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Thoughts after buying an engagement ring 5 years ago

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
6,406
...and just to add, @MRBXXXFVVS1 - no, I'm, not jumping ship at this point. I'm done going round and round. I have a few things to finish, then I'm out. My earrings collection is finished, and DKJ are currently working on finishing my bracelets and bangles, plus all of my necklaces. These should all be done by mid June (my birthday). My pin collection was finished when I received my holly ruby and gold pin for Christmas. As for rings, I've gotten rid of everything I wanted to - and that's taken a while. I've sold, repurposed and re-used to the full extent I planned, and now I just have a few new rings to add, and I'm done. My new EC will be for my birthday, so that's a big project that will be done. I had my Christmas ring re-set with princess cuts instead of rounds, and I'm hoping to get this...probably end of next week, if I'm lucky. Next up will be my grey / purple spinel 3 stone. Then I'm just left with whatever it is I decide to do with my WhiteFlash 3 stone. My gut feeling is that it will be upgraded then go to a soli with pave shank. But we'll see.

At 2 million dollars, that red stone had better be a ruby!! ( - and yes, it was.) :wavey:
 

daisygrl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
97
I'm with you, @MRBXXXFVVS1 - I value them all. I tried an SI1 - no go. Now on a VS2 - but also a no-go. Had an I, an H - had to be an F or an E. Cut is a given - I mean - if the darn thing doesn't sparkle - what's the point, right? And then there's size....

I think size is more a question of proportion. It's how it looks on your finger. I've always thought my 3.05ct center with 2 x .61ct sides was just a tad small...until I saw it on @SimoneDi's gorgeous slender finger! When @Tekate tried it on, it was positively falling off the sides! But on my size 7? Nope. Just kinda...normal, really. I'd love to go down to an H, say, and get something in the 4ct range - but I know the color would send me bonkers. It really is horses for courses.

I do agree with you, tho, @teobdl, that most women want sparkly and substantial - or, at least, their version of it. There's exceptions to every rule, of course, but I've seen very, very few upgrades go down in size to improve the other C's, and almost all of them reflect at least some increase in size. There's a lesson to be learnt there, I think.

Thanks for your post - I think your comments were worth hearing and should be taken on board by quite a lot of would-be fiances. Which would-be fiances, tho, is the question, of course...
I could not agree more with this post. I always look for diamonds. Recently, I have been looking for 1.50-1.60 ct round cut, VS1. First, I have started with I color (I got one with perfect proportions of 34.5/40.8 and look at the difference (in the picture attached) compared to my E colored diamond. I had to send it back. Then I thought I would buy it from a reputable (read expensive) vendor with a perfect cut (WF.) These were out of my price range. I still wanted to buy from them so I thought I would be happy with VS2. No go. I knew I was not going to compromise on a cut so I had to increase my budget (with lame excuses like that I won't eat for a year to make up for it.) I just do not see a point of saving $1,000 on a $18,000 purchase if I am not getting what I would like. :) Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 11.16.41 AM.png
 

Siamese Kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
863
I could not agree more with this post. I always look for diamonds. Recently, I have been looking for 1.50-1.60 ct round cut, VS1. First, I have started with I color (I got one with perfect proportions of 34.5/40.8 and look at the difference (in the picture attached) compared to my E colored diamond. I had to send it back. Then I thought I would buy it from a reputable (read expensive) vendor with a perfect cut (WF.) These were out of my price range. I still wanted to buy from them so I thought I would be happy with VS2. No go. I knew I was not going to compromise on a cut so I had to increase my budget (with lame excuses like that I won't eat for a year to make up for it.) I just do not see a point of saving $1,000 on a $18,000 purchase if I am not getting what I would like. :) Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 11.16.41 AM.png
Lighting plays a HUGE role. I will never try to convince anyone that an I will look like an E, but I do not think I have ever seen this much difference between my E and I. I am super color sensitive and borderline color intolerant. I wear a D pear as a right hand ring, but not sure that's an accurate comparison being different shapes. I'm attaching two photos (not to be contentious-just showing different lighting.) Two are in the dreaded car lighting. I reset my I into platinum, but this is a 2.26 I VS2 (ACA) in rose gold/platinum prongs and a .908 E VS2 (ES-near ACA miss) in palladium.
IMG_6699.jpg IMG_6706.jpg IMG_6704.jpg IMG_6702.jpg IMG_6685.jpg IMG_6687.jpg
ETA: Here is a blurry shot of me wearing the I with my 1.72 D SI-1 RHR.
IMG_7421 (1).jpg
 
