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Engagement Ring Help - Radiant 15k budget

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
Hey Guys,

I am looking to get an engagement ring for my girlfriend, I tried reading up about diamonds and it is just completely over my head. I usually don't do this on forums, but I can't seem to grasp it too well and need the assistance of the experts. Here is where I am at:

15k budget
Radiant diamond
1.5-2carat
d-g color
if-vs1
very good to excellent cut

I just can't get the concept of depth, table, and stuff like that for a diamond. Here are the shops i was looking at, blue nile, white flash, and maybe even USAA, but i am leaning towards the first 2. I was interested in the original radiant cut diamond, but I wasn't able to get a price on their website so I will have to contact them. Is it worth the premium for an original radiant cut? I am planning to purchase in early-mid november and proposing sometime in December. I am a student so my budget is pretty firm, wish it was more but oh well,I might be able to stretch it to 16k if there was a diamond that was worth the stretch. Also, I don't have a lot of time to look at stores and I have been putting it off researching because of my studies. I really appreciate all of the help you guys will provide. Thank you very much!

Also, here is a diamond that seems to fit my criteria so far, just don't know about the other details on there, like depth and table.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut-loose-diamond-2569160.htm
1.75
G
vs1

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut-loose-diamond-2590821.htm
1.5
F
IF

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut-loose-diamond-2632569.htm
1.75
E
vs2

What do you guys think of these so far? They will be on a platinum band if that matters. Thanks again, if you have any suggestions, I would welcome them. Thank you :)
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Hi and welcome :) I am just curious, why did you choose a radiant cut stone?

All of the stones that you have linked from Whiteflash are virtual stones meaning that Whiteflash does not have them in hand. They could call them in for evaluation but there may be a fee associated (because it costs money for them to ship/etc.) Since you cannot buy radiants or any fancy cut by the numbers there is nothing to suggest that the ones you linked are particularly good candidates for analysis.

I think you will get better results from calling vendors and telling them what your budget is and having them find you candidates within your budget. One vendor who does this routinely is Good Old Gold but I am sure WF or other vendors could also do this. Blue Nile does not.
 

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
Thanks for the info slg47! I guess I will have to contact them, I remember seeing some vendors frequent often, but can't remember who exactly, it would be great if I could get some input from them.

I am picked radiant since you can get a fairly larger size for the price and the fire from a radiant is suppose to be really good correct? I really don't have a super solid reason why I picked a radiant. I originally was thinking of round, but a decent size one is really expensive and I found out my girlfriend didn't like round stones. Any advice on stones and other styles though would be great, any at all would be appreciated.

I just wish I could take my girlfriend and have her pick her stone, but I don't think she wants that.
 

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
That's a little outside my budget, but that is a beautiful ring.

A couple questions, how important is a GIA certification versus AGS, is it ags certification there?

I really do like how detailed that website is though. Thanks for the input, I appreciate every bit I get :)
 

backwardsandinheels

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
680
Hello,
I have looked into USAA too and find that their prices can be hit or miss sometimes. I thought they would be better for loose stones. I also like radiants better than most Princesses. Under the knowledge tab on Pricescope there is a fancy cuts category that can give you guidelines for what to look for in each fancy cut. Does she want a lot of detail, simple, vintage? Big or little fingers? Some people like radiants longer like a traditional emerald cut, or more like a squarish cushion. Good Old Gold of course has great tutorials showing you the differences between stones. How about if you post a few things to point us in the right direction?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,163
I really like the variety of cuts that Good Old Gold has in the radiant shape category. I really do not like radiants with a "crushed ice" kind of cut. And I really do like Princess of Hearts.

Here are a few other choices within your budget:


http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/4366/

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8141/

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/7883/

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8063/

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8762/

I realize this stone is a little over your budget, but I know they are expecting more in the next month. These are my personal favorites outside of rounds:

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8210/
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Do NOT pick a radiant without KNOWING your lady wants one. PLEASE I would say that 90% of the women I know do NOT like radiants at all. And would prefer a smaller stone of different shape over a larger radiant.

Princess, cushion, emerald cut are all safer. And square cushions are the safest, with emerald cuts second.

Radiants and marquise both are NOT shapes you 'surprise' someone with. Too many people dislike them.

Also, have someone ask her if she likes pears or ovals. They are both spready and a good value and not round.
 

Snow_Miser

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
130
If you are not wanting a round, but are not committed to a radiant, there are some great diamond shapes to choose from. Here are a few of my favorite that have great light performance:

August Vintage Cushion : http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8200/

Square Cushion Hearts and Arrows: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8355/ (I realize this one is out of your price range, but you can always call Good Old Gold and ask if they have access to any more.)

