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Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinions!

Greenleaf

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
6
Hello!

My girlfriend and I have been discussing an engagement and I have been looking online at different diamond retailers as well as B&M stores in Minnesota (Shane Co. & Wedding Day). Is it correct to say that it appears one can find a better value online and if so who would come highly recommended? Also, to what extent will these sites negotiate? I have been reading about Whiteflash, Blue Nile, James Allen, Goodoldgold, et cetera. I just found this site & you guys seem to have great insight & information!

I am looking to spend $6,000-$8000 total with the setting comprising $1,200-$2,000 of that amount so ideally the diamond itself would be under $6,000. $7,000 total would be great! The parameters are a 1.1-1.4 carat marquee cut but it would be great to have suggestions & help as to what is an exceptional "overall value".

Also, how should one view the tradeoff between size and physical appearance when moving from the SI scale to the VS scale in terms of the noticeable brilliance of a diamond in an everyday setting when a woman is wearing it? After shopping it can get a bit overwhelming especially when you cannot physically see the stone. Something like the example below but ideally $1,000 or so less-it can be in the SI Ranges as well:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut-loose-diamond-2629038.htm

My hope is that your expert opinions will help, thank you very much for your time & feel free to post any diamonds recommended in this range!
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

An eyeclean SI1 or SI2 is a great value in terms of clarity. You will want a great cut stone as that will give you an incredibly sparkly stone. In terms of color you will need to see how color sensitive your GF is... I am not too sure if a budget of 4,000 to 6,000 will get you over 1 ct, especially with the prices of diamonds increasing, but I could be wrong. I know my FI paid a significant amount more than that a year ago for a 1.55 ct stone and we got a good deal and that was before the diamond increase.
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Online stores do offer you better values. In terms discounts and bargain, most of these vendors provide wire discounts and PriceScope discounts. I know Brian Gavin offers 3% wire discount and an additional 2% PriceScope discount. I think most of the vendors have very very reasonable prices so I don't know how much negotation room there is after the discounts.

I am not an expert on the cut you desire so I can't comment on that. But I do know that going from SI to VS has no effect on the brilliance of your diamond. Brilliance is determined by how well the diamond is cut, not by its clarity. If you are looking for a diamond with excellent brilliance, look for a diamond that is well cut.

You need to link the actual page of the stone instead of your shopping cart.

Good luck with your search.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Doing a quick search on BN and it seems to have a lot of options. Color will show more easily on a stone that us not well cut. Colors also showboat easily on fancies too so you might want to stick to I color and higher.
 

Greenleaf

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
6
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Thanks, that's what I was thinking in terms of color! D-I.
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Greenleaf|1308858681|2953173 said:
Thanks, that's what I was thinking in terms of color! D-I.
I would say D - I is a huge range though. The best way to narrow down the colors is to go to a store and look at a well cut D color diamond and then a G and then an I. D is colorless, G is the most "colorless" of the near colorless and I is near colorless. The price difference can be big too that's why it's important to determine what your preference is. Amys bling mentioned a good point though, you have to look at well cut diamonds otherwise you are not comparing the color difference fairly. A poorly cut stone will show color more obviously than the well cut ones.
 

Greenleaf

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
6
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

I agree and will have to look at more diamonds in person. Ideally then would be in the D-F range but if something were larger and or of a higher quality and in the G-H range it may be worth looking at? It is challenging without seeing them, from the responses cut seems to be very important...how can you tell if something is going to have that quality cut you reference when it is received?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,488
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

You really need to see pics of the stones. Have you tried looking at James Allen? There are no perfect numbers for
a marquise for it to be considered a great cut. If you find a stone on JA you need to request and aset image to check
out the light return (they will do up to 3 stones free of charge). For best bang for your buck I would go with G color eye-clean SI1,
but with fancies there is so much more to take into consideration. If you like the way a stone looks you sort of have to accept
(or not) its specs. Most vendors do not keep many marquise in stock. You could work with someone like GOG to find you
what you want. They take all the pictures you need and do videos.

