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Might be getting earrings! Advice?

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gailrmv

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So, after months of me hinting at how much I would love diamond earrings, my sweet DH mentioned it out of the blue today! He asked if I'd like them for Valentine's Day! We are in major savings mode right now for our new house, but suggested maybe for my graduation from grad school this spring instead. We'll see. Anyway, I suspect the budget would be about $1000 or so, and my priorities are size and cut (of course!) I think H, I or J color would be fine and maybe SI1 clarity.

My real question is how important are certs and upgrade. I think if I got stones in the 0.5 tcw, I might want to upgrade. I think if I could get closer to 0.75 tcw, I would probably not want to. I'm not a flashy person and i think these would be a great size for every day.

A great value is the Ready Set to Go studs at WF, but I know that you do not get certs or an upgrade policy. I'd be interested in these: http://www.whiteflash.com/golden-wardrobe/Gold_Details.aspx?ItemCode=WFER-4R-Set&CategID=54 in the 0.7 tcw option. These cost $935 including the white gold basket setting.

Another option would be certed stones at WF. I did not see anything in my budget in their inventory, but I know they could bring in stones for me. But I'm sure there is a premium for the certs and the ability to upgrade later on, which I'm not sure I would ever use.


At Blue Nile, I am very interested in this pair. http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds_details.asp?__fun_frm=i&pid=LD00996740&pid2=LD00999826&filter_id=6 With the settings, I'd be at $1126. I'd get GIA certs, a little more size, the ability to choose my own diamonds, but no upgrade policy. Even if these exact diamonds are gone by the time we're ready to buy, I bet I could find something similar. I've dealt with Blue Nile before and have been pleased, and I like their return policy (30 days.) I'm not interested in their preset studs because they use good or premium, but not ideal cut stones.

Are there other options that I should consider? Is it worth paying the premium for certs and/or the upgrade policy?

I need to get to a store to check out the size and color on me. There are just so few places around here that carry ideal cut diamonds. I tried on some 0.6 tcw recently and really liked the size.

I appreciate any advice!
 

Dee*Jay

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Gail, how exciting--a husband that actually listens to your "hints"! (But I digress; on to your questions.)

Honestly, I would go with upgradeable stones from WF. You know the urge *might* hit you later to go a little bigger and it''s nice to have that option. And you''re right, I''m sure WF can bring in a few stones for you even though you don''t see any on the site right now.

As for color, I have a pair (bought long before PS--but from a jeweler that I trust a lot) and they are 1.1 ct each, one J and one K, both eye clean SI2s, and even then I''ve got to look in the right light.

So, my 2 cents is to get the best bang for your buck in terms of color and clarity and go with stones that you can upgrade later.
 

widget

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Hee hee, just to be different, I don''t think certs are necessary for earrings, as long as the diamonds are well cut and well matched.

I personally wouldn''t care about an upgrade policy, because I''d use the old pair as sidestones for a future colored stone ring or pendant, or pass them on as is to one of my heirs.


widget
 

Fly Girl

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I bought a pair of J SI1 diamonds from Blue Nile last month for earrings. Mine are 0.85 ctw, so about the same size you are looking at. They are ideal cut with GIA certs. I love them!!! They are the perfect size for every day. No clunk when I am speaking on the telephone, and they look just right. I won''t be upgrading these. I''m on the high side of 50, so I''m pretty sure what I like. I just wish that I had gotten them years ago!
 

gailrmv

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Thanks for the feedback ladies! FlyGirl, I read about your recent BN purchase and WOW those are some beautiful earrings! DeeJay, your earrings sound fantastic as well! Are there pics up? I'd love to see them! You have a fabulous collection.

Widget, where do you recommend looking for well matched, well cut uncerted stones? I am into "recycling" too, so I can see your point there. If in 10 yrs or so I decide I want bigger earrings, I could also see getting a different shape or something. I don't know - it's hard to predict the future.

