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Need help in making a good decision 1.5K-2K£

madalin999

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Jul 26, 2019
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36
In the sample Pictures in your original post, your girlfriend sent you a picture indicating that she wants a princess cut diamond with halo and pave. Your picture (or what you want) was a round diamond with graduated side stones down the shank.

Everyone is helping you find rounds. Does your girlfriend want a princess cut? Or a round in a setting like the picture? Cuz if she wants a princess cut and you get her a round ... especially if you get her a round because YOU wanted it ... after she specifically indicated princess, well, it would be unfortunate.

Does she want a round or a princess?
Round diamond, she did not even know there are diamonds in princess cut until i told her.
 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
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Jul 26, 2019
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Additionally, has she tried any rings on?

Some people like a certain shape but it doesn't suit them on the hand!
Yes she did try some stuff on at Hatton Garden a while ago, she mostly went for round cut with yellow setting, white setting she likes, but she would lean more towards the yellow one as she kept giving me hints :)
 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
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At HPD using their least expensive setting with diamonds and their least expensive diamond I came up with $2,085 ( about £1,625) + shipping and taxes for a 0.40 carat, D / SI1. I think with taxes you'd be looking at £2,000 + whatever shipping is.

At WF, a bit more complex (I'm bored this morning!) I used their least expensive diamond setting and came up with a 0.45 ACA which would bring the total to $2,009 (about £1,565). I couldn't get larger and stay in budget of £2,000 including taxes.

At BN I think I found a nice 0.57 carat, G / VS2 diamond. With a similar setting to your 1st one (not the halo) I came to £1,990 total including shipping and out the door.

I understand and acknowledge upfront that these diamonds are not compariable. I know D and G are not the same. At HPD I went for the lowest cost build to see what could be done. At BN I went for the largest well cut diamond sticking to D - G and IF - VS2 within the given price range with the most similar setting I could find.

I'd rather have a 0.57 carat over a 0.40 or 0.45 carat any day. I have a 0.45 carat on a size L finger. I live in the UK and I'd rather have a larger stone. You will be able to see the difference between 0.40 and 0.57 carats.


NB: please let others who are better help you with your diamond choices. I stuck to the basic paramaters for table, depth, crown and pavillion angles. I did not run the numbers through those calculator things.
I understand your opinion aswell, BN would be my best choice in the end as an almost 0.60 diamond is very noticeble than. 0.40-45, also WF and HPD seem more expensive and you get an less carat weight for my budget, like for 2k, the cheapest u came up with 0.45 sl1 + i have seen their settings, are are really pricey aswell. The one you gave as an example, the ideal cut from BN ( and this is where my OCD kicks in) will it be a nice sparkle? And if, how would you compare it to an ACA or CBI?
 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
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Jul 26, 2019
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Just generally speaking, I really think you should go for cut and as large a diamond you can get. ACA, HPD are super ideal cuts. An ideal cut will always appear larger because there is no light leakage at the edges. They also hide tint and inclusions well, one reason being that the brilliance and fire are such that they draw attention on themselves. I think with D E F you will be wasting money. You can safely go down to at least H even if she is color sensitive but most women would love an ideal cut in this size being I or J too. Do not aim for high clarity, no one will see the difference. Aim for an eye clean SI or best VS2. Since her finger size is already larger you need to get her sparkle and size. If you can get an ideal cut only from the US, shipping is completely safe, fees are worth it and choose a simple solitaire setting. I would take advantage of an upgrade program if you can just in case. It will not hurt. It is just that a small stone looks great on someone with slender fingers, a larger stone looks great on everyone.
An ideal cut from BN what you think?
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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@madalin999 I am trade so not allowed to comment specifically but to find an ideal on BN is possible and practical but you will need the help of this forum. The draw back is that you cannot just upgrade later as easily I think but I guess you could then buy another diamond ring later for an anniversary.

But then again you could do this with WF, HPD, etc. I think to me the quality of those stones and the settings are special. There is a size difference yes. Would it be possible to increase your budget a bit and get the best of both worlds? I just think this is such an important decision but do not do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.

My personal opinion gasp I am going to say this much... before I was trade I wanted to buy from WF even though by then I was living back in Europe. HPD did not exist back then. I think when you say sparkle, well a special diamond and setting make all the difference and to me it is not worth to save a couple hundred and then get lesser quality. Then I would just save for a bit longer myself.

