davidelevi

A-List Jeweler
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Everything posted by davidelevi

  1. davidelevi

    Please Help Diamond Comparison

    It helps a bit, but all we are confirming (or not, as the case may be) is whether the prices are reasonable; the 1.80 being retailed by a high street store may be OK. For the other two, it depends on what you mean with a "private diamond seller"? A private individual (i.e. a consumer) that is reselling a diamond they bought from a retailer some time ago? If that's the case, the prices are very high. Unfortunately, it still says nothing with respect to the appearance of the diamonds, and this is usually what people buy diamonds for. I have added the link to the third stone's report to my post above, in case anyone wants to comment. Having looked again at the three reports, I have to say that the 1.80 doesn't look like a great stone on paper; it's smaller face-up than both the 1.70s and it is very possibly not eye-clean (like the 1.70 G; best chances on the 1.70 F - but I may be totally wrong on all three). It may still look very lively, and better than the other two; however the reports don't tell us - on a blind bet, I'd bet against it.
  2. davidelevi

    Please Help Diamond Comparison

    We (you) have a number of problems with the information available: 1. SI2 clarity diamonds vary enormously in the extent to which their inclusions are visible to the naked eye. There is no way of telling with certainty what is the case from the report alone. FWIW, assuming the three stones are being retailed through the same type of retailer (internet or high-street, chain or single store, ...), the fact that a higher colour, larger stone is cheaper than the rest is NOT a good sign, unless you don't mind having visible inclusions. 2. There is virtually no information about cut. Ovals are not graded for cut by GIA, and the only reliable way of understanding whether a stone is well cut or not is to see it - ideally in comparison to the others. Good quality photos (including reflector images if well taken and you know how to read them) are an OK substitute; video - especially if comparing two or more diamonds together - is even better. The prices you are being asked are higher than average for internet-based retailers; they may well be reasonable for a high street store, but then a bricks-and-mortar retailer should be able to organise a viewing so you can choose the one you like most (or ask them to procure alternatives). Finally, the report number for the 1.70 F/SI2 is either typed wrongly or there is an issue with the report. Links to the other two are here, for speed of access if anyone wants to comment: https://www.gia.edu/report-check?reportno=6315797095&s=1579042320738 https://www.gia.edu/sites/Satellite?reportno=1318764593&c=Page&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FWrapper&cid=1495275503754 ETA - link to third stone https://www.gia.edu/report-check?reportno=2337712640&s=1579046079049
  3. davidelevi

    Is this the perfect one?

    WTF? 🤪
  4. The Diamond Finder would be my first port of call to see what's there. While what you are looking for is not super-rare, there aren't thousands of 3 carat ovals sitting on the shelves...
  5. You are most welcome, Diego! Yep. I've seen the video - same one as the one on the B2C site, meaning neither vendor owns the stone, and both are brokering (which is perfectly normal). As I mention above, those proportions on the Yadav site look like "left behind" from a round brilliant. Possibly a scripting bug, a copy/paste error in their database or good old-fashioned deception. GIA does not measure those proportions on non-round brilliants, much less does it issue a cut grade (and much much less uses the term "ideal" for anything), so it may be interesting to know where they got them. Even if they have actually measured them, I'm not aware of any published studies on the influence of pavilion and crown angles on appearance in ovals, so what's the point? All of this helps in possibly identifying better vendors; unfortunately not to figure out whether this is a good stone. My gut feeling says you could probably do better - though much depends on what you want to prioritise. ETA - it may seem I'm pushing B2C. I'm not - they are a much more significant competitor for me than either of the other two discussed in this thread!
  6. The "other vendor" (B2C) has more info as well; their site is now back up so I'm posting the link. https://www.b2cjewels.com/dd/12694811/oval-diamond-H-color-VVS1-Clarity?sku=12694811&utm_source=diamondreview.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=diamondreview.com the ASET image is either very poor or very poorly taken. The video shows a fairly flat and lifeless stone - though it seems to be without a bow-tie. It could well be the video rather than the stone. You have added some proportion data; these look as if they have been taken from a round brilliant, not an oval (where amongst other things it makes no sense to speak of a single crown or pavilion angle, since by definition there are at least 2 of each, assuming perfect symmetry). If these have been supplied by the vendor, ask them how they got them and why they are not releasing the complete scan data with all 8 pavilion and 8 crown angles - any uncertainty or obfuscation there means they made them up.
  7. The honest feedback is that there isn't that much feedback that can be given. There are two potential areas of concern: 1. The cut quality. We know zippo about it. One static photo is not enough to assess anything, and the report is no use (there is no cut grade from GIA 2. The fluorescence. We know GIA assessed it as "strong blue"; the main risk is that the stone turns hazy/smoky/milky/oily in UV-rich light (i.e. sunlight), but the single photo posted has been taken in a light box with virtually no UV in the environment. The same stone appears to be on sale through other vendors for a similar (slightly lower) price, but all that this confirms is that the price is reasonable; it says nothing about whether it is the right stone for you. FWIW, 2.7 to 3.1 makes a heck of a difference - not only are you looking at a 13% difference in weight (which is $4-5k on the total give or take), but you are crossing a significant threshold at 3.00 carats, which will increase the price/carat.
  8. davidelevi

    New here! Need help!

