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Frustrated, Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Irritated

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Diamond_Newb, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. Diamond_Newb
    Rough_Rock

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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 3, 2010
    Seems to be most of what i have been feeling lately.....First let me introduce myself since this is my first post

    My name is Dave and i been researching on buying an engagement ring for the past few weeks. I have been to a few local jewelers, avoided the major chains, and done a ton of reading here. The amount of information here is great but overwhelming. I have somewhat narrowed down a lot of what i am looking for but i am having an issue of buying something like this online and the jewelers i have been too are fine but, i just want to make sure i get the best deal for my dollar

    Okay so here is the first question:

    If i find a setting that i like, is it better to buy the diamond from that dealer or does it not matter?

    After tons for searching i found a great setting at Blue Nile but, of course there isnt too much info regarding this vendor found here. And i believe that i can not just buy their setting?? (Read it on a 2007 thread)
    http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-platinum_5088


    This is another setting that is very similar to the one i like.
    http://www.whiteflash.com/Engagement-Rings/Styles/Diamond-Settings/X-Prong-Diamond-Engagement-Ring-with-Channel-Setting_987.htm#

    Anyone know any other settings that look the same??

    So i am close on a setting...Then comes the stone!
    I am looking for at least one carat princess cut. Thats where my decisions come to a crashing halt.....My over all price range for the setting and diamond in total are $5-$7K.

    Unfortunately my head is spinning with VS1 -VS2, D-J, Good cuts, Very good cuts, signature cuts....Then of course i have the table of cut classes with Table%, crown height, girdle, depth%, polish/symmetry etc....i mean how is anyone supposed to make a decision on so many varibles. Its not good for anyone who is as anal i am with research. I feel like a lost pup [​IMG]

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. tyty333
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  3. DChokie
    Rough_Rock

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    by DChokie » Feb 3, 2010
    Welcome, Dave.

    First off, you aren''t alone in feeling overwhelmed about this purchase. Picking the right diamond means picking between many different factors. Throw in the fact that proposing, even when you''re sure the answer is yes, can be one of the more nerve-racking events in yoru life, and you have a recipe for stress.

    But, when I was in your shoes, I found that these forums significantly lessened the stress, and equipped me with the knowledge to make a purchasing decision that was immensely satisfying. The fact that you''re here means you''re already on your way.

    Your head is spinning. So many of these factors surely seem abstract and arbitrary. My advice to you is to start by gaining an elementary understanding of the spectrum of grading criteria (i.e., the four C''s). Know what each C corresponds to in a diamond. Basic, easy, uncomplicated.

    Once you have the basics down, schedule a viewing at a local shop. Don''t be afraid to be candid about your intentions - tell them you''re new to the game, and you want to look at diamonds of various grading degrees, and you are not going to be pulling the trigger right away. When you''re at the shop, ask to see a 1 carat diamond and a 1.5 carat diamond. Then ask to see them side by side. Then ask to see a D-color diamond and a I-color, then side by side. See all of the different factors with your own two eyes.

    More than anything, this will give you real-world perspective. It is very easy to get caught up in the minutiae of G-color versus H-color when comparing stones online; actually seeing a G next to an H will go a long, long way towards defining the parameters of your desired stone. And that''s what this expedition is all about - determining your upper and lower bounds for a diamond. When I went diamond viewing, I saw that the difference between a F and H color stone did not justify the price increase, but the difference between a 1.5 ct and 2.1 ct stone did.

    Once you know your parameters (for me, it was "at least 1.8 carats, at least a H-color, and at least a VS2 clarity"), you can start your hunt. Now, it is simply a matter of finding the best stone within those specs for the best relative price. Within a few days of searching, you will start to become familiar with price trends, and will be able to spot when a particular stone is a price outlier (high or low).

    Now, the most important lesson I learned from these boards is the importance of cut. All other factors aside, cut will define how "sparkly", "radiant", "eye-catching", "brilliant", etc. your stone will be. The better the cut, the better that light reflects into and back out of your diamond. I wanted a very sparkly stone, so I paid a premium for a top-quality cut stone. These boards (and the site in general) will help you learn how to judge cut. In general, you can use the Holloway Cut Advisor and Idealscopes to gauge the cut quality of a stone. The HCA compares your stone against certain pre-defined "ideal" cut ratios/angles/parameters, while Idealscopes will measure the light retention in your actual stone. I even posted Idealscope images of prospective stones here on the boards for group review.

