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help with selecting ~ 2.0 ct diamond

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hi, 

First off, I would like to thank all in advance for giving and sharing advice.

It is now the time for me to upgrade the diamond for my wife of 22 years. I have the budget of about 20000 USD for it. 

After researching and talking to a few jewelers,  I am torn between 2 options:

1) go with ~ 2 CT; F; SI2; triple excellent; non fluorescence diamond for about 13-14K USD based on online price. The reps from online have a number of "eyeclean" diamonds to offer. 

2) go with ~2 CT; G; VS1; Triple excellent, non fluorescence diamond for about 22K USD

Questions:

1) Which option would give best value if we decide to upgrade or best retention of value when we absolutely need to sell it?

2) when I search, there are so many results with a wide range in price. I cannot determine which factor justifies the price difference when two diamonds have the same parameters. What other factors can affect price?

3) I found one diamond with very excellent parameters and the least inclusion based on GIA report at a good price. However, two online consultants informed me that the diamond is milky. This is not shown in GIA report or mentioned online. Should I the vendor on volunteering all the information available about the diamond? 

4)what could I ask for to ensure good fire and brilliance when I buy online?

Again. Thanks.

 

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1. Depends on the market conditions and trends. Nicer SI2s are easier to sell. But G VS1 and G VS2 are my favorite spots. When you sell, factors other than eye clean also become relevant. Jewellers like louping the stones and black inclusions , large feathers, open inclusions are looked upon unfavourably. 

2. There are many factors. The Stones you see listed are owned by firms in different parts of the world. Every company has a different pricing strategy. Other than this prices are influenced by factors like depth, girdle thickness, angles basically cut factors, fluorescence, types of inclusions, location of inclusions, tint, lustre, etc.

3. You should trust your vendor. And you should use a vendor you trust. This is most amount of money you will ever pay for something so tiny. 

4. An excellent cut to begin with. And strict parameters within excellent cut. Higher crowns, 14.5% and above are more fiery. Smaller tables, 58% or less, are more fiery.

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Unless you are buying high end investment grade diamonds, like a 10ct blue or 40ct pink, i recommend not thinking too much about the resale value. 

As for the potential choices you have considered, There is precious little visual difference between F and G color stones but a large difference between VS2 and SI2, the majority of SI2 actually being visible to the naked eye. Maybe you should consider looking for an SI1. As Furquan says, find a vendor you want to work with and ask them to find you the perfect stone. 

I cannot figure out how to use the sliders on the Diamond Finder on my iPhone otherwise I would paste the search for you, but that would be a worthwhile search. 

Hope this helps. 

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Resale is a whole different can-o-worms. It’s always a looming question with something this expensive but the real variables aren’t gemological.

For example:

Back in the 80’s, investing in diamonds was big.  1.00ct D/IF/round was the benchmark.  A safe full of those was supposed to be better than a safe full of cash.

What happened?

Mostly it was a bust.  I’m seeing these ‘investment’ stones come up in estates and even now, 30 years later, people are taking a bath.  Part of it is the problem of buying retail and selling wholesale but a far bigger piece is that the cheese has moved.  The benchmark NOW is 1.00 D/IF/xxx/GIA.  That may seem about the same but consider this.  A poor cut, which is what most of those stones from the 80s are, is a nearly unsaleable dog, and the cut scale wasn't even invented until 2006.  It’ll need to be recut.  We’re now talking about a 0.8x/xxx.  

Then there's the problem that labs don’t always grade the same.  A D/IF may really turn out to be an E/VVS1, and any buyer with sense is going to hedge for that.  The way a buyer will look at it is 0.85/E/VVS1/xxx/GIA minus the cost and risk of cutting, minus the cost of GIA, minus the general aggravation, minus whatever profit they hope to make on the deal.  

Here's a current listing of 1.00/D/IF/xxx/GIA/none.  They cost about $15,000 from distinctly discount outfits.  The spiffy places get thousands more. 


https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.01&fColorLo=D&fColorHi=D&fClarityLo=FL&fClarityHi=IF&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=none&fCulHi=none&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=none&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&adv=1

Here's a current listing for 0.85ish/E/VVS1/xxx/GIA.  Median is about $5,500.


https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.82&fCaratHi=0.85&fColorLo=E&fColorHi=E&fClarityLo=VVS1&fClarityHi=VVS1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=none&fCulHi=none&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=none&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&adv=1

Cutting is going to cost $400 or so.  GIA $100.  Shipping and insurance $250. The process will take months.  It’s a break even for a dealer to pay $4,500.  No one likes break even so they’re going to bid something like $3000, maybe $3500 if they really like you.  Less if there's a middleman involved. That’s a factor of 5 haircut!  If you paid high retail, which is what most of those ‘investment brokers’ were charging, it’s even worse.
 

Edited by denverappraiser

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2 minutes ago, denverappraiser said:

Resale is a whole different can-o-worms. It’s always a looming question with something this expensive but the real variables aren’t gemological.

For example:

Back in the 80’s, investing in diamonds was big.  1.00ct D/IF/round was the benchmark.  A safe full of those was supposed to be better than a safe full of cash.

What happened?

