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First (and last) diamond purchase. Open to suggestions.

beancntr

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
5
Hello. Thank you all for the valuable information provided on this site, first and foremost. Before becoming a lurker, I did not have a clue what HCA meant 4 months ago and could have been bamboozled. Hard.

I am considering purchasing a setting and diamond from (gasp) Blue Nile. My main reasons are two fold;
1. They have the type setting my girlfriend likes and it has particularly clean lines and looks pretty. There are similar settings on other sites and in stores like DeBeers, but this setting seems to be a good value compared to a B&M or having custom work dones, and I have not been able to find another Petite Cathedral that strikes me as this one does. BN will not sell the setting alone..
2. I avoid sales tax. You pay a bit of an inflated price, but they knock $150 off the setting with a coupon code, and I escape 8%+ in tax and don't have to hassle anywhere in town.

This diamond is at about 7800 a ct, whereas similar items on the wire are around 6900 a ct. It does, though, seem to be in the right ballpark for other HnA stones. "Is HnA worth it?" will be my next Google search,


Please see the GIA report for the diamond I am considering. The stone is on hold at BN (having it visually inspected) and is moderately priced (i.e. costs more than my car). The whole set up is more than I saw myself spending, but does look to be very nice. Incidentally, the diamond scores a 1.0 on HCA with Excellent's all the way down the line.

I would be open to putting a stone together with the right setting and purchasing off of the PS wire,

Does anyone see a better way to receive a nicer product in the same ballpark or find a similar product at a better price? Any and all help is very appreciated. I would love suggestions on similar settings you all have seen or a better way to pick a stone.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and again thank you for any and all info in response to my ruminations.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,105
beancntr|1305852035|2926140 said:
Hello. Thank you all for the valuable information provided on this site, first and foremost. Before becoming a lurker, I did not have a clue what HCA meant 4 months ago and could have been bamboozled. Hard.

I am considering purchasing a setting and diamond from (gasp) Blue Nile. My main reasons are two fold;
1. They have the type setting my girlfriend likes and it has particularly clean lines and looks pretty. There are similar settings on other sites and in stores like DeBeers, but this setting seems to be a good value compared to a B&M or having custom work dones, and I have not been able to find another Petite Cathedral that strikes me as this one does. BN will not sell the setting alone..
2. I avoid sales tax. You pay a bit of an inflated price, but they knock $150 off the setting with a coupon code, and I escape 8%+ in tax and don't have to hassle anywhere in town.

This diamond is at about 7800 a ct, whereas similar items on the wire are around 6900 a ct. It does, though, seem to be in the right ballpark for other HnA stones. "Is HnA worth it?" will be my next Google search,


Please see the GIA report for the diamond I am considering. The stone is on hold at BN (having it visually inspected) and is moderately priced (i.e. costs more than my car). The whole set up is more than I saw myself spending, but does look to be very nice. Incidentally, the diamond scores a 1.0 on HCA with Excellent's all the way down the line.

I would be open to putting a stone together with the right setting and purchasing off of the PS wire,

Does anyone see a better way to receive a nicer product in the same ballpark or find a similar product at a better price? Any and all help is very appreciated. I would love suggestions on similar settings you all have seen or a better way to pick a stone.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and again thank you for any and all info in response to my ruminations.

1. Numbers are fine, but numbers don't tell the whole story - this is where having photos, full scan, etc. really helps. GIA is not calling the stone a H&A or endorsing that claim, just noting that the inscription is present, and since we don't know who claimed H&A or anything about how they determined it you really can't consider it a H&A without further proof (seeing the patterns in-person through a scope, or seeing photos taken through a scope).

As for whether H&A (as in, H&A stones from vendors who prove the claim) is worth it - lots of debate here on PS, if you do that search.

2. BN does not provide any upgrade/trade-in/buyback policies on their non-signature stones.

3. You can't (legally) avoid taxes - you just pay your state's use tax instead of sales tax. https://www.pricescope.com/journal/internet_and_sales_tax_free_ride_or_not
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Hi! and welcome :) has BN determined that the diamond is eye-clean?

I would not pay for "H&A" without seeing a hearts image, personally. Unfortunately the inscription means nothing.

