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Best use of money?

girlyglam

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Some of you may have seen my earlier post about getting my first diamond...thank you all to those who responded! I've decided to go for a marquise since I think it will be the shape that can best incorporate all my wants (maximizing face up size, a unique halo, and sapphires somewhere in the setting).

Now I'm trying to decide the best way to spend my $1000 PS giveaway money. I will definitely need a custom setting for the ring I'm envisioning. I'm wondering if I should put the total $1000 towards the diamond and then do the setting on my own (right now I'm thinking I would likely go through DK, Diamondzone, LOGR or Jewelryhoo). Or, should I pick a diamond a bit less than the $1000 and use whatever site (James Allen? IDJ?) I get it from to create a custom setting? What would you do?
 

ihy138

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I would probably spend the full $1,000 on a diamond and then spend some time to figure out what I really want in a setting and save up for it.
 

yssie

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Congrats on your win!! :bigsmile:

Since it's your first "centerpiece" diamond... I'd say go all out on that diamond! ::)

Nice marquises can be tough to find - it's finding one with a balance of appealing (to you) shape, appealing (to you) facet pattern, and flavour of light return... GOG is my "go to" for fancies - they're pricier but the service and information on the stone is of commensurate value (it's fantastic), and they have very generous policies re. upgrade/buy back/trade-in. My pick for the opposing business model is JA - their excellent photography is very helpful, especially when choosing fancies! Beware their gemologist inspections though - I personally disagree with them as often as I agree. If you post the results on PS I think you'll get good feedback - for a marquise I'd recommend calling out Niel and Gypsy in the title ::)

JA appears not to have many marquises listed at the moment in this size range... This one's just under $1000 - I like the outline and faceting, and I think it has a good chance of being eyeclean in-person depending on your personal requirements, but it doesn't face up particularly well thanks to thick girdle (excessive depth) and a K marquise will show both body colour and colour gradient (the tips will be noticeably more tinted), and it's got the sort of pavilion patterning that will bowtie somewhat if you feel strongly about that:
http://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.70-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-sku-813158

This one looks like a very bright stone - nice faceting! Also will bowtie - I personally don't mind when the "bow tie" is clear arrows like in this stone though :)) the E colour is about as blazingly white as it gets - no body colour or colour gradient worries! Faces up large for the weight, stones with these proportions (much more length than width) look larger to some people, and depending on the sort of setting you want that additional length could be of unexpected benefit - more flat plane of setting gallery to decorate!
http://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.62-carat-e-color-si2-clarity-sku-631293

Re. settings - I don't recommend David Klass. Whilst I've heard that his customer service is very good and his pricing is low, his business model seems to frequently include copying other boutique jewellers' custom designs without credit or permission, which I have neither patience nor respect for.

So moving on with something more helpful ::) here are a few recommendations from my personal list of vendors whom I've had the pleasure of talking to or working with... D'you have thoughts or any pictures of inspiration pieces/styles? And did you have a specific budget in-mind for the total?

In no particular order:
A) Hunt Country:
http://www.huntcountry.com
Beautiful work with a very recognisable "gothic" style. Their pricing is very reasonable, well within the sorts of prices we're talking about in this thread, and they're very responsive - quick and helpful and eager to figure out exactly what you want and if it's the right fit in terms of style, and if so, how to make it happen.

B) Jewels by Grace:
http://www.jewelsbygrace.com
She's wonderful to work with and her bench does wonderful work at very reasonable cost! Again, very responsive and easy to work with - she consistently goes the extra mile and a half. She specializes in antique stones and would be a great resource for a vintage-style setting, I think.

C) Seven Fingers:
http://www.sevenfingers.com/index.html
One of a kind pieces at, again, very reasonable-for-the-quality-and-design prices (notably higher pricepoint than the other two) though). His work is wearable art that... looks like it'll float off the page any moment. I love that he focuses on the metalwork as much as on any stones that might be involved - he's on my shortlist for my own next project.
 

Gypsy

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Full 1000 to diamond. Then save up for setting. You might want to look at Beverly K they will customize for stone shape and will add sapphires and they are great quality at a very good privr point.
 

