Diamonds are forever.

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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gasdoc
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Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am

I am looking to upgrade the wedding rings for DW. Aside from the convenience of walking into the local jewelry store, what is the best way to buy jewelry with diamonds? Online? New York? The Caribbean? Your "Friend in the Diamond Business?" I am not sure how to actually compare prices on jewelry. What is an appropriate amount to spend? Not sure about that "6 months of salary" the jewelry stores like to peddle. Also not sure about how best to "upgrade" with DW being somewhat superstitious about just wearing a new ring. Thanks!

gasdoc

Mr.Wu
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Mr.Wu » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:17 am

bluenile.com and costco.com are worth checking. And don't let the stores tell you what to spend. You spend as much (or little) as you are willing to.

I originally clicked in when seeing the title and planed to post this link:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ira-weis ... 20870.html

dbr
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by dbr » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am

gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am
What is an appropriate amount to spend? Not sure about that "6 months of salary" the jewelry stores like to peddle.
Only DW can answer that. For my DW the answer is unequivocally zero.

junior
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by junior » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am

From a personal finance perspective diamonds are a waste of money. You should read that article Mr. Wu posted. There's nothing wrong with spending money if you are living beneath your means, but are you sure your wife might not prefer some other romantic gesture?

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sunny_socal
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am

+1 on bluenile. Then just get the stone set at a local jewelry store. There are HUGE markups on jewelry and diamonds in particular.

My wife's 1CT diamond bought on BN for $3k now sits in a ring that 'appraised' at $12k. I'd probably get $500 if I were to sell it or trade it in.

Lars_2013
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Lars_2013 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:30 am

gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am
Also not sure about how best to "upgrade" with DW being somewhat superstitious about just wearing a new ring.
Does DW actually want this "upgrade" or is she happy with her existing ring? A big bling-y ring will cause people to make all sorts of assumptions about her, which she might or might not want.

Assuming she does want the "upgrade," creating some memorable occasion around its gifting/first-time wearing seems like the way to go based on your description of her uneasiness. Whether that's just the two of you (perhaps re-creating in some appropriately updated way your original proposal to her?) or a small ceremony with a few family/friends, it sounds like she needs symbolic event of some sort to attach to the new ring.

p0nyboy
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by p0nyboy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:35 am

First of all...diamonds arent rare. If any salesperson ever says this to you explain to them they're not rare...you can walk into any jewelry store and they will have thousands of diamonds for sale.

Second...when you buy a diamond and walk out the store...that diamond just lost at least half of its value. I dont know of any other object that depreciates like a diamond does.

Third...de beers controls the price of diamonds. They only release so many a year to inflate the price. Just do a little research on those crooks.

nickjoy
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by nickjoy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:36 am

YouTube video: Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam - Adam Ruins Everything

[link formatted by admin LadyGeek]

Diamonds instantly lose almost all of their value. If you don't believe me, before you go and trade yours in, try and see how much you can sell it for vs how much you paid for it.

kerplunk
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by kerplunk » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:39 am

My girlfriend works for a large, well-known company that only sells high end jewelry. She also has years of GIA training. She considers jewelry from places like Kay, Jared, Zales, and so on, to be junk--for people who don't know any better.

My personal opinion of jewelry is that it is a complete waste of money. I do not believe it has any value, but women seem to love it. What can you do :beer

quantAndHold
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am

One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day and remember the experience. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
Last edited by quantAndHold on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

kerplunk
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by kerplunk » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:43 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
But jewelry does cost money, right? :)

quantAndHold
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:45 am

kerplunk wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:43 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
But jewelry does cost money, right? :)
The $1000 we spent on each ring (this was a “few” years ago) is completely forgotten. The ring is still on my finger.

dbr
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by dbr » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:45 am

kerplunk wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:43 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
But jewelry does cost money, right? :)
Exactly. Jewelry is precisely all about the money. Love is measured by how willing you are to get ripped off for the benefit of your D-whatever.

kerplunk
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by kerplunk » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:52 am

dbr wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:45 am
kerplunk wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:43 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
But jewelry does cost money, right? :)
Exactly. Jewelry is precisely all about the money. Love is measured by how willing you are to get ripped off for the benefit of your D-whatever.
Quote of the Year award goes to dbr. :sharebeer

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:55 am

I would buy them at Tiffany.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Kenkat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:57 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day and remember the experience. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
We did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. I would involve your spouse in the process rather than make it a surprise.

