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Which C do I need?

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Flenderson

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Oct 14, 2008
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My girlfriend and I are going through the process of picking out an engagement ring, and we (like most people) have a budget in mind.

Last night we had a meeting with a jeweler and it didn''t go very well, as he tried to push more expensive diamonds on us that are out of our price range. I know we aren''t going to get a perfect diamond, but we''re hoping to spend between $1,500 and $2,000 on the center stone. The jeweler made it sound as if anything under $4,000 would be a terrible diamond, and if I wanted something cheaper, I surely don''t love my girlfriend and will probably wind up in hell someday (not quite that bad, but almost).

With our budget in mind, which C''s should be most important? I''ve read that cut and color are the most critical, but opinions seems to vary. For the record, we''d like a stone that''s at least .70 carats, if possible. It will be set in white gold, most likely.

For example, what are your thoughts on this stone, which has a good cut and less clarity?

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Premium-Cut-Round-Diamond-1153882.asp

Any help is much appreciated. I''m trying to learn as much about this process as I can so I get something my girlfriend will love, but also something that won''t sink me into debt.

Thanks for all of the great advice everyone gives around here. What a tremendous resource!
 

arjunajane

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Cut Cut Cut -after that, the rest is up to personal taste/budget..

For maximising a budget, you would be wise to "sacrifice" a little in colour and clarity to reach your desired size - I have an ideal cut K, SI1, which is very white and completely eye clean.

As far as "how low can you go", you need to see a bunch of stones in varied colours and clarity to decide.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sep 9, 2008
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The stone you selected looks good from the numbers, just that it might be a little dark on closer inspection.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 10/14/2008 10:26:05 AM
Author: Stone-cold11
The stone you selected looks good from the numbers, just that it might be a little dark on closer inspection.
I wouldn't imagine that would be a problem with this diamond as it isn't a shallow stone if that is what you are thinking.

Flenderson welcome to Pricescope,

This could be a good looking diamond, ask JA for an Idealscope image which would help to confirm the numbers. Also check that the diamond is eyeclean to your standards and that the cloud inclusion isn't impacting brilliance at all ( rare in SI1 but prudent to check).
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Agree with Lorelei. If an IS picture checks out it should be a nice stone.
 

Flenderson

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
4
Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM
Author: neatfreak
This one would also be a beauty and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire):


http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm
Wow, you guys are awesome!

The help is much appreciated. After some searching, it seems like there are a lot of diamonds out there that fit into our budget; I guess the trick is just to find the one that gives the most bang for my buck. Of course, it''s a little scary buying online, since we can''t see the stone beforehand. To those of you who told me to look for an Idealscope image, what should I be looking for with that?

Again, thanks for all of your help, Pricescopers.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
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14,167
Date: 10/14/2008 10:49:39 AM
Author: Flenderson
Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM

Author: neatfreak

This one would also be a beauty and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire):



http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm

Wow, you guys are awesome!


The help is much appreciated. After some searching, it seems like there are a lot of diamonds out there that fit into our budget; I guess the trick is just to find the one that gives the most bang for my buck. Of course, it's a little scary buying online, since we can't see the stone beforehand. To those of you who told me to look for an Idealscope image, what should I be looking for with that?


Again, thanks for all of your help, Pricescopers.
Bring it back here and we can help interpret the IS image. That WF stone I linked to has all the necessary images attached, and looks great. They also have a number of beautiful settings at reasonable prices. AND a lifetime tradeup policy on the diamond should you ever decide to get something bigger or higher in color, whatever. It also has a nicer cut and the JA stone I am worried about that big inclusion right on the table, I don't know if it'll be visible to the naked eye, but it looks like it might be.

IMO they are easier to deal with than James Allen but I know many PSers have also had very positive transactions with JA.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
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42,064
Date: 10/14/2008 10:51:59 AM
Author: neatfreak

Date: 10/14/2008 10:49:39 AM
Author: Flenderson

Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM

Author: neatfreak

This one would also be a beauty and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire):



http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm

Wow, you guys are awesome!


The help is much appreciated. After some searching, it seems like there are a lot of diamonds out there that fit into our budget; I guess the trick is just to find the one that gives the most bang for my buck. Of course, it''s a little scary buying online, since we can''t see the stone beforehand. To those of you who told me to look for an Idealscope image, what should I be looking for with that?


Again, thanks for all of your help, Pricescopers.
Bring it back here and we can help interpret the IS image. That WF stone I linked to has all the necessary images attached, and looks great. They also have a number of beautiful settings at reasonable prices. AND a lifetime tradeup policy on the diamond should you ever decide to get something bigger or higher in color, whatever.

IMO they are easier to deal with than James Allen but I know many PSers have also had very positive transactions with JA.
You are most welcome.

Ditto Neat, that was a gorgeous stone she found and all the info is provided. With the JA diamond, you can as N says, post the image here, or any other images for other diamonds come to that and we will help you.

