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Advice on Vintage/Antique Ring Please!

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
Hello All! I have been reading these boards for a few months now and have just registered so that I can get some input about my current quandary.
First of all, I am a lover of everything vintage and always imagined that when I got engaged I would have a vintage ring. I was never sure what kind of ring - just that it would be vintage. I also am not a huge diamond fan (sorry!) BUT I have found that I do love old diamonds with beautiful chunky facets. They just seem so romantic to me.
So here is the situation. I have been looking and looking and looking for rings (for 4 months!). I have large-ish fingers so I really wanted to find something with some finger coverage for less than $7000 (and preferably less than $5000). I finally found what I thought I was looking for on ebay! We paid $5100 for a 1 carat platinum ring and I felt pretty good about that. Not great - but good. It is a beautiful setting with additional diamonds and sapphires and lots of filigree. I knew that the diamond was not OEC or OMC and therefore not original but I have seen old RBC that I actually like so I thought it may not be a problem. When I received the ring, my breath was taken away by how beautiful it was, but I immediately noticed that I did not love the diamond. Just something about it was not doing it for me. So I have been SICK in my stomach trying to decide whether to return this beautiful ring because the diamond just doesn't feel right to me - and I wanted to hear what you all thought.
The diamond has a GIA cert and I took it to David Wolf (found him through this site), and everything checks out. It has good stats - it is G color, SI1. But David said it was not the kind of SI1 you would want (lots of twinning wisps - not visible to the naked eye though) - and that it was cut with a very thick girdle to up the carat weight. I don't really care about these things - I just care about how it looks, and to me, it is underwhelming.However, if I return this ring I will be looking at diamonds more in the J-O color range (this setting made the diamond seem bigger but the other diamonds I am looking at are 1.3-2.0 cts), so I wonder if I am being crazy being so hard on this particular diamond. but then I wonder if it is crazy to buy a ring with a diamond you don't particularly love?

Here is a link to the old listing for the ring that includes the stats from the GIA Report (I thought the stats looked good, but David Wolf says the way it is cut is not anything anyone would want now- he thinks it's from the 80s):
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=390310841623&si=cHqcS%252FEdKs21hnbLzoc26tOXbEk%253D&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT
If the link doesn't work it is item # 390310841623 if it is possible to search for completed items like that...

What do you think (and thank you for talking me through this!)?
 

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
The attachments did not come through the first time - here is another try.

IMG_0759.jpg

IMG_0770.jpg
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775
Interesting.. super shallow pav, and yet the overly thick girdle removes any positives that may have come from sacrificing light return to take advantage of the extra spread such a shallow pavilion ought to result in.

I'd return, no questions. What's the point in spending 5k on something you don't adore? Worse, the focal point of the ring is the thing you're unsure about!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
I'd return as well. My grandmother used to say, "When in doubt....don''t" and I think it applies in your case. For 5K I'd want either a true OEC or OMC or an ideal cut stone. You can find a similar setting easily enough.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775

artdecogirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Messages
1,142
Lovely ring, I have watched many of their items and they have some great stuff but that said, if you do not love it and have any doubts, back it should go! You do not want to look down at your hand every day and wish you had done it differently.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Yssie|1306188096|2928556 said:
Yssie, I love your picks - and I particularly love the ring from Timeless Antiques on Ruby Lane! I would snap that baby up myself, if I didn't already have a ring I loved. :rodent:

CarryOn, I definitely think it's worth continuing the hunt - there are a lot of beautiful vintage rings out there, and there's no reason to settle for less than perfection. Your budget is generous - I think you'll be able to find something amazing. I'll keep an eye out, too, and see what I can dig up ....
 

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
Thank you everyone for all of your responses already! I have to run out for a couple hours so I can't respond to everyone - but I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! I had already started the return process and after hearing from all of you I think I am doing the right thing. My poor fiance is SO READY for the ring process to be over, but for me it is a very involved thing.
Yssie - I took a quick look at your ring and that was the real clincher for me. Your diamond is just stunning and I want to feel that way about my ring as well! I just want it to take my breath away. Why can't all diamonds be just as beautiful? How did your find your stones?

