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Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layman?

blizzard

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
9
Hi everyone -- I've been spying on various threads (and used the search function), and have learned a lot in the past week! I know that many threads have addressed this question in various forms, but I'd like your input on my situation. My girlfriend's largest priority for an engagement ring is "exorbitant sparkle" (like most women). Of course, she says the bigger the better (in my mind, I'm thinking between 1.25 and 1.75ct -- I know this is a large range; her best friend has a 1.6, which may serve as a point of comparison for her). I'm not going to give you a target price because, frankly, I don't have one (but the budget isn't unlimited). I keep trying to come up with a budget, but I honestly can't decide -- the two months salary rule would tell me I can spend $5000 now (I'm a grad student), but $15,000 in 18 months (I'll have a "real" job). I have enough saved up to buy whatever is the most bang for the buck, within reason.

What I know:
* Round Brilliant (maximizes sparkle)
* Adhere to HCA < 2.0
* I'd really like to buy from Blue Nile (I know it's a drop-shipper) because of the (1) low prices, (2) selection, (3) reputation, and (4) I get an extra 5% cash back with my credit card that I wouldn't get at JA/BGD/WF/GOG (although I could buy from them if BN isn't working out).
* I know cut is the most important of the C's for sparkle.

My question is: Where is the wiggle room for a middle-class layperson? I don't anticipate ever having to sell the diamond back, and no one will be looking at it through a microscope.

Here is what I've gathered -- please tell me if I'm wrong:
Cut: It seems to me that an Ideal Cut diamond on BN with a HCA < 2.0 will be sufficient -- while the idea of a signature ideal is great, I'm guessing it's not worth the money, right?
Clarity: It seems like VS2 is the safe way to go (since I can't see pictures of the diamonds, so a SI diamond is risky). Maybe a SI1 because it drops the price a lot. If I go all the way down to SI2, does it affect the "sparkle"? Will the inclusions (if visible) only be visible if you get 2 inches away from the diamond, i.e., would it matter to a layperson?
Color: Going down to a J seems risky, as people here have noted that J is where a lot of people start noticing the yellow. It seems like not many people notice yellow at I, although H may be better. (I know I need to pay attention to the color of the diamonds in the band, although she wants small channel/pave diamonds like in this Tiffany's ring so it might not matter.)

In general, I'm wondering what the general public buys when they walk into their local jewelry shop or Zales or Jared's -- are they buying SI2's with color J, or worse, or better? All-in-all, what type of clarity and color is best for someone who doesn't live in NYC/LA/Chicago (and is thus subjected to higher standards) and who isn't a diamond aficionado?
 

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blizzard

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
9
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Sorry for the length of my post -- I guess I wanted to outline my thoughts as much for my own benefit as for your information.
 

ooo~Shiney!

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
1,501
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Hi Blizzard, I make long posts, too !!!
Welcome !

Many others should be along soon to help you out !!!!!
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,321
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Chain mass-market jewelry store is like EGL H-J, "SI3", which is like I-K SI2/I1.

If you ask people to think engagement rings, they will probably either come up with Tiff or BN. The cutoffs for those companies are:
Tiffany I SI1
Blue Nile J SI2

So right about there, I/J SI1/2, is probably the limits for most people.
 

Fly Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
7,312
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Hi blizzard, and welcome to PriceScope.

In your case you still have fairly wide parameters, which is making this hard for you. Cut is the most important thing that is lacking from your regular mall jeweler. I have taken in my ideal cut ISEE2 diamond into my local mall jeweler, and even the most untrained eye can tell that there is a difference in the look and sparkle of the diamonds. It is something that is evident in person, but so hard to describe over the Internet or in photos.

You can get about 5% off using the PriceScope wire price at many PS vendors, so please don't limit yourself to Blue Nile because of price. This is a major purchase and you get a lot of peace of mind that you are making a wise buy when you have photos of the diamond you are considering.

As you have probably figured out, you get more size with more $$$, the lower you go in color (to a point), and the lower you go in clarity. Unless you have seen well-cut diamonds in person, and you know exactly how sensitive the wearer will be to inclusions, I would limit the lower end of color and clarity to around an I VS2.

