Na Hoku Reviews: Don’t Waste your Money

By Michael Fried

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Na Hoku
Overall Score:1.5
Price:1.5Selection:1Customer Service:2
Pros
  • Nice bridal and accessory jewelry

Cons
  • Poor selection for engagement rings
  • High prices on engagement rings
Other Recommended Retailers

The History

Na Hoku is retail chain based in Hawaii. The name is Hawaiian for “stars” and they do play up the Hawaiian theme on their site and marketing. The company has roots going back almost 100 years. Their jewelry is all made by Hawaiian designers and manufacturers.

Na Hoku now has 59 stores spread around the United States.

The Experience

We decided to give No Hoku a shot while we were visiting Chicago. Located at the foot of the famous Magnificent Mile, I was expecting a nice store with a certain level of luxury. I was quite surprised walking in as it felt quite the opposite.

Despite being a freestanding store, it had the same feel as a typical mall store. The interior struck me as drab and underwhelming. The store also seemed very cramped. It felt like they had no room in the back given the fact that used FedEx boxes were all over the display cases. It was also pretty depressing to find out that there was no ambiance or theme in the store that would differentiate itself based on its roots.

The salespeople were prompt and helpful, to a point. While they were eager to help, they didn’t seem to have much knowledge in the diamond department. To be fair, it seems that the focus of Na Hoku’s business is not engagement rings (this is a rarity for us), so if you are looking for other types of jewelry, take our review with a grain of salt. This is not exactly my purview of expertise, but their jewelry products looked very nice.

The Product

Their selection of engagement rings in the store is incredibly limited. They only had a couple of solitaire rings and the largest size available was a one carat diamond. We looked at an IGI certified 1.00ct G VS2 in an 18kt white gold setting for $10,750. If you look at the cert, you will notice that the cut is incredibly poor on the diamond. The diamond is incredibly deep which saps the brilliance of the diamond and makes it look smaller.

The Value

This is where the Na Hoku train really goes off the rails. Even ignoring the fact that they use a less than stellar certificate, the price for the quality is truly horrific. Here is a superior (better color, better certificate) 1.00 F VS2 diamond from James Allen for $5,720. If you add this solitaire setting, the price is 42% cheaper. And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that you save on taxes. The real cost savings would be 50%.

You can also go with this far superior 1.00ct G VS2 for $6,290. As we mention throughout our site, cut is the most important aspect of diamond buying. This is a much nicer choice and you still save about 40%.

Bottom Line Recommendation

Na Hoku may be a great place to buy an elaborate brooch or a unique bracelet. But when it comes to buying engagement rings, they are not the right spot. You are better off buying a superior ring for less from James Allen or Blue Nile.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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