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daisygrl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
97
Lighting plays a HUGE role. I will never try to convince anyone that an I will look like an E, but I do not think I have ever seen this much difference between my E and I. I am super color sensitive and borderline color intolerant. I wear a D pear as a right hand ring, but not sure that's an accurate comparison being different shapes. I'm attaching two photos (not to be contentious-just showing different lighting.) Two are in the dreaded car lighting. I reset my I into platinum, but this is a 2.26 I VS2 (ACA) in rose gold/platinum prongs and a .908 E VS2 (ES-near ACA miss) in palladium.
IMG_6699.jpg IMG_6706.jpg IMG_6704.jpg IMG_6702.jpg IMG_6685.jpg IMG_6687.jpg
My I colored stone looked white in most lighting, the posted pic was the most extreme case and only one spot in my house could depict the yellow tint this intensively. In most settings, the stone looked white-ish. However, I often could see very light yellow tint in the stone. Others would have no clue and would most likely perceive it as "white."
I do go by the rule that the I color should be for stones under 1 carats (if you want them to look white.) Over one carat, I would go with H and above as the yellow-ish tint will be more visible. In my recent purchase,(1.61ct) I went with G and could not bring myself to compromise on it.

The image below is the same exact I colored stone as the one I was comparing with the E. It looks white. But I knew it was not...
 

Attachments

Siamese Kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
863
My I colored stone looked white in most lighting, the posted pic was the most extreme case and only one spot in my house could depict the yellow tint this intensively. In most settings, the stone looked white-ish. However, I often could see very light yellow tint in the stone. Others would have no clue and would most likely perceive it as "white."
I do go by the rule that the I color should be for stones under 1 carats (if you want them to look white.) Over one carat, I would go with H and above as the yellow-ish tint will be more visible. In my recent purchase,(1.61ct) I went with G and could not bring myself to compromise on it.

The image below is the same exact I colored stone as the one I was comparing with the E. It looks white. But I knew it was not...
Yes, big difference! Beautiful ring. But I have to agree with you about finding that tint sometimes. I think that is the biggest difference between colorless and non-colorless-the latter has the tendency to change with the environment, whereas the my colorless ones always look the same regardless. It's both fascinating and annoying in both cases.:) (Just my experience-not sure how correct this is, ha.)

In my mind, I also saw color when I had a 1.23 G and was a little sad I traded my 1.25 I for it because I felt like the "I" had more personality and more intensely colored fire. It could have been a cut difference, too. But I felt like I paid money to trade to a stone that still had (for me) tint. (That said, I have no doubt you have noticed your G is brighter-I do think it's a noticeable difference from G-I.)

I am one of those that choose specs based on the goal of the project. My I is my engagement ring and I wanted a larger stone that I would never want to upsize. I figured if I can see color in an F/G might as well get an I (lowest I can handle) to maximize that goal! If it was a bust, I could incrementally go up in color and keep the same setting since I am 100% happy with the size. So far, so good and I am quite sentimentally attached now. Lastly, and this sounds terrible, but in my circles and my lifestyle (think changing cat boxes and diapers in my rings-totally non-fancy life), I really feel like the bit of tint makes it more likely to be taken for real. I live in a nice-ish area, but I still think my stone is on the larger end. Add in the cool coincidence my mom has almost a twin stone and the fact with two children my conscience wouldn't allow me to spend more and I think it was the right choice. Quite honestly, I feel pretty darned lucky.:) And the man who gave it to me is the true gift.

I guess long story short, everyone has their preferences but will (in most cases) have to choose their compromises. I am just so grateful to have some nice things to leave behind for my children and nieces/nephew when I'm gone. That's probably the overarching consideration in choosing all of my pieces.

Edits:spelling
 
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MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
2,998
@teobdl :wavey: -- I don't know if you've seen this currently ongoing thread
but there's been discussion of an introductory "questionnaire," for PS newbies shopping for e-ring diamonds, similar to the one you suggested almost 6 years ago:

So you might like to spend some time with that current thread.
 

daisygrl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
97
Yes, big difference! Beautiful ring. But I have to agree with you about finding that tint sometimes. I think that is the biggest difference between colorless and non-colorless-the latter has the tendency to change with the environment, whereas the my colorless ones always look the same regardless. It's both fascinating and annoying in both cases.:) (Just my experience-not sure how correct this is, ha.)

