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$3500 Max Budget, Princes Cut White Gold -now What?


enviedreptiles
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Okay,

I need your help with purchasing an engagement ring !

So far I know the following:

My max budget is $3500.00

The misses wants a princess cut, and white gold.

I live in the Cleveland Ohio area, and lack any real diamond knowledge.

 

So, help me out. Ive gone to the local mall, and looked at a few things, but because of my lack of knowledge am afraid to buy something that I will later regret. There are 5 different jewelry stores in the mall. The fist one I went to was actually nice (at least staff wise). They listened, showed me things in my budget, etc ,etc, but I wasnt sold on anything they showed me especially since I dont have the knowledge base I would like to before forking of my hard earned money. Stores 2,3,4, and 5 are all owned by the same parent company. This was told to me by both store one and two. I told store 2 what I know, the info above, and he showed me a 6k ring and was pissed that i didnt want it, then basically tried to force a 4k ring on me. I was not happy, not so much with the rings out of my range but his cocky and rude attitude. I then went to store 3 and looked at a few things, they were okay but nothing that really made me say wow, and after dealing with store 2 I really was dissalusioned (sp) with the whole process and just left. Also all three stores seem to only have egl certs i believe. i know they only had a few items that had gia certs, and i wasnt interested in them. Is this a deal breaker, it seems the rings in my range dont have gia certs, or at least the ones I saw.

Any advice welcomed, where to shop from here on out, what to ask, if i get a few prospects and list the stats could you give me a ball park as to whether or not its a fair deal.

Thank you,

Nick

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The tool at the top of the page called ‘find online jeweler’ can be very useful in getting comparison prices for what things cost, at least in the marketplace here. The mall is probably the highest rent building in town and if you’re on a budget that may not be the best place to go. The stand alone stores and the Internet folks are usually far more price competitive. Frankly, I wouldn’t even consider anything that isn’t backed by GIA or AGS grading if I were you. It’s not surprising that most of the stores would like to sell you something else but my advice stands firm. Their reasons for this advice are not generally in your best interest.

 

You’ll save money and get better results if you buy the center diamond separately and have it set although I usually recommend buying from the same store if you can.

 

Neil

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An even better way to go than buying in the blind off a piece of paper from an industrial website would be to find a vendor that can actually help you find what you are looking for, as well as offer you photos of the actual diamond, not sample pictures and light performance on the diamond too. Getting a generous return period and a 100% upgrade in the future isn't a bad idea either. You need to find a hands on vendor that can offer you service too. :P

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‘Blue nile and the like’ covers a lot of ground and you should be aware that, like retail stores, Internet diamond merchants are not all the same. They will range from large (and small) dropship operations that are basically an online catalog selling items that they don’t have and will be shipped from some 3rd party owner to successful jewelry stores that happen to be in someone else’s neighborhood instead of your own and who are expanding through the Internet to get a national and even global reach. It’s easy to forget how big the Internet is and to lump them all into one category. This is both an advantage to the sharks and an unfair disparagement of some really fine merchants. Google ‘discount diamonds’ and you get over 300,000 hits, most of whom are dealers looking to sell you something and nearly all of whom are claiming to have the best products for the lowest prices. A good start is to spend some shopping effort to choose your dealer FIRST rather than to zero in on who is claiming the rock bottom lowest prices. Narrow down the list of dealers you are willing to consider to a few and then talk to them, read their websites, visit their stores and get a feel for whether they are where you want to spend your money. If not, move on. It’s not like there isn’t a plethora of alternatives.

 

Neil

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Two things to add to Neil and Jan's excellent advice:

 

1. Bear in mind that if seems too good to be true, it probably is. The diamond retail world is full of supposed bargains that are everything but.

 

2. Remember to budget for a setting. While there are plenty of nice diamonds for $3500 (heck, there are some really nice diamonds for half that amount), it still has to be put into a ring to be used. Prices for a setting go from a couple of hundred dollars for a decent quality plain gold solitaire to several thousands for a pave setting in platinum.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Two things to add to Neil and Jan's excellent advice:

 

1. Bear in mind that if seems too good to be true, it probably is. The diamond retail world is full of supposed bargains that are everything but.

 

2. Remember to budget for a setting. While there are plenty of nice diamonds for $3500 (heck, there are some really nice diamonds for half that amount), it still has to be put into a ring to be used. Prices for a setting go from a couple of hundred dollars for a decent quality plain gold solitaire to several thousands for a pave setting in platinum.

Okay, I believe I found the one. It is:

 

PRICE: $3,210.00

SHAPE: Princess

CARAT: 1.00

CUT: Very Good

COLOR: G

CLARITY: VS1

 

I would live any comments or criticisms on this diamond. Obviously I dont have a photo, but all things being equal does this sound reasonable ? Also any comments or criticisms about dealing with diamond.com are greatly appreciated.

 

And a picture of a gecko for all your help..lol

f2b.jpg

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Cool Gecko. :)

 

There's not really much to go on to give you much feedback so I'll give you the standard ones:

 

Who graded it for clarity and color?

Have you seen it? If so, did you love it? If not, do you have a plan to see it before you finalize the deal?

Who said the cut was 'very good' and what do they mean by that?

I presume the lack of the picture is because the dealer isn't prepared to provide you with one. Have they provided you with anything else, like a lab report, ASET image Sarin or Gemex report?

 

Neil

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It is a gia certificate, and I have not seen it in person.

Here is a link to the certificate:

http://byo.diamond.com/create_your_own/rin...184/16411740.pd

 

I looked at a few and in the drawing at the bottom this one shows no inclusions, where most of the comps do. If I do buy it I plan to have it inspected by a third party also. So, Neil and others any advice ? (other than "aaaaaaaaaaaa")

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I’ll take your word for it that the report is issued by GIA and will accept the color and clarity based on that. Please understand it's a big deal. We still know nothing about the cut. Who called it ‘very good’ and why? These issues are important. Your price is decidedly on the low side which, frankly, is a bad sign and it’s important to figure out why. I’m sure the dealer is telling it’s because he’s just so awesome in cutting out the middlemen etc. but I don’t buy it and the fact that they’re so sparse on giving real information just makes me more nervous. If you can, upload a copy of the real GIA report, not some sample of the style and ask them specifically about the cut grade, where it came from and what it means. (GIA does not assign a cut grade of any kind to princess cuts.)

 

Do be sure to get inspected by an independent expert and make sure you have a right to return it for a 100% refund within some reasonable amount of time if it doesn't meet your expectations. There *IS* something going on here, the question at hand is what is it and is it acceptable to you given the price.

 

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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The plot in itself tells you nothing (not little - nothing) about how nice or not the diamond is - don't use it as a basis to make your choice. It tells you very little about how "clean" it will look - and to be honest with a VS1 no matter whether you can see the inclusion on the plot, you won't see it in real life.

 

My biggest concern is that you haven't seen the diamond (did you see other diamonds to compare it to?), and I assume the dealer hasn't either - probably it will be drop-shipped from the cutter to you, together with the report. In my view, this is not a particularly sensible way to shop in your situation.

 

Oh - nearly forgot: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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The one-dimensional plotted diagrams are useless and even detrimental, IMO as they tell you nothing about the location, actual size, and color of the inclusion(s) thus making a determination as to whether the diamond is eye-clean impossible.

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