    So,

    1) Know the four Cs
    2) Look at diamonds in person
    3) Define the parameters of your desired stone
    4) Comparison shop until you find one that meets your parameters and budget.

    And enjoy this time - it can be very exciting - the visits to shops, the calls for Idealscopes - I viewed it as a personal challenge - "can I find the perfect stone?" - after about 2 months, I did! You will too. Good luck.
     
  4. Stone-cold11
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  5. swingirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by swingirl » Feb 3, 2010
    I would love to see the WF setting with princess cuts on the band if your center stone is going to be a princess. Why don't you ask WF if they have done one like that and if you could see photos. They do beautiful settings and have lovely princess ACAs to pick from.

    I would prefer to have the stone and setting from the same place if they had what I liked.
     
  6. Mrs W
    Brilliant_Rock

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  7. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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  8. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Feb 3, 2010
    Ditto this.

    You can also search for AGSO princess cuts, as AGSO is the only lab to actually grade cut quality for princess diamonds. Then I would personally get the largest G/H, VS2/SI1 diamond I could find!
     
  9. Diamond_Newb
    Rough_Rock

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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 4, 2010
    Thank you all for the responses.....I really appreciate all the advice and tips. I will continue to read up and narrow down what i am looking for. Seeing the stones from a local jeweler is a fantastic idea to get an idea on the subtle differences in the the 4 C''s.

    Also i plan on asking WF if they have done the setting i want in a princess (another great suggestion). Being able to see that will help alot.

    I will continue to post stuff i find and ask for your opinions.

    I cant thank you all enough....i definitely feel a little better!!

    -Dave
     
  10. Paul-Antwerp
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Paul-Antwerp » Feb 4, 2010
    Hello Dave,

    I read your post, and it really struck me. It is a shame for our industry if the emotions of a prospective consumer are frustration, exhaustion and irritation. This is definitely not what it should be.

    Some other posters have already given you great advice, and my main suggestion to you would be to relax. Also, you posting here is a good thing, and it should ease your mind.

    Strategy-wise, I would recommend you to consider what is important for you in this diamond. If most important, as I expect, are sparkle and size, then you need to make Cut and Carat weight the priorities in your search.

    Once you know this, I would check out which vendors (online or local jewelers) also treat Cut as a priority (everybody probably considers size to be important). Especially since you are looking for princess-cuts, look for vendors who are good in that area.

    When you found your trusted vendor, work with him or her. That is basically a guarantee for a good shopping-experience, without frustration, exhaustion and/or irritation.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Live long,
     
  11. curlygirly
    Rough_Rock

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    by curlygirly » Feb 4, 2010
    Deep breathing! :)

    That setting is a Vatche design (originally). Vatche is sold at Good Old Gold. Email Marie about the setting and Jon about a stone. Or call them up. They will really help point you in the right direction and they are very trustworthy. They both helped my husband. I love my ring and I get compliments on it all the time. I still need to do a post about it - it is a vatche round 3-stone. I''m not sure about what grading to get for princess cut but for my rounds we went with g/vs2.

    Good luck. Take your time!!
     
  12. Todd Gray
    Brilliant_Rock
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    by Todd Gray » Feb 4, 2010
    Hi Dave,

    The emotions which you express are certainly not ones that should be affiliated with purchasing an engagement ring. No doubt that for every answer you have found on the forum, many more questions have been raised in your mind. The good news is that there are many people here on the forum who are more than happy to assist you in your quest to find the right diamond. The setting which you referred to from Blue Nile is from a manufacturer which is well known and available to most of the other vendors here on PS - so if Blue Nile is not willing to sell the mounting separately, then other vendors will likely be able to source it from you upon request.

