|Michael Fried||Overall Score:3.17||Price:2||Selection:4||Customer Service:3.5||Pros||Cons||Other Recommended Retailers|
I would not recommend buying a diamond ring from Canturi. We have more details below, but here is a diamond from Canturi and a comparable diamond from Blue Nile that is 47% cheaper. If you look at all the diamonds we saw, the average savings purchasing online would be about 39%. Generally we recommend buying from an reputable online jeweller like Blue Nile or James Allen (you can read more about the topic here).
That said even if you were adamant about buying at a physical retailer, Canturi would not be our choice. The diamond quality was inconsistent and there are other retailers that, while still more expensive than buying online, are more competitively priced.
Born in 1966 in Sydney, Australia Stefano Canturi is a classically trained craftsman and visionary jewellery designer. His interest in miniature sculpture began at the age of nine in Florence, Italy where his instant admiration of hand carved sculptures was born.
In the years that followed, the drive to sculpt became irrepressible, and at the age of 17 he pursued an opportunity to learn the craft of jewellery creation under an Italian Master..
In 1986, he began designing and crafting jewellery under his own name and quickly attracted a following of women who were drawn to the unique talent of the visionary artist.
His Creation Department is in Sydney, Australia and much like the original craftspeople of an era past, his works are only available through his three exclusive jewellery salons in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Canturi was one of the last stops we made while wandering around Brisbane. I genuinely liked the layout of the store; It was bright, airy and had a nice modern vibe. The one weird thing was that we sat on couches to look at the rings. I get that they are trying to make you comfortable, but it was weird to me. Many people want to take notes or pictures. They may want to walk around to see how the diamond looks in different light. I don’t think sitting in deep cushioned sofas is conducive to buying a diamond. But maybe that’s just me.
The salesperson was incredibly nice and helpful. It’s one of the rare occasions where the salesperson asked to show us a variety to help us get a better understanding of our options. She picked an excellent variety of engagement rings to show us.
The first diamond we looked at was a 1.08ct E color, SI2 clarity round diamond set in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting. The diamond was very nice. The cut was fine and the SI2 was eye-clean. The price for the ring was AU$15,500.
The second engagement ring we looked at was a three-stone round diamond setting. The center diamond was a 0.86ct E color, SI1 clarity diamond that was graded by GSL. We recommend only purchasing diamonds with a GIA or AGS certificate. GSL is a local certificate and I’m a bit skeptical. To be fair, the grades did seem spot on so we’ll let it slide.
What I won’t let slide was the cut. The diamond was horrifically cut. It was deep and had a huge table. The diamond just looked terrible. The side-stone diamonds were 0.70ctw and were supposedly E color, SI1 clarity and the total price was AU$11,700.
We found Canturi on Little Collins St. The experience in Melbourne was very similar to the experience in Brisbane. That is the way it should be (that a store has uniform standards and style), but is not always the case. The store wasn’t as bright as the one in Brisbane, but had a nice vibe. Once again, they did the whole “show diamond rings while sitting in comfy couches” thing. The salesperson was also very nice and helpful.
The first diamond we saw was a 1.03ct G color, VS2 clarity in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$13,900. This was a fantastic diamond. The cut was superb and the diamond was bright and eye-clean.
The second diamond was a 0.80ct F color, SI1 clarity round diamond. This diamond was nowhere near as nice as the previous one. It was very poorly cut, making it look dark and lacking brilliance. It also had inclusions noticeable to the naked eye. This diamond was set in a 0.19ctw halo setting and cost AU$8,700.
The first ring we saw in Brisbane was the 1.08ct in a white gold setting for AU$15,500. Here is a similar 1.01ct E color, SI2 clarity diamond from Blue Nile for AU$7,661. If you add it to this setting, the total cost is AU$8,244. That is a whopping 47% savings for a comparable ring.
The second ring we saw was the three stone ring with a 0.86ct poorly cut, E color, SI1 clarity round diamond. Here is a comparable diamond. If you pair it with this 0.35ct and this 0.35ct and this setting, the total price comes to AU$ 6,700. That is 43% cheaper than the AU$11,700 Canturi was charging.
The first diamond we saw in Melbourne was a 1.03ct G color, VS2 clarity round diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$13,900. Here is a virtually identical 1.00ct G color, VS2 clarity diamond from Blue Nile for AU$9,458. If you add it to this solitaire setting, the total price of AU$10,041. That is a savings of 28%.
The last diamond we saw was a 0.80ct F color, SI1 clarity diamond in a halo setting for AU$8,700. As we mentioned, we are not fans of this diamond. This is a similar diamond and setting for AU$5,324. That is 39% cheaper than the Canuri ring.
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