Gypsy

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Call a Beverly K dealer and have them ask if any of these can be made for a marquise center of approximately 4x 7-9mm:
http://www.beverleyk.com/engagement-rings/r9459-a-d-s-m.html
http://www.beverleyk.com/engagement-rings/r9432-a-d-s-cz.html
http://www.beverleyk.com/engagement-rings/r9467-a-d-s-m.html
http://www.beverleyk.com/engagement-rings/r9471-a-d-s-m.html

I like Pearlmans personally. But there are other vendors who carry the line.

If one tells you no, without checking with Beverly K, move on to one who will actually call the designer.
 

Gypsy

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I think this stone is beautiful:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.58-carat-g-color-si2-clarity-sku-618821 And looks likely to be eyeclean. Shows crisp facets and no bowtie. It's got the potential to be a winner frankly. And GREAT size for you the money.

Another gorgeous stone:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.50-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-815605 Really fantastic cut on this one too. But it is smaller (remember compare dimensions not weight with fancies).


With the sapphire halo, I would no go below H in a marquise personally. And these two stones are freaking gorgeous .

And you can put them on hold and now that the first is FINALLY here, JA will get you an ASET. Both of these should have strong ASETs.
 

girlyglam

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Messages
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Thank you all! I was leaning towards putting it all into the diamond, and you have all reaffirmed what I was thinking. Now comes the beginning of the fun/hard part...finding the diamond!

At this point, this one is probably my strongest contender (especially since both Gypsy and Niel linked to this particular stone!):

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.58-carat-g-color-si2-clarity-sku-618821

I am *thisclose* to pulling the trigger on the above stone, but before I do, I wonder if there are any others that I should seriously consider. In terms of dimensions, I think I'd like something at least 8mm in length and at least 4mm in width. Some others on JA that I thought maybe could be OK were:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.47-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-sku-519620
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.59-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-807147
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.44-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-784854
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.50-carat-e-color-si1-clarity-sku-704349
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.50-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-sku-786165

Does anyone think any of those are worth considering against the first .58ct diamond?
 

Gypsy

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Not.really. Get.an ASET of.the one Neil.and I linked to. Also, even though its a little smaller.the D SI I linked to and one of Yssies choices. That will.give.you.3
 

diamondseeker2006

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Let me say that I love Yssie and respect her opinions greatly. I do differ on one thing, though. I think David Klass is your best bet to make your ring. There are very few designs that are truly original, and unless those designs are patented, people can make similar rings, preferably with changes. If you are going for pave or an antique design, I can just about guarantee YOU won't be stealing an original design because all of that has been done millions of times. Most people here are very gracious and happy for others to make similar rings, and the fact is, they don't own the right to the designs anyway.

I would NEVER get a diamond dealer like JA or BN to make a custom ring. That is not their specialty and it is way too risky. The fact is, if you want a good quality custom setting at the lowest price, I see no other option besides David Klass. Even then, your setting is going to cost more than the stone unless it is very plain. I wouldn't use any of the other ones you mentioned. Don't make the setting unless you can do it right. Poor quality is a waste of money, in my opinion. I do fewer projects because I want the jewelry I buy to be heirlooms.
 

yssie

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diamondseeker2006|1451688559|3969404 said:
Let me say that I love Yssie and respect her opinions greatly. I do differ on one thing, though. I think David Klass is your best bet to make your ring. There are very few designs that are truly original, and unless those designs are patented, people can make similar rings, preferably with changes. If you are going for pave or an antique design, I can just about guarantee YOU won't be stealing an original design because all of that has been done millions of times. Most people here are very gracious and happy for others to make similar rings, and the fact is, they don't own the right to the designs anyway.

I would NEVER get a diamond dealer like JA or BN to make a custom ring. That is not their specialty and it is way too risky. The fact is, if you want a good quality custom setting at the lowest price, I see no other option besides David Klass. Even then, your setting is going to cost more than the stone unless it is very plain. I wouldn't use any of the other ones you mentioned. Don't make the setting unless you can do it right. Poor quality is a waste of money, in my opinion. I do fewer projects because I want the jewelry I buy to be heirlooms.

