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Please help a first time buyer! Uncertified side stones?

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
Hi!

This weekend my bf and I were walking around the Diamond District and found an engagement ring we both loved, however I need a little advice. The ring was a 3 stone round cut set in a 14K Tiffany lucida style setting. The center stone was 1.6ct, H color, SI2 clarity but eye clean. I looked at it with a loupe and could only see 2 feathers each set by the prongs. From 12" away they are not visible with the naked eye. This stone was EGL which I know should make the price lower.

Each side stone was 1ct but are not certified. I don't know exactly what this means and what the pros and cons of it are.

The jeweler quoted us close to 14K which I thought was high.

Can anyone clear this up for me? Should I not buy a ring with uncertified side stones? And, is this a fair price?

I appreciate any and all help!!
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I would not buy uncerted stones of that size. My side stones are .17 each, that is fine to go uncerted from a trusted vendor. But 1 carat is quite sizeable and it would not be wise to take someone's word that it is what they say. Especially a random jeweler in the diamond district. How big is your center stone on that ring? That price seems really low for a setting, 1.6 + 2 x 1 ct. The average 1.6 well-cut GIA goes for at least $10K in that size range, and a well-cut 1 ct. is at least $3500-$5000+. So no, you are not getting a good deal, you are getting not-so-great diamonds.

For 14K, you can get a nice ring, and know what you are getting.
 

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
Hi nfowife,

Thanks for your reply!

The center stone was 1.6, H, SI2, but from EGL.

Like you said, I think I could get something nicer for this price and am worried to plop down that much $$ without knowing what those 2 side stones are.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
EGL is known to grade soft. So you aren't really getting an H/Si2. That's why it's cheaper than GIA. It's probably more like a J/I? and the cut is unlikely to be good. There are few deals to be had in diamonds. It isn't GIA or AGS graded because the dealer knows it won't come back at H/Si2 and he can get more $$ with the EGL cert than a GIA cert with the lower specs. Does that make sense? Look for an AGS or GIA stone. If you are in the diamond district a vendor that is often recommended here would be Mark Turnowski at ERD (I purchased my stone from him and he made my custom setting as well, but I'm out of state, haven't visited him in person). If you have time I'd also go out to Good Old Gold on Long Island, another trusted vendor who can show you lots of stones and help you see the differences in cut, color, and performance.
 

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
Thanks nfowife. I really appreciate the clear explanation :) My boyfriend and I are both new to buying diamonds and I just want to make sure we get the best deal for the best diamond.

I actually reached out to Yekutiel from ID Jewelry over the weekend after seeing his work all over the forum and am going to be speaking with him today :)
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
as far as uncertified side stones I would consider that only if the side stones are small (0.25 carat or less) and you are going with a reputable vendor. If the side stones are larger I would look for certified side stones (by GIA or AGS!)
 

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
hi slg47,

thanks! can you please clarify though the major con to having side stones larger than that that are uncertified? is it that there's no way to know exactly what you are getting or that the vendor can set the price w/ no basis? the vendor is reputable as i've found lots of positive reviews, i just don't want to make a purchase i will regret. for me, i don't ever plan to re-sell the ring, so i am not so concerned about resale value. i am just concerned about the quality of the stone i am purchasing.

thanks again!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
bektar|1307978954|2944738 said:
hi slg47,

thanks! can you please clarify though the major con to having side stones larger than that that are uncertified? is it that there's no way to know exactly what you are getting or that the vendor can set the price w/ no basis? the vendor is reputable as i've found lots of positive reviews, i just don't want to make a purchase i will regret. for me, i don't ever plan to re-sell the ring, so i am not so concerned about resale value. i am just concerned about the quality of the stone i am purchasing.

thanks again!
This is the reason. It actually calls into question the reputation of the vendor, in my opinion, that they would offer 1ct side stones that have no report. Why? Because at that size, very small differences in color, clarity, and cut quality have a tremendous influence on price. As a consumer, you cannot blindly trust when it comes to hundreds and probably thousands of dollars. One must also ask -- why do stones of that size not have a report? A report costs about $200 and raises the price a vendor can charge for a 1ct stone by a very large margin, often thousands. So why would a vendor not want to make an few extra $1000s on the diamonds he is selling? Likely answer: The diamonds are not of the grade he is purporting them to be.

frankly, I would not recommend buying from this vendor. First, you are being offered very large stones with no report, which is not in the consumer's best interest. Second, you are being offeren EGL stones without being educated by the vendor about the drawbacks to the consumer about those reports (the issue is not that they are soft, it is that they are inconsistent, which makes it impossible for a consumer to comparison shop and ensure that he/she is getting fair value for money).

You have a healthy budget. PLease find a vendor who will look after your interests!

ID Jewelry is a great place to start.

Try Engagement Rings Direct as Well.

And if you can take a trip to long Island, Good Old Gold is also highly recommended.

Or find your own vendor, but make sure they offer stones with lab reports from GIA or AGS to protect yourself.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I also recommend you spend some time learning about cut quality, using the tutorials under the Knowledge tab above. It is the most impotant factor for determining the beauty of a diamond, yet you did not mention it at all in your post! Most consumers don't know about cut quality when they start shopping, and some jewelers will not bother to offer any education about it either.
 

bektar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
29
Hi Dreamer_D!

Thank you so much for your help!

It was my mistake to not mention cut quality!! So sorry!! When we looked at the ring, the jeweler said it was Ideal cut but I did not not look at the paper work. For me, cut is VERY important which is part of the reason I am so wary about these uncertified stones. I have no idea what they are!!

I am going to reach out to other vendors. Thank you again for your help!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
bektar|1307981383|2944764 said:
Hi Dreamer_D!

Thank you so much for your help!

It was my mistake to not mention cut quality!! So sorry!! When we looked at the ring, the jeweler said it was Ideal cut but I did not not look at the paper work. For me, cut is VERY important which is part of the reason I am so wary about these uncertified stones. I have no idea what they are!!

I am going to reach out to other vendors. Thank you again for your help!
You do not need to apologize! I would say 99% of consumers do not put cut at the top where it belongs, and I am glad you are thinking about it. Make sure when you assess a diamond you *see* the lab report, and even write down the report number or key information so we can help you assess cut quality before you buy! Also, with EGL, their cut grading is very strange and "ideal" is not always such. Another reason why I suggest sticking to GIA/AGS.

You *can* find very nice well cut stones graded by EGL. But you need to know what to look for. And you need to be aware that value comparisons are very difficult.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
My concern re: side stones of that size that are uncertified is that you really don't know what you are getting- in regards to color, cut, carat, and clarity. What if there was an inclusion that is detrimental to the integrity of the stone but it's not a certified stone so you are going with the estimated clarity, carat, and cut. Also, you want to be positive of the cut and that the stones you are getting as side stones match each other and match your center stone.
 
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