Last year, my fiance (girlfriend back then) were both looking for a diamond curator. We felt that being able to come in for a consultation and taking a look at different stones would be the best approach. During that time, my fiance happened to find Olivia Landau on Instagram, and we were both impressed by her informational videos (stories), so we reached out.
Here we are now, a year later, and I wish I could say that we had a good experience, but that wasn’t the case. I’m going to cover our experience with The Clear Cut, and what went wrong ultimately.
In the initial Instagram conversation. My fiance reached out and asked for a meeting to be set up. Olivia responded, and she sent us a link to the calendar to schedule our call. We did just that.
We had our first video call, and it went well. Olivia asked us what we were looking for, what our price range would be, and how urgent our purchase was. We were happy with the call, so we agreed to set up a face-to-face meeting.
On November 2nd, we found their location and were buzzed into The Clear Cut’s office by Olivia’s husband – Kyle Simon. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but Olivia and Simon are both the co-founders of The Clear Cut.
On this day, we were personally greeted by Olivia and escorted into a room. Olivia began the meeting by explaining how diamonds are graded, and what determines the price of a diamond. You can actually take a look at our engagement ring guide to better understand what you should look for when it comes to buying a diamond.
I’m going to share two pictures of my fiance trying out the various diamonds that Clear Cut’s founder Olivia had us look at during our meetings:
During our first meeting, we were shown 4-6 different diamonds. Each diamond came with a tag that listed its specs (Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat, and size). If you want to read more about engagement ring specs, you can read our full guidebook on purchasing your perfect ring here. When it comes to trying on the diamond, they would have these rings with prongs on them, in which you would attach the diamond onto the ring, so you can try it on your finger.
We had a good first meeting but weren’t completely sold on the selection. We told Olivia that we would need a bit of time to think things over and see if we’d like to go with any of the choices.
Do keep in mind that I came into this meeting with a budget of $20,000 (w/o setting) in mind, and we were shown stones between $13k-$18k.
A few days after the first meeting, Olivia reached out via email:
And yes, I should have been more prompt in answering. I was still trying to decide and I was spending time looking around at different diamonds during that time. Nevertheless, on November 12th, I responded:
As you can see, I still haven’t made up my mind. Olivia did respond the next day, letting me know that we’ll simply reconnect later on.
So far, so good.
Olivia followed up a few times to set up a new meeting but with the holidays, I wasn’t available to schedule another meeting until January 2nd, 2019, which is when I sent in a response.
This time around, we ended up scheduling a second appointment on January 4th, 2019 with Sarah.
We met Sarah that day, and while she was nice, we didn’t really see any diamonds that we were big fans of. More than half of the diamonds that were shown to us were above my budget of $20k.
Olivia did reach out after the 2nd meeting and sent a few emails asking if I found any of the selections interesting, and informing me that she will have to release the diamonds that were shown to us. To clarify this, when The Clear Cut locates diamonds to show you, they receive them on a consignment basis, so after a week or so, they are supposed to return the diamond back to the company that owns it.
So, I did let Olivia know that I wasn’t in love with the selection from our 2nd meeting and that I would probably want to come in for a third meeting.
This is where things start going poorly.
Here are the first two emails I sent out, which were in the same email string that our conversation has taken place the whole time:
Five days after that last email, I asked my fiance to message Olivia on Instagram, just in case Olivia wasn’t receiving my emails. She did, and Olivia responded the same day saying that she is currently working on her own wedding and that things have been a bit crazy. She also mentioned that she hasn’t received any email, but she’ll have to check.
Either way, I never received a response.
A whole month later, I sent in a new email.
Nothing for three days, so I decided to try Instagram:
Keep in mind, at this point, I’ve been trying to reach out to Olivia for 7 weeks, and I haven’t been able to get a response from her. This is a pain, especially when it comes to an important purchase that can easily be time-sensitive.
