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First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please!

kbean

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
24
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy an engagement ring. Classic type platinum band with a round solitaire diamond around 1 ct. (basic, elegant nice ring)

To be honest, I know next to nothing about diamonds or where to buy, but she is kind of picky when it comes to jewelry.

Please pick me out what you would think is the best bang for the buck from a reputable online vendor.

Budget is $5-$6k range.(From my understanding your money goes a lot further with online vendors compare to Zales or Jared, etc.

Also, I don't even know her ring size. Any suggestions on what to do about that? If I ask her it will give it away.

Thanks in advance!
 

kbean

Rough_Rock
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Apr 12, 2016
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Or if I can spend less and still can something really nice....like maybe this diamond:

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.02-carat-k-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1016501

With this ring:

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/platinum-2mm-comfort-fit-solitaire-engagement-ring-item-1981

That's under $4k and looks really nice to me. What do you think?

EDIT: It looks like there is some kind of defect on the face of the diamond?
 

kbean

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Apr 12, 2016
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Actually, I'm lost, I don't even know what I am looking at...there is 1000's of them with all these different specifications/ratings.

Back to my original question. Asking the experts help here. Ready to buy.

But the ring I picked above is what I am looking for, just clueless about picking the best diamond within my budget...

Any help would be appreciated.
 

VirginiaZee

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 10, 2013
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415
Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Hi kbean! The experts here usually recommend using the following proportions for rounds:

depth - 60 - 62%
table - 54- 57%
crown angle - 34- 35 degrees
pavilion angle - 40.6- 41 degrees

Color G and higher, clarity eye clean

You mentioned that your gf is picky about jewelry... does she have something particular in mind that she wants in the diamond/ring (or a Pinterest board)?

For ring size, does she have any rings that she currently wears that you could bring to a jeweler to size?
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Well first things first, don't worry, well make sure you spend your money the best was for you ::)

Now to start, did she tell you this was the style she is after?

Definitely a round, definitely a solitaire and definitely in platinum?
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

So, assuming this IS exactly what she wants. Now to find it.

The stone. You want it eye clean, meaning, you don't want to see and imperfections (as you say) to the naked eye. VS2 is fine, and if you can see pictures of the stones to verify, si1 can be OK sometimes too.

Color. Because you're suggesting platinum, I would not go below an I. You don't want to see an obvious yellow color compared to the stark whiteness of the metal.

Cut. Cut is very important! Cut makes the diamond sparkle. If it doesn't sparkle, what's the point? I understand you just want someone to suggest options, so I won't go too much into detail, however, if you peruse this site, you'll find lots of info.

Carat. If you're trying for classic, I'd tried to get a 1ct for your budget.

Now as for setting, you don't want to get the most basic of all. You're getting platinum, meaning you're hoping this is a long term setting. Don't get something that is too cheap looking.

Because of this I think your best option is blue Nile. I've searched the diamonds and I find this to be the best option for you. You have to copy this and paste it in their search function . the links don't work right.
LD06892716
The setting I would choose is blue Niles Tiffany repro in platinum. Search Petite "Nouveau Six-Prong Solitaire "

As those sit its like 5950. You can get 100 off with a discount code.
 

Gypsy

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Your budget is too low for a full carat quality diamond without significant sacrifices to color. You are much better off to go right under a carat and being more conservative on color if she is very picky.

So here are your options. Buy any of these stones and you'll get a lovely diamond.
Over a carat:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.09-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-346112
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.03-carat-j-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-790011

Just under a carat:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.92-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1035763


I'd personally recommend one of these settings:
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/14k-white-gold-petite-diamond-accent-engagement-ring-item-50124
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/14k-white-gold-tailored-diamond-engagement-ring-item-41042
 

kbean

Rough_Rock
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Thanks so much for the GREAT responses!

@VirginiaZ – Unfortunately she doesn’t wear any rings currently. I’m not sure if I’d have to just guess and they pay a local jeweler to resize it? Is that possible? Any idea’s on the cost?

@Niel – Yeah she told me years ago she wanted a solitaire with a platinum band. I’m pretty sure she just wanted a basic round one, and not something too flashy or big. She just wants good quality.

