Old 28th October 2009, 23:45   #2441
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I wanted to actually make use of the fact my system is 64 bit and be able to run games. Previously I could either run Linux on my games machine, kinda negates its use as a games machine still. Or I could run a 32bit version of XP.

Now I can run a version of windows thats both 64 bit and non-shit. Though whoever came up with the "Ribbon" interface needs to die, horribly and slowly along with all other overpromoted idiots. It works, but its cumbersome and annoying.

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Old 29th October 2009, 09:54   #2442
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The Ribbon sucks the big sneaker. I'm getting my upgrade to 7 this weekend.
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Old 29th October 2009, 11:35   #2443
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The 2009 Lincoln Coin & Chronicles set went on sale at the mint on the 15th, and were limited to 50,000 sets. The US Mint
received 51,000 orders on the first day, and you could only place yourself on a first come first serve back order. It was
officially listed as "sold out" on the 22nd. I placed my order on the 18th, and it has now shipped. They're selling on ebay
for 3x and more their original price. Yay!



Also, there is a new Weird Al Yankovic album out, and payday is tomorrow.

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Old 29th October 2009, 13:38   #2444
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vie
[edit] DrO, you had a Metro? Good little car those, so long as you avoid the rusting ones and the early annodised wheels on the turbo (they were so smooth that the tyres continued turning around the hub on early models.)
yup, was an S-reg SLi (white) version and was just over 11 years old but the body was on the way out (wheelarches had already noticeably gone) and with the scrappage scheme it just made sense to go down that route to get £2300 off a car compared to the few 100 i'd have done if sold otherwise. so i've now got the i20 and with scrappage discount that offsets the extra a diesel costs so makes it a bargin straight off

was a shame to see the metro go (gave it a little pat just before i handed over the keys) as it was fun to drive but just not brilliant on the motorway when you're sandwiched between lorries and the front suspension had started leaking again as its turned colder (though i've a feeling the deer i hit a few months back didn't help that either).

-daz
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Old 30th October 2009, 17:32   #2445
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Thinking of buying this book: Windows on the World Complete Wine Course

I know a few of you know a lot about wine. Has anyone read it? Any suggestions on a similar book?

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Old 30th October 2009, 18:56   #2446
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Theresh onny one waaay toleaaarnaboud wine.
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Old 30th October 2009, 19:08   #2447
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^Uh,oh!
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Old 30th October 2009, 22:06   #2448
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K_Rock I have the same book. It is great. I wish I had it back when I was learning about wine. Instead I got the book as a gift about five or six years after I had seriously gotten into wine. However, the book still did teach me quite a bit.

I was able to learn very quickly about wine largely due to my father-in-law. Oh who am I kidding. I learned quickly solely because of him. He had been around the bush with wine for many many years and was easily able to point me to brands that he thought were good with price ranges all the way from $6 to a few hundred a bottle.

Having said that, my father-in-law was also careful to let me develop me own palate. To bring that point a little further, gaek is absolutely correct; what one person says is good does not mean that you have to like it.

Again, to reinforce what gaek said, you gotta keep on drinking wine to stay current. Years are different, wine makers change, every once and a while an otherwise shit winery hits it and unleashes a blockbuster. On the other side of that coin, your cult Napa cabs/first growth Bordeaux/super Tuscans will occasionally produce shit.

A good example to sum this all up is one of my most favorite wines. It's a 1999 Sterling Reserve Cab. This poor guy has been drug through the fire several times over the past few years. Never really was rated well (I believe the highest rating I have ever seen is 91, wine spectator gave it an 87 on release, and has since lowered it). I bought a case of it. Both my father-in-law and I happen to think it is a wonderful bottle. I have drank a bottle a year on my birthday since it's release and have never been displeased with it ...

So remember, it's not all about the ratings; it is about what you like. Use the ratings as a rough guide and nothing else.

