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: 528. You have voted on this poll.
Price
 
298
56%
Selection
 
35
7%
Reputation
 
144
27%
Information
 
25
5%
Addons (warranties, trade up policies, free cleanings)
 
5
1%
Location (Canada, U.S.)
 
3
1%
Customer Service, purchase assistance
 
18
3%
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
greenfury wrote:
Feb 5th, 2019 11:43 am
Hi

I want to buy a diamond earrings set as a gift. Price range is between 700-100$. Which would be the best place to buy with best value to the busy. Will it be costco / online or in store.

Thanks
Hi,

To keep the thread info and unbiased I dont make recommendations on where to buy as there are so many options and factors that will determine what is best for you.
at $700-1000 you will want to make sure that the vendor is trust worthy as you will probably end up with .2-.23ct for each earring and this size is not graded by the major labs so you will be relying on your vendor
to accurately portray the color clarity and cut.
[OP]
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Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
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Toronto
SamYoung3 wrote:
Feb 5th, 2019 4:51 pm
I'm looking for a 0.9-1 ct oval ring and have been presented the below two options:
1. https://www.gia.edu/report-check?report ... 9402502258
2. https://www.gia.edu/report-check?reportno=1288420186

The band would be pave, and a simple setting featuring the single stone. I was quoted $9000 all in (incl. tax), but I'm not sure that I'm getting the best bang for my buck in terms of quality. Particularly, I know you've warned about hazy diamonds when there's a comment of "clouds are not shown". Does that apply to these two diamonds?

Thanks!
Hi Sam

With ovals unless you completely trust your vendor you will want to see some sort of imaging so you can get a glimpse into the light performance and avoid things like bowtie effect and dark areas at the compass points and in the center.
You cant evaluate this by the GIA report as no labs accurately grade cut for fancy shape diamonds other than AGS. As well GIA reports are missing some key details like the crown and pavilion data. But for fancy shapes in my opinion imaging is essential
unless again you trust your vendor to be an expert in that cut, which from my experience is rare at the retail level.

The second diamond has a very thick girdle at points which means could mean that they kept extra weight to bump the weight up to 1.01ct where it might have been under 1ct if cut strickly for beauty over weight retention, it is also on the deeper side
so again likely cut to make max use of a piece of rough over cutting for beauty, The first also has the potential for this as it is right at 1ct.

With the comment about clouds there are two different but similar sounding comments that mean completely different things.
"additional clouds are not shown or clouds are not shown" which means that the clouds are so small and minuscule that they do not affect the clarity grade and are not worth mentioning these would be like VS1 or VVS inclusions if on their own.
The comment that is of concern is when it mentions "CLARITY GRADE is based on clouds that are not shown" this means that there are so many small clouds that they are what defines the given clarity grade. So one dosent affect the clarity grade at all
while the other determines it entirely.

In terms of pricing I would say that $9000 all in for diamond of this quality in a simple solitaire is considerably over priced, but maybe par for the course if your shopping at mall or retail stores.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
stephantillman wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 5:35 am
Can Diamond go with platinum. (Gift for valentine's day)
Absolutely platinum works great with diamond jewelry. Depending on where on the body it can be a bit heavy as it is almost double the density of gold but if made delicate it should be ok.
Newbie
Aug 14, 2011
23 posts
1 upvote
TORONTO
Greetings,

Thoughts on the following diamond?

https://www.gia.edu/report-check?report ... 9830210933

ROUND BRILLIANT
Measurements
6.53 - 6.55 x 4.05 mm
Carat Weight
1.06 carat
Color Grade
F
Clarity Grade
VS2
Cut Grade
Excellent
PROPORTIONS
Depth
61.8 %
Table
57 %
Crown Angle
35.0°
Crown Height
15.0%
Pavilion Angle
40.8°
Pavilion Depth
43.0%
Star Length
55%
Lower Half
80%
Girdle
Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 3.5%
Culet
None
Newbie
Jul 17, 2018
34 posts
7 upvotes
Im purchasing an engagement ring soon from JamesAllen....I would really appreciate some input regarding Duties and Taxes. My subtotal is CA$5,314.00 with a CA$265 Tax/Duty estimate for Ontario. I understand that JamesAllen and Bluenile are bothh NAFTA so no duty but the sales tax in Ontario is 13% so where is this CA$265 coming from? I know its an estimate but I dont want to be hit hard with random hidden fees when FedEx shows up at my door.
Member
User avatar
May 8, 2017
202 posts
89 upvotes
thediamondshopper wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 6:52 pm
Hi,

