Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

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Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 10:02 am
Good morning, everyone. Being on the West Coast, I missed most of the thread this morning. Here are a couple of updates:

1) The JA reps knew I wanted a white facing stone when we were chatting, so advised me to be cautious about the J if I am interested in a cushion that will appear white in a white gold setting. I've been persuaded by Gypsy & Ariel, among others, to reconsider the J, given their advice. The JA rep was actually great about my reconsideration of the J and suggested I have the J evaluated by a gemologist in person to determine just how warm it is - that way I have the facts from an expert who can see the diamond in person. The JA reps have been gracious and helpful in arranging the evaluation, which is happening this week and I'm excited to hear what the gemologist has to say.

2) Although I am new to the boards, I hope everyone knows that I didn't take Gypsy's joking advice seriously. I hope you can all tell from my online demeanor that I wouldn't tell anyone to shut up. :)

3) I appreciate the referral to the H on DB.

4) I really appreciate everyone chiming in to give their expert opinion and to help me find the best stone. This is an important decision and I feel I have received excellent help on this board and from JA. I hope that everyone knows that I have received really excellent help at every step along the way.

Thanks, everyone! I will be sure to post with updates when I have them.
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by mandasand » May 7th, 2012, 10:06 am
I agree with Gypsy that the JA staff needs to be better trained and not just about diamonds, but how they deal with customers. Since it's on the less-personal side communicating by phone and email, it would be nice it it FELT more personal. Instead, your reps use canned responses and I actually felt like your rep didn't read anything I wrote - she was coming up with the worst diamond suggestions. I was absolutely clear with what I wanted. I gave her my budget and my color/clarity/cut range and she came back with bad options and didn't take the time to find me something great. PSers found 3 awesome stones for me from your site that your employee overlooked. And, they were all VVS2-VS1 F-G clarity. I was very clear that I didn't want crushed ice and she offered up 3 crushed ice options and also some radiant stones because they were more affordable and would allow me to get the custom setting (I already explained that since my budget was under $5k, the custom setting would not fit my budget). While she was meeting my color range, she was not cut or clarity. I specifically said VVS1-SI1, excellent/ideal cut and she was coming back with S12, good cuts. That is a pretty big dependency. I understand that she was trying to meet my max budget of $5k, but she was still factoring in the custom setting at $1800 when I said the stock setting of $900 would be OK. Anyway, I don't want to be a JA hater because I haven't completely written them off since PS offered a couple good stone options from them that I've been considering, but if I do move forward, I'll probably see if James Schultz can help me.
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by Ella » May 7th, 2012, 10:32 am
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Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 10:56 am
Hi all,

I'm really hopeful that this thread won't turn into a place to discuss experiences with JA. The rep at JA dissuaded me from the JVS1 at first (based on a separate discussion), but he also put it on hold and arranged for me to get all of the information I needed from a gemologist ASAP so I can make the best decision. I hope that further discussions of JA not related to the original question posed in this thread will take place elsewhere, as they aren't really reflective of my experience.

All of that said, I feel I've received wonderful advice from you all & I've got leads on 2-3 really excellent cushions in my price range as a result. I'm pursuing them all - thank you!!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 11:45 am
Hi all,

I'm revisiting my size concerns and wondering what you all think of this smaller G: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1303532.asp

The cut appears just lovely to me. I'm trying to see if I can have it evaluated along with the J and the H from JA this Wednesday. Any thoughts?

Thank you!!!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 7th, 2012, 11:50 am
Written by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 11:45 am:Hi all,

I'm revisiting my size concerns and wondering what you all think of this smaller G: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1303532.asp

The cut appears just lovely to me. I'm trying to see if I can have it evaluated along with the J and the H from JA this Wednesday. Any thoughts?

Thank you!!!


From that photo, I can't say I love it, although it does appear to have that ex/ex rating.

That J you are looking at is the pick, IMHO. Is it much more than this one, cost wise? If it doesn't cost much to have it evaluated, I'd say go for it.
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 12:33 pm
Thanks, Traveling Gal. :) They're evaluating the J, the H, and the G for me without any extra cost. I agree that the J is likely to be the best choice. They're of similar cost. Assuming the gemologist gives the J color a good review, I think it will be the choice. Thanks for all your help!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by mandasand » May 7th, 2012, 1:20 pm
Deamare,
I love this stone. This one was one of my top pics.
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by Gypsy » May 7th, 2012, 4:26 pm
Written by James Allen Schultz » May 7th, 2012, 7:41 am:
Written by Gypsy » May 6th, 2012, 9:05 pm:
James, We've had post after post (I think this makes 6) of problematic customer service experiences with your company last the few months. It comes down to this: you need to train your staff better. When you carry a product, like Vatche, have a meeting and send an email and post it on the water cooler. We had one person go through different sales people AND their supervisors just trying to order a product you came on here and came close to self-promoting about carrying. When a customer asks about a J stone make it mandatory for them to explain that it might be tinted and educate them what that actually means visually while making it clear that it is unacceptable to talk down to customers and substitute their judgement for the customer's on a subjective issue like color. A gemologist I accept that from, but not a standard sales person.

