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Advice on Buying a 3+ ct Solitaire Engagement Ring

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
Hello,

I am new to this forum and I am mainly looking for advice on a particular stone that I believe I am getting a tremendous deal on. The stone I am looking at is:

3.22 cts
Cut RB
Color H
Clarity SI2
Depth 61.7%
Table 55%
Crown Height 16%
Pavilion 43%
Girdle: Thick
Polish V good
Symmetry V good
Cutlet None
EGL Cert

The quoted price is in the low 20K range with tax.

I ran the hollaway calculator and it said:

Light Return: Very Good
Fire: Excellent
Scintillation: Very Good
Spread or diameter for weight: Very Good
Overall 1.8 on the TIC scale.

My main 2 questions are:
1. Should I be worried about the EGL cert? I feel like they grade less strict, and an EGL SI2 and a GIA I1 are very different stones - however I have seen the stone in person several times and it appears eye clean to myself (although I must admit this is my first time purchasing a diamond engagement ring)
2. Is this a good stone for the money and should I go ahead with it? I am in medical school and want to give my gf something that she can have for the next 50 years without feeling like she would want to upgrade down the line (also she has told me multiple times that she would be fine with whatever I give her but I want to knock her socks off! And her job is such that having a larger ring shouldn't be a problem in terms of daily activities / getting her hand caught on something.)

Thanks in advance for any and all advice, I know this is the place to get some great information so I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
To answer your questions re EGL...Yes, I'd be worried ! If it were GIA / AGS i would still be concerned about the SI2, but I'd be very worried with EGL certification.

Are you interested in h / SI stones? let us know what your preferences are and we can help find GIA/AGS stones.
 

bigdiamondtinygal

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
310
Agreed with the other poster...no way would I buy an EGL SI2 -- especially in that size. The stone will likely appear included (and possibly very much so) with the naked eye. Have you seen it in person??

I have no idea what kind of setting you are looking for or if you/she are open to lower color and old cut stones, but this ring near your budget (25K for huge stone and to die for pave setting) would knock my socks off!

http://jewelsbyericagrace.smugmug.com/JbEG-Signature-Settings-and/Halos/The-Gabbie-Halo-Setting/15232017_4UHLY#1139617153_Rgr2y
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
I have seen the stone in person, several times in fact. Each time I have gone in I have looked at this same stone and each time I have to look very carefully to see any inclusions, obviously I see more with the loop. The stone does not have any single large inclusions and the inclusions are not the black carbon spots which are obvious to see. However once I found out that the EGL standards are a little less stringent I started to get a little worried.

Initially I wanted to stay under 20k for the ring, but then was given this as an option, I thought it was a really good deal as the price was about 40% of rap, which was better than any of the other options I was given.

Quickly becoming more concerned about what action to take...
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
Yes, I talked to the owner and he said that there is a 14 day return period and I will get all my money back if it is graded differently than the certificate. I guess my main question at this point is is this as great of a deal as I think it is? Or would it be not that hard to find something pretty comparable for 22k with tax, tag, and title?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,152
You will not find a decent 3 ct. stone for $20,000, no way. At best that stone is probably equal to a J to L color, I1 clarity if graded by GIA. The only thing really going for it is size. Do you really want to give her a poor quality stone that is huge? Honestly, I'd rather have an excellent quality stone at half that size if it was for me. Cut is most important, and I would only get GIA or AGS Ideal/Excellent cut. Here are some examples of high quality stones in your price range (ranging from 1.7 to 2 carats):

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2676052.htm

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=AGS-1040399230017

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=BLAGS-104047808003

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=BLAGS-104049675004

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8079/

Bigger is not always better in my book.

(a nice 3 ct. I SI1 will run around $37k: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1336405.asp?b=16&a=12&c=77&cid=131)
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
24,125
I too would get something smaller in GIA EX or AGS0. I would look for the largest H/ I VS2 diamond I could find in your budget.
 

Liam-Spillane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
21
I agree with everyone. Run away!

For 22K I would rather a GIA G VS1 or VS2 cut to ideal - excellent cut. Around a 1.75 CT (not sure exactly, but that should be around the price.)

Keep in mind a RB stone over 1.5 carats, are usually cut to spread well while still just maintaining a GIA excellent or AGS 0 (on there new scale.) So depths tend to be on the slightly shallow side from 58 - 59. and tables slightly larger from 59-61. The reason for the proportions are for larger spead, and most impotantly these are for people with enough money to afford them, who are usually oldered. Reseach has shown older people tend to prefer slightly shallower stones with 60 tables. (cutters know this)
 

Liam-Spillane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
21
But, yes white flash has a good selection of larger stones in the 2 CT zone with true american ideal proportions (their specialty.) Blue Nile only really has the stones I mentioned earlier.
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
Wow, so I guess there are two things that I can deduce from this situation.

