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Why is it rude to ask about specs?

mayerling

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Mar 4, 2010
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I've been mulling this over and I'm not sure why it's rude to ask about specs. I realise that some people may find it offensive which is why I haven't asked anybody, but I just can't understand why. I wouldn't mind if somebody asked about my ring. And sometimes I feel that I'd really like to know about other people's rings but I'm afraid to ask; even friends. So why is it offensive?
 

Jennifer W

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I think it depends who you ask. If it's someone who's interested in diamonds and can actually answer the question, they might be thrilled to talk about their stone. Other people may think it's a round about way of asking about what it's worth, I guess. Also, they may not know the specs and be a bit wrong-footed by the question.

I guess it's a matter for personal preference - I wouldn't ask unless I know it's someone who'll be excited to share and talk about the details.
I was at a wedding a few weeks ago, and the bride and I sat down for a good old going-over of our respective jewelry during the reception dinner (while our spouses rolled their eyes) :bigsmile: .
 

JewelFreak

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I think that's right. Non-gemmies often take it to mean, "How much did it cost you?"
 

mrscushion

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I think it's because it can seem as though you are trying to figure out how much they spent on their ring, particularly to people who aren't as interested in the details of diamonds.

ETA: Oops, just saw I am just repeating what the previous posters said, sorry.
 

Octavia

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I think people are also wary of diamond snobbery from people who are less informed than the average PSer. We see a J SI1 and say, "wow, you found one that faces up really white and is totally eyeclean? What great luck! SCORE!" whereas others might turn up their noses and give some mealy-mouthed reply that will leave the wearer sad or embarrassed. Since people you don't know well probably have no idea which category you fall into, it's understandable the question might make them edgy if the diamond is anything less than "perfect" in it's specs. Unfortunately, not everyone loves diamonds across the spectrum the way we do.
 

mayerling

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It's such a pity. I'm not really that much into diamonds, but every now and then I see one that I really admire and would like to know more about, especially if it's in a great setting as well, but I refrain from asking because I'm afraid people will be offended. I haven't even asked to look at my friends' diamonds up-close for that reason. And the few that I have asked to look at, I only took a glance at because I thought it would look weird if I started examining them from all angles :naughty:
 

kenny

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I'm a very blunt guy.
I have no problem if someone asked me about specs and, if it is not some stranger, even price.

What's the big deal?
It's just learning about a very cool thing.
Besides, if it's a $100 diamond or a million dollar one it doesn't make the owner any better or worse of a person.
I don't see life as a competition.
I don't rank people.
Our worth comes from who we are and how we live our lives and treat others, not our possessions.

But I'm not dumb.
I know people vary and many, if not most others, have a different opinion.
So out of courtesy I never ask specs unless it is a PS GTG where we are ALL very nosey.
Those are wonderful, an virtual orgy of forbidden discussions. :lol:

I also wonder if people with higher color and clarity are more likely to mind less being asked about their specs.
Since you can't really tell, wouldn't a few D-IFers be delighted to say so?
On the other hand, wouldn't a few with very low color an clarity not want to say so?
 

mayerling

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kenny|1307973058|2944683 said:
I'm a very blunt guy.
I have no problem if someone asked me about specs and, if it is not some stranger, even price.

What's the big deal?
It's just learning about a very cool thing.
Besides, if it's a $100 diamond or a million dollar one it doesn't make the owner any better or worse of a person.
I don't see life as a competition.
I don't rank people.
Our worth comes from who we are and how we live our lives and treat others, not our possessions.

But I'm not dumb.
I know people vary and many, if not most others, have a different opinion.
So out of courtesy I never ask specs unless it is a PS GTG.

I also wonder if people with higher color and clarity are more likely to mind less being asked about their specs.
Since you can't really tell, wouldn't a few D-IFers be delighted to say so?

On the other hand, wouldn't a few with very low color an clarity not want to say so?
I have a D - granted, a tiny one - and have no problem saying so. Having said that, even if I had an F, G, or lower, I don't think I'd have any problems divulging that either. I'd probably be happy talking about diamonds!
 

kenny

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mayerling|1307973602|2944685 said:
kenny|1307973058|2944683 said:
I'm a very blunt guy.
I have no problem if someone asked me about specs and, if it is not some stranger, even price.

What's the big deal?
It's just learning about a very cool thing.
Besides, if it's a $100 diamond or a million dollar one it doesn't make the owner any better or worse of a person.
I don't see life as a competition.
I don't rank people.
Our worth comes from who we are and how we live our lives and treat others, not our possessions.

