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Ring advice - beginner (Australia)

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
Hi all,

First post, apologies if this is in the wrong area, or not a question I should ask here, but none of my close friends have much experience in this and this seems like the best place to start.

Effectively I'm looking to propose in the next few months and it's time to look for a ring. I live in Tasmania, Australia and have gone to a small local jeweler who I had recommended to me from a number of people. The owner was very friendly and explained the process to me and explained grading etc. I'd like to go with him, but first I'd like to know whether his price is fair (if it's within say $500 of a decent price I'll go to them).

The diamond I'm looking at is GIA rated as below:

Shape and Cutting style - Round Brilliant
Carat Weight - 0.043 carat
Clarity Grade: SI1
Cut grade: Excellent
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Clarity Characteristics: Twinning Wisp
Measurements: 4.95 - 4.97 x 2.91 mm

The band I want will look something similiar to the attached in 18c white gold (picture is not of the actual stone). So a plainish 6 claw design.

Now the price quoted was $4,950 AUD. Is this reasonable?

In my research today I've noticed Bluenile being really raved about I ran a similar ring (only difference is it has a feather and a twinning wisp - would this be ok?) and it came out at around $2,199 AUD.

From other research I can see it seems like roughly 10% import tax in Australia, so even adding that on it seems like it would be $2,418.90 total. if it is as simple as that, it seems like a no brainer, and I could even get a better ring with my price range.

So would Bluenile be the way to go?

Last question (I promise) - I want it make it as much as a surprise as possible. I asked her a couple of times to go and get her finger measured, but as it is so close to the time now I don't want to spoil it - do I have any options? She's a fairly 'normal sized' perso. 170cm-ish tall and around 62kgs if that helps.

single-six-claw-solitaire-diamond-set-into-an-18-ct-white-gold-band.jpg
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
Another question - looking at the GIA report I can see it mentions clarity characteristics, are there any I should 100% avoid? I can see this diamond which is 0.60 carat, and F color grade, VS2 clarity grade, Excellent cut grade/polish/symmetry but has a cloud, crystal and a feather. Should I avoid this one? All I care about is the human eye really.
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
Reply #2 to myself. As I slowly research more - I seem to get more questions.

For diamond only (I think I've found the band I like on there), around $3,200 AUD would be my limit (all approximate and would go over slightly if neccessary). I think at that price range 0.60 carat would be appropriate? Looking at the level of importance, would I be right to look for:

Cut - Sig Ideal only? So Excellent cuts only show up?
Colour - F/G either fine?
Clarity - SI1/VS2 either fine?

My question about clarity above I'm still really interested in.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,117
Hi from Sydney. I'm 170cm and when I was 62kgs my finger size was M or US 6 if that helps. I think the ring at your local jewellers for just under $5,000 at only S1 clarity is too expensive. Australian mark ups are far higher than the US because our wages and rents are higher. Before the advent of the internet "they" had us by the short and curliest but now, we Aussies can and do shop internationally and get much more choice for less! You will do a lot better through the US vendors. Even with a lousy exchange rate and GST you'll have a much much bigger choice for cheaper. Hopefully some of the experienced US PSers will chime in but for say $4,000 US you can do much better diamond size wise. And I'd get it set in the US too, again easier and better if it's all done by the same people.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,117
Hi again, F and G are "high" colours so they cost more. A H or even I colour still looks white. Clarity, S1 is low, you might be able to see "things" with the naked eye, better with VVS. Cut is most important, a poor cut means it sparkles less well. If you read through some of the other posts you will see the preferred "angles, score, %" that equate to a better sparkly diamond.
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
Thanks so much for your post, much much appreciated.

So for example, a H, with VVS2 would be better or ease than an F with VS2?

All so confusing, but I'm slowly understanding (I think)
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,525
tank44|1479279613|4099194 said:
Thanks so much for your post, much much appreciated.

So for example, a H, with VVS2 would be better or ease than an F with VS2?