We ended up using the original solitaire stone from her engagement ring but set it in a custom made white gold setting with new baguette diamonds on either side. We sold her original “wrap” type setting and some scrap gold, so while I wouldn’t call it cheap, it wasn’t outrageous and she really loves it (it did turn out beautiful).

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flamesabers
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by flamesabers » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:05 am

junior wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am
From a personal finance perspective diamonds are a waste of money.
+1.

OP,

I think an important consideration is if you do spend a lot of money on a new diamond ring, how comfortable would she be with wearing it on a regular basis? This sort of discussion has come up before on this forum when members inquire about whether to insure expensive jewelry. It's not uncommon for individuals to be reluctant to wear fancy jewelry on a regular basis out of fear of losing/damaging their prized jewelry. If your wife decides to keep the new ring in a safe for the majority of the time, do you think that's money well spent? If your wife decides to wear the new ring on a routine basis, would you be willing to spend a lot of money to repair or replace the ring should it be damaged or lost?

blinx77
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by blinx77 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:09 am

dbr wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am
What is an appropriate amount to spend? Not sure about that "6 months of salary" the jewelry stores like to peddle.
Only DW can answer that. For my DW the answer is unequivocally zero.
Keep in mind that diamonds are compressed carbon and that carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe.

You can get diamonds made in a laboratory for a much less than the price of diamonds cut out of the earth. They are identical except that making diamonds in a laboratory is a lot better for our planet than digging them out of a ground and you can be totally sure they are not "blood diamonds." If you like your diamond to be imperfect, the laboratories can even purposefully blemish the diamond with other materials so that it has the same composition of a diamond dug out of the ground (which are all inherently imperfect because they are not made under laboratory conditions). Prices for laboratory diamonds are continually falling as the technology improves and gains economies of scale as they become more widely adopted in the marketplace.

Note I am not talking about cubic zirconia or other diamond "simulants" but pure crystallized carbon diamonds grown in a controlled laboratory environment with the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as an earth-mined diamond. (See, e.g., https://www.miadonna.com/pages/stone-gu ... are-stones)

All of this information should factor into the price you are willing to pay.
Last edited by blinx77 on Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

SundayMorning
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by SundayMorning » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:10 am

In my household a ring upgrade would not fly, unless it came with a time machine to go back and be present for the engagement and wedding. One cannot simply replace the ring with such sentimental value, at least in our case. The good/bad news is that I probably spent too much in the first place. My wife would never let me spend that much now on a piece of jewelry.

Good Luck!

centrifuge41
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by centrifuge41 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:11 am

De Beers still controls a sizable percentage of diamonds, but it's not as big of a percent as in years past. So, diamond prices are becoming a little bit more market-driven (e.g. demand from other countries is part of the reason for the high price). Of course, there's still a huge markup. Stores can only sell x units a month, and they need to pay rent. So yes, as soon as you leave the store, you'll lose a ton of value.

Stay away from the Caribbean (Diamonds International). They sell some really bad stones with blingy marketing cuts. Assuming you don't need a strange shape, a normal 57 sided brilliant round cut is good. Extra cuts wouldn't lead to better light performance - just more fragmented light handling.

Likewise, stay away from Kay/Jared's/Zale's and other mall chains. They typically sell diamonds with I1 or worse clarity. Stay away from Tiffany/Cartier - these are 2x+ overpriced.

You don't want to even look at anything with clarity worse than S2. There could be really big inclusions that render a stone easier to break. That aside, VS2, S1, or S2 are fine, since extra clarity beyond what you need just means you end up paying more, but doesn't help light performance anymore. Note that in this above range, the grade itself won't tell you if a stone is "eye clean" or not. I'd say most (80%?) of VS2 stones are eye clean, but not all are. And most (70%?) of S2 stones are not eye clean, but a decent percentage are.

