Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Seeking Advice on a Family OEC

davemc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
4
Hi everyone,

I've been reading some of the forum posts on here about diamonds generally and particularly about OECs. With all the helpful advice people here offer I wanted to seek some input on a family ring I am considering giving to my gf when I propose.

By way of a little background, my gf and I have been to Tiffany's and a few other stores and it seems like she has a preference for a round brilliant style diamond, about 1.5cts, and particularly liked Tiffany's novo setting (though not the cushion cut stone). Recently, my cousin got engaged and I learned that there are a number of "family" rings which had been passed down from my great grandmother to each of the families of her grandchildren. I asked my parents whether there was a ring for our family and it turns out there is one. They sent me pictures (attached below), and initially I was a bit hesitant as it seemed to be a rather "dull" diamond and not as wide as a RB 1.5 ct like my gf wants. I was home for Easter last weekend though and had the chance to see the ring in person. In brief, the pictures don't do the ring justice, the stone literally jumps out at you and makes the pearls on either side and the rest of the setting look incredibly dull. My mom took the ring to a jeweler this week who did an informal appraisal and estimated that the ring, as set is worth about $14k and the center diamond is 1.33cts.

Based on the price and having looked at what OECs typically sell for, this makes me think this may be a rather rare, high clarity, high quality OEC (I think this is certainly a possibility as my great grandparents were rather wealthy and the ring has stayed in the family).

I know that pictures are hard to judge from and absent a formal appraisal or GIA etc certification, it may be difficult to provide some feedback, but my primary question is whether this ballpark value sounds completely out of line, esp for a smaller OEC diamond?

I know that on a certain level, when giving a family heirloom as an engagement ring, value shouldn't matter, but there's that part of me (and my gf) where if it is actually just a low value/low quality old diamond, looking for something new may be a better option.

I would plan on having the stone reset, and would appreciate any thoughts people may have on good settings. As I said above, my gf really like the novo tiffany setting (diamonds around the band, "clean" setting of the stone on top, aka no little triangles when you look at the ring from the loop side). My slight concern there is that getting a new setting with RBs, the RBs may seem to "outshine" the OEC.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Nana Ring 004.jpg

Nana Ring 005.jpg

Nana Ring 006.jpg

Nana Ring 007.jpg
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,734
Oh, gosh, this is really a dilemma. I can't tell enough about the diamond from the pictures to decide if I love it or not. But I do think the ring as a whole is gorgeous and should be left intact!!!

What about getting her a round brilliant in a Novo-like setting for an engagement ring (Brian Gavin sells a great Novo replica and I think Good Old Gold does, too) and give her this ring as a wedding gift?

I just hate to see the stone taken out of such a pretty setting and put in a modern setting. And there is no telling whether she would be happy with the stone or not since it is smaller than she is expecting. It works great as a three-stone ring as it is currently set, though.

Valuations like that are usually very inflated, so it may be really worth 1/2 to 2/3 of that amount. Did they give an estimate of color and clarity? Did they measure the diameter of the stone?
 

davemc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
4
Thanks for your input diamondseeker. I know from some prior conversations with my gf that if I gave her a family ring she would be happy with it because of the sentiment and deeper meaning associated with it, so the size wouldn't be big problem per se.

My mom didn't have a lot of details from the jeweler re to color, clarity etc. He just told her that it was an OEC diamond, the approximate carat weight and a ballpark price. My parents are away visiting my sister this week, but we are going to have it formally appraised when they get back.

As to keeping it in the setting, I'm torn. The setting isn't my (or my gfs) personal style and as I mentioned in my post, I think the pictures really don't do the diamond itself much justice. In the pictures, the diamond seems to "fit" better with the setting, but in person, it really glows to the point where it actually seems a bit out of place in the setting. This was in moderate/low light which I know is when OECs look best. Perhaps having the pearls/settings cleaned would make it look nicer?

