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Need Advise, Please......shoping For A Diamond


icebergtec
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Hello All:

 

I am in the market for an engagement ring. I've done quit a bit of research on purchasing a diamond. Nonetheless, I am still overwhelmed with all the variations in the market, and evidently, still have some uncertainties.

 

These are the two primary subject of my questions:

 

1. She wanted a ring from Tiffany & Co. (she worked for the company). As we all know how expensive T&C engagagement rings are, I did what I thought...think is the next best thing. While she was still an employee with the company, I purchased a .26 carat platinum band, from the employee store at 50% discount (they have a gift shop like store in their NJ headquarter, for employees). They did not have an engagement at the employee store.

 

My plan is to find a loose gem, which I would mount on the band...resulting in the best of both world without breaking the bank.

 

My question is, was this a wise decision? How easy is it to get a band modified to mount and set a stone? Any additions advise/recommendation would be appreciated.

 

 

2. I've been perusing the various internet dealers, ebay, and craigslist to find a quality, reasonable piece. I have come across a seller with a loose piece. As a novice, I would like to get your expert input on these specs, to aid my decision whether to purchase it or pass. I don't have a picture of the gem. I live in NJ and she (the seller), in NY; so I can arrange to meet with her.

 

Shape - Oval Brilliant

Size - 1.52 Carat

Dimensions - 7.83 x 6.05 x 4.37

Color - H

Clarity - VS2

Polish - Good

Symmetry - Good

Culet - None

Fluerencent - Medium Blue

Cut - Good* (she could not locate the cut grade off the report. I assumed it's good).

 

Flaws (1 cloud & 1 crystal in the center). She also mentioned that it can be set up high...it's a deep stone (I have no idea wha this means, if anything. Hopefully someone here does.

 

I thank you all in advance for your advices, recommendations.

 

By the way, she is asking $6k. I asked her if she would accept $5k. Her response suggests that she would at least, consider it...if I show her the money!!

 

She is also willing to meet with me at the GIA office in NY.

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Hi and welcome to the forum,

 

Let me start by saying, I can understand the daunting task of shopping that you are going through. I will try to be as helpful as I can, and I am sure that some of the other, very knowledgeable experts on this forum will be able to offer some wonderful advice as well.

 

Let me start by addressing your second question first, as one of the things you said set alarm bells ringing in my head.

 

According to your comment, the person who is selling you the stone said they were not able to locate the Cut Grade on the report. There is a very simple explanation for this...Neither GIA nor AGS give cut grades on ovals, and I am not aware of any other diamond labs that do grade ovals for cut.

 

The fact that it is a deep stone means that more of the weight of the stone to be held in the bottom of the diamond. This will take away from the visual size of the diamond, i.e. spread. It will also have an impact on the diamond's sparkle, and could be affecting it negatively. I pulled up a quick search on diamonds to compare the spread and depth, and this stone does seem pretty deep, and seems to be loosing some spread. Take this diamond for example...

 

1.51 H VS2 GIA 59.5% Depth 55% Table 8.68 x 6.62 x 3.94 Very Good Very Good No Fluorescence $7600 approx. Notice this diamond has a bit more spread...also the depth and table are closer to what I would look for to rule out some of the less attractive diamonds.

 

As to the flaws of the diamond you are looking at...you should be able to have a good idea of what they look like and how they affect the diamond with microscope images, or the opportunity to examine the diamond under a microscope. I am not sure who graded the diamond. In a GIA diamond, you should not be able to see the inclusions in a VS2 with your naked eye.

 

It sounds to me from what you described that something is amiss with the diamond you are looking at. I don't have enough information to make any determinations. Really, with certain fancies, like ovals...it is almost impossible to tell by the numbers, numbers only serve to narrow down the field. You need some analysis to go on. An Ideal Scope image and a Sarin Model with Ideal Scope and ASET Models would really tell you a lot about the diamond, much more than just viewing it.

 

Generally speaking, when customers approach us for these types of diamonds, we approach it with a "personal shopper" approach, simply because finding nice stones can be a bit of a challenge. I would recommend that you proceed with caution.

 

Also, the willingnes to simply drop $1000 right off the bat, seems suspicious...if it is such a nice diamond, why would they be willing to simply drop money off the price? You will definitely need more info before moving forward, and you should ask lots of questions.

 

As for the ring, modificatin will vary greatly depending on the type of ring it is. Certain rings with simple heads can usually be modified fairly easily, while others can be more complicated. I would definitely try to shoot for the stone size that the ring is best suited to hold.(I am assuming that the ring is an engagement ring setting. I was not too sure from your post if it is a setting, or it is an actual band, and you are looking to actually have a head added to the band to hold the diamond) A good jeweler can help you there if you are not sure.

 

Before buying a loose diamond, I would go to the jeweler that you are going to have set the ring, and discuss what stone size and shape will fit best in the ring. That way you won't run into problems, or as many problems, later on when you want to set the stone in the ring.

 

It can be a little tricky to shop for this stuff, but post your questions here and we will do our best to help you out. Don't get discouraged, sometimes it just takes a little perseverence.