Also here in Europe larger size is not the same as it is in the US. Here most girls run around with 0.1-0.2 ct engagement rings. I also find that while I love large stones when there is extraordinary fire, I can sacrifice some size. The only way to get that and save besides superideals would be antiques but you would like a new ring.

Ultimately it is your own decision what you prefer and can pull off. I think you should contact some of these recommended vendors and see how you feel about them. You will know what is right for you.
 

Jsand

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With HPD you do not have to pick exclusively from the more expensive settings listed on their website. They can easily source settings from other companies (eg Stuller), and their salespeople are extremely patient, helpful and knowledgable in finding something to suit your budget.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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How does the upgrading work? Like you buy a .60 ct diamond then you can upgrade to what exactly? Twice the size? Or 0.30bigger
@rockysalamander WF sounds really good for me, as long as I know how much import tax i would end up paying. The above calculator for james allen its way too much, hopefully WF does cheaper.

Hands down, WF and HPD have the best upgrade policies in the business. What they share is a straight forward, no BS approach to upgrades. Simply spend the same or greater amount of your original stone and you get 100% of the original stone purchase price to apply towards the upgrade. There are NO other silly requirements about size, color, clarity, doubling original price, etc.

If you aren't aware, WF has 3 primary brands:
  • A Cut Above (ACA) is their premier AGS000 certified hearts & arrows (H&A) stones that we frequently rave about here. These meet a very strict set of criteria as defined on their website here. The short & sweet is this is their cream of the crop line with the best cut and best symmetry.
  • Expert Select (ES) are comprised of near miss ACA's. These stones are also AGS000 certified but may have small variances from the stringent ACA criteria I linked above. These can be great bargains, as many of them have variances so tiny they may be undetectable to most human eyes.
  • Premium Select (PS) is similar to ES stones, except they come with GIA triple X certification.

All 3 brands offer the same level of advanced imaging, transparency and are all eligible for the generous upgrade program. Many times ES and PS stones will offer a little more bang for the buck without any significant sacrifice of cut quality for those budget conscious customers.

Where the two companies differ is this:

1. WF works with select cutters and a set of strict specifications to ensure their stones are cut to maximum precision and beauty. They then vet the stones for compliance, and store them in their safe until they are purchased by a customer.

2. HPD is an authorized dealer for Crafted by Infinity (CBI), who actually cuts the diamonds and makes their inventory available to HPD and several other dealers located globally. However, the upgrade policies and some of the perks you receive is specifically dependent on the authorized dealer. For instance, you may be able to buy the same diamond from HPD or Fortrez but their upgrade policies are different (Fortrez requires your new purchase be at least 25% greater than the original purchase).

Lastly, someone mentioned shipping. Both WF and HPD offer free international shipping, so that really isn't much of a concern or worry for you.

Here are web links confirming the data I mentioned above:




 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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As mentioned by @rockysalamander earlier, CBI has authorized dealers in both Belgium and the UK:

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Best Diamonds (aka DiamondHouse) and Fortrez are actually the same. BD/DH is actually their UK location, whereas Fortrez is their Belgium location. Unlike their UK location, Fortrez has online CBI stone search functionality and you can see they quote prices in Euro's and have 21% VAT included.

Capture95.PNG

If you decide to go this route, please be sure to confirm their upgrade and buyback policies. It appears to me your lifetime buyback policy is capped at 75% (vs 80% with HPD). Also, Fortrez requires you spend 60% more dollars than your original purchase when upgrading (vs 0 with HPD).

Additionally I see different wire price discounts of 1% and 1.5% which isn't much, especially compared to HPD's generous 5% wire discount.



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sledge

Ideal_Rock
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VAT to the UK is 20.55% for a loose diamond only. It increases to 23.633% if you have it set in the US and shipped as an engagement ring.

Additionally 1 pound is currently equal to about 1.29 USD.

So your max budget is around $2,571 USD, pending exact currency exchange rates and fees involved.

I absolutely agree that getting an ideal cut stone with good upgrade is the way to go. You may sacrifice a little size now, but you do so knowing you will make it up later. Also, her idea of a halo will help provide more finger coverage for less money.

I have more thoughts, but am tight on time. Watch this video and how it shows two stones of equal size, but the poorly cut one looks smaller because it doesn't reflect light all the way from edge to edge. Instead, in this example, you have severe light leakage so the poorly cut stone actually looks smaller.

My point is that in addition to looking "more pretty" it also plays into the size and color, as from the face up position a stone that reflects light also looks brighter/whiter which may allow you to cheat color a little to maximize your budget.

