Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

BlueNile Diamond Advice- Engagement Ring $18k Budget

ZamboniMan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
5
Edit- is my head in the right place looking at something like stock number LD05286085 ? Perhaps that's a good place to start.

I'm at the point where I know enough to be dangerous, but far from enough to comfortably make this decision without asking here first.

What I'm looking for: Round ~2.25 karat eye-clean diamond in a 4-prong Zac Posen Knife-Edge Solitaire 55261 setting
Where I'm going to buy it: BlueNile (she wants the setting mentioned above which is non-negotiable)
How much I want to spend: $18,000 (but certainly no more than $20k)

Background: girlfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years. She is 28 and mid-upper management for a top 25 Fortune 500 company. I'm 27 and a Financial Advisor for a major company as well. We are in a very fortunate situation and OUR budget (she has a hand in this as well) is something we have discussed thoroughly.

We have looked at diamonds on multiple occasions and even taken a trip to BlueNile in NY to decide which setting she wants (listed above). Currently, we agree that 2.5 karats looks like a ring pop on her hand, but her taste has slowly improved from looking at 2.00 stones to 2.25. Long story short, I need to make a decision soon before her tastes improve yet again (and before she wises up and realizes she's dating me!).

Other notes:
Diamond: Round-cut; around 2.25 karats; eye-clean; fluorescence is almost preferred (she went to U of Michigan and loves blue) but obviously not required.

Setting: 4-prong platinum Zac Posen knife-edge solitaire setting. Stock number 55261

Right now, I'm looking at Si1, I color diamonds which I realize borders on being eye-clear and I'm especially concerned about not being able to see the diamond first. I am also familiar with using the HCA tool but realize it's only one of the many considerations.

Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions. Sorry for the novel.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,079
Okay, to address your first question, about BN LD05286085 - http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05286085 -

if you use the HCA tool, you'll find this diamond scores "2.7 - Very Good - Worth Buying if the Price is Right," scoring "Very Good" in each of the four categories (Light Return, Scintillation, Fire, Spread). https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

if you use the AGA Cut Class Tool, you'll find this diamond scores a Total Grade of 1B, scoring 1A in 6 of the 8 categories, and scoring 2A in Crown Angle and 1B in depth - it seems the tool calculated total depth at 62.35% which is why it received a 1B... still, the Total Grade would have been 1B due to the 2A in Crown Angle. https://www.pricescope.com/tools/AGA_NAJA_Cut_Class_Grader

While in general I do think a 1B diamond can be beautiful and perform very well, in this specific case, combined with the HCA 2.7 score, I'd want more info on the diamond (including magnified photo, video, Aset and/or IdealScope images).

However, in this case, because the GIA report shows several crystal inclusions are right on the face of the diamond, before going any further on this diamond I'd want assurances the diamond was eye-clean from the top and side views from 6" away... just a hunch, but as this diamond is priced significantly less compared to other 2.29-2.31ct GIA I-SI1 diamonds, my guess is the diamond is not eye-clean. But, I may be wrong, so I'd still inquire through BN Live Chat to have them pull the diamond for a visual inspection and to have them reserve it for you while this is being done.

Since you are definite on the BN setting (this is the one, right? http://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-ring/truly-zac-posen-knife-edge-solitaire-engagement-ring_55261), I'll also take a look at BN diamonds to see if I can pull up other options meeting your specs for you to consider.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,079
Okay, I could not find 2.1-2.4ct I-color diamonds below $21K with fluorescence. But I did find these two BN candidates, both are I-SI1 and without fluorescence:

2.21 I-VVS1 - facing up 8.36mm - $20,894 - http://www.bluenile.com/mp/diamond-details/LD06649633 - HCA total score of 0.09 - Excellent (and falling within AGSO Triple Ideal box), and AGA total score of 1A (all 1As but 1B in Crown Angle) - with VVS1 clarity, this diamond will be eye-clean; and with the small 55% table and high crown, this diamond will be gorgeous in that Zac Posen solitaire setting

2.32 I-SI1 - facing up 8.44mm - $18,195 - http://www.bluenile.com/mp/diamond-details/LD06488896 - HCA total score of 1.4 - Excellent (and falling within AGSO Triple Ideal box); AGA total score 1B (all 1As but 2A for Crown Angle) - need to check w/ BN to make sure it is eye-clean (GIA inclusion plot lists twinning wisps first, which very often are invisible to the naked eye). This diamond has a larger table than the 2.21ct I-SI1 above, at 57%, but does have a high crown so also will be lovely in a solitaire setting (if eye-clean).


