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Help on an engagement ring, ladies and gents?

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Jongleur

Rough_Rock
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Feb 2, 2009
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9
Hello folks, and thanks for helping a newbie.

My girlfriend is really different, in a wonderful way. She never wants the "typical" thing. Part of the adventure is trying to figure out how to fit things to her personality. This engagement ring is no exception.

She is an art history scholar studying Victorian art in particular. I think it's for that reason that this ring appeals to her. It's almost like a William Morris design:
http://www.jewelryexpert.com/catalog/Tsavorite-Secret-Garden-Ring-eng.htm

She has the idea that if we had a round diamond in the center and a couple of green stones on the side, it would look like a white rose.

I would love for her to have the white rose she desires.

The good news is that she doesn't care about measurements that don't translate into beauty we can see unaided. For example, she's fine with tsavorite instead of emeralds - it's cheaper and just as pretty. I'm sure she doesn't care about inclusions that the naked eye can't see, as long as they don't dull the overall impression of the stone.

We went to the nicest jewelry store in town - a place that's been around for 100 years - and they showed us the Hearts on Fire diamonds, which I had never heard of before. We thought they looked fantastic, especially the way they sparkled in low light. It was clear to them that neither of us knew anything about diamonds, and they didn't show us any of the "papers," although I think they did say the one we looked at was AGS000.

We're looking for a round stone in the .75 to .8 range, unless I discover that we can afford a full carat, which would be wonderful. I played with the sliders on BluNile, and found what appeared to be "good" diamonds in the $4000 range at that size. In the B&M, they initially said the .75 HoF would be $6000, then said it might be closer to $8000.

I've been reading on this site all afternoon, but I still feel a bit lost, especially in terms of what really matters to the typical observer. Again, we'd take an inferior stone if it looks great.

My questions (thanks for reading this far!):
1. What's a reasonable price range for a .75 to 1 carat stone that's truly beautiful and sparkly in normal eyesight, but may give up on some of the measurements that a true diamond afficianado would care about?
2. Which specific aspects or measurements could I give up on to attain a lower price without affecting the pure visual impact?
3. Conversely-wise, what factors (apart from looking for AGS000) are most important to that visual impact like we saw with the HoF in the store?
4. What search tools are going to be best? I have played with the Pricescope tool n these forums a bit; so far it's the only one with and AGS search box, but even that seems to say "AGS0," and I guess I'd like to wrap all of it up into just looking for an AGS000 and trusting that. But then there's the HCA score....
5. I know the first answer is for me to readreadread, and I am doing that, too. Are there good threads for someone who's looking to maximize look over "by the numbers" quality?

Thanks so much for your help on this. You guys (if you'll pardon the pun) ROCK.

- Chris
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
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13,329
Check out Van Craeynest or Green Lake for setting ideas.

Date: 2/2/2009 10:23:00 PM
Author:Jongleur
1. What''s a reasonable price range for a .75 to 1 carat stone that''s truly beautiful and sparkly in normal eyesight, but may ''give up'' on some of the measurements that a true diamond afficianado would care about?

2. Which specific aspects or measurements could I ''give up on'' to attain a lower price without affecting the pure visual impact?

3. Conversely-wise, what factors (apart from looking for AGS000) are most important to that visual impact like we saw with the HoF in the store?

4. What search tools are going to be best? I have played with the Pricescope tool n these forums a bit; so far it''s the only one with and AGS search box, but even that seems to say ''AGS0,'' and I guess I''d like to wrap all of it up into just looking for an AGS000 and trusting that. But then there''s the HCA score....

5. I know the first answer is for me to readreadread, and I am doing that, too. Are there good threads for someone who''s looking to maximize ''look'' over ''by the numbers'' quality?
1. Probably between $1500 and $5000
2. Color and clarity.
3. Cut.
4. AGS 000 is a misnomer for AGS 0.
5. Best thread is this one right here, where you give us your budget.
 

Jongleur

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
9
Nice point about the budget.

I don''t know what that setting plus a couple small tsavarites will run, but let''s call it $2000 total.

