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What is the best option for a ring?

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curlyq_hw

Rough_Rock
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Jan 10, 2007
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I am a new PriceScope member and have read the past 30 days'' worth of topics on the Rocky Talky forum. I am really overwhelmed and a bit confused as to what the best option for me would be in regards to an engagement ring.

My fiancee proposed to me in November, but with no ring. He is currently saving to pay for a ring for me, and has told me the budget is $3,000 - 3,500. I am having a difficult time finding a ring that I like within that price range. Sad, but true! I think my major problem is having costly taste without the financial means to aquire it!

I really like platinum. Even though my fiancee has already told me I could upgrade later, I''m kind of taking that with a barrel of salt, because honestly, how many men actually do that? LOL

Right now, it seems to me that my options are as follows:

A) Purchase an estate ring -- I love estate jewelry, because I am a big fan of pave, milgrain, filigree, hand-etching, etc. I particularly like settings from the 1940s and 1950s. The issue I have with purchasing an estate ring is 1) diamonds are not GIA or AGS certified, so how do I know the appraisal is correct? You can''t grade set diamonds. 2) For the money, it appears that the center diamond is going to be smaller than if we purchased a center stone ourselves through PriceScope, and had it set into a mounting.

B) As mentioned above, purchase a center stone and have it set into a mounting. I wear a size 6 ring, and of the pre-set engagement rings I''ve tried on, a center stone less than .50 is too small on my hand (kind of have stubby fingers). The center stone would be between .50-.70 maybe? But of course, I''d be interested in obtaining a setting that "helped" the stone appear larger. I like vintage-inspired settings, as well as halo prong rings where the ring shank is split. Also, buying online might save us on sales tax if the company is not in California, and 8.75% tax can add up!

Well, the only things holding me back on the second option are 1) I cannot find a setting that is less than $2,000 that I like, which doesn''t leave much room for a center stone purchase in our budget. 2) I''d probably have to settle for white gold, and when I mean settle, I mean "settle"! I like the heft and the look of platinum and don''t want to give it up


Just to give you an idea of my style, I am enclosing a few ring photos of settings I like. I suppose my plea is for the ladies on PriceScope -- what option would you choose?
 

curlyq_hw

Rough_Rock
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Picture 1 -- this is a setting available at Saturn Jewels. It retails for $2,700 without the center stone.

Ring476.jpg
 

curlyq_hw

Rough_Rock
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Picture 2 -- a prong halo setting with a split ring shank. No idea how much the setting costs, I plucked the photo from another poster's site.

Ring678.jpg
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

A) Purchase an estate ring -- I love estate jewelry, because I am a big fan of pave, milgrain, filigree, hand-etching, etc. I particularly like settings from the 1940s and 1950s. The issue I have with purchasing an estate ring is 1) diamonds are not GIA or AGS certified, so how do I know the appraisal is correct? You can''t grade set diamonds.
They are not certified, but I know that Leigh Nacht of antiqueengagementrings.com removes the stones from the antique rings he buys (he specializes in antiques and reproductions) and has them graded- probably just by an appraiser in the area, and then puts them back in the setting they came in, or if he is just buying an antique cut stone, into one of his reproduction settings.

I don''t know what Fay Cullen does, but I think they probably remove and have the stones graded as well.

If you are buying an antique cut stone you have to realize that they are a completely different animal than a modern cut.
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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While I can understand that you want a huge blinging ring ( and who wouldn''t!) I feel a bit sad that you are disatisfied with the budget your fiance has given you. He has obviously worked out his finances and given you what he can afford.

Maybe instead of you choosing the ring you could let him know the kind of thing you like and then let him choose it. For me it would be more special that he had picked it out for you than how much he spent.

My hubby proposed to me with a .25ct ring. I love it but he wants to buy me a bigger diamond now that we are in a better position.

Your fiance has offered to upgrade it when he has more money. You won''t be ''settling'' for a smaller ring forever.

