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Asscher Expectations

EarlyBirdAsscher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
44
Hello, all. I've been blown away by the wealth of information and expertise on this site. Many thanks to those of you who have so generously taken the time to make such helpful education available.

I'm in the market for an Asscher because I lost the diamond from my e-ring. The lost stone was an RB, .23, lovingly offered to me when my husband and I were poor college students. Almost 17 years later, it's time for an upgrade! though we still have pretty modest means. I didn't even know Asschers existed before I started browsing on line, and I'm totally in love with the clean lines (I prefer the standard to the Octavia). I don't need a ton of sparkle, just a simple, elegant, quality stone. I know Asschers are best when 1.5ct+, but I think anything will feel monstrous after my .23!

I was hoping to get a well-cut ~1ct, G, VS2 for close to $5k, but I'm wondering if it would be more realistic to budget $6k-7k. Going up in budget just means I'll have to wait longer to get it. As it is, I probably won't be purchasing for another 18 months (doing things the old fashioned way and saving before spending!), but I want to be able to plan well. I'm expecting another $2k or so for the setting: ideally a solitaire with subtle basket detailing (like Vatche #1019) but with split-claw prongs.

vatche1019.jpg

So first, what is a reasonable budget for those specs? I don't have to have a full carat, but would like as close to 5.5mm as I can get. I'd love an F color, but probably need to sacrifice that for cut quality.

Second, I've read that lots of PS members have been happy having GOG source their Asschers. But how is that different from having any other B&M source a stone? Is it because GOG has particular expertise in Asschers and will get better quality stones? From what I've read, GOG seems the way to go since the JA stones are usually of lesser quality. Is that right? But how do prices compare?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Lots of good questions. I'm sorry you lost your original ring.

So I think 6k is a good budget for the stone for you. You MAY be lucky that the right stone will end up being less.

But if you budget 6k, then you will be totally safe AND you will increase the pool of options to chose from, ensuring you get your pick of the largest selection, especially if you go for a more full service vendor like GOG.

Settings are a good news, bad news situation.
Good news is, you don't need 2k for the setting. 1500 for a nice platinum solitiare is going to be just fine. Bad news is split claw prongs are not recommended for a 5.5mm stone. Mine is 5.8mm and Steven Kirsch was doing my prongs and I still didn't get the double claw prongs. So I hate to disappoint you there, but I believe in the 'rip the band aid right off' approach to bad news.

Any of these settings would be a fabulous choice and will cost you 1500 or less in platinum.
http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/legato-sleek-line-solitaire-engagement-ring-728.htm
http://www.dimendscaasi.com/designer-jewelry/alessandra-14kt-white-gold-diamond-ring
http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/classic-truth-solitaire-platinum-5369p
http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/la-fleur-platinum-5936p

Even if you go custom, as long as you aren't talking hand forged (and there is no reason for going with handforged) you will be at 1500 or less for solitaire for that size stone.

As for GOG versus JA. They aren't lower quality stones at JA. They are just completely different business models. JA is self serve largely. You (with our help) pick best stones you can find out of the 100s they have available, ask for an ASET and if they can provide one they do, and then you make the decision and it's sent to you. They pay return shipping so it's pretty easy. GOG is full service. They vet the stones and select for you the best they can find and only bring in 3 or 4. You pay for the service up front. Then they make videos for you and do full work up on the stones including ASETs and SARIN. They will give you their recommendation and hold your hand every step of the way.

So you can start at JA. And see what we can find for you, when you are ready. Then if that doesn't turn up a winner, then you can call GOG and see what they can find for you. Or you can go straight to GOG.

There's no wrong way in this instance.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,287
Welcome! What I will tell you is that many local jewelers have probably ever even sold an asscher, and most do not check light return and leakage for you. That is why I went with GOG when buying a 1 ct asscher to go in a ring setting I had bought. We can look through other sites with photos at the time you are ready to purchase, and often GOG can call those stones in or choose some on their own. When I was looking, they had a couple in stock and he called a couple more in. I will post you the video of the stones I chose from. There is no telling what diamond prices will be in a year or 18 months, so we just can't even answer anything about pricing. Just because a stone might be $5k now does not mean that it will be the same in a year or more. Diamond prices have been low and seem to be creeping up just a bit. I usually look at VS1 and higher just due to step cuts showing inclusions more, but some VS2s will be fine. F-H color is usually fine unless you are very color sensitive, and in that case I'd stick with F-G. I think allowing for $6k will be more realistic than $5k, and the worst case is that you'll spend less. If prices go up in that time frame, you might need $7k, but there is no way we can project that.

