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What Do You Think About This One?


RiderXTC
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I had been agonizing over purchasing a princess cut diamond in a basic setting for well over a week.  During the last week, I feel I have gotten a pretty good education about diamonds, not to say that I think I am an expert by any means.  I finally purchased a .92 princess cut diamond today at Jared's - more about the setting shortly.  The specifications and the GIA report number on the diamond I purchased are below.

 

I paid $6,150 for the stone itself.  Of course the stone had to be mounted, so I chose a basic, 14kt, white gold setting with a platinum head.  The cost of the setting was $389.99 plus $150 for the platinum head, bringing the grand total of the setting to $539.  Of course, the salesperson, who seemed very nice, honest and helpful, strongly urged that I purchase the insurance for $149.99.  He assured me the insurance covers damage, breakage, chipping, etc.., and further explained that loss or theft is not covered.  On top of these costs, I paid 6% tax bringing my grand total to $7.240 minus a generous $100 discount, thus equalling $7,140.  

 

I left feeling pretty good about my purchase.  Instead of leaving it at that, I decided to go online and do some comparative shopping.  This was not a good idea.  What I found is that I could get a 1.01 or 1.02 carat diamond of better color, clarity, polish and symmetry for about a couple of hundred dollars more that the cost of the stone I purchased - meaning for about $6,300.  The same white gold setting online, I am not sure if this includes a platinum head, was only $289.99.  So my grand total only would only be about $6,600 for a much better stone.

 

Comparable 1 carat, princess cut stones that I found at Jared's were going for well over 8K.  Why is there such a discrepancy in price between brick and mortar stores versus online dealers?  I mean, I understand that there is less overhead to sell online than to maintain a store.  However, I am talking about the difference of approximately $8,00 retail price per carat versus $6,200 online price per carat.  I have shopped several retail jewelry stores and this seems to be about what the going price in the Washington, DC / Northern VA area.

 

This leaves me with several questions...

 

Did I over pay for the stone that I purchased?  

 

What are your thoughts on the quality of stone I purchased?

 

Is the insurance I purchased from the store worth it?  Or should I just use a third party insurer?  I found several online.

 

Are there any online sellers that offer financing or would I need to put it on one of my existing credit cards?

 

 

 

I did receive 12 months 0% financing on this ring after putting out $2400 out of pocket due to requirements to get the 12 month 0% deal. One other thing I should mention is that they are running a promotion now in which would give me $600 off of a Scott Kay setting with about .45 total carat weight if I want it.  The total cost of this setting after the $600 discount would be $1000 plus 6% tax on the $1000 bringing the total to an extra $1,060.  I also have 30 days to return the ring I purchased for a full refund.  

 

Thank you so much in advance for your thoughts and input.  Anything you can do to help me stop agonizing over this decision would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

September 16, 2014

GIA Report Number ........................................1189133720

Shape and Cutting Style ........... Square Modified Brilliant

Measurements ................................ 5.45 x 5.41 x 3.79 mm

GRADING RESULTS

Carat Weight ......................................................... 0.92 carat

Color Grade .......................................................................... F

Clarity Grade .................................................................... VS2TIONS

GRADING SCALES

ADDITIONAL GRADING INFORMATION CLARITY CHARACTERISTICS

Polish .................................................................... Very Good

Symmetry ............................................................. Very Good

Fluorescence................................................................ None

nscription(s): GIA 1189133720

Comments: Additional clouds are not shown. Pinpoints are not shown. 

 

 

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Of your four questions, I have a clear answer to one, a strong opinion on two, and no answer at all to a fourth. In decreasing order of certainty/strength of opinion:

 

Credit availability: yes, there are plenty of online sellers that offer financing.

 

Whether the terms of the financing are as good, better or worse than what you got is a different matter, and it varies from dealer to dealer and time to time. For example Blue Nile offers 100% financing interest free for 12 months at the moment; James Allen offers 6 months. This is no endorsement of either seller, BTW, but just a demonstration that finding financing (and even beating your current deal) is not difficult.

 

Price: you can find stones which are definitely as good as yours (and some that I would bet are better) for $4000 or so. Or you could get a 1 carat stone for the same price, though it won't look that much larger.

