shape
carat
color
clarity

Found the setting for my e-ring...now what?

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
After a month of searching (Pretty sure I looked at every single setting that exists on this earth) I finally found the one. I didn't go the custom route early on since I just couldn't even get a good idea of what I wanted so there was no way I could communicate what I wanted to someone else. I'm sure I stressed out about it more than I needed to...but I really wanted something different.

I found the setting at a local store (Texas) but made by a designer called House of Baguettes which is in New York. The store is, of course, eager to sell me a diamond to put into the ring and then said that it would take 4 weeks (time is not a concern for me, but this seems short) for the New York store to make the setting for me, based on the diamond's specifications. I also indicated that I'd want a euro shank and they said it would be no problem, they'd make the ring that way. I don't really know what the prongs will look like...I'm hoping I'll be able to specify that detail and that they'll be able to execute that.

I'm not entirely sure I want to buy my diamond from this store and I don't want to be talked into a stone that isn't great. I'm also not sure if I want them setting the stone into the ring...maybe they can't do beautiful split claw prongs like I've seen online.

Should I be shopping for the stone first and then taking that to the store that has the setting? Should I be pricing out custom designers to recreate the setting instead of trying to buy from a store that will then turn around and get it from a designer somewhere else? I haven't seen anything like this setting from any of the commonly recommended PS custom designers.

Setting pictures below. It's about 3.4 cts total weight in the setting, rounds and baguettes. The stone set atop the setting in the blue picture is a 2.75ct stone, my intention is to find an RB stone in the 3-3.5 ct range for the center. The setting is priced at $8k.

I've been searching for stones online and using the HCA tool to consider various stones, but I haven't found the right one yet. Is it a bad time to buy stones since people might be scrambling trying to get stones for Christmas or New Years? I'd rather wait and get the right stone than try and rush the whole thing. All advice welcome...I've probably thought far too hard about all of this :)

2015-12-07_17.jpg

2015-11-16_2.jpg
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Round diamond 101:

The entire purpose of faceting a diamond is to reflect light.
How well or how poorly a diamond does this determines how beautiful it is.
How well a diamond performs is determined by the angles and cutting. This is why we say cut is king.
No other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. An ideal H will out white a poorly cut F. And GIA Ex is not enough.
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want? Well, we have tools to help you with that. But that is not enough.
What you need after that is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does. https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/firescope-idealscope
It shows you how and wear your diamond is reflecting light, how well it is going at it, and where you are losing light return. That is why you won't see us recommending Blue Nile, as they do not provide idealscope images for their diamonds. All our best vendors do though.

Now if you want to skip all that... stick to AGS0 stones and then all you have to do is pick color and clarity and you know you have a great performing diamond. Because AGS has already done the checking for you. That's why they trade at a premium. With AGS0 stones you don't strictly need an idealscope image. But getting one is nice to confirm performance and that is why almost all our best vendors provide them for you. Not all AGS0's are created the same though, so if you want to make sure it's the very best cut, post it and we'll evaluate it for you.

Generally you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.4. Crown angle 33.5-36. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-41 (there is a little give on this)

And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA does for you.

ON COLOR:

It is important to remember is that color is graded FACE DOWN. Where there is NO light return. Not face up where there is light return and refraction. You wear diamonds set. FACE UP.

Within one color grade, even the labs can't agree on the color grades of stones and something could be a "high" H or a "low" E. So... no. Not really. Within 2 color grades it is hard. Not impossible. But very hard. And it gets harder once set. If you are talking ideal rounds, or any stone with ideal light return and no sharp corners it gets harder still because the ideal light return masks body color.

Generally we say to be conservative stay above H in a round. But MANY people have happily bought white I or even J diamonds when trying to eek out a little more size.

This is how I think of it.

Ever gotten one of those HUGE paint fan decks? Where there are literally 100s of colors of whites? And when they are RIGHT next to each other you can TOTALLY tell that one is bluer/colder and one is a bit warmer and which one is one is TOTALLY warmer. One there's one that's slightly greener. One that's slightly pinker? But really. They are all white?

Then you pick one after agonizing over this white or that white and when it's on the walls and people are like: Oh. You painted again. And it's STILL white. Great.

