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Do you ever sacrifice quality?

girlyglam

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
269
Something I've been thinking about quite a bit...do you ever sacrifice quality of a diamond at a certain size or for certain pieces?

Now, obviously PS is a community of diamond/gem/jewelry lovers, and obviously PSers a super knowledgable about these things, so I understand that I'm talking to specific group, but let me try to explain myself a bit. Before PS, I basically knew nothing about nothing. My diamond knowledge pretty much went as far as "that looks pretty" or "wow, that's big". I would have never been someone to buy an e-ring from a mall jeweler, but that's not because I knew enough to know that those diamonds are generally not the best...it's more because for special pieces like an e-ring, I never wanted something that just anyone can pick up at the mall. However, I would have probably still said that a lot of the things sold at mall jewelers are pretty. I still don't know a whole lot, but I'm learning, and at this point, I'm trying to figure out what the best balance of quality vs. budget is for me.

Now, I've always been someone who doesn't care so much about the specs, as long as it is pretty. That being said, the more I learn, the more I care about quality, and herein lies the struggle. For instance, I am strongly considering buying preset diamond studs from Ritani that are are .25ctw, I color, and I1 clarity. I'm not color sensitive, but I would probably never consider I1 for a ring...but for studs that are so small and aren't often seen (I wear my hair down most of the time), it seems silly to really try and find the best quality diamonds. But maybe this is the "wrong" frame of mind? For me, I feel like .25ctw studs and maybe .5ctw studs for my second holes are small enough and not generally visible enough that I can sacrifice on things, but when I start thinking this way, I start wondering why don't I just go on eBay and find something super super cheap? I'd like to eventually get 1ctw studs too, but then I feel like those seem big enough that it's worth going for quality.

I'm struggling with this on bracelets too. For a tennis bracelet, while the individual diamonds are relatively small, there's so many of them that I recognize the value of going for quality. But for a different type of bracelet, I struggle. Do I sacrifice in quality because the diamonds are small and few in something like a duty bracelet? And then I start thinking like above...if I'm going to sacrifice, why not just go for something cheap on eBay? Or do I go for quality because a bracelet is a piece that is more visible and something I would personally see on myself often? (As opposed to studs that I would only see in the mirror).

I admit, part of this current struggle I'm currently having is the desire to have certain key pieces within a certain timeline while weighing that against my budget. Basically, I'd love to have studs for my second and third holes by my wedding in October (which, in terms of pieces, would probably be my priorities) and I'd love some kind of diamond bracelet by my wedding as well (certainly not needed, but I would really love it). But then, I'm also paying for a wedding which is an expense in and of itself. Someone said in another post of mine that I don't there is no need to get a complete collection before the wedding, which is absolutely true and good for me to hear! Still, the desire is still there.

So, what do you all do? Do you ever sacrifice in things or do you feel it's important to have quality over any thing, no matter the size of the stone or piece? What about if you plan to replace/upgrade the pieces or not? (For me, whatever I get will likely be things I plan to have forever). How do you balance quality vs budget? I realize, of course, that no one can tell me what to do, but I'd love to hear others' thought process on this!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
This is pretty much what I said in another thread, but I would buy imitations for now and save and get really nice quality pieces one at a time. I wouldn't even waste a few hundred dollars on poor quality diamonds. Spend as little as possible and get cz's the size of the diamonds you plan on getting in a year or two or five. That's what I did before I had my first larger pair. That is what my 20 year old wears at college, and when she lost one, I just ordered another pair just like them!

I guess I learned the hard way and hate to see others repeat the mistake. I loved jewelry and we bought a few things when we were younger that were not the best quality. I no longer wear those things and long ago either gave them to a daughter or sold the gold! Now I am very conscious of buying things that would be something I could proudly hand down. My older daughter is married, and really, her only fine jewelry at this point is her wedding set, a pair of small diamond studs, and a couple of white gold pendants we have given her. Her wedding earrings were by Nadri, and Berricle is good quality, too, for formal or special occasion jewelry when you can't buy the real thing. Pearls are affordable and a very nice thing to get for a wedding if you want something between fashion jewelry and diamonds. I think the PS gift would have been great to use towards a small pair of good quality diamond studs that could move to your second holes once you get your 1 ctw pair. But it sounded like you were going for a right hand ring, the last I saw.
 

baby monster

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
3,631
Cheap jewelry should be costume. It's fun and gives a certain look. There's no need to rush this process for your wedding as pearls or cz will give you the design for the day within budget. Diamonds need to be ideal cut to sparkle with color/clarity combo that is acceptable to you. Find a vendor with good upgrade policy and just upgrade the size over time until you get to your desired ctw.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,378
I wouldn't go I-1 for earrings, I would go uncerted but excellent cut, why? Earrings have a tendency to get a little grimy bc it's hard to put them on without getting your fingers all over them, and excellent cuts sparkle through the grime lolol.

