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: 586. You have voted on this poll.
Price
 
332
57%
Selection
 
42
7%
Reputation
 
153
26%
Information
 
29
5%
Addons (warranties, trade up policies, free cleanings)
 
6
1%
Location (Canada, U.S.)
 
4
1%
Customer Service, purchase assistance
 
20
3%
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
princessv wrote: Hey @thediamondshopper , I would love to hear your thoughts on the diamond below.

https://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamond-details/LD13741599

Thanks a lot!

Shape
Round
Cut
Ideal
Info
Colour
F
Info
Clarity
SI1
Info
Carat Weight
1.05
Fluorescence
None
Info
Length/Width Ratio
1.01
Info
Depth %
62.6%
Info
Table %
57.0%
Info
Polish
Excellent
Info
Symmetry
Excellent
Info
Girdle
Thin to Medium
Info
Culet
None
Info
Measurements
6.47 x 6.51 x 4.07 mm
Hi,

In terms of whats available on the GIA report the diamond is a little deeper than I typically suggest as well when combined with a steep crown angle and deep pavilion it is likely there is considerable light leakage.
The face up size is ok more what you would expect from a 1ct diamond rather than a 1.05. This is mainly because of how it is cut steep and deep.

In terms of value it is really hard to say without imaging as where the color and clarity are in the range of SI1 and F will have a big impact on the value. If it is a nice F color and a nice SI1 then it would be fairly valued considering the cut.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
wiffle wrote: Hi all,

First - thanks @thediamondshopper for all of the work you've done in helping the RFD community. New to the ring-buying experience and this thread has been a godsend. Still working my way through the 150+ pages but it has already been a wealth of info.

Just a quick question to more seasoned shoppers: I plan on buying a centre stone from an online retailer. Do most just take this to a custom jeweller to finish off the rest of the setting / band, or where are they taking their prized centre stone to finish off? Second, any chance someone could ballpark a price on a Pavé style engagement ring, silver or yellow gold? Fully recognize that this depends on the number and quality of the individual diamonds but just wanted to get an idea.

Thanks all!
Your very welcome! Glad to hear its been helpful thus far in your search.

There are a few hurdles you may experience in trying to find some one to make a ring for a diamond they didnt sell.
Mainly the better jewellers likely wont want to take this on as they will be liable for your diamond and better jewelers may only make rings for diamonds they sell.
Alternatively you may end up paying a higher price for the setting as they didnt supply the diamond. Many of the retail jewelers I know will either charge more or not take the job.
That being said another alternative is to price out your center stone and try to find some one who will offer you a similar or better deal on the whole package. Or alternatively do the ring with the online vendor.
I think having one party do everything will work the most in your favor.

There are alot of things that factor into the cost of making a setting. Even if you search on Blue Nile or James Allen (only mentioning these as most know of them) you will see prices vary widely for seemingly the similar settings.

A few things that will determine the cost:
-the level of customization
-the size and total weight of the diamonds used, I find the less expensive pave settings with like 0.1ct look terrible as the diamonds are so tiny that they look more like cuts in the metal than diamonds.
I typically suggest .25ct as the base line for the diamond size depending a bit on the finger size.
-quality of the small diamonds: color, clarity and cut. It is very rare to find a business that uses ideal cut small diamonds. Most better shops (bandm and online) use very good cuts and the low end mall stores good cuts or worse.
I like to say to optimize the cut as this makes the diamonds shine more and also helps to mask the color and clarity imperfections. with color and clarity you can go fairly low for small diamonds though I suggest for color not going more than 2 grades higher or lower than
the center diamond. For clarity in most cases SI1-2 is pretty good balance.
-style of setting: this is more of an insider thing, there are two ways to set diamonds either by hand cutting the settings or by pre-designing them with the ring. The first costs a bit more and only talented jewelers offer this. It really classes up the ring alot as
the setting looks very crisp and sharp.
-the amount of metal: thinner bands will cost less than thick ones
-whether the ring is actually custom designed or like some online stores they are made from pre-assembled pieces. The first is nicer as the ring design flows better.

