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Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary ring

qanda

Rough_Rock
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Feb 12, 2016
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Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary ring for his lovely wife.

All joking aside I really am in this situation. I have spent a few days reading this forum and have looked over the wiki diamond guide. Some excellent advise but I am still lost and would greatly appreciate the help of the great experts in this amazing forum. There are so many things to consider when choosing a ring and I see people in this forum identifying minute things about stones that I can't even understand.

To give a little context, my wife and I are approaching our 10 year anniversary in one month. When we got engaged we were both working on our masters and really did not have much money to invest in a ring. I did get her a decent diamond ring but now would like to replace it with a much nicer one. So this new ring would not complement her current one, it will replace it (I guess I will have to figure out what to do with the diamonds in her current one later). She has been through a lot over the last few years with health problems and her dad passing so I am trying to do something very special for her.

A few helpful things:
Budget is around $15K
She is not tall and has small hands - ring size 6 1/2.
She loves classic/vintage looking jewelry. Nothing too flashy or contemporary looking.
Probably solitaire or halo settings - see, I have learned a thing or two on this forum
Most of the budget should go towards color and carat
White gold ring (or other "silver" colored metal)

I am not sure how I feel about buying online vs. in store so advice would be appreciated. We live in Chicago so any store recommendations would be great (I am comfortable going to jeweler's row if that is the place to go).

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any advice you can provide!!!
 

sarahb

Brilliant_Rock
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1,903
Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

The cut experts will help you find a special diamond, all I wanted to chime in with is relax about buying online.

You will get a far better product in terms of price & quality than you could ever find at a BM. Just about all of us were in your exact position at one time: a newbie, trying to learn prior to a purchase. I know! I was there when I first started!

Because of PS, I took a leap of faith & purchased online, & I cannot tell you how happy I am with my purchase, and have made more purchases since. You will hear this amplified many times over again in this forum. You however, must do your homework, & make wise choices. And you've made your first decision wisely, which is to research. You've come to the best place for that!!

The venders that frequent this forum are most closely vetted, as this forum has seen the reviews tenfold online, even when something doesn't go quite right. We've watched how venders handle different situations & with that evidence, are extremely comfortable making recommendations for certain venders/designers etc based on the goals of the customer.

Relax regarding online purchases, as long as you do your research, bring your choices here to get vetted, you will be ok. This group has helped many! And welcome to PS! :wavey: :appl:
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

As sarahb said, most of us came here in the same boat, and we ended up ordering online because honestly, local jewelers did not have access to the quality of stones we see here.

For classic, I'd suggest a solitaire or halo with a ideal cut diamond:

This one is a nice value being super ideal cut and just a tiny bit below the 1.5 ct mark:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3586208.htm?source=pricescope

Settings:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/ritani-french-set-cushion-halo-diamond-band-engagement-ring-3376.htm

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-sleek-line-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-1120.htm


If you'd like to go more vintage, you can go with newly cut antique style diamonds cut to have excellent light performance matched with an antique style setting. These are smaller in diameter than the stone I linked above, so they would be best in a halo.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1-35ct-h-vs2-august-vintage-round-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.28ct-g-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.51ct-i-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html
 

ame

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10,742
Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

I am a big fan of online vendors, my favorites are Good Old Gold, High Performance Diamonds and Brian Gavin Diamonds. I think you cannot go wrong with any of them. Good Old Gold has a huge selection of various cut styles too, many you cannot find elsewhere--August Vintage, Octavia Asschers--if you're looking for a specialty/fancy cut, they're the ones. I've been very pleased with my experiences with all three of those vendors, as well, owning pieces from each. You cannot find a better bunch of people at any of them.

BUT if you want to work with someone locally in Chicago that also has an online presence, you can check out DimendScassi. You would still have to pay local taxes, but they're a vendor we have recommended here before, and they are local to you in Chicago. I've seen some pretty amazing pieces out of there! http://www.dimendscaasi.com/ Their diamond search feature sucks though.
 