But I'm not dumb.
I know people vary and many, if not most others, have a different opinion.
So out of courtesy I never ask specs unless it is a PS GTG.

I also wonder if people with higher color and clarity are more likely to mind less being asked about their specs.
Since you can't really tell, wouldn't a few D-IFers be delighted to say so?

On the other hand, wouldn't a few with very low color an clarity not want to say so?
I have a D - granted, a tiny one - and have no problem saying so. Having said that, even if I had an F, G, or lower, I don't think I'd have any problems divulging that either. I'd probably be happy talking about diamonds!
Yeah, two or three of my FCDs even have . . . shudder . . . hide the children . . . WINDOWS!!!!! ;( ;( ;(
But I have no problems announcing it.
It is what it is.
I'm a good person in spite of that fact that I have a diamond with I1 clarity ;( :wacko: .

Sometimes I wonder if/why people take stuff personally and connect their new Lexus or old beat up clunker car their self worth, or how much someone will think their husband loves them, or something. Sheesh! It's just a diamond.
Oh well.
I have to keep reminding myself that . . . people vary.
 

AnneinGA

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Aug 6, 2010
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403
I have found if you precede your question with a compliment and something about you then it goes much better.

Like

"Wow! Your diamond (is so white/has so much fire/really sparkles). I am a jewelry nut. Do you know the specs on your stone?"

Then they know it's not a money fact-finding expedition; they can say they don't know but walk away happy that someone who is into jewelry really likes what they have, or if they are also jewelry nuts, can launch comfortably into the details of the stone.

:))
 

AmeliaG

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I think it depends on the context.

My brother discreetly asked some of his married friends what they paid for their engagement rings and what specs they got because my sister-in-law had pointed out their wives' rings as ones she admired when he asked her about rings.

None of the men took offense (they were actually pretty pleased) and they were glad to help him shop.

I think in that case it was simply a matter of guys helping guys out on a big ticket purchase item and they do it for cars, boats, TVs, etc. so why not engagement rings?

In another context though, I could see it being perceived as nosy, as in asking about someone's income.
 

Miss Sparkly

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Jan 2, 2010
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1,664
I was burned a few times by comments on my M stone (one reason that I don't have it anymore) and as such will never release the stats of any stone again. If somebody asks I just tell them that it's perfect for me and I love it. Now, when I get my sapphire and old mine halo that will be a different story! I won't be able to shut up about it :cheeky:
 

Laila619

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Eh, I personally wouldn't find it rude. I'd share specs. But I guess some people feel it's a nosy question?
 

zoebartlett

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Kenny -- I'm totally teasing you, but I wonder how many times you've said "people vary" here on PS. :bigsmile:
 

Autumnovember

Ideal_Rock
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I wouldn't have an issue if someone asked me about specs on my ring.

I think Jennifer hit the nail on the head though---a lot of people may think of it as a way of asking how much you spent on it.

There have been many times that I've wanted to ask my friends about the specs of their rings but I couldn't get myself to do it...
 

Haven

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You never know how many details an individual is comfortable sharing about her possessions/life/thoughts/etc., so you run the risk of overstepping her personal lines of comfort when you ask for information she doesn't willingly share.

Of course, with close friends these boundaries may not exist, and you usually just *know* what is and isn't okay to discuss.

If someone asked me the specs on my ring I would share them unless the person made me very uncomfortable for some reason.
 

HollyS

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Jul 18, 2007
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6,099
You should not care about the specs of someone else's ring.

No one should care about yours.

It is a way to compare, analyze, scrutinize, criticize, and come away either feeling superior at the expense of someone else, or feeling bad about how yours measures up to theirs.

We may all like diamonds, other stones, and jewelry in general here on PS. We may even be obsessed with it. But that's no reason to reason away common courtesy.
 

mayerling

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HollyS|1307988181|2944829 said:
You should not care about the specs of someone else's ring.

No one should care about yours.

It is a way to compare, analyze, scrutinize, criticize, and come away either feeling superior at the expense of someone else, or feeling bad about how yours measures up to theirs.