It isn't the end-consumers - IMO they're blameless in this debate. Vendors can and do own the intellectual property that is their custom designs - designs original enough to be considered custom, that is, and there certainly are many of these even within our own popular PS vendor inventories, not counting many PSer projects. And although it's basically un-enforceable because pursuing legal action would require time and expense most small operations can't spare, it doesn't make it any less damaging or unethical.

Two opposing views on what is - has always been and probably will always be - a very hot potato of a topic!
 

diamondseeker2006

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I try to always use the original vendor if I want an exact unique design they have done. And I highly recommend to others that they do the same. I think the customer is partly responsible because they are the ones who show pictures to the vendor of what they want. As long as it is not a unique design, the ring maker and customer should be okay or at least make changes. I can think of a few, such as your (Yssie's) 5 stone ring, that are totally unique and would be very hard for anyone to replicate because of the skill level required. Best to stick with designs that are from antique rings or very common, such as most pave halos.

Part of the problem is the extremely high prices that some of the vendors charge and not everyone can manage $4k+ for a nice setting. I don't know if another ring maker that does as well as DK for the prices he charges. I wish there were more options for everyone's benefit.
 

yssie

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Y'know, I don't disagree with a single thing you've said DS - "getting the look for less" had always been a driving force in any sort of fashion industry, and it's no surprise that jewellery is no exception.

The thing is... IMO there's a lot more to consider - conundrums that often gets lost in the proverbial consumer POV daily grind, but that can have significant long-term impact. And, well, I do consider some tradepeople personal friends so I'm probably more inclined to see their perspectives.

Klass does a LOT of Inspired By work. And he does it well, and at very low prices. The few fully custom pieces we've seen on PS (the large rose cut pear comes first to mind) have been long, circuitous exercises featuring the consumer holding the vendor's hand... Thus, I can only assume that whilst Klass may be a good option (from the consumer's perspective) for a lower-cost lookalike piece, or something that's already been designed and outlined in-detail, he's a poor choice for someone looking for artistic vision.

That by itself is no problem - different vendors specialize in different things, that's the way it should be. The pave halo, the antiquey geometric gallery - as you said, very doable and great styles to choose a vendor like Klass for! The real problem is when those Inspired By pieces strike too close to home for comfort. Too close to the original to be sufficiently different to be considered "inspiration pieces" by many, so close to the original that other vendors refuse to re-create them that way, sometimes just outright copies... And sometimes of designs that, bizarrely, aren't hugely expensive in their original forms. One recent example - Jewels by Grace posted a new (not hugely unique, but different enough to be promotable as something new and interesting) Clover earring design. A couple of months later Klass' Facebook page featured a newly created pair of earrings.. In the same design. Totally one-of-a-kind? Perhaps not. Obviously a reproduction of JbG's new style? Absolutely. JbG's pricepoint and Klass' are, I'd wager, awfully similar; JbG will happily set outside stones - there is just NO reason not to choose the original vendor and give design credit and profit where credit and profit are due :(sad and it's up to a vendor to say "no, I won't make that, it's too similar to the inspiration". WF has said that to me before. Green Lake said that to a close friend. BGD had told prospective clients this. JbG will refuse to copy another vendor's setting. That a vendor is willing to profit - repeatedly - off other vendors' investment of design time and money is what I consider damaging and unethical. That the other vendors in many cases are small boutiques just like his own, not giant corporations more than able to feed themselves off riches aplenty, just turns the bad taste in my mouth more sour.

Those vendors don't much appreciate it. I really think that if this trend continues we'll see not consumers failing to post custom pieces for fear of replication but vendors beginning to request that their clients withhold details - CADs, photos of details, photos from specific angles, metal info, etc. - and that would be a huge pity, for everyone on this forum ;(

I really wish there were other vendors capable of quality inspired by pieces at reasonable price points who codified a less extremist approach to defining "inspired by".
 

marcy

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Congratulations on winning the $1000. I think it's exciting your are getting a diamond with it. I like the one you are leaning towards buying. It looks very pretty.
 

yssie

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Past my edit window but just want to say DS - PS threads, threads, and more threads aside! I hope you know by now that I respect you greatly as a RT regular and consider you a long-time friend ::) And I don't think we really feel all that differently, after rereading your last... it seems like perhaps you're coming at the problem from a practical perspective and I'm coming at it philosophically, but fundamentally - it's the same problem. With the same set of solutions.