I'd try to figure out what size diamond you are looking for. Perhaps you two should go on a ring trying expedition and especially try to see some well cut diamonds, such as Hearts on Fire. You will learn a lot, which may help to narrow things down a bit for you.
 

bunnycat

Ideal_Rock
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2,664
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Others may have more and better advice, but here's my first thoughts on it.

Some of what you are asking I think may depend on when you are planning on proposing but in general terms, if she knows you are going to propose at some point, I'd go looking at rings and see what sizes she is interested in and also how she may notice color. Color sensitivity, as you've gleaned, varies from person to person.

You already know not to sacrifice cut. You don't need H/A precision to have a well performing stone, but it will probably take some work to find it.

Clarity is also something that is partially personal preference and partially something a little more objective (In the case of inclusions that affect light performance). For instance, some people, no matter if they can see an inclusion or not, can't (mentally) accept anything under a certain clarity rating. For some people, like me, if I can't see it without a loupe, and it's not affecting the performance of a stone, it's not there.

So for me, being color sensitive in modern stones, I can go to H, and sometimes I if there's fluorescence to help it out. But for clarity, unless it's something obvious, I'm fine down to SI's. I didn't find out any of this by guessing, I had to see stones in person (away from trick store lighting) to figure out what I like and don't. If I had to prioritize it'd be cut>size>color>clarity.

If you are set against ever upgrading as you move in to your chosen field and both earn more money, I'd go as big as you can and get a well cut stone.

And Fly Girl is right about not nixing other vendors just because of the discount. Most are going to have PS and wire discounts which come out to around 5% too. There are a couple of vendors in particular where you can search more easily for well cut near H/A stones that don't have the H/A premium (Whiteflash Expert Selection and Brian Gavin's Blue line come to mind).
 

BriBee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
656
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

I would say the least amount of wiggle room would be in cut, especially if she wants to maximize sparkle. If going with BN I'd stick with signature ideal. Also, JA offers a discount to PS members, maybe this can compensate for the 5% cash back you were talking about with BN? Also JA will offer much more in the way of pictures and reports. The good news is that BN has a good return policy so if you don't like it IRL you can get money back. I think as far as color and clarity go, that's personal preference as far as "wiggle room." Can you go to some local BM stores and look at stones in person? Ask to see GIA stones in a range of colors so you can see how color sensitive you are, and try to see the stones in different lighting environments (natural sunlight etc..)
For clarity I would say you need to decide if you need a "mind clean" stone or if you would be fine with an eye clean SI1-2... It's harder to compare clarities as much since two stones could be SI2 but one could be eye clean and one not...or the location of the inclusion could be covered by a prong etc... That's another advantage to using someone like JA because they can help verify things like this for you.
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

I guess I don't understand how you get 5% back from BN but not from another vendor using the same card? For me personally, sacrificing the 5% discount for the peace of mind that magnified images (especially in the SI range) and idealscope images assured me would be well worth it. As was mentioned before, many vendors offer a PS discount if you ask, I believe that JA's is just about 5% plus an additional wire transfer discount. BN also doesn't offer free return shipping which can be a huge savings if you have to return the stone a couple of times. Just food for thought.
 

kaydizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
37
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Hi there

Choosing a stone is so hard, as I'm finding out myself right now ( https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/1st-time-buying-a-diamond-with-pics-pls-help.185034/ ), but in saying that, I have already done about 3 months worth of research and looked at a bunch of diamonds to get where I have gotten today.

As you've already said - don't compromise too much on Cut. It makes the stone sparkle.

Color is a tricky, tricky thing as everyone sees color differently. I swore I'd be fine with an H, but when I went into a dealer's office and saw the H's on their own (not next to any comparison stones) I saw yellow twinges. I am no jeweler or diamond grader. Just a regular Jo schmo. So that immediately cancelled the H's dance card for me, and I'm now looking at the D to F's, as a G or H would just bother me :tongue: It also depends on what type of cut you're getting (I want a pear which show color waaaay more than rounds). Rounds show the least color, so you could stick to a lower color grade.

The key is to ask your lady-love and take her to a dealer to get some idea of what she likes (and whether the color bugs her). If you want it to be surprise though, and she is color sensitive (like me), try a G with medium blue fluorescence, as the blue fluor can cause the extremely light yellow tones to cancel out at times, especially in the sun (which will totally up the flash and catch your eye).