I guess if I am going to forego certs and an upgrade policy, I want to make sure I am getting substantial size difference or cost savings now.

It's really appealing being able to search for matched pairs on BN. I know I would probably be able to get stones called in to Whiteflash or James Allen or Quest, but it is really nice to be able to browse online without having to trouble a salesperson when I am not sure what my timeframe is.

Does anyone have further vendor or stone recommendations?

If you buy ideal cut diamonds with AGS0 or GIA Ex cut, are you pretty much assured of getting pretty stones? I am not worried about buying online from a security standpoint - I just wish I would have a chance to compare several pairs and choose with my eyes. But, I don't think it's gonna happen!

Also, any feedback on that pair of Js that I posted from BN?

Thanks so much!
 

kcoursolle

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I think it''s worth it to get the certed stones...because you never know down the line how large you might want later on. It''s nice to have the option to be able to change shapes, sizes, or color/clarity in case you ever change your mind.
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/5/2007 11:00:43 PM
Author: gailrmv
If you buy ideal cut diamonds with AGS0 or GIA Ex cut, are you pretty much assured of getting pretty stones?
No, unfortunately. AGS000 is pretty much safe, but GIA EX''s cover a very wide range, so you''d need do some homework, run them by the board, etc. before you bought, IF you buy from say, BN, who won''t give you any additional info.

As for upgrade vs. not, never say never.
If you want to go with a place with no upgrade, just know that if you decide you want bigger, you''ll have to start all over, and probably spend double or more. That''s up to you.

Lucky girl, can''t wait to see what you get!!
 

FireGoddess

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Date: 2/6/2007 9:14:43 AM
Author: Ellen
As for upgrade vs. not, never say never.
If you want to go with a place with no upgrade, just know that if you decide you want bigger, you''ll have to start all over, and probably spend double or more. That''s up to you.
That''s kinda my take as well...I like to leave the door open, so to speak.


It''s great that he sprung this lovely surprise on you!!!!
 

gailrmv

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Thanks to those who have replied! Ellen, I would LOOOOOVE to have earrings like yours. Someday! (Maybe I SHOULD get that upgrade policy, come to think of it!)

Any thoughts on those J's I posted? They are calling my name... I keep going back to look at them. Should I be concerned about the crystal inclusions?
 

Kaleigh

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My advice, make sure you can upgrade. Paying that extra money now for certed stones is soooo worth it IMHO. I got studs from WF this summer, and love them. Have you thought about the martini setting?? All you see is sparkle, hint hint!!!
 

gailrmv

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Allrighty, y'all have almost convinced me about the upgrading.
Question for those who keep an eye on Whiteflash inventory: Do they usually have more in terms of ES round earring sized stones? It doesn't seem like they have a lot right now. Do you know how often their inventory changes? Just wondering!
 

gailrmv

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Date: 2/6/2007 9:29:28 PM
Author: Kaleigh
My advice, make sure you can upgrade. Paying that extra money now for certed stones is soooo worth it IMHO. I got studs from WF this summer, and love them. Have you thought about the martini setting?? All you see is sparkle, hint hint!!!
You know, my all time favorite setting is the 4 prong martini setting that FacetFire got from Quest! I love those! Otherwise, I think I would go 4 prong basket in small studs like I''m getting. I think they are very classic. I''m not sure what I think of the whole 3 prong thing - I like things symmetrical! I also LOVE the bezel setting, but I think I want to go 4 prong basket b/c it seems the most classic. Decisions decisions! I''d also really like to see the Stuller Solstice 4 prong earrings. I bet they are beautiful!
 