Maisie
 

curlyq_hw

Rough_Rock
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Jan 10, 2007
Messages
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Well, I can only speak from the limited experience I have... the one jewelry B&M store I found that had a small, in-store selection of estate jewelry gave me the color and clarity but had no evidence to back it up other than "The owner has been doing this for 20 years, he is correct 9 times out of 10 when judging a stone." Um, yeah. Bully for him. No mention of popping out the center stone, no explanation of the grading/appraisal process, nothing. Also, no documentation to back up the owner''s "expertise". Believe me, I asked!

Of the online stores I have perused, no one makes mention of how they go about assessing the rings they sell. Just a lot of marketing talk about "experience" in the jewelry business. Fay Cullen has a nonexistent return policy, so I wouldn''t purchase from them because of that. What if the ring looked great on the monitor but ugly as sin on my finger? I wouldn''t want to risk that dilemma.

Thank you for your quick response, and I will keep your recommendation in mind. As a matter of fact, I think I''ll hie myself over to that website and have a look-see at their selection...
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

I am a new PriceScope member and have read the past 30 days'' worth of topics on the Rocky Talky forum.
welcome!
and wow! that''s a lot of reading. ....yet still only the tip of the iceberg


Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

My fiancee proposed to me in November, but with no ring. He is currently saving to pay for a ring for me, and has told me the budget is $3,000 - 3,500.
congratulations to you both!

Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

I am having a difficult time finding a ring that I like within that price range. Sad, but true! I think my major problem is having costly taste without the financial means to aquire it!
understandable. i think we all have that issue to some extent.


Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

I really like platinum.
that chops right into the budget.


Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

A) Purchase an estate ring -- I love estate jewelry, because I am a big fan of pave, milgrain, filigree, hand-etching, etc. I particularly like settings from the 1940s and 1950s.
this may very well be your best option considering your budget and taste.

Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

The issue I have with purchasing an estate ring is 1) diamonds are not GIA or AGS certified, so how do I know the appraisal is correct?
true, they won''t be ags or gia graded but that isn''t the end all and be all.
as far as trusting the appraisal, do your homework and find a competent appraiser. that is your best insurance.

Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

You can''t grade set diamonds.
of course you can. the grading won''t be as accurate as the loose stone grading but it can be done. again, find a competent appraiser.

Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw

2) For the money, it appears that the center diamond is going to be smaller than if we purchased a center stone ourselves through PriceScope, and had it set into a mounting.
probably but you are also getting a mounting that would otherwise be out of your budget. you have to make a sacrifice somewhere!

Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw
B) As mentioned above, purchase a center stone and have it set into a mounting. I wear a size 6 ring, and of the pre-set engagement rings I''ve tried on, a center stone less than .50 is too small on my hand (kind of have stubby fingers). The center stone would be between .50-.70 maybe? But of course, I''d be interested in obtaining a setting that ''helped'' the stone appear larger. I like vintage-inspired settings, as well as halo prong rings where the ring shank is split. Also, buying online might save us on sales tax if the company is not in California, and 8.75% tax can add up!

Well, the only things holding me back on the second option are 1) I cannot find a setting that is less than $2,000 that I like, which doesn''t leave much room for a center stone purchase in our budget. 2) I''d probably have to settle for white gold, and when I mean settle, I mean ''settle''! I like the heft and the look of platinum and don''t want to give it up


Just to give you an idea of my style, I am enclosing a few ring photos of settings I like. I suppose my plea is for the ladies on PriceScope -- what option would you choose?
it really does sound like the first option is your best choice for your circumstances and wants. i think most of us here would say focus on getting the best center you can find for your budget but you seem to really want the ''whole package'' right now. with that, i really think option ''a'' is the way to go.


that first setting is very stunning and unique!

best of luck!
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/12/2007 5:36:05 PM
Author: curlyq_hw

Fay Cullen has a nonexistent return policy, so I wouldn''t purchase from them because of that.
i totally agree. i still peruse the site and drool over the jewelry there but there is no way i could buy with the (no)return policy.
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/12/2007 5:36:05 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
Well, I can only speak from the limited experience I have... the one jewelry B&M store I found that had a small, in-store selection of estate jewelry gave me the color and clarity but had no evidence to back it up other than ''The owner has been doing this for 20 years, he is correct 9 times out of 10 when judging a stone.'' Um, yeah. Bully for him. No mention of popping out the center stone, no explanation of the grading/appraisal process, nothing. Also, no documentation to back up the owner''s ''expertise''. Believe me, I asked!

