by 25plus » Sep 7, 2011 So, you're thinking about a diamond ring? I did, too - for several years. You see, my 25th wedding anniversary is coming up soon and I want it to be very special. This project began by looking at diamonds and rings - in stores, on-line and even other fingers. I looked at hundreds, taking pictures and saving images of those that I liked. About a year ago, the elimination process began. After many tough decisions, I narrowed it down to my final selection. I'm not going into great detail about the ring - that is not my purpose. I simply want to help others through the process and thank all the Pricescope members for sharing their knowledge with me. The ring I chose was a design by Leon Mege (The Art of Platinum) - very similar to r1321 on his website. I had read a great deal about him and was a bit hesitant to request a quote as I thought this might be beyond my budget. In order to keep this a surprise, I set up a separate email account, filled out the form and hit the submit button. Within a couple days, Leon called my cell phone to discuss some design issues. He was very kind and listened to my plans and concerns, offering a few suggestions and price estimates, depending on the exact diamonds selected. Once he understood exactly what I wanted, the next step was to find the stones. I contacted Perry Chen, the Diamond Concierge, who works with Leon. We discussed the ring and what size/color/clarity center stone I wanted. He began the search immediately. It wasn't but a few days and Perry had found what I wanted. Was I concerned about letting someone select a diamond for me without my having seen it? You bet! This entire transaction is all about trust. I've touched maybe a dozen diamonds in my life, but Perry has handled thousands. Guess who knows more about them? He sent me a copy of the GIA certificate and answered some questions I had. He also got Leon's personal approval on the stone, so I wired the payment. Now Perry began the search for the matching side stones. This took a little longer, but he found just what was needed. Due to the precise symmetry of this ring, these side stones would be sent to a local cutter in NYC for final shaping. Even with the recut, they were well within the estimated price. I mailed a cashier's check for the balance due. Soon I received the work order from Rachel, their friendly and capable assistant. I reviewed it and made a few minor changes. The estimated completion time was six weeks. Once finalized, I signed the work order and faxed it back. The long wait had started. While waiting for Leon to work his magic, I asked Perry if he could suggest an appraiser. I was happy when he suggested David Wolf of Just Appraisers in NYC, as David was already on my short list of possibles. I contacted David and found him to be a very helpful person. He asked a few questions about the ring and gave me an estimated cost for his services. He said to give him a call when the ring was ready. Six weeks to the day, Rachel emailed that the ring was finished. I called David and he volunteered to pick up the ring himself for the appraisal. What a nice gesture! Remember, to this point I had not seen the diamonds, let alone the finished product. I knew from my research that Leon is not a hand holder. You have to trust him. That was OK with me. I really didn't want to see anything until it was completed. David was kind enough to email multiple pictures of the ring to me. I debated whether or not to look at them, but this temptation was too big to resist. I took a look and was stunned - it looked perfect and I couldn't wait to see the real thing! David emailed the completed appraisal to me. I was able to pay him by credit card over the phone. The appraisal was detailed, accurate, thorough and professional. I was able to send it to my insurance company and get coverage in place before the ring was even shipped to me. That afternoon, someone walked over to David's and picked up the ring to prepare it for shipment. I contacted Rachel and arranged to have it shipped by FedEx "hold at location". That way I could pick it up in person - no waiting at home for delivery and also to keep it a secret from my wife. I went to the FedEx location on the appointed day. I felt like I was six years old again and it was Christmas morning. I presented my ID and signed for the package. I slowly opened the leather box. There it was! Simply exquisite! I rushed out into the sunlight, literally mesmerized for a few moments - captivated by it's sparkly spell! It was as if flash bulbs were going off and I was partially blinded by the scintillation! By that evening, I was fearful that I might wear out the hinges on the box, having opened and closed it at least a hundred times to sneak peaks at this exceptional ring. My journey took four months from quote request to receipt of ring. Along the way, I felt mixed emotions - happy, nervous, excited, worried and even questioned why I was doing this at all! But in the end, the ring is exactly what I wanted - a classic and timeless beauty (that's true of both the ring and my wife). If you're considering a project with Leon or Perry, be assured they are the right people for the job. You can be confident you are making a wise choice. Our anniversary is still over two months away. I plan to give this ring to my wife at the very spot in Hawaii where we were married. I just hope I can wait that long. Good luck to all in your personal quests and thanks, once again, to Pricescope!