773dianeb

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

I live in Chicago and would highly recommend RL Jewelers on Wabash. Raymond took excellent care of my now husband and I when we were searching for my engagement ring. I did all of my homework and learned so much from all of the wonderful people on PS. I was knowledgable and knew exactly what I wanted and we were ready to purchase online from PS vendor but then felt we needed to take a look on Jewelers Row. After extensive Yelp and Google search, I found RL Jewelers. They offered the same quality and even met the price from PS vendor and made the ring in platinum which was not included in the online vendors price. They made CAD drawings for approval, put up with my endless questions and photos and in the end, I have a gorgeous ring that I love and at a fantastic price.

That being said, I would have been also very happy to purchase online if I did not feel comfortable with RL but so happy that I was. We purchased our wedding rings at the same time and again received a very competitive price on platinum.

Good luck in your search.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

You guys are awesome. Thank you for a ll the help so far. I will check the links after the wife goes to bed tonight. I forgot to say it is a surprise.
 

Queenie60

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Hi Ganda - I don't have the expertise to help you to pick a stone however I wanted to say that you are a very nice and loving husband! Your wife will be very surprised and I'm sure she will be thankful as well. She's a very luck lady!
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

diamondseeker2006|1455309378|3990272 said:
As sarahb said, most of us came here in the same boat, and we ended up ordering online because honestly, local jewelers did not have access to the quality of stones we see here.

For classic, I'd suggest a solitaire or halo with a ideal cut diamond:

This one is a nice value being super ideal cut and just a tiny bit below the 1.5 ct mark:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3586208.htm?source=pricescope

Settings:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/ritani-french-set-cushion-halo-diamond-band-engagement-ring-3376.htm

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-sleek-line-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-1120.htm


If you'd like to go more vintage, you can go with newly cut antique style diamonds cut to have excellent light performance matched with an antique style setting. These are smaller in diameter than the stone I linked above, so they would be best in a halo.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1-35ct-h-vs2-august-vintage-round-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.28ct-g-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.51ct-i-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html
Thank you so much for the links. I really liked the first setting you sent. Any others in a similar style you can suggest?
Can you share with me the advantage/disadvantage of vintage diamonds? I thought the settings were what made vintage rings special, not the diamonds.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

I just wanted to say thank you again to all those who posted their suggestions. With the wife around and two sick kids I probably won't have a chance to look at the other posts/links until Monday. In the meantime, if any one else has suggestions please feel free to share.

Thank you!
 

Travelgal

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

If you are looking for vintage, I would check out the following websites:

Langantiques.com
Erstwhile.com
Trumpetandhorn.com (they are having a 14% off sale for Valentine's Day)
Jewelsbygrace.com
Craigevansmall.com (I have been obsessed with this ring http://www.craigevansmall.com/bridal/1-51-carat-asscher-cut-diamond-engagement-ring-with-emerald-accents-circa-1930s.html if she likes deco)
Loveaffairdiamonds.com
Singlestone.com

All have authentic and reproduction vintage if that's what you are looking for. Also, with vintage stones, don't get scared away by warmer colors (I, j, k). It was much more common to have warmer colored stones and the diamonds were cut to maximize sparkle with larger facets. They often "face up" whiter than the color grading suggests.
 

Gypsy

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diamondseeker2006

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

qanda|1455387265|3990563 said:
diamondseeker2006|1455309378|3990272 said:
As sarahb said, most of us came here in the same boat, and we ended up ordering online because honestly, local jewelers did not have access to the quality of stones we see here.

For classic, I'd suggest a solitaire or halo with a ideal cut diamond:

This one is a nice value being super ideal cut and just a tiny bit below the 1.5 ct mark:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3586208.htm?source=pricescope

Settings:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/ritani-french-set-cushion-halo-diamond-band-engagement-ring-3376.htm

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-sleek-line-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-1120.htm


If you'd like to go more vintage, you can go with newly cut antique style diamonds cut to have excellent light performance matched with an antique style setting. These are smaller in diameter than the stone I linked above, so they would be best in a halo.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1-35ct-h-vs2-august-vintage-round-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.28ct-g-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.51ct-i-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html
Thank you so much for the links. I really liked the first setting you sent. Any others in a similar style you can suggest?
Can you share with me the advantage/disadvantage of vintage diamonds? I thought the settings were what made vintage rings special, not the diamonds.
Are you asking for more settings like the first halo setting? That is the best one I know of unless you want to go custom, and those generally range from maybe $3-5k. We can definitely tell you where to find the best custom ones if you want to go that route.

