Diamonds, Part III: Our Experience & Tips

Part I
Part II 

It was my love for cushion cuts that led me to Mark T at Engagement Rings Direct (or ERD). He is affectionately known as “The Cushion King” in the online world of diamonds. People raved about his eye for well-cut diamonds (not just cushions), his very fair prices, and his honesty. And although he is an online vendor, he also has an office which is located in the heart of the NYC diamond district.

When I first tried on rings with Mr. Peony at a Tiffany’s, I saw that the cushions didn’t really look good on my fingers (the Tiffany Lucida and the new Novo are actually types of cushion cuts). I didn’t like the look of large diamonds either – I hardly wear jewelry and I look very young for my age…I just felt uncomfortable with a large ring on my finger. Some women can pull it off, but I can’t. I fell in love with an oval with pear sidestones at Tiffany’s. So before meeting with Mark T, I told him exactly what I wanted and he was able to pull some very beautiful ovals for me.

(Before I continue, I have to say that I’m very lucky to be in NYC. More than 75% of the diamonds sold in the US go through the NYC diamond district at one point or another. So Mark T has a great pool of resources. In addition, his office is in the same building as the GIA’s NYC branch! He can just look at their database of diamonds and run downstairs if he sees something he likes.)

Mark T and his associate both told us that well-cut ovals are very hard to find these days because they are not so popular (cushions and asschers are all the rage these days). When my mother called her jeweler, they confirmed this as well, so we know what they said wasn’t just a sales tactic. However, the ones they pulled for us were all so beautiful that I had a hard time deciding. They were sooo patient with us, showing us the diamonds under different lighting conditions, teaching us how to use a loupe (the jeweler’s magnifier), and sitting with us for over an hour while we made our decision. I immediately fell in love with a 1.50ct oval; however, I felt like I should think about it before we make such a big decision. We asked them to hold the diamond for us.

In the days following, my mother called around to different jewelers to see if they had comparable ovals. Most of them didn’t (good ovals are hard to find), or they wanted thousands more than what Mark had quoted.

So we decided to go with it! When I told them my decision, they told me that it was the first diamond they had pulled for me and they knew I would like it.

I hung out with a bunch of friends recently and they all commented that the pictures I took didn’t do justice – my ring really sparkles like crazy in real life! Ever since he proposed Mr. Peony keeps taking my hand to admire it as well. laughin035

This past Friday I stopped by ERD to pick up some papers. Mark asked to see my ring again, admired it, and while sitting amongst huge, 3+ct diamonds, he commented that it was one of the best ovals he’d seen quite some time. pleased07 This made me so happy knowing just how many diamonds he must see every day!

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Isn’t she a beaut? heart206

Along with ERD, there are other very respectable, trustworthy online vendors as well (online vendors usually have a lot lower prices because they don’t have to deal with the overhead costs as regular jewelry stores). Whiteflash is based in Houston and they specialize in ACA, or A Cut Above diamonds, which are cut especially for them to their specifications. They also recently started carrying X-Factors, which is supposed to be a great (and better) alternative to princess cuts. Good Old Gold is based in Long Island and they’re known to find some of the best diamonds out there while providing tons of documentation on each diamond they sell. They also carry a great selection of Square Hearts & Arrows, which has the performance of a round in a square shape. Another great option is James Allen, which is based in Frederick, MD.

When purchasing a diamond, the worst thing you can do is walk into a jewelry store and pick something they have on display. First, you need to do your research. Then make sure that the diamond you’re interested in is certified by a lab such as GIA or AGS (EGL tends to go soft with their grading so they’re not always recommended). If it is not certified, take it to a reputable appraiser to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. While looking at diamonds, look at them under various types of lighting. The lights in jewelry stores are deceptive! What may look great in the store may be a dud in normal lighting.

A good jeweler will be honest with you and try their very best to find the best diamond for YOU. They will not try to push more expensive diamonds (in fact, most of the diamonds that ERD showed us were under our budget) nor will they pressure you to buy. All the jewelers above will call in diamonds for you if they do not have something you’re looking for in their stock.

