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highlander

Opinions on these diamonds pls - which is better cut

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Looking at cut alone, they are all gorgeous.  If I absolutely had to pick, I would put #1 and #3 in front of #2, but I'm splitting hairs.  I only do this because of the pav angle and I am not saying #2 is bad, just that the other two might be better.  What you really should do is have the vendors show you the stones side by side (video or live is best) so you can decide which look you prefer as that is the ultimate determinant.

 


Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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...not Laurent, but (as often happens) very much in agreement with his assessment. I wouldn't say girdle thickness is an issue, but:

1. You may want to check (and/or post) more information than the proportions diagram, specifically the diameter and weight of the stones (and - why not - even the price: larger facing stones tend to go for a premium...).

2. Seeing the stone(s) in the flesh, or at least in a video, dominates any pseudo-theoretical concerns over an extra 0.5% girdle thickness, 0.1 mm diameter or 0.2° pavilion angle.


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

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1 hour ago, davidelevi said:

...not Laurent, but (as often happens) very much in agreement with his assessment. I wouldn't say girdle thickness is an issue, but:

1. You may want to check (and/or post) more information than the proportions diagram, specifically the diameter and weight of the stones (and - why not - even the price: larger facing stones tend to go for a premium...).

2. Seeing the stone(s) in the flesh, or at least in a video, dominates any pseudo-theoretical concerns over an extra 0.5% girdle thickness, 0.1 mm diameter or 0.2° pavilion angle.

Thanks Davide, 

1 is 1.24 carat, dimensions 6.85 - 6.90 x 4.25mm 

2 is 1.3 carat, dimensions 6.91 - 6.95 x 4.31mm 

3 is 1.3 carat, dimensions 7.01 - 7.04 x 4.33m 

Seeing all the stones in the flesh isn't possible currently.  I'm UK based and 1 is from a local jeweller needless to say it's significantly pricier than the other 2 (with comparable criteria H, VS1 & VAT and duty factored in) which are from the online sites where I have tried to find cuts close to the local jewellers.  

 

Edited by highlander

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You will just about see the difference in size between the stones loose and next to each other - and you may just about be able to tell the largest from the smallest without having them next to each other. Once set, I doubt you or anyone else would be able to tell.

Given all the info above, I'd say - assuming #2 and #3 are more or less the same price and that there are no differences in finish (polish & symmetry) or fluorescence:

#2 is dominated by the other two.

#1 has the significant advantage that you can see it, offset by a higher price.

#3 may well be the most interesting one on paper, given a small advantage on size; it's extremely unlikely to be a dud, but whether you'd prefer that one to #1 is impossible to say.


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

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10 hours ago, davidelevi said:

:

#2 is dominated by the other two.

 

Thanks Davide, can I ask why 2 is dominated by the others?  It would help me to understand what to look for while I am searching

Edited by highlander

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Because it has very good proportions, but not as nice as either of them (at least for me; I prefer a slightly shallower pavilion angle than 41° - sight unseen; I reserve the right to change my mind if and when I see the diamonds), and it's not larger than #3. Unless it's cheaper, in which case you may have just turned a perfectly good dilemma into a trilemma... 😉

Edited by davidelevi

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

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31 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

Because it has very good proportions, but not as nice as either of them (at least for me; I prefer a slightly shallower pavilion angle than 41° - sight unseen; I reserve the right to change my mind if and when I see the diamonds), and it's not larger than #3. Unless it's cheaper, in which case you may have just turned a perfectly good dilemma into a trilemma... 😉

Well prices are

1 - £10.5k

2 - £7.9k

3 - £8.8k (but is VVS2 other 2 are VS1)

It might be academic anyway local jeweller has said if I supply the diamond he won't take any responsibility for damage which may occur in the setting of the stone, apparently this is normal practice in UK.  While I don't mind buying a stone off a website, I'm less keen to do the setting that way as gf has a bespoke setting in mind

Edited by highlander

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FWIW, for £900 I may be tempted to go for #2, then... but I'm a cheapskate. 😉

"No responsibility for stones not supplied by us" is fairly normal practice not just in the UK, but anywhere in the world, as far as I know, unless you make a living basically by producing items of jewellery for which the customer supplies the main stones. Chances of anything happening are remote, but I understand the concern; what's more, I don't know anyone in the UK that will insure a loose stone owned by a consumer against that sort of thing, even though they will insure complete items of jewellery.