Costco's diamonds usually have VS1/VS2 clarity, but they don't necessarily have the best cut. Cut is the most important aspect. Especially with round brilliant diamonds, triple Excellent itself isn't enough. Triple-Ex only represents a diamond in the top 20% of light handling, whereas there are ways to get a diamond in the top 1-3% of light handling without paying more. But you'd have to spend time researching on sites like Price Scope and Beyond 4 C's.

Color is a bit more of a personal choice. Given a great cut, you can't go wrong with even a yellower color. Big stores tend not to sell anything yellower than an I or a J. If you're not too color sensitive, buying D, E, F could be wasting money, and G/H could be a solid choice.

Size speaks for itself. Optimize on this only after optimizing on cut for the budget, and finding an eye clean stone. Lots of stones are too deep, and end up with a worse cut, and also a smaller surface area relative to the size, which is always given in a carat weight.

It's best to start at a local, non-mall store if you want to optimize your purchase. Try stores that sell settings from Tacori, Verragio, Maevona, Jeff Cooper, Ritani, etc. Many are very patient and will show you lots of diamonds in a sitting. Most are low/no pressure too. Some even steer you towards saving some money if you can't tell the difference between this-and-that color, or this-and-that clarity. If you just want to save time, and get a decent deal, go for James Allen or Blue Nile. Diamonds don't discount anyhow. Settings can discount ~20% at various times of the year.

themesrob
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by themesrob » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:17 am

leaving aside the finance issue -- shopping online was my preference since I'm a terrible haggler, and the value was much better. BlueNile was a good place to start, but my experience was that there were a few other stores which had better data and tools to search, save, and compare options. Enchanted Diamonds, James Allen, and Whiteflash are the ones that I recall.

karlrasche
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by karlrasche » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:20 am

One of the best resources out there on the jewelry front are the pricescope forums - this one in particular has a ton of great info on diamond buying (and to a lesser extent finding a good jeweler):
https://www.pricescope.com/community/fo ... kytalky.3/

There are a number of good internet vendors out there, and the forums are a good way to gauge who is trustworthy, has reasonable prices, etc. Most everyone in online gem sales these days has a nice return policy, since they know the ultimate judge is to see the stone in person.

Its also totally legit to buy a stone from one vendor and have it set by another.

Good luck!

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:31 am

While Tiffany is expensive, but diamonds are for bragging factor. The minute you bought a diamond and walk out the door, you already lose more than 1/2 the value. But at Tiffany, you can have it repaired for free. I certainly don’t feel proud wearing it if I said my husband bought mine from Costco.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by BolderBoy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:58 am

I was very amused to see this topic sitting right next to one on auto dealerships.

IMO, they are cut from the same cloth. Autos depreciate by thousands the second they are driven off the lot. Diamond rings go down in value by 50% shortly after the sale (try selling one back to the place you bought it.)

There was an excellent expose' about DeBeers written in 1982 and updated in 2015? (the 1980s article is excellent https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... nd/304575/).
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

runner3081
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by runner3081 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:07 pm

dbr wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am
What is an appropriate amount to spend? Not sure about that "6 months of salary" the jewelry stores like to peddle.
Only DW can answer that. For my DW the answer is unequivocally zero.
Same here. In fact, my wife wants to dump her diamond ring for one of those neoprene bands.

Ninnie
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Ninnie » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:33 pm

Does Tiffany's negotiate price, as some other jewelrers do, or is it the Tesla model?

victw
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by victw » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:35 pm

I generally read all posts before replying. But the hating was icky.

I think centrifuge probably gave the best advise.

My guy upgraded on the cut/clarity but did not upgrade on the size. We picked the band out together. I get tons of complements on my ring. And I did not need a big ring.

Blood diamond - yes.

I wear this piece of jewelry more than any other I have ever owned.

You know your wife - if you can surprise - it's good. This wouldn't have worked for me.

Have fun with it.

Vicki

gotester2000
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gotester2000 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:45 pm

How about buying pure gold ring? Gold has standard rates compared to diamonds - I am just talking about the financial aspect of it.