Another important thing is their trade-up policy. All the jewelers above also have lifetime trade-up policies. While I’m very sentimental and I could never trade up my e-ring, some women are more than happy to do so. Some may not have the money for a nice e-ring when they get engaged so they may upgrade for an anniversary later on. Whatever the reason, the point is that these vendors will allow you to trade in your diamond for 100% of the initial purchase price. If you think about it, they will not do this unless they believe in their product – if they sell a sh*tty diamond now, and the person comes back years later to trade it in, it’s the jeweler’s loss. For example, Whiteflash, although they will sell certain diamonds if the customer really wants it, they will tell the customer outright that they believe there are better diamonds out there at the same price. If the customer insists that they buy that inferior diamond, Whiteflash will tell them that the diamond will not be eligible for the lifetime trade-in policy.

In addition, if you’re in the position to get engaged in the near future, try on a bunch of rings beforehand! I LOVED the look of certain shapes, settings, etc in pictures but when I tried them on they looked horrible on my hand. Guys, if you’re trying to surprise your girl, ask her friends what she likes! And don’t be afraid to go into a jewelry store just to look. Even if it is with your significant other. Mr. Peony actually saved money by going to a jewelry store with me beforehand.

When I was still deciding between an oval and a cushion, I read an article about diamond shapes and the personalities of women who wear them. I can’t remember every detail but they said that a round is for very traditional women who are family-oriented. They like to play things safe. The princess is for the modern women: they like to take charge, they are assertive, and they take risks. The oval is for those who are very traditional but like to stand out from the crowd once in a while. They are for those who like to be classic/elegant but unique at the same time (just like me!). The article also said that women who wear ovals make very good wives winky020 – I’m sure Mr. Peony would like that! Anyway, when I read this article, I knew I was an oval girl!

If you have any questions about diamonds at all, feel free to ask! I’d love to help anyone out!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Peony

Location:
New York
Wedding Date:
April 2008
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comments

  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Jen, Guest @ 3:51 pm

    Wowie! Gorgeous, Miss Peony!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    tofu, Guest @ 3:57 pm

    yes, she is a beaut. nice rock! i have a princess cut and i think the personality description is pretty accurate. ;)

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    a, Guest @ 4:02 pm

    Beautiful! I was condering a considering a cushon and an oval too. Can you share the cost of the oval stone?

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    E, Guest @ 4:09 pm

    Am I the only out of touch one who thinks 1.5 is pretty big (you said you didn’t like big diamonds after all)? Would hate to see how tiny you consider mine!

  5. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 4:14 pm

    Thanks everyone for the compliments!

    A – If you go to pricescope.com, you can put in your desired diamond specs and you’ll get a huge list of prices from different vendors. Most of these internet vendors have less than 5% markup so it’s a pretty good deal.

    E – I think it has a lot to do with your social circle. I live in the NYC area, where most of my friends have 2+ carat diamonds.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Ouch!, Guest @ 4:16 pm

    The 4:14 comment to E — OUCH! Uh, we’re not all like that, E!

  7. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 4:24 pm

    Sorry if I offended E or anyone else – I really didn’t mean to. I remember reading once that nationwide, the average engagement ring size is .3 carats, but in NYC, that average jumps to 1.5 carats. But even within the same area there are bound to be large ranges.

    A lot of my friends are attorneys or they work in finance where they make tons and tons of moola – some of them can afford a more lavish lifestyle and they choose to do so. However, this isn’t to say that everyone in NYC is wealthy. Again, I apologize if anyone took offense at my comment.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Jen, Guest @ 4:24 pm

    i think a good-sized diamond all depends on how it looks on your fingers. it looks very nice on ms. peony’s hand. e-i’m sure yours is beautiful on you too (i would hope every girl thought her own ring is beautiful!).

    mine is 1.5 too, which i think is large, but we chose it and the setting also b/c it looked great on my finger size, and looks like it BELONGS on my finger.