    @Kitt23 please stop posting duplicates of the same question. @everybody - please answer on the thread below. Thanks.
  9. davidelevi

    Need help! Which of these are the best?

    It depends on what you prioritise. You have chosen three fairly different stones for your shortlist, ranging from 1.21 to 0.90 ct, D to H in colour and SI1 to VVS2 in clarity. Not to mention three very different sets of proportions for cut, and a price range for the stones of well over 12% (considering the prices include the same setting!). FWIW, in terms of cut proportions I'd rank them 1.02, 1.21 and 0.90 - none of them are a truly excellent cut from my point of view, in as much as it can be assessed from a GIA report. The 0.90 is the weakest proposition of the lot, unless 1) price is a strong consideration and 2) the 1.02 and the 1.21 are not eye-clean (which is a possibility for both). The choice between 1.21 and 1.02 depends on eye-cleanness of both stones, and once that is cleared on whether you privilege size vs. colour (though colour may not be that visible from the top and once set) AND on what set of proportions you prefer. The 1.21 is likely to be brighter but with less fire than the 1.02 Prices - it is a guessing game, because a "custom platinum ring" could be fairly worth $500 or $3000...
  10. davidelevi

    Diamond Appreciation

    I'm not @denverappraiser, but the straight answer to your first question is "no". Not because there is some great secret about diamond prices (if anything there is more data than you want - much of it contradictory), but because the question truly has no answer. You may have seen graphs like this one: (source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704337004575059723597630174) followed by something like this: (source: https://www.leibish.com/how-color-diamonds-have-appreciated-over-the-years-article-624) followed by something like this: Source: https://fortune.com/2017/08/29/gold-and-diamond-prices-charts/ So doesn't this answer the question? At least, doesn't it answer as far back as 43 years ago? (I can also tell you that in the 1970s prices of diamonds grew fairly constantly in both real and nominal terms, not least thanks to high inflation and the creation of a speculative bubble that exploded in the last months of 1979/early 1980 - you can see the peak in the first graph.) No, in my opinion it doesn't: 1. These are "asking", (supposedly) trade prices; not what the diamonds actually sold for. Discounts (or premiums) were not consistent over time and over categories (see 3. and 4. below) 2. Retail prices have had a different evolution - broadly following the pattern, but with a more consistent drop over the last 20-25 years as competition in diamond retailing (internet) has eroded margins very significantly. 3. Depending on what particular diamond size, shape, colour, clarity and cut quality you look at, you may have very different results. Marquises were very fashionable and highly prized in the 1980s; now they are as dead as a dodo, but worth about as much as a dead common pigeon - whether wholesale or retail. Pink diamonds were a relatively cheap collector's curiosity in 1980; now they are hugely expensive. 4. Standards have changed - especially over cut for rounds (and less so for other shapes). Something that was a very commercially viable diamond from the 1980s or 1990s would struggle to be sold at a discount today, and something bought as a super-premium cut in the early 2000s would not go for as much of a premium now. 5. In recent years (last 5-10? Too close to call), the overall jewellery market has changed size and shape; occasional jewellery has become much more popular and diamond jewellery far less aspirational in developed countries, yet demand for diamonds has continued to increase because developing countries are catching up (pace the last graph above). The overall impact on prices is hard to determine, and may be more variable (relatively) by geography than it used to be. (6. Not a factor that determined historical prices, but a significant influence in the future is the presence of gem synthetics. This is still minor nowadays (at least overtly) - but it will shape prices much more significantly in the coming years, and it is something that was conspicuously absent until the mid 1990s.) So, if you want a meaningless average, you could argue that roughly the real price of diamonds has remained about constant over the last 50 years, it has declined strongly over the last 40 (because of a timing fluke), and it has decreased a little over the last 30. Yet there are people who bought a diamond 50 years ago and are sitting on a huge loss, and there are those that have bought one 40 years ago and could make a nice amount of money on it - for different reasons. Wanting to make an analogy, it's a bit like asking "what has the price of cars done over the last x years". On the one hand, on average, it has certainly declined relative to average earnings; on the other, luxury car prices have increased more than earnings and some of the most expensive cars ever are on the market today, and on a third hand (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle anyone?) the price of a 50 (or 60) year old car is even more variable than that of a new one. All "true" to some extent; a lot depends on the time horizon one is looking at. At the moment, there is relative oversupply, which is why prices are soft, and that is expected to continue for the next 2-3 years, but not beyond that. Population keeps growing, and even though demand from India and China (and other developing economies) has not grown to the extent expected 10 years ago, it has grown and it is continuing to grow. There are diamond mines that are running out (e.g. Argyle in Australia - one of the reason pink diamond prices have increased as much as they have), and there are mines recently opened and being prospected in Russia, Canada and Central Africa. If you want a lot more data and information you could do worse than reading through some of the "Diamond Industry Reports" published by Bain & Co. between 2011 and 2019. Just bear in mind when you are reading that they are being sponsored by the Antwerp Diamond Council... https://www.bain.com/insights/global-diamond-industry-report-2019/
  11. davidelevi

