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Finding an engagement ring

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Hi everyone,

I've been on the market in the last month or so scoping out an engagement ring for my girlfriend (and hopefully future wife!) and stumbled upon this forum, and have spent many an hour reading all the various helpful posts. It has made me realised how little I know about the whole thing!

I'm based in Melbourne, Australia and it looks like buying online would be the best option for me in terms of getting something nice for a good price (who doesn't want that!). The websites I've mainly been looking at are Blue Nile, Whiteflash, and James Allen. Happy to look at other options too.

The ring setting I'm looking at (based on previous discussions) will be a thin band, solitaire, rose gold ring including rose gold prongs (she has a strong preference for uniform colour between the ring and prongs). She's also got quite small fingers (ring size 3.5).

Based on a budget of ~$15K (in AUD) for the whole thing including taxes (10% GST if from the US), which is approximately $10k in USD. Happy to go up to around $18k AUD (~$12k USD) if the right diamond comes along.

Based on mainly on reading the advice of this forum, I've based my search around these minimum parameters:
  • Ideal cut
  • I colour
  • VS2 clarity (I don't trust myself to be able to find an eye clean SI1 online)
  • 1.2+ ct (bigger the better)
Using these parameters and the HCA calculator, I've been able to find a couple of diamonds:

1.233 ct I VS2 ACA (Whiteflash)

1.37ct I VVS1 True Hearts Ideal (James Allen)

1590902092453.png

Any thoughts of those two? Would also be very happy to listen to any other further suggestions.

Thanks!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
Welcome to PS :)
Are you sure your GF will want a 1ct or bigger diamond considering how small her fingers are? Just wanted to ask bc sometimes bigger isn't always better and some women want a more delicate look when they have smaller fingers.

I would personally go with WF because of their excellent customer service, superior cut, and lifetime upgrade policy. I would also suggest getting the setting from them as well to avoid having to worry about insurance for the loose stone while someone else sets it.


In terms of settings, do you want 4 prongs or 6? Just want to look into some setting options for you :)
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
Ps. The WF link didnt work for me. Can you re-link? They have a ton of choices in your budget around 1.2 or 1.3ct.
 

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Welcome to PS :)
Are you sure your GF will want a 1ct or bigger diamond considering how small her fingers are? Just wanted to ask bc sometimes bigger isn't always better and some women want a more delicate look when they have smaller fingers.
Thanks for the welcome!

We've discussed the carat quesiton in the past and looked up photos, and she would prefer a diamond in the 1.2-1.6 range.

I would personally go with WF because of their excellent customer service, superior cut, and lifetime upgrade policy. I would also suggest getting the setting from them as well to avoid having to worry about insurance for the loose stone while someone else sets it.
WF does seem to be the most popular one here. I don't think we'll use the lifetime upgrade policy given she's quite sentimental, but it's always a nice option to have.
That's definitely the plan given the things I read about how a lot of places only want to set their own diamonds, and the issues surrounding damaging the diamond as you said.

In terms of settings, do you want 4 prongs or 6? Just want to look into some setting options for you :)
No real preference over number of prongs, but I think the preference would be something cleaner rather than busy if you know what I mean.

I do like how the diamonds in a pave setting ring contrast with the rose gold colour, for example like this. But also like the plainer solitaire settings.

This is the broken link:
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
I have a strong personal preference for 6 prong vs 4 prong settings, bc I think 4 can make a round stone look almost square, whereas 6 emphasizes the round shape.

Here are some lovely choices from WF:

Classic, but with a twist

Same as above but with diamond pave:



Traditional "tiffany style".


For diamonds, this is the biggest one that sticks right around 10k USD and keeps you at VS2:

If you want more size, I wouldn't be scared of an eye clean SI1, especially from WF where they will take photos for you IRL to make sure you are totally aware of how "eye clean " it is.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
Ps. Totally your and your GFs call about how many prongs. Some people love 4 prong styles. I'm just partial to 6 so those are the ones I linked.
 

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Great point regarding the shape of the diamond with 4 vs 6 prongs, it is something I had noticed. Will run it by my gf.

I had considered looking at SI1s as well, but wasn't sure how well "eye clean" is reflected in photos. I do have to remind myself that diamonds are much smaller than what I'm seeing on the screen when it comes to inclusions!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
Great point regarding the shape of the diamond with 4 vs 6 prongs, it is something I had noticed. Will run it by my gf.

