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Long time reader; first time diamond buyer. Pressing question...

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Excell

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
13
Hi Guys,

I''ve been reading Price Scope for several months and using the knowledge articles and tools you have here (HCA) to assist me in my first diamond purchase. Awesome site, awesome members. Thank you thus far.

I''m shopping for an engagement ring. I''ve done hours and hours of reading, and while I don''t consider myself a diamond "expert" by any stretch, I certainly would say I''m educated.
My questions don''t really have as much to do with the quality of the diamond, but more to do with diamond buying etiquette. So I''ll try to make this easy to understand:

- I''ve decided on the setting I think my girlfriend will love, and gotten the okay from a person close to her: http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=5848 - she likes "chunky" rings, so I think it will fit the bill nicely. It''s worth mentioning that she wears a size 7. Because of this, I’m shopping for diamonds at BlueNile since they are the only ones with this setting.

- Regarding the diamond, I will accept only "ideal" or above (and it has to be better than on the "edge" of ideal, so sayeth the HCA). I would prefer clarity of VS2 or above, "excellent" symmetry and polish, medium fluorescence or better, and color of H or better. This brings me the dilemma, diamond size.

I have been looking at ~0.80 carat diamonds, which will yield about 6mm in diameter. I felt this was a good balance because the setting is 4.1mm wide, which means I would have ~1mm overhang of the diamond on both sides. However, as much as I really really want it to, my budget just cannot allow a $4000 ring purchase. To be brutally honest, my budget can much better bear about $2000 total, with a little give for something extra special. So, short of dropping in color (I-J) and clarity (S1-2) I don''t think I''ll be able to even get near this price range on a ~0.80 carat diamond.

I started looking into smaller diamonds; say around the ~0.50 range, which provides a much better outlook in my budget without sacrificing the quality of the diamond. A ~0.50 carat diamond is in the 5mm range, which will give me about .5mm overhang on the setting. Frankly, while I''m not a "baller", I just have reservations about a diamond this "small" because I feel like the only thing most people look for anymore in a diamond is the size. I''m afraid to be embarrassed around her friends and family because I could "only" afford the "small" diamond. I know she is going to die for anything I buy her, but her family (especially her Aunt''s) are VERY critical of things like this and it just has me very nervous. But I know no one will want me to break myself to buy something larger that I just can''t logically afford. The feeling still lingers.

Nevertheless, I just don''t know what to do from here. Do I break myself and spring for the larger, slightly less quality diamond or get a solid quality smaller diamond? I just don''t know what the proper "etiquette" in this situation is. I think it''s worth mentioning as well that while I know the "three months salary" rule of thumb is not true, it''s still widely recognized. $2000 is almost half of one month’s salary - and her family knows this - let alone three months! Three months salary is over 10k! That is a lot of friggin'' money, a lot that I just don''t have. I have a house payment!

I’m very confused as the right direction I should be taking. Do I get the smaller diamond and not break myself, but run the risk of being “that guy”? Help.


Thank you!

Chris
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285

welcome chris!

so glad you found us.


the setting you picked out looks great! very simple, yet with some flair...i like it! and the price is sweet too.


before we get going along too far, i would just like to confirm....what shape are you looking at?

 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
312
I believe there''s some room for compromise.

At under 1 ct., differneces in clairity and color will be even more difficult to see than they already are (which is difficult). I wouldn''t limit yourself to H/VS2 and above, but I would look at some nice I-J/SI1-2''s from the top vendors here, like Whiteflash and Good Old Gold.

Also, since you won''t be primarily going for size in any case, I would definitely concentrate on cut, that way even if she doesn''t have the biggest stone in the world on her finger, she does have one that her aunt''s can say, "oh my god, I''ve never seen a stone sparkle like that." In other words, at least it will have some superlative quality.

Stick with a vendor that has a decent trade-up policy (GOG''s is really good, I think WF''s is good too). That way, in a couple years when you have a little more room, you can trade up to another size, and you can even mention this when the jealous aunt''s start attacking her - "Yeah, we just thought at this point, we might as well save some money now, concentrate on our wedding and starting a family, and when we have a little more ''mad money'' down the line, we''ll be able to upgrade the diamond to something bigger, but just as beautiful, and the full cost of this stone will go toward that."

Good luck!
 

justjulia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
2,308
Do you know that she is dead set on having a round shape diamond? A pear, for example, would face up larger for its weight. Just an idea.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,631
I''d agree with those who said to buy your diamond from a vendor where you can upgrade the diamond later. No one has to go by the three month salary idea, but clearly a half a months salary is very conservative. If you have other expenses now, that is understandable, but later you could consider upgrading her diamond when finances allow. I think I''d go with an H SI1 to get a bit more size. With a wide band ring like you have chosen, it will tend to make your center stone look smaller. So I''d go for as close to a carat as you can get. It''ll be beautiful if it is a hearts and arrows stone even if you have to go down in color and clarity a bit.
 

mercoledi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
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2,822
Date: 2/1/2007 3:40:54 PM
Author: justjulia


Do you know that she is dead set on having a round shape diamond? A pear, for example, would face up larger for its weight. Just an idea.
That''s a really unique and beautiful setting. Are you set on a round? Personally I agree that a pear or marquise would be phenomenal in that setting. And I believe that fancy shapes tend to be a little cheaper, right?