We may all like diamonds, other stones, and jewelry in general here on PS. We may even be obsessed with it. But that's no reason to reason away common courtesy.
Wow, Holly, I wouldn't consider demonstrating some academic interest synonymous to reasoning away common courtesy.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Zoe|1307975117|2944701 said:
Kenny -- I'm totally teasing you, but I wonder how many times you've said "people vary" here on PS. :bigsmile:
No problem.
Hopefully I've mentioned it a zillion times! :wavey:

I'd love it if it was universally embraced.
The prevailing mentality that there is one correct way to be is disastrous for world peace and personal peace.

I think truly recognizing and being at peace with people varying is the single most important thing challenging everyone in the world today.
Big statement I know, but I truly believe it.
 

kenny

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HollyS|1307988181|2944829 said:
You should not care about the specs of someone else's ring.

No one should care about yours.

It is a way to compare, analyze, scrutinize, criticize, and come away either feeling superior at the expense of someone else, or feeling bad about how yours measures up to theirs.

We may all like diamonds, other stones, and jewelry in general here on PS. We may even be obsessed with it. But that's no reason to reason away common courtesy.
Oh I disagree.
Knowing specs does not make anyone better or worse.
It's not YOU who are better than me.
It is your diamond that is better than mine.
No problem.
The Hope Diamond is better than yours.
So what?
Who cares!

I don't play the competition game.
What I own confers no status to me.
What you own confers no status, high or low, to you in my eyes.
That's why I fell safe asking and telling all the specs.
It doesn't mean anything.

That said I DO understand many if not most people DO play the better stuff makes me a better person game so I don't ask.
 

Indylady

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It really depends on the context.

In real life, I don't like asking about specs--I mean, you can see the thing with your eyes, why do you want to know the specs? Unless you're researching for your own diamond, which makes a little more sense to me. To me, its like someone saying, 'Nice jeans..what size are they?' On PS, I think its much more appropriate since that is what this forum is about.
 

Jennifer W

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kenny|1307991480|2944877 said:
HollyS|1307988181|2944829 said:
You should not care about the specs of someone else's ring.

No one should care about yours.

It is a way to compare, analyze, scrutinize, criticize, and come away either feeling superior at the expense of someone else, or feeling bad about how yours measures up to theirs.

We may all like diamonds, other stones, and jewelry in general here on PS. We may even be obsessed with it. But that's no reason to reason away common courtesy.
Oh I disagree.
Knowing specs does not make anyone better or worse.
It's not YOU who are better than me.
It is your diamond that is better than mine.
No problem.
The Hope Diamond is better than yours.
So what?
Who cares!

I don't play the competition game.
What I own confers no status to me.
What you own confers no status, high or low, to you in my eyes.
That's why I fell safe asking and telling all the specs.
It doesn't mean anything.

That said I DO understand many if not most people DO play the better stuff makes me a better person game so I don't ask.
Oh no it isn't.... :bigsmile:
 

Dancing Fire

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JewelFreak|1307962819|2944578 said:
I think that's right. Non-gemmies often take it to mean, "How much did it cost you?"
i don't mind telling if a PSer asked.no big deal to me.
 

mayerling

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IndyLady|1307991600|2944880 said:
It really depends on the context.

In real life, I don't like asking about specs--I mean, you can see the thing with your eyes, why do you want to know the specs? Unless you're researching for your own diamond, which makes a little more sense to me. To me, its like someone saying, 'Nice jeans..what size are they?' On PS, I think its much more appropriate since that is what this forum is about.
I guess therein lies the problem. Can you really see it when it's on a finger - assume that finger might be moving, not facing you directly, etc? How much can you really tell from a glance (especially when you're new to diamonds like I am)?
 

Octavia

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mayerling|1308001724|2945010 said:
IndyLady|1307991600|2944880 said:
It really depends on the context.

In real life, I don't like asking about specs--I mean, you can see the thing with your eyes, why do you want to know the specs? Unless you're researching for your own diamond, which makes a little more sense to me. To me, its like someone saying, 'Nice jeans..what size are they?' On PS, I think its much more appropriate since that is what this forum is about.
I guess therein lies the problem. Can you really see it when it's on a finger - assume that finger might be moving, not facing you directly, etc? How much can you really tell from a glance (especially when you're new to diamonds like I am)?
As long as it's not a perfect stranger, just ask for a closer look. I think most people are happy to show off, even if they don't want to give all the specs.
 

marymm

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To me, asking about specs is more a personal question... and sometimes personal questions are also rude questions. If you are with friends or family with whom you commonly share and exchange info about such things -- not just jewelry but clothing, cars, vacations, etc. - I think of it as a personal question which is acceptable in this social circle. Asking about stone specs to me is like asking someone - what size is that blouse, is it real silk - but instead you're asking for carat weight and stone dimensions and clarity/treatment/whatever... most of us have family and/or friends with whom we happily and comfortably dish about such things, and part of the fun in sharing new things is discussing the factual details of the new thing.

