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Hwangster

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
14
I am trying to look for the best diamond possible for my budget. However I am getting very mixed messages from different people. My budget is around 4k. I can go a little over........ but I would like to stay at that number.

I really like niceice and goodoldgold, but they only sell top notch stuff. In your opinion, will I be happier going with the best stuff? Or will I be equally happy with something of less quality?

I will set the diamond on a platinum solitaire, so that leaves me around a little over 3k for the diamond itself. Is this budget too small? I would really like to stay above 3/4 carat.

What I'd really appreciate is for people to suggest settings, diamonds, sellers, and maybe some pics .... is this asking for too much? I'm a newbie, so please forgive me if I'm being ignorant. Thank you all in advance.
 

manhattan01

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
89
Your budget is pretty much the same as mine. I wanted a nice 75 point stone in a platinum setting. You have two options, pick a stone, and then pick a setting with what's left. Or pick a setting first. I opted for the former. I managed to get a .78 F SI1 H&A cut diamond from Good Old Gold for $3500. That would leave me a little under $500 for the setting. The only platinum setting I could have considered in that price range is the Stuller line (Solstice or Octet - though they have others) which can be seen on the GoG site. I believe going that route would put be slightly over 4k.

I instead decided to go with custom designed white gold setting that will cost me $300 - $400. (I say will because I still haven't finalised the design).

To answer your question if you want top notch...personally, of the 5 c's, you obvious importance is Cost. I would put CUT and a very, VERY close second and Carat size and a DISTANT third. With cut having that much priority, then yes, a top notch diamond is the only way to go.

I believe that you could probably find a .70 carat H/I SI1 AGS0 H&A GIA stone for a little over 3k...heck, I'll look for you...and the first one I found on GoG is .70 G SI1 AGS 0 H&A GIA. BS scores of VH/VH and High+ for $2968. Another is .73 SI1 G AGS0 H&A GIA BS scores of VH/VH/VH for $2900. Again from GoG. (by the way, I'm not affiliated with GoG...I just happened to buy my diamond there so the link is handy


In my opinion, if you get a kick-ass cut stone, you wont be able to tell the difference, size wise, between a .7x and .75 (poorly) cut stone.

Anyway, all this is just my opinion...good luck. Sorry for rambling...but I love looking for stones now.


-spencer
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
When you say niceice and goodoldgold "only sell top notch stuff", what you are saying is they carry diamonds with super ideal cuts. Yes, I would suggest you get a super ideal cut diamond. Sacrifice the other Cs but don't sacrifice CUT!

What I did is got a SI1 clarity, J color stone from Jonathan at GoodOldGold.com. SI1 is an eye clean clarity (in general anyway, you should ask just to be sure whatever stone in question is eye clean) and the J color faces up perfectly white, especially in such a well cut stone. Going with this clarity and color and getting the super ideal cut takes care of 3 Cs, leaving the 4th (carat weight) to be scaled to your budget.

Check out these stones...

This 0.908ct has three Very Highs on the brilliance scope! This would probably be the winner if I were in your shoes!
It is an I color so its possible that you could be patient and get a *slightly* larger (still under 1ct, as 1ct+ has a price jump) stone with a J color, but I doubt you're going to beat the brilliance scope results. I was curious so I plugged this stone in the HCA and it scored a 1.5. Anything under a 2 is good stuff.
http://www.goodoldgold.com/0_908ct_i_si1_h&a.htm

This 0.83ct puts you a bit under your budget. 1.4 on the HCA.
http://www.goodoldgold.com/0_83ct_j_vs1__h&a.htm

This 1ct is probably not eye clean, but you could ask GOG about it. I don't know if it would bother you to get a stone with visible inclusion (it'd bother me!).
http://www.goodoldgold.com/1_032ct_j_si2_h&a.htm
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2003
Messages
16
Hi Hwangster,