As for the status question, people who want to belittle you will find a way to do it no matter what you choose. If you do get a bigger diamond the aunt might make cracks about you going into debt, or about it being of lower quality. There are plenty of women out there who honestly don''t care if their diamond is bigger than anyone else''s. I have a 0.6c on size 6 ring and that''s plenty big for me.

I would advise you to stay in your budget and get something of high quality that you can upgrade. That way if she loves it, you''re both happy and financially solvent and if you want to giver her a larger stone later, you can do that too.

Good luck!
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Excell,

If you''re willing to go to an "I" color (which I''ve had, and it was icy white), here''s a .60ct (5.44 x 5.46) in budget:

.60ct I, VS2 "Ideal", 1.4 HCA $1429

I also really like the setting you''ve chosen, and a .60ct diamond is nothing to sneeze at (seeing as it''s twice the size of the national average).

Good luck!
 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
1,879

Excell

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
13

Thanks for the replies, guys!


You know, the only reason I want a round brilliant (and I am looking at a round brilliant

) is because I was told they''re "timeless" and "classic" from a few friends and that the rest are a "fad". I didn''t want to be weird and buy something that''s a fad. But if that''s not really true I''m very open to other shapes. By the way, the friends who told me this have all bought $10,000 diamonds.


Come to think of it, I think perhaps a pear or other "longer" diamond could look pretty cool. I''m going to have to head over to BlueNile and look at some other shapes.


As far as other vendors who would let me trade up, no other vendors I''ve found (and I''ve looked at all of the other PS vendors) have a setting like this.


Thanks for your continued advice.

 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
1,879
Oh, and just in case you are curious, Elma Gil also makes a similar setting...and I have seen it in person and it is beautiful! The person was putting a marquise shaped stone in it and it looked great...the price was very reasonable too...

http://elmagil.com/jewelry-soulmates10.htm

DR-118A.jpg
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Excell,

On PS, the popular opinion is to get the biggest diamond for your money (and sometimes I agree). In your case, however, I don't think it's worth the extra $500 for a diamond that's .25mm bigger in exchange for that cool, chunky setting you know your girlfriend will like. The chunky ring with those side diamonds will make much more of a statement than a diamond that's not noticeably bigger in a temp setting.

Before actually buying a pear (or another longer fancy shape), I'd test the waters with your girlfriend first. Though many women want bigger before anything else, fancy shapes aren't for everyone. For example, with our budget we could have purchased a fancy that would have faced up larger than my round, but round is my absolute favorite shape.
 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
312
Date: 2/1/2007 4:50:07 PM
Author: Excell

As far as other vendors who would let me trade up, no other vendors I''ve found (and I''ve looked at all of the other PS vendors) have a setting like this.

You can buy the setting from BN and the rock from another vendor and have one or the other (or a third party altogether) set it. Its not unusual to buy the rock and setting from different vendors (I did!).
 

hikerchick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
804
Date: 2/1/2007 5:02:03 PM
Author: ILikeBond

Date: 2/1/2007 4:50:07 PM
Author: Excell


As far as other vendors who would let me trade up, no other vendors I''ve found (and I''ve looked at all of the other PS vendors) have a setting like this.

You can buy the setting from BN and the rock from another vendor and have one or the other (or a third party altogether) set it. Its not unusual to buy the rock and setting from different vendors (I did!).
I don''t think BN sells the setting alone . . . I also drooled over this setting but wanted to buy my diamond at WF . . . very nice setting . . . I would drop the clarity to SI1 or SI2 (eyeclean) and color to an I and then buy the biggest within budget. I am NOT a fan of going into debt . . . unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
 

Excell

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
13
Hey guys,

I appreciate the suggestions and insight.


I''ve been really pondering this, and I think she may like a marquise cut diamond as much or more than a round. She really likes "different" looking jewelry (she''s a different kind of girl!
) - you should see what I got her for christmas from a local artisit. I must admit, that setting looks pretty cool with a marquis cut diamond. If I''m looking at this cut, what do I need to know? There isn''t nearly as much information about it as the rounds, and of course I can''t use the HCA with it. Help!

Nevertheless, I agree with the extra .25mm not being worth $500 or more over a comparable diamond. If I end up going with a round, there seem to be some excellent values in the .60-.70 carat range, which only nets me a .5-.25mm diameter difference for $1000 or more difference. If you guys are sure we won''t notice the clarity difference in a VS-to-SI and H-J color at this size, then that''s what I''ll do.

Thanks for the continued great advice!

Chris
 
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