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Looking for an upgrade

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
Hi all,

New to the boards. I posted over the weekend about trading in my 0.81 ct RB for a lab grown diamond, and @123ducklings was wise in saying she would be hesitant to trade a mined diamond in for a lab grown. My husband and I went to our local jewelers over the weekend so I could see what size and shape of diamond I would like to consider for an upgrade and realistically speaking, we can afford to go up to a 1.2 ct RB or oval. We will be going through the store we originally bought my engagement ring from, Mervis, since they offer 100% cred for my diamond toward a new purchase. If I get an oval, I will have to change settings which I have already decided on.

So - with that being said, I'm definitely still learning what to look for and how to evaluate diamonds online. We're working with one of the managers at the store via email and on the phone, and she has been incredibly responsive to my emails so far. It looks like our budget is about $7600 for an oval diamond, and probably up to $8100 or so for a RB diamond.

I'm able to put in criteria for color, clarity, cut, carat, price, depth, table, and symmetry in Mervis. I have been reading about HCA score - is it worthwhile to pay for additional calculations?

A couple that I'm preliminarily considering:

Oval:

RB:

Any thoughts or recommendations moving forward would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

123ducklings

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
270
Are there pictures or ASET images available?

It’s hard to give feedback on the ovals from the certs alone, except that many have inclusions under the table which could be problematic.

The HCA tool is a good place to start with rounds. The middle round was the only one I could see pictures of, no inclusions under the table like the others but HCA is 2.2. Most people on this forum will advise you want to stay under two so this stone would be a “no” by that measure.

I don’t know anything about Mervis or their stock so I’m not sure how hard it will be to find something in your parameters with a low HCA score.

7446A81F-BF76-4D3E-900E-AAFA155E03DB.jpeg
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@123ducklings I don't have an ASET image available for any of the diamonds, but I can certainly ask the manager if that is available to them. This is probably a stupid question - but is an ASET image pretty standard for sellers to have of their inventory?

I will probably email the manager asking for more information on all of those diamonds tomorrow to see what additional information/pictures they do have.

Any other questions I should ask while in the process of getting more information?
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@123ducklings thank you again for responding, you've been very helpful to me. I have read through much of the guides and it definitely gave me a better understanding of what I'm looking for.

I think the hardest part that I'm struggling with, is once a diamond meets the cut criteria based on depth\table\L:W ratio AND meets the other C's criteria is how to know when to ask to see more information. For someone who is newly learning about all of this and to take a peak at the clarity characteristics plot, it's hard to know how the inclusions translate to a live version. I can see that it's going to be a bit of a lengthy process, which is fine!

I emailed the associate I'm working with about a handful of diamonds to get more information, ASET images, pictures, and videos so I hope to have a better idea today if what information is available to me.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
For the round diamonds only, these are good parameters to stay within.

depth 60-62.3

table 54-58

crown 34-35 degrees

pavilion 40.6-41 degrees

Within these parameters the relationship between the crown angle and the pavillion angle should be inverse. In other words if a diamond has a steep crown angle of 35 it would be best with a shallower pavillion of 40.6.

The rounds you have posted have steep crown angles and deep pavillion angles. This is great for the seller since the diamond holds more carat weight and can be sold for a higher price but not so great for the buyer because of the effect it can have on light performance.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@mwilliamanderson thank you for your explanation. I'm really glad that I came here for advice, this is a steep learning curve for me. Based on what you've said and looking at the numbers, I likely will rule out the RBs that I posted earlier.

I have sent an additional 3 to get more information and pictures on, depending on what she sends me I'll be back for more advice.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
Yes, There’s a lot to learn! I spent months learning about diamonds before I made my first purchase and I still made mistakes. :lol:
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@mwilliamanderson I like to think of myself as a well educated person, but there are so many things to take into consideration when choosing a diamond. It makes me wonder how much the average buyer actually researches ahead of time .

Luckily, or maybe unluckily, for me, I am the researcher in the family so my husband really doesn't care what we end up with as long as it stays within our budget and I'm happy with it. He definitely did not do the amount of research that I have done so far when choosing my engagement ring, haha!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,341
@Nlc920 You need to take this into consideration. How much are they giving you for the stone you are trading in? Due to markups sometimes
you can buy a stone (with your cash amount) on-line and keep the stone you had planned to trade-in. In other words, Mervis stone prices may be
high enough that its not worth you going through them for a trade-up. I dont know if I've explained that well. Let me know if it doesnt make sense.

Anyway...at James Allen 1.2 H SI1 ovals start at $5700 and go up from there

1.2 I VS2 round brilliants start at $5900 and up

As far as the stones you posted above, there are no pictures for the ovals which is imperative. Videos would be better.
The angles on the round brilliants are not complimentary so I would pass on those. The middle RB would be the best but do need
an aset or ideal scope image to check for leakage.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@tyty333 I fully understand what you're saying! They treat upgrades like cash, so they apply 100% of what we paid for the diamond in the first place toward the purchase of a new diamond. I do realize that their prices will be higher than searching online otherwise, but I highly doubt I'd get even half of what we paid if we were to sell the diamond. So in this case, we originally paid $3640 for the diamond (0.81 ct RB, H/VS2, very good cut, EGL - which I now see is not preferred for grading). Even despite the increased price, I don't think we would be financially better off keeping my current diamond, or selling it separately and buying a new one elsewhere.

I could certainly be wrong. But when at the jewelers over the weekend, they said they would buy my engagement ring as is for about $1500-2000, I have a platinum Tacori setting. They did not give me any numbers for just the diamond alone. I could also ask the associate I'm working with at Mervis how they would evaluate my current diamond to purchase separately from trading it toward a new diamond not through them. In that case, I'd have to ask about having them set a new diamond in my current setting or in a new setting upgraded through Tacori if I change to an oval.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
Can I get your thoughts on this oval?

