ats200

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About ats200

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  1. ats200

    Post Purchase Questions

    I'm currently in Las Vegas however, I plan to do the proposal in SW Pennsylvania. Either would be fine. I haven't yet found an appraiser but I'm currently playing phone tag and exchanging emails with several parties regarding this situation (including HOF and the owner of the jewelry store). Hopefully I can get this resolved before it's set but the arrival of the ring is very time sensitive so it's becoming more and more difficult each day. (reason being that I already have a flight booked to PA)
  2. ats200

    Post Purchase Questions

    I will be sure to take all of these steps. However, because the diamond will return to me already in the setting, is it still possible to be correctly appraised and graded? Is it possible to send the diamond to AGS or GIA? Also, because I'm so new at this, where can I find independent appraisers locally? Is this something I can just "google" and trust?
  3. ats200

    Post Purchase Questions

    I was thinking the same as you all in terms of the certification. I actually contacted hearts on fire directly to confirm and apparently this is all true and legitimate. I'm still awaiting a second response as to why there is no certificate, I find it odd that at one point they sold it at full price and now that it's "discounted," there is suddenly no certificate. email response from hearts on fire: "I was able to look into your order. The HOF2 center diamond that you speak of is indeed a true Hearts On Fire diamond, it is just not laser inscribed with a HOF serial number. Therefore, you will not be receiving a AGS document with the diamond, but you will absolutely be receiving a Hearts On Fire Certificate of Authenticity as well as an appraisal on the complete ring from the store directly." I agree with you David, I think with the widespread availability of information online now, a lot of people are realizing that similar cuts and quality can be had for much less. In my case, I was forced to buy a more expensive diamond to get the setting I wanted.
  4. ats200

    Post Purchase Questions

    Thank you for the responses. I've been going back and forth with my jeweler and I received this response today (5 days after purchase): "The HOF 2 diamonds do not receive certification from GIA, but we will have an HOF certificate, as well as our sale documentation for you. I will get a current value for the diamond so that it can be properly insured." This is what made me skeptical in the first place. They kept showing me diamonds that were "HOF 2" which they explained were old stock that were sent there at a discounted price from jewelers who no longer sell HOF jewelry. To me, they all looked fine under the scope and loop but honestly, what do I know? To explain my situation... I bought a brand new HOF setting which had to be ordered from the company. I bought an unbranded center stone to go along with it. A few days later I get a call saying HOF won't allow the use of non-HOF diamonds in their settings. They then present me with this "HOF 2" diamond of equal quality for MUCH more money. I told them no, the deal is over, cancel it. They then negotiated on price and I got the HOF 2 diamond for the same price after a long time of explaining how much they screwed me. Now, again, after the purchase, I receive bad news. I'm getting a center stone that they pitched to me as being a hearts on fire diamond, but it comes with no certification. Is there any way I can possibly approach this without cancelling my order and ruining the proposal which is set for a specific date? Maybe contact HOF directly? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  5. ats200

