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If You Were Going To Buy An E-Ring, Which Vendor?

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summertime

Shiny_Rock
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If you were going to buy an engagement ring sometime this summer, would you go with Brian Gavin Diamonds or Whiteflash? I have lurked on PS since early last fall, and have always wanted to use WF, but now I''m not so sure. I have read Brian and Lesley''s rave reviews, and I know WF also does great work, so I wanted to ask, which would you choose? I know the style of e-ring I want, very simple, all platinum, which may have to be custom made (I would rather not pay the designer price). My SO and I would likely be able to visit each of them as we have family closeby. I have always looked forward to trying on wedding bands, especially the one modeled after geckodani''s band, and seeing other products at WF, since there isn''t as high of quality of jewelry offered where I live. I like the idea of dealing directly with Brian and Lesley. Does anyone know what their inventory is like? Would I be able to pick a stone from several options? I have a pretty set budget; do you think it would be a good idea to contact them both for a quote? And if so, do you include an approximate budget or not? Thank you all for your opinions!
 

diamondseeker2006

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My advice is to choose the stone first (from either one), then deal with the setting. Depending on the style of the ring you have in mind, I might favor Leon Mege, Maytal Hannah, or Mark Morrell to make the setting. Neither WF nor Brian Gavin has a showroom, so it won''t be like going in a jeweler and being able to try on hundreds of rings. Most people who visit WF do so to see the diamonds.
 

Gypsy

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I think you should call each vendor. I think they are in the same building in Houston so you can easily make an appointment to see both (I believe both are by appointment only). I think WF's inventory is mostly up on their site, and I think BGD has quite a bit stock as well, though their storefront site isn't up yet (though I understand it will be up soon). And I believe both can provide you with qoutes for your setting if you chose to go with them.

For a custom designed setting it would be easier to recommend someone to you if we had an idea of what you want. While many of the designers here are flexibile and have a great deal of talent, some excel at certain areas or types of design and without knowing what you are looking for, it's hard to say what the right fit might be.

ETA: As for telling them your budget. Well... here are my thoughts. GENERALLY in negotiations you don't disclose your budget right off the bat. Like if you want a wedding cake and have a 300 dollar budget, don't tell that to the baker. Cause I can pretty much guarantee that the qoute is going to come to 300 including applicable tax. But with PS vendors I think it's fine-- particularly for the diamond. If I have NO IDEA what something I'm thinking of costs, then I probably wouldn't say I have X to spend, because well... I could be completely crazy and out of touch (happened before. Never forget the qoutes I got for the baguette halo that topped 6K!). But if I had an idea of what it should cost, then I personally am more likely to say... here's what I want, what's your best price and give them a range to work with and a firm not to exceed if I thought it was necessary.
 

summertime

Shiny_Rock
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Thank you both for your replies. Our budget is around 5-6k, and I would like about a 6.2+ mm RB, preferably not lower than H/I, eye-clean. I''ve attached the ring I''ve fallen in love with, courtesy oceanbeach. So would the best idea be to contact them both, wait a few weeks to give them time to find something for us to look at, go see both, pick our favorite diamond, then worry about the setting? I like the Vatche three stone with pears, but I was hoping to not have to pay for the designer name. Thank you both for your help!

oceanbeachsbeauty.jpg
 

diamondseeker2006

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Okay, this one is easy! The best custom maker of that setting is going to be Leon Mege, as far as I am concerned. We''ve seen him do more than one, and they always turn out beautifully. Once you buy your center stone, you can call him with the measurements and ask an approximate price of the setting and side stones.

As far as your center diamond goes, you look on the WF site and see what is available. For Brian Gavin, you''d call and ask what he can get in in a 6.2mm+ stone in H/I color SI1 eye-clean clarity. Are you wanting platinum for the setting? I think it may be pushing it to do the setting, sides, and 6.2mm center for $6000.
 