    Your Diamond expertise

    Hi Andreas, you are most welcome! I think that 0.733 is particularly well cut - so double congratulations on finding a nice stone and an even nicer person to give it to. Best wishes for the New Year!
  12. davidelevi

    Your Diamond expertise

    There are two "problems" with this: 1. Cutting a diamond with high(er) precision and (more) exacting symmetry costs time and money. You largely get what you pay for, especially at these price levels - the difference between WF and JA here is a few hundred dollars, the rest being like-for-like. 2. Especially with princess cuts, there is no authoritative cut grade established* which means the only way of figuring out whether a stone is well cut or not is to see it. Not all stones have video and/or reflector images, and comparing across those that do is difficult because they have been taken in different ways. There may well be stones which are as well cut as those at Whiteflash (or Brian Gavin, or Cut By Infinity, or...) which are a little cheaper, but finding them takes time and effort. (* The AGS cut grade system is authoritative and technically excellent (in my opinion), but there are so few AGS-graded stones out there, and the majority of these from a premium cut vendor anyway, that it is almost pointless to search for them outside those vendors' inventories.) From that point of view, by the way, it's worth remembering that James Allen (and many others - I'm not calling out JA specifically on this) calls the cut of their non-rounds "ideal", but they don't have (or at least don't publish) a good standard of reference for doing so. They like the cut, and call it ideal; don't like it and call it excellent. Someone else may have a different idea of what a well cut stone looks like, and I definitely have a different idea of what a cut grade looks like! I think bringing more stones into the mix is only going to add to your confusion; you need to sort out if the just-below-5 mm size of a 0.75 - 0.80 well cut stone is enough for you, or if you definitely need higher. Second, look at your budget and decide if you can go higher and if so by how much; with diamonds there's always going to be one that's just a little bit better and a little bit more expensive. Third, if budget and size - assuming a really nice cut - don't fit, consider lowering clarity or colour: most SI1 will be eye-clean in the size you are looking at, and most H or even I stones will look white; clearly if you bring clarity down but colour and size up... price may well stay where it was or even increase (e.g. the 0.834). FWIW, although the 0.834 is going to be visibly larger, I prefer the cut of the 0.733; if size is such a huge problem, a well built halo will make the centre stone look much bigger and it will cost less. I can't get to any of the JA stones by copy-pasting the links (there is some weird formatting added by whatever you are using, and I don't have the time to strip it out), but I doubt any are as well cut as the Whiteflash stones; JA has a premium collection for those ("True Hearts"), and even the True Hearts are not as finely detailed in my view. I'm about to go out for the rest of the day; I will respond to any further posts when I return late this afternoon (CET).
  13. davidelevi

