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carsonel

1.44c Round I color/VS1 vs. 1.40c Round I color/VVS2

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Hi everyone, 

I am looking to buy an engagement ring as I will be proposing in about two months. I am currently between two options and cannot decide which to pursue. The first is a 1.44 carat Round-cut I-color VS1 from Four Mine. (https://www.fourmine.com/shop/diamond/100W729361) The second is a 1.40 carat Round-cut I-color VVS2 from Zoara. (http://www.zoara.com/diamonds/p_round_excellent_cut_i_vvs2?utm_source=rarecarat&utm_medium=cpc#?p=8244659). 

Whichever I diamond I choose, the setting will be a four-prong solitaire in white gold or platinum. 

Overall, which diamond should I go for? Which will appear less "yellow?" My biggest concern is that a diamond in the I-color will appear yellow, which can be a turn-off. Should I instead look in the H-color range? Based on my own eye (very untrained), both of the diamonds look while, but I am here to solicit the opinion of the community as well. Taking a step back, are either of these good deals? Should I instead keep looking?

A third option could be this 1.42 carat I-color VS1 from Blue Nile: https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD10026519

My budget for the diamond is max $8400. 

Thank you so much in advance! I look forward to hearing your opinions. 

Edited by carsonel

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Before I even look at the links, my first recommendation is that you go out to your local (or not-so-local) jeweller and look at GIA/AGS graded diamonds in G, H, I and J colours; if you can "afford" the partial spoiling of the surprise, take your to-be-fiancée. Colour perception varies a lot from person to person, and not everybody prefers "pure white". In addition, the perception of colour through the top of a stone (which is what you normally see) will be very different from the perception of colour through the side (which is how they are graded), and you may be very surprised at the difference cut makes.

Do NOT rely on colour charts or photos - certainly not on single photos taken with different methods by different people for different purposes (normally to show inclusions and symmetry of pattern).

If you are shopping for VS1 and above based on charts you have seen on various sites to illustrate what a VS2 or SI1 looks like, such as this one:

Image result for diamond clarity chart

treat is as a joke; it bears no connection to what diamonds look like.

This said, and now looking at the links: none of the three make me scream "this one! this one!", but if I were to make a choice only among these three I'd pick the 1.44; I think you'd find the combination of crown and pavilion angles on the other two relatively dark.

I do think you can do better - so, my question is: how did you land on these three? There are literally hundreds of possible candidates.

Edited by davidelevi
added para re: clarity

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Davide, 

Thank you for your reply. I have been to a local jeweler to see all of the "near colorless" colors in person, but quite honestly do not trust myself when looking at them online. Unfortunately, I do not want to spoil the surprise, so it is largely up to me and friends/family that provide their opinions as well. Regarding the possible candidates, I know there are many out there, and quite honestly I chose the 3 that looked best to me (albeit I am not very educated in this field). You mentioned crown/pavilion combinations. This is something I have been looking into recently, and cannot find a solid recommendation on a range for both parameters. It seems as though everyone has a different opinion. What is a range for these, respectively, in your opinion?

Once again, thank you so much for all of the help.  

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Well, whether you can or cannot see the difference between H and I online is not particularly relevant. You have a lab report for that. The interesting question is whether you can see the difference between H and I in reality - and in realistic circumstances for an engagement ring (i.e. set stone, observed from the top through the table). If you cannot do so at a a jeweller, having both stones loose and next to each other, the chances of being able to "see colour" when the stone is set and by itself is tiny. If you see a huge difference... well, it's definitely more likely. Most people in my experience see a well cut I as colourless unless it's a fairly large stone and it's observed "through the side".

Crown and pavilion angles are the most critical information in a round... however providing ranges is relatively useless: to some extent you can compensate a steep pavilion with a shallow crown and vice-versa but all the proportions need to work (a large table and a steep crown are not to my taste for example). What you need to figure out is which combinations work well for you: I tend to like pavilion angles between 40.6 and 41.0 and crown angles between 33.0 and 36.0, but there are exceptions, and again that's me.

