Advice On Purchasing A Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring
Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:24 AM
I was wondering if I could ask your advice. I am looking to purchase an engagement ring for girlfriend. It is also worth noting that I am based in London, UK.
What I have in mind is a Tiffany soleste double halo with a Canary/Yellow Diamond centre stone (ideally cushion).
I have since been to Tiffany’s and jotted down the specs and is stated below.
Tiffany Marta (47089)
PT/18Y Yellow diamond .39, FY, VSI, 57Rd .26
PT/18Y Yellow diamond .65,FI, IF, 66Rd , .27.
I am pretty new to the concept of buying rings and need general advice and how much i should be looking to spend for the above spec.
I feel that purchasing from Tiffanys will not give me value for my Pounds and was wondering if there are any alternative recommended options.
I have initially looked online with Blue Nile & 77 diamonds. Is there any other websites or shops that is recommended/ GIA accredited.
Also is there a significant price difference between natural diamonds and irradiated diamonds
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:21 PM
Richard: welcome to DiamondReview! Your post is covering a lot of ground - I'll offer some comments below, but please ask more questions.
Based in UK:: not a problem - I lived in the UK until 2007 (have been around Europe a little since), and have bought jewellery "remotely" from the US without any issues, other than the annoying fact of having to pay VAT at the prevailing rate. As long as you shop wisely, there is still a significant advantage in prices.
Canary: there is no commonly accepted definition/standard - therefore be very careful: what a vendor calls "canary" may well end up being a Fancy Light Yellow... Stick to stones graded by GIA, and you won't have that problem, though fancy colours have typically much broader variation in colour intensity within a grade than in the D-Z range.
How much: very difficult to say. Not least because you have picked a very wide range of stones to compare. 0.39 - 0.65 can make a difference of 2.5x in reasonable price. Fancy Yellow to Fancy Intense is another factor of 1.5 or more. Add to this that the precise hue of yellow has also a significant effect, and you may be looking at a factor of 2 or more. Cut (both shape and quality/proportions of cut) has again a considerable effect - and for fancy colours there is no cut grade, even on rounds. Funnily enough, clarity does not necessarily make as much difference as it does for colourless stones - but still there is a premium for high clarity or flawless stones.
In all, looking at the specs of the two that you picked, you could be looking at a range of between $1000 and $5500 at competitive online retail prices (0.40 "just about" FY VS1 radiant average cut <-> 0.65 "nearly vivid" FIY FL round outstanding cut) just for the centre stone. Where either of the two specific stones you have seen sits, is anybody's guess...
For the setting, comparison may be easier: a good quality double halo setting will cost you about $3000 in gold and about $4000 in platinum with white (or yellow) melee, again competitive prices and Tiffany-like quality of metalwork.
Alternatives: there are quite a few - we (DBL) are one, and I think we are the best site anywhere in terms of images and documentation for coloured diamonds. Bear in mind that the actual look of the diamond counts for a lot more than the grade in setting prices for fancy colours (and fancy cuts - which often go hand in hand); from this point of view, shopping for coloured diamonds is much closer to shopping for coloured gems than to shopping for colourless/near-colourless diamonds. Dealing with someone that has the diamond available for physical inspection and can take photographs is a significant advantage against a drop-ship business model like Blue Nile's.
GIA: GIA does not run an accreditation programme (differently to some extent from AGS). In fact they get quite stroppy with dealers that imply that GIA is somehow "certifying" the stones or (God forbid) the retailer. Which takes nothing away from the fact that a lab report from GIA is one of your best allies in shopping for a coloured diamond. See here for an interesting story...
Irradiation: yes, there is a very significant difference in price (depending on size and colour). You can also get synthetic diamonds which are grown with the HPHT technique and the use of high amounts of nitrogen, and thus are "naturally" yellow, at prices that are similar to those of irradiated diamonds. Both are fine, though to my eye most of the irradiated stones look unnatural, as long as you pay the right price for them (see the story above).
Edited by davidelevi, 30 May 2012 - 03:23 PM.
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:49 AM
I will be in touch tomorrow with the details as promised.
Edited by carlionguc, 31 May 2012 - 10:55 AM.
Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:21 AM
Posted 09 June 2012 - 02:45 AM
On a loose stone, duty into the EU from the US is 0%. On mounted jewellery is 2.5% of the declared or assessed value. To this, you have to add VAT at the prevailing rate on the declared or assessed value + the duty amount. Depending on the carrier, you may need to pay at delivery, or they will send you an invoice which you can pay later; again depending on the carrier, there are fees for taking care of the customs paperwork that vary between nil and several tens of GBP.
Edited by davidelevi, 09 June 2012 - 02:46 AM.
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)