engagement ring buying advice

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by DaveDr89, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. West24

    West24 Senior member

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    So is your mom!

    what are you 5?
     


  2. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    what are you 5?

    Yeah, but I know how to use commas. Oh, snap!
     


  3. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    I've already gotten the okay to get an ASHA simulant from betterthandiamond.com. I'm going to be ordering one shortly to see how they look. They've gotten good reviews. For the setting I'm going with white gold with palladium.
     


  4. visionology

    visionology Senior member

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    the same way i feel about all synthetics. they are inexpensive substitutes to the real thing.
    But if it's 100% diamond, created from the same carbon that diamonds were created from, doesn't that make them authentic? I'm wondering what a gemologist would see when looking at one, would they think it's a diamond from the earth because it is of the same molecular structure? Did anyone see that history channel special on carbon the other day, they mentioned they found a sun that was essentially all diamond due to its complete carbon structure and was estimated at 10billion, 100trillion, 100trillion carats [​IMG]
     


  5. visionology

    visionology Senior member

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    I've already gotten the okay to get an ASHA simulant from betterthandiamond.com. I'm going to be ordering one shortly to see how they look. They've gotten good reviews. For the setting I'm going with white gold with palladium.

    Please let us know how this goes, I am very curious. The only thing I am a bit concerned about is the certificate of authenticity. It isn't authored by an outside agency but by their in house labs correct? If so I would just be a bit nervous about false certifications.
     


  6. West24

    West24 Senior member

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    But if it's 100% diamond, created from the same carbon that diamonds were created from, doesn't that make them authentic?

    I'm wondering what a gemologist would see when looking at one, would they think it's a diamond from the earth because it is of the same molecular structure?



    Did anyone see that history channel special on carbon the other day, they mentioned they found a sun that was essentially all diamond due to its complete carbon structure and was estimated at 10billion, 100trillion, 100trillion carats [​IMG]


    no it doesnt, every synthetic is an exact chemical copy of the natural gemstone. they just arent that, natural. synthetic sapphire, spinel, etc. and if a gemmologist did the proper tests they would know it was synthetic.
     


  7. tomee

    tomee Senior member

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    hey guys i recently went through this and thought id give my small input from what i gathered.

    my list was to go anywhere from the below:

    the 4 C's
    Carat - As big as you can afford
    Clarity - IF > VS2
    Cut (shape) - whichever cut you want - princess, round brilliant etc
    Colour - D > G
    make sure the cut rating is Excellent, and at the higher end of excellent

    Try and get something that has certification from either DCLA or GIA - these are 2 of the most renowned diamond certifiers in the world, so you can be assured that their grading system is accurate (some local places will give a diamond a higher grading than it actually is)

    Also, try and get something that has a cut rating of Excellent. A big diamond with a poor cut looks worse than a smaller diamond with a great cut. Great cuts mean that the light is reflected, whereas poor cuts can allow the light to go straight through, so they look dull.

    You will notice online that they are usually graded by MGR (manufacturer). If you choose one of these, I'd also ask to have it certified by GIA or DCLA. This will take a few weeks, but you'll have a certificate at the end of it, and will have piece of mind that the diamond quality is what it should be.
     


  8. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    There are some smart tradeoffs within the 4-Cs, IMO, for maximizing the diamond you get for the price. For instance, it's possible to find diamonds rated SI1 (some inclusions) where the inclusions are such that they're invisible to the naked eye or else easily hidden by the setting. You need to master the loupe or else have a jeweler you can rely on to pull off buying a SI1, though. It's also my experience that it's very difficult to tell a color difference between a D and F stone.

    Cut and Carat are the most important characteristics, provided the diamond in question has no inclusions visible to the naked eye and is relatively colorless. The cut is what really gives a stone it's sparkle... it's the performance of light hitting the stone.

    Whatever you do, I'd get an ideal cut stone. Nothing below a GIA rating of "excellent," and even that excellent rating would not be enough for me. Not every excellent rated GIA stone is created equal. There are one or two agencies, I dont remember their names, with a stricter set of cut guidelines than the GIA, and getting a rock with their top rating would be good. A perfectly cut round diamond will show symetical arrow shapes if you're looking at it from the top, and heart shapes if you're looking at it from the bottom. Several boutique jewlers have trademark names for these "hearts and arrows" diamonds. You may want to look into them.