All so confusing, but I'm slowly understanding (I think)
An F is going to appear whiter than a H and a VVS2 is a waste of money IMHO because you can only see if a stone is eye clean or not eyeclean, most VS2s at that size should be eyeclean. Most human eyes can't really discern between a H and an F unless it's someone who looks at a lot of stones, someone who works with colours like a makeup artist and a lot of people of Asian decent prefer really ice white diamonds. Here is a list I gave another poster of vendors, ALL of them are going to be cheaper than your vendor in Tasmania;


Blue Nile has an Aussie branch now;

http://www.bluenile.com/au/

Gary, the guy that invented the HCA tool from here has a store in Melbourne, Garry Holloway;

http://www.hollowaydiamonds.com.au/

And Jorgia over in Perth have found a couple of great stones for people as well;

https://www.jogiadiamonds.com.au/

There is a place in Sydney I've never dealt with that a couple of posters have mentioned which you might find if you do a search that is supposed to be O.K.

Other than that;

www.victorcanera.com

www.jamesallen.com

www.bluenile.com

www.whiteflash.com

www.goodoldgold.com

And if you are after preloved which is a great way to find a bargain or antique diamonds;

www.jewelsbygrace.com

http://www.oldworlddiamonds.com/

http://www.loveaffairdiamonds.com/

If you purchase from the US ask the vendor to fill in the correct AUSTFA agreement forms that way you pay 10% rather than 15% taxes and duties.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,862
I think you would be fine with H, VS2 unless you know that the recipient is sensitive to colour? VS2 should be eye clean, some SI1 are too but Blue Nile don't provide pictures. You will need to consider the cut too, not all GIA Excellent stones are the same. You can do an advanced search on their site- I have cut and pasted the parameters (from one of DS2006's posts!) that you can use:

These are measurements to help you stay in ideal cut territory with a GIA excellent cut stone.

table: 54-58

depth: 60-62.3

crown angle: 34-35.0 (up to 35.5 crown angle can sometimes work with a 40.6 pav angle)

pavilion angle: 40.6-40.9 (sometimes 41.0 if the crown angle is close to 34)

Hope this helps, we can help you with suggestions or help to vet your choices if you like? Have you looked at other retailers like Whiteflash and James Allan? They do provide 360 degree pics which are really helpful.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,525
Yes the above poster has that correct if you want to concentrate on something concentrate on a decent cut.... why? Because a decent cut will return more white light across the whole stone making it face up bigger and it will be more sparkly in general to look at than something that is a smucky cut. I'm an Aussie too btw.

And if you like Antique stones I would pretty much guarantee that this stone would face up on the hand just as nicely for a fraction of the prices and similar specs (except it's SI2 but note it says it's eyeclean) of the price you wanted to spend;

http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/under-1-ct/43-early-round-brilliant-transitional-cut-diamond-gia-h-s12#.WCweUygVq5Q

Or alternatively if you shop around you should be able to purchase a larger stone with your budget.

This is another nice vintage stone a bit bigger than your original one;

http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/under-1-ct/57-old-european-cut-gia-h-vs2#.WCwfACgVq5Q


How much do they want for that setting? It's a basic setting, you should be able to get something made or select a decent on that is similar at most vendors listed above.
 

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
731
That price seems really high-I'm in Adelaide but I mostly deal in pearls . However I've been looking at Diamonds the past few days for someone so I've had to do a bit of reading. So like you I'm an amateur when it comes to stones. But from my research I'd say it's overpriced. I'm looking at a 1.2 Cushion cut E VS1 for 8500AUD .. that's what makes me feel yours is too much. As someone pointed out..we pay a premium here on such things. If you don't have an objection to a 'preloved' stone you might check out the price scope cafe? Theres a nice looking one ( almost twice as big) for 3200 - Whiteflash .[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/reduced-for-quick-sale-whiteflash-aca-diamond-solitaire-t224833.html']https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/reduced-for-quick-sale-whiteflash-aca-diamond-solitaire-t224833.html[/URL] ( if links can't be posted please remove )

You can always get the band resized if it's wrong.