Clarity is really only important if you can see it with the naked eye. Try and go for something in the SI1 range, with either a feather or a cloud or a cavity that is NOT on the table. If an inclusion can be hidden under a prong (a "prongable" inclusion), even better. As far as seeing inclusions close up, physiologically our eyes/vision actually cross/es over at about 4 inches, so if you can't see it at 4-5 inches, you aint gonna see it. Often, the best SI1's will actually have lots of little things showing up on the cert, rather than one big inclusion. Those little things can sometimes just 'add up' to enough inclusions to make the stone an SI1 class, but not show up to the naked eye. keep that in mind! If you are going by cert alone, that is just risky. In that case, stick to a VS2 with inclusions in the sides of the stone and nothing on the table. VS2's should be invisible to the naked eye (there are some cases where they aren't, but I hear it's very rare).
Finally, if you do want to deal with Blue Nile, some of their sales people will find you pictures. Promise (personal experience)! A lady calling herself Wendy never will, so if she answers your email just move on. Others will be more helpful on the pictures.

Carat is dependent on her finger size and expectations. I have enormously long and large fingers so I'm going to get a 2 carat. If she is a size 8 finger (like me), you might want to try and get the 1.75. My sister in law is absolutely miniature and has a 1.5 carat (finger size 5) and it looks like the biggest honker you've ever seen. It's allll relative! :loopy:

I hope that helps!!! Good luck. :appl:
 

bunnycat

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,664
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

I re-read this again and wanted to point out in regards to selling diamonds back (as in upgrade?). If you meant you don't plan on upgrading (I hope y'all are on the same page on that), that's not the same as selling a diamond back to a place. If you pick a place that has a nice upgrade policy, then sometime down the line you trade it in for your purchase price and pay whatever extra for your what your new stone is.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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18,654
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Everyone elae pretty much has it right. Clarity you can go as low as possible while still keeping kt eye clean. So si1 or if you are lucky si2....
But why i wanted to chime in was to say a one good way to streach your budget is to consider other shapes. Though technically for some fancies its better to stay h or above, they really can get you a lot of bang for your buck... Ovals and pears are larger per ctw meaning they face up bigger than an equal weight round. Also they are cheaper for the same ctw... So you can get a larger ct that looks very large for less. Also, they hide inclusions better, so its easy easy to get a si1 that is eye clean
There is a thread in the show me the bling forum For rings under 5k. Theres onethat had a high color pear that was 1.25 ct solitaire and was under 5k. And that measures usually around 8x6 or so. So it would look large! Same thing with ovals.

Maybe go look at the pear and oval theads and see how they sit with you.
 

blingbunny10

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
848
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Hi blizzard -
Seems to me you're asking two different things here:
1) How should I prioritize the 4 Cs while shopping for my fiancee-to-be?
2) What does the average person buy at the mall while shopping for their fiancees-to-be?
And keep in mind you're asking about "the average person" on a message board full of folks who have way more appreciation and expertise re: diamonds than the average consumer. ;)) I think both answers involve your going into brick-and-mortar stores to look at diamonds. This will tell you how YOUR eyes respond to color, cut, clarity and size. And it will tell you exactly what Zale's, Jared, and your local jewelry store carry!

What YOU should prioritize really depends on your social circle (not just current circle, which includes the 1.6ct you mentioned) but future circle. You mentioned a future job. Think about that industry and the wives of your future co-workers. I know the romantic answer is to buy out of love and propose when you want to, but I would also encourage you to think realistically -- I know my husband and I plan to never "upgrade" my ring, so he took these things into consideration. I also encourage you to look at diamonds in person, because I never would have know what I actually cared about without looking at diamonds in person. My husband's non-negotiables were: at least a carat, excellent cut, and eyeclean SI1. He ended up picking exact size based on color considerations (It turned out that he was really color sensitive, and did not want an F colored diamond because of perceived tint.).

In my experience, the "average mall diamond" prioritizes size above all. There are MANY I-J/SI2 to I diamonds that are not well cut, but are plenty big. I have also noticed that the "average mall diamond" depends on your area/neighborhood, so keep that in mind as well.
 

kaydizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
37
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Very true Neilseel - pears and ovals do have a larger spread.

