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AC792

Deciding on a Diamond - Need help!

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Hello! 

I am in the process of picking out a diamond for an engagement ring.  My girlfriend is dead set on an Oval stone and I am now trying to figure out what grade, clarity, etc. stone to buy.  

I have a family friend who owns a Jewelry store who is trying to help me out.  I am looking for some feedback here on if the stones below are:

1. Fairly priced?

2.  Good grades based on the 4C's?

I was reading some articles that I shouldn't go below SI1 clarity, especially as you start getting a little bit bigger on the stone size.  Ideally, I'd like to spend about $10K max.  Should I consider going to an SI1 clarity and moving the color from G to H? 

The one thing I haven't learned from the Jeweler is what the "cuts" are.  I'm going in tomorrow to discuss further, but these are the stats they gave me so far.  I also did a comparison on BlueNile as a gut check.

I greatly appreciate your thoughts and help!

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Prices seem fair. Bear in mind that synthetic/lab diamonds have a very different pricing structure (and that IGI and GIA colour and clarity grades aren't exactly interchangeable)

The key is that you (and we) know nothing about the cut quality, but it's going to be the one attribute that most impacts the looks. There is nothing in the table you posted (and precious little in a complete GIA report) that tells you whether an oval is well cut. You need to see the diamond; ideally in person and comparing different stones next to each other, but at the very least in good quality photos and videos.

21 hours ago, AC792 said:

I was reading some articles that I shouldn't go below SI1 clarity, especially as you start getting a little bit bigger on the stone size. 

I wouldn't say "you shouldn't" - the issue with clarity grading is that it is only roughly correlated with actual visibility of the inclusion to the naked eye and its aesthetic impact. I have seen VS2 that have an annoying black spot right under the table, and once you have seen it you will keep seeing it... and I have seen I1 (the grade below SI2) which seem perfectly eye-clean in most circumstances. So, the lower the clarity the more cautious you have to be, and the more the price is going to be influenced by the visibility of the inclusion... but that doesn't mean that SI2 or even I1 are 'bad' stones.

Edited by davidelevi

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

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Thank you for the feedback.  After doing a bit more research, it looks like I can find much better grades on Rarecarat.  Now, to your point, I have no idea how the cut of these diamonds compares to those on rarecarat.

 

This is harder than I thought!

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1 hour ago, AC792 said:

I can find much better grades on Rarecarat.

Hm. Be careful. There isn't anything 'special' about the diamonds on Rarecarat (or on Blue Nile, for that matter), and that is a global market - if people are offering 'much better' prices for the same grade or 'much better' grades for the same price, something is amiss. (If for 'much better' you mean a difference of $4-500 on a $10k stone, then everything is fine, but differences of more than a few % are suspect).


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

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14 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

Hm. Be careful. There isn't anything 'special' about the diamonds on Rarecarat (or on Blue Nile, for that matter), and that is a global market - if people are offering 'much better' prices for the same grade or 'much better' grades for the same price, something is amiss. (If for 'much better' you mean a difference of $4-500 on a $10k stone, then everything is fine, but differences of more than a few % are suspect).

That is fair.  For example, I see this on Rarecarat:  Rare Carat® | Search and Buy Diamonds at Online & Local Stores.   This seems to be a better grade and clarity than the ones I was quoted, and for less $. 

Again, I realize the ones I was quoted could potentially be excellent cuts, etc.  So it's a hard comparison. 

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OK - so, looking at the example you just linked, here are three factors that will drive the price down:

1. Strong blue fluorescence (especially in a D colour) will depress price significantly. Whether that's 'relevant' to the aesthetics is a completely different question, but it will impact the price. We (on the forum) don't know if any of the first batch were fluorescent or not... but part of the difference may be there.

2. While this is an SI1, and the grade by itself will impact the price (meaning that the average SI1 will be more expensive than the average SI2, all else being equal), a much stronger price driver is whether the inclusions are visible to the naked eye. My bet is that the smattering of dark crystals under the table, reflected multiple times, would be easily visible and potentially bothering to quite a few potential buyers, hence a low(er) price. Again, we don't know whether the inclusions in the SI2s you listed in the first post are as easily visible or much less so. 

3. Cavities - especially multiple ones - are definitely not a 'desirable' characteristic. They may not be a big issue in terms of durability or integrity, and here the larger ones are on the pavilion, which means they'll be less visible to a 'normal' observer, but they do depress the price.

The question of cut is moot... the RC diamond seems to be an OK cut (and I personally like the shape), but the way in which the video is taken seems to be largely to show inclusions, rather than brilliance, sparkle and fire. Plus, of course, we don't have videos for the others to compare (to the extent that it is possible with videos taken by different vendors).


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

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21 minutes ago, davidelevi said:

OK - so, looking at the example you just linked, here are three factors that will drive the price down:

1. Strong blue fluorescence (especially in a D colour) will depress price significantly. Whether that's 'relevant' to the aesthetics is a completely different question, but it will impact the price. We (on the forum) don't know if any of the first batch were fluorescent or not... but part of the difference may be there.

2. While this is an SI1, and the grade by itself will impact the price (meaning that the average SI1 will be more expensive than the average SI2, all else being equal), a much stronger price driver is whether the inclusions are visible to the naked eye. My bet is that the smattering of dark crystals under the table, reflected multiple times, would be easily visible and potentially bothering to quite a few potential buyers, hence a low(er) price. Again, we don't know whether the inclusions in the SI2s you listed in the first post are as easily visible or much less so. 

3. Cavities - especially multiple ones - are definitely not a 'desirable' characteristic. They may not be a big issue in terms of durability or integrity, and here the larger ones are on the pavilion, which means they'll be less visible to a 'normal' observer, but they do depress the price.

The question of cut is moot... the RC diamond seems to be an OK cut (and I personally like the shape), but the way in which the video is taken seems to be largely to show inclusions, rather than brilliance, sparkle and fire. Plus, of course, we don't have videos for the others to compare (to the extent that it is possible with videos taken by different vendors).

This is great context and I appreciate the insight.  Moral of the story, I really need to see Diamonds side by side in the store.  I am going in today to talk to the jeweler and I think I'll have them bring in a couple of SI2 and SI1 for comparison purposes.  I will try to get more specs and post as well. 

 

Thanks!

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Definitely a good plan! Good luck, and let us know how you get on; hopefully you'll come out of the conversation with more answers, but if you have more questions instead, we are here to help.


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

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