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Engagement: Stones, settings, and salespeople. Help!

bluespark

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
4
Hello,

First time poster pursuing my future-partner's engagement ring. I've only bought tiny diamond earrings before and I'm way out of my depth! I have been exploring some stones, one from Whiteflash and the other from a local store (diamond details at the end of the post).

(1) The store diamond seems, well, overpriced. I wrote to the salesman at the store and got a very long reply detailing the Hearts on Fire cutting and grading process ("octohedron crystals", extra "vibrancy" from the non-laser-cut Rolls Royce vibration damped polishing process, etc.). I will say I thought the diamond was lovely in person, but is it really so much more impressive than a branded brilliant cut from Whiteflash? I feel like I am being taken for a ride.

(2) I would love to get a setting like this Harry Kotlar Artisan Pave J-4912:
https://harrykotlar.com/collection/artisan-pave/french-cut/j-4912
All of the details are perfect-- the slim profile , the pave that seems to reach right to the edge, the tiny halo ring below the stone. Is it reasonable to imagine a custom design from Whiteflash or another source could help create something like this? Without being able to see it up close, it's daunting!

(3) My fiancee-to-be would really like a gem in the 1.5 to 2 carat, IF-VVS2, D-F, Excellent cut range, for something she will wear on her finger for a lifetime. I have browsed pricescope and visited lots of local stores--is there any more general advice you can share? Ways to expand my search or factors I should (or shouldn't) consider?

Any advice welcome and thank you all so much!

WHITEFLASH:
https://www.pricescope.com/diamond/035ad8b3aeb45cf9b5dd31c7c2216c5f
AGS-104087932024
Shape and Style: Round Brilliant
Measurements: 8.13 - 8.15 x 5.03 mm
Cut Grade: AGS Ideal 0
Color Grade: AGS 0.5 (E)
Clarity Grade: AGS 2 (VVS2)
Carat Weight: 2.051
Fluorescence: Negligible
Comments: "AGS-104087932024" has been inscribed on the girdle of this diamond. Pinpoints are not shown.
Light Performance: 0
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Table: 56.9%
Crown Angle: 34.8
Crown Height: 15.0%
Girdle: Faceted, 1.5% to 3.9%
Pavilion Angle: 40.9
Pavilion Depth: 43.2%
Star Length: 53%
Lower Girdle Length: 77%
Total Depth: 61.8%
Culet: Pointed
Price: $47262

The other from the local store:
AGS-104072994023
Shape and Style: Round Brilliant
Measurements: 8.18 - 8.23 x 5.01 mm
Cut Grade: AGS Ideal 0
Color Grade: AGS 1.0 (F)
Clarity Grade: AGS 2 (VVS2)
Carat Weight: 2.066
Fluorescence: Negligible
Comments: "HEARTSONFIRE139927" has been inscribed on the girdle of this diamond.
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Table: 57.6%
Crown Angle: 34.3
Crown Height: 14.5%
Girdle: Faceted, 1.2% to 4.0%
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion Depth: 43.1%
Star Length: 51%
Lower Girdle Length: 77%
Total Depth: 61.0%
Culet: Pointed
Price: $70560
 

mco312

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
284
Hello! And congrats on such an exciting time in your life!!

I am by no means an expert, but I was wondering why your partner wants an IF-VVS2, D-F diamond.

There are lots of eye clean stones with lower clarity gradings. Is the clarity of the stone being in the IF-VVS2 range really important, or do you want it to be just completely eye-clean?

Also, many people think G/H stones are also quite colorless/ "white" in color. I would go and look at stones in a range of colors in person, and see what she things is white enough. :)

Good luck!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Yeah, I wouldn't pay for VVS and up clarity in ANY round.

As for color. F is a great color.
 

bluespark

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
4
Hello mco312:

That's a good point. I know she has some emotional attachment to something that is pure/clean/unblemished, but I think it's not a make-or-break requirement. Eye-clean would probably be a reasonable standard to set. I may broaden my search to include other colors and clarities. Is so hard shopping onine--the images are great but I don't know if the magnified idealoscope views are helping or hurting in terms of understanding how it will really look ona finger in everyday lighting. Thank you for the suggestion!

Hello Gypsy:

Thanks! I'm really new to this--it sounds like the round shape helps hide inclusions? or is there something else?
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,259
Agree with Gypsy. If you have a budget and if you want colorless I would not go higher than an F. Next would be to get the best cut and biggest size. Then find eye clean if you have no mental issues about clarity. IF VVS1 and VVS2 are not necessary unless you have mental issues. (Not meant in a bad way. I wouldn't go lower than vs2 myself.).

If it's a cultural thing (I'm Asian and I have family that thinks anything less than F Vvs1 is unacceptable) maybe you can educate her on the what you get versus what you give up by paying that premium for vvs2 and above.

It's cut that makes a diamond beautiful. So just get absolute best cut possible.
 

bluespark

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
4
Hello LLJsmom:

I really appreciate these priorities--this approach makes a lot of sense. I think she does have some ... mental issues :D on the subject, but nothing so specific as to precisely constrain the grade. She's said she would accept a twist tie as a ring, but I know she had a difficult previous marriage and her husband had never prioritized her desires or getting nice things for her. It's so hard to know how to balance a desire to get something of really exceptional quality with the sense that the ... value, I guess, may not be there for the most rarified grades of diamonds. I am trying to prioritize cut, (I know she doesn't desire a larger diamond) and looking for Hearts and Arrows stones as a proxy for really exceptional proportions. Maybe I am thinking about this the wrong way. Thank you so much.

The setting is something she really became attached to as well. I am trying to figure out how closely an online vendor can match this particular style. I've read some posts here but I would love to hear if people's expectations matched the reality for potentially challenging custom settings.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,186
This is a beautiful stone - F color, VS1 clarity. In the colorless range and should be completely eye clean in normal viewing situations.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3653231.htm?source=pricescope

The Hearts on Fire diamond is a branded name - look at the price difference between it and the Whiteflash stone that you posted - and the Whiteflash stone is a color grade higher! I would definitely scrap that HOF stone off my list.

The E, VVS2 stone is beautiful as well but really is overkill. While I understand the mind clean piece of that clarity, in reality it still has inclusions - they are just very small and almost imperceptible under grading magnification used by major labs. The point is though that it is still not a completely pure stone. Why pay for something you can't see when a VS1 clarity stone is VERY eyeclean? It is almost 10k less than the E, VVS2 stone. That's a lot of money. Whiteflash stones are branded stones as well - super ideal hearts and arrows cut. They just don't carry the hefty premium of the Hearts on Fire brand - sometimes jokingly labeled 'Wallets on Fire' - lol!

Either stone would be beautiful - just depends on what color/clarity you and your fiancée are comfortable with and how much you really want to spend. The cuts are all superb so you're way ahead of the game there!
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
9,259
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3653231.htm
As long as you choose an ACA, you will be assured of a super ideal cut, not just hearts and arrows but down to the finest most stringent standards.

I would choose this one and have a fabulous handmade platinum setting done by Victor Canera (Los Angeles) or Steven Kirsch (New York). Don't worry. If you want to spend the money on high quality settings, these run from $3k-$6k for one completely hand-forged piece, depending on how intricate and pave work the setting requires. These two metalsmiths are extremely nice and easy to work with.

Victor Canera also cuts super ideals that are amazing. If you are on the west coast and can access LA easily, pay him a visit.

Look up Victor Canera and Steven Kirsch on PS. Their work is unbelievably delicate and perfect.
 
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