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Choosing a diamond from three round, 1.2 carat options


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I am hoping to get some advice about three diamonds that I am considering for an engagement ring. Mainly, will they be eye clean? Is H significantly better than J in these cases? And is it possible to get information about their light performance without the ASET images? Also for 1) does it matter that it is not certified by GIA? Any other thoughts about the diamonds would be great as well

Also in general, I guess I want to know if the prices seem reasonable and/or if anyone has any tips on getting discounts or points from buying from James Allen?

1) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...h-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4841723

2) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3528931

3) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4442568

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Answering your questions in the order in which you have asked them:

The only sure way of evaluating eye-cleanness is to see the diamond in person - not least because there isn't a commonly agreed definition of eye-clean: some people mean the inclusion has to be invisible from all angles at a relatively close distance, others mean invisible through the table to a typical "casual" observation distance (say 2 feet/60 cm).

FWIW, looking at the videos/photos, I think all three would be considered "clean" by most - however, the 1.20/J is the best (from that point of view), and the 1.22/J the worst.

H or J will not make any difference to the clarity/eye-cleanness; whether one is "worse" than the other as a colour depends very much on your personal taste: I know people who prefer J to H, but the most common case is people preferring H to J, which is why H is more expensive.

You can get some idea of light performance by looking the videos; they aren't ideal for comparison, in as much as 1) you never see the stones together and 2) although JA does a better than average job at providing "standardised" conditions for their videos, they aren't totally standard. Same applies to ASET images: they may provide some more (or more easily interpreted) information, but they are far from standardised and because of this comparison of stones is more difficult than it seems.

The IGI Antwerp report is fine as far as colour/clarity; it may be a little softer than GIA, but I doubt GIA would have called the stone I1 (which is a much bigger deal than calling it "I"). They don't provide a cut grade, but all three stones are very well cut - as far as it can be assessed on paper.

All three prices are no longer displayed since someone (you?) has the stones on hold. In general JA is reasonable if not rock-bottom on prices (and they do provide more information than the average internet seller). Unless you have a proof of the same diamond being advertised for a significantly lower price somewhere else (it can happen), I doubt they'd negotiate, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

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Thank you so much for the response! It's really helpful to have someone with more experience look at this :)

For the 1.2 J, should I be concerned that the clouds are not marked on the GIA report? I think my larger question is simply related to cut and clarity. As I am looking at these three diamonds, I'm not really sure what trade-offs I am making choosing between them in terms of the cut or the type and placement of inclusions. Like you said, it also might just be something I have to see in person. 


I definitely prefer a colorless stone to one with a warmer tint, so if all else was equal I would go with the H.

As for the prices, yes sorry I have them on hold. They are all the same though $5,200 so it is more a matter of deciding between them (or finding something else if that seems unreasonable).

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What is interesting here is the difference of opinions;  I think #2, the 1.20 JSI2 is the worst because that glatz (feather) is so large and crosses into the table.  The 1.22 JSI2 has imperfections that are closer to the edges and while looking more impressive on the video, could be mostly covered by prongs leaving a nicer looking stone.  I'm not keen on the IGI stone for somewhat of the same reason as #3.  I don't like large glatzes near the table.

Ultimately you need to see the stones live.  Short of that, ask the vendor to send you a close up video of the three stones side by side and then you can actually pick which looks better of the three.



Edited by LaurentGeorge
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Assuming the images have been taken using similar care, #2 is better than #3 - I would not call #3's IS image "good". Bear in mind that (in my opinion) the amount of information conveyed by an idealscope image is quite limited - I'd rather trust the video.

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I still think #2 is the winner of the three options.  The fallacy is the belief there is always a better stone out there.  If you purchase this one and don't like it in person, you have the option to return it.  If you decide to keep searching, there is a chance this one may slip away and nothing better might show up. 

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48 minutes ago, diamondhunter148 said:

Ah I see, thank you!

So in looking at them now (and knowing they are all the same price), is there one you would pick (or eliminate)? Or would you look for something else?

I would rather look for a new mountain bike.

Kidding aside - and my agreement with the spirit (and the choice) of Laurent's latest post notwithstanding - to tell you whether to look for something else or not we'd need to know what is important to you.

For example, I would probably rather go for something like this: https://www.b2cjewels.com/dd/8767298/round-diamond-I-color-VS2-Clarity?sku=8767298&utm_source=diamondreview.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=diamondreview.com

which however may be out of your search space because it's "too small" (and possibly too expensive?), or something like this:


which may again be out of your search space because of the uncertainty of buying an SI2 without images - however Brian can very likely get you images... and I do privilege cut above pretty much anything else.

(Note: I'm picking two "almost random" diamonds just to make the point)

Edited by davidelevi
Corrected "pick" from No. 1 to No. 2 - I confused them!
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Thanks for the suggestions!

What do you think of this one? The change in color would be significant, which worries me, but it would be a better cut?


It's important to me that the diamond is 1.18 carats or greater. It is also important that the diamond looks colorless in a yellow gold setting and that it sparkles and has fire. I think I would be okay with a mark on the diamond if it brought it to within my budget which is $5000 as long as it doesn't make the diamond look cloudy.

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This stone will look yellow regardless of what metal it is being set in.  You are making some drastic swings in your choices.  That said, you just gave us your best guidance in your last paragraph.


Here is a search that should yield some good candidates:



Edited by LaurentGeorge
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