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advice needed on Tiffany & Co upgrade options

myoderru03

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
4
I am in the process of trading in an old TCO e-ring (purchased several years ago for a now ex-fiance) in order to buy a new ring for my girlfriend. This is going to be a surprise. With the amount of credit I will receive for my old ring, Tiffany's requirement that the new ring is double the price, and my budget, I'm looking at a strict budget of $19k-$22k for the new ring (i.e. I won't be able to upgrade to a less expensive ring under their upgrade program and I can't afford to go much more than that).

I think my girlfriend would really like the round brilliant, with bead-set setting, and that is what I'm leaning towards. http://www.tiffany.com/Engagement/Item.aspx?GroupSKU=GRP10020#f+10/0/0/0/0/0..
The issue is that Tiffany's doesn't put stones much larger than a carat in that setting. So in order to get to the minimum price floor, I'm looking at paying a significant premium for clarity (and/or color).

The ring I'm on the verge of purchasing has a center stone of 1.10 ct, G color, IF. The other details for the center stone are as follows:

TOTAL DEPTH PERCENTAGE 62.4%
PAVILION ANGLE 40.8°
TABLE SIZE PERCENTAGE 55%
LOWER HALF LENGTH PERCENTAGE 80%
CROWN HEIGHT PERCENTAGE 15.9%
GIRDLE THICKNESS MEDIUM TO SLIGHTLY THICK
CROWN ANGLE 35.0°
GIRDLE FINISH FACETED
STAR LENGTH PERCENTAGE 50%
CULET NONE
PAVILION DEPTH PERCENTAGE 43.0%
SYMMETRY EXCELLENT
POLISH EXCELLENT
FLOURESCENCE NONE

From what little I know, the proportions seem solid (though maybe a tad deep), and the HCA score is 1.6 (EX, EX, EX, VG for spread) so the cut seems fairly solid.

My questions are as follows:

1. I haven't yet asked what the bead set side diamond are yet. Is it important that they are the identical color grade to the center stone? Or do you think I will be okay as long as the beads are F or H?

2. Would the center stone of the apparent quality set forth above be "wasted" in a bead-set band? In other words, would the band detract from the center stone or enhance it?

3. I think my girlfriend would also be happy with the classic tiffany knife-edge setting, although I suspect she would like this setting a bit more. In light of my concerns in #2, would I be much better off just going with a larger stone in the classic setting? I suspect I could probably something ~1.5ct, H, VS1 that would fall in price range. Thoughts?

She is the sentimental type who will likely be happy with whatever I buy her, so I'm kind of at a loss.
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
I would sell the old ring and put it towards your honeymoon. You are not going to get what you payed for it but you would still be getting a better deal. I would do something like this

Diamond
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2661544.htm

Setting
http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/tiffany-style-bead-set-diamond-engagement-ring-872.htm

I would be much happier with this personally, but that's just me. Make sure you get the pricescope discount
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
Also the diamond that you hav listed from tiffany has a terrible cut. When using the HCA calculator it should not even be considered to purchase. You ideally want a score 2 or under.

Results of the diamond I listed to show you an example

Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Excellent
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 1.5 - Excellent
within TIC range

HCA tool
https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca
 

myoderru03

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
4
I am new to this. I tried to use HCA and thought it was okay. Am I using the wrong HCA calculator? When I plugged in the numbers on the TCO stone on this website http://www.diamond-cut.com.au/holloway_cut_adviser.htm,, this is what I got:

Selected: 62.4% depth, 55% table, 35.0° crown angle, 40.8° pavilion angle
The result is for a symmetrical diamond with a medium girdle and very good polish
HCA scores were adjusted Dec. 15, 2001 and Feb. 6, 2003.

Factor Grade
Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Excellent
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 1.6 - Excellent
within TIC range
possible for light entering the pavilion to leak back out the top as firey dispersed colored flashes. Deeper diamonds that have perfect or hearts and arrows grade symmetry, with scores around 2, will often perform far better than diamonds of lesser symmetry.
 

