Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Help buying an Engagement ring :)

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
Hello Everyone,

Just to start, I wanted to say thank you to all the diamond experts on this board as I have learned a bunch in the last week reading tons of topics/posts.

I am looking to propose within the next 2 months and need help with the diamond/setting.
Having gone with my girlfriend to different weddings and engagement parties, I now know she is deadset on a cushion cut with a halo. An example of the setting I am pretty sure I will get is:
http://www.simoneandson.com/viewitem.asp?idCategory=48&idProduct=1222&priceRange=0x999999
Some assumptions I am assuming (please call me out on incorrect info if you see it):
1.) I should always ask for ASET or IDEAL Scope images.
2.) If I can’t view a diamonds images, I shouldn’t buy the diamond.
3.) The diamond must come with a GIA / AGS certification only. Other labs aren’t really worth the cost of their accreditation.
4.) Cut is the most important aspect when I shop for a cushion diamond.
5.) I am looking to buy a ring in the 2.5 range. She likes cushion diamonds with a square look. I will look for cushion diamonds with a 1-1.05 ratio of width to length.
6.) I want the diamond to reflect tons of light and look clean (without yellow/blue or other color hues). So no Florescence to the diamond.
7.) Looking more for the cushion brilliant look then crushed ice look
8.) Looking to get a platinum setting vs gold.

Questions:
1.) Going for a diamond in the 2.5 carat range means I will have to search for different characteristics. What range on color and clarity should I be looking at? Right now I am aiming for F & G, while narrowing clarity to VVS1 to VS1.
2.) What type of ring retains the best ability for the ring to shine? 4 corners prong or one where diamond sits on a base of a ring? Would think more light could get in with just 4 prongs?
3.) Best type of setting for this type of diamond?
4.) What’s a good way to figure out her ring size? I don’t want to tip her off I'm buying her a ring. Should I buy a ring sizer on amazon and bring it over to her place and test out her rings in her jewelry box? I don’t want to seem like I'm going through her jewelry though. hmmmmm....
5.) I'll be spending a good amount of money on this ring/diamond combo and wanted opinions on best way to guarantee I get the stone promised through an advertised medium. (Maybe this question is irrelevant as I’m just being paranoid).
6.) Should I buy an ASET scope online for analyzing prospective diamonds i might see in person?
7.) Is AGS the only lab that still issues cut grades on cushions?
8.) Do I ignore the cut rating unless looking at an AGS certified diamond?
9.) Since I'm looking for a square cushion, what Table and depth measurements should I look for? Table measurements of 54-62% and depths of 59-64%? Table of 49-56% and Depth of 63-69%.
10.) Should I stay at G and better for a white diamond in a larger cushion cut I’m looking for or can I go as high as H for a 2.5 ct?
11.) How are some of the vendors on Pricescope selling for a decent discount to others? Example B2CJewels.
12.) Do gold settings wear easier over time vs Platinum? Also does gold have an easier tendency to have the part holding the diamond (prongs) more prone to bend?
13.) Assuming I find her ring size to a half size based on her current rings, should I go for the higher ring and has it just sized smaller then having to shave a small amount of material from the ring to increase it 1/2 size if needed?

What I am looking for:
-2.5 carats
-Color: F to G
-Clarity: VVS1 to VS1
-Cut: Very Good or Excellent
-Brilliant cut with facets, not "crushed ice" look
-Square stone with L:W ratio of 1 to 1.05
-AGS / GIA cert.

While this search is going on, I’m brainstorming original ideas on proposing. The top idea I have so far is to propose underwater while we go scuba diving. Still haven’t figured out the details as just the idea of bringing this ring with me into the water scares the living …. out of me! I might buy another ring that’s made from basic materials and then give her the real ring while on land? Hmmmmm, still have to iron out the details. The reason I’m pushing for this is she loves scuba diving and pushed me to get certified last year because of all the great places we went on vacation as well as destination weddings (Ecuador-Galapagos/Thailand/Belize/Grand Cayman).

