davidelevi

A-List Jeweler
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Everything posted by davidelevi

  1. You are very welcome! Unlikely, unless they are a very "tech-oriented" jeweller with a 3D scanner in the back office. 1 in a million... and in any case, if you are there and seeing the diamond, that trumps any theoretical considerations around a 40-to-41 degrees pavilion angle. Trust your eyes! Which leads us to the other issue: Unlikely - it's not a very widespread tool (though much cheaper than a 3D scanner, and you can buy one for yourself for $20 or so). But they should have something better: other comparable diamonds to look at. In fact, if I were you, I would make this a requirement for making the trip: if they arrange to have at least 3 similar diamonds to see, you'll go...
  2. 1. Using a set of geometrical proportions meant for round brilliants on a square/rectangular diamond cut to a "modified brilliant" pattern is not going to work. It's a bit like assessing a motorbike on a set of parameters meant to assess a car. 2. You are missing some of the most critical parameters anyway (i.e. pavilion and crown angles - which in a non-round need a different way of assessing in any case). 3. The GCAL "scales" for what they call "brilliance" and "optical symmetry" are ill-defined: GCAL has never published (to my knowledge) a definition of their scales beyond listing the 4-5 grades or of the parameters used to define the various grade boundaries, never mind the reason for choosing "those" boundaries and parameters. 4. Assuming the ASET-type image on the report is taken using a more-or-less standard ASET colour scheme and proportions, yes, it shows some unevenness left-to-right. Is it a deal killer? I don't think you'd notice it in reality vs. in a 5-10 x magnified and coloured representation. 5. The real problem with the "ASET" is that you have nothing to compare it against; you would need more diamonds with an identical cutting pattern and different proportions, and an understanding of how they look in reality vs. their ASET patterns. Then you can apply your preferences for (e.g.) more contrast vs. more brightness and decide that ASET X with eight blue areas in the middle of a swathe of red is preferable to ASET Y with a fairly uniform mostly-green-with-some-red image. Sounds complicated? It isn't, really, but it is the process anybody needs to go through to establish a meaningful cut assessment system, and it's what a diamond trader goes through (plus or minus tools like an ASET lens) for every stone. 6. Final zinger. Have you noticed the little paragraph at the top of the middle section of the report, saying "lab grown diamond"? Followed by the longer paragraph under "Comments": This is probably the main reason the price is out of line from others you may have seen. Synthetics go for significant (but not earth-shattering) discounts vs. mined stones. Does all this make it a bad deal? Not necessarily, but make sure that it is what you want.
  3. davidelevi

    what is an lc diamond

    I have never seen "LC" used as an abbreviation for lab-created; take the advice of an anonymous user with 40 posts from 15 years ago for what it is... HRD uses "Loupe Clean" to cover the FL/IF range (and I personally find the term "loupe clean" much more descriptive of what it is: increase magnification from 10 to 50x, and flaws will appear!).
  4. davidelevi

    what is an lc diamond

    @agustinar You are correct on the abbreviation (though I disagree on the use of the words "flaw" and "flawless"), but I somehow doubt a 15 year old thread is going to attract much attention... Welcome to DiamondReview!
  5. davidelevi

    Please help me pick the better ACA

    Congratulations! May you both enjoy the diamond - and more importantly your life together - with this enthusiasm for a long time to come! A couple of technical points: 1. "negligible" is AGS-speak for "no fluorescence", not what GIA calls "faint" (which AGS calls also "faint"). In your photos the blue is well visible and it really is most likely the sky; if a diamond turned that blue when exposed to UV it would be a strong blue! 2. The effect of cut on colour is well known - which is one reason why D-Z diamonds are graded through the side: the minute variations (at least until one reaches L - M or thereabouts) can only be seen reliably when eliminating the "distorting" effect of cut. The diamond industry then does a fairly hypocritical roundabout and grades fancy colour diamonds by looking at them face up, the argument being that if it shows enough colour to be considered "fancy", then what matters for grading is the appearance. There are some technical reasons why this is so, but I can't help feeling that emphasizing the fine distinction between (say) D and G is just a way of extracting more money (AKA "marketing"). Going back through the thread, I cannot help believing that if you had ordered the I and put it next to the D in the same way you describe in your other post, you would have observed the same: brilliance overcomes body colour. Anyway - none of this really matters; what does is that you like the diamond. Thanks for coming back and posting nice photos and the complete story!
  6. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    Well, I suspect the majority of visitors here are in your situation: first time diamond purchasers who therefore have limited experience of different jewellers. Add the huge number of "online jewellers" - tens of millions of hits on Google - and the relative obscurity/small size of the company you are interested in, which means the frequent posters don't know about it, and it's not that surprising: vs. one of the leading online diamond dealers
  7. davidelevi