And you're all... BUT it's BLUE white. Or it's a WARM white now. It used to be ____ white. It's TOTALLY different.

It's like that. You are talking about shades of white. D is colder... J is warmer. But it's all white.

YES. If you have an accurately graded F and an H THAT HAVE THE SAME PERFORMANCE you are going to be able to tell them apart when you compare them. Just like you would be able to tell if you painted your walls a warm white, but painted the crown molding a cold/straight white. But both are STILL white.


I want you notice all the qualifiers thought. I'm talking about stones with the SAME performance. An ideal H will out white an F that has compromised light performance from a poor cut.

NOTHING impacts the appearance of a diamond as much as cut. CUT is king.

You want the shinest whitest and brightest diamond out there: Cut is King. No other factor, not color or clarity or anything else impacts how white bright an shiny a stone is.

ON CLARITY:
http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/SI/ and http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/VS/ Generally we say that eyeclean SI1 and VS2 are as high as you need to go with round brilliants.


Okay?
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,858
Wow! Is this for you or your intended? Do you know what finger size this ring will be worn on ?

A 3.5 ct round will be around 9.9 mm (a hair under a centimeter). Add in the all the surrounding diamonds in that setting… I'm hoping the ring size isn't 3 or 4 :shock:

If you've seen some links to stones you like, post them here for input. Or, post your wish list of specs and budget and the friendly PS sleuths will come up with some beauties for you to mull over. Whatever you pick will certainly have presence! Enjoy the journey :rodent:
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
Gypsy - Incredibly helpful, thank you. It was actually one of your posts that really struck a chord with me...about how we're buying art and even though every single jewelry shop around town will try and convince you they're perfectly capable of doing custom work, we shouldn't just be trusting a handful of yelp reviews written by people who don't know jewelry to select our artist. I suppose that's why I'm a little concerned about who I'm getting to make this piece.


Ringo - This is for myself. I have a 6.5 finger and I want coverage but kept flip flopping about whether or not I wanted a halo. This seems to be a nice middle ground, IMO. Stones going around the curve of the stone but not all the way around it. It definitely will have presence...I've been looking at much more prominent settings. The delicate bands aren't for me.

I'll do some stone searching now and see what I can find!
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
The semi-mount at your local jeweler's doesn't appear intended for a center stone that's round (see how the "seat" is not circular) & I'm thinking that because of the long vertical lines of the baguettes alongside the center stone, a rectangular or square diamond would be better suited as the shape for the showcased stone; do you have your heart set on a round?
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
MollyMalone|1449767831|3959872 said:
The semi-mount at your local jeweler's doesn't appear intended for a center stone that's round (see how the "seat" is not circular) & I'm thinking that because of the long vertical lines of the baguettes alongside the center stone, a rectangular or square diamond would be better suited as the shape for the showcased stone; do you have your heart set on a round?

Yup they said that the setting was meant for an emerald, but that it could easily be made to hold a round. That's why they said it would take 4 weeks for the designer in NY to make another one with prongs for a round. They would also make it into a euro shank per my request at no additional cost.
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
MollyMalone|1449773982|3959898 said:
Based on my run-through of House of Baguettes' web site, it looks as if they will probably just plop in a simple peg head rather than create an integrated ring for a round stone, e.g.,
http://www.houseofbaguettes.com/details.html?products_id=657&use_parent_categories_id=38#.VmnAo4E8KrU

Would that be OK with you?

I wouldn't want that. I really want the split claw prongs. Is that something I could have someone change or would it be better off if I get someone else to re-create the setting? I love Leon Mege prongs, as an example, but I don't see him doing this style ring at all.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
What do you think of these offerings from Bez Ambar, if the stones in the main body of the shank were changed to vertically set baguettes (assuming baguettes are important to you);
https://www.bezambar.com/shop/cleo-engagement-ring/

https://www.bezambar.com/shop/rene-diamond-engagement-ring/
The second link, the Rene, is shown with a 3 ct round; scroll down the page for a video.