mrssalvo

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I agree with the gypsy and diamondseeker. Also, I have heard that Leon Mege quotes have been very close to the same and sometime's less that quotes folks have gotten from Whiteflash so don't rule him out. His settings are handmade and special. Not to say that BGD and WF couldn't do an amazing job as well but for certain settings and in the case of the 3 stone setting you posted I agree that Leon would be the one I'd choose to execute it. I also want to warn you that that setting is going to eat up a lot of your budget no matter which vendor you choose to make it and many times custom isn't cheaper than buying a designer setting so you might call a couple of the Pricescope vendors who carry Vatche and get quotes from them as well. If you total budget is 5-6K you could also sink the majority of the money into the stone and set your stone into a solitaire and then upgrade the setting into the 3-stone down the road.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Date: 4/22/2009 7:08:21 PM
Author: mrssalvo
I agree with the gypsy and diamondseeker. Also, I have heard that Leon Mege quotes have been very close to the same and sometime''s less that quotes folks have gotten from Whiteflash so don''t rule him out. His settings are handmade and special. Not to say that BGD and WF couldn''t do an amazing job as well but for certain settings and in the case of the 3 stone setting you posted I agree that Leon would be the one I''d choose to execute it. I also want to warn you that that setting is going to eat up a lot of your budget no matter which vendor you choose to make it and many times custom isn''t cheaper than buying a designer setting so you might call a couple of the Pricescope vendors who carry Vatche and get quotes from them as well. If you total budget is 5-6K you could also sink the majority of the money into the stone and set your stone into a solitaire and then upgrade the setting into the 3-stone down the road.
Ditto to all of the above!
 

Gypsy

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Yeah. Ditto MsSalvo. The three stone is going to be pricey from anyone... and Leon's are the nicest I've ever seen (seen 4 or 5 Leon three stones in person and they are amazing). I *think* that Leon's price actually beats Vatche though, depending on the proportions of the side stones last time I checked (and I was considering a three stone with a colored center before I decided on my current project) but I don't know if he works in white gold. I do know of another line that has a lovely one (maybe, my memory is bad). But I'm not sure who carries them, what their prices are, and I know you they don't sell direct, so let me check and see if I can post the information.
 

summertime

Shiny_Rock
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Thank you all so much for your advice! I wonder, have any of you seen a Leon with side pears where the center diamond isn''t over 2 carats? From what''s on his website, I''m having a hard time picturing what his work and the proportions would look like with a stone just under a carat. Also, I wanted to clarify that this will be my forever ring, in platinum, so I''d be willing to sacrifice a little carat weight to get a three stone. Maybe it would be best to find the diamond, then get a quote from all three?
 

diamondseeker2006

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You do have to get the center stone first. I will tell you that the impact of the 3 stone with pears is greater when the center is larger, so I''d defintiely recommend seeing one with your size center stone before proceeding. Tiffany has a similar setting and that is where I saw it in a smaller size (around a 1 ct. center).
 

Gypsy

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Definitely get the diamond first.

As for proportionality and Leon. I have seen a three stone with a 1 carat (around) center. He does a great job of scaling to the center stone. And no, he won't think your center is too small. Just be sure to ask ANYONE you get a qoute from of details of how large the sides stones are, what the metal will be, etc to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples.

As for getting qoutes. Not a problem. If I can suggest something though? I would post either on here or SMTR a thread that says "Please show me One Carat or Less Round centers with Pear side stones" and ask for head on as well as profile pics. There are a LOT of three stone styles out there and if you ask for a qoute from someplace like WF or BGD where they make a lot of setting custom and don't have a definite 'style' of their own (unlike Leon) you want to have pics you can send them to make sure you are on the same page in terms of design.
 

mrssalvo

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here is Neverdone''s e-ring made by Leon. the center is only .89 and Leon could do smaller pear sides if you wanted.

Center: 0.89 E VS2 AGS0 HCA 0.8 from NiceIce
Sides: 1 CTW pink sapphire (I think unheated) pears
Size 4.25 Pt band with 0.2 CT Pave


 

mrssalvo

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I think diamondseekers suggestion of going to Tiffanys to try on the setting is a great idea. My local tiffany''s had one that was around 1 carat so that will give you a good idea of how it will look with the size stone you want as well as what it will look like on your hand.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Amazing memory, MrsS!!! That is a gorgeous ring! (You wouldn''t have to get diamonds on the shank, though, summertime.)
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I have worked with both Whiteflash and Brian Gavin. I have to say in all honesty that I would recommend Brian Gavin over Whiteflash.

I had a ring from Whiteflash and I wasn't 100% happy with the workmanship. It felt to me that the ring had been rushed and I did worry that I might lose a tiny diamond from the setting. I did discuss sending it back to them but they seemed a bit dismissive of my issues. I live in the UK so it was a hassle to keep sending it back and forward. I just kept the setting but traded my diamond in with another vendor and got a new ring. I did receive a free pair of earrings from WF. I'm not sure why they did that. I enquired about a wedding band from them but in the end just wasn't comfortable working with them again.

