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My Ebay OEC + A Singlestone Saturday in heaven.

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sanfranciscoellen

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Some of you may have seen my posting here:Thoughts on this old stone

In an spectacularly un-Pricescopish move for a particularly risk-averse person, I went a little insane and purchased an ebay OEC diamond, uncerted, with no return policy. As I stated, I had the sweaty palms and beating heart of a gambler when I clicked this "make an offer" button, not sure if I was flushing my insurance claim money (from the loss of the asscher pictured to the left) down the drain. But, ahoy! The stone came, and was the prettiest thing ever.

I went this path because I kept falling for OEC cut rings in the 1.6ct-1.8ct range, in estate jewelry stores here in San Francisco. I was hunting for a cushion, spoke with many of the usual folks... found a lovely cushion at GOG, had to let it go due to a snag in the insurance claim process. Talked to Adam at Old World Diamonds and Mark at ERD and saw some lovely cushions and OMC cushions new and old. But every time I went to drool at Lang''s or Dianne''s during a lunch break from work, I kept falling for those OEC''s. But they seemed to be running $15,000 to 16,000 in those sizes, which was exactly twice my budget.

So, where does one go if they have a taste for Lang''s but a craigslist budget? Ebay, to start. And after a week of poking around I saw my stone. The seller (Nathy, whose ebay screenname is now secondhanddiamonds) seemed fairly reputable (1 neg out of 2000+ transactions), had way better photos than usual, but had a no return policy unless the stone was grossly misrepresented, and then only in three days. Standard little vendor fare. Definitely the kind of "estimated" specs that made me know that I had to be comfortable with the stone being 1-2 grades in either direction from the 1.90ct J VS1 she was estimating it to be while set in its yellow gold semi-vintagish setting. I emailed her several times, she sent more photos, hand shots, etc. I did comps at OWD and felt like stones in that size varied in quality but all seemed priced higher than I would pay for the eBay stone. So, I just did it. Took a risk and did it.

I had her remove it from the stone, and she sadly (for her own sake) reported to me that her jeweler weighed it at 2.0ct, and sent an appraisal from him (the stinky smoky appraisal I mentioned in my last post, with a funny notary public seal on it) saying the stone was a 2.0ct, J VS2. Once again, I took it with a grain of salt of course. I sent it to Nancy Stacy here in the Bay Area who graded it as an L SI1, on the borderline of K. I was a little disappointed in the color, but still happy with the stone and the price for the quality of the cut (although viewed it as less of a bargain and more of a breaking even eBay "almost mistake.") Nancy said it was a very nicely cut old stone, an OEC done with a slightly more modern pavillion, with a large culet, kind of ''20''s. Not insane in the fire department, but unusually brilliant for an OEC. I had her ship it onwards to Ari at Singlestone, who I had decided was the one and only guy I wanted to work with on this project.

Long story short, I ended up in Palm Springs this weekend for my husband''s work retreat, and Ari emailed me to say that the stone had arrived so we needed to narrow down some choices for settings. I had looked at the pics on his site obsessively, but was having a hard time wading through the options. I had seen a few of his pieces in person and kept gravitating towards them, mostly because I *knew* what they looked like on my hand. I told him I was in Palm Springs and that I wished I could zoom over to see him but was stuck at the boring resort. He replied, "Do you want sugar and cream in your coffee? I''ll meet you here at 9am tomorrow morning." I thought for two seconds, replied that I would be there, booked a rental car, picked it up that evening, and set out on the road at 6:30am for a Thelma-and-Louise like sprint across the desert in a white rental Ford Mustang. By myself. With no Louise.
 

sanfranciscoellen

Brilliant_Rock
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So I arrived in the Jewelry district in LA, and found Ari and Patti waiting for me in their perfect little slice-of-heaven showroom. I can''t tell you how lovely those display cases of baubles were. Are.

Long story short, I spent two hours trying on rings and talking with Ari and Patti. They were unbelievably helpful, and nice. Ari was unsure about the L color appraisal, and remains convinced that the stone would be graded by EGL as a J VS2 just like the smoky appraisal said. He started pulling out EGL J''s and showing me my stone next to the J''s, and Ari felt mine appeared whiter. In any case, he assured me that I did about as well as one could do on a 2ct stone of this quality; that $7000 was an excellent price and would be sold for $12,000 or so, retail. Maybe Nancy is right and maybe Ari is right, but at least I left feeling like people who know old stones and see a million a day thought it was a good one.
 

sanfranciscoellen

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I think I wanted to write this long long post more than anything to tell people someday searching for old cut stones or vintage rings or even vintage reproduction rings that it would be worth spending $500 to fly to LA to go try these Singlestone rings on in person. I have no idea how I would have ever ended up with the ring I selected; I thought I wanted something more deco, french cuts, simple, low, no fancy stuff. I ended up with something completely different than that; it just was right when I saw it, perfect when I put it on, and spoke to me.

