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engagement ring buying advice

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

  1. DaveDr89

    DaveDr89 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Oct 25, 2007
    So, from highest to lowest for apples to apples value, do we have:

    Tiffany's or other "high experience" locales
    Mall jewelers
    Custom places like Leon Mege or VanCraeynest (previous link)
    Online vendors
    ??

    perhaps this isn't right question, as I assume the point is that the custom places can create quality that the mall jeweler cannot ...
     
  2. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Has anyone considered uncertified diamonds? Certified diamonds are definitely priced at a premium, but if resale value is not a consideration and the stone is relatively small (<1.2ct), would they be worth a look?
     
  3. JustinW

    JustinW Senior member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    So, .. apples to apples .... perhaps this isn't right question, as I assume the point is that the custom places can create quality that the mall jeweler cannot ...

    Yeh, I think you're looking at apple to carrots here .... or perhaps lemons to apples to avocados?

    Are you looking for the total surprise wow-factor or are you consulting your target on rings? Do you have any idea of her jewelry tastes? Any clues what she might like?
     
  4. DaveDr89

    DaveDr89 Senior member

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    would be nice to have a large suprise factor, but I'll also gather some info over on her tastes and factor that in. No real clues at the moment as I've avoided the topic in the past LOL. The custom route seems appealing but I'd like to give it to her prior to Jan 1 so that doesn't seem doable.
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Feb 11, 2007
    would be nice to have a large suprise factor, but I'll also gather some info over on her tastes and factor that in. No real clues at the moment as I've avoided the topic in the past LOL. The custom route seems appealing but I'd like to give it to her prior to Jan 1 so that doesn't seem doable.

    Oh, that's quite a time limit. Most places won't be able to do it in time.
     
  6. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    People's Republic of the Five Boroughs
    So, from highest to lowest for apples to apples value, do we have: Tiffany's or other "high experience" locales Mall jewelers Custom places like Leon Mege or VanCraeynest (previous link) Online vendors ?? perhaps this isn't right question, as I assume the point is that the custom places can create quality that the mall jeweler cannot ...
    You have to consider the stone, the settting and non-tangibles (buying experience, importance of recognizable brand name,etc. ) separately. Diamond stones are a commodity and you can get virtually identical stones from any places on your lists the only difference being the price you paid. Settings are a more of personal consideration. Some people really like the settings sold at high-end stores, some prefer something unique and custom made and some put no value on the setting at all.
    Has anyone considered uncertified diamonds? Certified diamonds are definitely priced at a premium, but if resale value is not a consideration and the stone is relatively small (<1.2ct), would they be worth a look?
    I don't think it's worth it. The cost of certification, whether wholesalers or retailers are paying for it is very small (<$50 IMO). An uncerified stone, especially in 1.0-1.2ct size would be a red flag for me as the current industry practice, especially for online merchants, is to have every stone even as small as .3ct certified. 10-15 years ago diamonds below 1.0 ct did not normally get certified, but the practice is different now. Incidentally, I trust AGSL and GIA certifications the most, with EGL being one step behind and all other lab's certifications taken merely as suggestions.
     
  7. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    Germany
    The custom ring is a great idea but how do you surprise her with that? Do you just need her standard ring size?

    I am going for a simulant at first and I just saw a palladium setting that I really liked with diamonds going around the ring. Not sure if it is technically pave, maybe a shared mounting? I was $1300 for the setting and $150 for the simulant.

    Maybe I should just get a simple white gold solitaire with a CZ and then have the ring designed afterwards? We are trying to buy a house, so maybe it would be wise to stick with the $1500 setup and then do it up properly with a real diamond a few years from now.
     
  8. EllaH

    EllaH New Member

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Online shopping is totally fine, but just like with shopping in person, you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable source. You also want to make sure you any stone you are interested in comes with a GIA-certificate. They are the most reputable lab in the industry. Not only did GIA develop the 4 C's in the first place, but they are known for honesty and integrity in grading. Their reports are known for being the most accurate, as well. Hope this helps!
     
  9. atila

    atila Senior member

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    Oct 5, 2010
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    Los Angeles
    Hi, I have a jewelry store in southern California and if anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to help (PM or post here).

    I didn't really read through the thread other than this last page, but generally stay away from the malls/Jarrod/etc.

    When shopping for a loose diamond, online you can get really competitive prices, however, finding an independent jeweler who you can trust and has a good eye might be your best bet.

    At our store, there is two of us who buy the stones. We commonly buy diamonds with a lower clarity (SI1/SI2) that are CLEANER than diamonds with a higher grade (VS1/VS2). This is not unheard of, and really, it just boils down to having a good jeweler. This allows us to pass part of the savings onto our customers and everyone wins.

    The thing about loose diamonds, they are all graded by people, and each diamond is graded by a different person. So although there are standards, when it comes to grading a diamond that might be on the fence, you can get two different grades from two different people.

    Also, another good tip - EGL USA graded diamonds can be a great value and will be significantly cheaper than a GIA certified diamond. If you are to go the route of an EGL diamond, I would recommend having a jeweler you trust help you pick it out.


    Like I said, I have not really read the thread but if anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
     

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