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Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guidance!

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Hey everyone. I'm planning to propose end of July and have doing tons of homework for the past month or so. I think I'm decently educated now but would appreciate your sage wisdom on recommending some options. Here's what I'm looking for:

Round Brilliant
Budget: $7-9k (USD)
Size: 1.2-1.4c
Cut: Ideal (definitely prioritizing this above all else)
Color: I as the floor (don't mind as long as it's not visually too warm)
Clarity: SI1 as the floor (as long as it's eye clean!)

Vendor: Open to any, but have really liked JA and WF thus far
Setting: Planning to propose with a simple solitaire as a temporary setting so really focusing on the stone itself for now!

That said, what are some options you might recommend?

Below are a couple options that caught the attention of my untrained eye, and have good HCA scores (<2), but would appreciate your review, or, suggestions for other alternatives!

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...i-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1119075
- Seems like a great value, [email protected], but unsure if the black inclusion to the side of the table is a dealbreaker or not (JA says no), asking for idealscope now

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...i-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1063540
- Pricier for what it is? [email protected], but seems like there are comparable True Hearts for a few hundred more, can't get idealscope as it's overseas :/

I also have a few True Hearts that are being inspected by the gemologist at JA - will share imaging results as soon as I have them to get your expert opinion!

Thanks so much in advance - I've been following this forum and all of you guys are amazing for being so generous and helpful!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Of those two, absolutely I would choose the second one (1.34) because the numbers are better (good angles), the stone looks well cut, and it is cleaner than the other. A black inclusion under the table is a dealbreaker for me in a ring stone. I wish they could get an idealscope image on #2, but it probably would be fine.

I have Whiteflash ACA diamond stud earrings and have seen many of their stones, and I personally would probably choose an ACA, since you mentioned WF and alternatives. I like their setting selection better, too.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3643241.htm

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3273930.htm
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Thanks so much ds2006!

The WF options you shared look great, but I feel like they're bit a pricier than JA's true hearts. Are JA's True Hearts equivalent to WF's ACAs in quality? Could be wrong, but seems like generally speaking, WF's ACAs tend to be priced a bit higher?

For example, I have my eyes on this one below (attaching relevant IS, H/A pics, metrics - would link you but it's off the site now since I have it on hold for inspection). Really like this one as it seems well cut and a great value, $8430 (1.36) in comparison to the WF you linked $8372 (1.22). What are your guys' thoughts on this one?

It seems really great, unless I'm missing something. Certificate shows a lot of inclusions but seems really eye clean under magnification.

JA - TrueHearts
SHAPE: Round
CERTIFICATE: AGS
CARAT WEIGHT: 1.36
COLOR: I
CLARITY: SI1
CUT: AGS0 (Ideal)
POLISH: Ideal
SYMMETRY: Ideal
FLUORESCENCE: None
L/W/D (MM): 7.09*7.10*4.38
L/W RATIO: 1.00
GIRDLE: Medium
DEPTH %: 61.6
TABLE %: 56.1
CROWN ∠: 34.5
Pavilion ∠: 40.6

ja-hearts.png

ja-arrows.png

agscert.png

dia-front.png
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,175
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

jmzwei|1466566700|4046546 said:
Thanks so much ds2006!

The WF options you shared look great, but I feel like they're bit a pricier than JA's true hearts. Are JA's True Hearts equivalent to WF's ACAs in quality? Could be wrong, but seems like generally speaking, WF's ACAs tend to be priced a bit higher?

For example, I have my eyes on this one below (attaching relevant IS, H/A pics, metrics - would link you but it's off the site now since I have it on hold for inspection). Really like this one as it seems well cut and a great value, $8430 (1.36) in comparison to the WF you linked $8372 (1.22). What are your guys' thoughts on this one?

It seems really great, unless I'm missing something. Certificate shows a lot of inclusions but seems really eye clean under magnification.