J_Rock

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
40
Honestly, I think spending that much money on a 1ct stone is not a good idea. There are TONS of Tiffany replica settings, so no need feel locked in to Tiffany's, unless the brand is a high priority. I agree with the other poster that you should try to recoup as much as possible to put towards the honeymoon, or something else.
 

Blackpaw

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
2,469
Hmm tough one myoderru. Im no expert on stones so i wont comment on the quality of this particular one, but to be honest id be super hesitant to go for IF clarity. Its odd the 1ct-ish maximum isnt it? And as you know you'll just be paying a stupid premium for something you cant see...

I would look at other styles. The plain channel set goes to a higher carat weight, but doesnt have the antiquey feel that you get from the bead set. So i would probably consider the novo and this one (my fave tiff setting for an RB): http://www.tiffany.com/Engagement/Item.aspx?GroupSKU=GRP10019#f+7/0/0/0/0/0

Or even perhaps the ribbon ring which i think is a very beautiful style, though a little more 'different'.

To be honest though, if you think your girlfriend would like the classic tiffany setting, id do that as you'll get the most bang for your buck on an upgrade in that style, and i cant imagine any girls heart not skipping a beat at the sight of the blue box with that bad boy in it =)

good luck, i hope you tell us what you go for (and show pics!!) :bigsmile: :praise:
 

16ocean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
693
"Would I be much better off just going with a larger stone in the classic setting?" - - - -I think this is a great idea!!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
See your ring on ebay or elsewhere. Then buy yourself a bigger or less expensive stone with your budget.
 

myoderru03

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
4
I appreciate the advice, but the problem I have is that my current ring isn't that great, and I horribly overpaid for it. It is 1.12 ct, I, vs2 with less than ideal cut, slight flourescence, very thing girdle, etc. It was basically the worst quality diamond I could get from Tiffany's at the time, as I sacrificed everything else for size. I paid $10k for it. From the quotes I've received from stores and what I've seen on e-bay, I'd probably be lucky to get $6,500 for it, if that.

From what I have seen, the Tiffany's premium is probably not more than the $3,500 hit I would take by trying to sell my current ring.

Just for the sake of comparison, here is a stone from whiteflash similar to the one I am looking at TCO:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2668667.htm
It is nearly a tenth of a carat smaller, and does not seem to be cut quite as well. But it is still $16,200, meaning that I would need to pay $9,700 out of pocket for just the stone. With the setting, I'd probably be looking at more than $11k out of pocket, which is what I would need to pay TCO for the "upgrade." So basically, I would be paying more for a slightly smaller and possibly lesser quality stone.

Given the hit I would take in selling my ring, I basically am going to be in a break-even position in going with TCO, or maybe worst case scenario a $500-$1000 premium. And for me, that is a small enough difference to justify sticking with Tiffany's. My girlfriend would appreciate Tiffany's, but is not deadset on it by any means. That being said, I think she would be very hurt if she ever found out that I went to Tiffany's for my ex-fiance but not for her (not that she would, just saying).
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
I would go with a setting that can take a larger stone to fit the budget than to buy an IF stone because that is all the setting can fit.
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Stone-cold11|1311964165|2979943 said:
I would go with a setting that can take a larger stone to fit the budget than to buy an IF stone because that is all the setting can fit.
I agree with this. I would prefer a bigger stone over a preferred setting. I think the IF is definitely an overkill. If I can get a 1.4 ct G VS2 instead of a 1.1 G IF, I would say YES PLEASE. You can always make up for it by pairing it with the bead set wedding band or the likes. What do you think?
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Do the math again on a non IF stone. Compare a G VS2 from Tiffs to a G VS2 from WF. My guess is it would not work out equal in that case. There is a HUGE premium for IF, and I am betting it affects WF more than Tiffs, who likely equalize the prices accross clarity by absorbing it in their "name inflation". I might be wrong. I'd be curious to see the math.