Like my father-in-law did for me, if you want suggestions at just about any price point, drop me a pm and I would be more than happy to help you out. Though decent wines in the sub $10 a bottle is getting difficult to find anymore.
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Old 30th October 2009, 23:09   #2449
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Quote:
Originally posted by k_rock923
I know a few of you know a lot about wine.
I just pretend. Really, there's a few I know are a safe buy for a good outcome, and a few that I have found age well. Occasionally I get an extremely amazing/rare bottle just through networking, but usually I just keep stocked up on something simple like Walnut Crest and sit on it for a while since it's rather mediocre new, but ages like an award winner. It works for me without spending loads of money or time researching. If I have any drinking expertise where I do spend the time and money, it would be in dark beers. I like to taste test good whiskeys, gins, and dry red wines too, but that's not to say I could give any well-admired reviews.

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Old 31st October 2009, 22:22   #2450
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I'm trying to branch out from "I like dry reds" and from buying only by grape. I'd like to be able to do more than just look for the bottles that say 'zinfandel' on them.

As I go through the book, I think I'm going to try and sample wines from regions/grapes/vineyards mentioned.

One of the biggest problems for me is that I hardly ever drink a full bottle. Any suggestions on what to do about that, or how to make a bottle last longer if I can't drink it at once?

Perhaps this should be its own thread, fc.

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Old 31st October 2009, 22:32   #2451
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12 bottles of these

Each Thursday a new show on Celtica Radio with Darkwave music.
**************************************************************************

WINAMPSHOUTCAST
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Old 31st October 2009, 22:48   #2452
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We don't have a wine only thread, but we do have a good beer one in the bin. Perhaps you should start one. I do like wine outside of the dry red category, but not as much. Chardonnay is good for that reason too, even though it's not red, although I tend not to age it as much.

Today I bought $101 in groceries including two odd 6-packs of beer that I'll post about after trying them next weekend, plus tanks of gasoline for the car and truck totaling around $90.00 (both tanks were below 1/4 capacity).

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Old 1st November 2009, 14:33   #2453
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As part of my girlfriends birthday gift, I'm going to buy her oen of these two items:

http://www.zales.com/product/index.j...=3687468&kpc=1

http://www.zales.com/product/index.j...9#BVRRWidgetID

Opinions?

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Old 1st November 2009, 15:20   #2454
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Go with Pearls. But it should alwyas be a three strand.
Like Jackie O's(Which stores have a ton of knock-offs) or this look.Here

For the Fashionistas
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Old 1st November 2009, 15:33   #2455
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The pearls. That other thing - *shudder*
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Old 1st November 2009, 18:05   #2456
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White pearls are a lot more versatile. The other item looks like it belongs on someone much older and includes a color that would need to fit a certain set of outfits.

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Old 2nd November 2009, 23:51   #2457
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The pearls. That other thing - *shudder*
I agree. Pearls are good because they have never gone out of style and they are suitable for women of any age.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:18   #2458
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Why are black/white diamonds so much less expensive than clear ones?

I actually kind of like the way the black ones look, but they seem so inexpensive that I start to wonder if I'm missing some fine print.

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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:26   #2459
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Well, there are the The C's
Clarity
Color(Or Colour, if you're, you know)
Cut
Carat Weight
see
And real Diamonds that are grade D and above are very, very expensive. One would never, ever set a real diamond in silver.

Last edited by Widdykats; 3rd November 2009 at 15:50.
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Old 4th November 2009, 03:43   #2460
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Quote:
Originally posted by Widdykats
grade D and above
D is as "above" as you can get!

When dealing with the C's, don't forget COST! All the grading does is give an excuse to sell some diamonds at a higher price. Before getting caught up in all that, keep in mind that human eyes look at diamonds without magnification, and paying for a higher grade than what you or your betrothed will be able to discern is wasted money in my opinion. Diamonds or other gems should be bought based on what they look like to the naked eye, because unless you're in the gem business, the rest really shouldn't matter at all.

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Old 4th November 2009, 15:54   #2461
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You're right of course. There are what is refrerred to as D exceptionals. (But that splitting a hair).
But I would also suggest Cubic Z' earings in a good setting.
These aren't the best I've seen but Here
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Old 4th November 2009, 16:17   #2462
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Most of us are not Rockefellers so we couldn't afford investment grade diamonds. You can spend a few thousand dollars on an engagement ring and if you are lucky it will have a cash value of about 20 cents on the buck.

Not so if you spend $50,000 which over time you might not take a beating on.

"White diamonds" seems to be a code word for new technologies that are beooming prevalent to create cultured diamonds large enough for jewelry. They aren't fake. They aren't CZ. They are synthetic real diamonds.

