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About davidelevi

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  1. davidelevi

    Welcome To Beyond The Bling

    Like what? Posting nonsense?
  2. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    Mmm... interesting It says: F. NON-ESSENTIAL GOODS Twenty percent (20%) based on the wholesale price or the value of importation But there are further rules: RMC NO. 33-2004 Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 8502, Otherwise Known As, The “Jewelry Industry Development Act Of 1998” ... in any case, excise and sales taxes will be due regardless of origin; it's not only for imports, so again they are chargeable to all diamonds: APPLICABILITY: On goods manufactured or produced in the Philippines for domestic sale or consumption or for any other disposition; and On goods imported.
  3. davidelevi

    AIG labs trustworty? anyone has experience?

    Could be. But given that Catawiki sells a lot more than diamonds and jewellery, I think it's unlikely. On the other hand, Catawiki's geographical presence (both buyers and sellers) is strong in BeNeLux, which may account for the over-representation of a Belgium-based lab... it's just what is easier to use locally!
  4. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    Short, snarky answer: looking at the diamond, and you definitely cannot do that if you are looking at the report. If you read through this GIA article that explains how they built their cut grading system, you'll get an idea of the amount of information that they tried to boil down to a few parameters, and those to one (the cut grade). The AGS system is significantly more sophisticated, but basically tries to do the same thing (although the information that I find most useful on the AGS report is the computer-generated ASET, which contains way more than 'one parameter'). The problem with that is that by definition a grade is a range, and there will be variation within that range. https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2004-grading-cut-quality-brilliant-diamond-moses GIA (nearly 20 years ago) set out - for some good and some less good reasons - a deliberately wide range of parameters for its 'Excellent' cut grade, with the result that nowadays about half the (round) diamonds graded by GIA are classed 'Excellent' (and some 'Very Good' can look better than some 'Excellent'). That's good in a sense, in as much as none of them looks bad and average cut quality has improved in the intervening 15-20 years by having been made transparent to the consumer; it's bad in another sense because those that look 'really good' are not distinguished from the rest. AGS is much more selective in awarding 'Ideal' cut grades, but there are still differences within that. It means that there is a duty rate of 3% applied to a diamond imported from a place with which the Philippines don't have a specific Free Trade Agreement (i.e., as far as I can tell, pretty much anywhere diamonds are likely to come from). However, in the tariff schedule there is a note j, which says which I read to mean that the duty is zero until 2022 under some legislation. However, that concession may apply only if you import the stones as a jeweller; this is where you need to call customs and understand from them what conditions apply. Or look up the JIDA of 1998 and see what it says. That's educational stuff (and some marketing about a 'non-standard' cut with 10-fold symmetry). Nothing about specific diamonds! No, I'm saying that all the images I have seen on their website are CAD renderings, and I don't like renderings unless someone is designing a custom piece of jewellery: I'd rather see real examples of what they do and real photos and videos of the diamonds they have for sale. I have no idea what they provide once you engage with them beyond the website.
  5. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    Well, the question is 'what is normal' and 'what is significant/noticeable'. For example, the 1.00 and the 1.03 are a bit smaller than what I would consider a truly well cut '1 carat diamond', and the 1.08 scrapes by. Most people would see the 0.3 mm easily with the two diamonds loose and next to each other; I also think they will see that the 0.9 is significantly more bright, sparkly and lively. If shown both rings separately, they would probably have significant difficulty in telling you which one is bigger. The price is a premium price, but you are getting a premium product. A 'normal' J/SI1 could cost you less, but you need to do (or get the vendor to do) a lot of legwork to figure out if the cut is really nice and whether the inclusions are (not) visible. That work has been done upfront. Import taxes are frankly irrelevant if you bring in the diamond loose. First of all, because they are zero, as far as I can work out: https://finder.tariffcommission.gov.ph/index.php?page=tariff-finder3 (search for commodity code 7102.39.00 and read note j). Secondly, because if there are duties they will apply to all diamonds and therefore will be re-charged to you in any case if you were to buy from another vendor. They may make this transparent to you or not, but any duty/tariff cost is there and you will be paying it. No idea. Which means nothing one way or the other - except that I'm unable to help here. Sorry! FWIW, their site doesn't seem to work too well (a lot of 'coming soon' pages), and I am allergic to CAD renderings of jewellery, unless someone is designing a custom piece for me.
  6. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    On paper, cut-wise it's looking a lot better than the 1.00 and the 1.03 (and also better than the 1.08, but that's a different price band in any case). Knowing Brian and his reputation for uncompromising cut quality, I'm pretty confident it will look very nice in reality too! It will look a bit smaller - partly compensated by being brighter and more lively. Enough? That's very much in the eye of the beholder.
  7. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    I'll pick this one up, since I haven't got much to add to Neil's responses on the others! AGS has a significantly more sophisticated and selective cut grading system than GIA. On colour and clarity there are minor differences with GIA, but by and large they are comparable. Are AGS-graded diamonds more expensive? All else being equal, no. The issue you have is that cutters/wholesalers/dealers choosing an AGS report do so because they are generally cutting them to a higher standard (and AGS 'recognises' this, unlike GIA who would bracket them all into 'Excellent'), and thus tend to ask higher prices because of the cut, not because of the report! It all depends on what you want. On settings - more than on diamonds, in my opinion - you get what you pay for!
  8. davidelevi

    Buying an engagement ring noob

    Yes and no. Ultimately you are buying a diamond because it looks nice, not because it has a certain set of specifications which are rather meaningless aside from "fair price" considerations. Get as much information as you can, and go out and look at diamonds from other sellers - for example, I would prefer H or I colour even if it means having SI1 (or even SI2) clarity, and there is a lot of variation in what GIA 'Excellent' cut looks like. As far as custom duties go, I have looked up the Philippines customs tariff, and neither loose stones nor jewellery attract any customs duties - there may be sales taxes (VAT or other types), but you'll know this better than anyone else.
  9. davidelevi

    Surface Graining? Or something else?

    They won't. If it's a cleaning problem... obviously. If it is internal or external graining, in a VS2 it's not going to affect optical performance.
  10. That's not surprising, since the light used to film the video contains no UV at all, so there is no effect from the fluorescence. Again, unfortunately the only way to tell is to see...
  11. Unfortunately, the only certain answers to your question can come from direct observation. What do JA say (bearing in mind that they don't have the stones, so what you are getting is 3rd hand information)? FWIW, no VS2 or SI1 inclusions will affect optical performance with the possible (but very unlikely) exception of very, very cloudy SI1 (that should be graded SI2, really!)
  12. davidelevi

    Does The Engagement Ring Have To Be A Diamond?

    ... and another one spams, another one spams, another one spams the thread ... (to the tune of 'Another one bites the dust', by Queen)
  13. davidelevi

    Help - Bought Diamond, then noticed Girdle ..

    You are very welcome - congratulations on the decision! As far as one can tell from the report, it looks OK. Proof of this particular pudding is in the seeing - so if you can get the vendor to publish/send you images and video, happy to add more comments! The same if you have a question once you get the diamond.
  14. davidelevi

    Help - Bought Diamond, then noticed Girdle ..

    It's very hard to say because the videos have clearly been filmed using different techniques - but I really don't get a good feeling from this one... and that may well be why it sells at a discount!