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:47 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day and remember the experience. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
:)

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:50 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:05 am
junior wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:23 am
From a personal finance perspective diamonds are a waste of money.
+1.

OP,

I think an important consideration is if you do spend a lot of money on a new diamond ring, how comfortable would she be with wearing it on a regular basis? This sort of discussion has come up before on this forum when members inquire about whether to insure expensive jewelry. It's not uncommon for individuals to be reluctant to wear fancy jewelry on a regular basis out of fear of losing/damaging their prized jewelry. If your wife decides to keep the new ring in a safe for the majority of the time, do you think that's money well spent? If your wife decides to wear the new ring on a routine basis, would you be willing to spend a lot of money to repair or replace the ring should it be damaged or lost?
flamesabers, it is not our intention to purchase something super attention-getting, just nice. It will not be something that we need to insure or that she would be embarrassed or afraid to wear. Thanks.

gasdoc

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:52 pm

Ninnie wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:33 pm
Does Tiffany's negotiate price, as some other jewelrers do, or is it the Tesla model?
No. It’s high end store. I dont dare negotiating there and I like to negotiate.

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:59 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:57 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:41 am
One of the most fun things my wife and I did was to have rings designed and custom made by a local jeweler. They were actually less expensive than buying similar rings “off the rack” at the mall. And now we get to look at them every day and remember the experience. Just sayin’.

All you haters. Sheesh. The guy just wants to do something nice for his wife. Let him. Life isn’t all about money.
We did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. I would involve your spouse in the process rather than make it a surprise.

We ended up using the original solitaire stone from her engagement ring but set it in a custom made white gold setting with new baguette diamonds on either side. We sold her original “wrap” type setting and some scrap gold, so while I wouldn’t call it cheap, it wasn’t outrageous and she really loves it (it did turn out beautiful).
kenkat, this is probably the direction we will head. DW is opposed to spending a lot of money, and doesn't really like to stand out too much. She is not a Mercedes kind of gal. I purchased the original wedding set for $1,100 from a wholesale mart when we had a friend with a retail business (27 years ago). She is not embarrassed by it, but I wouldn't mind dressing it up a bit as an anniversary gift now that I can afford a bit more. I was just wondering where the best value might be found. And I don't mind "rewarding" our local jeweler for the dozens of watch battery changes over the years.

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:03 pm

centrifuge41 wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:11 am
De Beers still controls a sizable percentage of diamonds, but it's not as big of a percent as in years past. So, diamond prices are becoming a little bit more market-driven (e.g. demand from other countries is part of the reason for the high price). Of course, there's still a huge markup. Stores can only sell x units a month, and they need to pay rent. So yes, as soon as you leave the store, you'll lose a ton of value.

Stay away from the Caribbean (Diamonds International). They sell some really bad stones with blingy marketing cuts. Assuming you don't need a strange shape, a normal 57 sided brilliant round cut is good. Extra cuts wouldn't lead to better light performance - just more fragmented light handling.

Likewise, stay away from Kay/Jared's/Zale's and other mall chains. They typically sell diamonds with I1 or worse clarity. Stay away from Tiffany/Cartier - these are 2x+ overpriced.

You don't want to even look at anything with clarity worse than S2. There could be really big inclusions that render a stone easier to break. That aside, VS2, S1, or S2 are fine, since extra clarity beyond what you need just means you end up paying more, but doesn't help light performance anymore. Note that in this above range, the grade itself won't tell you if a stone is "eye clean" or not. I'd say most (80%?) of VS2 stones are eye clean, but not all are. And most (70%?) of S2 stones are not eye clean, but a decent percentage are.

Costco's diamonds usually have VS1/VS2 clarity, but they don't necessarily have the best cut. Cut is the most important aspect. Especially with round brilliant diamonds, triple Excellent itself isn't enough. Triple-Ex only represents a diamond in the top 20% of light handling, whereas there are ways to get a diamond in the top 1-3% of light handling without paying more. But you'd have to spend time researching on sites like Price Scope and Beyond 4 C's.