Finding a diamond that you will be happy with is a very personal decision. Regardless of what you decide on eventually purchasing, you should have an independent appraisal of the stone before you purchase it. This should be accounted for in your budget as well as the cost of shipping and setting the stone. Since you want to set the stone in platinum stay in the near colorless range, something like H or I would be appropriate. I would recommend you purchase a stone with VS2 clarity. This should ensure that the stone is eye clean. In regards to the cut, you should choose a stone with ideal cut proportions such as a hearts and arrows, AGS ideal cut, etc. This should ensure that you choose a stone with a better than average degree of brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Since I assume you are looking at stones at niceice.com and goodoldgold.com, the information they provide on each stone will be very beneficial to you so that you can make a truly educated decision. You should also check out superbcert.com since they provide much of the same info on their stones as well.

Take a look at this diamond at www.goodoldgold.com

Carat Weight: 0.84
Clarity: VS2
Color: I
Cut External
Polish: AGS ~ Ideal
Symmetry: AGS ~ Ideal
Proportions: AGS ~ Ideal
Cut Internal
Symmetry ~ Hearts & Arrows
Light Return ~ Excellent
BrillianceScope
White Light Return ~ Very High
Colored Light Return ~ Very High +
Scintillation ~ Very High
Price ~ $ 3,334.
bank wire discount ~ $ 3,275

Check out this setting at www.bluenile.com

Platinum Six-Prong Solitaire Setting
Price: $300.00

 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
3,369
Here's another option:

http://www.superbcert.com/products/index.cfm?Product_ID=501&Product_Subcategory_ID=2&Product_Category_ID=3&Product_Group_ID=1 0.81 G SI1 $3255

I personally think that H-I SI1-SI2 (make sure it's reasonably eye-clean) in an ideal cut is the way to go if you are budget minded. As a woman, I can say that while when I didn't know anything about diamonds, I thought I wanted a D VS1, but now I want what I recommended at first, knowing how it is an artificially inflated market. Seriously, no one is going to tell the difference if it is well cut. It will probably look better than a D VS1 with a crappy cut. It's just not worth the extra money, unless you're having a hard time thinking of ways to spend money.


I would snap up one of those Good Old Gold .90ct I SI1s if I were you, but if it is over your budget, consider the diamond above or one of these:

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=462036 0.82 I SI1 $2700

Available through this section of Good Old Gold (add about $170 for an analysis like you see elsewhere on the site_:
http://www.goodoldgold.com/exelinvens/inventory.asp
0.94 J SI1 $3233
0.83 H VS2 $3268

http://www.niceice.com/certcopies/gia12408855/index.htm 0.78 H SI1$2895

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=462039 0.785 H VS2 $3358



Sorry if some of these are repeats. Yum, with that White Flash diamond, you could get a really nice setting for $1300!
 

Hwangster

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
14
Thank you all so much for the prompt and informative response.

Is it a good idea to get the ring and diamond from different places? How much am I looking at to get the diamond set?

Is it foolish for me to just 'trust' goodoldgold or nice ice, and just have them set the diamond and send the ring to me without ever getting it appraised?

I think I will stay in the .75 - .89 range...and pick the ring first, then use the remaining on the diamond. Unfortunately, it appears that Goodoldgold and niceice has more expensive settings, that are similar to that on bluenile and whiteflash.
 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
3,369
You should definitely get an appraisal once you receive the ring.

For the record, I trust the stores you mentioned. This is a public forum -- if they were constantly scamming shoppers, we would know. Many people have reported positive experiences. Do a search on this forum or another to read customer testimonials.

However, you probably want to insure your $4000 investment, right? I mean, it is very small, liable to fall down the drain or off the nightstand . . . . And to do so, you need an appraisal. You can get a gemologist with the right credentials to appraise it at a local jewelry store for $50 to $100. This serves a double purpose -- getting the documentation you need to insure it, and making sure that, god forbid, there wasn't some mix up that resulted in you getting the wrong diamond.

If you don't show the appraiser the certificate (maybe because you want to make sure he or she comes up with the same color and clarity), remember that minute differences can be attributed to the strictness of the GIA and the AGS and the increased difficulty of appraising a stone that is set. Another option is just to hand over the certificate and ask if it matches.