I have just received photos of my new Brian Gavin ring and the workmanship is beautiful. You can see that the prongs are perfect. Each one is the same size and perfectly formed. I love the fact that I can speak to Lesley on the telephone. She is very approachable and knowledgeable. I know that each time I call I will speak to her so it makes things much easier. They also have a special phone number for me to call from the UK so I don't get charged international rates. Thats a big plus for me. I am already working on my second project with them.

I hope that helps.
 

summertime

Shiny_Rock
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Date: 4/22/2009 8:13:10 PM
Author: Maisie
I have worked with both Whiteflash and Brian Gavin. I have to say in all honesty that I would recommend Brian Gavin over Whiteflash.

I had a ring from Whiteflash and I wasn''t 100% happy with the workmanship. It felt to me that the ring had been rushed and I did worry that I might lose a tiny diamond from the setting. I did discuss sending it back to them but they seemed a bit dismissive of my issues. I live in the UK so it was a hassle to keep sending it back and forward. I just kept the setting but traded my diamond in with another vendor and got a new ring. I did receive a free pair of earrings from WF. I''m not sure why they did that. I enquired about a wedding band from them but in the end just wasn''t comfortable working with them again.

I have just received photos of my new Brian Gavin ring and the workmanship is beautiful. You can see that the prongs are perfect. Each one is the same size and perfectly formed. I love the fact that I can speak to Lesley on the telephone. She is very approachable and knowledgeable. I know that each time I call I will speak to her so it makes things much easier. They also have a special phone number for me to call from the UK so I don''t get charged international rates. Thats a big plus for me. I am already working on my second project with them.

I hope that helps.
Thank you all so much for your replies! MrsSalvo, that is a gorgeous example, and you''re right, I would want to make the pears smaller. Thanks for that!

Maisie, that is wonderful to hear about your ring! I am always very particular about prongs too. Does Brian do the metalwork himself? I know he is the diamond expert, but I wasn''t sure who did the custom work. Thank you for sharing!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I don't think Brian does his own benchwork. But I would call and ask them your questions directly. I know that many jewelers and even designers, Leon included, do not do their work themselves for every piece. I believe Maytal has a benchman she uses, etc. As with Leon however, I do believe, from conversations I've had with Brian about my pendant, that all the QC work is done by Brian himself. I also know that Brian takes the magnified photos (which reveal every tiny exacting little flaw
) himself.

I do think giving Leon a call is a good idea. And while I love the proportions of the ring that MsS posted with the colored sides, I think with diamond sides I too would like smaller pears. Leon is also very good about sourcing sides. If you can work with him, I can't think of anyone else I would chose over him for a three stone setting.
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 4/22/2009 8:20:29 PM
Author: summertime

Thank you all so much for your replies! MrsSalvo, that is a gorgeous example, and you're right, I would want to make the pears smaller. Thanks for that!

Maisie, that is wonderful to hear about your ring! I am always very particular about prongs too. Does Brian do the metalwork himself? I know he is the diamond expert, but I wasn't sure who did the custom work. Thank you for sharing!
Now I know the answer to this because I was talking to Lesley about it earlier today!!

Brian is involved with the design and creation of the jewellery and oversees the execution and quality control. He is apparently detail obsessed! If its not perfect its not going anywhere!

They have a very experienced and talented team of CAD designers and jewellers who make the pieces.

Brian takes the fabulous photos too! I wish I was that good with a camera!
 

Imdanny

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 21, 2008
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I don't know anything about Brian Galvin's metal work, I have confidence in the the ACA brand, and at this point, I'd have to choose Whiteflash. Maybe when I know more about Brian Gavin's new business, I would consider it. And when I say "know more about," I simply mean his website isn't up and running (last I checked) and I haven't had a chance to look at what he might offer. His diamonds are beyond reproach (obviously), but at this point, I like the Whiteflash website, the custom work they have done, and their customer service. YMMV.
 

summertime

Shiny_Rock
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202
Thank you all for your help and opinions. I guess I was hoping that we would go to Houston, pick a diamond, possibly get to see a setting if they (BG or WF) could get one in for us, and just finalize everything while there. I''m beginning to see it''s a bit more complicated! Nevertheless, thank you! I shudder to think what my e-ring would look like had I not found PS.
 
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