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shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
Hello all, I am a younger guy (23) and a diamond buying rookie. I have plans to get engaged sometime next spring. I have a good stable job and am finishing my degree this spring (my girl has 2 years left). I have been saving up and have up to 10G saved up/allotted for the ring. I know that my girl has expressed she is not interested in a large diamond. She is the furthest thing from material imaginable and also happens to have small build and small hands. She is going to be a Mechanical Engineer when she finishes school and does not like the idea or look of a large diamond ring. So here I am thinking if I am buying an average sized ring (1 ct.) I am going to consider a Tiffany & Co. Lucida (because of its trendly style which seems less likly to get caught on stuff). I see a lot of people steering clear away from Tiffany's on this site so I guess I will post my resons for considering buying there and people can give me their 2 cents.

Being a novice and understanding what I have read, Tiffany only carries higher quality rings and has staked there reputation on their cut. I know that I am overpaying & can get a higher quality diamond for the same $ but I do not think the price is that bad. (Over the phone) Tiffany gave me some rings around 10G that were 1ct Lucida's. I looked up the price and the most similar diamond ((roughly) radiant box-cut 1ct G-H VS1 High Qual Cut) on the web around 6G and the platinum x-prong setting was 1G. So the way I see it The tiffany is overpriced about 2-3G (less labor/guarentee costs). To further explain I think tiffany to us is an icon of the luxury side of NYC. We live in way upstate NY and made our first trip together to NYC (first time for both of us). NYC is a magical place to us and I think that Tiffany is an icon of the luxury of NYC. Its like having a piece of NY and a reminder of the magic of our love on her finger. I am planning on our next trip down to go into tiffany's with her "just for fun" to look at all the "super-expensive" rings. Sometime after that I would like to make a purchase. I don't know why I am so eager to overpay for a ring but I can only think of the shock on her face when she drops her jaw seeing she got a real Tiffany ring. She is so humble that she will never gloat about the Tiffany name to her friends but it will be something symbolic between us. And when we are old and hopefully successful in life she will still look at her ring and know that I saved up my pennies working through college to afford a Tiffany ring.

Am I Nutz?
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
This is a tough one because all the reasons that you are listing here are matter of personal-emotional preference. With that reasoning, everything adds up, makes sense and you should go ahead and buy that Tiffany's ring. It will make memories. :))

If you ask us to look at it through eyes of an accountant (which you are not) then things don't add up. If someone is offering you an unique-exclusive product/item and they are charging you premium for it then it can be argued that it is worth it.

In this case, the only unique thing they are offering you in the ring is the name "Tiffanys". Nothing else. Neither the diamond nor the ring design is unique. Now it is only you who can decide if the premium is worth it or not.
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
Okay that was the politically correct advice. Now if you want the real one, I will give it to you. Apologies in advance if you don't like it.

Don't do it. Thats what I would tell if you were a good friend or my younger brother. 10K is a lot of money at this stage in your life. You are lucky to have a girlfriend who doesnt judge your love on your ability to spend money.

First, the average size, they say (I think I have read somewhere on the forum) is 3/4 carat not 1 carat. Also, if she is a small built, small hands, 3/4 carats would look nice and elegant and just the right size for woman in her early twenties. An excellent H&A .7-.8 carat would cost you around 3K-3.5K$ add few hundreds for a nice tiffany setting and you will be done in around 4.5K or so. Take the remaining 5K and keep it for a rainy day or downpayment for your first house or take a carribean vacation in winter break every year till she graduates.

Believe me, you are not cutting it short or being cheap here. People underestimate importance of cut. This ring will look plenty big, will shine-flash like anything and she will get compliments friends, even from the passers-by and will make her feel top of the world. No questions about it

Just call one of the vendors listed here or listed on diatalk.com and go from there. Good Luck! :))
 

bingbongbug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
61
I read your post about sentimentality, and eagerness to overpay, and was torn. It is, of course, your money, and you should spend it as you like.

That said, I have to agree that this is a great deal of money at your age, and you can get a ring JUST as good, just as pretty. In 10 years, that is what will matter, not the name that was on the box it came in. If you really feel it important for her to get jewelry in a Tiffany box (though you said that she doesn't care about materialism, so is this about her, or about you? Honest question, no offense meant), maybe get the ring at a reasonable cost, and buy her a Tiffany diamond (or her birthstone, or whatever her favorite stone is) pendant to go along with her engagement ring? Talk about feeling pampered..

