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Help newbie with engagement ring?

waitforthat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
29
My boyfriend and I are planning on getting married and we want to tell our families at Christmas. I'd like to have the ring by then, but we really haven't started seriously looking yet. I've been looking at different colored gemstones, but that's it. We have no idea where to start, we're a young couple and haven't bought expensive jewelry before.

Do we have to go custom, or can we find a nice ring already made?
If we go custom, how does the process work?
Can we finish this by Christmas?

What I'm looking for - well, I all I've really decided is I want a stone that is on the big side, and I'm not comfortable spending a lot of money on a ring.

Budget: >$1500, less is better.
Gemstone: I'm leaning toward blue spinel at the moment, but I've also considered purple spinel, green/grey sapphires, purple rhodolite, peachy morganite, London blue topaz...a lot of different stones.
I really like the London blue topaz color, but is that a good stone for an engagement ring? I also know I want a pretty simple setting, maybe baguettes on the side or just solitaire.

Help! I'm really lost.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Most people here will say you should only consider stones of hardness of 8 or greater and good durability for an everyday ring such as an engagement ring. This pretty much limits you to spinel, corundum (sapphire/ruby), and chrysoberyl. IIRC, Beryl (aquamarine, morganite, emerald) has good hardness on the Mohs scale but not great durability/toughness. Luckily, the first 2 are on your list. Blue spinels generally command higher prices than purple ones, so if you want a large stone, a blue spinel may not be in budget. Nice green sapphires are hard to find, since they tend to have olive/brown/grey undertones. London blue topaz (actually, almost all blue topaz) is irradiated to achieve the blue color. I'm not sure how you feel about this kind of treatment, but many people here prefer natural colors over treated stones. Most people here also don't consider topaz to be of sufficient durability for an everyday ring.

So I think a good starting point would be purple spinel. What kind of setting are you interested in? Solitaire, sidestones, diamonds? Remember to leave a healthy budget for the setting, especially if you want gold, because prices have gone up tremendously in the past year or so.

It would also help if you define "big" in terms of carats or better yet, millimeters.

I'm also not sure how you feel about a pre-owned stone, but several PSers are re-selling purple and blue spinels if you check the Preloved PS Jewels forum, specifically FrekeChild and ForteKitty if I remember correctly.

ETA: I think for a special project like an engagement ring, it's easiest to source the stone and then design or find the setting. You can sometimes find nice rings already set, but it's easier to get exactly what you want if you build it from the ground up.
 

waitforthat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
29
Thanks for the information on durability, that is very helpful. Pre-owned also sounds like a good thing to look into.

I was looking through the thread with all the engagement ring pictures and really love this ring [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/violet-spinel.155208/page-2']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/violet-spinel.155208/page-2[/URL] that belongs to ladyvengeance. It is a violet spinel about 10x10mm set solitaire. I would be happy with a smaller stone but I really like the look of the big stone with the delicate band.

I don't mean to pry since this is a ring that belongs to an actual person here, but could anyone give me an idea of whether this type of ring is in my budget?

ETA: also, can anyone give me an idea of how much I should budget for a simple platinum setting, so I have an idea of how much I can afford on the stone?
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
That probably wouldn't be in your budget for the setting alone (Leon Mege is $$$$$). But I'd be willing to bet a similar violet spinel in a white gold ring would work for you (Daniel M or another Etsy artist could make something nice).

ETA: A platinum setting would eat up most of your budget, even a simple one. It would probably be like $800-1000.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Here are some ideas for relatively large purple spinels...they're not quite as big as your inspiration ring, but this is what I could find keeping your budget and your desire for platinum in mind:

http://spectralgems.net/A-spinel.html - looking at the bottom left and bottom middle...contact Roger for the price
http://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/8958
http://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/13499
http://mastercutgems.com/index.php?page=viewgem&id=6036
http://www.swalagemtraders.com/search-gems/detail.php?pid=2365
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863
I would also contact some of the PSers selling their spinels. Freke especially has some great lavendar/ purple/ grey ones that I think could make lovely rings.

In regards to how to make a ring. I would get your CS first and then depending on the size and shape you can have a ring made. My suggestion for a budget like that would be to go with Daniel M on etsy who does very nice setting or possible look on ebay at Lord of Gem Rings who sells settings that you can customize (if you want some bling etc). I wouldn't recommend all of LOGR settings for erings but some of them can definitely work.

Goodluck and congratulations to you and your BF!!!!!!!!!!!! My DH and I got engaged when we were just 22. Have been together since I was 19 and he was 18 so I completely understand about trying to stick with a budget. Let us know if we can help further!
 

waitforthat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
29
Thank you Sarahbear621! I will check out both of those sellers.

Jstarfireb - thanks for the suggestions very pretty! I didn't realize the setting would be so expensive, I will definitely have to consider white gold.

I would appreciate other suggestions for violet spinels if anyone feels like looking :)
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
FrekeChild is selling a few stones that might be perfect for you. There's a 3.88 ct oval pinkish purple spinel for only $125, and a few smaller stones if you decide a 6-7mm stone is right for you. Her sapphire ring might have worked but seems to be sold.

https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/freke-is-unloading-t166532.html

Follow the links on that thread to find out how to contact her. We're not allowed to post links to other forums/classifieds here, but only in the Pre-loved PS Jewels forums, so that's why it sounds like we're being secretive.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,424
Here are some ebay leads if you don't mind experimenting a bit.