 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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VAT to the UK is 20.55% for a loose diamond only. It increases to 23.633% if you have it set in the US and shipped as an engagement ring.

Additionally 1 pound is currently equal to about 1.29 USD.

So your max budget is around $2,571 USD, pending exact currency exchange rates and fees involved.
I am confused... (Although that is easily done :???: :lol: )

UK VAT is 20% - is the 20.55% here a value calculated backwards from something?

Likewise, Import Tax on jewellery is 2.5% IIRC, which would seem to roughly tie in with the difference between 20.55% and 23.633%, but not exactly...

:???:


FWIW, with GBP/USD exchange rate where it is, and VAT at 20%, it's not too far out to just change the $ sign for a £ sign and work on that basis! lol
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
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OP, you haven't said how you feel about upgrades. I know they aren't the typically done thing here in the UK, and I wonder how often they are actually done outside of this forum.

Please take into consideration both your immediate plans and future plans when purchasing a diamond.

I clearly disagree with most of the American based posters. I would choose to buy larger now, still raking getting a great cut as my first priority, wherever that was less expensive. You don't have to buy from the US or purchase from WF or CBI or HPD to get a great cut diamond.

I wouldn't want to deal with shipping back to the US, trading-in to upgrade, and then dealing with shipping back to the UK and those duties and fees again for a stone of this size with no clear plans to upgrade in the future. If you have a goal size, say 1.5 carats, and know you be upgrading in the future then that's different in my mind. At 0.45 carats my diamond, to me, also isn't big enough to worth enough to deal with that hassle. I'd keep it, reset it into a pendant and buy a larger stone without trading it in. That's me and my opinions are based on that. In real life, I'm in my 30s and dealing with expensive UK housing, an unstable job market, family goals, and upcoming holidays and travel plans which mean I wouldn't even consider an upgrade for several years - unless I won the lottery.

Think about your situation, your partner's wants and what you can provide. When you know your priorities, post here and we'll help you.


 

OoohShiny

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To add to the discussion, there are 13 AGS000 stones in the PS search tool that are >0.45ct, <$1600, within PS-recommended ranges, and have 'Excellent' HCA scores (therefore have angles that should definitely work):


From that list, there are a few that are over 0.5ct.


Alternatively, if you switch to GIA XXX stones with the same requirements, there are over 5000 (!) stones that might meet the requirements:



The largest is a 0.71ct I SI1 but I can't get the report to load right now, so can't check the inclusions plot. - my gut feeling is it might be a bit messy if it is a stand-out larger stone than the rest available in the listings, as that would suggest something is 'wrong' with it:



However, in the UK, we usually tend to stop around H colour in the High Street shops, so this 0.64 H VS1 might be ideal - will look basically free of tint in most lights and will definitely be eye-clean. 0.64ct is also a large stone for most areas of the UK IMHO:

 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
36
@Rhea
@OoohShiny
Sorry for my late answers, I was working couple overtime hrs and didnt have time to check the forum. So, for my price range, upgrading I wont do, because, its just not my thing and in my country the tradition remains that if you gave her that ring, its that one and only one, not take it back and ask for a bigger one, which I dont plan on doing, plus the hassle with returns, fees, taxes etc...
Do not get me wrong, you people have been very helpfull in any other way I could never imagine, and I thank you for that.Furthermore, based on my life as it is now, and my financial state, not the most stable but I manage, getting an ring and diamond would be my choice from UK, BN or the ones mentioned about in regards with the CBI Stones. So, as I made my mind up, I might end up purchasing the ring in January, or this late December.
Now, based on your experience, in my price range, to get the most of my money, how should I stick with things? bigger carrat, H colour, sl1, clean eye, or small carrat 0.56 for example, nice astor ideal cut , vs2 from BN with an simple yellow gold setting totalling of 2000£? Hmm

PS, I thanks the people offering me the WF website and the examples, but I believe we can work something out here in London aswell :)

I saved this a while ago, Diamond B just blinds me, thats what i want!
 
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rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
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Rhea

Ideal_Rock
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It's far too early to start looking for a diamond now for 2-3 months down the road. Any stone you find could sell in that time meaning that you'll have to search a few times before you're ready. Unless you really enjoy the process that can just be frustrating.

At the same time allow time for a ring to get to you. You cannot just order on Wednesday and expect it to be there on a Friday. Lead times around the holidays are longer because of bank holidays and general busyness. I'd honestly recommend ordering 2-4 weeks before you need a ring. If you're aiming for a NYE proposal, that's ordering no later than the 1st week of December.