Color is a bit more of a personal choice. Given a great cut, you can't go wrong with even a yellower color. Big stores tend not to sell anything yellower than an I or a J. If you're not too color sensitive, buying D, E, F could be wasting money, and G/H could be a solid choice.

Size speaks for itself. Optimize on this only after optimizing on cut for the budget, and finding an eye clean stone. Lots of stones are too deep, and end up with a worse cut, and also a smaller surface area relative to the size, which is always given in a carat weight.

It's best to start at a local, non-mall store if you want to optimize your purchase. Try stores that sell settings from Tacori, Verragio, Maevona, Jeff Cooper, Ritani, etc. Many are very patient and will show you lots of diamonds in a sitting. Most are low/no pressure too. Some even steer you towards saving some money if you can't tell the difference between this-and-that color, or this-and-that clarity. If you just want to save time, and get a decent deal, go for James Allen or Blue Nile. Diamonds don't discount anyhow. Settings can discount ~20% at various times of the year.
centrifuge41, Wow! You seem to know your diamonds. Thanks for the background.

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:05 pm

karlrasche wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:20 am
One of the best resources out there on the jewelry front are the pricescope forums - this one in particular has a ton of great info on diamond buying (and to a lesser extent finding a good jeweler):
https://www.pricescope.com/community/fo ... kytalky.3/

There are a number of good internet vendors out there, and the forums are a good way to gauge who is trustworthy, has reasonable prices, etc. Most everyone in online gem sales these days has a nice return policy, since they know the ultimate judge is to see the stone in person.

Its also totally legit to buy a stone from one vendor and have it set by another.

Good luck!
Thanks,karlrashe, I had not considered that.

gasdoc

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gasdoc
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by gasdoc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:07 pm

victw wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:35 pm
I generally read all posts before replying. But the hating was icky.

I think centrifuge probably gave the best advise.

My guy upgraded on the cut/clarity but did not upgrade on the size. We picked the band out together. I get tons of complements on my ring. And I did not need a big ring.

Blood diamond - yes.

I wear this piece of jewelry more than any other I have ever owned.

You know your wife - if you can surprise - it's good. This wouldn't have worked for me.

Have fun with it.

Vicki
Thanks, victw, a surprise will not work for my DW.

gasdoc

karlrasche
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by karlrasche » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:10 pm

kenkat, this is probably the direction we will head. DW is opposed to spending a lot of money, and doesn't really like to stand out too muc
Sounds like a good direction. There's a very small secondary market for diamonda and setting, so you may want to dream about how to re-set her current diamond (into a pendant? As studs? As a 3-stone ring? Add a halo?). Likely the current setting would go as scrap gold - not many jewelers will melt and re-cast from what you already have.

I'd think of it as two steps - finding the right stone (can include searching online) and finding the rught setting (done with a local jeweler or goldsmith, though there are folks online who do amazing work).

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Watty
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Watty » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:23 pm

One thing to keep in mind with diamond rings is that they quickly get dirty so that paying a high price for a very high quality diamond ring is often a waste since a dirty high quality diamond may not look much better than a lower quality diamond. For comparison touch your eyeglass lenses with your bare hands to see how quickly they get dirty. A good case can be made for saving the high quality diamonds for other types of jewelry like necklaces that will not get dirty so quickly.
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:05 am
What is an appropriate amount to spend?
One limiting factor is how comfortable your wife will be wearing expensive jewelry. The diamond ring I got my wife cost a fraction of what many people here pay but not long after we got married she was not comfortable with wearing it even though it was insured. We went out and bought her a gold wedding band that matched mine that she could comfortably wear all the time. Even when we go to something like a party she rarely wears it since she wants to be able to relax and enjoy herself.

One half joking suggestion that I have heard is that if you are going to buy her a $10,000 diamond then you should go the bank and get $10,000 in cash and carry it around for a few days to see how comfortable you are with doing that.

Atgard
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Atgard » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:44 pm

Jeez, talk about inflation on inflation. I remember the diamond ads trying to peddle "2 months salary," then I started hearing "3 months salary," are you seriously saying they're trying to con you into spending SIX months salary now? Absurd.

