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Looking for smaller engagement ring

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brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Update: Thanks to PS people, the ring has been picked out. Pic is attached on page 2 of this thread.

I'm still a student and don't want to go in debt so I'm guessing $3000 is my limit for the engagement ring. It's a guess because in my culture, traditionally my parents would pay for the ring but I don't know how much they can contribute. I hope they can help me buy a 1 carat rock but I'm preparing for the worst ($0).

Girlfriend and I looked on bluenile together and looked at some in person at a mall jeweler. I just discovered whiteflash through this site. Some things I think I know and maybe people here could give me some advice/tips. I'm reading the faqs and such but would appreciate a direct post in reply.

1. She likes the round and princess cut. I'm assuming round is better if you're on a limited budget. I've read that rounds are more brilliant and harder to see flaws. Also seem less expensive per carat. True?
2. She has small fingers/hands - ring size is 3.5. I'm assuming this is good because maybe a smaller rock will still look decent on her little hand

Like is 0.5 carat too small, embarrassing..?
Obviously a personal thing but curious about opinions.
3. We could barely distinguish between D E F at the mall but could definitely see a difference between H and I. So I should shop for around G since any more money would be hard to notice correct..
4. Looking for a VS2 because the VS2 at the mall was nice looking and we could only see the minor inclusions under high magnification. She has no strong feelings about a "perfect" diamond. She'd probably rather go bigger than clearer once we're at VS2. However, reading here has thrown a new wrinkle - the eye clean SI. Good idea?
5. Bluenile signature ideal cut. Is that comparable to whiteflash A Cut Above?

Thanks.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,255
Well in my culture, the parents of the guy are supposed to buy the ring, which is what happened in my sister''s case, so she was able to get a much nicer ring then the guy was able to afford. I''m Viet by the way.

As for your questions..I think I have some of the answers....

1) I''m pretty sure that the round is the most expensive per carat weight.
2) My mom has a 0.7 on a 3.5 finger, and the stone looks ENORMOUS! A one carat easily.
3) G is a very good safe color. I have an S11, and I can''t see the difference. Although a VS2 is probably the safest bet!
4) As for a signature or a cut above, I can''t say because I''ve never seen the signature.

...all that being said, if I really wanted to see the biggest stone possible (and had no preference for shape whatsoever), I would probably get a princess cut, I find the sqaure corners make it look very, very large, and I believe it is slightly less expensive for the price.

Good luck!
 

colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
220
1. A round will cost more per carat, but will look bigger.
2. Small rocks look decent on everyone''s fingers (there''s nothing wrong with a .5ct, man!), but they will certainly look bigger on her hands. That half might look close to a carat.
3. Good choice with the G. If size is really important to you, I think you might want to consider a H.
4. An eye-clean SI1 is a great idea.
5. Not in my opinion. I''m a happy bluenile customer, but you can find better deals going with their ideals and using the HCA (and other tools, I''m sure, but I''m new at this)
 

onedrop

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
2,216
Hi brilliantround: Welcome to Pricescope. You have asked a lot of really good questions, and it seems what you are looking for is doable in your budget. Here are my suggestions:

- Check out this thread as it has pics amd descriptions of engagement rings that have center stones under 1 carat. You should be able to get an idea of how a stone this size will look on your GF''s finger. https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/under-1ct-diamonds.25028/

- Also generally a round is going to look larger than a princess at a similar carat weight. I personally made this comparison because at first I really wanted a princess cut stone myself, but with our budget and the way I wanted the stone to look on my finger, we ended up with a round.

- Eye-clean S1 is definitely out there, I have one myself and MANY other PSers have them also.

- As Ally said, I can''t speak on the Blue Nile Signature stones because I have never seen one. But I don''t see how you can go wrong with a WF ACA. The bonus with WF is that if the stone is in house all of the idealscope pictures and other pertinent info is right there at your fingertips. You might all check out www.goodoldgold.com as they have great inventory as well, including idealscopes, pics of the diamond, etc. Maybe someone who has seen both the BN and ACA stones can chime in.

- Another suggestion is to put in your parameters in the PS search engine and see what you come up with.

All that said, I think you will definitely be able to get a quality sparkler on your budget. And if your parents can contribute that is all the better.

