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Gubelin Switzerland Reviews: Limited Selection, High Prices

By Mike Fried,
Overall Score:3.673.5 Rating3.5 Rating
Price:2.52.5 Rating2.5 Rating Selection:44 Rating4 Rating Customer Service: 4.54.5 Rating4.5 Rating
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • High Quality Rings
  • Luxurious Experience

  • Somewhat Limited Selection
  • Pricing Could Be Better
Other Recommended Retailers

The History:

Gübelin is the oldest jeweler we have secret shopped to date. Their storied history goes back to 1854 when the first House of Gübelin watchmaker shop was opened in Lucerne. In the 1920s, Gübelin expanded to jewelry as well as watches.  To this day, it is still a family owned and operated company. Today they have 8 locations in Switzerland as well as boutiques in Hong Kong and Kuala Lampur.

The Experience:

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Gübelin . We visited the Lucerne location on the quay facing the lake with stunning views of the mountains. The saleswoman was helpful, friendly and even knew something about diamonds (unfortunately that is rare). She was not pushy at all. The place had a luxurious vibe, but it was not overbearing or stuffy. There were a couple of tour groups going through the store at the moment (I’m guessing it’s common for tour busses full of people to show up at this location) which made for a louder atmosphere than expected, but it was still a pleasant experience.

The Product:

We were shown two rings, both with GIA certificates. The first was a 1.05 excellent cut F VS1 in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for 17,830chf. The ring was simple and stunning. The diamond was gorgeous (very well cut). The second ring was a 0.60ct excellent cut G VS2, also in an 18kt white gold solitaire, for 5,070chf. This diamond was not quite as good (the cut wasn’t quite as spectacular) but still a nice diamond.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

The Value:

This is where things get tricky. I understand that going into a nice store and having a luxury experience while purchasing has value. But that value is highly subjective. Most people would agree that the far more important part of the experience is the quality and value of the product you receive. While the quality of the product was not an issue, the value certainly was.

Take this ring from Blue Nile as an example. Here is a stunning 1.01 excellent cut F VVS2 diamond with a similar solitaire setting for 8,016chf. The ring would look identical to the one I saw at Gübelin  for double the price. That is a lot of money to spend on the “luxury experience” you feel in the hour or two you spend in the store. I would think that money would be better spent on the ring you (or your partner) will wear the rest of your life. Look at this beautiful 1.55ct excellent cut F VS1 from Blue Nile. Putting it in the same ring, you are still spending 15% less than you would for the original choice at Gübelin .

You would think the smaller diamond would be a better value (or at least the same). Unfortunately this is not the case. Comparing that ring to this 0.60 G VS2 from Blue Nile and you see that they are charging 2.5 times the price at Gübelin  for a similar ring.

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Bottom Line:

While the quality and experience were up to par, the value just doesn’t seem to be there. You are better off getting a much larger diamond (or saving a significant amount of money) for an identical ring from a reputable online jeweler like Blue Nile, than spending more than double at Gübelin  for a comparable jewelry piece.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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