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Help Choosing Better Diamond


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Looking for a little advise. I am buying a ring in the next 2 days and narrowed it down to 2 styles. One is a princess and the other is a round. Both are set in palladium. Both are GCAL 5 star certified. I just want to make sure I am not getting taken to the cleaners. Both rings are from Bailey Banks & Biddle. I thought they would have been one of the most expensive but compared to other stores I visited such as Whithall, Littman, Halzbergs, and Kay's, BBB seems to have the better quality diamonds and also their prices were less then the crappy diamonds from those other stores. I just dont know if GCAL is a good grading house.


Here are the two diamonds. I have a $3000 budget.



.80 ct

Color H

Clarity SI1

Opt Bril Excellent

Opt Sym Excellent


Cost $3,300 - 15% = $2,805



.70 ct

Color H

Clarity VS2

Opt Bril Very Good

Opt Sym Good


Cost $3,100 - 15% = $2,635



My GF talks about the princess cut all the time and mentioned to me she did not like the round cut. But comparing the two next to each other the round diamond just had much more fire to it and just made me think "wow" to it. The round diamond also had sort of a square setting that made the diamond look like a princess cut. Since I liked it so much and thought it was such a better looking diamond, I had one of my GF's friends talk to her and try to get out of her whether or not she would mind a round diamond and she said to her friend that she woudl not mind one since she trusts me on picking something out my self.


So I guess I have three questions:


1.) Is GCAL a good certification

2.) Do you think the above diamonds are a good and fair deal?

3.) Is Bailey Banks & Biddle reputable? (Every other place I went to talked them down saying they were going out of business)


Thanks to taking the time to read this.

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My GF talks about the princess cut all the time and mentioned to me she did not like the round cut.


Given this statement, I’m not even going to discuss the merits of the round one. Don’t compromise, even if her friends think it’ll be ok.


GCAL maintains a credible lab out of NYC. They’re in a big campaign to get more stores to use their services and are on a mission to take over the grading world. Showing up at BBB is a good step. Who knows, they may pull it off but make no mistake, who they need to take over FROM is GIA and GIA currently enjoys a considerable reputation as the lab to rely on. The GCAL star system of grading is unique to them and , I think, not as useful as it could be because they are less than forthcoming about what the various grades actually mean but this is not unusual. The only lab currently with a credible cut grading system for princess cuts is AGS. I really like the AGS system and if you can find a dealer who sells AGS-0 princesses I think you’ll be impressed. Cutting is the source of that ‘wow’ factor you’re talking about. If you want something to compare the GCAL 5-star to, check the AGS site at www.ags.org to see if there's an AGS dealer in your town. A few phone calls or emails may get you some other dealers who can help you out in finding what you want.


BB&B isn’t going out of business, they’re being sold. This is good news, not bad. They are currently owned by Zale Corp and have been struggling for years trying to keep their identity as a higher end ‘guild’ type store, which is their roots. It’s about time.



Edited by denverappraiser
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