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Getting Ready To Buy The Big One - Expert Advice Requested


MeddlingKids
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I'm at that point in my life where I'm ready to buy an engagement ring. Funny; I always imagined it'd be a painful experience, but I'm actually VERY excited. With that said, I've always been one to do alot of research for big purchases such as this. I have scoured several diamond websites, and have learned quite a bit about the stones and the industry. However, I still have some questions for you seasoned veterans:

 

My budget for the purchase is somewhere around $8000. I think I can get a pretty good ring for this price, and not be tempted to upgrade for a long time. For what it's worth, my girlfriend's ring size is a 6. Most of the prices I've researched have been at Blue Nile. I purchased from them previously, and enjoyed their customer service. However, if you all have some recommendations for other good websites (it seems having an actual image of the diamond would be beneficial) I would love to hear about them. Here's what I've been considering:

 

Style: Princess, solitaire setting

Size: 1 - 1.2C

Cut: ? (Not sure what %s to look for, but want a very high quality cut)

Clarity: VS1-VS2

Color: F-G

 

From what I gather, the cut is probably the most important quality of a diamond to consider. It seems nice cuts can really make a diamond look larger and brighter, all else equal. With that said, I'm not sure which percentages I should consider when going after a high quality cut. Blue Nile has a scale they use, but it doesn't seem universal within the diamond community.

 

Now, my next question is regarding whether I can get away with a VS2, G color. Will the VS2 look any different to the naked eye when compared to a VS1 or even a VVS2? Will a G color look that much different than an F color? It seems I can save much more by buying at these qualifications rather than going a bit better, if they look the same.

 

Lastly, my girlfriend has fairly slender fingers and a 6 ring size. Should 1.2 look okay? Would I be better off going a bit smaller, such as 1.1-1.15? I haven't had her try any on, since I want this to be a surprise.

 

Thanks in advance. :)

Edited by MeddlingKids
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Hi Meddlingkids!

 

Personally, I love all colors in diamonds.

A J color can look awesome

 

Here's a diamond GIA graded K in color

218c.JPG

 

 

As far as cut, there's really no set percentages or numbers to look for.

Of course if a diamond's numbers are way outside the norm, that might be useful in eliminating a diamond.

However, choosing one based on numbers is really buying blind.

 

Size 6 is average actually- not really considered "small"

 

I usually ask the age of the intended as this has a great deal of importance in selecting color/size ratios.

 

Finally, yes, I do advocate shopping based on multiple, actual photos.

Buying from someone who's never seen the diamond seems like buying blind.....

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Hi Meddlingkids!

 

Personally, I love all colors in diamonds.

A J color can look awesome

 

Here's a diamond GIA graded K in color

218c.JPG

 

 

As far as cut, there's really no set percentages or numbers to look for.

Of course if a diamond's numbers are way outside the norm, that might be useful in eliminating a diamond.

However, choosing one based on numbers is really buying blind.

 

Size 6 is average actually- not really considered "small"

 

I usually ask the age of the intended as this has a great deal of importance in selecting color/size ratios.

 

Finally, yes, I do advocate shopping based on multiple, actual photos.

Buying from someone who's never seen the diamond seems like buying blind.....

 

Well, her fingers are slender compared to my digits anyway. She's 22, but I'm still not sure how that would affect a color/size ratio. Could you elaborate?

 

Thanks for your response, by the way.

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You're welcome!

In my experience someone in their young 20's would likely be far more sensitive to color/clarity, and less interested in getting the largest diamond possible.

Of course this is generalization, but in many cases, I have found it to be true.

 

If the intended was 42, I'd offer different opinions/guidance.

 

You will certainly be able to buy a high quality 1.00- 1.20 carat Princess Cut in your price range.

Blue Nile certainly has competitive pricing- giving you a good gauge.

Some sellers might offer a higher level of service at comparable prices.

As an aside.....have you considered a Radiant cut?

102dsi1c.JPG

Edited by diamondsbylauren
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You're welcome!

In my experience someone in their young 20's would likely be far more sensitive to color/clarity, and less interested in getting the largest diamond possible.

Of course this is generalization, but in many cases, I have found it to be true.