As far as settings, WF has this one which looks very similar...
http://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-diamond-ring?offer_id=9917&forceStep=STYLE_STEP
but I would personally recommend one with an integrated head like this
http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/home/ring-details/?product_id=5542
or this
http://www.jamesallen.com/designer-jewelry/meno-collection-by-danhov/ring/item_412-4013.asp
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,105
Request ISs and have rep vet SI stones to your clarity specifications, whatever they are (clean from 6" face-up? from 12"? from the sides?)
1.53 G SI1 $13.2k http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1360766.asp
1.5 H VS2 $13.4k http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1376863.asp
1.51 H SI1 $11k http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1370682.asp
$1920 in plat http://www.jamesallen.com/designer-jewelry/meno-collection-by-danhov/ring/item_412-4013.asp Shown w/ a princess centre, ask about for RB
$1750 in plat http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/platinum-pave-set-engagement-ring.html

1.53 H SI1 WF branded ES $14k http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2270384.htm
1.51 H SI1 WF branded ACA (H&A) $14.7k http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2632197.htm
1.51 G VS2 WF branded PS $13.8k http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2192313.htm (ask about upgrade/trade/buyback policies specific to this stone)
Ask about plat http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/petite-open-cathedral-diamond-engagement-ring-569.htm or they have other similar styles

1.52 H SI1 BGD Signature H&A $15k http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=AGS-104051364010
1.55 H VS2 BGD Blue (strong blue fluor) $14.2k http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=BLAGS-104050981008
$1750 in plat http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/home/ring-details/?product_id=5472 and they also have lots of other nice settings

I don't see anything on GOG www.goodoldgold.com but you might check periodically.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,133
Gosh, I think WF and BG have settings that are nicer than that one, to be totally honest! Plus their diamond prices are often a little better, you know if you're getting H&A (or not), and they have upgrade policies!

I hope this is your last engagement ring purchase for sure! But I hope for your future wife's sake that it is not your last diamond purchase! There will be a lifetime of anniversaries and birthdays, ya know! ;))
 

beancntr

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
5
Thank you for all the suggestions and info. I had no idea that an H&A insignia was not necessarily meaningful. This is understandable, since bluenile did not even advertise the "feature".


Interesting about use tax. I will look up the laws applicable to my state.

They are doing a "view test" on the stone (they say 6 inches at a glance). If I do not like the stone I suppose I can send it back.


I would really like to stay within the 11k range as far as the diamond goes. 13k stone + setting.

If you all have any more diamond/setting suggestions bring em on. I also wouldn't mind a 1.37 or so ct.. What are your opinions on the face-up size difference of a 1.37 vs a 1.52 or so?

Thanks again,
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,133
Well, I can show you the difference between a 1.37 and 1.63 since I looked at these at Good Old Gold. My opinion is that there is not a lot of difference visually between 1.37 and 1.5.

163vs137a1.jpg
 

beancntr

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
5
Thanks. You're definitely right - I should not say, "last diamond," but rather last engagement ring.
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
I thought I would throw this diamond out there, It is an I, but it looks like a beautiful stone. I would see if it is eyeclean :twirl:

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1314891.asp

Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Excellent
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 1.1 - Excellent
within TIC range

You could pair it with one of these settings which I think are pretty close to the one from Blue Nile

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/18k-White-Gold-2-2mm-Pave-Set-Diamond-Ring.html

Here is a picture of it set with a diamond of comparable size

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/sold/pave/3123/Engagement-Rings-Pave.html

Total would be $12,970.00


Or this one

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/18k-White-Gold-2-6mm-Six-Prong-Pave-Set-Ring.html

Pictured with a slightly larger round cut

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/sold/pave/1927/Pave-Diamond-Ring.html

Total would be $13,380.00
 

beancntr

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
5
I appreciate the suggestions. I am not sure the difference between the 1.5mm BN setting and the 2.2-2.3 mm settings that I have seen. I may need to go to a store and see the difference in width in person.

I have spoken to 2 people at BN regarding the "viewing of the stone" and one guy said it was eye clean from all angles, and there was a cloud that wasn't that big of a deal. The second fellow said the diamond was eye clean but that there was a cloud under the table and I should go VS2 and purchase a 1.25ctw stone to make sure it's eye clean.

