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Need help noob starting Thee search


pasths
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Well its time to get the engagement ring I am a noob with a bunch of single friends, so I have no good word of mouth jewelers in my area.

 

I live in Southern NH and there are quite a few chain jewelers. I would like to list a few and would like opinions on the ones you have had a personal experience with.

 

FYI, I’m looking to not spend much more than 4K for a decent 3 stone round diamond ring with center stone being around .7 ct. and I want no visible defects.(no less than SI1, around H color, 14K white gold). Looking online I don’t know if my budget will fit such a ring? Is it possible? Comments please!!

 

Cardin

Zales

Belden

Whitewall Co.

Kay

Helzberg

Long’s

Hannoush

GM Pollack

Barmakian(most notorious around here $$)

 

Thanks a bunch!! I would be much better prepared if it was a car:)

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Yeah, that’s possible.

 

Figure a 3 stone mounting, with assembly in 14kw will cost you about $200-$400 depending on design as long as you avoid the ‘designers’ or custom work. This may go up or down a little bit depending on where you get it. Let's figure $300.

 

Now use the ‘find online jeweler’ button at the top of the page to search for diamonds of your various specs. A 0.70 center will call for about a third of a carat each on the sides.

 

SI1/H sides will run you about $600 each. Again this will vary with cutting, supplier, grading accuracy and the like but this’ll give you a ballpark to work with. So far you’ve spent $1500 of your budget leaving you $2500 for the center stone. Go back to the database search and see what you can find in this range. Notice that there is a considerable price increase at 0.70cts so you might want to look at 0.65’s as well. Play with the specs for both the center and side stones until you've got a combination that seems to work for you. Choose stones in the middle of the price range for your budget objectives by the way. You can always hammer it down later if you need to and there's usually a reason that the cheapest ones are that way.

 

You can do the same thing at the local stores. Now that you know approximately what you want, ask them to show you what they have and what they can get. Be very wary of deals that are bundled together and quote the total weight and watch out for inaccurate grading. Assembling this kind of thing is pretty easy and there's no good reason for them to sell it as a bundle unless they've got something to hide. This also gives you the opportunity to choose just the right ring and you can zero in on things like the size and shape of the side stones and the mounting budget.

 

Keep us posted on how it goes.

 

Neil

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Thanks Neil good to know the .7 range increases $'s dramatically.

 

Now I'm curious by bundled you mean the ring is ready to go right?

 

So far I've only looked at completed rings I like to see the complete package. Will a jeweler put a ring together for me to see without a commitent to buy?

 

Also, I've been noticing white gold is in 14k and 18k is there a big difference(quality, gleam, $$)?

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Most jewelers are prepared to show you a sample of the completed ring and then build one with the components you select. In particular, the center stone is going to be on the order of 2/3 of your money so the details of that stone become pretty important. The problem with pre-assembled rings is that they tend to say ‘1.25cts total weight with approx 0.70ct center stone’ backed by a house appraisal to support the grading. This description omits a huge amount of important information that can’t be gleaned from a mounted stone. If you buy the stone loose and with a lab report from a respected source (GIA or AGS are the best) you skip over a lot of potential problem areas.

 

Here’s more homework. Use the database to search for 0.67-0.69 I/SI2 and click on the heading to sort by price. The cheapest stone listed is a 0.67ct. for $1123. Now change the search parameters to 0.70-0.73 H/SI1. Click twice on price to sort in descending order. The most expensive stone is a 0.70 H/SI1 for $3109 from the same dealer. Triple the price! The difference is going to be cutting, grading accuracy, lab selection and perhaps a bit of luck. With that 1.25ct total weight ring you’ll never know the difference unless you’re a skilled grader. Care to guess which stone the manufacturer is more likely to choose?

 

No, most will not allow you to choose an unmounted diamonds, set it into a mounting and then allow you to decline without penalty.

 

Neil

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