    Looking for Help w/ Eternity Rings

    Was about to post the same as Neil... in terms of the questions. Even though I have a horse in the race (we can and do fabricate eternity and other custom-made jewellery), as a consumer adviser and a jewellery collector I'm happy to provide recommendations on people I find do good work, but there isn't much of a point in recommending someone who is a highly specialised platinum smith if you want a yellow gold ring...
  8. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    No, GGS is not an "industry standard". GIA is as close to an industry standard as it gets, but there is no recognised "legal" or professional body accredited standard in gem grading: to practice as an engineer, you legally need qualifications; to set up a gemmological lab you don't. Also, while oil standards (I assume API is the American Petroleum Institute, not an Application Program Interface) are technically measurable with accepted methods and using well defined units of measure (we all agree what a centipoise is or how to measure a high temperature deposit), diamond colour, clarity and cut are largely subjective evaluations; carat weight is the only one of the 4 C where you have something comparable to a "proper" engineering specification. AGS tried to introduce a colorimeter-based approach to colour grading, but the industry never bought into it. More specifically, there are three issues with non-GIA (AGS, HRD) reports: 1. They use different standards for grades and the process of grading even though they may call the grades with the same names. For example, an EGL or IGI "G" is NOT a GIA "G" colour even in principle; they use different grade boundaries. GGS might use GIA-graded master stones, standards and processes but they are not obliged to (and frankly are very unlikely to: these things cost, and GIA can claim a premium price on their reports while spreading the cost over a large volume of reports; a second or third tier lab cannot do either thing). 2. The reliability of the grading is also significantly different - partly because their process standards are less stringent. Most labs are far worse than GIA or AGS in this respect, and it's not unknown for stones to be graded 5-6 grades "off" on colour or clarity (or both). "Typically" the grading may be 1-2 degrees off (and note, practically always for the worse), but as a buyer of one stone you don't care about the average; you care about your stone. 3. The reason why "other labs/standards" exist is largely that they are useful marketing tools for diamond sellers. It is relatively common for a stone to be graded by multiple labs and for the seller to choose the most marketable set of grades as their "certificate" (none of those reports are "certificates", BTW, but that's another topic).
  9. davidelevi

    Looking for Help w/ Eternity Rings

    1. Yes, though it's probably something that you would have made custom. Custom order doesn't necessarily mean "expensive"; it may take a few weeks, though, rather than "pay today, ship tomorrow, wear it on Friday morning". 2. Plenty of people who can build that, including most of the people/businesses who regularly post here. Again something much more likely to be a custom manufacture than an off-the shelf item, not least because they generally cannot be sized easily if at all. From that point of view, consider the design, and whether you really want a full eternity design, or whether you want to allow for a sizing bar at the bottom (a portion of the shank that is all metal and will enable easier sizing by 1-2 mm diameter). Also, the extent to which you want all emerald cuts or a mixture of rounds and emeralds, or Asscher and em, or... All emerald cuts may appeal from a "it's a pure look" point of view, but they are long and diamonds don't bend all that easily; that may make for a bulky and/or ungainly ring. Finally, a word about cost: you can spend relatively little, or literally a fortune on eternity rings - depending on stone characteristics, design and metal choice. Different people tend to specialise in items at different points along that spectrum; if you figure out what they provide vs. what you want it's a lot easier to select who you may want to work with. ...but she's getting a 3 carat stone. Lucky her! 😉
  10. davidelevi

    James Allen Is Taking Me For A Ride

    FWIW, Esttx has not logged in since his last post. If you want, you can send him a PM...
  11. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    The key question is how did you assess value. An EGL (or GGS or Joe's Lab) "G/VS2" is not a GIA or AGS G/VS2. The price of a diamond is (mostly) based on the objective characteristics of the stone, not on the piece of paper; it just so happens that a GIA or AGS report is more reliable in describing those characteristics than EGL/GGS/Whatchamacallit Labs.
  12. davidelevi