Of the online stores I have perused, no one makes mention of how they go about assessing the rings they sell. Just a lot of marketing talk about ''experience'' in the jewelry business. Fay Cullen has a nonexistent return policy, so I wouldn''t purchase from them because of that. What if the ring looked great on the monitor but ugly as sin on my finger? I wouldn''t want to risk that dilemma.

Thank you for your quick response, and I will keep your recommendation in mind. As a matter of fact, I think I''ll hie myself over to that website and have a look-see at their selection...
I have earrings from Fay Cullen that are lovely, but my husband had a heck of a time getting them as they screwed up on shipping- the week of our wedding of course! It wasn''t a pleasant customer service experience for him.

We bought our wedding bands from Leigh @ antiqueengagementrings.com and it was a v. pleasant experience. He also assisted me in having my engagement ring (which we did not buy from him) repaired.
I don''t think that Leigh has his stones cert''d. Getting stones certified by a lab is far more costly than having an appraiser look them over and grade them- so I doubt there is an official report. I believe the Leigh does have a nice return policy- I would call him with any questions, he is better over the phone than he is via e-mail.

One of the things w/ antique stones is that it is rare to get a lab grading report from them.
I took my ring to an appraiser (Ted Baer) here in NYC who specializes in antique cut stones and he gave me a very thorough appraisal that is as close I will ever get to a lab grading report, and included a plotting, angles etc. Since he graded the stone in the setting & it''s a transitional brilliant cut (not common) it took him a while to complete the report and it wasn''t a "cheap" appraisal, but it is nice to know more about my stone and he gave me insight on it''s age, etc. The report is 7 pages long and would stand up to the insurance company just as much as a lab issued report. That is really what you need the "papers" for - insurance purposes- No one has EVER asked me if my stone was GIA graded and I never hear people talk about that- people talk size, cut, color, clarity- but they really never talk about grading reports (well except for here on PS!)
Antique stones aren''t perfect or even close to the proportions and specs that you will find in the ideal cut modern stones, but they have a charm all of their own.

Also I didn''t have the chance to say welcome to PS
Best Wishes on your engagement, congrats to your fiance and good for him for allowing you to be involved in this process.
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
Would you consider putting your money into the stone for now and then hopefully upgrading the setting later. Do you think your fiance would be more accepting of that than upgrading the center stone or the whole thing.

If so, here is a nice 1.01 J/SI2 that would look nice on your hand and it would be near budget with the ps discount. I''ve seen well-cut J''s at this size and they face up very white!!!
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamond.asp?cid=131&item=962658
 

curlyq_hw

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Messages
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Thanks DTNYC, you and Belle have been very helpful. As for Maisie, if I wasn''t absolutely certain that I would end up with a Mr. T-at-a-yard-sale, Super-Bowl man ring from my fiancee, believe me, I would have placed my trust in his ability to pick something I liked. We have been through this already with a costume jewelry ring, and both men and women alike asked me if it had once belonged to Superman. I am not kidding. Some women can trust their husbands to know their taste and style, then act accordingly. I am not one of them.

Well, so far, the consensus is to go for the estate jewelry. Could anyone give me some advice or recommendations as to how we can go about finding a reliable, trustworthy appraiser? Is there some type of membership society for jewelry appraisers that I can access online and do a zipcode search? How do you find an appraiser who is familiar with estate jewelry? DTNYC, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the appraisal is necessary for insurance purposes. This is what concerned me, because if I don''t have any report or documentation, is the insurance company going to take my word for it? I can imagine that conversation: "Um yeah, it''s an H/VS2 diamond, the guy said so!" LOL

Unfortunately for me, I don''t have the option of word-of-mouth when it comes to finding an appraiser, because none of our friends are married/engaged and our families don''t live in the same city/state as we do.
 

