Shopping Discussion

Have questions about diamonds and engagement rings, ASK ME ANYTHING...

Poll: What is most important in your ONLINE diamond shopping experience?

  • Total votes: 364. You have voted on this poll.
Price
 
201
55%
Selection
 
24
7%
Reputation
 
101
28%
Information
 
17
5%
Addons (warranties, trade up policies, free cleanings)
 
4
1%
Location (Canada, U.S.)
 
3
1%
Customer Service, purchase assistance
 
14
4%
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto

Have questions about diamonds and engagement rings, ASK ME ANYTHING...

Hi Redflaggers,

I have worked in the Diamond industry in numerous capacities over the last 7 years from wholesale-retail, and am hoping to share some of my knowledge with the Redflag community.

One of the interesting things about diamonds is that they are all unique, each one is different and the purchase of a diamond involves many tradeoffs.
It is my hope to help in answering your questions so that you can make the right tradeoffs and an informed decisions in your diamond purchase.

Ask me anything....

Some common questions are:

What is a fair price for the diamond you are considering?

Is it a nice diamond, can I find better?

Why are GIA diamonds priced higher than EGL?

Will I notice the difference between color grades?

What are fluorescence, are they bad?

To get the ball rolling here are some intersting facts that can save you a ton and help you get a great diamond.

1. Blue Fluorescence can make color grades lower than F appear whiter, and are often 3-10% less expensive than non fluorescence diamonds.
2. The observable size of a diamond depends more on the length and width of the girdle than on the actual carat size of the diamond.
3. The price of diamonds jump at certain weights (.5ct, .7ct, .9ct, 1ct, 2ct, 3ct....)
4. Diamonds cut right at the weights above, may have been "forced" up by the cutter to achieve a higher price for the diamond at the expense of the the cut of the diamond.
5. Without the aid of magnification you will not notice the difference between a flawless diamond and most SI diamonds, yet the price difference is massive.
6. A well cut diamond will look bigger than an average cut diamond as more light is returned to the eye, kind of like how black clothes are slimming and white aren't.
7. Many SI (Slightly Included) graded diamonds will be absolutely eye clean.
8. Inclusions under I1 will rarely affect the light performance of a diamond, rather they translate into higher prices largely because of rarity.

I welcome your questions, and if you appreciate my advice please help me out in answering my poll. What Is Mot Important In Your Online Diamond Shopping Experience
1508 replies
Banned
Nov 17, 2003
76 posts
2 upvotes
Hi thediamondshopper,

1. What is the best value for money combo in terms of colour and clarity? I've already decided on a .9-1ct ideal cut.
2. Where would you suggest I buy a Canadian sourced diamond that comes with accompanying certificate of origin?

This is the ring my GF wants http://www.precisionset.com/engagement- ... duct=62908

Thanks for your help
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
1799 posts
65 upvotes
Vancouver
Thank you for having this thread.

1. Similar to ramopara's question - what is the best bang for your bucks in terms of clarity, color (ie. best flawed clarity and color before people start noticing flaws if they dont stare into it for too long)?
2. What do you think of diamond engagement rings from costco?
spot finder
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
ramopara wrote:
Aug 1st, 2013 10:05 pm
Hi thediamondshopper,

1. What is the best value for money combo in terms of colour and clarity? I've already decided on a .9-1ct ideal cut.
2. Where would you suggest I buy a Canadian sourced diamond that comes with accompanying certificate of origin?

This is the ring my GF wants http://www.precisionset.com/engagement- ... duct=62908

Thanks for your help
Ramopara,

First off good choice in making an ideal cut a top priority, it really is the most important characteristic of a diamond IMO.

1. In terms of value for money this is a bit subjective and depends on what is important to you. Generally there are two types of diamond purchasers, those who go by the numbers and the grades and those who go by how it looks and of course there are grey areas in between. IMO the best value for money combo is getting the largest best cut stone possible that will not show any inclusions or yellow/brown tinge to the eye. That being said, I usually suggests clients go with H-I SI2 if you are working with a knowledgeable dealer or G-H SI1 otherwise. The reason being is that once the stone is set you will most likely not notice the difference between a D and an H or Flawless and SI1. SI2 and I color are the boundary where things start to get noticeable. Working with a good knowledgeable dealer, they will inquire if an I or lower stone has what is called a tinge (noticeable yellow or brown color), and whether or not an SI2 is eye clean (cannot see inclusions without magnification). Most I SI2 range stones are ok but, what you must keep in mind is that these color and clarity grades are ranges and you want to avoid the bottom end.

