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Ready to buy; a few questions

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Hi guys, first time poster here - actually found you via a reddit post and so glad I did; the advice here is something really special.

I'm doing my best to educate myself as I head into this purchase but I was hoping you might point me in the right direction on a few things.

My main source of intel on my girlfriend is that she said she would prefer a diamond over a different stone, in a funky cool setting that could still be considered classy. Her preferences are for silver/white jewelry. She then pointed our mutual friend to this site and said she basically loves it all (I know, not exactly helpful:)). http://shop.kenanddanadesign.com/collections/engagement-rings

My ideal budget is $3500 including setting...

That said, I have a few questions:

1. We're in San Francisco. I'd like to buy online, but happy to go to a local shop if that's a better option? Seems the preferred online vendors here offer really great options.

2. She has long, thin fingers (we call her toes alien fingers, ha). I've heard an oval cut might work well with that? Trying to decide btwn oval, round, and cushion.

3. What should I optimize for/maximize, considering my budget? I came across this tool, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start: http://www.sproutworkshop.com/diamond-deals/ (is that tool worth using?)

If I can provide any more insight, please let me know, and thank you in advance!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
You will get more bang for your buck online.

What kind of setting does she want?
 

merrick

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
4
1. Online will definitely offer better deals to help you maximize your budget.
2. A round diamond should work for any finger type. It's also the simplest in terms of decision criteria. An oval, cushion, or pear might work given her long fingers, but let's start with round.
3. You should probably trade off clarity and color for carats (stick with ideal cut). That's a really cool tool to compare diamond prices. I used it to search for I VS2/SI1 diamonds. Scanning the price curves, it seems 0.8ct is the sweet spot to leave room in your budget for a setting. Here are some options I found:

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.80-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1043209 ($2800)
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.80-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1065276 ($2680)
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.83-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1052598 ($2830)
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Thanks Gypsy, been combing through your posts for insights.

Forgive me, but the support at B2C is confusing me on putting a stone on hold. Do you submit a purchase order? They can't seem to give me clarity on how to hold stone, and how long I'd have to cancel that order...

Thanks.
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Gypsy|1461042081|4021022 said:
You will get more bang for your buck online.

What kind of setting does she want?
All I have in terms of setting is that website, which obviously has a lot of rings on it. I feel like she's open to something a bit unique as opposed to full blown traditional or plain.

This caught my eye: http://www.b2cjewels.com/Round/1/10038/Diamond-Accent-Settings/Infinity-Twist-Engagement-Ring-Split-Shank-14K-White-Gold.aspx

Then again, so does this: http://www.b2cjewels.com/Round/1/13418/Traditional-Solitaire-Settings/Diamond-Engraved-Solitaire-Engagement-Ring-Mounting-Prong-Setting-14K-White-Gold.aspx

She tends to like funky, unique accessories and jewelry. Not sure it's helpful but travels a lot (100% travel job), where she teaches in front of offices for full day sessions.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Call and ask them to hold the stone for you. Also ask them for an idealscope image.

Okay?

That stone is a lovely one. And the price on it and the size are very good and mazimize your budget.

I REALLY like this one: http://www.b2cjewels.com/Round/1/13418/Traditional-Solitaire-Settings/Diamond-Engraved-Solitaire-Engagement-Ring-Mounting-Prong-Setting-14K-White-Gold.aspx And I would encourage you to ask them for "real life pictures" of that particular ring. See if they can give that to you when you call. Okay?
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
The stone is with an overseas partner so they can't hold it w/o a purchase. I'm having them seek a few similar stones and emailing them to me.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Okay. It's a safe buy. But I understand completely if you aren't ready to buy the first stone thrown at you. =)

Let's see what they propose.

Here's what you need to know:

The entire purpose of faceting a diamond is to reflect light.
How well or how poorly a diamond does this determines how beautiful it is.
How well a diamond performs is determined by the angles and cutting. This is why we say cut is king.
No other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. An ideal H will out white a poorly cut F. With round diamonds even a GIA triple Excellent is not enough. And you must stick to GIA and AGS only (HPD in Europe is good as well). EGL is a bad option: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/[/URL]
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want?
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-cut
Well one method is to start with a GIA Ex, and then apply the HCA to it. YOU DO NOT USE HCA for AGS0 stones generally, though you can. In general, AGS0 trumps HCA though as one examines the actual stone and the other does not.
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/holloway-cut-advisor
The HCA is a rejection tool. Not a selection tool. It uses 4 data points to make a rudimentary call on how the diamond may perform.
If the diamond passes then you know that you are in the right zone in terms of angles for light performance. Under 2 is a pass. Under 2.5-2.1 is a maybe. 2.6 and over is a no. No score 2 and under is better than any other.
Is that enough? Not really.