Also, I didn’t know what you meant by I’m hoping it’s a long term setting with the platinum? I’m assuming because platinum is the most durable?

Looked up the diamond and the setting you picked on Blue Nile. Both look nice, but I thought that ring looked even more basic then the one I linked above, and they are both around the same price.

@Gypsy – I really like the Diamonds you selected, but I’m confused that you said I’d have to make significant compromises for 1 ct. on my budget, because the diamonds you picked + the first setting are in my budget. And you said they are all excellent diamonds?

Generally speaking Does Blue Nile have better prices than James Allen, or vice versa? Does James Allen have discount codes too?

Any other online vendors with better prices? Also is it true the prices @ these places is much better then the big name jewelers like Zales, etc?

Thanks again!
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

What I mean by my comments about it being a long term setting is this; you're spending a fair amount of your budget on a setting. The only reason you are doing this is becuase of the metal you're putting the stone in. If you got that setting from James Allen in 14k white gold, it would be $180. So, if you're spending so much on the setting, this taking money from your stone budget, if you're doing that you should buy a nice setting.

The setting you chose from James Allen is their most basic setting. Don't get me wrong, I've owned that setting and its fine, but if you are spending the money, get something more than basic.
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

To your comment about the setting I suggested being more basic; the design elements of the blue Nile setting are much nicer and more deliberate than the basicblue Nile one. They mimic the classic Tiffany solitaire on purpose. That is a nice setting with better prongs and nicer lines.

photogrid_1460554598556.jpg
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

My ring is from James Allen, I love James Allen. However, if it's a matter of buying a basic platinum soli with a J one ct bs a Tiffany reproduction setting in platinum with a one ct I, I would go blue Nile. The subtle differences between the two are actually noticeable
 

soxfan

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460552705|4018678 said:
@Gypsy – I really like the Diamonds you selected, but I’m confused that you said I’d have to make significant compromises for 1 ct. on my budget, because the diamonds you picked + the first setting are in my budget. And you said they are all excellent diamonds?
She meant color. Those diamonds are a J. They won't be as white as an H.
 

farrahlyn

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

you'll have to compromise some on color. Look at the color of those gypsy linked. the first 2 are a "J" color. For someone that is color sensitive, it may be too tinted. If you open it up and look at the stone from the side you'll see the tint in it. Now open up the link to the "H" stone and do the same thing. You'll see less color in that stone. It ALL depends on your lady and if she would be ok with a more tinted stone. Some are not but some are and would rather have size instead.

If you open up pictures of the settings gypsy linked, you'll be able to view some completed rings. it lists the carat, color and clarity of the stone set so might be a good way to see how those colors look set and determine what you prefer. "H" is pretty safe and i think "I" can be as well.
 

kbean

Rough_Rock
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

I see what you mean Niel - The other band is more elegant and styled. She definitely wants platinum, I remember that being a priority for her.

But now you all are making me feel like I am cheaping out on the Diamond...hmm...

It's possible to up the budget, I just didn't want to go crazy.

What would you suggest as a sweet spot, for still very nice, but still a good value?

I definitely want at least 1 carat, and I think "H" color and at last VS2 clarity.
 

farrahlyn

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

it's not "cheaping out" to set a budget and stick to it! Visually, you are not going to notice a massive difference in a .92ct diamond vs a 1ct diamond. and when you hit the 1ct mark, you are looking at a price jump. (my diamond is .9ct and people assume it's a full carat) If you want to go with a great performing diamond without spending hours poring over diamonds and angles, etc etc, go with an AGS 000 diamond. You know you're getting a diamond with excellent light return this way.
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460557547|4018711 said:
I see what you mean Niel - The other band is more elegant and styled. She definitely wants platinum, I remember that being a priority for her.

But now you all are making me feel like I am cheaping out on the Diamond...hmm...

It's possible to up the budget, I just didn't want to go crazy.

What would you suggest as a sweet spot, for still very nice, but still a good value?

I definitely want at least 1 carat, and I think "H" color and at last VS2 clarity.

How is what I said making you feel you're cheaping out? I'm sorry that's not what I meant to do. You have a budget. I think a vs clarity I color that hits the 1ct mark is a great value stone for a platinum setting and I do not think you're sacrificing quality by doing that.

