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Christian

Am I over analyzing 0.5 carats? Amateur needs guidance

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Hello

I'm looking for a new solitaire ring with a diamond. I thought finding the ring was the hard part. Boy was I wrong, so now I'm here looking for some help. The ring is going to be plain solitaire so no pavé or anything fancy. 18K yellow gold with 6 prongs. But I can manage to find that on many homepages. The big problem is finding the right diamond. What I'm looking for is
Shape: round diamond
Size: 0.5 carats or close but the higher the better (within budget)
Budget: 2700 € in total (ring is 550 €) (could probably stretch budget a bit for the right diamond)
No speed requirements although within the next couple of years would be handy.
This is a new ring and I can't get the diamond into a ring in my city (it's a small city) so it needs to be both ring and diamond from same supplier. I can see that import taxes to Europe and my country is quite high so finding something within Europe that ships to Denmark is preferable. 
I don't have a preference for diamond color as I have read that a yellow gold ring will mask the diamond color to some degree. Although I haven't been looking below "I" as I could then start to see a difference on the diamonds (on homepages, I have no clue in real life and in a setting).
I'm not superstitious about clarity but I have read that VS1 is safest when you can't see the diamond in person. I have expanded my criteria to VS2 but I think that SI1 is a bit of a risk, or is this a mistake?
I have read a lot about cut and that this is the most important of the 4 C's. I would rather have a great looking small diamond than a large dull and milky with an inclusion that is noticeable. So H&A would be great but I know it comes with a premium I'm not able to pay.

So I have found some candidates (I have links to videos on all of them which can be send on request, but no ideal scope or ASET):
#1
1972 €
1972.jpg.09c4fd07b4a56111687ad51008e89b95.jpg1972.png.8cf2c62960e6046c531af4bfb2ab6344.png

 

#2
2012 €
2012.jpg.0267809ca83dcf29093a3d7ca23c1a68.jpg2012.png.95edb1fc6c59af396f73ba5ca07457cc.png

 

#3
2263€
2263.jpg.56e7d718ed18e9755c31f1867ba5daa1.jpg2263.png.a7b773c95745d78ca93236af9edaef9e.png

 

#4
2300 €
2300.jpg.61ec6af37f76a67158de735d30587413.jpg2300.png.9939ddf09ea2b49e129acfd956ffd634.png

 

I know I should only post 3 diamonds tops, but these are the 4 candidates I was looking at. Am I on the right track? 
My own preference is #1, but that is only looking at numbers and clarity characteristics (remember I'm an amateur).

So my question probably comes down to: Am I over analyzing these diamonds and which ever I choose would be fine in the ring mentioned above? Or is there something terrible wrong with any of them.
Again I would rather have a nice small diamond than a big ugly diamond. Should I maybe consider a smaller diamond with a better cut?

Sorry for the very long post. If some information is missing I would be happy to supply it. Any feedback would be highly appreciated. Thank you :)

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Hi Christian, welcome to Diamond Review!

A few reassuring points:

1. Clarity - in a diamond the size you are considering, VS2 is plenty to ensure an eye-clean diamond. The vast majority of SI1 and quite a few SI2 would also be eye-clean, but you'd need some help from the vendor especially with SI2. No need to spend money on anything higher than VS2 unless you like the symbolic idea of "higher clarity"

2. Colour - again, bearing in mind you'll look at the diamond primarily from the top, H or I will look very white, if they are well cut.

3. Import taxes - those are actually remarkably low, for a luxury item like a diamond. EU-wide duty on diamonds is 0% if loose, and 2.5% if set. The rest of the taxes are VAT, which you'd pay in any case. The advantage of choosing someone with a base in the EU (if not in Denmark) is that a) they will take care of any VAT processing for you if you need to return or exchange the ring and b) potentially they could charge you their local rate of VAT, which could be a few % points lower than Denmark's 25%

4. Speed - without going to a "couple of years", there are tens of thousands of diamonds available matching your primary requirements (~0.50 ct, round, well cut, I colour or higher, VS2 clarity or higher, price €2,200 or thereabouts including Danish VAT at 25%), so finding one quickly should not be a problem.

1 hour ago, Christian said:

H&A would be great but I know it comes with a premium I'm not able to pay.

You may be surprised as to how far your money can go. A nice 0.50 - 0.60 diamond by a premium cutter/retailer is perfectly achievable for your budget, even including Danish VAT and EU import duty.