 

Tim A.

Emma Parker & Co.

www.emmaparkerdiamonds.com

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Icebergtec,

 

Welcome! I think you got eccellent advice from Tim on the "technical" issues. I would like to address one other aspect of your questions:

 

[snip]She wanted a ring from Tiffany & Co. [...] My plan is to find a loose gem, which I would mount on the band...resulting in the best of both world without breaking the bank.

 

My question is, was this a wise decision?[snip]

 

Ermmm... no. At least, I can't understand the point of it.

 

If the band has a 0.26ct stone and want it to hold a 1.5ct, it will need fairly extensive changes. At the end, even though it may have the "Tiffany" mark on it, it's no more a Tiffany ring than something honestly bearing another maker's name.

 

Particularly since your FI worked there, it's likely that she has developed a bit of an eye for jewellery, and it's also likely that no matter how good the workmanship of the person who modifies the ring is, she will spot it as an alteration.

 

For instance, Tiffany uses a particular platinum alloy containing ruthenium which would need to be matched. It is a reasonably common alloy, but does the jeweller know and can they work it? (it has a very high melting point). In addition, if you want a faithful copy, it's likely that the head would have to be fabricated from scratch since (AFAIK) Tiffany does not use standard catalogue parts. The genuine Tiffany design would also need to be copied faithfully - apart from legal/trademark implications, there's the very issue of being faithful to a design without having its specifications, but possibly only some pictures taken with the intent of displaying the ring to buyers, not people intending to replicate its design. To top it all off, there's a small issue of cost...

 

My honest recommendation is to avoid spending money on changing the Tiffany ring - keep it for your first anniversary, or another occasion. If a T&Co engagement ring with the type of stone you would like her to have is out of bounds, focus on finding a nice setting - maybe similar to a Tiffany design - for an affordable price, and get her the nicest possible stone. Alternatively, downscale on the stone/clarity/colour and go with the original, or find an estate ring with the characteristics you like.

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Hello All:

 

I am in the market for an engagement ring. I've done quit a bit of research on purchasing a diamond. Nonetheless, I am still overwhelmed with all the variations in the market, and evidently, still have some uncertainties.

 

These are the two primary subject of my questions:

 

1. She wanted a ring from Tiffany & Co. (she worked for the company). As we all know how expensive T&C engagagement rings are, I did what I thought...think is the next best thing. While she was still an employee with the company, I purchased a .26 carat platinum band, from the employee store at 50% discount (they have a gift shop like store in their NJ headquarter, for employees). They did not have an engagement at the employee store.

 

My plan is to find a loose gem, which I would mount on the band...resulting in the best of both world without breaking the bank.

 

My question is, was this a wise decision? How easy is it to get a band modified to mount and set a stone? Any additions advise/recommendation would be appreciated.

 

 

2. I've been perusing the various internet dealers, ebay, and craigslist to find a quality, reasonable piece. I have come across a seller with a loose piece. As a novice, I would like to get your expert input on these specs, to aid my decision whether to purchase it or pass. I don't have a picture of the gem. I live in NJ and she (the seller), in NY; so I can arrange to meet with her.

 

Shape - Oval Brilliant

Size - 1.52 Carat

Dimensions - 7.83 x 6.05 x 4.37

Color - H

Clarity - VS2

Polish - Good

Symmetry - Good

Culet - None

Fluerencent - Medium Blue

Cut - Good* (she could not locate the cut grade off the report. I assumed it's good).

 

Flaws (1 cloud & 1 crystal in the center). She also mentioned that it can be set up high...it's a deep stone (I have no idea wha this means, if anything. Hopefully someone here does.

 

I thank you all in advance for your advices, recommendations.

 

By the way, she is asking $6k. I asked her if she would accept $5k. Her response suggests that she would at least, consider it...if I show her the money!!

 

She is also willing to meet with me at the GIA office in NY.

 

 

Have you actually seen the diamond? I wouldn't say it is exactly a great cut based on the depth which is 72.2% and the length to width is slightly short. This stone I believe would fall short of the Tiffany quality in cut grade. I looked up some ovals and most were measuring larger than the above specs even in the 1.30 ct. range. Alot of times people get hung up on the weight of the diamond, but it doesn't always mean it will look like a 1.50 ct.

 

You may want to check out and take a peek at some well cut ovals, if that is the shape that you like before you buy.

 

You mentioned that she works at Tiffany's. Probably the reason she wants a Tiffany ring is that they are known for their quality diamonds. However they are also know for the high prices as well. You can always balance the shopping by purchasing from a vendor that you trust will give you a quality piece, and show you pictures, light performance and etc, at a much better price than Tiffany's.

 

I just don't believe that your above stone is fitting into the criteria for you.

 

Also if it is just a Tiffany solitaire mounting that you want, it's better to start from scratch, pick the diamond first, then the mounting.

 

We make a very similar setting to their solitaire mounting.

Edited by jan
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Hi and congratulations on your engagement!

 

One question we need to ask right off the bat: does the diamond have a GIA report?

If not, there's no need to consider this one at all.

