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IvanaS

Please help me choose between these Emerald Cut Diamonds

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Hi,

 

I am currently looking for an emerald cut diamond in the 2.5 ct range for my engagement ring. Reading the thread and advices given here has helped me a lot, and I tried my best to choose the ones that I think met the guidelines. But it would give me great comfort if I can have your opinion on these stones. So far these 4 are my favorite, in the following order :D

 

Stone 1

https://www.doamore.com/diamonds/18-50040/

 

Stone 2

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD14371503?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails

 

Stone 3 (GIA attached, link to video below) 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gbgsvett4y4dyz2/Stone%203.mp4?dl=0

 

Stone 4

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD15193683?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails

 

Stone 5

Also, am being offered this stone by my local jeweler. When I looked at it though, seems like there are some extinction in the middle of the stone (link to video below)? But please do correct me if I'm wrong. 

http://view360v.com/Forms/Vision360.html?d=0000780708&v=4&s=10

 

Thank you so much in advance! Grateful to have found a community like this.

 

Best,

Ivana

Stone 3 - GIA.jpg

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Hi Ivana, welcome to DiamondReview!

If you've been browsing the forum, you will know by now that there's not much information on emerald cuts lab reports, and they really need to be seen - or at least put in a comparative video - to have a 'surefire' way of choosing. Add to this the fact that the 4 vendors you are considering are all using rather different setups for their videos, and you have a good recipe for unreliable advice... which is what I'm about to provide.

Let me start with a couple of eliminations:

1) The one from your local jeweller. That contrast pattern really is not very good at all.

2) The 2.70 G/VVS1 - unless price is a priority, in which case it could well the cheapest of the lot by a long way (you didn't mention a price for the 'local' stone or the 2.50 F/VVS2, but I would imagine they are both over 35k). It has a very thick girdle that makes it face up smaller than the others, and while the rest of the cut is not bad, you've definitely got better here.

This leaves the two from Blue Nile and the 2.50 F/VVS2 - and here starts the problem with the incomparable videos (and none of them is well taken to illustrate what an em cut should do). The video format for the VVS2 is particularly bad.

The 2.50/VVS1 faces up very large (not that the others are small), and would be my choice at this point, not least because I personally like the slightly more elongated proportions.

The 2.52/IF seems to be the most classically well cut, slightly squarer than the 2.50/VVS1 - but it's also (probably) the most expensive, and you are paying a premium for an IF grade that is unlikely to be maintained if you wear the diamond on an engagement ring.

The 2.50/VVS2 is penalised by the bad video... but the face-on image shows a very nice contrast pattern and it seems to be a very limpid stone (however filming technique may be the cause of that). If it is substantially cheaper than the 2.50/VVS1, it would probably be worth seeing, even though I'm placing it third here.

Hope this helps - as I said, this is very likely to be unreliable, and if you can see at least two of these 'live' using return policies from the vendors I would encourage you to do that.

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

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Hi @davidelevi

Thank you so much for your feedback, albeit the less than ideal information/circumstances.

I do realize that trying to pick an emerald cut diamond without seeing it in person is tricky to say the least. However, sadly emerald cut is unpopular (a major understatement) here in Indonesia, where Bali is in case you’re wondering. None of the jeweler has any EC in stock, in fact most tried to dissuade me from getting one. That said, they would be able source the stone that I like, with the GIA number. Hence the conundrum of choosing online.

I do in fact like a more squarish EC, I reckon in the range of 1.3 to 1.4 L/W ratio would be my sweet spot. Hence my preference for Stone #1 and #2.

A follow up question if you don’t mind:

-          For Stone #1, the 2.7 ct, G color, VVS1, thick to very thick girdle. Other than the smaller face up, does the thick girdle has any other negative impact? I do love how fiery it looks in the video, or do you think it’s merely a shooting/lighting effect? I am concerned however at the many feathers on 1 side (marked on the certificate), although I can’t see it in the video. Been staring at it for a while, I make it play in a loop, haha! Do you think I should be concerned with those feathers? Will they affect the light performance?

