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Average size engagement ring

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twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
Hi,
I was wondering if someone can tell me what the average size diamond is for an engagement ring in Canada for someone in their early twenties. Thank you. I''m new and this is my first post.
 

WalnutCrunch

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
48
----------------
On 3/17/2003 3
6:31 PM twinkly wrote:

Hi,
I was wondering if someone can tell me what the average size diamond is for an engagement ring in Canada for someone in their early twenties. Thank you. I'm new and this is my first post.
----------------

This is by no means a scientific experiment, but I know a few people here in Vancouver who recently got engaged/married and I also had my girlfriend ask around at work. We're all in our mid-twenties. Here's a list:
* .78 F VS1, no cut info
* .80, no other info
* .79 D SI1 AGS ideal-0 Canadian
* .72 E SI1 AGS ideal-0 Canadian (mine!)
* .43 F VS2 (from Birks)

Not surprisingly, two friends who work in the States were able to afford 1ct, high-colour stones for their fiancees.

Again, I don't know how this represents the actual trend, but the 70's seems to be the size of choice within this sample group.

But it all depends on how you prioritize the 4 C's. As you can see in the list above, there's a lot of different approaches. Most people here at PriceScope (and most experts in the diamond world) would say that Cut is by far the most important, and I would have to agree. My priorities were in this order: Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat, and (as some Cdn diamond propaganda refer to as "the fifth C") Country.

WC
 

twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
Hi Walnut Crunch,
Thanks for your reply. I agree that cut is the most important C. Birks specializes in their cut, so would anyone have any comments with the quality at Birks?
 

WalnutCrunch

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
48
As I mentioned above, one of my friends purchased from Birks and he's quite happy with his experience there. The service was great and so was the presentation of the product. You also get the extras like a really good return policy, upgrade policy, and 10-month interest free payment plan (using their Birks Card I think).

As far as the quality is concerned, I don't think their product is any better than what you can get at a good local jeweller. I heard that their Canadian diamonds are cut by the same cutters that do some other branded and non-branded Canadian diamonds. In any event, you can get a well-cut stone at any reputable jeweller. Birks assigns cut grades to their stones. I suspect their ideal range is the same as other "ideal" designations (such as AGS ideal-0), where you'll often find some badly proportioned stones in there with the good ones. The only way to tell if a cut is good is to read up on cut and figure it out with the numbers and your eyes. Don't go to Birks for the reason of getting a great cut, you can find that anywhere at almost 1/2 the price.

And I don't think anyone can say that their settings are any better in quality than what you can get from a local goldsmith, either.

Just understand that you are paying a premium for the name; you can probably get something of the same quality or better from a local jeweller/goldsmith for a fraction of the price. If you (or whoever will end up wearing the ring) must have the Birks name, then go for it. I'll recommend that you go with a setting that's exclusive to Birks (such as the Birks Blue collection with the signature sapphire), that way you can actually see that the ring came from Birks.

For more details on Birks, do a search in the forums here and you'll find a few postings about it. There's also lots of info about Cut in the great tutorial available here.

Happy shopping!
WC
 

sirene

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
29
Hi twinkly,
My friends and I are rather unusual, we're all in our mid 20's to early 30's and have small diamond e-rings. The biggest stone is a 1/2 carat. We all have decent-paying, "professional" jobs (several of us are accountants, in management, or in health care). One of my best friends decided to forego the diamond altogether because she felt it was too ostentatious.