I guess I was hoping that I could get something in the $3000 - $5000 range? To have the whole ring come in under $7000 would be great, but I didn''t know if that was realistic. After talking to the B&M guys, it was sounding more like $11000 total, and that made me despair a bit.

Y''all are giving me hope. Thanks.


- Chris
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jul 17, 2008
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11,438
The tsavorite ring you link is GORGEOUS!
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
Maybe you would like something that is the inverse of LostSapphire's ring - diamond center and colored halo. I really like the pears sticking out of the halo along the band - it does make me think flower. Whiteflash made that ring, and might be a good choice though I think that Lost found her own sapphire and relied on WF for their expertise, which is diamonds, and the custom ring design.

The more challenging part of your project will be finding a jeweler to work with that you trust to source your colored stones and manufacture the ring. Best if they have made something similar that you like. That part will be harder than finding the center diamond, and unless your budget is flexible, the quote on the custom ring and sidestones will then set your budget on the center stone. If your budget is flexible than you can go the other route and pick the center diamond first.

Just one thought - tsavorite is not particularly hard, if I recall correctly. For that matter I don't think emerald is that hard. Perhaps the experts can chime in- but less hard stones will not be as durable so you might consider if your girlfriend will be one to baby her rings or put a lot of wear on them. If she is hard on them, softer stones might not be the right choice, but I am no expert.

You might also post on the colored stones forum for advice on that aspect of your search, or post a new thread with tsavorite in the title to get the right folks (colored stone people) looking in at your questions. Good luck!
 

Jongleur

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
9
JulieN, help me understand what I'm looking at here. :)

I see that it's in my price range and is even a little bigger than what I thought I'd have to go with (we started off thinking 1 carat and then downgraded to .75/.8).

I also see that it says "Hearts & Arrows Ideal," and if I'm reading that AGS report right, it says "Cut grade - AGS Ideal 0". So that's the highest AGS grade for cut, I think?

It's an SI1, which means it has inclusions, but they'd pretty much be invisible without a magnifying glass?

Beyond that there are a lot of other stats. Can you help me see why you selected this one as an example?

Thanks SO much for your help!

- Chris
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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13,329
Date: 2/2/2009 11:26:14 PM
Author: Jongleur
JulieN, help me understand what I''m looking at here. :)


I see that it''s in my price range and is even a little bigger than what I thought I''d have to go with (we started off thinking 1 carat and then downgraded to .75/.8).


I also see that it says ''Hearts & Arrows Ideal,'' and if I''m reading that AGS report right, it says ''Cut grade - AGS Ideal 0''. So that''s the highest AGS grade for cut, I think?


It''s an SI1, which means it has inclusions, but they''d pretty much be invisible without a magnifying glass?


Beyond that there are a lot of other stats. Can you help me see why you selected this one as an example?


Thanks SO much for your help!


- Chris
I picked this one because it''s over .9 cts, but under 1 ct, to avoid the marginal price increase. It''s also safely in your budget.

SI1 means that the inclusions are easy to see under 10x magnification. What this means to the naked eye is that most SI1s are eye-clean.

It''s an a Tolkowsky-style AGS 0, which appeals to a lot of people. 0 is the highest (lowest?...ok, let''s say it''s the best) AGS grade.

All in all, it''s a very "safe" choice. You can request the Ideal Scope picture and ask if it is eye-clean.
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
7,715
Tsavorites are amazing! (much more durable for an ER too) I trust you''ve done a search here - there are some gorgeous examples. I LOVE the ring you attached the link for. WOW!
Another site is evejewelry.com - very artistic and organic- they can custom make any of their designs with diamonds/tsavorites too.
Your budget is GREAT - don''t panic - you can get your GF an amazing ring!
 

blastdoor

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
159
I took the liberty of punching in the numbers of the stone that Julie chose for you and HCA returned a wow-ing 0.9 TIC with Excellent on Light Return, Fire, and Scintillation, and a Very Good Spread, if the IS check out with no significant leakage, this will indeed be a very nice center for your white rose..


Edit to add: -

Very, very nice...
 

