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befuddled

Is This A Good Diamond - Appreciate Any And All Advice

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All- I am new here and I desperately need advice on whether the following diamond is a good buy. I've looked in bluenile, jamesallen, and costco and settled on this one because it seems to be the best fit for what I am looking for. 

http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/diamond-details/LD06257443

 

what I am looking for: 

1 carat that would fit a solitaire nicely. I'd like it to be at least color:I, clarity: VS1, and excellent/ideal cut. Round or princess preferred. Bottomline, I want it to at least be 1 carat and all the other criteria I settled on because I want it to glitter brightly in a simple petite cathedral setting. 

 

budget: USD5000 including a 14k white gold setting  

 

this is a considerable purchase for me so any advice welcome! thanks in advance.

 

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Hi Befuddled,

 

Personally I would shy away from the last stone you listed, the 1.00 princess.  The color/clarity combination is not the best way to spend your money and I never liked the large flat topped princess look. Anything VS2 and above (and many SI1 stones as well) will be clean to the naked eye, especially in stones under 1.5 carats.  I think you would be better served with a better cut G VS1or2 in a princess cut.

In the 2 round stones, I would rule out the IVS1 with very strong blue fluorescence only because you are not able to see the stone yourself first nor is BN able to give you a real visual report on the stone.  BN is a drop shipper that never actually sees the stones they sell.  In the case of a stone with strong blue fluorescence, it is always good to have somebody look at the stone to make sure it does not have an oily or bluish haze in direct sunlight.  I know they have a great return policy, but I also know what a pain that can be.  Easy enough to avoid.  The same would hold somewhat true for the JVS1 with strong blue but the downside risk is lessened here.  Both of these stones are well enough proportioned with the only red flag in my mind coming from the 36° crown angle on the JVS1, which is a little higher than I like personally.

  • Like 1

Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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A relatively standard solitaire setting is about $300-500ish in 14k depending on the details and things like whether setting fees are included for 'free'.  That leaves $4500 of your budget for the stone.  Thats easy enough to do but it opens a problem.  Just advertised on this site alone are literally hundreds of stones that meet those specs.  I suggest you narrow them down a bit.   The first is the 'round or princess' one.  The difference is important both in terms of look and pricing. 

 

The others are a bit trickier and depend on the answer to the above as well as how and why you came to the I/VS1 spec in the first place.  For example, why not VS2 or SI1?  Why I instead of H (or anywhere else) as the cutoff line?

 

Cut grading on princesses is a can of worms and the only lab that has a credible system is AGS.  Their market presence, especially in the online sellers, is quite low and there's not enough information on a GIA report to make a decent assessment of your excellent/ideal requirement.

  • Like 1

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Hello Laurent- Thanks for the insight. Very helpful.

 

Hello Neil - Thanks too. "Round vs princess"- Let's say "round". With regard all the other specs, I'm ashamed to say I didnt know better so I benchmarked against the standards published by Costco. - I further refined with what my research told me would not show noticeable 'stain' (Color "I" vs "J). I had looked at options at jamesallen and realized that even VS2s had flaws that could be seen at 10x magnification, thus the Clarity: "VS1" vs "VS2" distinction. Lastly, I checked against these guidelines on depth and table (http://www.lumeradiamonds.com/diamond-education/round-diamonds) to downselect further.

 

I guess all this goes to show how little I know and why I am truly 'befuddled'. 

 

Bottomline, I wanted something that was at least 1 carat that she could feel proud of (nothing cloudy and jaundiced). And maybe, something that gives off a sparkle that would catch her eye and make her heart flutter. =)  

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The vast majority of VS2 stones are clean to the naked eye.  The images you see of inclusions in these stones may have been taken at 10x magnification but they are then viewed on a screen that multiplies that a few times.

US$5,000 is on the lower end of what well cut I-VS1 1carat diamonds should cost.  As such, anything you find in that price range will be priced low for a reason which may not be immediately obviously obvious.

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.07&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=I&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=60.0&fDepthHi=62.4&fTableLo=53.1&fTableHi=58.9&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=faint&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

I would consider VS2 as a viable option.

