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Black by DG or Signature H&A?


Joon16
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I recently contacted the folks at Brian Gavin to have a custom cut "Black" diamond. I am looking at a 2.2 carat, G color, VS2. Surprisingly, they came in right on my budget which I wasn't expecting so I kind of thought I could use the extra money I expected to spend to upgrade on quality of the stone. Would it be more beneficial to go with an F color or go to VS1? Not sure the price impacts of either upgrade, but wanted to make sure I made the best decision. Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

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You can't improve on Cut with this one (unless you like something completely different, but then why go for a BG Black?)

Clarity - I doubt you'd see it.

Colour - as above, once set, though I'd say it's marginally more likely to be visible over 2 carats.

That leaves two Cs: go bigger on Carat, or Cash it in. Since you are well above 2 carats already, I would cash in: spend it on something else, be it ring related or not (or even - God forbid - save it!)

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Thanks for the info. So basically the extra 3-4k to upgrade either aspect is not really worth it visually. I think this question was more of a mental thing for me. Since I tried to get the best cut available, that mentality started to leak into the other aspects of the diamond. 

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5 hours ago, Joon16 said:

the extra 3-4k to upgrade either aspect is not really worth it visually

I would say so - but there is a market for D/FL stones too!

Part of the issue is that cut is graded in a very imperfect and approximate way (few grades cover a huge amount of ground), whereas D-Z colour and clarity are very very granular, especially at the "high end": there is more difference in colour between a U-V and Y-Z than there is between a D and an L. Similarly, there are 6-7 clarity grades for "can't see the inclusion without a loupe", 2-3 for "it may be eye-clean, but it might not" and 3-4 for "there are easily visible inclusions". The difference between a "good" I1 and a bad one is staggering (visually to the naked eye), while the difference between a FL and a VS1 is usually impossible to see with a loupe once the stone is set.

Sorry - TMI!

Edited by davidelevi
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Not at all! There is never TMI when making a purchase like this. There are also so many conflicting opinions out there so it's good to have as much as possible. I had a feeling that the color wouldn't make much of a difference but mentally getting into the colorless range sounded appealing. And with some people saying over 2 carats you should go VS1 minimum, I really struggled and still am with that one. Brian ensures a VS2 and even SI1 str eye clean and there is no reason not to trust him. I assume his cut can hide a lot of these inclusions, but spending all this money and running that risk is still a scary thought. 

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Ok so I have an option here. I can get my custom 2.2 carat which is guaranteed to be a "Black", G color, and VS2. Or there is a 2.1 I can get that will not be a "Black" but it is a VS1 and costs 3k less. Still a color G. I would basically be trading off the "Black" label for an upgrade to VS1 as well as saving 3k. Is it worth it? 

Parameters of the VS1 (Signature Series) are:

Pavillion - 40.8

Crown - 34.2

Table 57.1

Edited by Joon16
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  • Joon16 changed the title to Black by DG or Signature H&A?

The clarity upgrade is worth nothing in my opinion: if Brian tells you the stone is eye-clean, it will be to all reasonable definitions of "eye-clean", and more so when set.

On the other hand, while I don't doubt Brian's claim that the "Black" stones are cut with even greater care than his normal cuts, I am sceptical that this will make a visual difference in normal circumstances.

2.1 vs. 2.2 is probably in the realm of the imponderable: yes, there is (probably) a difference in diameter, but no you won't see it without a micrometer. As a rule of thumb, 0.1 mm difference is just about visible with the two stones loose and next to each other; 0.2 is easily visible and may just about be "memorable" - you may be able to tell which stone is the larger one without having them next to each other. Depending on the setting, you may need 0.5 mm or more to have a memorable difference in a set stone.

The savings... those are another matter. For me, at the moment, facing a large unexpected bill for repairing a roof, $3k would come in handy. You know your own situation better than anyone else.

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Very good advice. I think saving the extra cash might be a good idea. I’m sure we’ll have many expenses coming up in the next year. I’d be happy with either but going with the 2.1 to save some money and I’ll get it sooner. You’ve give me some good advice and insight into all this. Much appreciated!

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