In my mind, I also saw color when I had a 1.23 G and was a little sad I traded my 1.25 I for it because I felt like the "I" had more personality and more intensely colored fire. It could have been a cut difference, too. But I felt like I paid money to trade to a stone that still had (for me) tint. (That said, I have no doubt you have noticed your G is brighter-I do think it's a noticeable difference from G-I.)

I am one of those that choose specs based on the goal of the project. My I is my engagement ring and I wanted a larger stone that I would never want to upsize. I figured if I can see color in an F/G might as well get an I (lowest I can handle) to maximize that goal! If it was a bust, I could incrementally go up in color and keep the same setting since I am 100% happy with the size. So far, so good and I am quite sentimentally attached now. Lastly, and this sounds terrible, but in my circles and my lifestyle (think changing cat boxes and diapers in my rings-totally non-fancy life), I really feel like the bit of tint makes it more likely to be taken for real. I live in a nice-ish area, but I still think my stone is on the larger end. Add in the cool coincidence my mom has almost a twin stone and the fact with two children my conscience wouldn't allow me to spend more and I think it was the right choice. Quite honestly, I feel pretty darned lucky.:) And the man who gave it to me is the true gift.

I guess long story short, everyone has their preferences but will (in most cases) have to choose their compromises. I am just so grateful to have some nice things to leave behind for my children and nieces/nephew when I'm gone. That's probably the overarching consideration in choosing all of my pieces.

Edits:spelling
Funny, I guess we look for the tint even if there is not any. :lol: I do understand the sentimental part of the ring and a stone... those are keepers regardless of the quality or color.
I live in an area where I would not get away with a yellowish tint so G color it is. I will post my new ring soon.
 

Siamese Kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
863
Funny, I guess we look for the tint even if there is not any. :lol: I do understand the sentimental part of the ring and a stone... those are keepers regardless of the quality or color.
I live in an area where I would not get away with a yellowish tint so G color it is. I will post my new ring soon.
Haha, you know me!

Yes, I'm not sure I could ever part with this one, even given the opportunity. That said...I've been on PS a long time and would never say never, just unlikely.:)

I look forward to seeing photos of your new ring! I bet it will be amazing!
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
900
It's been 5 (!!) years since I bought a diamond and got engaged. I spent quite a bit of time on the forum learning about cut and performance. In the end, I decided that my priorities were the following:

1) Budget (what was the maximum I was willing to spend)
2) Cut: get in the sweet spot of PS-recommended stones. It's not hard. Highest grade AGS, or at the very least GIA Excellent. Don't bother with anything else. Get the crown angle, table size, pavilion angle, depth in the PS ranges. Make sure it's symmetric.
3) Size: get as big as you can go
4) go as low as possible on clarity and color to maximize size.

I ended up with an H, SI2 with a side inclusion that was easily covered by prongs. I would have been okay with a high I color. If I hadn't found my acceptable SI2 then I would have gone SI1.

Unless the woman (or guy) really values clarity, I see no reason to go above SI. Color is even less important--environment of viewing matters a lot for color. I started seeing a little color at I if I compared it to an F in the right light.

What makes you smile and what gets your attention is a ball of sparkle. To this day I'm glad I didn't force myself into VS2+ or F+ territory because the ball of sparkle simply would have been noticeably smaller for my budget. No one is pulling out a loupe, and no one is looking at the certificate. I've also seen some big rounds that are noticeably poorly cut--they look lifeless and fake (maybe they were fake idk).

Before you buy, I recommend you convince yourself that color and clarity don't matter much so that you can maximize cut and size. In fact, I would even argue that once you're in the PS range of cut, the premium for the branded super ideals is better spent on size for most people. Go to Tiffany or Cartier and also to other reputable jewelers around you. Bring the stones to a window, put them under a shadow, etc. Look at the certificate for those stones. What I found was that as long as you're in the range of PS recommended diamonds (34.5-35.5 crown, ~55% table, etc), you'll be fine. In my own home, I compared BGI, JA True Hearts, a good old gold pick, and a regular JA stone that had all the general characteristic angles of a great diamond (I compared 2 at a time, not all 4). Just like in the jewelery stores, my lay-person eye didn't much of a difference either up close or far away. Each diamond did play with the light a little differently to a barely noticeable extent, but I definitely wouldn't say one was preferable to another. Small differences in size were definitely noticeable.
EDITED TO ADD: I forgot that I used the HCA pretty extensively, and I basically just defaulted to what HCA says was a good combo after I was in the general range.

