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Help,BF looking for Stunning Center stone

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
Hello all,

I am new here, but clearly can see the forum is full of knowledge far beyond that which I’ve acquired in my months of study. Here is some background to help and see if I am heading down a good or a bad path. Currently, I have sent out feelers through my industry(financial services) looking for a great ring or center stone. I’m aware I could walk into Tiffany’s, VCAA or HW and have a decent quality ring. That being said, as a finance guy, I can’t bring myself to overpay for their names. My current budget is approximately 75-125k, I’ve recently started browsing the NYC DD and speaking with every jeweler, learning about diamonds. It’s seems the diamond district doesn’t have the same deals it once did and James Allen, BlueNile or RareCarot present the best value for quality. Are these the best places to search for diamonds or do people in the Diamond District actually have an in, that is better than simply being patient and looking on the internet? I’m open to Fancy colors as well and outside of pear, or Marquise my GF likes most cuts.

Last question, I had a diamond dealer suggest an HPHT color treated diamond, the price he offered me, on a Blue Diamond, with a certificate that denoted it’s color treatment was under natural stones 20% of the size in Fancy grade range vs Fancy Vivid. Are these types of diamonds simply a complete was of money no matter the price? Any help that this forum can provide is greatly appreciated as I prepare to take my next step forward in life. I hope you all enjoy your evening.
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,263
Hello and welcome. Folks can help if you tell them what you are looking for in a ring.

1. What is her shape preference? It's a very big and an extremely generous budget and it makes sense to get it right. Have you gone and tried on rings? You mentioned multiple options, but what does she really want?
2. Any color preference? Does she want a colored diamond?
3. Clarity preference?
4. What kind of setting?
5. Size preference, millimeters and/or carat weight goals?
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
Hello and welcome. Folks can help if you tell them what you are looking for in a ring.

1. What is her shape preference? It's a very big and an extremely generous budget and it makes sense to get it right. Have you gone and tried on rings? You mentioned multiple options, but what does she really want?
2. Any color preference? Does she want a colored diamond?
3. Clarity preference?
4. What kind of setting?
5. Size preference, millimeters and/or carat weight goals?

Elizat,

I appreciate the response and the questions, I will try and answer your questions as clearly as I possibly can.

1. This is part of my issue, we have gone and tried on diamonds at several places and she claims that she likes all cuts equally well. Knowing her, I’d venture the guess that she cares more about size than cut to be frank. She’s typically gravitated towards cushion in store but that could just be a coincidence.

2. She has shown me 3 different colors she likes, on being a typical white diamond, she also likes FI/FV shades in both yellow and Blue. Blue is obviously highly priced and what raised my HPHT question, as a dealer had a 5ct+ vivid blue green oval cut and emerald cut for around 150k each in setting. I have no idea if these type of diamonds are just worthless.

3. The most important thing is eye clean but, especially in the table since her stone may be large and make inclusions more readily seen.

4. I’m going to be completely frank, I have zero idea on setting and will likely go with whatever jeweler I go through suggest.

5. I think she would be fairly disappointed at anything under 4cts but I have no idea on what a diamonds dimensions should be. I typically just look at cut on white diamonds or polish/ symmetry on fancy color diamonds certificates to know if the diamond is decently cut or not. Any pointers from anyone on here is greatly appreciated.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,657
I think at your budget you should be considering only ideal cut stones. If she says she is open to any shape then I suggest an ideal cut round stone for the fire and light performance. Obviously if she specified another shape then that's fine, but whenever someone doesnt have preferences round is typically a safe bet.

Symmetry and polish wont tell you anything about cut, so you need to go by the numbers for a round (and by eye for fancy cuts since there arent "rules" about the best numbers for other shapes).

I would always suggest a colorless stone for an engagement ring unless she has specifically asked for a fancy colored stone. I wouldn't ever spend $$ on an HPHT or other color treated stone. If she likes fancy colors, go with a natural yellow. But again I would suggest colorless for engagement ring and maybe down the line a fancy yellow for an anniversary unless she specifically requested a fancy yellow for her engagement ring.

She really needs to decide on a setting style since there are so many options. If she wants a surprise then I would suggest a classic solitaire. Has she tried on 4+ ct round stones? They are very large and almost no one has stones that size other than celebrities or very specific social circles). Is she going to be comfortable with something so big? How big is her finger?