As a woman, if it were me, I'd rather have the equal-quality, less-cost ring, plus the house down payment or vacations mentioned above.

You may want to ask some questions here to narrow down what you are looking for. You mentioned that she had small hands, and will work with her hands a good deal. You might consider a bezel-set or a cathedral setting, which will be less likely to catch on things. What size ring does she wear? Is she used to wearing rings, and does she like to do so? That might give more insight into what the diamond size should be, too.

Just my own thoughts, biases, and opinions. Take them for what they're worth. :)
 

premabs2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2002
Messages
10
Your topic touches a note with me. My girlfriend and I live about 100 miles from NYC and our most memorable dates have been in that city. So I understand how you want to store those memories in a ring. However, my solution, still in process, has been to explore another NYC landmark - the 47th Street diamond district. I've made a few visits there without her and have found a ring that the experts here seem to think is a good deal - 1.56 H VS 2 (GIA) Ideal Cut in a Platinum setting with 1.2 TCW H VS2 side diamonds - for 9900. The ring absolutely glows white and has lots of fire. And at a total carat weight just under 3 Carats, I'll happily put it up against anything in the 1 Carat Solitaires that Tiffany offers. For her birthday, I am taking her to NYC and to the diamond district - it is an experience all by itself. So we get the best of both worlds - a cost effective gorgeous ring and a NYC experience to remind us of our other NYC experiences. Word of warning - I love negotiating but if you aren't good at it, be CAREFUL. The merchants on 47th street are aggressive and persuasive and you MUST be able to walk away in order to get their best prices.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Hi Shawn,

Some very very sound advice here from bingbong, wndrful and premabs. You may want to read the tutorial on our website. There are diamonds cut more exacting than Tiffanies.

premabs, if you're going to be in the NY area and would like to view your diamond under a professional grade IdealScope (our LightScope), know it's B'scope results (digital & analogue), see whether it's actually an H&A stone, etc. you are cordially invited for a free verbal at our store in Long Island.

Peace,
Rhino
 

shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
Thanks all, I have some thinking to do. I like the idea of still getting the ring in the city, maybe I could plan to pop the question down there and still capture the magic and memory in the ring that way. In thinking about things, I am probably more more into the Tiffany name than she is. I have no idea what size ring she wears. She doesnt wear rings right now, I'll have to work on finding that out. She isn't really that big of a jewelry person so her engagement ring and wedding band are probably all she will wear (king of why I want to make it a big thing). Thinking of that, I notice you can get mens and womens platinum Tiffany wedding bands for about $1000 total, thats not a bad alternative to overpaying for the diamond. Maybe I could rally her on the idea of engagement rolex's :). Well thanks again, I will be lurking over the next few months educating myself for when its time to make that all important purchase.
 

bingbongbug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
61
Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. A big plus on your side is that you have plenty of time to find out her taste in rings.

By all means, take her shopping out in the diamond district and find out what she likes. Some women love round brilliants, some (like me) dislike them. Some love Tiffany settings, some prefer something more modern or unusual or practical to the type of work they do. Some women love a big stone, some are happier (particularly women with small hands) with a smaller stone. Keep in mind that a large stone on a petite, Tiffany band, will often spin on the hand, and that may be annoying to your girl who doesn't wear rings.

Find out what she likes, what she'd like to wear. Take her window shopping, even let her try some on, tell her it's for kicks, that you're "pretending" to be an engaged couple looking for a ring. You'll have a good afternoon and you'll get very important info on what she likes. Since your plan to propose is a way off yet, you won't be spoiling the surprise at all.

Keep in mind, men rarely -ever- pick the ring that the woman would have wanted if they don't consult the woman first. (I know that my sweetie would have chosen something that I'd have absolutely hated) A lot of women in that position either have their diamond reset later, or just stop wearing their engagement ring. Try to get what her what she wants to wear, and she'll be that much more delighted when you surprise her with it.

And feel free to ask questions, ponder over things, ask opinions, anything. I've found the people on this forum to be very helpful and friendly, and no question is too big or small. :)
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Go see johnathan aka Rhino - he is outside NYC - but close enough. The diamond district may be a good place to look; but, the setting in not condusive to making a great purchase. The Tiffany name means very little except a certain measure of quality attainable elsewhere costing far less. They don't create most of the stuff sold. They are simply a retailer - one with a great name. Tiffany sells Vatche settings under their name. They are created at DVatche (www.dvatche.com) not Tiffany.

