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need help - princess cut & low budget

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kxt

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Apr 16, 2009
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hi everyone, been lurking for a while but first post.

looking to pick up solitaire e-ring for my gf - wanting to get married soon and need to take that next step. she is not a flashy girl and doesn''t really like big diamonds, which is good because i can''t afford them.

my budget is about $1k including setting and everything else, give or take a little. she likes princess cut diamonds so that''s what i''m looking for. i realize i am looking at about .3-.4 ct weight; that is fine. but i want that stone to sparkle like crazy. i am looking at probably a classic 4-prong setting as my best option, in white gold (again, her choice).

given all of this, i''m wondering what i need to prioritize in my search. i know that cut is the most important factor in how it looks, and from what i''ve seen here it seems like a good starting point is to get symmetry & polish at VG or higher, and to make sure that the table% is smaller than the depth%. as far as color/clarity i would like h/vs1 range, but feel free to tell me if i should consider other options.

but from here i''m pretty lost - this is where i''m asking all you experts to come enlighten me! a couple questions that come to mind:
how much effect does the difference between VG/EX symmetry and/or polish have? at this budget point should i even be concerned about the difference?
do clarity and/or color affect the brilliance/sparkle/etc.?
should i be concerned about fluorescence at all?
is there something else i''m totally missing that i should be concerned about?

even though i can''t spend a ton i still want to get her a quality diamond that looks good. your help is appreciated!
 

swingirl

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jet2ks

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Hi kxt,

First of all, welcome to Pricescope. I''ll take a stab at your questions.

how much effect does the difference between VG/EX symmetry and/or polish have? GIA did a study with normal people looking at diamonds (as opposed to people who look at them for a living) and found that people cannot tell a difference between VG and EX with the naked eye. at this budget point should i even be concerned about the difference? in other words, nope.

do clarity and/or color affect the brilliance/sparkle/etc.? cut will affect brilliance and sparkle MUCH more than either of these

should i be concerned about fluorescence at all? no, very rarely a stone with very strong fluoro will have a milky appearance. If you are concerned, you can always ask the vendor.

is there something else i''m totally missing that i should be concerned about? As stone cold just pointed out, open up to a little lower color and clarity. In a princess, with its'' "busy" appearance, these will be masked a little better than some other cuts. Staying in H-I color will give a very white diamond if well cut and you can easily go to SI1 clarity and still have a great stone. Just ask the vendor if it is eye-clean.

Nice pick, SC!
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
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12,505
Date: 4/22/2009 9:20:01 PM
Author: Stone-cold11
Consider other options. At this small size, color and clarity are not as noticeable. Below is an I SI1.

http://www.whiteflash.com/princess/Princess-cut-diamond-1204594.htm#
sweet one! thats a nice one, how bout the sleek line legato setting from Whiteflash as well.. that is very popular... beautiful
ETA sorry that legato is a little more but if you can squeez just a little more,,, also let them know you are a pricescope member and you should be getting a slight discount,, every little bit helps
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
Ditto all! I would put as much money into the stone as possible, vs. getting a more elaborate setting. Their V-prong Tiffany for princesses is $250 IIRC. You could always do a reset later. For me, getting over the 0.5 mark would be particularly important. Don't forget that WF has a discount for being a PS member.

Just for fun, here's my I/VVS2 princess from Whiteflash...you can see its ASET is nearly identical to the one SC suggested:
http://www.whiteflash.com/aca_princess/A-Cut-Above-Princess-cut-diamond-231916.htm#

The I color is barely perceptible due to the superb cut. The sole concern I have with that particular diamond is whether it's eye-clean, so just ask WF about that.

ETA: Reserve it ASAP if you're interested...don't let someone grab this out from under your nose!
 

jstarfireb

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Also wanted to add a couple of rocks that could be contenders in terms of cut quality. It's much harder to pick non-AGS graded princesses, especially without an ASET, but these 2 from JA could be worth a look. They would have the added benefit of larger size for the money as well as better color in the one (though honestly as we said, the I color won't be an issue).

0.6 I/SI2 - note that the very thick girdle could be hiding some weight
0.58 G/SI1 - same issue with the girdle

Additionally, if color becomes an issue for you, check out this gorgeous looking F/SI1:
0.52 F/SI1

James Allen doesn't do ASETs but will provide IdealScope images. Also ask if they're eye-clean, of course!

JA's simplest gold solitaire is $270:
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/classic-solitaire-settings/2mm-Knife-Edge-Ring.html
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 4/23/2009 12:26:14 AM
Author: jstarfireb
Also wanted to add a couple of rocks that could be contenders in terms of cut quality. It''s much harder to pick non-AGS graded princesses, especially without an ASET, but these 2 from JA could be worth a look. They would have the added benefit of larger size for the money as well as better color in the one (though honestly as we said, the I color won''t be an issue).

