shape
carat
color
clarity
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. PriceScope Upgrade Completed
    For issues, questions and comments click the link below
    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/pricescope-upgraded-comments-and-issues.229551/

    Dismiss Notice

first time stone buyer-could use all and any advice!

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by golfnut, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 28, 2012
    hello everyone, first post here and its an important one! as you can see by my username, when it comes to golf i am knowledgeable...diamonds? not so much.

    im planning on proposing to my gf next month and of course am going through the process of buying the perfect ring.

    she did make it fairly easy on me to look as she had some pretty set ideas in mind and i was able to find the perfect band on blue nile. now comes the hard part, choosing the right rock.

    we just bought a house together last year so my budget isnt allowing for the most extravagant of diamonds yet, but im trying my best to get something at least respectable. with that being said im trying to keep the diamond budget around $1500 for a total ring cost at or under 3k.

    i do have a diamond on hold at BN rigjt now which i will post specs for at the end of this post but as a noobie i also have some other questions.

    1.i know my money will not go as far at a mall jewelwry store, but they definitely have given me options to consider in my budget. for example, one shop offers a 25% discount for ama members here in canada. this allowed me an option, however the diamond they said thats in my range was only a 0.5 vs1 H color. it was however not certified which brings me to my next question:

    2. obviously im no expert. is an uncertified diamond just a big no-no? im assuming yes. even if i look at it in the scope, i have no idea what im looking for to guage price vs value.

    3. should i just stop looking at local stores? i assume my hard earned dollars will fetch me more product online than anything local...

    and lastly onto the ring. the band i have in mind is ring 19842 at blue nile. here is the diamond i have in mind. i am open to other opinions of going bigger or smaller with some advice from all the experts on here. hope to hear what you all think and hopefully you guys can ease my mind! its a tough but exciting time!

    0.58 RB
    VS2
    blue nile ideal cut (gia says excellent)
    i color

    depth: 61.7%
    Table %: 55%
    Polish:Excellent
    Symmetry:Excellent
    Girdle:Thin to Medium
    Culet:None
    Fluorescence:Strong
    Measurements: 5.40 x 5.36 x 3.32 mm
    GIA report shows "cloud"

    what does everyone think of the band/stone combo? is it too small? :s i hope not...

    anyways, thanks in advance and hopefully i can find some advice on here!
     
  2. LizH
    Rough_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    by LizH » Jan 28, 2012
    1.i know my money will not go as far at a mall jewelwry store, but they definitely have given me options to consider in my budget. for example, one shop offers a 25% discount for ama members here in canada. this allowed me an option, however the diamond they said thats in my range was only a 0.5 vs1 H color. it was however not certified which brings me to my next question:

    I think mall jewelry stores are good to get a sense of what kind of diamond you like (carat weight, color, etc.) but normally their prices are inflated and their stock is very minimal. You would definitely have more choices if searching for your loose diamond online - not to mention at a considerable cost savings. What they mentioned is in your "range" is limited to their available stock.

    2. obviously im no expert. is an uncertified diamond just a big no-no? im assuming yes. even if i look at it in the scope, i have no idea what im looking for to guage price vs value.

    It is possible to get a great deal on an uncertified stone, however most savvy buyers know to always stick with either a GIA or AGS certificate. This is because you will have had a professional laboratory analyze this particular diamond in laboratory settings with their expertise at hand. Otherwise, if you buy blind (without a cert) you would inevitably want to have the ring sent to a lab for verification (peace of mind on your investment). This takes time and since you mentioned that you are looking to propose next month, stick to loose stones with a certification only.

    3. should i just stop looking at local stores? i assume my hard earned dollars will fetch me more product online than anything local...

    Yes. You'll find it more convenient as well as cheaper to look through online inventories of diamond vendors. They normally have far more tools (Sarin machines, Ideal-Scope, ASET, and high resolution digital photographic technology) to help you assess whether or not a diamond would fit your criteria - more than any mall shop would normally have.

    and lastly onto the ring. the band i have in mind is ring 19842 at blue nile. here is the diamond i have in mind. i am open to other opinions of going bigger or smaller with some advice from all the experts on here. hope to hear what you all think and hopefully you guys can ease my mind! its a tough but exciting time!

