The fifth-largest retailer in the world, Costco, has a huge inventory of fine jewelry, including real diamonds. However, you may wonder if the company lives up to its reputation for an amazing value?
Therefore, here are 15 things to know before buying Costco jewelry that should make your decision to make a purchase much easier!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Jewelry In 2023
1. You Can Take Your Pick Of Costco Jewelry
As a warehouse store, Costco carries a decent-sized selection (though the company cannot match specialty sellers such as the Blue Nile or James Allen).
Costco’s fine jewelry selection includes rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and feature gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds, as well as pearls.
All fine jewelry is 14K gold, 18K gold, or 950 platinum, ensuring a long-lasting and beautiful-looking piece.
One of the most popular categories is the engagement ring section, which features beautiful solitaires, baguettes, multi-stone and halo settings, among other popular styles.
Women’s rings only come in size 7, while rings for men come in a size 10. Therefore, if your finger falls outside of that size, you will have to pay elsewhere to have the ring resized.
2. Costco Jewelry Selection Varies Between the Warehouse and Online Shop
One thing Costco shoppers might not realize is that the jewelry inventory online and the inventory in individual stores can be quite different.
The selection in stores is going to be smaller than what you can find online, but when you go into the warehouse, you can actually view and/or try on the pieces.
This is preferable for some, as Costco does not offer customization services, so seeing exactly what a ring or necklace looks like on the body, as-is, aids the buying process.
3. Costco Jewelry is Only Marked up to 15 Percent Off Retail Prices
A question that people ask quite often is if Costco jewelry is of good value, but to answer that question, you need to look at Costco’s pricing policy.
The Motley Fool maintains that all of Costco’s fine goods (art, wine, and jewelry) are only marked up about 15 percent.
These prices are a lot lower than other retailers, and Costco is able to get away with it because its business model relies on low overhead.
To compare, the average mark-up on jewelry by non-Costco retailers tends to be 100 percent or more, so in that way, Costco jewelry prices are quite low.
4. The Value of Costco Jewelry Has Slipped a Bit
Fine jewelry reviewers have noted that Costco’s jewelry doesn’t carry the same value that it held in previous years.
While the prices have remained at about what they have always been, it appears that the quality of the gemstones themselves has gone down.
Previously, Costco sold diamonds with GIA certifications, but currently, many of their diamonds no longer have that certification.
Critics have found other issues with price, in addition to Costco jewelry sometimes being more expensive than other sellers, one main issue being that the price isn’t as good as you would expect from Costco in the first place, in turn making the shopping experience lackluster.
It’s also important to note that many services you’d expect and receive from other jewelers are not present at Costco.
5. Costco Jewelry Diamonds are Real – But Some Aren’t GIA Certified
A huge issue that jeweler reviewers have with Costco jewelry is that their diamonds are no longer GIA certified.
The GIA certification for gemstones authenticates the diamonds, which in turn satisfies customers that the high price they’re paying is worthwhile.
However, Costco stopped selling GIA certifications along with diamonds that are less than a carat in weight.
Therefore, if you’re interested in three-fourths of a carat diamond (which is still a sizable stone with an expensive price tag), you may be skeptical about the quality if there is a lack of authentication.
6. Ordering Costco Jewelry Online is Convenient
If jewelry counter salespeople make you feel pressured, you’ll be glad to know that Costco lets you order your jewelry online.
Not only can you take as much time as you need to browse, it’s easier to compare the specifications for different but similar pieces.
There may be some overlap with the Costco jewelry inventory online and in your local warehouse, but the website will have a larger selection overall.
As well, before you officially place your order online, you can also enter a Gift Message that can be included with the purchase.
7. Pick up Your Costco Jewelry Order in Stores
If your store has the piece of Costco jewelry that you wish to purchase in stock on the floor, then in-store pick-up is an available option.
You can also filter your search online for Warehouse pick-up to see only the pieces of Costco jewelry at your store.
Note that only the person whose name is on the card that was used to make the purchase is eligible to pick up the jewelry, and you will be asked to show your ID to prove your identity.
8. You Can Have Costco Jewelry Delivered
If you don’t feel like going out, you can shop for Costco jewelry online and then have it delivered to your home.
You can even have the jewelry delivered to you as a gift, or include a Gift Message and have it shipped to the recipient.
9. Don’t Count On Costco to Resize or Clean Your Jewelry
Costco is not a jeweler; therefore, many of the services you might expect from the place at which you have purchased an engagement ring are not available through Costco.
However, a former customer on Reddit broke their Costco jewelry and brought it into the store out of curiosity to see what could be done.
Rather to their surprise, the person at the counter had them write down the issue and then sent it off for repair free of charge!
The salesperson also told them that if they hadn’t been able to repair it, Costco would have refunded them the purchase price.
10. Resized Costco Jewelry Can be Returned With Caveats
Since Costco doesn’t do resizing, you may think you can’t return a resized piece of jewelry to the store. However, you can for certain rings.
The best place to start is your ring’s product information, which will say how much resizing is allowable for returns. Solitaire rings, though, can be returned no matter how they have been resized.
11. Don’t Hit up the Costco Jewelry Counter for Loose Gems
Costco only sells finished jewelry pieces, whether it’s rings, necklaces, or earrings, and does not sell loose gems for individual purchases.
12. You Probably Won’t Find an Experienced Jeweler Behind the Costco Jewelry Counter
There is a slight chance that Costco hired an experienced jewelry salesperson to work behind the counter, but that would be more of a coincidence than a prerequisite for the job.
In fact, one of the major complaints critics of Costco jewelry have is that the people selling these high-priced gems are not experts at all, just regular employees.
Therefore, if you need expert advice from a jewelry professional, head to an actual jewelry store.
13. You Will Have to Purchase Insurance for Your Costco Jewelry Elsewhere
Costco jewelry does not, unfortunately, come with insurance.
Since an engagement ring or other expensive piece constitutes a sizable investment, you may want to consider getting the jewelry insured through some other source.
14. Costco Jewelry is Sourced Via the Kimberley Process Procedure
Diamonds are an especially controversial luxury item because of the violence linked to their sourcing over the centuries.
15. Costco Jewelry Probably Isn’t Your Best Bet for an Engagement Ring
Costco sells a variety of beautiful jewelry pieces that make perfect gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, or “just because.”
However, if you’re shopping for an engagement ring, this is not the best store for it, and you can probably find a cheaper price on a comparable ring at an online retailer.
However, if the price is no issue for you, you’ll receive much better customer service and post-purchase service from a specialty jeweler, where they have trained experts on staff.
Costco is a terrific place to purchase everything your household needs, but the jewelry department does leave something to be desired.
While you might find a nice piece at a great price, the experts online indicate that Costco diamond jewelry has seen a sharp decline in value.