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Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locally?

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Hi all,

I've been lurking here for a bit and I'd really appreciate some advice myself. Our budget is $2,800 for the diamond and $1,200 for the setting.

1) We've got this oval on hold from James Allen: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1789921...

Thoughts? Please share your suggestions for other ovals too.

2) The ideal setting would be Jeff Cooper Chaya in platinum. It's available at James Allen, but there's a local jeweler who I could get a 15% employee discount with ($1,232 vs $1,450 full price) otherwise we'd have to go with white gold due to the budget. Platinum would be better on the eczema front.

My main concern is getting the diamond and setting from different places: the hassle, insuring the diamond, wait time etc, but mostly who would cover the ring if it were damaged or lost? Would it be a pain in the end? Is it worth the extra money to get it all done with James Allen? We're on a tight budget.

Your advice and personal experiences would be soo helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

It's not as nice a stone as it could be in terms of performance the facets outside of the center are very blurry and mushy. At all. You don't need E VVS. Especially at your budget.

You should ask for an ASET image of your top three stones. And then post them.

This is a nicer E VVS stone:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-882974

And this is a GORGEOUS D and it will be safe and eyeclean:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-1857438

This is my top choice, but it may not be eyeclean, sadly (you should ask the vendor):
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.73-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-922432

This is my fourth choice of the four but I thought I'd post it as an alternate:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1829678


Get 3 of these on hold. Hopefully they can get ASETs for you (they can't for all stones, so fingers crossed).
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

No, I don't think it's worth the 200 savings to buy them separate. The setting vendor will likely charge you a minimum of a 100 just to set your stone (call and ask). So you are talking 100 bucks savings at most.

If you do it, you will have to go on Jewelers Mutual and get the diamond insured before you take it to the local guy for setting. He will likely not insure it while setting.

Personally, it's not worth 100 bucks (and I promise, I DO understand tight budgets) for that.

If the local jeweler is NOT going to charge you a stone setting fee, and all you are paying is the price for the setting itself and it means you can get platinum, then it is worth it.
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

Hi Gypsy,

Thank you so so much.

1) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-882974
This is great! Only thing is that I can afford to pay about $400 more for the stone so would like to go bigger if possible in this price range.

2) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-1857438
Lovely too, but it's quite deep and the girdle is 'extremely thick', making it look (not a technical term here haha) almost stumpy? And we prefer a ratio closer to 1.4. Maybe the stone I posted is less technically perfect, but I still prefer it in general... Is that a big mistake? Sorry, I don't mean to be picky and I really appreciate your help.

3) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.73-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-922432
Love this one. JA said this is eye clean, but not available for ASET because it's in India.

4) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1829678
It looks hazy(?).

My top two now are the one I posted originally (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1789921) and your top pick (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.73-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-922432).

Re: diamond and setting with different vendors - very good point. The jeweler is closed today but I will double check the setting fee, if any, tomorrow.

Thanks again!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

coral77|1468161675|4053979 said:
Also would it make it more complicated if the ring were lost/damaged/stolen in the future if they're from different vendors?

ETA: JA recommended this one as a combination of the top two rings. Thoughts?
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.74-carat-e-color-si1-clarity-sku-1867828
Do not listen to JA. That's a terrible choice. They suck at picking stones. Like, truly suck.

Please post ASETs of the stones and we'll pick between them.

You are comparing the wrong things. First of all: CARAT WEIGHT does not matter. You should be comparing DIMENSIONS when you are comparing ovals. As long as the girdle is not very thin you are fine. As for ratios. I too prefer rations in the 1.4 range. But ovals in the 1.3 range tend to have better performance as they are closer to round.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

See my responses below.

coral77|1468161312|4053976 said:
Hi Gypsy,

Thank you so so much.

1) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-882974
This is great! Only thing is that I can afford to pay about $400 more for the stone so would like to go bigger if possible in this price range. The stone is 6.79*4.83*3.24 do not pay attention to carat weight. Also better performing stones look bigger than ones that are not as good with the performance. Get an ASET. They are free. If it is better performing than your choice, it would be a better choice.

2) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-1857438
Lovely too, but it's quite deep and the girdle is 'extremely thick', making it look (not a technical term here haha) almost stumpy? And we prefer a ratio closer to 1.4. Maybe the stone I posted is less technically perfect, but I still prefer it in general... Is that a big mistake? Sorry, I don't mean to be picky and I really appreciate your help. The faceting pattern on this stone might be what you don't like. There's nothing stumpy about it and the girdle is fine. But it is only 6.5 long, so it's not as big as much.

3) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.73-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-922432
Love this one. JA said this is eye clean, but not available for ASET because it's in India.

4) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1829678
It looks hazy(?).Photography set up. It's a vvs2 stone and has none of the factors that might make it hazy. Get an ASET it might be a fabulous stone.

My top two now are the one I posted originally (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1789921) and your top pick (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.73-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-922432).

Re: diamond and setting with different vendors - very good point. The jeweler is closed today but I will double check the setting fee, if any, tomorrow.

Thanks again!
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

To clarify, I'm looking for dimensions of about 7x5mm. Thanks for the tip about JA's recommendation.

All of the diamonds except for one we've discussed aren't available for ASETs as they're located outside of the diamond district.

This is the ASET for #1829678 (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1829678).

The JA rep noted: "Like I mentioned over the consultation, I feel that calibration of the equipment that took the image is a little off, as it's showing a good bit of white, which I believe is showing a misleading amount of light leakage. The diamond is actually well cut and has good proportions for optimal light performance."

What do you think?

1829678aset.jpg
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

coral77|1468250097|4054348 said:
To clarify, I'm looking for dimensions of about 7x5mm. Thanks for the tip about JA's recommendation.

All of the diamonds except for one we've discussed aren't available for ASETs as they're located outside of the diamond district.

This is the ASET for #1829678 (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/0.71-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1829678).

The JA rep noted: "Like I mentioned over the consultation, I feel that calibration of the equipment that took the image is a little off, as it's showing a good bit of white, which I believe is showing a misleading amount of light leakage. The diamond is actually well cut and has good proportions for optimal light performance."

What do you think?

That's a winner! YAHOOOOOOO!!!
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

Awesome. I'm not familiar with ASETs, but I understand white means light leakage. There's quite a bit of white so I'm confused... Could you please explain why you think this diamond is great? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks :)
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

coral77|1468375053|4054972 said:
Awesome. I'm not familiar with ASETs, but I understand white means light leakage. There's quite a bit of white so I'm confused... Could you please explain why you think this diamond is great? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks :)
Well, you can't compare ovals to rounds. Or even cushions and princesses. Ovals aren't cut for performance. Your average oval will ASET out almost all white. :shock: or they'll have some blue (obstruction) at the center (dead bowtie) in addition to white. They are much more like crushed ice radiants than any other cut when it comes to ASETs. :nono:

ASET background also makes a big difference. White backgrounds are much harder to calibrate. Black ones are much easier but can show better performance than warranted.

I believe it when they say the calibation is off on that ASET. That stone, properly calibrated, would ASET out with a nice amount of green where there is only white, you can see that in the video if you know what to look for. How do I know that? I actually got a stone from JA that had an ASET just like that from them. I used my own personal AST on it when I got it in person, and the ASET showed a lot of green where you see white. And that's what I see in the video, that same brightness (which is why I selected it for you).

Also remember ASET images are photos. They do not show the stone in movement. It's only from one angle. That's another reason why a video is so important so you can see how the stone plays with light when its moving. When it is on the hand, it is moving.
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 9, 2008
Messages
7,715
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

That Jeff Cooper is very pretty, but I think you could get a platinum, pave band setting for less than $1200 and put more of your budget into the oval. Just an opinion here.
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

motownmama|1468414041|4055058 said:
That Jeff Cooper is very pretty, but I think you could get a platinum, pave band setting for less than $1200 and put more of your budget into the oval. Just an opinion here.
Do you have any suggestions? Looking for similar thin (1.5mm) cathedral pave settings in platinum for a ring size 4. Thanks!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

We STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST PAVE SHANKS UNDER 1.8mm.
They are not durable for everyday wear.
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
10
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

Gypsy, thank you for the rundown on the ASET! I wouldn't have guessed based off the image alone.

