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DiamondDealHunter

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
37
It''s about the time to make "THE PURCHASE". Me and my girlfriend have been going out for 6 years now and I am finally ready to do it. I was thinking of proposing on Valentines day, but I don''t think I''ll be ready. Her B-Day is in April so I am targetting that. I plan on spending roughly $5500 on a stone and setting. I have been educating myself for the last month or so and feel pretty knowledgeable now.
I live in Philly and work right around the corner from Jewelers Row so have plenty of resources at my disposal. I have only been to one store to actually see differences in what I have been reading about and was dissapointed with the way I was treated, especially since I have been buying jewelery from the same firm for the last 8 years. I felt pressured and rushed and she was trying to downplay all that I read was important, especially the cut. I memorized some of the numbers from the best stone I was shown and when I put them in the cut adviser, I got back that I should not buy the stone. It was a pretty nice looking 1.12 CT SI2 E color priced at $4200.
I plan on going to a few different stores next week to look at more. I did narrow down my threshholds a little looking at a few different color ratings so that was good.
What I am looking for is a round brilliant E - F color SI1 or 2. My sister has a diamond that is 1.32 G color SI2 that was appraised at $6200. Of course what I buy my girl needs to at least look the same or bigger than my sisters'' to keep everyone happy, but I am more concerned with it looking great. My question is, how would you proceed if you were me and what would be thinking of getting? Thanks for everyone''s help
Sergio
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Hi DDH,

If you plan on spending $5500 on the whole deal you FIRST need to know what kind of setting you want and how much that is going to cost you. THEN deduct the setting cost and you'll have an idea of what you'll have to play with on your diamond.

For example if she absolutely MUST have that $2k setting then that only leaves you $3500 to spend on the diamond and you need to work from that starting point. Or if she would love to keep it simple you can get the classic tiffany style mounting which in white gold runs approximately $100 or in platinum approx. $300-$350. That'll give you more leeway and more to play with on your center stone which will make it easier to get into your larger sized diamond.

Just curious ... do you have an idea of what kind of setting you're going to set it into? Then people here can help you and suggest some possibilities in what you can get in a center stone.

Peace,
Rhino
 

setting_help_please

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
46
DDH,

Listen to Rhino, that is good advice.

I have been going out with my g/f for about 5 years, and decided a few months ago that it was time to make "the purchase." I also set my budget at $5500 for the whole package...yeah, that worked. I got to reading this, and other, forums and became, well, sucked in. Suddenly I had convinced myself that I would make my budget $5500 for the diamond, and worry about the setting afterward. Next thing I know Jonathan is shipping my .91 g vs2 off to Rock Doc, and I've only just begun working with Mark Morrell to create my custom platinum setting--doh!

I'm loving every second of it though. Best of luck.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Definitely determine your budget up front and stick to it. It's SO easy to get off the mark when you start looking at all the beautiful stones and settings. In your mind, prioritize the 4c's first. Is cut most important? Is carat weight? If cut is more important, what can you sacrifice..can it be clarity or color rather than weight? Or is weight first to go in order to get a great cut stone? This makes it easier when you start to look for stones.

Personally I think cut is very important. I also wanted to mention, that in my humble opinion, if your sister has a 1.3c G SI2 ring that appraised at $6k, it may not be the best cut stone in the appraiser's eyes. It may be beautiful and sparkly, and I'm sure she loves it..thats GREAT. I only mention this because I would suggest not to focus on getting a bigger stone than your sister's 'to make everyone happy' because your budget is pretty tight for an excellent cut stone of a larger size than hers. Chances are with pressure like that you may end up with a horrible cut stone that has high carat weight because it's carrying extra weight where it shouldn't (e.g depth). Focus on your fiancee-to-be..and what she would want as well as what you want, and then determine where you want to put your hard earned money. You mention you want it to look good, that is where the cut comes into play most heavily.

In the meantime while you are mulling over what you hear, read the Pricescope tutorial for more info and there is a great educational area on GoodOldGold as well that shows closeups of clarity so you can see what an SI2 looks like, etc. You may find your priorities shifting and changing the more you learn about stones...it happens to alot of us!