Jubilee: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/5662/ (Same as above.)

Princess of Hearts: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8366/

Please understand that I realize that not all of these diamonds are within your budget. I posted these so that you could get an idea of the different shapes that are available.

I like these shaped diamonds in particular because they all have great light performance. Good Old Gold provides a ton of information on their diamonds, as you noted previously. One important thing to look at for all fancy shaped diamonds is the ASET image that is provided. The more red in the picture, the better. Light performance is what makes the diamond sparkly :)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,163
Oh, I really agree with Gypsy that I would never choose radiant unless you were sure that is what she wants. I sort of overlooked your comment of just choosing it for the size. If you think she likes modern and angles, I'd seriously take a look at Princess of Hearts from Good Old Gold because they are on sale right now. As I said above, my favorite diamonds aside from rounds are the August Vintage cushions, also at GOG. Both of these styles are top cut quality and better than most radiants out there. A well cut smaller stone is going to have more impact than a larger stone that is dull. And if you think she's like a larger look, you can always set a cushion or POH in a halo setting which will greatly increase the size appearance. But it might be best to set it in an inexpensive solitaire and then let her look at settings.
 

rubybeth

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
2,567
Keep in mind that the carat WEIGHT that you get for your dollar may be more with a radiant than a round, BUT the face up SIZE may actually be smaller. Because of the depth of square stones, a lot of the weight of the stone is on the underside. With the way that a round is cut, it's like a cone vs. a pyramid, so you end up with the average 1 carat round being 6.5mm, while the average 1 carat radiant would be 5.65mm. So, while everyone in a group of friends may have 1 carat diamonds, if one is a round and the others are radiants, the round is going to look significantly larger.

Okay, now that's out of the way...

I wouldn't get a radiant unless you know that's what she wants, and this is coming from someone who has a square radiant (I liked princesses but didn't want to deal with corners chipping). Eventually, I want one of Good Old Gold's August Vintage Cushions, and I'd highly recommend looking at their site for a myriad of square options that would all have excellent optics/light return. It's worth investing some time to watch some of the videos on that site to determine what appeals to you most. He does a lot of comparisons between different shapes, and well cut stones vs. 'average' cut stones.

I know you said D-G color, but these August Vintage antique style stones that are cut for awesome light return really don't show their color in the same way a badly cut modern stone would:

Love this 1.73 K VS2 August Vintage Cushion for significantly under budget at $11K: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8584/ (7.4 x 6.8 mm)

Or this more modern cut, a Princess of Hearts, 1.37 G VS1 for $13K: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8063/ (6.25 x 6.26 mm)

And for comparison, a Hearts & Arrows round, 1.42 H VS2 for $13K: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8672/ (7.25 x 7.2 mm) -- see what I mean about face up size vs. carat weight?

Also, I'd add that Good Old Gold is working on a website re-vamp to showcase more of their setting options, but they are a bricks & mortar jewelry store and they have many, many setting options, so if you decide you like one of their stones, you can tell them what you're looking for in terms of setting (plain platinum solitaire) and they can give you options within your budget.

Edited for clarity.
 

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
Oh wow, lots of information! I will read them after class and answer what I can. Thank you again everybody!!! :) :) :)
 

rubybeth

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
2,567
soldiersinx|1319508909|3047032 said:
That's a little outside my budget, but that is a beautiful ring.

A couple questions, how important is a GIA certification versus AGS, is it ags certification there?

I really do like how detailed that website is though. Thanks for the input, I appreciate every bit I get :)
GIA and AGS are both reliable certificates. PSers generally shy away from EGL certs since color and clarity gradings are known to be unreliable, unless they are looking at genuine antique stones that only come with an EGL cert.
 

dontaskme

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
79
I agree with the radiant comment. Although I doubt most clueless guys would come up with that shape on their own so its probably a safe bet its what she wanted.
 

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
Is there an option for multi quote?

backwardsandinheels, thats the thing, my girlfriend did not give me any hints on what she likes so i am pretty much in the dark and trying to get a good ring. She wants the element of surprise, but at the same time wants a ring that she likes, so asking her what type would be the last option. I do know she does not want a round one. I might ask her in the worse case scenario.

Thanks for the info Gypsy. I asked a couple girls in my class, some liked radiant, but a lot liked the asscher, I will ask a couple more when I get a chance. There are a total of 4 guys to 60 girls in my class, lol, gotta love nursing. I'll have to rethink the radiant.


What are your opinions on asscher?

Thanks for those links diamondseeker2006, I'll really have to check those out and report back.