 

The opportunity to see and compare different diamonds and choose what you like on the spot, of asking questions to a person you can see in the face about a diamond you can both see in front of you, of sitting on a sofa and being given a cup of hopefully decent coffee are all worth something. Are they worth a 50%/$2000 premium? Not to me, but people find value in different things.

 

Insurance/warranty: the devil here is in the detail of the cover offered, but I very much doubt that what you purchased is worth what you paid.

 

Most jewellery insurance (purchased through an insurance company) also cover damage or partial loss, and you already know that the warranty does not cover total loss or theft, which you probably will want to insure for, so you will be in effect paying twice for the same cover.

 

Typically, retailer extended warranties also cover cleaning, prong tightening, resizing and replating. Cleaning (and prong tightening) you can get for free at most jewellers, and while resizing and replating you will probably need to pay for, they don't cost a lot. On the other hand, to benefit from those under a warranty programme, you usually are required to turn up at the jeweller every six months which can be a pain - especially if in the course of time you move.

 

Quality of the current diamond: not enough information. It's white and almost certainly eye clean, but the most important element in how good a diamond looks is cut, and a GIA report has almost no information on it.

 

In terms of personal taste, I usually don't like princess cuts with a table over 70%, but there are a lot of people who do. Presumably in your research you have looked at a few, and you have either come to the conclusion that they all look the same to you or that you preferred the one you bought anyway.

 

In all - financially you can certainly do better; value-wise is more a personal decision, but I'd say you can almost certainly do better; quality-wise, we have no information but it is very likely you could do better there as well.

Edited by davidelevi
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I’m only going to address one.  Jewelry credit.

 

The credit extended by jewelers is EXACTLY the same as a credit card.  It has the same terms and conditions, it’s even underwritten by the same banks. Some are better than others but mostly they're bad (as are nearly all store credit cards). The big difference is twofold.  First it’s at the high risk rates.  Read the T&C’s.  26% interest after the ‘free’ 12 months is typical.  Assuming you’ve got decent credit, you are almost certainly better off using a different card and since any jeweler with financing also takes credit cards, there’s really no benefit to bundling this.  At best it’s a wash and, at worst, it’s hiding a terrible deal (like higher initial prices, higher interest rates, longer indenture).

 

I would feel I’m not doing my curmudgeonly duty if I didn’t point out this is a 100% discretionary purchase.  $8000 is a lot of debt.  Consider buying a less expensive ring from a more aggressive source and pass on the debt entirely. 

 

For example how about something from this list at 1/3 of the price?  Chances are good they’ll be visibly identical in the ring.  Every one of them will take your CC but it may not even be necessary.  Your $2400 out of pocket will nearly cover it.

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Prin&fCaratLo=0.85&fCaratHi=0.89&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=H&fClarityLo=SI1&fClarityHi=SI2&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&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

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you so much for such a thorough response.  After reading your comments, especially yours davidelevi, I feel like I did not get such a good deal after all.  Am I crazy for looking to spend $6,000 or so, even if I find a good stone online, for a 1 carat ring with specifications similar to the one I purchased?  Is there not much difference in rings that are have slightly lower specifications  than the ring I chose?  Should I consider lowering the specifications a bit to get a ring within that range of specifications at a better price? These are well about the $4,000 range but are also around 1 carat in weight.  I guess what I am really asking is if I have about $6,000 to spend on a stone and I am looking in the 1 carat range, where best will it be spent?  Should I stick to a .90 carat and save some cash or should I take the plunge and spend an additional 2K for a 1.0 carat? 

 

As you can tell, I am thoroughly frustrated with this entire process.  I just want to get the most quality stone for my money. 

 

Am I crazy in thinking there are price plateaus that increase exponentially when increasing carat weight of the stone in certain ranges?  For example, it seems to me that prices in stones within the .86 carat range seem to be fairly reasonable compared to the prices in the .90-.92 range.  Then when comparing prices between the .90-.92 range to the 1 carat range, there seems to be another big jump. 

 

Is there an ideal proportion for a princess cut ring?  You mentioned that you do like a table that is over 70%.  I know this is personal preference but may I ask why?  What kind of proportions should I look for between the table and the depth in a princess cut?  Also, why did you say there was not enough information in the GIA report?  Is it because it is a princess cut and the cut is not rated?  Should I just fall back on proportions, polish and symmetry since princess cut diamonds do not get a cut rating?

 

I know I have asked a lot of questions but I am totally overwhelmed.  Thank you again for your responses.