Be warned -- the estimated replacement cost will be far over what you paid. I am sure you will get a good deal at any of the stores you mentioned, but the appraisal is always way more than what you paid, maybe even double. This doesn't mean you got the deal of the century. This is a standard practice. However, to know that you are getting a good deal, ask to see comparable stones in the color, clarity, and size you decide upon at a local store. I'll bet you'll see a stone with a worse cut that costs more. Thank goodness for the internet!
 

Janelle

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
10
I had a similar situation. My budget was $5K, and I could not go over a penny (unless I wanted to risk the wrath of my husband). I got a 1.07ct, I color, SI2 H&A AGS0 stone from GoodOldGold. It scores a 1.4 on the HCA. My stone cost about $4300, and I had GoodOldGold set it in the platinum Stuller Solstice setting. The stone and setting together cost about $4800.

I love my ring, and I confess I did not have it independently appraised. After lurking here, I decided that GoodOldGold was a reputable business, and I trusted them. An appraisal from GoodOldGold was included with my purchase, and that combined with the AGS certificate was enough for me to get insurance. Here is a pic of my ring:

JA Br107ISI2 finished2.jpg
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
My 2cents - In a well cut stone this size color & clarity will be less apparent. I vote for larger I/*some* J - SI1 or 2. Many SI's are eye clean. Diamond clarity is graded w/ a 10x loupe. One does not walk around with a 10x over their stone. Diamond color is graded face down. A well cut I/J stone graded properly should be plenty white face up in a setting.

Good luck. As for the appraisal, depends upon what you are comfortable with.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Just a note on the comments regarding going larger in I or J colors...

Over the past few weeks we've had clients who came to our store who were dead set on seeing nothing but high color stones (G+). After demonstrating the impact of cut quality on the look and beauty of the diamond 2 purchased "I" (and would have went to J if we had it), one purchased a J and another a K. The K is going into a yellow gold setting which will help of course but all the others are going into platinum and couldn't be happier. Of course all our diamonds are backed with full refund as well if for any reason you purchased a stone and anything about it bothers you and if you get a setting with us we could remount another into it if you wanted to change it as well. NiceIce and myself are careful about what we purchase for our inventories and I can promise you this ... you will not regret making a choice for quality, especially it's cut.

Regards,
Rhino
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
----------------
On 7/6/2003 1:41:22 PM Hwangster wrote:

Thank you all so much for the prompt and informative response.

Is it a good idea to get the ring and diamond from different places? How much am I looking at to get the diamond set?

Is it foolish for me to just 'trust' goodoldgold or nice ice, and just have them set the diamond and send the ring to me without ever getting it appraised?

I think I will stay in the .75 - .89 range...and pick the ring first, then use the remaining on the diamond. Unfortunately, it appears that Goodoldgold and niceice has more expensive settings, that are similar to that on bluenile and whiteflash.
It can be more convenient to get the setting with the diamonds, other than that it doesn't really matter. If you buy the setting locally they should set the diamond for free, even if you get the diamond elsewhere. I'm sure both GoodOldGold and NiceIce can get you any setting you want. Once you decide on the setting I would ask them about it, they may be able to get it for you cheaper.

I don't feel foolish for trusting GOG... I bought a 1.33ct and two 0.55ct stones. They sent them to me loose for inspection then I sent them back for setting. An independant appraisal is probably a good idea but, even though I'm not an expert, I felt comfortable enough with the AGS certificates and Jonathan's judgement.

Why stay 0.75-0.89 when you can get a 0.9?
 

Hwangster

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
14
Thanks everybody, I have been corresponding with Jonathan aka Rhino, and he has been very helpful. I think I will purchase as big of a diamond as I can afford, and my only criteria now is the brilliance factor.

As long as it's eye clean, brilliant...... I will be happy. And it appears I can go as far as getting a .90 carat with this criteria, which would be great!!!

Thanks for all your help...... but please feel free to keep contributing to this thread. I feel my budget is a fairly common one.
 
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