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The thin line between love and hate
Mature discussion about understanding the opposite sex...

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Old 05-02-2017, 12:10 AM   #226
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Hey guys, I've posted in this thread before last year about being in the market for an engagement ring.

This is long overdue but I really want to share my ring purchase experience. Life got busy and I never really had a chance to sit down and type this all out.

Anyway, I purchased my ring through Aaron aka thediamondshopper and it was the best decision I made. For those of you who don't know he's the OP in this RFD thread:

Have questions about diamonds and engagement rings, ASK ME ANYTHING... - RedFlagDeals.com Forums

You can also find reviews of him online.

Anyway, in early 2016 I decided to start my research on engagement rings as I was planning on proposing to my girlfriend of 11 years. As an RFDer, I of course came across his thread above and was quite sure it would contain all the information I needed to make an informed purchase.

At the time I was simply doing research and therefore my plan was to get a crash course on the 4 Cs online through Google to get a basic understanding, then read through his thread above (as well as this thread ) to get a deeper understanding of what to watch for beyond the 4 Cs. Finally, I figured I would be able to take what I learned and purchase my ring on BlueNile or James Allen, thereby saving me lots of money compared to purchasing from a brick & mortar store.

That was my plan but as I read through the thread, I came across a few reviews people have posted of their experience purchasing through Aaron (I had no idea this was an option). I gave it a bit of thought but eventually bit the bullet and initiated the conversation with Aaron. Looking back this was the best decision I made. I'll lay out the process in points below to make it easier to read.

1. I first PM'd Aaron on RFD to ask some simple questions about diamonds and the conversation moved over to email once I decided I would be purchasing from him. This was at the end of April 2016.

2. I gave him my criteria and budget and sent him pictures of ring designs I liked and also used the videos on his Youtube as references. I also emphasized that I needed the ring by the end of June as I was planning on proposing on a trip in early July.

3. Over the next 1.5 weeks we narrowed down the perfect balance of cut, clarity, carat, and colour that would fit my budget and he also answered questions I had regarding the type of band (accent diamonds, 14k vs 18k white gold or platinum).

4. He came up with 8 great diamonds for me to consider (his form showed the Grading Lab #, 4 Cs, price,fluorescence, Dimensions, Grading Lab (all GIA), Comments (all Hearts&Arrows), additional notes) and we worked together to narrow it down to the one I wanted. Once we narrowed it down to the diamond, I put down an $80 deposit to hold the ring. For those who know, I checked all 8 under the Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA) tool and they all scored <2 which is what you want)

5. When the diamond came in, Aaron sent me images (ASET, Idealscope, and magnified closeups of inclusions) and explained to me what they were and assured me it was top quality. He would never recommend poorly cut diamonds.

6. For the ring, I ended up liking a design I found online and Aaron confirmed he would be able to get his designer to make the same ring. I put down a 20% deposit to get the ring started. He also provided free engraving on the band which I really appreciated and took full advantage of .

7. When the design was almost ready, he sent me a computer rendered image of the ring and it looked great.

8. When the ring was complete, I paid the remainder of the invoice, provided the shipping address.

9. As we are approaching the end, he sent me a video of the ring as well an appraisal report.

The video is here:


10. On June 28, he shipped the ring and sent me the tracking information.

11. On June 29th, the ring arrived and it was absolutely beautiful.

After I proposed I realized my initial estimate of my fiancee's fingers were way off. I had estimated a 5.25 ring size but she was actually a 3.5! I trusted Aaron more than the local stores so I actually shipped the ring back to Aaron to get it resized and everything was done perfectly without a hitch.

To this day, I am so glad I went with Aaron because I've done some comparison shopping and the equivalent diamond and band would have cost a lot more at Spence's and Birk's.

I could have bought something off BlueNile/James Allen but I would have had to put in so much more effort and possibly end up falling short because there is so much more to diamonds than the 4Cs. Aaron took all the guesswork out of diamond shopping. I HIGHLY recommend getting in touch with him if you're looking to purchase the best looking diamond for your budget while taking the guesswork out of it.

I posted this review on RFD as it was long overdue. Hopefully you guys find it helpful.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Absolutely the best purchase I've ever made.

Side note, one of my coworkers bought a ring from Birk's for literally double my price, 30% smaller (carat-wise) and IMO had no sparkle. Before I bought my ring I had chatted with this coworker about rings which was why he brought the engagement ring he bought to work. I was extremely underwhelmed when he brought it out and honestly feel bad he got ripped by the store so badly. I guess that's what happens when you walk into a random store and purchase on the spot lol....


Last edited by Oleophobic; 05-11-2017 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:06 AM   #227
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Tl;dr









Lol jk. Great review and I'm glad you found exactly what you were looking for. Feels good
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:51 AM   #228
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Proposed to my gf over the weekend with a diamond ring from Brilliant Earth. Went perfectly, she loves the ring, although I have to get it resized.

Definitely recommend Brilliant Earth, they made the process super easy and simple.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:30 PM   #229
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^ congrats!

lol i also made the mistake of eyeballing my wife's finger size when proposed cus i wanted it to be a total surprise...basically proposed, she loved the ring, but had to part with it for a few weeks to get it resized almost immediately after
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:39 PM   #230
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My fiancé needs to resize too. I'm mad cuz I even watched her over a few weeks and noted which ring she wore on which finger, chose the one she wore on her left ring finger the most often, snuck in and measured it with my digital vernier caliper. Aaaaaaaaand when it was a tiny bit loose I didn't understand.

