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$14-15k Stud Budget - what would you do??

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
I've been really struggling with my diamond studs project and would very much appreciate any insight and advice from the PS crew. My budget is $14-15k for diamonds for studs (not worried about the setting), which definitely isn't enough to get my desired stats in a super ideal diamond.

The desired stats are F color and 7mm spread (obviously happy for anything better than that, haha). I'm happy with eye clean SI clarity and fluorescence to keep the price down.

I know the super ideal vendors have amazing upgrade policies, but my husband wants this to be a one and done purchase, so it seems unlikely that I would be able to take advantage of the upgrade. I found a pair of super ideal studs that are within budget, but they are G color and 6.7mm spread. I saw a pair of super ideal H color, 6.6mm stones in person and they were beautiful, but seemed small on me (big earlobes) and not as white as I would prefer.

I've tried searching for those close-to-super-ideal stones to see if I can get the stats I'm looking for within my budget, and I know what to look for generally (HCA under 2 and the various numbers within the accepted ranges), but I'm still feeling pretty overwhelmed and not all that confident in my ability to pick great looking stones.

So, if anyone has any non-super ideal stones to recommend, I would really appreciate it!! And second, I would also appreciate any opinions on the super-ideal v. non-super-ideal studs question. I'm trying to anticipate if the G color, 6.7mm pair will be close enough to what I want, with the tradeoff in stats compensated for by the fact that they are super ideals. My husband really doesn't feel comfortable with me ordering "test" stones to compare and covid is making in-store comparisons a little bit more difficult as well.

Thank you in advance!!
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
831
For engagement rings I am very strict on the 4Cs since I spend a lot of time admiring the diamond. Having the best cut, color, and clarity are very important to me as I am very color sensitive.

Having said that, for earrings I am open to a wider range given that I can't see them when I'm wearing them, and others will be admiring them from further away (especially if your hair might cover them). To maximize budget and carat, I would relax the cut to XXX with a HCA score below 2 (instead of ideal or super ideal) and color to H if you can find an acceptable one. But of course that's just my POV and each individual has specific requirements and tastes!
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
588
For engagement rings I am very strict on the 4Cs since I spend a lot of time admiring the diamond. Having the best cut, color, and clarity are very important to me as I am very color sensitive.

Having said that, for earrings I am open to a wider range given that I can't see them when I'm wearing them, and others will be admiring them from further away (especially if your hair might cover them). To maximize budget and carat, I would relax the cut to XXX with a HCA score below 2 (instead of ideal or super ideal) and color to H if you can find an acceptable one. But of course that's just my POV and each individual has specific requirements and tastes!
+1. I’ll add that I think going for a spreadier brighter stone over a smaller fierier stone might be even better (still aiming for a well cut stone though) to get that added visual size.

What color is your ering? I think going down 1-2 shades from the ring is probably safe for earrings (in my experience). However if you’re very tint sensitive, stick to F (max G) because if you compromise too many things you won’t reach for the earrings. If upgrading is not on the cards I definitely wouldn’t go for super ideals, I don’t think the premium is really worth it for earrings personally and definitely not if you don’t plan to upgrade. I am not in the US so I can’t really recommend sellers. But I see ID Jewelry as a name tossed around pretty often on PS, no experience personally but doing a search for them ought to get you some opinions on whether you should contact them? Whichever seller you decide to go with I would definitely call them and speak on the phone as opposed to just going by the website, as they might have inventory that they haven’t listed.

Also you didn’t mention anything about settings, but you could get halo jackets for the added spread (removeable) if you really don’t find a pair that meets your size needs. Best of luck!
 

ls430FL

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
39
In my opinion those are strong stats for studs. I don't find super-ideal necessary for studs. H or I to me is also totally fine for an ear lobe. I am always willing to sacrifice a little on the 4C's for studs as like others have mentioned, they are not seen as up close as a diamond on your finger and they are against a flat earlobe that usually has a larger surface area than a rounded finger. You have a good budget. What is the largest size stud you have tried on? I always suggest getting different size CZ studs off amazon and wear around the different sizes for a day or two and see what you feel comfortable in and what looks good on you.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
Have you reached out to ID Jewelry and asked for Yekutiel? He can help you max out your budget. If you let him hold your credit card he might send you out a lower and higher colored option to see if you're OK with the color versus size.
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
Thanks very much to everyone for the input! @MRBXXXFVVS1 @AllAboardTheBlingTrain @Is430FL @Lessics @PintoBean

My e-ring is an F color and I am pretty tint sensitive, so I think a G is as low as I could go, but I think it might bother me in the long run so F is probably the safest.