I might have to post a few pics of the other rings I am looking at and get everyone's opinions...I wish I had posted here ages ago! I feel a million times better already feeling like I have support. Choosing an engagement ring is so much more intense than I had imagined it would be...
The seller - Diamondten - has actually been great throughout the process. No complaints. I am a little suspicious about whether they found a cheapish diamond and put it in the setting themselves (which I flat out asked them and they denied) - but so far they have been very accommodating with my questions and with the return. I would probably buy from them again if I saw something I wanted.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775
Sorry, I missed your reply earlier - thank you! I found mine on the virtual inventory and had whiteflash vet it - I got lucky with it!

I have to say I have completely fallen for the charm of antiques myself, so I definitely understand the yearning - good to hear that the vendor is accommodating the return without hassle. Your FI will forget this stress when he sees you beam every time you look at the new ring on your finger, I'm very sure ::)
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
You should not like, but love your ERing! So if you are wavering then return it and keep looking.
 

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
Ok I'm back for a moment! Still wavering on the ring if you can even believe it...took my fiance to look at some rings with me yesterday (we live in NYC so there are quite a lot of B&M options) and although I saw many things I like (as usual) I didn't see anything I LOVED. Especially with vintage rings, it is so difficult to find something that has everything you are looking for - especially as in regards to setting AND stone. So I came home to this ring that I haven't sent back yet and I thought - well - I'm not in love with this diamond but it sure is whiter and has less inclusions than anything else I am looking at or really expect to find at my price range in an OEC or OMC. The really difficult part for me is how perfect the setting is. It is in truly amazing condition and the incredibly detailed filigree open work is beautiful. I have looked at A LOT of rings (thousands) and I don't think I have seen another antique ring in this condition with this amount of fine detailing at this price.

Anyway, thank you so much for the links everyone!
Yssie - your researching skills are amazing! Maybe you should be a personal ring finder? I bet people would pay money for that! I sure would. I have been looking at most of those sites for a while but have been very hesitant to order anything online. So much of a ring for me is how it looks on my finger which is of course impossible to tell until you actually get to try it on. I had just happened to try on a ring almost identical to this particular ring that I got from ebay (except with a 1.56 OEC stone and at $10,000), so I felt confident that I knew what it would look like in person.

D&T - Why do you think that is priced so low??? That seems insane. If I don't like the setting (it says "retro" yellow gold) - do you think it is crazy to buy a ring for just the diamond? What questions would you all ask about a vintage ring from an ebay seller to try to determine the quality of the diamond? Just risk it and order it and see for yourself? I can see inclusions in the pics...do you think they are negligible in person? I have also been looking through OWD for a while now. They are here in NYC so I should probably just go take a look in person. I just have no idea what I would want for a setting then...decisions decisions.

ArtDecoGirl - is your ring antique? How did you find it? How did you settle on a style?

Circe - Please do let me know if you find anything great!

I have a few other questions for all of you incredibly helpful people!
1) Judging from the GIA report for this diamond, how much do you think it is worth? Do you think I overpaid at $5100 for the whole ring (if I decide to keep it)?
2) For some reason the diamond just does not look as sparkly as I think it could be - but I can't really describe it. It looks very clear and eye clean and has no dark spots - and my fiance just does not see what I am talking about. I feel like I can see so many lines in it though. Do you think I am overly critical or can anyone relate to what I am saying? Do you think a thick girdle could cause this (I have read that a thick girdle mainly causes a smaller spread which is Ok for me).
3) Has anyone else spent months looking for an engagement ring and if so how did your fiance handle it?

And finally - I have a couple other rings that I have questions about. I will post those rings in a second!
 

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
Ok, so here are my questions about additional rings. (I can be sooo long winded - sorry!).

I am looking at a 1.37ct OEC M color SI1 graded as such by UGL (I know, I know - but there aren't great options for grading stones when they are in rings). It is priced at $5950. My main concerns are that it is priced too high - that would probably be an O color for GIA right? That should be a fairly inexpensive stone, no? Also, it is the strangest stone I have ever seen. The facets are beautiful - very chunky and change every time you tilt the ring - but it is the most difficult ring to get a handle on. The light changes in it so much from light to dark that I can't even really tell you what the color looked like - and it comes out super dark in all the pictures. Here is the report and ring listing: http://antiqueengagementrings.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=3123 and I am going to upload a pic of it on my finger. Please let me know what you think of the diamond itself (I know it is almost impossible to tell with not a great pic).