 

 

 

 

Of your four questions, I have a clear answer to one, a strong opinion on two, and no answer at all to a fourth. In decreasing order of certainty/strength of opinion:

Credit availability: yes, there are plenty of online sellers that offer financing.

Whether the terms of the financing are as good, better or worse than what you got is a different matter, and it varies from dealer to dealer and time to time. For example Blue Nile offers 100% financing interest free for 12 months at the moment; James Allen offers 6 months. This is no endorsement of either seller, BTW, but just a demonstration that finding financing (and even beating your current deal) is not difficult.

Price: you can find stones which are definitely as good as yours (and some that I would bet are better) for $4000 or so. Or you could get a 1 carat stone for the same price, though it won't look that much larger.

The opportunity to see and compare different diamonds and choose what you like on the spot, of asking questions to a person you can see in the face about a diamond you can both see in front of you, of sitting on a sofa and being given a cup of hopefully decent coffee are all worth something. Are they worth a 50%/$2000 premium? Not to me, but people find value in different things.

Insurance/warranty: the devil here is in the detail of the cover offered, but I very much doubt that what you purchased is worth what you paid.

Most jewellery insurance (purchased through an insurance company) also cover damage or partial loss, and you already know that the warranty does not cover total loss or theft, which you probably will want to insure for, so you will be in effect paying twice for the same cover.

Typically, retailer extended warranties also cover cleaning, prong tightening, resizing and replating. Cleaning (and prong tightening) you can get for free at most jewellers, and while resizing and replating you will probably need to pay for, they don't cost a lot. On the other hand, to benefit from those under a warranty programme, you usually are required to turn up at the jeweller every six months which can be a pain - especially if in the course of time you move.

Quality of the current diamond: not enough information. It's white and almost certainly eye clean, but the most important element in how good a diamond looks is cut, and a GIA report has almost no information on it.

In terms of personal taste, I usually don't like princess cuts with a table over 70%, but there are a lot of people who do. Presumably in your research you have looked at a few, and you have either come to the conclusion that they all look the same to you or that you preferred the one you bought anyway.

In all - financially you can certainly do better; value-wise is more a personal decision, but I'd say you can almost certainly do better; quality-wise, we have no information but it is very likely you could do better there as well.

 

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Again - three areas on which I can offer different levels of "certainty". In decreasing order of objectivity to the answer:

 

Price vs. weight: yes, it's not constant and as you have found out it has two significant jumps at 0.90 and 1.00. Other critical weights are 0.30, 0.50, 0.70, 1.50, 2.00 and about every half-carat up to about 5.00. It has to do with demand and the way in which rough is priced, and it creates all sorts of distorted incentives for the cutter to cut for weight saving rather than for looks.

 

Proportions: first of all, table and depth are almost useless to understand light behaviour in a diamond, but they are all that GIA provides on non-rounds. The reason has to do with them being easy to measure and use for ID of the stone, not with their usefulness to understand the quality of cut. Polish and symmetry (together known as "finish") are likewise relatively meaningless - it's good to have high finish grades, but by themselves they are not sufficient; it's a bit like shopping for cars knowing only that they have 19" wheels. Both a Porsche 911 and a Suzuki Swift may fit that particular bill.

 

Secondly, I do NOT like stones with large tables (over 70%), but that's a general statement and moreover based on personal taste. AGS has developed a cut grade for princess cut diamonds that works relatively well for me; it tends to recommend stones that are quite deep and with smaller tables than usual for princess cuts, but I like the results. However, 1) AGS graded stones are a small minority of the market, and 2) the stones tend to face up relatively small for their weight.

 

To me that's more than compensated by their sparkle and fire, but many people prefer a less fiery and lively stone that however is a bit brighter and looks larger - and generally has a lower crown and larger table too. The problem is you can't tell just from the table % (or from any other piece of information on a GIA report) whether a princess cut diamond will look good or not.

 

What to buy: $6000 will get you a perfectly fine stone in a good quality plain setting, but as Neil points out so will $2500, or possibly even less depending on your definition of "fine".

 

For example, most people cannot see the difference between F and I, particularly in a relatively small stone set in a ring observed under normal circumstances. Same for VS1 (or higher) and SI1. That doesn't make people who buy F/VS1 stupid or the others cheapskates, but I can't tell you what you can and cannot see or in any way appreciate.