If you/GF are open to J-color diamonds with medium/strong fluorescence, please let us know.
 

ZamboniMan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
5
Thank you very much Mary!

We are certainly open to J color diamonds. My only reason for mentioning specific characteristics was because I am a bit concerned about buying online and had read people often have the same issues (buy a grade up to avoid disappointment). Our goal is to get as much value as possible for our budget.

Admittedly, my research is not on par with what it should be for such an important. You've given me several topics to research as well.

Again, thank you so much for helping me out. Especially considering I just registered.
 

ZamboniMan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
5
I took your advice @MaryMM and confirmed with BlueNile that it is eye clean (and I have the chat transcript saved just in case). While that was certainly good news, my new problem is that the setting she wants only works with up to 2.1 karat diamonds.

Apparently, they can special order the two to fit, but there are no guarantees or returns on the setting. I have 48 hrs to figure out what to do. After plugging in HCA and Aga numbers all day that's definitely one of the better values I've been able to find within my budget.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,611
Mary has give you some good advice. I'd just add that I really advise buying VS2+ from Blue Nile since there are no pictures of the stone. Too risky.

These are measurements to help you stay in ideal cut territory with a GIA excellent cut stone.

table: 54-58

depth: 60-62.3

crown angle: 34-35.0

pavilion angle: 40.6-40.9 (sometimes 41.0)
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,079
ZamboniMan|1454982033|3988599 said:
I took your advice @MaryMM and confirmed with BlueNile that it is eye clean (and I have the chat transcript saved just in case). While that was certainly good news, my new problem is that the setting she wants only works with up to 2.1 karat diamonds.

Apparently, they can special order the two to fit, but there are no guarantees or returns on the setting. I have 48 hrs to figure out what to do. After plugging in HCA and Aga numbers all day that's definitely one of the better values I've been able to find within my budget.
Okay, so the stone you chose is larger than the carat weight limit for the stock ring, and BN can accommodate the larger stone (likely by having a larger head put on that setting) but then the ring purchase changes to a custom order so non-returnable/non-refundable. While my guess is that putting a larger head on that setting would be straightforward, me personally I'm not sure I would want to risk $790+ (are they charging you more for the customized setting?) and end up receiving a ring that perhaps is not made well and/or is not proportional with the larger head, yet have no recourse with BN.

Your choices here are:
1. Buy the stone you like, and take a chance on the customized Zac Posen solitaire

2. Find a smaller stone, maybe between 1.8-1.9ct, so you can go with the stock Zac Posen setting

3. Purchase the stone you like, have it sent to you loose, make sure you/GF love it in all the lighting conditions you can find. If it is a keeper, then you can decide if you want to:
(A) take a risk on the BN customized solitaire, or
(B) as the setting is a fairly straight-forward solitaire design, have a similar setting made for your stone by another vendor (perhaps Brilliantly Engaged or David Klass?).

If your timeline permits, I'd suggest going with buying the stone you like and having it shipped loose for your inspection, and then going from there depending on whether the diamond is a keeper or not.
 

ZamboniMan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
5
I wanted to thank each of you for your help and especially MaryMM for taking so much time to answer my questions and share your thoughts.

I ended up going with a 2.07 karat H,VS2,Ideal cut diamond. It has a 1.8 HCA score (excellent fire and light return, very good scintillation and spread), and a 1B AGA score (crown angle and depth were the only two that weren't 1A scores).

This hit all of our original criteria and I was able to stay under my $18k budget paying $16.5k for the diamond and $17.3k all-in.
The diamond does have strong fluorescence, but again, we (almost) see that as a plus, and I believe that's why the diamond was priced about ~$2k less than similar diamonds. Note: I did have them send me high resolution images to ensure the diamond didn't look oily or hazy.

The ring should get here around Febraury 23rd. I'll be sure to share a picture or two when it comes again.


Thanks again for everyone's help!
 

ZamboniMan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks again for all your help -- as promised ... here are a couple of photos :)

We're beyond happy with it!!

Specs again: 2.07 karat H,VS2,Ideal cut diamond. It has a 1.8 HCA score (excellent fire and light return, very good scintillation and spread), and a 1B AGA score (crown angle and depth were the only two that weren't 1A scores).

fullsizerender_135.jpg

img_9226_0.jpg
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top