 

If the intended was 42, I'd offer different opinions/guidance.

 

You will certainly be able to buy a high quality 1.00- 1.20 carat Princess Cut in your price range.

Blue Nile certainly has competitive pricing- giving you a good gauge.

Some sellers might offer a higher level of service at comparable prices.

As an aside.....have you considered a Radiant cut?

102dsi1c.JPG

 

No, I'm pretty set on the princess cut. That's what she said she likes, so that's what she's going to get. Given her ring size, do you think a 1C would look too small? Would 1.2 look noticeably different? Oh, and can you recommend some online sellers that are on par (or better than) Blue Nile?

 

Thanks again

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As far as size- I think a 1.00 would look amazing- if it's well cut.

You would notice a difference in two diamonds, both well cut for size appearance, one 1.00, the other 1.20.

 

What we usually do is send photos of stones under consideration next to each other to give the person a visual idea.

These are two Asscher Cuts, but you get the idea.

post-110210-1169514549_thumb.jpg

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As David mentioned there are highly reputable on-line diamond sellers that provide tons more information than Blue Nile does.

 

David's company is one of them.

 

If you're shopping on-line, photos are a must. Blue Nile provides none because their listed diamonds are not in-house but drop shipped directly to you from the manufacturer.

 

With fancy shapes such as the Princess Cut, you can have two stones with the very same 'numbers' and specs and they will look different in their face up appearance. No way to know just by looking at the grading report.

 

Don't you want to know what you're buying before you buy it? Will save you the hassle, time, and expense of returning it if you don't like it.

Edited by barry
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As David mentioned there are highly reputable on-line diamond sellers that provide tons more information than Blue Nile does.

 

David's company is one of them.

 

If you're shopping on-line, photos are a must. Blue Nile provides none because their listed diamonds are not in-house but drop shipped directly to you from the manufacturer.

 

With fancy shapes such as the Princess Cut, you can have two stones with the very same 'numbers' and specs and they will look different in their face up appearance. No way to know just by looking at the grading report.

 

Don't you want to know what you're buying before you buy it? Will save you the hassle, time, and expense of returning it if you don't like it.

 

Yes, I definitely want to see the diamond before I buy it. I like the light refraction report that the diamonds at exceldiamonds has. The only downside is that the return policy there isn't quite as long as some other websites. But regarding my question above, with respect to color and clarity, would I notice a difference between G-VS2 when compared to F-VS1? What attributes should I absolutely not "skimp" on?

 

Thanks again.

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That's a good theory. I think it's even more extreme than that. It's not only not universal to the industry, their grading scale isn't used by ANY other company.

 

Neil

 

They were initially my top choice, but I am starting to think I may look elsewhere. Can you help me with my initial post questions regarding the various diamond attributes and which levels would be acceptable?

 

Thanks

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Hey Everyone!

It seems this has been an informative discussion!

 

Meddlingkids....What I would suggest is that you focus your research more on the particular seller than trying to become a diamond expert by learning some technical aspects.....

 

Once you establish a relationship, the seller should be able to assist you in choosing a size, color, clarity, etc.....

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Hi MeddlingKids,

 

Your name kind of reminds me of a band name. : )

 

To answer the questions you have repeatedly asked:

 

More than likely you would not be able to distinguish any noticeable difference to the naked eye between a VS2 and any other higher clarity grade as nearly all VS2 stones are eye-clean.

 

In regards to color, the difference between a G and F is usually very subtle. The G color faces beautifully white, in my opinion. Most of my customers have a hard time distinguishing the difference side by side. Also consider that once the diamond is set, she will not be comparing side by side next to D, E or F color stones.

 

I often recommend G or even H color, VS2 and nice SI clarity (as long as they are eye-clean) as candidates because I think they offer a good value with little to no compromise in beauty. It really depends on your priorities of quality vs. size and value.

 

Lastly, I agree with the others in that it is important to have as much information as possible to make an informed and confident decision when spending such a significant amount of money on something. A vendor who is willing to take images and make side by side comparisons of a couple of candidates certainly offers some added value.

 

All the best!

Edited by 10X
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