 

If you want "white" to most eyes, and eye-clean in most cases, H/SI1 is a pretty safe bet, particularly if you purchase from a vendor that can see the stone and can therefore advise you on whether the inclusions are visible and if so under what circumstances. On cut, if you are (she is) set on a princess cut, you can either trust AGS, or again you need to have someone (yourself and/or the vendor) see the stone. Size is a matter of budget and taste, but bear in mind that perceived size is not directly proportional to weight. Look at diameter or side length (and width), and you'll find that going from 0.90 to 1.00 gets you about 0.2 mm more - that's like the two squares in the attached pic. Can you see the difference? Is it worth 50% of your money? Only you can answer.

post-11046-0-98001900-1418493000.jpg

Then you have other things influencing price, such as finish and fluorescence. Prioritising across all of this can be complicated. My personal take:

 

Cut is king (including decent finish). Colour is personal preference, clarity has to be good enough not to bother me. Size is what fits my budget given the constraints above. Fluorescence doesn't matter as long as it doesn't cause unwanted milkiness/loss of transparency (and transparency by itself deserves a separate book... but it's not measured in any way by anyone).

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Thanks to all of your timely and incredibly thorough answers, I felt like I was armed with great information and took decisive action.    

 

I decided to return my ring to Jared's because it was incredibly overpriced for what it was.  As you mentioned earlier, I know that I should expect to pay more at a brick and mortar store since they have much more overhead than an online vendor.  This being said, having someone to speak with in person and seeing the diamond prior to purchase, was not worth a 50% price premium. I ended up purchasing a 1.01 carat diamond from an online vendor for $5,588.00 -  more on this shortly.  The least expensive 1 carat diamond at Jared's was well over $8,000.  I decided it was better for me to stretch my dollar as far as possible.

 

The salesman at Jared's told me prior to my purchase that they guarantee hassle free returns for any reason within thirty days. He emphatically stated how easy it would be to return it with no questions asked.  I only wish this was the case.  I have never been made to feel so bad about returning an item.  I tell you this only to warn others who may fall for the 'amazingly easy, no hassle' return pitch.  The endless questions from multiple staff members, including the manager, about my return and suggestions about how I could downgrade to a lower cost gem put me in a position requiring me to be nothing short of rude.  Of course none of these suggestions included any sort of price reduction.  After this continued for what seemed like an eternity, in reality it was probably about fifteen minutes, I had to really dig in and explain that there was nothing that they could say or due at this point to convince me to change my mind.  Finally, after getting through all of this, they said that the refund for the cash I paid, totaling approximately $2,400.00, would have to be refunded via a corporate check since they did not have enough cash in any of the registers to refund my cash payment.  Needless to say, I did not believe this at all considering the time of day, the location of the store, and how busy it was. 

 

Onward to bigger and better things.  Below is a copy of the GIA report of the stone that I purchased directly from Blue Nile.  I would just like to say that not only are they available 24/7, you can literally call them any time of day, they were amazingly patient and helpful.  I must have spent about 45 minutes on the phone with one of their diamond experts just picking her brain and asking her opinions.  I am not sure if I am allowed to endorse a company in this forum but they are wonderful to work with.

 

Once again, I would like to thank you all for providing such great and truly thorough information.  I have been on many other types of forums to ask questions and more often than not, the answers are usually very short and contain partial or inaccurate information.  This is an amazing forum that is run by people who really seem to want to help.

 

Here is my final question on this topic.  What do you think about this one?   :)

 

The specs as promised.

 

 

1.01-Carat Princess Cut Diamond
$5,588
$5,504.18
Bank Wire Priceïš
Summary
 
Stock number
LD05038094
Price per caratïš
$5,533
Carat weight
1.01
Shape
Princess
Cutïš
Very Good
Colorïš
F
Clarityïš
VVS1
Length/width ratioïš
1.02
Depth %ïš
71.4%
Table %ïš
70.0%
Polishïš
Excellent
Symmetryïš
Very Good
Girdleïš
Very Thick
Culetïš
None
Fluorescenceïš
None
Measurements
5.42 x 5.32 x 3.80 mm

 

 

post-134687-0-93521800-1418531343_thumb.png

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I think you are definitely in better hands with Blue Nile than with Jared's (and note that both are my competitors!). As to the "new" diamond: same problem as with the "old" one, meaning almost no information on cut. Blue Nile's "cut grade" is not worth the pixels it's rendered with on screen, never mind paper to print on.

