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When PR powerhouse and reality TV star Kelly Cutrone calls you up and asks you get on a helicopter with her to go to Woodbury Common, one of the best outlet shopping centers in the country, to look at diamonds at the newly-revamped Ultra Diamonds boutique, you say yes—even if you, like us, may have been slightly nervous about the helicopter bit. Not to worry, "The good news is it's only for 25 minutes," says also-famous People's Revolutionary Stefanie Skinner. Somehow, this seems reassuring.
Cut to Tuesday, and we find ourselves on a helicopter heading upstate to check out the new Ultra Diamonds store and meet the company's President and CEO Daniel Marks. Marks tells us that after years in the jewelry industry, he found that if companies sourced wisely, it's actually possible to offer diamonds and other precious gemstones to customers at very reasonable prices—and Ultra Diamonds' entire business model is rooted in the company's commitment to offering customers the best prices on jewelry, up to 80% off retail.
Not being big diamond-owners or shoppers ourselves (though not for want of trying), we took a spin around the store to scope out the wares and pricing.
Ultra Diamonds has store locations all over the country—many of which are situated in outlet shopping centers. Who buys diamonds and fine jewelry at outlet centers? Lots and lots of tourists—especially from foreign countries, and especially from Asia, who are in a shopping mood and looking for a deal. Some prices we scoped out include a 3 carat certified brilliant-cut diamond ring in 14k gold for $17,769; a 1 carat certified round diamond set in 14k gold for $1,869; and a certified 1 carat princess-cut diamond solitaire set in 14k gold for $1,969. The company also has an e-commerce site—but loose diamonds (like the 5 carat blinger up top) are only available in select brick-and-mortar store locations.
Between 'coptering upstate and ogling giant sparklers, we felt pretty spoiled. Check out some shots and videos from the rest of the day. Here we are taking off from Stewart International Airport—in the front seat of the helicopter, half the floor is transparent!
Our transport for the day:
A useful thing to know when walking near a helicopter is to avoid the tail rotor. The warning for this is, helpfully, located inside the passenger cabin:
Nobody needed sick bags in flight, but it got us thinking that these would be useful to have in New York City yellow cabs:
Look, it's Yankee Stadium from the air!
And here we are landing at the 34th Street Heliport in Manhattan:
Ta-da. Just another Tuesday at work.
Diclosure: Helicopter transportation to upstate New York provided by Ultra Diamonds. Upon arrival event attendees each received a gift bag which included a gift card, two bracelets, and a Woodbury Common VIP coupon book.
· Ultra Diamonds [Official Site]