With all this in mind I would say with around .25ct in 14k white gold a nice ring could cost $1350-1400. I would also consider platinum as an options as gold prices have risen alot compared to platinum and platinum wears better over time as it
does not need to be rhodium plated to stay white and is hypoallergenic. Some who knows how to work well with platinum wouldn't charge much of a premium maybe $200-250 over white gold.

Hope that is helpful
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 12, 2010
729 posts
158 upvotes
Vancouver
thediamondshopper wrote: Your very welcome! Glad to hear its been helpful thus far in your search.

There are a few hurdles you may experience in trying to find some one to make a ring for a diamond they didnt sell.
Mainly the better jewellers likely wont want to take this on as they will be liable for your diamond and better jewelers may only make rings for diamonds they sell.
Alternatively you may end up paying a higher price for the setting as they didnt supply the diamond. Many of the retail jewelers I know will either charge more or not take the job.
That being said another alternative is to price out your center stone and try to find some one who will offer you a similar or better deal on the whole package. Or alternatively do the ring with the online vendor.
I think having one party do everything will work the most in your favor.

There are alot of things that factor into the cost of making a setting. Even if you search on Blue Nile or James Allen (only mentioning these as most know of them) you will see prices vary widely for seemingly the similar settings.

A few things that will determine the cost:
-the level of customization
-the size and total weight of the diamonds used, I find the less expensive pave settings with like 0.1ct look terrible as the diamonds are so tiny that they look more like cuts in the metal than diamonds.
I typically suggest .25ct as the base line for the diamond size depending a bit on the finger size.
-quality of the small diamonds: color, clarity and cut. It is very rare to find a business that uses ideal cut small diamonds. Most better shops (bandm and online) use very good cuts and the low end mall stores good cuts or worse.
I like to say to optimize the cut as this makes the diamonds shine more and also helps to mask the color and clarity imperfections. with color and clarity you can go fairly low for small diamonds though I suggest for color not going more than 2 grades higher or lower than
the center diamond. For clarity in most cases SI1-2 is pretty good balance.
-style of setting: this is more of an insider thing, there are two ways to set diamonds either by hand cutting the settings or by pre-designing them with the ring. The first costs a bit more and only talented jewelers offer this. It really classes up the ring alot as
the setting looks very crisp and sharp.
-the amount of metal: thinner bands will cost less than thick ones
-whether the ring is actually custom designed or like some online stores they are made from pre-assembled pieces. The first is nicer as the ring design flows better.

With all this in mind I would say with around .25ct in 14k white gold a nice ring could cost $1350-1400. I would also consider platinum as an options as gold prices have risen alot compared to platinum and platinum wears better over time as it
does not need to be rhodium plated to stay white and is hypoallergenic. Some who knows how to work well with platinum wouldn't charge much of a premium maybe $200-250 over white gold.

Hope that is helpful
Thanks for this!! Such a great post to refer to. I have a few more questions if that's okay with you - no particular rush on reply as I'm just starting getting into the thick of research now.
  1. Thoughts on lab grown vs natural diamond? Any noticeable difference in quality etc? How about depreciation value etc?
  2. What are the typical scales for attractiveness in terms of diamond colour? What are the more sought after colours, and what determines their value? See pic for example - most other metrics seem similar; however, one is colour F and other is I and the difference in price is almost a factor of 2.
  3. A more basic question but what does a term like "1/4 ct. tw." refer to when talking about a Pavé setting engagement ring? Does it mean that all of the smaller diamonds come up to a total weight of 1/4 carat?
Image

edit: the image above - this is obviously a screen of some lab-grown diamonds, and I am personally leaning towards getting something lab-grown (which is in line with what my partner wants). That screen is from brilliant earth - are their certification standards / reports accurate and reliable? (IGI / GCAL).
Newbie
Feb 6, 2019
45 posts
21 upvotes
Hello @thediamondshopper

I am wondering if you could provide some insight on the quality of the following diamonds. I have taken characteristics you have noted in this thread into account during my search and would like to know if there are any other hidden details I am missing or could be looking for!

