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Alternatives To Celebration/leo


technoid
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Hey all, my 1st post and I hope I read enough here already to not be considered a total douche for having you comment on what has already been addressed.

 

I'd like 1st to consider both the CELEBRATION & LEO as a sort of starting point for my diamond search since both are nationally advertised with their specs I supppse, well known by the diamond community at large.

 

I assume (ouch!) that carat for carat both are very close in character (1 carat solitare w/platinum prongs on an 18k gold band) as they both retail for 6500k in the US, at .

 

Both are certified with papers universally accepted across the board.

At least for the CELEBRATION and with Zales card, you can also negotiate interest free payments for a set time.

(Of course you can negotiate interest free on other cards too.)

 

All of the above said , where do you find a solitare Diamond:

1) 1 caret in total size - round cut

2) mounted with platt prongs into an 18k gold band

3) more shine/glitter/reflection (whatever)

4) universally recognized certifications

5) lower in price than CELEBRATION/LEO

6) available for viewing in Houston, Tx?

 

?

 

I didn't explicitly touch on Colour/Clarity/Cut since I've read already that although the 3c's are important , you don't necessarily get a more sparkley stone.

 

Of course, with respect to CELEBRATION(102 facets, min SI2, min color I)/LEO(didnt reseach!), one might expect that a better stone would at least meet or exceed the numbers , but again, per my findings on the forums, this isn't always the case !

 

thx for reading and hoping to hear from you!

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And do you know what's really annoying?

 

At least for me as a techie, I tend to focus on the numbers while my wifee (of close to 15 yrs) will more focus on the shine and as a numbers guys I might end up spending just because of what's on the cert!

 

It's like saying the reason diamond prices are so high isn't because of the ladies but instead cuz of the guys!

 

I assume it's like that across the board so please school me if I'm mistaken.

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That’s a pretty broad set of questions so I’ll just pick a few.

 

‘Universally accepted grading’

No such thing. The closest is GIA and they will provide you only info on weight, color and clarity for specialty cut stones like you're considering. Since color and clarity don’t seem to be priorities for you I’m curious what you mean by this statement. What lab are you discussing and what are they 'certifying'?

 

Houston is full of jewelry stores and I know of two of the well regarded internet houses that are based there so it shouldn’t be difficult to find competitive sources. The slightly sticky part is your requirement for a specialty facet design. There are a fair number of manufacturers of this sort of thing but they tend to sell through closed dealer networks and so the specific brand will be associated with whatever dealer you choose.

 

0% interest for a while is pretty easy to find from the issuers of visa/mastercard if your credit is decent. I wouldn’t recommend using this as a shopping criteria for your jeweler or you’re likely to get skinned in other areas. Pretty much every dealer accepts both of these cards.

 

Neil

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(blanket statement: i use the term 'assume' lightly)

 

Thanks for your reply Neil.

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With respect to certification, is the GIA cert provided by Zales a benchmark in the industry? That it, is respected across the board more often than most? Please school me. I bring this up because I found on the forums here that some retailers offer certs/papers that have no weight - some appear to be outright bogus.

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With respect to facet design... I suppose it really doesn't matter as long as the cut adds to the overall appearance... I'd like to assume that the 102 facet CELEBRATION cut adds to the over all reflection count... i don't necessarily believe that more cuts means more reflection since angles come into play...

 

From a trigonometry perspective, perhaps 102 is the sweet spot: anything more / less detracts visually from the reflective surfaces. thoughts?

 

All that said, there's really no preference to the facet cut/count as long as the "bling" from the cut is comparable to the benchmark.

 

Perhaps I should ask though, does it makes sense to think of the CELEBRATION cut as a benchmark?

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I'm with you on the interest thing - one shouldn't discuss payment terms until a price is reached - and not just in the diamond arena.

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All in all and with respect to my 'broad set of question'... I really don't see that I'm asking a lot of questions. In spirit I was asking if there was a comparable diamond (ring combo) to CELEBRATION at a better price - then outlining what 'ya get' from CELEBRATION to make sure it didn't play out like "is there a better diamond than CELEBRATION at a cheaper price?" with responses like "Sure!"

 

I hoped to clarify my expectations up front to hopefully avoid the "you didn't say that earlier" issue.

 

Perhaps however I should have instead asked what is considered to be the benchmark of a diamond purchase. I imagine that is hard to do - but it seems that in every industry there's a standard and then there are upgrades.

 

Would it help to ask if the CELEBRATION (without respect to size) is comparable to a Ford Focus, Honda Accord, Lexus LS, or high-end Rolls Royce?