Buying from a private individual should save you some money- but there's increased risk to go along with any potential savings.

Once you fork over your money, it's gone.

At least with a dealer you have some recourse.

 

If you can get a scan of the report, that would be extremely helpful......

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You mentioned that she works at Tiffany's. Probably the reason she wants a Tiffany ring is that they are known for their quality diamonds.

 

Hi Jan,

 

A quick question from personal interest...Are Tiffany Diamonds really that good? I don't really know much about their diamonds, but I know that I have a good friend in NYC that has a lot of customers that try to sell him Tiffany Diamonds, when the things don't work out in their proposal. He recently bought one back, as a favor for a friend, and he said that on the Tiffany Report, it has all the highest grading, but when he graded it through GIA, it came back with a "Good" cut grade, and Good/Good polish and symmetry.

 

Just curious...This is not an area where I am well versed, not having a lot of experience with Tiffany Diamonds, but from what I have heard from friends who have come across lots of them, they are not all great diamonds.

 

Tim A.

Emma Parker & Co.

www.emmaparkerdiamonds.com

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I am hoping some of the experts here would give me feedback on the attached ring...GIA report included.

 

1. Is this a good quality gem based on the report (depth, cut, color, etc)

2. Is there somethings which I should further investigate about this piece

3. Seller is asking $7k. is this a good price for quality (based on GIA report) and size?

4. Anything else...?

 

Thank you all in advance.

 

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All depends on the cut; since the GIA paper is issued before 2006, there is no cut grade; to give you an idea of the impact of cut, stones of the same size/clarity/colour go for between $5000 and $9000+...

 

Based purely on the specs you have on the cert, the price seems fair; does it include the setting or is it only for the stone?

 

Compared to "ideal"/canonical stones, the table is a little large, so this may be a warning flag that the cut is not the best. Does the stone look a bit like a piece of glass (i.e. little reflected/refracted light) in the middle, or is it just the photos?

 

There is no "certain" way to assess cut; the availability of reflector analysis (ASET/IS) and sophisticated measuring of angles and facet finish would be useful, but the ultimate test is whether you like it. How many other stones have you seen?

 

Lastly - based on your first post - you were looking at something considerably larger but with lower colour. Is this a change of intent, or is it just opportunistic?

 

Apologies if this seems a little rambling, but there is simply not enough information to answer your questions other than with other questions.

 

Edit: reorganised post + added last para.

Edited by davidelevi
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All depends on the cut; since the GIA paper is issued before 2006, there is no cut grade; to give you an idea of the impact of cut, stones of the same size/clarity/colour go for between $5000 and $9000+...

 

Based purely on the specs you have on the cert, the price seems fair; does it include the setting or is it only for the stone?

 

Compared to "ideal"/canonical stones, the table is a little large, so this may be a warning flag that the cut is not the best. Does the stone look a bit like a piece of glass (i.e. little reflected/refracted light) in the middle, or is it just the photos?

 

There is no "certain" way to assess cut; the availability of reflector analysis (ASET/IS) and sophisticated measuring of angles and facet finish would be useful, but the ultimate test is whether you like it. How many other stones have you seen?

 

Lastly - based on your first post - you were looking at something considerably larger but with lower colour. Is this a change of intent, or is it just opportunistic?

 

Apologies if this seems a little rambling, but there is simply not enough information to answer your questions other than with other questions.

 

Edit: reorganised post + added last para.

 

David:

 

Thanks for the response. I have not seen the actual piece yet. Therefore, I couldn't answer the question in reference to a glassy look. At this point, all I know is based on the details on the report. Could I ask the seller to get a new GIA report, which includes the cut quality? Considering that all the research I've done explicitly states that CUT is the most important of the 4Cs.

 

As to my original post, indeed that piece was larger. However, after some of the advises I received from this forum, I decided to pass on it. Additionally, I am more interested in quality than quantity. An excellent 1 carrot is would be just fine.

 

P.S. I live in NJ. Any recommendation for a reputable jeweler? I am even open to buy online. Which would is (are) recommended?

 

Thanks in advance.

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You could, but I suspect the seller would not be very interested in getting it... since it's not likely to turn to his or her advantage.

 

I run a couple of online searches and it seems that $7,000 or so will get you a loose 1 carat with excellent (AGS0 or GIA excellent) cut - but you have to trade off somewhat on colour and go for G/H. In my opinion this would be well worth it. A lively, sparkly, well cut H will be much nicer (and look whiter) than a mediocre E.

 

As far as online vendors go, take a look at the "find online jeweler" link at the top of the page. To find someone "live" nearby, if you can get yourself to NY, Good Old Gold (www.goodoldgold.com) and Excel Diamonds/SuperbCert (www.exceldiamonds.com) both have excellent reputation.

 

My recommendation, however, is for you NOT to rely on my (or anybody else's) word, but to browse websites, read through service commitments, guarantees and policies, search on this and other forums for feedback about these vendors, then give a call to the companies that seem "the best ones", talk to them about what you'd like, see how they respond and then decide whom you would trust. It's a little more work, but again I think it's worth it in terms of peace of mind.

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