    I've tried to look for this band, but Blue Nile doesn't make it easy to search for it. Can you post a link please?

    As for the diamond you chose, can you post a link please? I've searched for your criteria, but don't think the diamond is available anymore.
     
  3. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
  4. tyty333
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    17,074
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
  5. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 28, 2012
    thanks for the quick response!

    actually, to be honest, i think my gf is more concerned on getting the band that she has had her eye on for a lonngggg time. I understand that with an eternity band, alot of the stones on the bottom side of the band are somewhat not all that useful since they are covered most of the time, but truth be told its EXACTLY what she's wanted, and we have never seen anything like it locally.

    With that said, i THINK that the 0.58ct rock would work for now, i will keep looking though and maybe i can find a steal on BN for something larger and would be willing to add a little to the budget if need be.

    Anyways, thanks for the extra links to those other bands and the other website. I'll definitely try to get her to take a look at those somehow without spoiling the surprise and see if she'd still rather prefer the band from BN.

    Does anyone have anything else to share about the potential band/diamond combo that i have picked out so far?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
  7. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    50,410
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    by diamondseeker2006 » Jan 29, 2012
    I would be too afraid to go down to "good" for symmetry. Excellent is best and very good okay, but I wouldn't consider ordering a stone less than excellent without seeing pictures and idealscope. I want to see what the setting looks like to see if we can look somewhere besides BN that would have pictures.

    Okay, that is a very common setting. But are you in Canada? Maybe that is why you are wanting to buy from BN Canada?
     
  8. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 29, 2012
    yes i am in canada. i still favor my first stone choice over the 0.65 but i will try to source extra info from BN for the diamond before purchasing. i have only briefly looked at jamesallen and whiteflash, but was directed to bluenile first by a few friends. shiuld i be looking elsewhere?
     
  9. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 30, 2012
    ok another update!

    found a setting on jamesallen that could also work, although she may think it is a tiny bit thick.
    http://www.jamesallen.com/engagemen...Gold-0-54ct-French-Cut-Pave-Diamond-Ring.html
    can anyone assist in finding a comparable diamond on JA as the setup i have on BN? as i am in canada please factor in around a 4% exchange rate, and then a 5%tax for my province. i am trying to keep it around or below 3K. i do have the $100 referral code as well.

    my first option from blue nile as posted earlier
    ~2850 CDN shipped and taxes in (10% off setting)

    band
    http://www.bluenile.ca/build-your-own-diamond-ring?forceStep=STYLE_STEP&offer_id=19842

    diamond
    http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-i-colour-vs2-clarity_LD02406178
     
  10. JulieN
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    13,278
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
  11. LizH
    Rough_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    by LizH » Jan 30, 2012
    Hi, couldn't find the ring or diamond as I'm in the UK and Bluenile always defaults to the Blue Nile UK site. Thanks for posting direct links.

    I think your semi-mount from Blue Nile is very dainty and beautiful. James Allen's version has less diamonds, but they are also bigger. The quality of the diamonds are better also.

    Here's another option from JA: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1433018.asp
     
  12. marymm
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,910
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    by marymm » Jan 30, 2012
    OP - I ran the AGA (https://www.pricescope.com/tools/AGA_NAJA_Cut_Class_Grader) and HCA (https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca) tools on the two BN stones you posted, and also the BN stone that JulieN linked:

    0.58ct - AGA 1A and HCA 1.8 (Excellent for Light Return, Very Goods for Fire, Scintillation, and Spread)
    0.65ct - AGA 1B and HCA 2.7 (Very Goods for Light Return, Fire, Scintillation, and Spread)
    0.71ct - AGA 1A and HCA 1.3 (Excellents for Light Return, Fire, Scintillation, and Very Good for Spread)

    I'd throw out your 2nd pick (the 0.65ct) - for an engagement ring I wouldn't compromise on symmetry (graded "good" here), and the mm size difference between your 1st pick (5.4mm) and this stone (5.5mm) is basically irrelevant. And, an HCA score of 2.7 is a "buy if budget is your primary concern" stone (if sight unseen) or buy only if you've seen and examined this stone and it pleases your eyes.