Maisie

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''As for Maisie, if I wasn''t absolutely certain that I would end up with a Mr. T-at-a-yard-sale, Super-Bowl man ring from my fiancee, believe me, I would have placed my trust in his ability to pick something I liked. We have been through this already with a costume jewelry ring, and both men and women alike asked me if it had once belonged to Superman. I am not kidding. Some women can trust their husbands to know their taste and style, then act accordingly. I am not one of them.''

Awww bless you! Fair enough.... My point wasn''t meant to be nasty, I just wanted you to feel ok about getting a smaller diamond now. He has promised you an upgrade and maybe then you could pay something towards it too.....
 

Moosejaw

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
285
Curlyg:

Here is what I would do/consider if I were in your position.

From my experience, I am now married, but was engaged briefly before...I lost a bundle on the previous engagement ring.

I had paid 9200.00 for an amazing stone, .93 D VS1,.

I believe the setting cost about 3000.00 of that...and it was beautiful. You may even be able to find a photo on here somewhere, since I tried selling it.

When I did end up selling it, and learned about the resale market of settings/stones...I realized you can get amazing pieces of jewelry for 1/2 price from guys like me. :)

I ended up selling it for 5500.00 which is double what a jeweler was willing to sell it to me for.

So...take a look on craigslist, or other classifieds for GIA stones, and possibly in desginer platinum settings...something like tacori or something.

If you'd like i can do a search and email you what I think would be nice...and if the people really want to sell it as did I, they should expect to sell it for half price...thus putting your purchase of 3000-4000 in the 6000-8000 range. If you can get over the fact it's from a previous engagement, which I would get over in a hurry.

Also...the advice of buying a better stone and chincing on the setting is also a good option, but it all depends on your taste.

After my wife having her ring for a couple years, and recently purchasing a gem for a right hand ring...you might even consider looking at a colored gemstone...possibly a garnet or sapphire. They are amazing, and it would/could free up money for a better setting, and youd end up with a RARER and LARGER stone...if you havent learned yet diamonds are not rare at all.

-G

Just my two cents.
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/12/2007 6:18:58 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
Thanks DTNYC, you and Belle have been very helpful. As for Maisie, if I wasn''t absolutely certain that I would end up with a Mr. T-at-a-yard-sale, Super-Bowl man ring from my fiancee, believe me, I would have placed my trust in his ability to pick something I liked. We have been through this already with a costume jewelry ring, and both men and women alike asked me if it had once belonged to Superman. I am not kidding. Some women can trust their husbands to know their taste and style, then act accordingly. I am not one of them.

Well, so far, the consensus is to go for the estate jewelry. Could anyone give me some advice or recommendations as to how we can go about finding a reliable, trustworthy appraiser? Is there some type of membership society for jewelry appraisers that I can access online and do a zipcode search? How do you find an appraiser who is familiar with estate jewelry?

Va- la- the pricescope appraiser''s list!

DTNYC, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the appraisal is necessary for insurance purposes. This is what concerned me, because if I don''t have any report or documentation, is the insurance company going to take my word for it? I can imagine that conversation: ''Um yeah, it''s an H/VS2 diamond, the guy said so!'' LOL
If you end up buying online you could have the ring sent directly to an appraiser for evaluation before you even get it, that way he or she could confirm that you were getting what you paid for, and then ship the ring to you- or you could pick it up from them- so you could use an appraiser who wasn''t in your area.

good luck!
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/12/2007 6:27:13 PM
Author: Moosejaw
Curlyg:

Here is what I would do/consider if I were in your position.

From my experience, I am now married, but was engaged briefly before...I lost a bundle on the previous engagement ring.

I had paid 9200.00 for an amazing stone, .93 D VS1,.