Many people do put modern round brilliants in antique style settings. But for a true vintage look, you can put an antique stone or newly cut stone that is cut to have better light performance in a an antique style setting.

I would not try to pick an antique ring for someone else. That is very complicated to do buying online, also.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Quote:
Post by 773dianeb » 12 Feb 2016 16:26
I live in Chicago and would highly recommend RL Jewelers on Wabash. Raymond took excellent care of my now husband and I when we were searching for my engagement ring. I did all of my homework and learned so much from all of the wonderful people on PS. I was knowledgable and knew exactly what I wanted and we were ready to purchase online from PS vendor but then felt we needed to take a look on Jewelers Row. After extensive Yelp and Google search, I found RL Jewelers. They offered the same quality and even met the price from PS vendor and made the ring in platinum which was not included in the online vendors price. They made CAD drawings for approval, put up with my endless questions and photos and in the end, I have a gorgeous ring that I love and at a fantastic price.

That being said, I would have been also very happy to purchase online if I did not feel comfortable with RL but so happy that I was. We purchased our wedding rings at the same time and again received a very competitive price on platinum.

Good luck in your search.



Thanks for your suggestion. So you recommend first finding something online and then going to RL and asking them to match? In that case this means they won't have the ring for me to see in person prior to the purchase.I guess then the biggest advantage of going local would be if my wife needs any help/service with the ring we can go to an actual store? Or is that something unlikely to happen?
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Thanks, but she has to put up with me... Not sure how lucky she really is :)
 

qanda

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Messages
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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Gypsy|1455428672|3990846 said:
I think you are a sweetheart for doing this for her.

Here's what I recommend if you can push the budget a little bit.


This beauty:

http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/1-ct-to-2-00/1-73ct-old-european-cut-diamond-gia-i-vvs1#.VsARS1JTqOY

And I'd have it set in this setting: http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/engagement-rings/pave-and-side-stones/lace-platinum-5934p-1
Thank you for the suggestion. That is a beautiful stone - but in all honesty they all look beautiful to me. I am okay stretching the budget a bit and am now thinking I need to go closer to 2ctw.
 

qanda

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Messages
30
Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

diamondseeker2006|1455473868|3991036 said:
qanda|1455387265|3990563 said:
diamondseeker2006|1455309378|3990272 said:
As sarahb said, most of us came here in the same boat, and we ended up ordering online because honestly, local jewelers did not have access to the quality of stones we see here.

For classic, I'd suggest a solitaire or halo with a ideal cut diamond:

This one is a nice value being super ideal cut and just a tiny bit below the 1.5 ct mark:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3586208.htm?source=pricescope

Settings:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/ritani-french-set-cushion-halo-diamond-band-engagement-ring-3376.htm

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/diamond-settings/legato-sleek-line-pave-diamond-engagement-ring-1120.htm


If you'd like to go more vintage, you can go with newly cut antique style diamonds cut to have excellent light performance matched with an antique style setting. These are smaller in diameter than the stone I linked above, so they would be best in a halo.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1-35ct-h-vs2-august-vintage-round-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.28ct-g-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/1.51ct-i-vs1-august-vintage-cushion-diamond.html
Thank you so much for the links. I really liked the first setting you sent. Any others in a similar style you can suggest?
Can you share with me the advantage/disadvantage of vintage diamonds? I thought the settings were what made vintage rings special, not the diamonds.
Are you asking for more settings like the first halo setting? That is the best one I know of unless you want to go custom, and those generally range from maybe $3-5k. We can definitely tell you where to find the best custom ones if you want to go that route.

Many people do put modern round brilliants in antique style settings. But for a true vintage look, you can put an antique stone or newly cut stone that is cut to have better light performance in a an antique style setting.

I would not try to pick an antique ring for someone else. That is very complicated to do buying online, also.
Yes, that is what I was asking for. I have looked at Good old Gold page with complete rings for some ideas most look pretty nice to me. In your opinion, what makes the setting you shared with me more desirable than the ones on this page? http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/engagement-rings/completed-rings.html

When you say "Many people do put modern round brilliants in antique style settings. But for a true vintage look, you can put an antique stone or newly cut stone that is cut to have better light performance in a an antique style setting." it is still unclear to me how different a newly cut vintage style stone would look from a modern cut stone.

