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Help,BF looking for Stunning Center stone

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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!

Thank you so much for your suggestions, and response.
This question may seem a bit silly but comes from a place of earnest ignorance. If I stick to colorless (D-F) and no lower than VVS2, should I realistically up my budget. I am able to do more, but it feels obscene to spend more money on that when we could use that money for community support, or other social issues, we are fortunate but I do not won’t to be overtly obnoxious. That being said if a good 4 carat Diamond in that color and clarity range isn’t realistic in my price range, I don’t want to be nonsensical while searching either. Thank you again for all your great info. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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

Thank you so much for the information and guidance on Fancy color diamonds. I do have a question though, are the Vivid shade diamonds worth the extra price and smaller ct weight vs just Fancy Yellow. I saw a Fancy Vivid Asscher cut that was stunning but was barely over 2cts. In general is Fancy Intense or Fancy alone that noticeably different in shade, vs the Vivid? Thank you for taking the time to respond, Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

I greatly appreciate both the response and the beautiful Diamond you linked. I think something like that in a halo setting or a 3 stone setting(though I do believe halo is her preference after talking with her last night). This may be a basic question but when looking at stones online where we can readily see the inclusions, how often does this convert to “eye cleanliness” I find myself looking at diamonds with inclusions in the table and think I can’t buy them because I don’t want a flaw readily visible. Thank you so much for helping me in this process as I learn with all your knowledge. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

This post and the detailed explanation on the nuanced differences in Cushion cuts was amazing! Thank you so very much, you all have so much knowledge and so willing to help I am humbled by it. I will certainly take these questions to her tonight to see what she thinks of the difference in cuts. In general she knows I am looking for a ring, and that we will get married in the next few years. We have several homes together and a son together so I don’t have to be super secretive in this process. I just want to get it right so very particular questions that I can learn from like this are so helpful. Thank you again for all your help and will report back once I speak to her. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

Thank you so much for the immense amount of information you provided me in this post. I will be sure to stop by your suggested shop in Lauren and pick their brain as well. I was also unaware of the coverage difference you mentioned in the different cuts so that is certainly something that I will have to keep in mind as a newbie to the space. I’ve actually reached out to Christie’s as well, (their dang buyer fee is a bit insane at times but they know I’m in the market so I’m glad I’m on the right track)thank you for all the great info and help in this journey. This forum has been amazing. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

I have contemplated the same issue, given we have a son and I don’t want to have 24 hour security with them because of her necklaces/bags/rings. There comes a point where it just seems a bit risky to have that much capital on your persons. I take your suggestion to heart and appreciate the honest thoughts on the subject. Thank you for your help and response. Jeremy
 

MsShnooks

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
168
If you stick to a cushion, then you could go to VS2 clarity but I wouldn’t go below F in colour. Cushions show colour more than eg rounds so if she holds her ring next to a friend’s D coloured diamond, she could see the tint if you go for G or below.

I also feel like the cushion ring could be a double edged sword. On the one hand, that’s the style of ring she fell in love with but on the other, it‘d be that smaller, unbranded one and not the 5.5ct from HW (which I presume is 3x the budget?).

In terms of the budget, it’s all relative. The Birkins you mentioned tend to be made out of crocodiles/alligators and cost 6-figures a piece so she might find getting an engagement ring for less than one of her handbags a bit underwhelming (unless you’re obviously less well off). From what you’ve written she likes her status symbols and showing off her wealth so it’d need to be a very generous engagement ring to meet her expectations. It might be sth worth a think/discussion before you purchase a ring.

EDIT: the women that do have v expensive engagement ring often just wear the wedding band or have a second, modest ring to use when they don’t want to be flashy.
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

Thank you for the thoughtful response, I really do appreciate it. That diamond is gorgeous and I had trouble seeing any real flaws with it, is there a reason it’s so reasonably priced? I think it is stunning. She did try on the emerald cut and while it was beautiful, I think she was underwhelmed with the overall “shininess” of the stone. I think between emerald and asscher cut she would choose the asscher as it gives off more of the bling she wants.
As for the designer question, it is something we have conversed about. I think, and maybe this forum can give me some insight if I am being unreasonable here, that there is little reason to overpay by the amount that premium brands require. As a financial guy, I always look at value vs price, I can feel ok buying a birkin bag KNOWING if we had to we could sell it at cost if our life suddenly fell apart. With a engagement ring, god forbid our life ever got to that point, burning 50k just for brand name is something i told her I would do but the budget wouldn’t change, so she would have to choose name or diamond quality and size. She expressed to me that the quality and size mattered more to her. Any thoughts on if this is unreasonable is welcome, as I may be missing something on the topic and the premium is worth it to some for a specific reason I haven’t ascertained at this point. Thank you again for the help, reference and the amazing diamond link. Your suggestions are valued, Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
@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.