And I appreciate the links to Australian sellers - always good to know!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,862
katbran|1479286400|4099213 said:
That price seems really high-I'm in Adelaide but I mostly deal in pearls . However I've been looking at Diamonds the past few days for someone so I've had to do a bit of reading. So like you I'm an amateur when it comes to stones. But from my research I'd say it's overpriced. I'm looking at a 1.2 Cushion cut E VS1 for 8500AUD .. that's what makes me feel yours is too much. As someone pointed out..we pay a premium here on such things. If you don't have an objection to a 'preloved' stone you might check out the price scope cafe? Theres a nice looking one ( almost twice as big) for 3200 - Whiteflash .[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/reduced-for-quick-sale-whiteflash-aca-diamond-solitaire-t224833.html']https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/reduced-for-quick-sale-whiteflash-aca-diamond-solitaire-t224833.html[/URL] ( if links can't be posted please remove )

You can always get the band resized if it's wrong.

And I appreciate the links to Australian sellers - always good to know!
That's a lovely ring but sadly the seller will only post to the US......
 

Sagefemme

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
291
The preloved Whiteflash ACA ring would be perfect for you. Maybe contact the seller (hathalove) and see if you can work something out for posting overseas?? Although not all brides-to-be would be ok with the pre-loved concept.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,117
My take on preloved - excellent value for money and no matter what anyone says, your diamonds aren't "new" they are millions of years old and any gold in a ring is probably recycled as well as being millions of years old too. Love pre loved and with a professional polish it looks brand new too. The only time "new" works for me is when I can't find the setting style I want but then I have to pay big $$$$ to have it.
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
All those replies are amazing, and have helped me narrow the search heaps - it's been a godsend.

I've also messaged the user about the used ring to get some information - could definitely be an option would work out $4,500ish AUD if my calculations are correct.

The other two I'm looking at:

Blue Nile

Carat 0.63
Color H
Clarity VS2
Cut Grade Excellent
Polish Excellent
Symmetry Excellent


Clarity: Crystal, Cloud, Feather


http://www.bluenile.com/au/build-your-own-ring/diamonds?stockno=LD07802758

with either these two bands:
http://www.bluenile.com/au/build-your-own-ring/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-18k-white-gold_3073
http://www.bluenile.com/au/build-your-own-ring/white-gold-engagement-ring_12962

Is there a reason why the first band is so cheap? Would it be too cheap?

Total price in AUD with the cheaper brand after tax would be approx: $4,057 ($4,500) with the more expensive band.

Benefit is it is free to get it resized (just need to send it to Brisbane).

James Allan

Carat 0.6
Color H
Clarity VS2
Cut Grade Excellent
Polish Excellent
Symmetry Excellent

Clarity Crystal, Cloud, Feather

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.60-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2209408

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/18k-white-gold-15mm-comfort-fit-engagement-ring-item-22591
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/18k-white-gold-2mm-comfort-fit-solitaire-engagement-ring-six-prong-item-7992

With one of the above two bands. A friend mentioned to me that thinner bands can be better because it makes the stone look bigger, thoughts on this?

Prices approx in AUD:

15mm - $4,606
20mm - $4,422.

Would love any advice you guys have!
 

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
731
As to the bands..if you look at the measurements you can see that the more expensive band is 1/3 wider and it looks thicker as well..so more gold = more $$$ That would be my guess.

You want the band to balance with the diamond..I'd probably go for a thin band. You can always buy little diamond bands to sit next to it down the track.
 

totallyfree

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
198
Personally? I don't like the 'classic' designs where the diamond has been 'plonked' into a circle of metal - I prefer a setting with 'shoulders' ('cathedral') that sets the diamond into the band.

However, not being the recipient it doesn't truly matter what I think. So. I think you should go with 4 prongs instead of 6 - you don't want bulky prongs to overwhelm the stone, and a thinner band:
https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/18k-white-gold-15mm-comfort-fit-engagement-ring-item-22591

My perception of the mass produced rings (JA, WF, BN etc) is that the prongs will never be as fine as a custom setting, and not to rely on the prongs being directly proportional to the stone. What looks fine on a 1ct might look bulky on a 0.4 or 0.6? (This isn't a reason not to go with WF, they offer great value in other areas, but something to be mindful of in your own expectations.)