IMHO, you will need FAR less than 10K on a 1c diamond. Save the money and buy real estate so that when you are in your 40's you are financially beholden to no one.
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
Actually, visiting Jonathan at his shop would be a great idea. You will get a crash course in diamonds and learn more in one evening than it will take hours of surfing.

Although I don't know how will you go there with her without her knowing. The element of surprise is gone but then if you take her to tiffany's just too look at the rings she would know anyways. :))

They are much sharper than one thinks they are. :)) They will now that you are upto something even if while passing by, you look at tiffany's store a moment longer.

Isn't there another dealer in Toronto, maybe that would be easier for you to visit without her knowing about it.

About sizes, dirtcheapdiamonds has a nice size chart that you can look and decide the appropriate size.

Have fun and keep us posted!
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
Appreciate the plug wndrful & fire. Shawn, we have some very unique lab equipment in our store to be able to let you view critical aspects about any diamond you're considering and I've been told we have a presentation that is 2nd to none and unique among any jewelry store you'll ever visit including the big names. We always have a healthy stock of 1ct size diamonds (and smaller and larger), actually ... one of the largest super ideal inventories to be found in the country. We are one of the few that actually stock our diamonds and have them in house for people to see & compare. If it is convenient for you, you may find it worth your while to pay us a visit. Many on these forums have done so for themselves and taken the pepsi challenge with diamonds that is. :) Hope we can be of help. If not, good luck in your purchase. Please feel free to use the information I've put together on our site to help you make the wisest choice in whatever purchase you make.

Peace,
Rhino
 

shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
The more educated I get it seems that a radiant cut is not the way to go. Is it true that basically nothing is going to have to fire and sparkle of a round cut? I was looking at comparrisons and it looks like a 1ct round of equal ratings is going to blow away a 1ct of any other cut. Also on the diamond searches (diamonds.com bluenile.com) and idea cut (whatever there definition is) is only listed with the round diamonds search.
 

bingbongbug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
61
Hi again, Shawntp.

Yes, it is true that for maximum sparkle, a round brilliant is the leading choice. Nothing can beat it.

However, if like me, you prefer something more unique, or, like me, think square cut diamonds are far prettier, then look into a Flanders cut. A well-cut Flanders can indeed rival a round brilliant (Dave Atlas said this on the board, so I have this fact on excellent authority!), which is really really saying something for a fancy shaped diamond, which -usually- leak a moderate to large amount of light.

The drawback is that Flanders can be very hard to come by. I'd know...I've been looking for a diamond myself in the Flanders shape. The best I have found is an absolutely gorgeous stone that none other I have seen has been able to beat. It's called a Hearts on Fire Dream diamond. They are ideal on symmetry,polish, and overall cut (the very best Flanders I have been able to find elsewhere are only "good" on both) and have the most gorgeous color and sparkle I've ever seen--squares and rounds both. When you look at a Dream on the underside, with a special scope, you see perfect little hearts lined up. This, of course, matters absolutely not at all when the diamond is in your ring, because once it's set, you won't be seeing those little hearts. But it does mean that the symmetry of the diamond is wonderful (something I've found tough to find in a Flanders).

The trouble with Dream diamonds? They're expensive! Since you can only get them at a brick and mortar store (no one sells them online), you pay the retailer markup as well as the premium for buying this brand name.

I myself am wrestling with whether to keep trying to find a diamond I like as much as the Dream, or to pay the high price of the diamond I love. I am coming to the conclusion that I must "buy the diamond and not the price" as is so frequently said here, because the Flanders is so hard to get.

Find a store that sells Hearts on Fire Dreams (the Dream is new so make sure the store is stocking those before you go) and take a look. You can find a store that carries them near you by looking at www.hofdiamonds.com. Can't remember if you have to call their 800 number to find a store or if there's a locator on the sight. Either way, they'll tell you what's nearby. Look at the Dreams and see if they tickle your fancy like they did mine. If you look at it and say "Wow, that is EXACTLY what I want my diamond to look like" (like I did) then maybe that's the one for you. If you don't, then you've saved yourself the conundrum that I am in and can explore other avenues.

If you do decide to go with a square or other fancy shape, and it isn't the Dream, get yourself an idealscope and make sure that you're getting good light return.

Hope this helps.

Da Bing!
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
Well, you are right on target.

This ideal cut business if fairly new. People are still trying to get a handle on the concept of ideal cut, its definition, how cut affects the visual performance, definition of visual perfermonce itself. And all this just for the round brilliant, leave alone fancy cuts. Although the radiant cut really has an unique, distinctive look.