Also, as to giving her a different engagement ring and saving this as a wedding gift, I think it would probably be kept as a potential engagement ring for my younger sister if I don't give it to my gf. Ironically though, the ring is exactly my gf's size as is, which is unexpected since she is quite petite and has a 4.75-5 ring size.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I would have it formally appraised by an independent appraiser/gemologist in terms of the quality of the stone. Then make your decision from there. BGD's "Novella" setting is very similar to the Tiffany Novo and they will set non-BGD stones. If it turns out you don't want to use it due to the quality of the stone, as an engagement ring, you can see if your sister wants to use it and if not maybe use it as a pendant or RHR.
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
hmm, this is a tough one. I love OEC's and antique jewelry but I'm not really a fan of the pearl sides on that ring, so I'd probably reset it. If your sister loves it as is, I'd say to save it and keep it for her though. If your sister doesn't want it, then I think making into another type of wedding gift would be neat. Maybe even an antique pendant?? If you have the money to go ahead with a 1.5 in a novo type setting, I'd do that. OEC's usually face up smaller than ideal cut rounds due to the deeper cut so it could look quite a bit smaller than the 1.5's she's been trying on.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
The pearl sidestones on that ring will probably not last long if worn everyday, so something to think about if deciding to use it as an engagement ring.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,734
I also do not think the ring is appropriate for everyday wear which is why I didn't suggest using it as an engagement ring.

If you do decide to take the stone out of the setting, I'd encourage you to think about settings that might be more complimentary to the stone, though. Van Craeynest is beautiful, Singlestone and Jewels by Erica Grace have some as well, or a very simple but elegant solitaire would be fine, too.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
It's a gorgeous ring...as others said though, pearls aren't ideal for daily wear, plus they need different cleaning products than diamonds which sort of takes the fun out of keeping the diamond fresh and sparkling.

I'm not sure about the Novo style taking away from the OEC, but think that if you do decide to go with another diamond, then maybe keep the heirloom one to use as a RHR :)
 

davemc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
4
Thanks for all of your thoughts, esp on the issue with having pearls on an everyday ring. My strong suspicion is that the ring will sit in the family safe deposit box if I don't have the stone reset to use as an engagement ring. The style of the current setting really doesn't match with my gfs, so I doubt she would wear it as a RHR or for other purposes. Also, my sister is not really a diamond kind of girl, her reaction when we discussed the ring was to the effect of "if a guy ever proposes to me and he doesn't know me well enough to know I would never want a diamond, we probably won't be getting married."

As to the size of the ring, while the carat weight is close to 1.5, the diameter is about 1/4 inch, which in a RB would be about 1 carat. Slightly smaller than what my gf has expressed an interest in wanting, but I think the family heirloom aspect of the stone would make her okay with it. The engagement won't be a total surprise by any means so I may just ask her directly, once I find out a bit more about the quality of the diamond. To my eye, it was much more impressive than the RBs you see at Tiffany's etc, but I'm not expert and that's just my personal preference.
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
This may be a dumb thought, but I think the ring is gorgeous and it actually already has the tiffany type head. I don't know if it is possible or not, but could you perhaps find someone who works on antique jewelery more people here might know of someone, and take the pearls out and replace them with two OECs and bring the ring back to it's original luster? I think that would look gorgeous :appl:

I personally think heirloom jewelry is spectacular. I think it would be such a great honor to be presented with an engagment ring like that.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,690
farmer gal|1303926721|2906331 said:
This may be a dumb thought, but I think the ring is gorgeous and it actually already has the tiffany type head. I don't know if it is possible or not, but could you perhaps find someone who works on antique jewelery more people here might know of someone, and take the pearls out and replace them with two OECs and bring the ring back to it's original luster? I think that would look gorgeous :appl:

I personally think heirloom jewelry is spectacular. I think it would be such a great honor to be presented with an engagment ring like that.

