Engagement ring help

  1. Hi ladies,

    I really could use your help in picking out an engagement ring. I know I want a solitaire, approx 1 carat but have some questions:

    1) White gold vs. platinum? Pros and cons? I like that the platinum is more durable since I work with my hands, but a lot of my friend's platinum bands have gotten dull. The white gold looks shiny and of course much less expensive. I'm sort of leaning toward white gold, and in the future if I want something else it is less of a cost issue to change which is a plus.

    2) Internet vs store? I know there are some reputable websites like bluenile(though I heard slightly overpriced), diamonds.com. Do you think you can get a better deal on the net since there are not overhead costs like building rent with regular stores? Any other recommended websites or ones I should avoid?

    3) 4C's: Any recs are where you should approximately be regarding color and clarity? There seems to be a wide price range sometimes when you just move from one level to another. I'm not looking, for example, necessarily in the flawless range, but I want something that overall is good quality.

    4) Anything I should make sure I get/know for sure? For example, GIA certification by the jeweler and an indepedent source?

    I'm still a bit of novice with all this stuff so if you ladies could help me out, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  2. Diamond prices: comparison, statistics, education

    if you do decide to go the internet route, i have had nothing but AMAZING experiences with Diamonds, Engagement Rings and Fine-Make Jewelry - Whiteflash.com they are SO helpful and nice....and their pieces turn out BEAUTIFUL. :yes:

    i think wg vs platinum is a personal preference. i personally don't like platinum. it feels too heavy and looks too white against my skin tone. whatever you decide will be beautiful.

    the only tip i can think of is try to buy the diamond seperate from the setting. it's easier to to see exactly what you're getting.
     
  3. I've looked a lot into engagement rings. Hehe, want to guide the bf in the right direction. The cut is downplayed but is probably the most important. A great cut can cover up a lot of flaws with shine. And it usually doesn't change the price as much as say, clarity or size. White gold needs to be replated with rhodium once in a while (2 years the first time, longer after that as needed), but it's pretty cheap and maybe included in the warrenty. I'm not sure on platinum. I like seeing the item in person so I only use the web to look at styles.

    I'd recommend picking a general style (3 stone, solitaire, multistone) and approx diamond size as well as budget. For me (and luckily for my bf) nothing above a .5 carat or .7 carat 3 stoner looks good on my fingers. A color of D-I should be ok; I wouldn't go too much over, but it's all personal preference. Clarity has a huge impact on price, but like I said a good cut can make the difference. Stay away from I1 and lower!!! It's something you'll prob want to keep so at least go with an SI1-2 if not higher (VS, VVS, etc). For the best bang, warehouse stores have gotten in on the action. Check out Sam's Club, Costco, etc; go with a friend with a card if you're not a member.

    Hope this helps. Good luck! And post pics when you pick out something :smile:
     
  4. White Gold & Platinum are both gorgeous, the differences being...

    1.)Platinum is much more dense and slightly heavier.
    2.)White gold will often turn yellowish overtime so it will need to be rhodium dipped (about $30) every few years. 18K Gold is 75% natural yellow gold & than alloyed with a white metal to achieve this color. However some jewelers simply take a yellow gold piece, dip it in rhodium and call it white gold. That thin layer will eventually wear away (could be weeks or years) and show the yellowish underneath.
     
  5. White gold is less valuable but has it's advantages, price being one of them. When new, it's very white and shiny due to the rhodium plating, which can easily be redone as needed. White gold also stays shinier longer because it's harder and self-burnishing, meaning any minor nicks or scratches will usually become less noticible over time. The disadvantage is that if you want to get rid of major nicks, you will have to get the ring polished. When polished, a very thin layer of gold is stripped off, that means after several polishings your ring will become very thin! Also, as already mentioned white gold is really an alloy with yellow gold. Some people's body chemistry can turn the gold yellow within a matter of months, so a lot more maintenance is required to keep the gold white. The white gold can also turn yellow when the rhodium wears off or when the ring is resized. In the long run, you may spend more money on a white gold ring for maintenance, depending on how the metal wears on you.

    Platinum is more expensive, and I believe the price is on the rise. The color will never yellow, because the metal is almost completely pure, and will never need rhodium plating. It is denser and heavier, and therefore more luxurious feeling. It is also more durable than white gold. If you were to strike your white gold ring hard and the point of contact is on a prong, it might break off because white gold is harder and more brittle. Your diamond could just fall out without you even knowing! However, because platinum is denser, the molecules simply shift, and the metal prong will bend under stress rather than break off altogether. This is why you should at least get platinum prongs if you decide to get a white gold ring. This property also means that you can polish platinum as many times as you want while retaining the original weight. Platinum is not without disadvantages, though. You may need to polish the ring lots because it is more dense and more soft. It doesn't stay as shiny as white gold does. The "patina" it develops is really just an accumulation of many tiny nicks, making the metal appear dull. Platinum is also not truly white, it's actually a grey color. The color becomes more apparent when the metal is dulled.

    As you can see the metals are very different and both have pros and cons. Pick one based on which concerns are more important to you! Personally, I would pick platinum. An engagement ring is meant to be worn forever and I don't want it wearing thin, it won't stay shiny forever but I can get it polished as many times as I want to fix that.

    And congratulations on the engagement! :yahoo: :flowers:
     
  6. I just went through this about six months ago, and did a lot of research at the time. Here are my thoughts:

    * White gold vs. platinum is pretty much just a matter of personal taste and affordability - there are pros and cons to each. I went with platinum and I love it, but many people adore white gold.

    * Buy in person rather than on the web. There are lots of good deals out there on the web, but this is one purchase you don't want to make without seeing it in real life first. For something you will be wearing and looking at every day for the rest of your life, you really want to see how it looks and feels on you before buying. Kinda like a handbag!:yes:

    * Buy the diamond separately from the setting, so you can choose exactly what you want. It's much easier to see individual differences between stones when they aren't set, and it's easy to get distracted by a beautiful setting on a so-so stone.

