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Should I really spring for H&A?

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pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
I finally got a chance to go and spec a friend of mine''s ring that he bought about a year ago. It''s very similar to the design I wanted and I think it''s absolutely beautiful. I was curious as to what his carat weight was and visibility. What I want to know is if I sprung for a Hearts and Arrows diamond of a little lesser quality if his wife''s ring would outshine mine.

The specs on his are as follows:

.90 ct
E
VS2
Fluo: Faint
5.84-5.80 x 3.94
Depth: 67.70%
Table: 60.00%
Crown: 15.30%
Pavilion: 44.00%
Girdle: Thick to Ex Thick Faceted
Polish: Good
Symmetry: Good
Fluoresence: Faint

He ended up paying around $4700 for the whole ring, with a $500 setting. Was this a good buy?

If I ended up going with a little less than a carat in a F-H VS2 or SI1 H&A would my diamond be seriously lacking to his? Should I just forget about H&A and go for an Ideal cut? Like I said, I really love the way his looks.

Thanks for the help,

-Pedro
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
An ideal cut will exhibit hearts and arrows. An H&A may not be ideally cut, but is likely to be. An H&A or ideal cut in theory is likely to look very very nice. Probably better than your friends. The specs on his stone do not fit in the ideal range. The table is a little large, but not too large and the diamond is quite deep. The girdle is thick also. A lot of carat weight not showing up in the appearance. It probably looks more like a 0.75 ct or so and is likely to have a lot of leakage.

Check out the tutorial pages here on pricescope and look at some of the vendors websites to get a better idea of what you want. I'd recommend an ideal cut H&A, it will look more dazzling and appear larger than this stone. It sounds like you got a lot of good advice in your other post. Don't be afraid to buy online, it will help save you the money you need to get what you want. Also, white gold is a good alternative to platinum if you want to save a few hundred dollars to put towards the diamond.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Whoa, that's one deep diamond your friend bought!

If you get a H&A, most likely you'll be getting an ideal-cut too. That perfect internal symmetry may not completely guarantee an ideal stone, but odds are you won't get a dud either--and most likely a gorgeous specimen. His is nowhere near ideal. I'd bet yours would look sparklier, but even if not, it will definitely look larger.
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
Thanks for the replies...

so do you guys think he spent too much on that stone? I'm hesitant to go to the place he went, he and a few other of my friends all went to that same place... it's called the Jewelery Mart in San Francisco and supposedly you have to be a jeweler to get in, but it seems to me like anyone can get in there. I dunno. I believe I'm gonna be looking for around a .85 to .90 carat H&A. Would my stone still be as clean as his if I were to go with less of a color though? Say a G H&A vs his E?

Thanks again
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
Being his is EGL certified it may not really be an E, could be more like an F or even G. I don't think you will notice a difference between G and E, especially when set in a ring. They are pretty close. As for clean, if you mean clarity just have the jeweler (or do it yourself) check the stone to see that it is eye-clean, that you can't see any inclusions. You shouldn't be able to with an SI-1, but if you have a good eye and depending upon the type of inclusion and how long you stare, you may see it.

I think you should be the first of your buddies to get a really nice diamond. You should show them up, make their ladies jealous of yours. I don't know the Jewelry Mart, but it sounds shady. Check into the online vendors recommended here or post a new question asking for recommended jewelers in the Bay Area. There are a few frequent posters from the Bay Area on this forum, maybe they can help.
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
I'm pretty sure I will probably be going with an online vendor. I'm currently talking to a few over e-mails trying to find something to fit my budget and needs. We'll see how it goes. Thanks again Homer, you're a life saver
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
If you go to the Jewelry Mart, be warned that there are many grades of vendors. Actually, a good reputable one is Derco. Make an appt with one of their people. (Judy is the one I know.) They're well-known so very crowded all the time. They carry Ekati diamonds (I think they renamed themselves Auria or something like that)--which are a Canadian H&A. I think they're the only U.S. distributor as well. Derco will also match online prices if you ask about them. The only thing is, you *have* to go in well-educated. They won't automatically discuss cut quality with you unless you bring it up.

It's definitely a good place to look, and possibly buy. I just found it annoying to trek over there all the time on a weekday or wait for one of their special weekends. I find it much easier to buy online from the jeweler of my choice.
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
Hest, thank you... I'm not sure whether or not I really want to make the trek out there. I'm really in the South Bay and it'd be kind of a pain anyways, seems like I'm finding plenty of options online that would be just fine.

Could any of you point me to places where I might find settings though? I'm finding all sorts of rocks that I adore, but having a really tough time finding settings. I need a 3 stone Platinum setting under $1000 if it's possible.