I have found them really hard to shop for though. There seem to be so many more things to consider - like height ratios, over-all shape and bow-tie. Rounds to me seem an easier pick if you don't want to spend forever researching. Also, ratios are very personal, and OP's lady may like a particular shape or size. If the couple are happy with a return process for a stone then yes absolutely go with oval and pear as an option! :D
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

kaydizzle|1359853556|3370821 said:
Very true Neilseel - pears and ovals do have a larger spread.

I have found them really hard to shop for though. There seem to be so many more things to consider - like height ratios, over-all shape and bow-tie. Rounds to me seem an easier pick if you don't want to spend forever researching. Also, ratios are very personal, and OP's lady may like a particular shape or size. If the couple are happy with a return process for a stone then yes absolutely go with oval and pear as an option! :D
If the OP considers fancies like that (i really hope he at least considers it, seeing as how size and price are important, also it would be very unique, keeping from inviting comparison to her friends stone if you cant afford a 1.6ct) if you contact good old gold they are great at taking your specs and finding the best oval or pear for your budget. ive seen them do wonders finding people fabulous stones, and they do all the leg work
 

blizzard

Rough_Rock
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Feb 2, 2013
Messages
9
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

(OP here...)

Wow! I come back after some errands and dinner and a ton of awesome responses! Thanks! Rather than replying to each individual response, I'll summarize:

(1) Issue of 5% at JA/BGD/etc for pricescope members. You have a good point -- it seems like their prices are higher than BN to begin with, but do come with the added benefit of pictures/idealscopes/better CS. I'm a little hesitant to wire money rather than use the protection of a credit card, but it's something I'll consider. (And to the person wondering if I'd get the same discount on these sites, the answer is no because both Chase and Discover have 5-6% cash back on purchases from BN by going through their portal.)

(2) "You really should take her to a local place and see how you like different clarity/color/carats." I agree completely. I will aim to do this.

(3) Clarity: I care about eye clean, not "mind clean". So, I guess that's good for me to keep in mind that I could go down to the SI levels given that they are checked to be eye clean.

(4) Color: I guess this is something I'll have to go to a store and see with my own eyes. I'm tempted by the statements about fluorescence and how it can improve a I-J diamond's look, but I am nervous about adverse effects. Namely, if it will make the diamond less transparent (I guess that'd be lumped into the clarity grade), and if the diamond will look slightly blue in any situations (outdoors?). I don't know how she would feel about that -- she's very traditional.

(5) Cut: I'm sold on at least getting an ideal cut -- if at BN, it's tempting to get a super ideal, but the markup seems prohibitive. This may be an incorrect assumption, but I'm guessing that an ideal diamond that has a HCA < 2.0 is "close enough" to super ideal cut such that the 30% markup is not worth it (for me).

(6) I asked about what the layperson typically buys out of curiosity. It's good to know that most people (I'd venture) get a non-ideal, J-ish color, I or SI diamond. Thus, it sounds like I'll be quite above average regardless of what I decide. Still want the best one for my money, of course.

(7) I don't think we'll ever upgrade -- we may buy another diamond (ring/bracelet/pendant/earrings) in the future, but my girlfriend is extremely sentimental so I don't foresee her ever wanting to take this specific ring off. That's what I meant when I said we won't be looking to sell it (or upgrade it).

I guess my next step is to evaluate some in person, mainly to get a sense of color and fluorescence. Thanks for all the responses -- feel free to keep them coming if you have more suggestions!
 

blizzard

Rough_Rock
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Feb 2, 2013
Messages
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Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

nielseel|1359854130|3370823 said:
kaydizzle|1359853556|3370821 said:
Very true Neilseel - pears and ovals do have a larger spread.

