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A Canadian's journey into the world of (modest) super ideal diamonds

cakeeatingcat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
59
Hi PSers!

After going through a million threads in this forum, I ended up going with a WF ACA stone in a custom setting for my engagement ring. Thanks to everyone from RockyTalky who was very helpful with their feedback. Anyways, I thought I'd share my experience as a Canadian (from Vancouver) purchasing an ACA from Whiteflash. I don't know who would really be that interested as my ring is quite modest compared to the stunners on here, but I had found it helpful to read old posts about Canadians' experiences during my googling/research, so I am hoping to pay it forward by sharing my own experience.

For my fellow Canadians, I’ll post about the costs and shipping-related things (taxes, cross-border shipping) in a comment to this post so that non-Canadians can skip that if desired.

Design: I noticed I was always drawn to rings with pears or round melee diamonds next to a RB centre. James Allen has a similar stock design, but I wanted mine to have six claw prongs (for security, as my job is very hands-on) and a flat band {my partner’s choice}, so I ended up going with a custom design.

The process: We actually had started off at three local B&M stores which have good reputations for great customer service with non-commission-based salespeople. They guided us through the different band widths, metals, the 4Cs, etc. We were going to go with one of the local B&M stores... until I fell down the rabbit hole that is Pricescope.

After that, I noticed that all the RBs we were shown in B&M stores had poor HCA scores and suboptimal CA/PAs so I asked that they look for something with better proportions. The B&M store we originally settled on with got back to us after a month asking if I could be more flexible with what I was looking for (after not acknowledging my request.. I thought they ghosted me). After reading through literally 100+ pages worth of posts on PS, I knew I couldn't settle for anything less than super ideal as the thought would always linger in the back of my head that my stone could have been "better". My partner was super apprehensive about purchasing a 5 digit dollar item from the Internet but after reading all the good things people had to say about WF (on PS, RedFlagDeals, Reddit, etc), we felt reassured.

The end result:

Centre stone: 0.933 ct, H VS2 ACA with HCA of 0.9 (specs here)
Side stones: 0.12 ctw, F-G VS2 ACA melee diamonds x 6
Band: 1.9mm flat band, 14K WG
Ring size: 4.75

revisionphoto.png

Here's a video of it reflecting the pink ceiling and my pink clothes in the food court: VIDEO LINK. Look at that sparkle! :kiss2:

Outside vs Inside:
Outdoors vs Indoors

Various angles:
all angles.png

The inclusion is a small feather on the side that does not cross the pavilion. The WF rep said that it would not compromise the structural integrity and that it was not visible and so did not need to be hidden by a prong. I asked for the stone to be positioned so that the arrows would not be covered by the prongs and for the inclusion to be positioned away from the "danger zones" as I've seen @Garry H (Cut Nut) post before (yes... I am a chronic worrier and overanalyzer). I was worried the color of the melee stones would make my center stone yellow in comparison but it wasn't the case!

Initially, WF forgot to shave down the claws to claw prongs so I had to ship it back from Vancouver to Texas. It ended up being a very painless and quick process, despite the fact that the ring had to go across the border again and back! No tax issues at all! Thanks to WF for being super responsive and doing all the paperwork on my behalf. You read more about it here.

To conclude: I think our end result looks great! My now-fiance rolls his eyes every time I tell him to look at how sparkly my ring is... which is pretty much every time we're in the elevator or the supermarket. :bigsmile:I love the prong positioning; I'm so glad I went with six prongs oriented the way that they are. Ultimately we did pay a small premium for an ACA H&A diamond, but I loved that WF had all the data and ASET on each stone available for viewing, unlike some other online retailers. Overall, I think we ended up getting something amazing for about the same price I would have paid here at a B&M store in Vancouver for something a lot more mediocre. For any Canadians in the same position, I wouldn't hesitate to go with Whiteflash again. Their service and product is amazing!