So what you need is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does. https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/firescope-idealscope
It shows you how and wear your diamond is reflecting light, how well it is going at it, and where you are losing light return. That is why you won't see us recommending Blue Nile, as they do not provide idealscope images for their diamonds. BGD,BE, James Allen, GOG, HPD, ERD and WF do.

The Idealscope is the 'selection tool'. Not the HCA.
So yes, with a GIA stone you need the idealscope images. Or you can buy an idealscope yourself and take it in to the jeweler you are working with to check the stones yourself. Or if you have a good return policy (full refund minimum 7 days) then you can buy the idealscope, buy the stone, and do it at home.

Now if you want to skip all that... stick to AGS0 stones and then all you have to do is pick color and clarity and you know you have a great performing diamond. Because AGS has already done the checking for you. That's why they trade at a premium. Some AGS0's are better than others though, so pay attention to any ASET or IS provided.

In general with rounds, you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.4. Crown angle 33.5-35. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-40.8 (there is a little give on this). And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA checks for you.
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Okay, thanks for that info @Gypsy.

Rio at B2C sent along real life images of the setting - I'm not sure I love it; the setting seems to eat the stone up:

tsaj0138_a.jpg

tsaj0138_b.jpg

tsaj0138_c.jpg
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
889
sftodenver|1461046763|4021033 said:
...I feel like she's open to something a bit unique as opposed to full blown traditional or plain.

...
She tends to like funky, unique accessories and jewelry. Not sure it's helpful but travels a lot (100% travel job), where she teaches in front of offices for full day sessions.
Stuller.com makes components that all jewelers have access to. I've always found it easier to go to a store and look through their paper catalog. But here are shanks on their web site: http://www.stuller.com/browse/findings/shanks-guards/peg-remount-shanks/?page=1
Those are for peg heads. Pick a diamond, and you could get an oval not just a round, and then an appropriate head. I was thinking that I saw that bark texture in a readymade shank or ring someplace, but I just don;t have time to look for it. Stuller has added many more "artistic" items for those who are looking for something you don't see coming and going everywhere.
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
889
Oval cuts are what's called "fancies." There is no "cookbook" for buying one. There are no standard cut grades like for rounds. You have to rely on ASET images and vendor recommendations and online movies like James Allen offers and whatever. Fancies are much harder to buy online, but not impossible. It just takes more work and may take more time for the right gorgeous oval to show up. You're going to have to work more closely with the vendor(s) to find an oval. Black bowtie in the center is one thing that people usually don't want. I haven't looked at ovals in a long time, but the price per carat for fancies used to be lower than for rounds.

Marquise is another fancy that is making a comeback. People are doing lots of different things with them now. It's not the '80s all over again, lol.

Pricescope and AGS and GIA have hammered out cut standards and Pricescope has the HCA, Holloway Cut Adviser, for rounds. Rounds are much easier to buy "by the paper," or by the numbers.

Some of the rings on that website your GF picked are bezels. Bezels make a diamonds look larger. You might consider a bezel setting, especially if she gravitated more toward contemporary than vintage or "confectionery."
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
889
There is a jeweler, Images, http://www.imagesjewelers.com/ that a lot of people on another board used to go to for unique rings. David Klass in Los Angeles, too. He has a Facebook. But custom will be costly even if it looks like a simple design.

But with a $3500 budget, I think you'd do better to try to use stock ring findings and put most of the budget into the center diamond. Booyah! for wanting something more contemporary and unique. :D I like that Ken & Dana site that you mentioned.
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
889
And if she wants something a bit more unusual and likes a pale yellow diamond, then colors L and M will get you a much larger diamond for your money. Here's a thread:
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/warmer-diamonds-k-l-m.214928/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/warmer-diamonds-k-l-m.214928/[/URL]
B2C, I think it was, sourced a beautiful round L color stone for someone one here. And Brian Gavin offers his Cape collection now. My diamond pictured in there was recut by Brian Gavin but I never bothered to get a lab report on it. It was graded M by a local jeweler when I bought it. It looks less tinted now, so might get an L grade. I can look very white in some lighting and pale creamy light yellow or ivory in others. The warmer diamonds have a chameleon character. Mine is a little over 1ct and about 6.5mm, irrc. It compares favorably with Hearts On Fire diamonds, and nobody has ever grabbed my hand and exclaimed "My got, is that thing YELLOW!" :lol: Nobody has disapproved of it yet. I mentioned the L & M colors because there are a few cape color diamonds in the web site that you posted.
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,242
2. She has long, thin fingers (we call her toes alien fingers, ha). I've heard an oval cut might work well with that? Trying to decide btwn oval, round, and cushion.

