davidelevi

A-List Jeweler
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Everything posted by davidelevi

  1. davidelevi

    How is the Lab Grown Diamonds?

    Hi there! Welcome to Diamond Review! It depends on what you (and your friend) mean by "big difference". Chemically and physically, there is very little difference: a synthetic diamond is a diamond. There is just enough difference to tell synthetic and natural apart using sophisticated and expensive laboratory equipment... including well-trained gemmologists in the "sophisticated and expensive" part. Just do not confuse a synthetic diamond with a simulant like CZ or moissanite. (Incidentally, I quite strongly object to the term "lab-grown" which has become standard; it tries to peddle something that isn't true. It would have been true for the first few years of research into synthesis; nowadays synthetic diamonds retailed as gems are not grown in labs; they are made - synthesized - in factories. Synthesis is not a dirty term and is significantly more accurate. Unlike the emotionally charged "dirt-diamond" term that the site you linked uses for natural stones - hypocritically, I may add, since they don't have a problem in supplying the "dirt" if that's what you want.) Retail price-wise there is a significant (colourless/near colourless) to huge difference (blue stones of any size and larger colourless and yellow stones). In terms of other attributes, there are some interesting differences: * Environmental impact: it is higher for natural diamonds, but synthetics still require a lot of energy to be produced. In fact, about as much energy to produce them with current technologies as what is required to extract them. The key difference is that mining produces several tonnes of rock spoils and huge holes in the ground, as well as requiring a lot of energy for every carat of diamond. * Marketing and assortment. There is a far less developed choice of producers and retailers for synthetics, which makes finding "what you want" sometimes difficult. Stone size is also an issue - until relatively recently, finding stones larger than 1 carat was difficult. Now (2020) there are stones in the 5-10 carat range being cut, but these are still relatively rare (and as far as I can tell, not retailed). No doubt this will improve over time, but if you are looking for a large diamond now you may still be restricted to natural. * Grading. There is a strangely backward attitude by some of the best gemmological labs: GIA will grade synthetic diamonds, but for a long while it did not specify a cut grade (the most man-made of all attributes!) and it used different colour/clarity scales for them; still now it uses different terminology for characteristics in natural and synthetic stones, and it provides no information on colour origin and post-growth treatment. AGS refused to grade synthetics until August 2020. * Retained value. At the moment, there is virtually no secondary market for synthetic diamonds - at least those retailed as such. Given the difficulty and cost in telling synthetic from natural, it is perfectly possible that quite a few stones on the secondary market are synthetics... sold as natural! Natural diamonds perform better - you can re-sell many natural diamonds for a fair percentage of their "retail, new" price relatively easily at the moment, even though that percentage is much lower than most people think. Whether this will keep being true will depend on what happens to future prices of natural and synthetic diamonds. * Future prices. There is no doubt in my mind that synthetic prices will continue decreasing, and assortment and availability of synthetic stones will keep increasing. In the medium term, this will probably contain any price growth for "ordinary" natural stones, even though there doesn't seem to be the prospect of any significant new sources of natural diamonds being found. Exceptional natural stones will probably keep increasing in value - until the whole system comes crashing down, but that's another story altogether. Over the long term, my bet is that we will see prices for natural diamonds go very much the way of rubies: a huge difference in base prices between "nice" natural stones and synthetics, a far less differentiated price - much lower than today's - at the "low end".
  2. davidelevi

    Coated Diamonds Question

    And how is this relevant to a 10-year old thread on diamond coating?
  3. davidelevi

    SI1 diamonds, surface graining and cloud comments

    Apart from the fact that the OP has actually removed his post because his question had been answered - 6 months ago - but how is that even barely relevant to a discussion on clarity? Your post has been reported for spamming
  4. Proportions look good on paper. Twinning wisps are usually quite benign - as in: invisible to the naked eye - but the proof of this pudding is in the seeing. Price is reasonable for an eye-clean SI1 I hope this is "the one"!
  5. davidelevi