To keep the thread info and unbiased I dont make recommendations on where to buy as there are so many options and factors that will determine what is best for you.
at $700-1000 you will want to make sure that the vendor is trust worthy as you will probably end up with .2-.23ct for each earring and this size is not graded by the major labs so you will be relying on your vendor
to accurately portray the color clarity and cut.
Hi...thanks for the reply.. Got your point...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 27, 2011
2906 posts
1212 upvotes
Waterloo
Thanks for this thread, OP, but also an especially big thanks for being one of the few "ask me anything" type threads who actually keeps answering questions over the many years!
So I went to a few jewellery stores (the ones you find in malls) with my SO for engagement rings. We didn't buy anything, we were just looking to see what we liked. I started to do some research online afterwards about diamonds/rings and wish I did that before going into the stores. I have some questions about diamonds but also rings in general, hope you can answer some or most of them :)

1) One of the stores we went to was Spence Diamonds. Aside from the normal diamonds they have the man made "Artisan Created Diamonds" which are apparently 100% real diamonds. Are there any downside to these? They seem quite a bit cheaper compared to the "real" thing.
2) The ring we liked was $1550 (our budget was only around 2k). But after doing some research it seems like buying online provides much better value. Here are the specs: 0.3ct, round shape, VS1, H colour, I forgot the cut but I think it was "excellent". The ring itself is 19k white gold with no other diamonds on it. Good value or no?
3) Which diamond shape provides the best "bang for buck"?
4) Which diamond color provides the best "bang for buck"?
5) Which diamond clarity provides the best "bang for buck"?
6) Which diamond cut provides the best "bang for buck"?
7) Am I able to buy just the diamond from somewhere online and then buy just the ring from elsewhere in-store and get the diamond put on the ring somehow? Is this a common thing at all or am I out to lunch?
8) At one of the stores, the saleslady insisted on a 19k white gold ring vs 18k white gold ring. This was due to something about not needing an annual rhodium coating done. The 19k costs more obviously and I'm wondering if it's worth it? And what about only 14k which I think is the cheapest?
9) Do jewellery stores accept exchanges on engagement rings? By that I mean if we get a ring (that isn't customized or sized) and soon after decide we want a different ring, is that doable? Or are engagement rings pretty much final sale? As you can probably tell I'm pretty ignorant on jewellery...
10) Are there any cons from buying online compared to in-store (other than you don't get to see it in front of you before buying)?
11) I know in a post you just recently made you said you wanted this thread to be unbiased so didn't want to make recommendations on where to buy the diamond. I'm just wondering if you'd be able to just generally comment on buying online vs in-store, maybe with personal experiences? Seems when I google buying online rings/diamonds, Blue Nile, James Allen, and Brilliant Earth come up a lot, so that's probably where'd I'd go if I bought online And if I buy in-store, would you generally avoid the mall stores like Peoples, Michael Hill, Spence, etc and instead favor the small local stores? Essentially I'm trying to figure out which places whether online or in-store tend to provide better value compared to other places, and which places I should avoid altogether.

Thanks...and sorry for all the questions!
Newbie
Feb 4, 2019
2 posts
Thanks for the reply!

