shape
carat
color
clarity

Need some advice on the good old cushion cut

njs86

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Oct 6, 2015
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Hey guys,

First post here so bear with me.
I am in the market for an engagement ring and after at least 15-20 hours of reading, watching videos and browsing through a stupid amount of diamonds I feel like I am back where I started.

First off, I went to Spence Diamonds in Vancouver and through their sales spiel I put a deposit on a stone. It is a refundable 45 day deposit and I am 99% certain I will not be purchasing the diamond. The thing they sell you on there is that its all about cut and they have "first look" on all the diamonds and all the online guys get what they reject. She did a side by side comparison of the "best diamond that the company's buyer could find online" and showed how cloudy it was and she told me all internet dealers are similar to this (ya I am sure :rolleyes: ) What, if any, truth is there to this? Anyways I feel with your help i can find a better stone at a better price. It is a .46 carat I SI1 and its $1,800 and change for the stone and its measurements were around 4.66 x 4.66 (something like that) .... I know it's B&M retail store and the prices are high.

Here is what I am looking for:

Cushion cut diamond to be mounted in a halo pave band. I am looking to spend around $3500 - 4200 all in for the ring and diamond.

Now after all the research on cushion cuts I really am concerned about getting a stone online and not being able to see it first so i am leaning towards James Allen. I have seen on Blue Nile that they have a "hearts and arrows" cushion cut in their signature ideal and even though you don't get to see the diamond, ASET or diamXray they suggest the cut and light reflection is great. I want the stone to be eye clean, appear colourless and really twinkle. I want as good a quality stone as I can get in my price range and after the Spence diamond "education"/sales pitch I need help. I want my ladies diamond to have that fire.

Help please and thanks.
 

dollyanjuli

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i love this stone-

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.78-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-669203

and since you are on a budget, you could do it with this setting

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-cushion-outline-pave-engagement-ring-item-49493

and end up at $3800

I am one of those that really looks at the facet pattern more than caring about ASET etc, so if you like the look of this, put it on hold and you can get JA to ASET it out for you to make sure there is no leakage.

Good luck!
 

njs86

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Thanks for the response and taking the time to look. Unless I'm seeing it wrong that stone and setting brings it up to $4800 CAD which is a bit out of my budget. Any more help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Niel

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Online vendors, often, are just vendors in someone else's neiborhood. Case in point, Tiffany. Does the fact I can buy a Tiffany ring online change the quality?

So are you in Canada? If so, are you factoring in VAT when you give your budget?


I've got a great stone in mind, but it would really be great in a yellow or rose gold halo, is white gold the only halo option?
 

njs86

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yes I am located in British Columbia and from what she has mentioned over the years, all her pintrest posts and the jewellery she wears white gold is what I want to stick with.
 

Niel

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njs86|1444177960|3935600 said:
yes I am located in British Columbia and from what she has mentioned over the years, all her pintrest posts and the jewellery she wears white gold is what I want to stick with.


Ok, well, I am going to still suggest it, becuase I think with the size the color wouldn't be too noticeable, particularly with the cut

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/0-7ct-k-vs1-premium-vintage-cushion-diamond.html

They sell this brand

https://eshop.gabrielny.com/product/ER10694W44JJ
 

njs86

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I like the DiamXray and the ASET but the color concerns me and this is the problem I am having. Trying to figure out where to compromise to stay within budget but find a beautiful stone. Its making my brain hurt.

good old gold has this stone:

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/0-50ct-i-si1-modern-cushion-diamond.html

but its a little less then I am looking to spend.

James allen has a fair amount of stones around the $1500 - $2000 range

Do you have any thoughts on the blue nile hearts and arrows signature ideal cuts? If cut is the most important than there are good options in my price range there.

I seem to be in diamond no mans land. higher end of .45-.5 carats and lower end of .7 carats
 

Niel

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njs86|1444180334|3935614 said:
I like the DiamXray and the ASET but the color concerns me and this is the problem I am having. Trying to figure out where to compromise to stay within budget but find a beautiful stone. Its making my brain hurt.

good old gold has this stone:

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/0-50ct-i-si1-modern-cushion-diamond.html

but its a little less then I am looking to spend.