    I really love your 1st pick (the 0.58ct I-VS2) - I like the smaller table and the strong fluorescence, and the AGA 1A and HCA 1.8 numbers are all good.

    I also really like the 0.71ct I-SI1 stone JulieN linked to - it has great numbers (AGA 1A and HCA 1.3), the polish being graded "good" is, to me, nothing to worry about, and the 5.7 mm size would be a noticeable increase from the 0.58ct's 5.4mm - but it is apx $400 more than your 1st pick.

    Maybe check with BN as to whether the 0.58ct and the 0.71ct are eyeclean stones, and then make your final choice. BN has a good return policy, and both stones are upgradable, so really you can't go wrong. Good luck!
     
  13. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 30, 2012
    wow thanks marymm!

    very good info for me to use. i appreciate the help. im glad to know that the original stone ive picked is quite good. i will look into the .71 stone a little more and see if i can squeeze it into the budget but if not, i the .58 will still be very good.

    either way i think i may be overthinking everything and im sure she'll love anything that i get!
     
  14. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 30, 2012
    i decided to take another look thru blueniles diamonds and found this and put it on hold as well. Ran it thru the AGA and HCA, and came up with a 1A AGA score and a 1.0 HCA score which seems very good.

    its a 0.65ct, Excellent cut/symmetry/polish, H in color, but only an Si1 in clarity. its priced at $1678, an upgrade cost of $170 over my original 0.58ct choice. I can swallow that increase if this stone checks out. I have bluenile checking to see if it is an eye-clean stone, and hopefully will have the results back they say in 24-48 hours. hoping it is because this might be the choice!

    what does everyone think?

    i THINK i have it narrowed down now to my original choice of the 0.58ct stone or this new found 0.65. If anyone would like to view the report etc here is the link:

    http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-h-colour-si1-clarity_LD02412994
     
  15. dmz
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    by dmz » Jan 30, 2012
    The 0.65 will look about 7.75% larger, which should be perceptible. (Compare the surface area, not the diameter.)

    Oh, and in case you haven't been watching, the Canadian dollar has been on the rise over the last few weeks.
     
  16. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 30, 2012

    thanks. any insight on the good HCA/AGA scores for it? hopefully it checks out to be eye clean :|

    i do notice the rise in the cdn dollar. I did work out a few options for shipping. i'll be in california and can have them ship it out there to a fedex facility where i can pick it up, and pay for the ring in USD. however, im fairly certain i would still have to claim the item on my customs/duties forms when returning back to canada. The savings could be negligible by then. and as far as "sneaking" it accross the border well, id rather not take that chance.
     
  17. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    50,410
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    by diamondseeker2006 » Jan 30, 2012
    The other thing you need to do is to observe the stone in various lighting and make sure there is no haziness due to the strong blue fluorescence. It hopefully is a good one, though!
     
  18. dmz
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    by dmz » Jan 30, 2012
    Just a few comments on shipping to Canada:
    - some (and maybe all) of the vendors that get talked about on these forums include shipping to Canada in the price
    - there are no "duties" on an engagement ring. just your local sales taxes (varies by province)
    - you can pay by bank wire, or credit card. verify what your credit card charges on exchange (it varies).

    I didn't comment on the fluorescence because both the .65 and the .58 were the same. Is that something you were looking for specifically, or is that just random chance?
     
  19. CharmyPoo
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    7,007
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
  20. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 30, 2012

    yup here in alberta we would only get charged 5%. i did work it out though and it looks like blue nile adds on $25 for shipping/handling on the canada website.

    my issue is should i buy it on the usa website and just pick it up when im on vaca in usa, or ship it here. its a little more to ship here of course, but, shipping to the usa has some downfalls. yes our dollars are basically on par but to charge it to my credit card i know mastercard charges a 2.5% fee on top of whatever the exchange is. im sure the bank also has a service fee on the exchange if sending wire. the last thing i dont know is that if i have to claim the item on my customs form on the way back i may have to pay duty anyways. im going to contact the border agencies to see if it has to be claimed if im paying before hand and just getting it there.

    as far as the diamond goes i think its down to the 2 at blue nile. im just waiting for their report to see if the 0.65 is eye clean.

    the fluorescence was not by choice, neither is it an issue to me, i actually think it could look cool. i havent really heard anything too negative about my stone choices so far so i believe im close to taking the plunge!

    i did find other bands on other websites thag were similar, like the one i posted earlier on JA, however i could not find deals on stones similar to my find at BN...
     
