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A little help with a 1/2 carat diamond!

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C3_buttons

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
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5
Hey,
I''m currently deployed overseas with the Marines and am soon going home for a few short days to propose to a very patient and incredible woman before heading off to a couple months of training before our wedding date! Problem is I''m having a hard time deciding what would be the best 1/2 carat diamond at a reasonable price, I''m looking anywhere form $1500 to $2300 tops! I''ve been reading these posts and there are so many opinions and information I was hoping I could get a direct line into this collective knowledge! I dont want to go much larger then the 1/2 shes a smaller girl and we''re not looking for anything gaudy or fancy, just a great value stone that she''ll love. The debate on the Leos has confused me, I like the way it lookes but it seems to be priced $500-600 higher at this size then others of the same specs. I''ve read about Excel and Superbcert and like what I see there, and the prices are pretty low, is there anything comparable or can anyone give me more info on them! Also, how important is color compared to the other C''s? I was told by a friend to never go below a H or I but I saw some talk about J''s! I''m not worried about a setting, I''d like to do that with her so she can decide what she likes, but I really want to have a diamond ready for mounting! Thanks for your time, this is a great site and I''ve learned a lot! In fact I was set on the Leo until I started reading about Ideal cuts and proportions! This is a lot so feel free to give as much advice as you want!
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,324
Your budget is definitely sufficient.

An I color will look quite colorless in this range. An I SI1 is a nice place to be, you could go up to the .6 range with this. However, your budget is also sufficient for higher colors and clarities.

A Leo has more facets, which is unnecessary in this size range.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Hi there,

We''ve found some great (smallish) stones working with Mark @ Engagement Rings Direct. He has been fantastic to work with, answering all my questions on email/phone (we''re not near him) and he also has some very reasonably priced settings too.

That being said, others have had great luck with excel diamonds, whiteflash, etc. If you stick to the vendors that people recommend on here you''ll be getting a good value and a good stone. On the first page of pricescope there is a place to search for diamonds. If you find a few you''re interested in on there, ask ppl on here for their opinions of your favorite 2 or 3 (put the specs in a post). Everyone always chimes in and it can help you in case you overlooked something like the depth, etc.

As for color, what I have gathered, is that it depends. If you''re color sensitive, you should go higher. If you''re setting it in platinum, you should go higher. If you can''t see the stone in person, you should go higher. What seems to be the case is that you can get a great J stone...but some aren''t great. So it really depends on the stone. In order for ME to feel comfortable I would want to see a J stone before I bought it, but that''s just my opinion.

Also, I have gathered that cut is the most important piece of this equation. A well cut stone will "face up" (i.e., look) a lot bigger than it''s carat weight, while a poorly cut 1/2 carat stone might look a lot smaller than a 1/2 carat should. Everyone seems to agree that a well cut stone is the first thing to look for.

Do you know if your girlfriend is color sensitive? If not, you can fairly safely go down to a G/H if setting it in platinum. If it''s in gold it appears you can go lower, but someone else should chime in as I have been doing all my research for platinum.


I hope that helps...I''ve tried to synthesize everything I have learned from lurking on here for you. Best thing to do is just type your questions in the search box above and read lots of old posts!

Good luck!
 

Unearthed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
103
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-114404.htm#

I think at the moment Whiteflash has a good number of really nice stones at that size and budget. That''s only one I liked when poking around.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Welcome to PS


Cut is all important for a diamond''s beauty, as you have probably realized. The Leo diamonds will cost more as they are a branded cut - fine if that is what matters to you - but you could find something just as lovely for less from an online vendor. SI clarity is a good choice, check if eyeclean with the vendor and a G or H colour a nice middleground. I and J can be considered too but you are best seeing these colour grades in person to decide if they are right for you, they can be a softer white with a hint of tint from the side view in some cases, but still look great though!
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
Hi!

You''ve gotten lots of good advice. I would reiterate just getting a superbly cut regular diamond and it will knock her socks off.

Also, while you may not think she''d ever want to, I would go with someone who has a good upgrade policy, just in case.
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235

C3_buttons

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
5
Heya!

Thanks for all the feedback, sent me in a lot of great places to look! As soon as I knew about what kind of diamond I wanted i had to figure out the setting! I saw a great setting I like, but my internet isnt letting my upload it. I''ll try and post some later, but basically its a 3-stone with 8 pave set stone(4 each side). Problem is I can only find it in yellow gold and I''d prefer it in white! If anybody can direct me to a place I''d appreciate it! The Center diamond is a 0.49

Cut: Ideal

Color: G

Clarity: VS2

Depth %: 63.4%

Table %: 54%

Symmetry: Ideal

Polish: Excellent

Girdle: Thin to slightly thick

Culet: Pointed

Fluorescence: None

Measurements: 5.01 x 5.06 x 3.19 mm

for $1246

and the sides are 0.25 0.24



Cut: Ideal Ideal



Color: H H



Clarity: SI1 SI1


Depth %: 61.5% 61.8%



Table %: 55.0% 55.0%



Polish: Excellent Excellent



Symmetry: Very Good Excellent



Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick Medium to Slightly Thick