I had considered looking at SI1s as well, but wasn't sure how well "eye clean" is reflected in photos. I do have to remind myself that diamonds are much smaller than what I'm seeing on the screen when it comes to inclusions!
I think it's good to be cautious (especially since you're buying from abroad so returning would be annoying). But when you have vendors like WF who actually own their stock (unlike JA, BN, etc.) They can look at each stone for you and take pics, which goes a long way for helping you know exactly how eye clean a given stone is.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,848
So, considering you are in Australia, and your budget can handle it, I would think about going with a G/H color (unless you were
specifically looking for a lower color).

These would be an option
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4248579.htm (G)
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4180547.htm (H)

You can ask Whitefalsh for side-by-side photos of these with the "I" you are looking at. I'm not color sensitive so the "I"
would work for me but since you are down under it might be worth going a tad higher.
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
7,424
Just chiming in to say best of luck getting a ring for your GF. I too am a fan of 6 Prong solitaire, but it’s certainly personal preference. You see more diamond from profile in 4 prong, but I like the added protection and the look of roundness when looking from top.
 

LittleKite

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
109
I did some search for you and here is some good ones on white flash:
This one is G VS2, a smaller table, should have great fire
This one is I VVS2, larger size, also looks great in all aspects.
If you are willing to go to SI1, here is one 1.57ct, also looks good in all aspects.
 
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VeryUndecided

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
96
Hi everyone,

I've been on the market in the last month or so scoping out an engagement ring for my girlfriend (and hopefully future wife!) and stumbled upon this forum, and have spent many an hour reading all the various helpful posts. It has made me realised how little I know about the whole thing!

I'm based in Melbourne, Australia and it looks like buying online would be the best option for me in terms of getting something nice for a good price (who doesn't want that!). The websites I've mainly been looking at are Blue Nile, Whiteflash, and James Allen. Happy to look at other options too.

The ring setting I'm looking at (based on previous discussions) will be a thin band, solitaire, rose gold ring including rose gold prongs (she has a strong preference for uniform colour between the ring and prongs). She's also got quite small fingers (ring size 3.5).

Based on a budget of ~$15K (in AUD) for the whole thing including taxes (10% GST if from the US), which is approximately $10k in USD. Happy to go up to around $18k AUD (~$12k USD) if the right diamond comes along.

Based on mainly on reading the advice of this forum, I've based my search around these minimum parameters:
  • Ideal cut
  • I colour
  • VS2 clarity (I don't trust myself to be able to find an eye clean SI1 online)
  • 1.2+ ct (bigger the better)
Using these parameters and the HCA calculator, I've been able to find a couple of diamonds:

1.233 ct I VS2 ACA (Whiteflash)

1.37ct I VVS1 True Hearts Ideal (James Allen)

1590902092453.png

Any thoughts of those two? Would also be very happy to listen to any other further suggestions.

Thanks!

Just wanted to say: good luck! And hope that she'll say yes!
You are so super nice to be researching this and trying to get your GF the best possible ring. Keep in mind that she'll show it off to all your relatives, her relatives, girlfriends, friends and anybody who says "show me the ring!" :D No pressure at all. :D However, I understand the research effort :D
Did I say "good luck" already? :D
 
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Reactions: JA6

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Thanks for the replies everyone!

So, considering you are in Australia, and your budget can handle it, I would think about going with a G/H color (unless you were
specifically looking for a lower color).

These would be an option
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4248579.htm (G)
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4180547.htm (H)

You can ask Whitefalsh for side-by-side photos of these with the "I" you are looking at. I'm not color sensitive so the "I"
would work for me but since you are down under it might be worth going a tad higher.
Main reason I went with I is that it seemed to be a bit of a sweet spot in terms of what I was after. Was also thinking the rose gold prongs might impact the colour a bit, so there may not be a big difference between H and I. I will ask for some photos to see if I can see the difference. Thanks for the advice!

I did some search for you and here is some good ones on white flash:
This one is G VS2, a smaller table, should have great fire
This one is I VVS2, larger size, also looks great in all aspects.
If you are willing to go to SI1, here is one 1.57ct, also looks good in all aspects.
Any thoughts on whether that extra size of the SI1 is worth it for a slightly inferior cut (not a ACA). Is the ACA cut worth it?