Please assist this clueless man in his quest to find light at the end of the tunnel!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
Okay, welcome! I can say that I am very happy you have come here for help before buying! That usually works out much better!

You have asked a lot of questions, and most of your ideas are correct. However, this is going to be MUCH easier if you first tell us your budget, and then we will show you some well cut stones within that budget around 2.5 cts. That is just going to be the most efficient way for you to have a selection narrowed down and then you maybe can choose from those. Good cushions are rare and will be hard to find without help. Pictures are essential. You cannot find one by numbers. We can also help you with the setting. Go with platinum always for that kind of setting. We need to find the stone first.

P.S. Modern cushions do not have cut grades (you have to know what to look for), and VVS clarity is overkill. VS1-Vs2 should be fine.
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
1,221
As Diamondseeker2006 indicated, the characteristics you have listed will determine, in large part, the amount you will spend. If you can list an approximate budget, the PS community here can talk you through where you might find wiggle room (color, clarity, carat) in order to achieve everything you want. Very few people will notice color (warmth) in a diamond until the J or K color range is indicated - so size and cut can certainly be adjusted based upon budget, color and clarity.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
1,221
As far as scuba proposals go - here is a wonderful one:

My friend (I was actually best man at his wedding) purchased a fake clam shell from the internet (it opened and latched closed). He drilled a small hole through the bottom and attached about 18 inches of fishing line with a large knot (perhaps some white duct tape) underneath. He gave about 4 inches of slack and ran the line through a wine cork (saved from a special dinner of some type)which he had shaved to fit the ring. He carefully secured the ring to the wine cork then took an additional 4 inches of line which attached to the bottom and ran through the top of a laminated sign that said "Will you marry me". At the top of the line, about 4 inches above the sign he tied a fishing bobber.

He tested the whole thing dozens of times in the bathtub of course to make sure it would work.

When they went scuba diving on vacation, he had the clam shell safely tucked in the pocket of his trunks (they zipped closed). As they were swimming near the bottom he simply placed the clam in the sand, got her attention and pointed it out - she was surprised when he picked it up and place it in her hand.

He reached over and opened the shell and of course the top bobber rose up pulling the question underneath and under the sign was the ring on a cork floating just inside the top of the clam shell.
It worked wonderfully.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
Gosh, that is one scary proposal! :lol: Very clever, though! Some girls would want to be dressed nicely for a romantic proposal so they could have pictures taken, so you kind of have to know what she'd prefer.

Okay, I have looked at every vendor I can think of that has pictures of cushions. The ones I have already listed are the best I can find. It's kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is why looking online is much more efficient than looking in stores. You have a very slim chance of finding cushions with the cut quality of these.
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
diamondseeker2006|1459224678|4012411 said:
Gosh, that is one scary proposal! :lol: Very clever, though! Some girls would want to be dressed nicely for a romantic proposal so they could have pictures taken, so you kind of have to know what she'd prefer.

Okay, I have looked at every vendor I can think of that has pictures of cushions. The ones I have already listed are the best I can find. It's kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is why looking online is much more efficient than looking in stores. You have a very slim chance of finding cushions with the cut quality of these.
DiamondSeeker,

Thanks so much for your help!

In checking on pricescope, I see hundreds of diamonds with different values for cut, clarity, color, carats. Color and Carats with a GIA cert are obviously not arguable. What makes those you listed better then the hundreds of other ones currently on pricescope? Sorry for the dumb questions if it sounds that way.

Are you looking for a certain ratio? And I guess you cant tell if it isn't crushed ICE unless it has a picture (I don't want crushed ICE).
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
Diamond_Hawk|1459224180|4012406 said:
As far as scuba proposals go - here is a wonderful one:

My friend (I was actually best man at his wedding) purchased a fake clam shell from the internet (it opened and latched closed). He drilled a small hole through the bottom and attached about 18 inches of fishing line with a large knot (perhaps some white duct tape) underneath. He gave about 4 inches of slack and ran the line through a wine cork (saved from a special dinner of some type)which he had shaved to fit the ring. He carefully secured the ring to the wine cork then took an additional 4 inches of line which attached to the bottom and ran through the top of a laminated sign that said "Will you marry me". At the top of the line, about 4 inches above the sign he tied a fishing bobber.

