James Harper

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  1. James Harper

    How Does This Gsl Compare To A Gia Grade?

    Yes, I've been admiring Davide's website, and actually wish I had more to spend because I found a wonderful looking ring (with the diamond) that I think would be perfect, and I really like the fact that you're able to see videos on the rings - not just a CAD rendering of what the ring "looks" like. Unfortunately though, while wonderful selection, the halo mounts would be a little too out of budget at the moment. However, they do have an awfully nice cathedrial semi-mount, which may be worth looking into if my girlfriend seems to be okay with a more "classic" look. In your oppinion, if I did go with this http://rockdiamond.com/index.php/jewelry/semi-mount--cathedral-style-14kt-gold-classic-solitaire-setting do you think it would fall into the trashy range if I got her a full 1ct CZ stone? It isn't unbelievable that I could get her that, and in all practicality I can get a real 1ct, but at this moment in time it is neither a wise financial move nor a wise desicion, due to the fact that I still have much to learn about diamonds. I am however, going to promote Davide's site to my friends. They seem to have some very reasonably priced (especially compared to mall retailers) rings, and lovely at that. My thinking behind getting that setting I linked you, would be that I assume it is of good quality (I've yet to be led to believe otherwise by either of you) and that when it comes time to put a real stone into it, I can be fairly certain that it will last the test of time. I also like how friendly they make their site. Makes me feel comfortable about possibly shopping there. As for the CZ, yes, I'd read that CZ scratch more, and dull more, but that, if not abused, can last a while. Though at the prices I am finding, I might just order 4 or so, to have them on hand when and if I need to replace them. Also, I looked into getting a diamond coated CZ just a while ago, and I have to say, the hype is pretty wonderful, but in the terms I am thinking, I don't feel it is worth the money, regardless of how "wonderful" many of their buyers claim it to be. Perhaps perfect for other people, but it is not something I would consider. Why replace a $400-$600 cz (or even buy one) if I have the option of upgrading from a $5 CZ? I would just like to add, this forum, well especially you and Davide, have really given me a possitive experience, and you and he are offering up extremely valuable ideas and oppinons. Thank you. And thank you for not making me feel horrible about my budget, and instead offering suggestions for more affordable and sensable alternatives. (Edit) To add to my comment about being able to by a 1ct real diamond I mean like a 1ct that isn't that great, but still one carat. For fun, I actually did a search on your diamond finder for 1cts and found that I could buy a 1ct for under $1000.
  2. James Harper

    How Does This Gsl Compare To A Gia Grade?

    Neil, Thank you for also replying to my topic and answering some of my questions. Yes, she is aware of my financial situation, and certainly understands my budget (for all things), but as far as I know, she is till aware that I am seriously looking at rings, and I've used her friends and her family to "spy" on what she likes. I was talking to a friend of mine and asked him his oppinion, and to ask his wife if she would be okay with a CZ. He told me that his wife actually chose some sort of diamond coated CZ instead of a real diamond. While, I don't think I will be doing that, it has certainly brightened my outlook on giving her a CZ "place holder". And as far as my question regarding the grading, it was mainly out of curiosity and to obtain a better understanding of how grading (I will try to avoid certification as the term) actually worked. For example, if EGL owned the grading rights to the stone, or if any lab could grade it. I figured that, if something like this were an option, there would be people very experienced playing the "game" and my likelyhood of obtaining a valuable gem for a bargin would be slim to none. Personally, from reading that differences in diamonds can be difficult to spot (such as the case explained above), I think I will use this information to help buy a decent diamond in the future, but perhaps not only pay attention to the grading, but to what I think of the diamond. If it is well cut (I think I will try for Excellent or better when the time comes) and has no visible flaws to the naked eye, and in daylight looks near colourless I will be happy. Not sure if that is a good game plan, but if someone is selling a diamond they claim to be G SI1 <carat> Excellent cut, but looking at the measurements, colour, and clarity prove to not be up to what I want, say it looks yellowish and has visible inclusions, then I will pass. I feel slightly better equipped to make a diamond purchase in the future. Davide, I would agree, I looked up pictures of CZ rings, and some of them are impossibly large, and completely unbelievable. However, the small CZ you linked to me would probably be taken as the real deal at a glance, since it is of believable size, and I am looking forward to being able to see it in person. Now, is this the one you would recommend placing into the setting (whichever one I end up with) or would this purely be for educational purposes. $3.00 isn't much to pay, so I wouldn't mind either way, just curious. I must express my shock over the grading of diamonds, but I can certainly see how this is a "matter of oppinion" and would be hard to create a legal guideline. Basically then, all diamonds are graded on the same scale (D-Z) (F-13) etc. but to the standard they are graded can vary greatly depending on the lab grading it? Certainly makes me re-evaluate my standing on diamonds, and like I mentioned to Neil, I believe now I will base my oppinion on the diamond less on what it is graded (unless it is graded by a well known lab like GIA) and more on my oppinion. While I am far from an expert, I believe the diamond is a better "speaker" of its grading, not just a peice of paper. Interesting fact about coloured diamonds though, but I can see how you can't say a fancy yellow diamond is a colourless diamond or a pink diamond. From you experience, who would you consider to be a top quality creater of halo settings? Would James Allen, Zales, or the like be considered worth it? Or should I buy a setting from a more expensive place? If I go with halo, I am going to go with a plain band and a well crafted setting, that way there will be no issue with the pave setting on the band during resizing. I know you said, while talking about Zales, that the image can look good, but it actually be cheap. Was this in regards to Zales' product or just places in general? Or did you mean like department stores such as Walmart? I guess I always figured Zales, Kay's, and the likes to be of good craftsmenship, though inflated in price. Is this another misconception? I would like to say thank you again for taking time to read and reply to my questions. I feel that I've learned far more talking with you (and Neil now too) than I had in all my time researching online. It is nice to have the oppinions of professionals.
  3. James Harper