Lastly, most people don't get the grime off their diamonds frequently enough... don't be bashful to ask your fiancé/spouse to clean it often to keep it looking good. That's a sure way to make sure your diamond stands out, as most people never clean them at all.

Best wishes!
Good for you! As soon as someone dares to posts an actual opinion, the PS Powerhouses all will rush in to blast their opinions on EXACTLY WHY what's good enough for you isn't good enough for THEM! The longer PS goes on, the worse this problem gets. What the elite and the aficionados forget is that what's important to them just may not amount to a hill of beans to other people, especially those people who have loads of interests and hobbies outside of PS, and higher priorities than eternally chasing the next ultimate diamond. I have owned and still do own a variety of diamonds ranging from OEC and huge-table European cuts to GOG Signature ASG000 ISEE2 perfect score H&A, and a Brian GAvin H&A recut, in colors from GIA E down to I and K and L/M and P and even some that are ungraded. I have an H I1 that isn't eyeclean. My SI2, I can spot that inclusion in a heartbeat if I orient the diamond exactly the right way. Colors like L/M are awesome in ideal modern H&A makes, regardless of what PS party line says about reserving those low colors just for antique cuts. None of my decisions make me cringe and I definitely have never lost any sleep over whether or not they met anyone's approval here.


I enjoy ALL of these diamonds. I'm too open-minded to criticize anyone for jilting some supposed perfection or other in favor of getting a larger diamond. Most of the e-ring diamond buyers passing through here aren't looking for a huge elite diamond! They are looking for ways to get their budget to get at least a 1ct or 1.25 or maybe a 1.6. The compromises and priorities that the OP laid out may not suit the PS Powerhouses, but that in NO WAY makes his/her opinion less educated, or less valuable, or less important. Some people just buy ONE diamond, and then move on with their lives. It's not like they are interested in eternally skulking vendor web sites, and the continual upgrading, and one-upping, and changing, and the I-Just-Can't-Ever-Make-Up-My-Mind remounting, remounting, and remounting yet again. We've studied the choices, evaluated our alternatives, made our purchases, and moved on to other pursuits, at least some of which are more important to *us* than being the cool kids of PS. Honestly, this forum can can be so self-absorbed sometimes that I think some of the people here may have made a complete break with reality. :shock::lol:
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
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9,756
I must ask... was this sold to you as a GIA I color??!! It looks more like an S/T, if I'm being honest. My I looks super while in 99% of all lighting conditions. Inside my car is probably the harshest, but it has never looked that yellow. AAMOF, it's never looked yellow at all. And it's a 3.33 ct, so the color should be more apparent than in a smaller stone.
 

daisygrl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
97
I must ask... was this sold to you as a GIA I color??!! It looks more like an S/T, if I'm being honest. My I looks super while in 99% of all lighting conditions. Inside my car is probably the harshest, but it has never looked that yellow. AAMOF, it's never looked yellow at all. And it's a 3.33 ct, so the color should be more apparent than in a smaller stone.
Yes, it was GIA and I color (I do not deal with non-certified diamonds. They have to be certified by only GIA or AGS.) This was very extreme and did not look this yellow in real life but my phone picked up the color like this. The diamond (if you see my other pic) looked white otherwise... unless compared to white colors.
 

diamondsR4eVR

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
349
Wow. The tint on the I diamond above was unreal. I had an I cushion before and to me it faced up pretty white. To me, anyway. I was very happy with it and it wasn’t a small stone.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,756
Yes, it was GIA and I color (I do not deal with non-certified diamonds. They have to be certified by only GIA or AGS.) This was very extreme and did not look this yellow in real life but my phone picked up the color like this. The diamond (if you see my other pic) looked white otherwise... unless compared to white colors.
I just noticed the other photo... it looks as if the first photo had your I picking up yellow color from a phone case or paint on walls? After looking again, the E that it's compared to in the photo doesn't look white either, so it only makes sense that they must be reflecting something.
 

daisygrl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
97
I just noticed the other photo... it looks as if the first photo had your I picking up yellow color from a phone case or paint on walls? After looking again, the E that it's compared to in the photo doesn't look white either, so it only makes sense that they must be reflecting something.
You actually might be right! I haven't thought of it... I just thought the camera in the phone is sensitive to the tint... thanks for clarifying thought.
 
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