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Buying Diamond Only From Blue Nile (Round .94C/i/vvs2/xxx)


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#1 jtnova13

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:54 AM

I have read the other posts on here about concerns with Blue Nile, but the price on this diamond is almost too good to pass up.

My question is, if it is VVS2 and comes with the GIA certification, the diamond will not have any inclusions visual to the naked eye, correct? I wish this certificate had the inclusion map (or do they not give you one for VVS2+?) It does mention pin point. Is that the smallest type of inclusion? I have seen feather, crystal, etc.

I attached the GIA cert. to this post, because i couldn't get the link to work for some reason.

I have read alot about the craftsmanship on their settings which is why I want to purchase the loose diamond only and have it set at a local jeweler. Will jewelers do this cost effectively or is there going to be a huge fee to set a diamond in their setting?

I have also read that Blue Nile's cut grading system is, for lack of a better word, flawed; but if it comes with a GIA certificate claiming excellent cut, does it matter what Blue Nile lists it as?

I bolded all of my questions. Thank you in advance for your expert council, I have been reading these forums for about a week and you all have given awesome advice to many others.

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Edited by jtnova13, 28 February 2012 - 08:00 AM.


#2 davidelevi

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:09 AM

1. Correct. No matter what type of inclusion you have, with a VVS2 you will not see it - and even with a loupe you'll have to look quite hard. BTW - this is also valid for a VS1 and VS2.

2. The cost of setting the stone is a few $10s. It is typically absorbed in the cost of the ring for any but the most basic of settings. Focus on getting the ring design you want, and negotiate the whole package.

3. Ignore BN, and stick with GIA's cut grade. However, be aware that not all GIA Excellent cut look the same.
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#3 denverappraiser

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:47 AM

To add to Davide's comments. Not all craftsmen charge the same for their labors. Some are quite a bit more than others and the best are rarely the cheapest. It's correct that it is often it's bundled with the sale of the mounting, diamond or both as well as the inevitable ring sizing that most people need. Saving $100 - $200 on the setter is perhaps pinching your pennies and not your dollars. Pick a setter you like and who can convince you will do a good job ahead of picking one purely on price.
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#4 jtnova13

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

Thank you for your feedback Davide and Neil.

Is there something I should look for in the GIA report that will clue me in to whether one Excellent cut is better than the other or is this only determined by seeing the diamond in person?

How much do table and depth % effect the diamond? Can a diamond be Excellent cut, but also have less than ideal table and depth %? The diamond I linked seems to be outside of Excellent parameters for a round diamond, but the cut says Excellent so I am a bit confused about that.

Again, thanks for the help and sorry for so many questions.

#5 barry

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:10 AM

Questions are good, keep asking.

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#6 denverappraiser

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:14 PM

Thank you for your feedback Davide and Neil.

Is there something I should look for in the GIA report that will clue me in to whether one Excellent cut is better than the other or is this only determined by seeing the diamond in person?

How much do table and depth % effect the diamond? Can a diamond be Excellent cut, but also have less than ideal table and depth %? The diamond I linked seems to be outside of Excellent parameters for a round diamond, but the cut says Excellent so I am a bit confused about that.

Again, thanks for the help and sorry for so many questions.

No. The problem is that GIA has a broad definition of excellence, and the reason they have such a broad definition is that not everyone agrees about what is 'best'. That's both the benefit and the biggest criticism of the AGS system. It's much more specific and nearly everyone would agree that they are lovely stones, but it's not correct to say that they are the ONLY lovely stones. GIA is trying to be a bit more inclusive and the tradeoff is that they may include something under excellent that you don't like as much.

Make sure you understand the parameters of GIA-excellent. Sometimes you see charts online that aren't entirely correct. You can look up any stone you want straight from GIA at www.facetware.gia.edu.

Table and depth are part of the parameters used but they don't tell you much. Trying to evaluate cut based on it sight unseen is like buying a car based on tire size. It's not irrelevant, but it's not the heart of the question either.

Watch out for the word 'ideal'. It's even more loaded than the word 'excellent' in the diamond business.

Edited by denverappraiser, 28 February 2012 - 01:16 PM.

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#7 davidelevi

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

There is a large amount of "excellence" that is personal preference - some are brighter, some sparklier, some more fiery. To some extent you can guess the balance (and often get it wrong!) by looking at some of the proportions on the report, but it is a guessing game. Incidentally, the most meaningful measures in this respect are pavilion and crown angle, and table a distant third - ignore table and depth ranges provided in several places; they are not reliable.