    Choosing engagement ring help

    Hi Sean, welcome to DiamondReview! It's not a silly question at all, however people usually go in reverse order when buying engagement and wedding rings... not least because it's a whole lot easier and cheaper to adjust a wedding ring than to modify something with a more complex design. This said, the only way to see whether a design will fit flush is to try it. I would talk to JA to understand whether they will send you an unset ring to test; if they do not, or the design does not fit, there isn't much point in going down that path. You may be better served by someone that can adjust or outright custom make the engagement ring setting to fit flush with the Tiffany band. Even before you test whether the JA design fits - I would suggest you consider a couple of things on the ring: 1. The "presentation" line is the cheapest JA makes. Don't be deceived by the nice CAD renderings on the website; the real thing is very unlikely to look as nicely made as the Tiffany piece. For engagement rings like for everything else, you mostly get what you pay for. 2. The Tiffany band is platinum - and Tiffany's platinum alloy contains ruthenium, which means they are quite hard and relatively dark grey in colour. A rhodium-plated 14 kt gold band is going to look very white. Even if you don't go for a Tiffany setting, a platinum alloy would likely match the other ring's appearance better - and be significantly more durable too. On the diamond spec - it's a bit wide... I would suggest that you try to narrow things down a little, possibly specifying a budget. You may be overshooting a bit on colour and clarity: a G/VS2 will still look very white and without any visible inclusions.
  6. You are most welcome. I don't know Fishman & Son, not even from reputation; poking around their website reveals statements that I would call questionable, but you may take this as a matter of opinion. I would however point out that they seem to predominantly retail diamonds in new settings, while the majority of your pieces have no diamonds and are definitely not new... In your collection there are two large colourless stones that could be round diamonds (set in rings), "something" pear shaped in a ring that I cannot work out from the video whether it's a cluster of smaller stones or a single large(r) pear-shaped stone, and then you have that set of older cut stones (necklace and earrings) in fairly crude settings that could also be diamonds. The rest either have very small diamonds or stones that clearly are not diamonds. This is not likely to be right route to either get them assessed or sold on independent of Fishman's honesty, impartiality and expertise (and all three are important for your case!). There are definitely competent independent appraisers that would be able to help you in NY/NJ; you can start looking at https://www.najaappraisers.com/html/find_an_appraiser.php but if Neil chips in with a personal recommendation it is probably worth following it!
  7. An interesting mix in there - most things I would say from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, plus a couple of older or "ethnic" pieces (maybe from a trip to India?). The large stones (citrines, amethysts and tourmaline) aren't worth much by themselves, but there are buyers for Retro jewellery - and the value is going to depend much more on the overall design than on the stone. The smaller, clear stones may or may not be diamonds, and even if they are, they could be worth a fair amount or not much, depending on the details. Before you spend any money on GIA (which incidentally would require you to remove any gemstones from the settings), I would suggest that you determine more precisely what you have and figure out whether getting a lab report on anything at all is going to be worth it. I would recommend you DON'T use a jeweller for orientation unless you have a genuinely trusted friend who is one. Go to see an independent appraiser who does not trade in jewellery - no horse in the race. @denverappraiser is a very competent appraiser who posts here - but he isn't exactly located around the corner from you; maybe he can recommend someone in NY.
  8. davidelevi

    Broken engagement ring

    Then go back to the vendor - these things should last a lifetime, not 6 months!
  9. davidelevi

    Broken engagement ring

    I can't see the crack in the photo, but it doesn't matter. After 6 months I would expect the original seller/maker of the ring to be responsible for fixing it, unless you have mistreated the ring, or you have had the ring resized or altered by someone else.
  10. Keeping my fingers crossed... 🙂
  11. Sorry, my comment was not clear - what I meant is that the price of the other stones may be higher or lower and I think you only posted the price of some. This is perfectly reasonable, especially if it comes from a high street jeweller. Yes, on paper I would rather have #4. This one and #2 are quite similar, I'd say; a small personal preference for the narrower table and higher crown of #2. And #1 is slightly different but still very well cut. None of them is even marginally close to "poorly cut"! A well cut, colourless, eye-clean round around 2 carats with Christmas a month away (and people locked in their homes) is bound to be relatively popular...
  12. No red flags. In this company you have better cut ones on paper... (#4, #1, #2 - at least for me). "Real life" can be different, and there's price to be considered.
  13. davidelevi

