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Is there any reason .5c should be a minimum?

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lcuellar75

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Hello,

I asked for help finding an E-ring for under $1000 (including the setting). Some nice folks on here pointed me in some good directions and I found that places like JA have diamonds ranging from .4-.5c within my price range. However, a friend of mind took me to look at some diamonds from jewelers that he knew, and he advised that I get nothing less than .5c. When I asked why he simply said it would ''look better'' or it was ''nicer''. I personally did not notice a big difference between .4 and .5, and if I can spend less on a much better cut/clarity .4c, why shouldn''t I? All opinions are welcomed and very much appreciated, this site has made this whole process less stressful
.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I would say it''s all personal preference. Once you hit the .5 mark the price will go up. If you find something in the .4 range you like no one will ever know it''s not exactly a 1/2 ct. diamond. Definitely go with cut as a top priority then get an eye clean diamond. Have fun shopping.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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No, .5ct shouldn''t be a minimum. You know what should be the #1 consideration? Budget. And cut, of course, when it comes to diamonds.

Have you found anything promising? I have no doubt you''ll be able to find a fireball for under $1k.
 

Deelight

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Date: 2/18/2009 12:09:20 AM
Author: EBree
No, .5ct shouldn''t be a minimum. You know what should be the #1 consideration? Budget. And cut, of course, when it comes to diamonds.


Have you found anything promising? I have no doubt you''ll be able to find a fireball for under $1k.
Ditto :)

Actually all my friends have around 1/4 ct diamonds and they all look lovely :).
 

blastdoor

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Dec 29, 2008
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159
it depends a lot on what the eventual wearer of the ring would like to see on her finger... size? setting? color? bling?

there are many factors to consider when purchasing a diamond, and saying something like "at least a .5ct" simply means emphasis is being placed on carat size (while taking budget into consideration of course).. which is not wrong.. but like i said it really depends a lot on what the wearer like to see on her finger coz i believe she would probably be seeing the actual thing a lot more than reading the dimensions off the grading report...

the general idea around here is "cut is king".. and i personally couldn't agree more... a smaller but better cut diamond can look bigger than a larger (ct weight) and not-as-well-cut diamond... I bought a well cut 0.84ct RB for my fiancee and it looked visually as big as, if not bigger than, a 0.97ct we saw in a B&M store, not to mention it blinged a lot more too...

just my 2 cents...
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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40,198
I agree with Ebree. Get the largest diamond you can with the lowest color and clarity that is ''mindclean'' for you... IN YOUR BUDGET.

You might also want to consider ovals. They look bigger than their carat size, true they are harder to shop for and you can''t go as far down in color, but they cost less per carat.
 

lcuellar75

Rough_Rock
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Feb 1, 2009
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Thanks for the quick and thoughtful responses. Regarding what the bride-to-be wants: she is petite and has "simple" taste. She has told me that a solitaire, round would be nice. She also walks around the city, often at night, which has made her cautious in what she wears, so anything large or flashy would not be her first choice (even if I could afford it).

As far as color and clarity goes I am willing to go down to a J and an eye clean SI2. The color does not worry me as much as the clarity, due to my inexperience I do not trust myself to know what an ''eye clean'' SI2 would look like and how to determine if something is online.

I really appreciate the support, it sounds like cut truly does trump size. I have read on one of these threads that some people equate ''premium'' to ''crap'' which scared me. Looking at JA, I thought that their ''Ideal'' cut was very good but now I don''t know how to tell if their idea of ''Ideal'' will give me the "fireball" that I''m looking for.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 24, 2007
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6,232
Agreed with all the other posters. James Allen has great diamonds at decent prices, so that''s a great place to start. I''d find the price of the least expensive simple solitaire they have, then leave the rest of the budget ($800 or so) for the diamond.

Something like this would be pretty for $250, leaving maximal budget for the diamond.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
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2,202
Hmm... how about sounds better? No, seriously, ''it''s half a carat'' sounds better than ''it is just under half a carat'' or ''it is 4/10 of a carat''. Not that you have to tell anyone but your future fiance if she asks.

