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The Battle Royale- PLEASE PROVIDE INPUTS!

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
Okay, after my trip to NY Diamond District this weekend, we're down to the final round of comparison. I will list the Pros/Cons of each according to my opinion and PLEASE PROVIDE LOTS OF INPUTS!

1) Mark T- 1.50 ct H VS2 (Antique Cushion)
Depth: 69%, Table: 52%, Polish/Symmetry: Excellent/Good, Culet: Large, Ratio: 1.14
Price: $9300 stone + $2600 setting = $11,900 Total

Pro: Setting price is very nice. Mark has an EXCELLENT eye for picking out cushions so I have no doubt this is a beautiful stone even though I have yet to see it.
Con: Ratio is a bit high- Girlfriend likes squarish looking cushions so it will be hard to convince her to get this stone. As far as the setting is concerned, I have yet to witness Mark's work with my eyes so it is hard to judge.

2) Steven K- 1.61 ct I VS2 (Cushion Modified)
Depth: 56%, Table: 56%, Polish/Symmetry: Good/Good, Culet: None, Ratio: 1.105
Price: $8420 stone + $4400 setting = $12,820 Total

Pro: This stone probably has the BEST VALUE of all the stones I've seen thus far. The 1.61 (due to the depth/table) looks like a 1.8-2.0 ct stone! Steven's pave work on the setting precedes him. The work is amazingly intricit, shows no metal, and definetly worth every penny he asks.
Con: Girlfriend prefers large facets on the stone. The stone also (due to the depth being shallow), displays less brilliance/fire than the antiques- therefore this stone is obviously a tradeoff of the color/brilliance for the size. The setting is also the priciest of all the jewelers I've seen.

3) Leon M- 1.53 ct H VS1 (Antique Cushion)
Depth: 65%, Table: 53%, Polish/Symmetry: Very Good/Excellent, Culet: Very Large, Ratio: 1.06
Price: $9480 stone + $3520 setting = $13,000 Total

Pro: This is an VS1 with VERY VERY little inclusions that we could not find at all with a 10X loop. The antique cushion design displayed tremendous fire/brilliance (comparable to the AVC from GOG). Leon gave us a special deal on this setting which was normally over $4000. The pave work that Leon did was amazing as well. My girlfriend thought the setting shined the most and was the closest to that of Harry Winston because they use D-VVS melees on their setting.
Con: The total price is the highest of all the jewelers we have visited. We were not sure if the Very Large culet is a big deal or not, does anyone know if this is bad?

4) Maytal H- 1.52 H VS2 (Cushion Modified)- 4Main?
Polish/Symmetry: Excellent/Very Good, Culet: None Ratio: 1.05
Price: $9500 stone + $3300 setting = $12,800 Total

Pro: The stone looks very nice from the picture. The stats on the stone is very close to those from the other jewelers. From the picture of Charmypoo's HW inspired halo that Maytal made, I really like the work she has done with the setting.
Con: Without seeing the stone with my naked eye, it is very difficult to determine the fire/brilliance and how good it actually looks. This is the same with her setting- since pave might not be her specialty, I dont know if only going by charmypoo's one ring is enough.


Note: By far, Maytal was the easiest person you will ever work with. She was real nice and patient with us despite how we changed our budget midway through the diamond search. She definitely made me feel like she was more on my side trying to help me than trying to sell me something. The other jewelers were all exceptionally nice. I learned a great deal from Mark, Steve, and Leon and they all had exceptional service. I sincerely appreciated that Chris (Mark's assistant), Steve, and Perry (Leon's assistant) were able to meet me on a weekend despite how their offices are normally closed on the weekend.

I have a budget of $13,000 so all these stones fit into the budget. However, its just a matter of picking the right one. I have seen stones 2 and 3 from Steven/Leon but I have yet to see the others. When providing inputs, please understand my GF and I likes large facets. Without question, the antiques we saw had large facets (by definition), but the other cushion modified stones were also ones with larger facets. The modified cushions we saw had the BIG X facet in the middle... we like this design as well but we like the antique design probably a bit more...

PLEASE HELP US MAKE A CHOICE GIVEN THE STONES AVAILABLE!!!
In sharing your input, please indicate this is your own personal choice or is it "this is what I would choose if I were you!"

