Wednesday, May 12, 2010

VENDOR REVIEW: GoodOldGold.com


Photo: GoodOldGold.com, Jonathan Weingarten

A few years ago I got the chance to learn about Good Old Gold and "meet" Jon through a forum about diamonds and jewelry.  That forum is actually the impetus for what became my real education in diamonds.

At the time I had no real need to get much beyond that meeting, I wasn't in the market for anything anyway, but as I stayed on that board longer...and longer...and longer...I really got to know him and more about his company, not to mention diamonds and cut quality (CUT IS KING!) especially that he carries a lot of specialized stones that not many (or in some cases, no one else) carry. 

Besides that, he was ridiculous about making sure every single stone he carried was a great performer and made sure the forum's posters and all customers knew how to identify a great performer. 

To those on that board, or in the industry, that makes sense, to other people who aren't insane about stuff like this (as in, those who don't carry a 30x loupe in their purse), it can be information overload.  Not many vendors or brick and mortar jewelers would supply this info, because if they did, they'd likely lose the sale. What you get with many online diamond vendors is a very customized approach, and these folks know what they're selling you, and want you to know what you're buying. No games, no BS, and no smoke up your ass to make a sale. 

Most of them have very little "markup" since they have very little overhead, and they are often ahead of the game on technology--Good Old Gold has more testing equipment than any vendor I have ever encountered in this field.  Idealscopes, ASET scopes, Sarin, BrillianceScope, and so forth, are the way of the future. Brick and Mortar stores that fight this technology will be left behind.

Supplying the customer with all of that information up front allows a better decision making process, and keeps everything out on the table. Ridiculously clear photography, videos of stones side-by-side, educational videos galore, which is a GOG specialty. Jon wants you to know all you can know about diamonds and how to pick a winner, something you will love, and almost rear-end someone staring at instead of driving. Even if he loses the sale to another vendor, knowing that he instilled proper knowledge and confidence in someone to make an educated purchase is what makes his day. 

My husband was no slouch in the diamond department, partly due to proximity to me, but even he walked away feeling like he was well informed after working with Good Old Gold. He is also completely in love with the August Vintage Rounds, one of the many cuts that Jon developed and had cut specifically for him, and his store is the only outlet for them. And I quote "if I was going to buy a diamond for myself, it would be that diamond. They are amazing."  I can tell you this, he was totally enamored and was staring at it, holding it and twirling it in his hands, he was in love with those stones. So perhaps Ill obtain one in the future for another ring or something so that he can stare at one more often. 



The stone that was stolen from me in September 2009, and what I replaced the stolen one with, are both Star129 diamonds. Shown in the video above, you can see how this cut varies from other cuts.  It is a specialized branded cut, and not many folks apparently have one, let alone have to replace one.  They are not cut by the same people anymore (different story for a different day), so while they are available, they're not widely so. He seemed to have an "inside track" to the whole supply list which helped me figure out what to bring in and check out. I was desperately trying to get back what I lost, and I wanted something that looked and performed the exact same, which frankly is damn near impossible without the original to compare it to.  I knew that I needed to go with a stone from the original cutters to get the same "proper" look. It took a while to find a winner, but it was worth the wait, despite my desire to not wait. I want it all and I want it now!

So while I was bummed about the robbery, I was finally in the position to patronize this very cool guy. He was (as was his staff) incredibly knowledgeable and, most of all, patient because I have some crazy demands and expectations. I spent days on the website searching for options, and calling them about the options. There was some back and forth between us, some stones shipped back and forth, and finally a trip to NYC to see him and officially meet this guy in person. 

Either they were on drugs or they were really excited to finally meet me, and I was eager to dash their hopes. I tried on about a million things, including the 8ct headlight, which I might add was pretty dang ridiculous on me. I got to see the Octavia diamond in person--which is so unbelievably amazing that it's simply not done any justice in photos, though there is a fella who owns one that took some IN-SANE shots of his. I settled on a similar set to what was stolen. Hey, if it ain't broke...

We spent quite a while with them before I finally made a decision. I am sure I will change that tune later, and while I thank you trade-in policy gods for that possibility, I am sure my husband is cursing you. Actually, he thinks it's pretty neat, but it sounded better in my head that he curses it. 

I had taken an absolute shitload of photos and somehow managed to either overwrite them all or have some kind of camera failure between the night before and that night. So I am devastated I lost all those images. There were about 100 of the 8ct doorknob alone. And the photos below of the stones and honkers are taken by Matt and Jon of GOG for me, to replace what I lost. There really is nothing like wearing an 8ct rock on your finger. I believe my exact words when Matt and Marie brought it out were "HOLY SHIT" and it was not quietly mumbled, it was a full on bellow.  Everyone turned to stare and then quickly turned back to their business. 

He's actually pretty cool about all the craziness that has gone into my wedding rings over the last 5 years, because honey, there's been some DRAAAMAAAA. But I think I will stick with this for a little while. How long, who knows. My attention span is fleeting. Which is why I read magazines and not books.

And as if the entire experience of practically rolling around naked in diamonds (that would probably be a bad idea for a number of reasons), Jon's sister drove us to the train station to catch the LIRR back to Manhattan. That my friends is SERVICE. And if the whole day wasn't totally awesome already, we got to watch and take photos of Anthony Bourdain while he filmed a segment at the Soho location of Jacques Torres Chocolates where I had a wicked hot chocolate (TDF) and a few really amazing chocolates. I might actually order a few of those online because they were bitchin'.


So, lookin' for bling? Really nice bling that is well cut and comes with a ridiculous amount of testing before it's available for sale? Check them out

Photos, sine I know you're dying for some...
My Ring, and a couple of my stone, loose, followed by a few of the specialized stones, and then the ROCKS.











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