Thank you so much to this wonderful, knowledgeable community. People have been so helpful and direct while being tactful. I've learned so much from all the posts here. The only downside of using PS is that now I’m saving up for an upgrade already (I didn't know this was a thing until PS!) :lol:
 

cakeeatingcat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
59
My fellow Canadians may be interested in the following:

Cost + Comparison to Vancouver B&M stores:
I reached out to WF, got a quote for the setting, chose a stone (with input from PSers), and paid by wire transfer. The pre-tax total for the custom 14K white gold setting and diamond was $7713 USD ($10172 CAD) after the 3% wire transfer discount and the $100 registration discount.

For those curious, for the same design, local B&M stores quoted us (in CAD, pre-tax) for GIA stones and the setting (in 19K white gold though):
- $9700 for 0.75ct RB/XXX/F/VS2
- $9900 for 0.9ct RB/XXVG/F/VS2
- $13100 for 1.01ct RB/XXX/F/SI1
And these prices were for less than ideal cuts with poor HCA scores. It was interesting that 2/3 B&M places both highly recommended 19K WG above all other materials - I don't see much mention of it online in ring discussions here?

Payment: In addition to the cost of the overall ring, we were charged a wire transfer fee of $50 CAD by the bank. We also added $10USD to the total cost for the "correspondence fee" for the wire transfer as per the bank’s recommendation as we weren't sure if this was included in the quote that WF had sent us. WF didn't clarify if we needed to pay that.

Shipping from US to Canada: This part is really not that interesting but I am including it as I wish I found similar posts SUPER HELPFUL as a (very anxious) Canadian. I’ve included quotes from Fedex emails so this post can be found if someone searched the same terms. Anyways, I had asked WF about duties before committing to the purchase. As per WF, we did not have to pay duties due to NAFTA, just a brokerage fee and our provincial tax (BC) of 12% when we went to pick up the ring at our chosen FedEx Depot.

WF sent me an email telling me my package was shipped and that I would receive my studio photos of the ring afterwards. I received an email from Fedex shortly after the package was shipped stating: “Exception Reason: Detailed broker information is required
Recommended Action: Shipper or Importer must provide designated broker information.

I called Fedex and they emailed me the “POA 1x - Simplified Agency Agreement - English” form. I filled it out and sent it back.

Within a few hours, I received an email from a Fedex rep with a PDF of our “ROD receipt” stating that we needed to pay the import charges. The import charges were: GST + PST + ROD fee of $10. No duties! My partner called the number in the email and paid by credit card, and I received an email with a payment confirmation number from Fedex, which I then emailed to the Fedex rep (as per their instruction). <48 hours later, we received an email stating: “Clearance issues resolved. Shipment released for delivery.” We drove to the Fedex Shipping Centre to pick it up that same day. Total time = 5 days

Shipping from Canada to the US: Unfortunately the prongs were not shaped as I had asked, something that WF acknowledged in a separate thread and in our emails. They offered to have me ship it back to them (postage paid) to adjust and sent me directions. I was asked to fill out a Fedex form: “Foreign Shipper’s Declaration of US Goods Returned” - see image.

After I sent that to Vera, I was then sent several forms shortly after:
  1. Commercial invoice (third party insurance for the ring, I think?)
  2. Importer’s declaration of US Goods returned - completed by WF
  3. Foreign shipper’s declaration of US goods returned - completed by me earlier
  4. Fedex express return shipping label (2 pages)
  5. Return packing slip.
As per Vera’s directions, I included three copies (collated) of documents #1-4 and put it into the shipping pouch on the box. I put document #5 inside with the ring. The AGS certification was not necessary as I was not changing the stone. When I checked the tracking info, Fedex’s tracking site stated: “Description provided is insufficient to classify commodity. Recommended action: Shipper or Importer must provide a more detailed description of goods”. Twelve hours later, the site was updated and the notice disappeared. Vera said that it happens from time to time. A day or two later, the package arrived at WF. Total time = 5 days

