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Custom OEC | What specs would you aim for?

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
Let's say you are planning to have VC or GOG custom cut you an OEC and you have a stone budget ~$24,000, give or take a few thousand.

Let's also say you are entirely too anal and have built out a spreadsheet with projected costs for various stone sizes/ct in the I/J/K range.

Let's say the following combinations were all in the $24,000 budget range. What would you prioritize and why? How would you choose?

(Stone to be set in a 4.5 size rose gold band.)

ct Color Clarity Price Price/ct

2.1 I VS2 $24,000 $11,429
2.25 I VS2 $26,213 $11,650

2.25 J VS2 $22,275 $9,900
2.4 J VS2 $24,000 $10,000
2.5 J VS2 $26,875 $10,750

2.6 K VS2 $23,660 $9,100
2.7 K VS2 $24,840 $9,200
2.8 K VS2 $26,040 $9,300

For me, personally, I'm leaning toward going with one of the J's to allow for the eventuality that the stone could come out 1 color grade lower than expected. But the thought of a 2.8 K for a similar cost is tempting, and I really don't think I'd mind an L if we're off a color. Also, a friend who wears a 1.75 OEC thinks anything over 2 ct will be too heavy for regular wear. Do any of you ladies with tiny fingers wear your 2 ct + rings regularly? Is it something to actually consider? Since it's going in a rose gold setting, I really don't feel a need to prioritize color all that much.

What do you think, what would you shoot for? Anyone with experience having a stone custom cut have any additional information I should be considering?

Thanks all! And don't worry about correcting any of my projected costs - they've been intentionally skewed for the purpose of this post. :bigsmile:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,612
Exciting project!

I have an I color AVR and wouldn't go lower. I think I color is perfect for OECs and newly cut ones! I especially would go with I color in case the stone did turn out one grade lower. I do have an antique diamond in K color, but I would not want K for my primary e-ring.

What setting style are you thinking? If prong set, I prefer a platinum head and rose gold shank. I wouldn't want rose gold prongs reflecting in the diamond.
 

edelweissmaedl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
123
I'll play since this would be my dream situation.

I would choose the 2.4 J. My finger size is a 3.5 so close. I don't know if I would want to pay that much more to make it to the magic 2.5ct mark. I would feel comfortable with I or J color, but having recently tried out an L OEC of similar size I would worry that the K would be too warm for my liking as well. It may be fine from the top....but I have realized at some point too much side tint is not for me.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,612
I don't understand what your friend meant by "too heavy to wear". I have not heard the people here with 4+ cts complain of their diamonds being too heavy, so I think you will be just fine in the two carat range! Many of us have a comfort level of what size diamond we think is over the top for our social circle and that kind of thing, but I could wear a 10 ct diamond and not feel it was too heavy!
 

girlguineapig

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
141
This is a tough choice and so individual! I'm definitely interested in upgrading my AVR someday...is there a premium for getting GOG to custom cut one for you versus waiting for the right stone?
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
diamondseeker2006|1472163199|4070084 said:
Exciting project!

I have an I color AVR and wouldn't go lower. I think I color is perfect for OECs and newly cut ones! I especially would go with I color in case the stone did turn out one grade lower. I do have an antique diamond in K color, but I would not want K for my primary e-ring.

What setting style are you thinking? If prong set, I prefer a platinum head and rose gold shank. I wouldn't want rose gold prongs reflecting in the diamond.
Thanks DS! If I could choose outright, I'd go for a J, but with the risk involved here I think you're right, and I need to shoot for an I. Though I guess it would make the search for rough easier if I were amenable to either... I think Lainey's story keeps popping into my head, and I'd hate to shoot for a J or K and get an M or N!!! As it was, she shot for an I and got an L. I agree with you that, while those colors are definitely gorgeous in an antique cut stone, I personally want something whiter for my e ring.

This friend has a tendency to overthink things.. I know from this board and wedding bee that plenty of women with hands on the smaller side wear 2+ ct stones and seemingly every day. She tends to overthink things, though, so I'll just write this off as that.

As for the setting, I'm unsure how I'll proceed regarding the head. I think I'll ask the designer's opinion on that. I think platinum may be better, at the very least for the prongs, for more security, right? But I prefer the LOOK of uniform rose gold. I don't mind the stone reflecting a little pink from the rose gold at certain angles - it's a yellow tint I really do not want.