-          Stone #2, the 2.52 ct, F color, IF, slightly thick girdle, it surely is pricey! At the top of our budget I would say. But if it’s perfectly cut, I guess I can justify spending that much. When you say IF clarity unlikely to be maintained, do you mind elaborating a bit? Do you mean it’s gonna get all scratched up anyway from wear and tear?

To wrap up, do you think either Stone #1 or #2 is well cut? If so, which one you think has better performance? If both are equally well-cut, I would probably go with Stone #1. I do realize it will look smaller than its carat size, but then it is also cheaper. I did an area calculation (a bit extra, I know), face up it comes up around the same size as Stone #2.

Thanks again David for taking the time to share your advice, I do so greatly appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Ivana

Edited by IvanaS
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3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

Other than the smaller face up, does the thick girdle has any other negative impact?

Not visually; you do end up paying 10% more (2.50 -> 2.70 and diamonds are priced per carat!) for the same or slightly smaller visual size, but the rest of the visual properties are largely independent of girdle thickness.

3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

Do you think I should be concerned with those feathers? Will they affect the light performance?

Not in the least. You will have significant problems in finding them with a loupe once the stone is set.

3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

Do you mean it’s gonna get all scratched up anyway from wear and tear?

Not quite - diamond is extremely hard and doesn't really show signs of wear and tear as long as one is sensible (e.g. not putting half a dozen diamond rings in a bag and then shaking it violently for hours on end). The 'issue' is that even minute, invisible-to-the-naked-eye damage to the surface will result in the diamond losing it's 'IF' status and be downgraded to VVS1. It won't make any difference to what you can see, but you are paying a 10-15% premium for an 'IF' grade that you are not seeing to start with, and that you are likely to lose just through normal use of the stone.

3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

To wrap up, do you think either Stone #1 or #2 is well cut? If so, which one you think has better performance?

From the videos - and they are taken by different people and on different equipment, so it really is possible that it's an unfair comment - I would say that #2 is a bit better for my taste. It seems to have a more even distribution of contrast, especially under the table #1 seems a bit 'flat white', although it also appears a little more symmetrical. Is it worth another $7000 plus whatever taxes? Not to me...

FWIW, I think #3 and #4 (?) are better cut than either #1 and #2.


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

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3 hours ago, davidelevi said:

I would say that #2 is a bit better for my taste. It seems to have a more even distribution of contrast, especially under the table #1 seems a bit 'flat white',

@davidelevi Oh dear, contrast is actually good? I might have gone about this all wrong then. I avoided stones with darker areas altogether! Are you possibly saying, something like these are better? Also, should I worry about fluorescence?

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD15476438?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD15123798?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD15454100?refTab=DIAMONDS&track=viewDiamondDetails

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/emerald-cut/2.50-carat-f-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-10986707

Thanks again Davide, you're my lifesaver!

Best regards,

Ivana

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Well - two things:

1. I like contrast. And I would say that conventional wisdom on well cut stones of all shapes is that a certain amount of contrast is good; it doesn't mean you must like it. The analogy I use (borrowed from DenverAppraiser) is that of a mirror: a flat mirror has 100% brightness, but no contrast. It's only by breaking the mirror and getting contrast and sparkle interspersed into the brightness that we get the interest factor up.

2. For ECs in particular, what I like is alternating 'rectangles' of brightness and contrast that change a lot as the stone moves from side-to-side (which is why the freaking turntable videos are no good at showing this! 😉)

However too much contrast - or contrast 'lumped' in a relatively small part of the stone - ends up with a black-then-white effect that I (again personally) find displeasing. See your 'local' stone for an example of this.

Fluorescence - by and large blue fluoro it is a non-worry for me.