I've tried on 6.6mm studs and they were sadly not big enough due to my earlobe size. I ordered some 7mm CZ studs and I still felt like I could go bigger, haha! If I had an unlimited budget I would happily get 3 ctw studs, but that is definitely not going to happen. So I'm trying to get 7mm or as close to that as possible.

I thought about lab diamonds, but I think I've been conditioned a little bit too much towards natural diamonds and I'm afraid that would end up bothering me in the long run too (plus lab diamonds are still kind of expensive!).

IDJ is a great recommendation - I've worked with Jonna before and she is great, so I'll see what they can do with the budget. It's very helpful to get the input on going the non-super ideal route for studs - thanks again for weighing in!
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,476
I would think you should be able to do that in your budget. I just got (arriving Tuesday so I haven't formally announced it yet on PS) studs from WF, ACAs, .903 E VS2 and .911 VS 1 that measure 6.19mm for under $16k with wire transfer and white gold 3 prong martini mountings. They are amazing. I can't wait to post the photos. So I think given you are okay with G and SI clarity you should for sure be able to get super ideals in your price point.
 

Lessics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
423
Oh I remember you selling a cushion a year ago for another stone? But I don’t think you ever debuted your new e-ring? Will you share it with us? I was always waiting for your post
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,510
What about halo or earring jackets?
Great earlobe coverage and stunning sparkle.
I wouldn't compromise on cut or color, I'd stick with F ACA and simply buy diamond jackets or choose a halo setting.
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
I would think you should be able to do that in your budget. I just got (arriving Tuesday so I haven't formally announced it yet on PS) studs from WF, ACAs, .903 E VS2 and .911 VS 1 that measure 6.19mm for under $16k with wire transfer and white gold 3 prong martini mountings. They are amazing. I can't wait to post the photos. So I think given you are okay with G and SI clarity you should for sure be able to get super ideals in your price point.
Those sound amazing, congrats!!! I’m so excited for you and to see them, I would loveee icy white E color!!
I haven’t been able to find G SI1s in budget at the 6.9mm mark, but I did find some 6.7mm so I’m considering those. It’s really hard to decide!
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
Oh I remember you selling a cushion a year ago for another stone? But I don’t think you ever debuted your new e-ring? Will you share it with us? I was always waiting for your post
Haha yes you remember correctly!! I did get my dream EC but I still haven’t set it yet, as I got pregnant shortly thereafter, ate wayyy too much ice cream, and am still trying to lose the weight before I have it set. My fingers are a lot bigger now and I’m not sure what they will be when and if I ever get back in shape, uggg. But a side benefit of working from home, I wear the stone in a temporary holder all the time :D
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
What about halo or earring jackets?
Great earlobe coverage and stunning sparkle.
I wouldn't compromise on cut or color, I'd stick with F ACA and simply buy diamond jackets or choose a halo setting.
Thanks for weighing in! My style is pretty lazy so I don’t think I would end up wearing a halo/jackets, unfortunately. I did think about a bezel setting but I think I’m stuck on a classic 4 prong look. F ACAs would be amazing, I just gotta figure out if I want to prioritize size or not :(
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,476
Those sound amazing, congrats!!! I’m so excited for you and to see them, I would loveee icy white E color!!
I haven’t been able to find G SI1s in budget at the 6.9mm mark, but I did find some 6.7mm so I’m considering those. It’s really hard to decide!
I think my current old mine studs are 6.3-6.4mm and the new are 6.2 so a little smaller but way nicer.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
528
From experience: by the time you rub your fingers over them to put them in, you will have compromised their appearance more than any of the subtle distinctions you are describing. Unless you are talking about how much you enjoy looking at them in the box -- and I get that part of it, too.

