Subject: Testimonial
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 12:59:26 -0400
From: "Shires, Kenneth M (Ken)"
To: Martin Sheffield

Please feel free to use the following testimonial as you see fit.
I bought a diamond from IGS in March 2000. Two things to know about my approach to the purchase of a diamond: 1)When it comes to major expenditures, I am very focused on value. 2)Having been in sales for 20 years, I like to think I have an ear for what people are really saying with their words.

My survey of what was available in diamonds extended over an eleven month period. I learned a lot about the dimensions of diamonds. During that span, I made only two visits to retail jewelers in my area. I visited over 12 different websites and there, studied the dimensions of scores of diamonds. Over the months, my criteria narrowed, I ended up seriously evaluating over 15 diamonds on an MS Excel spreadsheet.
Down the stretch, I communicated via e-mail with four vendors as to specific availability and purchase logistics. (A few of my "finalists" became lost opportunities as Valentine's Day came and went.) My spreadsheet compared diamonds not only on color, clarity, weight, table and depth but symmetry, fluorescence, girdle--and of course, price. There were some real contenders; but, a diamond from IGS rated the highest. In the meantime, I had called a local person who touts selling "Diamonds Direct". That person had nothing close to what I was looking for.
On the other hand, I had never purchased a piece of jewelry of this value before; I had never ordered anything over the web for over $500 before; I had never wired money before. I began to rethink what I was doing.
As the moment of truth came, I told Martin Sheffield over the phone that I wanted to move forward with the purchase. Martin is very knowledgeable and straightforward. He explained everything including what to do after I received the diamond.
I wired the money; the next morning the diamond complete with laminated GIA certificate came in a non-descript UPS Next Day Air box. It was beautiful! Two separate local jewelers certified by exact weight and measurements that I had received what I ordered.
My fiancée was extremely pleased. A third retail jeweler's appraisal based on the GIA certificate was 78% higher than my purchase price!
My fiancé and I are very proud of my purchase. In all honesty, nothing about my interaction with Martin Sheffield including the transaction itself could possibly have gone any smoother.
Based on my experience, I would highly recommend working with Martin Sheffield. Please feel free to e-mail or call me.

Ken Shires
AT&T Global
801 Jones Franklin Road
Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27606
Fax: 919-852-3080