It matters what culture you are in, what a common engagement ring size is in your community, what your girlfriend''s expectations/wants are, etc. There''s no rule that says you have to have a 0.5 ct diamond ring to propose - but you also don''t have to have an engagement ring, don''t have to have a diamond, etc., so how are you making your decision to buy a diamond engagement ring, what cultural standards are you aiming to satisfy in your purchase? Not trying to be snotty here, but location matters.

Last, just a note on your phrasing, or the phrasing of your potential jeweler, shooting for just above the minimum is probably not what you want to do here. While it is totally legitimate to question if there is a visible difference between a 0.4 and 0.5 ct stone and you are correct that many psers would choose a smaller, ideal cut stone over a larger, poorly cut stone, the way you phrased your question by trying to beat a minimum sounds a bit like, ''what''s the cheapest way I can be done with this obligation?'' Which might work if your girlfriend is also of that opinion (and some are: Just give me something sparkly that satisfies people asking to see ''the ring'') but otherwise, get the most beautiful ring you can for your budget.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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This one from James Allen looks like it has potential (RB experts, chime in!):

.42 ct G, SI1 H&A AGS 0, 1.1 on the HCA, $740 w/ PS discount

With JA's knife-edge setting in white gold, it puts you at $990 total, and with the comfort fit setting, $1015.
 

lcuellar75

Rough_Rock
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Cara,

Thank you for your input, you make a good point. I agree that culture matters. Most people I''ve met or will interact with are not big on jewelry, and of course true friends will not be judging my fiancee or me based on the diamond. However, part of me wants her to show people and be proud, but so far people have reassured me that .4c-.5c is nothing to sneeze at. If I didn''t care about perception at all, I could probably find a .25c at great quality for a relatively low price and I know she would be happy, but on some level I feel that ''size does matter''.

As for the phrasing, it''s not ''what''s the cheapest way I can be done with this obligation?'' It''s ''what is the highest quality, and largest diamond that I can afford (in that order)?'' Sort of like ''most beautiful within budget''
 

lcuellar75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
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15
Thanks Ebree, that does look nice! What would be the next step in determining whether or not the diamond is ''eye clean''? Would you recommend calling or emailing the company, and do people on this forum find their word to be trustworthy?
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/18/2009 12:50:26 AM
Author: lcuellar75
Thanks Ebree, that does look nice! What would be the next step in determining whether or not the diamond is ''eye clean''? Would you recommend calling or emailing the company, and do people on this forum find their word to be trustworthy?
A representative at James Allen should be able to tell you. It looks pretty eye clean in the magnified pic; I''d be surprised if it wasn''t.

And if anyone asks how big it is, saying "a half carat" is perfectly acceptable in this case. .42 ct is pretty darn close to a half carat.
 

FrekeChild

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Dec 14, 2007
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Date: 2/18/2009 12:09:20 AM
Author: EBree
No, .5ct shouldn''t be a minimum. You know what should be the #1 consideration? Budget. And cut, of course, when it comes to diamonds.

Have you found anything promising? I have no doubt you''ll be able to find a fireball for under $1k.
Ditto EBree.
 

lcuellar75

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Thank you so much EBree! I will definitely get in touch with someone from JA. Some of the pics on that thread are amazing.
 

E B

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Date: 2/18/2009 1:08:55 AM
Author: lcuellar75
Thank you so much EBree! I will definitely get in touch with someone from JA. Some of the pics on that thread are amazing.
You''re very welcome! Good luck finding the perfect combination of stone and setting, and after you propose, post photos if you can! We''re big fans of photos.
 

LaraOnline

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I think Cara has made some excellent points, and I do think it is important - probably more important than a lot of men realise - to spend a 'reasonable' amount on an engagement ring (rather than, say, picking the cheapest from an aesthetically acceptable range of rings).

Your fiance, if she loves you, is likely to tell you that it doesn't matter.

But I would imagine that at some stage - say, the fifth or tenth anniversary - an upgradeable diamond might create some options that she could be happy to consider!

Anyway all the best at this happy time in your life!

L.

ETA: don't get me wrong, my own engagement ring (which I adore) was bought with a budget literally half of yours. But I did find I 'had' to acquire a solitaire engagement ring for my fifth anni just gone - much to my husband's surprise!
 