Diamond 1: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-9347633

Diamond 2: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-8180027

Diamond 3: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-8233300

Thank you for any advice in advance!
Newbie
Dec 26, 2010
7 posts
3 upvotes
Ottawa
Hi @thediamondshopper . I sincerely appreciate all the amazing knowledge and explanation you've provided throughout this thread, thank you very much.
I'm hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction regarding quality of cut of the following 2 diamonds:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-6406691
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-9041545
I'm looking for sparkle as a priority as long as its over .9 carats.
My only concerns aside from cut are:
Are the inclusions on these surface reaching and is that bad (How do I tell?)
Would you recommend yellow gold to provide a better contrast to slightly yellow colour diamond to help mask that?
Thanks again.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
wiffle wrote: Thanks for this!! Such a great post to refer to. I have a few more questions if that's okay with you - no particular rush on reply as I'm just starting getting into the thick of research now.
  1. Thoughts on lab grown vs natural diamond? Any noticeable difference in quality etc? How about depreciation value etc?
  2. What are the typical scales for attractiveness in terms of diamond colour? What are the more sought after colours, and what determines their value? See pic for example - most other metrics seem similar; however, one is colour F and other is I and the difference in price is almost a factor of 2.
  3. A more basic question but what does a term like "1/4 ct. tw." refer to when talking about a Pavé setting engagement ring? Does it mean that all of the smaller diamonds come up to a total weight of 1/4 carat?
Image

edit: the image above - this is obviously a screen of some lab-grown diamonds, and I am personally leaning towards getting something lab-grown (which is in line with what my partner wants). That screen is from brilliant earth - are their certification standards / reports accurate and reliable? (IGI / GCAL).
Your very welcome!

On labgrown vs mined, if you go through some of the past posts there is alot more detail. Basically they both look essentially the same but with lab grown diamonds there are some very rare color tinges that are not attractive that you have to look to avoid.
I find the color tinges are much more prominent than with mined diamonds when you do see them. With depreciation value the difference is large, mined diamonds hold their value very well, of course if you dont purchase from a retailer with large margins.
Where as labgrown diamonds typically decrease in value every year as the cost of production comes down. I would expect this to continue as they are not rare and can be infinitely produced unlike mind diamonds.

I would suggest you read the thread summary on the first page of this thread there is lots of great info on color. Color is a matter of personal preference. Ive seen diamonds look nice and white down to K color if they are chosen very well with optimal specs.
The value in color is mainly determined by rarity with colorless diamonds being more rare and more costly. The example you gave is not typical with price difference being that high from I-F color in lab diamonds there may be other factors influencing this.
In general though I would say the prices you listed are exceptionally high for those specs.

1/4tcw or tw is the total weight of the small diamonds. Though it is rarely mentioned with most companies the cut of these is quite important as well so you should inquire. I believe most major online retailers use Vg-good cut small diamonds.

From my experience IGI and GCAL are looser on grading than GIA though I have found their lab grown grading standards to be closer to GIA standards than with mined diamonds.
They are not always consistent so you cant make a blanket statement about their accuracy, Ive seen some that are great and others that are off by a grade or two for color and or clarity, though color is more often padded than clarity as it is more
arbitrary. Ideally you would want the party sourcing your diamond to communicate with the manufacturer to determine how close the grading is to GIA standards.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
Wpgleafs wrote: Hello @thediamondshopper

I am wondering if you could provide some insight on the quality of the following diamonds. I have taken characteristics you have noted in this thread into account during my search and would like to know if there are any other hidden details I am missing or could be looking for!

Diamond 1: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-9347633

Diamond 2: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-8180027

Diamond 3: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-8233300

Thank you for any advice in advance!
Hi,

Unfortunately with James Allen they dont allow you to view the GIA report so I cant really offer any meaningful insight without the diamonds proportions.
They are all very high for color and clarity so I dont think you would have any issues there. The last diamond has a hearts and arrows pattern as well as an Ideal Scope image which both show that it is a very well cut dimaond.
Pricing seems quite high for the specs.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
aholl50 wrote: Hi @thediamondshopper . I sincerely appreciate all the amazing knowledge and explanation you've provided throughout this thread, thank you very much.
I'm hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction regarding quality of cut of the following 2 diamonds:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-6406691
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-9041545
I'm looking for sparkle as a priority as long as its over .9 carats.
My only concerns aside from cut are:
Are the inclusions on these surface reaching and is that bad (How do I tell?)
Would you recommend yellow gold to provide a better contrast to slightly yellow colour diamond to help mask that?
Thanks again.
Hi, your very welcome glad it has been useful!

