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Sir Aurik

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  1. My girlfriend's brother bought a ring very similar to what you describe last winter, the center "stone" is actually 4 trillian-like diamonds mounted with a near-invisible mounting. I think he bought it at Lundstrom Jewelers (mall jeweler) in the Dallas area.
  2. I know of at least one dealer who will send your diamond to an independent appraiser near you to inspect, and if you and the appraiser are satisfied with the purchase, you provide payment to the dealer and then once the funds clear (or CC authorizes, or whatever), the dealer then informs the appraiser that he can release the stone to you. I don't know if the vendor you're looking at would do this, but it can't hurt to ask.
  3. I found myself an excellent jeweler by accident. I walked in there one day sorta kinda looking for a sapphire pendant for my girlfriend. I walked in, and found myself talking to the owner's wife, and the owner was in back. We actually got to talking about cars first, because he's a Corvette enthusiast, and I had just pulled up into the parking lot in my Corvette (I suppose that helped a bit). Anyhow, we got to talking about what I was looking for, and he had a few nice pendants in the display, but not quite what I wanted. So he reached under the display case and pulled out a stack of storage/display boxes with dozens of more pendands in there. In about the third box I found exactly what I wanted; it was a nice white gold pendant with a beautiful blue sapphire, and a few baguette diamonds and round diamonds to accent it, and he was willing to sell it to me for a price well within my price range. I probably spent and hour or two in there that first time, just talking to the guy and him getting to know exactly what I wanted (I didn't know what I exactly wanted when I walked in, but I knew what I DIDN'T want). He even offered to make a special trip to his supplier if I didn't see exactly the size / shape / colour stones I was interested in. He just said I'd need to come back in a couple days in that event. My girlfriend absolutely loved the pendant (it was an anniversary present, 1 year together), and she wears it often. She later had it appraised independently for insurance purposes, and the appraisal value is about 3x what I actually paid for it. I've bought a couple of other pieces from him since, and every time he's treated me very fairly, patiently, and helped me find exactly what I wanted. The problem is he has so much high quality, reasonably-priced merchandise that I can't AFFORD to visit him often. In any case, I also found out that he's got a jeweler on retainer who does some excellent custom work, so when it does become time to buy her The Ring, he'll be the first place I go back to visit.
  4. Sir Aurik


    I agree with WebGal here. A good quality sapphire can be had for much less than a diamond, and it makes every bit of a beautiful center stone in a ring. Sapphires mean "fidelity" in the language of gems, and if your girlfriend is open to the idea of being a little "different", a sapphire is a far more thoughtful way to present her with a beautiful ring on your budget.
  5. My girlfriend and are are getting to the point where I'm starting to seriously think about asking her to marry me. We've now been together for almost 2 years, and I've started the ring fund. I'm still a few months out from actually buying the ring, but I've got a few ideas on what I'd like to do, and would like to know what to consider when I'm actually buying the diamond. I'm familiar with the 4C's, but I'd like a bit more of an informed opinion For starters, I'm leaning heavily towards an Asscher cut, because it's different, classy, and elegant. I've seen photos of extremely well-cut Asscher diamonds, and they just sucked me in. I guess that's what I'm looking most for, a diamond that will mesmerize her everytime she looks at it. I could say that I'm looking for a diamond of X color, cut, and clarity, but really the WOW factor is most important, since SHE doesn't know the difference between, say a G and I color or VS1 versus IF clarity. Now the ring I'm looking at (well, I have a local jeweler who will be making the ring for me, I've found some excellent designs on the 'net) will be of platinum, and the stone itself will be in a bezel setting. She has a fear of prong settings, well, not a FEAR, but she has seen the effects of BAD prong settings, so I'm going with a bezel setting. (In fact, here's a picture of the ring I'm thinking of). Again, it might not be exactly the same ring, but the setting will be something along those lines. I don't know whether a platinum bezel setting will accent certain flaws or features of a diamond, but I want to make sure I get the best diamond I can for this ring. The major differences of course, will be an Asscher diamond as the center stone, and I'll be finding two nice blue sapphires (preferably a nontraditional shape, like in the ring) for sidestones. As far as price range, I'm looking at a total of about $10k. I'm imagining that of that, about $7k will be in the diamond, and I'm giving thought to using either Union diamonds, or Blue Nile as my source, since they both have excellent selections and prices. What I'd like to know is, given the parameters I've posted, how do I find an appropriate diamond for this ring when the time comes? I want a nice-sized diamond (around 1ct, but that's not a hard and fast number) but most importantly a diamond with serious WOW factor. I'm familiar with the textbook 4C's and can intelligently look at a GIA report, but some guidance as to which parameters will be more important in my case, and why. Thank you for the help.
  6. That's a fantastic story... I'm getting to the point where I'm seriously considering popping the question to my gf, and these stories are certainly getting the ideas flowing on HOW to do it Thanks for sharing it with us!
  7. 1) I haven't ever heard of anyone bargaining with Tiffany. 2) Tiffany DOES generally have much higher attention to detail and extremely high quality craftsmanship compared to most other retailers. However, that comes at a significant price premium. It's up to you as to what is most important. I will say that the Tiffany Blue Box *does* have a significant effect on the ladies...
  8. To be honest, I generally avoid dealing with larger retail chains, especially for high-end purchases for a couple of reasons: First, what quality diamonds are in that ring? If you're going to be spending $3k for a ring, I'd expect to have a VERY good idea of what you're going to be getting -- for that kind of money I'd want a certified stone. Also, I find that in larger chains, the salespeople aren't nearly as knowledgeable as you'll find in a smaller store, or some of the better e-tailers. I, for example, have a local jewelry store where I have made several purchases. The owner knows me by sight, and he is very knowledgeable about what he is selling. A couple of times I've gone in there and haven't found exactly what I wanted on display, so he reached under the display counter and pulled out several other trays of merchandise, and I found exactly what I wanted that way. The other thing that I have noticed at the larger retail stores... they always seem to be offering 30% or 50% or whatever off sales, whether at Christmas, or Valentine's day, or some other holiday. If they're able to offer 50% off of their merchandise and still make money (trust me, they're NOT losing money during these sales), then that tells me their merchandise is 50% overpriced during the course of the year.
  9. I wouldn't go so far to call Tiffany's a rip-off. The customer service, selection, and quality of all of their jewelry is absolutely top-notch, and their reputation is near second to none. However, this all comes with a price, which is reflected in the price tag. They're very PROUD of their reputation and quality, and you'll pay for it. I've bought jewelry there before, and I may buy from there again... but I don't plan on buying an engagement ring there.
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