With your budget I would contact high performance diamonds (Wink Jones), Whiteflash diamonds, or victor Canera. All have access to ideal cut round stones and are excellent vendors
 

Polabowla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
1,446
In 4 cts i might actually go with a fancy shape, as a round in that size is very large. I think a 4ct emerald or pear will be more elegant.
Can you talk to her family or friends to see if they have more of an idea of what she likes? Or a pinterest board?
These shapes are vastly different styles and a large purchase that is important to get right.
Also does she wear any other jewelry that can give you some hints- more simple, modern,traditional ornate, etc settings?
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
I think at your budget you should be considering only ideal cut stones. If she says she is open to any shape then I suggest an ideal cut round stone for the fire and light performance. Obviously if she specified another shape then that's fine, but whenever someone doesnt have preferences round is typically a safe bet.

Symmetry and polish wont tell you anything about cut, so you need to go by the numbers for a round (and by eye for fancy cuts since there arent "rules" about the best numbers for other shapes).

I would always suggest a colorless stone for an engagement ring unless she has specifically asked for a fancy colored stone. I wouldn't ever spend $$ on an HPHT or other color treated stone. If she likes fancy colors, go with a natural yellow. But again I would suggest colorless for engagement ring and maybe down the line a fancy yellow for an anniversary unless she specifically requested a fancy yellow for her engagement ring.

She really needs to decide on a setting style since there are so many options. If she wants a surprise then I would suggest a classic solitaire. Has she tried on 4+ ct round stones? They are very large and almost no one has stones that size other than celebrities or very specific social circles). Is she going to be comfortable with something so big? How big is her finger?

With your budget I would contact high performance diamonds (Wink Jones), Whiteflash diamonds, or victor Canera. All have access to ideal cut round stones and are excellent vendors

LoveDogs, the guidance is greatly appreciated, as I spend all day reading about equities and bonds; so this is world and its intricacies still evade me. I took notes on everything you said and will certainly spend more time focusing on colorless diamonds and finding out her favorite setting. Thank you for the direction.
She has in fact tries on a 5.5ct HW Cushion cut and she loved it. I am extremely fortunate to have done well and been lucky in the right business so our social circle is one of those select ones. I greatly appreciate the suggestion on the vendors and will follow up with research on them as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
In 4 cts i might actually go with a fancy shape, as a round in that size is very large. I think a 4ct emerald or pear will be more elegant.
Can you talk to her family or friends to see if they have more of an idea of what she likes? Or a pinterest board?
These shapes are vastly different styles and a large purchase that is important to get right.
Also does she wear any other jewelry that can give you some hints- more simple, modern,traditional ornate, etc settings?

She has kind of told everyone the same thing that she likes most cuts and simply wants a stunning ring. Hence my lack of direction sadly, I will have to take her out more I am guessing to see if I can glean any sort of lean in her taste. I appreciate the Pinterest board idea, I will certainly suggest that to her so I can follow along, very clever, thank you.
She does have a rather extensive jewelry collection, she has several bracelets/necklaces ranging from VCAA Motif pieces to classic diamond bands, all the way to completely micropaved cuban links. She actually even has a couple of Birkin purses that have diamond clasp, for the most part, all her jewelry is very simple and thinking of it that way certainly helps me narrow down settings as I reply. Thank you for making me think on that, I greatly appreciate the time you took to reply to me, Jeremy
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
892
Thanks for sharing your context and background. If she likes cushion cut, I'd definitely focus on that. I personally think larger carats look better in fancy cuts and would also look at emerald cut (they are super classic, yet glamourous and chic). Of course, a modern round brilliant is always a great choice too. Ovals are classic, yet look much bigger than other cuts. Based on what you described of her and your social circle, I would recommend looking at colorless and very high clarity stones, unless your girlfriend specifically likes warmer colors. I would stay at D-F, FL-VVS (VS at bare minimum), with no florescence (unless she specifically requests it). Given that you want to optimize your ROI, I would do a lot of research around cut as well. It will be very challenging to find what you are looking for even with your budget as large, well cut, colorless, high clarity stones are rare and hard to find. You can work with vendors to get them custom sourced and cut. Lastly, if her style is very simple and elegant, you can't go wrong with a solitaire, simple halo, or 3 stone. Congratulations, good luck with the search!
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,889
Yes, for such a significant purchase it is important to get it right.
With a generous budget as others before me have indicated that a top white diamond around 4 ish carats is in contention.
However, if you go with fancy yellow, you’ll get more carat for your $$$$
I agree, don’t consider treated coloured diamonds you want a coloured diamond certified as natural.
I recommend eBay.com, not to buy but to see what is out there. Many bricks and mortar vendors also promote their business and wares on eBay.
More importantly you can see a huge range of diamond rings at your price point without having to leave home. Unless you visit a diamond broker it’s unlikely any vendor will have a trays worth to show you. You can see 10 carat plus yellow diamonds, diamonds as pear shape, diamonds as heart shape. This can help you focus in on what she really really wants and then you can ask a vendor to call those in for you.
just put “Diamond ring” into the search bar, set a max price and scroll back from there. BC336A69-79A8-42A1-8A42-7AB114B4F333.jpeg
 