Shipping the revised ring from US back to Canada: After approving the revised images that WF sent me, they shipped the ring on a Monday via Fedex. On Tuesday, it arrived in my city but there was a message on the tracking page stating, "Detailed broker information is required." I thought I had to call Fedex again to go through the POA process but fortunately the message disappeared shortly in the same day (I'm not sure if WF managed it or FedEx resolved it). The status was changed to "Held, cleared regulatory agency(s) after aircraft/truck departed" which also resolved after six hours. After that, my package was ready for pick up so I picked it up on Wednesday of the same week! No additional costs or any phone calls necessary this time! Total time = 3 days

That's it! Hope at least one person found that helpful :wavey:
 

Kim N

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,569
It is absolutely gorgeous and looks perfect on you! I loved reading the background and all the info you shared.
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
48
Hi PSers!

After going through a million threads in this forum, I ended up going with a WF ACA stone in a custom setting for my engagement ring. Thanks to everyone from RockyTalky who was very helpful with their feedback. Anyways, I thought I'd share my experience as a Canadian (from Vancouver) purchasing an ACA from Whiteflash. I don't know who would really be that interested as my ring is quite modest compared to the stunners on here, but I had found it helpful to read old posts about Canadians' experiences during my googling/research, so I am hoping to pay it forward by sharing my own experience.

For my fellow Canadians, I’ll post about the costs and shipping-related things (taxes, cross-border shipping) in a comment to this post so that non-Canadians can skip that if desired.

Design: I noticed I was always drawn to rings with pears or round melee diamonds next to a RB centre. James Allen has a similar stock design, but I wanted mine to have six claw prongs (for security, as my job is very hands-on) and a flat band {my partner’s choice}, so I ended up going with a custom design.

The process: We actually had started off at three local B&M stores which have good reputations for great customer service with non-commission-based salespeople. They guided us through the different band widths, metals, the 4Cs, etc. We were going to go with one of the local B&M stores... until I fell down the rabbit hole that is Pricescope.

After that, I noticed that all the RBs we were shown in B&M stores had poor HCA scores and suboptimal CA/PAs so I asked that they look for something with better proportions. The B&M store we originally settled on with got back to us after a month asking if I could be more flexible with what I was looking for (after not acknowledging my request.. I thought they ghosted me). After reading through literally 100+ pages worth of posts on PS, I knew I couldn't settle for anything less than super ideal as the thought would always linger in the back of my head that my stone could have been "better". My partner was super apprehensive about purchasing a 5 digit dollar item from the Internet but after reading all the good things people had to say about WF (on PS, RedFlagDeals, Reddit, etc), we felt reassured.

The end result:

Centre stone: 0.933 ct, H VS2 ACA with HCA of 0.9 (specs here)
Side stones: 0.12 ctw, F-G VS2 ACA melee diamonds x 6
Band: 1.9mm flat band, 14K WG
Ring size: 4.75

revisionphoto.png

Here's a video of it reflecting the pink ceiling and my pink clothes in the food court: VIDEO LINK. Look at that sparkle! :kiss2:

Outside vs Inside:
outsidein.png

Various angles:
all angles.png

The inclusion is a small feather on the side that does not cross the pavilion. The WF rep said that it would not compromise the structural integrity and that it was not visible and so did not need to be hidden by a prong. I asked for the stone to be positioned so that the arrows would not be covered by the prongs and for the inclusion to be positioned away from the "danger zones" as I've seen @Garry H (Cut Nut) post before (yes... I am a chronic worrier and overanalyzer). I was worried the color of the melee stones would make my center stone yellow in comparison but it wasn't the case!

Initially, WF forgot to shave down the claws to claw prongs so I had to ship it back from Vancouver to Texas. It ended up being a very painless and quick process, despite the fact that the ring had to go across the border again and back! No tax issues at all! Thanks to WF for being super responsive and doing all the paperwork on my behalf. You read more about it here.

To conclude: I think our end result looks great! My now-fiance rolls his eyes every time I tell him to look at how sparkly my ring is... which is pretty much every time we're in the elevator or the supermarket. :bigsmile:I love the prong positioning; I'm so glad I went with six prongs oriented the way that they are. Ultimately we did pay a small premium for an ACA H&A diamond, but I loved that WF had all the data and ASET on each stone available for viewing, unlike some other online retailers. Overall, I think we ended up getting something amazing for about the same price I would have paid here at a B&M store in Vancouver for something a lot more mediocre. For any Canadians in the same position, I wouldn't hesitate to go with Whiteflash again. Their service and product is amazing!