THANK YOU! =)

PS: I know PS members like to see pictures. I have none atm but I am expecting some tomorrow from Leon. Note I did see Steven and Leon's stones in NYC this weekend.
PPS: We have visited GOG and found their AVC really nice with lots of brilliance, but they were too pricy. We thought we could get a regular antique at a much better deal. We compared their AVC with regular antiques and could not identify a HUGE difference (maybe because we're amatures but what the heck :lol: )
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,152
Wow, well you certainly have done a thorough investigation! I don't think any of us can comment on any of the diamonds since we haven't seen them even in a picture. You should probably choose between the ones you did see. All of those jewelers will make a nice setting. I presume you saw the work of the 3 in NY and Maytal has gorgeous work on her website. (It would be good if you'd add the stone diameter measurements above, though, because weight for cushions doesn't tell you much.)

So really, which stone did your girlfriend like best??? Go with that!

Edited to add: Listen...you are asking us questions about what we think about a large open culet. I am just not sure you are getting the difference between antique cushions and modern ones. Does she like antique or modern cushions? Open culets may look bad to someone who loves modern cushions and hates antique ones. On the other hand, some of us adore antique cushions and would never, ever buy a modern one. You need to let your girlfriend come to a conclusion about what she really likes. Our opinions aren't going to mean a thing when it comes down to it! But since you asked, I am one of the ones who adores antique cushions and wouldn't consider the modern ones!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
diamondseeker2006|1305593423|2923554 said:
Wow, well you certainly have done a thorough investigation! I don't think any of us can comment on any of the diamonds since we haven't seen them even in a picture. You should probably choose between the ones you did see. All of those jewelers will make a nice setting. I presume you saw the work of the 3 in NY and Maytal has gorgeous work on her website. (It would be good if you'd add the stone diameter measurements above, though, because weight for cushions doesn't tell you much.)

So really, which stone did your girlfriend like best??? Go with that!
I would do this.

however, my choice would be for the Leon-antique style cushion, chunky facets, beautiful pave work, $12,600 is basically the same as $13,000.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
My GF liked Leon's the best as well. She thought the design and the stones were the best (OF THE ONES WE HAVE SEEN)... I understand the price isnt a big difference, which is why I'm down to the wire trying to pick these stones out.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,152
If she liked Leon's stone and setting, then you really can't go wrong. I'd go with that over one I could not see. You'll have an outstanding ring!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Marshalls|1305594119|2923562 said:
My GF liked Leon's the best as well. She thought the design and the stones were the best (OF THE ONES WE HAVE SEEN)... I understand the price isnt a big difference, which is why I'm down to the wire trying to pick these stones out.
ok well then...seems like you have your answer!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
Since you and your GF have seen at least some of the stones and been able to see Leon, Mark and Steven's work in person and she said she liked Leon's the best, then that is what I'd do. Honestly, all of the designers you are considering can make you a beautiful ring so you really can't go wrong, but again, you were able to eyeball stone's and settings and she did have a favorite so that should be your answer.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
1) Mark is out of the question. Your gf doesn't want a rectangular stone and trust me, at 1.14 ratio, it's going to look rectangular. My stone is 1.12 and you wouldn't mistake it for a square. Here's a tool to help you visualize a 1.14 ratio: http://datlas.com/shapeselector.htm

2) Steven - It looks like a 2 ct (huge bonus) but doesn't have much sparkle or fire due it's cut. That would be an out for me. What's the point of having a big piece of sort of sparkly glass on your finger. I'm not sure what type of setting you're getting, but for $4000+, I wouldn't want the pave outshining the "star". Plus, it's a modified cushion and you both seem like you really want a chunky faceted antique.

3) Leon - Seems like a no brainer to me. You've both seen it. You both seem to love it - setting and stone. Your other choices are really about the same price. It also has an H color, which is my personal cut off for an ering. My only concern would be the culet - antique lovers generally like it. Did your gf notice it in person? Did it bother her? I have a medium culet. It doesn't bother me but I do see it winking at me from time to time. However on LM's site, I see the culet for your stone is "very large". It's a personal preference, so you two have to decide how you feel about it.

4) I'm sure Maytal's work is fine. However, it's only $200 less than the Leon - which you've both touched and seen. Given the choice, I would go for what I love in person over a most likely to be great for $200.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
Thanks everyone. Seems like there is a strong consensus on choosing Leon. I really appreciate his work too. I will try to upload pictures of the stone tomorrow and the ring when its done in! Time to shrink my bank account! :appl:
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
7,788
I too, would go with the Leon. You both seem to like it and his settings are really beautiful. A no brained for me too.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
Onto the next step: Does anyone know a good reputable independent appraisal person in NYC? I need to get the stone sent there to get it appraised for insurance purposes too.
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
Also jumping in late ... but another vote for the Leon combo. No question for me. It is the best fit for what you are looking for and honestly ... I think his workmanship is still better than the rest. I am surprised that he is giving you such a good price on the setting.

