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rock8378

on the hunt for the perfect emerald

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Hi there! I'm looking for any advice on shopping for an emerald cut.

I have a budget of $75K and I'm looking for a 2.80-3.5 carat, D-G, IF-VS1, with a 1:1.5 ratio. The search for the perfect loose emerald has me feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Below I've included a few photos of rings that I have tried on. I included a photo of a ring with a setting that I absolutely love. 

IMG_4982.jpeg.d447e114f84bdffda20f5efbf5d997d8.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_45d7.jpeg

IMG_4987.jpeg

Edited by rock8378

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Hi there, welcome to Diamond Review!

For what it's worth, here are my four pieces of generic advice:

1. Don't obsess over letters and numbers. They are important to establish a fair price, but that's where their usefulness ends: there are beautiful M/SI2 and ugly D/IF stones, and there are a lot more "numbers" that make an emerald cut than the 3 or 4 you find on a lab report.

2. Trust your eyes and your "heart" (OK, brain cortex and limbic system, actually, but never mind) - especially in direct comparisons. If possible, see the stones in person, and if not establish clear rules for penalty-free returns.

3. Buy the difference you can see. D to G and FL to VS1 will all look white and eye-clean. There is no scientific reason to set a grade boundary between (say) D and E where it is, and neither is there a scientific reason to set a magnification of 10x for calling a stone "flawless" or VVS1.

4. Choose the dealer before you choose the stone. Many of the diamonds for sale are available to many retailers, but (in my experience at least), the advice quality and level of service vary a lot between one retailer and another.

Apologies if this is too generic to be of help - do tell us more about what you want assistance with!


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

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I"m going to give the same answer with a slightly different take.  2.80-3.50/D-G/IF-VS1/GIA/emerald cut has 399 offers just in the database here. Prices range from $30k-$135k.  That's a factor of 4 range.  340 of them are under your budget.  

You need to zero in a bit, and the first step is to put some thought into how you landed on that range in the first place.  In terms of pricing, your biggest issues are over/under 3.0 and if you're serious about that 'D' and/or 'IF'.  Every step matters.

I would abbreviate Davides list above although I fundamentally agree with it. Start by choosing a dealer, not by choosing a range of grades for the online databases. There'll be time for that later. The problem is that hardly one carries this sort of thing in stock, including the internet folks, and this becomes a special order project if you want to be even remotely picky. That makes the dealer your ally in the hunt rather than an opponent to be pitted against their competitors.   There are variables that I can pretty much guarantee you haven't come across, like the number of steps on the pavilion and the shape of the corners that have a big effect on the look of the final stone.  Some (like those two) aren't even mentioned on the GIA document.  

https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Emrl&fCaratLo=2.80&fCaratHi=3.50&fColorLo=D&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=FL&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=75000

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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1 hour ago, denverappraiser said:

What does Sotheby's have to do with it?

I had been working with a dealer in Hong Kong for a vintage emerald cut and that's when I found the twist ring I attached above! 

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9 hours ago, davidelevi said:

Hi there, welcome to Diamond Review!

For what it's worth, here are my four pieces of generic advice:

1. Don't obsess over letters and numbers. They are important to establish a fair price, but that's where their usefulness ends: there are beautiful M/SI2 and ugly D/IF stones, and there are a lot more "numbers" that make an emerald cut than the 3 or 4 you find on a lab report.

2. Trust your eyes and your "heart" (OK, brain cortex and limbic system, actually, but never mind) - especially indirect comparisons. If possible, see the stones in person, and if not establish clear rules for penalty-free returns.

3. Buy the difference you can see. D to G and FL to VS1 will all look white and eye-clean. There is no scientific reason to set a grade boundary between (say) D and E where it is, and neither is there a scientific reason to set a magnification of 10x for calling a stone "flawless" or VVS1.

4. Choose the dealer before you choose the stone. Many of the diamonds for sale are available to many retailers, but (in my experience at least), the advice quality and level of service vary a lot between one retailer and another.

Apologies if this is too generic to be of help - do tell us more about what you want assistance with!

No, thank you so much! This was extremely helpful. I'm based in LA and I've been speaking to a few jewelers in Hong Kong (Hong Kong for tax benefits and also because I commute often for work) and NY. Do you have any recommendations in picking a great dealer besides for warranty and customer service? There are so many jewelers and it's overwhelming. 

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13 minutes ago, rock8378 said:

I had been working with a dealer in Hong Kong for a vintage emerald cut and that's when I found the twist ring I attached above! 

It's a cool ring, but what does it have to do with the current deal? Are you looking to make a ring like that?  That's not an easy job, but there are certainly jewelers who could do that.  It doesn't really have much to do with the details on the center diamond in any case.

 


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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1 minute ago, denverappraiser said:

It's a cool ring, but what does it have to do with the current deal? Are you looking to make a ring like that?  That's not an easy job, but there are certainly jewelers who could do that.  It doesn't really have much to do with the details on the center diamond in any case.

 

I want to find a jeweler who can find the best center stone and can also design a setting similar to the design. Sorry for the confusion. 

You mentioned in an earlier post about other variables such as the number of steps on the pavilion and the shapes of the corners. Could you please elaborate or guide me to other resources to help expand my understanding of emeralds? Thank you so much for your time. Please bear with me. I have no idea what to look for. 