Every custom stone thread I've seen on here, the eventual stone has polished out a little larger than anticipated (I think they know they'd have some pretty upset customers on their hands if they came out too small!! :lol: ), so I think it makes sense to stick with I/2.25 and hope to get something a little closer to 2.4/2.5.


Oh, and yessssss - it IS an exciting project! My SO is letting me start the planning now on the off chance the search for rough takes MONTHS, but regardless of how quickly/smoothly the process goes, I have to wait until late Spring or early Summer next year for the proposal! Part of me hopes the search for rough takes insanely long so I'll have less actual wait time once the ring is complete!

Thank you so much for your help here, I know you're the OEC queen! I frequently drool over your beautiful stone. :naughty:
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
edelweissmaedl|1472164922|4070095 said:
I'll play since this would be my dream situation.

I would choose the 2.4 J. My finger size is a 3.5 so close. I don't know if I would want to pay that much more to make it to the magic 2.5ct mark. I would feel comfortable with I or J color, but having recently tried out an L OEC of similar size I would worry that the K would be too warm for my liking as well. It may be fine from the top....but I have realized at some point too much side tint is not for me.
I like your point about stopping just before the 0.5 mark,and you're right. I'd agree with you on the J if prediction always equaled actual specs with these projects. Sometimes, the actual stone turns out 2 colors higher, sometimes 2 colors lower. The cutter will send us approximated percentages of likelihood of each color in the immediate range, so that's nice.

But in Lainey's case, she was shooting for an I, and their percentages didn't even include the possibility of an L, yet that's what it came back graded as. That outcome is apparently super rare, but it sticks in my mind anyways as a "what if..." that makes me want to err on the side of caution.
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
girlguineapig|1472171020|4070118 said:
This is a tough choice and so individual! I'm definitely interested in upgrading my AVR someday...is there a premium for getting GOG to custom cut one for you versus waiting for the right stone?
There is no premium. You let them know your desired specs, they look for rough. When they find one they think may be close to your specs, they send you an estimate. As an example:

Color: 30% I/40% J/ 20% K / 10% L
Weight: likely 2.1 - 2.4
Clarity: hard to be precise, but likely VS1+
Fluorescence: medium to strong

You decide whether you're willing to take the chances inherent in that specific rough. If you are, you agree on a new price (if the most likely specs are different than your preferred ones), you wire the money, they buy and cut. Once it's cut, it's graded and then you know what you actually have. I believe you can wind up paying a little extra if the weight is greater, but only up to a certain point, and you get somewhat of a refund if the color is lower than expected. IE you get a refund if the value of the graded stone is lower than the price you initially paid.

I think it can only work in your favor, barring any wild color issues like Lainey's. But even WITH the stone being an L, she fell in love with it. And got a much larger size than she was expecting to get. :love:

I think the vendors like the guarantee of having a buyer up front, not having to front any of their own money, and not having to hold inventory that may sit around for YEARS with no buyers. It seems to be a win/win all around! :dance:
 

Wombats

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Joined
Jul 12, 2016
Messages
131
Do the vendor's upgrade policies still apply on custom cut stones? Thanks

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,612
Oh, thank you for your sweet comments! If you went with 2.25 I color, you'd be very close to my stone or larger in your outcome! It would look pretty huge on your size finger!

I totally agree that the custom cutting has been a win-win in all the cases I have seen. You may get more than you have paid for but don't have to pay extra, but they will subtract if the stone turns out less than the agreed upon range!

I honestly think an AVR is easier to custom cut, because those are more consistent in how they look. Cushions can be many shapes. But I have loved all the custom cut cushions I have seen!

I will look forward to watching your project! :appl:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,612
Wombats|1472180141|4070146 said:
Do the vendor's upgrade policies still apply on custom cut stones? Thanks

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
I think you are asking if a custom cut stone can be upgraded? That would depend on the deal you make. You will pay a little more to have an upgrade policy, generally. I have bought 2 stones in the past from GOG with no upgrade policy (they were not H&A rounds or AV stones). One I still have and the other I sold outright.

But in regard to what girlguineapig was asking, I cannot upgrade my current AVR for a custom cut stone. The upgrade stone has to be in the in-house inventory and costs more than the current diamond did.

I do expect Jon to have more stones available in the next year for those interested in upgrading, though.
 

Wombats

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
131
Thanks so much [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES] Best wishes for the project!

