Should you buy your engagement ring or wedding ring from i-Primo?
I-Primo is one of Japan’s largest chains of jewellers, with over 70 shops across the country.
It’s a popular choice for engagement rings, wedding rings and other high quality jewellery.
In this review, we will primarily examine I-Primo from the point of view of buying a diamond engagement ring. However, the findings are equally relevant for any other type of jewellery.
We will review:
- I-Primo’s ring selection
- I-Primo’s diamond quality
- I-Primo’s service
- I-Primo’s value for money
I-Primo’s engagement ring selection
I-Primo offers 72 different styles of diamond engagement ring:
The majority of the engagement ring styles that I-Primo sell are either solitaire settings, or rings with some smaller side stones. I-Primo’s settings are delicate and pretty, and most have a matching wedding ring.
Most of the diamonds are round brilliant, which are the best shape for sparkle.
If we look at theメルーペ style on the I-Primo’s online store, we can see that it is available in three metals:
- Yellow gold
- Rose gold
This is good because it means you can customize it to your taste. Platinum is the most expensive metal – it is around ¥20,000 more expensive than yellow gold or rose gold.
The ring is available with different diamond carat weights:
Again, this is a good feature because it means you can choose the engagement ring from I-Primo that is right for your budget.
When you visit the I-Primo online store, the price that is given for the ring is ¥242,000, which is the cost for a ring with 0.2 of diamonds. However, the picture of the ring that is shown on the website is actually 0.34 carats.
The cost of a ring with 0.3 carats is actually ¥314,600 while a ring with a 0.4 carat diamond is ¥ 405,900.
This is important to know as it will mean that if you choose the ¥242,000 ring, the diamond will look smaller than shown on the website.
I-Primo’s diamond quality
Once you have chosen your engagement ring style, the next step is to choose the diamond for your ring. As we have mentioned, I-Primo does allow you to choose the diamond carat size, which is a good feature.
The sizes of diamonds that are available for this ring are:
- 0.2 carats
- 0.25 carats
- 0.3 carats
- 0.4 carats
- 0.5 carats
- 0.6 carats
- 0.7 carats
This diamond carat weight is for the whole diamond ring, not just the center diamond. It includes the four side stones also. This means that the center stone is actually less than the stated carat weight.
For the 0.2 carat ring the diamond quality is:
- Color H
- Clarity VS2
- Cut quality: ‘3 Excellent Heart & Cupid’.
These are good levels of diamond quality.
H colour is in the ‘near colourless’ section of the GIA colour grading scale and actually means that the diamond will look perfectly white in its ring setting:
VS2 clarity means that the diamond will look ‘eye clean’ with no inclusions visible. It sits here on the grading scale:
The good thing about H colour and VS2 clarity is that the diamonds will look perfect, but you don’t need to pay more for higher quality that is impossible to see when you look at the ring.
‘3 Excellent’ means that the diamond has been graded:
- Excellent for diamond cut (this is the proportions which affect how much the diamond sparkles)
- Excellent for symmetry (symmetry is important to ensure that light is reflected evenly)
- Excellent for polish (polish is less important than ‘cut’ and ‘symmetry’, but it is good that this is excellent too)
The diamond has also been graded as having ‘hearts and cupids’ which is a measure of the symmetry of the diamond. It means that when the diamond is examined using a special light, symmetrical shapes can be seen.
Hearts and cupids can’t be seen when looking at a diamond, so while it is nice to have, it’s not essential.
I-Primo diamond grading labs
When we look at the diamond details, it shows that there are several diamond grading labs that are used:
- DGL（Diamond Grading Laboratory）
- IIDGR（International Institute of Diamond Grading ＆ Research）
Different grading labs have different standards for grading diamonds and we recommend that you choose a diamond graded by GIA (米国宝石学会) as they have the strictest standards, so you will be sure that you are getting the quality that you are paying for.
With other labs, a diamond graded a H colour, for example, may actually be a lower quality.
Overall, I am pleased with the quality of diamond offered by I-Primo in their engagement rings.
I-Primo have a large number of stores, which means that visiting a store to choose a ring, or talk to staff is very easy.
If you decide to buy online, shipping is free and your ring will be insured while being shipped. This is good for peace of mind.
They offer free resizes and free ring cleans after you purchase, which is a good service.
One thing which could be improved is that I-Primo only offers 7 days return. This is not very long if you decide that the ring is not right for you.’
I-Primo User reviews
Looking at reviews on Google, the reviews are split out by individual store. The Ginza store in Tokyo has a very impressive score of 4.8 from 415 reviews, indicating that people are very pleased with the service they have received from I-Primo.
On engagement ring website Ringraph, I-Primo user reviews are 4.6:
Again, it appears that customers are happy.
Overall, the service from I-Primo seems excellent, although we would like to see longer return period offered in case you change your mind.
I-Primo value for money
The easiest way to understand whether a retailer offers good value for money is to compare it to others.
In this case, we’re going to compare I-Primo to an international retailer, to see whether I-Primo really does deliver good value for money, or whether it may make more sense to buy from somewhere else.
Theシリウス diamond ring from I-Primo is a good ring to compare because it is such a simple design – just the ring setting and a diamond:
We can see that its price changes depending on the carat weight of the center diamond:
A 0.3 carat diamond with a platinum setting costs ¥ 284,900, including all taxes.
If we look at this price compared to my recommended retailer, a 0.3 carat diamond with H colour and VS2 clarity, the same as the I-Primo diamond, costs ¥49,400 to ¥56,600:
All of these diamonds are graded by GIA, which is my recommended grading laboratory.
Of course, you want to buy a whole engagement ring, not just a diamond. Solitaire engagement ring settings in platinum are priced from ¥82,000 to ¥90,000:
If we add a platinum setting to a diamond, the total price is therefore ¥133,000:
¥133,000 is obviously significantly less than the ¥284,900 that I-Primo is charging for a very similar ring.
One thing to know about this price is that it doesn’t include import duty or taxes. These will be:
- Import duty: 5.3% – ¥6,650
- Tax rate: 10% – ¥13,000
When these two fees are added to the price of the ring, the total cost is ¥152,650 – nearly half the price of an equivalent ring from I-Primo:
I can therefore say that I-Primo doesn’t offer good value for money compared to buying an engagement ring overseas.
User Review( votes)