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great experiance at the "maul" and other fine tales.

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sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
295
Hi,

i have been hanging around these parts for a little over a month now i think...or so. anyway, beside the point. Figure it may be time to tell a little bit about my actual story, not just random posts.

I recently decided that i needed to look into an engagement ring, and being such a dork, i headed straight for the internet. i had heard many things about diamonds and jewelers in the past. in fact, i figured i knew quite a bit. armed with my knowledge i headed right where i knew i should...blue nile. in fact, it was their "signature" series that led me to pricescope, and my awakening. i stumbled across an old thread while doing a search, and was instantly curious about "Hearts & Arrows." soon i became obsessed with knowing everything that i coudl about i diamond, and yet had never even witnessed one, other than the 1/4 carat diamond studs i bought my girl last year. (they were from ice.com, and actually dont look too bad.) nice place for cheepo type jewlery, the only other experiance i have is talking to a friend who got engaged last summer, and his experiance with "wedding day jewelers" anyway, i digress.

Soon i was reading up all the threads, and eventually moved on over to that beheemoth known as diamond talk. while much more interesting, much less informative. diamond talk is the culture, while this is the education. Soon i was looking at several different websites, and had my plan all mapped out. a .69 H VS1 H&A from whiteflash.com. that is when reality struck me. i heard mention of EightStar...i was very curios. i began reading posts, both positive and negative, and HAD to find out more. i read the website and was awe-struck. i knew this was the one. now just to find a price.

Well i live in Green Bay, WI, and as such have no dealer to work with. i found out immeadiatly that Richard could deal with me directly, and this was very exciting. he was very articulate, educated, friendly, and you could really sense a very deep meaning behind his words, and it was more than "I want your money." He had two stones i was interested in, both more expensive and smaller than i had wanted, but that was ok...until they both sold in the day that i was considering buying one. ah my luck! I had actually been reffered to Richard from SteveL.(thank you for all your help by the way, i hope you are not too disapointed that i did not go with your Canadia diamond, i am sure it is exquisite, i was really torn between that canadia.) however, it worked out that an email i had sent to Wink from Winfields ended up with him CALLING me. talk about a shock! he was very friendly,and very helpful. i was interested again in a .71 or so H&A, but then i found out he too was an EightStar dealer. and just so happened to have a 61 pionter, once again smaller than i desired, but ihad heard such great things. a few days and a lot more stock sold than i had anticipated, i was now the owner of an EightStar, well an owner till next tuesday when my girl becomes my fiance. I was also able to use Whiteflash to order my Vatche x-prong setting, which i immeadiatly knew was the perfect one for her. They sent it to wink no problem, and it should be arriving at his place of employment on the morrow! I can't wait until next tuesday when i finally get to see it!! i even bought an ideal scope to look at the diamond when it comes in.

Anyway, on to the other main point of this post. i had the "most excellent adventure" at the mall today. i wanted to actually see some diamonds, and i know that the mall isn't the best place to do this, but hey, i figured i coudl show some folks up with all my new knowledge. I walked past Zales, Gordons, etc...and came upon this place that looked like... a jewelery store? the people behind the counter actually looked like they might know something, and then i saw in the corner of the glass, an AGS certified dealer. wow. Vander Zanden Diamond Jewelers in Ashwaubenon WI. remember that if anyone wants some very friendly honest advice from a diamond dealer who has been in the business for a long time. Now since he was competing in a "mall" he had somewhat higher prices than one would expect to see online, but i don't think they were out of line with what i have heard from other B&M store quotes. Anyway, he knew what he was doing, showed me some actual diamonds, and was very excited when i could talk back to him in "diamond-speak" even his assistant came over and commented on how "great" it was that i had done a lot of research. i am only 22 but could probably pass for 17 yet they gave me their full attention. He never hasseled me into a sale, he never preasured me to looka at particular cut etc.

With that all said, he did have a few interesting practices. He was an AGS certified gemologist/appraiser, and therefore did all of his own grading rather than sending in stones...what can you do. He said if i wanted to, i could have it sent in for grading, but that would get tacked on in the end anyway. i respect that. he also had sold his last AGS-Ideal cut that morning, so i could not see it. however, i saw an AGS-1 that was only .5 degrees off on pavillion depth, and dang did it sparkle like mad. this was the clincher, when i started discussing that i was interested in AGS ideal, he said "well we don't really carry many, because so few people really want to have them, but i can get in any stone you want, and have rather competitve pricing compared to online brokers." which was great. He then made mention of the big 8*. commenting on how if i was looking for a perfect one, that i should see them! he doesn't even sell them, and was telling me to go someplace else if i needed to! that is a high class jeweler.

I ramble on WAYYYYYY!! too long here, and many of you have been lost somewhere up by "i digress." but thank you so much for all the information that is available, and remember, don't right anybody off just because they may have a store in a "mall." There are good jewelers out there, just have to know how to look for them.

I think i will swing by and show him the 8* when it comes it, i bet he would appreciate that. even though i didn't give him the sale. well, there is always anniversarys. heh.

sylvesterii / jan. (yep that is my name, and i am a guy. it is finish.)
head down, foot back, rock.

( it took a lot for me not to end my posts like this here. since "rock" referes to rocking out to music, not diamonds. but it is how i always end my posts. i even have it custom lettered on my checks.
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
Sylvesterii, terrific post! I read it all at once. Thanks so much for taking time sharing it.

Tell us about your diamond and the ring when you'll get them :)
 

sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
295
well, for those interested

Wink sent me a photo of the ring this weekend. i can't wait until tuesday when it arrives, and i make the 3 hour drive to propose!!!

