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Help with Leon Mege Engagement Ring

DoubleDose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
8
Hello everyone! This is my first post here, although i have been lurking here for quite a bit now. It's been very helpful reading everyone's posts and reading up on some of the knowledge sections, I feel like I can really make an informed purchase and get the most for my money. My girlfriend and I have been going to the brick and mortar stores and looking at different rings for her. She has come to like A RB diamond in a halo setting and that's my taste also. The rings that we have been looking at with about a .70 diamond included have been around 4-5k in price but to me they don't really stand out and are flat with very little sparkle. The only rings that I have seen that had some pop were at the Hearts On Fire store but it was around 11k for the same size stone with a better cut and feel like they are a bit over priced. Since her and I don't make a ton of money, she is under the impression that my max budget is around 5k. But i have been working as much as i can and can afford around 13-15k. I really want to get the best for my money and something that is going to possible make her faint when she see's it.
I have seen some of Leon's pieces on here and really respect his craftsmanship. I am going to make an appointment to see some of his work in real life. I live about an hour away from NYC, so its not to hard to make a trip there. I wanted to hear from anyone that has used him and his diamond concierge. I am looking for something like his 811 with a RB with 1.3 - 1.7 carats. She has a small finger about a 4-4.25 and she doesn't like a thick band, this is why i'm leaning towards leon or is there anywhere else i could look. Im just looking for input on what you guys think and how to go about this. Sorry if this post is a jumbled mess but i wanted to give as much info i as i could to you guys. Thanks everyone!
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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10,535
How exciting for you and your fiancee!!

I would also visit (and ask a quote from) Steven Kirsch who is in the same building. Another pave halo master is Victor Canera but he is on the west coast (LA). He is very easy to work with however, also if you are an 'long distance' customer.

Many PS-ers have great experiences with ERD (Engagement Rings Direct). I believe they are also located in the NY area, though I am not absolutely sure.

Please note that Leon, Steven an Victor make 100% handforged pieces and it might be a bit expensive. Their work is worth every penny though...

I am sure the experts will chime in soon to give you some helpful advice.
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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nyquestioner

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 19, 2012
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I made a ring with Leon last year, setting only, using family stones, so I can't comment on the diamond concierge. The experience was outstanding; however, as I'm sure you are aware from reading other threads, Leon has a rather gruff, blunt manner so you have to expect that. If you live in the New York area it probably won't be a problem for you.
I agree with the above poster that if you are coming in from out of the city, it makes sense for you to schedule appointments with Leon, Steven Kirsch and Engagement Rings Direct (ERD), which is in a building just across the street, on the same day. My personal preference is for Leon but they all make excellent halo rings, ERD also sells stones as well.
One big difference is that ERD does cast rings as well as handforged. They probably make the most successful cast halo that I have seen either on pricescope or in real life. The CAD/cast process means that they use computer-aided design to make a mold, rather than completely hand-making the ring like Leon or Steven would (although they also have a bench that can do this). It will be a little less delicate but also less expensive. It still looks very good. Given your budget, this may be an option you want to consider to maximize stone size. Each of these vendors makes rings to order, so they will only have a few on hand to show you, but it should be enough for you to get a sense of their craftmanship, and whether or not you would consider choosing a cast ring over handforged in order to go up on your stone budget. You should also review some threads here on pricescope, and Leon and Steven's websites for more examples. The other thing to consider besides the craftmanship is your communication/how well you get along with them/how comfortable you feel. There are a number of people on pricescope who have mentioned that they prefer Steven's communication style to Leon's--we definitely felt the opposite! So that's just something personal.
Hope this helps!
 

DoubleDose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
8
Thanks for the replys, i guess i should add so more info. I would prefer to have a hand-made ring because my girlfriend is so small and her fingers aren't very big. I feel to get the delicate look for her fingers i would need to get a hand forged ring instead of cast. Also i like the idea of a handmade ring because i also work with my hands and i don't want something that a cad system can just pump out. I guess it will make feel more like a piece of art and something that can be handed down. The cast rings we have seen just seem bulky and heavy i guess. Also i have seen victors work and really like his pieces but I feel like I need to see and meet whoever is making the ring in person, but maybe you guys can change my view. As for the diamond it doesn't need to be huge, I more concerned with the cut and also the color. From the diamonds ive seen in person i can notice the color pretty well and also the brilliance of the cut. As for the clarity, as long as its eye clean im fine with whatever. Also i dont care about flour, maybe even wouldn't mind some. I would love to get her a 1.5 carat in my budget but she would happy with even a 1 carat or less. I wouldn't mind a VC ring, im just concerned about the look of the diamond. I know i dont have the greatest budget for what im looking for but i feel like i need to get a hand made ring to be happy with the look of it. So this is why im posting here to get the best for my budget. So how do you guys think i should go about it? thanks!
 