So on July 23rd, I decided to head over to her website (TheClearCut.co), and try to get her in live chat. Fortunately, I was able to, and I introduced myself again and asked her if we could schedule another appointment.
Heck, I actually downloaded the conversation from the live chat:
About an hour after that conversation, I received this email:
My jaw literally dropped when I received that last email.
Let’s begin with my background report. I have never even been pulled over for a speeding ticket in my life, let alone been arrested for anything. If a background report were to be run on me, it would turn up completely clean. For reference, I live in a luxury apartment building in Manhattan that ran a background check and didn’t find anything alarming. On my fiance’s end, she’s only been in the country for a few years, to begin with, and she’s never been in trouble with the law.
So then I think, could it be that Olivia thinks I’m not a serious client? Well, it can’t be that, especially since I initiated a conversation on payment options in person, and let her know that I can write her out a check for the full price on the spot if I see a diamond that I love.
The only thing that comes to mind is a lawsuit that one of my businesses was involved in 5+ years ago. I was sued by a large company and the lawsuit came to an end after a few months. That’s it.
Personally, I find it hard to understand why a civil lawsuit (that was about a contract) is so severe, that Olivia can’t come around to selling to me. During the two meetings that I came in with, I was polite, I handled the diamonds with care, and I showed her respect. But the response I received, after being 7 weeks in the dark was completely disrespectful.
I don’t want to assume here, but I will go on to say that her reasoning for being an “insurance problem” is utter bullshit. I’ve been able to walk into a Tiffany store or a Cartier store, sit down with an associate, and handle merchandise without barely even exchanging my first name. To believe that there is some insurance policy out there, that requires the business owner to Google their clients before bringing them on, and rejecting them due to a civil lawsuit (not a criminal one) is absurd.
Lastly, what really rubbed me wrong was the amount of time that was wasted. I was counting on being able to buy an engagement ring back in June, and I hoped that Olivia would reach out to me – but she didn’t. Instead, I had to hunt her down to get an actual response from her. Had she told me on June 5th that she isn’t comfortable doing business, I would have been upset, but I also know it is her right when it comes to who she chooses to do business with.
So what I did respond with?
I asked her what issues were discovered. I stated that neither my fiance nor I, have a criminal record. I even went on to say:
“If you are simply uncomfortable with having me in your office, that’s fine. I would be willing to complete the purchase over email/phone.”
I never received a response.
That was my experience with The Clear Cut. As a customer, I’ve never been treated with such a level of disrespect and felt overwhelmed.
What I will do, I will time some time here to plug in the expert diamond store that I ultimately ended up doing business with, Adiamor.
If you head over to their loose diamond selection, you will be able to view their inventory while playing around with the filters.
After a week or so, I landed on a diamond that I loved and pulled the trigger:
I ended up buying a setting from them as well and had them add diamonds to the prongs, as you can see from the invoice. After two weeks, I received the engagement ring in the mail, and it was absolutely beautiful.
Even better, since then, I’ve proposed, and I can now happily say that I am engaged. 🙂
To wrap this up, I do NOT recommend buying your engagement ring from The Clear Cut. Buying an engagement ring is stressful as it is, at the very least, you should be able to count on the diamond curator that you’re dealing with.
I received a beautiful ring from Adiamor, and they’ve been in business for a decade. Take your money elsewhere, to a company that actually cares about you, and won’t “ghost” you all of a sudden.
Whoa. That was thorough. I didn’t even know jewelers did background checks! I also didn’t know a 2 carat F VVS1 could be that price. Wow.
Yea..I’m not sure how common that is. We didn’t have any issue with our first two in-person meetings, but then all of a sudden, she was no longer interested in any further meetings. And as I’ve said in my post, if a background report were to be run on my name, it would come back completely clean. The only “issue” that exists, which wouldn’t be found on the background report (only by Google’ing my name) was a civil lawsuit I was involved in 5+ years prior.
Anyhow, a blessing in disguise, since we ended up with a higher quality diamond and a bigger size than what Olivia was able to offer us.