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
540
I am doing a custom cut with Victor right now. Still waiting on the final outcome. It took us about 3-4 months to find the stone. He did find one right off the bat, but due to vacations, needed a within the day decision and wire of funds. My husband doesn't really operate that fast with large money decisions. After we lost that stone, it took longer for the next one. However, we were looking for a weight that is harder to find. The rough we finally got will yield a bigger stone, better clarity, but my chance of a lower color went up about 15%. In my case (and I think in all cases) both these vendors confirmed that if we grade up or down 1 color or clarity from predicted (I, VVS2 for me) than it is mine. Free upgrade if higher, already agreed on price if lower. However, if it is down more than 1 color or clarity grade, I get my money back and we start over. So, you won't be stuck with an L if you agree on a J. I guess we also renegotiate if it comes back 2 grades higher....but I don't think I can stomach the price for that one.

I have learned more about the rough diamond market going through this process. I was given ballpark figures for what I wanted. Most of the roughs we were offered seemed to be at the top of the ranges. I think it may be easier for you to give your max budget to them and tell them what you want the most. I was most set on being over a certain mm spread, carat weight minimum and I color or better. VS2 or better was fine. I decided to settle on an I since the chance for the J is not too high and the cost of the definite H in this range was too high. The market is very fluid and things move fast. There is a lot of uncertainty. The prices seemed to fluctuate a lot too. It is fun, but stressful. Technically, you are investing a lot in something unseen. My banker thinks we are slightly nuts.

My advice for you is to reach out to each vendor and see what they think your budget will get you at the carat weight you want with the current rough market. Then go from there. Also, be aware that the rough market seems to be starting to trend up a little (more expensive to you) and the holiday season brings more demand for diamonds. Now may be your best time to jump in and start.

Good luck! If you have any other questions for me, just ask.
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
540
diamondseeker2006|1472188623|4070185 said:
I am pretty sure you don't renegotiate price if it is any amount higher, at least with GOG. Someone here I think was aiming for I color with an AVC custom cut and it ended up G! What a bargain they got!
I do remember that post now! It would seem a bit unfair since technically, one already owns the rough.
 

Skhii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
344
diamondseeker2006|1472183795|4070154 said:
Wombats|1472180141|4070146 said:
Do the vendor's upgrade policies still apply on custom cut stones? Thanks

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
I think you are asking if a custom cut stone can be upgraded? That would depend on the deal you make. You will pay a little more to have an upgrade policy, generally. I have bought 2 stones in the past from GOG with no upgrade policy (they were not H&A rounds or AV stones). One I still have and the other I sold outright.

But in regard to what girlguineapig was asking, I cannot upgrade my current AVR for a custom cut stone. The upgrade stone has to be in the in-house inventory and costs more than the current diamond did.

I do expect Jon to have more stones available in the next year for those interested in upgrading, though.
Does Jon mean that all GOG diamonds with trade-in policies (whether initially in-house or custom cut) must be upgraded to an in-house stone? Thanks for the clarification!
 

girlguineapig

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
141
Does it really have to be in-house? There are diamonds GOG sells that are not in-house but that do have the trade-up/buyback policy.

But if I can't trade up my AVR for a custom cut, maybe it's just as well. I'll just let fate decide when GOG creates the right AVR for me. :) Right now I'm not even sure what the right specs would be. I wonder if there's a mailing list I can subscribe to to know when they get new ones in...
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
55,612
The diamonds have to be listed on their site for sure and usually in stock. I do not think they will custom cut for an upgrade, but I am verifying that with Jon to be sure. Update: he said each case has to be considered individually. Depends on how much of an upgrade it is and other factors.

Here is what their policy says:

Trade back the diamond that you purchased from Good Old Gold for a credit of the full purchase price paid (less shipping) toward another diamond of equal to or greater in value from your past diamond purchase. The new diamond must be a Good Old Gold stock diamond 1. Diamonds that you traded up to, as long as it has Lifetime Policies as well can be traded up again and you must use the same payment method for the new purchase as you used to make payment on the original purchase. Once you trade up for another diamond there are no refunds or buy backs2. You can only trade up again.