bgray

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,963
I have absolutely nothing positive to say about Leon. If you choose to use him I truly hope you get exactly what you want. However, I would avoid using his diamond service. You wont get the same level of detail regarding cut quality that you will with GOG or Brian Gavin for example. In fact, if you ask too many questions about the stone (like the every last detail that Pricescopers are know to obsess over!) they can get a little snippy and dismissive. Same with ERD in my experience. I would also recommend Mctiegue and McClelland. They are bench jewelers of the highest caliber and their focus on quality stones is one of their hallmarks. They also love old stones and will source vintage cuts. They have an office in NY but their main workshops are in Great Barrington MA
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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May 11, 2012
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9,788
I would recommend one of Victor Canera's Hearts & Arrows stones, he is cutting them himself and they will give your HOF a run for it's money in fact in terms of straight cut they are nicer than many HOF stones IMHO. His Emilya halo is also one of the best. If you can't find anything in his diamond range try the top cut rounds from James Allen or Whiteflash combined with a halo made by Victor.

http://www.victorcanera.com/diamonds/page/2

Leon can be rude and is frequently difficult to deal with (yes that was my personal experience) Victor whom I have dealt with a number of times by comparison gives 5+ star service.

This is a real life example of one of Victor's halos - you will not find much better in pave;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYHSIbdcJ08

And some examples of his work;

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/post-your-victor-canera-beauties-here.175281/page-3']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/post-your-victor-canera-beauties-here.175281/page-3[/URL]
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
58,547
I would also not choose LM even though I had him make me a ring once. Read the yelp reviews.

For NYC, I would choose Steven Kirsch. But I am on the east coast and would not hesitate to use Victor Canera. In fact, he made me some beautiful sapphire and diamond earrings and I certainly never had to go there.
 

bgray

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,963
I would also recommend Tanagro in NYC. They are currently doing some pieces for me. They do work for Fred Leighton, Steven Russell, Lang and Pierre Famille.
 

tweeter8177

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
571
Maybe you aren't asking this, but I am worried about your expectations for diamond size for the color you want plus the price of a hand forged ring. I believe a hand forged halo ring is going to be $5K give or take a $1K by SK, LM or VC. That leaves $8K-$10K max for stone. When you say you are color sensitive, what does that mean to you? What color are you thinking? The only reason I am asking is that will help drive the size you can go. I think if you went with an H SI range you would still be looking at the low end of your carat range, possibly below. That assumes and "excellent or ideal cut", which is the most important for a beautiful diamond!

I certainly don't mean to scare you...I think you will be able to find a beautiful diamond and setting that will blow your girlfriend away! You just need to start narrowing down what is important to you,

I have worked with Steven Kirsch and I would definitely go see him. I have also worked with ERD to select my MRB and highly recommend them for the diamond and frankly for the setting as well (I believe their hand forged prices will be lower then LM/SK). They would be happy to show you diamonds in person as long as you narrow down your specs (talk to Chris). Just food for thought! I would start out getting quotes from all of the above for the setting so you know what your budget is for the diamond.

You are definitely on the right track to make one happy fiance!!
 

DoubleDose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
8
Yeah i emailed leon and victor today and im waiting to hear back from them. I figured that it was going to be around 5k for just the setting from either of them. I guess i wasnt very clear on the size but my ideal carat size would be 1.5 but i know im going to be around more in the 1 carat or less price range. The cut is most important to me second to color. It just seems to me like i can see tints of yellow and i want it to be as icy as it can be. The clarity isnt a big deal as long as its eye clean and doesnt effect the brilliance of the diamond. Im thinking i should go somewhere where i can get a bunch of side by side comparisons in person. Also i stated that i dont mind flour and i might even like it to have some. I just wanted to put my ideal carat size out there because i know you guys can find some amazing stones for great deals and it might make me stretch my budget a little more :o . But thank you everyone for your input and would love to hear more.
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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May 15, 2013
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10,535
Yay! I hope you get some great quotes. For your own comparison I would also ask quotes from ERD and SK.
Personally, I would recommend Victor. I live in Europe so I could not meet him or see the ring, but I was convinced about his craftmanship. He is a real professional and communicates very easily. He really helped me out with shipping too. With Victor you will know upfront how the customer service will be: outstanding!