I went shopping at Costco this weekend and saw they have a selection of diamond rings as well. The prices ranges from a couple thousand all the way to over $40K. One thing that was clear to me is that I should look at rings around 2ctw even if I have to stretch my budget a little. Would I have to take a dramatic drop in quality to go up in size? Also, what are the biggest differences in quality between the Costco rings and what I can find elsewhere- online or BM? Sorry for all the questions but I have a steep learning curve ahead of me! :)

Thank you for your help!
 

773dianeb

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

They have a large selection and yes they can match anything or create a combination from scratch. I do suggest do as much as you can online in terms of research and then bring that info to Raymond to see how he prices out. I do love some of the links that have been attached for you. There are some gorgeous options online!

Yes, I like the fact that I can go in and get my ring cleaned and checked by someone who created it.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

773dianeb|1455572853|3991378 said:
They have a large selection and yes they can match anything or create a combination from scratch. I do suggest do as much as you can online in terms of research and then bring that info to Raymond to see how he prices out. I do love some of the links that have been attached for you. There are some gorgeous options online!

Yes, I like the fact that I can go in and get my ring cleaned and checked by someone who created it.
773dianeb, thank you for clarifying. Did Raymond match the price before or after tax? This could mean a couple thousand dollars with the 10.25% Chicago sales tax.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

OK, so I sent a few more hours researching online and reading other posts here. Lots of great info.
I am settling on a round diamond but would like to go up in size as it seems to be really important to her. I read a few posts saying that an ideal cut will actually look bigger. Is that true? What should I downgrade from the stone posted by diamondseeker2006 above in order to get closer to 2 carats? Is it color or clarity? I am leaning towards the latter but I still cant truly understand the impact of all the different things like table, crown angle, etc. Also not sure what settings will make the stone look bigger - I just don't want it to stick out to much.

Any help or links to other stones would be appreciated. I can go up in budget but a grand of two if it would mean a good jump in size. I have learned however that at 2ct and above the prices go up significantly.

Thank you again for the help.
 

farrahlyn

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

i'm no pro here. But you could try to find a SI1 clarity that is eye clean. Not to mention stones with fluorescence are typically lower in price, you just have to make sure they are not milky/overly blue in appearance. As far as color, do you think she would mind a warmer stone? If you go the halo route, an I colored stone could be a great option, maybe even consider a J colored stone? Color is more visible from the side so a halo is a great setting to put a more tinted stone in. Personally i like a warmer stone :love:
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

farrahlyn|1455739223|3992180 said:
i'm no pro here. But you could try to find a SI1 clarity that is eye clean. Not to mention stones with fluorescence are typically lower in price, you just have to make sure they are not milky/overly blue in appearance. As far as color, do you think she would mind a warmer stone? If you go the halo route, an I colored stone could be a great option, maybe even consider a J colored stone? Color is more visible from the side so a halo is a great setting to put a more tinted stone in. Personally i like a warmer stone :love:
Thanks for the advice. Regarding you question about a warmer stone, I don't think she will like it, unless I went with a truly colored yellow diamond, but that would be an entirely new ballgame.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

I'd go to I SI1 at the lowest. Let me see what is available. I will also get back to the halo setting question once you identify a stone you are interested in since different vendors carry different settings.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

diamondseeker2006|1455741557|3992201 said:
Thanks diamondseeker2006. I really appreciate you taking the time to look for these stones for me.

I see that these are color I vs H from the previous one you have posted and also are SI1 vs VS2. The question here is how much of a difference will this make?

Also, looking at the 2 stones from goodoldgold, the 2.05ct is about $300 more than the 1.9ct. I have read the reports and looked at all the picture and can see the differences, however I don't have the knowledge to understand how they compare. Can you please help me understand which one is the "best" one and how much of a difference there is between the two? Can you help me understand what makes these good stones vs what I could get a BM retailer? Is it the cut that is more important than clarity and color? I understand that even within the same clarity you can find stones that look clear to the eye vs. some that don't. I am not sure I understand how all these things impact the stone.

Thank you for your help!
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Okay,so I spent a few hours last night looking online, watching videos posted by good old gold I understand a little better what the diamond x-rays and all the other images represent. Actual looks like the bigger stone suggested is the best of the two.

