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Advice needed with my choice and road to buying

Siyah

Rough_Rock
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Dec 28, 2018
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This is the style ring she asked for, reverse tapered shank.
https://www.bluenile.com/uk/build-your-own-ring/tapered-diamond-14k-white-gold-engagement-ring-setting_23192?elem=img&track=product&vtype=sample

I think the online rendering makes it looks bulkier than I'd expect at 2.1 mm, which makes me think that is the narrowest dimension - not the widest. I think that will overwhelm this lovely diamond.

I was able to find a few photos of some IRL BN settings (not me or my hands)

Classic 6 prong, .6 diamond, size 8 finger

upload_2019-1-2_13-39-24.png

Petite Nouveau .64 carat, guessing around a size 4 finger
upload_2019-1-2_13-32-50.png
Thank you both very much for the help; you are incredibly kind!

So the problem I would have with the tapered one, is the fact the diamond looks so small in it. Assuming the photos are showing the diamond I have chosen, I get this for the cathedral style:

Cath.png

Whereas, the east-west solitaire style I looked at, seems to make the diamond look bigger.

EWS.png

Or am I wrong assuming this? Have no clue about settings and diamonds or whatsoever, so all corrections are welcome! :)
 

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
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@Siyah I like your original E/W setting choice and the classic six prong the best:

https://www.bluenile.com/nl/build-your-own-ring/east-west-solitaire-engagement-ring-14k-white-gold_43589
https://www.bluenile.com/nl/build-your-own-ring/six-claw-petite-nouveau-14k-white-gold_57796?elem=img&track=product&vtype=sample

I do agree that prong placed E/W and/or six prongs create the illusion for a more rounded /maybe slightly larger stone.

You know your SO better and you can determine which setting she might prefer. The six prong is a classic, T&Co style. The setting that you liked is more modern, but beautiful nonetheless and I like the gallery .
 

sledge

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Sorry, just not getting to respond to this. Already answered by others but the medium fluor is no major concern. My fiancee's own stone has medium as well. Most stones have some fluor rather its faint, negligible, medium, strong or very strong. At least with medium+ you get a price discount. It can be a smart way to buy IMO.

I think it's always a good idea to clarify there aren't issues but the video appears crisp so I doubt there is. GIA indicates 99%+ of stones with fluor show no negative effects. It's a simple question to ask BN to confirm.

Also I might add blue fluor is sometimes preferred as the blue tones down the yellow and can make a stone appear ever so slightly whiter than it's actual color grade. My fiancee's ring is an H with MBF and I haven't noticed any significant bump in color so I'd say it's a minimal effect that is a positive nonetheless.

As far as the clarity, it's a VVS2 so no worries. Keep in mind grading is done using 10x magnification so under 10x the labs are saying it's very very slight. Without a trained eye you may miss it.

I'm glad to hear you moved on it. This stone was quite the find and I think will blow you and the soon to be fiancee's socks off with all the fire/sparkle.

Lastly, I will leave the comfort aspect of the settings to the ladies. Look wise that petite nouveau in EW 6 prongs is lovely. Of your choices that is what I'd pick if your girl likes thin bands (mine wanted thicker is why I said that). The basket has great flow and while simple looks very eloquent.

But in my own search for the perfect ring I found picking the diamond to be the easy part, lol. Many here held my hand while I wailed and gnashed teeth before finally doing a custom setting that was the right answer for me. My point being, the ring is for her so make sure you are in tune with that part. ;)2
 

rockysalamander

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The BN renderings are off. The Tapered solitaire looks right. The EW solitaire looks like a 1+ carat diamond. So, it is larger.

The photos I posted show similar size stones in the classic and Petite Nouveau. I like the Petite Nouveau myself (which is a Tiffany inspired setting replica).

Will you be hurt if she wants to change the setting?
 

Siyah

Rough_Rock
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Dec 28, 2018
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The BN renderings are off. The Tapered solitaire looks right. The EW solitaire looks like a 1+ carat diamond. So, it is larger.

The photos I posted show similar size stones in the classic and Petite Nouveau. I like the Petite Nouveau myself (which is a Tiffany inspired setting replica).

Will you be hurt if she wants to change the setting?
Aargh, they are off even though it says that the diamond is the same size as the diamond I chose. I do not like the website of Blue Nile, that is for sure.

Speaking of which: I still don't get why James Allen is not an option. Had a chat with them and they told me that James Allen does not add extra costs at all. They told me to check it with the locals here to see if I need to pay extra VAT, but they do not add upon the total cost themselves...

But if that is the case, then Blue Nile should be the same as well, right? Why would they differ?
 

rockysalamander

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Aargh, they are off even though it says that the diamond is the same size as the diamond I chose. I do not like the website of Blue Nile, that is for sure.

Speaking of which: I still don't get why James Allen is not an option. Had a chat with them and they told me that James Allen does not add extra costs at all. They told me to check it with the locals here to see if I need to pay extra VAT, but they do not add upon the total cost themselves...