Thanks again.
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
Under 1k, depends on the other 2 stones. Best place is to check with the vendor selling you the diamond. If they don't carry something you like then find it somewhere else or have them custom make you one. For starters try:

tradeshop.com
whiteflash.com
solomonbrothers.com (expensive but a huge on-line assortment of designer rings, great for ideas for custom jobs or knock-offs)
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
Would a set of .25 or .3 side diamonds be ok next to a .8 to .9 center stone? Do I also need to match the color of the side diamonds? How worried should I be about them?

Please let me know when you're tired of my questions
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
sorry, sorry... but could I go even smaller than two points on the sides or would that just be ridiculous? Also, could you fill me in a little more on custom settings Homer? I'd appreciate it.
 

Heyjud

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
243
I'd say on-line is your very best bet
Hearts and Arrows are the closet to PERFECT you'll get!

Their radiance and luster have no end
No doubt it will far outshine your friend!

Good luck
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 5/29/2003 2:12:47 PM homer_j wrote:

solomonbrothers.com (expensive but a huge on-line assortment of designer rings, great for ideas for custom jobs or knock-offs)
----------------
homer_j - interesting you brought this up. I was in Atlanta a few days ago and had wanted to go to the store but just ran out of time. I checked out their website and at least the Vatche rings I was looking at were cheaper.

For example, the RC sells for $1,035, X-Prong is still listed as $950 and channel setting $1,240.

Compare these prices with the online vendors here, the RC and X-Prong $1,045 and channel setting $1,485.

If I get the channel setting, it might be worth it to buy it from them ($20 shipping) and have the vendor I'm buying the diamond from set it.

But since I'm considering the RC or X-Prong, w/ shipping included, it doesn't really save me any money.

But for the channel setting, it is worth it.
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
Jlim: Good point. From what I recalled they seemed more expensive for some designer settings. I guess not. For the channel set you definitely win out. The vatche rings seem well priced almost anywhere. I am having a custom ring made (going to check it out tonight) by a local jeweler that kind of combines elements of the x-prong, lucida and jeff cooper lattice settings to fit the dimensions of a radiant diamond. The cost will be about the same as what an x-prong usually goes for, maybe a little less but way cheaper than tiffany or jeff cooper.

Pedro: As far as sidestones, that's a matter of preference. Try sketching the basic shapes next to each other based on the diameter of the stones. You can see how they look that way. As for custom, you can either design a ring yourself, have a jeweler design one for you based on your directions, or create a 'copy' of a designer setting. Some of the on-line vendors you are dealing with can probably make some recommendations for you. It's ok to trust them on this, they generally want to please you and will try hard to meet your needs best.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Hi Pedro! Sorry that I missed your post
I think I must have seen it had plenty of responses already so figured you probably had all the advice you could take. Here are my two cents...

First off..I attached a picture of a 3 stone ring (minus all the pave side stones) that looks to have a .85c center stone and smaller side stones. The author's post (liz) does not list what size the side stones are, but you can tell they are pretty small compared to the .85...so it's a distinct LOOK that you have to like. Personally I think her ring is amazing, so I like the look myself. I would roughly estimate that the size stones are around .20 each maybe? I think the rule of thumb by some vendors is to have the ratio of large stone to side stones be around or over 2:1 but it really is about YOUR visual preference!


Anyway that said...your friend's ring is definitely nowhere near an ideal cut. It's not to say it's not beautiful, but #1 it will look smaller than it really is, so it probably looks more like an .80c than a .90c due to the depth, #2 the girdle is thick which means MORE ctw loss in there, etc etc. The color and clarity are good but that is almost all this stone has going for it! So if you want something that will outshine it, you don't have to look too much higher...to be a frank!
(Don't tell your friend I said that!!). You can even go F or G with no problems on the stone still looking extremely white if you get an excellently cut stone. They face up whiter than the average stone (which is pretty much what it sounds like your friend has).

Definitely get an H&A or an excellently cut stone, or even just a well-cut stone and yours will be a better cut and most likely look tons better than your neighbors. Diamonds are innately beautiful objects, even when not especially well-cut....so you may find it hard to believe that a stone could look better than your neighbors. However, most of us will tell you that it won't be hard to find one that will!

You didn't mention a budget, but I'll assume around $5k for a 3 stone ring set in plat with a .85c side stone.

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=2482
.80c F SI1 A Cut Above Hearts and Arrows SuperIdeal $3591

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=462038
.81c G VS1 ACA H&A SuperIdeal $3879

Those two stones would be amazing as center stones with their ACA cuts, and WhiteFlash sells small stones as well as accents.

For example:
http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=471849
.30c ACA H&A G SI1 $576

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=438784
.29c ACA H&A G VS1 $640

Those two side stones with the G VS1 above would be a knockout 3 stone ring and give you about 1.40ctw...yum. Having 3 ACA's side by side IMO will be just beautiful. It's kind of like having three Hearts on Fire stones next to each other. Someone recently got a 5 stone ring from WhiteFlash with ACA's (.50c, .30, .30, .20, .20) and they were AMAZING...he posted all 5 stones next to each other and it was breathtaking.