But please don't waste money both on Tiffany inflation and IF clarity inflation ;)) Your gf might forgive a non-Tiffany stone if hers is much bigger ;))
 

J_Rock

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
40
If you decide to go with the 1ct stone, the other thing to keep in mind is the future prospect of a diamond upgrade. If you spend $19K, you would need to cough up nearly $40K to "get your money back". You indicated that you overpaid once, no need to do it again.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,613
OCgirl|1311964626|2979954 said:
Stone-cold11|1311964165|2979943 said:
I would go with a setting that can take a larger stone to fit the budget than to buy an IF stone because that is all the setting can fit.
I agree with this. I would prefer a bigger stone over a preferred setting. I think the IF is definitely an overkill. If I can get a 1.4 ct G VS2 instead of a 1.1 G IF, I would say YES PLEASE. You can always make up for it by pairing it with the bead set wedding band or the likes. What do you think?
Agree.

Go for the bigger stone in the classic Tiff solitaire. :lickout:
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
I'd go with the larger stone in the classic setting ... no higher in color than "H". Unless she is from a culture that very much values D,E,F color & high clarity.

The bead set bands DO detract from the centerstone and are difficult to pair with an assortment of wedding bands. If you get the MATCHING bead set band -- then there's so much width and sparkle & thickness -- it REALLY detracts from a stone in the size range you're talking about.

Bigger stone on simple band will POP more against any potential wedding band and have more OOMPH.

JHMO. Good luck!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
At minimum consider dropping down from IF, as you're paying $$$$ for something that you won't be able to appreciate.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,660
decodelighted|1311970490|2980041 said:
I'd go with the larger stone in the classic setting ... no higher in color than "H". Unless she is from a culture that very much values D,E,F color & high clarity.

The bead set bands DO detract from the centerstone and are difficult to pair with an assortment of wedding bands. If you get the MATCHING bead set band -- then there's so much width and sparkle & thickness -- it REALLY detracts from a stone in the size range you're talking about.

Bigger stone on simple band will POP more against any potential wedding band and have more OOMPH.

JHMO. Good luck!
Agreed! The IF clarity is overkill as well - get them to look for other stones and keep the setting simple. The classic setting is very beautiful and you can pair it with a variety of bands.
 

Blackpaw

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
2,469
decodelighted|1311970490|2980041 said:
I'd go with the larger stone in the classic setting ... no higher in color than "H". Unless she is from a culture that very much values D,E,F color & high clarity.

The bead set bands DO detract from the centerstone and are difficult to pair with an assortment of wedding bands. If you get the MATCHING bead set band -- then there's so much width and sparkle & thickness -- it REALLY detracts from a stone in the size range you're talking about.

Bigger stone on simple band will POP more against any potential wedding band and have more OOMPH.

JHMO. Good luck!
ooh yes, not sure if i understood deco correctly, but i think getting the classic solitaire and pairing it with a bead set wedding band (the legacy maybe?) would be better than getting the bead set solitaire - as deco said, in that carat weight the centre stone could get lost in the band.

I wouldnt be concerned about the tiff premium, it is what it is and you know what you're doing it sounds like. If i was in a position where the t&co premium was just a smidge as opposed to a...smudge(?) then id want the t&co for sure =) and no i dont have a tiffany ring :wacko:
 

myoderru03

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
4
Thank you all for your input.

My girlfriend is extremely sentimental, and NEVER takes off a small silver ring that I got her last year as part of her Christmas present (which she wears on her right hand). I suspect that she would be the same way with her wedding ring, and thus she may want a plain wedding ring that she would never need to take off. My concern with classic tiffany setting and a diamond banded wedding ring is that we live in CO and lead a very active lifestyle (skiing, backpacking in the wilderness, etc.). In turn, she'd bascially be left with the choice of taking off both the e-ring and the wedding ring, or leave on the diamond banded wedding ring and worry about ruining it, losing or damaging a stone, etc.