I believe the setting cost about 3000.00 of that...and it was beautiful. You may even be able to find a photo on here somewhere, since I tried selling it.

When I did end up selling it, and learned about the resale market of settings/stones...I realized you can get amazing pieces of jewelry for 1/2 price from guys like me. :)

I ended up selling it for 5500.00 which is double what a jeweler was willing to sell it to me for.

So...take a look on craigslist, or other classifieds for GIA stones, and possibly in desginer platinum settings...something like tacori or something.

If you''d like i can do a search and email you what I think would be nice...and if the people really want to sell it as did I, they should expect to sell it for half price...thus putting your purchase of 3000-4000 in the 6000-8000 range. If you can get over the fact it''s from a previous engagement, which I would get over in a hurry.

Just my two cents.
Pearlman''s has rings for resale like this- Here is yet another link for you!
 

curlyq_hw

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Messages
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I didn''t think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn''t quite grasp the concept of "see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can". I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn''t everyone on PS suffer from "shrinkage perspective" though? Today''s honking diamond is tomorrow''s chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn''t get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey''s years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn''t the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I''m freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
I didn't think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn't quite grasp the concept of 'see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can'. I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn't everyone on PS suffer from 'shrinkage perspective' though? Today's honking diamond is tomorrow's chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn't get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey's years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn't the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I'm freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
At this point it's up to you, you have to decide if you will be happy in the long run w/ the stone/ring that your DF can afford.
Many people suffer from DSS- diamond shrinkage syndrome. Personally I don't, I would rather have a more colorless stone than a larger stone, but I was never given that choice.
If you want the whole package now, then I would suggest estate- especially if that is the look and style you like, but if you could live w/ a plain solitaire and would be happier w/ a larger stone in a plain setting and then waiting to eventually upgrade your setting then that might be a good option for you as well.

ETA- keep in mind if you get a plain solitaire, then upgrade to a fancy setting down the road your wedding band might not fit/work w/ your new setting. Personally I am more emotionally invested in my wedding band than my e-ring since my band is what was used during our wedding ceremony, etc.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn't the smartest move to make?
most cost ineffective move? you have a wasted setting. if changing your setting later, I'd spend <=$500
 

kcoursolle

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Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
I didn''t think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn''t quite grasp the concept of ''see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can''. I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn''t everyone on PS suffer from ''shrinkage perspective'' though? Today''s honking diamond is tomorrow''s chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn''t get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey''s years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn''t the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I''m freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
I think it could be more cost effective if you just purchase a simple WG setting with four prongs that costs about $150-200.
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I knew nothing about diamonds till I found this site, now I know too much and nothing is good enough where I live (UK). I question everything and I feel that my only option is to buy from the US. There is little of quality here - everything is overpriced too.

We have a budget of around $4500 and I am in charge of what we get! Its the safest way or I will end up with a bad quality but ''cheap'' option!!

We will probably spend more on the diamond than the setting as I will be upgrading probably once a year (if they will let me). Not sure if there is restriction on upgrading.

I can''t get mine until March when my hubby gets his money - I am really excited!!
 

shinythings

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 6, 2005
Messages
215
I know you said you like the look and heft of platinum, but have you tried on both at once? I have a ring in white gold and platinum, most jewelers can''t tell them apart just by looking, and it''s not like the platinum one feels "heavy".

I think you have a great budget to work with and can get a 3/4-1 carat ideal cut stone in a great setting. Also, I would look into getting a custom setting done-it might cost less.

Try www.whiteflash.com or www.questjewelers.com

they can tell you the price of a setting in gold and platinum.
 

Moosejaw

Shiny_Rock
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285
I have to agree that the setting can always come later...but I am unsure of the size and quality of stone you are thinking/wanting.

To get the most bang for your buck, some solid research on buying someone elses ring privately will get you something amazing...and the colored gemstone route is a fantastic alternative.