I probed the jeweller and their response was that the higher price reflects the higher quality and weight of the setting and band they’ll use (pave). The ring will also be hand made, with a custom setting that includes a small emerald under the setting. So the price apparently reflects the fact that the band is “hand made” instead of “machine made” , and includes the above details. I gotta say, I’m still torn on if the value is fair.
Member
User avatar
Sep 18, 2017
387 posts
507 upvotes
Vancouver
JasonE73993 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 7:13 pm
Im purchasing an engagement ring soon from JamesAllen....I would really appreciate some input regarding Duties and Taxes. My subtotal is CA$5,314.00 with a CA$265 Tax/Duty estimate for Ontario. I understand that JamesAllen and Bluenile are bothh NAFTA so no duty but the sales tax in Ontario is 13% so where is this CA$265 coming from? I know its an estimate but I dont want to be hit hard with random hidden fees when FedEx shows up at my door.
Have you considered actually calling them and getting the answer from the source, instead of asking a bunch of random internet strangers?
Member
User avatar
Sep 18, 2017
387 posts
507 upvotes
Vancouver
crystallight wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 4:41 pm
Thanks for this thread, OP, but also an especially big thanks for being one of the few "ask me anything" type threads who actually keeps answering questions over the many years!
So I went to a few jewellery stores (the ones you find in malls) with my SO for engagement rings. We didn't buy anything, we were just looking to see what we liked. I started to do some research online afterwards about diamonds/rings and wish I did that before going into the stores. I have some questions about diamonds but also rings in general, hope you can answer some or most of them :)

1) One of the stores we went to was Spence Diamonds. Aside from the normal diamonds they have the man made "Artisan Created Diamonds" which are apparently 100% real diamonds. Are there any downside to these? They seem quite a bit cheaper compared to the "real" thing.
2) The ring we liked was $1550 (our budget was only around 2k). But after doing some research it seems like buying online provides much better value. Here are the specs: 0.3ct, round shape, VS1, H colour, I forgot the cut but I think it was "excellent". The ring itself is 19k white gold with no other diamonds on it. Good value or no?
3) Which diamond shape provides the best "bang for buck"?
4) Which diamond color provides the best "bang for buck"?
5) Which diamond clarity provides the best "bang for buck"?
6) Which diamond cut provides the best "bang for buck"?
Not to sound rude, but a 0.3ct diamond ring is going to be tiny. Just make sure it's something that she is absolutely 100% sure of before proceeding. The sizing differences from 0.8-1ct aren't as noticeable, but anything below those ranges will make a big difference. I know we all have different budgets and financial situations, but if I was in your position, then I'd rather save up and get something bigger.

Questions 3-6 are easily answered by Googling.
Newbie
Sep 10, 2010
99 posts
67 upvotes
Glad to see the thread is alive and well!
Wanted to get thoughts on a diamond with the specs found in the photo. Diamond price is $8400CAD.

Thanks !
Images
  • 4F15204B-D366-4EE1-9742-559937A4DB58.jpeg
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
1Coleslaw wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 3:27 pm
Greetings,

Thoughts on the following diamond?

https://www.gia.edu/report-check?report ... 9830210933

ROUND BRILLIANT
Measurements
6.53 - 6.55 x 4.05 mm
Carat Weight
1.06 carat
Color Grade
F
Clarity Grade
VS2
Cut Grade
Excellent
PROPORTIONS
Depth
61.8 %
Table
57 %
Crown Angle
35.0°
Crown Height
15.0%
Pavilion Angle
40.8°
Pavilion Depth
43.0%
Star Length
55%
Lower Half
80%
Girdle
Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 3.5%
Culet
None
Hi,

The specs look pretty good on paper, face up size is decent, crown and pavilion work well together, table and depth are within ideal ranges.
My only two concerns are how good the VS2 is, not sure if it is a clear or dark crystal, this will impact the value alot.
As well the report is a bit old, May 2017 so it has gone unsold for almost 1.5 years. Not quite old enough to be a trade in, so hopefully its not something undesirable that caused it to stick around.
Ideally it is at a small store where they bought the stone outright and just didnt have the traffic to move it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
JasonE73993 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 7:13 pm
Im purchasing an engagement ring soon from JamesAllen....I would really appreciate some input regarding Duties and Taxes. My subtotal is CA$5,314.00 with a CA$265 Tax/Duty estimate for Ontario. I understand that JamesAllen and Bluenile are bothh NAFTA so no duty but the sales tax in Ontario is 13% so where is this CA$265 coming from? I know its an estimate but I dont want to be hit hard with random hidden fees when FedEx shows up at my door.
I would ask James Allen, as they are selling the ring. The only thing I can think of is that the setting is made over seas so there might be duty on it. The amount is pretty much exactly 5% so good chance you also put in the wrong province for delivery as Alberta would be 5%.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
greenfury wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 9:55 pm
Hi...thanks for the reply.. Got your point...
Your very welcome! Thanks for understanding
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1105 posts
447 upvotes
Toronto
crystallight wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 4:41 pm
Thanks for this thread, OP, but also an especially big thanks for being one of the few "ask me anything" type threads who actually keeps answering questions over the many years!
So I went to a few jewellery stores (the ones you find in malls) with my SO for engagement rings. We didn't buy anything, we were just looking to see what we liked. I started to do some research online afterwards about diamonds/rings and wish I did that before going into the stores. I have some questions about diamonds but also rings in general, hope you can answer some or most of them :)

