Could a Diamond From Costco Actually Be Worth More Than One at Tiffany’s? The Answer May Surprise You

A woman holds the highly transparent 19.72 carat rectangular-cut diamond ring by the famed Tiffany jewelry house, estimated to be worth between US$800,000 to US$1.2 million (Euro 670,000 to 1 million) from the collection of late American tobacco heiress Doris Duke, on display at Christie’s auction house in Rome, Friday April 30, 2004. (Photo: AP/Pier Paolo Cito)

As college semesters wrap up, some students might be getting engaged under the “ring by spring” mentality. Or perhaps it’s just that blossoming time of year when love is in the air. Either way, how do soon-to-be fiancés know they’re getting the best ring for their buck?

The recent lawsuit between Tiffany & Co. and the big-box store Costco pits an iconic brand name jeweler against a wholesaler some might never think to seek out for a diamond engagement ring. 

As Bloomberg’s Businessweek recently pointed out, and as others have done in the past, Costco rings might actually be worth more than what you pay for while those in a robin’s egg blue box can be over valued (emphasis added):

 In 2005, Good Morning America appraised both a Tiffany diamond and a Coscto diamond. As it turned out, the $16,600 Tiffany cut was 58 percent more expensive than its $10,500 value, while the $6,600 Costco version was actually 17 percent under its appraised value of $8,000. On the blog, several women admitted to having Costco rings and said that when they had them appraised, every single ring was worth more than they paid, sometimes by thousands of dollars.

(Image: Tiffany & Co. screenshot)
(Image: Costco screenshot)

The lawsuit between Costco and Tiffany that had lawyers facing off Friday is over the wholesale store selling rings using the name Tiffany. 

Costco says Tiffany has become a generic term for a mount common on engagement rings in which the stone is set in a raised claw.

The New York Post reported that Costco lawyer James Dabney told the judge that saying “Tiffany ring” is like saying “Phillips screwdriver,” “Murphy bed” or “Ferris wheel.”

Tiffany lawyer Jeffrey Mitchell says that if you ask 100 people on the street what Tiffany means, “they’re not going to say the setting.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.