Jongleur

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
9
Thank you all SO much for your help. I''m going to ask one more round of noob questions before I head off to bed, but I''ll certainly be checking back in the am. Looks like I have some reading to do on some of the terms, eh?

"You can request the Ideal Scope picture and ask if it is eye-clean." I''ll go read up the Ideal Scope, but clearly one doesn''t just "trust" that SI1 is "eye clean" to everyone. I guess that the Ideal Scope will give me a more specific idea of whether it''s truly "eye clean"?

"HCA returned a wow-ing 0.9 TIC with Excellent on Light Return, Fire, and Scintillation, and a Very Good Spread, if the IS check out with no significant leakage ... "
I don''t want to be an annoying noob and ask for explanations of all the jargon. I''ll be a good forum member and go read (
), but I am curious - based on my goals of "looking good to the naked eye" with less concern for by-the-book measures of quality, are these all things that contribute to that?

It seems people agree that this is a good safe bet. How long does a diamond like this stay online, typically? Would I want to pull the trigger on it in the next day or two? A week?

Thanks again. This is a lot of fun, and you''re all being wonderfully helpful. Once everything is put together, I''ll be sure and come back with pics of the ring.

Preferably on the finger of my beloved, whom I can personally certify as flawless.

- Chris
 

blastdoor

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
159
i'm a noob just like you, and just like you i had (and still having) a lot of fun searching for the perfect e-ring for my FW, which i bought and received 2 weeks ago thanks to the many people who helped me out here...

and to get a better understanding of what all the terms mean, here's a "mini-tutorial" by another poster here which i came across while doing my research..

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/i-didnt-realized-i-didnt-know-so-much-until-i-found-ps.54720/

As for the HCA, the lower the score the better, though from what I understood I think a perfect zero is not practical as too many of the factors would be conflicting... lower than 2 is good, 2 and more will depends.. and TIC (Tolkowsky Ideal Cuts) means an overall well balanced performance stone, as compared to BIC (Brilliant Ideal Cuts) which has the highest light return and larger spreads, and FIC (Fiery Ideal Cuts), which have more fire and appear to have more facets and scintillation. More info at the page below: -

http://www.diamond-cut.com.au/23_bicfic.htm

But like I mentioned, I am a noob like you, and even though I am very eager to share whatever little knowledge I have, there are many many here who knows a lot more than I do, and who I am sure will be happy to share with you too... so I'll limit what I have to say to the above.. except to wish you and your special lady all the very best..


Very, very best...
 

:)

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
1,864
You need to ask them (James Allen) to physically look at the stone and tell you if eyeclean. If you like a stone you need to put it on hold, stones have a way of disappearing around here, esp after they have been discussed.
The HCA is a tool to weed out possible poor performers when you don''t have the stone in front of you to use your eyes and only have the cut stats. In general a score less than 2 is desired, most people will prefer a score between 1-2, and some exceptions can be made for higher scores. A good score on the HCA is not a guarantee that the stone will be beautiful, as it is only able to evaluate the relationship of angles and proportions, but is unable to take into account girdle treatments, symmetry, variance between facet angles, etc. Once you get a round brilliant stone that you have weeded ''in'' you need to ask the vendor for an idealscope pic so that you/we can look for leakage, etc.

If you go to the knowledge button and click on advanced tutorial you will learn a ton. HOF stones can be very beautifully cut, but you can get a stone that is just as beautifully cut without the brand name if having the brand name is not importanant to you.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Tsavorites are fine for an e-ring (I have one as my centre stone) as long as you don't intend to wear it 24/7. I only wear mine when I'm out or if we have people over.

It is 'relatively' easy to chip them but they will stand up to wear better than emeralds (and in my opinion - and I am naturally biased - they blow most emeralds out of the water in terms of colour/sparkle - plus they are 200 times rarer
).

A setting like the one in the pic will also give them a fair degree of protection.

You may want to think carefully about proportion if you are thinking of making a very similar type of ring to the pictured one. Tsavorite and Diamond are very similar in terms of specific gravity, so they should face up about the same size as each other if cut the same way.