    Your Diamond expertise

    Hi Andreas - it's year end, and it's the weekend... be patient! In addition, you have posted something formatted very strangely and nearly unreadable on a mobile phone because of formatting, which doesn't help. Why focusing on fire specifically? But in any case, there is no reliable way of telling you what has "great fire" except for direct observation. A good comparative video is your next best option, but the two vendors you have mentioned won't normally do that, and in any case can't do it with the other vendor's stones You are comparing apples with pears in terms of looks; radiants and princess cuts look quite different (well, at least to me they do). You can bet your last euro that the Whiteflash princess is going to be cut at a standard at least as good as the best ones on James Allen (in fact, almost certainly better than them), but if you like a radiant... Whiteflash doesn't cut them. Then again, you only picked princess cuts for your "shortlist", so I'm confused as to what you are actually looking for. Assuming that princess cut it is, I'm still very unclear as to what is most important for you. I'll assume it's not price, since prices for your shortlist go from $3180 to $2350, which is nearly a 40% difference. Colour and clarity within your shortlist will largely look the same, especially in isolation and without a loupe. Yes, you may be able to tell the difference between D and G when they are loose and next to each other, but when they are both set in a ring and by themselves they will both look very white. Same for VS2 and VVS2: without a loupe, you won't know which is which, especially once set. Size-wise, there is only one stone that will look larger than the others, and that's the 0.83 F/VS2. The 0.90 might also look a little bit larger than the rest, but I don't see the point of considering it if the main priority is size: it faces up smaller than the 0.83 and it costs $400 more. The rest will pretty much look the same size (0.1 mm is enough to tell the difference only if they are unset and next to each other), so the 0.83 wins that particular competition. When it comes to cut, the 0.733 is - ahem - a cut above the rest. Especially the 0.83, and especially if fire is the criterion - the 0.83 seems to have a fairly flat crown, which usually means less fire. The 0.733 is also the second cheapest, and as far as I can judge from the video the cheaper 0.73 D/VS2 is not as well cut either. So the 0.733 from Whiteflash wins this one. None of the others are badly cut, but none seem to be as good as - and they cost more. So, for size, 0.83; for cut 0.733. Cut for me wins, especially given that the difference in size is not huge, and a better cut will be more visible. Hope this helps...
  14. davidelevi

    Are GSI reputable and reliable certifications?

    I think this is the right decision - if we can help in selecting a replacement, do ask! (and I really don't mean "selling you a replacement") Happy New Year!
  15. davidelevi

    Are GSI reputable and reliable certifications?

    Couple of threads about GSI from this forum: The threads are old, but the fundamental issue hasn't changed: anyone can set up a gemological lab, and GSI's grades are not particularly reliable. The price difference between SI2 and I1 is usually large, and with lower clarity stones there is a huge variability in "fair price" within the grade: stones with easily visible inclusions will be discounted far below the grade average, and those with nearly invisible ones will go for a premium. You mention a ring - which further adds to the uncertainty on price: a simple setting may be worth $300, but it's perfectly possible to spend several thousands even with a plain solitaire setting. GIA I/SI2 retailed online top out at about $7,200 (except outliers): https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.20&fCaratHi=1.30&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=I&fClarityLo=SI2&fClarityHi=SI2&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=0.0&fDepthHi=100.0&fTableLo=0.0&fTableHi=100.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000000&adv=1 $10k (plus taxes?) sounds like a high price - though if the setting is of high quality, the stone is fairly graded and the jeweller is a "full service" outlet it may still be reasonable vs. internet prices. That's a lot of "ifs".
  16. The one question I can answer with reasonable certainty (from personal experience, though it was a long time ago) is that Tiffany boxes are NOT just for engagement rings. This said, times (and store policies) change, and the ring I bought was platinum, not silver - which again may make a difference in terms of policies: still a long time ago I bought a silver bracelet from Tiffany's, and that came with a similar packaging to the one you describe, and Tiffany's may well have decided that silver jewellery is not coming with a "proper" box by default. If you bought the ring from Tiffany.com I don't see anything wrong with going into a store with the ring and the receipt and asking them for a box. It's very possible that they would give you one, though they may refuse (policies again) or ask you to pay for it; if you bought the ring on another online site I would give a Tiffany store a very wide berth: although it may well be genuine, they may regard it with suspicion and even as a fake, which could turn out to be a very unpleasant experience. If you really want a box, and the Tiffany store route doesn't work for whatever reason, you can find "used but as new" Tiffany boxes on eBay from about $30, and unbranded boxes of similar quality for $5 or so.
  17. davidelevi

    Inclusions in bought diamond

    It could be worse than this. If it is a GIA report, then it won't mention cut at all for a princess cut (or rather a "square/rectangular modified brilliant" as GIA would call it) Symmetry is a category of cut-related parameters, which GIA grades (and considers when awarding an overall cut grade), but unfortunately by itself it is only starting to tell you whether a diamond is well cut or not. Pretty much all colourless diamonds graded (by GIA or anyone else) will have a symmetry grade. Is there any way in which you can post a photo of the report? I suspect you are being taken for a ride (though I may be totally wrong).
  18. davidelevi