There is a workaround: getting the ring set in the US by the stone vendor (I assume that's where the other two stones are being sold from) on the cheapest possible setting, insure that against (theft,) loss or damage, and then get the setting changed to the one you want in the UK. At that point the diamond should be insured, though it's worth checking with the insurance company before you get on with the rigmarole.

The other workaround involves using someone in the US (again assuming...) that can do custom work to your design. There are plenty of such people. If you go down either "workaround" path, remember to cost in an extra 2.5% of duty since loose diamonds are not dutiable, but mounted ones are, although you may be surprised at the declared value on the customs declaration... 😉

Edited by davidelevi

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

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Thanks Davide, that information is really helpful as I am struggling to justify the local jeweller price.  For the sort of money they are asking I could buy a 1.4 carat, H, VS1 Brian Gavin signature cut stone

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Would they budge on the stone price, given that you can provide evidence that nice diamonds can be had for a fair bit less?

Incidentally, a 20-25% premium for a high street store vs. an internet-based retailer is not unreasonable. At the end of the day, even setting aside such things as differences in tax and labour costs between the US and the UK, street-level premises open to the public on a high street cost a lot more than offices in a business park.


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

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:26 AM, highlander said:

Thanks Davide, that information is really helpful as I am struggling to justify the local jeweller price.  For the sort of money they are asking I could buy a 1.4 carat, H, VS1 Brian Gavin signature cut stone

I don't doubt that Brian is cheaper but bear in mind that the local jeweler is probably including VAT and maybe local taxes and Brian does not.  You'll have to pay those at the time of import and it's only fair to include it in your math. 


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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6 minutes ago, denverappraiser said:

I don't doubt that Brian is cheaper but bear in mind that the local jeweler is probably including VAT and maybe local taxes and Brian does not.  You'll have to pay those at the time of import and it's only fair to include it in your math. 

Yes I've added VAT etc onto the cost of the Brian Gavin diamond for the purposes of the comparison thanks

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The local jeweller has provided an alternative diamond which is closer in price to the diamonds I had found online above. 

 

Assuming the new diamond is eye clean (I am waiting on confirmation of this) could someone explain the implications of the cut of this diamond not being as good as the ones above that I detailed earlier.

As I understand it both the table and the pavilion angle of the new diamond are outside the range you would look for in a well cut diamond.  How would this manifest itself in terms of performance of the diamond?  Thanks in advance for your help

 

2019-11-20 (3).png

2019-11-20 (2).png

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Why didn't they provide the whole report?  Several important line items are missing. Are you confident it's otherwise comparable?

(I"ll leave it to others write on the question of the proportion)

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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The theory (supported by a fair amount of empirical evidence) says that this diamond will look less bright and lively because of the steep(er) pavilion. Table is fine - my personal preference is for a narrower table and a higher crown, but by and large the "crown" part of the diamond is absolutely OK.

You may want to read through this - it's a bit old (and the GIA site seems to be undergoing maintenance, so a lot of stuff doesn't work as it should), but it is a good article on cut and more importantly it illustrates the visual differences between some of the cut parameters: https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2004-grading-cut-quality-brilliant-diamond-moses

FWIW, sight unseen I would not recommend you go for this one, if it costs about the same as the other "US-based" diamonds we looked at. If the only "downgrade" had been the clarity, provided it remained eye-clean, I would have called it not a bad trade off: not too many people are going to look at the diamond with a loupe and see the inclusions. But the cut is - in my opinion, and repeat sight unseen - quite significantly compromised, and that will be much more noticeable.

