Help me pick a birthday present! Working with Brian Gavin or Tiffany's?


Mar 20, 2016
Hi All!

I have the best of dilemma's. My DH wants to get me a nice birthday gift/belated Christmas gift. I've got a wide budget but also don't want to spend THAAAT much money.

I've been eyeing a Tiffany's Victoria Mixed Cluster Pendant. It's so gorgeous, sparkly, and feminine. I lovers it! However, I made the mistake of trying on the larger size first, and now find the smaller one somewhat underwhelming. While not grossly outside of my budget, I ponder about the value of the larger pendant. Is a Tiffany's piece really worth that much?

Since so many people have opined that Brian Gavin is a fantastic jeweler, I reached out to them to see how much a similar custom piece would be. Surprisingly, the cost differential was not as substantial as I would have expected. Perhaps $1200 difference. Given the slight price difference, I'm not sure I'm willing to gamble on a piece sight unseen. For all you guys who have worked w/ BGD, what was the process like? How do you find their work? How do you deal with the uncertainty of custom work? Is the company amenable to price negotiation?

Lastly, the practical part of me wonders if I should just get a small dainty diamond pendant that I could comfortably wear everyday without fear of mishandling/misplacing/generally being a clutz with a more expensive piece. I'm thinking of the BGD YG Martini Pendant with a 0.303 RB Diamond G VS1. I could theoretically get a SECOND pendant, BGD Barbara Martini Platinum with a 0.598 RB Diamond G VS1. AND a nice small to medium luxury crossbody that may suit a mom w/ two toddlers i.e. a PS1 Medium or Celine Nano or Givenchy Pandora. This option would still come in a bit cheaper than the prior two options and align more with my daily styling.

In summary, my options are:
1) Tiffany's Victoria Mixed Cluster Pendant Large
2) Brian Gavin Custom Design to look similar to the Tiffany's piece + save some $
3) Brian Gavin Martini Pendant x 2 + new bag + save some more $$

Any recommendations or opinions are welcome! Personal experiences (w/ pics :loveeyes:) with BGD or Tiffany's would also be much appreciated!

Thank you all in advance if you made it through my long post!
May 29, 2010
You have a great dilemma!

My opinion is as follows (btw I have a 4 year old, almost 2 year old and one on the way):

1. If you love the Tiffany pendant then you buy it directly from Tiffany. It is not worth a $1200 savings and a no return on custom pieces to not get the exact piece you are dreaming of. In addition, IF you do ever change your mind and decide to sell it, then you will get way more money back for the Tiffany piece than the BG one.

2. I would not buy 2 diamond pendants unless your plan is to layer. I think you are better off buying a .75 - 1 cttw pendant that you can wear daily, Get is set in platinum with a platinum chain.

3. As for the bag, I would not buy an expensive bag to wear around a toddler. For Xmas/Hanukkah I bought a Speedy 25 with strap and haven't worn it once. It sits in my closet waiting because kids are cute but messy, drippy, spilling machines that although wouldn't mean it could mess up your new bag the 1st wear. I wear a $200 Marc by Marc Jacobs bag that I do not care if the kids destroyed the 1st day or a year into wear. You are better off getting a cheap bag to wear around your little one and get a cool bag for date nights. Again, just my 2 cents as a mom of 3 in 4 monthsl

Good luck deciding!


Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
Personally, while Brian Gavin diamonds are absolutely gorgeous, their bench is not all that great IMO. So if my heart was set on a particular designer piece, and getting it would be within my budget, I'd go with the original.

I have three diamond pendants that were made by Brian Gavin, all in platinum, all different sizes, but all have the same exact setting. I think a diamond pendant is a staple piece. But like AntiqueShopper said, I wouldn't get two unless you plan to layer. When I wear my pendants, I always wear at least two at a time, I prefer the look at this point. If you don't plan on layering, then get the largest diamond you can (this is assuming you won't get the LV)

As far as the bags go, I love my Balenciaga bags almost as much as my jewelry. I have over 20 bags at this point, Some, the older years ,I bought pre-loved at a good price. If your heart is set on a speedy, but you don't want to buy new, you can always go the pre-loved route and save some $.

If it were me, and my heart was set on the Tiff piece, that's what I would get. If not, then I'd get a half carat pendant set in platinum, and a brand new speedy.
  • Like
Reactions: AntiqueShopper


Feb 12, 2013
I agree with Antique Shopper's advice.
As far as a bag, with toddlers, I wouldn't get anything that nice. Have you considered Longchamp Le Pilage?
  • Like
Reactions: AntiqueShopper


Nov 2, 2006
I'ld go for option 3; the BG diamond pendant- get a 4500-5000€ 0,90ct ideal cut diamond and save the rest until you find what you love


Dec 30, 2014
I also agree with AntiqueShopper. I have BG pendant in a .35 size and wish I went bigger. I could trade up but know that is a process. Go as big as possible and plat. I would not try to recreate that Tiff piece for a little less when you are talking about almost thousands But, you would also save on the tax if you do not live in Texas.
  • Like
Reactions: AntiqueShopper


Sep 19, 2006
I would get the Victoria pendant. The small one would do. Of course you like the larger one compared to the smaller one but the smaller one is not that small. I went through the same thing by trying on the larger Victoria first. I ended up with the small. It does not have the wow factor but it is still pretty.


Mar 20, 2016
Thanks for sharing all your opinions and experiences!

Definitely option 2 is off the table. I didn't really feel like $1200 difference was worth taking the risk either. I'm glad that I feel validated after reading your responses too!

I think for now option 1) just seems like too much of a splurge right now. I would feel guilty when I think about what else we could do with that much money.

MatAllston makes a good point. Maybe I should go back and try on the small Victoria and see if it still resonates with me.

If not, that would leave me with option 3. Picking the right diamond(s) and right mommy purse.

Antiqueshopper, you are so right. Now that I think about germy, snotty, drooly hands on a Celine, I get a little cringe-y. Maybe if I get something pre-owned it would feel less traumatic.

BPC, a preowned Balenciaga City bag sounds like a good option. Do you have any recommendations on where to buy pre-loved?

Again, thanks to the TPFers who helped with this decision!


Nov 23, 2008
****** sells preloved handbags. I've purchased new and preloved over the years and all experiences were excellent. I originally discovered her in the Balenciaga forum.


Aug 5, 2007
BG martini setting pendants are my favorite...terrific light saturation which equals bling! Skip the bag and invest in a nice size/good quality
stone (diamond shrinkage) that you will wear and enjoy. Look at the necklace as a classic investment.