Hope this helps...good luck!
 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
1,879
I''d probably go with a round in a six prong setting to maximize the look. Here are a few I like:

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2538/ (.718 H SI1)

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamond.asp?cid=53&item=937901 (.73 F SI1)

http://www.niceice.com/certcopies/gia14736876/index.htm (.61 G SI1)

You can call to ask if they are eyeclean...
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/8/2007 9:24:48 AM
Author: onedrop
Hi brilliantround: Welcome to Pricescope. You have asked a lot of really good questions, and it seems what you are looking for is doable in your budget. Here are my suggestions:


- Check out this thread as it has pics amd descriptions of engagement rings that have center stones under 1 carat. You should be able to get an idea of how a stone this size will look on your GF''s finger. https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/under-1ct-diamonds.25028/


- Also generally a round is going to look larger than a princess at a similar carat weight. I personally made this comparison because at first I really wanted a princess cut stone myself, but with our budget and the way I wanted the stone to look on my finger, we ended up with a round.


- Eye-clean S1 is definitely out there, I have one myself and MANY other PSers have them also.


- As Ally said, I can''t speak on the Blue Nile Signature stones because I have never seen one. But I don''t see how you can go wrong with a WF ACA. The bonus with WF is that if the stone is in house all of the idealscope pictures and other pertinent info is right there at your fingertips. You might all check out www.goodoldgold.com as they have great inventory as well, including idealscopes, pics of the diamond, etc. Maybe someone who has seen both the BN and ACA stones can chime in.


- Another suggestion is to put in your parameters in the PS search engine and see what you come up with.


All that said, I think you will definitely be able to get a quality sparkler on your budget. And if your parents can contribute that is all the better.


Hope this helps...good luck!
So a round is actually a bit more expensive per carat according to everyone''s response. Didn''t know that but it''s still fine.

Thanks for that under 1ct link. I noticed a lot of those ladies had size 4.5 or smaller fingers and the rings looked terrific. I will have to show those pics to my girl.

I may be going with WF. Like you said, they have all that info/pics available and I thought I read something about a discount


Thanks for the responses so far.
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285
a round may be a little more expensive per carat but you are going to get more size for your dollar. of course, if she really likes princess cuts, that''s all that matters!
best of luck in finding someting!
 

bargaincrazy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
131
When I was ring shopping 8 yrs ago, the maul jewelers sold the "fancy cuts" (anything other than round) for more per carat weight than a round brilliant. Maybe that''s where you got the idea that rounds cost less. But if you are buying online or almost anywhere besides a mall store, rounds cost the most because of the demand. Rounds definitely look bigger than a same carat weight princess and sparkle more. But agreed that if she much prefers the princess, then go with that. I would advise anyone to go with a round if they are on the fence, just because they are classic and timeless. However, if you to upgrade in a few years, then maybe it''s not an issue.

I think I''ve even heard PSers finding eye clean SI2s, but I could be wrong. Obviously, it would take some effort to find a G eye clean SI2, but something to consider. I also thought that many have claimed to have found some really brilliant, amazingly cut RBs that weren''t necessarily ACAs or Ideal Signature cuts. But I guess I wouldn''t recommend trying to find such "deals of the century" unless you are a very experienced diamond consumer. Just a few more things to consider. Don''t mean to cloud the issue.

What about a 3 stone ring? 3 stone provides more mass. I don''t know if 3 stones with tcw of 1 carat would fit within your budget or are less costly than a 1 carat stone.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/8/2007 1:40:29 PM
Author: bargaincrazy
When I was ring shopping 8 yrs ago, the maul jewelers sold the 'fancy cuts' (anything other than round) for more per carat weight than a round brilliant. Maybe that's where you got the idea that rounds cost less. But if you are buying online or almost anywhere besides a mall store, rounds cost the most because of the demand. Rounds definitely look bigger than a same carat weight princess and sparkle more. But agreed that if she much prefers the princess, then go with that. I would advise anyone to go with a round if they are on the fence, just because they are classic and timeless. However, if you to upgrade in a few years, then maybe it's not an issue.


I think I've even heard PSers finding eye clean SI2s, but I could be wrong. Obviously, it would take some effort to find a G eye clean SI2, but something to consider. I also thought that many have claimed to have found some really brilliant, amazingly cut RBs that weren't necessarily ACAs or Ideal Signature cuts. But I guess I wouldn't recommend trying to find such 'deals of the century' unless you are a very experienced diamond consumer. Just a few more things to consider. Don't mean to cloud the issue.