The idea that you are supporting some rather unsavory characters in Africa when you buy diamonds isn't really that far fetched. Some of the diamonds available are actually "blood diamonds" despite efforts to disguise that.

One thing I read about a while ago that I thought was interesting is that it's unlikely that any more very large diamonds will be found because of modern mining techniques which destroy them. It's more profitable to strip mine for smaller stones.

Since 2000, DeBeers has been losing their strangle hold on the diamond monopoly it enjoyed for decades. How this figures into African geo-political struggles remains to be seen. More important to a diamond purchaser is how diamond prices will react to the broken cartel. So far, diamonds are losing value.
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Old 4th November 2009, 16:25   #2463
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People I know boycotted Diamonds from South Africa, when Apartheid was the norm. there. They did buy diamonds from Russia. I don't buy diamonds at all...I stare at 'em, though. I do like long ropes of Pearls or Triple Choke Strands. *sigh*
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Old 4th November 2009, 16:58   #2464
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I think you could make the argument that the situation in South Africa isn't much better tham when it had Apartheid.

With it's new president Jacob Zuma, who is probably a serial rapist, certainly a racist, and corrupt as hell, "affirmative action" takes on an even more pernicious character. The goal: kill, rape and murder all the white and Indian farmers and take their land.

South Africa gets the #1 score for rape. Women have a better chance of getting raped than learning how to read.

Just another African "majority rule" lawless shithole.
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Old 4th November 2009, 17:11   #2465
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Well, you aren't going to get an argument from me. I think the history of the mines and exploitation, is a different matter, however. That being said, what do you Gentlemen think of These. I think Studs look great with almost everything. These at least have an eighteen carat white gold setting and are affordable.

If $600 or so is too high, go with Faux Pearls.
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Old 4th November 2009, 17:27   #2466
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I think $600 for diamonds the size of sand are a little ridiculous. If I were gonna spend that kind of money on earrings(and I have), I'd probably go for star sapphires.
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Old 4th November 2009, 17:30   #2467
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I agree with RoH. They look huge in the picture.

I do like the idea of a simple diamond stud, however.

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Old 4th November 2009, 17:35   #2468
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For a decent size that'll be $4500 and you couldn' tell that it wasn't CZ! Most people would think it was because lets face it, how many women wear $4500 earrings?

I think the custom of 3 months take home pay for an engagement ring must have been a DeBeers conspiracy but I paid it once. For my ex, who will remain nameless............. if I am ever left alone at her grave with a sandblaster.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 4th November 2009 at 17:58.
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Old 4th November 2009, 18:03   #2469
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Quote:
Originally posted by k_rock923
I agree with RoH. They look huge in the picture.

I do like the idea of a simple diamond stud, however.
Yes! They are a classic that one can wear with everything They are chic and "quiet". I hate overdone jewelry, unless you are going to a Gala.
@ ROH, So, once you were in love? I do know women, who pay for their own expensive jewelry, and they accept gifts.
It's not my "thing". I love fashion..but I'm not that big on jewelry. Oh, and CASH works. What?
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Old 4th November 2009, 18:17   #2470
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Yeah, I was in love once or twice. Bought too expensive jewelry which was a couple times mistaken for fake. Once was a $1200 set of star sapphire earrings that I don't think she ever knew were real.

Picking anything for women is a pain. I have figured out that a refrigerator pig isn't a good present...

On subject........ studs usually work and you could probably buy some pretty large, very well made CZ studs in the $100 range. CZ jewelry isn't created equal. It goes from dime store crap to nice gold settings.

A quick online perusal saw these:

http://www.overstock.com/Jewelry-Wat...8/product.html

OR

http://www.ross-simons.com/products/23997W.html

And you really cannot tell the difference between flawless diamonds and CZ, even with a jewelers glass. That's why you'll notice jewelers have the little gun that tests the thermal characteristics of the stone. CZ doesn't transmit heat as well as a diamond. Twice the sparkle of a diamond and .01% less brilliant. You didn't buy any AK-47's for anybody either. That's a plus.