If you would like to learn a bit more about IS, then this chart is very useful to give you a basis to interpret the images.

http://www.ideal-scope.com/using_reference_chart.asp
 

Flenderson

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
4
Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM
Author: neatfreak
This one would also be a beauty virtually guaranteed (ask and make sure it''s eyeclean, but it looks it) and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire, I think it comes to $1940 with a bankwire discount, make sure to ask when you call and tell them you are a PS member!):


http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm
Still looking at this diamond, and it really looks nice. Now I''m wondering about carat weight -- I don''t know much about the actual differences between the weights. This diamond is 0.72 carats; is that going to look significantly different as a center stone than a one-carat stone? I know with my budget I can''t get one carat, but I was just wondering if the differences between .7 or .8 are all that visible. My girlfriend likes bezel-set rings, if that makes a difference.

Again, thanks to everyone. I''ve been taking a lot of notes over here.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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42,064
Date: 10/14/2008 1:08:21 PM
Author: Flenderson



Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM
Author: neatfreak
This one would also be a beauty virtually guaranteed (ask and make sure it's eyeclean, but it looks it) and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire, I think it comes to $1940 with a bankwire discount, make sure to ask when you call and tell them you are a PS member!):


http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm
Still looking at this diamond, and it really looks nice. Now I'm wondering about carat weight -- I don't know much about the actual differences between the weights. This diamond is 0.72 carats; is that going to look significantly different as a center stone than a one-carat stone? I know with my budget I can't get one carat, but I was just wondering if the differences between .7 or .8 are all that visible. My girlfriend likes bezel-set rings, if that makes a difference.

Again, thanks to everyone. I've been taking a lot of notes over here.
Carat weight doesn't always relate to size, what you need to compare are the diameter measurements of each diamond to see how large each diamond faces up or will appear. With well cut diamonds such as the ones you are considering they will both look larger than their lesser cut counterparts due to the edge to edge light return.

For example, the diamonds you are contemplating measure 5.94- 5.98mm ( JA .78cts) and 5.77 - 5.80mm ( WF .72cts) There could be a little visible difference with direct comparison, not so much without, but in this case the JA diamond has the slightly greater diameter.
 

Kelli

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
5,455
Date: 10/14/2008 10:10:27 AM
Author: arjunajane
Cut Cut Cut -after that, the rest is up to personal taste/budget..

For maximising a budget, you would be wise to ''sacrifice'' a little in colour and clarity to reach your desired size - I have an ideal cut K, SI1, which is very white and completely eye clean.

As far as ''how low can you go'', you need to see a bunch of stones in varied colours and clarity to decide.
arjunajane I always forget that is a K color you have! It''s so pretty!!

The diamond that neatfreat posted looks like a winner to me!
 

Kelli

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
5,455
Although I just reaized the James Allen one could be very nice also!
 

kaori

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
146
My husband and I had a tight budget when we were getting my ER so I totally know where are you coming from.

Normally I would like to say that all Cs are important, but when it comes to a tighter budget, I would say that CUT is the most important C.

I would go for a diamond has the color H-K, Clarity from SI1-SI2 (why pay for something you cannot see with your bare eyes?), and IDEAL Cut. A good cutting can bring the diamond color up for levels.

Remember, you can always upgrade your diamond in the future with a good vendor with their good policy.

So, don't worry about what the jewler said to you. Of course they say whatever to make you spend as much money as possible.

I am going to show you one diamond as follow to show you just how wrong the jewler could be
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1467075.htm

Good luck, and let me know if you like to see more diamonds.
 

Kelli

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 10/15/2008 12:33:19 AM
Author: kaori
My husband and I had a tight budget when we were getting my ER so I totally know where are you coming from.

Normally I would like to say that all Cs are important, but when it comes to a tighter budget, I would say that CUT is the most important C.

I would go for a diamond has the color H-K, Clarity from SI1-SI2 (why pay for something you cannot see with your bare eyes?), and IDEAL Cut. A good cutting can bring the diamond color up for levels.

Remember, you can always upgrade your diamond in the future with a good vendor with their good policy.

So, don''t worry about what the jewler said to you. Of course they say whatever to make you spend as much money as possible.

I am going to show you one diamond as follow to show you just how wrong the jewler could be
http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1467075.htm

Good luck, and let me know if you like to see more diamonds.
I would too!
 

kaori

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
146
I found you another one, it''s .75 ct and under $2000. http://www.angara.com/loose-diamond-details.do?pID=594337
 

wishinpink

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
587
Just a small forewarning from my experience! Clarity at SI-1 and SI-2 is great, but whatever you buy, ask to double check it''s EYECLEAN, and look at it with your own eyes when you get it very carefully.