The internet is lovely, and phone calls are better, but if you are going to drop thousands of dollars on a ring, I beg you to spend the money to go in person. It is such a different experience. I spend several years trying to love my lovely asscher rings, but as many times as I tinkered with them, matted the finish, added an eternity band.... the rings just didn''t *feel* right on my hand,

Here''s the one I picked; I can''t wait to show you the real pics someday soon!

AB326.jpg
 

sanfranciscoellen

Brilliant_Rock
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Ari then said he could give a facelift to my two left-over bands from my asscher set; he is taking the plain matte platinum band and thinning it out, and engraving it. The matching eternity band will be milgrained and thinned out to match the more delicate look, as well. So for a couple hundred dollars my two old rings that I feared would never get used and wouldn''t be able to be sold are being transformed into rings I can stack with my new OEC ring when it is done. Whoo hoooooo!

The case of eternity bands would have made you all faint. In fact, when Ari sent me out into the hall to look into the case, he warned me about knocking my head into the glass as I looked at the bands. I managed to escape without doing this, but right before I left, two swoony gals came to oogle the storefront and WHACK one of them whammed her head into the glass like a crow drunk on the vision of sparklies. I don''t blame her... the french cuts almost made me crazy.

Long story short, Ari is the best, and sometimes taking a gamble on ebay allows you to get something you really really want. For half the retail price ;-)

More pics to come when the project is finished!
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
Hi there wallermama!

I agree...SS rings are MUCH better in person. Rings I thought I would like, didn''t look right and ones I didn''t even spend more than passing glance were stunning on my finger. ALL were beautifully crafted. Patti is lovely - I spoke with mostly her although I did meet Ari. Patti cracked me up when she asked if I was from Pricescope. She said we all have the same lingo: OEC, OMC, "claw prongs" etc. LOL.

Love the ring...gotta a bigger pic? It looks familiar...
 

TravelingGal

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Just read the first line of your other thread...sorry your ring was stolen!!!
 

LGK

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Nov 27, 2007
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I don''t know how I missed your post with the pics of your beautiful new OEC. Yeah, you definitely got a good deal on that! I bought my OEC off ebay and distinctly remember the heart palpitations prior to delivery... I was absolutely certain I''d just kissed my $ good bye, and nearly fainted when I got what I paid for and then some! You definitely did good, that''s an absolutely gorgeous stone.

I can''t imagine going to Singlestone. I''d probably just go into shock first, and then and want to "adopt" wayyyy too many things. I''m sure my husband wouldn''t let me within a mile of SS! I''m so glad you picked a setting you love, it is just my taste too.
 

Deelight

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Oct 4, 2007
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I love happy endings and yours definitly sounds like one :). I can''t wait to see the finished product I am sure it will be beautiful :).
 

pixley

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
1,596
Hooray! What a roller coaster, no? Your stone looks glorious and that setting is going to be out of this world! Thanks for sharing your story and yummy trip to SS! Can''t wait to see your new goodies!
 

sanfranciscoellen

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Feb 1, 2006
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Thanks, guys! While I would hardly feel right about recommending risky ebay purchases, I did think it was important to pass along a not-so-horrible story with a happier ending, instead of leaving the story-telling to the people who end up with amoeba shaped diamonds with grey corn flake inclusions inside
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 12, 2004
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6,183
Hi Wallermama!!! I LOVED reading your story!!! Im sorry about your ring, but sounds like maybe it was "meant to be" as they say!!!! Your new ring looks GORGEOUS, and I cant wait to see more!!!! Im such a sucker for OEC's/older stones too, and I would probably just about die if I ever went to Singlestone IRL. I WILL have something made by then ONEDAY!!!!!!!!!
I just *heart* all their work!!!!

So excited for you!!!!!
 

geckodani

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Date: 3/3/2009 2:14:01 AM
Author: wallermama
Ari then said he could give a facelift to my two left-over bands from my asscher set; he is taking the plain matte platinum band and thinning it out, and engraving it. The matching eternity band will be milgrained and thinned out to match the more delicate look, as well. So for a couple hundred dollars my two old rings that I feared would never get used and wouldn''t be able to be sold are being transformed into rings I can stack with my new OEC ring when it is done. Whoo hoooooo!

