davidelevi

A-List Jeweler
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Everything posted by davidelevi

  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!
  15. davidelevi

    Help - Bought Diamond, then noticed Girdle ..

    It's not so much a (range of) percentage of table and depth - those are misleading by themselves. But I would definitely want a higher crown - which in turn would lead to a smaller table. The looks that result are quite different from (e.g.) the first diamond that we were looking at in this thread: a bit less brightness, and quite a bit more fire. Here is an example (which I don't particularly like as such, but it represents those characteristics quite nicely, and it's from James Allen, so it has been filmed with similar technique): https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.00-carat-g-color-vs1-clarity-sku-613063 Nothing to be concerned about. It's graded VS1, which means the inclusions are somewhat difficult to see by a trained observer with a 10x loupe, and the stone loose - and they have no effect on the optics of the diamond. This diamond on paper looks comparable to the first one, but there really is not enough information on the report to say whether it looks good in reality or not. The fact that it is 'the same price' when normally a D would go for a 10-15% premium over an E could mean that there is something not particularly nice with it, but whether there is and what it is can only be assessed by viewing the diamond. Will the vendor accept the diamond back for a decent period of time, and return all of your money if you decide to send the diamond back? If so, you have little to lose... Probably yes, but the devil is in the details of the cut, and to have more information on that you need to either get a diamond graded by AGS (who have a reliable cut grading system for princess cuts), have a cooperative dealer that sends you good quality videos and/or reflector images, or to be able to see the diamond in person. I really would not take a chance based on depth and table percentages alone - though having a less thick girdle would almost definitely be good (until it gets to 'too thin' and then there is a risk of chipping when setting).
  16. Since Ivana is looking at emerald-cut diamonds, what is the relevance of talking about emeralds? That aside, please note that advertising is not allowed on this forum. Your post has been reported for moderation.
  17. There are plenty of micro-crystalline aggregates around. What makes you think that that is carbonado? It doesn't look like it, given the extreme abundance of gas bubbles/porosity. The yellow crystal seems large enough to be tested/identified relatively easily... and it may provide some clues, but in any case the only way an ID can be made is by taking the samples to a mineralogist/gemmologist/geologist. Working on the basis of photos is frankly an impossible task.
  18. davidelevi

    Help - Bought Diamond, then noticed Girdle ..

    You are welcome. Congratulations on your purchase, and many more for whatever the reason for the purchase was!
  19. davidelevi

    Overwhelmed Novice

    Ok, so, I apologised directly within a couple of days of your post (and the two days were a weekend), and two months later here you go again? Please. You have made no mistakes. What would they be? However, you do sound perpetually angry and aggressive, particularly towards the way in which you have been treated elsewhere, but also in your approach to asking questions and in your defence of your choice of using Blue Nile rather than someone else that the orthodoxy on Pricescope considers better. There is no ulterior motive in people answering questions on this forum - or at least no direct ulterior motive (we all believe that providing help and clarity in what is a confusing, expensive and totally 'unnecessary' decision such as buying a diamond will drive more business to us, eventually). None of us is trying to push one vendor rather than another. What I heard from you that did upset me was - to the extent that it can be described typographically - this: "ArE YoU CoMpArInG a WF ACA To A rAnDoMlY pIcKeD BN dIaMoNd?" [Subtext: 'How dare you? Obviously the BN diamond is not going to be as good - this is biased towards WF and bashing BN!'] I accept - I accepted two months ago - that it was not the intention, and I apologised. Can we consider this closed?
  20. davidelevi

    Help - Bought Diamond, then noticed Girdle ..

    The good news: girdle thickness, within rather broad limits, is not going to impact optics. The not-so-good news: girdle thickness will impact the visual size of the diamond: the thicker the girdle, the smaller the diamond will look (for the same weight). (Italic mine) The real issue is that while those elements - including the girdle - are somewhat relevant, they don't really tell you very much about cut quality from the point of view of brightness, sparkle and fire. Table/depth ranges are largely meaningless in that respect - a bit like buying a car based on tyre size. Looking at the diamond video and the GIA report, it seems like a nicely cut diamond; personally I prefer a different set of proportions, with a higher crown and narrower table, but the girdle thickness has very little to do with that (except for the fact that it's more profitable for a diamond cutter to have a thicker girdle than a higher crown: that way, they can cut a larger second diamond from the same rough crystal).
  21. davidelevi

    Damaged packaging- could stones be damaged?

    Well, same applies to a few weeks in a pressure cooker, against being used as a rag for a couple of days! Mind you, a lot better that they did this with diamonds than with a watch. 😉
  22. davidelevi

    Damaged packaging- could stones be damaged?

    Diamond is hard, but it isn't indestructible - especially around sharp edges such as girdles and keels (and culets or points). No, they should not have been packaged like that (and Fedex should not use customer packages to clean the floor of their vans), but if you could not see any damage through a loupe, I agree with the vendor: probably there wasn't any. They should have used a box (normal Fedex box), inside which is the envelope (and maybe a few bits of newspaper or other padding), inside which is the parcel paper. Thank goodness, given the damage to the packaging, the stones stayed IN rather than going AWOL, and the supplier is acting decently, partly - I'm sure - because 'your' stones will be checked and recycled with someone who doesn't know. Mind you, given they had a few hundreds of millions of years of existence since they crystallised in the mantle, I'm sure that the diamonds weren't particularly shocked by the events. Even compared to a cutting table, being crushed under a van-load of parcels is a walk in the park.
  23. You are welcome! I hope that it turns out to look as good as you hope it will. Congratulations!
  24. Hi Hugo, welcome to Diamond Review! I'd say it looks perfectly normal - you are seeing a few parts of the setting partly because of the extremely strong light without any obstruction from an observer head, and partly because the yellow gold contrasts with the 'white' of the diamond. When you move the diamond by a few degrees, those 'see through' areas will be reflecting and you'll get another set of facets 'going dark'. H&A - they seem OK. It's not what I would call an H&A stone, but presumably you weren't told it was. It has nice proportions, in any case. The price is at the top of what fairly aggressive internet-based dealers would charge: https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.60&fCaratHi=0.65&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=strong&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&adv=1