    Post Purchase Questions

    Some of you may remember viewing a recent post of mine which has been on and off for the past month or so. I recently purchased an engagement ring however, it was a special order as I had to go through Hearts on Fire for the setting I wanted. Since the order, there have been some complications, but they have all been cleared (so I'm told). Now the diamond and setting are being sent to HOF to be set in their workshop and will be returned mid-November. My question is... when does one typically receive all of the documentation, etc. regarding the diamonds? Should I have it now or when I actually receive the finished product? My jeweler is very reputable in the area so I'm not necessarily questioning integrity, but I feel like the sales staff obviously tried to take advantage of me while I was buying. I studied up quite a bit before actually going to the store and being a quite person, I never really called them out on any of their sales tactics. Because of this, I just want to be sure I'm actually receiving the diamonds for which I paid. (this is mainly in regards to the complications mentioned previously)
  6. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    Just wanted to update on my ring purchase, I had a great experience with shopping and I love my final purchase decision but my only disappointment is the price. I feel I overpaid just a little bit but there are trade-offs which make me feel comfortable. I ended up getting a Hearts on Fire setting which I fell in love with and I know my soon to be Fiance will too. Setting is shown here: http://www.heartsonfire.com/shop-jewelry/rings/engagement-rings/beloveddiamondsolitaire.aspx The HOF setting with a HOF diamond was simply out of my price range so I got the perfect setting and bought an unbranded diamond for the center. I went with a 0.50 J VS1 GIA diamond for just over $1700. I think this is where I overpaid but I'm not going to feel down over $100 or so which seems to be what similar diamonds are running online. With this I get 100% trade in value and a free cleaning every 6 months as well as a maintenance package for 6 years which I negotiated into the price of the diamond so I guess I had a little wiggle on the price. I'm satisfied thus far. The ring is currently being set and I'm excited for its arrival in a week or so. Thank you all for your help. The advice I received here allowed me to get a larger diamond than I originally planned while keeping the exact setting I wanted from the beginning. Thanks again!
  7. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    thanks again, you are probably the most helpful person in the world when it comes to diamonds. my jeweler (and many others based on old forum posts) says that HOF diamonds are contractually not allowed to be negotiated in price. I may pay retail for the diamond and setting but maybe I can negotiate a different trade in/trade up plan. I figure if I buy a $3,000 diamond, chances are I wont be trading it in for quite a long time, especially not one for $6,000 if I need to double the cost.
  8. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    I understand, that is a good point. To the naked eye, I honestly can't see a difference. The other stone was a GIA ideal cut with higher color and clarity. The third was an NGA graded stone with very good ratings (0 or near 0 for all aspects). Under the scope, I could see the difference in cut quality for sure, but that's the only difference I can see with any diamond - and only under the scope. My (hopefully) final question before I make a decision would be: what is the normal offer for a buy-back or trade-up? I'm being offered 100% buy back from original purchase price with the HOF, I understand it's not always 100% but I'm not sure. The dealer is reputable, has a few locations in the area, and has been in business for about 80 years. The same offer isn't on the table for a non-HOF diamond but that may just be a sales tactic to get me into the more expensive stone. Any thoughts?
  9. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    Yes, I spoke with a couple jewelers, HOF will not put a non HOF stone in their settings. The jeweler can however order a setting from HOF and set the unbranded stone in the setting in-store rather than sending it out. It may be a good option to start but it somehow feels a bit strange. I'd almost rather downgrade the stone to a lesser carat weight or clarity just to keep everything original. But, I guess that's HOF's marketing talking. The strange thing is, they were showing my other Hearts and Arrows stones under the scope and to my surprise, I actually did see a difference. A difference worth paying for? That's really another question. Probably in my case, if I buy their setting, yes. If an unbranded setting, no.
  10. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    I still have just a little bit more shopping around to do but right now, I'm pretty much at a standstill. The bargain hunter part of me loves the idea of shopping unbranded diamonds... so does my wallet (if there's a difference between the two). I can get much more bang for my buck this way. I can get a .80 carat diamond with much better quality than a .50 diamond at HOF for a similar or lesser price. Where I'm hurting is in the way that I think I prefer (and I believe my girlfriend would be with me on this) the look and style of the HOF and Cartier settings. Would it be unusual practice if I were to buy a setting from HOF or Cartier then use a center stone from a non-branded source? I was able to find an amazing deal on a beautiful HOF setting which was part of a discontinued line. - 8 diamonds on an 18k white gold setting for about $800.
  11. ats200

    Do You Prioritize Cut, Clarity Or Color?

    So this sparks a question in my mind. These qualities area great basis for a solitaire stone but when surrounded by others in a halo setting, is the importance of these characteristics skewed? For example, if I order a D color, flawless clarity, ideal cut 1 carat diamond and surround it by less perfect diamonds, which becomes more dominant? I guess this situation seems a bit extreme but should all diamonds on the ring be similar to the center stone? I ask because on a few of the websites on which I've been browsing, I pick the center stone but if there are any diamonds on the setting, they seem to be pre-selected.
  12. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    Thanks so much! The price cutting options are something of which I was very unaware. As someone new to diamonds, I'm not sure which grades and attributes of the diamond are most important and how they vary from level to level, especially by sight. Obviously the jeweler twisted my mind a bit when talking about HOF and giving the speech on how important quality really is. (of course, even with HOF, I'm getting the diamond on the low end of their spectrum) I'll try to work out some other options on BN and shop around with the links provided by David.
  13. ats200

    I'm Clueless

    As a preface, I'm very sorry. I'm a senior member on a separate forum which discusses exclusively straight razors and wet shaving items. I know newbies join forums all the time and ask something that has been asked time and time again, so I apologize! I'm shopping for an engagement ring, I've been dating my girlfriend for nearly 7 years. I have been ready to propose since the moment we met but at that time we were freshmen in high school. Now we've both graduated from college and I'm committed to getting this done by the end of the year. As a reference, I'd like to spend between 4 and 7 thousand, which is a bit on the high end for my budget but she deserves it for waiting so long :-) My first thought, for sentimental value, was a HOF (hearts on fire) ring, I remember in the past she saw one in a jewelry store window and loved it. Through reading some old forum posts I have found that, apparently, I can find something very similar in quality, if not better, for a much lower price. So obviously it comes down to my decision on whether I want a brand name or not. (ring I'm settled on in the event I chose HOF: Beloved Solitaire -- Here I get a 0.33 center stone with a halo and a platinum setting for 5,100. Again, after reading some posts, I decided to check out Blue Nile. There I can get a 0.50 carat, signature ideal cut round diamond with D color and VVS1 clarity with excellent polish and symmetry. This would also have a halo and be set in platinum. Build Your Own Ring So as a newbie to the diamond world, and this may be a very general question, but what are the main differences I'm looking at here? The jewelry store gave me their spiel on how much better the HOF diamonds are cut compared to others (including Tiffany's), but it's hard to believe a salesman. For similar prices, am I getting a better deal with Blue Nile simply for a larger diamond? Will the other aspects even be noticeable to the eye? Any input would be greatly appreciated, I'm completely lost in this world of diamonds. I see all of these specifications but I'm not exactly sure which are most important.