IMG_0870.jpg


My other question is about a ring that has captivated me for a while - I think the diamond is just beautiful though I feel it may need a bit of polish (is that affordable/doable/easy?). It is 1.3 ct, supposedly H color and VS1 (no cert), OEC. My fiance doesn't like it because it sits a little high in that sort of Edwardian style. It is in a simple platinum setting - and the band is actually a little wonky as in not completely straight. Would that worry you? The ring is almost 100 years old, though. The diamond does not look very big in person - the 1.37 ct M color looks bigger for some reason - but it sparkles rainbows and is so white! I guess I am just wondering what you think of the look of it and if you think it is overpriced. (sorry for the pudgy pinkie shot)


IMG_0861.jpg

Thank you thank you amazing pricescope community!
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Return it. You can definitely, absolutely postively find a great antique piece- with the original antique cut stone- for that price. Yes, you might end up with a lower color mostly because high color antique cuts are a rarity on the market. If you're patient, however, you may well find somethign that's high color.

If it was a much smaller diamond, I'd say there's no reason not to keep a killer setting with a meh small diamond. (Like around quarter carat is what I mean by "small"- I have several antique rings with not-so-great diamonds around that size just because I liked the setting.) But in a piece like this, the center stone is a substantial part of the price so no, I wouldn't keep it- and especially since you're not just on the fence about it, it but actually dislike the look of the stone- definitely return!

You did, however, get a pretty decent price on this ring so do be aware that was a bit of luck and you might indeed have to go down in color a bit.

And if you don't see what you want right now for sale? Wait. Seriously. It can take some patience finding just the right antique piece. A few months at least is what I'd give it.

Another option, which is what I did actually, is buy the center stone loose first. Then set it in something super cheap, and wait until you find the right antique setting and get that later. OldWorldDiamonds.com is a good source for OECs/OMCs, as is JewelsbyEricaGrace.com. Or GoodOldGold.com for newly cut antique cushions and OECs. (The temp setting I used for my OEC was actually a pretty, repro filigree setting from jewelryrings.com; the price was great and although of course the setting was not remotely top quality it looked fine from arm's length and worked great for a few months.)

Good luck!
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Oops, that's what I get for not reading the whole thread! The other two rings sound like you've found some nice OECs in terms of liking the light return etc. However in terms of price- I'm really behind on current prices right now, they've gone so high so fast. So, though my first impulse is to think they price on the first is a bit high- but it might not be.

It's hard to tell much from the pic of the first one. The odd light/dark thing sounds like a function of cut. I'd probably pass on it, but that's personal preference. The second one looks like it's got nice patterning, and I like the antique-but-simpler style of setting. Off roundness is often an incrediblly easy fix, especially in a less ornate setting.

The lack of cert, or second-tier-lab cert, is typical of old cuts unfortunately. Independant appraisers- which it sounds like you've got lined up, which is great- are very helpful in that situation.


ETA: How much is the second one?

Also, I do think the price you paid for the ring you have right now was great. BUT, I am really not a fan of the meh-cut round brilliant put into an antique setting. And if a diamond doesn't sparkle, what use is it? So yeah, despite the good price, I'd return it and go with a lower color with a great cut.

And yet another edit, lol. I just browsed OldWorldDiamond.com's inventory and there is a LOT in your price range. If you're trying to weed through the listings, I typically use these stats: depth 59-63%, table preferably mid 50% or under. (Not to say antique cuts outside that range aren't sometimes gorgeous- but it's a good start and a good way to cut down on the slush pile, lol.) And EGL USA is preferable to any EGL intermational certs. Adam at OWD is super helpful at being your "eyes" over the phone and recommending which diamond is better cut etc.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Hey, CO! I remembered somebody posting this gorgeous piece a while back: figured it might be up your alley! If I was in the market for a right-hand ring ... :love:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360358293857&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Going off of today's prices, I don't think the 2nd ring you posted is overpriced: frankly, given the weird market fluctuations, I don't think the first one is, either! But they're certainly two very different rings. I'm getting the sense you're still figuring out exactly what you're looking for, so my best advice would be take your time. I know it's hard to be patient, but I think you'll be happier if you get exactly what you want.