If you want to go for a fancy cut and expect world class cut quality, there are many more pitfalls. You will have to work with a jeweler that you can trust and also with a knowledged independent appraiser who has been around.

In any case, the numbers will take you only so much distance. You will have to get everything front of you, put all the diamonds in the selction in one line and see everything with your own eyes. There is no substitute for that. :))

You might find that you really have a discriminating eye and can spot minute differences b/w different H&A cutting style or you won't be able to tell a difference b/w ideal cut and an H&A (doubt it) and can have an easy way out. ;))
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
BTW, if you are planning to go to the city. "noises off' is back on Broadway. Wish I could make another trip to NYC. :((
 

drodrig16

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
4
Good man for planning ahead!!!!!!!!!!! Take your time and look around. I should have started looking a year ago everything would have been so much easier. Good luck!
 

shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
I priced out a couple rings to figure the inflation of round 6 prong tiffany's and if others are considering Tiffany's it is a much better value than the Lucida.

I was quoted a 1ct / G / VS2 / "Ideal" cut (claimed) on a Tiffany's 6 prong platinum setting for $8120.00

I priced the same stone out on BlueNile.com and it came out to about $7000 in a similar setting.

Roughly you would pay a 15% markup for a Tiffany in this sample.

My investigation into the Lucida showed a higher markup over building your own, the lucida seemed to be about $10,000 for the ring spec'ed above and it was about $7500 to build it. Thats about a 33% markup.

I am just reporting my finding's for others to consider, this is expectable I guess since the Lucida is (supposed) to be a signature look, and the 6-prong more commonized.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Isn't the Lucinda a vatche setting?

go on www.dvatche.com and see. You can buy the vatche setting and have a stone set in it.

Have you done a pricescope comparision? I see nice stones 1c G vs1 listed on there for about 5,500.00
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
:confused: I am missing something here.

On price stats on pricescope, average price of 1-1.49 ct H&A (G VS2) is 6148$ and for cut 1A is 5817$.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
I priced 1 c within certain depth & table percentage. Did Shawn defintely want H&A?
 

shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
H&A is something I am still uneducated about? I believe this stand for Hearts and Arrows? I saw pictures of these magnified but that is about all I know. Are they a premium? do they sparkle more or less? A novice such as myself would initially think that tinkering with a cut to make pretty little hearts and arrows appear in the stone would cause for more light loss than using a cut that doesn't make them but I may be wrong. Anyone care to enlighten me? I watched the video here but they didn't address this, maybe I will go look in the printed tutorials.
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
H&A == Hearts and Arrows.

Please do read the excellent tutorial on pricescope.com

H&A are just result of a perfect cut for a round brilliant diamond. A perfect symmetry would result in Hearts and Arrows. Nobody is going out of the way and sacrificing any light performance to reach that effect.

H&A is a very good indicator of well-cut diamond. Thats for sure.
H&A == good chance that diamond will be good performer.
Does non-H&A mean bad diamond perfromance? No.
non-H&A == can be a good performer but that doesn't mean that all non H&As are good.
How much does H&A effect diamond performance? Personal perference.
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
If you're thinking of a Tiffany & Co., run away, don't walk! I think my boyfriend had those ideals as well. Advertisements and movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's really do a lot for the image. That being said, I have a Tiffany's ring, or rather, Tiffany's has mine. It was purchased in June, a perfect match to the one as shown in ads. Since it's resizing, it has been damaged, sent back, damaged beyond belief, replaced, sent back because it was crooked, and it is now September. If it was an engagement ring it would be a nice four months that I have not had it. In fact, it may be mid-October before I see it again. I have had it all serviced at Tiffany & Co., so it really can't be blamed on someone else. So far, all I've received was a lot of talk about how wonderful Tiffany's is, two champagne flutes, and a few dozen apologies. Personally, I've had to go to the store many times to show the managers exactly what they've done to my ring, because apparently, quality control there is completely blind and a bad ring has slipped through them at least 3 out of 3 times! It's been a waste of my time and frankly, I'm not sure I want these people touching my ring in the future because I don't trust them. Anyone who gouges my ring with an exacto knife or some other sharp tool does not deserve my business. If it were my choice, I'd be banging down their door demanding my money back, but I have a few romantic notions too. I've posted the story elsewhere, and can send you the link if you like. I'm so unimpressed with Tiffany's, you can't imagine.... No one should have to go through that on an engagement ring.

