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Need Advice on Size & Quality, within my Budget

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RokHound

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2003
Messages
4
Thanks in advance to all the kind & knowledgeable people who help me out! First of all, I''ve been looking at purchasing online a loose round diamond to have set as an engagement ring. Unfortunately, money (or relative lack thereof LOL) has been a major factor in my search and will most likely remain one in my ultimate decision. The upper range of my budget for the purchase is not much more (and preferably less) than $1,300. From my research, it seems like the overall nicest (size & quality) diamond for that price range is something like a 0.4 carat, F color, VVS2 clarity, ideal cut. Two websites that I''ve looked at and found diamonds much like what I''ve wanted, and that seem to be among the best to deal with from various reviews I''ve seen online, are BlueNile and GoodOldGold. At any rate, I still have a few questions. First, the Special Person''s expressed criteria for an engagement ring have been that she "doesn''t want a diamond chip, but it doesn''t have to be a huge rock, but wants it to be very nice&sparkly". Second, my personality is one that appreciates real beauty and craftmanship, true excellence rather than its mere appearance--I don''t think bigger is better. So, for my money''s worth, I''ve been looking at standard ideal-type cuts, but I''ve also been made aware that the ideal standard doesn''t always yield either the largest-looking of the high-quality cut round diamonds or the ones with the most "sparkle". Both those are desirable qualities in the diamond I would purchase. So, I''ve also been looking at the H&A cut, as well as diamonds that have proportions within the ideal range but with relatively large tables and correspondingly smaller depths and evaluating them with the HCA. It seems that for round diamonds in the size/quality range mentioned above, GoodOldGold has the best prices for AGS "0" H&A , and BlueNile is the best on GIA Ideal. My first question is, for the Little Lady’s criteria, which would be most likely to be the best? My second question is, should I be less demanding about the clarity and color? (I’ve seen some people who seem to know what they are talking about saying that to the naked eye outside of testing-lab conditions, near-colorless grades often look as white as the D-F range, and there is often little difference between VVS2 and VS1 since the type and size and position of the inclusions mean as much as the number of them.) I know that with my budget I won’t be able to get her anything like a carat of very good quality, so I’ve been looking for the best quality near a half carat; I’d rather give her a valuable stone and not just a flashy one. Any constructive comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

DiamondOptics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Messages
380
Hi Rokhound,


GoodOldGold is diamond connoisseurs website. Jonathan has earned an excellent reputation in the diamond community
and has pleased a multitude of people with his goods. Blue nile is also good, but the GOG selection seem's more
detailed...


Kirk
 

Jax172

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
948
Have you seen these?

http://www.superbcert.com/products/index.cfm?Product_ID=614&Product_Subcategory_ID=2&Product_Category_ID=3&Product_Group_ID=1


http://www.superbcert.com/products/index.cfm?Product_ID=645&Product_Subcategory_ID=2&Product_Category_ID=3&Product_Group_ID=1

Bigger, but still high quality and near colorless.
 

glt4392

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 16, 2003
Messages
31
just a comment about bluenile, and I only say this because of I am searching an evaluating some of their diamonds as well, when you search for a round diamond there and choose "ideal" as the cut be aware that they based their "ideal" selection that is certified by GIA (which often do not have excellent symetry or polish) as having ideal proportions for table and pavilion % ONLY. I have checked many of their "ideal" certified by GIA stones against the AGS 0 cut criteria for crown height, crown angles, pavillion angles, etc and some fall short of the stablished ideal cut. So ask for a SARIN report on any stone you are looking into and you can check against the proportions defined by AGS as "ideal" or go to www.gemappraisers.com and use the cut tool there to evaluate the cut. I have found that for the most part the true ideal stones are part of the signature collection there that already have AGS certifications statings just that. Now this is just my experience and I am sure there are exceptions. But in any event, I have found the bluenile staff to be great and willing to help you in your purchase. They ussually provide me with the sarin reports within the day of my request. You can even request it via e-mail if you don't want to deal with a salesperson.

I have only been on this board for a week or so since I am searching for that perfect stone like yourself. One thing I have noticed is that two sites that are often discussed here and for which I have found many satisfied customers for are goodoldgold.com and niceice.com Also they often reply to posts and questions and seem to be some of the most knowledgeable people I have come accross when it comes to diamonds. With that said they also post pictures and analysis results on the diamonds they offer. Not many others do that so you can actually see what you are being offered. I am looking into their stones too!

Good luck on your search!
 

69gm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
287
hi rokhound,

first let me congratulate you on finding this forum. there are many experts here who can help you a lot so you've definitely come to the right place.


now, my personal view is you are definitely being too picky on the clarity and color. i know this from personal experience so i'm not merely finger-pointing. especially since you won't be getting a carat, your clarity rating should go all the way down to an SI1. make sure it's a eye-clean SI1, but there are tons of them out there.

on color, you can go all the way down to an "I" and it will still be "white". in fact, if you get a well cut diamond, even "J" and to some extent "K" will still look white.

which brings me to the point of cut. please, above everything else, don't sacrifice the cut of the diamond. it will make a world of difference. with a well cut diamond, the color will appear whiter, there will be more brilliance, and overall, a smaller stone will look bigger...all because of the cut!

changing your criteria will save you money on those factors that aren't as important so you can spend it on those that matter...primarily the cut of the diamond.

as far as bluenile vs. goodoldgold, to me there is no comparison. while i like bluenile's website on ease of use, jonathan's knowledge, expertise, and customer service are second to none. let him know your situation and he will work with you to find a fireball within your budget.

other places that you may want to check are on par with goodoldgold include niceice.com (love their sense of humor!), supercert.com, whiteflash.com (love their pictures!). all of these places will give you lots of information about your diamond as well as work with you to meet your needs.

good luck!
 

