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Sanity-check On First Stab At Selecting Stone For Engagement Ring


Gideon
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Hi all!

 

I'm finally getting to the point of proposing to my girlfriend of two years! ;)

 

I've been through the forms, websites, mall "jewelers", and what I what refer to as a "real" jeweler ... doing everything I can to educate myself.

 

I'm not buying a stone that's going to sink my girlfriend straight to the bottom ("Titanic" reference), but I think it'll be lovely.

 

Here's what I'm considering, and just looking for a sanity check and opinion if there are any "red flags"...

 

Round Brilliant -- Price $2,300

 

Measurements: 5.68 - 5.78 x 3.54 mm

Carat Weight: 0.70

Color Grade: F

Clarity Grade: SI1

Cut Grade: Excellent

Depth: 61.8 %

Table: 54 %

Crown Angle: 35°

Crown Height: 16 %

Pavilion Angle: 40.8°

Pavilion Depth: 43 %

Star length: 50 %

Lower Half: 75 %

Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted

Culet: None

GIA Dossier:

http://img195.imagevenue.com/img.php?image...01_122_64lo.jpg

 

Holloway Cut Advisor:

http://img191.imagevenue.com/img.php?image...ht_122_50lo.jpg

 

The stone is going into a mounting of .25 TW stones of F-G color, in a pave setting, and looks very close to the Ritani Endless Love. Example of mounting is found at: http://www.adiamor.com/R-1089-R2801-1.htm ... which I am getting from a local jewler.

 

Of course, I'd want to get a bigger stone, but this is about at the price point I feel comfortable spending at this time (still need to buy the mounting ~$800 and the wedding band ~800). My big thing is I want it to have a lovely fire and brilliance, and hoping the mounting I'm thinking will also complement (but not take away) from the center attraction.

 

Primarily, I'm looking for anyone's thoughts on the stone with regards to specs and price. I would love to see the stone before hand, but this stone is on-line and of course, I can't "preview" the stone :rolleyes: .

 

Thanks for your input!

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I would love to see the stone before hand, but this stone is on-line and of course, I can't "preview" the stone ;) .

With many of the online dealers you can indeed preview the diamond. Many will agree to ship it to an independent appraiser in your neighborhood where you can personally inspect the stone as well as get an expert opinion from someone who is actually looking at the stone rather than just at a few specs.

 

In any case, if the dealer doesn’t allow the opportunity to look at the stone for a few weeks, show it to your friends, jeweler, appraiser or astrologer and accept a return for a full refund if you decide you’re unhappy for any reason, I would choose a different dealer.

 

Either way the preview is a bit less convenient than at a local store but it’s still mandatory. Don’t count the deal as done until you’ve actually seen and inspected the goods and are 100% satisfied that it’s both what they say and what you want.

 

Neil

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Thank you both Neil and Yekutiel.

 

The more I look into on-line jewelers, the more I'm finding that they are willing to send stone for review. There is, of course, additional cost involved if I send them back, but that is to be expected. I just need to be sure I communicate my desires with them and hopefully we are both on the same page prior to them sending the stone for review...

 

Regarding using the Holloway Cut Advisor -- I don't know if I should start a new thread for this question, but I'm wanting to know how much merit/confidence I should put into the results from that tool.

 

I ran another stone through the cut-advisor whose info was provided to me by a brick-and-mortar jeweler I've been talking to...and it's total visual performance was really lower than the ones I've picked myself on-line (I'll see the stone IRL on Friday). The table/depth were within the ideal range, but I think the pavilion and crown angles were off and it appears I wouldn't get the fire/brilliance I am shooting for. Even though she told me that pavilion angle doesn't make a big difference (with regards to fire), I'm wondering if that's not quite the case...

 

Ultimately, how much faith should I place in this tool to act as a guide when narrowing down stones whose table/depth might be within the ideal range?

 

Info on the other stone: GIA15942910

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The HCA is a very similar approach to the proportion part of the GIA cut grading system using fewer variables and a slightly different chart defining what is better than what. In particular, GIA wants star and lower girdle data which is often not available on the big virtual diamond lists and HCA can produce a result with crown and pavilion percentages rather than just angles. If you’re looking at one of these lists of thousands of stones where you’ve got a very limited set of information to go from, the HCA can be useful in sorting out which ones are worth learning more about. As an alternative to actual observation or either the GIA or AGS cut grading systems, I would give it no weight at all. The systems that reduce the formula to two variables, table & depth are even less useful. If that's all you can get, find a better dealer.

 

To be sure, some of the 'free' services that come from jewelry stores are handy and the ability to look at bunches of stones, in person and immediately is high on the list. If you've got a good store in your neighborhood they are definitely worth considering. On the other hand, the online folks usually have better prices, sometimes by a lot and some people find they have to travel quite a ways to find a jeweler that treats them the way they want to be treated. Some actually find the convenience of the Internet outweighs the convenience of in-store shopping despite the logistical problems of shipping things around and dealing with 3rd party appraisers. Almost always Internet shoppers end up saving money on the whole deal, even when these additional costs are considered and with surprising frequency get better merchandise as well.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks so much for your insight, Neil!

 

I can understand your point on the importance of actual observation. I'm sure the technology tools out there can assist in narrowing down a list of potentials, but for the final selection, it really needs actual observation.

 

At least I'm starting to feel more confident when it comes to talking with a jeweler about what I'm looking for, other than the generic questions of cut, carat, and price point :blink: Of course, I cannot speak intelligently beyond the surface when asking about certain attributes, but I do feel more comfortable about what I'm looking at and buying...

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