Culet: None None



Fluorescence: None None



Measurements: 4.07 x 4.12 x 2.52 mm 3.97 x 4.03 x 2.47 mm


Wish I could post some pics, maybe you can follow the web address http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=5928&filter_id=8


So what do you all think? I dont have a lot of people around here that know a lot about diamonds so your opinions are about all I can go on. I like it, a lot actually, but this girl deserves the best, shes been waiting a long time and I know its been harder on her then me. Thanks for your time and all the comments, take care!

Matt
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
Hi again! The center stone is a bit too deep. It has a 3.2 on the HCA. Ideally you'd want to be less than 2. Here's a link to the HCA so you can play around with it:

http://www.pricescope.com/cutadviser.asp

You just need to enter the depth, table, crown angle and pavilion angle, and any culet, then hit go. You'll see how well it scores on light return, scintillation, fire and spread. It's a great tool to help decide on a diamond. It's not writen in stone, but it definitely helps rule out possible poor performers.

Here's a better candidate, and about $80 more:

http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds_details.asp?__fun_frm=i&pid=LD00497990&filter_id=0#grading_report

Also, if you go with a girdle of thin-medium or thereabouts, you will get a larger stone than with a thicker girdle. Thicker girdles tend to take the weight and you can lose in the diameter. You want your stone to face up a nice size.
 

coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,633
I was looking at blue nile for the setting you wanted, and it doesn't seem that it comes in white gold. It's available in platinum, but the price jumps a bit. For the center diamond you chose, I would do something a little different. Here's a link to a ring I created.


ETA: the link I had was not working, here are the links to the diamonds and the setting.

The center diamond:

http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds_details.asp?__fun_frm=i&pid=LD01000091&filter_id=8

The side diamonds:

http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds_details.asp?__fun_frm=b&pid2=LD01008929&pid3=LD01008960&filter_id=8

The setting:

http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=5923&catid=7&filter_id=8&nav1=design.asp?filter_id=8&page=1&col=2&row=1&pos=2&set_shape=RD


The total price on this is $3457. Hopefully, these links work.

All of the diamonds I chose have the grading reports on the website, and all diamonds are either AGS 0 or GIA excellent. I ran all three diamonds through the HCA and they had scores of 1.1 and 1.3 for the sides. This is a beautiful ring, and I don't know if you can get it any cheaper anywhere else especially in platinum. I think the reason many people don't like Blue Nile is because you can't upgrade the diamonds. But that might not be a concern for you.
 

Unearthed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
103
It''s hard to shop Bluenile imo because of the lack of information they provide on their diamonds. The one except is their signature ideal line but even then I hate how their pictures are black and white and not that easy to see.
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
Date: 2/21/2007 6:11:33 PM
Author: Unearthed
It's hard to shop Bluenile imo because of the lack of information they provide on their diamonds. The one except is their signature ideal line but even then I hate how their pictures are black and white and not that easy to see.
I agree, they can be more of a challenge.
They are fast shippers, though, in my past experiences. For single stones, anyway. For the whole ring...you might want to shop elsewhere, especially if you can't get the setting you want at Blue Nile.
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
Date: 2/20/2007 7:09:42 AM
Author: Ellen
Hi!

You've gotten lots of good advice. I would reiterate just getting a superbly cut regular diamond and it will knock her socks off.

Also, while you may not think she'd ever want to, I would go with someone who has a good upgrade policy, just in case.
Very good point! Here's the setting you may want (though minus the pave) with the sidestones already in it, from Whiteflash, which has a great upgrade policy:

http://www.whiteflash.com/golden-wardrobe/Gold_Details.aspx?ItemCode=WF-4072&size=5.00

plus a possible .51ct G VS2:

http://www.whiteflash.com/round/Round-cut-diamond-15047.htm#

for about $300 less than what you would spend at Blue Nile. The setting's available, the sidestones are wonderful, and all you need to do is decide on the center stone, which I'm sure you can get input on if you're not sure. The above diamond is just an example.
 

Unearthed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
103
I can really only comment about the vendor I bought my loose stone from...and that was James Allen. I purchased my diamond over the phone at around 1pm and I had it in my hand at noon the next day. That is downright amazing if you ask me. Bluenile has many many great reviews, however.
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
I love JA as well.
I didn''t get a loose stone so I had to wait for them to make the setting, but it was a lot faster than they estimated. Shocked me when I got the ship email!

Wow, that''s super-sonic shipping for your stone, LOL! JA definitely rocks!!