He tested the whole thing dozens of times in the bathtub of course to make sure it would work.

When they went scuba diving on vacation, he had the clam shell safely tucked in the pocket of his trunks (they zipped closed). As they were swimming near the bottom he simply placed the clam in the sand, got her attention and pointed it out - she was surprised when he picked it up and place it in her hand.

He reached over and opened the shell and of course the top bobber rose up pulling the question underneath and under the sign was the ring on a cork floating just inside the top of the clam shell.
It worked wonderfully.
Wow, your friend has a serious set of cojones! I'm going to think about this though idea and also another one someone gave me as well. I can certainly see myself incorporating some of these elements into my proposal though.

Thanks again Diamond_Hawk!
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
I have a couple more questions I am hoping to get answered:
1.) Will this diamond be eye clean? I ask cause under magnification I can see the imperfection on the stone.
https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK
2.) Those two images on the site are the only ones that enchanted diamonds can provide for the diamond. They cant provide any video or Ideal Scope and H&A Scope images. Should that be a concern of mine? I'll be spending ~$24k for stone and ~$5k for settings from enchanted diamonds.
3.) I talked with Joshua from enchanted diamonds and he stated the side stones on the setting aren't certified through a lab but are eye clean and should be VS2 or better but some "might be "SI1". Is that normal? I don't see ratings in many places for side stones to compare to. I would be getting the setting I have in a previous link but from enchanted diamonds.
4.) Before pulling the trigger and then afterwards, is there any additional things I could be missing?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
CluelessOnDiamonds|1459267402|4012604 said:
diamondseeker2006|1459224678|4012411 said:
Gosh, that is one scary proposal! :lol: Very clever, though! Some girls would want to be dressed nicely for a romantic proposal so they could have pictures taken, so you kind of have to know what she'd prefer.

Okay, I have looked at every vendor I can think of that has pictures of cushions. The ones I have already listed are the best I can find. It's kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. That is why looking online is much more efficient than looking in stores. You have a very slim chance of finding cushions with the cut quality of these.
DiamondSeeker,

Thanks so much for your help!

In checking on pricescope, I see hundreds of diamonds with different values for cut, clarity, color, carats. Color and Carats with a GIA cert are obviously not arguable. What makes those you listed better then the hundreds of other ones currently on pricescope? Sorry for the dumb questions if it sounds that way.

Are you looking for a certain ratio? And I guess you cant tell if it isn't crushed ICE unless it has a picture (I don't want crushed ICE).
There is no way to buy any fancy shape diamond without pictures, seriously. Most cushions are dogs as far as I am concerned. A small fraction are well cut. All you have to do is look at a vendor like James Allen which has tons of listings with pictures (videos) and you can see what I mean! Enchanted Diamonds would be another. I am doing it visually. I can tell when the facet pattern is symmetrical and there isn't a crushed ice look in the center.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
CluelessOnDiamonds|1459286799|4012713 said:
Looking at the GIA certification https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK, and the pic https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK, I can see the imperfection with my eye. Is that something that wont be visible in person?
If you zoom your screen down to a very small size, I think you can see that the inclusion is tiny, and I seriously doubt it can be seen. I am very picky on clarity so I would not want a stone personally that was not totally eyeclean, but absolutely have them call in the stone and look at it and tell you. You don't have to be concerned with the side view since you are setting it in a halo.

