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Need your advice on two diamonds


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Hi everyone,

Looking for your suggestion on the following two diamonds for Harry Winston engagement ring.

Diamond 1

  • 1.51 carat
  • D color rating
  • VS1 clarity, with a few crystal, cloud and pinpoint at the edge
  • Table size 58%

Diamond 2

  • 1.51 carat
  • F color rating
  • VVS2 clarity, with 3 pinpoints near the center
  • Table size 61%

Both diamonds have excellent cuts, symmetry, and no fluorescence. Diamond 1 is $7,000 more expensive than Diamond 2.

My questions are:

  • Is 61% table size considered too much for light leakage?
  • Is the $7,000 price difference well justified by the difference in quality of the two diamonds?
  • How would you choose between these two diamonds? Why?

I've attached reports for both diamonds. Thank you for your help on this!



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Edited by peakelytra
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3 minutes ago, peakelytra said:

Is 61% table size considered too much for light leakage?

Table size as such has very little to do with "light leakage". The steep pavilion and shallow crown of the F/VVS2 however are not my preferred combination of angles. Other people may like them, but I would prefer the more "classical" proportions of the D/VS1.

6 minutes ago, peakelytra said:

Is the $7,000 price difference well justified by the difference in quality of the two diamonds?

No, I wouldn't say so. Some difference, yes, but not as much. The median price for 1.5x ct D/VS1/xxx/NF is about $1,000 higher than for F/VVS2. $6-7k is over 30% difference of the prices quoted by competitive internet-based vendors. Obviously Harry Winston is going to charge a lot more than internet dealers, but still...

12 minutes ago, peakelytra said:

How would you choose between these two diamonds? Why?

Assuming the choice is only between these two, sight unseen, I would pick the D - it is enough better cut that I think it would more than compensate the slightly smaller diameter with greater liveliness. This also assumes that an extra $7k is not a strain on the budget - but, if you are shopping at HW, that's probably a fairly reasonable assumption. Have they brought the two diamonds in for you to see and compare? What do you think?

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Thank you for the detailed response.

We looked at these two diamonds in a HW store. Without looking at the labels, my GF actually chose Diamond 2 (F/VVS2), because it looked brighter to her. We did some homework on diamond proportion, and we developed some concern about Diamond 2, which is not in the ideal proportion range (neither does the Diamond 1?).

One more question - How does a diamond proportion affect its price, compared to the traditional attributes (color, clarity, etc.)? 

Thanks again! 

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"Ideal proportion range" is actually a fairly meaningless expression. One thing that the extensive GIA studies on cut quality and perception demonstrated is that there is a very broad set of diamond proportions that people find 'beautiful'. AGS - who set up the first systematic assessment method for diamond cut - has decisively moved away from the concept of "ideal proportions" as a single set of numbers, and has developed a much more complex process to grade cut than just looking at a few numbers, so don't worry too much about 'the numbers' as such. 

If you (both) like one more than the other in real life observation, then that's the right one. That another person on an internet forum sees two sets of numbers on a lab report and prefers 'the other one' is pretty much irrelevant.

The only thing I would recommend you do is to take a look at both diamonds again in different lighting environments: under the shop spotlights, but also in a back office, under flat, diffused lighting; out in natural light - both direct and diffused, and in dim light such as under a desk or in a badly lit corner of the shop. If the preference for one stone over the other remains consistent in all those environments, it's a pretty safe choice.

In terms of the effect of cut quality and proportions on price, it can be significant, but there is nothing on the information you posted to make me think it should be as big as HW is making it!

The 'very best' cut can have a premium of 15-20% vs. the average "GIA excellent", and there may be another 10% between the average EX and the 'bottom of EX', but I don't see evidence that either of those stones is at the 'very best' end (which is not something you'd see from a GIA report alone, BTW), and while the pavilion of the F/VVS is very steep, the rest of the proportions complement that steepness nicely, so I wouldn't call it 'at the bottom' either.

Note that all this is remaining within one single cut grade: GIA excellent. By comparison, (fair) price variability due to colour is much less - within the same grade - until one gets to fancy colour diamonds, and the same goes for clarity in grades VS2 and above (as the inclusions are pretty much invariably invisible to the naked eye). Variability of price in SI1 and lower clarity grades is much more pronounced, as inclusions can go from totally invisible to ruinously visible, and even to the point of endangering stone integrity and durability (I2 - I3). Price variability with weight is a bit odd... it's largely linear within certain bands, but it has very big jumps in price/carat at specific weights: 0.30, 0.50, 0.70, 0.90, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00... 

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