I really admire Leon's work, but I would recommend reading some reviews before you decide to work with him. I requeste a quote from him and I thought he was very blunt, responsive and funny. But a friend of mine had a less then preferable experience with him (to put it very mildly).

In terms of colour: I am adding Soxfan's ring, recently made by Victor. The center stone is a K! The melee is colourless I believe. The result is stunning and her stone faces up rather white. To get a good idea of colour, visit a jeweller who can show you multiple stones, also in the warmer colour ranges and see how you feel. An icy stone is rarer and thus more expensive. In diamond there are beautiful stones in the lower colour ranges, but it's all about personal preference. There is a great thread with K coloured stones and they are stunnng!

Enjoy your hunt towards a great stone and setting!!

_11182.jpg
 

nomissjane

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
178
Please don't feel hesitant to work with Victor because of distance.
I worked with Victor for my beautiful Emylia setting for my reset last year via email from Sydney. It couldn't have been more easy and straightforward. Victor is endlessly patient, a true artist when it comes to proportion etc and produced an absolutely stunning setting for me....and he didn't even have my diamond to work with, just the GIA cert with dimensions etc. My diamond didn't leave Australia and yet the Emylia setting he crafted is just perfect for it.
Good luck with your choice.
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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nomissjane|1382520142|3542807 said:
Please don't feel hesitant to work with Victor because of distance.
I worked with Victor for my beautiful Emylia setting for my reset last year via email from Sydney. It couldn't have been more easy and straightforward. Victor is endlessly patient, a true artist when it comes to proportion etc and produced an absolutely stunning setting for me....and he didn't even have my diamond to work with, just the GIA cert with dimensions etc. My diamond didn't leave Australia and yet the Emylia setting he crafted is just perfect for it.
Good luck with your choice.

Can you post a pic of your ring? I would love to see it. Victor made my setting without the stone as well!! To avoid that I would have to pay a huge tax amount over my own stone once set. I have the Sophia setting from Victor.
 

nomissjane

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
178
I've only got a few pretty terrible, blurry photos taken on my iPhone.
I keep promising myself I'll take some PS worthy snaps soon.
So without wanting to thread jack....

_11185.jpg

_11186.jpg

_11187.jpg
 

Mico

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
1,245
Acinom said:
This thread might be helpful for you. Both LM, SK and VC can make this ring in their dreams and they are all stunning.
The OP of this thread had the same ring made by these three designers and was most satisfied with Victor Canera.

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/comparison-photos-of-my-victor-canera-sk-leon-ring-setting.166496//']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/comparison-photos-of-my-victor-canera-sk-leon-ring-setting.166496//[/URL]

To note, she made her own changes each time - so this is not a reflection of their work, but her preferences. I was heavily swayed by her post when first joining PS, but after being around longer feel all three have comparable work. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them - though having your personalities mesh is a must.
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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May 15, 2013
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10,535
Beautiful NomissJane!!!! Perfect in every aspect. Your center stone is stunning. And the setting is one of the most elegant settings I have ever seen. It deserves it's own SMTB thread! Since OP is looking for a similar ring, I hope it will be helpful to him and he will probably not regard it as thread jacking.

I agree Mico. That was what I wanted to point out in my remark (but you said it better): all three can make a stunning and perfect ring and offer the best craftmanship.
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
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4,814
Obviously I am a big fan of Victor Canera. :lol: I have small fingers too and the dainty halo setting is just perfect. I love my ring. I bet if you give Victor your budget and tell him what size stone you are looking for, he find you a diamond and make it work within your budget!!
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,864
I own a few pieces by the vendors already mentioned in this thread.

Honestly if you budget is around or under 15k and you want to get her a 1.5ct diamond I absolutely WOULD NOT do hand foged. I don't see the point in paying a preimum when you can put that money towards a better diamond. For what it's worth I had a 2.04ct with a VC Emilya halo. My neighbor has a 1.9ct ERD CAST/CAD halo and you can barely just barely tell the difference. Trust me I non stop compared the 2 for awhile and I am very very very picky on my pave. So my advice is put your money into the diamond and then have ERD do a CAD HW inspired halo.
 
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