Why is it not a worry? It does make selling the stone more difficult, but then again you get a discount upfront. The stones that turn oily/hazy/smoky are a very small minority, all have Strong+ fluorescence, and you will spot this very easily within any decent return period (and it's definitely not in the seller's interest to lie to you about this). There was some concern about overgrading (in as much as the GIA diamond grading light source between 2005 and 2013 contained enough UV to activate fluorescence and thus possibly decrease the apparent amount of yellow tint), but I believe the current grading light source is through LED, so it again contains no UV.

What is a worry? Fluorescence of colours other than blue is rare, but it does have the potential to mess things up, so that's what I would avoid, especially in a high colour diamond. Fluorescence of any colour will change the perceived body colour of the diamond in sunlight (and under a UV light!). I personally think it is cool, and I like the light blue tint that results; some people don't. Again, only true and perceptible with diamonds that have Strong+ level of fluorescence.

To the 4 'new' stones - I prefer those (or at least their general character) to that of the 'original' #1 and #2 above - with the usual caveat that this is in a video. And the other caveat that this is what I prefer, not what you should prefer.

The JA stone is the one that shows the best contrast effect - to me - but it's also clearly filmed using a different technique/technology to the BN ones... It also seems to have a fairly shallow crown/wide table and very thick girdle, so it goes out first for me (plus JA have the bad habit of not posting the report info, so I cannot in all honesty recommend it).

Kind-of-the same applies to the 2.50 from Blue Nile (which however does look very nice in the video).

Of the other 2, I prefer the 2.72, although I keep finding that those girdles are too thick and you are not getting a full 2.72 ct worth of visual impact!

To be honest, any of these last 4 would work better for me than the others.

 


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

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On 3/22/2021 at 12:16 AM, davidelevi said:

1. I like contrast. And I would say that conventional wisdom on well cut stones of all shapes is that a certain amount of contrast is good; it doesn't mean you must like it. The analogy I use (borrowed from DenverAppraiser) is that of a mirror: a flat mirror has 100% brightness, but no contrast. It's only by breaking the mirror and getting contrast and sparkle interspersed into the brightness that we get the interest factor up.

 

Okay, that's a fantastic analogy, I think I get it now. And yes, I've also been wondering why all these vendors use this turntable format! That's definitely not how we're gonna see the stone once it's on our finger, duh!

 

On 3/22/2021 at 12:16 AM, davidelevi said:

And the other caveat that this is what I prefer, not what you should prefer.

And thank you for this Davide, I guess there's no absolute guideline huh, it's still down to each individual's preference. Well, at the very least I can spot a dark stone though (talking about the local stone) haha! Can you believe it's one of the prominent jewelers here that recommended that stone as, and I quote, "the best option".

 

On 3/22/2021 at 12:16 AM, davidelevi said:

It also seems to have a fairly shallow crown/wide table

Hmm, this is new to me. Learning more everyday! How does this affect the diamond? I've read guidelines that depth should between 60 to 67% and table size should be between 61 to 69% (vary slightly between sources). For Depth, my understanding is it relates to windowing, extinction, and face up size. But I have no idea about table size and its impact on the diamond's performance. I just add it to the filter during my search, just because they said so, LOL.

 

Oh and some guidelines also mention the crown height. But how do I get that information though, It's not in the GIA certificate right?

Edited by IvanaS

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3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

I've also been wondering why all these vendors use this turntable format!

Largely because it's one of the easiest ways of getting a fairly repeatable 360° view. It's not too shabby a way to observe rounds because of their high level of symmetry, but for anything else it doesn't work too well...

3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

that stone as, and I quote, "the best option"

It may well be the best option, for them. In both meanings of the expression. 😁

3 hours ago, IvanaS said:

How does this affect the diamond? I've read guidelines that depth should between 60 to 67% and table size should be between 61 to 69% (vary slightly between sources). For Depth, my understanding is it relates to windowing, extinction, and face up size.