What about a 3 stone ring? 3 stone provides more mass. I don't know if 3 stones with tcw of 1 carat would fit within your budget or are less costly than a 1 carat stone.
I appreciate the replies. The round was her first preference so that's what I'll get. The mall jeweler had 0.5ct VS2 F or G? for $3K, cut unknown. For that price online I could get nearly 0.75ct ideal cut same specs or a 0.5ct ideal cut same specs for $1600. Definitely an eye popper - online for us!

About the 3 stone, I think it may end up being a side stone ring because at first she wanted a solitaire but when she saw the extra stones in person she thought they looked prettier.

Side stone settings looked to run about $500-$900 which would fit under $3K with a $2100-$2500 0.5ct-0.6ct ideal VS1-2 F-G. Also, the side stone settings on WF look pretty nice with A Cut Above side stones. A lot of the mall jeweler types seem to put junk on the sides.

I didn't know that WF sells the 3 stones with stones already included. I thought you pick out the 2 other stones. So how about the $900 baguette 0.2 tw sides with a nice $2100 0.5ct center http://whiteflash.com/Engagement-Rings/Styles/3Stone/Baguette-Diamond-Ring_969.htm or the $1500 trois with 0.5ct tw sides and $1500 0.5ct center http://whiteflash.com/Engagement-Rings/Styles/3Stone/Trois-Brillant_1031.htm

Would 0.25 0.5 0.25 look off balance? Going to look for some pics now..
Just read through more of the WF website. No sales tax and 2% wire discount, nice. Can't seem to find out what the buyback and tradeup terms are.
 

CrownJewel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
1,895

Hi brilliantround!! I think it''s a great idea to go with a round. A friend of mine got married right out of college, so I''m guessing they had a limited budget. They got a GORGEOUS setting. Her hand is more like a size 5 but her center stone is about 0.75 carats. Everyone talks about how great it looks. It''s very sparkly and blingy and I cannot tell that it is less than 1 carat.


Her setting is below, and I think it helps to make the center stone look bigger, because in the light the ring is one giant sparkle. I think the settings you picked will have the same effect.


This is just for inspiration, in case you need more ideas:



DM15301300.jpg
 

:)

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
1,864
Two quick comments -
1. who did the color grading on the stones you saw color in at the mall? Some labs are more lenient with color grading, so make sure that you are not comparing a GIA or AGS G to say an EGL Israel G - the EGL Israel G for example will likely will look yellower because they tend to give higher grades for color (in other words, it may be actually the equivalent of a GIA or AGS I) - most of the websites you will be looking on through will have AGS and GIA graded stones. Something to consider is to make sure you see GIA or AGS stones in person (if you haven''t already) to truly determine your color sensitivity, then go from there.
2. clarity and color are not as obvious the smaller you go - in other words it is easier to find an eyeclean si2 in a smaller size than in a bigger size - and it could save you a lot of $ if you look around.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,181
I second everyone''s advice that you can make a beautiful ring for around 3K, if you use the reputable vendors here. I would try to find out from her if she has a preference in the setting, ie white gold, yellow gold, platinum, side stones or not. Then you can get her a setting that is her preference. Ideally if she doesn''t really have a preference put most of money into diamond and get a solitaire setting.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,181
whoops didn''t read your post through! Sounds like you have some idea for setting. Remember for a smaller center stone, a little sparkle in the setting goes a long way!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,067

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/8/2007 2:55:26 PM
Author: :)
Two quick comments -

1. who did the color grading on the stones you saw color in at the mall? Some labs are more lenient with color grading, so make sure that you are not comparing a GIA or AGS G to say an EGL Israel G - the EGL Israel G for example will likely will look yellower because they tend to give higher grades for color (in other words, it may be actually the equivalent of a GIA or AGS I) - most of the websites you will be looking on through will have AGS and GIA graded stones. Something to consider is to make sure you see GIA or AGS stones in person (if you haven't already) to truly determine your color sensitivity, then go from there.

2. clarity and color are not as obvious the smaller you go - in other words it is easier to find an eyeclean si2 in a smaller size than in a bigger size - and it could save you a lot of $ if you look around.
Thanks for the 2 money-maximizing tips. I will double check the color sensitivity issue. So if they used a more lenient grading I could potentially go lower in color.