I have found them really hard to shop for though. There seem to be so many more things to consider - like height ratios, over-all shape and bow-tie. Rounds to me seem an easier pick if you don't want to spend forever researching. Also, ratios are very personal, and OP's lady may like a particular shape or size. If the couple are happy with a return process for a stone then yes absolutely go with oval and pear as an option! :D
If the OP considers fancies like that (i really hope he at least considers it, seeing as how size and price are important, also it would be very unique, keeping from inviting comparison to her friends stone if you cant afford a 1.6ct) if you contact good old gold they are great at taking your specs and finding the best oval or pear for your budget. ive seen them do wonders finding people fabulous stones, and they do all the leg work

Great suggestion! However, she's told me that the only two shapes she likes are the RB and cushion; seeing that a cushion has approximately 60% of the "sparkle" of a RB, I've set my eye on the RB.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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18,654
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

blizzard|1359854934|3370829 said:
nielseel|1359854130|3370823 said:
kaydizzle|1359853556|3370821 said:
Very true Neilseel - pears and ovals do have a larger spread.

I have found them really hard to shop for though. There seem to be so many more things to consider - like height ratios, over-all shape and bow-tie. Rounds to me seem an easier pick if you don't want to spend forever researching. Also, ratios are very personal, and OP's lady may like a particular shape or size. If the couple are happy with a return process for a stone then yes absolutely go with oval and pear as an option! :D
If the OP considers fancies like that (i really hope he at least considers it, seeing as how size and price are important, also it would be very unique, keeping from inviting comparison to her friends stone if you cant afford a 1.6ct) if you contact good old gold they are great at taking your specs and finding the best oval or pear for your budget. ive seen them do wonders finding people fabulous stones, and they do all the leg work

Great suggestion! However, she's told me that the only two shapes she likes are the RB and cushion; seeing that a cushion has approximately 60% of the "sparkle" of a RB, I've set my eye on the RB.
Well ok, i would still when you have her try on things, have her try on EVERY shape, rounds ovals marquise pears emeralds asscher cushions radients princess, do them ALL :lol: see what your budget is for a round, and then have her try on that size you can afford in every shape. Say your budget is 10k, based on what i see from JA you can probably get about a 1.5ct J thats eye clean with a bit of searching. So if say thats your budget, go there and have her try on a 1.5 in all those shapes, see how she feels. because she might get her heart set on a round until she sees how flattering an emerald cut looks on her finger... you never know. And then, if it ends up she does like one of those other shapes better, you take that same budget and see if you can go any bigger with the other shape she liked. but yeah some cushions like AVC's from GOG have a whole lot of sparkle so that shouldnt be a consern, but they do face up smaller

but it sounds like you are getting the hang of this pretty quick! ;-)
 

bunnycat

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 12, 2012
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2,664
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

Going to look st stones is a good place to start.

A couple of things to keep firmly in mind once you do get past the "looking" phase and more to the "buying" phase based on some of your comments is:

- The HCA tool is not a selection tool. It's a rejection tool.
- An HCA score <2 does not guarantee a well performing stone so you can't say if it's less than 2 it must be fine. It just means it's worth investigating
- GIA EX cut does NOT guarantee a well performing stone.


Good luck on your search! If you need the ideal cut stone parameters you should be looking for at some point, just do a search for Pricescope cheat sheet.
 

Alexiszoe

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
586
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

I would suggest going down in clarity: working with a vendor who can check out if the diamond is eye clean and if it obstructs light performance in any way is the easiest way and most "bang for your buck" rather than sticking to VS clarity.

I have worked with incredible vendors who helped me pick out eye clean SI2s for me in the 3 carat size. Bliss, who worked with Yekutiel from ID Jewelry, found her an incredible 4 carat SI2 (thread here: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/3-98-rb-in-vatche-u113-thanks-to-idj.184808/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/3-98-rb-in-vatche-u113-thanks-to-idj.184808/[/URL]). If this is up your alley, you might want to consider contacting Jim Schultz from James Allen and Yekutiel since their prices are some of the most competitive amongst the recommended vendors here, plus they have a pretty good reputation here.
 

TC1987

Brilliant_Rock
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Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/e-ring-pics.145064/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/e-ring-pics.145064/[/URL]
^ I happen to have bookmarked that thread some time ago. It's a 1.35 ct I VVS1, very strong blue, on a 4.75 finger.

