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Advice needed with my choice and road to buying

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Siyah, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 28, 2018
    Hello there,

    Newbie here, who needs help.

    1) I was in Antwerp today to check out diamonds myself. I noticed interesting things. A diamond 0.8 cut that had a price tag of 4.460 Euro was "suddenly" 1600 Euros and "only for you, my friend". This was the moment where bells began to ring. Because, even though he said that the diamond was GIA certified, I found that too good to be true.

    My first question: can they scam with those certificates? So, I guess I should not believe them directly, even though there is a certificate from GIA or IGI they can show?

    2) As I had the feeling I was getting scammed in Antwerp (not only in that particular store, but I had that idea for 80% of the stores) and the fact that I can't find a genuine guide that lists the best diamond stores there, I want to give internet a try...

    The problem; I don't know if I should trust the internet! So, I saw some deals on Blue Nile and James Allen which got my attention.

    My other questions:

    • Can I trust James Allen and Blue Nile? Are they reliable and trustworthy? Do you really get the diamond you choose online?
    • If the answer is yes, would it be a smart move to only buy the diamond itself and buy the setting in Antwerp? Reason I am asking that, is because the setting on these sites were quite expensive.
    An example of what I liked:
    https://www.bluenile.com/nl/build-your-own-ring/diamond-details/LD10879994?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails&action=newTab

    0.61- Carat Round Diamond, SI2, E....
    Price: 1338 Euro.

    What do you guys think? Is it reasonable? Is it a fair price or should I look further?

    Another option:
    0.70, e color, S12..
    1341 Euro.

    I don't get why the difference is just 3 Euros while the color and cut are the same.... but the carat is much bigger!

    Can you help me?
     
  2. amoline
    Shiny_Rock

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    by amoline » Dec 28, 2018
    So, I'm not an expert, but I'll try to explain a few things:

    • "IGI vs GIA" - they're very different. GIA is highly regarded as the gold standard and IGI is more or less ignored for validity. They are NOT the same quality certificates.
    • James Allen and Blue Nile are definitely trustworthy. I'd suggest buying the stone and setting in one place if you can, because many setters won't insure your stone should something happen to it during the setting process, whereas if this all comes from the same vendor, they take responsibility -- their setting, their stone. Besides, if you're worried you're getting scammed, why would you take a nice stone to one of these vendors? What's to stop them from swapping your nice diamond with something else and then selling you their setting?
    • On the above, this is how scams can happen - a diamond can certainly be GIA or anything else certified, but the diamond that you end up buying was never the actual diamond that the certificate belonged to.
    • Your best bet here is to post any requirements that you HAVE to have in a stone: hitting a certain carat weight, you NEED a particular color for cultural reasons, etc. -- then, post things you'd LIKE -- and last, post your budget and the great experts of this forum will help you find something that you'll love and that's in your budget. Posting requirements, then getting suggestions, then you vetting them is a much faster process than you posting suggestions and getting general feedback - plus, it's a little more fun to be shown a bunch of different diamonds that you know are well-chosen then you get to pick. :)

    Those that are more familiar and knowledgable in diamond specifics will undoubtedly be along to post, but hopefully that helps a bit.
     
  3. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 28, 2018
    Love lengthy and qualitative answers like this. Thank you very much!

    Regarding the GIA story: so you are saying that the certificate they are showing might not be belonging to that specific diamond? Hmm, yes, makes sense. How on earth would I be able to recognize that if that would be the case?

    Last but not least: I'd like to have a round diamond above 0.5 carats as I think that is prettier than the smaller ones. So, the bigger, the better. Next to that, I do care about the color. So no fluorescence and definitely between D and G would be preferable. Last but not least, the clarity: all above SI2 are fine.

    Hope I can get nice suggestions (please also be free to correct me or give me advice about it, as I am definitely not an expert and open for suggestions).
     
  4. bludiva
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by bludiva » Dec 28, 2018
    I've never puchased from james allen but if you're not in a rush they frequently have 25% off settings promotions
     
  5. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Dec 28, 2018
    Are you 100% set on having no flourescense? It seems unnecessary to restrict to having zero flour, as it won't negativity impact 99% of stones. And we can help you find a perfect stone in budget. I'd avoid all stores since you aren't going to know what you're looking at and are likely to be taken advantage of.