Maytal's setting price is also good and she did a great job on my ring. Pave is not the issue - the pave on my rings have been excellent. She just doesn't ususally make super delicate rings and very cuvy/flowy rings. I would say her speciality is more antique style in nature - she is amazing at miligrain.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
You don't need any input from us, you have been smart enough to bring the chief head decision maker with you to the meetings! ;)) Get what your gf likes the best... sounds like Leon it is!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
Marshalls|1305601083|2923647 said:
Onto the next step: Does anyone know a good reputable independent appraisal person in NYC? I need to get the stone sent there to get it appraised for insurance purposes too.
I think David Wolf is in NY and other's here have used him. He is known to be very tough, in a good way. You can go to the Resources section here where there should be a list of independent appraisers in your exact area.
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
Does it have to be in NYC? I used Richard Sherwood and highly recommend him.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
I guess the appraiser doesnt have to be in NYC but since the stone is there, I thought it might be quicker that way than to have it shipped back and forth. However, I have heard David's name from Leon too. I just want to make sure he is truely independent considering he was recommended to me by Perry (Leon's assistant). I just want to avoid the conflict of interest issue.. does anyone know someone equally as reputable or more reputable than David Wolfe?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,152
David Wolf(e)? is independent and people here have used him. I definitely would not ship the diamond or ring anywhere when you have a reliable IA right there.
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
I will just say that I used David in the past but decided to look for other options when I needed appraisals.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
56,152
CharmyPoo|1305652450|2924029 said:
I will just say that I used David in the past but decided to look for other options when I needed appraisals.
Do you know others in NYC?
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
19,132
CharmyPoo|1305652450|2924029 said:
I will just say that I used David in the past but decided to look for other options when I needed appraisals.
Charmy, any specific reason? I know frankie used him for her mom's and her own ring and Harriet has used him as well.

I do think if there is someone in NY that would be best rather than shipping all over the country. That said, I've used Richard Sherwood in the past and couldn't have been more pleased with him and would recommend him highly if you do decide to ship it off.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
David's appraisal is slightly expensive. He quoted me a price of $300 for the stone. Is this typical? Can someone else in NYC who is equally reputable do it for cheaper? It only takes less than 2 hrs for the appraisal process!
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
I rather not say on a public forum. I did not find someone else I was comfortable with in NYC and didn't spend too much effort continuing my search. I just went with Richard based on the sample reports I have seen from him - he is very thorough and gives honest / detailed feedback. This is what I needed as I wasn't looking for just an insurance appraisal which I could easily do in Toronto, Canada for $20 and I still do for insurance purposes.

ETA: What type of appraisal are you looking for? Just one with a value for insurance purposes? Or do you want someone who will be able to analyze your stone - give you the proper tests like ASET, tell you what is good and bad about it, etc. David's reports don't go into that level of detail - it was perfectly fine for insurance purposes though - arguably - if that is what you want, Mark can do it for you for free.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
Charmy- I do want the appraisal to give me the level of detail that you had mentioned. With $300, I expect nothing less than a full analysis of the stone. The value for insurance is important but it certainly is not the most important part. I want ASETs and I want a feedback of the stone itself and how is the quality of the stone, not just the price of stone. Who in NYC can I get that from? Otherwise, I will have to ship this across country to get it done...
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
well, Rich will do all of that. His full appraisal's are wonderful and worth every penny. Here's his website if you want to inquire about price etc.

http://www.sarasotagemlab.com/

Maybe ask Mark if he knows of any other independent appraisers in the area who can do all of that.
 

Marshalls

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
51
From the sound of it, I am confident that Richard can do a great job on the appraisal. But, he charges $200 for the service and its going to cost me more for the shipping back and forth. Is there no one else reputable in NYC that can do this? You'd think the big apple would have SOMEONE who does it for a reasonable fee and has a COMPREHENSIVE report too?
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
19,132
Maybe search or start a new thread asking for appraisers in NY that way people will know what you are looking for since it's buried in this current thread.

check out this link too; https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers/new_york
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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56,152
I don't see $300 to be all that high for NYC when you compare the expense of sending the stone elsewhere.
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
I'll go with Leon as well, $12,800 and $13,00 really isn't much a difference and if your gf likes leon, you can't go wrong with it
 
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