    but like ms. peony’s previous post, the monetary value of the diamond is based on the 4 c’s – so like all her friends could have 2+ carat diamonds but they could be lower in some of the c’s than others. or not.

    i personally think that celebrities that have 24 carat diamond rings look ridiculous esp. since they usually have size 2 fingers! but if they love it and can afford it, whatever works.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    KP, Guest @ 4:24 pm

    I agree with ouch! We have have differnet budgets and 1.5 is pretty large.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Jen, Guest @ 4:26 pm

    and to be extra long-winded, i think the important thing is that your man loves you so much and wants to marry you – whether he can afford a ring or not. i knew girls that only focus on the ring and not the man – which doesn’t really make sense to me.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Meg, Guest @ 4:37 pm

    Miss Peony’s comment about regional differences is spot on. I remember reading in one book about a NYC bride who felt her ring was modest while in NYC, but went home to the Midwest, and felt embarrassed about how huge her ring was while she was there- it was as if it had grown at least a carat on the airplane.

  12. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 4:39 pm

    Exactly Jen! I would be lying if I said that I didn’t love my ring; however, I would’ve been happy with just a proposal (sans ring) and his promise to spend the rest of my life with me.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Kate, Guest @ 5:13 pm

    I hate being part of “all the rage.” Your 1.5 carat diamond is twice the size of mine, which I consider to be a pretty decent-sized ring.

    I can tell that you have a love for diamonds. (It’s hard not to, isn’t it?) However, I might be careful about pairing “educational” text with personal preferences.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    a, Guest @ 5:25 pm

    Just did. Thanks! Great option for those who want bigger rings on a budget!

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    a, Guest @ 5:30 pm

    What kind of band are you thinking of going with? It’s hard to stack with the oval…that may ultimately be the deciding factor for me.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Faith, Guest @ 5:30 pm

    All this info about diamonds and research and stuff makes me kinda glad I have the ring that belonged to my fiance’s grandma! I don’t know how you do it, Miss Peony! I wouldn’t have had the interest to have delved into the research like you did. (It’s like my friend that follows the radio charts really closely because she’s really into music and radio station politics and everything…I don’t get it. :)

    Your ring is GORGEOUS. So, soo pretty. I remember when I went shopping with my sister and brother in law years ago when they were looking for the right diamond for her ring in downtown LA. Those jewelry districts are fascinating…

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    CC, Guest @ 5:36 pm

    your ring is beautiful! and i know a lot of girls want 2 carats, etc. (they want it big!) but i think the 1.5 carat you got looks HUGE! such a beautiful ring. :)

  18. Member
    mrsbee 3235 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:38 pm

    i don’t think miss peony is implying that her ring is small by any means. a ring is a very personal decision and to each their own right? :)

    it’s really tough not to pair educational text with personal preferences when you’re blogging about your personal experiences…

    i found this to be a very informative series for ring shopping on any budget! thanks so much for sharing all your research with us miss peony!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    norcalbruin, Guest @ 6:09 pm

    Miss. Peony, your ring is beautiful and I actually once wanted a similar type of ring but I became obsessed with the setting so I now have a Scott Kay crown setting with pave diamonds band and engraving on the side and round brilliant.

    I didn’t take any offense to the size comment considering that in this day in age a “plain, old” 1ct diamond won’t don’t do for some women anymore. My diamond is under a 1ct but because of the quality it still looks gorgeous — that’s what women should be concerned with not just the size. E, I am not criticizing you personally, you are completely entitled your opinion. :) And besides, there is always upgrading as you mentioned Peony and that’s what we plan on doing.

    And another thing, my SO went to James Allen for the diamond but bought the setting at a jeweler that I will not name. Initially he was going to get both the setting and the diamond from the jeweler but after doing his research, he went in and noticed their bs about their diamonds that were in fact of poor quality and overpriced. They even went as far as to claim that all diamonds purchased over the internet are laser-altered (this may be true for SOME). To make a long story short, he went elsewhere for the stone so it’s very important for the person or couple looking for a ring because if you’e not careful you could get played.