One thing to add regarding size and value, a 1ct diamond will cost considerably more than a .96 or .97 (.98 and .99 rarely exist) and the difference size wise in appearance will definitely not be noticed. Actually what is more important in evaluating size is the diamonds mm length and width. For the weight range you are considering (.9-1ct) The ideal size range would be 6.4mm - 6.5mm, there are some really nice .96 stones that are 6.45mm and will look as big if not bigger than half the 1ct stones, and save you a bunch of money.

Most diamond dealers have access to Canadian certified inventory, depending on where you are located it shouldn't be tough to find someone. The benefit is of course that you are buying Canadian, the downsides are that there is limited supply of these diamonds so the selection may not be as vast. Also because most of these diamonds are branded you pay a premium for these diamonds, even though they will look the same as comparable diamonds from any where else.

Nice choice in ring BTW, the tapering really makes the diamond pop.

If you need any further advice please dont hesitate to post or PM.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
Big Brother wrote:
Aug 1st, 2013 10:10 pm
Thank you for having this thread.

1. Similar to ramopara's question - what is the best bang for your bucks in terms of clarity, color (ie. best flawed clarity and color before people start noticing flaws if they dont stare into it for too long)?
2. What do you think of diamond engagement rings from costco?
HI Big Brother,

You are very welcome, im glad to give back a little.

For the first question please see my post to ramopara.

2. An honest opinion, costco is great if you eat the same foods or use the same products very often, I shop there :) For diamonds they aren't nearly as good for the following reasons.

First their staff has no clue about the nuances of diamonds and what makes a great diamond, so they will not be able to offer you any guidance. If you take a look at their diamond rings there is absolutely no mention of cut which almost all experts consider the most important aspect.

Second their selection is terrible, if you check their website they have 6 round brilliant diamonds, where as a diamond dealer like my self would be able to provide you with over 20,000 options for round brilliant diamonds 1ct and over between D-I color, IF-SI clarity and ideal or excellent cut polish and symmetry. As you can see the experience with costco is alot more generic, and considering the significance of the occasions that diamond buying usually signifies I feel a little more personalization is a good thing.

Lastly, and I save the best for last PRICE, costco snt particularly the best priced option despite what they advertise. Compared to most jewelry stores they are better priced, but much better deals can be found through internet vendors or a good diamond dealer.
Deal Addict
Sep 9, 2010
2976 posts
2136 upvotes
Burnaby
My criteria: fair trade, not blood stained and sound investment. So, none of the above.

I'd rather invest on gold/silver/platinum than on blood diamonds or cartel diamonds. Anyway, if it's for the showy bling-bling effects, man-made diamonds get the same effects at just a fraction of the cost. Eventually, with a flood of man-made diamonds, natural gem diamond prices will collapse (prices are so far maintained artificially high by the diamond cartel throttling the supply side.) Diamonds are not a sound investment. Even real estate is a better investment.

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[td]Tip #1: The WSJ: Proof That Diamonds Aren’t An Investor’s Best Friend
[IMG]http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/wallstre ... amonds.png[/IMG] After adjusting for inflation, currency devaluation and typical bond return rate over a 9 year period (discount rate) people would have lost money if they had invested on diamonds. The figures are worse since only high end diamonds (i.e, those worth at least several hundred thousand dollars) retain some value. Low end diamonds (typical of engagement rings, bling-bling jewelry, for example) lose up to 30% of their value just by leaving the seller's store. Figures are worse for diamonds without fair trade sourcing certificates (e.g., weapons dealer diamonds, warlord diamonds, drug dealer diamonds, money laundering diamonds, smuggled/contraband diamonds, etc.)
[/td]
[td][IMG]http://www.pricescope.com/files/diamond ... -carat.jpg[/IMG]
Diamond prices (at retail stores) are stiff and controlled by offer. These plots follow monetary adjustments for inflation and exchange rate (meaning in constant dollars, retail prices remained flat for large diamonds and decreased for small ones.) Note how price of diamonds practically didn't get any gain (2007-12)
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[td]
Tip #2. How to be a well informed buyer and avoid getting burnt while shopping for diamonds and engagement rings

To learn about diamond features, the diamond market, and find convenient list of online diamond sellers, please check this webpage (diamondpriceinfo):

http://diamondpriceinfo.com/FindaDiamondOnline.cfm

It lists some of the major online diamond sellers.
You can be sure these are reputable jewelry shops/online sellers.