Just the process of shopping for a diamond should dispel the rarity myth... try walking through the Los Angeles jewelry district: dozens and dozens of stores, and every single one has cases and cases full of thousands of diamonds each. And that's just one city block. Think about every town in America has how many jewelry stores in it, and how many diamonds? Not to mention the millions sitting in De Beers' vaults...

All that said, if your wife really wants one, some battles can't be won by logic. Fortunately, mine was open to a different stone that is far more beautiful (IMO, since it's all personal preference) and actually rare. (Alexandrite, in case anyone is interested.)

blueman457
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by blueman457 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:05 pm

gasdoc,

Your salary is fine, spend how much you/DW want. If getting nice jewelry makes you happy, then go for it.

-start at blue nile to browse around to see how much diamonds cost, look at various settings; look at non-diamonds too.
-visit your local jeweler (big box or small box) to see what they have to offer in terms of settings, diamonds, etc....
-visit a custom jeweler who can make something unique

Then discuss with the wife and see you want to do.

Enjoy.

Blue man

bloom2708
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:08 pm

I like the trend where people wear the silicone bands.

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gs-silico ... gift-box-1

Keep the diamonds safely in the store.

His/hers silicone bands under $20. I know, I know. Not helping.

+1 for bluenile.com
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

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simplesimon
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by simplesimon » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:52 pm

I agree with centrifuge's points.

After spending some time on Pricescope, you'll be convinced that the way the diamond is cut to maximize performance is the most important quality, meaning that the diamond reflects all light back like a mirror and minimal or no light leaks through the bottom like a piece of glass. This quality isn't tested by GIA. Well-cut diamonds also look bigger because they're perfectly proportioned and sparkly...several 1.0ct stones can look different from one another depending on where the weight is distributed on the stone. Find a jeweler that sells Hearts on Fire branded diamonds and compare them to other brands to see this quality for yourself. See if you can take the stone outside or in a different room, away from the bright lights of the display cases that are meant to make lower quality diamonds look good.

While you can simply buy a Hearts on Fire brand diamond, online vendors will be your best value. I got my wife's stone from whiteflash.com. When put side by side against every diamond I've seen (e.g. engaged/married friends who asked to see it, walking into a Zales at the mall, sitting next to other women on the train), it is the sparkliest by a wide margin.

I'd suggest getting a perfectly cut diamond and playing around with the other C's to fit your budget. Like centrifuge said, S2 or better Clarity (have someone take a look at it to make sure its "eye clean") and H or better Color will look white unless the rock is sitting on a white sheet of paper.

sevenseas
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by sevenseas » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:47 pm

centrifuge and simplesimon have the best advice for actually buying a new diamond (if that is what you and your wife are looking for). Whiteflash, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Good as Gold are all reputable online vendors. They are not the cheapest, but carry extremely high quality stones.

For everyone pooh-poohing the idea (mostly men I gather but some women among the bunch), there is no gainsaying the emotional impact of a beautiful piece of jewelry for many women (myself included). An example: I inherited my mom's diamond solitaire engagement ring when she passed away over 25 years ago. It's about a carat, so not enormous, but a gorgeous, colorless, perfectly cut stone that sparkles like fire. My dad wasn't a rich man when he bought it back in the 60s, but he knew how to buy quality. My mom, not a materialistic women, cherished that ring, and now I cherish it because every time I wear it, I feel close to her. As you might imagine, that feeling is priceless!

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:53 pm

gasdoc wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:05 pm
karlrasche wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:20 am
One of the best resources out there on the jewelry front are the pricescope forums - this one in particular has a ton of great info on diamond buying (and to a lesser extent finding a good jeweler):
https://www.pricescope.com/community/fo ... kytalky.3/

There are a number of good internet vendors out there, and the forums are a good way to gauge who is trustworthy, has reasonable prices, etc. Most everyone in online gem sales these days has a nice return policy, since they know the ultimate judge is to see the stone in person.

Its also totally legit to buy a stone from one vendor and have it set by another.