That being said, find someone friendly on PS to work with. Research, research, research, and pick someone who has a good reputation with clients, with the BBB, is knowledgeable, and sells nice product. On this forum, it's easy to tell who they are.
Good luck!
 

diane5006

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
652
HI glad to see you are doing some research :-0

Do look at the tutorials here and at Good Old Gold

You might be interested in a Regent cut...sparkle of RB, but squarish too...there is one in my avatar and I posted pics of completed ring...there is a great pic on Good Old Golds web site (and also here posted by Baloo) in the Vatche x-prong (similar to Lucinda) in For Sale/settings/gallery

Best of Luck in your search
 

princessangelyne

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
5
Look around...get a hearts and arrow diamond...get a great setting (stuller solstice)... then get matching tiffany wedding bands. You'll have the best of both worlds. And some money to save for something like a house or something??
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
How funny! This thread is about a year old and just resurfaced. I think the dude from a year ago isn't here anymore so ya'll can stop answering his questions.
hehe

Rhino
 

shawntp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
6
Hello All! Actually I am still around


I did end up getting the ring from Tiffany & Co. It was a Round Classic 1.12 ct in their platinum 6-prong. I drove down a couple months before I proposed and picked it out which a gentleman named Feres' who I recommend. I did the whole proposal in New York back in May and it went perfect.

We showed up her thinking that we were just going down for a weekend, and when we got there I surprised her by staying at a suite at the Waldorf=Astoria. We watched the Baz Luhrman production of La Boheme and then I pretended that I was going to go the conceirge to get a recommendation for dinner while she changed. We hopped in a taxi and traveled to Chelsea Piers whe I had made reservations on the Batueax New York months before (you may have just seen this boat on the Today show wedding). Its a smaller elegant glass top dinner barge. We arrived and there were roses on the table that I had sent. I let her sweat it out the night. Near the end I did something kind of unique, I wrote a song for her on guitar with me singing and recorded it in an amature studio. I created an album with pictures of us and had lettering put on each of the photos that contained the vocals to the song I wrote (sort of like a story book). The album and song went through our relationship right on up through me asking her father/buying/ and recording the song on the last page. When the song/album was done the boat was just swinging around in front of the statue of liberty at about 10
0PM (which was just prefect timing by chance). I then pulled out the little blue Tiffany's box (as she was in tears). She opened it, I took the ring, got down and sealed the deal. Then thanked God that we didnt drop the ring in the East River
.

Anyways, Tiffany & Co. is a bit overpriced but they do have a very good selection of quality diamonds.

I am very happy with my purchanse and with Tiffany & Co. There are so many things included in the price tag of one of their rings. Every one of her friends and coworkers in Rochester get so excited my the simple fact that its Tifany's. Also, every 6 months for the rest of her life, she gets to go into Tiffany & Co. to get her ring cleaned, pampered a little buy staff (which is more fun for them than you might imagine), while all the passer by's look on. One thing my future bride likes is when the staff tell her about celeberties that were in that week.

I guess what I am saying to potential buyers, do whatever you want and can do, but I am perfectly satisfied by overpaying a little. In the scope of our lives the Tiffany diamond costing a little more with make up for itself little by little J

Everyong should just do what their heart tells them to do, just make sure wherever the diamond is from, that you make it mean something special to your future bride.
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2000
Messages
1,374
I know this is a year late but I have to say this


Wow 23 years old and buying from tiffany's ! Were do you kids get that kind of
money
? Just an fyi about impressing your friends. Unless she brought in the sales
receipt and the blue box, her friends could never tell where the ring came from. I
would think at your age an extra $6,000 or more in your pocket would mean
something?

If you did your homework, you might just find out that the diamonds are average,
the lighting is great and atmosphere makes you think different.

Just a word from a father with children. Even the rich go broke. In the future , if its
a house or a car, what ever ~ be a good steward of your money. Getting started at
your age in this world is hard. I wish you the best of luck in the future. Marriage is a
great thing. Money is not everything , but it sure helps.

Don't take this post wrong, its just being 50 and having kids
 

diane5006

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
652
Hi glad you had a great experience...Congratulations

Best of Luck
 

pulp_princess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
185
I'm so glad that Tiffany came through for you. I should add a little disclaimer that what I said applies to the Toronto branch of Tiffany only. Maybe I was looking at the "last post date" instead of the date of the thread. Whoopsie!
That was the closest I could find to a blushing smiley. Okay, I need some more sleeps.
 
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