And before you come on here and 'explain' to us why your staff messed up next time, talk to the sales person so you can post that the problem is actually resolved instead of giving us vague promises about talking to someone. And don't blame the customers for the problem. That's how your post reads. Because if that's is your example and that's how you lead, then I'm not really surprised you have had so many problems recently. As for your following up on this ONE issue: If it really was just one problem I would say, it might be one sales person or one piece of information that wasn't transmitted but with the number of issues recently it's the company, the leader of that company, and the training that are to blame.

I admit I was snarky with the 'shut up' language but I hope anyone reading this knows I didn't actually mean for the poster to use those words. Still I'm sorry for it, and I would have edited it at the time if I hadn't been posting from my phone.

The fact remains that your sales people need to stop saying "you don't want that stone" and instead saying " some of our customers who are looking for strictly white stone have been unhappy with J stones and I just want you to be aware that the stone, though lovely, might have a slight candlelight tint to it that might not be acceptable to some eyes." Problem solved all around with a little bit of training.


Gypsy,

I agree with you 100% that it is unacceptable for my staff to talk down to customers and substitute their judgement for the customer's. I know that has happened in the past and so recently we brought in a couple dozen diamonds of all sizes/colors and had training sessions with every employee that focused on the nuance of color and how we should describe and advise clients when selecting diamonds from the near colorless range. We have incorporated that into our training schedules and will be bringing in diamonds several times per year, just to try and stay on top of this issue. I think that type of hands-on training is very helpful, but if a problem still exists I can (and will) take corrective action.

I make "vague" comments on PS because I don't see the benefit of getting into a he said-she said with a potential customer about how and why any specific conversation took place. What I can tell you is that it is VERY COMMON for a customer to tell us that they don't want a diamond with ANY tint of color, then ask our opinion on a diamond that we know will have some tint. In those cases, I think we give exactly the advice that you've written above. We tell the client the diamond will have some color in some lighting environments. If the customer persists, however, and says that they don't want to see any color, we point them away from that selection and towards something else.

One thing that I think we often overlook is the power of Pricescope to influence people. How many folks have come on this board looking for a diamond no less than "F" in color, only to be gradually persuaded (educated?) towards diamonds of lower colors? That is a slow and natural process and comes about outside the sales process. We (the CSR's) sometimes find ourselves playing "catch-up" with a customer who's preferences change as they spend more time on the boards. I'm not trying to make excuses for bad customer service (when it happens), but I think there is almost always another side to the story - one that doesn't' get posted on PS.

Finally, I will reach out to deamare this morning and see what I can do to better understand why we pushed him/her away from the "J".


Good. You are valuable vendor here, James. Your store provides a lot of stock with a lot of images upfront with lower prices that reflect your business model . That's why you are so commonly recommended for people looking for fancies. That's also why when the customer service complaints come in it's very hard for us here, exactly because of the power of pricescope, to feel like we are doing the right thing in continuing to recommend you. There are two sides to most stories. But for pricescope stories there are actually three sides, and I would just like to point out that third side to you. Because it's our side: The Prosumer on PS. Our recommendations are a symbiotic thing, based on trust built up over years. We recommend on here, and then we trust you to take care of the people that get sent your way. And when we hear that we are sending people to a vendor that's not taking care of them-- that's really hard for us because it strains that trust and hurts us because we know we are responsible for them going to you and having that experience. When you say: I carry Vatche now. And we go and recommend you to someone wanting a Vatche setting. And they come back after several conversations with several of your staff and say "they don't carry Vatche and I'm frustrated I wasted my time with a vendor you guys said carried this product"... that really makes us feel bad and that hurts that trust we have in you. And that's just one example of how it works, that third side. I hope you understand that perspective when you train your staff.



"Experience is inevitable in life; learning from it isn't."

Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 5:07 pm
Could you all give me your thoughts on this stone?

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8725/

It's well within my price range and the specs look lovely. I'm still waiting on the gemologist appointment with JA on Wednesday, but can't help continuing to search, especially as I just missed the HVS1 from Traveling Gal :(

This might be a good option, even if it is smaller facing than the JVS1. What do you all think?


