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Tale of a Unique Engagement Ring

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
I''ve been lurking on this site for a couple years now, and am VERY grateful for all of the guidance and advice on diamonds I''ve learned from reading this forum regularly. I''ve finally decided to post because I just finished putting putting together a very unique engagement ring with a very limited budget. The appraisal appointment isn''t until next week, so I don''t know how much the final value of the ring will be, but my very biased estimate would be around $7,500. The process all started about a year ago when I found an absolutely beautiful platinum cocktail ring on eBay. To me it looks like a spiralling galaxy, so as a guess only, I''m thinking it might be 1950s era. What''s your impression? The stones are single cut, eye clean, and very white. The setting is cast platinum.

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FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
What did you pay for it (I'm assuming it's off of ebay, just a ballpark is fine) and what is the total carat weight?

Very unusual ring!
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
It's about 3/4 of a carat. The seller wanted $1,500 for it. I ended up getting it for $800. I went back looking through my files to see if I could find the original ad details, but they're gone.
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So, after I got the ring, I brought it to several jewelers to see if anyone could recommend a way to set a larger diamond in place of the small center one. I knew I wanted it to be a cushion cut, and about 1 carat. All of them believed it to be impossible. They said that the way the ring was created, cutting out the center would make the entire thing fall apart since the structure all tied to the center part of the ring.

I was convinced I would need to start from scratch with another ring that was already designed as an engagement ring. Talk about complete disapointment.
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I even showed my fiance this ring and explained what I had wanted to do, figuring that I would just keep it as a cocktail ring, or sell it some day. She LOVED it. We both ended up being very disappointed that this ring wouldn't become the engagement ring . . .
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
I started searching for the perfect cushion diamond. There was no "timeline" for my proposal, so I had plenty of time to find the perfect one. I searched all over the city, seeking out every cushion cut I could find. The only ones I saw were too small, too ugly, or well out of my price range. I started looking online, only to find that aside from a few sites that offer ASET and Ideal Scope images, I just couldn''t tell enough about the diamond to be willing to buy. I grew more frustrated, even buying one based off just the diamond certificate (EGL, btw). It was 1.34 carats, too expensive for my budget, yellow, and had no fire. I sent it back the very next day, only to have to wait almost two months to get the refund processed through.
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Throughout all the searching, I kept looking for that perfect bargain . . .

I wanted a well cut cushion, slightly rectangular diamond that was at least 1 carat, preferably more, with no lower than I color, no visible inclusions for less than $3,500. I didn''t want to spend more than $5,000 total for the diamond and its setting . . .
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
And then one day, I found it . . . It had just been listed on eBay . . . What grabbed me was the beautifully high crown and small table. The appraisal offered a little information, but not much: One ladies diamond engagement ring consisting of one cushion cut measuring 6.5mm x 4.6mm deep weighing approximately 1.18 carats set in yellow gold stamped 14K. Diamond has a bearded girdle. Color: G. Clarity: SI1.

The woman had owned it for a VERY long time, and I could tell it was definitely an antique cushion or old mine cut. The pictures weren''t very good, but it definitely had an open culet.

I googled "bearded girdle" and chalked it up to the age of the diamond and the setting it was in. No wonder the girdle took some abuse over all those years.

I verified the return policy, hit the "Buy it Now," and waited anxiously for the ring to arrive.
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RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
When the ring arrived, it took me a while to warm up to it. I had never seen an older cut diamond before, and it was DIRTY. I didn''t care about the setting, so I scrubbed the heck out of it with a toothbrush. It came to life! But I noticed when I looked through the table at a 45 degree angle in one direction along its long edge, I could see what looked like a grey cloud suspended in the diamond. I was devastated! No way was this an SI1. More like an I2 I thought. Looking directly through the table, I couldn''t see the cloud, though, so I thought maybe that was why the higher grade given by the appraiser.

On my way to work the next day, I noticed a jewelery store I passed every day, but never paid any attention to. It didn''t look like much from the outside, but the sign mentioned "Custom Designed Wedding Rings." I decided to bring both rings to the store the next day to see if they could tell me more about the diamond, and perhaps come up with a ring design that looked like original cocktail ring.

When I explained to the jeweler what I had originally wanted to do, he took a look at the cocktail ring and perked up. He said he could set the larger diamond in it if that''s what I still wanted to do. He also examined the diamond and assured me that the cloud I saw was definitely not a large inclusion. He said it was most likely a reflection of the girdle, and not to worry. Since my plans were to bezel mount the center diamond, the reflection off the girdle would no longer be an issue.

As we continued to discuss how he would make my dream possible, I was so relieved, and happy that I had finally found someone who said that it COULD be done!
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He took the diamond out of its setting, cleaned it up and weighed it. Turns out it wasn''t 1.18 carats like the original appraiser had estimated . . . It''s actually 1.27! Now you know that made me smile!
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I left the ring and diamond with him for a few days, so he could make up a wax bezel for later casting. Those three days seemed to take forever . . .
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
When I went back to see the wax mockup, I was fascinated. The jeweler had already removed the entire center piece of the ring so he could fit the larger diamond inside (one of my requirements was that the center diamond be set low). He showed me how the wax and diamond fit into the opening, and how he would send the wax off to be cast, then solder the cast bezel into the ring. The one surprise was that instead of mounting the diamond lengthwise, he had to place it at about a 30 degree angle to get it to fit right. Not what I was expecting, but I had to agree I liked the look. I wish I had taken pictures at this point, but didn''t. The price to do all the work, including the cost of the platinum was quoted at $350. The entire ring would end up costing me under $3,200 ($800 original ring, $2,000 diamond, $350 bezel, benchwork, and mount). Oh yeah! I still had enough to get a nice wedding ring for me!
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RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
Too bad I can't bump this to the top so this post shows first . . .