    What's your budget for the stone alone?
     
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  6. Snowdrop13
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Snowdrop13 » Dec 29, 2018
    The diamond you linked above has only “Good” cut, to get maximum performance from a stone this size you need at least a GIA Excellent cut, then there are specific parameters often suggested here to get the best from that group of stones,

    table: 54-58
    depth: 60-62.3
    crown angle: 34-35.0
    pavilion angle: 40.6-40.9 (sometimes 41.0)

    Blue Nile in Europe will have taxes included in the price, if you use a US vendor like James Allen you will have access to better images but will have to pay customs/import tax/VAT for your country.
     
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  7. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 29, 2018
    Thanks for the tip!

    Well, I don't like the idea of the diamond having flourescence. So if I can avoid it, then I would be happy, but if it's really negligible (read: not visible to the naked eye), then I would be fine with that.

    My budget: max. 1500 Euros.

    I'd like to have a round diamonds above 0.5 carats as I think that is prettier than the smaller ones. So, the bigger, the better. Definitely between D and G would be preferable. Last but not least, the clarity: all above SI2 are fine.

    Ah, thanks for the tip. That's good to keep in mind! How would we test this in a real store? Are those specifications noted in the certificates?
     
  8. Snowdrop13
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Snowdrop13 » Dec 29, 2018
    Yes, all information is included in the certificates, you can search on Blue Nile using table and depth too. I had a quick look and would strongly suggest dropping to G or even H colour to get a nice stone in the size you are looking at. Personally I’d also prefer Si1 and above in clarity.
     
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  9. Snowdrop13
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Snowdrop13 » Dec 29, 2018
    https://www.bluenile.com/uk/diamond-comparison

    These are some examples that have good numbers and look clean to my eye ie no obvious black carbon etc. Many of the expert posters are in the US and will probably come along later with more suggestions and advice!

    Edit: PS superideal stones are often suggested here as we realise the value of the cut, for interests of comparison here is one that is in budget, assuming your taxes are around 20%,

    https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3999709.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  10. SimoneDi
    Ideal_Rock

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  11. Matilda
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Matilda » Dec 29, 2018
    I would just like to clarify where you live? Do you live in Antwerp? I am not sure if Blue Nile ship to Belgium?
     
  12. Matilda
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Matilda » Dec 29, 2018
    If you are in Antwerp there is a super ideal vendor there : FORTREZ. They sell crafted by infinity diamonds. I could not find one in you budget, but perhaps you could go and ask in person if they can find you something:

    http://www.fortrez.com/diamonds/search/


    I do really like the option @SimoneDi posted, I hope Blue Nile ships to you!!!
     
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  13. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Thank you very much for all the info. Really appreciated!

    Even though the cut looks nice there, the diamond itself is too small. 0.60 is what I would prefer.

    This looks awesome. Thank you very much! The only issue I have now, is whether I should "believe" this and if I can be 100% sure I will actually get this diamond.

    Of course, the fact that I can't see how it will look with the setting in real life makes it also not nice :(

    But I will definitely consider this. Thank you!

    I live near Belgium in The Netherlands.

    Thank you very much, I will check them out!
     
  14. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Btw, when you say "that group of stones", what do you mean? Above 0.5ct stones or other specs?

    I want to understand so that I can look out for it.
     
  15. Snowdrop13
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Snowdrop13 » Dec 30, 2018
    I mean within the group of GIA XXX stones ie with excellent cut, polish and symmetry. You can set search parameters for these plus the table and depth on most of the online retailers sites.
     
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  16. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Ah, and what if it's a different certificate? When do I know the right sizes/measurements?

    What is recommended anyway? GIA only or more than that? In Antwerp I saw HRD or something. Is that good enough or is it different?
     
  17. Matilda
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Matilda » Dec 30, 2018
    Ideally I would stick to GIA/AGS stones. Take the following numbers, which were posted above:

    table: 54-58
    depth: 60-62.3
    crown angle: 34-35.0
    pavilion angle: 40.6-40.9 (sometimes 41.0)

    and put them into the ADVANCED(or MORE) FILTERS of Blue Nile/James Allen. To clarify the difference between BN and JA tax...you will pay VAT with both companies, but BN does it for you whereas JA you do it yourself.
     