Just emailed you :))
 

Andelain

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Bling it on

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Girlyglam - just wanted to post here and say hi + big congratulations on winning the $1000 PS holiday giveaway, you lucky girl you!

I feel the need to comment as I have worked with 2 of the vendors you have mentioned in your first post above and wanted to give my opinion on them both. I have worked with David Klass for my 1.27ctw 5 stone diamond ring and the experience overall was good. As you know, David's pricing is unbeatable and a lot of us can sympathise that it is hard to come up with $3k-$5k for a setting from some of the other high end PS darlings. He has great customer service and will respond patiently to your enquiries. If you know EXACTLY what you want, David is great but I agree with Yssie - if you need some artistic input and vision to make you custom ring come alive, then I'm not sure that DK is your go-to man. (I also comissioned a custom 3 stone ring from him and as I was quite decisive in my requirements, the process was smooth. When I did my 5 stone diamond ring, I kepy changing my mind and waffling about and it would have helped if DK did make some artistic suggestions to help me. I felt that that time around the whole custom process meandered a bit. Totally my fault, but I did wonder if another vendor may have been able to help me more in my indecisive/questioning period.)

My other experience was with My Diamond Zone. I had previously bought a few pieces from their Ebay store and their vintage and Art Deco pieces are beautiful and wonderfully priced. I check their Ebay store regularly. I purchased a lovely marquise from them, and thought about asking DK to make a solitaire for it but then decided I should try out their bench to see what the custom ring experience would be like. Much to my delight, My Diamond Zone's pricing is comparable to DK's. Affordable to put it bluntly. I also trust Ilya's opinion as I have bought a few rings from him previously and I find him to be honest and a true gentlemen. He will not hesitate to tell you if you are going to like something in his inventory based on what you preferences are. Sending emails to him during the custom ring making process felt like talking to an old friend. Ilya responded to all of my enquiries promptly and I felt calmer during the process than during other custom ring projects I have undertaken.
In all honesty, when the ring was finished, I was a tad underwhelmed with the macro shots Ilya sent me as I thought that the shank was too thick and I should have gone with prong set pave instead of channel set. But I decided to wait and see the ring IRL before stressing out. The ring arrived and it is perfect!! Delicate and lovely with the tiniest milgrain I have ever experienced. The milgrain adds texture, visual interest to the ring and I love wearing it. The marquise shape is also very flattering on my hand and though I am no expert in fancy cut diamonds, it is super sparkly, bright, always on and I don't see the dreaded dark bow-tie you are told to watch out for in fancies. Winning!!

So there you have it. Take my recommendations as you will.

And now for some pics of my new marquise ring - holiday bling!

2__3_.jpg

side_50.jpg

20151216_173554.jpg
 

artdecolover71

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Well I would totally put the 1k towards the diamond and where is Niel? She picked my mq for my recent project, it is a DK in SMTB. I have worked with Ilya and DK. Both lovely. For my recent project, I used DK since it was a complex project.
 

artdecolover71

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and I know Beverley K does make a lovely mq setting, but not sure what your budget is.
 

Niel

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I didn't look for mqs over 1050 when I searched , as I didn't think you wanted to spend more than your allotment...however, of that's within your budget, I like that one too.

Now as for the designer. I prefer dks work to mdz. Both have their place, ignoring at this point the concerns yessie has....

But if you really work with dk on the cads, he can produce something refined and well excited...

For example, artdecolover71s marquise ring with a stone. It much bigger than you're considering....this has a lot going on, and probably out of budget. But with that in mind, its got a lot going on, and taking it down to one halo, a plain shank, would be not too much a strain on your budget, I don't think.