One day my DH & I will probably get a larger stone, but I think I'll continue to wear my 1/4 ct to work (a community mental health team). I spend most days casually dressed in jeans, because that what most of our clients wear. I would feel uncomfortable sporting a "big rock". (Then again, maybe I should try it before I make a decision
! LOL)


Just another point of view. Good luck finding the perfect ring!
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,915
Hi There,
I dont think there is any ideal "size in Canada" apart from personal preference. I know quite a few friends & co-workers in there mid 20's that have .75 to 1.0 ct stones. Most prefer larger stones.
I'm in my late 30's & have a 1.5ct stone & no way do I think it looks gaudy on my 5 1/2 size finger. When I was in my mid 20's I wanted a 1.ct stone. ;-)
As for Birks...well... I've said it before, & I'll say it again, you dont need to go there to get quality. I did the rounds & was not impressed with the pricing. I found them incredibly overpriced for the customer service one should expect to get anywhere. I dont find their Trade-up policy customer friendly at all yet they pushed this option down my throat. Also, they made an issue that their Birks document is backed by GIA. ??? Yes, they do have GIA certs & think this is special wheras in the U.S its very commonplace to get a cert with your stone (usually GIA or AGS) & oftentimes, expected or vendors risk the loss of a sale.
I agree with Walnut Crunch, that with some education you can get the same or better quality for much cheaper than you would going to Birks. Also, their rings arent that special, nice, but not as special as they would like you to believe.
Besides, the styles are very limited but they would gladly have you meet with their in-house designer to design something for you but then tack on a fortune for the custom work. Can you tell I'm not a fan of Birks. Dont get me wrong, I've purchased pens & such in there myself but think they are overpriced when it comes to diamonds. My fiance payed less than 1/2 of what Birks wanted for a similar ring & my ring has .31cts of diamonds in setting.


Judy
:)
 

twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
Thanks for all your replies. Can someone tell me what they think of this cut?
I've tried to plug it into the HCA calculator but it doesn't work, maybe I'm doing something wrong

0.80 ct.
table: 55%
total depth: 61.8%
girdle: medium to slightly thick
crown angle:34.0
crown depth: 15.2%
pavilion depth: 43.4%
polish: very good
symmetry: very good
flour: very faint
 

Rank Amateur

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
1,553
Looks good from here. I'll try to put it in the HCA for you, but you are lacking the all-important pavillion angle. All you can do then is look with your own eyes!

BTW, I paid cash for a .50 G VVS2 (if memory serves) back when I was in my early twenties. I never considered it anything but the perfect size; however, I did upgrade quite a bit when my wife recently lost the stone. Thinking about how much I originally overpaid makes my stomach turn!!
 

twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
What important angles am I lacking? Is that why I couldn't use the HCA calculator?
Thanks for your help.
 

Rank Amateur

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
1,553
Factor Grade
Light Return Very Good
Fire Very Good
Scintillation Good
Spread Very Good

Total Visual Performance 3.3 - Very Good - Worth buying if the price is right

Garry says the results are less acurate with % than angles. I got your result combining your given crown angle and the pavillion per cent. You are missing the pavillion angle and the culet size to get a more accurate HCA score. (The pav angle is the most important of the lot!)
 

Roundbrilliant

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Messages
1
I am new to this conversation but I just wanted to reply to all the negativity towards Birks. I think that there are no deals when it comes to buying diamonds and at Birks you do get what you pay for when buying diamonds in particular. Birks only sells Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds and are of a quality over and above the GIA/AGS. When you compare a Birks diamonds it shows in the brilliance. Birks diamonds are even a better cut than Tiffany's. Tiffany's was unable to keep up with the supply of the "perfect cut" diamond so changed their formula slightly but since Birks was a smaller chain they were able to keep up with the production of this quality cut. I really do not think you should expressing such negative views on one jewellery store. Long story short, you do get what you pay for, so if you are paying less you are getting less.
 

canadianice

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
82
Roundbrilliant -

Sorry, I do not agree with you about your comment, "Birks only sells Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds and are of a quality over and above the GIA/AGS." Sounds like you have listened to the Birks salespeople one too many times!

First of all, GIA does not list "Ideal" specifications on their reports, and the Birks Ideal is a variation on the AGS Ideal and Tolkolsky Ideal cut stones. Whether they are "over and above" is purely speculative. The Birks Ideal also is a significant premium over their Excellent cut diamonds. The Birks "Excellent" cut doesn't always pass muster either: I have seen some diamonds that are too steep or too deep for my preferences.