    Here's how I would prioritize the four Cs, in my experience:

    1) Cut is essential. A beautifully-cut diamond that grades lower in carat, color, and clarity will have more sparkle than something a little bigger or clearer with a poor cut. It's worth paying more for something that reflects light properly, even if you have to compromise in other areas.

    2) Second most important would be color, because the more colorless stones allow better reflection. If possible, aim for the D-E-F range, but the G-J range is beautiful too.

    3) Clarity is less of an issue - obviously you don't want one with huge imperfections, but if you can stay around an SI or above, the inclusions won't be visible to the naked eye. Placement of the inclusions is also important - if they are towards the edges they are less noticeable, because they get hidden in the facets. A good jeweler should be able to show you your diamond in a loupe or even under a microscope, and you'll be able to see where they are.

    4) Carat is least important IMO. It's great to have a ballpark range, but try to keep an open mind about it, and try some on in different sizes. Some stones are cut shallowly to look bigger on the surface, but look dull in the center because the light doesn't bounce properly. I think it's worth sacrificing a bit of size in order to get a higher quality stone. If it makes you smile because it has so much sparkle, you've found the right one!

    Good luck and congrats - this is an exciting time in your life!:yahoo:
     
  7. If you polish platinum consistently will it maintain a shiny color or with time even with polishing will it get dull? Are most jewelry stores ok with buying the stone and band separately? For example, getting a stone from one place and band from another? Thanks for the tips so far, ladies.
     
  8. Sorry to bump this ladies, but I have one more question since I'm getting close to picking something. Is there much difference between G and H in color that you can see? I know there's a bit of difference in price but is it necessarily worth it? If anyone could help me I'd appreciate it.
     
  9. Hubby and I did boatloads of research before we bought my ring. Here are my thoughts:

    1) White gold vs. platinum? Pros and cons? I prefer platinum because of its durability. However, white gold is cheaper. But it is definitely not as long lasting as platinum.

    2) Internet vs store? I too believe in picking something out in person. Avoid chain stores due to their markup (I will have people booing me on this one, but this includes Tiffany). You can get the same quality stone from a different jeweler. If you have wholesalers in your area, you will get your best price there.

    3) 4C's: Go for as high clarity as possible, but also make sure that it's a good cut. Mine is a J color and VVS1 clarity. There are no imperfections you can see at all. You will not see much difference between something like a G to H color.

    4) Anything I should make sure I get/know for sure? I would make sure that your diamond is certified given the size. Different labs have different grading guidelines. GIA is the most well known. Mine is EGL and I understand they have changed their guidelines lately to match GIA standards.

    Good luck and congrats!
     

  10. There is a slight difference, of course. G grade is also known, in other, more descriptive, systems, as 'Fine White' and 'Rare White'; whereas, H grade is known as simply 'White'.

    But, H to J grades are much more commonly available and therefore, affordable and generally appear white, to the untrained eye, when mounted.

    Your skin tone may play a part, as well, as if you have a darker and/or more olive skin tone, or are tanned, you are more likely to 'get away with' a less 'white' (or colourless) diamond.

    Hope this helps. :biggrin:
     
  11. You should check out pricescope.com. They carry the diamonds for whireflash.com and have loads of tutorials as well as a fantastic forum. I am somewhat obsessed at the moment with their diamond forum.:upsidedown: All of the experts pretty much discuss everything you would ever want to know about diamonds.

    If it were me.... I would buy the best cut that I could find. That means an ideal (triple 0) cut if it were round with excellent polish and symmetry. No flourescence (although that's a matter of taste). I would get a F or G in color. The cut will make it look one color whiter. The SI1 would be perfect for a round cut as long as you can see that it is eye clean. I would go up on clarity if it was another shape like emerald cut where you would see inclusions.:idea:

    Lastly, you'll save thousands by going through Pricescope (the best are Whiteflash or Good As Gold). They will be honest and tell you if it is eye clean or if it sparkles and they will show you the AGS or GIA reports. If you must go to a brick and mortar store, keep in mind that the mall type jewelers will give you less information and will most likely have lesser quality cut diamonds. Try and go with a higher end type or a mom and pop store :shrugs:

    See what I mean by the "little obsessed" comment:angel: . If you see a diamond that you like, then post the stats and I'll give you my amateur and humble opinion. However, I'm really only good with rounds at the moment. ;) Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. ^^^ I've sent you a PM. ;)

    Thanks for you input so far again ladies!
     
  13. My wedding/engagement ring is white gold and I LOVE it. It's nice and light (delicate is my style) and very shiny white. I've had it dipped twice since we've been married (over 4 years) and the jeweler I go to always does it for free (Shane Co which I know some folks here don't like) and it looks brand new - like a new ring! lol It's beautiful.

    My husband opted for a platinum band and it gets very dull and sort of scratched looking but once cleaned up (also free from Shan Co) it looks brand new too. It's super heavy.

    It's all about your preference. :smile:
     
  14. go for Tiffany!! :smile: you will never get a wrong one.
     
  15. Yeah I second the recommendation to go to the pricescope website Diamond prices: comparison, statistics, education
    I bought my diamond from a vendor active on pricescope The Ultimate Diamond Information Site - GoodOldGold.com (Good Old Gold) and then they sent it to Michael B jewellers in California to have my wedding set made. They also have a very comprehensive diamond buying tutorial on their site as well (GOG does). Very professional. The folks on pricescope can give you better ideas on diamonds and if the % on various cuts are good or ideal etc. Plus the show me the ring forum has all the eye candy for ring styles you could ever imagine.