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.5 Carat Cushion in Halo - Help please from Australia

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Hi

I am looking to buy an engagement ring for my girlfriend. I know she loves cushion cut and loves that halo/ pave look in rings.

My budget is no more then around 3000-3200 AU (around 2000 US - Damn exchange rate!!)

I went around some local jewellers and got blown away at costs. I am after a .5 carat centre stone in a halo/ pave ring in platinum.

The two quotes i got were 7k and 6k.

I asked about buying my own diamond and having them set it and they charged a 800-1000 dollar surcharge for that apparently.

So i am looking to buy my whole ring online.

I really like: http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/platinum-pave-halo-and-shank-diamond-engagement-ring-cushion-center-item-17426

Its 1900 in AU in platinum. That leaves me around 1000-1200 ish for a good .5 carat cushion diamond.

I am a bit worried if it will look to small and if the setting will look good for that diamond? The main picture has an obviously quite large diamond in it and looks fantastic but i know real world isnt always as good.

I found this image of a previously made ring that has a .5 carat and it doesnt look very flash?

http://cdn3.jamesallen.com/sets/sold/16089690/Img.Gal_304X240.jpg

It looks very dull and maybe a little bit crowded? It could be the quality of the photo compared to main advertising image but. It would probably be a lot more sparkly in real life?

As a total "newbie" at this i would love some advice, and personal experiences with a similar sort of ring.

If anyone can suggest a better purchase for that price please suggest it :) I have looked at other websites but i like being able to zoom in on the james allen website to ensure eye clean. Am i worrying a bit much for a .5 carat?

Thank so much. I have no one to ask and the stores i went to were actually a little rude/not very helpful :\
 

laurenk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
953
Hello - I'm not a cushion expert but wondered if you'd considered something second hand? You may get something much more for your dollar. As a fellow Aussie I am hating this exchange rate too!!

Alternatively unless you're 100% needing a halo - I'd spend more on the diamond and set it simply - save up and halo it for a future anniversary.

In my opinion cushions seem to face up smaller for their carat weight - so make sure you're looking at the dimensions.

What size is her finger? Sorry if you mentioned that - I didn't see.

I'll have a look too and post back :)
 

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Thanks for the advice! I get the logic of adding a halo later but i know what is her "wow" style kind of ring and kind of want that moment from the first look at it if you know what i mean?

She is a 6.5 size.

I soo wish we were still on parity with american dollar. Imagine the options open to me then!! :razz: such is life but
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633
A half carat will look much larger in a halo. I think the key is to choose a really great cushion. Most cushions are just not all that well cut. They also usually are a little deep and face up smaller than rounds. I wish she wanted a round in a cushion halo setting because well cut ones are easier to find. I'll look quick and see if I see any good ones.
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
brendanq|1452396687|3973517 said:
Thanks for the advice! I get the logic of adding a halo later but i know what is her "wow" style kind of ring and kind of want that moment from the first look at it if you know what i mean?

She is a 6.5 size.

I soo wish we were still on parity with american dollar. Imagine the options open to me then!! :razz: such is life but
Hey m8 - I feel you're pain...only a few years ago we were 1.05:1 with the USD...it was actually cheaper to buy everything from overseas. Even this last week the dollar took a pounding and dropped heavily :doh:

Make sure that if you purchase overseas that you're factoring in not only the ex rate, but also the duty/gst/etc to get it into the country - you don't want any little surprise phone calls asking you for more money from customs.
With cushions, there isn't a right/wrong cut - it's about personal aesthetic preference. Like laurenk mentioned, a cush will face up a bit smaller than some other shapes because they tend to be cut a bit thicker and there is a bit of weight lost in the girdle. There are options out there for cushions & square cushions, so if face-up size is important to you/her, you might want to consider a more 'traditional' cut cushion rather than a square. The good thing about halos is that they will create the illusion of size for smaller centre stones.
I would think that for your budget you should be able to get a nice 1/2ct F-G SI1-2 eye clean stone and ring without too many problems.
Good luck with your search
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Thanks everyone! i do ideally want as square as possible.

I am aware of cost of importing but good tip as people forget about it!

Thanks diamondseeker - So i can learn what does mushy mean about the table?
 

solgen

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
563
Halos can give more finger coverage but they might not help to accentuate the center stone. If the halo/melees are too large they overwhelm the center and make it looker small(er) IMO. It's somewhat evident in the pic in your first post. My personal opinion when you add the width of the halo/melees it shouldn't exceed 75% of width of the diamond. Preferably 66%. Again that's just my preference though.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633
brendanq|1452404373|3973558 said:
Thanks everyone! i do ideally want as square as possible.

