Shopping for Diamonds in New York and Houston
By Ashley Bailey , Monday, February 21, 2011 7:44 AM
For any diamond buyer in the know, the best place to shop for diamond jewelry has always been New York. The New York jewelry scene has practically every style and manifestation of wearable art, from the handmade earrings of the Brooklyn Flea to the world-class exclusivity and opulence of Fifth Avenue boutiques. Diamond experts score deals from the wholesalers and importers of the Diamond District, while people looking for a more refined shopping experience can turn to the expertise of discreet, age-old jewelry design houses like Verdura.
Finding the perfect diamond and engagement ring setting is an art form to the experienced New York shopper
But for those diamond jewelry seekers looking for a new experience, the up-and-coming Houston jewelry market may be the answer. Jewelry stores in Houston are the Southern United States’ answer to the diamond mecca that is New York. High-end prestige designers, like David Yurman, Bvlgari and Tiffany and Co. have made a comfortable home in Houston’s Galleria mall, attracting the well-heeled shoppers that are looking for a metropolitan shopping experience right at home.
“Houston jewelry has come a long way since the days when it was all turquoise pendants and touristy stuff,” says Debi Wexler, CEO of Whiteflash.com, an online diamond boutique that is based in Houston. “For the first time, the jewelry stores in Houston really do measure up to the jewelry stores in New York.”
When a diamond is this sublime, no frills are needed
As the saying goes, they make things bigger in Texas. And in Houston, diamonds are no exception. Several of the world’s most exclusive online retailers are based in Houston, making it a world center for the top-of-the-line diamond cut known as hearts and arrows. Whiteflash.com, in particular, is known for the exclusive hearts-and-arrows line known as A Cut Above®.
“We are primarily an Internet-based boutique diamond retailer,” says Wexler, whose company has been named “Lord of the Online Rings” by the prestigious Kiplinger’s magazine. “But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been known to entertain a customer or two right here in Houston.” Houston-based customers can visit Whiteflash’s diamond grading and jewelry production facility to get a small glimpse into the kind of quality and attention to detail that has made Houston diamonds so renowned in the industry. All of Whiteflash’s world-renowned engagement rings are finished in-house, ensuring that every piece lives up to the standard of perfection and elegance that customers have come to expect from jewelry stores in Houston.
Still, it will be many years before the Houston jewelry scene approaches the formidable New York Diamond District in size or scope, and with the rise of reliable, secure online diamond shopping websites, physical location has begun to matter less and less when it comes to buying that perfect diamond. Whether you live in Houston, New York, Honolulu, or New Delhi, you can always find the perfect piece of diamond jewelry from the comfort of your own living room.
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