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Did I pay a reasonable price?


JinxyUK
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Hi everyone, I hope you are all okay!

I recently purchased a diamond from a jeweler who is a good family friend, so I trusted his guidance and did not do much research beforehand (silly of me!). I paid for the stone and did my research after, and now I am questioning if I got a good price (he said it was an amazing deal, which I trusted as we have been friends for many many years).

I paid £8,500 GBP (equiv. to 11,638 USD). Here are the specs:

 

1.70 ct modified round brilliant (it is an ECHO diamond (98 facets) by Robbins Brothers)

Colour: I

Clarity: SI2 (a few grain lines if magnified but eye clean)

Cut grade: Very good (I was under the impression modified round diamonds do not get cut grades, but it was an IGI certification rather than GIA, so maybe that is why)

Polish: Excellent

Symmetry: Excellent

Depth: 62.3%

Table: 56%

Crown Height %: 14.5%, angle: 33.0

Pavillion depth: 44%, angle: 41.9

Girdle: Medium, Faceted

Cutlet: None

Flour: None

 

It receives a HCA score of 4.8, which states 'appears larger than other diamonds of this size, but sparkles less. Does the HCA score apply to modified round diamonds? is it valid?

Do you think I paid a reasonable price?

 

Many thanks in advance!!!!!

 

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Hi Jinxy, welcome to Diamond Review!

13 minutes ago, JinxyUK said:

Does the HCA score apply to modified round diamonds? is it valid?

The answer to both is "not really". The Echo faceting scheme (see below) is adding another set of upper and lower girdle facets (+32 facets) and modifying the pavilion mains, which are now "split" into upper and lower mains (+8) vs. a standard round brilliant, so I doubt many of the norms on proportions the HCA uses translate well... and in fact some of the angles quoted on the report (and input to the HCA) don't actually make sense from a geometrical point of view. In fact, the HCA seems to screw up totally with this geometry as it seems to think you have a "large looking" diamond, while from the proportions you posted I think the opposite is likely to be the case - though you didn't post the one telling number (the diameter of the stone).

In any case, the HCA is not a "positive selection" tool. It should be used to discard 'less good' unseen diamonds, not to decide whether something someone can see and compare to other diamonds "live" is good. So even its application to a standard round cut that you can see is doubtful.

Echo Diamonds - 98 Hand Cut Facets of Brilliance | Robbins Brothers

27 minutes ago, JinxyUK said:

Do you think I paid a reasonable price?

The price question is an interesting one. In a sense, the only fair comparison here is to another Echo cut - particularly if you like the look (I don't). I have no idea what they charge for similar diamonds, but that limits you to looking at Robbins Brothers and their authorised distributors, who aren't really "competing" with anyone else on price.

If you consider a "standard round brilliant" as a perfectly acceptable substitute, then it still is an interesting question. IGI tends to be a bit looser/consistent than GIA on colour and clarity grading; their "cut grade" is a mess (IMHO) and means practically nothing. However, both SI2/I1 and I-J (and possibly K!) are two fairly significant price boundaries for diamonds, and the visibility of the inclusions, regardless of clarity grade, has a major impact too.

Also, bear in mind that when comparing to US vendor prices, you should remove UK VAT, so the appropriate price to compare to is £7080, or $9750. Prices for comparable diamonds advertised online cover a very large range - from ~$11,000 to 7,000 (plus outliers that could simply be data mistakes!). Here are 200 or so that could be comparable, with significant uncertainty due to the lab report, the cut, the lack of more info on (e.g.) fluorescence and visibility of the inclusions... https://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.65&fCaratHi=1.75&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=J&fClarityLo=SI2&fClarityHi=I1&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000

Note that diamonds with IGI reports tend to cluster towards the bottom of the price range - that is not random (but it doesn't mean that they are 'bad stones'; simply the market prices them for what they are, not what is written on the report).

So, yours is well within the range, though it would be the most expensive 'IGI' listed. However all this rules out is your stone being an unbelievable bargain, and it mitigates somewhat against it being a massive rip-off.

 

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Thank you for the comprehensive response. I found it very useful indeed! Foolishly I was not aware that the diamond was a modified round until I did my research after the purchase (figuring out what all the values/details on the IGI report were using the internet), and the jeweler did not discuss this with me when showing me the diamond when I went to the shop floor as a complete novice. 

Sorry yes I forgot the measurements: 7.62 - 7.66 x 4.76 MM

 

Thanks again!

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Well... I guess the two key question are - in order:
1. Do you (does the intended recipient) like it?

2. Do you (etc.) like it more than (or at least as much as) available alternatives - which can include considerations on cut style and performance, price, size, colour, clarity...?

If the answer to both of the above is 'yes', then there is no issue. If the answer to 1. is no, you definitely have a problem. If the answer to 2. is "don't know", this is where having an honest conversation with your friend and asking him to demonstrate "why" this is the best diamond for you may be a good idea... if you do trust him to be honest with the comparison; it's very easy for me to demonstrate that a mediocre diamond (I'm not saying this is one) is "better" than a few poorly cut ones! Starting from GIA 'Excellent' cut diamonds is a fairly low barrier to entry in this game... and one that any jeweller should not have an issue with.

Re: diameter - definitely not "larger than other diamonds", and about average for a 1.70 (I computed a weight-adjusted average diameter for the 50 middle-priced among the diamonds linked above, and it came to 7.64 mm).

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Hi, many thanks for your response. They are two important things to think about! I will be giving it to my partner in the coming weeks, so I can get her opinion on the ECHO style in due course. I am sure the jeweler will let us compare it to stones of different cuts, colour etc so I am hoping there is room for flexibility! Now I am equipped with the knowledge I hope to make a more informed decision. 

 

Thanks again for taking the time to offer advice.

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