1) EGL certification is not that good, and even though the certificate says that it is a (decent?) stone, the price is just to low for what I am getting.

or

2) I am getting a really good deal, but I need to have an independent appraiser verify that the stone is what its EGL certification claims to be. (and most likely have them grade it on a GIA scale so I can compare apples to apples)

Given the fact that I have a 14 day return policy and a re cert by a GIA appraiser is about 200$ is it worth it to at least see what it comes out to be, or should I just walk away. The way I see it I would only be out 200$ for the appraisal and some time (its summer break from med school and I do have plenty of time...)

Assuming it is what the EGL cert says it is. I should jump on it correct?

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse here, I just want to make sure I am not passing up something really good.
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
does the place you see that stone has a similar spec. GIA or AGS stone? maybe you should compare the ones with the EGL stone instead of just see the EGL stone by itself and see if you still like it
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
The two things I want to note are:
1) If the seller knows by certifying the stone with a GIA certificate that the stone will get the same color and clarity as assigned by the EGL cert, why wouldn't he? A GIA 3.2 ct stone sells way more than the asking price. At the end of the day business is business; the seller IS trying to make money.
2) He has a return policy in place but what if he refuses to refund your money (or refund it in a timely manner), are you willing to take on that risk of pursuing legal actions... etc? It's a large sum of money and we did have a guy on here who was dealing with a vendor who refused to refund him his money.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
ironman1406|1311641714|2976730 said:
Wow, so I guess there are two things that I can deduce from this situation.

1) EGL certification is not that good, and even though the certificate says that it is a (decent?) stone, the price is just to low for what I am getting.

or

2) I am getting a really good deal, but I need to have an independent appraiser verify that the stone is what its EGL certification claims to be. (and most likely have them grade it on a GIA scale so I can compare apples to apples)

Given the fact that I have a 14 day return policy and a re cert by a GIA appraiser is about 200$ is it worth it to at least see what it comes out to be, or should I just walk away. The way I see it I would only be out 200$ for the appraisal and some time (its summer break from med school and I do have plenty of time...)

Assuming it is what the EGL cert says it is. I should jump on it correct?

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse here, I just want to make sure I am not passing up something really good.
I

you have to ask yourself...why would the dealer not send it to GIA if he could get the higher price for GIA?

likely because GIA would NOT grade it as H/SI2 and a J/K I1 is much harder to sell.

you have a substantial budget and you can get a really nice diamond. I would look for a really nice high quality diamond that is graded from a reputable lab (GIA or AGS).
 

Liam-Spillane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
21
Just run away, don't waist your time. The stone will be yellowish or brownish in color, heavily visibly included, poor symmetry and polish, and poorly proprtioned. **Great deals in diamonds don't really exhist you get what you pay for or get ripped off. A good diamond in the carat weight can't be had that cheap; not even close.

EGL is usually grades off 2 in color and a full grade of in clarity compared to GIA. EGL can even be losser in their garding if not EGL USA. Really watch out for EGL Isreal their grading is waaaaaay too lax.

In a 1.75 CT + stone you really want a properly graded G or better and VS2 or better. A completely eye clean (from all angles) SI1 would be considered a rare find in these larger sizes.

Just out of curiosity what are the cut proportions?
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
Measurements are:
9.52 - 9.44 X 5.85 mm.

Forgive my ignorance but doesn't the HCO grading scale of 1.8 indicate that this is at least not awful?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,405
ironman1406|1311641714|2976730 said:
Sorry if I am beating a dead horse here, I just want to make sure I am not passing up something really good.
STOP DREAMING!! you can't buy filet mignon for hamburger price.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,152
I am not a risk taker at all, but I'd bet my house on that stone not coming back with the same grading by GIA. My advice to you is to tell the vendor that you want HIM to send the stone to GIA to prove that it is the same, and if it comes back graded the same as EGL, you'll buy it and pay for the GIA report. If it comes back lower, you walk.

That will all be a waste of time, but it will prove a point. You get what you pay for when buying retail.
 

RayEarth

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
46
GIA will take 4 weeks or more to grade a stone (AGS is faster but will not accept stones from consumers). Contrary to what everyone says, sometimes you can get a bargain with non-GIA/AGS certificated stones. A HCA score of <2 indicates that it is not a dud - but HCA obviously doesn't take into consideration inclusions, flurescence, etc only cut proportions.