On the other hand, a report is not necessarily telling the whole truth, and there are diamonds with 41.4° pavilions that look quite nice - would your local jeweller be prepared to organise a comparative viewing of the two diamonds? That will tell you whether:

1. You can see the difference. If not, it doesn't matter.
2. The difference is enough for you to discard the "worse cut" of the two - no point in buying something that you really don't like or you are going to forever regret buying
3. The difference in performance/cost between the poorer cut and the better cut is such that you are willing to go through the more inconvenient route and/or prepared to pay the premium to the local jeweller

Take a look at the pictures here - this is more of a discussion of the HCA, but it does illustrate the difference in pavilion angles and how some stones may look rather dark when they have steep pavilions. https://www.goodoldgold.com/hca-consumers-guide


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

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2 hours ago, denverappraiser said:

Why didn't they provide the whole report?  Several important line items are missing. Are you confident it's otherwise comparable?

(I"ll leave it to others write on the question of the proportion)

Thanks denverappraiser, I have the full report.  The screenshots are just the bits I thought relevant.  If you would like to see other parts please let me know.

32 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

The theory (supported by a fair amount of empirical evidence) says that this diamond will look less bright and lively because of the steep(er) pavilion. Table is fine - my personal preference is for a narrower table and a higher crown, but by and large the "crown" part of the diamond is absolutely OK.

You may want to read through this - it's a bit old (and the GIA site seems to be undergoing maintenance, so a lot of stuff doesn't work as it should), but it is a good article on cut and more importantly it illustrates the visual differences between some of the cut parameters: https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2004-grading-cut-quality-brilliant-diamond-moses

FWIW, sight unseen I would not recommend you go for this one, if it costs about the same as the other "US-based" diamonds we looked at. If the only "downgrade" had been the clarity, provided it remained eye-clean, I would have called it not a bad trade off: not too many people are going to look at the diamond with a loupe and see the inclusions. But the cut is - in my opinion, and repeat sight unseen - quite significantly compromised, and that will be much more noticeable.

On the other hand, a report is not necessarily telling the whole truth, and there are diamonds with 41.4° pavilions that look quite nice - would your local jeweller be prepared to organise a comparative viewing of the two diamonds? That will tell you whether:

1. You can see the difference. If not, it doesn't matter.
2. The difference is enough for you to discard the "worse cut" of the two - no point in buying something that you really don't like or you are going to forever regret buying
3. The difference in performance/cost between the poorer cut and the better cut is such that you are willing to go through the more inconvenient route and/or prepared to pay the premium to the local jeweller

Take a look at the pictures here - this is more of a discussion of the HCA, but it does illustrate the difference in pavilion angles and how some stones may look rather dark when they have steep pavilions. https://www.goodoldgold.com/hca-consumers-guide

Thanks again for the detailed information Davide, I will have a look at the links you have provided and consider the points you raised.

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What I was looking for was the plotting diagram and fluorescence. Neither is related to what you asked, but fluorescence can have a big effect on price and since price is your big topic, it seems relevant.  Just post the link to the site on GIA for the whole report.   


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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Davide said was I was thinking.  The combination of he steeper PA and the slightly wider table will likely result in a darker looking center.  Judging only on the proportions, I would steer clear of this stone in favor of the others.


Laurent George
Diamond Ideals
New York City

www.diamondideals.com
212-207-4845
laurent@diamondideals.com

 

 

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On 11/15/2019 at 10:45 AM, davidelevi said:

 

"No responsibility for stones not supplied by us" is fairly normal practice not just in the UK, but anywhere in the world, as far as I know, unless you make a living basically by producing items of jewellery for which the customer supplies the main stones. Chances of anything happening are remote, but I understand the concern; what's more, I don't know anyone in the UK that will insure a loose stone owned by a consumer against that sort of thing, even though they will insure complete items of jewellery.



The other workaround involves using someone in the US (again assuming...) that can do custom work to your design. There are plenty of such people. 

Well I've been too slow and indecisive and the 2 online diamonds have sold, so to make sure I move a bit quicker once I find alternative diamonds can I ask one final set of questions (hopefully).

Davide you mention in the quote above potentially using someone in the US to do custom work but I assume that runs into the same issue as using my local jeweller if I source the diamond from an online site ie ""No responsibility for stones not supplied by us"".  Is that correct?

I know Brian Gavin does custom setting work and while I am aware of their reputation for supplying very well cut diamonds I was wondering if anyone has views on the quality of their settings?  From looking at online reviews all of the negative comments seem to be about the settings which concerns me esp as I am UK based and so can't see a wax model..