2 hours ago, Christian said:

Am I over analyzing these diamonds and which ever I choose would be fine in the ring mentioned above? Or is there something terrible wrong with any of them.

There is nothing wrong with any of them; they all seem very nice, in as much as it can be judged from the report and a single photo. You may be over-analysing (or at least be overly worried by) clarity that will be largely invisible, and you may be ignoring some "details" on cut that instead may make a visible difference. FWIW, my preference order would be #4, #1, #3 and #2 from top to bottom.


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

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Hello

Thanks for the fast and thorough reply. I have actually been looking at premium cutter/retailers (or at least whiteflash as I heard their ACA are brilliant haha). But I was always nervous about return (in case size is off) to something outside Europe.

Would you say I can trust whiteflashs eye-cleanliness even for an SI1 or SI2 when its a diamond of the size described above?

Would my amateur eyes be able to tell the difference between #4 and an ACA with same color, clarity and carat? Would your expert eyes be able to tell the difference if it was in a normal setting (no jewelers loupe)?

So I went through a lot of articles to learn about cut and what's good and what's not. You said that I might be ignoring some "details" on cut that could make a visible difference. Would you maybe explain what that is for one of the four diamonds, please? If not that is okay as well. I'm already happy that I asked in the first place and that I got this much feedback :) 

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In addition to WF, it may be worthwhile looking at a few others - my "usual suspects" list includes Brian Gavin, Good Old Gold and - the only one with retailers in Europe - Crafted by Infinity (Paul Slegers). Royal Asscher also retail premium cuts, but their prices seem to be stratospheric compared to the 4 above...

2 hours ago, Christian said:

Would you say I can trust whiteflashs eye-cleanliness even for an SI1 or SI2 when its a diamond of the size described above?

I think you can trust them to provide you with an honest assessment: if they tell you it's clean "at 30 cm seen from the top in everyday lighting" it will be. One of the problems with "eye clean" is that it depends on the conditions and on the eyes making the observations; I know people that can see fairly reliably VS2 inclusions that 99% of others have some difficulty finding with a loupe. Unless you and your significant other are similarly hawk-eyed, you are likely OK. Some people are keen on having the diamond look clean from the side as well as from the top - and that may be a significant challenge, but at least you can ask!

3 hours ago, Christian said:

Would my amateur eyes be able to tell the difference between #4 and an ACA with same color, clarity and carat? Would your expert eyes be able to tell the difference if it was in a normal setting (no jewelers loupe)?

That's hard to know - largely because we haven't got enough information on #4 (e.g. an ASET and other reflector images) to know what it really looks like. I would say that the answer is likely to be "yes" for both you and me; whether you'd find the difference worth the price is a completely different question, but I think you could find a really top cut within your budget at the vendors we mentioned above. 

3 hours ago, Christian said:

You said that I might be ignoring some "details" on cut that could make a visible difference. Would you maybe explain what that is for one of the four diamonds, please?

It's not necessarily "in the numbers" - it's more that while the info on a GIA report is a good start, it doesn't tell the whole story. For example, you seem to have set table at 56% as one of the criteria. This is something that I "like", but I would also go narrower (and maybe a little wider) - whether you like the resulting looks is very much a question of personal preferences. A very symmetrical contrast pattern (of which H&A is one) is also a very personal preference - which is perhaps easier to see than a 1% variation in table width, but it is something on which a GIA report is quite silent...


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

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Great with some advice on other retailers, thanks for that. Ill look through those as well.

As I would rather have a good looking diamond I will take your advice and find something with a premium cut and then ill see which size I can get.

Is there huge difference between premium cuts? What I mean is, would it make sense for me to post 3 premium cut candidates in here and get advice or would they all be of such good quality that it wouldn't matter much which one I choose?

Again, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

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There is probably as much difference across different vendors as there is between the various stones they offer. Which is to say... not huge! (Talking of cut only - obviously a 3 carat D/VVS is going to be different from a 0.30 J/SI2)

Would you see it with your naked eye? Probably yes, in optimal conditions (very clean stone, good lighting) and maybe with some help from either reflector images or a trained pair of eyes pointing things out, but not at a casual glance.

Also, there is a significant element of personal preference - they will all be extremely well cut, but a larger or smaller table and a higher or lower crown can make a difference to looks.


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

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