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Rock grading and suggestion request


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Hi everyone,


First off I would like to thank this site for all the valuable information.


I am currently looking for an engagement ring for my girlfriend. I will be graduating in Dec and plan to propose soon. I have it all planned out and will post in the misc section later for comments. What I have a question about is the grading and the act of purchasing the diamond.


The first question I have is that I have been shopping @ Blue Nile since they have the setting I want for my girlfriend.


Ring Setting


1) I am a little confused thought and could not find the answer in your forums. They have Signature Ideal and Ideal for AGS while only Ideal for GIA for a round brilliance. Are these the same since they represent the top classification for each respective company?


2) I visited Jarad and their salemen offered a complete loss/chip/stolen policy with free cleaning for the rings purchased at their store. Is it better to forgo the price difference about 800+tax to buy local than go online since the cost of insuring the ring will be about the same after 20 years? Local I can see the diamond while online I have to trust the reports, aka why question 1 is so important for me.


3) I plan on a .6 carat ideal cut ring. I understand that the thought that counts and that she would love whatever I give her but my pride wants to get the best I can afford on a student budget for her no more than 4k for the ring. Is that a decent size for that ring setting?


Thanks in advance

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Hi shortyes;


In answer to your questions:


1. That setting is not manufactured by BN and can be obtained for you by many vendors.


2. GIA's top Cut Grade is Excellent, not Ideal. Difficult to ascertain differences within the BN categories as no measurements of performance are offered or described.


3. Detailed policies are offered by on-line vendors. Read them carefully and contact individual vendors if you need additional information/clarification.


4. Stay within your budget and means. You're a student. You'll have ample opportunity down the road to upgrade when you're on a more solid financial footing. Remember, "Pride Goeth Before The Fall". She will appreciate your thoughtfulness and your stress level will be reduced.


Good Luck.

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Hey Barry thanks for the reply. From what I understand is that the certificate might say Excellent but some companies will use Ideal and Signature ideal and so forth to tempt people.


I did a search for Trellis setting on google and found a few more sites that carried a similar sytle.


One company Adiamor seems to be legit since the have a good track record with the BBB and bizrate and their diamonds are cheaper than Blue Nile, Mondear and Union Diamond.


As for me, I am looking at a 3k ring no more than 3.5k


one diamond in particular is

.6 carat





for 2311


setting is 775 so my total would be about 3.1k


What do you think? As for pride, I feel that if I am suppose to do something do it right the first time and 3k is about 2months wage for me. I just want a good balance between cost and quality.

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Thanks lauren,


From your suggestion I visited yours and Barry's site and was amazed at the difference some of the diamonds were.


The only reason I looked exclusively at the 4 companies was that I normally visit Fatwallet.com and they have an affiliation with Blue Nile and Mondera aka % back if you purchased through their link.


I then googled blue nile and mondera review and found union diamond and Adiamor. From the reviews everyone was happy and since I know nothing about diamonds, computers are a different matter :blink: , I stuck with names that everyone been praising over.


After visiting diamondsbylauren and Excel diamonds, I think I might need to look a little more. Found a nice setting from Excel and am starting to look through their inventory. Their Ideal round engagement ring looks alot like the Trellis style I've been looking at.


sigh, buying something that is subjective to everyone that looks at it is frustrating since I learned that just by the numbers and stats might not always be the best diamond for your money.

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Technical people often have a hard time buying diamonds. They are accustomed to having a set of ‘specs’ that can be applied in a relatively linear fashion and it doesn’t quite work the same way with diamonds as it does with computer parts, books or eggs. Diamonds are a combination of art and science that makes most techie customers very uncomfortable. There’s no shortage of dealers who try really hard to make it easy to analyze the numbers and help you to determine which one is best and for some people this works pretty well. Curiously, this is most useful for the artsy types who don’t like dealing with the numbers themselves. Choosing a dealer who thinks like you can go a long way to making this a successful venture. It’s sort of a pity, it would be so much easier if the numbers approach worked better than it does, but this would suck out the value of the hunt as well. Believe it or not, a big part of the value of a diamond ring is that YOU are putting in the time and emotional energy to pick the perfect stone for your beloved. You’ve got some good advice above and you’re off to a great start. Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll come up with a wonderful ring that you can both be proud of.


