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Having Doubts About My Purchase..


kdtalgo
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First off I would like to thank everyone on this forum for the wealth of information and advice that I've gained from browsing through the threads.

I've been on the hunt for an engagement ring for the past few months. I've been browsing a couple of local B&M stores here in Raleigh (Bailey's and Diamonds Direct). My girlfriend has accompanied me for the first few trips so I could get an idea of her taste - she wants a RB in a halo setting. My total budget is $5-7k. Seems that I can get RB just under a carat for that price. I understand the importance of staying just under the 1ct mark to get more bang for the buck.

Last month Diamonds Direct had a sale for 20% off all settings. The setting that she specifically liked was marked down to $1200 from $1500 so I went ahead and ordered it. I also looked at a couple of diamonds that day and was shown a RB 0.80ct G VS2 (GIA VG-EX-EX) for about $4700. I was able to get it down to about $4400 as part of the package deal. The total was about $5600 so well within my budget.

Later on I plugged in the specs to the HCA and got a score of 4.4 which seems to be pretty bad. The cut is rated GIA "very good" which also seems to be a no-no according to many folks here. I've been bothered by my choice ever since. The diamond seemed to perform well in the store but I am not that experienced so I don't know if I am a good judge of performance. I also felt kind of pressured to make the decision that day because diamonds were flying off the shelves -- literally -- the store was packed.

I put down 20% and now the diamond is off to Tel Aviv where it will be set into the halo. I should have it by mid-June.

Diamonds Direct has a 30-day cancellation period so I'm not yet bound to the purchase. I have another couple of weeks left in that period to change my mind. DD also has a price match guarantee -- people have said that they've gotten them to price match online vendors like Blue Nile.

GIA report #2156055535
 
Measurements
5.88 - 5.90 x 3.69 mm
Carat Weight
0.80 carat
Color Grade
G
Clarity Grade
VS2
Cut Grade
Very Good
Depth
62.6 %
Table
59 %
Crown Angle
35.5°
Crown Height
15.0%
Pavilion Angle
41.0°
Pavilion Depth
43.5%
Star Length
50%
Lower Half
75%
Girdle
Slightly Thick to Thick, Faceted, 4.5%
Culet
None
Polish
Excellent
Symmetry
Excellent
Fluorescence

None

I'd prefer to stick to the local B&M store because 1) they have a history of good customer service and 2) they have the setting she likes at a good price.

How did I do? Am I overpaying?
Should I have not settled for a VG cut at that price?
Are there any comparable diamonds available online that I can use for the price match?
Should I go back and ask to look at more diamonds?
Am I simply overthinking it?

Please help put my mind at ease!

 

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Are you overpaying? To some extent. It's difficult to compare given you want to stay "high street", and the competition there by definition is not what you can find online... but dealers with a high street presence (e.g. Union Diamonds) are offering similar stones for about $1000 less. (BTW - I assume your prices above were net of taxes).

 

VG cut - in this case it's (relatively) OK, in as much as the key reason the diamond has been downgraded is likely to be the too-thick girdle. This has an effect on visible size of the diamond (which will be about 0.1 mm smaller than it could otherwise have been - visible in direct comparison, but not so much otherwise), but the rest of the cut seems reasonable, even if the crown is a bit steep. The "real" issue in this respect is that for $700 less than what you paid you can get an Excellent cut diamond that will not have either problem, and for about the same price you were quoted initially you can buy a true premium cut.

 

Plenty of comparable diamonds here: http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.80&fCaratHi=0.85&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS2&fClarityHi=VS2&fCutLo=vgood&fCutHi=vgood&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1

 

Should you go back and are you overthinking it? It depends. $1000 on $5000 is not insignificant (and one could argue $1000 is not insignificant in any case), and you should be able to do "better" relatively easily. Not least considering that - from the way you are describing it - the setting, while "liked" is not uncommon in design, and most other dealers should have something similar.

 

On the other hand, it's a relatively nice diamond in a setting she likes, and there are more important things in life than one's engagement ring.

Edited by davidelevi
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There’s good incentive to buy both the diamond and the mounting from the same place and I applaud you for supporting local businesses.  That said, yes you can get diamonds like that cheaper elsewhere. 
 

If they have a price matching policy, take them to task on it.  Find an ad for a comparable or slightly better stone, show it to them and see what they have to say.  

I think what GIA popped you for is the crown angle but I don't want to go through the trouble to figure it out.  You can do it yourself at www.facetware.gia.edu.   The problem with VG is that it's a very large range.  Some can be a problem, but nothing about this one screams trouble to me.  

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Here's a stone in a similar range I ordered today from B2C Jewels.  If this works out, I'll complete my 4-pc earring set:

post-134047-0-93484400-1400202530_thumb.jpg

 

It's cheaper than yours, and it's larger than yours. VS Blue fluorescence, which i can live with (but wasn't looking for, this time). Probably MUCH worse HCA numbers than yours -- this vendor doesn't like to give out all those fancy measurements for you to worry about. :)

 

So -- why this stone?

 

It seems to be in the range of acceptables, in fact, the price is lower than targeted.  That being said, if it's got obvious problems it'll probably go right back.

 

For five months I've evaluated every stone presented in this forum as if it was a candidate for my own set.  I've come to the conclusion you need to get a whole lot closer to the industry than an online viewing presence if you want to find really outstanding stones.  Or be willing to step outside your safe zone.  The Trillion I got early, for example, is $2000 less than the Asscher I got this week. 

 

And then -- what does "finding an outstanding stone" really mean?  You won't save a lot of money.  The better sparkle of an AGS-0 or GIA XXX is fantastic, but you're already 90% there if you clean the jewelry each time before you go out.  Chances are, once you give the ring away, you're going to get to see it for scant seconds each day for the rest of your life.

 

 

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