My budget is now a more definite $3K - the amount my family is willing to pay bless them
. My girlfriend forbid me to spend any money on a ring if my family didn't buy it because I'm a poor graduate student. Now if they didn't come through I would've gone against her objections to buy her a $2.5-3K ring but as it stands, I will spend a few hundred for a band at most or sneak a few hundred into the budget to get her a bigger rock.

Thanks for the stone links. The .62 is interesting. WF and BN jump from .5's to .75s abruptly.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
If a lab is known for lenient color grading, you should go one or two grades higher than your floor to make sure.... But if you work with a reputable dealer (who will use reputable labs) then this shouldn''t be an issue.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/8/2007 7:01:40 PM
Author: JulieN
If a lab is known for lenient color grading, you should go one or two grades higher than your floor to make sure.... But if you work with a reputable dealer (who will use reputable labs) then this shouldn't be an issue.
Right. What I meant was

1. We looked at some stones at the mall and thought I was yellowish but H was barely and G+ was ice.
2. If the mall stones were leniently graded
3. We could go lower when buying from WF since they are AGS
4. Instead of requiring G I could safely go H or even I

That was my thinking. Did I get it turned around??

By the way, this process is rather exciting. I didn't think I'd like buying something extravagant but I'm a dealhunter so the idea of getting a diamond better than 99% out there at half the price of various B&M jewelers is cool.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
Ehhhh.... what you have observed is common in most people. A properly graded G+ all look same face up. H starts to show tint, but may not be enough to matter. I starts mattering to people. Keep it H+ and should be good.
 

pahoyafan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
94
This combo comes to $3102 after the pricescope discount. I like this setting because it looks like it sets the diamond high, which will make the center stone look even bigger. The .61 ACA stone gets you 5.5 mm. If I saw this combo put together I would defenitly think it cost more than $3100 IMO.

setting (classy and not too much)
http://www.whiteflash.com/Engagement-Rings/Styles/Diamond-Settings/-Flush-Fit--Diamond-Ring_1063.htm#

diamond (looks great)
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-122955.htm#
 

sluke

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
199
First of all....Congratulations!

A well (ideal) cut "I" color should face up white, however, some folks are color sensitive. A friend of mine''s went to a maul jewelry to consider a "G" vs one carat round, she ended up getting an ideal cut "I" from Whiteflash''s Expert Selection diamonds. She found the I to be whiter and brighter than the maul jewelry''s G color of the same size. (the maul diamond was not GIA certified), however, her sister who is color sensitive, did see a slight warmth but it was just as stunning and beautiful. I couldn''t tell the difference unless the "I" was put next to my "E"... and still, you had to look for the difference in shades.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Thanks sluke. Pahoyafan, nice combo.

So I've narrowed it to 3 choices (of course it's all up to her but to make things simple I'm tentatively narrowing)

1. Pahoya's combo of 0.616 and sidestone setting 0.643 tw

2. If she wants a 3 stone like she's been talking about so far then 0.545 and baguette setting 0.745 tw

3. Or bigger stones on the side with the trois brilliant setting and less expensive 0.506 although that is slightly more over $. 1.006 tw I could say hey I did get you 1 ct


4. Just looked at some other diamond settings and there are quite a few nice ones in the right price range like maybe the platinum cathedral pave?
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
does she like halos? if she does i think this is beautiful.
http://www.whiteflash.com/golden-wardrobe/Gold_Details.aspx?ItemCode=WF-HaloBzl-Wg&CategID=15

you could definitely get away with a smaller stone since the halo will make it look a lot bigger.
here is a nice 0.513, G, SI1
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-151550.htm

i think that with the halo this would look like a 1 carat.

stone = $1500
setting = $1700
i don't know about discounts.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/8/2007 11:00:52 PM
Author: novia
does she like halos? if she does i think this is beautiful.

http://www.whiteflash.com/golden-wardrobe/Gold_Details.aspx?ItemCode=WF-HaloBzl-Wg&CategID=15


you could definitely get away with a smaller stone since the halo will make it look a lot bigger.

here is a nice 0.513, G, SI1

http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-151550.htm


i think that with the halo this would look like a 1 carat.


stone = $1500

setting = $1700

i don't know about discounts.
Ahh she noticed that setting right away. Caught both our eyes and we agreed it was beautiful. However, she didn't like the idea of going smaller .616 --> 0.5xx. Seems we're set on #1, the ACA G VS1 0.616ct with flush setting. Can't seem to find a matched band though. How about like a 2-3mm plain white gold band, simple and a bargain.
For me, she's buying my ring and I've picked out