Here's the video of my choices, and I selected the second stone from the left. (The last stone was too big for my setting.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7SBfNGxTFE&list=UUEV7slr-i-VduBBnfv9MxhA&index=2
 

EarlyBirdAsscher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
44
Gypsy, thanks so much for your prompt reply! Your search skills are truly extraordinary and those are some good setting options (I do really want platinum).

I do appreciate your honesty regarding the split claw prongs. Is it a safety concern since the stone is so small?

I'm intrigued by going custom. Honestly, I've looked at so many styles that I'm developing minute preferences but I had assumed custom would be $3k and up (I might have pulled that number out of thin air).

I'm also struggling with some halo schizophrenia. I want attention drawn to the center stone, its size, and lines so I don't like the way many halos blur the edge of the center stone. Of course, they do that to make the whole thing look bigger - which is something I wouldn't mind, especially given my budget - but sometimes I think the halo makes the center stone look smaller than it actually is. Am I delusional? Bezel halos help because they outline the center stone, but I really don't like bezels.
bezelhalo.jpg
Could you achieve a similar effect with an air line (is that what it's called?); space between the center stone and the halo? or is that structurally unsound? I've thought of using sapphires in the halo, but I'm not sure I'd like the look long term.
sapphirehalo.jpg

This is why I'm starting my search so early - hopefully I'll have time to sift through my excitement at all the possibilities and settle on what I really like.
 

EarlyBirdAsscher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
44
diamondseeker, I had actually already found and viewed your video! It was very helpful and makes me quite confident that between PS member input and potentially using GOG I'll find something I love. Your setting with the pink sapphires and amazing basket is exquisite.

And you're right to remind me of price fluctuation. I had heard diamond prices were down and slowly starting up, but I just can't purchase right now. Do you think I can stick near $6k even bumping clarity up to VS1? Is there much price difference between VS1 and VS2, or are the jumps greater between VS2 and SI1, and VVS2 and VS1?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,287
Every stone is different in regard to clarity. There may be some perfectly fine VS2s in asschers, and others that are not. I wouldn't worry too much about the price difference between VS1 and VS2 in that size stone. You see more of an impact on price with larger stones.

I love a halo on an asscher. It is kind of like the frame on a painting. I think you can do prong set, like mine, or a thinner milgrain bezel and be fine. I don't like a wide shiny bezel because I think that does detract from the stone. There simply is not room for double claw prongs on many asschers this size because the corners are too small. I really prefer a halo on asschers as opposed to in a solitaire. Gypsy is a great example because she also has an asscher that was in a solitaire originally, but she later changed to a halo and it made a big impact on the overall appearance of her stone.

I think Beverley K would be a great choice for a halo setting. They make the rings for the particular stone, and some you see with different shape stones can also be made for an asscher. Here is one, but they also make some with the sapphire halo. I love sapphires, but I think I'd personally prefer diamonds for an engagement ring.

http://www.beverleyk.com/halo/r370-a-d.html
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,287

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Yeah, the issue with the double prongs is the size of the corners. They just aren't big enough for two prongs to look good. Even Steven's super thing prongs.

Believe me, you will fall for a 101 different settings for your stone before you even buy it.

I had a think shanked X prong on my solitaire and my halo gives me the illusion of size and is prong set. But it does blur the lines a little. However it's less than you think with an asscher because of the contrast of the step cut facets and the melee facets.

I would focus right now on saving up the funds you can. Then we'll find you a beautiful stone.

The best advice I can offer you about settings is this. Get the stone unset. Take it around to you to different store and pop it into as many settings (just balance it in the prongs, most jewelers will happily let you do this) as you can see what you like.

That was the most helpful thing for me. Asschers have personalities, and seeing things in person is VERY different from seeing them online.
 
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