But if that is the case, then Blue Nile should be the same as well, right? Why would they differ?
If James Allen does not collect and pay VAT for you, you will have to pay it. So, you'd need to add the amount you see on the screen to the necessary 20%. Maybe one of our UK members can help.
 

Stephan

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Aargh, they are off even though it says that the diamond is the same size as the diamond I chose. I do not like the website of Blue Nile, that is for sure.

Speaking of which: I still don't get why James Allen is not an option. Had a chat with them and they told me that James Allen does not add extra costs at all. They told me to check it with the locals here to see if I need to pay extra VAT, but they do not add upon the total cost themselves...

But if that is the case, then Blue Nile should be the same as well, right? Why would they differ?
Nothing wrong with JamesAllen, but VAT + duties + fees are calculated by FedEx and you will pay them to FedEx. You might not feel at ease that the delivery guy know you made an expensive purchase, and in the worse scenario your box arrives empty because the price is mentioned on the box. It happened to me in 2009 with a 6-7K diamond.
 

Siyah

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Dec 28, 2018
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If James Allen does not collect and pay VAT for you, you will have to pay it. So, you'd need to add the amount you see on the screen to the necessary 20%. Maybe one of our UK members can help.
Nothing wrong with JamesAllen, but VAT + duties + fees are calculated by FedEx and you will pay them to FedEx. You might not feel at ease that the delivery guy know you made an expensive purchase, and in the worse scenario your box arrives empty because the price is mentioned on the box. It happened to me in 2009 with a 6-7K diamond.
Ah, and this is not the case @ Blue Nile? Then I can see why it's not an option :D
 

Siyah

Rough_Rock
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Dec 28, 2018
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100
BlueNile East-west. 0.62 (ring on left), size ~5 ring. Ring on right is classic 4-prong, .25.

upload_2019-1-2_15-15-41.png

On the right here is the 0.62
upload_2019-1-2_15-16-51.png
Thank you for the effort, rockysalamander. Appreciated! I am now between the classic 6 prong and the EW Solitaire...

The tapered can not convince me, I am afraid.

I will sleep a night over it and make my decision probably tomorrow.

@Stephan: hartelijk dank!
 

Stephan

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Did you look at Fortez for a CBI? Might be same price with no import taxes.
Fortrez is the approximately the same price than hpdiamonds +21% Belgian taxes, same deal than Blue Nile, and with the comfort of seeing the diamond in real life in Antwerp what OP can easily do. Not sure if CBI has something matching the budget of OP.
 

kipari

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Speaking of which: I still don't get why James Allen is not an option.
Nothing wrong with JamesAllen, but VAT + duties + fees are calculated by FedEx and you will pay them to FedEx. You might not feel at ease that the delivery guy know you made an expensive purchase, and in the worse scenario your box arrives empty because the price is mentioned on the box. It happened to me in 2009 with a 6-7K diamond.
As I've said before :those taxes and duties into the EU add up to ca. 30% of the whole value - means including shipping.
Collected by FedEx. Like @Stephan said:risky

As an annoying anecdote :I received a fun present from a friend from the US. A children's book that cost 14.99. This is under the 35€ threshold, so no duties necessary, usually.
She she express FedExed it through her company the shipping was something like 150$, I had to pay 55$ of duties and taxes....



, and this is not the case @ Blue Nile? Then I can see why it's not an option :D
Bluenile has a branch in Ireland for their EU business. So it is an in-EU deal... hence no taxes.
 

kipari

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Fortrez is the approximately the same price than hpdiamonds +21% Belgian taxes, same deal than Blue Nile, and with the comfort of seeing the diamond in real life in Antwerp what OP can easily do. Not sure if CBI has something matching the budget of OP.
Yeah, I already mentioned this up thread ... They usually have a better price than if you buy in the US and import yourself. But it seemed there weren't any options in his budget /specs.
 
Last edited:

Stephan

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kipari, for expensive jewelry with FedEx, I always paid something like 25 % (Belgian VAT is 21 %).
 

Siyah

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Did you look at Fortez for a CBI? Might be same price with no import taxes.
What exactly is a CBI? :))))

I have not gone to Antwerp yet, but I am planning to do that this week. Could I get the same stone for the same price or you meant a similar stone?
 

kipari

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@Stephan : Lucky Belgians then, because Germany and France (the only countries where I have imported) claim their own respective Vat plus "import turnover tax" and handling fees on top. FedEx also claimed handling fees on top.
 

Stephan

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What exactly is a CBI? :))))

I have not gone to Antwerp yet, but I am planning to do that this week. Could I get the same stone for the same price or you meant a similar stone?
Cut by Infinity.
Same price? No, you will pay a premium like for Astor on Blue Nile.
But CBI is even better cut than Astor.
But in Antwerp, go to Fortrez and tell him you are on Pricescope.
The other shops will try to sell you bad stuff and expensive, you will not be able to notice it because of the beautiful lighting and your lack of experience.
Go to Fortrez and really AVOID other shops, unless you are very experienced.
 

sledge

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I'd love to see the OP get a super ideal from CBI/Fortrez. But dollar wise it won't work for him.