 

 

Edited to say:

Thinking a little further and relating to another thread, you may want to narrow your search to stones with faint or medium fluorescence.  These will be a little more affordable and may face a little better than their non-fluorescent counterparts.  This last point is somewhat debatable according to some, but it is certainly an option worthy of consideration. http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.07&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=I&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=60.0&fDepthHi=62.4&fTableLo=53.1&fTableHi=58.9&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=faint&fFlrHi=med&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

Edited by LaurentGeorge

Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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The thing about Costco is that their designs and selection are pretty severely limited. If they've got what you want they're a good outfit but they're not so good at addressing seriously picky customers.

 

See Laurent's comments above about VS1/VS2. Given your description, I think you'll be fine and dropping to VS2 will allow you to kick up something else a bit.

 

I is fine. It's the typical place people land. If your budget can swing it and there's money left on the table after everything else, I would seriously consider bumping this up to H.

 

Ignore guidelines about table and depth. They were created before the GIA cut grade was and, assuming we're talking about GIA rounds, that system supersedes any T/D approach.

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Laurent/Neil - 

 

Thank you both. 

 

I will look at VS2 and use the refined search. 

 

One more q please: I am based in Canada and the top options are showing as B2C and Enchanted. Are these reputable retailers? In reading further reviews, I am not keen on BN but not sure what a good alternative would be. Any suggestions for those shopping from the North?

 

Thanks again.

Ian

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You have received good advice so far.  It seems like you have now decided on round  in which case you will find much more selection and they are easier to shop, though more expensive carat for carat.  I will say that it is possible to get a 1 ct Ideal cut princess in your budget, so you don't have to give up on that necessarily, though they will look a bit smaller than rounds of the same weight.  

 

this may help if you are still considering princess:

Princess cuts generally look smaller from the “face up†position than round diamonds of the same weight. This is a result of their different designs and the need for ample depth to produce attractive light performance. Dimensions can be a little deceiving since princess cuts are measured side to side rather than point to point. Generally, a well cut 1ct Princess will measure approximately 5.5 mm side to side vs. a well cut 1ct Round Brilliant, which will typically measure approximately 6.5mm in diameter. In terms of footprint (square mm) the difference in face up appearance equates to about 10%. Another way to look at it is that in order for a princess to have a similar visual size to a 6.5mm round, it needs to be about 5.75mm square. 


Bryan Boyne, GG (GIA), CG (AGS)
Whiteflash Ideal Diamonds and Fine Jewelry

bboyne@whiteflash.com

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In my opinion #3 is the best option of this group.  I would advise against going with a strong fluorescent stone unless you understand this property and know that it is for you.   

 

A well cut I color will look white to the average observer.  You get the 1ct plus size and although IF is overkill for appearance, there is value to presenting a flawless diamond!  From a cutting standpoint, this one has better proportions than the #4 diamond.

Edited by Texas Leaguer

Bryan Boyne, GG (GIA), CG (AGS)
Whiteflash Ideal Diamonds and Fine Jewelry

bboyne@whiteflash.com

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I would go with #2, the 1.01 GVS2.  I like the proportions a little better.  The pav angle is 40.8°, which is where I like it best.  Unless you have your mind set on an internally flawless stone, I just don't see value in such a clean stone as the VVS1 or IF stones you selected.  I would rather see money spent on size or color.  That said, if IF or VVS is the clarity you want, then stone #3 might be the better of the three clean choices, but I think you could do even better.


Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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Thanks Laurent! 

 

Unfortunately, that one has been sold. What would be choice #2 in your case? 

 

Also, want to check if this is a good deal. If this was priced at USD5,200 - is that already a good price?

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Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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Thanks Laurent. 

 

I read up more about fluorescence and was concerned about the possible haziness. 

