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My head is spinning, help

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Hi,

I am looking at buying a ring and have looked at, read, and learned(?) so much that I need to get my bearings. So here are some questions:

1. I am on a tight budget (around $1000) and am having trouble finding rings that fit in that range. I don't want just a band with a diamond on it but something a little more. Any suggestions?

2. I never thought I would buy a diamond online. I always wanted to see it first. But the B&M stores (mostly chains) that I have been to are so much more expensive. I would like to see the diamond I am buying, but I don't want to sacrifice $200 in diamond quality to do so. Is buying online advisable? Is there a good store in the Minneapolis area that is recommended?

3. If I like a setting at one place, can I buy that and have the stone set someplace else? What if the stone is bought online?

4. For a diamond in the $500-750 range, is there an advantage to IGI, AGI, and EGL certifications?

Thank you for any help you can offer!
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
With a 1K budget, I would consider vintage rings. I tend to hoard links, so ....

This eBay 5-stone band is quite lovely, and reminds me a little bit of the graduated Tiffany Jazz bands, only prettier with the milgrain:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330506877513&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Jewels by Erica Grace has a great reputation around here: it's higher than your budget at 1.5, but it's a great value, and possibly worth saving up for; the emerald-cut that's second down on the page ....
http://www.jewelsbyericagrace.com/antique_vintage_and_reproductions_rings

Will happily help search further - you say you don't want just a plain solitaire, but could you say a little bit about what you do want in terms of shape of stone, style of setting, etc? And to answer your questions: yes, buying online is advisable, so long as it's from a reputable seller (and many PS vendors have great upgrade policies, if you think you'd want to do that in the future); yes, you can have a stone set at a store where you did not buy it; AGS and GIA are basically the only certs worth the paper they're printed on. Good luck!
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Circe, Thank you! I know my budget is small. I would be interested in an upgrade in the future! and I could go up maybe a little bit more. A setting I liked is a "swirl" type. I think I have attached a picture here. Also, some sidestones are nice.

Someone recommended that I look at Department stores, even Kohls and Penny's. I have not looked there, but I feel a bit uneasy about that. What would you say?
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,505
how bout something from this vendor?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ROUND-6-5mm-SOL...=280662743105&ps=63&clkid=8801868640970991116

Many PSer in the colored forum have bought from this jeweler before,

and buy this diamond, have a local jeweler set it for you. Especially if you plan on upgrading in the future, this would be a nice temp setting with a little bit more sparkler until the time comes:

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1375540.asp
or this:
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/K-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1355990.asp

and there are many more even a D color .41 ct (I think)
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Ok, Now I attached the file. I think I might do the online purchase. But I am also looking for recommended jewelers/stores in Minneapolis.

41013499_DR_M.jpg
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Big NO on the department stores: the quality they sell is okay for fashion rings, but I wouldn't want to count on it for a lifetime. Another approach you might consider could be getting engaged with a blingy eternity band, and saving up for the big solitaire to exchange with the vows (this is how it's done in some of the Scandinavian nations). It looks like your picture didn't come through, but I'll keep an eye out for swirly designs! This is sorta swirly, I think, and the vendor seems reputable (the "Make Offer" option could bring it within budget, I think): http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Fine-Di...4?pt=Vintage_Fine_Jewelry&hash=item5ae047ebc2

If you do want a vendor with an upgrade policy, I'd highly recommend a place called ID Jewelry: I just bought a pair of earrings from them, and they had the best prices of anybody I could find (and really awesome customer service, too, come to that). Maybe see if anything on their site appeals? http://idjewelryonline.com/

ETA: D'oh, crossposted! One great jeweler in Minneapolis is Knox Jewelers - lots of people here have bought from them and raved about the results. http://www.knoxjewelers.biz/
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,505
Here are some other options as well you just need to specify the size of the stone to fit, and they make it to your specifications:

http://cgi.ebay.com/SOLID-14k-WHITE...nd_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item3f08dd0d91

I just bought this:

but this has halo and will make your diamond appear bigger
http://cgi.ebay.com/6mm-ROUND-SOLID...nd_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item41590fbabd

or this, a little more simple but with a bit of bling :)

http://cgi.ebay.com/SOLID-14k-WHITE...nd_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item4158d393fe
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
D&T, These are some very nice rings. Thank you! I am amazed at how cheap their prices are! It almost seems too good to be true. You yourself trust this dealer?