    Worst Experience Ever

    Sorry, but something is amiss here. A phone number is not necessary to create a free email on Yahoo or AOL, nor is there any way for anyone other than a board administrator to know that those email addresses are linked to a poster's ID. Getting a user ID on Diamond Review similarly requires no checks on someone's identity. So why has this even been posted?
  13. davidelevi

    'BLACK' by Brian Gavin OR White Flash 'A CUT ABOVE'

    I don't think is so much that as managing to build a portfolio of products to interest customers in returning after that first time, rather than catering mostly for people for whom it's a one-off purchase. Though perhaps I'm just deluding myself that there is a grand strategic design, and we ended up there by total chance! 😉
  14. davidelevi

    'BLACK' by Brian Gavin OR White Flash 'A CUT ABOVE'

    Chances are he was; the vast majority of posters here are first (and only) time buyers. The industry needs a different business model...
  15. davidelevi

    'BLACK' by Brian Gavin OR White Flash 'A CUT ABOVE'

    The OP has not been around since the end of last year; I doubt you'll get a response. FWIW, the WhiteFlash stone that he linked in his last post has been sold, so that may well have been what he bought in the end.
  16. davidelevi

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    Some assorted thoughts that may or may not be relevant to your situation: 1. Yes, there is definitely more awareness and demand for synthetics compared to 5 or even just 2 years ago. 2. No, unless specifically requested by a customer we would not (knowingly) use them - natural colour is "our thing". However the number of people that want a coloured synthetic seems to be quite small (as yet). 3. Speaking personally, as a collector of jewellery rather than as a seller of the same, I don't mind as long as I like the piece and I know what I'm buying (and the price is fair). However I have yet to see something that I would like to buy "in synthetics" (at least knowing that they are synthetics). 4. The price differential - or lack thereof - is a major issue for viability. Synthetic corundum and cultivated pearls have "always" been a small fraction of the price of natural gems; synthetic diamonds for one reason or another are not. Except for natural blues which are sky-high in price vs. "same as white" for boron-doped synthetics, there is no killer difference. 10-20 or even 30% are unlikely to cause a revolution in market structure, not least because unlike (say) natural pearls which are truly rare, colourless natural diamonds are not, and supply of all shapes/sizes is plentiful. Not sure if any of this is helpful or useful - please continue the conversation!
  17. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    It is very realistic to have real images of the diamonds you sell... and of the rings you sell. Plenty of vendors do that. Unfortunately, jewellery has the bad habit of being quite difficult to photograph well, and of usually not looking quite as good when in hugely magnified photos as it does at natural scale on somebody's hand, especially if the finish isn't the best because of cost constraints.
  18. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    It's a dozen or so of the largest "internet based" diamond retailers. Diamond Review per se does not sell diamonds; it sells advertising space to diamond retailers. Most diamonds are actually owned by wholesalers who will sell them through whichever retail channel happens to be able to place them - you will often find the same diamond advertised by different retailers at slightly different prices. Also, you will see that there is a very significant range in price in the diamonds listed there; the most expensive ones are at well above $8,000 and the lowest ones are just above 5,000 - that is due partly to the characteristics of the diamond (G/VS2/Excellent doesn't cover everything that has an impact on price), partly to the seller and partly to the vagaries of the history of each individual stone. The point is that ALL of them are significantly above the cost of the ring set we are discussing; none are priced below. You are welcome to try this on any other listing engine, and you will struggle to find a 1 carat round GIA/AGS graded G/VS2 Excellent cut being priced below 5,000. Just to prevent one argument that most (dishonest) sellers will put forward that "GIA/AGS are expensive and that's why diamonds with those lab reports cost more", a GIA or AGS report for a 1 carat diamond costs about $100, and other labs still charge for their services. That's one of the definitions of value, but you have to make a choice here: either what we are talking about is a totally unique product, with no close substitutes/replacements (say a painting by Picasso - though someone would argue that another painting by Picasso or a Monet or a Jackson Pollock or a Leonardo are substitutes), in which case there is no point in worrying about such things as colour and clarity grades - but there is plenty of point in worrying about having a CAD rendering as opposed to many, detailed photographs of the specific item. Would you buy a Picasso on the basis of "this is a photo of a Picasso painting, which may or may not be the one we ship"? Probably not, right? OR, what we are talking about is a product with "some" uniqueness but also some commodity-like attributes, in which case "value" is also relative to the prices being charged for similar products. You may pay $100,000 for "a car", but for it to be a fair price it's more likely to be a Mercedes or a Porsche; a Ford at $100,000 would need to be a pretty special one. A Ford Focus for $100,000 is definitely on the expensive side, and if you decide to buy mine at $120,000 I'm very happy, but it doesn't make $120,000 a fair price for a Ford Focus, even if you really like the colour.
  19. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    Well, let me put it this way - here is a list of over 600 stones corresponding in their claimed attributes (G/VS2/Excellent cut/1.0 carats). Every single one diamond is more expensive than the ring set you chose. https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.05&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS2&fClarityHi=VS2&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&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 This is before you take into account the gold, making and finishing two rings, the other diamonds and the work to set the stone - none of which is free and some of which can be quite expensive. Other fact: the gross margin of Blue Nile is around 20%, and it has been at that level for more than a decade. The eras of 200-300% cost mark-up in engagement ring jewellery are long gone. The so-called "retail price" of $22,000 is not supported by what the market charges; even Tiffany would sell you something of those characteristics for less. Put the two things together, and it is clear that whatever they are selling is NOT a G/VS2/Excellent cut/1.0 carat. Where it fails that standard is impossible to say without seeing the diamond (and it may well be different from one ring to the next - what you are shown is a CAD rendering, not a photo of a specific item). Absolutely, and I don't think you'll find anyone of the regulars here arguing otherwise; however while some things may look very good it doesn't mean they are being priced fairly. Nobody here is criticising your choice of design; we are (well, I am) pointing out that the numbers don't stack up. Why do you see VS2 as a sacrifice? Pretty much the totality of properly graded VS2 and a vast, vast majority of SI1 are totally eye-clean in a 1 carat stone. Getting a higher clarity grade means you pay for rarity, but not for anything you will ever see.
  20. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    Be careful - the fact that someone calls a stone (say) G/VS2/excellent cut is no evidence that it is any of these three things... That's interesting - I would argue the opposite: by bundling things together you have no idea of what you are paying for. Especially with relatively small diamonds, where the cost of metalwork is comparable to the cost of the stone, understanding what you are paying for what is the only way of understanding if you are paying a fair price. However, I accept that I am far more "technical" than most consumers.
  21. davidelevi