James allen has a fair amount of stones around the $1500 - $2000 range

Do you have any thoughts on the blue nile hearts and arrows signature ideal cuts? If cut is the most important than there are good options in my price range there.

I seem to be in diamond no mans land. higher end of .45-.5 carats and lower end of .7 carats

Yes those blue Nile stones are lovely.
 

Niel

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What's your feeling about a round stone in a cushion setting? The look of a cushion, but the ease and mm advantages of a round.
 

njs86

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her heart is set on a cushion cut and i am inclined to make her happy. she honestly would love anything i gave her but you know how it is....you want to do what you can to go that extra mile. a round would be much easier though
 

kb1gra

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dollyanjuli|1444176430|3935590 said:
i love this stone-

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.78-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-669203

and since you are on a budget, you could do it with this setting

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-cushion-outline-pave-engagement-ring-item-49493

and end up at $3800

I am one of those that really looks at the facet pattern more than caring about ASET etc, so if you like the look of this, put it on hold and you can get JA to ASET it out for you to make sure there is no leakage.

Good luck!

I have one of these and I really don't think it will ASET that well so I wouldn't bother - there is a little darkness under the table that is probably apparent occasionally in real life - but that's sort of the fun of cushions is that they are not necessarily perfect. If it appeals to you - buy it, it's a very specific pattern that's not particularly simple to find.

My stone is smaller and part of a matched pair, so if you like that pattern and need to bring down the budget here is its twin sibling: http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.46-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-669190

the nice thing about this pattern is they do face up quite large for a cushion, almost the same as a round.

Here's some IRL photos of mine in the smaller size:

image_3903.jpg
image_3904.jpg
 

tyty333

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What about this stone with that JA setting? Ask them if it is eye-clean. This gets you around the 5mm mark which would be good
if you can stay at that size or larger.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-672809

Here are other options on the setting that will let you spend more on the stone (and go larger)...
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-engagement-ring-round-center-item-18301
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17470 ask if they can do
cushion in this setting...it would be really pretty IMO
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-and-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17466

A little more expensive stones that will go with less expensive settings
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.78-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-669203 same stone posted by dollyanjuli
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.74-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-sku-669222
 

dollyanjuli

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tyty333|1444222409|3935751 said:
What about this stone with that JA setting? Ask them if it is eye-clean. This gets you around the 5mm mark which would be good
if you can stay at that size or larger.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-672809

Here are other options on the setting that will let you spend more on the stone (and go larger)...
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-engagement-ring-round-center-item-18301
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17470 ask if they can do
cushion in this setting...it would be really pretty IMO
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-and-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17466

A little more expensive stones that will go with less expensive settings
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.78-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-669203 same stone posted by dollyanjuli
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.74-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-sku-669222


The setting that is 690 (item 17470 above) + the .78 would be a stunning combo, IMO. Plus the size of that .78 in the halo will look really substantial- having the plain shank makes the center pop even more.

That .70 from tyty is similar to the facet pattern I have and it is VERY pretty in real life. And it is much cheaper than the .78. If it's eye clean that could be a fantastic option!!
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
937
dollyanjuli|1444242106|3935911 said:
tyty333|1444222409|3935751 said:
What about this stone with that JA setting? Ask them if it is eye-clean. This gets you around the 5mm mark which would be good
if you can stay at that size or larger.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.70-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-672809

Here are other options on the setting that will let you spend more on the stone (and go larger)...
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-engagement-ring-round-center-item-18301
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17470 ask if they can do
cushion in this setting...it would be really pretty IMO
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-and-twisted-shank-solitaire-item-17466

A little more expensive stones that will go with less expensive settings
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.78-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-669203 same stone posted by dollyanjuli
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.74-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-sku-669222


The setting that is 690 (item 17470 above) + the .78 would be a stunning combo, IMO. Plus the size of that .78 in the halo will look really substantial- having the plain shank makes the center pop even more.

That .70 from tyty is similar to the facet pattern I have and it is VERY pretty in real life. And it is much cheaper than the .78. If it's eye clean that could be a fantastic option!!

It's worth comparing the spreads - that .70 is almost a full 0.5mm smaller than the .78, which explains some of the price difference. The .70 is closer in size to my .48 which is 4.75x4.77 than it is to the .78 which is 5.5ish.
 

