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Diamonds And Mustangs


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If you don't like analogies...stop reading!


My original wedding ring was a custom made Black Hills Gold band without diamonds. This was by my choice. I really love the play of gold on gold and we couldn't afford a "sizable" diamond twenty years ago. A few years back, I went through the "trade up" phase with my friends but ended up falling in love again with my original ring because it was unique. The past tense is because it now is somewhere at the bottom of the river due to a combination stupidity on my part and 5 useless newbies on a rafting excursion. I have been without a wedding ring since August and my husband has said we need to get a ring on that finger.


While on vacation,we found a previously owned guard (I learned the hard way, with jewelry never say used). It is yellow gold with a wing/swirl thing above and then below where the solitaire will be. There are 6 very visible baguettes on each wing/swirl thing. A solitaire custom ring will be crafted in a flat white gold bypass in proportion with the wings/swirl. The custom work will run between $850 and $1,000. I have considering buy a previously owned eternity ring and mounting the diamonds in the new setting. Like new meets old in a celebration of gold!


About the same time as the loss of the ring, we started talking about trading our Chrysler Sebring convertible in on a Mustang convertible. Important things, I like unusual but not crazy. For example, none of my friends have Mustangs but I would not be comfortable in a bright yellow Mustang (gray would be nice.) It is about the ring but the money has to come from somewhere.


If 20 years from now my Mustang, like my diamond, has to be the EXACT same as the day I purchased it (it will not break and I cannot modify it) then...

I wouldn't buy a 4ct D,FL (2013 GT, Gray) because it's in the over the top range for my lifestyle and I could put the extra money in a 401k or a week at an all-inclusive resort.

I wouldn't by a .12ct , S, M (1978 Grannie Smith Green) because I'm going to use it every day for the next 20 years, I want to like it.

My Mustang will be a convertible, the diamond will be an asscher or princess (kite set), cannot be round, emerald, or marquise.

I want my Mustang to be in the 2005 to 2009 range, my diamond should be .55 to . 85 otherwise it would look awkward in the guard.

The Mustang would not have any visible damage, the diamond would not have visible flaws.

The Mustang could have a dent that was professional repaired, the diamond could have flaws that are not visible. (My friends do not crawl under my car to see if bodywork has been done nor will they pull out a magnifying glass at dinner to see my diamond.) The money saved would either go into the 401k, a newer Mustang/a bigger diamond, or into more bells and whistles like GPS or two side stones.

My Mustang would probably be a 2006 GT Premium or 2007 Premium (depending on the miles), both having professional, non-visible bodywork. Then we would drive it to a beach somewhere for a week with the money saved then come back and still make our regular 401k deposits.


But this is where my diamond problem starts and I need advice...

For a .85 diamond, what grades would be the minimum for a good "looking" stone? What would be the best grades when value important? I want to know what my range is since my compromise for a custom piece is having a smaller and not perfect stone.


Sorry for the life story but it is a decision that I will see every day for the next 50 years.

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"Good looking" is totally subjective. Another recent poster wanted size above all else, and sounded very happy with a J/I1 because it was the combination that would allow him (and her) to stay within budget and get a well cut 1.50 carat stone. I have a lot of customers that like light yellow stones (O-P down to Y-Z), and one of the most beautiful rings I have seen or sold recently is a 4.05 W-X.


If by "good looking" you mean white no matter the angle of observation, stick to G-I; D-F is nice but at 0.85 it's overkill and you won't see the difference, and J and below will start to show some yellow seen through the side.


Clarity is less controversial, in as much as there are few people that actively like inclusions, and above I2 it's very unlikely that any inclusion is threatening stone durability. The trade off is that it takes you more effort to find a stone that is eye-clean (and again people's definition of "eye-clean" varies) the lower you go with clarity. Rough guide is that VS1 and above are always clean - but you pay for the privilege. VS2 are 99.9% clean; rare VS2 can show something to the eagle-eyed. SI1 are mostly clean, and many Si2 are clean too, but you definitely need to see them. I1 are like VS2, but in reverse: 90% will show something, but 10% or less will not.


Again, to play it safe, I'd suggest VS2-SI1.


Cut: don't skimp on this.


Assuming you are talking rounds, GIA "excellent" is a good place to start from, but they allow for significantly different looks, and there is little but direct observation to tell you what "works" for you and what doesn't. AGS "ideal" is a much narrower range, and they look very nice, but they may not be "the best" for you.


Assuming you are NOT talking rounds, then look, look, look. There are very few rules, and practically no useful clues other than visual observation of the diamond.


The missing C is a D: Dealer. Particularly if you are going for SI clarity and/or fancy cuts (and/or fancy colours), please please please take some time to select the dealer(s) that you want to work with before you start looking at (and falling in love with) diamonds. They are your ally, not your enemy - at least until it comes to negotiating price.

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