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Advice required on princess cut diamonds


Jdog8
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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend and am very confused about advice received on diamonds from a local jewelry salesperson (in Australia).

The girlfriend wants something super sparkly so cut is very important. We are looking in the 0.70 - 0.8ct range so here are the ones I have found so far. I would really appreciate advice as to which one you guys would recommend. I have just linked to each diamond as all the relevant information is provided on their respective websites.

1. https://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/0.790-i-si1-princess-diamond-ags-104091554007

I thought this was a great deal! But the jewelry salesperson said the inclusion at the table is not good plus the table is too low? She recommended table 67-75% which is different to here: https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-grading-chart-princess

I should also add she seemed to be very disdainful towards the AGS grading and kept saying GIA and IGI are better... So I guess my question is; is this all just part of her sales pitch (because she tried to sell me a 0.5ct diamond after that!) or is her criticism warranted?

2. https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut-loose-diamond-3800295.htm?source=pricescope

3. https://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/0.761-g-vs2-princess-diamond-ags-104091554006

4. https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/0.81-carat-i-color-vs1-clarity-sku-3005863

 

Thanks again!

 

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Ignore any and all charts with proportions. At best they give you a huge number of false positives and false negatives.

Furqan has dealt with your question re: AGS, and there isn't much to add to that.

You have picked 4 nice stones - the question here is what do you privilege?

The JA stone has zero information about the cut, other than the video. Which looks fine, but is not easily comparable to any of the others. The chances that it's cut to the same standards as a BG or ACA stone are very slim; on the other hand it's easily the largest looking of the 4 and may well be quite bright if a bit "flat". And it's an I colour (see below).

The SI1 BGD looks fine and it's the cheapest... because of that crystal under the table. If Brian says it's clean, chances are it is, but the risk is that the inclusion will be visible through the side and/or with the stone angled. Ask them about this and draw your own conclusion.

The VS2 BGD is the most expensive, but it's the safest bet. Probably a bit brighter than the ACA/WF, but (still probably) a bit less contrasted.

The ACA is also fine, as long as you are OK with I colour (it will look white at this size/quality of cut; it might just show some body colour through the side if set in a very open setting).

If money is no object, the VS2 BGD would be my pick. If you are more budget constrained and OK with I, then I would pick the ACA over the JA. The SI1 is still worth considering, but I would talk to BGD first to make sure it ticks all the "eye-clean" boxes that you want it to tick (not only face up, but through the side and when tilted).

Edited by davidelevi
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In the case of princesses, I actually like AGS better than GIA.  It’s kind of a low bar because GIA doesn’t have any sort of cut evaluation data.  None.  Table/depth simply doesn’t do it.  It’s like choosing a car based on tire size.  It’s not wrong, per se, and it works for ruling out serious outliers, but that’s about it.  If all you have is GIA data, you simply don't know anything about the cutting. 

IGI is even worse.  They give a cut grade, but then won’t say what it’s measuring.  There is no scale that makes any sense.  GIGO. 

That leaves AGS.  The problem here is how obscure they are.  They are something like 1% of the lab market.  If you’re picky about weight/clarity/color, which nearly everyone is, you don’t usually have all that many choices. 

FWIW, I love high crowns and small tables.  It causes more scintillation and fire.  To be fair, it brings down the face up surface area for a particular weight (a 1.00ct stones with a tall crown will look smaller than one with a giant table) so it depends on what you want, but I’m good with the tradeoff of size for sparkle.

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The customary criticism of AGS is that they’re soft on color in the midrange, GHI.  They’ll call a stone an H while GIA will call it an I.  I don’t actually agree with that, but even if you take it as a given, it’s not a deal killer because the tradeoff is cutting and price.  In terms of pricing, one color grade in your size range is about a $300 differential, as I'm sure you know.  On the other hand, AGS-0 cutting is not generated by accident.  It’s a deliberate look that cutters are deliberately aiming for.  It's extra work and they do it because premium cutting sells for a premium.  That differential is about $500-900. 

Notice that the JA one calls it ‘ideal’ cut, but then doesn’t back that up with anything at all.  They don’t say what the rules are, what the difference is between ideal and near-ideal or even ideal and crappy. Their tutorial loops it back to Marcel Tolkowski, who never saw a princess cut in his life, and a reference to AGS, who they overtly aren’t using.  They aren’t giving you any of the cut evaluation tools like the IS and ASET images that you know they CAN do simply from looking at their other advertising.  So why not this one?

 

Edited by denverappraiser
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Hey m8

"Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend and am very confused about advice received on diamonds from a local jewelry salesperson (in Australia)."

For what it's worth, if you're asking a local jeweller here in Aus about some diamonds that you found online, then be prepared to take their remarks with a grain of salt....;)

Like Furqan said, unless they've done a bit of research about American online retailers which use AGS to spruik their brand/cut, most people here haven't heard of AGS...but don't be put off by that if you find a stone you like.

Option 1 - I'm not a fan of black centre inclusions - you should be able to get a better SI1 than that

Option 2 - nice stone - - bit hard to tell in this video, but looks like main grade setting inclusions are a clear inclusion under the table and another clear inclusion near the girdle at the bottom. Total depth is 75.7%...personally I like a total depth of about 70-73%...but that's just being pedantic ^_^ 

Option 3 - nice stone - - safe clarity grade, but you need to decide if 2 colour grades up is worth the extra cost to you? Like Davide said, and I colour will face up nice and white in this size and with a nice make.

Option 4 - nice stone - - as above, is it worth paying more for a VS1 when you can get a nice SI1/VS2? Also, they're all much-of-a-muchness in mm size, so you're not gaining any real benefit for mm face-up size by going up a bit in carat weight - - the only real benefit of hitting the 0.80ct mark is bragging rights...which to some isn't an insignificant thing...I've never heard a women yet say "that diamond's too big"...:D

Overall, I have to agree with Davide, if you don't mind paying a bit more, I'd go for safe option 3. 

Ultimately, with Princess cuts (or any diamond really), it's about what is aesthetically pleasing to you (or more importantly her). For example, Neil said he likes small tables and high crowns...I prefer slightly larger tables. As you can see, there is no 'one size fits all'...so go with what you like, what you think she'll like, and what you can afford.

Hope this helps

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Edited by ADN
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Thanks for your responses everyone! It's much appreciated.

I am waiting to hear back from Brian Gavin about the 0.79 I SI1 stone to confirm it is eye clean from all angles. Myself and my partner don't care too much about the table inclusion as long as it's eye clean. We'll see what they say! *fingers crossed*

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