If this is possible and won't cost an arm and a leg - my vote x10! It keeps the beauty and charm of the piece, but makes it wearable and modern. I'd contact www.jewelsbyericagrace.com,, www.oldworlddiamonds.com,, www.goodoldgold.com to see what they can do about finding you some antique or modern reproduction sides that fit well in terms of colour, size, patterning w/ the centre.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,804
Now there is a really good idea! That would make an outstanding engagement ring with good finger presence and lots of meaning!
 

Sky56

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
1,037
I agree that this is a great idea for this beautiful heirloom. Replacing the pearls with diamonds would make it more wearable and the sentimentality would still be there.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I also think that is a good idea but if she really likes the novo style she might not want a 3-stone?

you could always get her the Novo style with a RB for the engagement ring and get the heirloom diamond set into a pendant for a wedding day gift :)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,734
slg47|1303948065|2906590 said:
I also think that is a good idea but if she really likes the novo style she might not want a 3-stone?

you could always get her the Novo style with a RB for the engagement ring and get the heirloom diamond set into a pendant for a wedding day gift :)
This. I think the fact that it faces up like a 1 carat would make it better suited to be a pendant since you were exploring 1.5 ct. diamonds for the e-ring. The pendant would be a special heirloom but she could still have the engagement ring she dreamed of!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
diamondseeker2006|1303949701|2906612 said:
slg47|1303948065|2906590 said:
I also think that is a good idea but if she really likes the novo style she might not want a 3-stone?

you could always get her the Novo style with a RB for the engagement ring and get the heirloom diamond set into a pendant for a wedding day gift :)
This. I think the fact that it faces up like a 1 carat would make it better suited to be a pendant since you were exploring 1.5 ct. diamonds for the e-ring. The pendant would be a special heirloom but she could still have the engagement ring she dreamed of!
agree 100%
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,690
davemc|1303926493|2906326 said:
Thanks for all of your thoughts, esp on the issue with having pearls on an everyday ring. My strong suspicion is that the ring will sit in the family safe deposit box if I don't have the stone reset to use as an engagement ring. The style of the current setting really doesn't match with my gfs, so I doubt she would wear it as a RHR or for other purposes. Also, my sister is not really a diamond kind of girl, her reaction when we discussed the ring was to the effect of "if a guy ever proposes to me and he doesn't know me well enough to know I would never want a diamond, we probably won't be getting married."

As to the size of the ring, while the carat weight is close to 1.5, the diameter is about 1/4 inch, which in a RB would be about 1 carat. Slightly smaller than what my gf has expressed an interest in wanting, but I think the family heirloom aspect of the stone would make her okay with it. The engagement won't be a total surprise by any means so I may just ask her directly, once I find out a bit more about the quality of the diamond. To my eye, it was much more impressive than the RBs you see at Tiffany's etc, but I'm not expert and that's just my personal preference.

I like this idea the best of all that have been suggested so far.

I am the sort of person who - whilst I would be very honoured to be presented w/ an heirloom ring - would also be very uncomfortable with the whole thing. Add to that fact the reality that I have strong feelings about what I want my engagement ring to look like, and my DH presenting me w/ an heirloom is a recipe for trouble, especially if it's sprung on me without warning and I'm in a position where I can't politely decline it.

This is because in my experience family heirloom pieces often come w/ other strings that I personally am uninterested in dealing with wrt my engagement ring - what if you two break up? What if the stone is damaged during setting/wear, will grandma's feelings be hurt? What about future upgrades or resets - again, will some of the family see it as a slight, and are you rather obligated to then cater to those people's feelings because you accepted the ring in the first place? Or worse - will the ring be imbued with so much meaning and sentiment that she'll be afraid to wear it regularly, for fear of damaging it?