-G






Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
I didn''t think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn''t quite grasp the concept of ''see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can''. I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn''t everyone on PS suffer from ''shrinkage perspective'' though? Today''s honking diamond is tomorrow''s chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn''t get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey''s years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn''t the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I''m freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
 

erica k

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Nov 1, 2006
Messages
786
Have you considered a bezel-setting? Etienne Perret and Whitney Boin both make beautiful settings that seem to make the diamond appear larger. I have seen other bezel settings that seem to shrink the diamond. Not sure why that is. I know you prefer the antique look, but a bezel set ring would also impart a sense of solidity.
Etienne Perret''s platinum settings start around $1700, but I''m not sure how much the white gold version would be. The Whitney Boin platinum post ring costs $2500, and the gold version is $1640. Pearlmans Jewelers is selling a size 6 version, .50 ctw. yellow gold and platinum head for $2500.
I also have short stubby fingers (my ring finger is 2 3/4" long), size 5.5, and my engagement ring is .52ctw, in a substantial white gold setting. It has open sides, like a tension setting, but with a bar underneath for better support. The diamond is an AGS ideal cut, F color, SI2, eye-clean in my view (it''s too small to really be nitpicky about, and the cut more than compensates, anyway!)
The ring cost $2,500 ($800 setting, $1700 diamond). I chose a half-eternity band to complement my wide engagement ring, and the additional sparkle helps a lot in making my wedding set look bigger. It''s all about proportions, in the end. My husband is convinced that all that shiny metal and lack of prongs really helps to maximize its appearance.
I think you should definitely take a look at estate jewelry both online and in stores. I agree that a thorough appraisal will be good enough for the insurance policy. I would avoid Craigslist, whenever I try to sell anything on it, all I receive are spam or fraud emails.
I think you should go to estate jewelry shops and try on as many different settings as possible. I really do believe that if my diamond were set in a classic 6-prong, it wouldn''t look nearly as big. I am hoping for an upgrade someday, but there are more important things (like children, vacations, and books) than obsessing over a possible upgrade years in the future. You should focus on finding a setting that works best with your hand and sparkles the most for the money.
You should also take a look at the under 1ct. thread here, because that''ll give you a better idea of how smaller diamonds look on different hands.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 1/12/2007 5:20:11 PM
Author:curlyq_hw
I am a new PriceScope member and have read the past 30 days'' worth of topics on the Rocky Talky forum. I am really overwhelmed and a bit confused as to what the best option for me would be in regards to an engagement ring.

My fiancee proposed to me in November, but with no ring. He is currently saving to pay for a ring for me, and has told me the budget is $3,000 - 3,500. I am having a difficult time finding a ring that I like within that price range. Sad, but true! I think my major problem is having costly taste without the financial means to aquire it!

I really like platinum. Even though my fiancee has already told me I could upgrade later, I''m kind of taking that with a barrel of salt, because honestly, how many men actually do that? LOL

Right now, it seems to me that my options are as follows:

A) Purchase an estate ring -- I love estate jewelry, because I am a big fan of pave, milgrain, filigree, hand-etching, etc. I particularly like settings from the 1940s and 1950s. The issue I have with purchasing an estate ring is 1) diamonds are not GIA or AGS certified, so how do I know the appraisal is correct? You can''t grade set diamonds. 2) For the money, it appears that the center diamond is going to be smaller than if we purchased a center stone ourselves through PriceScope, and had it set into a mounting.

B) As mentioned above, purchase a center stone and have it set into a mounting. I wear a size 6 ring, and of the pre-set engagement rings I''ve tried on, a center stone less than .50 is too small on my hand (kind of have stubby fingers). The center stone would be between .50-.70 maybe? But of course, I''d be interested in obtaining a setting that ''helped'' the stone appear larger. I like vintage-inspired settings, as well as halo prong rings where the ring shank is split. Also, buying online might save us on sales tax if the company is not in California, and 8.75% tax can add up!