Looking at a stone close to 2ct, I am thinking maybe a halo setting would be too large. Would I be better off with a solitaire setting to showcase the bigger stone? Anyone has any recommendations keeping in mind these two specific stones and their color grades, etc.? I am looking for a setting where the stone does not stick out too much and has a more classical/vintage look.

Maybe something along these lines?

http://www.dimendscaasi.com/designer-jewelry/avery-14kt-white-gold-diamond-ring

http://www.dimendscaasi.com/designer-jewelry/oriana-18kt-white-gold-diamond-ring

http://www.dimendscaasi.com/designer-jewelry/briel-14kt-white-gold-diamond-ring

http://www.dimendscaasi.com/designer-jewelry/noelle-14kt-white-gold-diamond-ring

A few from Good Old Gold

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerc...-contemporary-straight-engagement-ring-2.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerc...-victorian-straight-pave-engagement-ring.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/18k-white-gold-michael-m-engagement-ring-r371-1.html

http://www.goodoldgold.com/ecommerc...ld-contemporary-straight-engagement-ring.html
.goodoldgold.com/ecommerce/vatche-engagement-ring-25.html
 

JDDN

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Hi there,

Forgive me if you've already said, but what is your wife's style (clothes, jewelry) and what kind of dream e-ring do you think she would love? If it's a halo, then I think that's what you should get. For size 6.5 fingers, a 2 carat delicate halo will not look too big if size is something she desires. Surprisingly, size 6.5 is not really all that small (it's not huge either though). Many here have size 4 fingers.

As far as not wanting the stone to stick out too much, you can specify to the jeweler or bench that you want the stone set low (or at the most medium) and not high. It will of course also depend on what setting you choose, but how high or low the stone is set is a specification you can request.

Edit: Ok, I see you said she like classic or vintage.
 

qanda

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

JDDN|1455915914|3993030 said:
Hi there,

Forgive me if you've already said, but what is your wife's style (clothes, jewelry) and what kind of dream e-ring do you think she would love? If it's a halo, then I think that's what you should get. For size 6.5 fingers, a 2 carat delicate halo will not look too big if size is something she desires. Surprisingly, size 6.5 is not really all that small (it's not huge either though). Many here have size 4 fingers.

As far as not wanting the stone to stick out too much, you can specify to the jeweler or bench that you want the stone set low (or at the most medium) and not high. It will of course also depend on what setting you choose, but how high or low the stone is set is a specification you can request.

Edit: Ok, I see you said she like classic or vintage.
We are not so young professionals, approaching our 40s. She's pretty trendy, likes to dress up, and is into fashion. At the same time she likes things that are timeless and will look as good now as they will in 20 or 30 years. Our home is mostly mid-century modern. With some classical pieces. Does this help?
 

JDDN

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

Great, that's good information. I'm wondering what you think about choosing a gorgeous diamond and then bringing her into the setting process. For someone who is into fashion, trendy, likes to dress up, she may really, really have an opinion on the setting. Settings can be really tough and MANY of us here have waffled a lot! I know it doesn't allow the big reveal, but if this is meant to be super special, she may really enjoy shopping for settings with you.
 

E B

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

JDDN|1455918581|3993051 said:
Great, that's good information. I'm wondering what you think about choosing a gorgeous diamond and then bringing her into the setting process. For someone who is into fashion, trendy, likes to dress up, she may really, really have an opinion on the setting. Settings can be really tough and MANY of us here have waffled a lot! I know it doesn't allow the big reveal, but if this is meant to be super special, she may really enjoy shopping for settings with you.
Completely agree. Surprise her with an amazing diamond and leave enough in the budget for a great setting of her choice.
 

msop04

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Re: Please help a very confused husband pick an anniversary

E B|1455919543|3993060 said:
JDDN|1455918581|3993051 said:
Great, that's good information. I'm wondering what you think about choosing a gorgeous diamond and then bringing her into the setting process. For someone who is into fashion, trendy, likes to dress up, she may really, really have an opinion on the setting. Settings can be really tough and MANY of us here have waffled a lot! I know it doesn't allow the big reveal, but if this is meant to be super special, she may really enjoy shopping for settings with you.
Completely agree. Surprise her with an amazing diamond and leave enough in the budget for a great setting of her choice.
This exactly -- she'll have fun and be able to get the exact setting she wants! Win-Win!!
 
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