 

Edited by highlander

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3 hours ago, highlander said:

I assume that runs into the same issue as using my local jeweller if I source the diamond from an online site ie ""No responsibility for stones not supplied by us"".  Is that correct?

It depends on who you pick. People that primarily do metalwork as a source of earnings will generally take responsibility (and insurance) for client's stones while they work on them. People that primarily sell stones (e.g. Brian) may decline to do so, but even that varies, and you may be pleasantly surprised when asking.

I can't comment on Brian's settings, because I haven't (knowingly) seen any that were custom-made, but what sort of custom work are you thinking of? (Lost) wax casting isn't necessarily the best method for all designs...


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

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55 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

It depends on who you pick. People that primarily do metalwork as a source of earnings will generally take responsibility (and insurance) for client's stones while they work on them. People that primarily sell stones (e.g. Brian) may decline to do so, but even that varies, and you may be pleasantly surprised when asking.

I can't comment on Brian's settings, because I haven't (knowingly) seen any that were custom-made, but what sort of custom work are you thinking of? (Lost) wax casting isn't necessarily the best method for all designs...

My gf really likes this design (https://www.laingsuk.com/esme-platinum-1-02ct-diamond-ring) & would also like it wed fit so it will sit flush with the wedding ring. I am aware there is a standard setting in the UK which is similar to this but I haven't come across similar in the US. 

BG suggested it is a x prong cathedral style setting but from what I can see online that looks a different setting.

Edited by highlander

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The Laings setting has a crossover design; this is when the prongs "cross" from one side of the setting to the other (red lines):

Picture2.png.8561b84e64c47bc03232eb7d07c70ecc.png

what it doesn't have is a bridge (blue line), or rather the bridge is built - rather ungainly in my opinion - with a big welding of the four prongs underneath the stone (diagonal green line below), and then to stiffen the design and seat the stone without having visible lateral support two cross-bars have been added at 90° to the shank, and welded to the cathedral struts (horizontal green line)

Picture3.png.f60d40c143d2daa8ae0779198b743890.png

Have you actually seen and liked this "live", not on a website?

FWIW, if you got someone to replicate this design, casting would most likely not be the way to do it; fabrication from wire would be where I'd start from. I can also anticipate that a fair few people would not want to follow the design, and would advise you to do something else; in part out of conservatism and "not invented here" syndrome, but in part out of the sincere view that it is not a well engineered design.

If what your girlfriend likes is the idea of the stone being "suspended", have you looked at tension settings? Kretchmer, Gelin Abaci and Danhov are three big names in the US, and Niessing in Europe. Abaci, Danhov and Kretchmer are examples of jewellers that "will take responsibility", since their reputation for uniqueness is largely about the settings, not about the complete jewel.

Edited by davidelevi
typo

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

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29 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

The Laings setting has a crossover design; this is when the prongs "cross" from one side of the setting to the other (red lines):

Picture2.png.8561b84e64c47bc03232eb7d07c70ecc.png

what it doesn't have is a bridge (blue line), or rather the bridge is built - rather ungainly in my opinion - with a big welding of the four prongs underneath the stone (diagonal green line below), and then to stiffen the design and seat the stone without having visible lateral support two cross-bars have been added at 90° to the shank, and welded to the cathedral struts (horizontal green line)

Picture3.png.f60d40c143d2daa8ae0779198b743890.png

Have you actually seen and liked this "live", not on a website?

FWIW, if you got someone to replicate this design, casting would most likely not be the way to do it; fabrication from wire would be where I'd start from. I can also anticipate that a fair few people would not want to follow the design, and would advise you to do something else; in part out of conservatism and "not invented here" syndrome, but in part out of the sincere view that it is not a well engineered design.

If what your girlfriend likes is the idea of the stone being "suspended", have you looked at tension settings? Kretchmer, Gelin Abaci and Danhov are three big names in the US, and Niessing in Europe. Abaci, Danhov and Kretchmer are examples of jewellers that "will take responsibility", since their reputation for uniqueness is largely about the settings, not about the complete jewel.

Thanks Davide for your detailed response, it is the crossover part of the design she really likes rather than the suspension although I guess the visible support being at the sides may play a part.  I will look at the names you have mentioned.

Edited by highlander

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