Can you get away with buying a woman a CZ engagement ring? I wouldn't try it! Other than that, I think CZ makes a good present.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 4th November 2009 at 18:44.
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Old 4th November 2009, 18:43   #2471
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^ Uh..er..ummm..What's a refrigerator pig?
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Old 4th November 2009, 19:08   #2472
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It was an early 80's fad item sold by RadioShack. It was a pig with a photoelectric eye in it. You stuck it in the fridge and when you opened the fridge door, it oinked at you.... a gag diet aid.... but not for your girlfriend...

Really, I never bought one, I was just being a smart ass.
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Old 4th November 2009, 19:36   #2473
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^ That "gift" is only good for a woman you want to break-up with..It certainly would expedite things!
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Old 4th November 2009, 23:21   #2474
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The appearance of the stone is rarely ever what gives away the fact that it's not a real diamond. It's the cheap-ass, shit-job they do in setting it. They take what is essentially a 2-dimensional sheet of metal and bend it into shape like they're making some kind of bastardized bucket or something. It would be more convincing if the setting looked more carefully sculpted and 3-dimensional. From one of Widdy's links:



Nothing against Widdy or CZ, it's just that they cut too many corners for my taste.

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Old 5th November 2009, 00:05   #2475
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I don't wear CZ ( or diamonds), but I did say earlier in this thread, that no real diamond would ever be set in silver. And "But I would also suggest Cubic Z' earings in a good setting.
These aren't the best I've seen but
Here"
*I'm quoting ..myself*
It's JC Penney's, so obviously we're not even talking a fair jewelry store. It was just to give an idea of a CZ set with gold. Personally, I am a go big or go home kinda kat.
So Gimme these
I acually would prefer real pearls, if I could afford what I like.
And, ted..you're never offensive.
Renee should go Here They know how to set a stone.

ooo ooo ooo lookity *sigh*
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Old 5th November 2009, 01:36   #2476
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted

It's just that they cut too many corners for my taste.
Something I've done a few times is buy stones and set them myself in quality findings.

One stone source I've used is www.thaigem.com ... Really nice stuff. The place I bought findings from is out of business. You should be able to find a good manufacturer though. Setting stones is no biggie.

I think garnets, sapphires, emeralds and rubies are more interesting than diamonds.

One stone I think is really pretty is orange sapphires:

http://www.thaigem.com/shop/?gemstone=Orange+Sapphire

Something pretty unique. Teardrops make sweet dangle earrings. I think they should be at least 1.5 ct each.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 5th November 2009 at 02:07.
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Old 5th November 2009, 03:05   #2477
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Quote:
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Personally, I am a go big or go home kinda kat.
So Gimme these
I've got a story here ...

Many many many moons ago, I drove to NYC during spring break when I was in college. A bunch of my closest friends from college wanted to go to NYC and I thought it would also be a great idea to spend some time with my brother whom also happened to live out there (at the time, he moved shortly after 9/11).

Anyway, back to the story. My friends and I were walking around the village one night having some fun and I spotted what I thought was a kickass ring from a street merchant. It was about a half size too small for me, but I really liked it so I forked over the $10 anyway.

A few months later, I met my wife to be. She saw the ring and liked it so much that she "stoles it from us" (me). As I mentioned, I couldn't wear it so I was more than happy that it found someone who could wear it that liked it.

Well one weekend "we stoles it back" from her and made a mad dash to a close friend who had family friend that happened to be a jeweler. Mad dash is relative, as the jeweler was six hours away by car. Anyway, I met said jeweler, gave the jeweler the ring spoke briefly of adding rocks to the ring ... a cast was made and I got the original ring back in short order. Just told the girlfriend I needed to borrow it for a while.

Now for the point of the quoting Widdy's Tiffany's link.

Some weeks after receiving the ring with rocks, I gave it to the girlfriend and we were magically engaged. About a year to a year in a half after, the fiancé comes home with an ad from Tiffany's for a ring nearly identical to the one I bought off the street vendor in NYC. Tiffany's and my rock choices and placement were exactly the same. My quality was actually slightly better for the diamond.

That ring cost me one tenth of what Tiffany's was charging....

Tiffany's is great, their quality is great, their designs are out of this world --- they charge you your first born for it.
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Old 5th November 2009, 05:01   #2478
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Quote:
Originally posted by Widdykats
And, ted..you're never offensive.
Apparently you haven't been in smelling distance of me after a long hot day of stacking firewood. Let's just say that the shower was a great invention.

