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Na Hoku Reviews: Don’t Waste your Money

By Mike Fried,
Overall Score:1.51.5 Rating1.5 Rating
Na Hoku
Price:1.51.5 Rating1.5 Rating Selection:11 Rating1 Rating Customer Service: 22 Rating2 Rating
  • Nice bridal and accessory jewelry

  • 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 has expanded significantly over the years since its early days in Hawaii and 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.

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 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 18K 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.

Deal Alert: Save 25% on settings at James Allen

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 $6,660. If you add this solitaire setting, the price is 33% cheaper. And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that you save on taxes. The real cost savings would be 40%.

You can also go with this far superior 1.00ct G VS2 for $6,000 from James Allen. 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.

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.Save 25% on settings at James Allen
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.Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

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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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