 

FWIW, the new one is not a stone I would have recommended to you. Why? Because VVS1 means a large premium for something you will never see, and the very thick girdle makes it look smaller than it should. In fact, it faces up smaller than the 0.92 you picked from Jared's even though it weighs 10% more.

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I think you are definitely in better hands with Blue Nile than with Jared's (and note that both are my competitors!). As to the "new" diamond: same problem as with the "old" one, meaning almost no information on cut. Blue Nile's "cut grade" is not worth the pixels it's rendered with on screen, never mind paper to print on.FWIW, the new one is not a stone I would have recommended to you. Why? Because VVS1 means a large premium for something you will never see, and the very thick girdle makes it look smaller than it should. In fact, it faces up smaller than the 0.92 you picked from Jared's even though it weighs 10% more.

I guess I do not understand your comments about the cut grade. The cut grade and other related information is rated by GIA and not the vendor. Is there something I am missing? Why is the GIA cert not a good representation of the diamond's characteristics?

 

The girdle thickness of the stone for which I listed the specs bothered me a little bit as well. I decided to change the stone to a 1.03 carat with a slightly thick girdle. I will post the specs and the GIA report in another post.

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If you read the report from GIA and compare it to the list that the seller provided you, you'll notice that they're slightly different. One notable difference is that GIA does not give a cut grade on princess cuts.  That 'very good' grade is coming from the seller, not GIA. 

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If you read the report from GIA and compare it to the list that the seller provided you, you'll notice that they're slightly different. One notable difference is that GIA does not give a cut grade on princess cuts.  That 'very good' grade is coming from the seller, not GIA. 

 

I understand.  This is true of any vendor though.  I have searched multiple diamond databases for princess cuts and everyone of them provides their own rating for cut.  Knowing that this means nothing, one call fall back on the plot diagram in the GIA report right?  Also, the other ratings for color, clarity, carat weight, etc., in the GIA report are accurate.

 

One question I have though, is should one be concerned if there is no inscription, meaning serial number I guess, on the report or in the diamond?  How does one know that the cert listed is for the diamond that he is purchasing if there is no inscription or the diamond to match to the GIA report?

 

Thanks again for your input.

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I understand.  This is true of any vendor though.  I have searched multiple diamond databases for princess cuts and everyone of them provides their own rating for cut.

The fact that everybody provides his own cut grade does not make anybody right, and instead creates confusion because there is no standard. The only researched and documented cut grading system on princess cuts (that I know of) is provided by AGS. Blue Nile's "cut grade" in particular is extremely unreliable and opaque.

 

Knowing that this means nothing, one call fall back on the plot diagram in the GIA report right?

No. the plot is provided for the purpose of identification, to tell you roughly where the major inclusions are located relative to each other and to give you an idea of the faceting style. Nothing to do with cut quality.

 

Also, the other ratings for color, clarity, carat weight, etc., in the GIA report are accurate.

Yes, to the extent they can be. GIA is one of the best labs in the world in terms of reliability/repeatability of its grading.

 

One question I have though, is should one be concerned if there is no inscription, meaning serial number I guess, on the report or in the diamond?

No. The laser inscription is an added service on certain types of GIA report (it's extra for those containing a plot, and it's standard for the reports without a plot), but it's not a foolproof method of ID nor one I would recommend.

 

How does one know that the cert listed is for the diamond that he is purchasing if there is no inscription or the diamond to match to the GIA report?

By looking at weight, dimensions/proportions, inclusions/blemishes, colour and faceting style (though the latter can be unreliable). Or by using a service such as GemPrint, which is quite reliable but not very widespread (and anyway uses the stone's dimensions and angles; it just automates the process!).

 

Bear in mind that while it's unlikely anyone would fake a laser inscription on a relatively small stone, it's no longer prohibitively expensive or difficult to do so, and removing the inscription takes a few seconds on a diamond polishing wheel.

Edited by davidelevi
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I understand.  This is true of any vendor though.  I have searched multiple diamond databases for princess cuts and everyone of them provides their own rating for cut.

Actually it’s not.  Some don’t, but some will provide more data for those who wish it.