One of my first PS vendor purchases was a pair of 0.33 ctw princess cut ready set to go. Uncerted, Tiny but punchy! So just bc you are going smaller, you should still consider saving for the best options out there.

My mom has a three stone excellent cut uncerted diamonds ring from IDJeweley. It's her going to the supermarket ring. :errrr: that's how she compromised hahahaha. :wall: but her serious pieces, for serious ocassions I.e., going out to dinner, visiting family, visiting the mothership I mean mother land and getting together with college gal pals, she goes BGD signature :lol: :lol: her pedigree show horses? She kills me... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I've only done it once with a pendant. It didn't cost muxh but it was junk.. A waste of even that.

I don't compromise quality now. But I do buy a lot os second hand all the time. And get great deals that way.

Have you lookwd inti a nice second hand piece. It requires a littlw flexibility, some luck, and time and sometimes creativity. But you can get lovely stuff second hand.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
Excellent suggestion, Gypsy! Watch the pre-loved forum here girlyglam (listings are usually on loupetroop.com and diamondbistro.com). I have bought ideal cut diamonds from those listings and a dbty necklace from Whiteflash in platinum. There is a mixture of things and not always good quality, but you can find some good deals on nice quality pieces second hand.
 

girlyglam

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
269
Thank you all for your responses! I really appreciate all you have to say!

Yes, the PS win would have been great for studs, or even a nice bracelet, but my priority before either of those was a RHR. I don't regret the decision - I had been pining for a diamond ring, and I am thrilled to have the winnings to make it happen. It's funny, I was never a big diamond girl, but the sparkle of the halo in my e-ring really made me appreciate them and want more!

I know that I keep saying that I want these things by my wedding, but I know realistically, that probably won't happen and there is no need to rush these things. I'm not set on NEEDING these things by and for the wedding - it's just what I would love to happen in the most ideal circumstances. Thus, I'm not opposed to imitations for the wedding, and I am almost definitely going to go with pearls for the wedding.

I am definitely open to second hand pieces. I check LT and DB often. I've considered a lot of things, but I don't feel like I have enough knowledge right now to know whether something is a good deal or not. And I feel weird asking about it here because my impression is that most of the sellers on LT and DB are PSers.

I also appreciate the comments about saving for quality. I get tempted because I see things that I could afford now, but that probably aren't the best quality. That being said, I do want to get forever pieces so I see the value of waiting (and do plan to do so - it's just hard to resist the temptation!).

I guess my question is more of an overall question though. No matter what point of life I'm at, I know I will probably always be working with a relatively tight budget. And yes, with saving and hopefully earning more over time, that budget will hopefully get bigger, but there will always be a budget, and it'll never be as big as I want it to be. So with that in mind, how do you balance quality and budget? At what point do you feel things can be sacrificed, and how do you make those decisions for yourself? For me, I know I'm happy to go for lower colors because I'm just not all that color sensitive. But beyond that, I haven't quite figured it out. Is I1 clarity acceptable for .2ctw or .25ctw studs, knowing that honestly, these are not studs that I'm all that super invested in anyway? (And side question that I feel stupid for asking...does I1 clarity automatically mean poorly cut diamonds? Or is it possible to have I1 clarity but still well cut?) The 1ctw studs I'd like to get someday are ones that I would be much more invested in, and even the .5ctw studs I'd like for my second holes, I'd probably care more about the quality of those. But the smallest ones are really only meant to be something nicer than the Target CZs I currently wear, but not something I'm looking to break the bank on. So is I1 ok if they look decent enough? Is it worth aiming for a WF tennis bracelet with ACA diamonds if non ACA diamonds from somewhere else look good enough? I would obviously appreciate the quality of ACA diamonds, but enough to offset the potential cost savings elsewhere? (To be fair, I've never seen an ACA in real life so maybe they would be worth the $$).