The case of eternity bands would have made you all faint. In fact, when Ari sent me out into the hall to look into the case, he warned me about knocking my head into the glass as I looked at the bands. I managed to escape without doing this, but right before I left, two swoony gals came to oogle the storefront and WHACK one of them whammed her head into the glass like a crow drunk on the vision of sparklies. I don''t blame her... the french cuts almost made me crazy.

Long story short, Ari is the best, and sometimes taking a gamble on ebay allows you to get something you really really want. For half the retail price ;-)

More pics to come when the project is finished!
This image made me laugh so loud my coworkers now think me insane.

I''m so glad that you have had such a happy outcome to what started off as a horrible tragedy. I can''t wait to see your ring, and am so glad that you''ve found something that you love so much!
 

Upgradable

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2004
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5,537
What an amazing story! As an avid ebay diamond hunter I know that you can find some amazing deals out there. It just takes a little caution, a little reasearch, and a lot of hope! I''m glad you found you stunner! She''s going to be amazing held in that Singlestone masterpiece! I cannot wait to see her beauty!! Do you have a timeframe?
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
I was wondering how the stone checked out since your last thread. I''m so glad it all turned out successfully and cannot wait to see your new ring. It''s going to be fabulous, no doubt!!!
 

blair

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Feb 13, 2009
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9
What a fabulous story - thanks SO much for posting this. I'm planning a trip from Canada solely to go to Singlestone. I'm so happy to hear that it's worth the trip!!!

The setting you picked out is just gorgeous. Can't wait to see the finished product!
 

Kelli

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May 27, 2008
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Thanks for sharing your story. I can''t wait to see your finished ring!
 

glitterata

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Wallermama, I can''t WAIT to see your new beauty!

(Threadjack: Hey, Blair, it''s nice to see another cameo avatar!)
 

westjenn

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Jan 3, 2006
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I can''t wait to see your new ring! I''m glad you shared your experience at Singlestone! So many PS''ers have had such good experiences with Ari and SS, its really good to know!
 

HeartingDiamonds

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Date: 3/3/2009 2:14:01 AM
Author: wallermama
The case of eternity bands would have made you all faint. In fact, when Ari sent me out into the hall to look into the case, he warned me about knocking my head into the glass as I looked at the bands.


GUILTY


Twice, as a matter of fact
!!
 

sanfranciscoellen

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Feb 1, 2006
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1,030
OK, that is HILARIOUS. I told him he should put those stickers they add to windows to decrease bird deaths. Or Grace headbumps!

Date: 3/3/2009 1:27:51 PM
Author: HeartingDiamonds
Date: 3/3/2009 2:14:01 AM

Author: wallermama

The case of eternity bands would have made you all faint. In fact, when Ari sent me out into the hall to look into the case, he warned me about knocking my head into the glass as I looked at the bands.



GUILTY



Twice, as a matter of fact
!!
 

sanfranciscoellen

Brilliant_Rock
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A few more pics Ari sent to help me pass the time. I think I have a four week wait...

2.05%20JVS2%20AB326-A.JPG
 

sanfranciscoellen

Brilliant_Rock
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Another angle....

2.05%20JVS2%20AB326-B.JPG
 

sanfranciscoellen

Brilliant_Rock
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And my favorite, because it shows the think that made me fall in love with this setting.... it is set LOW! I had predetermined that more ornate settings wouldn''t work because they always seem to be set higher than I want. This one reaches up, grabs the diamond with 8 (?) prongs, and hugs it down real low and sexy-like. Mmm mmm good.

The cool thing was that this ring is set with a 2.05ct J VS2 OEC, so I got to see almost exactly how my ring would look. It''s the twin ring.

2.05%20JVS2%20AB326-C.JPG
 

sanfranciscoellen

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Feb 1, 2006
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hmm... pics are cranky let me try again.

ellenOEC1.jpg
 

sanfranciscoellen

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And the sexy side view...

ellenoec3.jpg
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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!Wow!!! You did good. It looks lovely and vintage in that setting. I bet you are setting on needles waiting to
get it. Congratulations!
 

omieluv

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Feb 28, 2007
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2,146
It is too bad about your asscher being stolen, as I am sure that was not a happy experience for you. However, I love your setting + OEC!
I do not think I would have had the courage you had regarding the diamond purchase via Ebay, but it really seemed to pay off for you. Ari sounds lovely and I bet you are especially excited about your bands getting their respective face-lifts. Be sure to buy or borrow a camera so you are able to post pictures of each finished ring.
 

Maisie

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Dec 30, 2006
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I can''t believe you don''t have your gorgeous asscher anymore


Great result with Ebay though. I can''t wait to see handshots of your new beauty!
 
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