I didn't think anyone was this particular about studs, especially since they are horizontal almost 100% of the time and most light is overhead. (I assume you don't so neck-rolls in your meetings.)
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
860
Most people can't get exactly what they want right away and must wait, save and plan for it. I wore much smaller and warmer studs then I would have liked for twenty years before purchasing my CBI D VS1's this past February. And still these new ones are not quite as large as I would prefer them to be, so I'm saving up for a trade up. (I'm color sensitive too, so I hear you about wanting icy white ones!)

You have a good budget that will get you very nice studs, though maybe not your ultimate pick (but certainly way past beginner studs.) I have found that most husbands want us to be happy. If it truly is your husband holding you back from upgrading in the future, having a loving conversation with him about the qualities you really want in earrings, and how the current budget, while generous, doesn't quite get you there, would most likely help him view upgrades differently.

So, my vote would be buy the diamonds that get you closest to what you want at a store that will give you the possibility to upgrade in the future. Opinions on everything (including upgrades, diamond stats, etc) and family finances change over time. Allow yourself the option to upgrade down the road, even if you don't currently think you'll use it.
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,476
Most people can't get exactly what they want right away and must wait, save and plan for it. I wore much smaller and warmer studs then I would have liked for twenty years before purchasing my CBI D VS1's this past February. And still these new ones are not quite as large as I would prefer them to be, so I'm saving up for a trade up. (I'm color sensitive too, so I hear you about wanting icy white ones!)

You have a good budget that will get you very nice studs, though maybe not your ultimate pick (but certainly way past beginner studs.) I have found that most husbands want us to be happy. If it truly is your husband holding you back from upgrading in the future, having a loving conversation with him about the qualities you really want in earrings, and how the current budget, while generous, doesn't quite get you there, would most likely help him view upgrades differently.

So, my vote would be buy the diamonds that get you closest to what you want at a store that will give you the possibility to upgrade in the future. Opinions on everything (including upgrades, diamond stats, etc) and family finances change over time. Allow yourself the option to upgrade down the road, even if you don't currently think you'll use it.
YES!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
From experience: by the time you rub your fingers over them to put them in, you will have compromised their appearance more than any of the subtle distinctions you are describing. Unless you are talking about how much you enjoy looking at them in the box -- and I get that part of it, too.

I didn't think anyone was this particular about studs, especially since they are horizontal almost 100% of the time and most light is overhead. (I assume you don't so neck-rolls in your meetings.)
In stores, the diamonds shine so bright because of the lighting AND that they're so clean.

There used to be a PSer that would talk about putting a big old fingerprint on the diamond before examining it lolol. This is probably going back 10+ years... who's got a better memory than me?
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
From experience: by the time you rub your fingers over them to put them in, you will have compromised their appearance more than any of the subtle distinctions you are describing. Unless you are talking about how much you enjoy looking at them in the box -- and I get that part of it, too.

I didn't think anyone was this particular about studs, especially since they are horizontal almost 100% of the time and most light is overhead. (I assume you don't so neck-rolls in your meetings.)
Haha! I used to have a more exciting job, but yes, mostly just sitting at my desk these days. That is a good point about the direction of the light hitting the stone, I'm going to do a little more research on that, as I'm sure it has been covered in other threads?? I think I recall seeing some posts from @yssie on this subject? Will do some digging...
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
Most people can't get exactly what they want right away and must wait, save and plan for it. I wore much smaller and warmer studs then I would have liked for twenty years before purchasing my CBI D VS1's this past February. And still these new ones are not quite as large as I would prefer them to be, so I'm saving up for a trade up. (I'm color sensitive too, so I hear you about wanting icy white ones!)

You have a good budget that will get you very nice studs, though maybe not your ultimate pick (but certainly way past beginner studs.) I have found that most husbands want us to be happy. If it truly is your husband holding you back from upgrading in the future, having a loving conversation with him about the qualities you really want in earrings, and how the current budget, while generous, doesn't quite get you there, would most likely help him view upgrades differently.

So, my vote would be buy the diamonds that get you closest to what you want at a store that will give you the possibility to upgrade in the future. Opinions on everything (including upgrades, diamond stats, etc) and family finances change over time. Allow yourself the option to upgrade down the road, even if you don't currently think you'll use it.
Thanks for your input!! I LOVE your collection and your videos of CBI fire! I also recently came across your thread comparing the different sizes of CBI stones, which was super helpful. I wish I had smaller earlobes!!

