This is a beautiful 3-stone diamond engagement ring from Catbird for $4,700. That’s overpriced, imho. But I think the facts back me up. Here’s how I found a better, less expensive ring while saving you almost $1,700.
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The Catbird offer: $4,700.
See the ring live at Catbird, unless it’s discontinued.
This price comparison is part of a larger tree of price comparisons of stunning white gold engagement rings that I like.
The James Allen MUCH better price of $3,012 (on an IGI-certified diamond ring with equal or better certified grades)
Specs compared directly
Each of these center-stone diamonds — the Catbird, and the James Allen — are about 0.75 carats.
Catbird diamond in this ring will have is VS1 to SI2 Clarity. That’s a huge scary range of possibility. SI2 would be disappointing at this price point. And sorry but you have assume the worst, so that you’re not disappointed. (It could very well happen that you get an SI2 clarity diamond if you chose this ring. You can’t choose your diamond specifically at Catbird. You get what they send you. No choice. That alone would be a deal-breaker for me, just saying.)
James Allen diamond example that I found (and you can choose your specific diamond) is VS1-Clarity: That’s a potential 3 entire grades better clarity … for less money! You choose your specific diamond at James Allen, so you know exactly what you’re getting. I show you how to do that below. It’s so reassuring!
A note about certification (or not) of these two diamond price compares
Catbird says, buried deep in a post, that their brilliant cut Swans are all GIA certified. HOWEVER, a diamond certificate at this price level is SO IMPORTANT that I as a diamond buying coach for you can’t recommend buying ANY diamond without seeing the certificate before purchasing.
It’s not enough that a merchant (no matter who they are) promise in general on a blog post on their site that your diamond will have a GIA or IGI or AGS certificate. No matter who they are, they could make a mistake. It’s too important to not verify.
On the other hand, the James Allen diamond I found has an IGI certificate notice right on the page. (And so do all of their diamonds that I’ve ever seen). That’s much more reassuring.
No certification means no deal, for anyone with any experience shopping for diamonds. Without a certification you can’t really know exactly what you’re getting.
Color (Note that the perfectly colorless grade is “D”. There are no such grades as A, B, or C.)
The Catbird diamond color you’ll get when you order this ring ranges from E all the way to J. Again, that’s a very disconcertingly large range of possibilities. E is almost perfect. J is way off on the end, just before “Faint Yellow,” which is not a place you want your diamond to be.
To repeat, with Catbird, you can’t choose your specific diamond! To me, personally, at this price point, that’s a dealbreaker. You just don’t know what you’re getting. Could be E. Could be J. Could be anything in between. (With James Allen you choose your specific diamond, and you know all of its specs while you’re shopping for it.)
For all those reasons, to keep you safe as your diamond shopping coach, I’m telling you to assume the worst. Assume J.
The James Allen diamond in this example has the Color E. 100% chance you’re getting E on this diamond. And there are plenty of E colored diamonds of this size at James Allen. All you have to do is to set your filters the way I show you later down in this article.
That’s a potential of 5 entire grades better. It also moves this diamond close to the truly “colorless” territory. (Remember: “D” is the very best colorless diamond possible. It’s the top grade.)
How to get the James Allen deal
At James Allen, you don’t just add a ring to cart and check out. It’s slightly more complex. And much better in price and selection. It’s much more interesting (and gives you more control and choice).
Here’s how to do it:
- You choose a setting (the metal ring, which in some cases comes with accent diamonds).
- Then you choose a loose diamond to add to it.
But it’s not as hard as it may seem. In fact it’s easy.
At least, it’s easy if you have someone walking you through it for the first time.
Here’s exactly how to get these deals (or very similar deals) at James Allen:
1. Select this 14K white gold setting. (It’s available on the same page in 14K, 18K as well, also in yellow gold and rose gold, or even in Platinum. Just choose them from the drop down on the setting product page.)
2. For the diamond, go to these pre-set James Allen diamond search results and select a diamond from the first 2 or 3 diamonds in the list.
(James Allen diamonds are unique, so I can’t send you straight to a specific diamond. It would sell out quickly. But there are many many others in the inventory. The price will be close to what you see here.
Also, of course the inventory is always changing, so you may see slightly different prices when you search.)
3. Add the setting and the diamond to your cart and check out.
Conclusion: This Catbird diamond ring is a stunning design, but a poor deal, in my humble opinion. You can save almost $1,700 dollars AND get an equal or better diamond, using my shopping technique above.
To save $1700 or so, use the simple search filter I’ve provided you above. It gives you power to choose, power to save, power to get a better diamond ring.
Also, Catbird uses recycled diamonds. Meaning, they came from someone else’s previously used jewelry! That could be romantic. Hmm … Really? But it doesn’t strike me personally that way. It all depends on the individual of course.
But um … what if it came from someone else’s engagement ring … and what if that couple was one of the 50% or so who get divorced? I get it, yes, no use wasting all those diamonds out there. But still. Just so you know.
You’d think that they’d come in with better prices, but as we’ve seen James Allen smashed them for price.
What will you use the extra $1,700 for?