Post by ATLMikey » August 2nd, 2012, 8:31 pm
Hi everyone,

I've been working on acquiring an engagement ring for the last few months now. I have a (so I thought) trustworthy jeweler in my hometown and have been working with him on this. My cousins know him well and went to school with his daughters, my brother bought a ring from him, my other cousin brought a ring from him, etc. etc. I am truly in love with a setting that is his custom design...

I no long live in my hometown (not even my home state), and so have been working with him remotely to make this happen. I didn't think it much a problem, since I've been to jewelers and I honestly can't tell the difference between SI2 and VVS1, J color and G color. I was really all set to not fret, let him do all the work, and be happy with the results...

But being a mathematician by trade, diamond buying seems to much akin to a very interesting optimization problem to just ignore. When it seems we can quantify the qualitative... that's just too interesting to pass up.

The diamond he has recommended me has specs as follows.
It is EGL-USA certified, RBC diamond, 0.97ct, G, SI2, VG cut.
Polish and symmetry are VG.
His selling point is the dimensions (6.51 x 6.44 x 3.7) which make it appear much larger than a 0.97ct diamond.

The GIA cut calculator rates it as a GOOD cut.
The HCA rates it 4.5 and notes that there is a possibility of fish eye.

The jeweler assures me that it is eye clean and is not fish eye.

He wants $3200 for it and claims that this is just my "special customer" discount... and he would normally sell it for $5000. This sounds super suspicious to me. I've read enough from these forums to realize that this is not a good buy. Indeed, I've found a far superior diamond that's effectively the same size but is a GIA 3xEx and rates a 1.0 on HCA for $3800 on a website.

My question is, do I even continue to deal with this guy? It seems to me that similarly graded diamonds (once you account for the looser standards of EGL-USA grading) sell for $3000 - $3500, definitely not $5000. It feels like he is trying to manipulate me using the connections he has w/ my family. Instead of "giving me a deal" he is abusing my trust. I do love his setting, but what do you think? Do I try to find a different setting or do I trust him to enough to ship him a diamond and have him finish the ring?

Thanks, everyone, for your consideration of my dilemma,

Michael