(Closed) Shopping for a 1 carat on a budget

posted 5 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
Member
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@Monique18:  It isn’t a big deal buying the setting and diamond in two different places. You just need to find someone to set it for you, and most (if not all) jewelers will do this for you at a small price.

I don’t know how much you care about the 4C’s (I think cut is the most important; always get something with a really good cut), but I think Blue Nile or James Allen would be the best place for you to get a diamond.

I chose something in the very near colourless for you here:

http://www.bluenile.com/ca/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-very-good-cut-h-colour-si1-clarity_LD03278376

And here:

http://www.jamesallen.com/#!/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-sku-179843

 

Hope this helps! And Jared’s has been known to put an insane markup on diamonds/rings, from what I’ve heard.

P.S. I got my first e-ring and diamond from Blue Nile, and I loved it. Unfortunately we returned it because of financial reasons, but the diamond I bought there (GIA certified) was $2200 and when I brought it into a large chain jewelry store they said they would sell a diamond with the same specs as mine for probably $6000. Here’s a pic in case you’re interested:

Post # 4
Member
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I would definitely shop online for the diamond to maximize your budget – you are going to pay a high markup with a brick and mortar store like Jared’s.

Try the Pricescope search – it will show you stones from different vendors within your price/size range and you can comparison shop from there. http://www.pricescope.com/

 

Post # 5
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We did mine through blue nile and it was only slightly more than that…totally doable!

Post # 6
Member
3686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Can you find a picture of the setting? We might be able to find you something identical/similar from another vendor. Brick and mortar stores are always more expensive than online vendors. I also personally wouldn’t buy from Jareds. With that budget, depending on how ornate the setting you want is, you should be able to get a really nice ring.

Post # 7
Member
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I would also recommend avoiding anything with an EGL International certificate unless you see a picture of the real diamond before purchasing. EGL uses different grading standards so something that is marked a VS2 in clarity and H in colour usually tends to be an I1 in clarity and J-K in colour with GIA standards. EGL stones may seem cheaper, but the quality isn’t that great. From the stones Fiance and I saw that were EGL, they weren’t worth the money.

Post # 10
Member
1980 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@Monique18:  James Allen shows pictures online for you to see of the actual diamond. Also if you join the Pricescope forums, you can ask the members there to take a look at 3 or 4 sotnes you are considering and they will “pick” the one they think is the best. Many of them are jewelers and true experts, so I would trust their opinion.

Post # 12
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Monique18:  Here’s my advice if you’re not opposed to buying online:

I worked in bridal/fine jewelry manufacturing for 4 years (first for one company, then as a tech consultant in the industry so for a bunch of different companies.)  I’ve worked with both super high-end, boutique, one-of-a-kind designers and Zales/Kays/Helzberg/JC Pennys.

The best deal that you will get on a non-fancy, popular cut diamond is from Sams Club. Bar none.  I worked with an account that supplied Samsclub and they were able to not only get diamonds, direct from the brokers, cheaper than we could as a huge manufacterer, but they could SELL diamonds to consumers at almost the exact same as they cost us.  Sams club is backed by walmart.  When walmart says they want to carry your goods, your are at their will. I can really go on forever about how the markups work and how it was working with them specifically but I’ll just say that you will get a better deal on a higher quality buying a solitare in 18k gold and scrapping the gold than you will virtually anywhere.

 

Trust me- look at samsclub.

Post # 13
Member
2553 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Blue Nile 100% imo

Post # 14
Member
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@Monique18:  I’ve purchased 3 loose diamonds online (2 from Blue Nile, one from USA Certed) and loved them all, but when you buy from a reputable vendor there is always a window of time where you can return the diamond if you don’t like it. My Darling Husband bought the diamond for my ering online (via Whiteflash) and we were both thrilled with it. Certain vendors can show you photos and ASETs of diamonds you’re interested in before you buy.

 

Post # 15
Member
3686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

K, I’m just going to throw this out there. You may have already thought about this. Are you hard on your hands? With that setting, you’re probably going to be replacing a lot of those small pave stones over the years. That style is really popular right now, and I’m not going to dissuade you from getting it, but I’d get it as high quality as you can. I’ve read stories about Jareds settings falling apart.

I would definitely go to the Pricescope forums, post your budget, what you’re looking for, and ask for advice. They’re really good at it there.

Post # 16
Member
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @Monique18:  first & foremost I see you are NEW here… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

Not sure how much reading / research you’ve done to date on Diamonds… but that is where you want to start.

The Blue Nile Website has an excellent section on EDUCATION = http://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamonds/diamond-education?track=NavEduDia

So you have the 4 traditional Cs to contend with…

CARAT SIZE – CUT (Shape & Quality) – COLOUR – and CLARITY

Then a bunch of other Cs that might make a difference also to the bottom line, and to you personally…

CERTIFIED – CONFLICT FREE / CANADIAN – COMFORT – and lastly COST

Only you can decide which of the Cs are important to you, and which others aren’t…

Personally, I knew for my own ERing that CUT & COLOUR were my two top Cs from the first set, and then CERTIFIED – CANADIAN – and COMFORT from the second

Mr TTR was in agreement with those, but he also was concerned with CARAT SIZE and COST

So our Budget increased primarily to meet his requirements… and rather than thinking a 0.50 Carat as we did going in… we bumped it up to a 0.75 Diamond *

*NOTE – This is something that most Customers aren’t aware of… The most common diamond sizes are fractions… ie 1/2 Carat – 3/4 Carat – 1 Carat etc.  BUT in reality, they are ranges.  So my own 3/4 Carat Range diamond is actually a 0.80 (the range being 0.69 to 0.82)

So, if you are looking for a 1 Carat, the range is actually 0.95 to 1.05  Seeking out a diamond slighly off the perfect 1.00 mark, means you’ll probably save some money… And in truth this is a case where “size doesn’t really matter” (lol especially if you end up with MORE Diamond for your money like I did)

I did a quick look on the Blue Nile Website for you…

And as of today, the Diamonds they are listing in the 0.95 to 1.05 are 18,089 in the full assortment of shapes… and range in price from $ 32,441 (for a 1.01 Carat – Round Brilliant – Very Good Cut – D Colour – IF Clarity – GIA Certified) to $ 2,099 (for a 0.95 Carat – Emerald Fair Cut – J Colour – VS2 Clarity – GIA Certified)

So as you can see, it really is all about the combo of Cs that you want to prioritize / focus on.

Hope this helps,

  

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