But there are many people I am acquainted with that I would never ask that kind of personal question - I might feel comfortable complimenting their outfit or hairdo or jewelry, but I wouldn't follow up the compliment with detailed questions. Now, if they happened to volunteer details, I'm fine with building on the conversation.

Still, all that being said, I myself would not be offended if someone (anyone) asked for specs on any piece of my jewelry - I am generally overjoyed to the point of excessive volubility if anyone comments on my jewelry - but in my circle I am an outlier - no one else cares about jewelry or gems (except DH to some degree).
 

shihtzulover

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Where, I live, very few people really care about jewelry or diamonds. Many engagement rings come from mall stores, and it seems that most people generally assume that all diamonds are basically the same, at least to a certain extent. The only thing that I have ever been asked about is carat weight, because it seems that to everyone here, that's the only 'C' that really matters. I agree that it seems to be tied up in money.

I remember one particular coworker who was very interested in the carat weight of my diamond when my fiance and I first became engaged. We were at work and talking about something business-related, and we had not even been discussing engagement rings, proposals, or even marriage, but she suddenly asked me about the carat weight of my diamond. I told her that I didn't know, because I don't really want to disclose that information - it was just so obvious that she was trying to decide whose ring was worth the most. She then proudly told me that hers was 2 carats (I believe that was total carat weight though, including the other stones in her set), and she went on to explain that she had apparently told her now-husband that he didn't have to spend that much, but that he had insisted.

The funny thing is that while her center stone was definitely one of the largest there, it didn't really look like it faced up totally white. I know that some people really love the warm tint over the icy white look, and I do believe that lower-colored diamonds are also beautiful, but it's just funny to me that she was only using carat weight to determine the worth of our diamonds.

I have gotten into jewelry-related conversations with other women around here, and when they describe diamond rings, they only talk about the carat weight and the diamond shape. I don't think that I can recall anyone ever mentioning color or clarity, let alone cut quality - so I would be very surprised if anyone ever asked me about that.
 

swingirl

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If it's a PS buddy and I know they are interested in the details, of course I would share the specs and not think it rude. But in general, someone asking about the specs of my jewelry is like asking about my pants size. If my pants look good give me a compliment. But the size is irrelevant.

I would not ask someone the specs of their diamond because there is no reason why I need to know if it's a VVS1 or an SI2, an E or a J. That sort of information is only for comparison purposes. Why should anyone care?
 

kenny

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I think it would be educational to know the specs of every diamond we see, especially for the colors and clarities we feel we can discern.

IOW, nobody would "learn" to tell a D from an E when both are set and not side by side.
But if every diamond had color and clarity tattooed right onto the gals the finger we'd all learn what the various specs look like.

If you don't want the tattoo then you can opt for the mandatory 8" x 10" metal sign hung around your neck with the specs. :lol:
 

Circe

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I've never been sure why it's rude to ask what people have paid for their homes ... but I understand it's poor etiquette in most parts of the country. In NYC? It's coffee-break chit-chat.

If I'm talking to a lady-friend, and we're bemoaning how hard it is to find clothes that fit, and she says, "Yeah, especially if you're a ___ cup!" I might volunteer my own: if some dude on the street asks me about mine, I'll be hard put not to slug him.

And if I'm talking to a jeweler, and s/he eyeballs my stones and asks for specs, odds are good I'll be happy to discuss them: but if it's a random stranger at a cocktail party, I'll get a little tense.

The difference in all these situations is context ... and the wrong context tends to imply an inappropriate curiosity, which generally leads into either some kind of dominance game/jockying for position, or, if you don't wanna play, waaaaaaaay more insight into the mind of the speaker than you really needed.

I've only been asked about the specs on my stone once, at a social gathering in Sweden just after I'd gotten engaged. The lady who had asked responded with, "Oh, we went for quality over quantity" ... and then proceeded to talk wistfully about how she wanted a bigger one, but her husband had insisted. It was an odd combination: I got the feeling she was trying to convince herself more than she was me. Kinda illustrated the problem with discussing such loaded things with strangers - more often than not, we're just playing out our own psychodramas and insecurities!
 
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