So my gf is a bit of a dichotomy, she loves designer bags, and jewelry, but she actually loves more casual clothes, think lulumon, forever 21 style stuff. She wears chucks though of course she does have a high fashion line from Hermes, CLB shoes and Tom Ford. I am going to try and sit her down tonight and get her to look through the forum with me so she can understand and learn a bit with me to help us all narrow it down. Thank you so much for the thoughtful response and your help. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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!

Thank you Patty. I appreciate the well wishes and agree the stone elizat posted was amazing. Next time we visit our home in Calabasas I will be sure to reach out to victor given it seems he comes very highly recommended. Thank you so much for your help. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

So, we didn’t buy the ring simply because, (and the forum is welcome to comment on this was unwise), I think wanted to be patient and understand if we were overpaying for the product we were receiving. I told her that I didn’t have an issue paying for the name but that her budget wouldn’t change, so it needed to be size and quality of diamond or brand name and she expressed to me that the quality and size were more important to her. I actually don’t plan on buying anything for 4-9months. Ideally I’d like to ask her the big question on Christmas which is why I am starting my research now. I appreciate the advice on patience as I think I am often too methodical in my process. I appreciate the help you are and have provided on this journey very much. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
I agree with @AllAboardTheBlingTrain . Sit down at a quiet and relaxed time and just ask. There is too much at stake here to guess .
Color, cut, clarity, shape, branded vs non branded, antique vs modern cut & settings all need to be clarified

100% my goal tonight so that she can have the proper say in this process, I don’t want her to see the exact setting and exact stone before hand but I want it to be as close to perfect for her as possible. Appreciate that I know it isn’t wrong for me involving her in the process and keeping it super secretive. Thank you again, Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
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.

Absolutely! I am actually going to try and sit down with her tonight, and go through many of the questions this amazing forum has posed to me. The way you explained it, getting all the details of what she likes etc but not letting her see the exact setup is my ultimate goal. I want her to be involved because this is our life not just mine and we already have a son together so she knows this is coming. I really appreciate all your help. Jeremy
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
With your budget I would go with a 4 carat EC!
imo that is so dang swoon worthy especially in that size. You can get a solitaire or 3 stone with side traps or classic baguettes.
hi there! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and seeing the many gentleladies who feel exactly the same way you do about this particular cut. Out of curiosity, what is your opinion on Asscher cuts, does this still present as elegant to your or does it start to fall into that “all I want is huge” category. I really appreciate your opinion and help, as I go through this journey and learn. Jeremy
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,657
This is amazing! I had no idea something like this existed. You are so kind for the reference and helping me learn. The guidance is much appreciated! Jeremy

Another amazing resource is diamdb.com. It allows you to visualize different ct sizes on your GFs finger size. You can tell the website to show you a 4ct emerald cut on a size 5 hand (for example), and then see a 4ct cushion on the same finger size to compare. I love that tool.
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
If you stick to a cushion, then you could go to VS2 clarity but I wouldn’t go below F in colour. Cushions show colour more than eg rounds so if she holds her ring next to a friend’s D coloured diamond, she could see the tint if you go for G or below.

I also feel like the cushion ring could be a double edged sword. On the one hand, that’s the style of ring she fell in love with but on the other, it‘d be that smaller, unbranded one and not the 5.5ct from HW (which I presume is 3x the budget?).

In terms of the budget, it’s all relative. The Birkins you mentioned tend to be made out of crocodiles/alligators and cost 6-figures a piece so she might find getting an engagement ring for less than one of her handbags a bit underwhelming (unless you’re obviously less well off). From what you’ve written she likes her status symbols and showing off her wealth so it’d need to be a very generous engagement ring to meet her expectations. It might be sth worth a think/discussion before you purchase a ring.

EDIT: the women that do have v expensive engagement ring often just wear the wedding band or have a second, modest ring to use when they don’t want to be flashy.

Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply, you cut right to the heart of some of the issues I am having currently. To explain, my absolute ability to buy budget vs what id like to spend are really very different things. I personally felt, that spending more than 150k on a ring was just excessive, that I should be more than able to acquire a beautiful day to day ring for that price. The HW I mentioned was about 400k and while
I have the capability and it wouldn’t effect our life at all, it felt excessive and unnecessary to me. I’d rather, spend that money on something to build our life vs just a ring she wears once a month or requires security to wear. She does have several of the Birkins(gator/croc/lizard) that you mentioned as well as the much cheaper (Togo, epsom, chèvre) which is why my worry that a ring vs her bag could be disappointing. That being said, she rarely uses those bags because of their price and normally uses regular leather bags with far more reasonable price tags(9-15k) so in that case the unbranded feels much more reasonable. That being said, the question and issue your raised for me to be aware of, has come across several time from several members of the forum, so I think maybe it’s something I should sit down and revisit with her to hear her true opinion and if I am simply being too cheap and unreasonable. She is the mom to my son and I owe her the time and respect to hear her feelings vs just being a financial guy and saying “this is the budget, that’s it.” I really appreciate your help and insight. I’m grateful for the time you’ve taken to help me. Jeremy
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,657
Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply, you cut right to the heart of some of the issues I am having currently. To explain, my absolute ability to buy budget vs what id like to spend are really very different things. I personally felt, that spending more than 150k on a ring was just excessive, that I should be more than able to acquire a beautiful day to day ring for that price. The HW I mentioned was about 400k and while
I have the capability and it wouldn’t effect our life at all, it felt excessive and unnecessary to me. I’d rather, spend that money on something to build our life vs just a ring she wears once a month or requires security to wear. She does have several of the Birkins(gator/croc/lizard) that you mentioned as well as the much cheaper (Togo, epsom, chèvre) which is why my worry that a ring vs her bag could be disappointing. That being said, she rarely uses those bags because of their price and normally uses regular leather bags with far more reasonable price tags(9-15k) so in that case the unbranded feels much more reasonable. That being said, the question and issue your raised for me to be aware of, has come across several time from several members of the forum, so I think maybe it’s something I should sit down and revisit with her to hear her true opinion and if I am simply being too cheap and unreasonable. She is the mom to my son and I owe her the time and respect to hear her feelings vs just being a financial guy and saying “this is the budget, that’s it.” I really appreciate your help and insight. I’m grateful for the time you’ve taken to help me. Jeremy

The bolded shows why you are a good person and life partner. I wish more men (and women!) thought this way and respected their partners so much. Regardless of budget, having the conversation is the most important thing.
 

diamondsR4eVR

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
869
hi there! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and seeing the many gentleladies who feel exactly the same way you do about this particular cut. Out of curiosity, what is your opinion on Asscher cuts, does this still present as elegant to your or does it start to fall into that “all I want is huge” category. I really appreciate your opinion and help, as I go through this journey and learn. Jeremy

You have rec’d some fantastic opinions and expertise already. You are on the right track with your thought process. Asschers are beautiful and to me, aesthically pleasing to the eye. However, this is where personal preference comes into play and showing her different shapes may help you. She may still gravitate towards a cushion cuts and there’s nothing wrong with that. I had one myself and wore it for years. They’re beautiful. But for me now, I would still gravitate towards a large EC. GL! Your heart is in the right place.
 

Polabowla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
1,446
Well both the brand and the size might be important to her, but it sounds like she was sort of forced to choose 1 vs the other.

No i am not saying to spend 400k at HW , of course but there surely are options in between.

To me, yes a brand has intrinsic value to it, and yes i do think that a place like Graff has incredible quality of stones, cut, color and clarity.
A member of their family personally selects each stone for an engagement ring.
I have not found anyone who cuts heart shaped stones (what i own) like Graff.

Many people here disagree about brand value , and that is perfectly ok, the point is does it have value to her?

Many many people here tout the beauty of super ideal cut rounds, but personally i dislike the sharp arrows, the intense contrast and the fact that they go dark in bright lights. (Look at all the threads about posters whose diamonds go dark in bright light. It's enlightening)

I think it is wise to include her in the process and truly slowly encourage her to be open about what she wants. Let the proposal be a happy surprise , not end with dissatisfaction over the ring choice.

Also, it is possible that she might not know exactly what she likes- often it takes time seeing and trying on many varieties to narrow down one's preferences.

