I decided to surprise my husband on his last birthday with a cruise. We set sail on Carnival's Fantasy on Sept 24, 2009. While on the cruise, we were woo'd, so to speak, by the ship's professional shopper, Martin. He went on and on about Diamonds International, how you could upgrade diamonds and that they had a diamond that no one else had called the Crown of Light. We have been married for seven years and talked about upgrading my diamond for some time. We went in WHEN Martin was there on Saturday, the 26th. After being there for over 2 hours and looking at a countless number of stones, not to mention haggling with our sales person over the amount of money we were willing to put out, we wound up settling on a stone that was .65 carats, G-H color, SI1 clarity. I was trading in an emerald cut stone that was .91 carats, G-H color, VS2 clarity. The cost, $1600. Yes, I know, anyone with a logical brain can't see this as a fair deal but, we were convinced by DI and Martin that the stone was going to appraise for a much higher price than we paid because of it's "unique" cut. After we returned to the boat, I called Martin again, concerned about whether or not we'd gotten a good deal. He reassured me. When we returned home, within a week, I brought my ring to a certified gemologist to have it appraised. To my horror, my ring appraised for nearly $2200 less than it appraised for 7 YEARS earlier!!! The gemologist told me that the stone was only worth $1800!!! HELLO!?!?! I paid $1600 PLUS a nearly 1 carat emerald cut diamond!
So, I called DI. The first comment was, "the appraiser must be a certified gemologist." Well, I said, "HE IS A CERTIFIED GEMOLOGIST LISTED ON YOUR WEBSITE AS QUALIFIED TO APPRAISE CROWN OF LIGHT!" Oops! I had them cornered. After lots of hemming an hawing, I got them to agree to send me back my diamond and refund my money. I took me an entire month to get this done. And, that's with calls EVERY DAY. I got the diamond back, to my surprise, relatively quickly and it was actually MY diamond. Amazing. The refund took longer. I finally had to threaten to sue and they magically got the money back in my account the next day. Hilarious...they actually tried to tell me that they had to have PERMISSION from my bank to return my money!
All I can say is, I was one of the lucky ones, I suppose. It still cost me money...shipping, having the stone removed and another reset...and, unfortunately, my husband and my memories of that trip will be forever tarnished by that transaction (otherwise, it was a phenomenal trip). I wound up getting a larger diamond with nearly perfect colorlessness and higher clarity for LESS money from local wholesaler of diamonds. My cost of only $1200 with him rendered a new appraisal of my ring at over $13k!!!
NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL!!! IT IS THE BIGGEST SCAM RUNNING. AND, THE CRUISE LINES SHOULD BE FINED FOR THEIR ENDORSEMENT OF THIS COMPANY!