1. It is possible to trade up to a non "in stock diamond" (ie. outside sourced) at our discretion.
2. We may at our discretion buy back a diamond that was previously traded. Any questions, simply ask

My guess on the discretion part is dependent on whether they think they can easily resell the diamond you are trading in or need one with those specs in inventory.
 

girlguineapig

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
141
Thanks diamondseeker. I'm interested to know what Jon tells you. My AVR is 1.05 ct G SI1, eyeclean except for a little thing on the side I could see if I worked hard. It was prongable so I've never seen it since we saw the diamond loose. Guess I'd have to ask them :D I may just have to start my own thread! Hehe.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
55,612
girlguineapig|1472231241|4070271 said:
Does it really have to be in-house? There are diamonds GOG sells that are not in-house but that do have the trade-up/buyback policy.

But if I can't trade up my AVR for a custom cut, maybe it's just as well. I'll just let fate decide when GOG creates the right AVR for me. :) Right now I'm not even sure what the right specs would be. I wonder if there's a mailing list I can subscribe to to know when they get new ones in...
You need to talk to Jon about whether custom cutting is an option for you. You can also ask him when he might be getting new stock. He has indicated he plans on stocking more next year, I believe.
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
poshmommy|1472188401|4070183 said:
I am doing a custom cut with Victor right now. Still waiting on the final outcome. It took us about 3-4 months to find the stone. He did find one right off the bat, but due to vacations, needed a within the day decision and wire of funds. My husband doesn't really operate that fast with large money decisions. After we lost that stone, it took longer for the next one. However, we were looking for a weight that is harder to find. The rough we finally got will yield a bigger stone, better clarity, but my chance of a lower color went up about 15%. In my case (and I think in all cases) both these vendors confirmed that if we grade up or down 1 color or clarity from predicted (I, VVS2 for me) than it is mine. Free upgrade if higher, already agreed on price if lower. However, if it is down more than 1 color or clarity grade, I get my money back and we start over. So, you won't be stuck with an L if you agree on a J. I guess we also renegotiate if it comes back 2 grades higher....but I don't think I can stomach the price for that one.

I have learned more about the rough diamond market going through this process. I was given ballpark figures for what I wanted. Most of the roughs we were offered seemed to be at the top of the ranges. I think it may be easier for you to give your max budget to them and tell them what you want the most. I was most set on being over a certain mm spread, carat weight minimum and I color or better. VS2 or better was fine. I decided to settle on an I since the chance for the J is not too high and the cost of the definite H in this range was too high. The market is very fluid and things move fast. There is a lot of uncertainty. The prices seemed to fluctuate a lot too. It is fun, but stressful. Technically, you are investing a lot in something unseen. My banker thinks we are slightly nuts.

My advice for you is to reach out to each vendor and see what they think your budget will get you at the carat weight you want with the current rough market. Then go from there. Also, be aware that the rough market seems to be starting to trend up a little (more expensive to you) and the holiday season brings more demand for diamonds. Now may be your best time to jump in and start.

Good luck! If you have any other questions for me, just ask.

Oh wow - thank you so much for sharing your experience! I knew you were getting something custom 4+ ct, and there was going to be a 2.5 I left over. I had considered waiting around to see what price that was posted at, but haven't seen it pop up yet. I'm sure it's way out of my budget anyways, as I think my budget just MIGHT get me a 2.5 *J*! :love:

I do think DS is right that you don't have to renegotiate anything OVER what you had specified... except carat weight. I think if you hit or better the color AND weight, then you pay an additional amount for the ct - in one thread it was "up to .09 carats more," so you're still not paying the full rap price. And I think you're right - it's because technically you owned the rough fair and square and labor was already factored in at the original price. In Lainey's case, she did way better in weight, but the lower color seemed to more than "cancel" that out, and she got a bit of a refund down to the value of the actual specs.

I hadn't given any thought at all to the approaching holidays, and now I feel extremely stressed to begin! I'll reach out to both vendors now and ask about their trade-in policies - though I would expect this to be a forever stone anyways. I am definitely not the diamond collector that a lot of you seem to be! (I wish!)

I also love that you pointed out I won't get "stuck" with an L if I shoot for a J. It makes me reconsider wanting to shoot for a J. I don't think I'm as color-sensitive as DS, especially with the stone going into rose gold... And I could always hold out for rough that has an EXTREMELY small chance of coming out a K.. SO and I have nothing but time at this point! :think:
 

edelweissmaedl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
123
dazzlerazzle - VC is cutting the rest of poshmommy's rough into a 2.5ct MRB and not one of his CERs.