If you're still interested in pre-loved suggestions...
For something different, and appears to be amazing value!?: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/1-08-j-si1-antique-emerald-cut-solitaire-t224418.html']https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/1-08-j-si1-antique-emerald-cut-solitaire-t224418.html[/URL]
Yellow gold (not sure if white gold is a must?), rings can be un-soldered: http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/rings/estate-modern/1-31tcw-round-brilliant-diamond-wedding-set-est-to-be-h-si2#.WC5IjPp942w
With diamonds on the band, but might be a bit above budget once the exchange rate and 10% tax is taken into account? (Ignore if so): http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/rings/estate-modern/81ct-old-european-cut-diamond-in-brian-gavin-setting#.WC5IaPp942w

There are absolutely some great value pieces out there, but you've mentioned a timeframe of a few months so if you'd rather have your ring in hand for the right moment, then my preference of your links is the JA 4 prong 1.5mm band :)
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
I thought I'd posted this yesterday but for some reason I can't see it.

I contacted Jogia Diamonds as recommended in one of the first posts. He has suggested the below:

Jogia Diamonds
Carat 0.62
Color E
Clarity VS2
Cut Grade Excellent
Polish Excellent
Symmetry Excellent

Clarity Crystal, Twinning Wisp
Fluorescence: Medium Blue

https://www2.jogiadiamonds.com.au/images/analysis/SS3002-gia.pdf
$4,112.00


That $4,112, includes a basic band with the style I want (I'll discuss with them in further if I lock in this seems like a good stone).

On first look I'd say this almost looks like the best option as well? Also a local Australian producer as well so another benefit there.

Agree?
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
I took this back to the jeweller in Hobart - as a friend of mine is a friend of his and called with some advice:

He was really positive apart from the below two comments:

'I NEVER deal in fluorescent diamonds as these can show a hazy colour over the top of your nice white diamond...this is the obvious game over point for me on this stone!
The inclusion description is good but I'd want to see that crystal to make sure it's location and colour are not an issue. If it's dead centre in the stone or black then it's not ideal.'

Are these fair comments? There is a 360 degree photo on the site but I can't see much else than that. From when I read around the fluorescent diamonds didn't seem much of an issue?

I was really leaning towards this option, but really unsure now.
 

tank44

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
13
Talking to myself again in this thread, but I've spoken to Jogia (he seemed very nice) - and he mentioned:
- that the diamond is a type 2B (or something) so there is no hazing due to the fluorescence
- also, he mentioned the crystals - he said there are two small black crystals that can't be seen by the human eye.

Would this be a no no (the crystal especially)? They have a 30 day money back return - so if it was something I could notice I could send it back? I'm leaning towards this ring so any help would be much much appreciated. Anything that can't be seen by the human eye I don't really care about - so I'm thinking this may be the way to go.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,525
If the vendor says you can't see the crystals and the stone is eye clean that shouldn't be a worry. Stones with fluorescence should be a bit cheaper unless you are paying a premium for something like a Brian Gavin Blue (which I still think is marketing to a degree). Some stones with fluorescence can appear slightly milky or hazy in sunlight and in certain overhead lighting (mainly in sunlight) so you have to be careful the stone is not impacted at all by this and that it's a look you like, as something that isn't negatively impacted, that is a high colour like this one might actually get a slight blue tint which again some people love and others don't like in strong sunlight.

I'm not saying don't get it, I'm saying make sure if you do purchase it, they have a good return policy so that if it does do anything you don't like (make sure you look at it outside in full sunlight and in a range of lighting situations) then you can return it. I also don't know unless like I said above she is of Asian decent (because I've noticed on here culturally Asians prefer smaller whiter stones) or is someone that prefers an ice white diamond (most people can't tell) why you need an E coloured stone, when an F or a G would buy you a larger stone for the money. Again these are just my thoughts, but most girls would prefer the dollars go into something you can see ie size rather than a slight barely detectible variant in colour. Having said that there are some people that DO like ice white diamonds and want nothing else.

Here is another place that MissKitty recommends in Sydney;

http://gpisraeldiamonds.com.au/

Make sure the stones have GIA certificates so it's an apples to apples comparison.
 
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