Thank you!!!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 7th, 2012, 5:19 pm
Written by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 5:07 pm:Could you all give me your thoughts on this stone?

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8725/

It's well within my price range and the specs look lovely. I'm still waiting on the gemologist appointment with JA on Wednesday, but can't help continuing to search, especially as I just missed the HVS1 from Traveling Gal :(

This might be a good option, even if it is smaller facing than the JVS1. What do you all think?


Thank you!!!


Aw, sorry. :sick: I still think it was bizarre that I would have been in your city this week too. But my offer still stands if you want to check out a cushion brilliant vs a vintage stone, which this AVC is. You're paying a premium for the branding, but if you love the chunkier facets, AVCs are gorgeous from the pics/vids I've seen.

As I said, I lean toward the J. The cushion I sold had a bigger spread than the AVC, and the J has a bigger spread still (like I said, exactly like my ering stone) and it's nice to have the slightly bigger stone if you can swing it.
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by mrfungi » May 7th, 2012, 5:24 pm
deamare,

here's another one that you might consider as well. it's a J, but the faceting is similar to the G that you had before and price wise almost the same? the symmetry isn't quite on par with the G, but it's another option.

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VVS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1383967.asp

the faceting on the previous JVS1 with the star is pretty unique and all of the other higher colored ones are going for quite a bit more! like E/F 1 ct. for 12-13k! the I colored one is around 8k! I believe they're canadian diamonds so maybe that's why there's a higher price markup, but I've never seen these up except for the past week or so. the GIA cert for the JVS1 doesn't have the maple leaf inscription, but the other ones do!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 7th, 2012, 6:13 pm
Thanks, Traveling Gal. I would definitely love to meet and see your cushions for comparison, if that still works. :)

And thank you, Mr. Fungi, for the input. I also wondered about the JVS1 appearing so similar to the stones with the Canadian marking on the GIA cert. I'll have to ask about it on Wednesday when I talk to the gemologist. I think I'm just having a hard time waiting... :)
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 7th, 2012, 8:12 pm
Sure, I'll shoot you an email and we can confirm tomorrow.
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 9th, 2012, 11:11 am
Hi everyone! Here's an update after talking with the JA gemologist for a consultation on the 3 stones I was considering:

1) The JVS1 with the fabulous cut is a "low J" and faces up noticeably yellow to their gemologist's eye. Given that this is my engagement ring/wedding set diamond & my setting isn't antique-appearing, this isn't a good fit for me. I'm disappointed it wasn't a high J, but okay.

2) The HVS1 was significantly affected by medium blue fluorescence and appeared hazy to the eye.

3) The .73-carat GV1 is a high G and hands down the best performer and best-appearing cut of the bunch. That said, at 5.44x5.42, it faces much smaller.

The other option I've been considering (and also put on hold) is diamond 8725 at GOG, which is an .83-carat AVC FSI2 that is 5.6x5.79 with an ASET that I like: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8725.. A call to their gemologist established that the diamond's light performance is fabulous in person, that the color is a high F (very bright & white), and it is eye clean when viewed from the sides and face-up. I'm very strongly considering going with this stone. I've really come to love the AVC cut and light performance (love the chunky facets), and I'm happier with a smaller F that is a good performer vs. a larger stone. In an ideal world I would have gone with Traveling Gal's H cushion, but she had another buyer long prior to my learning about the stone, and that buyer decided to buy it just as I found it. You win some, you lose some. I'm thinking that the GOG F is a stone I will really love, and with GOG I can always trade up or build another ring with a larger stone in the future. :) Do any of you have any thoughts on the 8725 (or last minute suggestions of other, well-cut & white-facing 1-carat stones) before we make the purchase?

Thanks again to everyone on the board for your support & tremendous advice. I'm still a novice, but I am so much better educated and happy making a choice after a few days of consultation with all of you!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by chamois » May 9th, 2012, 12:01 pm
As an owner of an AVC I think you will love it. I like that it has a small table and not too deep either, great shape also. My only concern would be to check with GOG that it is eye clean to your standards.
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 9th, 2012, 12:29 pm
Thanks, Chamois, for good advice. I spent tons of time yesterday on the phone with a gemologist who was looking at the stone in person and we discussed the inclusions in depth. They were very helpful & responsive. I could ask them to make a video of the stone, but I don't know that would be more helpful than seeing it in person. I'm inclined to see it in person (I'm in Seattle & they're in NY, so that means shipping it here) knowing I can send it back. What do you think?