I would appreciate some input as to whether an oblong cloud under the table would make the diamond milky or be likely to hurt light return (or entrance I suppose..) Should I send this to an appraiser or just move on from this stone?

Also, I cannot really find the right setting that can pull me away from this BN one. The settings you all have suggested, while nice, are just not quite right. If anyone has any suggestions of diamonds from BN that seem like good performers for the right price I'd be grateful. I am planning on sending it to an independent appraiser from this board (still looking for the right one if you have any suggestions) to run IS, ASET tests before purchasing the stone.

Thanks again for all of your help
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I would not buy a setting with a 1.5mm shank, unless it was hand forged and fabricated, which the BN setting is not. Here is an article explaining the issues with settings like that: https://www.pricescope.com/journal/thin-vendor’s-dilemma

In an SI1 diamond inclusions are not likely to affect optics, but you can't know because BN cannot tell you that. Reports on PS are mixed as to how trustworthy their "eye clean" assessments are as well. Generally speaking, you REALLY do not need to take a diamond to an appraiser post-purchase for an IS image etc. First, most do not have IS or ASET scopes or use them, so you would likely be shipping the stone far away for that service. That is a hassel and added cost that is unecessary because you really only need to know if the diamond matches the cert and get an insurance value when it comes with a reputable cert like GIA. If you want IS images etc, either buy your own IS scope for $25 or buy from a vendor who provides them up front, it is pretty simple.

It is honestly putting the cart before the horse to choose the setting and then let that determine where you buy the diamond, IMO, especially when you have fallen for a drawing of the setting and not the real thing ;))
 

beancntr

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2011
Messages
5
Dreamer_D|1306112031|2928002 said:
I would not buy a setting with a 1.5mm shank, unless it was hand forged and fabricated, which the BN setting is not. Here is an article explaining the issues with settings like that: https://www.pricescope.com/journal/thin-vendor’s-dilemma

In an SI1 diamond inclusions are not likely to affect optics, but you can't know because BN cannot tell you that. Reports on PS are mixed as to how trustworthy their "eye clean" assessments are as well. Generally speaking, you REALLY do not need to take a diamond to an appraiser post-purchase for an IS image etc. First, most do not have IS or ASET scopes or use them, so you would likely be shipping the stone far away for that service. That is a hassel and added cost that is unecessary because you really only need to know if the diamond matches the cert and get an insurance value when it comes with a reputable cert like GIA. If you want IS images etc, either buy your own IS scope for $25 or buy from a vendor who provides them up front, it is pretty simple.

It is honestly putting the cart before the horse to choose the setting and then let that determine where you buy the diamond, IMO, especially when you have fallen for a drawing of the setting and not the real thing ;))
I agree with you about the philosophy of choosing a diamond vendor based on a setting, but I don't know what else tod o.. I have seen pictures of finished products before they go out the door, and the setting looks nice. I know DeBeers has a similar setting, but I really have not been able to find another one that looks the same online with the modern lines on the shank and mount.

I appreciate you telling me not to spend the money and time to send the diamond away to an appraiser. Do you know if the stone would show its haziness due to clouds through an IS or would it just be apparent to the naked eye (I guess that is all that is important after all..)
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Did you read the article about the issues with shanks in the 1.5mm range? That is the much bigger concern for me than anything else. I am not sure what you mean by "clean lines and modern" about the BN setting, it looks very simple to me and similar to others that are out there. Gabriel and co for example. And it is a stock peg head, not integrated, which is less appealing to me. But if you like it and don't care about the strong possibility the setting will not hold up long term, or will need babying, it is your choice of course!

You would likely see the inclusion with the naked eye *if* it was an issue, but look at it in lots of lighting environments -- low light, sunlight, indirect light etc etc to make sure. It is unlikely to make a hazy look, not in an Si1, but you might be able to see the inclusion in some lighting given its size. That said I recall very well a poster who bought a diamond and noticed the issues with inclusions after wearing it for a while and then had problems returning it, but that is less of an issue with BN since they have a 30 day return policy. So if you are willing to take it for a good testdrive then there is little risk. Personally, I think if you want to buy from a drop shipper like BN you should stick to VS2 or above to be safe, but again, their return policy is good so if you are ok with possibly returning it, go for it.
 
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