Both are similar in look to the House of Baguettes semi-mount you posted, but seemingly a bit sleeker -- and definitely no peg head.
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
Wow, it's funny you mention the Rene...I love that exact setting from the pictures and went to a local jeweler (Eiseman's) that carries Bez Ambar products. They didn't have any currently in stock but said they'd order in a Rene. Sadly about 2 weeks later after hearing nothing, I contacted Ambar again seeing if there were any other vendors that might be more helpful, they indicated they had no such request for a Rene had come through and they got me the number for the owner of the Eiseman store to work things out.

I hadn't followed through with that since in the meantime, I'd come across this other setting that I love. My only hesitation with the Bez Ambar setting is the channel set stones that go up to the prong. I love prong, shared prong, or u-prong set stones to be on the side of a ring. I know I do love the House of Baguettes setting and I'm only concerned ultimately about how they'd set the stone in the ring.

Should I just go custom? I'm not sure I'll like the Rene better than this House of Baguettes setting.
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
Niel|1449785705|3959940 said:
8 grand for that setting is crazy expensive.

have you ever seen these?

https://www.simongjewelry.com/collection/simon-set/engagement/

It's within the budget for my setting but I'd happily go custom and have someone recreate it, I just don't know who to go to since it doesn't look like any of the styles I see from the recommended custom designers.

My issue with the Simon G and most of those settings is that the stones on the edge are usually channel set and I want to see the side profile of the stone. When I was considering halos, I would only consider the scalloped/flower halos like this: https://www.ritani.com/engagement-rings/masterwork-halo-diamond-band-engagement-ring-in-18kt-white-gold/6288 since I liked the way those stones are set the best.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
It may be because peg heads are so easy (and cheap) for ring manufacurers, but the Bez Ambars are the only ones I found via my Google search (admittedly, I didn't spend hours on it) where the center stone was round; the semi- mount was of similar look & presence to the HoB one; and didn't use a peg head, halo or bezel.

Since it now seems you also do not want a cathedral kind of profile, I'm thinking it could be worth your while to confer with -- even pay a consultation-design fee to -- a jewelsmith to see what else might be possible.

Baguettes are appreciably pricier than most people expect, so substituting another shape-cut for the stones in the shank would probably bring the price down.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
How about discussing a custom project with Whiteflash; even drive down to meet with design-bench team in person & shop for a center stone at the same time, make it a fun weekend in Houston?
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
MollyMalone|1449795200|3960008 said:
How about discussing a custom project with Whiteflash; even drive down to meet with design-bench team in person & shop for a center stone at the same time, make it a fun weekend in Houston?

Definitely an option. Was considering either BGD or Whiteflash and doing a road trip to see one or the other.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
P,S. I'm guessing that Bez Ambar wouldn't loan a Rene to your local jeweler. Jewelers typically have to purchase outright the semi-mounts. So he may be reluctant to make the investment (even at his trade prices the cost to him would not be pocket change) because if you decided against the Rene, he'd have to hope that someone else would come along, fall in love with it "as is" & have the same ring size, or be close enough that resing the Rene in his showcase would not be problematic. Because the Rene is a style less popular nowadays & he already has the House of Baguettes one that's similar, he could be concerned that he would end up " stuck" with the Rene.

But how about asking him if Bez Ambar will loan him a Rene, without him having to purchase it. If so, I'd ask him to have it sent, so you can see it, try it on.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,413
Good catch, VR, the rounds are In shared prong settings, but the squares in the shank of the Rene are invisible-set, and I guess BA would be inclined to invisi-set tapered baguettes as well since that's one of his "signatures" (web site says he developed & patented a way of cutting-setting invisi-set diamonds so as to address the problems, but who knows).

HockeyChick, how are the baguettes set in the HoB semi-mount; are they channel-set but that's disguised because the round stones are large enough to extend beyond the metal rails?
 

HockeyChick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
45
MollyMalone|1449806164|3960060 said:
Good catch, VR, the rounds are In shared prong settings, but the squares in the shank of the Rene are invisible-set, and I guess BA would be inclined to invisi-set tapered baguettes as well since that's one of his "signatures" (web site says he developed & patented a way of cutting-setting invisi-set diamonds so as to address the problems, but who knows).

HockeyChick, how are the baguettes set in the HoB semi-mount; are they channel-set but that's disguised because the round stones are large enough to extend beyond the metal rails?

