Post # 1
Sorry in advance if this is a bit of a rant and kind of long.
I think I now understand why it is typically the guys job to pick the e-ring. My soon to be Fiance (still boyfriend until he officially asks) has basically left me in charge of picking out my own ring and diamond. This is all fine and good because he knows me well and knows I can be an obsessive researcher and very strongly opinionated. We also discovered very quickly that all diamonds look about the same to him and that’s not the case for me.
Anyway, I think we narrowed down the setting design and went into the jewelers today to talk with him about it and look at some diamonds. Out of the ones he showed me I was able to pick a favorite, but it is at the high end of our budget and has no certificate. He set it aside, but told me if I find something on my own he would be happy to set it in the setting we designed.
So…now I’m making myself neurotic searching the internet for the “right” diamond. I think I can find something that is a better deal than what he showed me, but than I’m afraid of picking the wrong one because I can’t sit down and look at them all together. Most have 30 day money back guarantees, but I would have to pay the shipping back and that can add up quickly.
Anyone else pick their own diamond? Anyone else order one off the internet? Anyone have any suggestions so I don’t make myself crazy. I keep trying to tell myself (what I know is true) that once it’s set it will look beautiful and I will love it and never notice any slight differences and that all that really matters is that it sparkles like crazy.
Again, I think I now understand why this is the typical “guy” job.
Post # 3
My fiance bought my ring from Blue Nile sight unseen and I am in love with it. We are so happy with it. Also, one benefit to Blue Nile is there is no tax and free shipping. When we are talking about a purchase in the thousands, the no tax helps!
A great thing about Blue Nile for example is that each stone comes with a GIA certification and the number matches the number that is laser engraved on the stone. You can’t get anything better than a GIA certification. I would NEVER purchase an engagement ring that did not come with paperwork, and paperwork being a GIA certification. GIA is recognized as the best and most respected association for diamond certification.
You know you won’t be getting jacked around that way. Honestly, I would be very weary of purchasing a diamond without paperwork… how would you even know what you were paying for?? Generally, settings, eternity bands, and many diamonds under 1ct do not have certifications, but if you are looking at a center stone more than 1 ct in size, please please please for your own sake, buy it somewhere where you receive the certification.
I didn’t pick my exact diamond on the internet, but I told my Fiance what setting I wanted, what shape of stone I wanted and also told him that I want the best quality stone. He followed my directions to the T.
Post # 4
My advice to you is to visit Pricescope.com and educate yourself about buying diamonds in general, especially online. You will quickly learn that going with an online vendor will get you much more for your money than a brick & mortar store, but more importantly you’ll learn what factors are most important in diamond quality and how to use your budget wisely. The forums on the site are amazing and filled with experts that can let you know if the diamonds you’re interested in (online) are a good pick. Trust me all your questions can/will be answered there! Good luck.
Post # 5
I picked my own engagement diamond off Blue Nile and we ordered it sight unseen. It worked out great! They are highly reputable and all their diamonds come with certification. In my opinion, you really don’t want to buy an uncertified diamond for your e-ring. This is such an expensive and confusing purchase, you really need to know what you’re paying for. When you’re looking at uncertified diamonds in a jewelry store, I’m concerned that you’ll think the diamonds look better than they really are due to the professional lighting in there. Then when you take it out into the real world, it looks greyish and cloudy and dead (no sparkle). Without the papers to back it up, it’s hard to trust your judgement that it truly IS a great diamond. If you had papers to say, it’s ideal cut, G color, etc. you could sleep easier at night knowing you picked a solid diamond and paid a fair price for its specs.
You’ll get a LOT more for your money buying a certified diamond online (through BN or there are a lot of other very reputable sites – check out pricescope.com for info).
Post # 6
Got my e-ring off of bluenile as well and i l-o-v-e it. Diamonds have very precise grading so it isn’t really a leap of faith. If you get a colorless diamond with ideal cut, excellent symmetry, and almost no inclusions, you can be pretty darn sure that you’re getting a fabulous sparkly stone 🙂
Post # 7
My Fiance got my stone online (with a lot of direction from my wonderful sister!) and we had it set by a local jeweler. I also recommend Pricescope as a great site for educating yourself, as well as having a ton of pictures on there to see what different cuts, clarity, and color look like. My stone is G color, and SI1 clarity, and I could never tell that it is not totally clean or white.
I might not recommend Blue Nile, as they do not have all of their diamonds onsite, so not only is it site-unseen for you, but they also can’t take a look at the diamonds and tell you if they look good. I suggest McGivern Diamonds (http://www.overnightdiamonds.com), as they are a smaller operation and have all their diamonds on site, so you can choose a few that you think are good, and ask them (if you trust them, which I totally do!) to look at them and tell you which has the most sparkle. Also, my sister told me that they do not use conflict diamonds, which is really good.
You will also need to decide what specs are right for you (i.e. table, depth, ratio, etc). Pricescope really is a wonderful resource, and has so many helpful people that can answer pretty much any question you might have. It is a bit confusing to navigate at first, but I found it to be the best resource for me, aside from my diamond-obsessed sister! 🙂
I could talk about this stuff all day!!!!! I think my sister’s obsession has definitely rubbed off on me!!
Post # 8
Whiteflash.com is also a good site. They have their diamonds in-store so they can pull them and tell you whether the stone is “eye-clean” etc.
Other good sites are goodoldgold.com, jeamesallen.com and briangavindiamonds.com
Post # 9
Oh and also do not buy a diamond without a certficate. If you feel like you must, get an independent appraisal before committing to anything.
GIA and AGS are equally respected in the industry, followed by EGL-USA/IGI and then the foreign EGLs. You will learn about the differences between GIA/AGS and IGI, EGL etc. on pricescope.com
Post # 10
Mine was from James Allen, sight unseen and it’s gorgeous, 1.1ct, G color, VS1, “true hearts” cut (basically the hearts and arrows cut), with an AGS certificate. There’s NO way we would have had a better rate at the store!
Post # 11
If your are buying the diamond loose, make sure it has a certification already. If not, ask if you can have it appraised, on his expense, but ask to pick your own appraiser. As far as the online shopping goes, I echo checking out pricescope.com, in addition to information about buying your stone, they have a list of appraisers – you could contact one in your area.
Post # 12
also recommend Brian Gavin Diamonds (briangavindiamonds.com) – they have a great inventory of both Hearts and Arrows and ideal cut stones – you can browse the inventory and they will send you very detailed photos. I worked with them to reset my family heirloom stones and they did an incredible job with the setting. Brian is a master cutter and the setting was beautifully finished. also very reasonable. highly recommend!!!
Post # 13
Has anyone bought form North American Diamond Brokers? I’m considering a diamond from them and they have helped me with finding something that seems to be an excellently cut diamond in our budget. They also will bring the diamond in for me to view locally before I buy it. Anyone have any experience or know anything about them good or bad?
Post # 14
Post # 15
Haven’t heard of them either. James Allen also has pics of their diamonds by the way.
From my experience, if you want your diamond to sparkle, make sure to give top priority to the cut. The “hearts & arrows” (called many things depending on the company — hearts on fire, leo diamond, super ideal cut, true hearts, etc), it’s by far the most sparkly. This is an easy bet for a sight unseen diamond.
And, of course, make sure they have either GIA or AGS certificates, since they’re the most reputable in the industry.