As well as BN try 77 diamonds who are London and Birmingham based. Be warned though, they have absolutely no trade-up policy. I understand that a great trade-up policy is not something that you're seeking, but never say never. For that reason, I'd choose BN over 77 diamonds just in case in 10 years you did find that you wanted a different diamond. At BN you must spend double in the future to trade-up, which isn't unreasonable should you find your situation changes in the future.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Posting this again because it sort of got lost in the thread. Can you tell us whats wrong with the option? Its a .56 G within budget including setting.
I understand you are looking for higher color but your budget is tight.

Are you looking for bigger?
Do you still want to stay in the DEF range (going to be tough)?

Its BN UK so easy for you to buy/return and all the taxes are included from what I understand.
 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
36
Posting this again because it sort of got lost in the thread. Can you tell us whats wrong with the option? Its a .56 G within budget including setting.
I understand you are looking for higher color but your budget is tight.

Are you looking for bigger?
Do you still want to stay in the DEF range (going to be tough)?

Its BN UK so easy for you to buy/return and all the taxes are included from what I understand.
No, I will go for this setting and .56, I just love it, and with all respect, I hope I havent offended you with my delayed answer as I lost track of the reply's.
My budget is tight i know, but that setting and a .56 ring, cushion or round should go fine, cant wait!
@Rhea I know, I must have gotten a bit rushed with all my stuff going about, you are right about waiting few more weeks until my purchase.
Luckily I found my setting which @tyty333 suggested aswell as @rockysalamander. Now we just need to find that rock . I will keep you guys updated on my situation. Thank you so much!
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Luckily I found my setting which @tyty333 suggested aswell as @rockysalamander. Now we just need to find that rock . I will keep you guys updated on my situation. Thank you so much!
Nothing wrong with the rock @tyty333 posted -- 55 table, 61.7 depth, 34.5 crown, 40.6 pavilion & 75 LGF. Proportions are in acceptable range. BN doesn't provide IS or ASET images, and the video looks good so you just have to take the risk. FWIW, the dollars fall just as @rockysalamander mentioned upstream.

You could buy an ASET scope and verify performance once you get it. If it's great, keep it. If not, return for a different diamond. Rinse & repeat.

FWIW, I think G is good on color. You are setting in YG setting anyhow. Speaking of the setting -- £666? Yikes! I'm thinking £667 is better, no? LOL
 

madalin999

Rough_Rock
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Nothing wrong with the rock @tyty333 posted -- 55 table, 61.7 depth, 34.5 crown, 40.6 pavilion & 75 LGF. Proportions are in acceptable range. BN doesn't provide IS or ASET images, and the video looks good so you just have to take the risk. FWIW, the dollars fall just as @rockysalamander mentioned upstream.

You could buy an ASET scope and verify performance once you get it. If it's great, keep it. If not, return for a different diamond. Rinse & repeat.

FWIW, I think G is good on color. You are setting in YG setting anyhow. Speaking of the setting -- £666? Yikes! I'm thinking £667 is better, no? LOL
What is an aset scope if u dont mind me asking?
Also why they dont provide these images? Could I ask for them?
 
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Rhea

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What is an aset scope if u dont mind me asking?
Also why they dont provide these images? Could I ask for them?
Aset is a tool which shows light return and leakage. The video you attached above, post #43, shows an aset image at the bottom and explains what the red, blue, green and white colours mean. You can buy a little scope yourself, they aren't expensive around $50 I think, and look at your diamond when you get it.

BN is effectively a budget shop, in comparison to WF and HPD. Setting up and taking an aset image takes time which is money. It's my understanding that BN don't do them at all so no, you wouldn't be able to ask for it. WF and HPD do do them should you choose to shop there.
 

Tartansparkles

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Feb 23, 2017
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@madalin999 just one thing to consider with BN UK - returns are not free and cost £40-60 (the items are returned to Dublin which means international shipping). They do offer a returns service which worked out to be the most cost effective method for me (I'm also in the UK) but it was still a bit of a hassle. Just something to be aware of if you think you might buy and return multiple times.
 

moneymeister

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Dear OP, if I read this correctly, your girlfriend wants a yellow gold setting. I think a d or e is lost in yellow gold. The stone will pick up reflected yellow tint from yellow gold, to some degree. I would consider an I-k. It won't look yellow against yellow gold at a smaller carat weight. Well, to 95% of people. There are few people who have extremely sensitive eyes.

