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Help A Newbie, Please!


christina_81
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Hi everyone. I have been reading through as many posts, articles and stickies as I can and in some ways feel very educated, and in some ways feel very confused. It seems that it is very important to see a stone in person to see where/what kind of imperfections that specific stone has, HOWEVER, it seems that there are a lot more deals to be had when buying a loose diamond online.

 

I'm looking to buy a princess cut larger than a carat, but smaller than 1.5 with good quality - but that's really as much as I know. I think I would like to make sure it is I or better in color and VS2 or better in clarity. This will be for my engagement ring and although I want something of good quality, having the best diamond out there isn't my main goal as this is a sentimental purchase and not an investment. I want something that looks pretty and that we're not getting ripped off on.

 

That being said, what should I be looking for? Are there specifics that are more important than others when just looking at visual appeal? I also would like to be able to save my fiance some money if possible, but don't want to sacrifice things that will greatly affect how the ring looks?.

 

Thanks very much in advance!!

Edited by christina_81
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Hi Christina,

congratulations on your future new Diamond!

 

One repeating theme that you will see here is that you should look for a diamond that has a gia report. Conversely, I would definitely stay away from sellers offering non-GIA reports-especially with no explanation.

 

That being said, you should also ask for a detailed photos too can see what you are buying.

 

I would also say that consideration of a ring at the same time as your center diamond is very important. Walking into someplace with a loose princess cut diamond that you purchase elsewhere, then asking them to set it, could be a recipe for disaster.

If the person who sells you the diamond also sells you the setting, they need to be responsible for the diamond while it's being set.

 

Have you thought about what type of ring, you might like to get?

 

Here's a style that many people seem to love.

21887a.JPG

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Thanks David.

 

We will definitely make sure that the diamond purchased has a gia report. It seems that it is the most reliable and for the most part helps avoid diamonds being marked differently than they truly are.

 

I actually didn't think about it being a problem to walk into a store with a loose diamond purchased elsewhere, but I see your point. I am looking to have a solitaire ring set in white gold and I'd like somewhat of a unique setting - I'm very much in love with a tulip setting, but have found that difficult to come across online. It looks like the setting may have to be custom, which means a local store unless I want to buy a diamond and custom setting sight unseen. Is this right?

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When you say "sight unseen" the answer would be not necessarily.

Even if you were dealing with a retail walk-in jeweler. Unless he happened to have the Diamond you wanted, in a setting you wanted, you would still have to go somewhat on faith- looking at other rings they had done or photos

 

.. when you say tulip setting do you mean something like this?

tulipside.jpg

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Christina,

 

Lots of jewelers are happy to set a stone that you bought elsewhere but lots aren’t. The assembly requires some unusual skills and a certain amount of risk on the part of the jeweler and it’s a fair amount more difficult to do well than most people seem to expect. There is a small risk of damage to the stone, the ring or both when setting diamonds and most jewelers will assume this risk when setting stones that they’ve sold. Many will NOT if they are setting a stone that you supply from elsewhere. Ask as part of the shopping process, and be prepared to walk away if you get the wrong answer. The risk is generally below 1% but it’s not zero and if the stone is expensive then even 1% is significant. Bear in mind that the best setters are generally not the cheapest.

 

When it’s all done, this is one of the benefits of an independent appraisal by the way. An expert inspection and documentation immediately following the completion of the piece can save you an enormous amount of grief later if there turns out to be a problem.

 

Neil

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Thanks again for your replies. It seems that it would save a lot of time and energy if we purchased the diamond and setting thru the same jeweler. Is it an acceptable practice to bring in quotes you got online for similar diamonds to help in the bargaining process? I understand that jewelers with a store have a higher overhead so there will be a price difference, but will they come down if you can get it elsewhere for less money?

 

Unfortunately and fortunately, my finace is the type that will just get me whatever I want (hard to complain about) and I'm afraid he'll walk into a store and buy the first thing that fits on paper. It's not important for me to have the most flawless diamond in the world and certainly not worth the expense to me.

 

That setting is similar to what I like. I originally fell in love with the attached pictures (although the stone is moissanite).

 

Thanks!