I have not bought from this seller, but if I remember correctly, someone here recently bought a large spinel from them similar to the one you linked to and then they had it recut and made into their ER:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-78-CT-REMARKABLE-TOP-PURPLE-PINK-SPINEL-CEYLON-/390355802340?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae304d8e4#ht_2899wt_1141

I have bought repeatedly from this seller with good to excellent results. Even when a stone turned out to be treated, she honored her pledge (150%! :lol: :naughty: ) to refund all my out of pocket costs:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-97CT-CERTIFIED-MASTER-PORTUGUESE-ROUND-VIOLET-SPINEL-/380375328715?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item589022e7cb

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-11CT-UNIQUE-SILVER-CALIBRATED-ROUND-CUT-CEYLON-SPINEL-/380375029672?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58901e57a8#ht_2604wt_1141

I admit her pictures tell me very little and I tend to ask her lots of questions, like how saturated it is, and what modifiers it has. In your case, it seems like you are looking for a purple/violet, platinum/grey/silver stone. I hope this helps.
 

waitforthat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
29
Thank you both for the links!

Looking at those stones has made me think that the things I really like about my inspiration ring are less the color and more the size and cut. I really like the square cushion.

Although, that sapphire ring that Freke sold is really stunning. There are so many options I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want. Thank you all for being so helpful!
 

Xiriah

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
490
waitforthat|1318365682|3037986 said:
Do we have to go custom, or can we find a nice ring already made?
If we go custom, how does the process work?
Can we finish this by Christmas?
Since you mentioned ladyvengeance's ring, it reminded me of this emerald cut purple spinel I'd seen:
http://gemcal.com/cute-victorian-purple-spinel-2-26-cts-2320

Also, quite a few people have mentioned Danielm and I thought I'd link you to a ring he recently made with similar prongs (you can request to have the shank made a bit thinner if it's too wide for your taste):
http://www.etsy.com/transaction/60161438

To answer your 3 questions, it's best to go custom since you'll find that majority ready-made rings don't have as nice stones as some of the precision cut ones. If you go custom, say through Danielm, you usually pay a deposit, then you send the stone off to them. I'm not sure what the current wait time is, but it's generally anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on how busy they are. I think you could have the ring finished by Christmas depending on how long it takes to find the right stone. You can even mention your time frame to Danielm, and I'm sure they'll try to work with you.

I forgot to ask, is there a certain shape, or millimeter size stone you're looking for? That can help us narrow down what to look for. ;-)

ETA: Last time I asked a few months ago about how much a custom setting in 14kt gold from Danielm would cost, it was around $350. Depending on how the price of gold fluctuates, it could be a bit more than that now.
 

Xiriah

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
490
I just saw where you posted that you were looking specifically for a square cushion. Here are a few other gems I found.

Two purple spinel cushions from Swala Gem Traders:
http://www.swalagemtraders.com/search-gems/detail.php?pid=2365
http://www.swalagemtraders.com/search-gems/detail.php?pid=2364

Also, since you were considering blue spinel, there is this one blue sapphire I recently purchased and returned from Weblorn on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/310340396227?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#cvip_desc

I ended up returning it since the color shifted to a slight purple-blue to incandescent, and I was looking specifically for a more predominantly blue stone.
 
T

talamasca

Guest
Gemfix just posted new gems and they have this purple spinel, may be a bit dark for you though:

ETA: Oops it's oval, sorry I posted before I read all of the thread!

Grape Spinel - 247.jpg
 

waitforthat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
29
Thank you for the pricing Xiriah, and I contacted that eBay seller, I'll let you know how it goes!

Thank you everyone else for the suggestions, it is really helpful to see what is out there!
 

gongli

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
82
congratulations... id suggest checking out green sapphire also, it's an elegant stone, second after diamond in hardness and very tough against dropping/banging etc.. here's some i found

bluish green sapphire

http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?350640326

yellowish green

http://www.multicolour.com/detail/index.html?-707159405

dark, but could work in a setting

http://www.gemselect.com/sapphire/sapphire-228245.php

heart, light but pretty

http://www.gemselect.com/sapphire/sapphire-251465.php

unique and precision cut by a well known cutter

http://mastercutgems.com/index.php?page=viewgem&id=6279

another precision cut, rightmost on 1st row, unheated

http://www.gemfix.com/sapphire_yellow_orange.html
 

velouriaL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
1,178
I am DEFINITELY DEFINITELY in the minority on PS on this, but I actually think that you might want to go a little bit smaller for an e-ring. First of all, I think that when a colored gem is about the same size as a 1-2 carat diamond (so, like, 6.5mm - 8mm for rounds), it looks more "precious," more like an engagement ring and less like a cocktail ring. Also, I personally find something in that size range much easier to wear on a daily basis. Like I said, I'm in the minority, but just food for though! :)

Plus, going smaller might free up some of your budget for the setting. It might take some looking, but it might be possible to find the right stone for only a couple hundred dollars. You just might (not sure!) be able to get a platinum setting from Leon if you are patient and frugal and lucky with the stone.

For spinels, the main thing you want to watch out for is them being too dark. Some can really black out in low light.

The pre-owned pricescope option is a good one!

You might want to check out Dan Stair (http://www.customgemstones.com/) for gems. His picture aren't the best, but I understand that he does a good job describing the stones. I have not worked with him, so definitely do a search.

Michael E at gemshoppe.com is someone who can supply the stone and the setting. He's great.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
2,025
Jason Brim at Select Gem posted a 2.61 ct purple spinel - it is not a square cushion, but a round portuguese. It is close to the size you were looking for (8.8 by 8.7 mm). I only know this through Facebook, not sure if I'm allowed to link there, though. You can do a search if you're on FB.
 
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