Some online sellers allow you to find your diamond using online tools like this one (brilliantearth):

http://www.brilliantearth.com/design-yo ... ment-ring/

Just play with these tools and find what kind of diamond you could get with your budget.


If you need to learn about diamond and/or you need advice about buying diamonds go to reputable diamond information forum like pricescope:

http://www.pricescope.com/

This website has a wealth of information about diamonds as well as a very active forum where you can get advice and comments from
many jewelers, diamond traders and knowledgeable users (this reduces the risk of getting slanted advice from a single source or a con artist.)


I'd advice everybody in RFD to stay clear from people offering diamonds through forums (RFD, RFD BST, Kijiiji, Craiglists, etc.) You'd let yourself wide open to a scam (inferior quality stuff, counterfeit certificates, no returns, bait and switch, stolen property, etc.) If you really want to buy directly from someone (even if that person has an online store front), ask them to create an eBay transaction and pay with PayPal. This way if something goes wrong, you'll have a recourse through PayPal (lengthy) and through your credit card (immediate charge-back, no questions asked.) eBay has the advantage that since everything goes through CC or bank accounts, the seller has to use a real name or a real commercial id. Have the delivery scheduled at a jewelry store where a gemologist could verify the item against the certificate specs, as well as the certificates. This way you'll have as well some video recording of the individual (ask the jewelry store owner to record the transaction.) Get written invoice for the transaction.
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Newbie
Jul 28, 2013
10 posts
How do i know that the diamonds are the original one?
Newbie
Nov 15, 2006
26 posts
1 upvote
Hi, thanks for answering my questions!

I am strongly considering designing my own ring design via 3d modelling software and possibly having prototypes 3d printed to take to a custom ring maker. How feasible do you think this is? Are there any limitations or other things I should know if I'm to pursue this?
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
Hi Manzila,

The best way to tell if a diamond is what it is suppose to be is to take it to an independent appraiser. They are able to examine the diamond under a microscope and use the inclusions like a fingerprint to identify the diamond. If you are just looking to tell if the diamond is real or not, there are these devices called diamond testers, they are relatively cheap, but not always so accurate.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
Dyao,

Great question!! This is very possible and an amazing romantic idea, If you are in the Toronto area I work with 2 ring manufacturers that can help get this project done. You will need some professional advice in the process because not all designs you can create with 3d modeling software can come to reality in poured metal. Some of the things to consider would be if you are going to have accent stones you would need to design the right size pockets for them to be set in. Also you would need an idea of the size of the center stone if you were to design the prongs. Depending on the metal you intend to use platinum is much more difficult to work with, so if your design is very very intricate, especially with engravings you may want to consider gold, although I have seen some Tacori designs in platinum so I guess anything is possible. All in all with a good ring manufacturer im sure just about anything can be done.

Would love to see some pics when your done, and if you need any advice during the process id be happy to help!
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
Diamond Tip #1: Table size in a round brilliant diamond can have a great affect on appearance, within certain limitations larger tables on well cut diamonds show more brilliance, where as smaller tables show more fire and scintillation (flashes of color), choosing between the two is a matter of personal taste, and should be taken into account in your diamond purchase
Banned
Oct 19, 2010
7433 posts
1141 upvotes
Mississauga East
What is a better investment to prove to a woman you really care about her?

A. $10,000 diamond ring
B. $10,000 mutual fund investment in her name
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 5, 2009
3812 posts
1130 upvotes
Montreal
zz000ter wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2013 12:15 am
What is a better investment to prove to a woman you really care about her?

A. $10,000 diamond ring
B. $10,000 mutual fund investment in her name
haha, cold hard cash!
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
zz000ter wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2013 12:15 am
What is a better investment to prove to a woman you really care about her?

A. $10,000 diamond ring
B. $10,000 mutual fund investment in her name
LOL, while most diamonds arent the best investments, a Mutual Fund might seem like the clear choice. But what isnt normally considered in the value of the Joy many women have from wearing a diamond. That said, I guess it depends on the women. Also those who bought brown diamonds before they were called Cognac and Chocolate, have probably had returns better than alot of mutual funds.

But all in all I agree diamonds bought as a consumer are usually not the greatest investment.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
825 posts
353 upvotes
Toronto
Diamond Tip #2: AGS diamond grading reports contain much more information about the diamond than those from GIA

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