As many other buyers have done before me, I did some reading and research before shopping for an engagement ring. Therefore I had a rough idea of the sort of diamond that I wanted when I took my first trip to the brick and mortar stores in my area. However, despite scouring countless stores, the options available made it seemed like I had to either sacrifice some of my selection criteria or pay an arm and a leg for my ideal diamond.
A friend of mine recommended that I take a look at online vendors instead. That definitely opened up a new world of possibilities in terms of choice and pricing. I was still a little wary however, as most are based in the States while I was in Asia. As such, I could only rely on certificates, reports and images to make my decision (so a generous return policy in case the diamond did not actually appeal to me in real life was one of my key requirements).
Going through several online vendors, Whiteflash was the first choice in my shortlist, having obtained ISO 9001 Certification and receiving high honours from BBB consistently. Corroborating this are the reviews here on iVouch as well as feedback on several diamond forums that I've visited. Although diamond search functionalities for most websites are pretty similar, Whiteflash's Eye Clean feature for SI grade diamonds stood out for me, saving me the time taken to obtain such confirmations manually (when trying to maximize a diamond's carat with a given budget, colour and clarity are the two characteristics that can be traded out).
Having found a few possible diamond candidates (that matched BOTH my selection criteria AND budget), I proceeded to engage Whiteflash's live chat, and had a very fruitful initial conversation with Debi, whom I later found out was the CEO of the company (talk about customer service!). I was then directed to my diamond consultant Becca, who tirelessly and promptly answered my barrage of questions, ranging from the procedures involved in buying online all the way to the actual diamond and ring. Due to the timezone difference, we could only communicate via email (late night my time which corresponds to the start of the day in States). Throughout our exchanges, Becca was patient, helpful and empathic, and diligently helped set up my order (which included various requests).
Once the order was finalized and bank wire executed, Michelle provided me with a quick confirmation, and work on setting the diamond started. Evan shared with me beautiful photographs of the finished ring while I counted down the days to the package's arrival. Shipping was handled by Evan, Vera and Mike and the package arrived in good order and great timing. There was a minor hiccup as one trivial item (the Whiteflash toolkit that comes with their top of the line A CUT ABOVE diamonds) was missing, but this is where I got to experience Whiteflash exemplary customer service; despite it being of minimal value, it was shipped immediately to me at their cost.
I'd like to thank everyone at Whiteflash (and especially Becca) for making my engagement ring buying process a pleasure, and for living up to their tagline of a brilliant diamond buying experience (and then some!). Would definitely recommend Whiteflash!
PS: There wasn't any need for me to exercise Whiteflash's return policy, as their A CUT ABOVE diamonds are truly amazing!