  20. Member
    plumeria 296 posts, Helper bee @ 6:12 pm

    I can understand those who might feel offended when a 1.5 carat stone is seemingly considered “small,” because many people I know have stones .5 carat or less, and their FI worked hard to get that for them! Engagement rings are such treasured personal items. Nobody wants to be feel like their ring, either an existing one or a planned purchase, is inferior to someone else’s, even if the insinuation is unintentional.

    That said, I think we all need to understand that qualitative terms like “big” and “small,” when it comes to diamonds, are really relative, especially as presented on a personal blog. And, of course, the important thing is that we each are happy with our own rings without comparing them to others’. It’s also true that, besides price, stone size choice is affected by finger size. I have a 1 carat stone myself, and in my eyes, it is plenty huge because I have a small 3.5 finger… I don’t think I could handle anything larger.

    Your ring is gorgeous Miss Peony and I’m glad you love it so much! :) Thanks for sharing your knowledge w/ the hive.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    El, Guest @ 6:21 pm

    I too agree that your ring is very beautiful! I am living in NYC, a lawyer, my fiance is a doctor and most of my friends are in these professional fields also. Almost everyone that I know has a 1ct ring and so I think the stereotype of New Yorkers having a bigger rings just isn’t true. Plus it doesn’t matter what the norm is anyway since it’s what you want in the end. :-)

    You do look young from your pictures! Are you 29? I would love to hear about your makeup/skincare routine! I’m 32 and I’m afraid I’ll start looking my age soon :-(

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Kami, Guest @ 9:48 pm

    Just wanted to say that I also had so much fun researching diamonds and trying on different rings too (I relied a lot on Good Old Gold, which I found so helpful). It completely changed what ring I wanted. I thought I’d want a princess or an emerald cut, but instead fell in love with a round diamond in a rather unique band (it’s the MimiSo infinity – you can see it on her website if you’re curious; and no, I’m definitely not “very traditional”). Our jeweler Laura was awesome – she was so glad that we were excited about diamonds that she spent hours showing us the differences between stones and even pulled out a scope and showed us all sorts of cool things, including crystals as inclusions. It was so nice to have someone who was so helpful and whom we could trust.

    I think it’s so important to try things on and do the research – e-rings are a huge investment. You want to end up with something you love and certainly don’t want to feel ripped off. I suppose you lose a bit of the surprise by looking first, but better that than to wish you’d gotten something else. My fiance could never have known that this was the best ring for me – the one I’d think was most beautiful in all the world – because I didn’t know until I looked myself. So, for what it’s worth, my vote is definitely to go looking together.

    And as for the size thing, I am a NYC girl and I’ve seen some serious, serious bling around town. That’s the thing about NYC – someone always has bigger and more expensive. You might lose perspective about what “big” or “small” is, but the only perspective that really matters is that you remember that it’s the guy and not the ring that counts. Even if you think it’s the most beautiful ring in all the world. ;-)

  23. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 10:10 pm

    Mrs. Plumeria – you’re correct. No one likes feeling inferior, even if it was unintended. I think I may have hit a lot of raw nerve with this post….maybe I shouldn’t have specified the size at all? However, I do want to clarify that I do not think my 1.5 is small at all – to me, it’s not too big, not too small….it’s perfect for ME, for these reasons:

    1. Aesthetically speaking, I personally think that an engagement ring looks best when the width of the center stone covers 1/3 of the width of the finger when looking down. And my ring does exactly that.

    2. I have fat fingers! I wish I had skinny fingers but my ring size is 6 3/4. Believe me, if I had skinnier fingers I would have chosen a smaller diamond. My friend is a 2 1/2 and her .5 carat looks HUGE on her.

    3. My fiance and I picked it out together, and he designed the setting himself. And every time I look down on it, I can’t help but smile at all the memories and love we share and will continue to share for the rest of our lives.