Whatever you choose, best of luck, and as you find stones, don't be bashful about posting on the forum if you need opinions or assistance. Also keep in mind that the world of gemology is very heavy on individual findings and opinions. You will, in the end, need to make the decision on your own as best as you can with the information you have at your disposal!
 

diamondnovice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
123
DiamondDealHunter -

My b/f bought my e-ring in Philly just this past September (we got the final product in November and he has yet to give it to me
He is waiting for a special moment .... but I digress). We got it at Robbins Diamonds because my cousin and great aunt bought their diamonds there. We found them very helpful and they didn't pressure us to buy. In fact, we left and waited a couple days to decide before calling them.

When we dealt with them, we told them what we were looking for (price, size, color, clarity, cut) and they brought several diamonds in house for us to look at. Since we decided on a branded diamond, it would be hard to guess what you would expect to pay for the size diamond you want. I can tell you that one of the non-branded stones we looked at was an ideally cut (they sent it out to Dave Atlas, aka oldminer to verify cut via a Sarin), GIA certed 0.94ct D VS2 for $5922.

Also, they have an i-see2 machine which is supposed to be like a brilliancescope. It would allow you another way to compare diamonds.

Hope this helps.
 

Googleman

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
Messages
53
Carat Weight: 1.026ct
Clarity: SI2
Color: G
Cut External
Polish: AGS ~ Ideal
Symmetry: AGS ~ Ideal
Proportions: AGS ~ Ideal
Cut Internal
Symmetry ~ Very Good
Light Return ~ Excellent
BrillianceScope
White Light Return
Colored Light Return
Scintillation
Price
bank wire ~ $5,100
credit card ~ $5,217

I saw this diamond on Jonathan's website. The price looks good and the diamond looks great! I think you mentioned something about an E colored stone, but G is still a fantastic color and once mounted, I don't think anyone would know the difference. Also, many people will testify that an ideal cut diamond will actually look bigger than a poorly cut one! Put the $$$$ into the cut!

Jonathan is right about the setting. Figure out what you are going to spend on that and then adjust the diamond budget according.
 

DiamondDealHunter

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
37
Thanks for all the help so far, I will be taking the advice and check on a setting to see how much thats gonna cost. I would like to get a platinum or white gold setting with additional stones in it. I know she wants one that is white and also will allow her to put the ring on the same finger as her wedding band. Anyone know of any good sites that have alot of settings to look at?
I checked out the stone suggested and it sounds great, however, I put the specs in the Cut Advisor and it told me that the girdle it extremely thin. Is this a big problem? I know it means that it may be more prone to chipping, but how likely is that?

Thanks again for all the help
 

slmulkey

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
133
I can't answer your question about the thin girdle, perhaphs some of the experts out here can. If you don't decide on that stone, you might want to check out niceice.com, or dirtcheapdiamonds.com. Nice ice has pictures of all of their diamonds with lots of other info, and dirtcheapdiamonds has a picture of all of their H&A diamonds and all of the cuts stats if it is AGS graded. If it is GIA graded, you would have to call them to get the sarin info. I bought a H&A diamond from dirtcheapdiamonds.com and am very satisfied with it.

For settings, you might check out sndgems.com. They have lots of nice settings, but their prices seem a little high. I could you an idea of what kind of setting you are looking for.

Good Luck
 

chuckles

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
13
---------------
I live in Philly and work right around the corner from Jewelers Row so have plenty of resources at my disposal.
---------------

If you're in Philly, can I recommend getting your setting custom made at KAO Jewelers? Apparently they make a lot of the settings for some of the stores on Jeweler's Row. That place was recommended to me by Chris at Dave Atlas's place and I'm very happy with the platinum setting they made - looks like the Tiffany Lucida to hold the Lucere I got. The people were friendly and I really like the idea of getting a custom-made setting to give the one-of-a-kind girl.
 