I've linked a couple in your price range that could be worth a further look...
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1349577.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1381800.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI1-Premium-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1349906.asp

Edit - here is the shape selector to see what ratio range you like... (click on the marquise shape)
https://www.pricescope.com/tools/aga-diamond-shape-selector
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

tyty333|1308867813|2953400 said:
You really need to see pics of the stones. Have you tried looking at James Allen? There are no perfect numbers for
a marquise for it to be considered a great cut. If you find a stone on JA you need to request and aset image to check
out the light return (they will do up to 3 stones free of charge). For best bang for your buck I would go with G color eye-clean SI1,
but with fancies there is so much more to take into consideration. If you like the way a stone looks you sort of have to accept
(or not) its specs. Most vendors do not keep many marquise in stock. You could work with someone like GOG to find you
what you want. They take all the pictures you need and do videos.

I've linked a couple in your price range that could be worth a further look...
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1349577.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1381800.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI1-Premium-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1349906.asp

Edit - here is the shape selector to see what ratio range you like... (click on the marquise shape)
https://www.pricescope.com/tools/aga-diamond-shape-selector

Tyty picked some really nice stones! :appl: G-H is definitly worth taking a look at. I think that most people agree that colors in that range offer the most value for your dollar, also consider that when stones are set they will look much whiter than they will unset. IMO there are few people that can tell the difference between D-F once the stone has been set. Obviously this depends on how color sensitive you are.
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
880
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

This reference sheet can help when you're evaluating marquise cuts.

https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/marquise-cut-diamond

Also, Pricescope has put out a new automated tool for evaluating the cut of fancy shapes. It requires the crown percentage which James Allen doesn't list for marquises but if you can narrow down your selection to a couple, perhaps JA can give you that info.

https://www.pricescope.com/GA_NAJA_Cut_Class_Grader
 

Greenleaf

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
6
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Thank You! That is great information as well as the helpful calculation tools!
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
880
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Grrr! All the Whiteflash marquises are virtual diamonds, which means they don't hold them inhouse so the information they provide is very scanty - not enough to judge.

I was able to pull up the GIA report on the Shane diamond but it doesn't list the crown height which is crucial.

The Blue Nile links weren't coming up for me nor were the Solomon Brothers?

Have you looked at Good Old Gold? They provide a lot of information on fancy cuts. You can get ASETs, Idealscopes, microscopic images. They don't hold a lot of diamonds in their inventory but they have excellent relations with diamond cutters and can get stones with your specifications more easily than most.

They are a little more expensive than the vendors you are looking at but quite frankly, if you like marquises, you're already getting one of the least expensive cuts of diamonds available on the market today so it may be worth your while to pay a little extra to get the extra information and services Good Old Gold provides to insure you get a stone you'll be happy with.

I just don't see enough info on these other diamonds to go on.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Greenleaf|1308939417|2954166 said:

The bluenile links aren't working for me, and there isn't enough info on the other links to give you an opinion. I forgot to look and see if anyone posted this link to you yet...if they did, my apologies. :oops:

https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/marquise-cut-diamond

Good Old Gold does offer a lot of information on the diamonds and have excellent policies for after your purchase as well, definitely worth taking a look at! Also white Flash will bring in any of their vitual selection and have it examined by their gemologist so thats an option too and they have great policies as well.

Your settings are very pretty!! :lickout:
 

HopeDream

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
2,146
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

Marquis are lovely! Keep in mind a marquis will show the most body color in its tips, so if you're color senstive, that's the area to pay attention. Marquis with a significant dark bowtie effect in the middle of the stone are generaly to be avoided, unless you really like that look.

Can't wait to see what you come up with !
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,488
Re: Looking for an exceptional value, would love your opinio

You really cant pick a marqiuse by the numbers or without a picture. There are too many variables. You have no idea what
the bow-tie looks like (small or large). Its just a shot in the dark picking these virtual stones. Some vendors will bring
in some for you but it cost them to bring them in so they are sort of limited to what they will do unless they are absolutely
sure you are going to buy from them (this usually means you have to give them some money)...you can work with someone
like GOG or you can looked at the James Allen stones that provide pictures.

You might want to contact a few of the vendors that you are interested in and tell them what you are looking for.

size, color, clarity, ratio, budget etc. They can tell you what they can do for you. They really need to be able to provide
pictures or videos so you can see the stones.
 
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