    Kate – I’m actually not a diamond lover. I love handbags and makeup, but jewelry? I honestly can care less and the only stuff I have are cheap things I bought off sidewalk vendors and such. However, an engagement ring is a big purchase and whenever I make a big purchase, I research like crazy. If you read far back into my personal blog, you can seen that I write similar posts about cameras, cell phones, makeup, etc. I just wanted to share what I learned, injecting my own experience as well, so that people can make informed decisions themselves.

  24. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 10:18 pm

    El – thank you! I’m actually 27 but whenever people meet me they think I’m right out of college (which kinda sucks in a professional environment). My skin care regimen? Prescriptives Foaming Face Wash and a daytime and a nighttime lotion from Clarins (I change lines according to season….but I always stick with Clarins. I swear they have the best lotions!)

    I used to have pretty bad skin before and I’ve tried so many brands. However, I hit the jackpot with this combo, at least for my skin. I’ve stuck with the same thing for more than 5 years and ever since, people have always complimented me on my skin. Good luck!

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Ouch!, Guest @ 10:22 pm

    6 3/4 size fingers are “fat”?

    I give up on this post.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    MJ, Guest @ 11:04 pm

    My fingers are 6-1/2 and I think they’re fat– they’re short and stubby. I have short, kid-sized hands. The joke is my fingers look like Jimmy Dean…sausages. :-)

    Everyone is different and sees things differently. My ring is a little over 2 carats, good quality– man I love sparkly things– and cost my fiance a pretty penny. We’re both professionals, but have student loans and like to spend our money on real estate, so he had to save for quite a while. But, he (that’s right HE) wanted it that way. I asked for one of my family rings (they’re two: 1 carat, and a little over 1 carat) but he wanted me to have my own.

    My friends’ rings are all right around 2, except for one girl with the 4 carats, but she doesn’t count because she’s a jeweler. The NYC metro is hard and sometimes, as crazy as it seems, big rings seem smaller here. An opposite comparison might be that you might think an 800 square foot apartment is a closet– that’s a two bedroom apartment here!

    When my future MOL saw my ring, she nearly hit the floor. (She also couldn’t believe how much we paid for the “tiny” condo we used to live in). Her’s is well under a carat; it might be less than 1/2 a carat, I’m not sure. The point is, I know my stone is big, but it’s just regular in my circle (and the condo was huge and a pretty good deal).

    That doesn’t make anyone else’s ring good, bad, or ugly. Just different. It’s really about the feelings you have and the love that the ring represents…and that isn’t measured by the size of the stone.

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    MJ, Guest @ 11:05 pm

    oh no, where’s my post!

  28. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 11:05 pm

    Ouch – I actually have a complex about my fingers (the picture above was purposely chosen because it was the best one of the bunch…notice I angled my hand so the fingers look skinnier). I feel like my hands are short and chubby compared to the rest of my body (I’m only 5’1″) and maybe I hang out with only those with skinny fingers, but I really do have one of the largest finger sizes of all my girlfriends, even those who are 8″ taller than me or 4 sizes larger than me.

    The very first time I went to a jewelry store with my first serious boyfriend to choose promise rings for each other, the salesperson haughtily informed me that my finger size was too large and that he’ll need to special order one for me. This really upset me and ever since then I’ve been sensitive about my fingers.

    Anyways I’ll stop talking now because it seems like I keep digging myself into a deeper hole the more I comment on this post.

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    MJ, Guest @ 11:05 pm

    Oh, phew! And, Miss. Peony, thanks for all your work on these posts. They’re great and will no doubt help a future bride!

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    LAGirl23, Guest @ 11:11 pm

    Beautiful, Miss Peony! I also have an oval – love it because it’s classic looking, but different than the norm. We must have similar taste, because I love peonies, too!

  31. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 11:12 pm

    A – we’re gonna have my wedding ring custom made to sit flush with my e-ring, and it’ll probably have a slight bend to it. We will go back to ERD since they do great custom work, and their prices are comparable to pre-made rings.