    Tiffanys is ok. You're not going to get sold a dud there, and their markup on diamonds is actually pretty reasonable compared to their other jewelry and other brick-and-morter stores. My experience with them was, though, that they were not willing or able to focus on the cut of their diamonds, treating all their cuts in the store as equal and trying to make the sale based on the other Cs. I wanted a perfectly cut diamond and wasn't sure I was going to get it there.
     


  9. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    Tiffanys is ok. You're not going to get sold a dud there, and their markup on diamonds is actually pretty reasonable compared to their other jewelry and other brick-and-morter stores. My experience with them was, though, that they were not willing or able to focus on the cut of their diamonds, treating all their cuts in the store as equal and trying to make the sale based on the other Cs. I wanted a perfectly cut diamond and wasn't sure I was going to get it there.

    How about the fifth "C", Cartier?
     


  10. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    Three words.

    One
    Carat
    Wholesale
     


  11. billiebob

    billiebob Senior member

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    no it doesnt, every synthetic is an exact chemical copy of the natural gemstone. they just arent that, natural. synthetic sapphire, spinel, etc. and if a gemmologist did the proper tests they would know it was synthetic.


    The only man-made diamonds in the marketplace are Apollo diamonds. They are as expensive or more expensive as mined diamonds and they are small. No other manufacturer sells man-made diamonds that I know of. http://www.apollodiamond.com/

    All the diamond "simulant" stuff is just that, simulant. They are not carbon-based stones. They are cubic zirconia. They can be quite beautiful and are very cheap. If you are paying for than $150 for a top quality 2carat CZ you are buying some marketing line.

    Other gems can be made synthetic (synthetic sapphire in particular can be gorgeous), but diamond is very difficult and expensive to do. If anyone knows of a company other than apollo doing this post it up.

    Also, there is a HUGE variation in cut quality within the GIA "excellent' designation. You can look at two diamonds with identical specs and one is alive and the other is dead. You must see the stone or order from somewhere that will let you buy and return several stones to get the one you like. If you are in nyc buying a great diamond is easy. If not, whiteflash sounds great. Blue Nile has less detailed info about their stones (like the cut angles).

    Costco has some very nice rings at a nice price. If I wasn't going to do a shred of research, I would buy there in a heartbeat knowing I wasn't getting ripped off. If possible, however, get a GIA certed stone. Costco carries both GIA , AGS, IGI and maybe even EGA certs. GIA and AGS are the most strict and well respected.

    The folks on pricescope.com are nuts about diamonds. I learned a lot from them in a week and got a diamond the recipient loves with great specs for an excellent price. I got a sapphire as well and a couple of great settings .
     


  12. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    Couple thoughts jump to mind, none at all relevant to this thread's original purpose:

    As I said briefly in a previous post, there is no free trade in diamonds. It is a controlled market. De Beers' competitors have no reason to vary their prices significantly from the prices De Beers has set. Diamonds are extremely abundant. Diamonds do not hold value. De Beers created the market for diamonds. Even though diamonds are not a commodity, there is a relationship between demand for Canadian or Russian diamonds, and for African diamonds. I would suggest that even by buying "northern," you are feeding the trade in diamonds sourced in an unethical manner. The diamond industry in the north is ecologically damaging.

    In a perfect world, we wouldn't (well, women wouldn't) be so consumed by these things... or we would buy manufactured diamonds.

    Alas, I have resigned myself to buying one at some point, whenever "she" comes along.
     


  13. JustinW

    JustinW Senior member

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    Unjung, you're right and for anything else I wouldn't worry about it. With all the symbolism in an engagement and wedding ring, I decided not to taint mine with too much bad juju. Supercilious? Sure. Was it made by fluffy bunnies in a biosphere? Nah, but at least I made an effort not to get something with serious bad karma. I jeweler who set the stone was trying to sell me a bunch of rocks with some dubious provenance. Probably nothing too dodgy, but what do I know? Anyway, I ended-up getting the stone from someone else who could give me all the right paperwork.
     


  14. DaveDr89

    DaveDr89 Senior member

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    Costco? Just had a quick look and they have a huge selection. Not sure of what I think about buying a diamond from Costco though. Costco vs Whiteflash thoughts? I like the lifetime upgrade option at Whitefliash.
     


  15. peshlaki

    peshlaki Well-Known Member

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    I make wedding sets for a living.There is nothing better than high karat gold bands,they look beautiful for all the years of your marriage.We've all been sold a bill of goods by the diamond merchants.Diamonds are forever....they are also very abundant,not rare at all.
    By the way,yellow is the way to go,if you want white go with platinum.
     


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