MJ_Mac

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Is your girlfriend set on a halo setting? If not, you could go up in size with the diamond and have a plain pave set band. James Allen appears to have some nice ones. Do you know what size ring your girlfriend wears? I wear a size 5 and have short fingers so a .70 diamond will appear somewhat larger on me than someone with larger or longer fingers.

Just to clarify, your $4200 budget is in Canadian dollars, correct? And does it include the GST and PST? I'm in Canada as well so I understand your monetary concerns.
 

njs86

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Yes she is very drawn to:

1) halo ring with pave shank
2) cushion cut diamond

All in $4200 is my maximum (taxes included) in Canadian Dollars. I could spend more but we would rather put more money into other aspects of the wedding and our future.
 

MJ_Mac

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How about this diamond from James Allen? It's approximately the same size as the diamond you saw at Spence but it's has a higher clarity grade, higher colour, lower in price and I can almost guarantee a better cut. It appears to be a well cut 4 main cushion and I particularly like the length to width ratio. Put it this way, I'd buy this one for myself if I was in the market for a diamond right now :love: >.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.51-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-494838
 

Louper

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Oct 7, 2015
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Hi

How is it going, any updates?

I'm kind of in the same boat (ship?) as you, she loves the cushion & halo combination and my budget is only slightly higher. I was hoping to get her a full carat, but i feel like i have to let that idea go since i've been looking up the prices for a white gold double halo setting :silenced:

Im curious on what you will end up with, maybe i can make peace with going below a carat after seeing your new beauty.

Cheers & goodluck
L
 

tyty333

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marymm

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njs86|1444260785|3936010 said:
This is the setting i am most considering

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-and-shank-diamond-engagement-ring-cushion-center-item-17429

so after taxes i am looking for the best stone i can find around CAD $2400 max.

That way after taxes I'm around 4200. If I can come in a little under that even better. More money for the honey moon.

I came across this beautiful JA diamond - it is a 0.70ct H-SI1 and looks to be well-cut, with a lovely small table and nice crown height - appears eyeclean (confirm with JA) - with a face-up size of 5.3mm square - the list price says $2090, but don't forget JA offers a preferred/advantage discount of 1-3% off most of their loose diamonds, so I think this combined with your JA halo setting should be just within your budget... - http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.70-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-sku-678568

I will go take a quick look at Blue Nile's Signature Cushions - I will say I have a small pair of half-carat BN cushions right now, and they are beautiful! I've also seen two larger BN cushions which also were very well-cut and lively. So I do highly recommend those cushions to you also .
 

marymm

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Okay, I looked at BN's cushions and they have some lovely options in your budget - but I don't think any of their halo settings in your budget are that nice (all the White Gold settings have I-SI2 diamonds) - certainly the JA halo setting you selected has much higher quality diamond melee at F/G-VS - you could buy a BN diamond and then send it to JA for them to set into that halo setting, but I wonder if that makes good use of your dollars as there'd be extra shipping fees (from you to JA) and JA would likely charge a setting fee since the BN diamond would not be their own diamond they'd sold to you. Probably the best thing is for you to buy the diamond and setting from the same vendor.
 

MJ_Mac

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marymm|1444492625|3936946 said:
njs86|1444260785|3936010 said:
This is the setting i am most considering

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/halo/14k-white-gold-pave-halo-and-shank-diamond-engagement-ring-cushion-center-item-17429

so after taxes i am looking for the best stone i can find around CAD $2400 max.

That way after taxes I'm around 4200. If I can come in a little under that even better. More money for the honey moon.

I came across this beautiful JA diamond - it is a 0.70ct H-SI1 and looks to be well-cut, with a lovely small table and nice crown height - appears eyeclean (confirm with JA) - with a face-up size of 5.3mm square - the list price says $2090, but don't forget JA offers a preferred/advantage discount of 1-3% off most of their loose diamonds, so I think this combined with your JA halo setting should be just within your budget... - http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/0.70-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-sku-678568

I will go take a quick look at Blue Nile's Signature Cushions - I will say I have a small pair of half-carat BN cushions right now, and they are beautiful! I've also seen two larger BN cushions which also were very well-cut and lively. So I do highly recommend those cushions to you also .

marymm - you're seeing the price in US currency. The Canadian price is $2820. Our dollar is really low right now unfortunately although it has risen 2 cents in the last few days.
 

marymm

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^ yeah, I converted the price [$2090 USD + $950 USD = $3040 USD = $3936.34 CAD] - and this doesn't take into account the 1-3% discount JA offers on most loose diamonds. I also think a face-up size of 5.3mm square would be a lovely size, as compared to a half-carat cushion (and I have two of those, so I know how they face up) - and well worth OP's dollars.
 