Back on diamond grading...

Don't forget this also - after the second or third day, color and clarity go right out the door. Your body produces oils on your skin plus sweat, which somehow coats the bottom of the stone (despite not having physical contact) and it all attracts and glues on airborne dust particles and other shit that makes your diamond look like a little whitish-gray piece of plastic from underneath.

When I got engaged to Renee I didn't buy a ring because she proposed to me (she got me a titanium ring - just what I like - extremely strong/virtually indestructible, and equally inexpensive ~ large and under $150).

I did end up getting her a nice ring a few months later though. I'd hate to sound like a commercial, but I went to Jared. I have a good college bud that is a regional administrator for Jared's northeastern Ohio's stores, so I was able to get something nice despite being a school worker and a cheap tightwad. He made me get something really good while charging me just over half of retail. What's really sad is that although I got a mind-blowing 45% off Jared retail (and Jared usually has some of the best pricing), he still didn't lose a penny. He bought everything at his prices and did the setting and sizing free, and all I had to do was drive his drunk ass home (and take his money saying I needed gasoline) a bunch of times a couple years prior. It's all good though - he makes far, far, FAR more money than I do now.

If you're bored, the paperwork describes the center stone as a 1.24 carat IGI certified ideal round cut VVS2 clarity diamond which I did buy loose, which was set into a ring I bought separately. The ring is 4.5mm platinum with two flanking diamonds which are around 0.5 carat each (.48 and .51), also IGI certified, but slightly lower clarity (VS2). If you are anal enough, you can look at the "girdle" facets of each diamond at 40x magnification and eventually you'll see an IGI laser inscription on each that reads the serial number. These come in handy if you take the ring in for cleaning or other maintenance so that the guys in the back don't replace your good stones with inferior quality pebbles to rip you off.

I went with platinum because it shows off the color and clarity, and I don't like "white gold's" tendency to turn yellow over the years (white gold is not natural and will return to it's natural yellow over a long period of time). Platinum will lose its shine, but not it's color. Plus in my case, the price was very comparable. With the stones, I could have gotten away with a lot lower quality, but my bud found a way to hook me up pretty nicely without even coming close to the five-digit price range, which would have been long surpassed at retail. The wedding band which we bought from the same guy 2 years later near the wedding time in '07 has no stones and is a simple 4.5mm platinum band. I think it was well under $500, maybe even under $400 (too lazy to look up).

As you can see, the rings have been beat up quite a lot, and are in desperate need of cleaning, hence the comment about color and clarity. Insurance requires that they be inspected and cleaned within the past 6 months - otherwise I cannot file a claim if a stone falls out of its setting. Despite this I'm guessing the last cleaning was at least a full year ago. I better get back to Jared. I'm a grossly incompetent macro-photographer in combination to using a point-and-shoot camera, but here they are... not quite what you see when you buy them... extremely high quality yet rather mundane looking after wearing for a bit:



If I had picked up a 3/4 carat center stone, the 1/2 flanks might have made a bit more sense (in addition to costing less and allowing tighter gloves to fit), but it turned out ok, and Renee likes them. The bottom thing is the 9mm ring that I wear.

Don't forget to live before you die.

Last edited by swingdjted; 5th November 2009 at 05:26.
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Old 5th November 2009, 06:50   #2479
rockouthippie
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Platinum is good. It's heavier and harder... but both white gold and platinum are usually rhodium plated to give the white appearance. The color of the metal will show through... usually grayish. Both will wear off eventually. Stones of better than SI2? I would check them carefully to be sure they were "eye clean". I would opt for larger stones instead of higher grade... unless it's an emerald cut. You're not getting out a 10X microscope to see the inclusions.

Have you ever tried to sell a diamond? explains one of the greatest sales pitches ever devised. That was 1982. Now we have a situation where diamonds will almost certainly depreciate until the end of time. No matter what the grade you will never be able to resell stones for anything like what you paid for them unless you had Elizabeth Taylors 70 carat .....

Last edited by rockouthippie; 5th November 2009 at 07:51.
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Old 5th November 2009, 09:56   #2480
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Beautiful ring, ted.
For cleaning diamonds..Toothpaste!
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