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    T, Guest @ 11:26 pm

    Your ring is gorgeous! And I find this series of posts very informational. Thank you! Some people need to stop picking on every word you say. The same thing can be done to them then.

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Lizzy, Guest @ 11:38 pm

    I have to agree with Ms Peony. We all live in NYC and most my friends are either lawyers, docs or in investment banking. Most all my friends have 1.5 above. It’s not only the size, the specs are very important as well. It should be at least a F and VS2 above. Even though i didnt shop with my FI but he did a lot research on his own. He probably will be very happy if he saw Ms. Peony’s blog. I have a 2 ct round cut with a very unique setting. =)

  34. Member
    plumeria 296 posts, Helper bee @ 1:34 am

    I just got through all the following posts. :) I think you’ve done a really good job clarifying your position as well as your intent (which, from the beginning, I did understand was not to offend or belittle in the first place), so anyone who is still miffed need not be. I gotta reiterate… it’s all relative — and what matters is how we feel about our fiances/husbands and their taking the steps to present us with these beautiful rings, regardless of size, to start with!

    And I think the majority of people simply appreciate your honesty and all of the detailed research that you’ve put up here!!

    Looking forward to more of your blogs. :-D

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    ML, Guest @ 2:02 am

    norcalbruin, i have a Scott Kay crown setting with pave diamonds band too! i wonder if we have the same one! :)

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    BA, Guest @ 4:36 am

    I want to chime in on the “different social contexts, different diamond sizes” chain, and I’m going to try to do this without offending anyone. I’ll admit I was surprised when I put it together than Miss Peony was referring to a 1.5 carat ring as “not big” because, in my mind, that’s pretty huge. My FI and I live in England, and I have a gorgeous three stone ring, the centre stone is .80 carats, with a tapered baguette on each side. I also am petite and have small hands (size 3.5) and in my opinion, it’s the perfect size for me. He wanted to go bigger, but I put my foot down and said no, that it would look ridiculous. When my ring arrived, I was REALLY surprised by how many people commented on how BIG it was, but quickly realised that in England, engagement rings are much more modest. However, when we went back to the States, I was even MORE surprised by the super-sized diamonds in the average engagement ring at our college reunion.

    I do think there’s a bit of an arms race with diamonds at the moment, where the celebrities have completely warped people’s ideas of what is a reasonable sized diamond to own and wear everyday. 50 years ago, very few people had e-rings with a stone over 1 carat, and now it’s (clearly) much more common.

    Bottom line: Love what you have, but more importantly, love your fiancee. He’s worth so much more than a big (or small) diamond.

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Annie, Guest @ 7:46 am

    I had so much fun reading the comments for this post! I wish I could bring something new to this discussion but I can’t. It’s all been said already. Miss Peony, you are so nice to apologize to strangers :) I just hope this experience doesn’t detract you from being any less honest or open about your personal feelings and opinions. I’m sorry that saleslady was so snide to you about the size of your fingers, what an idiot. The picture shows that your fingers are in very good proportion to your hand – not short or squat at all.

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Linda, Guest @ 9:00 am

    as another new yorker, i want to emphasize that just b/c you and/or your fiance are in a money-making professional field, doesn’t mean you HAVE to get a big rock!

    honestly, as a woman on the outside (not even engaged), it’s alarming how girls get so caught up in the well-oiled and well-marketed wedding industry machine.

    it makes me want to go AGAINST the grain – i don’t want to be another girl that gets caught in the “who has a bigger ring” silliness. for me, i put greater value in things like owning real estate, actually having savings, and splurging on life-experiences, like ethereal vacations.

    there’s NOTHING wrong with loving a big rock, diamonds are a girl’s best friend! :) but don’t feel trapped into the lifestyle other women lead here in the city. it’s sometimes very misleading and all about show.

    i have very strong feelings against diamonds (blood diamonds – a big NO NO), and would hope my future fiance sees that what matters to me are not of your typical nyc future bride.

  39. Member
    peony 314 posts, Helper bee @ 9:36 am

    Annie – thank you! Your comment was very much appreciated.