Thank you so much to this wonderful, knowledgeable community. People have been so helpful and direct while being tactful. I've learned so much from all the posts here. The only downside of using PS is that now I’m saving up for an upgrade already (I didn't know this was a thing until PS!) :lol:

Ok, I promise I’m not stalking you, but I totally saw your video on <another forum> and I was fascinated by the pink reflection and awed by the sparkle! I had no idea it was you from the WF prong thread! The prongs look great. I just did a re-set with claw prongs and I told them I wanted those suckers thin and sharp, and I would have been sad if they came out blunt and blobby. They really did a nice job modifying them, and I’m so glad you got it sorted out! I also love the orientation. With the side stones hiding the 9 and 3, you get the look of four prongs with the security of six! I wish I’d thought of that for mine. I was really ready to lose the six prong look and go for a squarish four prong, but I could have rotated them like you and hidden two extras on the side...

It’s been almost two decades since my husband bought me my engagement diamond, and I still tell him all the time “oooh, look how amazing my ring looks!” whenever we go somewhere with good lighting. It’s increased to epic proportions after I got the new setting last month—we don’t even go anywhere now during quarantine, but I still show him all the time. Eventually they stop rolling their eyes and just shift to “mmhmm,” LOL.
 
Last edited:

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
44,905
Congratulations @cakeeatingcat! Gorgeous diamonds and gorgeous ring. Swoon!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
23,198
It turned out lovely! Congratulations!!!
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,666
This is such a beautiful and elegant ring, congratulations! And can I just say, I am obsessed with your nails and nail polish color! :kiss2:
 

Dmndsr4evr11

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
844
Hi PSers!

After going through a million threads in this forum, I ended up going with a WF ACA stone in a custom setting for my engagement ring. Thanks to everyone from RockyTalky who was very helpful with their feedback. Anyways, I thought I'd share my experience as a Canadian (from Vancouver) purchasing an ACA from Whiteflash. I don't know who would really be that interested as my ring is quite modest compared to the stunners on here, but I had found it helpful to read old posts about Canadians' experiences during my googling/research, so I am hoping to pay it forward by sharing my own experience.

For my fellow Canadians, I’ll post about the costs and shipping-related things (taxes, cross-border shipping) in a comment to this post so that non-Canadians can skip that if desired.

Design: I noticed I was always drawn to rings with pears or round melee diamonds next to a RB centre. James Allen has a similar stock design, but I wanted mine to have six claw prongs (for security, as my job is very hands-on) and a flat band {my partner’s choice}, so I ended up going with a custom design.

The process: We actually had started off at three local B&M stores which have good reputations for great customer service with non-commission-based salespeople. They guided us through the different band widths, metals, the 4Cs, etc. We were going to go with one of the local B&M stores... until I fell down the rabbit hole that is Pricescope.

After that, I noticed that all the RBs we were shown in B&M stores had poor HCA scores and suboptimal CA/PAs so I asked that they look for something with better proportions. The B&M store we originally settled on with got back to us after a month asking if I could be more flexible with what I was looking for (after not acknowledging my request.. I thought they ghosted me). After reading through literally 100+ pages worth of posts on PS, I knew I couldn't settle for anything less than super ideal as the thought would always linger in the back of my head that my stone could have been "better". My partner was super apprehensive about purchasing a 5 digit dollar item from the Internet but after reading all the good things people had to say about WF (on PS, RedFlagDeals, Reddit, etc), we felt reassured.