At a 1 ct mark I think you're splitting hairs going h instead of I. It's a negligible difference.

I totally get the mental need to get a 1 ct. You may not notice much difference between .9ct and 1ct. But being able to say it's a 1 ct doea mean something. I get that.
 

kbean

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Sorry I didn't really mean it as a negative thing. I appreciate all your feedback.

My initial "budget" was mostly a number I was throwing at as a baseline as I didn't know anything about it. I am capable of spending plenty more, but I don't want to overspend frivolously if you know what I mean.

I'm looking for the sweet spot, bang for the buck, basically the peak point where after that there's significant diminishing returns if you know what I mean. And I realize everyone is different, so I mean that as generally speaking as possible.

And you are right Neil, I simply want to be able to say 1ct...I realize that may be silly, haha, but yeah it's just a mental thing.

Let me know what you all would pick knowing the above. And I appreciate your time very much!
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460561494|4018747 said:
Sorry I didn't really mean it as a negative thing. I appreciate all your feedback.

My initial "budget" was mostly a number I was throwing at as a baseline as I didn't know anything about it. I am capable of spending plenty more, but I don't want to overspend frivolously if you know what I mean.

I'm looking for the sweet spot, bang for the buck, basically the peak point where after that there's significant diminishing returns if you know what I mean. And I realize everyone is different, so I mean that as generally speaking as possible.

And you are right Neil, I simply want to be able to say 1ct...I realize that may be silly, haha, but yeah it's just a mental thing.

Let me know what you all would pick knowing the above. And I appreciate your time very much!

I completely know what you mean. Is 6k what you feel comfortable with? If not, what is the amount you feel comfortable with? 6 k vs 8 k can make a difference, but I'm a firm believer you should not pay more than you're comfortable
 

kbean

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Apr 12, 2016
Messages
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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Niel|1460562553|4018762 said:
kbean|1460561494|4018747 said:
Sorry I didn't really mean it as a negative thing. I appreciate all your feedback.

My initial "budget" was mostly a number I was throwing at as a baseline as I didn't know anything about it. I am capable of spending plenty more, but I don't want to overspend frivolously if you know what I mean.

I'm looking for the sweet spot, bang for the buck, basically the peak point where after that there's significant diminishing returns if you know what I mean. And I realize everyone is different, so I mean that as generally speaking as possible.

And you are right Neil, I simply want to be able to say 1ct...I realize that may be silly, haha, but yeah it's just a mental thing.

Let me know what you all would pick knowing the above. And I appreciate your time very much!

I completely know what you mean. Is 6k what you feel comfortable with? If not, what is the amount you feel comfortable with? 6 k vs 8 k can make a difference, but I'm a firm believer you should not pay more than you're comfortable

Well, my initial aim was something that was worth around $10k at the major retailers, as I read the online places cost almost 50% less. Not sure if that's true or not.

My comfort level is probably no more then $7k, unless someone said well for $7500 or $8k you can get something much nicer...if that makes sense :)
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460563166|4018765 said:
Niel|1460562553|4018762 said:
kbean|1460561494|4018747 said:
Sorry I didn't really mean it as a negative thing. I appreciate all your feedback.

My initial "budget" was mostly a number I was throwing at as a baseline as I didn't know anything about it. I am capable of spending plenty more, but I don't want to overspend frivolously if you know what I mean.

I'm looking for the sweet spot, bang for the buck, basically the peak point where after that there's significant diminishing returns if you know what I mean. And I realize everyone is different, so I mean that as generally speaking as possible.

And you are right Neil, I simply want to be able to say 1ct...I realize that may be silly, haha, but yeah it's just a mental thing.

Let me know what you all would pick knowing the above. And I appreciate your time very much!

I completely know what you mean. Is 6k what you feel comfortable with? If not, what is the amount you feel comfortable with? 6 k vs 8 k can make a difference, but I'm a firm believer you should not pay more than you're comfortable

Well, my initial aim was something that was worth around $10k at the major retailers, as I read the online places cost almost 50% less. Not sure if that's true or not.

My comfort level is probably no more then $7k, unless someone said well for $7500 or $8k you can get something much nicer...if that makes sense :)
I'm so sorry no one seems to be answering your questions about online vs mall stores.