RokHound

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2003
Messages
4
Thanks 69gm, I definitely agree about not wanting to compromise on the cut. However it might take more convincing for me to go down as far as I-K color or SI1 clarity. Do any of you other people-in-the-know agree? The stone will be set in either platinum or white gold in a small ring size with a thin band, so what if any bearing does that have on how white/large the stone will look? Also, wouldn't bigger and/or more inclusions be more detrimental to the quality of a smaller stone than the same clarity level in a larger stone, or is the argument that such inclusions are only really noticable in a stone larger than say half a carat? All things considered though, I have a hard time thinking that quality in the diamond as well as its cut wouldn't be better for my money's worth than a more sizable but lower quality stone of comparable cut. Particularly if, as you say, getting a top quality cut on a smaller stone will make it look bigger and brighter anyway...
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
H is fine a WG setting without ANY problems... You won't see a difference!

For clarity, if you want to be safe, go for a VS2 GIA or AGS certified
stone. You will not have to bother if the stone is eye-clean or not like in
an SI1...

Now for the setting, put some money on it and get something with
pave side stones .. also you can choose a setting where the diamond
is surrounded by metal like in the bezel-set or in some illusion types..

Why not an antique setting? Or some sapphires on the side??
You know, you don t have to do it exactly the same way all
californians do it....here in the north, we have plenty of ice during the
winter so we don t need those icy stones on our fingers....



Trichrome.
 

dancingmelimel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
187
----------------
On 7/20/2003 1:21:51 PM RokHound wrote:

However it might take more convincing for me to go down as far as I-K color or SI1 clarity. Do any of you other people-in-the-know agree?


Dunno if I'm a "people-in-the-know" but based on opinions I received here I purchased an I si1 from Whiteflash (A Cut Above H&A.) The stone is still unset and is a "tad" warm in color, but my understanding is it will look whiter once set, (even though it will be in platinum.) As for the clarity, I'm hard pressed to find the inclusions with a 10x loupe! If you purchase a well cut stone from a reputable company which is willing to look at individual stones for you to make sure the inclusions and color won't be a problem, (and especially if they have a good return policy so that you can judge for yourself,) then I think it's worth trying!


The stone will be set in either platinum or white gold in a small ring size with a thin band, so what if any bearing does that have on how white/large the stone will look?


A thin band will make the stone look bigger.....always a good choice IMO!


Also, wouldn't bigger and/or more inclusions be more detrimental to the quality of a smaller stone than the same clarity level in a larger stone, or is the argument that such inclusions are only really noticable in a stone larger than say half a carat?


I'd like to see the experts' take on this, but my understand has always been, the larger the stone the more visible inclusions will be.


All things considered though, I have a hard time thinking that quality in the diamond as well as its cut wouldn't be better for my money's worth than a more sizable but lower quality stone of comparable cut. Particularly if, as you say, getting a top quality cut on a smaller stone will make it look bigger and brighter anyway...
----------------

Well, let me ask you this..... What size stones do your girlfriend's friends have? Sadly, this is an important consideration because rings will inevitably be compared. If none of them have rings yet, don't let that put you too much at ease, because most likely they will before long.

Based on what you've said about your feelings about quality and craftsmanship and such, if I were you I would get a really clean, exceptionally cut H&A G/H si1 stone with the largest diameter you can find in your price range. You will end up with a very happy balance of a beautiful, sparkly, high quality stone that no one will ever bat an eye at, in the largest size you can manage for your girlfriend. And do it with a company that offers a lifetime trade-up option so that you could go to a larger size, or higher color and clarity, or whatever down the road should you wish. But when you first get engaged, that's when she'll be showing the stone all the time, and how it looks IMO is more important than what only you will know about the fantastic color and clarity.


-Melissa
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I highly suggest G or possibly even H..I love my G and its white with no hint of color. You can also look for a stone that scores very well on the Bscope with very high white brilliance and it may appear whiter.

2 cents on Blue Nile, IMO they are good for the base consumer who doesn't want to do more research or find better pricing or better stones for that matter. They are like the dept store of diamonds where they trade on the success and stability of a big name. The smaller 'boutique' vendors around the web are where you can get some exceptionally cut stones for probably similar to what BN will charge you. Just do your research. Hang around the forum for a little while and get a feel for who tickles peoples fancy. Make sure to look for reporting on your stone, don't just settle for a GIA report scan. There's plenty of info to be had and lots of places to look for it.

Best of luck!
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
I will have to go with Jax172 on this stone... 0.67ct, J, VS2, super ideal cut, 1.3 on the HCA for $1,336.65... sounds like a good deal to me! I would not worry about the J color. I bought a 1.33ct and two 0.55ct diamonds that are all Js and I love them! They look perfectly white.
 
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