 

Christina

post-115244-1207060730.jpg

post-115244-1207060742.jpg

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That ring is made by Stuller Settings, one of the largest mounting manufacturers in the country. Pretty much every jeweler in the US, both online and on the street does business with then. They're a good company.

 

http://www.stuller.com/products/productdet...aspx?iid=182600

 

I agree with Jan, buy the diamond, the mounting and the labor from the same source if you can arrange it. Anyone who is prepared to sell you the diamond should be prepared to sell you that ring and get it set.

 

Neil

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Thanks again for your replies. It seems that it would save a lot of time and energy if we purchased the diamond and setting thru the same jeweler. Is it an acceptable practice to bring in quotes you got online for similar diamonds to help in the bargaining process? I understand that jewelers with a store have a higher overhead so there will be a price difference, but will they come down if you can get it elsewhere for less money?

 

Unfortunately and fortunately, my finace is the type that will just get me whatever I want (hard to complain about) and I'm afraid he'll walk into a store and buy the first thing that fits on paper. It's not important for me to have the most flawless diamond in the world and certainly not worth the expense to me.

 

That setting is similar to what I like. I originally fell in love with the attached pictures (although the stone is moissanite).

 

Thanks!

 

Christina

 

 

Thats the exact one I was speaking about.

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I'd say that 1% risk might be accurate overall, but for sure, princess cuts are above that average in terms of risk.

The corners are far more susceptible to chipping as compared to say a radiant cut diamond.

 

In terms of the setting. The one that we posted is nothing like the one that Stuller sells.

Yes, they are a good company if you want commercial grade settings. The one we posted is custom-made and far exceeds the quality that you can get from that a place selling more commercial type settings.

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I back into the 1% number from observing the insurance companies, who are in the business of evaluating risks. You can buy a policy from Jewelers Mutual that covers setting risk as well as the risk of loss, theft etc. for a year for 1% of the declared value in their cheapest marketplaces (JM rates vary by location and can places that they identify as high risk like Manhattan or LA are a bit more than this). This is a ‘free’ addon in order to get business from their competitors because most companies don't cover this particular risk and they seem to be turning a profit on the deal. They charge the same price regardless of cut. If their risk was greater than a years premium, I can’t imagine that this would be working out for them and the insurers are nothing if not a bunch of accountants who pay attention to things like how often they get a particular type of claim and what it costs them to settle it vs. how much they get to collect in premiums.

 

Put another way, you can sell this risk bundled with a whole bunch of others to Jewelers Mutual for roughly 1% and they seem to be making a profit on the deal.

 

I definitely agree that custom work costs more and is often (but not always) better. It's not the same product. I posted the Stuller link based on your (Christina) pictures because I think they are straight from the Stuller catalog, not as an endorsement of that particular model. That's up to you. If you've seen it and love it and it really is the Stuller ring, you can get it from mostly the same sources that you are considering for the diamond.

 

Is it fair to show the jeweler what you consider to be a competitive offer from somewhere else as a shopping strategy? You bet. Different stores have different strengths and they can't all be the cheapest but it's up to them to explain to you why THEY deserve your business rather than their competitors. That's the way the system works and they don't have the opportunity to do that if you aren't straight with them about what you are thinking. If anything I would say that would be unfair to the jeweler. Money isn't everything, but it's definitely something, and for lack of a reason to do otherwise it's entirely reasonable to go with the best prices. They may be able to work with you on the prices to save the deal but only if you give them the opportunity so don't be shy about talking to them.

 

Neil

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I agree with Neil... allowing someone to know what you want to pay, were quoted elsewhere seems a very straightforward way of doing business.

I also agree that money isn't everything, I'm sure you want the best ring.

One of the differences between the commercial piece like the one we're discussing, and the custom-made piece I posted is the height of the diamond. The custom-made ring can get the diamond much lower to your finger. Commercial castings are built for interchangeability... therefore, the head of the rings is way up high. There's also huge differences in the finish and feel of the ring....

 

I also agree with Neil that just because someplace has "custom-made" doesn't necessarily mean that it will be higher quality. You need to look at what a business is selling.

 

In terms of the risk, regardless of what an insurance company charges, I can tell you from personal experience... Princess cuts, because of their corners, will break more often than other shapes that do not have corners.

This is just common sense... but practical experience proves it true

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