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Help me work with my $1800 budget for an engagement ring

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
Hi all. I am hoping to get engaged relatively soon. I know we are going with a lab-grown stone.

The specs I am hoping to have for the diamond are

  • Excellent Polish
  • Excellent Symmetry
  • Excellent Cut
  • SI1 and above
  • H and above
  • 0.8 carats or above potentially.

Could it be done with an $1800 budget? I would hope to have this $1800 be for the setting and the stone, but I understand if the stone costs are high. The ring is going to be a simple solitaire setting, potentially knife-edge, if that matters. The gold color is up in the air.

We have both agreed on this budget and think it is fair and works with where we are at this point in our lives.

Thanks in advance.
 

MelloYello8

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
252
I think it’s doable. This is a good thread to start. Good luck!

 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,194
Just throwing some options out there...

...Ritani has the clearest pricing structure (because they tell you their profit margin on the page) but they don't include all of the grading report details (e.g. crown and pavilion angles) that you need to run the HCA tool and check the angles work together :( and I can't get the IGI website to pull up grading reports electronically...

Ritani also don't have (m)any pictures of the actual stones, which is not helpful either, so you'd have to ask if they could provide all the grading report details and some pictures.

Nevertheless, it looks like you could get almost 1ct if you could get hold of a knife edge setting for a low price, which would be cool :)

I am a clarity-freak :tongue: so SI stones make me twitch :lol: but it's also worth noting that SI grades in MMDs can have quite noticeable inclusions from the manufacturing process, so personally speaking, VS2 would be my baseline. Let's see what we can find, though!


https://www.ritani.com/lab-diamonds/round-lab-diamond-0-97-Carat-H-color-IGI-certified/D-137055Y $1507

https://www.ritani.com/lab-diamonds/round-lab-diamond-0-9-Carat-G-color-IGI-certified/D-1JWM75X $1525

https://www.ritani.com/lab-diamonds/round-lab-diamond-0-9-Carat-G-color-IGI-certified/D-1130S5X $1421

https://www.ritani.com/lab-diamonds/round-lab-diamond-0-84-Carat-E-color-IGI-certified/D-169Q116 $1407 (looks like a 60/60 stone, which would be spread-ier and likely to have more white light than coloured fire)

https://www.ritani.com/lab-diamonds/round-lab-diamond-0-96-Carat-H-color-DF-certified/D-19YQF1R $1303

Might be some others within specs that would usually be recommended on Pricescope:
 
Last edited:

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,194
There are 159 MMDs on JA right now within the preferred specs:


but dropping the budget for the stone to $1400, to allow for some of the ring costs, gives 50 options:


(I note that I have set the lower clarity cut-off at VS2.)

JA doesn't give the grading report details either unless you ask them :roll: but it does at least have some videos we can assess :)


So...

Few small dark specks in the centre of the table but I would say they would be invisible in 'real life'. Tall crown + small table = should give lots of coloured 'fire'.

VS1 and nice and clear, tall-ish crown, small-ish table, but looks like it might be a bit steep/deep (so potentially leaky) - would need grading report details.

Few small specks, similar to the one above (including the steep/deep comment).

Fatter arrows, small table, higher crown - should mean it is nice and fiery. Small but light-colour inclusion in the table should get lost in the sparkle on the finger.


If we look at SI1 stones only, there are 80 options:


Hits that magic D colour and looks clean of dark inclusions, but it might be a bit 'hazy' under the table when it's tilted? (Might just be my eyes...)

Long, thin inclusion under the star facets on one side but looks clean under the table and the inclusion is not 'bouncing around' inside the stone and being seen on other facets - could probably hide the inclusion under a prong.


All comments IMHO - I am not an expert! :)
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,239
i don't know when they're shipping again but the 1ct from lightbox is in stock right now...there are photos on some other threads from people who've purchased it - i think most have liked it, but some did send it back (don't remember why)

 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
11,196
i don't know when they're shipping again but the 1ct from lightbox is in stock right now...there are photos on some other threads from people who've purchased it - i think most have liked it, but some did send it back (don't remember why)

I really liked mine, then got a bigger diamond so now I don’t wear it lol.