I have an old diamond that was appraised as I color. I later learned that it's strong blue fluor, too. Back when I bought it, in 1993 or so, I never saw any tint in it at all. But now that I have hung around PS a few years, I have learned how to spot tint in E and F. I can readily see tint in my I color diamond, from the side. The fluor and the cut make it face up very white, though. But fluor has negligible "cleansing" effect on tint if the light source has no UV.

That's why I bookmarked that particular stone. In certain conditions, you may notice a hint of warmth a warm diamond face-up, and you will probably notice it from the side always, Remember, too, that as diamonds increase in size (or depth) they also tend to concentrate the tint. So, color-sensitive people unfortunately may need to also go up in color when they choose a larger diamond.

I can spot I color in a princess or Asscher or other deep cut from 2' away, looking at the diamond from the side.

Clarity is where I can most readily compromise. I no longer need a perfectly eye-clean diamond. I can tolerate a visible black speck, even, so long as it is subtle and it hides well.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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18,654
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

TC1987|1359859670|3370865 said:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/e-ring-pics.145064/
^ I happen to have bookmarked that thread some time ago. It's a 1.35 ct I VVS1, very strong blue, on a 4.75 finger.

I have an old diamond that was appraised as I color. I later learned that it's strong blue fluor, too. Back when I bought it, in 1993 or so, I never saw any tint in it at all. But now that I have hung around PS a few years, I have learned how to spot tint in E and F. I can readily see tint in my I color diamond, from the side. The fluor and the cut make it face up very white, though. But fluor has negligible "cleansing" effect on tint if the light source has no UV.

That's why I bookmarked that particular stone. In certain conditions, you may notice a hint of warmth a warm diamond face-up, and you will probably notice it from the side always, Remember, too, that as diamonds increase in size (or depth) they also tend to concentrate the tint. So, color-sensitive people unfortunately may need to also go up in color when they choose a larger diamond.

I can spot I color in a princess or Asscher or other deep cut from 2' away, looking at the diamond from the side.

Clarity is where I can most readily compromise. I no longer need a perfectly eye-clean diamond. I can tolerate a visible black speck, even, so long as it is subtle and it hides well.


Just to comment on that, the idea that you can see the tint does in no way mean that that is a bad thing. Seeing it is one thing, being bothered by it is another; and in that regard, is completely subjective. yes, absolutely a I is not going to be anywhere as white as an D, but so what? Not everyone wants white and not everyone is bothered by tint. Many people on this forum find the mid level colors like I or so softer and more romantic colored than the stark white "bling" look of D's and E's. And dropping down to a J is not going to effect the light performance at all...And i am not bashing high colored stones at all, they are very beautiful as well, just dont think that just because you can see a tint its automatically a worse stone. Heck, lots of ladies on here have O's :))
 

diamondseeker2006

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54,993
Re: Most "wiggle room" in the 4 C's for a middle class layma

I personally do not recommend going below I SI1 on an engagement ring, but I like H VS2 MUCH better. But if the I SI1 will allow you to get over the 1.5 mark, I would do that. I would not go to J because the tint is generally visible then. That said, I'd never buy a stone from Blue Nile since they don't provide pictures. I'd suggest James Allen instead since their prices are close and they provide great pictures/video and will provide an idealscope image upon request. Unless you are going with BN's top cut, I wouldn't consider buying there. If you take a look at a page or two of diamonds on the James Allen site, you will see that all excellents are not created equal (by the cutter).

Here's a search on JA for 1.5-1.69 I SI1. When you click on a particular stone and have it's page come up, a video loads in the main picture area. Click on it and you can see the stone revolve and that way you can see the clarity characteristics well. It looks like you can get an excellent cut stone around $10k, but there should be a little extra discount for PS members and for paying by wire (if you can). I'd do that and put it in a simple setting and she can always choose a new setting once you finish school and can afford it. But if you do not plan on upgrading the stone, get the best you can now.

http://www.jamesallen.com/#!/loose-diamonds/round-cut//CaratFrom:1.50|CaratTo:1.69|Color:I|Clarity:SI1|Cut:Ideal,Excellent|PriceFrom:400|PriceTo:999000|Sort:Carat asc, DefaultOrder|

Try to get a 1.5 as close as possible to 7.4mm.

table: 54-58

depth: 60-62.3

crown angle: 34-35

pavilion angle: 40.6-41.0
 
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