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  18. Matilda
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Matilda » Dec 30, 2018

    This diamond was the only choice given when I added in extra filters for fluorescence, symmetry, polish, table, depth....I do like it!
     
  19. Snowdrop13
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Snowdrop13 » Dec 30, 2018
    HRD is widely used/respected in Europe and not known so much in the US, it would be fine.
     
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  20. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Thank you!

    My last question/concern: I do not know if the setting I'd choose, would be ok. I want to feel it, taste it, see it with my own eyes before I buy it. I think I can live with the fact that the diamond is loose, but is it recommended to buy a loose diamond without a setting?

    Would that be a problem at all? The idea is then to make sure it's set somewhere in a store I can trust, but is that enough?
     
  21. Stephan
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stephan » Dec 30, 2018
    Where I live, in Belgium, it's forbidden to import loose diamonds. However, there is no problem buying diamonds online if they are set in jewelry when shipped to you.
     
  22. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Bedankt, Stephan.

    My question is more about whether it's smart to buy a loose diamond. I mean, on paper (GIA certificate) it all seems perfect. Even on the image, it seems like the perfect diamond, yet I haven't seen it in real life of course...

    So I wonder how big the deception would be if it turns out to be not as great as expected without the setting...

    Grr!
     
  23. Stephan
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stephan » Dec 30, 2018
    Siyah, it sounds like you don't feel confident buying online, and I can understand it.
    If visiting Antwerp for you is as easy as it is for me, you can visit Fortrez and discuss ideal cut stones.
     
  24. Stephan
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stephan » Dec 30, 2018
    They have a Belgian website and phone number.
    But they don't ship to Belgium anymore (they did a few years ago).
    However, as Belgium is a small country, they can ship you to the nearest European country (hold at pickup) and they will charge you taxes of that country. I think this is perfectly legal for the buyer (Europe), but I may be wrong.
     
  25. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Yes, I am not entirely confident about it. I really love some of the diamonds and I would 100% buy them if I would see them with my own eyes, yet because I can't, I do not know whether I should go for it or not.

    On the other hand, I feel like I am being ripped off in the store as I do not find them very trustworthy. Now I understand a bit more due to the help of all you guys here, so I feel more comfortable, yet it's still a hard one to make. Especially if you have people who are trying to sell you a diamond that was originally 4.460 Euros and "only for me" 1600 Euros...

    I even saw a dude who was saying he had no certificate of the diamond but he could arrange one if I would buy it. Weird and felt like being scammed.

    I guess I'll go to Antwerp again and try to ask for GIA certificates only to verify.

    Is the price per carat also important in this case or would I be fine if I keep to the measurements above (pavilion, cut and so on)?
     
  26. Stephan
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stephan » Dec 30, 2018
    Even that is not the best idea.
    Stick with vendors who have a good reputation.
    Antwerp is not a place for people with little experience in diamonds.
    Near the train station, it's more like a souq.
    If you have some contacts in the buildings in the secured area, it could be OK.
    But as you are not a professional, they won't easily show you the nicest pieces first.
    Fortrez would be safe to find a beautiful diamond.
    If you are open to buy online, they are a lot of options and vendors with a pristine reputation (BGD, CBI, WF, etc. (in alphabetical order)).
     
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  27. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    Thanks for the help, Stephan. Unfortunately, I have nobody who I know with some expertise on diamonds.

    Would Blue Nile or James Allen a good choice in your opinion? I am tempted by their offer....

    And I also want to go to Antwerp again to check the choices out (will definitely visit Fortrez). After that, I think I can make a decision.
     
  28. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Dec 30, 2018
    We can help you buy online. With the trusted PS vendors I promise you won't get scammed. Buying online from one of the trusted vendors is safer than buying in store without knowing what you're doing.
     
  29. Siyah
    Rough_Rock

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    by Siyah » Dec 30, 2018
    I am actually starting to think like this as well.

    Just a simple question: what if I see a diamond I really adore in a real store WITH it's GIA certificate in place and all "excellent"...

    Would this be a good deal for me or is it still easily possible to get scammed?
     
  30. Stephan
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stephan » Dec 30, 2018
    Still possible (almost certain that it would happen) to buy a bad diamond.
    Under store lighting, almost everything looks great, even a glass of water.
    If the stone is not sealed, I would be suspicious.
    If the stone is sealed, it would be difficult to look at it.
     
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