Snow Miser, is goodolgold the only ones that do the red picture?

Thanks again guys, I am thinking radiant isn't going to be in the picture anymore. I apologize for having such lack of information about what my girlfriend is looking for, thats what is making this so much harder.

I'll take a look at those links.
 

lovemybling

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
624
I am really surprised by the ANTI- radiant sentiment here. I have a radiant, Mine is the more recatuglar or elongated shape and I love it. I think it gives me GREAT finger coverage tons of sparkle. People grab my hand all the time to ask me about it. It is unique without being out there or dated.

Just my opinion, let's try not to push our opinions to hard on those that my like something out side what is popular.
:bigsmile:
 

rubybeth

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
2,567
soldiersinx|1319569941|3047414 said:
What are your opinions on asscher?

Thanks for those links diamondseeker2006, I'll really have to check those out and report back.

Snow Miser, is goodolgold the only ones that do the red picture?
Asschers are lovely, but they are a step cut, so a different look than a brilliant cut. Good Old Gold is not the only vendor that does ASET images for their in-house stones; Brian Gavin Diamonds and Whiteflash both have those images up on their sites alongside photos of the actual stones, but not always for cuts other than round or princesses, since those are most popular.

Maybe we could help you get a sense of her 'style' so we can find a ring that will suit her taste and lifestyle. Does she wear 'classic' clothing, or is she into trends? Does she wear any other rings/jewelry regularly, and, if so, what style? Anything about her lifestyle that would indicate the style of ring she'd want to wear every day for the rest of her life?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Don't poll other women.

Sorry that's not a good way to decide anything at all.

Your lady is an individual. She clearly has ideas about what she wants otherwise she would not have said, NO ROUNDS.

So the logical (and fool proof) way to go is to find out what SHE WANTS. There are LOTS of ways to figure this out without letting the cat out of the bag. Ask her sister, mother, cousin, best friend.

But find out.

If she was going to surprise you with a car-- that you couldn't return and HAD to drive FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Would you want her to find out what YOU WANT? Or to guess and to poll random strangers to find out what they want?

How would you feel is she ended up getting you a BMW MINI COOPER when what you wanted was a BMW SUV. And you had to drive it for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Okay... this is a BIG expenditure for a lot of money. GET IT RIGHT and FIND OUT FROM HER.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
lovemybling|1319570652|3047423 said:
I am really surprised by the ANTI- radiant sentiment here. I have a radiant, Mine is the more recatuglar or elongated shape and I love it. I think it gives me GREAT finger coverage tons of sparkle. People grab my hand all the time to ask me about it. It is unique without being out there or dated.

Just my opinion, let's try not to push our opinions to hard on those that my like something out side what is popular.
:bigsmile:

Did you pick it out? You are obviously in the 10% that likes them. I'm very happy for you.

His lady isn't picking this out. She said "No Round" and he jumped to Radiant.

Would you have been as happy with your ring if you said, "No Round" and ended up with an asscher instead of your radiant?
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,163
HI:

Is the engagement a surprise? Because if it is not, then I would suggest taking her shopping; she doesn't have to pick out the EXACT ring but you can get an understanding of what she likes. There are SO many shapes other than rounds--yet once she tries a round on, she might really like it!

BTW I have a radiant and it is gorgeous! (of course I say that myself :saint: )

cheers--Sharon
 

soldiersinx

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
25
Thanks for all the info guys! It is really helping me a lot.

rubybeth, I'm pretty clueless with that stuff, but I'll give it a try. She usually wears jeans or leggings. Nothing too fancy, she doesn't stick to any name brands, just price and what looks good. I don't think she is into trends, her style of clothing has remained pretty the same over the years i guess. She used to have a lot of earings, multiple ones and such, but she hasn't worn those for awhile, she just usually wears studs now, one in each ear. No rings or jewelry that she usually wears. I got her an tiffanys interlocking ring, the one that has two rings on it and she sometimes wears that.

Gypsy, thanks for that advice, I am going to contact her best friend tonight and see if she can give me any tips. I am reluctant to contact some of her close friends because they have big mouths, lol. I guess no more polling other ladies, lol.


canuk-gal, she knows I am going to propose to her, just doesn't know when. We talked about marriage and stuff like that. She said "i hope you know what I like" and told me not to trust my sense of taste because I have pretty bad taste. She told me to ask other girls, her friends, people I know, just make sure I don't pick it out myself, lol. Any time I got her any jewelry, she didn't really like it. An example, for that tiffanys interlocking ring, I originally bought just a thin band white gold one, which was $800, she said it was too expensive for what it was and we returned it and she picked out the interlocking rings, which was only $200.