I have a VS2 0.91 regent cut diamond, and I can see the feather in it very easily from an angle. As long as this doesn''t bug you, that''s great, but do make sure if it will bug you that you make sure to check the diamond''s eyeclean!!! As for color, I have an H and it looks white to me, so going down on color to H should be a pretty safe bet!
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,654
Date: 10/14/2008 10:45:53 AM
Author: neatfreak
This one would also be a beauty virtually guaranteed (ask and make sure it's eyeclean, but it looks it) and is within your budget (I believe there is also a small discount if you pay by bankwire, I think it comes to $1940 with a bankwire discount, make sure to ask when you call and tell them you are a PS member!):

http://www.whiteflash.com/hearts_arrows/A-Cut-Above-H-A-cut-diamond-1255838.htm
This is a very nice choice. It's in sweet spot, in my opinion, because it's lower in color and clarity but is a beautiful cut and decent size for the money. ACA's are top of the line as far as cut goes.

Plus, Whiteflash has an upgrade policy so if you choose you can upgrade someday (anniversary??) when your budget allows.

PS Sorry the jeweler gave you a hard time. Lots of budgets around $2K get satisfied with beautiful stones and settings. It's doable with PS vendors.
 

Flenderson

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
4
Date: 10/15/2008 9:46:18 AM
Author: PinkSummer
How much did you want to spend on the setting?
Probably around $1,500, since we have a total budget of $3,000-$3,500. My girlfriend prefers vintage/antique settings with filigree, and we''ve seen a few that might work for that price range.

Thanks to kaori and all of the other posters who have been sending diamonds my way. Some of these are absolutely gorgeous, and I''m definitely seeing that a high-quality smaller diamond will look much better than a bigger diamond that lacks in quality.

Another question -- is it generally more cost-effective to buy the diamond first, and then go look at a setting? Some people say it''s cheaper to get them as a package deal, but many seem to think that you''re better off splitting up the purchases, in order to get the best value with each item. Any thoughts on this?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Date: 10/15/2008 10:19:13 AM
Author: Flenderson
Date: 10/15/2008 9:46:18 AM

Author: PinkSummer

How much did you want to spend on the setting?

Probably around $1,500, since we have a total budget of $3,000-$3,500. My girlfriend prefers vintage/antique settings with filigree, and we''ve seen a few that might work for that price range.


Thanks to kaori and all of the other posters who have been sending diamonds my way. Some of these are absolutely gorgeous, and I''m definitely seeing that a high-quality smaller diamond will look much better than a bigger diamond that lacks in quality.


Another question -- is it generally more cost-effective to buy the diamond first, and then go look at a setting? Some people say it''s cheaper to get them as a package deal, but many seem to think that you''re better off splitting up the purchases, in order to get the best value with each item. Any thoughts on this?
DON''T get them as a package deal as 99% of the time you''ll get a crappy diamond (like at maul stores). There''s a reason all the good online vendors allow you to pick your stone then a setting to go with it. But that being said, it is much easier to buy your diamond and setting from the same vendor. They will set it for free and usually will insure the diamond against loss while setting. If you buy them separately make sure to ask whoever is setting it if the diamond is covered in case they break it.
 

PinkSummer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
25
My husband and I purchased the diamond for my E-ring separate from the setting. We purchased the diamond online (1 ct marquise, D, SI1) because it was the least expensive of all the places we went. The B&M stores were charging us twice to three times what it cost to do it all separately. We then got the setting custom made off a picture we found on the internet. We shopped around to find someone''s designs and workmanship we liked. We saved a bundle this way. We also made sure that the goldsmith insured our stone from any damage while he was setting it.
 

kaori

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
146
My husband and I had found my EC setting half year ago before we found the diamond. We first though we wanted a platinum Tacori setting, with our four thousand dollars in mind, we up and went to one of the local national wide engagement store to check the setting out in person. Similiar like your experience, we were almost humilated by the sales representative.

To make the long story short, my husband and I then went to quite a few local jewelers and finally found a ring setting which was strongly influenced by Tacori; we fell in love with the setting and the rest is history.

Sorry I think I am out of the topic, back to your question, Yes, you can get the setting and diamond by different vendors. Antique style? Do you mind to get the setting from ebay? The following one is one of the examples
http://cgi.ebay.com/14K-ANTIQUE-PAVE-DIAMOND-RING-SETTING-SEMI-MOUNT_W0QQitemZ220293727381QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item220293727381&_trkparms=72%3A1326%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14 and check out this site
http://www.antiquejewelrymall.com/womwedandenr.html

I will try to find more sites for you, by the way, you are very welcome.




 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
I personally would stay away from ebay for settings. You can''t inspect them yourself, and while these are nice for little gemstone rings (many PSers own them and love them for that purpose), they are hollow and the pave likely won''t last for years like an engagement ring should.

With a $1500 budget for the setting you can get something MUCH nicer IMO and without the risk of ebay.
 
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