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Diamond Dilemma - GSI grading

PixnSparklez

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
24
Hello All,

First, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my post and help me out.

My boyfriend and I are getting engaged in the next month or so. We originally had a fairly big budget (25K) but since the recession and the huge unemployment rate for his profession (where we live), we would like to make a practical decision. I'm 25 years old and we've been dating for almost 5 years. We set this budget before he was to graduate from Law School because we had some money saved up but then when the recession hit, we had to survive off of our savings for a bit.

Now that I am a little bit older and maybe a little bit wiser, I would like to set a practical budget. I didn't expect to get engaged until late this year to early next year but he brought it up to me last week so now I'm on the hunt (for real this time) for a loose diamond. I consider myself to be very educated about diamonds but not as educated as many of you (that's why I'm here). I work full-time and attend school full-time (graduating next year), he works full-time. He has a mortgage's-worth of student loans to pay and I have quite a bit of student loans to pay as well. We are looking to buy a house soon and we're also saving for a truck as well. So now that you kind of know our situation, I'll tell you a little bit about my question (finally).

QUESTIONS:
After doing research for some years now (since I've been ready to marry him four years ago), 1.) I've always heard about e-rings and all the good stuff but what about getting your 6-month check-ups? Do I need to send it in to the place I bought it? 2.) I would ideally LOVE an AGS-Ideal diamond but I can only afford it through the internet. Has anyone ever heard of GSI-graded diamonds through Fred Meyer Jewelers? They now sell loose diamonds but said that when I'm ready to upgrade to my "ideal" diamond, they can order in GIA or AGS diamonds for me through their vendors. That is why I'm thinking I might go through them since I plan on upgrading my diamond eventually. 3.) Is it a good idea to buy a lesser-known, newer grading company diamond like GSI? What has anyone ever heard about them? 4.) The other reason we may go through Fred Meyer Jewelers is because they finance and we like that. We're looking to put down $3,000 and pay off the rest within 3-12 months. We're comfortable with a budget under $8,000 including the setting.

I know BN has a financing option but to upgrade you must buy their "Signature Ideal" cut diamonds and I don't know if that is the typical 57-58 facets or if it has more faceting. I'm a traditional girl, so I don't want all the additional facets. I saw a couple diamonds (ideal cut) through JA that was within our price range but their actual diamond pictures looks kind of horrible so I'm scared to order through them even though I've only heard good things. I guess my question is, should I search more through the internet? I'm only comfortable with BG, JA, WF, and I'm on the fence about BN. I'm thinking my best bet would be Fred Meyer but at the same time I would LOVE to have an ideal or excellent AGS/GIA certified diamond. I don't know why certification is so important to me but it is.

We've been looking at: RB, 1.5-2.0 ct, D-I color, around SI1-I1 clarity, and "ID"-VG cut but this is through GSI not AGS or GIA. However, on the internet, I've been looking at RB 1.5 ct, H-I color, SI1-!1 clarity, and Ideal-Very Good cut diamonds through AGS or GIA on WF, JA, BG, and BN for around the same price range. I really don't mind having a smaller diamond with better cut, I'd rather have a better cut over anything but my dilemma is through the internet or through Fred Meyer with a lesser-known grading company? I'm upgrading eventually to a GIA or AGS diamond.

Sorry for the long message, I felt like I kind of had to explain my financial situation because that is why we're now in a bind because before the recession we were OK. Plus, I ordered in 3 diamonds to look at at Fred Meyer this week :) Thank you for any suggestions!

SL
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Can I ask which city are you at? There might be online vendors in the city you are at that others can recommend so that you can see the stones personally?

Check ups most local jewelers will do it for free as you will most likely be browsing their stores while they are checking/cleaning you ring. Shop around.

No idea about GSI, but in the diamond industry, you usually get what you pay for. If the stone is really the grade AGS/GIA would give it why would anyone send it to a lesser known company and get less profit for it?

BN SI is a 57 facets round, supposedly H&A but nothing to back it up. JA depends, sometime their image setup really mess up.
 

lknvrb4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,737
My original ering diamond came from Fred Myers and it came with a GSI rating card. We were broke when we got engaged so thats why we went there. If I was as educated in diamonds then as I am now I would have bought from an online vendor to get a nicer stone for less.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,280
If you are concerned about good quality, then you need to totally put out of your mind any grading lab other than GIA and AGS. I believe Good Old Gold has a 6 month interest free financing option, and they are one of the best vendors here, so that is what I would recommend for you. Plus they do offer a 100% trade-in value, but with all trade-ins, it is worth most when you trade in sooner since diamond prices rise over time. I also would discourage you from I1 for an engagement ring because it is extremely unlikely to find an eyeclean one. On occasion, it may be possible to find an eyeclean SI2, but I usually try to focus on helping people find an eyeclean SI1 because that is more likely to be found. I will look at GOG's inventory to see what they have at the moment, but they will work with you to call in stones. They can find you an ideal or excellent cut diamond. I really think your budget is unrealistic to go to the 1.5 to 2.0 ct. range and would encourage you to go below 1.5 now and then trade up when you can afford it, unless you want to finance the ring longer and pay more now.