    Linda – honestly, it seems more like a male ego thing sometimes. Some of my guy friends are always trying to outdo one another to see who can get a larger, better quality rock at a better price. Mr. Peony, when he first started looking at diamonds, thought that the average size of engagement rings was 2 carats, just based on what his friends were getting for their fiancees.

    Everyone thinks differently on how they choose to spend their money. ie – some people choose to have very small, budget-conscious wedding even if they’re millionaires. But I totally agree with you that just because you have the money doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy a bigger, better quality diamond – it’s the love and promise that counts. It would be stupid to go into debt to buy a larger ring, that’s for sure.

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    texastina, Guest @ 12:38 pm

    Beautiful Ring! I love it, and I am so excited about your diamond posts. My fiance actually went to the cushion king in NYC for my diamond. We are in the luxury watch business so we gave him a Rolex (at cost) and he gave us a sweet deal. (I am also in the designer jewelry business)..

    Mine is a 1.5 carat cushion cut solitaire. E color, IF clairty, VG cut (the best cut for a cushion). He really helped my Fiance pick a great ring!!

    -Tina

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    Lissa, Guest @ 1:01 pm

    What a beautiful ring! Isn’t the oval a pretty shape? I, too, have an oval diamond engagement ring. Though mine is not as large and on a much simpler band.

    Do you ever get asked what shape it is? I’ve had a lot of people think it’s a marquis.

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Eilis, Guest @ 3:52 pm

    For any of you lovely ladies looking for alternatives to diamonds, my engagement ring is moissanite and I LOVE IT! One jeweler even thought I was mistaken when I told him how much it was worth when getting it sized…he thought I’d forgotten a zero!
    The best part about it? My guy picked it out for me. Gotta love this symbolic tradition, regardless of what it is made of or what size it is! :)

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    R, Guest @ 7:18 pm

    As a former jeweler and diamond grader, I will tell you that among jewelers and cutters, there is a ranking of cuts. Some cuts are considered regal/classy, while others are considered cheap, and it is surprising what your jeweler may actually think. Of course, your jeweler will never tell you how he/she feels about your stone because it is your decision ultimately. I will keep these industry opinons to myself because I think that a lot of feelings will be hurt, but if you’re really interested, just go to high end jewelry stores, say, Harry Winston and see what the bulk of larger stones are cut as. Certain cuts require high quality roughs while other cuts “mask” the inclusions. Also, round brilliants actually look larger than other cuts because the bulk of the weight is at the table with the least amount of weight at the culet whereas other cuts require more weight at the bottom. Just take a look at 3 carat round; it looks more like a 4 carat stone, and 2 carats look like 3 carats. Also, I would always go with GIA.

  44. Member
    poppy 71 posts, Worker bee @ 8:28 pm

    i have to say miss peony’s ring in person is even MORE beautiful than these pictures right here :) thank you miss peony for such an informative post on diamonds to help those not yet engaged to get the best diamond for their money thanks to your tips :) i’m sure many men will thank you in the future for this series :D

  45. Guest Icon Guest
    Weddingbee » Blog Archive » Watercooler, Guest @ 10:35 am

    [...] Diamonds, Part III: Our Experience & Tips by Miss Peony [...]

  46. Guest Icon Guest
    Lindsay, Guest @ 4:30 pm

    I too live in the NYC area and my bf is looking for a jeweler in the area since we originally looked at rings when we were living in Boston. Did you go anywhere else in the Diamond Exchange area or just ERD?

  47. Member
    Lee81 17 posts, Newbee @ 3:46 pm

    Absolutely stunning ring! Would have to agree about diamond certs–so many people do not know this very basic rule when ring shopping: always make sure the stone you are interested in is certified by a reputable grading lab. Personally I would stick with GIA only just because they seem to have the best reputation in the industry. Their grading reports tend to be the strictest and the most accurate. Plus just knowing they developed the 4 C’s grading system in the first place makes me trust them above other labs.

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