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The tax benefit goes away if you report things to customs, and if you don’t report, you have the potential for other problems.  It is possible, and people do it all the time, but it is illegal.  Just sayin’.

Davide works for a jeweler in NYC.  He’s too polite to plug himself but there are links in the signature block at the bottom of every one of his posts.

Who is ‘best’ will depend to a large degree on what you want.  For example, I’ve linked above 399 stones that meet your requirements. There’s obviously a pricing question that’s going to come up but, in practice, most of those stones will be available at any jeweler you want.

I’m not an uninvolved observer either (I’m an appraiser), but what I look for in a jeweler is pretty straightforward:

1)      The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  If you get a feeling that they’re hiding things or filtering details based on criteria other than yours, move on.

2)      They know. There are a shocking number of uneducated jewelers out there. It continuously amazes me how many think there’s nothing important beyond what appears on the GIA reports.  Not everyone knows everything and it’s fair for them to do research, but if you get a feeling that they don’t know and just don’t care, move on.  By the way, don’t be shocked if they ask for a deposit. It costs money to bring in stones to show you and it takes time to talk to you. They deserve to be paid.

3)      Terms and conditions vary and they get difficult in your price range.  Mostly it’s not about credit cards for example. Read the T&C carefully. Plan on getting it appraised by an independent appraiser (not their guy and not a competitive seller) and you should have the right to return it if this goes badly. This often causes stress with sellers on expensive items and there is often time pressure.  Compare their answers to this question.

4)      You haven’t answered the questions of your objectives and what that swirl ring has to do with it, but that’s not an easy job. Not everyone is prepared to make that and not everyone will tell you if it’s outside their skill set. That may or may not matter to where you buy the diamond but that’s a complicated job.  Look at their work.  You’re fishing for talent over price here.

5)      Search their reputations, both online and with friends. If they don’t have any footprints, move on. As you point out, there are a lot of jewelers out there.

To your other question.  Your cell phone (a rectangle with blunted corners) and a stop sign (an octagon) are both emerald cuts.  The look is very different. Most ECs have 4 pavilion mains. That’s the A few have 5 or even 6, some have only 3.  It’s not that one is better than the other, or even more expensive, it’s that they’re different. Do you have a preference? If you don’t even know the question, you’ll never know the answer, and the way you get these questions is from talking to the salespeople and by looking at stones.

  • Like 1

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 just noticed that contact information is no longer in the footers.  Hmm. There seems to be no way to know who you're talking to. 

Davide is:
http://www.diamondsbylauren.com/

Mine is http://www.gemlab.us

 


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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@denverappraiser Thank you for the help. The footers/signatures seem to have reappeared in the meantime, though yours has gained a couple of extra spaces in it... 

5 hours ago, rock8378 said:

Do you have any recommendations in picking a great dealer besides for warranty and customer service? 

Not much to add to Neil's list - in fact, my main criterion in areas where I collect/buy stuff as a consumer has always been "can I trust this person", and aside from a moderate amount of politeness, the objective attributes of "trust" are the first two of Neil's criteria: do they know what they are talking about, and are they honest.

  • Like 1

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

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Hi Fellas!

Sorry to bother you again. I'm considering purchasing an emerald online and was hoping you guys can help me understand what to look for. 

How can I tell if an emerald is going to give me great brilliance/fire/scintillation?

For example, this ring listed on James Allen shows black (please excuse my verbiage, I'm doing my best to explain what I see). Does this mean the light is trapped in the ring due to its poor cut? 

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/3.02-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-5751653

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6 hours ago, rock8378 said:

How can I tell if an emerald is going to give me great brilliance/fire/scintillation?

The only reliable method is by looking at it in the context of other similar stones. The eyes doing the looking may be yours or those of a trusted expert - which could also be the seller.

Beyond this "observation [by proxy]", there aren't many shortcuts: the geometry of emerald cuts does not lend itself to relatively simple recipes such as "check these two numbers and it will most likely be OK", and most of the relevant numbers (such as pavilion angles) are not on a lab report and require someone to perform a 3D scan of the diamond to measure them with precision.

Once you have someone that is prepared to do that, they have the diamond in hand, and you or they might as well do the only test that matters: see it.

6 hours ago, rock8378 said:

For example, this ring listed on James Allen shows black (please excuse my verbiage, I'm doing my best to explain what I see). Does this mean the light is trapped in the ring due to its poor cut? 

I wouldn't phrase it like that, but yes, that stone exhibits what could be called "extreme contrast": it goes from almost completely black to almost completely white within a few degrees of observation. The extent to which this is an artefact of the setup (camera and lighting positions) and the extent to which this phenomenon would be present in a "real world" observation remains to be determined, which is why I am hesitant to call it a "poor cut". It definitely doesn't perform well under the video-taking conditions.


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

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34 minutes ago, Sumsum said:

this one have better light return

And a 50% higher price... which may or may not be acceptable.


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

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It's within the OP's declared budget of $75k, but it's significantly more than the other one - which may have been picked precisely because it's $40k. $20k is not pocket money to 99.99% of people. That's all I'm pointing out.


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

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