1. hammered 18k white gold
2. engine turned 18k white gold
3. princess diamond platinum/18k white gold
4. since she's paying for it I don't want her to spend much money but all this engagement ring hunting has this blinger strangely calling me as well as this"

Hehe just found some nice manbling at http://www.weddingbands.com/products_wedding_bands.asp
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
she should obviously get whatever she wants (that you can afford), but i have to say that at 0.5 stone in a halo will DEFINITELY look larger than a 0.6 stone without a halo. i think you''d have to get well above a 0.75 to look larger than the 0.5 with the halo. if you both really did like the halo maybe she can try on some halos at a local jewelry store to get an idea of size.

as for your rings i think you''ve picked out some great ones. i particularly like the first two.

good luck on the search.
 

kristy_lyn

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
173
Some tips -

-When you look at the mall, check out the stone diameter instead of the carat size (which is really the *weight* of the stone, not the *spread* of the stone). It will give you a better approximation of what the stone will look like on your finger!

-If you decide to go round, non-halo, I would suggest getting a 6-prong head instead of 4-prong. It makes the diamond look larger!

I have a .818 (G, VS2, ACA from WF), and, in a few mall jewelry stores the salespeople have guessed it at 1-ct. And, I have large hands (size 7.75 finger...). On your GF, a .75 with a good spread could potentially look much bigger than what you''re seeing at the mall (especially if it''s well cut).
 

imthepreacherswife

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
150
Hi brilliantround,
I''d definately go with the round. I''m by no means a professional, but I sure love to look at nice diamonds, and the round brilliant is just awesome to me. If her finger is a 3.5, she will just look great with a round and it will look huge. I''d definately go with about 3/4 ct solitaire in good quality, since the ones I''ve looked at is hardly a visible difference in the size of a 1ct, but much cheaper! Then, if she likes a setting or band with diamonds, you would have $$ to spare on that. I''m with the others in thinking you should be able to get a great ring for the money you are spending. I''d let these guys help out because they''re the greatest!!! Nice hearing from you, congratulations and best of luck to you and your bride-to-be.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Thanks everyone.

Novia, I like the first two bands for me as well in the order listed.

I NEED SOME HELP!!

A web search today turned up a 10% coupon for Bluenile. I wasn't sure if this works on a $3000 purchase but if it does what about this 0.77ct on this setting Total with coupon is 3150.

Compared to the WF 0.616 and setting posted a few posts above. I guess I need to check the color again and make sure I is ok. Putting the dimensions of the BN diamond into the calculator here gives a AGS 0 and excellent ratings. It's supposed to be a "signature ideal" according to BN. The stones in the setting are only a minimum of I and SI2 with no cut info or certification whereas WF has A Cut Above stones in the setting.

Again my picked-out WF vs BN 10% off deal

0.616ct vs 0.77ct
5.47 x 5.51 x 3.36 mm vs 5.92 x 5.95 x 3.65 mm
A Cut Above vs Signature Ideal
G vs I
VS1 vs VS2
$3012 set vs ~$3150 set


Which would you pick??
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
i definitely like whiteflash's setting better. the aca stones in the setting will give it more sparkle. i really like the surprise diamonds too. the blue nile setting has princess cuts. rounds (like in the whiteflash setting) will definitely give you more sparkle. i also happen to like a round center stone with round stones in the setting, rather than princess stones. overall it just looks like you get more for the money with the whiteflash setting. you can always upgrade the center stone later too.
 

brilliantround

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
27
Date: 1/9/2007 3:18:53 PM
Author: novia


i definitely like whiteflash''s setting better. the aca stones in the setting will give it more sparkle. i really like the surprise diamonds too. overall it just looks like you get more for the money with the whiteflash setting. you can always upgrade the center stone later too.
I deleted the coupon in the post. Apparently not allowed. So 1 vote for WF.

And the upgrade policy has me favoring WF also..
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Ooh, that's a tough one.

My original e-ring setting had sidestones (.35ctw) that weren't ideal and still sparkled like crazy. However, I think they were all SI1 clarity at lowest. Check BN's return policy to make sure that you can send it back and get a refund (or a different setting) if it isn't up to your standards.

ETA: Nevermind! I missed out on a bit while typing.
 
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