    References have been made to a similar setting made by D. Vatche, called the "X Prong Princess" I tried to attach a picture of the ring but couldn't get it to post. There are several PS vendors including ourselves and Good Old Gold who carry the D. Vatche line and can assist you with that if that setting is of interest. I do not know for certain, but I believe that White Flash and a few other PS vendors carry settings which are very similar, so the setting part of the equation should be fairly simple.

    Cut Precision is going to affect visual performance, there are many tutorials available on this subject both here on PS and within the web sites of the vendors who frequent the forum, but here's a good place to start... Try to keep the proportions of the diamond within this range:

    Total depth: between 59 - 61.8%
    Table diameter between 53 - 57%
    Crown angle between 34.3 - 34.8 degrees
    Pavilion angle between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees
    Girdle edge between thin to slightly thick
    Culet: GIA none or AGS pointed
    Polish: GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal
    Symmetry: GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal

    There ARE other offsets of crown / pavilion angle which work quite well, but I'm trying to simplify your life by suggesting this range because it's a really fast way to narrow down the possibilities...

    Most of the vendors here on PS are capable of providing you with detailed analysis of the diamonds, in addition to their own "visual assessment" of the diamond and the inclusions within the diamond - several excellent vendors have already been mentioned in the thread... Good luck! Remember to Breathe [​IMG]
     
  13. Todd Gray
    Brilliant_Rock
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    by Todd Gray » Feb 4, 2010
    Don't know why that post, posted twice, but edited to remove the duplicate...
     
  14. IceExplorer
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    by IceExplorer » Feb 4, 2010
    Dave are you under a time constraint or are afforded the luxury of some time?

    I think all of us go through some of your emotions at some point in the process. I can tell you this, it gets easier, especially with the knowledge you''re gaining from this site. The people and information available here is priceless.

    If you have some time, take it to make yourself an educated buyer. I found the best part of my shopping process was that I wasn''t concerned about time. I took the opportunity to read, ask questions and read some more.
    When I realized the tremendous resources that are available on this site, my anxiety lessened significantly, ultimately leading to having a lot of fun with my shopping. I bought my diamond last week and now I''m on to settings.

    Good luck with your search. I''m sure it will get much easier for you!
     
  15. Diamond_Newb
    Rough_Rock

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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 5, 2010

    Hello Everyone again,


    First let me say big thanks to all for the suggestion...the process is geting easier and the more research i do the more i know what i want to get. Also i know my title for this thread has distrubed some but in the beginning stages of looking around it can be very overwhelming. I kind of compare it to shopping for a car...if you have no knowledge then you could very easily get screwed....That''s why i am very happy i found this place and can gather more info to make a smart decision.


    Here are a few thread that i found regarding the Vatche X Princess.
    I prety sure i am set on this setting and being able to see more photos has helped....
    http://www.pricescope.com/forum/show-me-the-ring/she-said-yes-thanks-gog-t117125.html
    http://com.pricescope.com/photos/rhino/picture1737.aspx
    http://www.pricescope.com/forum/rockytalky/asscher-x-prong-from-whiteflash-experiences-if-interested-t29253.html

    I definitely dug the asscher cut on the last link but i think the princess might provide more sparkle which is what i am looking for.


    Got a stupid question but how do you pronounce Vatche? Figured i might as well sound like i know what i am talking about when i go to a local jeweler [​IMG] Figured maybe i can find my setting to get an good look at it in person.


    Thanks
    Dave
     
  16. Todd Gray
    Brilliant_Rock
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    by Todd Gray » Feb 5, 2010
    D. Vatche, prounounced "Va-chee"
     
  17. Hest88
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Hest88 » Feb 5, 2010
    Right. I remember pronouncing it as if it were French (Va-shay) for a long time. But it''s not! [​IMG]
     
  18. dreamer_dachsie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by dreamer_dachsie » Feb 5, 2010
    Do you mean "Vah-chay"? I would never have guessed "Va-chee" as in "Tai Chi".
     
  19. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Feb 5, 2010
    Princess cut corners can be chipped during setting - I strongly recomend using the same vendor for setting as many companies will not accept any liability for setting damage.
     