    Edwin Novel

    I don't know them - which means nothing one way or the other. I am a potential competitor - which may influence my view. Their Terms and Conditions of sale seem to be quite generous and favourable to the consumer. I am however very sceptical when people "discount" their items by 75% You are also right that a GGS report (which BTW is not a certificate) is not reliable. That makes 2 strokes again them without doing very much other than opening their website... Out of curiosity - how did you land on this particular jeweller? An online search for "engagement rings online" returns over 100 million results, and their name is not on the first 10 pages.
  22. davidelevi

    Opinions wanted on ASET and IdealScope blue Asscher images

    If this is a natural light blue, you'll be paying a much greater premium for that than for any cut characteristics. FWIW, and as far as these things can be judged in an Asscher cut through reflector images (not very far...), it seems well cut. FWIW 2, talking of cut grades where there is no scale established (e.g. in Asscher cuts) is pointless.
  23. davidelevi

    Please help me pick the better ACA

    I am based in the UK, but the business is a US business. We do ship internationally - and once you remove the distorting effects of duties and taxes, "internet" diamond prices are the same globally (unlike "high street retail" where costs can be wildly different from one country and even one city or location to another).
  24. davidelevi

    Please help me pick the better ACA

    Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing photos!
  25. davidelevi

    Please help me pick the better ACA

    No, sorry, I meant that anyone, including experts, would struggle to tell them apart from a cut quality point of view!!! If you have seen them, and the I seemed tinted, then go for the G. Somewhere between I and J is where most people start seeing colour; given there is practically no price difference, I would go for an SI1 that I cannot see against an I that I may be able to... Both are fantastically well cut. You are paying a premium for that, and other people may prefer something a bit larger or cheaper. Me? I'm a cut snob...