    Proportions

    The issue with "eye-clean" is that it's ill defined to start with: what's eye-clean to me may not be to your hawk-like eyesight... This aside, if you have difficulty in seeing the inclusions in a video or large scale image (15-20x is typical for websites), you can guarantee that it is eye-clean, but you will get a lot of false negatives (inclusions that are NOT visible in reality become visible in a photo). A more reasonable test is to shrink the image down to ~4-5x, so about an inch across for a 1 carat round, and check if you can see anything. If you can't, chances are that it's eye-clean. If the resolution of your screen is high (e.g. a good mobile phone), then try shrinking down to 1.0-1.5x; if anything is visible there, it probably will be in reality. The other option is to ask the vendor; if they have the stone in hand, it can be a very reliable source, and they have no interest in spending for shipping (possibly both ways) and getting the stone out of inventory for a couple of weeks only for it to be returned. The snag with that is that many vendors (including Blue Nile) don't have the stone in hand, and Blue Nile specifically will NOT EVER get it in hand; they will say they need to talk to "a Vault Manager", which is code for "I'll call my supplier and ask what they think" - while the supplier has the same interest as the retailer, the information you get becomes third hand and any "live requests" such as "can you please see if the inclusions are visible through the side?" or "if you observe it at a very close distance rather than 2 feet away, what can you see?" are at best awkward to pose, at worst totally not transmitted. Looks good proportions-wise, and it seems eye-clean. I think I can see the crystals from the plot at the highest magnification, but they seem to be white/transparent and quite small; I'm not even sure it's them. I would say that it's worth a try, if it fits your other criteria.
  19. davidelevi

    Starting your own inventory

    A loupe is a fairly poor substitute for a microscope (and in diamond grading a microscope is a fairly poor substitute for a 10x loupe; you do need both). It's not just the stereo vision, but darkfield illumination cannot be simulated easily with a loupe. A decent microscope (new) will set you off at least ~$1500 or so. GIA used to sell their microscope to non-students, but I don't know if they still do; I have (and am reasonably happy with) the Gem-A scope, and they do sell to everyone, but it may be a bit of a palaver to get it from the UK to the US. https://shop.gem-a.com/
  20. davidelevi

    Proportions

    ...or keep size and let go of colour. You can easily find a well cut H-I/SI1 1.10-1.20 for that kind of money; it will still look very white from the top. Or you could search for an eye-clean SI2 (plenty of them), in which case you may stick to G.
  21. davidelevi

    Proportions

    Well, it's reasonably priced... right at the bottom of 44 similar ones: https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.10&fCaratHi=1.20&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=SI1&fClarityHi=SI1&fCutLo=vgood&fCutHi=vgood&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000 is it ugly? I don't know; you can certainly find others that are better cut, but (given same weight, colour and clarity), you'll have to pay more for them.
  22. davidelevi

    Inclusions in bought diamond

    Uhm, you see - you actually don't. Either it's not a GIA report, or it doesn't say anything about cut... because GIA does not grade cut on anything other than round brilliant cut diamonds. I'm kind of with Barry on this... all that matters is that you are happy with it - as long as you have paid a fair price. However, a fair price depends on a fair assessment of colour, clarity and cut. If the vendor isn't being honest on that (for example passing "something else" as a GIA report, or telling you that VG polish and symmetry is the same as VG cut overall), what else are they holding back?
  23. davidelevi

    Inclusions in bought diamond

    Hi Alex, welcome to Diamond Review! Unfortunately there isn't much we can do or say based on one photo. SI2 (if accurately graded as such) go from pretty much invisible inclusions to horrendously visible ones. Couple of questions: who is calling the diamond "D/SI2" and above all "Very Good" cut? Why did you choose that particular stone? Could you see it in the store prior to purchase? Can you return the ring and get a full refund (by which I mean all your money back, not a store credit)?
  24. davidelevi

    How to get traffic and sales?

    Maybe posting not on a consumer classified forum would help... and not pointing at malachite in a diamond-related forum would too. The fact of life is that it is a very competitive market, and it is dominated by SEO and relatively sophisticated advertising targeting. If you don't pay Google and you remain purely online, you won't get very far.
  25. davidelevi

    Aig

    Allow me to disagree - being well known for positive qualities (honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, good service, ...) is precisely what being reputable is. Not being well known does not mean a person isn't any of these (or even all), but they don't have a reputation for it. However, this is neither here nor there. Appraisers: where are you in the world? @denverappraiser has connections with many reputable appraisers, and he would be my first port of call if I were to need a US-based jewellery appraiser. Lots of them - ranging from small family-owned stores in your neighbourhood to huge international companies. Possibly even AIG, despite their lack of reputation. But none of them are good at everything, so any recommendation depends on 1) what it is that you want to buy and 2) your reasons for dissatisfaction with your current purchase.