I have been to Birks and -- don't get me wrong -- they have fine products, but they come with a seriously hefty pricetag. In no way are their diamonds better than what you can find if you know what to look for and are willing to do a little work -- at other stores or on the internet.

Birks, for example, does not sell diamonds with perfect optical symmetry (such as Hearts and Arrows) unless it is sheer luck. And I have seen many Birks diamonds without proper pavilion or crown angles, nor top-notch polish/symmetry. I have even seen a diamond at the Bay/Bloor with its Birks Certificate stating "Birks Excellent Cut", yet some of the parameters fell outside the Birks "Excellent" range -- surely an error, but that diamond wasn't worth the heap of money being charged for it.

What can be certain is this: Birks will be about a 50-100 per cent mark-up, so you won't be getting any "deals" there. Much, much better prices can be found with a little bit of research, and some education.

A diamond doesn't inherently become better once it is inscribed with the "Birks" trademark!
 

dragonsheart

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Messages
20
1/4 to 3/4 carets is about what I have seen with people in there early 20's. i think if a person is nice enough to give you one it does not matter what size it is.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
I'm in Seattle, age 22 and going for 1.33ct SI1 J center and 0.5ct SI2 J sides!
I will admit to stretching my budget all to hell though.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,147

----------------
On 6/7/2003 2:43
6 PM Roundbrilliant wrote:

I am new to this conversation but I just wanted to reply to all the negativity towards Birks. I think that there are no deals when it comes to buying diamonds and at Birks you do get what you pay for when buying diamonds in particular. Birks only sells Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds and are of a quality over and above the GIA/AGS. When you compare a Birks diamonds it shows in the brilliance. Birks diamonds are even a better cut than Tiffany's. Tiffany's was unable to keep up with the supply of the "perfect cut" diamond so changed their formula slightly but since Birks was a smaller chain they were able to keep up with the production of this quality cut. I really do not think you should expressing such negative views on one jewellery store. Long story short, you do get what you pay for, so if you are paying less you are getting less.

----------------
Roundbrilliant: I think you misunderstand. There isn't a negativity toward Birks (or Tiffany's, Cartier, etc.). Instead, there is a desire to make sure that anyone considering a purchase at the "BIG NAME" jewelers understands that they are paying for the NAME....not the diamond.

Birks does not cut their own diamonds....neither does Tiffany's, Cartier, etc. They buy them.....from the same suppliers that everyone else does. What does this mean? It means that any smart consumer can get the same quality diamond from another vendor without paying the insidious "name" markup. There is positively NO difference other than the name.

Having said that, there are people who feel that the status of the name is worth paying 50-80% more, and for those people, Birks et. al. are fine choices. But WalnutCrunch is right on the money......you can obtain a diamond with equal or better cut proportions to those offered at Birks, Tiff's, etc. for a whole lot less money. For those people who don't have an unlimited budget, that is important information to have.
 

twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
Hello,
I'm not sure how true this is but when I was at Birks, they told me that they get the first pick (or priority pick) in diamonds, and that they have their own cutter. (their cutter may cut for others...I don't know)
I'm not defending BIrks or am I putting it down. I'm just wondering if they do get priority to chose their stones.
Also, is Birks really considered "Canadian Tiffany's"?

Twinkly
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,147

----------------
On 6/9/2003 4:33:39 PM twinkly wrote:
Hello,
I'm not sure how true this is but when I was at Birks, they told me that they get the first pick (or priority pick) in diamonds, and that they have their own cutter. (their cutter may cut for others...I don't know)
I'm not defending BIrks or am I putting it down. I'm just wondering if they do get priority to chose their stones.
Also, is Birks really considered "Canadian Tiffany's"?

Twinkly----------------
Birks is most likely considered the Canadian Tiffany's because they also tout the blue box.

Birks is a RETAILER. That means they resell things that they bought from someone else.

You mentioned what you were told at Birks, and that's a fine marketing job they did. The guy at Zales tried to tell me that a G colored diamond was among the most rare of diamonds, too, but that doesn't make it so just because he said it.