Imdanny

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I think .4 is a nice size. I think saying any size should be a minimum is very arbitrary.
 

lcuellar75

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Date: 2/18/2009 1:38:24 AM
Author: LaraOnline
I think Cara has made some excellent points, and I do think it is important - probably more important than a lot of men realise - to spend a ''reasonable'' amount on an engagement ring (rather than, say, picking the cheapest from an aesthetically acceptable range of rings).


Your fiance, if she loves you, is likely to tell you that it doesn''t matter.


But I would imagine that at some stage - say, the fifth or tenth anniversary - an upgradeable diamond might create some options that she could be happy to consider!


Anyway all the best at this happy time in your life!


L.


ETA: don''t get me wrong, my own engagement ring (which I adore) was bought with a budget literally half of yours. But I did find I ''had'' to acquire a solitaire engagement ring for my fifth anni just gone - much to my husband''s surprise!

I agree with you Lara. I know my budget is small, but for me it is ''reasonable''. Someone else on this site said that when they upgraded, they took the original diamond and made it a side diamond in a three-stone ring - this struck me as a brilliant way to get something new without depreciating the original thought. Do you think that a .4ct is less upgradable than .5ct? That would definitely affect my decision. Thanks for the response.
 

lcuellar75

Rough_Rock
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Feb 1, 2009
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Thanks Marcyc, that one looks nice! Also, thanks Imdanny. What I''ve taken from this site is that quality is what really counts!
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Just to agree with everyone else, 0.5 definitely shouldn''t be the minimum! I would much rather have a superbly-cut sparkles-like-nothing-other eye-catching diamond that is 0.4 ct., than something bigger that doesn''t look as good because you had to compromise to get that size (sorry trying not to rhyme here, lol). And I think that''s a very classy size too!
 

lcuellar75

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Date: 2/18/2009 2:39:45 AM
Author: Brown.Eyed.Girl
Just to agree with everyone else, 0.5 definitely shouldn''t be the minimum! I would much rather have a superbly-cut sparkles-like-nothing-other eye-catching diamond that is 0.4 ct., than something bigger that doesn''t look as good because you had to compromise to get that size (sorry trying not to rhyme here, lol). And I think that''s a very classy size too!
Thanks! Your poem is inspiring!
Do you (or anyone else) know how much the imperfections will get in the way of that "like-no-other" sparkle in an H&A cut?
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Date: 2/18/2009 3:02:26 AM
Author: lcuellar75
Date: 2/18/2009 2:39:45 AM

Author: Brown.Eyed.Girl

Just to agree with everyone else, 0.5 definitely shouldn''t be the minimum! I would much rather have a superbly-cut sparkles-like-nothing-other eye-catching diamond that is 0.4 ct., than something bigger that doesn''t look as good because you had to compromise to get that size (sorry trying not to rhyme here, lol). And I think that''s a very classy size too!

Thanks! Your poem is inspiring!
Do you (or anyone else) know how much the imperfections will get in the way of that ''like-no-other'' sparkle in an H&A cut?
Aw well thank you!


I know others are way more expert on this I am, but I think part of it depends on the inclusion (where it''s located, how severe, etc.). The general rule of thumb here is to check if it''s eye-clean (that''s a subjective standard that you have to set though - so it can mean inclusions are totally invisible to the naked eye from arms-length, or from closer, or further). If you can''t see anything with your eyes alone, you''ll be fine. Also, great diamond cutters work with and around the inclusions so that the finished diamond shows as little of that as possible. If you''re looking at the diamonds the PSers are pointing you towards (the H&A cuts, the AGS ideals, the GIA excellents, with great proportions and cut), I think you''ll be fine
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Hello again lcuellar75
Yes, I totally agree with all the other posters here that it is better to get a gorgeous, quality stone in a size you can afford.

As far as I know, WhiteFlash and GOG are among the favourites for upgradeable diamonds on PS. Are there others? I''m not sure.
Perhaps Wink?
Anyway, I don''t think size is a problem for upgrade status, it comes down to cut, you''d have to go for their ''best of the best'', and read the policy carefully.

GOG has a minimum increased spend, for example, although in practice I would imagine that it''s pretty easy to reach that target when you are upgrading a diamond!
 
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