Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) is widely thought of as the king of high-end jewelry. While many local high-end jewelry stores compete with Tiffany in local markets, it is hard to imagine that Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) is a real destination for ultra high-end jewelry. The reality is that Costco has had many higher-end offering through the years but it is hard to imagine that you can spend $100,000 or $300,000 or even over $400,000 for diamond ring made of platinum at the box-store giant.
Here are some of the offerings from Costco:
4.25 ct Round IF Clarity, D Color…. Only One Available Platinum band; IGI Value: $652,755 Costco Price: $459,999.99
6.55 ct Round Brilliant, VS1 Clarity, G Color… Only One Available Platinum band, GI Value: $536,255 Costco Price: $329,999.99
3.06 ct Round, VVS2 Clarity, D Color… Only One Available Diamond Solitaire Ring, Platinum band, IGI Value: $264,295 Costco Price: $179,999.99
3.01ct Round Brilliant, VVS1 Clarity, F Color… Only One Available Diamond Solitaire Ring, Platinum band, IGI Value: $214,295 $139,999.99
Costco has 6 featured rings priced from over $100,000 to the $459,999.99 peak. While these are all featured as one of a kind items, the intention is likely the obvious move that it wants a proof of concept that it can sell very high-end jewelry (and other items). The move to offer jewelry is certainly not a new one from Costco. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has also been in the jewelry business for some time even if its high-end rings cap out in the $1,000 to $3,000 range.
As far as how to get up this high in a diamond, Blue Nile Inc. (NASDAQ: NILE) is also in the game of ultra high-end diamonds. Blue Nile lists the following diamond (without a band) but this is not really apples to apples: Round; 12.84 ct.; Very Good; J; VS2; Blue Nile Price: $488,624
Blue Nile has many large diamonds, and two seen on the list were in excess of $1 million for the diamond alone. Obviously they are one of a kind as well with on being 12.35 carat and the other being 7.57 carat.
Many retailers want to cater to the high-end consumer. The efforts and ways that this consumer group gets targeted never seems to have an end.
JON C. OGG