JDiamond69

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I am in the hunt also. My price range would be around $600, princess cut, so I would be looking at .50tcw. I need to visualize the size at a store. My engagement ring came from Whiteflash and they were great to work with. The earrings are going to be a wedding gift. Anybody have any thoughts about this web site== www.kingofjewelry.net??
 

kcoursolle

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Date: 2/6/2007 9:49:21 PM
Author: gailrmv
Allrighty, y''all have almost convinced me about the upgrading.
Question for those who keep an eye on Whiteflash inventory: Do they usually have more in terms of ES round earring sized stones? It doesn''t seem like they have a lot right now. Do you know how often their inventory changes? Just wondering!
If there is a specific thing that you are looking for, I would give them a call so that you have first dibs on whatever is coming into the inventory.
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/7/2007 3:14:07 AM
Author: kcoursolle

If there is a specific thing that you are looking for, I would give them a call so that you have first dibs on whatever is coming into the inventory.
Ditto, I was going to suggest the same thing.

And Gail, yes, WF usually has more stones in, the earring sizes are indeed slim at the moment. When you''re ready, call Lesley and tell her what you''re looking for, she''s a peach and will find you what you want! (that is if you decide to go with them) I would really recommend going with anyone with an upgrade policy, and then you''ll have earrings like mine before you know it.
 

coda72

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Gail, I got the Ready Set Go earrings from Whiteflash, and while they are beautiful, I do regret the inability to upgrade. I don''t want huge earrings either, but I would eventually like something a little bigger than I currently have (0.4 carats each). So, if I were to do it all over again, I would definitely buy a pair that can be upgraded, just in case.
 

Fly Girl

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Gail - I just reread your original post where you say---

"My real question is how important are certs and upgrade. I think if I got stones in the 0.5 tcw, I might want to upgrade. I think if I could get closer to 0.75 tcw, I would probably not want to. I''m not a flashy person and i think these would be a great size for every day."

I think this is the key. If you decide to go with 0.5 tcw right now, I agree that the upgrade option makes sense. It will allow you to enjoy your diamond studs right away, and you can get slightly larger ones in the next couple of years.

If you get the 0.75 tcw, I wouldn''t bother. That will be a great size for many years to come. And, with all that is happening in your life right now, you may well not want to tie upwards of $3K in one pair of earrings.

I wouldn''t look past the next 3 to 5 years when it comes to upgrade policies. Past then, inflation will have shrunk the value of your purchase and there are many other uncertainties. For example, five years ago there were major layoffs at my company and upgrading diamonds was the last thing on my mind. Besides that, who knows which of the on-line sellers will still be in existance in 5 to 10 years, or beyond!

GIA certs are your assurance that you are getting the cut and color you are paying for. I used them instead of an appraiser because these stones were small and I was trying to keep to a budget. The cert has the cut angles on it, and you can use the HCA to check that they are the right GIA excellent cut, (i.e., in the HCA red zone, and not the blue zone). With GIA certs you have assurance from a major respected grading firm that you are getting the color that you are paying for. Finally, I thought getting a laser inscription was incredibly cool! I made sure that the setter left the inscription exposed so I could check that these were my diamonds. He did and they are.
(It''s good loupe practice for me to find and read them.)

Prices keep going up for diamonds, so I suggest you go ahead, pick some out and enjoy those beautiful earrings. Congratulations on finishing grad school. That is a terrific milestone, and diamonds are a great way to remember it.
 

Stone Hunter

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Yes. Whatever you decide Congrats
on finishing grad school.
 

FacetFire

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Date: 2/6/2007 10:18:48 PM
Author: gailrmv

Date: 2/6/2007 9:29:28 PM
Author: Kaleigh
My advice, make sure you can upgrade. Paying that extra money now for certed stones is soooo worth it IMHO. I got studs from WF this summer, and love them. Have you thought about the martini setting?? All you see is sparkle, hint hint!!!
You know, my all time favorite setting is the 4 prong martini setting that FacetFire got from Quest! I love those! Otherwise, I think I would go 4 prong basket in small studs like I''m getting. I think they are very classic. I''m not sure what I think of the whole 3 prong thing - I like things symmetrical! I also LOVE the bezel setting, but I think I want to go 4 prong basket b/c it seems the most classic. Decisions decisions! I''d also really like to see the Stuller Solstice 4 prong earrings. I bet they are beautiful!
Aw, thanks! You know...Quest has a full upgrade policy, and you could see the diamonds in person to pick out a beautiful uncertified pair and save some money like I did. Any chance you could take a trip up to N. Va? I am a huge fan of Quest for things like this!
 