    Asscher diamond - ASET and video

    Me? I'm quite happy that a well cut H looks white to me. I'd be more than willing to go with a VS2 or even an SI1, as far as clarity goes. With the SI1, I'd like to see it first or at least buy it from a seller I trust, and have the ability to return it if I don't like it. Those images are taken using different techniques from the computer-reconstructed one in your post (and from each other), and they aren't really comparable (plus they seem to be categorised in pretty random order: look at the third from the left in the first row, and the first left in the second... they appear pretty similar to me). In very rough terms, I'd say that it's between the first and the second; it is nicely symmetrical, though.
  14. davidelevi

    Asscher diamond - ASET and video

    Assuming that there is a GIA report agreeing with colour and clarity... no significant red flags. The cut (assuming the ASET image is correct/to AGS standards) is good but not super. As usual, the real question is whether you (and even more your girlfriend) like this - I would personally go down a notch or two on clarity and colour, in exchange for a super cut and maybe a slightly larger stone... but that's my personal preference. Also to bear in mind is the extent to which Canadian origin is essential for you: if it is, it may be a fairly significant constraint. If it isn't, it may free up quite a bit of budget!
  15. Yep. In many ways. There are reasons to "trust but verify" with Strong and Very Strong (of all colours), and yellow or green fluorescence in anything but a yellow or green stone can have unpleasant effects. But "faint" is... faint!
  16. Yes, I heartily disagree! 🙂 First of all, if there is any negative effect from fluorescence, it will not be dependent on the size of the stone - it will be an observable issue (haziness/oiliness; colour difference), so I'm afraid that whoever gave you that advice didn't know their backside from their elbow. Secondly, bear in mind that "faint" fluorescence is exactly that: it's so faint that GIA is not able to say what colour the fluorescence is. (Thirdly - do read the article I linked above; the two main conclusions are: 1) finding a stone where fluorescence impacts transparency is quite difficult, and it doesn't happen unless the fluorescence is Strong or Very Strong. 2) most people preferred the look of fluorescent stones to that of equivalent non-fluorescent ones)
  17. What concerns you with fluorescence? You may find this GIA article on the topic interesting... https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/winter-1997-fluorescence-diamonds-moses
  18. Well, the reason why the plot looks clean is precisely the note: it means that there are too many clouds to be a useful identifying characteristic, or that the clouds are so large and diffused that again their location is not going to help to identify the stone - see the illustrative plots below: This said, it is not necessarily the case that the clouds have a detrimental effect on the appearance - in a VS2 I have never seen that happ en, but the proof of the pudding is in the seeing... FWIW, #4 is still my favourite. This last one is (marginally) less attractive in terms of cut, and is a bit more expensive for colour which I think you'd never see once set.
  19. davidelevi

    Am I over analyzing 0.5 carats? Amateur needs guidance

    There is probably as much difference across different vendors as there is between the various stones they offer. Which is to say... not huge! (Talking of cut only - obviously a 3 carat D/VVS is going to be different from a 0.30 J/SI2) Would you see it with your naked eye? Probably yes, in optimal conditions (very clean stone, good lighting) and maybe with some help from either reflector images or a trained pair of eyes pointing things out, but not at a casual glance. Also, there is a significant element of personal preference - they will all be extremely well cut, but a larger or smaller table and a higher or lower crown can make a difference to looks.
  20. davidelevi

