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Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ring

Raydaffurn

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
8
Hi All,

My brother is looking to purchase an engagement ring for his girlfriend.

He had originally picked an ebay ring that he had seen but following the advice given on this forum from drk14 he has decided against it. He cannot post on here as he is actually on holiday right now with limited internet access.

The ring he has finally settled on is:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/channel-set/18k-white-gold-thin-channel-set-princess-shaped-diamond-engagement-ring-item-7084

He has a stone budget of ($6000 USD), and is looking for a princess cut with 1ct+. He needs the diamond to come from James Allen as he is intending they make up the ring and he is looking to get it posted to his villa when he is in USA 26-6 until 10-7 so he really needs the ring to arrive with him no later than 7-7 (so he would have to pick something probably this weekend.

Below are the 3 options suggested by drk14:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.09-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1762861
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.03-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1762851
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.12-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1762855

drk advised the following:

I selected these because they are AGS000 (which is sort of a shortcut for finding well-cut stones), and because the 360degree videos indicated the faceting was attractive and sparkly from a wide range of angles. As I've mentioned before, although I am confident that any of the above would outperform the stones that had been selected by the eBay vendor, there are other PS users who are much better than me at selecting princess cut diamonds. Hopefully, you will get some input from them if you create a new thread as suggested above. Feel free to link one or more of my suggestions in the new thread, as a starting point for discussion.

So i would be greatful if anyone can advise whats the best choice of diamond from James Allen in his $6k budget.

Thanks
Raymond
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,845
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

I like them in the following order (I have to say, they all look nice so it's a matter of preference which one appeals to your brother
the most).

1.09 I like the bigger facets on this one
1.12 This one is nice too. It's sort of a combination of the 1.09 and the 1.03 together. I could be just as happy with this as the first one.
1.03 I'm not as fond of the smaller facets on this one but like I said, it is personal preference.

May I suggest another setting? I really dont like the way the chunky cathedrals sides come up to the stone then just stop (sometimes
they connect to the bar on a basket setting but there is no basket here). Just looks unfinished IMO.

This is a lovely setting...see how the cathedral sides connect to the bar in the basket? The basket is done very nicely and looks
more custom then the other setting.
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/14k-white-gold-tailored-diamond-engagement-ring-item-41042

This is another nice one. I think you can get it without the milgrain.
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/vintage/vintage-inspired-open-row-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-item-49486

Either way, I would ask for fine claw prongs or V shaped prongs (these would be safer but claws are so pretty).
 

drk14

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,061
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

tyty333, thank you for your feedback and excellent suggestions regarding the setting. I especially like the second setting style that you recommended.

However, according to information posted in OP's original thread, the brother's girlfriend supposedly prefers a "more square look", and this is the setting that the brother was originally going to purchase (from an eBay vendor):
ebaysetting.jpg

I'm hoping some other princess experts will broaden the selection of stones that I had picked out, as I intentionally limited my search to only AGS000 stones.

Here are a few GIA3X princess cuts -- would any of these be a better buy than the three AGS000 diamonds I originally recommended?

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.01-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1071790 ($5400)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.01-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-sku-856828 ($4500)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.03-carat-g-color-vs1-clarity-sku-1049305 ($5000)

That last one may not get a lot of love here, but in my opinion it shows promise of manifesting the good kind of "crushed ice" faceting. The others are probably a safer bet, though, given that there is a tight deadline.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,845
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

drk14|1466176855|4045151 said:
tyty333, thank you for your feedback and excellent suggestions regarding the setting. I especially like the second setting style that you recommended.

However, according to information posted in OP's original thread, the brother's girlfriend supposedly prefers a "more square look", and this is the setting that the brother was originally going to purchase (from an eBay vendor):
ebaysetting.jpg

I'm hoping some other princess experts will broaden the selection of stones that I had picked out, as I intentionally limited my search to only AGS000 stones.

Here are a few GIA3X princess cuts -- would any of these be a better buy than the three AGS000 diamonds I originally recommended?

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.01-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-1071790 ($5400)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.01-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-sku-856828 ($4500)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.03-carat-g-color-vs1-clarity-sku-1049305 ($5000)

That last one may not get a lot of love here, but in my opinion it shows promise of manifesting the good kind of "crushed ice" faceting. The others are probably a safer bet, though, given that there is a tight deadline.
Yep, I just found that thread and see what an issue it was to get him to go for the JA setting.

Edit...out of those 2nd set of stones I like the first and second stones but that SI1 may be visible. Would need to ask. The third stone
looks like the X in the center will light up well but I get the feeling that the rest of the center may not light up as well. We need an
aset. He would need to pick his favorite 3 out of the 6 and request aset images.
 

drk14

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,061
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

tyty333, any opinion on the three GIA stones I added above?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,845
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

drk14|1466177532|4045153 said:
tyty333, any opinion on the three GIA stones I added above?
I just edited my post...see above. :)
 

DelsFan

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
51
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

You (and your brother) are very wise to consider some of the opinions offered here! I've only purchased one ring (pictured in my avatar) since coming here a few years back, but my wife gets compliments on it all the time.