Well, the only things holding me back on the second option are 1) I cannot find a setting that is less than $2,000 that I like, which doesn''t leave much room for a center stone purchase in our budget. 2) I''d probably have to settle for white gold, and when I mean settle, I mean ''settle''! I like the heft and the look of platinum and don''t want to give it up


Just to give you an idea of my style, I am enclosing a few ring photos of settings I like. I suppose my plea is for the ladies on PriceScope -- what option would you choose?
first of all if he told you you can do it and you want to do it - then just wait and you can make it happen - "remember how you said I could upgrade" hehehe.... how *soon* you do it is another topic full of varying opinions but I''d try to find something you''re happy with for at least 5 if not 10 years. Now.... I would, since you''re just starting out, get the biggest diamond you can and a very very basic setting.... now is the time to embrace the "i''m engaged" look and take it to the limit - that means a $200 setting and a 3500 stone! ha! Later - when you pgrade.... you''ll be more settled, you won''t necessarily want a ring that screams engaged as much as hehe I got an upgrade - and that''s t perfect time to get a setting that suits the tastes you grow into as a married woman :) Plus, if you do it this way, you might get the setting upgrade sooner rather than later.... :D
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I love this stone!! And it would fit your budget if you did things ::cough:: my way haha
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-191603.htm

. Report: AGS
. Shape: A Cut Above H&A
. Carat: 0.816
. Depth %: 62
. Table %: 56
. Crown Angle: 34.7
. Crown %: 15.4
. Star : 50.7
. Pavilion Angle: 40.8
. Pavilion %: 42.9
. Lower Girdle %: 77.3
. Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick Faceted
. Measurements: 5.99-6.02X3.70
. Light Performance: 0
. Polish: Ideal
. Symmetry: Ideal
. Culet: Pointed
. Fluorescence: Negligible
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 1/12/2007 5:39:13 PM
Author: belle

Date: 1/12/2007 5:36:05 PM
Author: curlyq_hw

Fay Cullen has a nonexistent return policy, so I wouldn''t purchase from them because of that.
i totally agree. i still peruse the site and drool over the jewelry there but there is no way i could buy with the (no)return policy.
ditto ditto - I wonder if they realize they''re hurting business!!
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
I didn''t think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn''t quite grasp the concept of ''see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can''. I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn''t everyone on PS suffer from ''shrinkage perspective'' though? Today''s honking diamond is tomorrow''s chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn''t get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey''s years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn''t the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I''m freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
I missed KC''s post but I''m soooooo glad she said it first - so yes, I second this approach!!! except I''d spend 200 on a setting and over 3k for the stone haha
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 1/12/2007 6:43:09 PM
Author: kcoursolle

Date: 1/12/2007 6:37:10 PM
Author: curlyq_hw
I didn''t think you were being a meanie at all, Maisie. What I posted was tongue-in-cheek/humorous. The poor guy just doesn''t quite grasp the concept of ''see the picture/buy the picture or as close to it as you can''. I love him, but oy. No jewelry purchases without my input.

Kcourselle, your post has me intrigued. Of the ladies (well I presume it is all ladies at this point) that have participated in the discussion thus far, is Kcourselle right? Is it more cost effective to purchase a larger stone with a simpler setting, then upgrade JUST the setting itself? Thinking mathematically, if say $2,500-3k was put to a stone and $500 - 1k to a setting (give or take), then in a few years (if that) spend just $2,000 or so on the setting and keep the stone. Is this being smarter with our money or should I go the estate route?

Doesn''t everyone on PS suffer from ''shrinkage perspective'' though? Today''s honking diamond is tomorrow''s chip? Is that something I should be worried about? I think my initial reaction was that if I couldn''t get platinum and a vintage-y ring that I would keep for donkey''s years, then I would go with white gold in a vintage-y ring and upgrade to platinum later. Maybe that isn''t the smartest move to make? Crap. Now I''m freaking out a bit. Too many options! Gah.
I think it could be more cost effective if you just purchase a simple WG setting with four prongs that costs about $150-200.
I love the way you think :) Okay, she''s in good hands hahaha
 
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