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I think that Midas made a very poor choice for their name. Like the fable of Midas, the experience here did not live up to expectations. Of the 40-50 stores that we visited in Australia, there were only three locations where we were very uncomfortable. Two of the three were the two Midas Jeweller locations we visited.
It is true that we usually recommend buying a diamond online from a reputable jeweller like Blue Nile or James Allen. That said, Midas Jewellers offered worse bang for your buck than almost all other physical jewellers we secret shopped in Australia.
If the service was bad, the quality of the diamonds were not much better. While the quality was inconsistent, the value was not. The prices that Midas Jewellers charged were significantly higher than almost every other retailer we visited in Australia.
The story of Mr Sait Altundag is a heart warming story of a young man’s love for his wife that led to a successful jewellery business which is now known as ‘Midas Jewellery’. Mr Altundag was born in the 1930’s in the Aramaic village of Midyat, Turkey. His passion for jewellery design and love for his wife Mrs Nicme Altundag inspired him to create his first masterpiece. A silver belt that he designed, handcrafted and gifted to his beautiful wife on their wedding day. This started off his new range of exquisitely designed and delicately hand crafted Telkari jewellery. His designs became so popular amongst the public in that soon Mr Altundag was able to open up his own jewellery shop.
Sadly, in 2012 Mr Altundag died. However, his four sons (Emanuel, Ben, John and Andy) who had grown up seeing their father’s passion for his work decided to continue the family business and follow their father’s vision to be the most unique and exquisite jewellery designer. Mr Altundag’s four sons renamed the jewellery business ‘Midas ’ in 1985 which means ‘King of Gold’. They expanded the jewellery business and opened two stores in Australia which are run by Emanuel and Andy. They also opened a store in Istanbul which is run by John and a store in New York which is run by Ben.
Like other jewellers in this shopping centre, Midas Jewellers had a surprisingly upscale vibe. The store is bright and modern looking with minimalistic approach. They did not try to cram in as many showcases as possible. Other than the appearance of the store, we did not get a very good vibe at all. The salesperson was using very hard sales tactics and seemed very shifty.
Perhaps the oddest discussion we had was as the salesperson went on about the important of cut and how we should get an excellent cut diamond. As you will see, the very first diamond we were shown was poorly cut.
The first diamond we looked at was a round cut, 1.11ct I color, I1 clarity diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$11,340. There were so many problems with this diamond, I don’t know where to begin. To start, the diamond was incredibly deep. This makes the diamond look smaller than a well cut diamond of comparable weight. Additionally, the poor cut means the diamond will not be nearly as brilliant as it should be.
Moving on from there, the symmetry (and polish) of the diamond was only good. Normally that isn’t an issue, but you can actually see the diamond was a bit lopsided. Finally, the diamond had a very noticeable inclusion dead center of the diamond. Additionally, you can see the feathers on the sides of the diamond (usually you don’t, but this diamond had very harsh feathers).
When I mentioned the importance of cut (which they seemed to hold in such high regard a few minutes prior), the subject was immediately changed.
The second diamond we looked at was a more reasonable 0.50ct F color, SI2 clarity round diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$4,980. We were not shown the certificate of this one, but it was significantly nicer than the one. Perhaps there was a problem with the diamond (like strong fluorescence) that I couldn’t see, but I’ll take it at face value that the diamond was nice.
The store had a similar vibe to the Midas location in Parramatta. Unfortunately, the experience there was quite similar. While we didn’t get a shifty vibe, we were met with sheer apathy. I haven’t met a more bored salesperson quite like we did at Midas in Bondi. The salesperson seemed visibly annoyed that we were there.
I was surprised when the salesperson did not allow us to take photographs. That was not an issue at all in the other location and they did not have any signs saying that you can’t. In fact, when we visited Gregory Jewellers at the same Bondi Shopping Centre, they had signs saying no photography. In that case, the salesperson was very helpful and actually allowed us to take photographs.
The first diamond we looked at here was a 0.70ct D color, SI1 clarity round diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$7,800. The diamond had a noticeable inclusion, but otherwise seemed to be nice. Again we weren’t able to see the GIA certificate, so I can’t go into much more detail.
The second diamond we saw was also set in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting. It was a D color, SI2 clarity round diamond and the cost for the ring was AU$6,800. This one had an even more noticeable inclusion but it was very beautifully cut.
Let’s start at the first ring from the Midas Jewellers at Parramatta Mall. It was a 1.19ct I color, I1 in a solitaire setting for AU$11,340. Here is a 1.17ct I color, I1 clarity diamond from James Allen that is comparable in quality for AU$4,741. Or here is a vastly superior diamond (better clarity, significantly better cut) from Blue Nile for AU$6.895. If you add this diamond to this comparable solitaire setting, you can get a superior diamond ring for 35% cheaper.
The second diamond we saw at Parramatta was a 0.51ct F color SI2 clarity round diamond in a solitaire setting for AU$4,980. This was a nice diamond, but the price was crazy. Here is a stunning 1/2ct F color, SI2 clarity round diamond from Blue Nile for AU$1,695. If you add it to this comparable ring, the total price is AU$2,356. That is a whopping 53% less than the ring from Midas Jewellers.
The first diamond we saw at the Westfield Bondi Junction was a 0.70ct D color SI1 clarity round diamond in an 18kt white gold solitaire setting for AU$7,800. Here is a comparable diamond from Blue Nile for AU$3.741. Adding it to a solitaire setting gets you an identical ring for AU$4,324. That is 45% less than the ring from Midas Jewellers.
The last diamond we saw was similar to the previous one just one grade lower in clarity for AU$6,800. Here is a similar 0.70ct D color, SI2 clarity round diamond from Blue Nile for AU$,3,221. That is a total price for the ring of AU$3,804. This is the “lowest” savings of 44%.
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