Let me make a couple of suggestions (some of which just echo what others have already said):

1) The look is what is most important. Almost nothing else matters.

What is on the certificate doesn't make a hill of beans difference. I purchased E and F color diamonds in the VS1 and VS2 clarity range (all with the "A Cut Above" designation Whiteflash uses. Other top jewelers can provide this quality of diamond; I refer to it only because that is what I know). My wife has never seen the certificate, and doesn't care to. And she doesn't know what I paid; all she knows is her diamonds look better than any other woman's diamond she has ever seen. It is a spectacular ring, but knowing what I know now I'd have gone with a G or H color (still "A Cut Above") diamonds that were barely eye clean (SI1 if they were available). That ring would have looked 98% as good as the one she has, for thousands less; and no one would ever have been able to tell the difference unless the rings were viewed in good light, side by side. The cut is - almost - all that matters.

2) Your brother seems to want the best look possible so he needs to know: some AGS000 (and many GIA triple EX) diamonds look better than others. I made my only (this Millennium anyway) diamond purchase from Whiteflash; I think they have at least three incremental designations, each "looking" a little better than the previous one, all of which include diamonds with ideal cuts. So, AGS000 is worth something, but it is not the end game. The ideal scope and ASET images don't lie - and neither will people's eyes when they look at, in your brother's case, (going with what I know) "A Cut Above" princess cut diamond. Spend money on the best cut available, that is where your (brother's) ultimate satisfaction will come from.

So, a run of the mill, DEF color, eye-clean, GIA Triple EX diamond won't necessarily look as good as an H color diamond with a superior cut. Perhaps other jewelers call them super-ideal. What you want is one of the top 10% of GIA triple EX or top 20% of AGS000 diamonds. Echoing what someone else said: "The market is efficient." USUALLY, if you find one AGS000 1 carat diamond for $4,800 and another similarly colored and included AGS000 1 carat diamond for $5,300, it is because the more expensive diamond looks significantly better, to the naked eye, than the less expensive one.

My wife is an executive, and the boss of my wife's boss regularly comments on the "sparkle" of my wife's diamonds, and goes home to try and clean hers so it will also look that good - she is really nice, but cleaning her diamond is not going to fix her problem! My wife's diamonds look great in the conference room and under the (like jewelry store) lights in the elevator. But here is the real test: When she goes in the somewhat dark movie theatre, before the show starts, when you can still easily make out the seating arrangement, etc., her diamonds will still sparkle like mad. The sparkle might only be 10% as bright as in full light, but most other diamonds won't do anything in low light while hers still have fire. If there is light to be found her diamonds will internalize and reflect it - this is what you want out of a diamond.

3) Here is another superior suggestion: If your brother is going to purchase a setting with small (like 0.04 carat) diamonds decorating the sides, using the best quality melee diamonds will seriously accent your center stone where regularly priced small diamonds will just sit there doing nothing. These diamonds are really inexpensive in the big picture. Spend another $10 per tiny diamond to get the best quality accent diamonds available - this small expenditure will make a big difference.

Lastly,
HERE'S A QUESTION NO ONE HAS ASKED: What size will this ring need to be to fit the intended's ring finger? If it is somewhere around a size 6 or 7 then you can go with most any design. If it is a size 4, my experience is some designs won't look nearly as good in that smaller size as they do in the photos. Just something to consider.
 

drk14

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,061
Re: Help brother select a princess diamond for engagement ri

Since your brother will be deciding this weekend, I will just leave you with some final thoughts, in case no one else steps in to guide you...

Normally, we recommend that diamonds be inspected for light performance (by ASET imaging) and eye-cleanliness prior to purchase, but it doesn't seem like your brother will have time for that. Therefore, the three AGS000 diamonds I listed are probably your safest bet if you are sticking with James Allen as your vendor. They are VS2, so extremely unlikely to have any eye-visible imperfections, while the combination of AGS000 grading, ASET in the AGS certificate, and visual inspection in the 360 videos give me very high confidence that these will be excellent performers. Like tyty333, I prefer to 1.12ct and 1.09ct stones over the 1.03ct option. I would very much suggest that you or your brother contact James Allen to put these diamonds on hold if he will be making a decision over the weekend (so that no PS lurker can purchase them while he makes his final decision).

Depending on exactly how soon he will be making the purchase, he/you could inquire with James Allen as to how long it would take to obtain ASETs, and a gemologist's review. This would be more important to do if he is considering some of the less expensive GIA-graded diamonds that I posted, but it takes some time to arrange.

Let us know what he decides. Good luck to both of you! :wavey:
 
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