0.6 I/SI2 - note that the very thick girdle could be hiding some weight
0.58 G/SI1 - same issue with the girdle

Additionally, if color becomes an issue for you, check out this gorgeous looking F/SI1:
0.52 F/SI1

James Allen doesn''t do ASETs but will provide IdealScope images. Also ask if they''re eye-clean, of course!

JA''s simplest gold solitaire is $270:
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/classic-solitaire-settings/2mm-Knife-Edge-Ring.html
Good pick! You have a great eye Jstar for picking out a fab Princess especially just from photos!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
6,231
Thanks Lorelei! You''re too kind! That F/SI1 was my favorite of the JA bunch too (which didn''t actually sound too clear from my post). Between that and the WF stone, it comes down to a toss-up between the security of buying one of WF''s picks vs. the higher color. If you throw the other JA rocks into the mix, size is also a factor. Tough one!
 

kxt

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
6
thanks for your suggestions, all - great ideas and helpful.

i suppose i should be a little clearer though - my budget is $1k *including* the $300 or so for the fitting - so around 700 for the actual stone.

another question that came to mind - how much color will an H/I stone show against white gold?
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
I color would not be something to worry about in a well-cut stone of the size you're looking for (regardless of the setting metal...mine is in platinum). Great cut masks color because of the superior brilliance. Only the most color-sensitive people will be able to perceive the color.

When you mention "give or take," how much leeway do you have with the budget? Remember there is a PS discount for both of the vendors we've been mentioning. I think for WF it's 3% if you don't pay by bank wire and 5% if you do, but I could be wrong. The WF stone and Tiffany setting (about $300 for princess - didn't see that it was more expensive than for rounds!) would put you at a little over $1100...is that doable, or is the extra $100 going to break the bank?

If it's impossible to get that WF stone and setting with your budget, I'd go the JA route. The G/SI1 I posted before is $770 with discount, and their cheapest princess setting is $270. You'd come in at $1040, just barely over budget.

And finally, since I love finding fabulous princess cuts...

0.52 F/SI1 for $730 - puts you exactly in budget with the $270 setting!
0.47 F/VS2 - not the "magic" carat weight, but gets you a perfectly square diamond and clarity won't be an issue
0.56 I/SI2 - looks very well-cut, larger carat weight, and may be eye-clean (eye-clean SI2s are a great money saver!)

ETA: Discount info from JA...

As a Pricescope Visitor, do I receive a better price?
Yes. Pricescope visitors are entitled to receive an extra discount on every loose diamond listed on the jamesallen.com website. These discounted prices are listed on the Pricescope search engine, and are automatically displayed on the jamesallen.com diamond detail pages.

In order to receive the better price do I have to pay by bank wire?
No. We discount every diamond for Pricescope visitors, regardless of payment method. If you are able to pay by bank wire you will receive the Pricescope discount, plus an additional 1.5% off the entire order.
 

kxt

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
6
ok, here''s one of the ones that i am looking at. idealscope from James Allen.

thoughts?

1226797.jpg
 

kxt

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
6
here''s the other one - ASET from ID Jewelry.

budget is dropping a bit to hurry up the wedding - but i promised her an upgrade later...

GC20993 ASET.jpg
 

JasonFaber

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
74
Date: 4/29/2009 6:50:49 PM
Author: kxt
here's the other one - ASET from ID Jewelry.

budget is dropping a bit to hurry up the wedding - but i promised her an upgrade later...




a BIG NOOOOO. What was wrong with the first one that was talked about, it was perfect?
 

kxt

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
6
first one out of my price range, especially now that a couple money issues came up (car
) and we are looking to prioritize the wedding. i''d love to buy it but can''t right now. what about the idealscope?
 

diddy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
49
Date: 4/29/2009 8:43:35 PM
Author: kxt
first one out of my price range, especially now that a couple money issues came up (car
) and we are looking to prioritize the wedding. i''d love to buy it but can''t right now. what about the idealscope?
What''s your new total price range? I think that would help out the great hunters on PS.
 

LJS300

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
56
For me, getting over the 0.5 mark would be particularly important.

