Costco’s diamond program
leaves no stone unturned
Consumer reporter Pat Volchok
gives a behind-the-scenes look at
Costco products and services. Send
your questions about this article to:
92 ;e Costco Connection NOVEMBER 2011
THERE’S A TWINKLE on Costco.com and
in warehouses right now that has nothing to
do with holiday lights. The source is Costco’s
jewelry department, brightly radiating a treasure trove of diamonds and other precious
gems specially crafted into gorgeous rings,
necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pendants.
The latest addition to Costco’s jewelry
box is high-end, one-of-a-kind diamonds.
Each is a thoroughbred of distinction and
character, and ideal for those extraordinary
life events, such as an engagement, anniversary or special recognition.
Carat weight for Costco high-end diamonds typically ranges from 1.00 to 6.00
carats. Specifications top out at IF (
internally flawless) clarity, D color (the highest
grade, colorless white). Prices start at
around $2,000 but can run much, much
more. Savings are as great as 150 percent
over classic retail jewelry stores. (Shipping
and handling are included.)
These special diamonds demand special
care—so Costco jewelry buyers hand-select
the loose stones first and then build the settings that best show them off.
Most warehouses carry a very limited
selection of one-of-a kind diamonds at
1 carat or larger. Prices range from $4,000
No compromise on quality
Encompassing a wide range of prices, all
Costco diamonds are guaranteed VS2 clarity
(very slight inclusion or flaw that can only be
seen with a 10x microscope) and I color or
better (except watches), explains Heide
Hudson, a Costco.com assistant jewelry buyer
and graduate gemologist.
Warehouse diamond shopping is particularly good for procrastinators who need to
purchase immediately, those who prefer to get
up close and personal before buying or members like me who always enjoy looking and
dreaming. New items arrive weekly.
Jeni Murphy, buyer, warehouse high-end
diamonds, reports, “Many members have
done their homework and know what they
want. We give them the opportunity to walk
in and choose from a small assortment.”
Costco’s highly experienced veteran
jewelry buyers work directly with some of the
most intensely vetted, reputable diamond and
gemstone suppliers in the industry. Together
they make sure that only highest-quality dia-
monds procured from legitimate sources who
are not involved in funding conflict and who
comply with all United Nations diamond
mandates are allowed.