  21. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
  22. marymm
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,910
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    by marymm » Jan 31, 2012
    Hey OP - I just re-ran the HCA and AGA for the 0.65ct H-SI1 you linked to, and confirm the numbers you got (AGA 1A, HCA 1.0) - if BN says it is eyeclean, it looks like the frontrunner for sure - for not much extra money you get higher color and larger mm - great find!
     
  23. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 31, 2012

    thanks for checking my findings. just wanted to be sure i was entering the right #'s into the tools. i really like the #'s, and i'm going to ask BN if they can actually email me the report from whoever checked if it was eye clean or not or whatever they do. Can i actually trust blue niles word for it being eye-clean?

    i know its a "no risk" purchase, BUT, since i'm in canada they dont' pay the return shipping etc. so i would be out shipping for sure. A few bucks, but its still a point that has to be taken into consideration.
     
  24. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 31, 2012
    Ok, i hate doing this to myself but i have yet another diamond that is a potential throw into the mix. can i please get some expert advice on which way to go of the 3 now?

    the 3rd diamond is here:
    http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-i-colour-si1-clarity_LD02330283

    Scores a 2.0 HCA, 1B AGA, however, i was told by the vault manager thru blue nile, that it is indeed eye-clean AND there are no visible inclusions....

    So here are the 3 in question since they're geting lost in the thread, and my % that i'm leaning on going towards each one:

    1 - 80% - http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-h-colour-si1-clarity_LD02412994
    - 0.65ct
    - 1.0 HCA, 1A AGA.
    - Reported to be eye-clean as told by BN
    -$1678

    2. 10% - http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-i-colour-si1-clarity_LD02330283
    - 0.63ct
    - 2.0 HCA, 1B AGA.
    - Reported to be eye clean AND no visible inclusions as per BN
    - $1607

    3. 10% - http://www.bluenile.ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-i-colour-vs2-clarity_LD02406178
    - 0.58ct
    - 1.8 HCA, 1A AGA
    - should be clean as a VS2
    - $1505


    again i'd like to thank everyone for their kind wisdom and help. this is a very difficult process and am thankful to have had all your guidance along the way. Hopefully this will be the last of my annoying repetitive questions here!
     
  25. marymm
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    2,910
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    by marymm » Jan 31, 2012
    Okay, I took another look at the 0.65ct H-SI1 - though the AGA and HCA numbers are good, I personally am not fond of knots or feathers as inclusions, even if the stone is eyeclean. Given your other choices and your preference not to deal with returns, I probably wouldn't go with this one after all.

    The 0.58ct I-VS2 lists "cloud" as the inclusion - being VS2 and BN saying it is eyeclean, and the AGA 1A and HCA 1.8 scores - to me this may be the better candidate - the mm size is 5.40x5.36x3.32mm.

    The 0.63ct I-SI1 lists "crystal" as the inclusion - I don't mind white crystals in eyeclean stones - and I don't know if I could personally tell a difference between an AGA 1B and AGA 1A stone - the HCA 2.0 (3 very goods, and Excellent for Fire) is not necessarily a deal-breaker - mm size-wise, it is 5.57x5.55x3.89mm.

    Here's a link to a carat/mm chart - http://www.ajediam.com/Sizes-of-Diamonds.html - honestly I don't know if you'll notice much of a difference in size between the 0.58ct and the 0.63ct. Between the two, I might defer to the 0.58ct since it has better numbers and better clarity.

    Hopefully the PS diamond veterans will chip in with their feedback to help you out.
     
  26. golfnut
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    by golfnut » Jan 31, 2012
    i think ill side with you on this one......maybe i need to try and up my budget some more? maybe it seems like my standards are too high for the price i want it at...
     

Share This Page