    How Does This Gsl Compare To A Gia Grade?

    Thank you so much for the extra information, I will do some snooping and find out if she would be happy without a halo setting. I agree, it was a little silly to spend more money on the setting, but I knew she really loved it so I bought it. This was, of course, before I set out to learn and shop for a diamond. In hindsight, I would do my research first then make purchases. I really wish I had discovered this site sooner, it would have probably saved a lot of stress on my part. I have to admit though, I am shocked that you suggested a CZ stone for the middle. I had thought about getting a CZ and telling her that once I have more wiggle room in my budget I would buy her a real diamond, but then I thought - and had read - that many women find CZ stones to be repulsive and trashy, at least when it comes to an engagement ring. It is a great idea for saving money, and you're right, it would probably look better than a small, possibly cloudy, poorly cut real diamond. I will also try to find out if she would be okay with a CZ. We wouldn't have to tell anyone, and then when I can afford it, I would replace it. Another thing that I found interesting, why are halo settings fragile? I understand the pave set in the band being compromised if the ring is sized down too small, but what makes the halo setting fragile? Is it because of the way it is sitting? Sadly, I was told that the halo around the center stone actually protects the center stone, and because its actually formed onto the band itself, it is more stable than a regular solitare. Now I am thinking that I bought yet another load of bologna, and am seriously considering sending it back. If my girlfriend still really wants a halo setting, would it be a little better the get a halo setting with a plain band? Or just stick with the tried and true regular solitare? To touch on another point you brought up about diamond grading, and how the grading process works - if I were to evenutally buy a nice diamond that say, was EGL graded, with a 30-60 day return policy, could I send it to GIA and get it graded by them for the fee that they charge? Would it then come with a GIA certification and could I then say it was a GIA certified diamond, granted of course, that I was happy with the report and keep the diamond? Basically it would be to compare how EGL graded it against how GIA graded it. The information about how different the grading can be got me thinking that I might be able to find a good diamond that isn't GIA graded, but still a really good diamond. I am quickly learning that there is far more the diamond buying than just the 4c's, and I have found that many jewelers (especially those in the mall) sell non-certified diamonds. Does this mean that they have someone in their company look at, and grade, it? Could you possibly get a diamond they claim to be I / I1, and in reality you're buying a K/L I2/I3? I mean, if it doesn't come with some sort of certification, how do you know what you are truly getting? Or is there some sort of code you have to stick to? Meaning, could I (not that I would) sell a J/K I3 as an H SI-2? Does there have to be some backing to my claim? Or is it all kind of vague? I am certainly not going to buy a non-certified diamond, and am glad that I didn't buy the other one yet. Your suggestion about a CZ seems certainly reasonable, and the information provided about pave and halo settings is very much appreciated. I do like the idea of buying absolutely conflict free diamonds, but I am not sure if the mark-up is worth it. Thank you also for that link to the GIA website. There is certainly a lot more to buying a diamond than I had thought. One last thing, and correct me if I am wrong, are you saying that I should only buy GIA certified diamonds because they are more "accurate". Accurate is probably not the correct term, but I am not exactly sure how to say what I mean. Basically I guess, I mean if you buy GIA certified diamonds, you know that the diamond is really going to be a D FL 1 carat, ideal cut diamond. (Haha, no, I don't plan on spending 50k on a diamond, but just for a good laugh I used it as my example!)
  4. James Harper

    How Does This Gsl Compare To A Gia Grade?