 

Stones graded by AGS lab actually do have a meaningful cut grade.  Most of the dealers sell them, or at least can get them.  They're a bit more unusual so inventories tend to be low.  

 

From a photo of the stone you can get a feel for the overall ‘look’.  That includes the shape and parallel of the sides, the shape of the corners and the way the chevrons on the pavilion look (the pavilion geometry is not the same on all princess cuts).

 

From an ASET image you can get a feel for optical symmetry, overall light return, contrast.

 

Many will have their own expert inspect the stone and report on things like eye visibility of inclusions, durability risks from the girdle treatment or inclusions and so on.

 

None of this is necessary, but most people find it helpful and the ‘best’ stones are normally in the hands of dealers who can/will promote them as such.  They do cost extra. 

 

Here, for example, is a ‘comparable’ stone.  It the same in clarity, size and weight.  The big tradeoff here is a bump in cutting vs. a drop in color and it’s actually a little bit MORE money. 

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.02-carat-g-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-382011

 

That may not be the stone for you, but it probably didn’t come up favorably on your search parameters because of the lower color and higher price.  That’s why both Davide and I are pointing out the issue.  What you do with it is up to you. It’s an issue that’s buried in your list that didn’t come from the lab and that BN (and most dealers) don’t take very seriously.  You started this out by asking questions about why one deal costs more than another that looks the same.  This is part of it. 

 

As mentioned above, the plotting diagram has nothing to do with it.   That's helpful with your second question, how do you know your stone matches the report, but in a VVS1 you're not going to see anything in the stone, even under magnification, unless you know exactly what to look for.  Maybe not even then.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you again for your responses.  I have taken very seriously all of your input and have cancelled my order until I feel I have a better grasp on all of this new information.

 

I do have another question.  I took a look at the diamond in the link provided by Neil.  I was looking at the plot diagram for that particular diamond and this raised a question in my mind.  Most plot diagrams I have seen for princess cut diamonds, I have noticed that there are five symmetrical lines or points, I am not exactly sure how to describe them, that point to the center of the diamond from all four sides.  However, in some plot diagrams, much like the one in the link that Neil posted, there are only three on all sides.  I have even seen some with four.  Do these lines represent the facets?  Is it more preferable to have fewer or a greater number of these lines?  Do these lines have an impact on the price of the stone?  

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Yes, the lines represent the facets - in a schematic way. In most cases the scheme is accurate as to number and relative position, not size/shape, but there are exceptions to that accuracy, though that is unlikely on a D-Z princess cut.

 

No, there is no impact on price and preference is a personal issue; in general, the more facets the busier the effect and the greater the number of smaller sparkles and "distributed brightness" vs. broader flashes and contrast.

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Well, here it is. The final ring and the cert. There is no looking back at this point. I had to make a decision and after all of your wonderful help, this is what I decided on. Please be honest, but gentle. :) Thank you all again for all of the great help and knowledge. You guys truly educated me.

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post-134687-0-93181700-1418888069_thumb.jpg

Edited by RiderXTC
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Congratulations!

 

I'll be very gentle, but there isn't much anyone can say on cut for the reasons we went through in the thread above. Everything else is above suspicion. In any case it's a "better" (and cheaper!) diamond on paper, and no matter what the fine details on cut she will love it because it comes from you and you took care and love in choosing it for her.

 

All the best - let us know how the proposal goes.

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I was just about finished typing a fairly lenghty post when Safari crashed. Needless to say, I lost my entire post. Here goes again.

 

I received my ring and it is absolutely beautiful. I am sure she is going to love it.

 

Just for my own sanity and peace of mind, I decided to have it appraised by a well known and reputable appraiser. This appraiser does not sell or buy diamonds, or any other jewelry for that matter. He specializes in providing appraisals for insurance purposes and this the type of appraisal that I paid for.

 

He said it would take an hour to complete but before I left it with him, he wanted to show me how to distinguish my diamond from others. After putting it under a microsope and bumping it up to 20X magnification, he said he could not find any inclusions whatsoever. He was quite suprised that the GIA report listed a feather in an area of the diamond that would not be covered by a mounting prong. He allowed me to look through the scope to show me what he was talking about.