Great question. I'm trying to examine the videos I took at the store to figure that out. Here's a slow motion video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2eNLxmp4uI

I love that the rounds extend past the rails. I've seen one other setting that did this that I loved but it was far too large and elaborate of a setting. (Pic attached below). Similar in style, jeweler wouldn't say who the designer of this one was (first salesperson who showed it to me said it was made in house, second salesperson said it was made by someone else but wouldn't say who even when I asked twice...)

2015-11-25_16.jpg
 

Travelgal

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
325
What kind of look are you going for? My only concern with the style you've chosen is that the center diamond in the image seems to get swallowed by the side diamonds. I recognize that your diamond will be bigger and if that's the look you like, then that's great, but I would get the ring custom made and scale it down a touch if I was spending $8k on the setting. I'd want the proportions of the side diamonds to compliment my stone and make it "pop" rather than detract from it. I also wouldn't want a peg head (if that's how they make it). I think one of the reasons many rings have smaller diamonds (pave, halos) is that they provide definition to the center stone.

I recognize that you like the side view if the diamond, so this diamond is set too low, but the diamond looks very substantial on the finger. The proportions are right and the stone "pops." http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/rings/vintage-antique/4-01ct-old-european-cut-diamond-art-deco-ring-gia-l-vs2#.VmsqAXA76K0
 

mrs-b

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
10,516
Hi Hockeychick :)

Let me clarify something first. A lot of people here on PS don't recommend Blue Nile. But some of us - like myself - do. I've bought dozens of diamonds from them and they are among some of the most stellar diamonds I own. My most recent purchase - a 3.61ct I VS2 is a glorious diamond with amazing light performance.

And for the next piece of info - Blue Nile DO sell AGS diamonds. They don't sell a lot of them - but they do sell them. And most of them are AGS triple 0 stones. Why do I recommend Blue Nile - and recommend them strongly? They have the widest range and they are regularly either the cheapest or among the cheapest vendors. And their customer service is stellar.

So - here are a few 3-3.5ct stones on Blue Nile with AGS triple 0 ratings. Some of their vendors DO offer idealscopes, tho most have probably never heard of them. Blue Nile is a broker (unless you're talking about their Signature cuts, in which case they own the stones and use their own cutters.) At this size, you will DEFINITELY be able to get photos of a stone you might be interested in and, at the very least, can request an idealscope. You can also buy an idealscope yourself, buy a stone based on its stats and AGS triple 0 grading, inspect it when it arrives, and return it without question if you think it's a bust. But, as Gypsy said, AGS has already done the work for you.

So - onto stones. I can't link you directly to the stones - the Blue Nile web site doesn't work like that. So I'll give you the stock numbers and you can cut and paste them into the search function on the Blue Nile home page, top right hand corner.

LD06281223 - 3.06ct J SI2 - $20,028 wire price

LD01906671 - 3.16ct J VS2 - $28,439 wire price

LD02006442 - 3.02ct H SI2 - $29,819 wire price

LD01756416 - 3.02ct H SI2 - $30,534 wire price

LD01756415 - 3.11ct H SI2 - $31,430 wire price

LD06505884 - 3.22ct H SI1 - $34,118 wire price

LD04146587 - 3.20ct I VS2 - $34,919 wire price

LD03798430 - 3.05ct I VS1 - $38,566 wire price

LD06505885 - 3.51ct H SI1 - $39,239 wire price

LD05606145 - 3.01ct H VS2 - $40,908 wire price

LD04414513 - 3.61ct H SI1 - $43,454 wire price

LD03570623 - 3.60ct F SI2 - $53,682 wire price

....and so on and so on. ALL these stones are AGS triple 0, which is useful if, as Gypsy said, you want to 'skip all that' re the whole Idealscope thing. But it certainly doesn't preclude it. And it might put some dollars in your pocket.

Wishing you the very best of luck with this important purchase!
 
Be a part of the community Get 3 HCA Results
    Gifting Ideas: Pandora Bracelets
    Gifting Ideas: Pandora Bracelets - 08/10
    Celebrating 25 Years Of Blue Nile
    Celebrating 25 Years Of Blue Nile - 08/06
    5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Engagement Ring
    5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Engagement Ring - 08/05
Top