P.S. - Since you're in NY, may I suggest Stephen Herdemian for a visit? I bought my last two pieces of jewelry from him, and found him to be reasonably priced with a good selection. He has a website, here: http://www.shantiques.com The site doesn't cover half of what he has in his shop, but it should give you a sense of prices, offerings, etc.
 

Sheherizaad

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
244
If you live in the city, please stop by my Jeweler Allen. The stores name is Bianca's Jewlers and they're on Lex between 54th and 55th street. He has some settings that I know you'd love and more importantly can source a stone like no ones business!!
 

Sky56

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
1,037
Don't buy an antique diamond that looks too dark - you will never be happy with it. (I've made that mistake before) I'm a fan of antique diamonds, but it takes time and patience to find one that looks pleasing to the eye and has the specs you like. As you know, you want 'lively and bright.' Cut is King.

Take your time and don't buy something you are not totally in love with.
By the way, I understand your attraction to the first ring (the one you are thinking of returning) Its setting is beautiful - right up my alley. But you and the others are right - the diamond is meh. Best wishes and happy hunting.
 

CarryOn

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
6
A ring update! I did finally return the ring. As much as I found the setting beautiful, I hated feeling like I had doubts and I didn't want to carry that around with me. And you all made me feel SO MUCH BETTER that this process has taken so long. So thank you thank you!

Circe - I have been visiting Herdemian often :) Actually the second ring I posted pics of - in the octagonal setting - is a Herdemian ring. Do you find that you can negotiate prices with him or is he firm? I am glad to hear that you trust him and have had good experiences.

So I have found a ring that I like but it is over my budget. I can't decide if it's worth it to go over budget just to have a ring I love - so I thought I would get some of your opinions!

This ring is a 1.22 carat OEC center stone, K color, VS clarity (no certificate). Through the loop, to my eye, the diamond looks very clean and nice, though it is a little yellow. I don't think that bothers me - it is not dark, just a little lemony. The baguettes around the main stone are truly beautiful and so elegant and unique. The ring is $8650 which I feel is overpriced - but it is a retail store that buys from vendors so I know you are paying for a couple levels of markup. It is in perfect condition, though. Unfortunately the only pics I have are a couple that I took in the store and they are not great at all. It is kind of a stair step style, but unlike any stair step I have seen anywhere else. It is a very austere art deco look.

Maloy%20Photo%201.png

Maloy%20Ring%202_0.png

What do you think? Should I convince my fiance that it is worth it to go up to $8600?
 

Sheherizaad

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
244
I don't know. Id be very weary of spending $8600 without a certificate. How do we as laymen tell the difference between a VS1 and a VS2? Or a K or an L? That's a thousand dollar difference in jumps.

I'm too much of a wuss to buy any substantial diamond without a valid GIA or AGS cert. Good luck though!!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
It is overpriced IMO but there is something to be said if you really love it. I'd try to negotiate down the price and you do go through with it, I'd make the sale contingent upon an evaluation of a independent appraiser, even better if they will send it to an appraiser before you put down any money. The biggest thing when buying antique's in making sure you are getting what you are paying for and an independent appraiser can help you with that by giving you an unbias report on the stone/setting and the fair market value.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
2,885
CarryOn - have you seen this semimount from JbEG? it reminds me of your first setting that you returned....
http://jewelsbyericagrace.smugmug.com/Jewelry/Mountings/Antique-Platinum-Diamond-and/15863096_PCZeS#1189470481_NNq9Y

it is priced at $2275 currently, and you could make an offer on it. it takes an 8mm stone though, and a quick search at OWD didn't turn up anything in that size in your price range. that's not to say you couldn't find something, depending up on how low you are willing to go in color/clarity!

also, JbEG says they are looking at adding this setting to their own lineup, so if you do like it, you could have it made for any size stone. they are also able and willing to be on the lookout for a great stone for you that matches up with your criteria. it might be worth giving them a call to see what they can do for you within your budget.