Just wanted to say: good luck! And hope that she'll say yes!
You are so super nice to be researching this and trying to get your GF the best possible ring. Keep in mind that she'll show it off to all your relatives, her relatives, girlfriends, friends and anybody who says "show me the ring!" :D No pressure at all. :D However, I understand the research effort :D
Did I say "good luck" already? :D
Thanks! It reminds me of the James Allen ads that now keep coming up on my YouTube now I've been searching these websites.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,848
They may be able to order it (the Simon G) with 6 prongs but not sure...ask.

That is an extremely thin setting at 1.6 plus pave. She will need to baby it.

You're not feeling this one...IMO feminine but supportive. I do not like the prongs on the Simon G but do like the prongs on this one (my personal
opinion...take it for what its worth :) )

I actually like this one better than the Simon G too (again, personal opinion). Its a tad wider at 1.9. I would ask for claw prongs.
 

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Ooh I actually quite like the Legato you've posted, more than the Simon G. However, my partner is quite keen on a ring with the same colour claws as the rest of the ring.

Is there a chance the F/G pave diamonds will make the I main diamond look more yellow?
 
Last edited:

LittleKite

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
109
Thanks for the replies everyone!



Main reason I went with I is that it seemed to be a bit of a sweet spot in terms of what I was after. Was also thinking the rose gold prongs might impact the colour a bit, so there may not be a big difference between H and I. I will ask for some photos to see if I can see the difference. Thanks for the advice!



Any thoughts on whether that extra size of the SI1 is worth it for a slightly inferior cut (not a ACA). Is the ACA cut worth it?



Thanks! It reminds me of the James Allen ads that now keep coming up on my YouTube now I've been searching these websites.
The SI stone may not be eye-clean. The webpage said "inquire", meaning that you need to contact white flash to check if it is eye-clean or not.
The expert selection does not make to ACA, meaning that it is not super-ideal. but honestly in real life light environment I think the difference will be very minor. The SI stone looks like a very good deal.
If you are interested, I suggest you contact white flash, asking them to compare these candidates. They are not virtual selection, thus should be in house. They probably can provide more comments on their products.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
The SI stone may not be eye-clean. The webpage said "inquire", meaning that you need to contact white flash to check if it is eye-clean or not.
The expert selection does not make to ACA, meaning that it is not super-ideal. but honestly in real life light environment I think the difference will be very minor. The SI stone looks like a very good deal.
If you are interested, I suggest you contact white flash, asking them to compare these candidates. They are not virtual selection, thus should be in house. They probably can provide more comments on their products.
They can typically provide more pics of stones that a customer is interested in, including "real life" pics. That should be really helpful here.
 

new-beginning

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
151
will your import duties/tariff be different if you only obtain the stone vs.having it mounted?
 

JA6

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
20
Had a chat to Whiteflash and unfortunately the 1.566ct diamond doesn't fit their definition of eye clean. I may try to see what it looks like anyway, just to get a better idea.

will your import duties/tariff be different if you only obtain the stone vs.having it mounted?
Unfortunately it's a flat 10% on anything coming from overseas.

Another one that's come up as a suggestion is this one:

Which is 0.15ct smaller than the other one, but is eye-clean, slightly cheaper and a better cut.


Quite similar to the one above.
 
Last edited:

KKJohnson

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
1,776
I would have WF also do some side by side comparisons with some J stones or have them evaluate and see if you can find a high J. Sometimes you can get lucky by doing that
 

LittleKite

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
109
Had a chat to Whiteflash and unfortunately the 1.566ct diamond doesn't fit their definition of eye clean. I may try to see what it looks like anyway, just to get a better idea.



Unfortunately it's a flat 10% on anything coming from overseas.

Another one that's come up as a suggestion is this one:

Which is 0.15ct smaller than the other one, but is eye-clean, slightly cheaper and a better cut.


Quite similar to the one above.
My personal choice would be 1.408ct which has a smaller table, higher crown, longer star, meaning potentially more fire.
Perhaps they can do a side-by-side comparison in terms of fire and light performance for you. Also, even both stones are I-color, maybe one can be a high-I and the other a low-I. From the videos they have, 1.408 seems to be less yellow, but they should comment on that in day light environment. You should also ask about the tint. Some I-color stones have a body color of brown/gray, which largely degrades their value.
If the difference in terms of fire and color are negligible, I would go with the bigger/cheaper one. :)
 
Last edited:

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
The VVS one looks really nice. I'm not usually a fan of paying premium for VVS clarity since your eye cant see the difference anyway, but this looks like a reasonable price and the cut is great
 
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