Yet another cushion question- please help!!

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Mar 23, 2009
Hi all,

I''ve been lurking for quite some time, and finally am just so frustrated I had to post. My boyfriend and I have recently started searching for the perfect engagement ring, although I am doing most (read: all) of the leg work because he lives in an itty-bitty town far away. This is fine by me, because, honestly, he doesn''t have that great taste. I started out wanting a round brilliant, until I fell head over heels in love with the Tiffany Novo. I mean, man, I love that ring with a passion I didn''t know was possible. Unfortunately, anything from Tiffany''s is waaay out of our budget. I think I''ve settled on a setting, one from American Set (the eBay store). It seems to me to be the cheapest setting I can find that fits my requirements (pave or bead set, no more than 2.5mm), although I''m open to suggestions if anyone has found anything better.

The problem, of course, is the stone. I know I want a square cushion cut, and that I''m a bit of a color snob. I also have a very minimal budget, $800-$1000, able to go up to $1200 for the perfect find. I''ve been to very nearly every store in town, and have had ZERO success. I don''t know that I even have the energy to go into another store. Every time, it''s a non-stop uphill battle. I''ll say I''m interested in looking at different color ranges, to find out what I''m confortable with, and they''ll pull out a chart and explain to me THEIR opinion on how low I can go on color. Is it an unreasonable request to want to look at more than three stones to get a feel for what you want, or to not trust the shop owner''s opinion that I can''t tell the difference between a D and a G? I''ve tried everything, even resorting to bringing a hard copy list of what I hoped to accomplish in my appointment, to no avail. I''m not a very authoritative person, and don''t think I''m cut out for in-person diamond shopping, so I''ve resigned myself to buying my diamond online.

So I''ve spent months purusing the internet, looking for info on cushion cuts. Here''s where you all laugh, because you know I''ve learned nothing except "you can''t judge a fancy cut without seeing it". I''ve read the 2 million threads on here, I know, I know. I just don''t understand how I''m supposed to buy from an online dealer, then. With my budget, I don''t expect to get a ton of one on one help from the online peeps. It seems like the sites with a good customer service reputation (GOG), are completely out of my price range, and the sites with a, umm, not so good customer service rep have the best prices.

So my questions, I guess, are: how much help can I expect from an online vendor when I''m only looking to spend $1000? Should I base my purchase off an online vendor''s opinion, when they don''t know my tastes? And if I shouldn''t go off a vendor''s opinion, how can I know whether or not to buy, when the specs don''t matter much? What precautions should I take to ensure I get a stone I''ll be happy with?

Another issue I''m having is this. I see, from site to site, huge variances in price, up to $1000, for what seem to me to be comparable stones. This is another factor that caused me to give up on the vendors in my area, because every price I was quoted was way out of my price range. Based on my online searching, I think I can afford:

.5-.6 carats
E-G color
SI1-VS1 clarity
no flour.
decent cut

Is this reasonable? I have seen numerous stones in this range for under $1000. I''ve also seen numerous stones like this for well over $1000. Vendors in my area all but laugh in my face when I tell them what I want and what I want to pay, which has started me doubting I can really get a decent stone for that price. So am I missing something? Am I expecting too much for my money? Is there something wrong with a half carart cushion priced at $750? Am I stupid to even try diamond shopping on so tight a budget?

Any help AT ALL would be greatly appreciated, because I''m about to give up and elope without a ring...


Jul 11, 2005

First of all, don't think of it as resigning yourself to purchasing online. IMO, that is THE way to go, and with a cushion you may have many more choices. That cut seems to be hard to find in B&Ms, at least in my area anyway.

I would contact these two businesses which are known for finding amazing cushions and tell them your criteria and budget. You really can't go wrong with either one and they have both located amazing cushions for many other PSers. They will be able to send you pics and/or video of available cushions so you know exactly what you are considering. And don't just go by the inventory that the vendors have listed online. They have access to other diamonds as well.

If you really are color sensitive, I would try to go as low in clarity as possible to try and get as much size as you can.


Feb 12, 2009
I think buying online is a better way to go. Some places will send out pictures and/or videos of possible diamond choices for you to make your decision while still being able to "see" the diamond perform.


Nov 15, 2008
I think the vendors jazmine suggested are a good bet. I see a lot of cushions on James Allen (which has pictures) in your price range, so I would think that Mark at ERD or the team at GOG would be able to find you a great cushion and since they are trusted experts, you would know that you are getting a good stone.
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