I just checked and they don't have anything, but they are wonderful and will call in some stones for you if you call them. You need to focus on finding an eyeclean SI2 to get the most for your money.

James Allen has some H-I-J SI2's in the 1.3 range that will be the most you will get with an $8000 budget including setting. The 1.5 I SI2's are over $9000 just for the stone. You will not get more for your money with a lesser lab. You will just get a lower color-clarity-cut than the report says.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
Your budget is unrealistic for a well-cut 1.5+ diamond. However you can get a bit smaller, nice diamond from a reputable retailer that has an upgrade policy, which is what I'd do. Here are some options:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2581085.htm This is an ACA which is Whiteflash's top cut level, and is fully upgradeable for 100% of your purchase price towards something of equal or greater value.

http://www.highperformancediamonds.com/index.php?page=view-id-diamond-infinity&id=808 fully upgradeable equal or higher purchase price, but lower in color than you wanted to go.

From James Allen:
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1349863.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1363423.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1353904.asp

You'd have to confirm eye-clean on the SI1's above and JA only allows upgrades if you spend double the amount of the original purchase when you upgrade.

GOG didn't have anything in the inventory, but you could give them a call. It looks like you will need to lower your specs a bit (in size and possibly color) to maximize what you want at this moment. A 1.1 or 1.2 stone is still a nice size!

You could just get an classic solitare in white gold to put more $$ towards the stone right now and get the biggest nicest stone you can, with a new setting in a few years to go with your upgrade.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
1.) I've always heard about e-rings and all the good stuff but what about getting your 6-month check-ups? Do I need to send it in to the place I bought it? You can take it to any local trusted jeweler

2.) I would ideally LOVE an AGS-Ideal diamond but I can only afford it through the internet. Has anyone ever heard of GSI-graded diamonds through Fred Meyer Jewelers? They now sell loose diamonds but said that when I'm ready to upgrade to my "ideal" diamond, they can order in GIA or AGS diamonds for me through their vendors. That is why I'm thinking I might go through them since I plan on upgrading my diamond eventually. I have not heard of that company or that lab. I do not recommend buying a diamond with a less reputable report (i.e. not GIA or AGS). The report is important because it is assurance to the consumer that you are getting what you paid for. Diamonds with GIA and AGS reports cost more because the reports are accurate ;)) Other reports seem to be with diamonds that cost less, but those diamonds are NOT equivalent. See below for my case and point.

3.) Is it a good idea to buy a lesser-known, newer grading company diamond like GSI? What has anyone ever heard about them? No and I have not heard of them

4.) The other reason we may go through Fred Meyer Jewelers is because they finance and we like that. We're looking to put down $3,000 and pay off the rest within 3-12 months. We're comfortable with a budget under $8,000 including the setting. Get a 0% credit card or something if you want financing. There are many offers for balance transfers. You don't need financing through the jewler. If you cannot get financing any other way, then I suggest spening the cash you have and living within your means. I don't mean that in a nasty way, but as someone who is a little older, you will regret going in debt for a diamond if you really cannot afford the debt (in my opinion, you cannot afford the debt if you cannot easily find credit on your own with very low interest.

I know BN has a financing option but to upgrade you must buy their "Signature Ideal" cut diamonds and I don't know if that is the typical 57-58 facets or if it has more faceting. I'm a traditional girl, so I don't want all the additional facets. Signature ideal is just a brand of RB that is traditionally cut. Nothing unusual. It is their top line brand.

I saw a couple diamonds (ideal cut) through JA that was within our price range but their actual diamond pictures looks kind of horrible so I'm scared to order through them even though I've only heard good things. I guess my question is, should I search more through the internet? I'm only comfortable with BG, JA, WF, and I'm on the fence about BN. I'm thinking my best bet would be Fred Meyer but at the same time I would LOVE to have an ideal or excellent AGS/GIA certified diamond. I don't know why certification is so important to me but it is. It should be important to you. I am not sure why you thought the photos at JA looked bad. I wonder if they were not actually well cut stones? You can't let magnified images fool you. They are designed to show faceting, a little information about cut quality to people who know what to look for, and inclusions. So they are not glamourous.

We've been looking at: RB, 1.5-2.0 ct, D-I color, around SI1-I1 clarity, and "ID"-VG cut but this is through GSI not AGS or GIA. And here is my case and point about the cost of diamonds and reports -- you CANNOT get over a 1.5ct diamond for $8000. Not if you want a well cut stone with a reliable report, and by that I do not mean and H&A stone either. You simply cannot jump the 1.5ct mark for your budget unless you buy a diamond with a poor cut or an unreliable cert. You CAN afford a very nice 1.25ct stone though, with perhaps H/I color and SI1 calrity.

However, on the internet, I've been looking at RB 1.5 ct, H-I color, SI1-!1 clarity, and Ideal-Very Good cut diamonds through AGS or GIA on WF, JA, BG, and BN for around the same price range. You are compromising cut if you are getting diamonds with those specs over the 1.5ct mark. You need to go see diamonds in person to decide if that is a compromise you are willing to make. It is not one I would ever make.
 
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