My thought process with the round brilliant, bead-set e-ring is that the beads would somewhat take the place of the sparkle of a diamond-banded wedding ring that would be paired with the classic, plain setting. Sort of like what Tiffany shows on their website for the RB, with chanel set diamonds http://www.tiffany.com/Engagement/Item.aspx?GroupSKU=GRP10016#f+1/1001/0/0/0/1001
That way, she could still have the added sparkle for everyday use and around town, but then still be able to keep her wedding ring on when we the e-ring comes off to go skiing, backpacking, etc.

I suspect that she may like that combo more than a plain classic setting matched with a plain ring, but that is largely speculation on my part. And I could just be over-thinking everything...

Thoughts?
 

Sundial

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
5,532
Under the circumstances I can understand your wanting to trade for a more expensive ring at Tiffany's and there is nothing wrong with that. I think most women would rather have a bigger diamond than one that was internally flawless. Given your active lifestyle maybe a plain engagement ring with a plain band isn't a bad way to go, but ultimately you have to decide what makes the most sense to you.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,149
Sundial|1311981226|2980156 said:
Under the circumstances I can understand your wanting to trade for a more expensive ring at Tiffany's and there is nothing wrong with that. I think most women would rather have a bigger diamond than one that was internally flawless. Given your active lifestyle maybe a plain engagement ring with a plain band isn't a bad way to go, but ultimately you have to decide what makes the most sense to you.

Well said.

Are you certain she'll want to wear a wedding band? I might be in the minority but I don't wear one on a regular basis--and my lifestyle is very active. She could always wear her cherished silver ring when you are backpacking.......

cheers--Sharon
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
myoderru03|1311979286|2980141 said:
Thank you all for your input.

My girlfriend is extremely sentimental, and NEVER takes off a small silver ring that I got her last year as part of her Christmas present (which she wears on her right hand). I suspect that she would be the same way with her wedding ring, and thus she may want a plain wedding ring that she would never need to take off. My concern with classic tiffany setting and a diamond banded wedding ring is that we live in CO and lead a very active lifestyle (skiing, backpacking in the wilderness, etc.). In turn, she'd bascially be left with the choice of taking off both the e-ring and the wedding ring, or leave on the diamond banded wedding ring and worry about ruining it, losing or damaging a stone, etc.

My thought process with the round brilliant, bead-set e-ring is that the beads would somewhat take the place of the sparkle of a diamond-banded wedding ring that would be paired with the classic, plain setting. Sort of like what Tiffany shows on their website for the RB, with chanel set diamonds http://www.tiffany.com/Engagement/Item.aspx?GroupSKU=GRP10016#f+1/1001/0/0/0/1001
That way, she could still have the added sparkle for everyday use and around town, but then still be able to keep her wedding ring on when we the e-ring comes off to go skiing, backpacking, etc.

I suspect that she may like that combo more than a plain classic setting matched with a plain ring, but that is largely speculation on my part. And I could just be over-thinking everything...

Thoughts?
I think if you want to go with Tiffany, then you are stuck with paying the 2X upgrade. There's nothing wrong with that but now your options are limited to:
1) Getting the bead set but overpay for the high clarity and thus downgrade the carat
2) Getting a different setting and choose a diamond with specs you actually find reasonable

So which option sounds more economical to you? I personally would pick the second one. I think it gives you more room to pick something you want. Even though a ring should be considered a "package", I personally think having a great center stone is more important than other things. It is like the HEART of the ring.

With that said, if your gf is athletic or active, do you know if she even wants a big ring (say over 1.25 carats?). Some girls don't feel comfortable wearing a big ring.

