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Newbie Needs Some Help


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I am looking for a diamond for my wife for our 25th anniversary. I am running into some criteria I had not counted on as I do my research and I don’t know what to make of it.



Proprietary Diamonds:


I’m running into “Leo Diamondâ€; “Hearts on Fireâ€; “HeartStarâ€, etc. Why should I consider these as opposed to a traditional diamond?



Lab certifications:


GIA vs. AGS vs. EGL vs. others, Comparison among the different labs. Should I care what lab the diamond comes from?



Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat:


How much importance should I place on these factors. I made my first visit to a local jeweler and he mentioned the priorities were, #1 cut, #2 color, #3 clarity, #4 carat. He recommended (for my budget) near colorless (G,H,I, J); clarity SI1-SI2


I want to keep my purchase to undere $5,000 any advice would be appreciated

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I am a newb too so please take my comments with a grain of salt.


Personally, I have found great success using Abazias's GIA collection and they gave me a very nice discount by just being a forum member. I started off thinking I knew what I want but this forum set my straight and I am very grateful. I have really narrowed down my choices by sticking to stones that are GIA, the size I want, and always with a EXCELLENT CUT/EXCELLENT SYMMETRY/VG-EX POLISH (I am a bit relax on that; perhaps I should not be?) while keeping to my budget. Those are my constants. That brought down my results quite a but. Then, it leaves COLOR/CLARITY as the variables for me and then the fun begins. Next, I went for the color that appears whitest to my eyes (especially put in my 18KT WHITE GOLD setting) while giving me an eye clean stone. For my price range ($12-$14K), that left me with H/SI1 or I/VS2s. I then narrow it down while looking at each stone's chart of inclusions to narrow it down farther. I have added to the pot several times trying to see if I add a few bit here and there to give me another potential record set. It's addicting. :rolleyes:


I am not done yet but that's basically what I am doing and I an happy as I have a game plan and can see the relationship between each of the 4Cs and how they affect one another. It's actually kind of fun/interesting.


Perhaps the best advice I can give is to strongly consider online places due to their huge stock and attractive prices. I have narrowed down my choices and posted some reports here to get more advice. After I select, I plan to have them sent to me and have them individually checked. The local prices are just plain ridiculous and I am much more comfortable shopping at my home and using this forum to help me make my choice instead of driving around to a place that is 1) Higher priced 2) Less stock 3) Trying to sell you something; this forum is not given today's gas prices and my lack of free time. But, that's just me.

Edited by SAgosto
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Some very good questions.


What is it that you are paying for in a Proprietary diamond?

Is it a better cut and better light return?


You can learn more from these two sites about cut grade




Yes labs are very important. The two that I would recommend are GIA and AGS. Even though clarity grades are subjective to a certain point, the ones that are on the most are the above 2.


There are plenty of diamonds in your budget area. You will have to balance, budget, and size and color and clarity. For instance you could get an ideal cut just under the 1.00 ct. in weight for well in your range in a VS2 I.


I would also look for a vendor that actually sees and compares diamonds versus buying from a drop ship site by paper only. So many things going into buying a great diamond that the lab reports alone won't tell you.

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Selecting a high light performance diamond by the numbers off the grading report is difficult.


Our experience in evaluating GIA Excellents and AGS Ideals for our customers is that despite the similar external "numbers" no two diamonds look the same. They can and do vary in brilliance, dispersion, and sparkle when viewed in the face up position.


Being mindful of the C's is a good start but does not give you the whole story. People looking at her ring will note whether the diamond snaps, crackles, and pops with light, not what it says on the lab report which she will not be wearing on her finger.

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We have had the same experience. Not all ideal cut diamonds perform the same.

If I were going to spend my hard earned money on a diamond, I would want to make sure that the diamond that I spent my money on was a top light performance, not just nice paper.


I had a GIA EX EX EX the other day that only got a 7.2 on light performance. That one was quickly returned and didn't consider it for stock.



Just because someone lists a bunch of stones that they never see, doesn't make them a large vendor in my opinion. When people come into my store they expect to see more than a few pieces of paper underneath the counters. They want to see actual product.

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