Attachments

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,657
If she likes cushions then that's a great place to start. I just wanted to double check :) any fancy cut is tricky because you can't choose based on only numbers...you have to look at videos and pics of performance. And not many vendors will have stones that size readily available since not many customers can afford them. HP Diamonds only sells ideal cut rounds, so ignore that suggestion. Victor Canera and Whiteflash are still good options and both have great customer service as well.

Victor canera is in Los Angeles and makes incredible hand made settings. He has these cushion that I think are very nice:


https://www.victorcanera.com/diamonds/24417120/4.030ct-F-VS2-modern-cushion-natural-diamond

And I'm sure if you call him he can help find alternatives and/or make suggestions.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
10,300
Based on your description of your significant other (SO), it sounds like she would appreciate beauty she can see, so I think sparkle, size and color would be the priority, with a minimum of eyeclean. It seems your social circle would not find a larger diamond out of place or uncommon, so I definitely would not rule out a beautifully cut round, as that can give you a ton of sparkle and flash provided you keep the setting simple.

What kind of rings has she liked? Did the cushions she like have a halo of small diamonds around it or was it just the large stone itself or did it have stones on the side?

A fancy cut, which is anything other than a round, is a great idea. But like @lovedogs said, you almost have to see it to know if it's beautiful. They are hard to judge by paper. You will want a vendor who can take a lot of good videos for you.

If she likes cushions, would she like an antique cushion look?

Antique cut cushions: larger facets, bigger flashes.

You want a vendor that can help you find stones, take videos so you can see what you're buying.
modern cushion: smaller facets, smaller flashes

Pictures of @m-2-b's five carat august vintage cushion in a halo.

She has a 4.7 carat modern round brilliant in a Victor Canera halo and a 5 carat August Vintage Cushion in a Steven Kirsch halo. Maybe your SO might like either of these.
 

MsShnooks

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
168
Personally, I also prefer fancy shapes to rounds in very large diamonds. I wouldn’t touch treated stones with a barge pole.

I would also find a colourless diamond more versatile. Coloured stones might not work with some outfits, colours someone likes might change over time etc. and colourless diamonds can be worn every day with anything.

In terms of where to go shopping, for rounds Whiteflash is a popular choice on here as you can go with their ACA range which are really well cut diamonds so all you need to do is get an ACA with a high colour and clarity and you know you’ll get a beautiful diamond. If going with Blue Nile, the Astor Ideal range are the super sparkly ones so that’s easy too. Otherwise, you just need to be a bit more picky as some diamonds will be visibly more beautiful than others even if they have similar numbers and letters on their reports.

For beautiful rings and a great selection of cushions and other shapes, Diamonds by Lauren is fab. You can have a look at their drool-worthy YouTube videos + they’re based in NYC so you could have a look in person.

If second hand is an option, then Christie‘s or Bonhams (and probably some other ones) often auction some stunners too.

I would also agree to sticking with D-F colours and FL-VS range (maybe VVS for step cuts like the emerald cut or Ascher as they show inclusions a lot more), no/faint fluorescence for a top quality diamond.

Last but not least, shapes such as ovals look large for their carat weight whereas cushions and step-cuts will look smaller. If you want to choose something with great finger coverage, then an elongated shape with 2 side diamonds in a good option. Or a halo.
 

