Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Help getting the look I want - Antique cushion E-ring

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
I'm finally prepared to buy an e-ring and pop the question. I've been lurking here for a few months and this is the certainly best site on the web for learning about diamonds. I know it's a bit backwards but I found a setting with a look I really like and have narrowed it down to 2 stones.

The setting is basically a Gina solitaire by Leon pictured here. Ideally I'd like to get a 2ct I VS2 antique or old mine cushion for the center stone. Also, I'd want to use less micropave to get a more understated look as my GF is more of a elegant simplicity kind of girl.

If I have Leon make the ring I have to drop down to a 2ct J SI1 (eye clean) AGS cushion brilliant in order to stay in budget.

I've also been talking with ERD and they've found a 2ct I VS1 GIA cushion brilliant for me that's clearly a better stone (but more expensive) and will make the setting for about half as much so that I'm still in budget. They say that they can recreate the graceful look, gentle curves, and delicate prongs of the setting that I like... but honestly, I'm skeptical based on what I've read here.

Buying the ERD stone and having Leon set it isn't an option as I'm already stretching the budget (plus, I've read that they don't play nice with each other).

I have both stones on hold but I'm probably going to pull the trigger and sign papers and such by the end of the week.

I'm unsure of the tradeoffs between a Leon vs ERD setting considering I already know the kind of design I want. If I don't need Leon to use his artistic talent to make up something new for me can I get the same look going with ERD? Is there a notable difference in craftsmanship or materials? Will a simple layperson who isn't a jewelry aficionado be able to tell the difference?

So this is my question… what would you do?

Stats for the two stones below:

2.02-J-SI1 (AGS)
Table: 53.1%
Depth: 68.9%
Polish: Ex
Sym: VG
Fluor: N
Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/artofplatinum#p/a/u/1/Gfns3BWOiYM

No ASET or still image available.

Notes: I believe this would be an Old Mine if it were GIA since it has three of the four requisite criteria. The elongated look should work well in the setting going with. The large feather visible under the maltese cross in table (approx 6 o'clock) worries me but I'm told that it's eye clean. Do you think it would be visible without a loop? I've been looking at it under magnification so long that it seems huge and jumps out at me.


2.06-I-VS1 (GIA)
Table: 57%
Depth: 68.3%
Polish: VG
Sym: G
Fluor: N
Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/xristoserd2011?feature=mhee#p/u/0/-L81U7WAD_s
Image:

206_I_VS1.jpg

ASET:

206_I_VS1_ASET.jpg

Notes: This stone looks better out of the gate. The one exception is that I don't see a maltese cross (I doubt my GF will care but I kinda like them). The ASET looks good but not great to my inexperienced eyes. The GIA report is from 3 years ago so this looks like a recycled stone but it looks good in the video as far as I can tell.

Just as an aside, I've been very impressed with the customer service I've received from Chris at ERD. Out of all of the vendors I've dealt with, he's provided the best customer experience by far. Not that anyone else was lacking, mind you… they were just outshone by Chris. Even if I don't end up going with ERD for this purchase, I'll probably buy from them in the future.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,507
Honestly, I'm liking the I better than the J. The faceting pattern just looks much nicer to me.

What have you read negative about ERD? I have only read positive post about them (could I have missed something)???
I'm sure you have already looked on the SMTB thread for ERD threads.

I think my choice would be to go with ERD all the way.

Suggestion...for that setting to reduce the amount of stones...make the pave 1 sided instead of 2. ERD would have to change
it up a bit so they are not copying Leon's design.

Hopefully you will get some more feedback...
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I ADORE the I cushion. I seriously think it's fabulous.

Every vendor has a few negative experiences. It's how they address and resolve the issues that arise that sets them apart. Mark and his team sincerely bend over backward to make sure that their customers are happy.
 

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
I didn't mean to imply that I've read a bunch of negative things about ERD, quite the opposite. It was more that I got the impression that both ERD and Leon source similar types of cushions and thus they have still competition. I think I saw a thread where someone said something similar about GoG and Leon.