I am aware of cost of importing but good tip as people forget about it!

Thanks diamondseeker - So i can learn what does mushy mean about the table?
If you look at pictures of certain stones, you see well defined facet patterns. Other stones look kind of cloudy rather than having defined facet patterns in the pictures. There is such a thing as a very well cut cushion, but they are often going to cost more. Let me look a minute.
 

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
She is pretty sold on cushion not round!


I ended up staying up to 2 am and went with this diamond. I have been obsessing over this all week, and it was making me sick trying to make a decision and reading up on everything.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.48-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-669187

I like that its not modified (wasnt a HUGE fan of the crushed ice style).

Its got a good colour and clarity.

I am not in love with the girdle or symmetry, but i do like the dimensions. It is only .48 carat but its 4.84 x 4.83, where some diamonds with higher carat were only 4.42x4.42. I did want a near perfect square.

Over all i think its going to look nice in a halo.

Can you guys check it out and make sure i didnt make a huge wrong decision? Its so hard to balance all the little features and whats more important then others in terms of my budget.

End of the day its a relatively small carat i tell myself and as long as it looks eye beautiful to someone not experienced in diamonds thats what matters :)
 

lilysweet

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
402
I can't comment on the stone, I am too inexperienced. I was looking at the setting you picked from an earlier post. That one has metal at each corner instead of diamonds on the halo. Take a look at this one. http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/platinum-cushion-outline-pave-engagement-ring-item-49998 It is more but I think diamonds all around in the halo would look soooooo much prettier. Just my opinion but I wanted to make sure you saw it. Also, I saw this stone http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.50-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-sku-726550.. Not sure if it is a good choice, maybe someone can comment but I thought it was a good size/price. Good luck!
 

veble

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
5
:doh: You're buying based on the wrong specs mate. Just because it faces up bigger for it's size is not a good reason to ignore the poor symmetry and wonky facets. Very thin-thick girdle is another tell tale warning sign. Crown looks a bit low too. I'd cancel it ASAP.
 

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Thanks for the advice -

The problem is i need to order in the next day or two. I also want to order a diamond from jamesallen to go with the set, to make my life easier.

I have gone diamond for diamond over the whole list, and i do ideally prefer an unmodified cushion, which limits my options.

I also want it as square as possible, and a good size.

End of the day i am buying it for someone with no knowledge of diamonds, and she will look at it and just see it sparkle.

I have poured over the image of the one i chose and cant see anything that looks shocking wrong in its facets and cut. It also looks eye clean (From the image).

It seems like a good square shape and well proportioned.

From reading about girdles and talking to james allen it appears because its in a halo its a bit less of an issue if it isnt ideal.

End of the day i have to pick the "best bang for buck" i can get, and i cant hit all the features into the perfect outcome when doing that.

I do realise i am new to all this talking to people more experienced and i do appreciate the advice, and that all said is there a "better" diamond for that price or less in the list?

Thanks mate
 

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Forgot to reply to you lily, i like that setting too but at nearly 600 dollars more it means i could not afford as big a centre diamond :(
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,098
OP - considering your budget and time constraints and your stone preferences (I too prefer a true square), I think you chose a very nice cushion - the thin girdle should not pose an undue setting risk, and I think the overall facet pattern allows for a decent on/off performance - the crown is just fine; sure, it could be higher, but it is not pancake flat, and is sufficient to give definition to the profile of the stone. I think once set the stone and setting will be a lovely presentation and your GF will be very happy to see you fulfilled her ring preferences.
 

brendanq

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
7
Thanks everyone for all your help, i thought id show a photo of the ring i ended up getting

2_231.jpg


I never knew how hard it was getting a good photo of a ring!!

All in all i am very happy with it - To get near a ring like this locally would have costed 2-3 times as much :)
 

gr8leo87

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
381
laurenk said:
Hello - I'm not a cushion expert but wondered if you'd considered something second hand? You may get something much more for your dollar. As a fellow Aussie I am hating this exchange rate too!!

Alternatively unless you're 100% needing a halo - I'd spend more on the diamond and set it simply - save up and halo it for a future anniversary.

In my opinion cushions seem to face up smaller for their carat weight - so make sure you're looking at the dimensions.

What size is her finger? Sorry if you mentioned that - I didn't see.

I'll have a look too and post back :)
Everybody hates this exchange rate. It's criminal. Not just for customers for sellers too. Diamond is all traded in the USD. And a volatile ex rate is dangerous. :(
 
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