_35863.jpg
 

girlyglam

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Thank you all for your wisdom and expertise! I've decided to go ahead with the .58 stone, as I ultimately decided not to go over my $1000 allotment. I'm super excited, and I can't thank you all enough for your help!!! :clap:

Now comes time to think about the setting. I don't have a specific design in mind, but I do have an idea of what I want. My Pintrest board is probably the best way to show what direction I'm looking to go in: https://www.pinterest.com/jenko13/unique-halos/....

Basically, I would like a interesting/unique/non-traditional halo and I'd like sapphires somewhere in it...maybe sapphires at the four "corners" of the diamond, depending on what the design ultimately is? I'm also fairly certain that I'd like the diamond bezeled, and I love milgrain. I obviously love CVB/LAD settings, but I fear they are out of my price range. There are also some rings I admire from fellow PSers. I would never copy someone's design, especially since the rings on this board are so unique and special, but the rings on the board are definitely serving as inspiration for my setting.

My other problem is that I have a really hard time envisioning things, so while I love the rings on my inspiration board, I have a very hard time envisioning whether or not these types of designs would look good with a marquise. I did make an effort to seek out some actual marquise rings, but I'm still having a hard time trying to picture my diamond in these types of settings. Maybe because I don't actually know specifically what the setting will be?

In terms of who to go with to create the setting, I think I would definitely appreciate some artistic input. Given that, I'm wondering if maybe DK isn't the best route to go? I do think he does beautiful work though, and artdecolover71's ring is gorgeous. I've actually worked with MDZ before and was pleased with the experience. We used them to create my e-ring, actually, and after reading the boards more, I now realize that they probably shouldn't have been our first choice for an e-ring. But still, I'm happy with the ring and actually don't have concerns about the quality/security. Anyway, that is a total tangent. A few of the settings on my board actually are from MDZ, so I thought maybe I would start by contacting them and seeing if one of them could be modified to fit my stone, with the addition of sapphires. On the other hand, I would love to actually figure out a more concrete design idea... :???: I would LOVE any thoughts on how I should set this!
 

artdecolover71

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My anniversary ring is a cvb and I absolutely love it. You can check out cvb pricing on her etsy site. She's wonderful and amazing to work with, she's a true artisian, but definitely in a different price point then mdz. Can't wait to see what you choose!
 

artdecolover71

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Working with DK was great too, but a different experience artistically then working w cvb. Really depends on What your needs are :) and thank you- I am thrilled with how my ring turned out...It was a process from first to last cad and I really have learned so much in the past year that I finally felt like it came into play. DK is very easy to work with but I do think its best to know what you want and also if you need help, ask ps friends along the way :)
 

girlyglam

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It appears we have similar tastes, Artdecolover71! I just checked out your post history to see your CVB ring and it's actually one of the ones that's on my inspiration board. I love your vision and your pieces are stunning! :love:
 

Niel

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Great to hear about that stone! Hope it comes and you love it.

I haven't gone though your Pinterest yet but I absolutely will and be happy to help.

Artdecolover71 is exactly right. You need a firm version before you go to dk for a ring. You need to be able to read his cads and be ready to tweak them, and do it often.

If you're not as familiar with his cads or reading cads in general i STEONGLY suggest having a thread for input throught the process.

I've had two rings made by him and they where lovely. But the starting cad was not at all where it ended.
 

Niel

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Here's one I saw you hadn't pinned but I feel like is your aesthetic

picsart_01-02-09.jpg
 

Niel

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Also, I think I said this in another thread but I think taking the scaloped halo element of artdecolover71s ring and doing all sapphires in that halo, bezeling the sapphire, and doing a plain triple wire shank would be reminiscent of her ring while still distinctly yours not a copy.

You could also, I'd you imagine use the shape of the outer halo, leave those diamonds and instead of having negative space, fill the area with frenchies....bezel the stone and leave that shank plain. That is more diamonds more $$ though.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Niel|1451787539|3969879 said:
Here's one I saw you hadn't pinned but I feel like is your aesthetic

Goodness, that is my aesthetic, too! :love: I saw that on her Pinterest page! Custom cut sapphires will really make this an expensive setting though. I saved it. Now you can find me an antique marquise, Niel.

If I were going with a design like this, I'd use Caysie. She is an artist and is sooo good with design.
 
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