Also that's worrying to hear about the durability. I'd seen so many people with ~1.5-1.75mm pave engagement rings and didn't think anything of it. Does it depend on the manufacturer and how well it's made? What is Jeff Cooper's reputation on this?

I love this setting and thought it'd be alright seeing as it's also sold on BGD, especially with my desk job as long as it's removed when cleaning, exercising, etc. :think:

Another option I'm considering is a cheaper setting (possibly in 14k white gold) to be able to spend more on the diamond. What are your thoughts on this: https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/14k-white-gold-petite-pave-engagement-ring-flush-fit-item-56252 ? It'd be great to save on the setting, but is it risky to get 14k gold for someone with eczema?
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
7,715
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

If you've got an eczema worry than keeping with platinum is a very good idea. Not sure how you'd feel about this: what about a simple platinum setting for @ $800 and put the extra $400 into the best stone you could get? I totally understand if that's just NOT what you want to do. Is there a budget for the wedding band, or you'd be starting that funding after the engagement? Save up and maybe get a pretty, pave wedding band. Just my thoughts. Feel free to ignore me.....
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
40,198
Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

If you are going for a super thin shank then I think Jeff Cooper is a good choice. Can you ask about the warranty if it bends and warps through regular wear and tear? I would not do one of the JA pave settings. If you want a pave setting in budget then ritani is another designer to look into, also Beverly K. If you go for the Jeff Cooper do it locally with a long standing jeweler and get the warranty in writing.
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

motownmama|1468520566|4055445 said:
If you've got an eczema worry than keeping with platinum is a very good idea. Not sure how you'd feel about this: what about a simple platinum setting for @ $800 and put the extra $400 into the best stone you could get? I totally understand if that's just NOT what you want to do. Is there a budget for the wedding band, or you'd be starting that funding after the engagement? Save up and maybe get a pretty, pave wedding band. Just my thoughts. Feel free to ignore me.....
No worries, you raise good points! I personally love a delicate cathedral pave setting and want to prioritize that. Would $400 would make a noticeable difference at least size wise?

As for wedding rings I'm taken with getting a simple (and affordable) band I can wear all the time and not worry about. But I wouldn't turn down a blingy anniversary ring later down the line...
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

Ok - you LOVE the Jeff Cooper in platinum, so that's the ticket! Combine it with the stone that elicited a "yahoo" from Gypsy and I think you're good to go!!!!
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

I'm still undecided on the stone & setting so I'm keeping an eye out... you mentioned platinum pave settings for less than $1,200? I've been looking for cheaper ones to no avail. Help!

Do you have any in mind?? Thanks!
 

coral77

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

Gypsy said:
If you are going for a super thin shank then I think Jeff Cooper is a good choice. Can you ask about the warranty if it bends and warps through regular wear and tear? I would not do one of the JA pave settings. If you want a pave setting in budget then ritani is another designer to look into, also Beverly K. If you go for the Jeff Cooper do it locally with a long standing jeweler and get the warranty in writing.
A JA rep wrote: "While it is rare, if the band does bend at all, you can send it into us and if it is from normal wear and tear there would not be a charge to repair it."

That's for their settings including the designer ones, plus cleaning, polishing, prong tightening and loss of diamonds.

I'm still on the fence about going with a less expensive platinum pave setting. What stones would you recommend if I had an extra $400 for the diamond ($3,200 total)?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

400 is not going to get you much size. I just looked. I think you are better off with this diamond and a more expensive platinum designer setting. Quality REALLY matters with pave.
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
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Re: Best oval <$2800 + setting and diamond with JA vs locall

I know I suggested spending less on a pave setting, but in the back of my mind I really was thinking more of a plain PLAT setting. It's very true that quality really matters in pave - sick with the setting you like. Go for it!
 
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