I would say perhaps you can consider a Tiffany setting that's similar to the bead set (with side diamonds for added bling) and get a plain band if that's the case. I don't think you should limit yourself to that one setting and get stuck with getting an IF clarity just to reach the 2X price tag.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
what about getting a different setting, such as the channel set band, that is similar but comes with a larger diamond?

(or a solitaire, or a three-stone...)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,125
I absolutely vote for the classic Tiffany setting with a larger diamond. I hear you on the plain wedding band. But my solution is to get a plain wedding band and a thin diamond band. She can wear all three rings, or the two wedding bands, or just the plain band. I don't like a diamond shank on the engagement ring with a plain wedding band at all. So I think you are much safer going with the plain e-ring and really get the largest diamond you can in H or I VS2. I'd love to have a real Tiffany ring and think since you have one to trade-in, it makes sense for you to do so.
 

Blackpaw

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
2,469
myoderru03|1311979286|2980141 said:
Thank you all for your input.

My girlfriend is extremely sentimental, and NEVER takes off a small silver ring that I got her last year as part of her Christmas present (which she wears on her right hand). I suspect that she would be the same way with her wedding ring, and thus she may want a plain wedding ring that she would never need to take off. My concern with classic tiffany setting and a diamond banded wedding ring is that we live in CO and lead a very active lifestyle (skiing, backpacking in the wilderness, etc.). In turn, she'd bascially be left with the choice of taking off both the e-ring and the wedding ring, or leave on the diamond banded wedding ring and worry about ruining it, losing or damaging a stone, etc.

My thought process with the round brilliant, bead-set e-ring is that the beads would somewhat take the place of the sparkle of a diamond-banded wedding ring that would be paired with the classic, plain setting. Sort of like what Tiffany shows on their website for the RB, with chanel set diamonds http://www.tiffany.com/Engagement/Item.aspx?GroupSKU=GRP10016#f+1/1001/0/0/0/1001
That way, she could still have the added sparkle for everyday use and around town, but then still be able to keep her wedding ring on when we the e-ring comes off to go skiing, backpacking, etc.

I suspect that she may like that combo more than a plain classic setting matched with a plain ring, but that is largely speculation on my part. And I could just be over-thinking everything...

Thoughts?
Yep, i think you're over-thinking it :cheeky:

I live in the Canadian Rockies and have the same sort of lifestyle as you i think - riding, hiking, backcountry every weekend! And i know my lifestyle hasnt been a factor in my choice of engagement ring, and wont be for a wedding band. When i do get my ering im going to wear that sucker everywhere, i figure im less likely to lose it if its on my hand :bigsmile:
 

risingsun

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5,549
Could you clarify something for me. Did your former fiancee wear this ring? If so, I would trade in the entire ring and start again. I would not want to wear a ring that was given to an ex. I like engagement rings that have diamonds on the shank; however, if you have a very active lifestyle, I agree that a plain shank, a plain wedding band and a diamond wedding band will give her a lot of flexilbity. Having a larger stone will also be a plus :))
 

Eilonwy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2009
Messages
140
I would definitely get the larger solitaire over the bead-set band ring. Just my personal choice.

I wouldn't choose the bead-set band ring for the purpose of replacing a sparkly wedding band. Everyone's different but I personally would feel that a plain band wouldn't match with a bead-set engagement ring, and I would want a bead-set wedding band to match. She might think differently though!

If she is very sentimental about her rings and would want to wear her wedding band all the time, you're better off getting the solitaire ring and she has the option of getting a plain wedding band to go with that would match perfectly. Or, if she wanted sparkle, channel set bands are quite secure and could be worn in many situations.

To answer your question about the side stones in the bead-set band ring, I was told by my Tiffany's that the diamonds in their wedding rings are mixed in each ring between D and G colour, full cut. I would imagine sidestones in their engagement rings would be the same. It is a pretty high standard for melee, I would have thought, don't know what anyone else thinks/knows about Tiffany's melee, perhaps they'd like to chime in.
 
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