Perhaps this article by GIA - although a bit long in the tooth - may be useful: http://diamondcut.gia.edu/pdf/cut_fall2004.pdf

Edited by davidelevi
Fixed typo (two "see" in last sentence of 1st para)

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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That makes a ton of sense. I will keep looking in the coming days and update the thread if I find new options. Thank you so much for the insight and advice. 

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I found some others that I really like and would love to hear opinions on as well. Here they are:

1) 1.46 carat, Round Excellent Cut I-color/VS1- https://www.fourmine.com/shop/diamond/422993821?utm_source=rarecarat&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=2017

2) 1.41 carat, Round Excellent Cut I-color/VVS2 - https://www.fourmine.com/shop/diamond/56841?utm_source=rarecarat&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=2017 - no video provided here. I have requested one

Both match the crown/pavilion angles that davidelevi recommended. I would love to hear opinions/suggestions between all of these. Am I on the right track or should I be focusing my search on different criteria?

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I like both of the last two more than any of the first three. Whether that means anything for you really depends on your priorities. For example - the 1.46 will face up visibly larger than the 1.41, but the 1.41 seems to be cut a bit more symmetrically (judging from the single still photo available) and with a combination of crown/pavilion angles that I prefer.

Personally I'd go for a lot lower clarity (VS2/SI1, or even SI2 if I trust the vendor to tell me whether it's eye-clean!) but go for a top-of-the line cut; these are both higher clarity but "only" 90% there on cut - however there is nothing wrong with preferring clarity.


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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I wanted to update the thread with other possible diamonds. What about this one: https://parcelandstone.com/diamond/Round/1.41-carat-H-color-VS2-clarity-stockNo-180096-242/

There is a feather in it, but Parcel and Stone's rep claims it is eye-clean. Would this be eye clean in real life? Can I trust them? Their explanation was "if it is a VS2, then it will be eye-clean." That was not very confidence inspiring. 

Second option: https://www.fourmine.com/shop/diamond/180096-235

This one looks great to me, but should I avoid the 61% table? According to the GIA, the 2nd diamond's proportions would qualify as an excellent cut. Source: https://www.gia.edu/doc/booklet_cut_estimation_tables_lowres.pdf

Would love input from the community. Thanks!

Edited by carsonel

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I'm not a fan of the look of either of these two - I don't like flat crowns and large tables, but that's a personal preference and there are plenty of people who do; going out and looking at similar stones (and those with higher crowns) is the only way to find if you do. Forced to choose between these two, I'd pick the VS2.

Even though the reply on clarity may seem glib, it's fairly true: pretty much all VS2 are eye clean, though sometimes a small black crystal is visible at some angle. The feather is easily visible.... from the back/side in a 20x video!


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Paper-wise it looks fine; top 1 or 2 of the stones we discussed in this thread for proportions. Nice spread with a decently symmetrical pattern and without an overly large table (for my taste).

You do realise that part of the low(er) price is due to fluorescence? It will have next to no effect on looks, but it does make it harder to sell (or re-sell!), hence the discount.

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Yes, I totally understand that it is due to the fluorescence. I also know that fluorescence is not a big deal in terms of appearance, which is why I am not taking that part of the diamond into account. Overall, I think the stone is of great proportions and very nicely priced, which I am not complaining about. So no concerns about it?

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Unless your main priority is to say "I got you a full carat and a half", I'd go with the 1.40 from Zoara.

1. The extra weight (and money) gains you nothing in terms of size, since it's all gone in the girdle. 0.04 mm is not going to be visible without tools.

2. Strong fluorescence may (in very rare cases) give a hazy or milky appearance to the stone in sunlight. It definitely will impair your ease of reselling or even trading in the stone.

3.  The "very good" symmetry is actually visible in a significantly less symmetrical pattern in the high magnification video. This is not necessarily a minus for everybody, but it does bother me a bit in a modern round with aspirations to "ideal cut".


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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