MJ_Mac

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marymm|1444505763|3937043 said:
^ yeah, I converted the price [$2090 USD + $950 USD = $3040 USD = $3936.34 CAD] - and this doesn't take into account the 1-3% discount JA offers on most loose diamonds. I also think a face-up size of 5.3mm square would be a lovely size, as compared to a half-carat cushion (and I have two of those, so I know how they face up) - and well worth OP's dollars.

Hi marymm - I'm just going by what I see listed on the James Allen website as the price is listed in Canadian currency. The setting the OP picked is listed at $1282 and the diamond you picked is listed at $2821 for a total of $4103 in CAD (before the 1-3% discount). The OP also has to figure in 5% GST and 7% PST on top of the price. But I do agree that a larger diamond would be lovely :) .
 

marymm

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Poodles4me|1444508103|3937055 said:
marymm|1444505763|3937043 said:
^ yeah, I converted the price [$2090 USD + $950 USD = $3040 USD = $3936.34 CAD] - and this doesn't take into account the 1-3% discount JA offers on most loose diamonds. I also think a face-up size of 5.3mm square would be a lovely size, as compared to a half-carat cushion (and I have two of those, so I know how they face up) - and well worth OP's dollars.

Hi marymm - I'm just going by what I see listed on the James Allen website as the price is listed in Canadian currency. The setting the OP picked is listed at $1282 and the diamond you picked is listed at $2821 for a total of $4103 in CAD (before the 1-3% discount). The OP also has to figure in 5% GST and 7% PST on top of the price. But I do agree that a larger diamond would be lovely :) .

Okay, I understand now - the JA prices only show up in USD for me (I can't see where/if I can toggle to see pricing in other currencies); that's why I totalled the two items and then used a currency converter to get the $3936.34 CAD total in my earlier post. Looks like the GST and PST taxes would add apx $490 CAD to the $4103 CAD total so that does put it apx $390 over-budget (before the 1-3% discount) for OP.
 

MJ_Mac

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marymm|1444510452|3937069 said:
Poodles4me|1444508103|3937055 said:
marymm|1444505763|3937043 said:
^ yeah, I converted the price [$2090 USD + $950 USD = $3040 USD = $3936.34 CAD] - and this doesn't take into account the 1-3% discount JA offers on most loose diamonds. I also think a face-up size of 5.3mm square would be a lovely size, as compared to a half-carat cushion (and I have two of those, so I know how they face up) - and well worth OP's dollars.

Hi marymm - I'm just going by what I see listed on the James Allen website as the price is listed in Canadian currency. The setting the OP picked is listed at $1282 and the diamond you picked is listed at $2821 for a total of $4103 in CAD (before the 1-3% discount). The OP also has to figure in 5% GST and 7% PST on top of the price. But I do agree that a larger diamond would be lovely :) .

Okay, I understand now - the JA prices only show up in USD for me (I can't see where/if I can toggle to see pricing in other currencies); that's why I totalled the two items and then used a currency converter to get the $3936.34 CAD total in my earlier post. Looks like the GST and PST taxes would add apx $490 CAD to the $4103 CAD total so that does put it apx $390 over-budget (before the 1-3% discount) for OP.

The top right hand corner there is a pull-down menu for currency. I know when I use the US currency and then convert I get roughly the same amount as you. I don't know why there is a discrepancy between CAD to US on the JA website. It's roughly a $168 CA difference. I don't know if they are using older conversion rates?
 

Travelgal

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I travel a lot and oftentimes foreign vendors will ask if I want to be charged in U.S. Dollars- it's typically 3-10% higher than if I were to buy in the local currency and have my bank/credit card do the conversion. If OP's bank doesn't charge a currency conversion, I would check to see if it's possible to pay in U.S. Rather than Canadian dollars. Maybe taxes and/or other fees are included in the JA converted price, but it's worth looking into.
 
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