Much like the post just before yours James Allen dosent allow you to view the GIA report so I cant really offer any meaningful insight without the diamonds proportions.
From the video the SI2 you linked to is unlikely to be cut on the high side of excellent.
Surface reaching inclusions can be an issue if they are in the wrong spot. I would say it is rare for SI1 but for SI2 you would want to get a qualified opinion on it. There is really no way for your to tell
as a consumer as it will have to do with many qualities of the diamond that you would need expert knowledge to evaluate and a quality gemological microscope.

A gold setting would help a diamond show less color provided it is not a brown or green tinge that is giving it the color grade. But not so much that I would choose the setting metal just based on that.
We just did a J SI1 2ct diamond for a customer in a platinum setting and it looked very white! its all about how you choose the proportions of the diamond to optimize brilliance.
Newbie
Feb 6, 2019
45 posts
21 upvotes
thediamondshopper wrote: Hi,

Unfortunately with James Allen they dont allow you to view the GIA report so I cant really offer any meaningful insight without the diamonds proportions.
They are all very high for color and clarity so I dont think you would have any issues there. The last diamond has a hearts and arrows pattern as well as an Ideal Scope image which both show that it is a very well cut dimaond.
Pricing seems quite high for the specs.
Thanks for the info! Bluenile seems to have the GIA report attached so I'm wondering your thoughts on the following diamonds again just to see if during my search I am pointing myself in the right direction when it comes to quality of diamond - especially if I am considering purchasing online. I wish to pair with a rose gold setting so from what I understand, the colour G H I can pair better than anything colourless (and of course it depends on the colour of the clamps on the setting too!). Basically I'm looking for a diamond of 0.7k or larger with an excellent cut and has a good colour and clarity (say H or I or better for colour and VS2 or better for clarity). You said the pricing for the last few seem high for the specs so I'm wondering what a "fair" pricing would be for them!

Diamond #1: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... gView=true

Diamond #2: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... gView=true

Diamond #3: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... LD13603692

Thank you for all your help! This process is very exciting and having somebody provide this knowledge is so awesome!
Newbie
Dec 26, 2010
7 posts
3 upvotes
Ottawa
thediamondshopper wrote: Hi, your very welcome glad it has been useful!

Much like the post just before yours James Allen dosent allow you to view the GIA report so I cant really offer any meaningful insight without the diamonds proportions.
From the video the SI2 you linked to is unlikely to be cut on the high side of excellent.
Surface reaching inclusions can be an issue if they are in the wrong spot. I would say it is rare for SI1 but for SI2 you would want to get a qualified opinion on it. There is really no way for your to tell
as a consumer as it will have to do with many qualities of the diamond that you would need expert knowledge to evaluate and a quality gemological microscope.

A gold setting would help a diamond show less color provided it is not a brown or green tinge that is giving it the color grade. But not so much that I would choose the setting metal just based on that.
We just did a J SI1 2ct diamond for a customer in a platinum setting and it looked very white! its all about how you choose the proportions of the diamond to optimize brilliance.
Sorry. I requested the reports and here's what I got.
Diamond https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-6406691
Depth 60.70%
Table 58%
Crown Angle 32.0°
Crown Height 13.50%
Pavilion Angle 41.0°
Pavilion Depth 43.50%
Star Length 50%
Lower Half 80%
Girdle Slightly Thick, Faceted, 4.0%
Culet None
Year 2018
Measurements 6.33-6.35x3.85
My concern is its been sitting around for a couple of years.

I changed my mind and went with another from blue nile - https://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamond-details/LD14013460
As far as I can tell the porportions are similar though the carat is different. The price for the blue nile is

Depth 60.40%
Table 58%
Crown Angle 33.5°
Crown Height 14.00%
Pavilion Angle 40.8°
Pavilion Depth 43.00%
Star Length 45%
Lower Half 75%
Girdle Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 3.5%
Culet None
Measurements 6.14 x 6.18 x 3.83 mm
Stock Number LD14346786

Thanks again.
Newbie
Sep 29, 2020
1 posts
Hello. I have a 14k white gold engagement ring that was my mother's. She had it aparised in 98 for 11,800.im now looking to sell the ring and matching wedding band. But I'm unsure of what I should be asking.