  20. Chasester
    Rough_Rock

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    by Chasester » Feb 6, 2010
    Hey Dave,

    I can only tell you what I''ve done. I too am looking for a princess cut in that price range.

    First my GF and I went around a few mall stores (my dumb days) and she really liked one. like really really liked it. And I almost got it. Then stumbled across this forum and got confused, and frustrated and overwhelmed and felt like a total idiot.

    But took my time, decided what I would like to get - went with my gf to an online vendor (ID Jewelry who was amazing) They can duplicate the setting that she liked and I can get my gf the diamond she wants and I can afford.

    4 c''s. emphasis on Cut for sure.

    good luck, relax! it''ll be ok.
     
  21. Diamond_Newb
    Rough_Rock

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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 9, 2010
    So i have been looking at enough diamonds to make my head spin but i found this one and thought it was pretty nice....what do you guys think?

    is an I color decent?

    http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/6945/

    I also liked the one Mrs W. picked out too

    http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/5829/


    Can someone explain why the I (first one) is more money? Is it because of the cut? AGS0?

    Thanks everyone...still learning [​IMG]



     
  22. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 9, 2010
    I'm no expert, but my 2c anyway [​IMG]


    I'm sure that that AGS0 grade has a lot to do with the price difference.


    I still like #1 better, though - I prefer the patterning. The second has an almost "chunky" feel under the table, then it transitions into "crushed ice" near the girdle.. the first is much more uniform.
     
  23. Stone-cold11
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    by Stone-cold11 » Feb 9, 2010
    I like the G better, just prefer the faceting and price better. :razz:

    Probably the AGS0 is marking up the price. Could also be due to the time when the stone is cut.
     
  24. Allison D.
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    by Allison D. » Feb 9, 2010
    Dave, I think Todd may have missed that you''re looking for a Princess cut center stone; these parameters he listed are right in the sweet spot for top-performing round brilliant diamonds.

    The fancies have a much wider range of possibilities, so getting idealscope/ASET/images can go a long way toward helping you "see" the stone.
     
  25. Diamond_Newb
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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 10, 2010
    Since i am planning to put in a platnium setting is "I" pushing it color wise though????
     
  26. yssie
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  27. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Feb 10, 2010
    No, not at all. You won''t see any warmth in an I unless you hold it next to a D-F.
     
  28. Diamond_Newb
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    by Diamond_Newb » Feb 12, 2010
    Hi again everyone....so lately i have been feeling like i take a few steps forward and about 12 back [​IMG]

    I have been in talks with GOG and since i am going with the Vatche Princess setting, they said that i might be better off getting something G+ to match the side stones that would most likely be a G.... http://shop.goodoldgold.com/index.cfm/a/catalog.prodshow/vid/36784/catid/229

    They suggested this stone and said even though its an SI2 that it is "Eye Clean"
    http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/6510/

    So Pros and Cons - In my eye

    Pros:
    D is awesome
    Nice Optics
    Price

    Cons
    SI2 "It''s Eye Clean"....but "mind clean" is killing me
    Not AGS graded....which i really prefer AGS0 so i know the cut is perfect

    I swear i am too picky for this process and it''s driving me nuts....i really appreciate everyones input and patience with me. What do you guys think?

    -Dave
     
  29. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Feb 12, 2010
    I don''t like the SI2 personally, and D is overkill for color. Seems like GOG just doesn''t have something that is completely suitable at this time. Princess cuts do show more color, but usually within 2 color grades is fine. But to be safe you probably want H at the lowest.

    I like this one from BGD. If you like it, reserve it NOW, someone will snap it up. BGD can probably access vatche for you, or can make a custom setting that is similar:

    http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=AGS-1040385230002
     
  30. Roxie Bling
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    by Roxie Bling » Feb 12, 2010
    Hi. I love Jonathan at GOG, he even made a video for me displaying differences between various cushion cuts which has been extremely helpful to me and others.

    And while I hesitate to steer you away from there, ID Jewelry also carries the Vatche line and could perhaps help you find a "mind clean" princess stone you would be happy with. I have never worked with them, but Chasester (the poster above) seems to have had a great experience with them.

    Good luck!
     
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