I think most, if not all, of the main vendors mentioned on this site have excellent reputations and are very, very helpful. It''s nice to be able to find what you want and not have to search the universe.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,324
Date: 2/21/2007 5:20:27 PM
Author: C3_buttons
Heya!

Thanks for all the feedback, sent me in a lot of great places to look! As soon as I knew about what kind of diamond I wanted i had to figure out the setting! I saw a great setting I like, but my internet isnt letting my upload it. I''ll try and post some later, but basically its a 3-stone with 8 pave set stone(4 each side). Problem is I can only find it in yellow gold and I''d prefer it in white! If anybody can direct me to a place I''d appreciate it! The Center diamond is a 0.49

Cut: Ideal

Color: G

Clarity: VS2

Depth %: 63.4%

Table %: 54%

Symmetry: Ideal

Polish: Excellent

Girdle: Thin to slightly thick

Culet: Pointed

Fluorescence: None

Measurements: 5.01 x 5.06 x 3.19 mm

for $1246

and the sides are 0.25 0.24



Cut: Ideal Ideal



Color: H H



Clarity: SI1 SI1


Depth %: 61.5% 61.8%



Table %: 55.0% 55.0%



Polish: Excellent Excellent



Symmetry: Very Good Excellent



Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick Medium to Slightly Thick



Culet: None None



Fluorescence: None None



Measurements: 4.07 x 4.12 x 2.52 mm 3.97 x 4.03 x 2.47 mm


Wish I could post some pics, maybe you can follow the web address http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=5928&filter_id=8


So what do you all think? I dont have a lot of people around here that know a lot about diamonds so your opinions are about all I can go on. I like it, a lot actually, but this girl deserves the best, shes been waiting a long time and I know its been harder on her then me. Thanks for your time and all the comments, take care!

Matt
At 400 each for the 1/4 ct sides, 1400 for setting, and 1250 for the stone, total of 3450, you seem to be quite a bit over your original budget.

This is similar in white gold http://www.uniondiamond.com/jewelry/jewelry.php?item_id=815&action_type_id=2&pic_name=&shape_id=

The problem is that stones on Union Diamond more often than not don''t have the reports listed. In order to cut it down as much as possible, I strongly limited, and came up with these three, which you''ll need to request the reports:

1. http://www.uniondiamond.com/diamonds/diamonds.php?item_id=AA328677&search_type_id=2&action_type_id=2&network_id=0cf05810a0f83094f6e9972ef21cdd34

2. http://www.uniondiamond.com/diamonds/diamonds.php?item_id=AA283710&search_type_id=2&action_type_id=2&network_id=0cf05810a0f83094f6e9972ef21cdd34#

3. http://www.uniondiamond.com/diamonds/diamonds.php?item_id=AA324177&search_type_id=2&action_type_id=2&network_id=0cf05810a0f83094f6e9972ef21cdd34
 

C3_buttons

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
5
Heya once again, thanks for all the great help! I checked out everyones suggestions and hvae decided to stay with blue nile. I just really like the way it looks. Unfortunatly by the time I was able to get back online the diamonds suggested had already been purchased. I used the HAC and came up with this layout, hows it look to you guys? www.bluenile.com/design.asp?add=1&filter_id=8&view_override=&piderror=&pid=LD00999543&pid2=LD00995298&pid3=LD01014173&style=5923&ring_size=5%2E5

I''m ordering within the next 2 days so it''ll be there when I get home! Everyones advice and help is greatly appreciated!

Matt
 

coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,633
Looks like good choices. The center diamond has strong blue fluorescence, but that shouldn''t be a problem. When you get the ring, check and make sure the stone doesn''t look milky.
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
That will be a beautiful ring, 3-stone is one of my favorite settings!! Best of luck and much happiness to you both!
 

orbaya

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Messages
1,617
I''m wondering if there will be a visual difference between the two sidestones?

Measurements:

Stone 1:
4.12 x 4.17 x 2.56 mm

Stone 2:
4.05 x 4.08 x 2.48 mm
 

ebonykawai

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
235
At .07 and .09, I would doubt it. I read that you can only notice size differences when you get over about .15mm. Some even say .20-.25mm.
 

C3_buttons

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
5
Heya everyone!

I''m purchasing tommorrow and wanted to see if anybody had any last suggestions or better diamonds! The link is

http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds_details.asp?pid=LD00999543&filter_id=8

I''ve checked it out as much as I can, my brain is going to explode so I appreciate all your input! Also, my price is flexible and can go up a couple hundred bucks more if it will mean getting a significantly better diamond, so if you got an idea feel free to write! You guys have been great, thanks a lot!

matt
 

blingless

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
58
Hi C3 Buttons, all the experts have given you super guidance on diamond options so I''ll just say thanks for serving our country and best wishes on your proposal. My advice would be to buy the nicest stone you can comfortabley afford recognizing that she''ll be saying yes to you and not the ring and while the ring will be on her finger the brighter gem will be you on her arm.
 
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