And here it is . . . the final product!
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The dark in the center is the camera. The jeweler took some pictures for me too, but I haven't gotten those yet. I can't wait for the appraisal to see if the diamond is as old as I think it is. Once I get the details from him, I'll be sure to post them. I am so happy with the way it turned out, and I know she'll love it! The goal was a unique engagement ring for under $5,000 that looks like twice that.
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Please let me know what you think.
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FinalRing3645.JPG
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
No, not yet . . . but soon. Now that the ring is done, I am having a hard time waiting. I can''t wait to see it on her finger all the time. I think I''m obsessed. lol.
 

stargurl78

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
3,296
Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous! It is very unique and what a great price.

Make sure to post more pics once you get that on her finger
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SparklyOEC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
1,391
Wow! Stunning ring and a great story to go with it. It doesn''t get any better than this. Good luck with the proposal.
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heliotrope

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
291
stunning ring!!

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and that centre stone is to die for - I LOVE the tiny tables on these older cuts

it makes all the effort you have put into this special piece so worth while

looking forward to seeing the hand shots

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FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
So cool! Your jeweler did a great job!
 

arjunajane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
9,758
what a unique and pretty ering, with a great story behind it!
I agree, your jeweller did a very nice job and for a decent price.
Great score on that old cushion too!
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zhuzhu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
2,503
What a beautiful ring! Congratulations on a successful transformation of a piece of art! Don''t forget to fill us in on your success story on the proposal front with hand shot! :)
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
13,471
Wow, your jeweler did a fantastic job! Fascinating to see the transformation, it''s a gorgeous ring, I really love it!!!
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MrsBettyBoop

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
559
Date: 4/30/2010 9:11:55 PM
Author: RingSighs
The price to do all the work, including the cost of the platinum was quoted at $350.

That''s amazing! I just paid a jeweler $250 to set a stone and modify some prongs.
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Which they told me was "a lot of work."
 

Upgradable

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
5,537
This turned out just fabulous!! You have a great eye, and this is a story to pass on to your children and grandchildren. Congratulations!!
 

prettybowgirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
20
What a wonderful ring you created! Don''t wait! Just get it on her finger NOW -- and not just so we can get some nice hand shots!
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somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Gorgeous! It''s so sweet that you put so much thought and effort into making it real! I love the center stone, nice find. Keep that jeweler on your speed dial too!

Please post hand shots after she officially says yes.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
23,511
HI:

Well done--it is gorgeous!!

cheers--Sharon
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
It looks great.

I am curious, when you got the diamond, did you have it appraised loose to ensure it was a diamond and that it was the weight and color etc it was represented to be?
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
No, but I am getting an appraisal done of the completed ring later this week. When the jeweler weighed the stone loose, it actually turned out to be a bit heavier than the estimate (1.27 instead of 1.18). I suspect it is a bit yellower than G based on my own perception of its color. I''ll know much more after the upcoming appraisal.
 

RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
I got the appraisal done a day early, and must say I am very happy with the way everything turned out:

One platinum ring with bead settings and bezel settings, containing:
1 old-style cushion-cut diamond weighing approximately 1.27 carats with grades of:
Color: H-I Clarity: VVS-2 (See attached Diamond Grading Report-A)
10 single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 0.02 to 0.06 carat, with grades averaging:
Color: G-H Clarity: VS-1 Total carat weight is approximately 0.30 carat
Stamped: "0% IRID. PLA" Weight: 4.8 grams.
.........................................Replacement Price (Diamond-A only) $8,900.00
.........................................Replacement Price (Mounting & melee only) 1,200.00
.........................................Total $10,100.00

Slight variations in grading may exist since mounted stones are graded only to the extent the mounting permits examination.

Diamond Grading Report
SHAPE Old-style Cusion

MEASUREMENTS
Length 6.6mm (est.) (7.1mm diagonal)
Width 6.2mm (est.)
Depth 4.48 mm

WEIGHT Approx. 1.27 carats

PROPORTIONS
Total Depth 72.2%
Pavilion Depth 48%
Table Width 50%
Crown Angle Steep
Girdle Thickness (Not visible in bezel setting)
Culet Large

CLARITY GRADE VVS-2

COLOR GRADE H-I
Flourescence None

FINISH
Symmetry Good
Polish Good

INCLUSIONS
Natural, extra facet.
Polish marks on crown.
 

zhuzhu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
2,503
SO happy for you! You must propose soon so we can see the ring on your fiance''s less hairy finger (I kid I kid).
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
SUCH a beautiful ring, and such a good story! You did an incredible job of putting this together - you should be really proud of yourself! And your jeweler is a master - definitely keep in touch with him (and don''t be shy about sharing his name, should the spirit take you). Good luck with your proposal, and do come back with, er, additional handshots.
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RingSighs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
26
Thank you! I am so eager to propose it''s crazy!

The jeweler that was able to make my dream a reality is Jeffrey from Awesome Jewelery in Tampa, Florida. He has been great to work with, and I definitely see why he is a local favorite!
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