Bottom line.....you can find diamonds whose quality is equal to (or perhaps even superior to) that of Birks for a substantial savings elsewhere. If the Birks name is what motivates you, though, you may choose to buy from Birks.

I cannot personally speak as to what preferential selection options Birks might get, but I know that several vendors here carry SUPER IDEAL diamonds. What does this mean. It means that even if I believed that Birks does get "first pick", that doesn't make them the only source for top-quality diamonds.

My comments, by the way, aren't for or against Birks. It's just to say that you can get a better deal for an equal or better diamond elsewhere IF price matters to you and name does not. For those to whom name matters, enjoy purchasing at Birks in good health.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Hmm well I'm later 20s but my ring is 1.25c. Jax is early 20's (a poster on this board) and I think her ring is 1.34 or something like that. My friends have a spread of different sizes (Some have .50 - .75...others have 1c+).

It's really your preference!! The average across the US is always heavily debated as you have more urban areas vs more rural areas...obviously there will be differences. Not too sure about Canada but you have gotten some excellent responses!


BTW the HCA score that someone posted for your IMO means that you should keep looking. 3.3 on the HCA is an okay scoring, but if you are just starting to look, you can DEFINITELY do better!! If you want, you can post specs and your budget and people are always more than happy to guide you towards what THEY would buy with those specs, given the chance.

Good luck!
 

kim

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
11
Hello,

I know that Birks is a very high quality "Retailer" - but that's just it - they sell stones at retial prices... If you wanna get a good stone just like the ones that they sell at birks you need to see a wholesaler because you will only pay half the price of what birks charges!!! Good luck...


 

twinkly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
34
Thanks for all your replies!!
I will for sure come to all you experts for advice.
 

dutti22

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Messages
2
Hello,

Perhaps this question is more aimed at the women in forum - but any opinions that can be provided are appreciated. I am going to propose in the next couple months to my girlfriend and have, through listening to what she says about her girlfriend's rings, figured out her preferences. I can afford to spend about $8K on a ring (at most). I was offered my grandmother's ring by my mom to use, which is a much nicer ring than I was otherwise able to purchase. It is beautiful and has a 2 carat center stone w/ 2 very small baguettes on the side. Additionally, it fit all of the preferences that I have picked up from my gf over recent months. So I got it professionally cleaned, etc. and it looks great.
The only problem is, she made a comment a night ago about a gf of hers that got a ring that was 2 carats and said it looked gaudy...
Now this puts me in a tough position.
To be completely honest, I know nothing about this stuff, and am not the type of person that notices the jewelry that women where to have an opinion on it. But I know women do, and I want to get her something she likes - and something nice.
What are your opinions on a ring w/ diamond this size? Gaudy, or appropriate? Her ring size is 5.75.
As mentioned, I want to get her something she loves, (and saving some $ for honeymoon,etc wouldn't hurt either.)
Thanks for your help!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Wellllllll......my two cents is that the ring may look gaudy on her girlfriend, but on her she may decides she likes it. Someone on here has a quote that says something like 'A stone is too big only if its on someone else's finger'. Maybe secretly your GF likes the 2c or maybe she wanted to see your reaction.

My ring size is 6 (but its more like 5.5 since my knuckles are big and I need the 6 to get it over my knuckle!) so we probably have similar size hands/fingers. I have a 1.35c looking stone and I think it's great...but of course could ALWAYS be bigger. I am of the diamond camp where I think bigger is better. Not everyone will agree with me....so you should get all sorts of responses to your question. I wish I had at least a 1.5c and would love a 2c. But my 1.35c is good for now!
Until the ring is on your finger, you don't know how you will react. Alot of women fall prey to 'shrinkage' of the stone, that means that while a 1c was great for you while you got engaged, 6 months later you feel like...wow I should have gotten that 1.25c--this 1c looks small!

Your GF may not be like that. Or she may! It happens to the best of us. Anyway---one option may be to present her with the ring from the family, as it has historical significance and family meaning, and see what she thinks. Tell her that if she is not happy with the size of the stone, you will get her something else. That way she makes the decision but you still have the presentation of the family heirloom.