Screen cap of Fortrez inventory below in Euros. For reference the G VVS2 is 1,692 Euros. We're talking a good 1,000 Euro increase for a CBI super ideal. That's about a 59% premium. Too expensive IMO.

Capture.PNG

Early on, @Siyah said he didn't want to pay VAT, taxes, etc separately. So other sites like JA, WF, BGD, etc were eliminated from search criteria. Also I noted one of his limiting factors was budget and location. This is still the case and I truly think the G VVS2 is his best bet at this point from not only pure money but in the fact he found a stone with truly ideal proportions, although we don't have advanced imaging or the awesome trade in policies associated with CBI stones.
 

sledge

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But CBI is even better cut than Astor.
LOL, understatement of the year.

Astor is basically marketing hype. I don't consider them true hearts & arrow (H&A) super ideal stones or in the same caliber as a WF, BGD, CBI, VC, etc.
 

kipari

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You're right, about the budget, @sledge

I still think it's a good idea to see really well cut stones in person, though, if you can go for a nice weekend trip to Antwerp. Just do as @Stephan said: AVOID all other places and don't get pressured into buying.
 

sledge

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Not saying it's right, but the JA Tax & Duty Calculator is kicking out about 22.5% on a wedding ring purchase. The VAT drops down and duty zeroes out if shipping a loose diamond, for a combined rate of about 19.7%.

https://www.jamesallen.com/tax-calculator/

Capture.PNG

Capture2.PNG
 

Stephan

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Astor is basically marketing hype. I don't consider them true hearts & arrow (H&A) super ideal stones or in the same caliber as a WF, BGD, CBI, VC, etc.
Of course is CBI much better.
Some of the Astor are really nice, but others are off in optical symmetry.
Yet I don't think they have really bad performers; Astor for me is superior to most of the GIA 3 EX.
I own one that is perfectly cut.
You just have to check the "Identiview" on gemexlive for optical symmetry for each stone.
I like the fact they come with GIA reports because AGS is almost worthless here in Belgium.
 

rockysalamander

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Thanks for everyone chiming in! I should have known you'd all be ahead of me. Glad to see this was considered (and rejected). Stay with the G VVS from Blue Nile.

I usually tell folks to stick with the same vendor for buying the ring and diamond, but I wonder if Fortrez will have setting more suited to a stone of this size? I recall another poster finding that they had nice setting for stone under 1 carat. Their website is terrible, but they were very helpful in person.

We have the diamond settled then, but I wonder if a trade member might have a vendor they know in the Netherlands that could source the setting and set the Blue Nile stone?
@Wink @Winks_Elf @Karl_K @Rhino @Garry H (Cut Nut)....I'm missing some folks from over in the EU....

I'm just trying to look at all options. Hope I don't confuse you @Siyah .
 

sledge

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You're right, about the budget, @sledge

I still think it's a good idea to see really well cut stones in person, though, if you can go for a nice weekend trip to Antwerp. Just do as @Stephan said: AVOID all other places and don't get pressured into buying.
Agree about seeing a well cut stone in-person.

My bigger concern is the OP is trying hard to make a good decision but is not of the caliber to defend himself against any attacks the wolves may try to pitch at him. To be clear, I'm not implying Fortrez is a wolf, but I know how it is when you go shopping. He holds out at Fortrez and then visits another less honorable shop (or two or three) to see the difference and a possible bad decision occurs because someone preyed on his innocence.

If I were in Antwerp area I'd offer to meet him and look at diamonds with him. But honestly, I'd probably try to setup an appointment to meet with CBI directly and tour their facility so he avoids the local shops altogether. That would be kind of cool.


Of course is CBI much better.
Some of the Astor are really nice, but others are off in optical symmetry.
Yet I don't think they have really bad performers; Astor for me is superior to most of the GIA 3 EX.
I own one that is perfectly cut.
You just have to check the "Identiview" on gemexlive for optical symmetry for each stone.
I like the fact they come with GIA reports because AGS is almost worthless here in Belgium.
I have little doubts that any diamond you own wouldn't be perfectly cut rather it's super ideal, Astor, GIA 3X, etc. Sorry if my comments came across brash about your stone. That wasn't the intent so I apologize for that. I just think many aren't in the same caliber but are being marketed (and priced) as comparable equals.

Interesting about the reports. Have you bought any of the better PS stones from WF? They have GIA certs too and appears to be a brand line created for customers that prefer GIA. Unfortunately, many of them don't meet the super strict requirements of the ACA line and get overlooked. But I've seen some great PS stones, and at bargain prices.


I don't know for the Netherlands, but in Belgium it is forbidden to import loose diamonds unless you are in the business.
You would know best as that is your home country. I will defer to your expertise. I was just plugging using JA's calculator and it let me choose the option. It's not uncommon for other countries to charge different rates for loose stones vs an actual wedding ring.
 
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