Let me clarify...you are not obligated to buy this diamond if it is not totally eyeclean. Tell Joshua that and do it by email to say that you will not accept the stone if it is not eyeclean, so you absolutely want it examined carefully BEFORE it is sent to be set. Then, if it goes to SK, for example (see my next post), ask Steven to give his opinion on eyecleaness BEFORE starting the setting. You just want that verification while you are in your return period on the diamond and before you have a setting made for it.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
I don't want to offend any real dogs by my comment on bad cushion diamonds! :lol: I love all 4 legged dogs!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
Oh, with your budget PLEASE go with a fine quality handforged pave setting! The two best that I can recommend are Victor Canera in LA and Steven Kirsch in NYC. I guess since your stone would be coming to ED in NYC, it might make the most sense to have ED deliver the stone to SK, although I really love Victor! They are both pave masters, though! Many people here have rings made by them.

http://www.stevenkirsch.com/engagement/halo.html

https://www.victorcanera.com/rings/engagement?type[]=halo
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
diamondseeker2006|1459380509|4013409 said:
CluelessOnDiamonds|1459286799|4012713 said:
Looking at the GIA certification https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK, and the pic https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK, I can see the imperfection with my eye. Is that something that wont be visible in person?
If you zoom your screen down to a very small size, I think you can see that the inclusion is tiny, and I seriously doubt it can be seen. I am very picky on clarity so I would not want a stone personally that was not totally eyeclean, but absolutely have them call in the stone and look at it and tell you. You don't have to be concerned with the side view since you are setting it in a halo.

Let me clarify...you are not obligated to buy this diamond if it is not totally eyeclean. Tell Joshua that and do it by email to say that you will not accept the stone if it is not eyeclean, so you absolutely want it examined carefully BEFORE it is sent to be set. Then, if it goes to SK, for example (see my next post), ask Steven to give his opinion on eyecleaness BEFORE starting the setting. You just want that verification while you are in your return period on the diamond and before you have a setting made for it.
I'll be sure to do that if I deal with Enchanted Diamonds. I'm currently looking at additional vendors and seeing better diamonds (based on ASET images) elsewhere.
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
diamondseeker2006|1459381014|4013411 said:
Oh, with your budget PLEASE go with a fine quality handforged pave setting! The two best that I can recommend are Victor Canera in LA and Steven Kirsch in NYC. I guess since your stone would be coming to ED in NYC, it might make the most sense to have ED deliver the stone to SK, although I really love Victor! They are both pave masters, though! Many people here have rings made by them.

http://www.stevenkirsch.com/engagement/halo.html

https://www.victorcanera.com/rings/engagement?type[]=halo
I sent out requests for quotes on a custom setting to both Steven and Victor along with a few others. Right now I'm leaning towards Steven but I haven't received the latest quote from Victor yet.

The setting Specs are:
2.25mm band
VS or better clarity
G color or better
Diamonds 3.4 around band
hand forged with 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium
My girlfriends ring size is 5.5
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
I just wanted to see if I could get another set of eyes on some diamonds.

Here is a nice cushion from victor.
https://www.victorcanera.com/diamonds/0c1dph-2.211-h-vs1-ideal-antique-cushion

As can be seen, the ASET image shows a massive amount of red. Contrast this to the following diamonds below from Enchanted Diamonds:
https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C251-A3VQHK
https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C250-E8AEP1
https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C250-9AA5AS

If seen in person, would there be that much of a difference in light? I only ask because I am trying to find a similar diamond on Enchanted Diamonds but cant find anything remotely close.

Additionally, since the setting is going to be ~$5k, I'm willing to go a bit higher to $35k on the diamond to find a better quality stone if need be.

I'm hoping for a slightly bigger stone then Victor has on his site (2.211 ct).

Could this diamond have a chance?
https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C301-EXFAT5

I checked Whiteflash and couldn't find any diamonds with my specs. James Allen has no ASET images that I can find so that inst helping.

Please help!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
I know Victor uses 90% platinum and iridium. That is perfectly fine (durable) and used by many of the top handforged ring makers. So I would let him choose the alloy. I also would ask Victor his opinion on width of shank to look right with the halo size. He gets the proportions right so it is best to kind of let him do it. If I were asking him, I'd just say I want an Emilya halo (or whichever you want) and that's about it! Same with SK, for that matter.