The centre stone in that ring is just under 2cts and the sides are around 0.32ct each. At only 7mm, I'm guessing that the centre tsavorite is cut on the deep side so you should be fine with a smaller diamond.

For a small matched pair of tsavorite pears, I would recommend finding your diamond, finding the jeweller who is making the setting and asking them to source the tsavs for you. (That is unless you are planning to use a local B&M in which case you need to check if they have good sources for coloured stones - the vendors on PS all seem to come up trumps with these kinds of thing).

ETA: The price you were quoted for the tsavs seemed very high to me. Tsavorite prices are high - but small stones in the 0.30ct range should be much cheaper than that!
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 2/3/2009 12:41:45 AM
Author: blastdoor
i'm a noob just like you, and just like you i had (and still having) a lot of fun searching for the perfect e-ring for my FW, which i bought and received 2 weeks ago thanks to the many people who helped me out here...

and to get a better understanding of what all the terms mean, here's a 'mini-tutorial' by another poster here which i came across while doing my research..

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/i-didnt-realized-i-didnt-know-so-much-until-i-found-ps.54720/

As for the HCA, the lower the score the better, though from what I understood I think a perfect zero is not practical as too many of the factors would be conflicting... lower than 2 is good, 2 and more will depends.. and TIC (Tolkowsky Ideal Cuts) means an overall well balanced performance stone, as compared to BIC (Brilliant Ideal Cuts) which has the highest light return and larger spreads, and FIC (Fiery Ideal Cuts), which have more fire and appear to have more facets and scintillation. More info at the page below: -

http://www.diamond-cut.com.au/23_bicfic.htm

But like I mentioned, I am a noob like you, and even though I am very eager to share whatever little knowledge I have, there are many many here who knows a lot more than I do, and who I am sure will be happy to share with you too... so I'll limit what I have to say to the above.. except to wish you and your special lady all the very best..


Very, very best...
I just wanted to expound on that a little if that is ok and you are doing a great job!

The aim with the HCA is to collate the diamonds which score below 2, a lower score isn't better than a higher one as diamonds which score 2 and below are considered a ' pass pending further evaluation' and this is done with idealscope images and other methods. So the HCA isn't used to select diamonds but to eliminate them. Also in some cases out of interest, diamonds which score above 2 can be a good choice if they have top symmetry and you have images available.
 

blastdoor

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
159
Date: 2/3/2009 4:42:44 AM
Author: Lorelei

I just wanted to expound on that a little if that is ok and you are doing a great job!


The aim with the HCA is to collate the diamonds which score below 2, a lower score isn''t better than a higher one as diamonds which score 2 and below are considered a '' pass pending further evaluation'' and this is done with idealscope images and other methods. So the HCA isn''t used to select diamonds but to eliminate them. Also in some cases out of interest, diamonds which score above 2 can be a good choice if they have top symmetry and you have images available.
oops... heehee.. thanks for completing the information Lorelei.. i guess i''ll still need quite a bit of polishing before i''ll sparkle... maybe i have fire (enthusiasm) but not enough brilliance and scintillation (knowledge and experience)... back to the workbench for me... heehe...
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 2/3/2009 5:32:27 AM
Author: blastdoor

Date: 2/3/2009 4:42:44 AM
Author: Lorelei

I just wanted to expound on that a little if that is ok and you are doing a great job!


The aim with the HCA is to collate the diamonds which score below 2, a lower score isn''t better than a higher one as diamonds which score 2 and below are considered a '' pass pending further evaluation'' and this is done with idealscope images and other methods. So the HCA isn''t used to select diamonds but to eliminate them. Also in some cases out of interest, diamonds which score above 2 can be a good choice if they have top symmetry and you have images available.
oops... heehee.. thanks for completing the information Lorelei.. i guess i''ll still need quite a bit of polishing before i''ll sparkle... maybe i have fire (enthusiasm) but not enough brilliance and scintillation (knowledge and experience)... back to the workbench for me... heehe...
LOL!!!! No worries Blast, you are doing a great job and I am enjoying having you here!!
 
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