1) One of the stores we went to was Spence Diamonds. Aside from the normal diamonds they have the man made "Artisan Created Diamonds" which are apparently 100% real diamonds. Are there any downside to these? They seem quite a bit cheaper compared to the "real" thing.
2) The ring we liked was $1550 (our budget was only around 2k). But after doing some research it seems like buying online provides much better value. Here are the specs: 0.3ct, round shape, VS1, H colour, I forgot the cut but I think it was "excellent". The ring itself is 19k white gold with no other diamonds on it. Good value or no?
3) Which diamond shape provides the best "bang for buck"?
4) Which diamond color provides the best "bang for buck"?
5) Which diamond clarity provides the best "bang for buck"?
6) Which diamond cut provides the best "bang for buck"?
7) Am I able to buy just the diamond from somewhere online and then buy just the ring from elsewhere in-store and get the diamond put on the ring somehow? Is this a common thing at all or am I out to lunch?
8) At one of the stores, the saleslady insisted on a 19k white gold ring vs 18k white gold ring. This was due to something about not needing an annual rhodium coating done. The 19k costs more obviously and I'm wondering if it's worth it? And what about only 14k which I think is the cheapest?
9) Do jewellery stores accept exchanges on engagement rings? By that I mean if we get a ring (that isn't customized or sized) and soon after decide we want a different ring, is that doable? Or are engagement rings pretty much final sale? As you can probably tell I'm pretty ignorant on jewellery...
10) Are there any cons from buying online compared to in-store (other than you don't get to see it in front of you before buying)?
11) I know in a post you just recently made you said you wanted this thread to be unbiased so didn't want to make recommendations on where to buy the diamond. I'm just wondering if you'd be able to just generally comment on buying online vs in-store, maybe with personal experiences? Seems when I google buying online rings/diamonds, Blue Nile, James Allen, and Brilliant Earth come up a lot, so that's probably where'd I'd go if I bought online And if I buy in-store, would you generally avoid the mall stores like Peoples, Michael Hill, Spence, etc and instead favor the small local stores? Essentially I'm trying to figure out which places whether online or in-store tend to provide better value compared to other places, and which places I should avoid altogether.

Thanks...and sorry for all the questions!
Hi, Thanks for the kind words!
Some of the answers you can find in the thread summary at the top as they are questions asked by many.
Ill to quick answer your questions though as there are ALOT of them

1) typically right now they are 30-60% less than mined diamonds depending where in the chain you buy them from. The advice we give our clients is that if you dont care about the future value of them they are a good option.
it is likely they will follow a similar path to lab made colored stones where the the price decreases consistently over time as the technology increases
2) thats not nearly enough info to assess the value of a ring
3) please see thread summary - also is dependent on your preferences
4) please see thread summary - also is dependent on your preferences
5) please see thread summary - also is dependent on your preferences
6) please see thread summary - also is dependent on your preferences
7) would be dependent on the store/supplier many will not want to do this as they would be responsible for a diamond you purchased else where and you may pay more than if you bought the whole thing from one place especially with a .3ct diamond
8) All white gold has to be rhodium plated to be white as gold is naturally yellow, so with 19k having more yellow gold content it woldnt make sense. I would say if anything it is more of a marketing gimmick and makes it harder for customers to compare prices or
possibly a means for some stores to differentiate their product.
9) would depend on the store
10) again would depend on the online vendor and the store, mostly you will want to work with some one knowledgeable and with your best interests in mind whether it be a store or online.
11) I run both a wholesale and retail business so I dont shop online or in store so I woudnt be able to offer you a meaningful opinion.

I would suggest your reading the summary at least and possibly parts of the thread

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