Anyway all of that $$ adds up to about $4900 for just the stones. If you can stretch your budget a bit, you can get something like the Vatche 3 Stone Truffle for around $900 I think, and that takes it to around $5800. Not bad!! WF sells the 3 stone truffle I think.

That's just an example of what you COULD do. If you want to see some stones offline, check out Joe Escobar Jewelers in Campbell, they have some beautiful stones and their sales staff tends to be more knowledgeable than many other stores I visited. They also have a listing of their stones online at www.joeescobar.com . They have beautiful settings as well in their store, check out some of their unbranded ones which will save you some $$. We didn't visit any of the stores in SF but I am sure there are tons. We ended up getting our stone offline in Aptos at a jeweler we had used in the past for earrings as he matched online pricing and called in stones to look at. Also since we got a custom setting, it paid to use offline so that we could see and be involved in the process the entire way. Our jeweler was Jeff Garrett in Aptos if you want to go take a look over the weekend. His store is small and he may have to call in stones for you to view. If you do call him, tell him that Mara and Greg sent you!
Ask for crown and pavilion angles from anyone who you shop with offline. Plug them into the HCA and see what it has to say. Run the numbers through the AGA DIY cut grader on www.gemappraisers.com. Post the stone info here and people will comment. You have tons of outlets of information here on Pscope!

If you decide to look online, WhiteFlash as I noted has an excellent selection of both larger and smaller stones, and they do custom work or will set the stones etc. GoodOldGold is another vendor who is highly recommended on the forums, and I think Jonathan can pull small stones for the sides as well. There is also SuperbCert, another 'SuperIdeal' vendor that cuts their stones superbly for maximum light return, USA CertEd, DirtCheapDiamonds, etc etc. The list can be long.

Hope this has helped!! Sorry for the long rambling post...I think I am turning more into Tim everyday!!!!

I do have to say that visiting a few offline jewelers (went to Shane Co and the mall as well just to see what was out there...) and then looking at the amounts of information that people post on the stones online (like WF, GOG, SC etc), its amazing to see all the H&A and idealscope images, etcand our next purchase will hopefully be online. I would love a 5 stone ACA .50ctw ring from WF!!


lizsring1.jpg
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
Mara, thanks so much
I've been waiting for that. Actually what you did is exactly an example of what I'm TRYING to do
Just that I need it a little closer to 5k... with all you put together it almost runs up to 6k. I'm hopin to cut down teh price a little with the sidestones or maybe the setting. It'd be great if I could find a cheaper setting, I just dont' know where. Haven't seen anything better than 800. I may just have to buck up and go with a 6k budget, we'll see.

Could anyone comment on how important fluorescence is? Those rocks u linked to are all Inert or Negligible. Will those work ok next to eachother?

If I could I'd take you all out for pizza (it'd be steak, but I'm springing 5k on a ring... you understand) once this ordeal is over
Thanks again
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
You should have a problem with the flourescence at all with that amount. Not a visual difference.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
There shouldn't be a problem at all with inert, none or even faint fluorescence. I think this is what Hest meant to say!


Here is another one from WF if you can go a tad smaller on the center stone.

http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/diamond_details.asp?ItemCode=365084
.75c G VS2 $3367 ACA H&A

Also they had a few more ACA G SI1 side stones around .30c listed. You may want to call them to see what they have that is not listed on the site. Their .30 G SI1 ACA stones were around $550 each on the site.

So that makes it around $4400 for the .75 G VS2 and two .30c G SI1 side stones, then if you get a setting that is around $800 its only $5200. Better than $5700 or $6k.

I would call WhiteFlash and GOG (who seems to have small stones also..though brokered) and see what they can do for you. WF also can move the prices a little depending on your budget, I know they have helped accomodate people in the past.

Good luck
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Eeewwww, Pedromont! You won't have to worry about being outshined if you go with an ACA from White Flash. I have one just a tad over .75 carat,.... .766 carat to be exact. Mine looks larger than most Maul store 1 carat diamonds. In fact, the diameter of my .766 is right at 6.0 mm. Larger than your friend's .90 carat. I know .15 mm sounds small on paper, but it is most definitely, visibly larger in real life. And, oh how ACA's do flash and sparkle. Bright light, low light, they maximize every spec of light.


Give the folks at White Flash a holler. And, I do mean call them. Tell them your price point for the package and what you are trying to accomplish. They are great folks and they will help you put together a ring that is bound to astound!


Hey, another rhyme. Watch out, HeyJud! LOLOL
 

pedromt

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
64
I'll give them a call Monday. My funds for the ring and all won't actually come in till next week but I figured I should start looking. I had lunch with her Dad yesterday... he gave me the go ahead
All that's left now is the rock and I gotta cook up some interesting proposal ideas. Thanks again for all your help. I'll be out of town till Monday.
 
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