DiamondDealHunter

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
37
Thanks. I checked out the site recommended and will visit KAO. The idea of a custom ring sounds real good, but I do need some ideas. I'm thinking of making trying to combine a couple of designs or something. I'll post an update after I visit a Robbins and KAO tomorrow.

Thanks again
 

DiamondDealHunter

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
37
Long one
Well, I took a walk to jewelers row for lunch and made two stops. The first was to KAO where I had a good experience in looking at settings. Jenny was very nice and helpful and best of all wasn't pushing a sale. I looked at a bunch of white and platinum settings. One especially stood out, it was a platinum 4 prong setting with two channel rows of princess cut diamonds that had a total wt of, I think she said 1.25 cts. The stones ran underneath the center stone which was really nice looking. The down side was that they was $1500 for it. I had been thinking before I went of baguettes on the sides, but when I saw them with a stone they appeared that they took some of the luster away from the ring as a whole. They are a custom ring shop, so I have been bouncing around the idea of trying to find the stones myself if it'll save me a few hundred. She also showed me a a 1.29 ct H color SI2 diamond that we were using in the settings to get the full effect. They wanted $4800 for it, but it didn't seem like a great cut for that price.
My next stop was to Robbins, which wasn't as great of an experience. The guy seemed more interested in a sale than letting me see what I asked. I told him that I was looking for an ideal cut, 1.10 to 1.20 ct, F - G - H color, but I wanted to see them next to eachother to see were I can compromize to get the best bang for the buck. All of their diamonds were certified. He bragged about not many stores letting you see diamonds through a microscope, but then never offered to do so there. He did show me some nice stones but they seemed a bit high. The specs that I do remember were:
1.04 ct
H
SI2
Ideal Cut
$5600

1.02
I
SI1
Ideal Cut
$5300

The one he tried to push on me was 1.2ct, I think, J color "Good" cut. It was nice looking, but I did see the difference next to the 1.04. He gave me a price of $4500, but then pulled a car salesman trick and disappeared for a few and came back with "my manager said I can do $4100". I told him that I was just starting to look around and am waiting for my tax refund and would be back.

I am starting to get convinced that I am not going to find a better deal than the vendors on this site. My next question is, whats the best way to do it, ie, get them to send a couple of different stones somewhere to see and make a decision there or buy one and use the 7 day period to decide? I'd like to hear how some of you that have done it and who you dealt with and if there is anything you would do different.

I am a computer technician and a perfectionist by nature, so I always try to get the most knowledge possible on anyting I buy and always want the best, so I never trust a salesman for there opinion. I took a friend out with me the last time I looked at stones and he wasn't seeing the things I was seeing. The jeweler was saying that most people can tell the difference between x and y when it come to things like color, so I am still trying to draw a line with a high quality diamond or sacrifice a thing or two that may not be noticed to give her the size bragging part of it. I know I would want the best quality and the size second, but not sure how many people can see the difference in qualities.
I will promise this, whatever I do get I plan on being damn satisfied. Aside from the technical message boards I visit on a regular basis, this one has been one of the most helpful I have been to. Good job to the regulars!
Thanks for all the help.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Personally..we bought our stone offline, but only because we had a jeweler 'connection' who gave us a pretty good deal. We were close to purchasing online, and basically I just went from site to site to site loading up on information. The best advice I can give is get yourself a spreadsheet started. Columns for all the basics (e.g. size, color, clarity, price) but then add in crown and pav angle, culet size, fluor etc...and start to compare place to place and price per carat (this helps since you are going over 1.0ct). Chances are as you visit the sites that give you more information than less..since you specified that you are a perfectionist...you will start to see things you really like. For the perfectionists on this forum who want more more more...there are the sites like:

GoodOldGold.Com
BuyDiamondDirect.Com
SuperbCert.Com
NiceIce.Com

Which give you alot of reporting information on each diamond, which is pretty much as close as you can get to virtually viewing the stone. Closeups of the diamonds, and inclusions are critical. If you are considering an SI stone, you want to be sure its eye-clean..you need closeups of that stone to ensure that nothing is peeking out. Some of the sites do BrillianceScope readings which will show you a simulation of what that diamond looks like when it sparkles, and all the difference stages of fire, scintillation, etc. Use the crown and pavilion angles from an AGS report, or a Sarin/Megascope/OGI report and plug them into the HCA (cut advisor link above) to see what it says about that diamond's light return, fire, scint, etc. All of the sites you'd want to work with will show you copies of the GIA/AGS/EGL etc certification where you can see the plotting of inclusions and clarify that the diamonds pictures match the certificate. You can see IdealScope/FireScope images, etc. etc etc. The list goes on.