JA - TrueHearts
SHAPE: Round
CERTIFICATE: AGS
CARAT WEIGHT: 1.36
COLOR: I
CLARITY: SI1
CUT: AGS0 (Ideal)
POLISH: Ideal
SYMMETRY: Ideal
FLUORESCENCE: None
L/W/D (MM): 7.09*7.10*4.38
L/W RATIO: 1.00
GIRDLE: Medium
DEPTH %: 61.6
TABLE %: 56.1
CROWN ∠: 34.5
Pavilion ∠: 40.6
It is a lovely stone.

However, between WF ACA and JA TH, I would always pick WF ACA. WF's customer service is proven professional, offers betters settings, and their upgrade policy is more flexible than JA's. WF ACA is just a better package and investment IMHO. The price difference is not that significant.
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Got it - I've also heard the same regarding WF's better customer service. Couple questions about WF and my search strategy:

1. How does their Expert Selection line compare to ACAs? I understand they're still AGS Ideals but trying to get a sense of the magnitude of the difference. For example, does it make sense to screen very thoroughly for expert selection stones that gets me a cut that comes close to ACAs, resulting in a lower price or larger stone? And should I be excluding Premium Selects as they don't come close?

2. I'm not sure how to assess quality of settings. I was originally thinking of going with a simple solitaire as a temporary setting, but recently have been leaning towards a pave style as I think it might fit her style more. Any specific recommendations on either pave or simple solitaire settings from WF or JA that would look great with a 1.2-1.3c? (she has shorter but thicker fingers so I'm thinking a slimmer band? Or advice in general on what I should be looking for with settings, aside from the obvious?

Anything is helpful - thanks so much guys!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

The JA stone is beautiful.

So are the WF option.

What type of setting do you want. WF generally has a better setting selection. But if you want something basic, JA has a few options that are nice as well.

And is upgrading a possibility? If so, WF hands down.
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Thanks Gypsy.

Honestly, still a bit unsure of what setting to go for. Originally I wanted to do a hybrid approach, propose with a simple temporary setting, then shop for what she really likes afterwards. However, after browsing a bit I think I can potentially see a pave or chanel type on her, something on the simpler side and more elegant/restrained. She's more petite and has more of a shy personality, and probably wouldn't want a "look at me!" ring, if that helps. For example, some of the ones I like below:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/14k-white-gold-petite-pave-crown-diamond-engagement-ring-item-53057
http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-sleek-line-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-422.htm
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/14k-white-gold-22mm-wire-basket-solitaire-ring-item-22607
(like the 'tapered' look)

Any recommendations on what might go well on a smaller (though thicker) hand, w/ a 1.2-1.4c?

Also, upgrading later probably won't be very likely.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

What I am hearing is not good.

Some if the most shy and unassuming people I know wear the biggest rocks. And have VERY definite opinions on settings.

Are you even sure she wants a round?

Have you look on her Pinterest page or gone shopping with her or anything?

Do not guess when you are spending this much money.

And "I am sure she'd love anything I got her" while true on the one hand doesn't mean it's an excuse to do your own thing without regard for her tastes. Many women do NOT like round brilliants.

And you would be SHOCKED at the number of women who upgrade. Especially the quiet ones with size 3.5 fingers. They really are attracted to the 3-4 carat rocks.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Okay so here's a questionnaire to help us help you. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR SLEUTHING. THE BEST THING WE RECOMMEND IS FINDING OUT WHAT THE WEARERS ACTUAL PREFERENCES ARE.

Please fill this out. (search terms: Gypsy Revised Questionnaire )

1. What is your budget?

2. How old are you guys? And what metro area are you near?

3. What do she do for a living/working toward doing for a living.

4. How does she dress? Does she dress up a lot, or is she a jeans and T-shirts girl? Grundge? Tailored Ann Taylor tastes?

5. Does she prefer white metals or yellow/pinks ones

6. How is her house decorated? Does she love antique store trolling? Does she love everything Pottery Barn? Is she ultra modern with lots of metal and leather? Brands are helpful here.

7. Is she clumsy? Is she very put together?

8. Does she love handbags and have a stable of them to choose from? Are they mostly practical (neutral colors: brown, black, beige) or are there a lot of colors in there? Blue, purple, red?