The only tricky part of getting lightbox and resetting is that many jewelers and benches are closed now :/
 

pearaffair

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Messages
2,295
I really liked mine, then got a bigger diamond so now I don’t wear it lol.

The only tricky part of getting lightbox and resetting is that many jewelers and benches are closed now :/
Good point. Maybe she could wear it as a necklace and they could design the ring together? Although some ladies would be sad to not be able to capture an engaged hand photo...
 

MelloYello8

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
252
I saw this one on 1215 that’s nearly a carat but I don’t know how to link it. You should be able to find it if you search for the specs and with one of the the knife edge settings it would be within budget.

4BDAC7FF-C8E6-4814-AADB-A11B51CFEA48.jpeg
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,239
I really liked mine, then got a bigger diamond so now I don’t wear it lol.

The only tricky part of getting lightbox and resetting is that many jewelers and benches are closed now :/
that's a good point. a lot of small jewelers have benches at home, maybe there's a local one who can do the setting....more legwork though
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
I am so sorry I did not see these replies sooner. I was not anticipating this many people trying to help!

Thank you very much.

I have looked into lightbox, but I heard they are owned by DaBeers which are not a good company?

James Allen has been what I'm looking at the most, but some people online have said they believe they got sent different stones than the ones shown in the videos, and that their customer service is not that great...

I've gotten in touch with D.Nea after seeing the comment above and they sent me some stones, albeit waaaaaay out of my price range. I will have to check out 1215! Does anyone have experience with them?

Or even James Allen. Maybe I've just heard the horror stories...
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
There are 159 MMDs on JA right now within the preferred specs:


but dropping the budget for the stone to $1400, to allow for some of the ring costs, gives 50 options:


(I note that I have set the lower clarity cut-off at VS2.)

JA doesn't give the grading report details either unless you ask them :roll: but it does at least have some videos we can assess :)


So...

Few small dark specks in the centre of the table but I would say they would be invisible in 'real life'. Tall crown + small table = should give lots of coloured 'fire'.

VS1 and nice and clear, tall-ish crown, small-ish table, but looks like it might be a bit steep/deep (so potentially leaky) - would need grading report details.

Few small specks, similar to the one above (including the steep/deep comment).

Fatter arrows, small table, higher crown - should mean it is nice and fiery. Small but light-colour inclusion in the table should get lost in the sparkle on the finger.


If we look at SI1 stones only, there are 80 options:


Hits that magic D colour and looks clean of dark inclusions, but it might be a bit 'hazy' under the table when it's tilted? (Might just be my eyes...)

Long, thin inclusion under the star facets on one side but looks clean under the table and the inclusion is not 'bouncing around' inside the stone and being seen on other facets - could probably hide the inclusion under a prong.


All comments IMHO - I am not an expert! :)
I see that on James Allen I can request the IGI reports, if I was able to do that, do you think you could help me decipher some of them? I'll read more into them and see if they are reputable enough to order from.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
443
James Allen is a great vendor, you just have to request GIA reports and know what you're looking for, as they have a large selection (vs. a more curated selection).

In terms of value, the Lightbox 1ct is a great option. If I were in your shoes, I would look at James Allen and Lightbox lab diamonds.

Also, look up @DoeEyes thread about her Lightbox diamond with Hayden Cudworth setting, it looks absolutely gorgeous!
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,194
I see that on James Allen I can request the IGI reports, if I was able to do that, do you think you could help me decipher some of them? I'll read more into them and see if they are reputable enough to order from.
James Allen is a reputable seller and often recommended on here. They have fallen out of favour somewhat recently since they started restricting the grading reports - they used to be on the website but now you have to ask for them, the reason being that talking to a salesperson apparently increases their sales.

That makes it very difficult for us PSers to trawl through and pick decent stones out, and more work for a buyer who needs to ask for the grading reports, but they do have consistent, high quality videos to look at...

I and, I'm sure, others would be happy to assist if you are able to get grading report details!
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
So I got my hands on the IGI reports for 3 of the stones. They didn't seem to want to give me 9 IGI reports which was strange since I'm a potential customer, but oh well.