Check out BlueNile, Diamond.Com, DirtCheapDiamonds, DiamondWholesale.CC, etc. They don't give you as much info on the stones as the other sites mentioned above do, but if you want to work with them, go for it. Personally I like the more information bit myself. DCD has a pretty high reputation on this forum, as many people have purchased. When I was working with them, they were VERY helpful, but unfortunately could not get me all of the info I required, such as a picture of the stone, and I was not comfortable with it because it was an SI and someone's assurance that it was 'eye-clean' was not sitting well with me. If you cannot see the stone in person until you purchase, it makes you a little more paranoid.


In the end...whatever stone you choose (and I'm sure you will be posting more with more stones and info which we will comment on as well), be sure to have the vendor send it to one of the independent appraisers on this forum (or one of your choice) to have them run the tests to ensure that all the reporting matches, and that you got a good deal. Also be sure that the site you work with has a good return policy, so that if you are not happy, you can return the stone within a reasonable amount of time. But most of the vendors recommended on this forum are very accomodating and will work with you to find what you really want. Feel free to call or email the vendors after visitng their sites in order to start things going.

Sorry for the long post of my own, but keep reading the posts as well as the informational sections on GoodOldGold and the tutorial here on Pricescope. The more you read, the more you learn. It's amazing the amount of info you will absorb. Have fun and good luck!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
And since work holds no interest for me today...I remembered this stone I found on GOG the other day. Check it out.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/127.htm

I don't know what Rhino's personal opinion is on this stone but the reason it caught my eye is that it is similar to our own stone we purchased. This is not an ideal stone. Nowhere near. BUT--due to the unusually large table combined with the crown and pav specs, this diamond probably sparkles pretty nicely. Our stone is similar. Large table, shallow depth. Shallow crown, normal pavilion. Equals very beautiful brilliant AGS non-ideal stone that was an awesome deal. Also a perk of a stone such as this is that it looks bigger than it is. Our stone is a 1.23c but instead looks like a 1.35c. This could be a similar stone. What gives this stone the AGS 5 rating is the shallow crown and large table. Ours is an AGS 7 with a shallow crown and large table..our stone rates 1.4 on the HCA.

This GOG stone rates a 2.0 on the HCA which is still good, but not excellent (under 2). It means...a pretty good stone if the price is right. If I recall correctly, Rhino mentioned this stone was around $5800 even though there is no price on the page. Check out the page, and the brilliancescope readings, with the reporting etc..and you'll see it looks pretty good.

Anyway I only mention this because you had mentioned wanting to get a big stone for the money. If you don't go 'ideal' then I think this stone might be a consideration. It definitely lets you get a sparkly, big stone, with not alot of light leakage, for a seriously good price! We paid more than $5800 for our similar stone. Ours is a G, VS1 though. But if you are a stickler for the ideal cut, then nevermind...
I like stones like this because obviously..we have one.

Good luck!
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Mara you are 100% correct in your assessment of that stone. Internal reflectivity (as seen through that old FireScope image I took) is great for a stone with non ideal proportions and the sucka looks HUGE considering it's weight.


Peace,
Rhino
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Woops..made a bit of a mistake. DiamondOptics.Com is the one who has the link to VirtCert where you can view all the diamond info (briliance scope, larger images, certs etc) on diamonds for sale, I think I got them confused with BuyDiamondDirect. Unfortunately I cannot see BDD's search engine right now as it appears to be down?
 
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