The problem with table and depth as 'selection filters' for diamonds of any shape and size is that they don't really work. It's a bit like choosing a pair of shoes based on their main colour. You may discard most of the obvious duds, but you are not guaranteed a nice pair of shoes just because they are black (or whatever colour you prefer). On the other hand, if you set yourself fairly conservative targets (like those ranges), you are likely to discard some shoes/stones that are actually quite nice, just a slightly unusual colour/set of proportions.

In fancy shapes you have then got the additional issue that table and depth ratios are calculated based on the smallest of the other two dimensions. This means that it's even more chancy: a narrower stone will have a higher depth and table %  than a squarer one - even though the geometry may actually 'need' the same absolute depth to work. To continue with the shoe analogy, it's like choosing shoes based on the colour of the heel.

4 hours ago, IvanaS said:

But I have no idea about table size and its impact on the diamond's performance

In general - but this is a huge oversimplification - the larger the table and the shallower the crown, the more the balance of returned light tends towards 'black and white sparkle' rather than 'coloured fire'. A larger table may also look brighter overall, and too narrow a table definitely results in a less bright appearance.

To some extent crown height is in inverse proportion to table width: a large table means a shallow crown and vice-versa. Odd combinations mean that the crown angles are very steep (large table with a high crown) or very shallow (very rare in diamonds because of the shape of the rough). As you note, GIA does not quote crown height in the lab report, which means observation is the only way to know.

FWIW, none of the stones you have chosen are 'bad' - once again, personal preferences come into play, and I prefer higher crowns and narrower tables than some of the stones here show.

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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:

On the other hand, if you set yourself fairly conservative targets (like those ranges), you are likely to discard some shoes/stones that are actually quite nice, just a slightly unusual colour/set of proportions.

Understood.. Let me go over my search once again, and see if I miss anything. And then I guess I have to take a leap of faith and actually choose one! Wish me luckkk! Will report back here.

Thanks again for your guidance Davide and for taking the time to explain things to clueless me! I can't thank you enough!

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You are very welcome. Glad to be of help.

One piece of non-requested advice: don't get into 'analysis/paralysis' mode. You have some nice ones here (as far as one can tell from a 5 second video blah blah, but that's all we have anyway!), and by looking back you may only confuse things. Trust your eyes and brain (and heart).


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

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54 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

don't get into 'analysis/paralysis' mode

LOL! It's like you read my mind! Definitely feeling the pressure here. Who knew choosing the right diamond is harder than the right guy! 😂

57 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

Trust your eyes and brain (and heart)

Thanks! I think am gonna have a final search, step back a bit, then come back and decide in a day or two. My eyes need a break from all these diamonds!

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7 minutes ago, IvanaS said:

My eyes need a break from all these diamonds!

Plenty of nice sapphires and rubies to look at next! 😁

Jokes aside - good plan; it gives time for your subconscious to elaborate and get the confidence that whichever one it is, it is 'the right one''. You are not looking at chump change (at least, not for me!)

If you have more questions/candidates to look at, go ahead and post! Otherwise enjoy your 'vacation from diamonds', and let us know what you decide in the end, please.


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

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16 hours ago, davidelevi said:

Plenty of nice sapphires and rubies to look at next! 😁

 

Hahaha, I like that! Although, I will probably exhaust my jewelry budget for the next few years with this diamond 😅

16 hours ago, davidelevi said:

If you have more questions/candidates to look at, go ahead and post! Otherwise enjoy your 'vacation from diamonds', and let us know what you decide in the end, please.

Thank you and will definitely do!

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4 hours ago, Skyjems said:

Let's have a look at Famous Emerald Engagement Rings before making any choice. 

Since Ivana is looking at emerald-cut diamonds, what is the relevance of talking about emeralds?

That aside, please note that advertising is not allowed on this forum. Your post has been reported for moderation.


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

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