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Carat vs. Clarity


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I'm of the opinion that I'd rather have a bigger stone 1 (i.e 1 carat or bigger) even in the I1 Clarity category than a smaller stone that is perfect.


For instance, I can get a 1.15 C round diamond with F color and I1 clarity for about $4000. Would that be a good buy for an engagement ring?



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Depends on the Cut. The better the Cut, the less likely the inclusions will be seen.


Can you see the inclusions in the 1.15?

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The problem with the included grades is a rarity factor. They are quite common thus hard to get rid of should the need ever arrive. I would opt for a better clarity and slightly smaller . Get a GIA lab report on the diamond and look for a well cut diamond. You could have a diamond that weighs 1.15 ct. but it might look much smaller if it isn't well cut. So don't get too hung up on the weight on a scale.

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It's from the Shane Company, so my guess would be the cut is good. I think they have a pretty good reputation.


Where did you hear this?


Shane is considered one of the mass-market companies out there, and I have heard that their cuts are actually not that good.


Not trying to bad-mouth them, just urging you to double-check the cut and the overall purchase... and rely less on whatever reputation you think they may or may not have.


Good luck out there!

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ShaneCo is a fine company and they do have some nicely cut stones but they are clearly labeled and marketed as such. It’s a mistake to just assume it. Premium cutting doesn’t just happen and it does cost a premium. Ask to see their best, branded, super-ideal, awesome stone and take a peak at it. They should be able to show it to you in a tray with the one you are considering so you can compare them side by side. Don’t worry about the price, just get a feel for what it looks like. If the stone looks brighter or livelier to you, this is probably due to the cutting.


Good cutting can make up for a lower clarity but so can good lighting. The difference is important. If you can, arrange to look at your stone in bad lighting as well as viewing it under the spotlights over the counter. Most stores have a dark corner or some similar area that the salesperson can guide you to where you can view the stone. Often a single pace back from the counter is all it takes. The difference between good cutting and bad is easier for most people to see under bad lights.


At the risk of sounding self serving, professional appraisal services can be helpful. Not everyone wants to turn themselves into an expert at this and it helps to have seen a few thousand stones before. If your not comfortable with the decision, contact an independent appraiser (meaning one who doesn’t buy or sell diamonds) who can help.


Neil Beaty


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