9. What metro area are you in or near? Or are you in the country? Tell me where you live and what it's like there (if it's not obvious, like NYC).

10. Do you guys have pets? Want them? What kind?

11. Is she a brand name girl? Does she love things with brand names? If so why? Is it the dependability of brand name quality that appeals to her or is it the bragging rights? Or is she more understated and while she appreciates quality brand names don't do it for her?

12. Okay now, describe her to us in your own words? I've never met her, bring her to life me. What qualities does she have that you love? What is her sense of humor like? Just... tell us about her.

13. Has she expressed an interest in any particular style of ring (halo, Legacy, solitaire, three stone) or shape of stone (round, marquise, pear, princess, emerald, radiant.)?

14. What is her existing jewelry like? A lot of variety, or are there a few select pieces of similar design? What does she wear regularly?

15. Are there any cultural preferences for color and clarity that may be applicable (many far east cultures have strong preferences).
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Thanks Gypsy for the feedback.

I've got great news - I got one of her friends to be my little birdie and now I know exactly what she wants:

Round brilliant, a bit over 1c, pave style, "thin, sparkly, dainty", in white gold or platinum (not cathedral or channel style). She says she specifically liked the styles in the pics attached below.

I'll probably get the stone from JA or WF (most likely JA) - which settings would you guys recommend from either vendor? I'm not quite sure how to evaluate quality of a setting or know which are bestsellers. From the description, seems like I should go for a petite? Would that be <2mm thickness?

Any recommendations/suggestions would be appreciated!

pavestyle1.png

pavestyle2.png
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Great job. Go with WF there are several settings that wilk be perfect. I'll post some later.
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Thanks Gypsy. Looking forward to your recommendations.

Currently torn between 3-4 choices for the stone, will post a side-by-side later to seek your guys' opinions!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Great. Here are setting choices.

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/engagement-rings/pave-and-side-stones/legera-pave-platinum-5861p This is the best setting that matches what she wants. Brian Gavin is in Houston, so is WF. BGD can have the setting made for the stone (just send them the lab report) and send it to WF for setting.

Second best setting (and at WF so, that's important for one stop shopping): http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-micro-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-1011.htm

Third best: http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/charis-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-by-vatche-1657.htm
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Thanks for the recommendations!

Out of those options, I like Option 3 the best. Love the crown/head style (seems more low set and subtle), but wish the band itself was thinner (<2mm) and with smaller melee diamonds (<0.20ctw) for an even more dainty look. Option 2 seems like its more of a channel setting which she doesn't prefer. Love the band on option 1, but not a fan of the crown/head (looks a bit more aggressive). I almost wish I can combine the BGD band with the WF Charis Vatche head..

Had a couple questions:

1. How do the JA settings compare to WF or BGD? From a budget perspective, it seems much more affordable but wondering if there's a big difference in quality?

2. I really like the JA thin french cut pave setting but have the opposite problem with that one (love the band itself but highly dislike the head/crown as it looks set too high and bulky). Might there be alternatives you can recommend based on this?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

First and foremost, thinner than 2mm is not recommended for pave, especially cast construction which is what all those are. You can go to 1.8mm with handforged construction but that will cost you 2-3x the price for the same ring and you don't need it. I know you see thinner shanks everywhere. But those rings all have issues with losing stones and bending and even breaking with daily wear.

So stay at 2mm. It will be durable and safe and I PROMISE YOU, it will look delicate and thin. I have a 2mm shank on my engagement ring and a 2mm pave wedding band. They look very delicate and thin. But are durable and strong. Which is important for a workhorse which is what the engagement ring is.

As for the 'channel' style. It's not, it's brightcut pave. But you have two other options with french style pave, so go for one of those.

:wavey:
 

jmzwei

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
8
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

Gotcha, duly noted. Any thoughts/concerns on the JA setting or questions I posted?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Looking for a round brilliant ~1.2-1.4 - need your guida

I would not order pave engagement ring from JA. Their pave settings having reports and reviews of losing stones on the site. I cannot stress enough how much quality matters with pave. I would stick to WF and BGD, Vatche and other brands that have a reputation for durability and quality.
 
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