Thank you
Karson
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
Wpgleafs wrote: Thanks for the info! Bluenile seems to have the GIA report attached so I'm wondering your thoughts on the following diamonds again just to see if during my search I am pointing myself in the right direction when it comes to quality of diamond - especially if I am considering purchasing online. I wish to pair with a rose gold setting so from what I understand, the colour G H I can pair better than anything colourless (and of course it depends on the colour of the clamps on the setting too!). Basically I'm looking for a diamond of 0.7k or larger with an excellent cut and has a good colour and clarity (say H or I or better for colour and VS2 or better for clarity). You said the pricing for the last few seem high for the specs so I'm wondering what a "fair" pricing would be for them!

Diamond #1: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... gView=true

Diamond #2: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... gView=true

Diamond #3: https://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your- ... LD13603692

Thank you for all your help! This process is very exciting and having somebody provide this knowledge is so awesome!
Your very welcome!

The first diamond has a good face up size as it is cut shallow and has a shallow crown. The only disadvantage to this is that you sacrifice some sparkle and fire in favor of added brilliance and a touch larger look of size.
Both the color and clarity are in a range where you dont have much to worry about. I would say VVS2 is a bit overkill at this size but, to each their own. Pricing seems fair.

Second diamond seems very similar to the above in specs, despite being larger it faces up about the same size and costs more for lower clarity.

The third diamond has proportions more in line with what you would choose for a diamond with high color. ie steeper crown and deeper depth both characteristics tend to show more color so I would avoid this one considering its an I color with those specs.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
aholl50 wrote: Sorry. I requested the reports and here's what I got.
Diamond https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamon ... ku-6406691
Depth 60.70%
Table 58%
Crown Angle 32.0°
Crown Height 13.50%
Pavilion Angle 41.0°
Pavilion Depth 43.50%
Star Length 50%
Lower Half 80%
Girdle Slightly Thick, Faceted, 4.0%
Culet None
Year 2018
Measurements 6.33-6.35x3.85
My concern is its been sitting around for a couple of years.

I changed my mind and went with another from blue nile - https://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamond-details/LD14013460
As far as I can tell the porportions are similar though the carat is different. The price for the blue nile is

Depth 60.40%
Table 58%
Crown Angle 33.5°
Crown Height 14.00%
Pavilion Angle 40.8°
Pavilion Depth 43.00%
Star Length 45%
Lower Half 75%
Girdle Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 3.5%
Culet None
Measurements 6.14 x 6.18 x 3.83 mm
Stock Number LD14346786

Thanks again.
The James Allen diamond was likely sitting about because it is a bit low for SI1 with the main inclusion right in the middle of the table. As well I would think there is something off with the cutting as even though it is shallow and has a shallow depth
it still faces up average for it size. The proportions were a good choice for I color as this would likely help to mask the color a bit.

The second diamond has nice specs. The only two things I dont like are low star facet percentage (45%) which is why you see the arrows in the video looking very thick. Nothing wrong with the diamond but I find many tend to like them smaller.
Also it is a pretty low SI1 with a sizable dark inclusion in the crown area. Hard to say if it will be eye clean but definitely you would see the inclusion from the side or bottom of the diamond. In the range definitely closer to SI2 than VS2. For the price I would say it
average value
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1213 posts
490 upvotes
Toronto
KarsonP57301 wrote: Hello. I have a 14k white gold engagement ring that was my mother's. She had it aparised in 98 for 11,800.im now looking to sell the ring and matching wedding band. But I'm unsure of what I should be asking.

Thank you
Karson
Hi Karson

With appraisal values they can vary wildly form appraiser to appraiser, and tend to be especially high if they are issued from an employee of the place selling the ring. My advice would be to take the ring and band to a Graduate Gemologist appraiser and ask them for a fair value appraisal so you can get a non inflated idea of what the value is. They will definitely be able to give you an idea of what to charge for the ring. This will also depend on who you are looking to sell it to. You will get more trying to see via classified sites then trying to sell to some one in the trade.

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