Roselina

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
639
If I were you (and of course your GF) and willing to spend this amount of money I'd much rather choose a smaller stone for the engagement ring. 3 to 3.5 ct is still huge for most but much handier than 4 to even 5 ct. An engagement ring is (or so I suppose) meant to wear on a daily basis. Whereas huge rocks are beautiful, there are plenty of life situations where it will be "uncomfortable" to wear such a piece, even if you move in certain circles. But life usually brings more than such circles. If I were her I'd much more prefer a ring I could wear daily and for example an additional beautiful pear of studs (you'd still have plenty of funds for that). And then maybe later another and bigger diamond ring for special occasions. These are my thoughts.
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,263
If she gravitated towards cushion, I'd think about those. A fancy cut can get away with bring larger v round. Full disclosure, I am not a fan of modern round brilliants. When those stones get very large as well, they tend to look less elegant than an emerald cut or cushion, but that's my personal opinion.

It sounds like she liked something more sparkly than a step cut. Did she try an emerald cut on?

Victor Canera is a good idea. Hand forged settings.

This could have potential. It looks like it has a defined facet pattern for a modern cushion. He can help you pick a diamond as well and make you a custom setting.


Also, with her having the designer jewelry and designer bags, both of which are very well known lines, are you sure she does not want something branded? Seems like she might appreciate and want something from Cartier, Graff, etc.
 
Last edited:

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
958
I think you’ll definitely need to get some guidance from your girlfriend about the shape and carat/colour/clarity preferences that she has, and then go with the best cut you can get within those parameters.

Some people will want D-F IF-VVS and a (relatively) smaller stone, while others might want to maximise size and go down in colour and clarity a bit to (let’s say) G-H VS. Neither of those people is wrong but with 100k in play it’s probably prudent to get your girlfriend to weigh in and see which group she falls in. I would ask her the following questions:

- top three shapes that she likes

- min carat weight/colour/clarity that she wants

- what is her priority out of these 3Cs

And then take it from there.
 

lillibear

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2020
Messages
34
If it were me, I would get an asscher. I have a one carat Royal Asscher that I can’t stop looking into but I can’t help dreaming of a larger one.
 

lulu_ma

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
233
@ziggityzola86 Ok based on everything you have said, I would focus on colorless round, oval, marquis and moval-F/VS is a good starting point. Personally, I love emerald cuts, but they aren't as blingy.

Your gf sound like she likes designer, but she wants a large stone. If you buy brand name-i.e. Harry Winston, VCA, Cartier-you won't get a stone as large as you would like for your money.

The HW Cushion sounds intriguing, but I believe that cushions tend to present smaller for their carat weight. Plus, you are paying major mark up for the name.

Style question-who are your gf's favorite fashion designers?

Once you focus on a few cuts, there are a lot of PS prosumers that can help you analyze the stats on the stones.
 

Patty

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
4,122
I like the suggestion of contacting Victor Canera. I love the 5 carat cushion that elizat posted. I would not do a round in a stone that large. You can check out rings that Victor has made and see if you and your girlfriend prefer a halo or side stones. Enjoy your shopping. It sounds like yiu will end up with a stunning ring!
 

MsShnooks

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
168
That 5ct cushion looks really lovely. I’d just check that strong fluorescence with the E colour to make sure it doesn’t go milky or won’t start glowing in the summer sunshine.
 

Polabowla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
1,446
Based on the fact that she has vca jewelry & birkin bags , i would suggest taking her to Graff or Cartier to look at rings. It seems like the brand might be important to her.
Why did you decide against the HW ring if she loved it?
(I love my graff ring & hw band and feel the upcharge for their brand is worthwhile. Others might not agree, it's important to know how she feels about it.)

I also want to emphasize taking your time to find out more about her preferences as well as the right stone- for her . There is no perfect diamond for everyone, because we all have different tastes & opinions, but only hers matter since she is wearing it.

It can get stressful at times and you might feel an urge to say forget it & just get the easiest choice.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
892
Could you also ask her best friend to get her insights? There's a good chance they've talked about this, or she could help gather more information! When spending this much money, I would 100% want to make sure you get it right and/or work with a vendor with a generous return/upgrade policy. It may be worth working through the specifics with your girlfriend, but saving the actual diamond, setting, and engagement as a surprise. It's something she will wear everyday for the rest of her life! Lastly, I would take your time and not rush. It takes a long time to learn, research, find, and procure the perfect diamond.
 
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