I already asked because I was hoping the same as you.... that if the color ended up J it could be in budget.
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
OMG - Of COURSE he is!! The way these vendors keep prioritizing the MRB's over the old cuts... (defensibly, for sure!) It's why I've thrown in the towel and pretty much decided to go custom.
 

misskittycat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2012
Messages
1,068
diamondseeker2006|1472170382|4070116 said:
I don't understand what your friend meant by "too heavy to wear". I have not heard the people here with 4+ cts complain of their diamonds being too heavy, so I think you will be just fine in the two carat range! Many of us have a comfort level of what size diamond we think is over the top for our social circle and that kind of thing, but I could wear a 10 ct diamond and not feel it was too heavy!
Agreed - my 4ct OEC isn't too heavy to wear at all!!
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
540
edelweissmaedl|1472241410|4070327 said:
dazzlerazzle - VC is cutting the rest of poshmommy's rough into a 2.5ct MRB and not one of his CERs.

I already asked because I was hoping the same as you.... that if the color ended up J it could be in budget.

Is he really??? Rats! Originally he was planning on a CER. However, he let my stone take priority over his and I know that they had to adjust a few things to get what I wanted. That might have had something to do with it. They need more rough to cut a CER than a similar carat MRB.

I thought we were getting close to done. However, it's vacation time where ever my stone is. So I think they just finished separating the sister stones.
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
540
Dazzlerazzle, I'm sorry I panicked you with the timing. I didn't mean too. Just wanted to point out that the season for engagement is coming up soon.

This is a stressful process. But all these great people on PS are really helpful and supportive. Diamondseeker was my personal savior through much of this!

After I told Victor what my ideal target was, he often sent me options to consider that were right around the cusp of my target (1 up or down on clarity or color) with the price for the rough and let me make the call. He never got irritated that I told him no repeatedly and stuck to my target. There were a couple of interesting options. So, you will likely be given different options to consider throughout the wait. You may just decide to take him up on anther one.

Best of luck!!
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
FYI, VC offered me your twin stone, Poshmommy!! Apparently, it was/is scheduled to be cut into a MRB, but he offered to check with production and see if cutting had started not. If not, he offered to switch it to CER. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to jump on it because I'm supposed to just be researching right now. SO doesn't want to buy for another few weeks at least. I'm not sure if Victor would be amenable to anyone else jumping in and requesting the twin stone (if he's in time - he hasn't confirmed he'll even be able to do this yet) for a CER, but you'd need to move immediately if you want it. FYI he gave me the stats of 2.5 J VS as most likely with this stone.

Poshmommy, DS, do either of you have loop troop or other links up that would allow me to direct message you? And would you mind? I have some follow up questions!!
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
540
dazzlerazzle|1472332201|4070675 said:
FYI, VC offered me your twin stone, Poshmommy!! Apparently, it was/is scheduled to be cut into a MRB, but he offered to check with production and see if cutting had started not. If not, he offered to switch it to CER. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to jump on it because I'm supposed to just be researching right now. SO doesn't want to buy for another few weeks at least. I'm not sure if Victor would be amenable to anyone else jumping in and requesting the twin stone (if he's in time - he hasn't confirmed he'll even be able to do this yet) for a CER, but you'd need to move immediately if you want it. FYI he gave me the stats of 2.5 J VS as most likely with this stone.

Poshmommy, DS, do either of you have loop troop or other links up that would allow me to direct message you? And would you mind? I have some follow up questions!!
I'm on purse forum. Same user name. PS really needs a private message function.

That is odd to me that he predicts the sister stone to be a grade lower on cut and color for the smaller stone. I know larger stones show the color more. He told me that he could cut the whole rough for me and it would be a 5+ carat CER but the chance of it coming back a J would go up more than the 25% he quoted for the 4.3 carat. He said their was a small chance of mine coming back an H, but he didn't mention it at first because he did not want me to get my hopes up for an H. Hmmm...anyone have any insight on why the smaller stone would be more likely to be lower in color than the larger?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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55,612
Thanks, poshmommy! I have enjoyed talking with you about your project!

razzledazzle, I am most easily found on loupetroop.com (same username there) and am always happy to talk about diamonds!
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
Maybe he thought this other stone just would have a higher chance of being a J than it actually did. He sent me another email saying the chances for a J are smaller than he thought (after hearing from the cutters) and that it actually stands a decent chance of coming out an H. Anyone who has a larger budget than me should email Victor immediately, as there's still time to switch it to a CER!
 
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