Good luck!
Thanks,karlrashe, I had not considered that.

gasdoc
Great advice. I bought online at one of the high quality vendors and purchased the diamond and ring so it was set and ready to wear when delivered. Be aware also that when handing a non set diamond or even a diamond solitaire in a ring over to a local jeweler and out of your sight for even 2-3 minutes (even for a "free" inspection and cleaning) you might not get your actual diamond back. There are a few unethical folks in that business. Many higher end diamonds (GIA certified) these days are engraved with a unique id number (on the stone's girdle) be sure to know what that is and how to identify and confirm you are getting your diamond back from the jeweler.

hmw
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by hmw » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:54 pm

I am no diamond expert. I did my own diamond shopping about 10 years ago. I ended buying on line from Blue Nile for the engagement ring, and wedding bands from Tiffany. Blue Nile had the best price by far compared to my local jewelers.

I often hear commercials on radio from one of my local jewelers about “newly created”diamond. Supposedly it is created in the lab, and no one can tell the difference. May be worth taking a look depending on how you/your DW feel about it.

Pigeon
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Pigeon » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:32 am

I'm another woman who gets a great deal of enjoyment out of a nice piece of jewelry. Dh worked for GIA in the past and he likes seeing me wear it. I have to chuckle at the men here clutching their proverbial pearls at the idea of buying a nice piece of jewelry for a special occasion for a woman when it's pretty common here to have threads about buying luxury cars or high end men's wristwatches.

Estate jewellery is also something to consider. If you can find a knowledgeable person to shop with you, you can get nice jewelry for a fraction of the cost of new.

Jags4186
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:43 am

Just about anything and everything anyone ever purchases is flushing money down the toilet. People should spend their money on things that make them happy. I don’t see why upgrading a ring is any different than buying a first (or second...) $5000 pinball machine, or buying a luxury or weekend car, or buying a 70” TV, or a surround sound stereo system, or a luxury watch.

The key to all these questions of how much can I afford on XYZ consumer item is: Do I have financial goals? Am I on pace to achieve them? If I make this purchase can I still achieve them? If you answer yes to all 3 then you can afford it.

MarkBarb
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by MarkBarb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:44 am

I know almost nothing about gemstones. Are diamond lookalikes (cubic zirconium?) close enough in appearance and sufficiently less expensive to make them a better deal?

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simplesimon
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by simplesimon » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:54 am

MarkBarb wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:44 am
I know almost nothing about gemstones. Are diamond lookalikes (cubic zirconium?) close enough in appearance and sufficiently less expensive to make them a better deal?
Yes, just like most good knockoff markets.

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flamesabers
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by flamesabers » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:17 am

Pigeon wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:32 am
I'm another woman who gets a great deal of enjoyment out of a nice piece of jewelry. Dh worked for GIA in the past and he likes seeing me wear it. I have to chuckle at the men here clutching their proverbial pearls at the idea of buying a nice piece of jewelry for a special occasion for a woman when it's pretty common here to have threads about buying luxury cars or high end men's wristwatches.
I suspect the men who like to spend big money on fancy cars and high-end wristwatches probably have little objection to splurging on a nice diamond ring for their wives. :wink:

If the OP was a woman asking about buying a high-end wristwatch for her husband, my opinion on the matter would be the same as it is for diamond rings or anything else extravagant.
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:43 am
People should spend their money on things that make them happy. I don’t see why upgrading a ring is any different than buying a first (or second...) $5000 pinball machine, or buying a luxury or weekend car, or buying a 70” TV, or a surround sound stereo system, or a luxury watch.
If the amount of money is relatively trivial, I would agree. However, if the amount of money in question could mean the difference between achieving financial independence sooner then later, I think it would be prudent to scrutinize the rationale for buying high-end luxuries.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Diamonds are forever.

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:17 am

Original ring (from when we were poor) was from Montgomery Ward. As our financial situation improved DW was unhappy with that ring.

Years later got a nice ring from Blue Nile. Very sparkley. DW happy. DW and I picked it out online together (we don’t “surprise” with major purchases).

Order a ring/finger size kit in advance. At the time we bought Costco was not selling custom sizes, otherwise we might have considered Costco.

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