Here are the listings and the IGI reports:
0.80 F VS2


0.81 E VS2


0.84 F VS2



This is all still very new to me, so if anyone could help me out that would be great.

The ring is going to be a size 4.5, so sort of small fingers. I know some stones "face up" more depending on how they're cut. Do any of these have that? What would I have to look for to find that?
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
Also, I noticed some of the stones have a brownish tint to them. Is this normal? Will it show up in person? Will any gold color mitigate that sort of coloring? Sorry for all the questions. Trying to make the most educated choice I can.
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
I can’t help with your diamond choice, but you mentioned possibly getting a knife-edge setting. Has she tried one on? They look kind of cool, but I find them very uncomfortable, especially for daily wear. Personally I stick with comfort fit bands/settings. Just my opinion though. Congrats!
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
Oh, my color choice for the setting would be 18k rose gold if the stones are brownish. That should mask the brown very well. If she doesn’t like rose gold, then yellow gold.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,672
The first stone is a no due to low crown, low pavilion
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...rat-f-color-vs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-8855799

The second stone is nice with complementary angles

The third stone is not bad either

These stones are all facing up what they should. If you want "more" you usually get those from 60/60 stones
which means 60% table and 60%depth. They usually have a lower crown (like 33 degrees) and provide more
white light than colored light (generic statement).

Edit...the second one would be my favorite out of these 3.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,672
Thank you so much! I never would have known about the differences between light reflection.

I like the second stone as well, the more I look at the video the more I like it.

I also found this stone on Ritani.

Any thoughts?
I could not get the report to come up on this one. (I click on the IGI symbol...thats how most sites work but dont know about Ritani).

I'm not sure if that is a real picture of the stone or not. This stone has a depth of 63% so it will face up smaller than a well cut stone
of the same carat weight.

You need to stay at around 60-62.3% on depth.
Table 54-58
crown 34-35 degrees
pavilion 40.6-41 degrees

34 crown goes best with 41 pavilion and vice versa (35 goes best with 40.6)
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,672
Do you have a setting in mind?

You do know that most places are not sending out stones/settings/rings at this time or have you found a vendor that is?
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
I could not get the report to come up on this one. (I click on the IGI symbol...thats how most sites work but dont know about Ritani).

I'm not sure if that is a real picture of the stone or not. This stone has a depth of 63% so it will face up smaller than a well cut stone
of the same carat weight.

You need to stay at around 60-62.3% on depth.
Table 54-58
crown 34-35 degrees
pavilion 40.6-41 degrees

34 crown goes best with 41 pavilion and vice versa (35 goes best with 40.6)
Great info, thanks for the reply.

I'm looking more into Ritani now-- they've got some pretty bad reviews. Also ran some of the stones through an HCA calculator and they were not good. I see why they're able to sell them for so cheap now.

Still checking out James Allen. Might request some more IGI reports tomorrow. Also in contact with a jeweler so maybe that will pan out.
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
Do you have a setting in mind?

You do know that most places are not sending out stones/settings/rings at this time or have you found a vendor that is?
She just wants any solitaire setting. She's not that into too much bling and just wants something comfortable to wear.

I'm aware of everything going on in the world right now. I'm just trying to get ahead of this whole thing so that way when everything (hopefully) calms down a bit I can pop the question.
 

MelloYello8

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
252
I have been in touch lately with ecodiamond about my own ring and they were still operating, albeit on a limited basis. I only saw one rock that meets your initial specs but you would need to chat with them to get the certificate and photos so you can pop it into the HCA tool. They also have a 10% off pop up ad and they honor it for stones as well as settings.
 

leavesthataregreen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
25
I have been in touch lately with ecodiamond about my own ring and they were still operating, albeit on a limited basis. I only saw one rock that meets your initial specs but you would need to chat with them to get the certificate and photos so you can pop it into the HCA tool. They also have a 10% off pop up ad and they honor it for stones as well as settings.
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately the specs on that diamond seem a little wonky.
 
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