From a commercial point of view, diamonds that are at the extremes of the "excellent" zone (nearly too steep or shallow pavilion/crown; nearly too wide/narrow table) are less desirable than those bang in the middle; the FacetWare software that Neil has linked in the post above will tell you where a diamond falls within the zone (tweak the parameters one at a time until the cut grade changes), and that will be to some extent reflected in the price. Your preferences may well be for diamonds that are not in the middle, and so much the better for that: I prefer some "Very Good" with high crowns to some "Excellent" with shallow ones; plus they are slightly cheaper.
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#8 jtnova13

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

Thanks Neil and Davide. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it!

I am going to have to think about it some more. With BN's 30 day money back guaruntee, I could buy the diamond, if I don't like it, I could return it... but then my money is tied up until that clears!

From a price perspective (even if I don't like the stone the best), I cannot get anything close to the same quality for that price locally.

I have been to 5 jewelers and my favorite diamond in that price range was a .90/SI1/GIA/xxx/I color. I can't imagine this stone looking worse but personal preference cannot be graded!

#9 denverappraiser

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:39 PM

That's absolutely the way to view ANY diamond purchase, whether it comes from near or far. Insist on a reasonable inspection and 'cooling off' period wherein you can look at it under different lights, show it to your friends, neighbors and appraiser and get a refund if you're unhappy.

In general, local stores are more expensive than the online joints and Blue Nile's most price aggressive alternatives are other online outlets. There are dozens of them. Heck, there are thousands. The advantage of your local storefronts is obvious but they aren't your only options.
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#10 davidelevi

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

Well, to begin with you could decrease your expenditure considerably by getting a VS2 rather than a VVS2, and/or getting a 0.8x rather than a 0.9x. This would allow you to get "the best" (or the most expensive; not necessarily the same) cut and/or to get a "whiter" stone. I am not sure that the colour game is worth it, with a stone that is well below 2 carats anyway, unless you or your SO are very sensitive to colour, but the cut upgrade is almost certainly worth it.

A couple of stones that you could consider - just what "in my opinion" and based on the info on the report would look good:

http://www.solomonbr...E=DiamondReview

http://www.uniondiam...E0250214&ptc=DR

(caveat: check with the vendors that the crystal is not visible; 99.9% they aren't, but...)
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#11 jtnova13

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

Davide,

I'd like to stay as close to 1c as possible. In store the lowest clarity that was acceptable to me was SI1 so i could go to a VS2 and try to get a better color or cut.

I really couldnt tell a difference between I and H though and going up to like a G or F is going to put me out of my price range.

Thanks!

#12 davidelevi

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:50 PM

Well, then use the "savings" from VVS2 to VS2 to get the best cut (to your eyes!), and stick to I/0.9x - unfortunately, going for a full carat stone is going to raise price a lot.
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#13 jtnova13

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:23 AM

Good suggestion Davide. I am meeting with 1 last jeweler this week. I will see what he comes up with and if I don't like it, I saved a diamond on BN that has just about the exact same specifications as their signature ideal cuts.

0.90c/H/VS1/xxx

One last question, and it's a little off topic. The band is going to have 3-4 side diamonds on each side, the one jeweler i really liked said he wouldn't let me make that setting in white gold and instead get it in platinum. Is there any reason not to use white gold for this type of setting? I'm thinking since platinum is a stronger metal, their is less of a chance for one of the prongs to break and losing a side diamond, but there seem to be alot of white gold side diamond settings.

Thanks alot guys.

Edited by jtnova13, 29 February 2012 - 05:27 AM.


#14 davidelevi

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:11 AM

Well, there isn't one single, overriding reason to do it in platinum (unless the design is very thin, in which case the greater tensile strength and resilience of platinum are significant benefits). However, I think platinum is much nicer and it more than pays for itself in time - personal opinion.
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#15 jtnova13

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

Hey guys just wanted to update you!

I met with a jeweler today who was doing some searching for me. He brought me a beautiful .91/SI1/H/xxx GIA diamond that looked better than some of the vs2/vs1 i have seen. This goes to show that you can't tell everything from looking at a report.

He got me the diamond cheaper than blue nile and can do my setting in platinum. Total cost is about the same as the one I built on blue nile.

I really like the guy and I believe I read on this forum that I should be shopping for a jeweler first and a diamond second. Whoever said that was completely right.

Unfortunately I can't write a review for Blue Nile...

I will take some pictures when I get it. Thanks alot for the help.

#16 davidelevi

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

Congratulations on finding the right diamond!

Looking forward to seeing the photos - and offering more congrats for your engagement!

And while you cannot write a review for Blue Nile, you can certainly write one for your "new" jeweler. Naming and praising - or shaming - is very much encouraged.
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