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|Michael Fried|| Overall Score:3|| Price:2.5|| Selection:4|| Customer Service:2.5||Pros||Cons||Other Recommended Retailers|
Like other Hong Kong and Macau jewelers, Luk Fook isn’t the best place to shop for diamonds and diamond jewelry. While the quality of the diamonds available is high, the selection is fairly limited and the prices are more than 40% higher than James Allen and Blue Nile.
With salespeople that didn’t seem particularly attentive and stores that, while well located, didn’t have a luxurious feel, it’s hard to justify the premium you’ll pay to purchase any diamond jewelry from Luk Fook.
Founded in 1991, Luk Fook doesn’t quite have the age of other Hong Kong jewelers. Despite this, it’s grown into quite the giant, with more than 1,700 shops around Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Mainland China and elsewhere in Asia.
Luk Fook also operates retail stores in the West, with locations in the United States, Canada and Australia. Thanks to its size, the company is able to operate its own jewelry processing plant in Guangzhou, allowing it to offer products that are made in-house.
As one of Hong Kong and China’s leading jewelry companies, Lukfook is easy to find in Hong Kong and Tier 1 Chinese cities.
Being the second largest jeweler in China, Luk Fook has quite the presence in Hong Kong. It was never too hard to find a Luk Fook in any area we visited. From Causeway Bay to Pacific Place to Nathan Road, there was always a Luk Fook nearby.
In fact, when we got off the MTR at Tsim Sha Tsui, we walked right into our first store for secret shopping: a Luk Fook.
The store was very busy and didn’t have much of a luxurious feel. Overall, it felt like it could have been any type of store.
Eventually, we found the diamond engagement ring section and a salesman said hello. He was very perfunctory and not very helpful in trying to explain anything to us. On the whole, it seemed like he was just there to take what we pointed at out of the showcase and negotiate on price.
One highlight, which is a common theme in Hong Kong, was the fact that Luk Fook only sold GIA certified diamonds. This is incredibly important (you can read our article on diamond certification here), even if it’s fairly common in Hong Kong.
For any expats or visitors that have found this review, unfortunately it is a strong possibility that if you go to a retailer in the US and Europe they may be using less stringent certification.
All of the prices quoted on this page are the prices after negotiating a discount, not the sticker prices.
We looked at three diamonds. The first was a 2.03ct G color, SI1 clarity diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for HK$252,300. The diamond was eye-clean and very bright.
The second diamond was a 1.50ct F color, SI1 clarity diamond in an 18kt white gold halo setting priced at HK$192,100. This diamond didn’t shine nearly as much as the 2.03ct diamond and the inclusion was very noticeable. I don’t know the shine was due to the cut or fluorescence though.
The last diamond we saw was a 1.50ct I color, VS1 clarity diamond with a twist pave (0.19ctw) 18kt white gold setting for HK$117,000. This diamond was very nice, but the diamond was a bit milky due to the fluorescence.
All three of them were excellent cut diamonds, but the sales person seemed exasperated when we asked to see the certificates, so we settled on the I color, VS1 diamond.
While the Luk Fook on Nathan Road in Hong Kong was busy and didn’t give off a luxurious vibe, it did fit the location. Most of the other stores in that area had similar vibes. But the ambiance at the Luk Fook at the Sands Cotai in Macau was a stark contrast to the surroundings. All the other stores in the shopping area had a very luxurious vibe.
Once again, the salespeople at this Luk Fook branch let us down. Instead of helping us, they just waited for us to point at a diamond and pulled it out for us to look at.
The first diamond we looked at was a 0.74ct I color, VS1 clarity round diamond in a 4-prong 18kt white gold solitaire setting for HK$35,500. This diamond was absolutely fantastic. It was one of the nicest we saw while we were in Macau.
The second ring we looked at was a 1.07ct H color, SI2 clarity round diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting. This ring will set you back HK$77,700. Once again, it was a great choice. The cut was superb and the diamond was eye-clean despite being an SI2 clarity.
So, how did the diamonds compare to the competition? Let’s start with the biggest diamond we saw and work our way down (for brevity’s sake, I’ll only compare three diamonds).
The first diamond we looked at was a 2.03ct round diamond for HK$252,300. Here is a virtually identical 2.04ct G color, SI1 clarity round diamond from Blue Nile for HK$140,502.
Like the diamond from Luk Fook, the Blue Nile diamond is eye-clean and an XXX cut. If you pair it with this platinum setting, the price is a whopping 43% cheaper for a ring that’s almost completely identical.
The second diamond we’ll look at was the 1.50ct I color, VS1 clarity round diamond in a twist pave setting for HK$117,000. The diamond was a bit milky, but it was very nice and we really liked the setting.
Here is a lovely 1.50ct I color, VS1 clarity round diamond for HK$69,626. This diamond is a major upgrade from the diamond we saw at Luk Fook, as it won’t have the milky fluorescence issue (as it only has faint fluorescence compared to the strong blue).
If you add it to this 14k white gold French pave setting, you’ll save 34% compared to buying the almost identical ring from Luk Fook. For the diamond on its own, you’ll save about 40% by buying from Blue Nile instead of Luk Fook.
The last diamond we’ll cover happens to be the diamond I liked the most out of all the Luk Fook selections. This one is the 0.74ct I color, VS1 clarity round diamond we saw in Macau priced at HK$35,500.
Here is a 0.72ct I color, VVS2 clarity round diamond from Blue Nile for HK$17,273. If you pair it with this elegant 18kt solitaire setting, the total price comes out HK$20,343. Once again, this is a huge saving, coming in at 43% less than the similar diamond and setting at Luk Fook.
As we’ve covered in other guides, buying a diamond from a brick and mortar jewelry store will almost always be more expensive than buying an equivalent diamond online, since brick and mortar businesses have far higher overheads.
Most of the jewelry store we visited in Hong Kong charged a premium of about 25 to 35% when compared to reputable, US-based online jewelers like James Allen and Blue Nile. Some priced their diamonds as much as 200% higher than similar offerings online.
Overall, the prices at Luk Fook were about 40 to 45% higher than what you’d pay to buy an equal diamond from James Allen or Blue Nile. Add busy, bland stores and salespeople that didn’t feel particularly motivated into the equation and it’s hard to justify buying a diamond from Luk Fook.
Luk Fook’s premium pricing, plain stores and seemingly unconcerned sales staff mean it usually won’t be the best place to shop for a diamond. By shopping online, you’ll be able to get similar diamond jewelry for about 45% less than what you’d pay for a diamond at Luk Fook.
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