"Oh, that one I always wear IS loose, I just like it so much I always wear it"

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Old 05-10-2017, 02:05 PM   #231
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My fiancé needs to resize too. I'm mad cuz I even watched her over a few weeks and noted which ring she wore on which finger, chose the one she wore on her left ring finger the most often, snuck in and measured it with my digital vernier caliper. Aaaaaaaaand when it was a tiny bit loose I didn't understand.

"Oh, that one I always wear IS loose, I just like it so much I always wear it"

Haha! I never thought to use my digital caliper when I wanted to buy my wife another ring; I ended up smuggling out one of her rings and taking it to the Bay to ask them to measure it for me.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:17 PM   #232
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^ congrats!

lol i also made the mistake of eyeballing my wife's finger size when proposed cus i wanted it to be a total surprise...basically proposed, she loved the ring, but had to part with it for a few weeks to get it resized almost immediately after
I wanted it to be a complete surprise as well (which it was!) so we never went ring shopping together. Her best friend went a few times and kept saying one size, but her mother kept telling me another size. In the end, I should have listened to the friend because her mother was completely wrong
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:25 PM   #233
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Keep in mind that you're dealing with such small numbers, that any changes to the body will change ring sizes.

The difference in ring size by 0.5 is ~0.4mm in overall circumference; if you/she lose weight, are bloated/swollen, etc., ring sizes will change.

When I got my ring, it was a 6 and it fit her perfectly. 2 months later it's slightly loose because she's on a diet lol
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #234
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Keep in mind that you're dealing with such small numbers, that any changes to the body will change ring sizes.

The difference in ring size by 0.5 is ~0.4mm in overall circumference; if you/she lose weight, are bloated/swollen, etc., ring sizes will change.

When I got my ring, it was a 6 and it fit her perfectly. 2 months later it's slightly loose because she's on a diet lol
Very true. Also, depends on the time of year. In the summer, fingers will slightly bloat due to the warmth and heat. That is why it is better to have a little bit of room if you are trying on in a cold environment or during the winter.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:19 PM   #235
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The guy off RFD have GIA graded rocks?
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:35 AM   #236
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The guy off RFD have GIA graded rocks?
Yep! Believe me, after reading this thread and his RFD thread, there was no way I would settle for anything less than GIA (and would be absolutely shocked if he recommended non-GIA diamonds).

I've updated my post for clarity but when he presented me with the 8 options he showed me a form that listed the following:

the Grading Lab #
4 Cs
price
fluorescence
Dimensions
Grading Lab (all GIA)
Comments (all Hearts&Arrows)
additional notes

Naturally I also looked up the GIA certificates myself to confirm
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:55 AM   #237
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nice sounds like a good system then

it would be a different story imo if they werent GIA graded because a guy like that could have a killer eye for "value" diamonds which look great but arent up to snuff in terms of grading.

1.5 years later with no cleaning my fiances rock still looks amazing and catches light/peoples eyes all the time.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:03 PM   #238
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Anyone looking for a halo style engagement ring?
Middle diamond is 0.3 ct VS.
Le wife no likey
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:32 PM   #239
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Anyone looking for a halo style engagement ring?
Middle diamond is 0.3 ct VS.
Le wife no likey
'nuff said
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:24 AM   #240
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shit I bought the gf 3 sets of diamond earrings a couple years ago for xmas and the diamonds were bigger then .3ct... I could never imagine going that small on a ring and she doesn't even care about the size.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:59 PM   #241
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says more about the girl than da ring if .3 is bad enough to have to get a different ring.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:35 PM   #242
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Yah 0.3 is pretty small.

I got the gf 0.75 and went for really high quality cut, color and clarity. It's a solitaire, so it really pops. I guess if it is a halo, it doesn't need to stand out as much as a solitaire.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:34 PM   #243
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How would I know the size of ring that fits her finger?

Do I go into the store and ask for sizing?
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:57 AM   #244
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How would I know the size of ring that fits her finger?

Do I go into the store and ask for sizing?
I took a shot in the dark, was off by a size. Most places you purchase from have 1 free sizing, worst case its around $75-$100. Be careful if you're buying with diamond on the band though, most can only be sized half a size down.

I went with a 6.5 which is pretty standard, she was a 5.75.

I got this from Costco.. Platinum setting, .75ct centre, 1.35tcw with a matching band. I recently had it appraised at $2200 more then what I paid for it.


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Old 07-21-2017, 08:53 AM   #245
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^ It's good to see that someone's happy with their Costco ring. Kinda looking there as well.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #246
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been following this thread for a while now...1.5 years out... looking to spend 10-15k but lacking knowledge of the diamond industry. Did research but then got overwhelmed .. if anyone has some recommended links please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:51 AM   #247
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^ It's good to see that someone's happy with their Costco ring. Kinda looking there as well.
Like I said previously I also got mine at Costco, was about 5k and she is crazy pleased. She still pouts sometimes when going out somewhere where she can't wear it (work which is food prep, or things like hiking or swimming, high risk stuff for losing it)
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:45 AM   #248
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Ended up buying my platinum wedding band from bluenile as well, great overall experience once again and I saved approx $800 from buying locally.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:26 PM   #249
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I took a shot in the dark, was off by a size. Most places you purchase from have 1 free sizing, worst case its around $75-$100. Be careful if you're buying with diamond on the band though, most can only be sized half a size down.

I went with a 6.5 which is pretty standard, she was a 5.75.

I got this from Costco.. Platinum setting, .75ct centre, 1.35tcw with a matching band. I recently had it appraised at $2200 more then what I paid for it.


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Where'd you go for appraisal?
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:27 PM   #250
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Appraisals are just a scam so that you pay more for insurance premiums.
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