The end result:

Centre stone: 0.933 ct, H VS2 ACA with HCA of 0.9 (specs here)
Side stones: 0.12 ctw, F-G VS2 ACA melee diamonds x 6
Band: 1.9mm flat band, 14K WG
Ring size: 4.75

revisionphoto.png

Here's a video of it reflecting the pink ceiling and my pink clothes in the food court: VIDEO LINK. Look at that sparkle! :kiss2:

Outside vs Inside:
Outdoors vs Indoors

Various angles:
all angles.png

The inclusion is a small feather on the side that does not cross the pavilion. The WF rep said that it would not compromise the structural integrity and that it was not visible and so did not need to be hidden by a prong. I asked for the stone to be positioned so that the arrows would not be covered by the prongs and for the inclusion to be positioned away from the "danger zones" as I've seen @Garry H (Cut Nut) post before (yes... I am a chronic worrier and overanalyzer). I was worried the color of the melee stones would make my center stone yellow in comparison but it wasn't the case!

Initially, WF forgot to shave down the claws to claw prongs so I had to ship it back from Vancouver to Texas. It ended up being a very painless and quick process, despite the fact that the ring had to go across the border again and back! No tax issues at all! Thanks to WF for being super responsive and doing all the paperwork on my behalf. You read more about it here.

To conclude: I think our end result looks great! My now-fiance rolls his eyes every time I tell him to look at how sparkly my ring is... which is pretty much every time we're in the elevator or the supermarket. :bigsmile:I love the prong positioning; I'm so glad I went with six prongs oriented the way that they are. Ultimately we did pay a small premium for an ACA H&A diamond, but I loved that WF had all the data and ASET on each stone available for viewing, unlike some other online retailers. Overall, I think we ended up getting something amazing for about the same price I would have paid here at a B&M store in Vancouver for something a lot more mediocre. For any Canadians in the same position, I wouldn't hesitate to go with Whiteflash again. Their service and product is amazing!

Thank you so much to this wonderful, knowledgeable community. People have been so helpful and direct while being tactful. I've learned so much from all the posts here. The only downside of using PS is that now I’m saving up for an upgrade already (I didn't know this was a thing until PS!) :lol:

Congrats on your beautiful ring!!!
 

Dandi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
5,884
Absolutely gorgeous. I love the setting, and the proportions are perfect on your beautiful hand. Congratulations!
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
10,792
Congratulations on deciding and persevering through this process with WF as a Canadian. The detailed description of your logistics will be very helpful to any Canadian interested in purchasing from WF. The stone and the ring are beautiful, and look absolutely lovely on you. Kudos to you for doing your due diligence before committing and figuring out what is most important to you. Wear for many years in health and happiness (including any upgrades)! :lol:
 

CSpan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
895
Modesty and ACA aren't congruent. That sparkler is off the charts and it is perfectly proportioned to your hand. Just love. And congratulations!
 

klrrrr

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
107
As a fellow Canadian, I’m so glad yoy shared this experience with us! Your ring is stunning - well done. I also appreciate you being transparent on pricing. It’s a good reality check for someone like me who will be in your shoes in a couple of years.

Do you think the hassle of sending it back could have been prevented had you seen the studio photos before your ring had shipped?
 

cakeeatingcat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
59
Thank you so much everyone! The ACAs are definitely no joke. I haven't seen another diamond in my circles that is as sparkly as mine :kiss2:

I also love the orientation. With the side stones hiding the 9 and 3, you get the look of four prongs with the security of six!

Thank you! It looked beautifully pink at the time, I just had to take a video to share. :lol: I love the prongs as well and I'm glad the side prongs came out "hidden" as that was the intent since I was going to have the side stones anyways.

Do you think the hassle of sending it back could have been prevented had you seen the studio photos before your ring had shipped?

I think so! I wish I had asked for them to send me photos prior to shipping (though the studio prongs weren't easy to see due to the angle of the rings in the pictures). I would definitely recommend people request photos, especially if they're not from the US. Regardless though, WF was so accommodating with helping me get them fixed that I can't complain at all :) At least the initial iteration of the ring confirmed for me that round prongs were not to my taste!
 

mochiko42

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
2,653
Welcome to the ACA family and congratulations on your beautiful new ring! Nice to meet another Canadian PSer on here
 
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