I have raised the subject of a budget increase with my husband before and he was very, very unreceptive, but it is true that you never know how circumstances may change in the future.
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
In stores, the diamonds shine so bright because of the lighting AND that they're so clean.

There used to be a PSer that would talk about putting a big old fingerprint on the diamond before examining it lolol. This is probably going back 10+ years... who's got a better memory than me?
Lol! So what do people do when they put on nice studs? Try to only touch the outside of the stone, wipe it with a cloth, wear gloves haha...
 

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
That’s a healthy budget for studs! I feel like Yekutiel could surely work with that for you and work something out.
Thanks! And yes I am grateful for the budget I have; Jonna at IDJ is actually the one I worked with for my EC and she is awesome. I just sent her a message to see what they might be able to do within my budget.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
528
Lol! So what do people do when they put on nice studs?
They don't pay for quality they can't see. For retail consumers like us, these will never be investments.

Splurging for a better-than-discernible ring is one thing; I would not spec studs to anywhere close to that same standard. Decent cut but it's fine to compromise a lot in other areas, imo.
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
860
The difference between my old studs and my new ones is night and day. I totally disagree with the idea that you can't see your own studs and that other people can't see them because they are on your ears. I see the HUGE difference in fire and brilliance, and a HUGE difference between my old warmer colored ones and my new icy white ones every single time I look in the mirror, even if I'm just washing my hands quickly in the restroom. Every time I see their laser beams of fire I get a happy boost. Often when I catch my reflection passing a window outside, the sparkle jumps out like it never did before. I can even see a flash in my computer's monitor right now while I'm typing. I've had complete strangers notice and comment on them, even while social distancing. One of my neighbors recently said, while we were at the community mailbox, standing 6 feet apart, "Holy moly girl, you got new earrings!"

The purpose of earrings is to flash and draw people's eyes to your face and that sexy little spot on your neck. My husband who sits across a table from me at every meal, continually tells me how amazing the news ones look and how they make him want to kiss my neck. They torment him! (In a good way.) Before Covid hit, I had a bar tender in a crowded, swanky bar ogle them, and ask me where I got them because he wanted to buy ones that sparkled that much for his girlfriend. Mine were much smaller than the other ladies I was out with, but it was me he asked. (When you are wearing CBIs or ACAa you get used to comments like that!)

So, I'd much rather spend my money on one or two amazing foundation pieces, like top notch studs, than buy many lesser items. Quality over quantity in my book. To each her own. But don't believe the myth that no one will see the difference between a super ideal cut diamond and a decently cut one, or between a warmer and a cooler stone just because its on your ears.
 
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SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
381
Ahhhhh @RunningwithScissors just when I think I have made up my mind you make me change it back to super ideals.

I seriously change my mind on this question like 5 times a day!!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
So "super" ideals versus what I call non branded ideals...

Sorry if I'm a broken record but I think that we have a different batch of posters nowadays. Between mom and I we have BGD signature, bg blue, Quadex, and tightly spec'd non branded stones that i had called into BGD and IDJ. Personality plays a big part. My mom won't search and wants the best of whats within her budget and exists, so shopping straight from a super ideal's existing inventory works best for her.

For me, I like actively participating in the hunt, and I'd rather save off the top of what I'd pay to a "super ideal" vendor, and Yekutiel knows me and only needs 15 minutes to search the computer and have it run to his store for him to comment on and take images and videos. He keeps my search parameters tight with the angles and percentages blah blah, and i tell him the budget, color and clarity tolerances. I personally think that all my ideal and branded ideals perform just as well.

I may be easy going in real life but I'm a bit OCD and persnickety with bling, to the point where I loved my diamond rep so much when I was being helped at BGD that when she left slinging bling, later missed it, and wanted to go back to it part time, I facilitated her going to work at my fave non branded vendor so that I could get the same brain and service.

Let's go back in time to the days where Bliss would marvel at her "mazel" diamonds that she got from IDJ and would compare them with WF and Tiffany.

So yeah, you can get great diamonds from virtual stock but you need to trust the vendor to understand the parameters we want to work within and how tight they are. They can be show stoppers too.

Peace!
 
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