For those wondering what an "H" would look like in platinum, here you go. remember also that this is an 8*, so that may help!

xp8.jpg
 

Spartan

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
103
WOW!

What a lucky lady your future fiance is. The ring is absolutely breath-taking. Although, I am biased because that is my DREAM ring. Congratulations on a wonderful experience and good luck with the proposal. You might want to take some smelling salts with you when you pop the question :))
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
GORGEOUS ring, good job!! :) :appl: I too was intrigued with the 8* stones, luckily there is a dealer near me, so I checked them out. They were very nice, but not within our budget due to the markup. So maybe for the 20 year anniversary. Good luck with the proposal, be prepared..as the previous poster said, she may faint!
 

sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
295
So here is the story of my proposal in full detail, hopefully this won't end up as long as my post about finding out information, hehe.

I picked up the ring from the FedEx ship center right near the school that I teach at on tuesday, and immediately hopped in my truck to make a 3 hour drive to Marquette, MI (it is in the Upper Peninsula). As I got on the road, I called her father, to let him know my intentions, and he was very excited to grant me his blessings to ask her. (Note: I did not say that I asked for her hand, I wanted to be very specific about this when I asked. I wanted his blessing, but did not want to feel like I was asking him for her.) I stopped along the way and purchased champagne glasses, two candle-sticks and holders, and several small candles. I was running a little late, and was driving somewhat faster than I should have, and I GOT PULLED OVER! 66 in a 55. I even showed him the ring and told him what I was doing, he just lectured me on driving too fast for the conditions, it was snowing. *he was probably right, but come on! Anyway, in Michigan if you are from out of state, you have to pay for the ticket on the spot in cash, or they take your license as bond. So this left me without my driver’s license, and I had not purchased any champagne! Since I am only 22, there was no way I could go into a store w/out my license and purchase anything.

I made it to Marquette at about 9pm. I went out to a park called Presque Isle; in it they have a small gazebo that overlooks Lake Superior and a lighthouse. I set up two roses, two candles, and the empty champagne glasses. I tried lighting the other candles, but it was too windy for them to stay lit. Did I mention it was 20 degrees and still snowing? It took a long time to keep the two candle-sticks lit, and had to kneel over them to make sure, which was fine, because I had to be on one knee anyway, though by the time it was all over I could not feel my knee at all. Everything was now set.

I then called her and told her that I had a friend put a gift for her in the gazebo. She was skeptical and was going to bring her roommate along. I told her to come alone, and she did, but was a little scared. She pulled up, and according to her did not see me until she was three steps away, she though all along that it was a package between two candles so she could find it. When she saw me, she ran up and grabbed me, pulling me up. I hugged her for a moment, and then got down back on one knee. She immediately started crying, and in fact collapsed into my arms. She squeaked out something, and I slipped the ring on her finger. (She didn’t actually say yes until about two hours later!) We got back in the car, because I was FREEZING, and headed back to her place.

Since I was unable to buy champagne, and could no longer spring for a hotel room (stupid ticket) her roommates actually got us a room, and bought a bottle of champagne. We stayed at the nicest hotel in the city, called the Landmark Inn. All in all it was a wonderful evening. She absolutely loves the ring, and was very happy to find out that I had gotten a Canadian Diamond, and instantly loved the x-prong setting. The next day I asked her if she wanted to know the specifics about the diamond, and I explained to her about what an EightStar was, but all she really said was “I love how it sparkles, it is perfect.” Ah, the fate of the enlightened!

All in all, the whole experience of getting engaged was the most exciting thing in my life, and would like to thank everyone again for all the help along the way. Everything turned out perfectly, well except for the speeding ticket. Hehe.

Wow, that was WAY longer than I had imagined it would be. Oh well.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Excellent post and beautiful ring sylvesterii. All the best to you.

Rhino
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
"The next day I asked her if she wanted to know the specifics about the diamond, and I explained to her about what an EightStar was, but all she really said was “I love how it sparkles, it is perfect.” Ah, the fate of the enlightened!"  

This is what I'll be expecting. I've been getting so interested in this, and I know she won't care about what the ring is like; she'll just be happy about getting engaged and having a ring. "So, this device is called an idealscope..."

...Not the best way to set the mood.

Oh, well, I guess that is one of many advantages of this forum--the chance to share the details with those who are in the know!

Congratulations on your engagement and compliments on your fiancee's beautiful ring.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Best wishes to your financee & congrats to you. I can't believe the guy gave you a speeding ticket - he probably isn't in love.
 

hbright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Messages
40
Ha ha:)) . That's exactly the same situation I'm at! I've grown a unexpected love for diamonds; enamored in technical depths of its beauty. I'm a little saddened that my quest is over, but I realize I have anniversaries to look forward too...

The abudance of information on the net has made diamond buying fun and challenging for the meticulous males among us.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,479
Jan,

Amazing that I have to wait a year and a half to hear this story! I wish I had been active here then to have known this about you.

Wink
 

sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
295
No Problem!
I have a few pictures of the Gazebo that i proposed in, which is also the exact spot that we are going to get married at. The first one is a picture of the gazebo itself. The second is a picture of the stairs that my fiencee will walk down to reach the gazebo, and the third is a view of Lake Superior from the Gazebo itself. hope you all like them!

PresqueReduced1.jpg
 

sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Messages
295
#2 (obviously these pictures were taken in the summer, and not around the time I proposed! Marquette gets about 200-300 inches of snow a year!)

PresqueReduced2.jpg
 

quaeritur

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,238
sigh! i think it's all beautiful (except the speeding ticket). beautiful stone, beautiful ring, beautiful story, and i expect nothing less of your wedding, in such a beautiful setting. a BIG congrats!
 
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