It's comparing apples and oranges.

They sell stones that are poorly cut, immaculately graded by lessee grading labs, and sold at a higher premium than the ones we are suggesting. So yes, you will get more for your money shopping around online.

Those stores are banking on you making an emotional rather than logical decision.
 

ringo865

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

And online there is no sales tax ( unless the shop is physically located in your state ).
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

so after looking, i found one for just over 7k if you wanted a H VS2 thats well cut, however, for the minimal difference in color, i would save the grand and get the I suggested by me from blue nile a while back.

however, if you are interested, its this one LD06738979
 

MollyMalone

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460552705|4018678 said:
Thanks so much for the GREAT responses!
@VirginiaZ – Unfortunately she doesn’t wear any rings currently. I’m not sure if I’d have to just guess and they pay a local jeweler to resize it? Is that possible? Any idea’s on the cost? * * *
I recommend that you simply return the ring to Blue Nile -- just be sure you propose & send the ring back before the 30-day grace period expires:
http://www.bluenile.com/policies/returns

Unlike James Allen, who pays for insured FedEx return shipping from US customers
http://www.jamesallen.com/about-us/risk-free-retail.html
Blue Nile does not cover the costs, and understandably, they require you to send the ring back via an insured method of delivery.
But having Blue Nile handle a resizing or do-over (plus adding any engraving on the inside of the shank) will be less risky for you -- and no more expensive, even with cost of the return -- than taking it to a local jeweler, who would charge you for the resizing and also would not assume liability for any damage or loss while the ring is in their hands (that's typical policy). You could buy insurance to cover that risk, but you can avoid any such hassle by returning the ring to Blue Nile. And since BN is the original vendor, I'd say they are more likely to be more motivated than your local jeweler to make things right for you, the purchaser of their stone and setting, shoukd a snafu arise.
 

Gypsy

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Sounds to me like you can easily afford to spend more without going into debt and that you picked that 6K number out of the ether.

So I'm going to ingore the initial 6k budget and go with your revised specs. H color, eyeclean, excellent cut in a platinum setting. That's going to mean about 8k. Which is still under your original budget of 10k.

I personally do NOT like JA's solitaires. They don't even have one I'd want to own.

Stones:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3645406.htm This stone (put on hold). It is an SI1, but that's a great clarity when eyeclean, you don't need VS2, truly.
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3619322.htm This one is just as nice. Just in case someone grabs the other one.


Settings:
http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/legato-sleek-line-solitaire-engagement-ring-729.htm
or
http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/comfort-fit-surprise-diamond-ring-600.htm (personal favorite).


And there you go. Pick one of the diamonds and one of the settings and you have one stop shopping and a gorgeous ring.
 

care73

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

What did you decide on Kbean? So many good options here...
 

kbean

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

@ Niel, thanks so much for all your help here, I really appreciate it, I've strongly considered your suggestions.

@MollyMalone: Thank you very much for addressing that question of mine. Great info!

@Gypsy: Thanks, they look great. How is Whiteflash as a vendor? Are they just as good as the other two in terms of policies and customer service? Also, I am able to wire cash, but I would lose any benefits of using a card. Are they reputable enough where I don't have to worry?

@care73, still deciding.
 

kbean

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Any coupon codes for whiteflash??
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

kbean|1460584680|4018972 said:
@ Niel, thanks so much for all your help here, I really appreciate it, I've strongly considered your suggestions.

@MollyMalone: Thank you very much for addressing that question of mine. Great info!

@Gypsy: Thanks, they look great. How is Whiteflash as a vendor? Are they just as good as the other two in terms of policies and customer service? Also, I am able to wire cash, but I would lose any benefits of using a card. Are they reputable enough where I don't have to worry?

@care73, still deciding.
Whiteflash is a great company. I've wired them money I have no regrets. They are more expensive but you're getting a branded cut with upgrade policies. If she will never upgrade I'm not sure I'd pay for that. But if she may eventually then definitely worth considering because that's part of what you're buying
 

Niel

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Re: First time clueless buyer - Spend my money for me please

Also, figuring out her ring size. Does she have a ring she usually wears you could steal? Is she petite? Would you say her hands seem slender? Squat? Large?
 
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