I don''t know if this is true for princess cuts, but I would imagine it is -- there are certain carat sizes that make the price jump up. That''s true for RBs, anyway, as I understand. It makes it harder to find a stone in a slightly smaller size (0.4-0.49), but I wouldn''t get hung up on going over 0.5 -- if you can find a beautiful smaller stone, grab it. Just my $0.02.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
Date: 4/29/2009 10:03:35 PM
Author: LJS300
I don''t know if this is true for princess cuts, but I would imagine it is -- there are certain carat sizes that make the price jump up. That''s true for RBs, anyway, as I understand. It makes it harder to find a stone in a slightly smaller size (0.4-0.49), but I wouldn''t get hung up on going over 0.5 -- if you can find a beautiful smaller stone, grab it. Just my $0.02.
True with all cuts. It would be my personal preference to be over 0.5 ct, but it remains to be seen whether kxt''s girlfriend feels the same way!

kxt, both of the images you posted look OK but not top-notch. Still could be pretty stones, but not top performers, and you specifically said you''re looking for that WOW! factor of sparkle. Out of curiosity, could you post which stone the JA Idealscope corresponds to? It would help me refine my suggestions in the future!

The Whiteflash K/SI2 that Swingirl posted is very well-cut and could be a great option for your budget, but you''d have to be OK with K color. The very strong fluorescence will help make the K appear whiter. Very rarely, fluor in diamonds can produce a milky or oily look. I''m sure a diamond that made WF''s Expert Selection wouldn''t have this effect. So if you''re open to looking at a K, I''d definitely look at that one. The price is really great for the size too.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 4/30/2009 1:42:42 AM
Author: jstarfireb

Date: 4/29/2009 10:03:35 PM
Author: LJS300
I don''t know if this is true for princess cuts, but I would imagine it is -- there are certain carat sizes that make the price jump up. That''s true for RBs, anyway, as I understand. It makes it harder to find a stone in a slightly smaller size (0.4-0.49), but I wouldn''t get hung up on going over 0.5 -- if you can find a beautiful smaller stone, grab it. Just my $0.02.
True with all cuts. It would be my personal preference to be over 0.5 ct, but it remains to be seen whether kxt''s girlfriend feels the same way!

kxt, both of the images you posted look OK but not top-notch. Still could be pretty stones, but not top performers, and you specifically said you''re looking for that WOW! factor of sparkle. Out of curiosity, could you post which stone the JA Idealscope corresponds to? It would help me refine my suggestions in the future!

The Whiteflash K/SI2 that Swingirl posted is very well-cut and could be a great option for your budget, but you''d have to be OK with K color. The very strong fluorescence will help make the K appear whiter. Very rarely, fluor in diamonds can produce a milky or oily look. I''m sure a diamond that made WF''s Expert Selection wouldn''t have this effect. So if you''re open to looking at a K, I''d definitely look at that one. The price is really great for the size too.
Ditto Jstar.

Kudos to ID Jewelry for providing ASET!!!
 

kxt

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
6
OK, so ID Jewelry actually found this post here and sent me another diamond that i''m liking more
. and within my budget! that is great service and i''m really comfortable at this point with buying from them.

my gf has told me straight up that she doesn''t want a huge ring and is placing a priority on getting married asap. she is not a flashy girl, just beautiful.

the JA with the idealscope is http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1226797.asp

E VS2 .35ct
3.90x3.89x2.81
table 70% depth 72.2%

1106613458 ASET.jpg
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
ASET looks good for this last option.

Keep in mind that a 0.35ct princess is a pretty small stone. If the budget allows, she might still appreciate a little extra size, as diamonds tend to "shrink" over time. I hear what you say about her not wanting big/flashy, but very few girls would turn down a larger stone. I kind of regret not going for a 1.2-1.3 or so instead of 1 ct (I kept my stone way under my guy''s budget)...and I didn''t want anything big or flashy either. A good way to save enough money to get a slightly larger stone in budget (0.4-0.5, still tastefully small) would be to drop the color a bit. E is color overkill IMO. Even the K we suggested would still look nice and white, but H-I-J could be a good place to start looking.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 4/30/2009 10:10:28 PM
Author: jstarfireb
ASET looks good for this last option.

Keep in mind that a 0.35ct princess is a pretty small stone. If the budget allows, she might still appreciate a little extra size, as diamonds tend to ''shrink'' over time. I hear what you say about her not wanting big/flashy, but very few girls would turn down a larger stone. I kind of regret not going for a 1.2-1.3 or so instead of 1 ct (I kept my stone way under my guy''s budget)...and I didn''t want anything big or flashy either. A good way to save enough money to get a slightly larger stone in budget (0.4-0.5, still tastefully small) would be to drop the color a bit. E is color overkill IMO. Even the K we suggested would still look nice and white, but H-I-J could be a good place to start looking.
Ditto Jstar.
 
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