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RWX

The Perfect 3 Carat Hunt

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Petrified newbie here, looking for some help.  The backstory - I've getting ready to propose, and one of the earlier talks with my lady was that we're doing a 3 carat engagement ring.  Fine.  I've done fairly well for myself, I can afford it, and I start looking for something in the $40k range on Blue Nile, G/H around VS1/VS2.  Then, the other day, I make the mistake of taking her to Cartier as part of New Year's shopping.  While buying some other things, she glances over at the diamonds on offer, and is struck by how particularly sparkly they looked.  Strike's up a conversation with one of the staff, and before I know it she's been informed that VSS1/VSS2 and D through F are what the best diamonds are, that's why those diamonds in the display sparkle so much, blah blah blah.  Soooo... I'm now still looking for something 3 carat, but now it has to be a VSS and an D/E/F 😂.

Obviously, the price just jumped up dramatically.  Aside from wanting to jump out of the (second story) building, I'm now petrified given the very high expense of these super-expensive stones that I might be overlooking something else.  I've read up on fluorescence, depth/table, etc., but still was hoping for a bit of hand-holding from some of the experts here!  In particular, I've found found this particularly nice diamond for an 'affordable' $70k or so on B2C: https://www.b2cjewels.com/dd/12107975/round-diamond-F-color-VVS2-Clarity?sku=12107975.

For me, this is particularly time-sensitive since these large stones only have a 10-day return policy, and I'm potentially flying back from China (prices here are CRAZY) to the States to look at this diamond, do a second independent appraisal, blah blah.  Timing's gonna be tight.  Is there anything else in particular besides the basics (the four C's, etc.) that I should look out for and beware of, and what else should I be asking for before taking the plunge?  I've seen some terms like IdealScope and what not thrown around; is this I should be pushing for?  Thanks so much in advance!

If anyone has some hot tips on large diamonds like this in general (or have good access), I'd love to chat as well 😂.

Diamond 2191800763.jpg

Edited by RWX

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I"m pretty sure B2C doesn't have a location you can go to to look at stones and high-end things like this probably aren't in inventory.  This is true of just about everyone by the way. It's part of the reason Cartier costs more. That means there's a 3rd party involved that needs to ship and it makes FedEx a 4th party. If you're trying to dance along a delicate timeline, be careful. There are quite a few things that can go wrong. They are usually pretty picky about what address they ship to for example.  You can't just use a friends house and don't expect it to happen overnight.  Be sure to talk to them about your logistical issues. I'm sure it's solvable, but it's not just a matter of clicking 'buy it now'. 

My understanding is that part of the reason diamonds are so expensive in China has to do with an import tax.  Be prepared to get hit with this unless you want to engage in smuggling. 


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 for the advice, Neil.  I think you are spot on w/r/t the timing, that's one of the things that makes me a bit uneasy about how tight the timing is.  One of my friends is trying to get me to look at some things from the retailers in the Bay Area that he's tight with, but the pricing difference, oof.  I'll be sure to emphasize the logistical issues.

All luxury items in China are subject to an import tax, but in practice there's a personal use exemption and it's only really applied when you are bringing in large quantities of things for resale.  That's why so many rich Chinese people go on massive Gucci/LV/bag shopping sprees in general when they go on overseas trips.  Thanks for looking out though!

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In terms of diamonds, what you linked is probably fine.  Idealscopes, ASETs, GCALs, H&A, et.al. are ways that people go about trying to subdivide the GIA-excellent cut grade.  There's much debate about how effective that is. Excellent covers a lot of ground.  I do sort of like the reflectors but there's no short way to explain how to analyze them and the majority of jewelers don't use it.  GIAs explanation for the big range is that there's a big range of what people like and they're trying to be encompassing.  It's opening a giant issue that it sounds like you aren't eager to do. 

Chances are decent that your jeweler in SF can get the same stones as what you're seeing online.  They will, of course, want a markup for their trouble but you may want to simply show them the ad from B2C or whoever and ask them about it.  Alternatively, ask B2C what they suggest for the logistics.  There's a big sale hanging on it and they should be willing to put some work into making something happen. In the past, for example, I have had vendors ship to my office where I meet the client.  You may be able to find a SF based appraiser (or wherever it is that you are going) who could cooperate.  


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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By the way, VVS is NOT why the diamonds in the cases sparkle. That has to do with the cutting and the lighting, not necessarily in that order.  

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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I got the ASET/Idealscope/Hearts images, how do these look?  My eye is obviously laughably inexperienced, but from the internet research I've been doing I'm getting the feeling that this is a bit towards the lower end of what an 'excellent' cut should be w/r/t light leakages.  Thoughts, anyone?  Thanks so much!

291219706_12107975-Hearts.jpg.2b4c288ee96298d81dbdea613f6eccc8.jpg1056209036_12107975-ASET.jpg.5840a603bcb7a4b06ec1dd7496cce689.jpg1506692465_12107975-Idealscope.jpg.dd8e0d9edfb4f660121b6c26b0ccb07a.jpg

Edited by RWX

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OK, I think I found my truly 'perfect' three carat.  I managed to convince her (quite correctly, as @denverappraiser pointed out), that the cut was what mattered the most, so it was worth it to spend more time hunting for a better cut even if the clarity was just a teeensy bit lower (VS1 instead of VVS).  By dropping to VS1, I found this below beauty.  It seems to have superb light performance, and is almost identical to the first one I posted save for being VS1 instead of VVS2... and it's actually $7k cheaper!  Gonna talk a bit of shop and do some negotiating, esp. with regards to timing, but it's looking like a keeper!

1583276624_12175297-Aset.jpg.5f92e4e78e1ee6099a5ad9de80067a82.jpg1371800495_12175297-Idealscope.jpg.18162ce894ed052db20229a620d19434.jpg

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As long as the two images were taken by the same people using the same techniques... the second is better than the first (which I would say is much closer to an "average" excellent than a dreadful one, BTW). Be careful if you are comparing across vendors - not everyone is skilled at taking these images, and not everyone does it the same way.


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

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