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Advice On Buying A 0.4Ct Diamond Ring From Etsy


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I'm seeking some advice please. :)

I've been surveying my options regarding getting an engagement ring for my girlfriend. The subject has been raised and we've been looking a bit together already - in fact I showed her this ring I'd found to make sure I was looking at the right style and she gave it the nod.


This ring is for sale on Etsy. The details regarding the diamond are a bit broad, but I'm hoping I'll be able to work with the seller to find a nice stone that'll work well.




Here is the listing


Firstly, do you think this sounds like a reasonable approach? I've seen the advice regarding sourcing a diamond online, but as far as I can see, most of the settings are fairly standard, so if I wanted a specific style of setting such as this one it seems logical to go directly to a seller, even if this does mean paying a little extra. Does this make sense?


Secondly, could I ask for some advice regarding the right stone to go for (assuming I'll be able to negotiate this with a seller like this).


The listing is for a 14k yellow gold band (my girlfriend is a petite US 4)  but the stone is described in incredibly broad terms:


Main Stone Name: Diamond
Main Stone Weight: 0.40 ct. approx.
Main Stone Clarity: SI1-I1
Main Stone Color: J-L
Main Stone Shape: Round
Main Stone Cut: Brilliant


I'm hoping that they will be open to helping me source a specific stone and I'm eager to know what you'd recommend I request. My budget is limited, but I can certainly spend a couple hundred bucks more than the $690 list price if it'll secure something a bit more special.


I was thinking of asking for a VS2, I colored diamond, with a VG cut/polish/symmetry and no fluorescence. I'd be happy to drop down in size to a 0.37 or such, as my size request is at the bottom of the size range, so a slightly smaller stone might look better anyway.


What do you think? Are these reasonable requests?  If I was to compromise what would be the most important thing to be looking for in a stone (I realize this is a subjective question, but I'd value your opinion nonetheless).


Thanks very much for any and all comments/advice.

Edited by nickendo
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1. The style you like is relatively common (even though it's a bit out of fashion), so I wouldn't feel obliged to shop with a single seller. Just google "swirl engagement ring" and see...


2. I'm sure the seller would be able to source a different diamond; in fact, I suspect they don't have a "specific" diamond in the setting despite saying "1 [ring] available" , given they don't provide even a precise weight, (all it takes to weigh a diamond is a $50 jeweller scales, and no-one is disputing weight standards, unlike colour, clarity or cut ones). However, there is likely to be a painful stinger in their willingness to do so. See below.


3. As you point out, the range of specs provided for the diamond is very broad; once you add in cut/finish and grading standards (GIA? EGL-Israel? Vendor's?), it becomes positively huge. Entering those specs on the Diamond Finder comes up with a range of prices from over $1000 to about $200 (once you take away the cost of an independent lab, which the vendor does not mention, but still they do want $40 for "a certificate" - whoever issues it and whatever it says): http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.35&fCaratHi=0.40&fColorLo=J&fColorHi=L&fClarityLo=SI1&fClarityHi=I1&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&adv=1


4. Given that a reasonable price for the setting is more or less $350, this leaves another $350 for the stone at the bottom of the price range for the whole ring ("$690+"), which unsurprisingly is towards the bottom end of the huge range for the stone. This means at the apparently quoted price: visible inclusions, poor cut, strong(er) tint, and possibly more than one of those are a virtual certainty.


5. Upping the diamond specs to I/VS2/VG (BTW - why no fluorescence?) means prices go up by 40%+ on the stone (still with a $1400-$500 range)... except that my bet is that you'll be quoted a price for the top end - or alternatively will not receive an I/VS2/VG (to GIA standards). Maybe I'm unduly cynical, but these guys are in business to make money, and know exactly how to do that.


6. Given you are choosing a very simple setting style, what is going to make the ring is the diamond, and what is going to make the diamond is cut. Fair enough, you have a significant constraint on cost, but you seem to be willing to compromise on size, colour and (to a certain extent) clarity, so pick the best cut you can first.


7. Actually, I'd say that even before you go around looking for the best cut diamond, you should look for the right seller. Someone you have never dealt with before, in Israel, using a no-name lab to "certify" their stones, with 4 favourable reviews on Etsy doesn't make it far on my list.


8. Don't worry about links not working: they are disabled by default for new users to reduce spam; enclosing them in [ code ] quotes actually makes life more difficult; just post normally, and we can copy-paste into a browser tab.

Edited by davidelevi
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Thank you very much indeed. What you've written has gone way beyond the depth of advice I was expecting - I'm terribly grateful.


Your points all seem entirely logical.


You've helped me come round to the realisation that perhaps I'm better off focusing on getting a good stone from a reputable and proven source.


Why no florescence? Well, now that I've read the hot topic section on this website I may have changed my mind on that!


So, yes, I'm going to take your advice and focus on getting a nicely cut stone.


Seeing as the cat is out the bag so to speak I think I'll take my GF to look at some rings this weekend. That way I can work out what style she really likes best and also how big a rock will look best on her tiny finger... (this factor plays into my not so deep pockets!)


Once I've identified a setting and stone size I may well pop back on here for some final advice regarding what specific characteristics would best suit my chosen setting/stone size.


Until then, once again, thank you very much!

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You are most welcome; this is what the forum is for.


You outline a good plan. If I may suggest - as well as looking for size, try to get a gauge on what will do for colour, clarity and what you both like most in terms of cut: large, chunky flashes vs. glittery sparkle; white brightness vs. coloured refraction...


This article from GIA, even if old, may give you some ideas of what to look for: http://diamondcut.gia.edu/pdf/cut_fall2004.pdf

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7. Actually, I'd say that even before you go around looking for the best cut diamond, you should look for the right seller. Someone you have never dealt with before, in Israel, using a no-name lab to "certify" their stones, with 4 favourable reviews on Etsy doesn't make it far on my list.





I second that response. <_<



Edited by ronk15a
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