I know these are decisions that one can only make for themselves, and it is all highly personal. It's also very theoretical for me because I know I'm not going to be purchasing 1ctw studs or a tennis bracelet anytime soon. I'm just interested in how others come to these decisions as I try to work out how I will make these decisions myself.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If you can get on the PS Facebook forum, it's easier for us to help you with ebay listings without lurkers to snatch good deals.

:wavey:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
You don't always have to have superideal cuts, no. But the better GIA excellent cuts, yes. And we can help you find those when the time comes, or you can certainly get help regarding pre-loved items. Some of us have personal items listed on Pre-loved, and sometimes you can go to our listings and contact us if you have questions.

I would not recommend I1 in most cases. For one thing, I1 inclusions can interfere with the light performance of the stone. Sometimes it might be large feathers that would more easily result in the stone breaking if dropped or hit against something. (I'd still rather have the sims). There are a few people here who have them, and a few more who have SI2's, but I think SI1 is the best value/quality balance especially when the budget is limited. You certainly can focus on I-J color for things like studs, etc. Sticking with GIA Ex cut stones within the better specs will get you fine quality, beautiful diamonds. And yes, you can use a vendor like ID Jewelry and they will use nice quality (cut) diamonds in SI clarity and make you a tennis bracelet or DBTY bracelet that is more reasonably priced than going for the very top quality diamonds. Many people here have done that!
 

girlyglam

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
269
Gypsy|1453006650|3977122 said:
If you can get on the PS Facebook forum, it's easier for us to help you with ebay listings without lurkers to snatch good deals.

:wavey:
There's a Facebook group for Pricescope? I had no idea!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
girlyglam|1453008325|3977140 said:
Gypsy|1453006650|3977122 said:
If you can get on the PS Facebook forum, it's easier for us to help you with ebay listings without lurkers to snatch good deals.

:wavey:

There is.
:)
There's a Facebook group for Pricescope? I had no idea!
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,259
I think in terms of not wasting money.

The key for me is not to buy something that I am not happy with, which would be a waste of money. I have sunk a lot of money into test rings, and stuff, probably several hundred dollars. I just hate having something sit in a drawer because I don't like it, or because it just doesn't fit into the daily rotation enough. For me, that is wasting money.

I don't think there is a right or wrong. There is what YOU like and can live with.

If you are a person that cares about quality, regardless of what it is and what it is used for, then I would rather wait than buy something that is of lower quality, meaning an I1. But if it doesn't bother you for an earring, and it's beautiful and sparkly, and if beautiful and sparkly is all you care about, then get it now. Do you know yourself well enough to know if it may bother you in the future? If you know it will never bother you, then fine. Get it now. If you know that you will be wanting better quality in the future, and you will need to sell the I1 pair for a higher clairty/color pair, then wait. For example, I knew I would be bothered with an SI2 for my pendant. So I bit the bullet and spent more to get the next available, which unfortunately was an IF. But I knew I would not be happy with an SI2. That's just me.

Or to get the best of both worlds, go with a vendor that has a good upgrade policy. Then you have something you can wear now, and upgrade in the future.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
5,635
I purchased a number of CSs last year that I would consider as cheap and cheerful, as well as a handful of better stones.

Some of the cheapos are my learner stones that I am unlikely to set, and I have learnt a lot last year.

I try not to sacrifice in quality, however, I do not have a deep pocket and spare cash for jewellery is limited. Therefore, some compromises have to be made from time to time.

For instance, I am not going to spend thousands on a CS that is worth only 100 USD!

DK :))
 

girlyglam

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
269
Thank you all for contributing your thoughts! It's actually helping me figure out what I would be ok with for which pieces. :)

Also, this PS Facebook group Gypsy mentioned...is it the PS Facebook page? Or is it an actual group? I could only find the Facebook page.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Its a.group. Find one of us on Diamo d Bistro or Loupe Troop. Email through there and re.ind us who you are, Ask to be added.
I think I still have a DB listing up. My DB name is Plizzard
 

girlyglam

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
269
Gypsy|1453071557|3977273 said:
Its a.group. Find one of us on Diamo d Bistro or Loupe Troop. Email through there and re.ind us who you are, Ask to be added.
I think I still have a DB listing up. My DB name is Plizzard
Just messaged you on DiamondBistro :) Thank you!
 
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