1.20 ct oval I/VS2 $7012


Now I'm really starting to think about asking for the option to sell my diamond after seeing some of the comparison prices . I'm sure this manager is tired of all my questions, yikes!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
Ask the vendor if they can call in virtual stones we find online for you.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
Ask the vendor if they can call in virtual stones we find online for you.
The last question I asked was if they would set a stone that I had found after buying mine. But I should have started with your question :wall:.

I'll try to find that out too! Thank you!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
Ok, so it looks like you have 4500 to spend on an MRB. My suggestion is to keep your existing diamond, maybe reset as a pendant, and reach out to a vendor like ID Jewelry and have them find you a 1.2ct for around $4500 and reset your existing diamond as a pendant.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
@PintoBean are you suggesting that because it's not worthwhile to sell a diamond to put toward a new one? Or because more diamonds are better/there may be no need to sell?
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,583
@PintoBean are you suggesting that because it's not worthwhile to sell a diamond to put toward a new one? Or because more diamonds are better/there may be no need to sell?
Just giving another option where you get to have 2 diamonds but still be out of pocket the same amount.
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
Thoughts on this diamond? It is from the same seller, so I realize that it is a marked up price.

1.31 ct RB, H, SI2

1597180523118.png

1597180730531.png
The picture is a photo taken from the video that was sent to me.
 

joethejeweler

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
3
Have they given you a firm price on your .81 trade in. The EGL cert is going to make it tough to place an exact wholesale value. If we use your grading color clarity you can find at roughly $1,500ish. If they are offering you $1,500-$2,000 they aren't doing you any favors.

I"m assuming they get the platinum Tacori setting? Platinum scrapped out is roughly $80per dwt. If it's 2dwt in weight they are paying you a wholesale cost and scrap for your mounting. Is there any melee in the Tacori setting? total carat weight? There has to be some profit in the equation. It's all in the center stone and in the new mounting if you are adjusting that as well.

1.20 ct oval I/VS2 $7012 which lab? There is still some fat to be cut off that price....
 

Nlc920

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
30
Have they given you a firm price on your .81 trade in. The EGL cert is going to make it tough to place an exact wholesale value. If we use your grading color clarity you can find at roughly $1,500ish. If they are offering you $1,500-$2,000 they aren't doing you any favors.

I"m assuming they get the platinum Tacori setting? Platinum scrapped out is roughly $80per dwt. If it's 2dwt in weight they are paying you a wholesale cost and scrap for your mounting. Is there any melee in the Tacori setting? total carat weight? There has to be some profit in the equation. It's all in the center stone and in the new mounting if you are adjusting that as well.

1.20 ct oval I/VS2 $7012 which lab? There is still some fat to be cut off that price....
The 1.20 ct oval is GIA certified. I don't know that it's subject to negotiation at all - but I would get a credit of $3640 for this diamond. I would have to change my setting for an oval.

Regarding the $1500-2000 quote - I don't know how firm it is. It does include the platinum setting. The setting has melee for .06 TW. So then I would need a new setting along with the diamond.
 

joethejeweler

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
3
I misunderstood. I thought they were giving you $1,500-$2,000 for the trade in diamond. Full retail exchange price makes this a much better deal.

I'm not a fan of close to calibrated oval specs. I prefer a little "chunkier/short" ovals. It reduces the bowtie effect on center.
 

joethejeweler

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
3
I'll make another suggestion that may rub some people wrong. don't get totally wrapped up in "perfect" proportions, numbers, H&A. I've seen plenty of diamonds in 30 years. My suggestion is to go look at the diamonds in person if possible before viewing certs. Ask to have all the diamonds put in front of you to view. You'll find you may like the way one stone looks versus another. Ideal cuts and hearts and arrows cuts are certainly beautiful diamonds. I've had many a client pick the less than ideal cut prior to knowing it was the lesser stone. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
I'll make another suggestion that may rub some people wrong. don't get totally wrapped up in "perfect" proportions, numbers, H&A. I've seen plenty of diamonds in 30 years. My suggestion is to go look at the diamonds in person if possible before viewing certs. Ask to have all the diamonds put in front of you to view. You'll find you may like the way one stone looks versus another. Ideal cuts and hearts and arrows cuts are certainly beautiful diamonds. I've had many a client pick the less than ideal cut prior to knowing it was the lesser stone. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Your suggestion is welcome and does not rub me the wrong way. That’s the beauty of Pricescope in my opinion. There are lots of different opinions on any given subject so the person asking the question gets to choose the answer they like best or ignore all of them.

I will say that buying a diamond sight unseen from a vendor you don’t know is a totally different experience than buying a diamond in person. So we push proportions we know work together beautifully across lighting all environments and we recommend advanced images to be sure we’re not wrong. We also recommend vendors with great upgrade policies so that if a person decides they don’t like an J graded diamond after a year they don’t have to spend twice the amount to change it.

It’s about wanting to help people shop wisely. Many prosumers here have made expensive mistakes and garnered some wisdom in the process.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,973
I agree that you'd be better off starting over than being stuck upgrading to diamonds that are overpriced. If you go with a round, do stay within the numbers you were given above. I'd just say 40.6-40.9 pavilion angle is safer (for rounds) especially when searching for stones by numbers. Certainly it is best to see a stone before choosing it, but I'd want a selection of the best possible cut stones to choose from. We normally want to see excellent on the HCA scores for light return, scintillation, and fire, and very good for spread. But you can get by without the HCA if you stick to the number parameters you were given. If this is a forever upgrade, then the place the stone is purchased doesn't matter. But if you think you might someday want to upgrade again, I'd go with a vendor with fair prices and a great upgrade policy.
 
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