I would love to just take her and look for a ring together, it would be so much easier, but I think she wants me to have a ring when I propose, plus I need something to show for when i talk to her parents and ask them to be able to marry their daughter.

Thanks again guys for all the help. I know on other forums that I am on, they pretty much bash noobs who don't do their own research before posting, so I really appreciate all of the great assistance.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Oh my. You poor thing. So she wants you to surprise her and doesn't like your taste. Good god. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO SORRY! It's like a Catch 22.

Okay. So she wants you to get a good deal. And you really need to talk to her best friend. Definitely.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Does she buy things new usually or does she like antique stores and thirft stores and consignment shops?

When it comes to buying something for the house... like a couch where is she likely to go: Ikea, Costco, CraigsList, or wait for a sale at Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn?
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,163
HI:

Make sure you buy with a vendor who has a great RETURN (or upgrade) policy! :saint:

cheers--Sharon
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,163
Ahhh, well she has basically told you that her friend is going to know what she wants so that you will ask. I wouldn't let my husband pick out a $15k ring for me, either! No way!!! She wants a surprise, but she wants exactly what she likes. So all you need to do is find out what that is! Then we can really help you!

And no offense intended to the radiant people! If he had said princess, oval, marquise, or even asscher, I would have hesitated if those were not requested by the girl. I always recommend rounds as the default when no shape is favored. But since he was avoiding rounds, I was trying to give some alternatives with excellent light performance.
 

Winks_Elf

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
1,674
You are not a mind reader. Unless she specifically tells you "I like radiant cuts," she is leaving the door wide open for you to pick what you like. Talking to her mother or best friend is a good way to get hints, but I think a better way would be to get a shape guide and go over it with her. Kinda, "Hey, look what I found. What shapes do you like?" You can also propose with a loose stone (the jeweler you get the diamond from should have (or can get) one of those diamond holders that looks like a ring so she can slip it on her finger, but go shopping for the setting together. If she doesn't love the diamond, exchange it and pick out something together.

A piece of jewelry as important as the diamond she'll wear for the rest of her life (or until a few years go by and she can upgrade) is something that really should be picked out together.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Winks_Elf|1319592694|3047638 said:
You are not a mind reader. Unless she specifically tells you "I like radiant cuts," she is leaving the door wide open for you to pick what you like. Talking to her mother or best friend is a good way to get hints, but I think a better way would be to get a shape guide and go over it with her. Kinda, "Hey, look what I found. What shapes do you like?" You can also propose with a loose stone (the jeweler you get the diamond from should have (or can get) one of those diamond holders that looks like a ring so she can slip it on her finger, but go shopping for the setting together. If she doesn't love the diamond, exchange it and pick out something together.

A piece of jewelry as important as the diamond she'll wear for the rest of her life (or until a few years go by and she can upgrade) is something that really should be picked out together.
I agree with this in general. But in this specific case HE WANTS TO SHOP WITH HER. But SHE wants to be surprised... but she doesn't trust his taste.

Hopefully she will have told her best friend exactly what she wants and then he can go from there.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I almost want to take bets on what she wants. Here are my guesses.

1. Princess solitaire. Around or under a carat.
2. Emerald cut, same size.
3. An oval or a pear at 1 carat or just under.
4. Marquise under a carat.
5. Cushion over a carat.

She could go totally left field and want a true vintage/antique ring. Which would be awesome with a 15K budget.

The possibilities are endless!
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Could I ask if she knows what you're intending to spend? Because I'm having a little trouble reconciling the image of a lady who thinks $800 is exorbitant for jewelry with a lady who'll be completely comfortable with a ring worth almost twenty times that.

Generally, I am ALL in favor of spending up to the wire, don't get me wrong - and I think engagement is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and you want to do it right, and all that. But when you talk to her best friend, see if she has any ballpark notions about budget, too! Just because, well, it's sounding like there's the off-chance that if you show up with something 3 times bigger than what she was expecting, she might not respond with the unadulterated joy you might expect.

Or, she could just be like me - I'm happy to spend wads of money, but I hate the notion of overspending. So, bottom line - check with the friend to see if she can clue you in on shape, metal color, any boundaries on color or clarity or budget, and the name-brand vs. generic debate, and we will help you find a steal of a deal. :devil:
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
You could take her for a fun day out trying rings on... Saying to her I know you want to be surprised and a surprise it will be. But I want to see how things look on you, and what fun it will be to see what you love and what makes your heart sing...Then take her to lunch..Make a day of it.

Then you having done that will know if she even likes radiants... She may be more of a Princess cut gal...

Diamonds are like wedding dresses... You don't know till you try them on.
 
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