Neil Beaty


Professional Appraisals in Denver

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I'm proud to be a techie, not the star trek kind :blink:


Anyways I started looking at rings 4 days ago. I hit the mall and a Jered to get an idea of what is out there and what can I get for my price range.


All the diamond rings they showed me and the ratings were right on aka See how this F to pretties than this H and so forth and then came the slew of certificates. So I felt the numbers were right on.


I think went searching online for diamonds with the knowledge that the certificates from GIA or AGS was all I needed to make a sound purchase.


I then started to research online retailers aka google them and see what other people thought about a store. Most of the time I tried to find an unbias source such as www.fatwallet.com and a few others. This lead me here.


Then I think barry told me that not all settings were unique to a retailer and so I did some more searching @ this point.


Then DiamondbyLauren said that pictures was worth a thousand words, so I went looking again. I looked at lauren and barry's site and saw that although a certificate plays a good role it does not factor in everything since art is not really an exact science and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Now I am torn, confused and starting to get frustrated. I want to buy online so I do not have to pay tax and to spend as much time as possible going between diamonds but since the specs are not the end of all that I was hoping, I am a little torn.


My girlfriend is 5' tall asian with a dark complextion since she works outside all day. She does not wear Jewelry and want something nice and simple. My budget is 3.5k since I am a college student. I want it to be simple but elegant, something that will make me look at it and smile knowing I did the best that I can.



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Techies rule the world. In no way did I mean this as an insult. I mention it only because not everyone thinks the same way. What you want is not unusual, and it's not especially difficult for most dealers although some are far better at this kind of product than others. You would do fine to call up Barry or David and ask for recommendations for a specific stone with a specific mounting. This would almost certainly result in a beautiful ring set with a wonderful diamond for a fair and reasonable price, in you hands within a day or three. It's only brain damage if you want to make it such.


...and we Star Trek fans call ourselves Trekers, no techies. :blink:



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No insult was taken. Trekkie and Techie rhyme so they are the same in my boat, obsessed with shinny lights and buttons.


Should I ask for anything in particular or just leave it up to them to decide?


Do I ask them to pick something out and send me a pic of it and if I like i say wrap it up?


or should I explain who I am buying it for?


What information should I be giving them?

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I'm guessing that either of them will be happy to guide you through it with a series of questions and answers. They do this a lot. If you choose one of those two, tell them that you are the author of this thread they will already know some of the answers although you may need to remind them of it. These people talk to an enormous number of different people in the course of a day. If you choose someone else, give them some open-ended start like "Hi, this is xxx, I'm plalnning on getting married and I think I want I diamond. Can you help me out with that?" They'll take it from there.



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Hi Shortyes,

First of all, please don't get frustrated.

So many people are looking at the internet to find out what the scoop is.

There's a lot of stuff that should be shoveled into the trash being passed off as fact.


The diamond you were looking at is right up Barry's alley.

I'd say you should get in touch with him Monday, and see what you can put together.

A well cut round diamond is a thing of beauty.


Neil, of course techies rule the world- simply because they build a logistacal base which allows artistic thinkers to be visionaries- and cut new paths.

Without that artistic element, .....well- who cares who's in charge.


I write that as the more artistic type.

If my taste were called into play, I'd prbably skip the platinum, and the VVS and get a larger diamond.

It would also be an emerald cut.

Again, that's my taste.


If the lady loves round, and you want the absolute finest quality- go for platinum and VVS

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Just sent barry a message on what I was looking for. Thanks for all the advise everyone.


Had I not found this forum as well as Diamondtalk.com I would have been purchasing by the numbers and might have been disappointed on what I got in the mail.


Will update later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First I like to thank everyone here for their help. I called up barry and he was very helpful. I was in the process of looking and trying to make a decision on what diamond to buy when I happen to find this at a local Costco. I instantly knew that it was perfect for my GF and the price helped alot. It seems the last 2 semester of school was really burning a hole in my pocket books and I had less money than I budgeted for myself.


The ring cost 2700, has 1.4 Ct total and came with the wedding band. Both are platinum .


Thanks again everyone.


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