I'm so excited by the AVC & it's great to know how much you love it! I'd love to see a picture of your AVC if you wouldn't mind posting. :)
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by chamois » May 9th, 2012, 1:07 pm
Sorry, I don't have any pics of my AVC. It is in a simple 4 prong solitare setting with micropave on the band.

You could get GOG to shoot you a video and possibly make your mind up when seeing it. If you were still not sure after viewing the video, then you could get it sent to you. Do you have a setting decided on ? GOG also carry settings too.
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 9th, 2012, 1:21 pm
What a bummer about the J!

If you love the chunky look, I'm sure you will love the AVC. And definitely having a trade up policy is nice. If you had bought my stone, it would have been a done deal unless you sold it yourself. Can't go wrong with a F color, either!

Good luck, and I hope it works out for you!
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by ariel144 » May 9th, 2012, 3:05 pm
I think the GOG F is great...look at that ASET! Nice pick, and i think you will LOVE it!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by Gypsy » May 9th, 2012, 8:58 pm
Well, I gotta say. T-gals H would be the one I'd buy at this point. Hands down.



"Experience is inevitable in life; learning from it isn't."

Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 9th, 2012, 9:27 pm
Thanks, everyone. It will be here tomorrow & I will inspect in person. They have a lovely return policy & there is time to return it & choose another diamond if their description of the inclusions doesn't match my specifications. They have been just fabulous, however, so I am hopeful.

Gypsy, T-gal's H would have been my choice, too, but it was sold the day I learned about it. :( I'm really hoping I will be happy with the GOG F, and I've already been promised a 5-year anniversary upgrade. :)
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by Gypsy » May 9th, 2012, 9:35 pm
Well, GOG's got a fabulous upgrade policy and the stone is gorgeous. Please take pics and let us know how you feel about it when it comes!



"Experience is inevitable in life; learning from it isn't."

Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 9th, 2012, 9:52 pm
Well, if you got promised a 5 year anni upgrade, then I'm very glad it didn't work out for us. I certainly couldn't offer you that! :lol:

Gypsy, it was nice of you think recommend my stone (and I agree it was well within the parameters of what she was looking for). Part of me did think "Oh no!" because I had been working with the buyer for a month and D-Day was actually put as the day you mentioned it. He moved that day. Otherwise I was actually flying into Deamare's town and could have shown her the diamond firsthand (I'm still here, actually in the northwest).

But I believe things have a way of turning out exactly the way they should. If chunky facets are deamare's attraction, she won't be disappointed. Plus 5 years in a marriage go by fast....she'll get her upgrade if she still wants it, in no time!
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by Gypsy » May 9th, 2012, 9:55 pm
Congrats on the sale T-gal!



"Experience is inevitable in life; learning from it isn't."

Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 9th, 2012, 10:01 pm
Thanks, T-Gal & Gypsy. I can't thank you both (and Ariel, and many others) enough for your advice. I know this process has been vastly different than it would have been without your advice. I'll post pics ASAP. :) :)
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 9th, 2012, 10:01 pm

Thanks! :wavey:
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by TravelingGal » May 9th, 2012, 10:02 pm
Written by deamare » May 9th, 2012, 10:01 pm:Thanks, T-Gal & Gypsy. I can't thank you both (and Ariel, and many others) enough for your advice. I know this process has been vastly different than it would have been without your advice. I'll post pics ASAP. :) :)

Great! I gotta admit, I'm still really curious about that J though. I really would have loved to see what that star pattern was like!
_______________________

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by deamare » May 10th, 2012, 11:07 am
Well, the .83 FSI2 AVC arrived 20 minutes ago (so fast!) and it is absolutely knock-me-down stunning! It is completely eye clean in all the lights and distances-from-the-eye that I tested, and I was only able to see the inclusions looking carefully with the 10x loupe they sent with the stone. I will take some pictures & post them ASAP. I can't exclaim enough about the light performance - it is so sparkly and has the most incredible light and fire jumping off of its chunky facets. In part, I couldn't get any decent pictures because my hands were shaking!!! I'm also so glad I went with the F after all - there's just something about a sparkly white engagement stone. :love:

Thank you all again for your incredible advice & guidance. I have the most beautiful sparkly white cushion (that faces up similarly to a modern 1-carat cushion, although smaller than 1-carat AVC) & I couldn't be happier. Let's put it this way - once I saw the gorgeous F AVC all thoughts of an upgrade flew from my mind. It's perfect!!!
Re: Please help me decide between 2 cushion cut diamonds :)

Post by chamois » May 10th, 2012, 11:37 am
Very pleased for you. Look forward to the pics.


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