There is a thread about a 3 ct oval that unfortunately the recipient didn't have a say in, and is unhappy with- but is not returnable. It is really sad.
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,263
Thank you for the thoughtful response, I really do appreciate it. That diamond is gorgeous and I had trouble seeing any real flaws with it, is there a reason it’s so reasonably priced? I think it is stunning. She did try on the emerald cut and while it was beautiful, I think she was underwhelmed with the overall “shininess” of the stone. I think between emerald and asscher cut she would choose the asscher as it gives off more of the bling she wants.
As for the designer question, it is something we have conversed about. I think, and maybe this forum can give me some insight if I am being unreasonable here, that there is little reason to overpay by the amount that premium brands require. As a financial guy, I always look at value vs price, I can feel ok buying a birkin bag KNOWING if we had to we could sell it at cost if our life suddenly fell apart. With a engagement ring, god forbid our life ever got to that point, burning 50k just for brand name is something i told her I would do but the budget wouldn’t change, so she would have to choose name or diamond quality and size. She expressed to me that the quality and size mattered more to her. Any thoughts on if this is unreasonable is welcome, as I may be missing something on the topic and the premium is worth it to some for a specific reason I haven’t ascertained at this point. Thank you again for the help, reference and the amazing diamond link. Your suggestions are valued, Jeremy

That stone is lesser in cost due to the strong blue flor. You should not see it really in most atmospheres. However, as noted, very occasionally stones with it can look milky in direct sunlight. I have stones with strong blue and it doesn't impact them. But you definitely need to ask the vendor about the performance issue and if there is a concern.

On branded stones, you are correct. You pay a premium for what you can find elsewhere and sometimes, you are paying more for name v quality. You can get a Tiffany ring with average cut quality or a knock your socks off cut with another non luxury brand, where the focus is cut and performance. If she and you are both on the same page, you can get more for your money non branded.
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,263
hi there! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and seeing the many gentleladies who feel exactly the same way you do about this particular cut. Out of curiosity, what is your opinion on Asscher cuts, does this still present as elegant to your or does it start to fall into that “all I want is huge” category. I really appreciate your opinion and help, as I go through this journey and learn. Jeremy

Asscher cuts in a larger format are wonderful. A 4 carat plus asscher would show the pattern beautifully. I really love asscher cuts. But I feel you need a good size to see the pattern. If she's open to it, asscher cuts are very unique, and have a lot of elegance.

A criss cut or Ashoka style stone would also be worth considering. It has the sparkle a traditional emerald doesn't.

ETA: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaaMP5hnMzl/?igshid=14eezyc5d2v7x
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,573
A three stone emerald cut or the 5 ct Victor Canaria in the Emylia setting would be classic. :kiss2:
 

Moonie

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 10, 2020
Messages
200
How fun to have such a big budget and what a lucky lady she is! I wonder if a good idea might be to see what kind of jewelers she is following on Instagram (if she has an account) to see things she gravitates toward. Since you're talking about a 4+ ct and you mentioned cushions, I can see that being classically very elegant without being too BLINGY like a round shape might be.

For more presence on the finger, you can always add a delicate halo or side stones that suit the shape to add a unique flair. I'd love to see what she says when you sit down with her!
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
892
Thank you so much for your suggestions, and response.
This question may seem a bit silly but comes from a place of earnest ignorance. If I stick to colorless (D-F) and no lower than VVS2, should I realistically up my budget. I am able to do more, but it feels obscene to spend more money on that when we could use that money for community support, or other social issues, we are fortunate but I do not won’t to be overtly obnoxious. That being said if a good 4 carat Diamond in that color and clarity range isn’t realistic in my price range, I don’t want to be nonsensical while searching either. Thank you again for all your great info. Jeremy

Completely understand where you're coming from about the opportunity cost of spending more. Your budget will get you a very very nice ring, so I would just try to stay within it unless you come across something that you both just absolutely love. Maybe prioritize what is important to your girlfriend and you? If you can get a 4ct with D-F and VVS2 or higher, awesome. If not and carat is the most important, you can relax the color to D-H if you both are not color sensitive (I am very color sensitive) and the clarity to eye clean VS. I would prioritize color over clarity as it's more visible. Could do faint florescence as well, but make sure it's not cloudy or hazy. If you get a step cut (emerald cut) it's very important to get high color and clarity as it showcases those features more. A halo and 3 stone will give your girlfriend more "finger coverage" so it will look bigger.

IMO, round brilliants look best when they are 3ct or smaller. Fancy cuts look best for larger carat rings. A cushion cut will definitely look smaller than an equivalent round though, due to how it's cut and how the weight is distributed.