You didn't mention if you are paying your mom for the 2c family ring, or is she just giving it to you? In which case you have that $8k as backup in case your gf doesn't like the size of the family ring since you would probably not want to sell or trade in the family ring but rather start fresh.

Out of all of us, you know your GF better than anyone, and maybe she means what she says. But since this is a family piece, it's hard to gauge, it may have more meaning for her and she will overlook the larger stone. Also family heirlooms usually get more respect, so she can say to her friends that this was passed down to her and therefore still subtly say that its not something she chose (if she is uncomfortable with the large size).

I don't know..I'm just rambling! I'd love the 2c stone, but I'm not your GF!


Good luck.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
What Mara said. Give her the ring but make it very clear that if she's the least bit unsatisfied she can consider it a placeholder until they find another ring. If she's okay with it, ask her again a week later when she's had a chance to live with it a bit and is no longer quite caught up in the engagement high.
 

jenntheten

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
52
I think Mara is right---many of us fall prey to the "shrinkage" issue after we've had the ring awhile. I have a 1.5 ct. and (this is going to sound AWFUL) it feels small compared to how it felt when I got it. I'm a size 5.25 and would LOVE a 2 c! I am NOT a fan of gaudy settings, but love large rocks in fairly simple settings.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I agree Jen...this may sound odd, but I love admiring womens hands where they have smaller fingers (say around a 5) and a big rock in a simple setting very clasically set and that's all for hand jewelry (or wrist). I also like pave stones to set off the center stone or similar, but have never been a fan of the big chunky large mm rings with baguettes or similar as I want the sparkle of the side stones to match the sparkle of the center one and baguettes are not necessarily known for sparkle factor.

There was a shop owner recently who had something like a 3c stone in a somewhat simple setting 3mm setting, the rock outshone everything else, even her wedding band which was simple as well. The diamond head was very simple and showed off the stone to perfection, all I could focus on was the diameter of the stone as viewed from a side angle, it was so amazingly large.

 

NewlyEngaged

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Messages
102
I am by no means an expert, but thought I add my "two cents"... I am buying my girlfriends ring this week as well, so I have done some soul searching, if you will, on this subject.

Size itself is not the only thing to consider.
One pretty well known guideline around here (Chicago) is to spend roughly two (2) months gross salary on the ring. That said, that is ONLY A GUIDELINE. There are other variables to consider. Going into deep debt to buy the ring doesn't help you start your lives together either. So be realistic.

To the size question specifically, that, in my opinion, relates best to your overall budget. Keep in mind that in addition to the diamond itself, the ring setting will cost you money, and depending on the type of setting, platinum, gold, with diamonds or without, that can be pricey as well. Also, you can easily get a terrible 2 carat diamond for the same price as a wonderful 1 carat diamond. In my opinion, smaller, but higher quality is better. But that is me. Some women and men prefer to see a huge rock on the finger, even if it is poor color with many imperfections. So consider what is most important to you along with your budget. Finally, the diamond looks bigger once it is set on the ring than it does loose, by itself.

Hope I am helpful. Sorry for babbling. Good luck and congrats (early).
 

dutti22

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Messages
2
Hello All,

Thanks very much for your opinions and feedback! It was good to hear and helpful.

I think I will go with the ring I have... as many of you recommended.

Take care!
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,915
RoundBrilliant,
You sound like you work for Birks. I might be the only one getting that vibe. Let me tell you, the VG/VG stone they tried to sell my FH for over 1/2 of what he paid for id/id H&A, didnt hold a candle to my stone. If you truly think you get what you pay for, then by all means, buy from them. They need customers to keep them in business. It wasnt that long ago they were closing stores & almost declaring bancruptcy. Or had they? I cant remember now. Anyway, if any Canadians are reading this & are looking for a stone, check out Birks, then check out the online vendors here & do your own comparison shopping.

Judy
:)
 
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