I would do this: say to the jeweller that you really like the stone but not sure about the EGL certification. You are happy to pay for GIA or AGS certification together with return shipping (another $100). If the stone comes back as [H/I1] (or whatever floats your boat, remember to include other specifications such as flurescence etc) or higher, then you will undertake to go through with the transaction. Make sure the agreement is binding on the jeweller as well so that if the stone comes back as worth $35k+ he can't walk away either. Put all these things down in writing.

This way you don't risk your money on their "return policy".

So there is 97% chance you will lose your $300 dollars, but 3% chance you will gain $10k if the certification comes out ok. The NPV from the transaction is 0.97*-300+0.03*10000 = +$3. Score!
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,405
diamondseeker2006|1311645274|2976786 said:
I am not a risk taker at all, but I'd bet my house on that stone not coming back with the same grading by GIA. My advice to you is to tell the vendor that you want HIM to send the stone to GIA to prove that it is the same, and if it comes back graded the same as EGL, you'll buy it and pay for the GIA report. If it comes back lower, you walk.

That will all be a waste of time, but it will prove a point. You get what you pay for when buying retail.
i'll throw in my underwear along with DS's house... :lol:
 

Liam-Spillane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
21
HCA is only a rejection tool. There are pleanty of bad diamonds with scores of < 2. HCA doesn't see the whole diamond, and assumes other aspects are ideal.

I bought a RB GIA .75 VS2 G diamond that was just slightly out of ideal proportions for 3.6K (it scored a 1.3 HCA.) I compared it briefly to a much cheaper EGL diamond (2.1K) with the same color and clarity ratings, plus it had ideal proportions it scored a 1.0 HCA. The EGL diamond was worse in every aspect. It looked like a J in color and S11 in clarity ( and a bad one at that.) Also it was a fair amount less brilliant and sparkely, it displayed weird contrast in diffused lighting, and had blocky flashes of fire.
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
I really like this idea, and the prospect of being out 300$ to chase this is worth it to me (although I can appreciate the fact that it is not worth that for everyone) Assuming that it doesn't come back exactly the same, what would be considered still a good deal on the stone?
IE GIA or AGS I or J and SI 2 or I1? Assuming the price remained at 22k what would be the minimum before it is time to walk away?

thanks everyone for your insight and replies, I have learned a lot in a very short period of time.
 

ironman1406

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7
I guess put another way, what should a GIA I or J color with I1 clarity and the same proportions cost?
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
Put another way altogether: nobody here can see the stone, only you can.

With a EGL cert, nobody here is able to comment on the specs of the stone, because we are speaking 2 different languages. All guidance and recommendations are based on a single baseline reading.

You are a medical student right? A working analogy would be that GIA certs mean that you went for a blood check, and the lab results are out. The doctors on a medical forum can look at the lab report on the bloodwork and make comments on the patient's health, risk areas, which levels are higher or lower and whether it may/may not constitute a risk etc.

Imagine posting on a forum asking for medical advice using a lab report on bloodwork filled in by the patient's sister based on her best estimates. Or maybe filled in by her General Practitioner without any testing - just a guess. What would the other doctors on the forum say? I mean, EGL is not that bad really, but it is still a different language than what everyone is used to. So you can't compare.

After it gets a GIA grading, then the thread can revive. Can you find beautiful EGL stones? Yes. There is a H coloured I3 stone on ebay right now graded by EGL. Going for a steal. Look in diamond hangout for it.

ETA: I'm not trying to yank your chain, just giving you a heads of on how all over the place EGL is sometimes.
 

RayEarth

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
46
Personally I would not go below SI2 (but then again I bought a 1.8ct/F/VVS1 so everyone's different!). Given that the GIA results will most likely to be I or J and I1 clarity, the question for you is whether you are willing to buy a 3.2ct/J/I1 diamond for your girlfriend (leaving aside price for the moment)?

GIA prices:

A GIA 3.2ct/I/SI2 sells for ~35-38k (depending on cut)
A GIA 3.2ct/J/SI2 sells for ~30-33k (depending on cut)

https://www.pricescope.com/diamond-search-results/55504 I don't think many vendors (or customers) sell I1/I2 diamonds here on Pricescope.

In comparison, the EGL prices are:

3.27 H SI2 60.9% 61% EGL Excellent X X N $19145
3.29 G SI2 60.1% 58% EGL ISRAEL X VG F $24481
3.29 G SI2 60.4% 59% EGL USA X X N $27096
3.25 G SI1 62.9% 58% EGL Excellent X X N $25990
3.30 G SI1 62.6% 56% EGL Excellent X X N $28281
 
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