Oh, let me look at your diamond post. I started writing before you posted that one.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
I am certain I already check JA when we first started looking. I absolutely adore Victor's antique cushions. I love the H VS1. But that diamond is a little smaller than the 2.5-3 ct modern cushions, obviously.

The modern cushions we are looking at on ED are some of the best I have seen. Their cut is great and light return is very good for that type of stone.

I really like this 2.5 G VVS. It has excellent light return for a cushion:

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C250-9AA5AS

The 3 ct H VS1 is going to be visually larger and is well cut, but not quite as great as the one above. It is also not as square as the G VVS if that matters.

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C301-EXFAT5
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,629
wildcat03|1459821980|4015511 said:
I really love the antique cushion that DS posted earlier: http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/2.50-carat-f-color-vs2-clarity-sku-145410

You may be able to request an ASET from them for this cushion. You can request up to 3 per project.
I love that one, too! But, if you are interested in any JA stone, it is possible that Victor can call it in. So don't go through JA if you want one of their stones. If you ask them for an ASET, I feel like you are obligated to buy from them.
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
Ive been dealing with James Allen (Melissa Coe) and she's been super responsive and helpful. The problem is she has few ASET images for her diamonds.
To deal with James allen you need to buy the diamonds to have them shipped to there store and then they take ASET images for you of them.
Diamonds Melissa recomended are:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/2.40-carat-d-color-vs1-clarity-sku-586941
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/2.50-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-781428

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/2.51-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-932238
Here is the ASET image for SKU932238.
http://static8.segoma.com/v.php?type=jpg&name=aset.jpg&id=QA40MBTXI

I guess finding a great cushion might be harder then I thought!
Oy vey.

I can certainly charge a bunch of doamonds to my credit cards if need be, but id prefer not to have to do that.
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
diamondseeker2006|1459821376|4015505 said:
I am certain I already check JA when we first started looking. I absolutely adore Victor's antique cushions. I love the H VS1. But that diamond is a little smaller than the 2.5-3 ct modern cushions, obviously.

The modern cushions we are looking at on ED are some of the best I have seen. Their cut is great and light return is very good for that type of stone.

I really like this 2.5 G VVS. It has excellent light return for a cushion:

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C250-9AA5AS

The 3 ct H VS1 is going to be visually larger and is well cut, but not quite as great as the one above. It is also not as square as the G VVS if that matters.

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/C301-EXFAT5

diamondseeker2006,

If you check the Enchanted Diamonds ASET pics, there not as clean as those on many other sites though. Even when i compare there "100%" i see big dofferences between them and others cut quality in terms of light.

Hence my fear with most of there diamonds.
 

CluelessOnDiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
13
Just wanted to say thanks for all the folks who helped with the diamond & setting search(especially diamondseeker2006)! I feel like I need to send DiamondSeeker2006 a gift certificate to Starbucks or something for the time you saved me (err, wish I could private message on the forum)!

I pulled the trigger on a diamond from Joshua @ Enchanted Diamonds. I'm having the diamond sent to the one and only Victor Canera to be mounted in his Emilya Halo Solitaire with Outward Stems. The only modifications to this ring are the double halo (similar to this video) and the stems starting from the top of the band instead of the sides.

I’ll post pics and video in the Show me the Bling forum once I receive the ring! :dance:

Thanks again!!
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
4,794
CluelessOnDiamonds|1461847494|4024547 said:
Just wanted to say thanks for all the folks who helped with the diamond & setting search(especially diamondseeker2006)! I feel like I need to send DiamondSeeker2006 a gift certificate to Starbucks or something for the time you saved me (err, wish I could private message on the forum)!

I pulled the trigger on a diamond from Joshua @ Enchanted Diamonds. I'm having the diamond sent to the one and only Victor Canera to be mounted in his Emilya Halo Solitaire with Outward Stems. The only modifications to this ring are the double halo (similar to this video) and the stems starting from the top of the band instead of the sides.

I’ll post pics and video in the Show me the Bling forum once I receive the ring! :dance:

Thanks again!!
Can't wait to see it! I love my emilya halo!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top