I don't think I saw Brian Gavin mentioned in previous posts, but I would also check him out. He also specializes in super ideal precision cut diamonds!
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,889
I’ll address the elephant in the room.
It is a very nice feeling to own and wear a magnificent piece of jewellery.
21 years ago my dear husband bought me a very expensive engagement ring in relative terms. It is a ring I have worn, loved and enjoyed ever since. Every time I look down and see it I get a happy feeling, it’s just so beautiful and special.
Its not an “investment” as such but none of the shares or property etc we own gives me a “thrill” every day! So to me, this ring is one of our best “investments”. That said though there’s not much point in having a magnificent piece if she hardly wears it.
The engagement ring is probably the “most” important piece of jewellery in a woman’s jewellery wardrobe. It’s the piece of jewellery that everyone’s eyes tend to gravitate towards.
I would suggest, if money isn’t an issue, to let her choose what makes her heart sing but also allows her to wear it without worry. Either that or have a replica created using Moissanite for times and places she doesn’t feel comfortable wearing her magnificent ring.
Many of us have what we call “travel rings”. This is the set of rings we wear on holidays or places etc when it’s not practical to be taking jewellery worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In terms of diamond prices, anything certified “fancy vivid” will attract a higher price. Even much much higher. To me anyway, labels aren’t what’s important, it what I like best that matters. I love the more pastel tones in coloured diamonds, that’s me.
so enjoy the process, it’s a fantastic journey.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
10,300
Since so many posters mentioned Victor Canera, below is the thread that consolidates most of his pieces. Some people have just gotten settings from him, and some people have purchased both diamonds and settings. Victor does cut super ideal cut modern round brilliant stones, and ideal cut old european rounds and antique cushions as well.


He posts on Instagram regularly.

Seems like you might be in CA. He's located in LA. At this point, he is mostly setting stones purchased from him. If you find a beautiful stone you love (not from Victor Canera) and want a stunning setting, I would consider Steven Kirsch in NYC.


Both Steven and Victor do hand forged platinum settings. Hand forged means they do not use cast molds. I personally do love knowing that someone worked my piece by hand.

I have worked with Victor, and he is lovely. Very easy to reach him. Just call.

And I find Steven absolutely wonderful too. I hope to have something from him at some point. And just call him. Super easy.

You can read about @yssie's experience with Erika Winters below.

Erika Winters also does stunning settings. She uses a mix of forging and hand casting, according to what she thinks works the best for the work and the piece.

@yssie has one of the most beautiful examples of Erika's work. And it doesn't hurt that her photography skills are off the charts.

Of course, these are the pricier of the artisans but given the stone you are considering and the quality of product to which your SO is accustomed, it probably would not be a sticking point.

And I definitely don't think that you are making a mistake by NOT going with a high end brand. I think the benefit of not going with a high brand is how much you are educating yourself by doing your own research, learning about the characteristics of diamonds and deciding for you and your SO what is most important to you. Knowing what is even out there is a big part of it. You don't know what you don't know, KWIM?

But enough about settings. What about THE ROCK? If you want to consider something more traditional and classic like a modern round brilliant...

I don't know if it's been mentioned, but something that a lot of people here like about certain vendors is their upgrade program. At first glance it may seem like that would not be relevant to you since you are making such a significant purchase the first time around. Maybe you never want to upgrade. BUT just in case you want to leave that option open for your SO, that at some point in the future, she may want to go up in size, color, clarity certain vendors have great upgrade policies. There are countless Pricescopers that have used this benefit, and for multiple upgrades. For these vendors, to upgrade, you just have to spend more than the original stone. There are some details to it, so ask when you speak to them. In no particular order:

1. Whiteflash - located in Houston. They cut super ideal modern round brilliants (MRB) and their patented cut A Cut Above (ACA) stones are stunning. They can also help you hunt down certain non ACA stones. They will procure it and do a full performance evaluation, light performance, videos, evaluate the inclusions to see if they compromise the stone, etc.

2. HPD - High Performance Diamonds. located in Idaho. They are a vendor for Crafted By Infinity, also cut super ideal MRBs. Stunning stones.

3. Victor Canera - Located in LA. Cuts super ideal MRBs, Antique Rounds, Antique Cushions. Out of all three, I prefer his settings. But the other two do very nice basic settings as well. However, you will likely need to buy a stone from Victor if you want his setting.