 

I was further confused given I walked into a store today and got a convincing argument from diamontolist (?) that an excellent-cut SI2/0.9/I carat could appear bigger and looks nicer- but be cheaper - than a VG-cut VS1-1 carat/H. This was the I-S12 I was shown -> http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?reportno=3195656192&c=Page&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FDispatcher&cid=1355954554547

 

I am frankly at wits end and considering my wife a watch instead! (jokingly said, but 70% meant) 

 

That said, attached are the pix and GIA certificates of the stones proposed by the jeweler. All look good on paper except for the MB and SB fluorescence. He had averred that the gemologist has said this set is "“They are 100% Eye Clean, with no inclusions visible to the naked eye and Excellent Lustre (not brownish / milky / hazy) and their color is a Nice G or H Colour with No Hue, Tone or Tinges of Brownâ€." - Could that be true, given the strong fluorescence - could this be in the small percentage of high fluorescent diamonds that are not cloudy?? 

post-135242-0-16592700-1443843179_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-78475500-1443843179_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-98520900-1443843180_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-83162800-1443843182_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-81991900-1443843183_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-24011500-1443843184_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-49718200-1443843185_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-78170300-1443843185_thumb.jpg

post-135242-0-54269300-1443843186_thumb.jpg

Edited by befuddled

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Several things here.

 

He's correct that a 0.90 is substantially cheaper than an otherwise similar 1.00 in nearly every case.  A 0.88 would be cheaper still by the way.  On this you mostly just have to draw a line.  1.00s cost more because people value 'a carat' more than 'almost a carat' and are willing to pay to get it.  Whether or not that holds for you is up to you.  It's an arbitrary line but it's an important one.  Spend a few minutes playing with the database at the top of the page called 'diamond finder'.  It's free, fast, and anonymous and provides a good way of seeing what happens to the prices when you change one or more of the variables.  

 

He's also correct that GIA-VG is a big range.  There are dogs and there are lovely stones in there.  Could an X/0.90 be prettier than a VG/1.00?  Yes, some of them.  Some not.  It's worth noting that 'prettier' is not one of the benchmarks and contains a giant element of taste. 

 

OK, that sort of ends where I agree.

 

MOST medium and strong fluorescent diamonds do not exhibit the hazy appearance you're describing.  Actually it's quite rare.  For example, I don't think I've ever seen it in a medium at all.  Mostly this is in Very Strong Blues, and even then it's quite rare.

 

Lustre isn't a GIA attribute and, in any case, it's different from color and the above 'hazy' discussion.  Actually I have no clue what he means by this so maybe it does.  Ask.

 

Color (excuse me, colour) in diamond lingo is a measure of saturation, not hue.  Although I agree that G and H are fine for nearly everyone, it doesn't mean what he says it means.

 

Eye clean is another non-GIA term.  Many SI2's are, but many aren't and the person making this call isn't working for GIA.  It's the seller.  That doesn't make them wrong but I have to say, I would take it with a grain of salt.


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Thanks Laurent. 
 
I read up more about fluorescence and was concerned about the possible haziness. 
 
I was further confused given I walked into a store today and got a convincing argument from diamontolist (?) that an excellent-cut SI2/0.9/I carat could appear bigger and looks nicer- but be cheaper - than a VG-cut VS1-1 carat/H. This was the I-S12 I was shown -> http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?reportno=3195656192&c=Page&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FDispatcher&cid=1355954554547
 
 

If you looked at this stone and liked it, you may want to consider it over the others.  It's a dossier report with no stone plot so the crystal that is the grade setter could be a problem from an eye-clean standpoint depending on location (it's an Si1 by the way).   It is a 60/60 style with a shallow crown which will favor white light return over fire, but it gives you good spread.  You will notice that the dimensions are very close to the 1.02ct.   Because of proportioning differences, I would not be at all surprised if the .90 appears bigger than the 1.02 in a side by side visual comparison.  With this stone you have a Triple Ex report, desirable size and color/clarity combo, and less expensive.  You're getting a bright stone with the look of a 1 ct, and avoiding the issues associated with fluoro (more than just potential haziness). It would be my choice of the lot, provided it satisfies your criteria for eye-clean.

Edited by Texas Leaguer

Bryan Boyne, GG (GIA), CG (AGS)
Whiteflash Ideal Diamonds and Fine Jewelry

bboyne@whiteflash.com

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