moreover, Costco no longer gives a GIA certificate for diamond jewelry. Therefore, customers have lost their faith in the store’s jewelry department. Adding fuel to the fire, the latest prices for jewelry are exceptionally high. With the lack of GIA certificates, the worth of its jewelry is considerably lower. Despite this fact, the prices haven’t declined to be compatible with its fall in value.
The customers end up contemplating if the Costco diamond collection is worth a shit now that the quality has declined. The issue that the price has not reduced in correlation with the fall is a big turnoff for the customers.
Delving Into the Wonders of 4Cs
Many jewelry retail stores use the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) clarity, cut, color, and Carat weight standards, also known as the 4Cs, to set the prices for gems. It is the rating according to these parameters which determine the diamond quality. The cut is a matter of personal preference; however, the quality of the cut depicts the brilliance of the diamond. Clarity refers to the measure of the purity of the gem, with designations like very, very slightly included (VVSI) and very slightly included (VSI). Color is rated on a scale of D to Z, D being the best with colorless outlook.
Costco claims that their diamonds are at least VS2 in clarity with the color grade 1. The diamond rings with a center stone, 1 carat or larger, are provided with the GIA Diamond Grading Report. Diamonds greater than one carat are provided an International Gemological Institute (IGI) appraisal, which can be utilized to make sure the good jewelry investment. While this practice is common in elite boutique stores like Tiffany & Cartier, it is hard to expect the wholesale operators Costco to pull off the same. There are no knowledgeable staff and value-added services. You select the diamond in the same fashion as you pick your cereal or the desired shampoo.
Price Range of Diamond
A 1-carat diamond ring is priced somewhere between USD 3500 to USD 27000, based on the 4Cs mentioned above, the setting quality, and the retailer.
Per the Costco site, rings cost $249.99 for a plain stackable band set in 14k gold with a 0.08 carat VS2 diamond. The costliest offering at this listing is USD 364,999.99 ring set in platinum with 7.45 carat diamond with VSI clarity.
Customization and Service
Conventional style jewelry stores offer all the buyers to tailor their products. If you are interested in a gem in one ring but the setting of some other gem, several jewels will make a customized version for the customer. Some jewelers also encourage you to design your own ring and will collaborate with you to create a unique ring depending on your description. When you buy a ring from a traditional jewelry store, you can also bring it back when it needs repairs or cleaning, or even a gemstone reset in a new jewelry item.
All Costco diamond jewelry is preset, and customers don’t have the liberty to customize it. The specification and the details on the site list the ring sizes, but customers have to take their ring to a jeweler if you want your fit to size. It also doesn’t offer any repairing and cleaning services for the jewelry.
While Costco provides a perfect experience of buying just about any over-the-top item and still leave the store with money in your pocket, it is not that amazing as a jewelry retail store. The first issue you may come across is that the workers lack the knowledge and expertise to sell the diamonds. Generally, if you oversee anything, like diamonds, you must make an effort to learn a bit about it. At Costco, you’re expected to purchase diamonds like selecting drumsticks. However, at the end of the day, diamond jewelry isn’t like grocery shopping. You need to consider some of the critical factors prior to purchasing it.
The major problem with Costco diamond is the limited variety. There are only a few available options, and that’s about it. On the contrary, the quality and craftmanship of diamonds are of decent quality. However, having more options would be more beneficial for the potential customers that seek different styles.
The Returns Policy
It takes several minutes to track down the returns policy for Costco jewelry as they have numerous policies based on whether you have bought a ring or an LED screen. Nonetheless, the return/warranty section is visible under each item. Costco diamonds are not all negative with no good. In fact, the best feature of the Costco jewelry store is its wonderful return policy. It is surprising to know that Costco has one of the most generous and liberal return policies in the market.
It is convenient to return any item without much hassle, which is a great advantage. The return policy is quite straightforward, with no exclusive mention of how long you have to return your item. The standard is 30 days, but that can be confirmed by calling a store.
There are absolutely no details about the ring packaging available on the site. The box that contains the ring is so significant when it involves that big proposal moment. So, if you decide to purchase your Costco diamond, make sure to go to the store near you and see their box selection or plan to track down a great box depending on the package that arrives.
When the question of shopping at Costco arrives, it’s best to believe that customers must stick to purchasing regular grocery items like baby diapers and morning cereals instead of buying big-ticket products like diamond jewelry. At the same time, the quality of Costco rings is fine and decent. However, Costco jewelry is not any close to offering the perfect price for quality diamonds. If you or your close ones are purchasing a diamond ring or studs, you won’t be much impressed with the value and service at Costco. Instead, potential customers can get far better service by using a legitimate online vendor. Furthermore, you must always go for a diamond with a legit certificate from GIA or AGS.
The Costco jewelry store needs more improvements to overcome its weaknesses. The Costco staff lacks general knowledge about the jewelry items they are in charge of. Perhaps, by appointing experts and knowledgeable staff, the store can do wonders for both the store and the potential customers. Moreover, the selection and variety of diamond jewelry need to be broadened in order to help the customers with a wide range. While the craftsmanship and quality of Costco diamond are reasonable, Costco needs to provide quality service. It is mandatory to consider all other factors as well.
Nonetheless, the customers won’t be disappointed with the quality of the chosen ring but not with the price you pay. It is much likely that you’ll end up paying more than the ring costs. So if you are wondering whether Costco diamonds a good deal, then the overwhelming consensual response is no. At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make. However, owing to Costco’s limited selection, non-knowledgeable staff, and no customizing options, the price exceeds its value.