Their stock may be limited right now, given covid and supply chain issues. Call them each and talk to them, and get a feel of who they are and how they work.

Both Victor and HPD will do custom cut diamonds. If there is a certain spec you want, for example, 3 carat H VS1 Antique Round, Victor can acquire the rough and cut it to your specifications. There are threads where people have done exactly that with both Victor and HPD.

There are other vendors, and I will let other members share other vendors as they like and their experiences. I have had personal experience with all three vendors, and they are top notch in quality of product and level of service.

Good luck on the next steps. There is a lot out there. Good for you for doing your due diligence.
 
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ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
Another amazing resource is diamdb.com. It allows you to visualize different ct sizes on your GFs finger size. You can tell the website to show you a 4ct emerald cut on a size 5 hand (for example), and then see a 4ct cushion on the same finger size to compare. I love that tool.

This website was amazing, last night we were able to sit down using this site and really start to explore her preferences and her general expectations(I hate that term because she’s said that she “wouldn’t care” if it was smaller she’d just like the commitment and family title at this point but i digress) Thank you for the immense help you’ve been to me personally. Jeremy
 

Honeybasil

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
338
This website was amazing, last night we were able to sit down using this site and really start to explore her preferences and her general expectations(I hate that term because she’s said that she “wouldn’t care” if it was smaller she’d just like the commitment and family title at this point but i digress) Thank you for the immense help you’ve been to me personally. Jeremy

I can’t wait to see what you pick out! This is so exciting!
 

ziggityzola86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
28
Well both the brand and the size might be important to her, but it sounds like she was sort of forced to choose 1 vs the other.

No i am not saying to spend 400k at HW , of course but there surely are options in between.

To me, yes a brand has intrinsic value to it, and yes i do think that a place like Graff has incredible quality of stones, cut, color and clarity.
A member of their family personally selects each stone for an engagement ring.
I have not found anyone who cuts heart shaped stones (what i own) like Graff.

Many people here disagree about brand value , and that is perfectly ok, the point is does it have value to her?

Many many people here tout the beauty of super ideal cut rounds, but personally i dislike the sharp arrows, the intense contrast and the fact that they go dark in bright lights. (Look at all the threads about posters whose diamonds go dark in bright light. It's enlightening)

I think it is wise to include her in the process and truly slowly encourage her to be open about what she wants. Let the proposal be a happy surprise , not end with dissatisfaction over the ring choice.

Also, it is possible that she might not know exactly what she likes- often it takes time seeing and trying on many varieties to narrow down one's preferences.

There is a thread about a 3 ct oval that unfortunately the recipient didn't have a say in, and is unhappy with- but is not returnable. It is really sad.

I really do appreciate your honest opinion on the subject and the fact that many people do in fact appreciate brand value. Given the fact that it can be viewed as a status symbol by many, it certainly lends to why they can charge such a premium beyond quality alone and that fact is incontrovertible. With that in mind I was able to sit her down last night and told her, forget the budget, you have the black card, pick whatever you want and show me what you could ideally have. Luckily for me, my SO grew up in fairly meager circumstances so I didn’t think she would go to completely insane. I’ll link a few of her favorites which helped me narrow down my search greatly. I’m listing them in the order she pointed them out to me.


This piece is obviously well below my budget but she seemed to love it, while she did say, something bigger would be nice, she “fell in love with this diamond”.


Again within my budget range handily, but without pictures I obviously can’t speak on it much, however, she did say she picked it solely because “I can’t imagine how amazing a 10ct yellow diamond in a halo setting would look.”


Per my SO she loved the shade in this diamond as it felt more pretty than the darker vivids but she also opined over the possibility of one being slightly larger.


This pick had me slightly shocked. As soon as she showed me I smiled and said I liked it, she said it was the favorite she had seen. I didn’t want to be a downer so I didn’t mention that I instantly noticed it wasn’t symmetrical and the cut looked sub par for what I thought she would want.

Overall, I was able to gather she likes halo settings, or a 3 stone setting and that her favorite cuts are princess, radiant, cushion, and Asscher. Further it seems she is drawn to fancy color more than colorless and actually prefers fancy or fancy intense vs Fancy vivid. Last night was a great piece of progress forward as, when I told her to make sure she went to graff, HW and Tiffany’s, she told said she did and she preferred the idea of having a small artisan do something specifically for her vs a company. Thank you again for your valued opinion on brands and things that may matter to my SO, your thoughts have been beyond helpful in this process. Jeremy
 
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