@tyty333 Making the micropave 1-sided is exactly what I had in mind. I'm sure I can modify it sufficiently so it's not a copy as I think it's more the "look and feel" that I'm after. It just seems like it's some very delicate work and I'm hoping it comes out "looking and feeling" the same. It's difficult for me to articulate just what it is, but after looking at dozens and dozens of settings no other design has jumped out t me like this. The words that come to mind are "delicate", "graceful", and "flowing" but I couldn't tell you exactly what about the setting make it such.
 

mogster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
364
ERD has some pictures of rings that they've made on their facebook page -- would seeing pictures of their work help you make a decision either way? http://www.facebook.com/EngagementRingsDirect

Personally, if I fell in love with the setting first and knew that LM could do it, I'd be afaid of going elsewhere lest I be disappointed.

ETA: I have an ERD ring and never do I look at it and think, "OH MY GOODNESS, IT'S SO UNREFINED."
 

AngelFan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
4
I ended up going with Mark at ERD. I first knew I wanted him to source my stone, and I also liked the idea of the same vendor doing the setting. I just received my ring on Tuesday,,, pics to come after this weekend in Palm Springs. back to the subject... The stone that Mark picked for me is absolutely stunning, and I think the job he did on the setting is flawless. I couldn't be happier with what he produced for me,,, and he is so comforting and easy to work with through the process.
 

Eskiez

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
126
I was working with both of these gentleman on a stone recently and I decided to go with Perry on the stone. I am still deciding on a setting for myself, but having tried on every ring in Leon's sample box, I can say for certain it would be difficult to find a setting as gorgeous as the one you are looking at and the workmanship he offers. The pave work the comes out of his shop truly is outstanding. I have also found Perry to be a total pleasure to work with and I would have zero hesitation in working with him again in the future. And I am sure if you ask him for a still image of the stone, he would be happy to provide one for you tomorrow.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I hate these rotating videos that vendors provide because they don't show the faceting pattern very well.

Based on what I can see of the two stones, I actually like the J better. (But I still wish they would give you a still photo of it head-on.)

The things I don't love about the I are that the sides are very straight instead of slightly bowed, which makes it look more modern than antiquey to me, and the faceting is a bit busier overall, which also makes it seem less antique looking to me.

I personally don't like a pronounced Maltese cross, so I like that both stones don't have it. See--so much of this has to do with personal preference!

As for settings, I'd be inclined to want to go with LM since his is the inspiration setting. I've seen people have ERD and other vendors make settings that have been inspired by LM, and while they're always beautiful, they never seem to be quite as graceful and fluid as an LM piece.

I don't think you can go wrong with either, though, to be honest. Good luck!
 

moosemom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
210
Both stones are beautiful It is definitely a personal thing though - I also like the faceting pattern on the J better - to my eye it seems more antique looking. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Not sure what to tell you about going with Leon vs. ERD, but if it were me and I was initially moved by one particular setting, but I would probably try to go with that designer. Good luck.
 

Eskiez

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
126
Ditto! They always seem to show the bottom of the stone far better than the top! I wish they would rotate the stone twice in the video instead of starting and stopping on the top of the stone!

Haven|1311899546|2979366 said:
I hate these rotating videos that vendors provide because they don't show the faceting pattern very well.
 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,573
I don't think you can go wrong with either stone (or vendor), but my eye prefers the J.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,507
Can you get a picture of the J straight on. When its spinning it looks like one side is straight (left) and the right side
pillows out. I cant imagine that the stone is cut like that but thats what the video looks like. A straight on picture would
really help.
 

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
moosemom|1311908304|2979480 said:
Both stones are beautiful It is definitely a personal thing though - I also like the faceting pattern on the J better - to my eye it seems more antique looking. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Not sure what to tell you about going with Leon vs. ERD, but if it were me and I was initially moved by one particular setting, but I would probably try to go with that designer. Good luck.
I actually kinda feel the same way about the faceting pattern on the J, although I don't think my GF has seen enough antique cushions to know the difference.

tyty333 said:
Can you get a picture of the J straight on. When its spinning it looks like one side is straight (left) and the right side
pillows out. I cant imagine that the stone is cut like that but thats what the video looks like. A straight on picture would
really help.
I didn't notice that... I actually requested a magnified face-up still image several days ago but didn't get one yet. I think I'll ask again.

Eskiez said:
Ditto! They always seem to show the bottom of the stone far better than the top! I wish they would rotate the stone twice in the video instead of starting and stopping on the top of the stone!
.

I noticed that also, I wondered if it was to show the stone in it's best light since this particular stone is a SI1. Around 34s into the video you can see the stone face up and I saw what appeared to be a small cloud at the 12 o'clock position (I don't think this is highly visible) and a feather running vertically at the 6 o'clock position(my biggest concern with this stone). Nobody else seemed to mention this though, so maybe it's not as big of a deal as I initially felt.
 