Just food for thought. The only way to find out how she feels is to ask her!
 

stci

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Messages
2,514
Go for a new antique style setting for this beauty! How beautiful!!!! :love: :appl:
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Yeah, I'd just ask her what she wants. On one hand, yes, a good OEC is absolutely amazing. On the other, if she's been trying on modern rings in a larger size... it may not be what she wants at all.

The appraisal estimate seems astoundingly high, unless it's like a D IF, which would be an incredible rarity. It isn't unusual for an OEC to be low color but high clarity; for some reason that's a pretty common combo. Most high color OECs were recut, and they were pretty hard to find to begin with. But high clarity was common in antique cuts.

The fact that it's a 1.5 ct but faces up like a 1 ct- well, I have to admit I'm super picky about OEC cut ;-) but it may be a bit less sparkly than the best cut OECs. Or it may work just fine... no way to judge from the pictures. But anyway, if she wants a 1.5 ct it sounds like it may be a little small for her taste. Anyway- I think your best bet is ask her.

Whether it would look good in a Novo style setting- I would presume it would unless it's a *really* low color. I'd say anything up through like M color would be fine in a setting like that.

I like the setting it's in, but pearls would be way easy to damage. So I'd save the original setting for sure, but reset it if she wants it.

Your best, if she wants it, would probably be to take it to an independant to appraiser who is familiar with antique diamonds. Not all appraisers are- but you want one who is, so they can estimate the value for insurance properly; you don't want to overpay for insurance coverage.
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,242
I would talk to a jeweller who knows something about pearls also.
From the age of that ring, those may well be genuine (not cultured) pearls. I understand that genuine pearls, especially from Bahrain or the Persian gulf have value and are desirable to certain customers and perhaps you should also check this out and at least make sure that the pearls are not destroyed if you decide to take the setting apart.
 

davemc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
4
Thanks for all of your thoughts. I think asking her directly is probably the best course, though I want to wait until I have more information about the quality of the diamond itself. I like the changing out the pearls idea, but I think the setting would still not be her style. I know my family would not be upset about resetting the ring as my cousin was just proposed to by her long time boyfriend who took another family ring and had the diamond reset.

In terms of the diamond quality, I'll just have to see on the appraisal, but re to the "typically" available OEC diamonds because of recutting and the like, I would not be surprised if this is a now rare high quality stone. It was my great grandmother's (who died at about 97 almost 30 yrs ago), has been in the family ever since, and my great grandparents were rather wealthy, though not flashy, which is why I could see this modestly sized/set ring having a very nice diamond in it. That said, I'll just have to see once it is appraised.

On the comment about the pearls being natural vs. cultured, would I need a special jeweler/appraiser to be able to determine this? Any thoughts on what to do with the pearls if they are natural and I have them taken out of the setting? (fyi, my gf already has a very nice set of Mikimoto pearl earings and long pearl necklace).
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,734
I would try to sell the setting intact with the pearls in it if at all possible. You could consign it with someone like Jewels by Erica Grace but you would need a credible appraisal on those pearls to value it appropriately.

The diamond isn't going to be worth more than a well cut round brilliant of the same color and clarity in most cases. But you wouldn't really be able to compare it to a modern cut round due to it facing up closer to a 1 ct. No one is going to pay a 1.5 ct. price for a stone that looks like a 1 ct. It certainly may be a good quality stone, but again, it is probably a better size for a pendant since she was looking at 1.5 ct. diamonds for an e-ring.
 

tradergirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
787
I just wanted to say I'd take that ring over any modern one. It occurred to me to replace the pears with cabochon moonstones. That would really be pretty while preserving the look. I adore that ring.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Princess Diana: Timeless Jewelry Every Woman Should Own
    Princess Diana: Timeless Jewelry Every Woman Should Own
    Diamond Jewelry For 4th Of July Quarantine Celebrations
    Diamond Jewelry For 4th Of July Quarantine Celebrations
    Fancy Greyish Yellowish Green Diamond
    Fancy Greyish Yellowish Green Diamond

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top