I get approached by a number of online retailers, wanting to get a mention or a link. But unless I have personal experience with ordering and receiving great quality merchandise, I can’t in good conscience recommend someone or something sight-unseen. So when IcedOrchid.com wanted me to mention a pair of diamond earrings or another piece of diamond jewelry for an idazzle.com Daily Obsession, my response was “Show Me”. I need to see the jewelry quality, see how it fits and feels as if I’m a consumer ordering it.
IcedOrchid.com sent me a lovely pair of earrings, as an example of their jewelry quality. Alas, I can’t keep them: it’s not a gift to me in exchange for a favorable review. I didn’t want anything to potentially color my review, so I sent them back. But I’m not sure I wanted to!
The IcedOrchid.com Company
I’ve been aware of IcedOrchid.com for a while, but it was their recent mention in a Glamour.com article about engagement rings under $1850 that really got my attention. I went to their site and checked out the ring–I was absolutely convinced that the $1762 price quoted was just for the mounting, not the center stone diamond as well. To my surprise, the white gold setting was completed by a .50 carat round diamond with a nice cut (AGS 1 rating), color (F), and clarity (SI1), with a lab report from the pinnacle of reputable labs, American Gem Society Laboratory.
The company, started recently, but with many years of experience in the jewelry industry, tries very hard for that excellent value proposition. They say that they target an entry-level price point in the market, but I find their offerings to be classic and enduring styles (unlike some of the awful things I’ve seen in malls). On their clean, simple site you can find a large assortment of engagement ring and wedding band designs, as well as a small collection of diamond jewelry such as earrings, pendants and bracelets. But would the jewelry itself live up to the quality and construction that they promise to consumers on their site?
The earrings I reviewed are the 1.50 Ct Tw Inside-Out Diamond Hoops in white gold, $1761 Retail. They are named “Inside Out” because the front of the hoop is set with diamonds, and the inside of the back of the hoop is also set, which is what you see from the front. I thought these would be a good to review because they are a great gift idea or jewelry essential for a jewelry collection. Plus, they would show IcedOrchid.com’s typical diamond quality, how well they match their stones, their diamond-setting skill, polish and finishing.
The earrings arrived very securely packaged, and I finally uncovered the fancy wood and leather-ette presentation box containing the earrings inside. For some reason, I was pleasantly surprised by how much the diamonds sparkled against the black lining of the box. Maybe it’s the reasonable price, maybe I’m just jaded, but I’ve seen a lot of mediocre quality out there for diamond basics. These earrings are REALLY pretty.
There are 60 diamonds totaling 1.50 carats, and all are listed at G-H color and VS2 clarity. I 10X-louped them in the setting, which isn’t quite like seeing them unmounted, but that quality appears to be what is set into the earrings I received. No major flaws, and all bright white in the white gold setting. Though each diamond itself is small, in the clean straight-line shared prong setting they have a lot of presence, even from across the room. I liked how short and curved the posts are, because they won’t tip forward on your ear and expose the earring hole, and they have a hinged closure that has a satisfying *snap* to close (makes them feel very secure on the ears).
Scale is one of the most challenging parts of ordering ANYTHING on line, especially for jewelry which is not branded. The detail pages on IcedOrchid.com’s website helpfully lists all the details of each piece of jewelry, but really, does anyone know what 26 X 1.6 MM really looks like? The 1.50 carat pair has a hoop diameter almost exactly that of a US quarter, so you can hold that up to your ear and get a feel for the scale.
This is a VERY wearable size and style of diamond hoop earring. Personally for myself, I would want a larger diameter, but I like pretty bold jewelry. The carat weight, scale, sparkle and finish of these make these earrings the perfect jewelry essential of a diamond hoop for most people. If someone is quite demure in their style, then diamond stud earrings or the 1 carat total weight of these same hoops would be good. (Hint to IcedOrchid: maybe make a larger diameter pair, maybe 30MMs with 2 Carats or so of diamonds–those I would NOT send back! Edited after published, I found this pair of 2 Ct TW Inside Out Hoops with a 28mm diameter on their site.)
A Little Q and A with IcedOrchid.com
idazzle.com: What is the history and story of the company and founders?
IcedOrchid.com: IcedOrchid.com is a young American company, founded by a family that has been involved in the jewelry business for years. What began as a spirited family discussion regarding the direction of the industry turned into words of action in the creation of IcedOrchid.com. IcedOrchid.com was established as an online retail store, to market beautiful yet affordable diamond jewelry to people who thought they could never afford luxury. Targeting the bottom of the pyramid for luxury, IcedOrchid.com’s mission is to show the average working man or woman that luxury diamond jewelry is available to them at a fair price without compromising quality.
What do you feel is unique or special about the IcedOrchid.com company and website (in other words, why should customers shop with you)?
What separates IcedOrchid.com from its competitors is the company’s effort to keep the engagement process as simple, stress-free and enjoyable as possible through its easy-to-use website. While the company has a large inventory and thousands of styles, it doesn’t display everything it carries. Rather, the products that are displayed are those that follow seasonal trends as well as those backed by research statistics on best selling items. Even the promotions the company runs are direct and target the audience its products are tailored for. Further, IcedOrchid.com is unique in that all its products come from a single source ensuring top quality while also allowing it’s diamond consultants to personally check or inspect an item upon request from a customer.
Do you have some exciting things launching/happening in 2011?
IcedOrhcid.com starts 2011 with an exciting contest running on Facebook called “Operation Proposal”target=_blank. This contest is run in collaboration with Operation Gratitude, a NGO that sends care packages to deployed soldiers around the worlds. “Operation Proposal” is open to every American who has a valid military card and to veterans as well. Contestants are encouraged to upload photos and stories of their proposals (past or future) on IcedOrchid.com’s Facebook page, and then get their friends and families to support their entries. The contest ends on Feb 6th with the winner being announced on Valentine’s day. The contestant with the highest number of votes will win him/herself a gorgeous diamond engagement ring worth $4500.
Also, on January 15th 2011, IcedOchid.com offers consumers a unique opportunity to see its jewelry display in person at booth 718 at the Hartford CT Bridal Expo!
Come March 2011, IcedOrchid.com will be launching its first spring collection! Keep visiting the website www.icedorchid.com and its Facebook page to view new styles, new diamonds and other exciting additions.
Thank you, IcedOrchid.com for sending the earrings for review, and sharing your thoughts about your company! I like what you’re doing so far with your website! One suggestion that would make the shopping experience even better is to have really *snappy* images of the jewelry–when you are online, you have one chance to impress the customer! Also, illustrating scale of the jewelry, like a photo of it on a model, or against something that shows its dimensions. I recommend paying attention to the way that the best fashion sites represent things, and of course, disclosing all the details about the quality, as you are doing. Can’t wait to see IcedOrchid.com’s Spring 2011 collection!