Unless she specifically told you that she wants an oval or cushion, stick with round. It is much easier to find good rounds and some people don't care for "fancy" shapes.
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Much thanks all - definitely will be going with a round stone.

I got Hearts and Arrows and actual image for the first stone suggested by Gypsy.

8118747_h.jpg

8118747_a.jpg

8118747actual.jpg
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Second stone from B2C:







Carat Weight:0.90
Price: $3500
Cut:Excellent
Color:I
Clarity:VS1
Depth:62.70
Table:56.00
Polish:Excellent
Symmetry:Excellent
Girdle:M-STK
Culet:None
Fluorescence:Medium
Ratio:0.00
Measurements:6.12x6.16x3.85

Any insights welcome!

02_aset_image.jpg

02_idealscope_image.jpg

02_real_image.jpg
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
AdaBeta27|1461089047|4021260 said:
There is a jeweler, Images, http://www.imagesjewelers.com/ that a lot of people on another board used to go to for unique rings. David Klass in Los Angeles, too. He has a Facebook. But custom will be costly even if it looks like a simple design.

But with a $3500 budget, I think you'd do better to try to use stock ring findings and put most of the budget into the center diamond. Booyah! for wanting something more contemporary and unique. :D I like that Ken & Dana site that you mentioned.

Thanks for the suggestions. I poked around; definitely seems to make sense to go with stock finding.

Cheers!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I'd try to negotiate price on the first alternative. Since it has the same specs as the original stone I posted, but is 500 more see if they will either price match the overseas stone or at least come down in price.

The setting does eat up the stone a bit. That's why I wanted you to see real life pictures of the thing. Those CAD images are so not helpful when selecting a setting.


I think you should work on getting the stone for now. And then we can worry about settings. Where are you (geographically) located?

Stuller has a lot of really nice, budget friendly, and not cookie cutter settings that might work for you. And since you like engraving another option is to get a nice solitiare from Stuller and have it hand engraved (a good bench can hand engrave anything for you). That would make it unique to her. And she'd have the only one of that setting.

Personally, if you want something more unique-- FIRST see if she has any preferences. SNOOP.

We had a guy in here just a couple months ago. Similar post to yours. His lady was a very unique artistic type. We told him to ask, nagged him really, and finally LITERALLY just the day before he was going to buy her something, he found out she had an EXACT ring (super duper unique, not something I would have ever picked for another person) she wanted. He got the stone shape, the metal, the STYLE, all of it, wrong on his own.

So please. SNOOP.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Hi guys - I wasn't able to make the purchase last go-around, so bumping this thread to see if Gypsy or anyone sees great stones that fit my budget. Most of the ones mentioned here are gone now...

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Edit: I didn't make purchase bc my GF came back from travel and it was hard to do this in secret with her around. :)
 

3Bean

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
28
I attempted to do everything incognito. Unfortunately, I am bad at keeping secrets. Fortunately, once she found out, I got her to go out with me to a few B&M stores. We got to look at different stones and learnt her preferences.

There is definately a big difference with what the local B&M stores could provide and what was available online. That is, unless you are local to the recommended vendors on here. The B&M stores at the malls were the worst!

You could always propose with a ring pop (candy), and bring her into the hunt. ;-)
 

sftodenver

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
54
Yep, indeed. I was about to go that route but realized we'd be seeing almost all of our (both huge) families right after when I thought about doing it, and the whole convo would be about why there was no ring.

Thus, I'd like to make the purchase prior - we can make a change if we need to (I'll aim to stay within return policies).
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
3,732
Hi sftodenver - I suggest that you contact Yekutiel at ID Jewelry. He can help you to find a very nice stone and make the setting you desire. He's honest and easy to work with. Doesn't hurt to give him a call. Good luck to you. :wavey:
 
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