My Girlfriend likes the marquis cut. What are your thoughts on that cut and would you look for any certain specifications? Is there any advantage to a marquis over a oval or vice versa?
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,505
Hi,

If you visit the Color stone side of the forum here, there are many that have purchased from them, I dealt with them a while back, and I changed my mind last minute, different project anyways, They have also done some custom work for other PSer's here before with remarkable outcome. They are a direct manufacturer in China so, your wait time will be a few weeks, they also have a return policy as well, So I do recommend working with them. There is a gal here LaurenThePartier, actually bought not sure from them or another Seller just like them for a Marquis diamond she had :)

Oh, sorrry...lol I just expected you wanted a Round diamond :oops: will look at some marquis later. Again, you mention that you will upgrade in the future, so this setting is just temp for now anyways right?
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,505

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
When I say upgrade in the future, that could be a few years down the road! In the meantime, I want something that

1. She likes.
2. Is something she can be proud of, that means not too small or too big actually.
3. Something that will "last" up to 10 years or so.

Is ASET common to receive? Even from online retailers?

Thank you for the Knox recommendation Circe! I will check them out too. ID has a nice one but it is only for a round.

http://idjewelryonline.com/product_info.php?cPath=42_47&products_id=11061&cType=ER

I am not necessarily against a round, but I know she likes the oval/marquis cut better!

Another question: Is there any online retailers to stay away from?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,683

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Thank you all for the assistance, it helps a lot!

In ordering the diamond, is James Allen better than Blue Nile or Soloman Bros.? Or are they all about equal?
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
JA offers images, the other 2 vendors do not. Buying fancy cuts depends heavily on images/videos or it will be just a shot in the dark unless you are dealing with a trusted vendor.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Given how tight your budget is, I'd also inquire with your local jewelers how much it will cost to set a stone. If it's too much or takes too much from your budget, I'd consider finding a setting and stone at the same place.

Not all online vendors are the same. There are sharks out there so you have to be careful. With a fancy cut like a marquise, personally, I would only work with a vendor that provides Aset images, or where I could see the diamond in person.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Here are some marquise's you might consider. There's a bit of a discount on each stone as well from PS - you should see a PS discount price next to the original price:

This stone is interesting from JA because it's the "model sample image" for marquise. It's quite a beaut - http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1256815.asp


http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1317769.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Premium-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1355897.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-VS2-Premium-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1317752.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1355898.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1340339.asp

From JA, you can pick 3 to request Aset images from. In general, what you'd like to see is good red distribution. In marquises, you're also looking to avoid a dark area around the belly of the stone. We call that a "bow tie". It's okay to have some but you don't want a big dark area in the widest part of the stone.
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Thank you for the help. Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay to have a Marquise set?

If I am looking at a Marquise diamond, what is the minimum clarity to look at to avoid a bowtie?
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
versk|1304217124|2908850 said:
Thank you for the help. Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay to have a Marquise set?

If I am looking at a Marquise diamond, what is the minimum clarity to look at to avoid a bowtie?
Clarity really has nothing to do with the bowtie effect... that is a function of the *cut* of the stone, meaning its angles. Clarity, you can likely go down to SI1 with no trouble, then you need to find one without a bowtie by looking at pictues and or videos and working with a trusted vendor who can look at it in person for you.

Setting fee is usually a fee of about $100 to $150. Better to have it done by the person who sells you the diamond, buy the setting from them and they waive the fee.
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
That helps a lot! Thank you! SI1 makes it much easier!

If I am buying the diamond online and the setting from a B&M, do I need to send the ring to the online company (James Allen) or do I bring the Diamond to the B&M (Shane)?
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
versk|1304219854|2908876 said:
That helps a lot! Thank you! SI1 makes it much easier!

If I am buying the diamond online and the setting from a B&M, do I need to send the ring to the online company (James Allen) or do I bring the Diamond to the B&M (Shane)?
First, send a photo of the setting to JA and ask if they can get it for you. Most of the settings carried by companies like Shane are from casting companies, and JA might be able to access the ring from the same casting company for you, and price match Shane.

If that does not work, then I'd find out what Shane will charge to set it, and find out what shipping the setting will cost and what JA will charge to set the stone, then decide. The decision maker might be the fact that JA will take financial responsibility for damage to the diamond during the setting process since they own the diamond, whereas Shane will not offer such protection because they do not own the diamond. It means you might want insurance for the diamond during the setting process at Shane, especially since it s a marquise with delicate points that can be damaged easily. That might decide it for me, and I would lean towards sending the setting to JA, assuming they will set it for you, the fee is not huge, and they will take responsibility for damage to the stone during setting.

When selecting your stone, ask the JA gemologist to assess 2-3 stones for you and tell you which is the best wrt bowtie, inclusions, and sparkle etc. They will be honest and can help you a lot.
 

versk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
20
Dreamer D, Thank you very much for the advice! This is so helpful.

How do I get a hold of the gemologist at JA? I assume that is not who I would talk just by calling. And I can't seem to find where to ask for ASET images. Do I just do that over the phone?

As I am learning more and more (which is still nothing), going through this process is actually becoming fun. Yikes!
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Call the sales rep or use the online chat thingy to request for an ASET and/or schedule an appointment with the gemologist.
 
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