This is my .85 in yellow gold, and it's a "j". I decided to put the most in the stone and not the setting.
I bought the stone through Ritani. Not a special spec stone, and probably comparable to BN. I did use the HCA tool to find the best probable cut and stuck with "ideal" cut stones only. The clarity was a VVS. It sparkles very, very well and I am happy how it came out at about 2700 USD. I bet you could get a similar deal at about .75 in a simple solitaire and buy the halo mounting later for an anniversary.

Just options on a budget. You have so many options!
Screenshot_20191003-144555_Gallery.jpg
 
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madalin999

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Jul 26, 2019
Messages
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Dear OP, if I read this correctly, your girlfriend wants a yellow gold setting. I think a d or e is lost in yellow gold. The stone will pick up reflected yellow tint from yellow gold, to some degree. I would consider an I-k. It won't look yellow against yellow gold at a smaller carat weight. Well, to 95% of people. There are few people who have extremely sensitive eyes.

This is my .85 in yellow gold, and it's a "j". I decided to put the most in the stone and not the setting.
I bought the stone through Ritani. Not a special spec stone, and probably comparable to BN. I did use the HCA tool to find the best probable cut and stuck with "ideal" cut stones only. The clarity was a VVS. It sparkles very, very well and I am happy how it came out at about 2700 USD. I bet you could get a similar deal at about .75 in a simple solitaire and buy the halo mounting later for an anniversary.

Just options on a budget. You have so many options!
Screenshot_20191003-144555_Gallery.jpg
I really like this opinion aswell, that rock looks huge! How much was it?
@Rhea I will give it a second thought about BN im the upcoming weeka, i really would like this to come up nicely in the end.
@moneymeister 0.75 sounds really good, link me up when I decide the day im buying in the 2 months period ok? Thank you
 

moneymeister

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@moneymeister 0.75 sounds really good, link me up when I decide the day im buying in the 2 months period ok? Thank you
We may be a hair under at .73 or so. The 18k yellow gold bumps the price by 200, I wonder if they would cast in 14k in yellow gold as a special order. If so, that is even more to put into the stone. The 6 prong solitaire starts at 245 in 14k.They did a special cast for my husband's wedding ring, so maybe that would work.

My stone was 2,321 USD, the setting was 390, but the setting was on sale at 25% off, if I remember correctly.
 
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rockysalamander

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I really like this opinion aswell, that rock looks huge! How much was it?
@Rhea I will give it a second thought about BN im the upcoming weeka, i really would like this to come up nicely in the end.
@moneymeister 0.75 sounds really good, link me up when I decide the day im buying in the 2 months period ok? Thank you
I posted some lower colors in Post #4.
 

moneymeister

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The stone was 2,321 and a correction: .82. Too late to edit above. I wear the same ring size as your girlfriend (US 7.5) so here is a hand shot for perspective. Please note, I am old as heck, so sorry about the ancient hand :) 20191031_071435.jpg
 

madalin999

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Jul 26, 2019
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Ok, after a couple of months waiting and deciding, I have chosen WhiteFlash and Highperformance diamond as an option to purchase as well. I know, I tend to become OCD when it comes to getting the perfect diamond, with all the characteristics I want. So, let's do the searching, I am willing to do a purchase before 11th this month. Price, even with tax imports, up until 2000£ or 1500£, that would be my total as I have had A LOT of unexpected problems, which didn't affect me financially, but on the short side we are saving up for an apartment in my country, so that would be our main goal for now together, leaving aside this little surprise of getting her the proposal ring :). So, please, all who have helped me in the previous months, I now ask you again to assist me in choosing the one, ASET scope, and everything,

Thank you in advance, and like a Romanian saying of mine, "let it be in a good watch".
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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So 2,000£ max including diamond, setting, VAT & duties?

Using JA tax & duty calculator, it appears there is approximately 23.5% that will go to VAT & duties shipping a diamond engagement ring to the UK.


2,000£ * (1 - 0.235) = 1,530 £ available for diamond + setting

Google shows current conversion rate of 1 £ = $1.31 USD, so 1,530 £ x 1.31 = $2,005 USD max budget, after allowing for VAT & duties
 

sledge

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WF ACA 0.611 J SI1 @ $1,637 wire

WF 14k YG Setting w/ WG 6-prong @ $339 wire

Ritani 14k WG Setting w/ 6-prong @ $237 wire

Total USD = $1,637 + $339 = $1,976

You could save $100 USD if you went with the Ritani WG option.
 
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