    David, So, the jeweler sends the diamonds out to get graded personally? They do not buy them already graded? I was unaware this is how it worked, but am glad that you have informed me of such. I was thinking that, in very simplistic terms, people mined the diamonds and sent them to whichever lab to get certified - not sure where the actual cutting of the diamonds took place - then the labs sold the diamonds. Totally bought his little speech, and I will be certain not to go back. I already have the setting, all I need it the diamond. I recently bought a house and am making house payments, so at this time I cannot afford a diamond that is too expensive. The diamond I was looking at was $579 and I was hoping to stay under $600. Yes I know it is a very low budget to be working with, but I did spend $800 roughly on the setting/ring itself, so I am not completely pulling the cheap-o card. The cheapest diamond below $600, yes still close to roughly .6 carats would be this diamond 0.59 I I1 GIA 65.5% 63.0% none poor good med none 5.14x5.39x3.45 $ 562 but overall I feel it is actually worse than the current one, though slightly cheaper and is GIA certified. The next diamond that, if I step up from good to vgood (I don't think I can afford anything higher at the moment) would be this one: 0.55 H I1 EGL 57.7% 67.0% none good vgood med-sthk none 5.34x5.42x3.10 $ 652 It is just slightly over my budget, and is roughly the same size as the .63 I was looking at, though its clarity is two steps down (I am new to this SI-3 clarity), but has a very good cut. However, I am a bit hesitant to buy a diamond online. One last thing, as I was trying to do more research on GSL, I learned that Zales' Certified Canadian Diamond brand is certified by them, and dear me! Are their prices really that inflated? Or is it that "authentic canadian diamonds" have a higher value? My setting looks a lot like one of zales', but they only have a 1/3 ct H/I I1 in it, and they want $1899! Now I am just worried that maybe I am missing something. This is the ring: http://www.zales.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12295978&kpc=1 I can still return my setting (I have 90 days) and just find something that comes to around $1400 from Zales, which was my total budget for a ring, if you think it would be less hassle free, and if Zales is actually a good place to buy from. Or any of the large "mall" stores. This would probably be the one I would get: http://www.zales.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4343709&kpc=1 but I am just so unsure of myself now. I thought I was really getting a deal with that GSL certified diamond. Now I feel like I just won't be able to afford a nice diamond for my girl while staying in budget. And the guy at the store made me feel like, while little, that diamond was a good diamond and a good value. However, on the bright side, it seems like "good" cuts for this size of diamond do seem to be in the same ballpark as the other diamond I was looking at, with a 64%-66% depth, so I guess if there is any good out of this educating experience, is that GSL seems to grade cuts about equally. Who knows about the rest. I did find their website though: http://www.gemscan.com/profile.html Perhaps you can tell their method for grading there. Thank you for helping me, even though it was bad news, I am just glad to be informed before I made the purchase.
  5. I have been doing research for a little while now, but pass the basics of color, cut, clarity, and carat I am a little helpless. I found a diamond that I like, and that fits in my budget, but I do sacrafice some things, though I sacraficed in the order my girlfriend values. I am looking for Color and Clarity mostly, and am sacraficing on Carat and Cut. I decided to go to a local, and trusted jeweler whose business has been in his family for nearly 75 years. He directed me towards diamonds within my budget, and educated me a little further on the types of certification he offers with them, and was very honest with me when I chose a Gem Scan Labs diamond. He informed my that GS or GSL (not sure which it goes by) is usually lower priced than GIA because it is a smaller lab based out of Canada. Though I think all his GSL diamonds are from Canada, so that would be why they are GSL. He also said they could be somewhat more leniant on grading vs GIA, but that both labs follow the same standards set by GIA. The diamond I am looking at is a GSL certified, G (near colourless), SI-2, 0.63 carat, Good cut diamond with a measurment of 5.30 x 5.24 x 3.48mm. Under the loupe I can see some imperfections, but with my naked eye I don't see any. It was the same with an almost identical GIA diamond with a 0.60 carat rating, though not sure the measurements (I only took a copy of the GSL diamond, since if I learn that this GSL diamond is not worth it, I will buy a similiar priced GIA diamond). I tried to read up on measurements, and to learn if this diamond is too shallow or too deep, and if this grade of Good is accurate, but I am horrible at math so I decided to just see if anyone here is able to look at the measurements and determine the quality of cut. I am aware that many people place cut first, but I think I read somewhere that if you place a lower carat, lower cut into a halo or framed setting it kind of gives the diamond a visual "boost", and that is what I plan on doing. The band is also covered in diamonds too! So please, give me your honest oppinion. This GSL diamond is about all I can afford, and I think I found a good balance between Color, Clarity, Carat, and Cut, but while I know what is good in each of 4 Cs I am still not sure when it comes to how the diamond averages out all together. I didn't want to go to a smaller carat, because the setting she liked fits between a .5 and .75 carat diamond, and upping the Cut means lowering the carat. Anyway, please give me your input, and see if you think it would be comparable to a GIA grading. Granted, you cannot see the actual diamond yourself, but comparing the two side by side, the color and clarity seemed close, and to the naked eye looked identical. Did I give enough information? I will add more if I need to. Thank you in advance.