 

The good news is he measurements and appraisal was spot on with what was reported on the GIA report. The fact that he could not find the feather listed in the GIA cert was driving him a bit crazy and he said he spent a lot of time trying to find what was reported in the cert but could not find it. I asked about the IF(Internally Flawless) rating and he said that he could never rate it at IF unless he could better inspect the stone when it is not mounted. It is an amazingly clean stone.

 

More good news came when the appraisal value of the ring came back at close to twice the amount that I paid. He said that the appraisal meets the UPAP (or something like that - I cannot remember) standards.

 

I know that you, Davide, said that I was overpaying for a VVS1 stone since it could not be seen by the naked eye. However, there is something very satisfying in knowing that even under magnification, this is a very clean stone. You also mentioned not being able to notice the difference in color ratings in the D, E, F, and even G range. I can tell you that during my visits to just about every retail establishment known to man, I was always able to pick out the whiter stone within this color range when comparing side by side, every time. Now, I know that in an everyday situation, we will not be comparing the stone that I purchased to others side by side but this, combined with the VVS1 rating, makes me fell as though I purchased the best possible stone in my given price range.

 

I am very satisfied with my purchase. I am even more happy that this entire process is over. I can stop agonizing and second guessing my decisions. I have acquired a lot of knowledge from multiple sources, including this one, throughout this process. I feel as though I could be a gemologist's apprentice - just kidding. However, I do know that I could be a better jewelry salesman that many that I encountered in some of the retail establishments that I visited.

 

Now all that I have to do is find the will power to hold off until Christmas Eve to give the ring to her. I think I can make it though.

 

Thank you two, you know who you are - Davide and Neil, for all of your input and feedback. You both have been a tremendous help in providing timely and thorough answers to questions that I could fact check against some of the BS I was hearing from others just interested in making a sale.

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Funny, I guess at one point you were incredibly happy and excited, until you do the compare.

 

I have access to thousands of lists of diamonds, and the price that makes any sense to me, is the price someone is willing to pay.

That is true. I was very excited and happy with my purchase from Jared's. However, when I realized I could get a larger, better diamond for about 50% less, I realized there was a better option. I am not rich by any means and I take the time to do some comparative shopping in order to stretch my dollar as far as it will go. Admittedly, I should have done this before making my initial purchase, but I did not even consider buying such an expensive item online.

 

I own my own company and we charge an hourly rate for our services. Just because I know someone may be willing to pay double my rate and be happy with our services, does not mean that it is a fair and honest practice. The point being that at some point there is a fine line that should not be crossed no matter what someone is willing to pay. Integrity and honesty still mean something to me.

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That is true. I was very excited and happy with my purchase from Jared's. However, when I realized I could get a larger, better diamond for about 50% less, I realized there was a better option. I am not rich by any means and I take the time to do some comparative shopping in order to stretch my dollar as far as it will go. Admittedly, I should have done this before making my initial purchase, but I did not even consider buying such an expensive item online.

 

I own my own company and we charge an hourly rate for our services. Just because I know someone may be willing to pay double my rate and be happy with our services, does not mean that it is a fair and honest practice. The point being that at some point there is a fine line that should not be crossed no matter what someone is willing to pay. Integrity and honesty still mean something to me.

To be fair to Jared's, they have costs that a pure online player does not incur: they lease retail space in very expensive locations; these spaces have to be furnished, secured/insured and maintained; they hire, train (?!?) and retain many customer-facing and back-office employees; they keep stock at all of these locations and information/logistics systems to enable them to share and move these goods across them; they advertise and promote using a very different (and more expensive) channel mix. Whether any of this adds value to you is a different question, but it's not necessarily true that they are profiteering from the unwary.
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Funny, I guess at one point you were incredibly happy and excited, until you do the compare.

 

I have access to thousands of lists of diamonds, and the price that makes any sense to me, is the price someone is willing to pay.

I do understand the overhead that Jared's has in maintaing a brick and mortar store. My comment was a direct response to dtc0.com's post above. Specifically, the part about a fair price is any price someone is willing to pay. Overcharging someone for a product or service is a dishonest and unfair practice. Especially if they are willing to pay because of their lack of knowledge about the product or service. Repeat business is very important to many businesses. A customer usually finds out at some point whether or not they paid a fair price for a product or service. You can be assured that no matter what their financial status may be, they will not enlist your services or return to your store again when, not if, they find out they were not given a fair price.

Edited by RiderXTC
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