    Am I over analyzing 0.5 carats? Amateur needs guidance

    In addition to WF, it may be worthwhile looking at a few others - my "usual suspects" list includes Brian Gavin, Good Old Gold and - the only one with retailers in Europe - Crafted by Infinity (Paul Slegers). Royal Asscher also retail premium cuts, but their prices seem to be stratospheric compared to the 4 above... I think you can trust them to provide you with an honest assessment: if they tell you it's clean "at 30 cm seen from the top in everyday lighting" it will be. One of the problems with "eye clean" is that it depends on the conditions and on the eyes making the observations; I know people that can see fairly reliably VS2 inclusions that 99% of others have some difficulty finding with a loupe. Unless you and your significant other are similarly hawk-eyed, you are likely OK. Some people are keen on having the diamond look clean from the side as well as from the top - and that may be a significant challenge, but at least you can ask! That's hard to know - largely because we haven't got enough information on #4 (e.g. an ASET and other reflector images) to know what it really looks like. I would say that the answer is likely to be "yes" for both you and me; whether you'd find the difference worth the price is a completely different question, but I think you could find a really top cut within your budget at the vendors we mentioned above. It's not necessarily "in the numbers" - it's more that while the info on a GIA report is a good start, it doesn't tell the whole story. For example, you seem to have set table at 56% as one of the criteria. This is something that I "like", but I would also go narrower (and maybe a little wider) - whether you like the resulting looks is very much a question of personal preferences. A very symmetrical contrast pattern (of which H&A is one) is also a very personal preference - which is perhaps easier to see than a 1% variation in table width, but it is something on which a GIA report is quite silent...
  21. davidelevi

    Am I over analyzing 0.5 carats? Amateur needs guidance

    Hi Christian, welcome to Diamond Review! A few reassuring points: 1. Clarity - in a diamond the size you are considering, VS2 is plenty to ensure an eye-clean diamond. The vast majority of SI1 and quite a few SI2 would also be eye-clean, but you'd need some help from the vendor especially with SI2. No need to spend money on anything higher than VS2 unless you like the symbolic idea of "higher clarity" 2. Colour - again, bearing in mind you'll look at the diamond primarily from the top, H or I will look very white, if they are well cut. 3. Import taxes - those are actually remarkably low, for a luxury item like a diamond. EU-wide duty on diamonds is 0% if loose, and 2.5% if set. The rest of the taxes are VAT, which you'd pay in any case. The advantage of choosing someone with a base in the EU (if not in Denmark) is that a) they will take care of any VAT processing for you if you need to return or exchange the ring and b) potentially they could charge you their local rate of VAT, which could be a few % points lower than Denmark's 25% 4. Speed - without going to a "couple of years", there are tens of thousands of diamonds available matching your primary requirements (~0.50 ct, round, well cut, I colour or higher, VS2 clarity or higher, price €2,200 or thereabouts including Danish VAT at 25%), so finding one quickly should not be a problem. You may be surprised as to how far your money can go. A nice 0.50 - 0.60 diamond by a premium cutter/retailer is perfectly achievable for your budget, even including Danish VAT and EU import duty. There is nothing wrong with any of them; they all seem very nice, in as much as it can be judged from the report and a single photo. You may be over-analysing (or at least be overly worried by) clarity that will be largely invisible, and you may be ignoring some "details" on cut that instead may make a visible difference. FWIW, my preference order would be #4, #1, #3 and #2 from top to bottom.
  22. davidelevi

    My new engagement ring :)

    Congratulations! Tell us more about it! (Don't tell me you already have a Christmas tree in the house? 😄)
  23. davidelevi

    My new engagement ring :)

    .
  24. "Looks" (reads) pretty similar to #2 - other than the lack of the big cloud in the centre. Well cut, but I see no reason to prefer it to #4... unless the $25,000 they are asking are AUD😉 If they are USD, then #4 is nicer and significantly cheaper.
  25. davidelevi

    Looking For Online Store To Buy Proposal Rings?

    And your source for these recommendations (with which I heartily disagree, BTW) is?