Mostly it was a bust.  I’m seeing these ‘investment’ stones come up in estates and even now, 40 years later, people are taking a bath.  Part of it is the problem of buying retail and selling wholesale but a far bigger piece is that the cheese has moved.  The benchmark NOW is 1.00 D/IF/xxx/GIA.  That may seem about the same but consider this.  A poor cut, which is what most of those stones from the 80s are, is a nearly unsaleable dog.  It’ll need to be recut.  We’re now talking about a 0.8x/xxx.  Labs don’t always grade the same.  A D/IF may really turn out to be an E/VVS1 and any buyer with sense is going to hedge for that.  The way a buyer will look at it is 0.85/E/VVS1/xxx/GIA minus the cost and risk of cutting, minus the cost of GIA, minus the general aggravation, minus whatever profit they hope to make on the deal.  

Here's a current listing of 1.00/D/IF/xxx/GIA/none.  They cost about $15,000 from distinctly discount outfits.


https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.01&fColorLo=D&fColorHi=D&fClarityLo=FL&fClarityHi=IF&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=none&fCulHi=none&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=none&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&adv=1

Here's a current listing for 0.85ish/E/VVS1/xxx/GIA.  Median is about $5,500.


https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.82&fCaratHi=0.85&fColorLo=E&fColorHi=E&fClarityLo=VVS1&fClarityHi=VVS1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=none&fCulHi=none&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=none&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabGIA=1&adv=1

Cutting is going to cost $400 or so.  GIA $100.  Shipping and insurance $250. They'll be screwing around with it for months.  It’s a break even for a dealer to pay $4,500.  No one likes break even so they’re going to bid something like $3000.  That’s a factor of 5 haircut!  If you paid high retail, which is what most of those ‘investment brokers’ were doing, it’s even worse.
 

Nailed it.

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I completely agree with this analysis where it come to recutting poorly made stones. But Denver Appraiser has brilliantly illustrated the problem of just reselling your diamonds in general in an old post somewhere in this forum. Not being at a PC, searching for that post is too complicated. Instead, here is a link to the same article reposted, with permission, on our blog: 

http://www.diamondideals.com/why-cant-i-sell-my-ring-for-what-i-paid/

 

Edited by LaurentGeorge
Iphone generated typos :-)

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Not much to add to Furqan's comments above - other than:

1. If a vendor advises you of something that is not otherwise "visible" (be it online or in the real world), kudos to them. Since you cannot rely on everybody doing that, make sure that whoever you are dealing with has a decent return policy (1 week +, 100% money back less possibly fair shipping and credit card charges, no reason needed for return, no store credit or exchange: money back!) and if you have any reason to doubt their word get it verified by an independent expert paid by you (a well conducted expert appraisal should be not more than $200).

2. Do not rely on report plots to identify the visibility of inclusions. The plot is an identification device; it provides very little information as to the visibility and aesthetic impact of characteristics.

3. If the choice of F/SI2 and G/VS2 is basically asking the question "should I prioritise clarity or colour", then my answer would be to go out and see F and G. Pick what you like most if you can see a difference (many people cannot, especially in "real world" circumstances).

ETA - I thought I posted this a few hours ago, but it's been sitting on my computer... and in the meantime Laurent and Neil have added more interesting points/observations.

Edited by davidelevi
Added last para

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Thanks everyone for your input.

Though I and my wife do not intend to sell the diamond in the future, I guess life is unpredictable and we are just considering the very worst case scenario. 

I guess it comes down to what we would be happy with. 

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Life is indeed unpredictable.  I'm definitely not suggesting that you avoid diamonds any more than I'm suggesting you don't buy cars, electronics, clothing, food, entertainment, or anything else on the long list of 'bad' financial instruments. As grim as it is, diamonds are actually better in this regard than most of what you buy.  I'm only pointing out that the resale issue gets oversold and you brought it up.  

Don't go into a diamond deal ever expecting to see your money again.  If life changes, and it turns out that you can get some back, that's a bonus, but it's not the objective.  

Edited by denverappraiser

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To my point about color/clarity combo (this is so much easier on a desktop!).  Here is a search on the Diamond Finder for well made FG VS2-SI1 diamonds in the 2 to 2.1 ct range: https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=2.00&fCaratHi=2.10&fColorLo=F&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS2&fClarityHi=SI1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=60.0&fDepthHi=62.4&fTableLo=53.0&fTableHi=58.0&fSymLo=ideal&fSymHi=exc&fPolLo=ideal&fPolHi=exc&fCulLo=none&fCulHi=none&fFlrLo=none&fFlrHi=faint&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=22000&adv=1

You will see that apart from some outliers, most of the stones are priced below $22K and range all the way down to about $17K.  There is a world that exists between the two original options.  Especially when it comes to 2ct and larger stones, I very rarely see truly eye-clean SI2 stones any more.  Granted age requires me to use readers, which I think gives me superman vision, but it has been years since SI2 equated with eye clean in my book.

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1 hour ago, LaurentGeorge said:

Granted age requires me to use readers, which I think gives me superman vision, but it has been years since SI2 equated with eye clean in my book.

:D I must be using the wrong readers. All of my wife's stones have become eye-clean (with readers, without loupe), including some that I knew weren't!

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13 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

:D I must be using the wrong readers. All of my wife's stones have become eye-clean (with readers, without loupe), including some that I knew weren't!

Try cleaning them.;)

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