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Is it OK if Your Bling Bling comes from Costco?

01/24/2007

Did you know that Costco sell diamond rings? Even Amazon.com sells them. Around christmas time last year, CN8 (Comcast in Philly) showed a report where they asked a diamond expert to check out 2 diamonds, one from Costco and one from Tiffany’s. These 2 diamonds had identical specifications. After examining these 2 pieces of gems, the expert concluded that they are genuine (obviously) and matched their specs.

But there was obviously a huge price difference. The diamond at Tiffany’s cost $8,000 more than the identical piece at Costco’s. So, when you that bling bling from Tiffany’s as your engagement ring, you are obviously paying a “Tiffany Premium”.

The interesting part of this story is that I found out about this at a party that I was attending. Then, we decided to take a little poll from the ladies. Question is will you accept an engagement ring from Costco? Or must it be from Tiffany’s (or any well known jeweller)?

The answers varies among different ladies. For some, an engagement ring from Costco’s is simply unacceptable. There was also an interesting answer from another friend, who said that her original engagement ring must be from a reputable (at least well known) jeweler, but that for her 10th wedding anniversary, a second diamond ring from Costco would be ok. I did not find a single lady in the party who said it was ok if their engagement ring was from Costco!

This topic brings up an interesting issue. When we read articles and advice columns about personal finance, one of the hottest topic is about how buying a new car is one of the worst investments you can ever make because your car depreciates the moment it is driven out of the showroom. Well, aside from cars, I would think that an engagement diamond ring has to come up as an item that (though may not depreciate as much), certainly adds no economic value to one’s family finances or life. At least with a car, you get to go from point A to B.

The diamond engagement ring though, is a tradition. I am not advocating that this ritual be abandoned. Mrs Credit Card obviously has a diamond ring from me years ago. But everyday, I read blogs about how to save money? how to reduce debt? who is the cheapest discount broker? why pay high fees for managed mutual funds? Why not just invest in a low cost index? How to do a 0% apr balance transfer arbitrage? which online bank has the highest interest rate? How to shop for the cheapest car?

But nowhere do I see any article on where to get the best value for a diamond engagement ring? And hey – this gem cost a least a couple of thousand dollars.

So to all you personal finance readers and bloggers out there, I would like to know what you think about this issue. Ladies – would it be OK for you if your diamond engagement ring was from Costco? And guys – would you even consider getting an engagement ring from Costco?

I am taking a poll below. Would be interested in looking at the results!

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