one last thing, i also second Old World Diamonds (OWD). i purchased my OEC from them and i absolutely LOVE it! adam sent me other stones before i decided upon this one, and the one i chose is the one he picked and recommended. he had a fantastic eye and nailed what i was looking for (killer fire/brilliance/facet patterning). his prices were fantastic too, and he came down from the listed prices when i asked if he could do better. don't let the duds on his site fool you - he's got some amazing diamonds and he really seems to know his inventory inside out. if you talk to him about what you want, he comes back with great options and i found him to be honest and forthright too.

good luck CO and hang in there, your dream ring will come even if it takes some patience!!
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
CarryOn|1306906943|2935198 said:
A ring update! I did finally return the ring. As much as I found the setting beautiful, I hated feeling like I had doubts and I didn't want to carry that around with me. And you all made me feel SO MUCH BETTER that this process has taken so long. So thank you thank you!

Circe - I have been visiting Herdemian often :) Actually the second ring I posted pics of - in the octagonal setting - is a Herdemian ring. Do you find that you can negotiate prices with him or is he firm? I am glad to hear that you trust him and have had good experiences.

So I have found a ring that I like but it is over my budget. I can't decide if it's worth it to go over budget just to have a ring I love - so I thought I would get some of your opinions!

This ring is a 1.22 carat OEC center stone, K color, VS clarity (no certificate). Through the loop, to my eye, the diamond looks very clean and nice, though it is a little yellow. I don't think that bothers me - it is not dark, just a little lemony. The baguettes around the main stone are truly beautiful and so elegant and unique. The ring is $8650 which I feel is overpriced - but it is a retail store that buys from vendors so I know you are paying for a couple levels of markup. It is in perfect condition, though. Unfortunately the only pics I have are a couple that I took in the store and they are not great at all. It is kind of a stair step style, but unlike any stair step I have seen anywhere else. It is a very austere art deco look.

Maloy%20Photo%201.png

Maloy%20Ring%202_0.png

What do you think? Should I convince my fiance that it is worth it to go up to $8600?
Firm and steadfast, in my experience - but as far as I can tell from the purchases I've made, he starts off damn near close to the rock-bottom market price. I research my purchases obsessively, and I haven't found a single comparable piece out there with a lower price. And he's consistent, too - I waited three months to buy one heavy platinum bracelet, during which metals prices skyrocketed, and he stuck by his original price quote, which I quite appreciated. Of course, I haven't been buying large center-stones, which can change the game a little ... but my gut instinct would be to trust him (and follow up with a good appraiser, of course, as I would with anyone).

Re: the K ... I wouldn't pay that much for an uncerted stone unless I was irrationally in love with it, and only you can say whether or not that's the case. I've been there, on occasion, and every piece I felt that way about, I've never regretted. I will say that (if it was me, anyway), if you felt that strongly, I think you would have bought it instead of coming to check for a second opinion ... so I'd keep looking. So far, all the rings you like have a distinct family resemblance, but I don't get the sense that any one of them is head-and-shoulders above the rest: it seems worth waiting until you find one that is.
 

artdecogirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Messages
1,142
Hello Carryon, I really like the look of this last ring, Just lovely and those side stones are very elegant looking :love: To answer your questions, The ring in my avatar is not my engagement ring but a rhr, I got it years ago from Dover on ebay, I have always loved the look of the halos with the french cut colored gemstones and would love to have one for a ering but never found one in budget. :nono: Let us know if you go for it, It's a gorgeous ring!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
rainydaze|1306939267|2935347 said:
CarryOn - have you seen this semimount from JbEG? it reminds me of your first setting that you returned....
http://jewelsbyericagrace.smugmug.com/Jewelry/Mountings/Antique-Platinum-Diamond-and/15863096_PCZeS#1189470481_NNq9Y

it is priced at $2275 currently, and you could make an offer on it. it takes an 8mm stone though, and a quick search at OWD didn't turn up anything in that size in your price range. that's not to say you couldn't find something, depending up on how low you are willing to go in color/clarity!

also, JbEG says they are looking at adding this setting to their own lineup, so if you do like it, you could have it made for any size stone. they are also able and willing to be on the lookout for a great stone for you that matches up with your criteria. it might be worth giving them a call to see what they can do for you within your budget.
I think this is an excellent suggestion and would pursue this if you can.
 
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