gailrmv

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FacetFire, thanks for posting! I LOVE your earrings! I might be able to make a trip up to Quest, it''s within driving distance. I would really like to be able to see the earrings and choose between several. Did you find Quest''s prices to be comparable to other Pricescope vendors? So far I have been communicating with someone from Whiteflash and I have been very pleased with their customer service so far. I''d feel very comfortable purchasing from Whiteflash, but again it would be a great experience to go somewhere in person to look and a trip to Houston is just not in the cards right now!

If I did go with Whiteflash, do you guys have any thoughts about mixing an ACA with an ES for earrings? Right now the selection is a little sparse in the size that I am looking at (.33 ish each) or should I say, the price I am looking at (~$500 each) so I might end up mixing an ACA with an ES to get a match.
 

gailrmv

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Date: 2/7/2007 6:37:50 AM
Author: coda72
Gail, I got the Ready Set Go earrings from Whiteflash, and while they are beautiful, I do regret the inability to upgrade. I don't want huge earrings either, but I would eventually like something a little bigger than I currently have (0.4 carats each). So, if I were to do it all over again, I would definitely buy a pair that can be upgraded, just in case.
Coda, they sound like a lovely pair of earrings. Thank you for sharing your insights about the upgrading. May I ask, when you got your Ready Set to go earrings did they come with any documentation, i.e. an appraisal so that you could be sure of what exactly each stone was? I realize that I can get 0.8 tcw ready set to go for the same price as .66 tcw in ACA or ES, which makes the Ready Set to Go a very appealing option. Still, I will probably heed your advice (and that of others) and go for something upgradeable. Even my DH says that's what I should do - he knows me too well! There are pros and cons to each option, and the way they are priced, I am almost indifferent between the two (I'm taking some econ classes right now, can you tell?)
 

gailrmv

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Date: 2/8/2007 4:51:04 PM
Author: Stone Hunter
Yes. Whatever you decide Congrats
on finishing grad school.
Thanks Stone Hunter and Fly Girl and everyone else for the congratulations- it's been a long haul and it's not quite done yet!
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/8/2007 9:53:48 PM
Author: gailrmv
If I did go with Whiteflash, do you guys have any thoughts about mixing an ACA with an ES for earrings? Right now the selection is a little sparse in the size that I am looking at (.33 ish each) or should I say, the price I am looking at (~$500 each) so I might end up mixing an ACA with an ES to get a match.
No, I think it would be fine to mix! Have you called just to see when more will be in?
 

gailrmv

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Date: 2/8/2007 10:14:16 PM
Author: Ellen

Date: 2/8/2007 9:53:48 PM
Author: gailrmv
If I did go with Whiteflash, do you guys have any thoughts about mixing an ACA with an ES for earrings? Right now the selection is a little sparse in the size that I am looking at (.33 ish each) or should I say, the price I am looking at (~$500 each) so I might end up mixing an ACA with an ES to get a match.
No, I think it would be fine to mix! Have you called just to see when more will be in?
Thanks Ellen! I''ve been speaking with Bob over email and he has been very helpful, but I haven''t asked him that yet. I''m planning to give them a call soon. I''ve got to figure out with my husband if he wanted to buy them soon or wait til closer to graduation. He has been working so much this week that we haven''t really gotten to talk about the timeline or even the price exactly. I figure, the sooner we get them the better, but I''m not sure if we are on the same page :) If you hadn''t guessed, he wants me to be happy but he''s not really into the details, so he wants me to pick out exactly what I want and tell him so he can buy it!