Eskiez

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
126
Have you seen the certificate on the stone to be able to match the inclusions on the plot to what your eye is seeing?

the_mad_genius|1311949447|2979717 said:
I noticed that also, I wondered if it was to show the stone in it's best light since this particular stone is a SI1. Around 34s into the video you can see the stone face up and I saw what appeared to be a small cloud at the 12 o'clock position (I don't think this is highly visible) and a feather running vertically at the 6 o'clock position(my biggest concern with this stone). Nobody else seemed to mention this though, so maybe it's not as big of a deal as I initially felt.
 

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
I called again today to request a photo of the J and received the image below. The J is the center stone. I certainly didn't see all of that in the video. However, I guess if I didn't see it...

KSI1_JSI1_ISI1_sm_0.jpg
 

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
Eskiez|1311949798|2979720 said:
Have you seen the certificate on the stone to be able to match the inclusions on the plot to what your eye is seeing?

the_mad_genius|1311949447|2979717 said:
I noticed that also, I wondered if it was to show the stone in it's best light since this particular stone is a SI1. Around 34s into the video you can see the stone face up and I saw what appeared to be a small cloud at the 12 o'clock position (I don't think this is highly visible) and a feather running vertically at the 6 o'clock position(my biggest concern with this stone). Nobody else seemed to mention this though, so maybe it's not as big of a deal as I initially felt.
Yes, I have both certs. The plot matches up from what I can tell. It's just not all of the inclusions are as visible as others. The ones on the sides are more hidden by the facet pattern.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,507
the_mad_genius|1311952511|2979760 said:
I called again today to request a photo of the J and received the image below. The J is the center stone. I certainly didn't see all of that in the video. However, I guess if I didn't see it...

KSI1_JSI1_ISI1_sm_0.jpg

The J is not bad but I still like the look of the I. Seems like its pretty mixed...which one do you think your GF will like?
Which one do you like?
 

the_mad_genius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
9
tyty333|1311969820|2980030 said:
the_mad_genius|1311952511|2979760 said:
I called again today to request a photo of the J and received the image below. The J is the center stone. I certainly didn't see all of that in the video. However, I guess if I didn't see it...

KSI1_JSI1_ISI1_sm_0.jpg

The J is not bad but I still like the look of the I. Seems like its pretty mixed...which one do you think your GF will like?
Which one do you like?
Honestly, upon reflection I think the I is the better stone, but I think that I prefer the facet pattern in the J. The I looks a bit more modern to me. That might have more to do with the fact that I've spent so much time looking at Old Mine, "Antique" Cushion Brilliants, and August Vintage stones that I've developed a preference. As for my GF, she's a detail oriented gal but I'm sure I've put more thought into this than she will ever know. She will be happy with either. Mostly because she'll never see the one that I DIDN'T get. :)

I would probably choose the J stone hands down if it were a VS2 and a bit more "clean" looking. The thing is, moving up to a VS2 will move me outside of my budget if I go with Leon for my setting. However, Perry assures me that the J is an eye-clean SI1 and his judgement seems to be well respected here. I DO have a tendency to be overly detail oriented at times. Even though ERD has some beautiful designs I might be setting them up to be judged unfairly if I ask them to create something that I can't even specify well myself other than pointing to a photo and saying "something like that".

I think that the assessment that either one will do a "good" job is certainly true. I'm still torn. I think perhaps I need to sleep on it one more night.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I love Mark's work. I really do. But for that particular setting I'd want Leon to do it. Or have Steven Kirsch do it... but not Mark. I really do prefer the I cushion though. And Mark is right across the street from Leon so I don't think it would be a big deal to split the ring between the vendors.

Also, you CAN just tell Perry that you aren't in love with the cushion be picked and can he show you another... why not?
 

Chris-at-ERD

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
48
[quote="
Just as an aside, I've been very impressed with the customer service I've received from Chris at ERD. Out of all of the vendors I've dealt with, he's provided the best customer experience by far. Not that anyone else was lacking, mind you… they were just outshone by Chris. Even if I don't end up going with ERD for this purchase, I'll probably buy from them in the future.[/quote]


Why Thank you for your kind words as it was a pleasure to assist you.....

Best of Luck!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Scorpio Style
    Scorpio Style
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade

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