The first stone that caught my eye was this ES: http://www.whiteflash.com/round_ideal_cut/Round-Ideal-Cut-cut-diamond-205734.htm

I thought this ACA might be a good match and Bob confirmed that it would be:
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-114947.htm

I just noticed this ACA (I must have missed it before.) Maybe I should get it instead of the first stone and have a set of ACAs.
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-116828.htm


I had hoped to go with ES, I SI1 to hopefully maximize the size, but it turns out that the difference between ACA and ES prices is not that much - or at least this is my conclusion based on looking at the inventory they have now.

Thoughts on which might be the best match?

Thanks!!!
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/8/2007 10:27:10 PM
Author: gailrmv


The first stone that caught my eye was this ES: http://www.whiteflash.com/round_ideal_cut/Round-Ideal-Cut-cut-diamond-205734.htm

I thought this ACA might be a good match and Bob confirmed that it would be:
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-114947.htm

I just noticed this ACA (I must have missed it before.) Maybe I should get it instead of the first stone and have a set of ACAs.
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-116828.htm



Thoughts on which might be the best match?

Thanks!!!
The first two are a good match! I think those would be great.


I wouldn''t consider the last ACA, the diameter is too far off.
 

gailrmv

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Date: 2/8/2007 10:42:35 PM
Author: Ellen

Date: 2/8/2007 10:27:10 PM
Author: gailrmv


The first stone that caught my eye was this ES: http://www.whiteflash.com/round_ideal_cut/Round-Ideal-Cut-cut-diamond-205734.htm

I thought this ACA might be a good match and Bob confirmed that it would be:
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-114947.htm

I just noticed this ACA (I must have missed it before.) Maybe I should get it instead of the first stone and have a set of ACAs.
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-116828.htm



Thoughts on which might be the best match?

Thanks!!!
The first two are a good match! I think those would be great.


I wouldn''t consider the last ACA, the diameter is too far off.
Thanks so much Ellen, I REALLY value your opinion. I had not noticed that about the diameter! (oops!)
 

Ellen

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You are welcome!
 

Ellen

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Gail, I forgot to add, make sure they''re eyeclean, IF that''s important to you.
 

coda72

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Date: 2/8/2007 9:56:22 PM
Author: gailrmv

Coda, they sound like a lovely pair of earrings. Thank you for sharing your insights about the upgrading. May I ask, when you got your Ready Set to go earrings did they come with any documentation, i.e. an appraisal so that you could be sure of what exactly each stone was? I realize that I can get 0.8 tcw ready set to go for the same price as .66 tcw in ACA or ES, which makes the Ready Set to Go a very appealing option. Still, I will probably heed your advice (and that of others) and go for something upgradeable. Even my DH says that''s what I should do - he knows me too well! There are pros and cons to each option, and the way they are priced, I am almost indifferent between the two (I''m taking some econ classes right now, can you tell?)
Gail, I did get an appraisal with the earrings that I used to put them on my homeowner''s policy. I believe they use I, SI diamonds at least for the size I got. I guess if I keep them long enough, 5 years or more, the amount of money I would have to pay for larger earrings would make the trade in amount I would get negligible anyway. So, you could look at it either way, and I can see how you would do that. The Ready Set Go''s are beautiful diamonds, and I don''t think they are inferior at all to the ES or ACA diamonds, but they just don''t have GIA or AGS reports. Now, I''m trying to sway you the other way! No really, I don''t know if there''s a bad decision. Congrats on graduating from grad school, by the way.
 

Shay37

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Shay wants to play devil''s advocate.
These are my .5 ctw laying on the counter after a wee bath. it''s night, and 40 watt daylight corrected bulb overhead from about 3 feet away in a ceiling fan. Mine are the Ready Set Go also. I really didn''t care about certs, (Brian picked ''em). Upgradeable ehh, I''ll just ask honey for a new bigger pair in a couple of years (maybe) if I really want bigger.


shay

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