Edited by technoid
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Yes, GIA is the benchmark. You hadn’t said it was GIA and I would still recommend making sure that’s what we’re talking about. It’s important. As you point out, there are alternatives out there that the stores tend to describe as comparable that definitely are not. That’s one of the major minefields associated with diamond shopping.

 

The facet count does not increase the light return. That’s a function of the angles, the size and the lighting environment. The ‘standard’ is 58 facets but this is an artistic question more than an optical one. By increasing the count you get the same amount of light broken down into more and smaller flashes. The total light return remains the same. Some people like the effect and some don’t but it’s not correct to call it ‘better’ or to say that it produces more bling. There are crappy 102 facet stones just like there are crappy 58 facet stones.

 

Zales is not especially difficult to beat in terms of price. Pretty much any jeweler can do it, often by quite a bit although this does depend somewhat on what you’re buying. Their strong point is lots of locations in relatively convenient places and a certain amount of confidence that comes with buying from a large national company that everybody’s heard of. Their weak points are a limited selection, sometimes poorly trained staff and generally higher prices.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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An interesting point though you mention about facets and the standard of 58 - it makes sense perfect sense that the amount of light reflected by say, a quality 58 and a quality 102 should be the same.

 

However, a wearer of a 58 has to work harder to impress the onlooker by rotating the ring/finger as just the right angle relative to light/viewer to get that the reflection just right - and it would seemingly be more blinding than say the 102 since the surface it bigger.

 

On the flip, the 102 has a better chance of reflecting light but that the reflection wouldn't be quite as bright.

 

An interesting observation with respect to say infinite facets would suggest a reflection at any angle with a sharp in prick in the center of the perfect angle relative to viewing perspective with a gradual dimming to the outer edge of those cuts perpendictular to the viewer.

 

All said, I can see that some people might prefer the 58 over the 102 since , under the right conditions, you'll get a stronger flash from the 58 - although you'd have to work for it (rotating the ring more, etc...).

 

But back to a more basic question , do you tend to look at the CELEBRATION as a benchmark?

Is it fair to look at the CELEBRATION as a starting point?

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No. Again, there are well cut diamonds independently of the style of cutting, and there is no particular reason to assume that a Celebration is a well cut diamond. It is a perfectly good starting point, but only to come up to a subjective judgment of beauty, not as a standard for measurable light return (even assuming such a thing makes sense).

 

On the argument that "more effort" would be needed to see sparkliness in a 58 vs 102 facets, bear in mind that the size of a 1 ct diamond is just over 1/4" - any not highly controlled movement of wrist or hand will span that size several times.

 

Finally, and by the way, "Some people might prefer" is a bit of an understatement, considering that traditional cut brilliants are by far more widely bought than custom cuts, even though the latter are readily available through outlets such as Zales.

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Celebration is only a reasonable starting point if you are looking for a 102 facet design (or at least a non-standard round cut). The first question has to do with deciding what you like. The markets for specialty cuts is substantially different from the market for more traditional cuts. If you must use something as a benchmark to use as a basis for comparison, I would use GIA graded XXX cut/polish/symmetry, 58 facet round brilliant cut untreated natural diamond. Some will be discounted from that, some will be at a premium. You then can decide if that premium/discount is worth it to you for what you are getting as a tradeoff.

 

As long as ‘some people might prefer’ includes the observation that ‘most people DO prefer’ than I have no problem with a preference for something different. More popular is not the same as better any more than more facets is the same as better.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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It's easy for me to see Person A presenting their hand to Person B to show off their diamond.

In this the hand of Person A is relatively statitionary.

 

Odds are that the angles will favor a 102 facet stone over a 58 facet stone with respect to Person B receiving diamond sparkle.

 

Davidelevi , if you don't mind my asking, what is your affiliation within the diamond industry?

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Celebration is only a reasonable starting point if you are looking for a 102 facet design (or at least a non-standard round cut). The first question has to do with deciding what you like. The markets for specialty cuts is substantially different from the market for more traditional cuts. If you must use something as a benchmark to use as a basis for comparison, I would use GIA graded XXX cut/polish/symmetry, 58 facet round brilliant cut untreated natural diamond. Some will be discounted from that, some will be at a premium. You then can decide if that premium/discount is worth it to you for what you are getting as a tradeoff.

 

As long as ‘some people might prefer’ includes the observation that ‘most people DO prefer’ than I agree. More popular is not the same as better any more than more facets is the same as better.

 

Neil

 

Thank you Neil.

 

It's not that I prefer a 102 custom cut or anything other at this point... It has more to do with CELEBRATION being a 'packaged deal' so to speak. Like I said: "nationally advertised with their specs I supppse, well known by the diamond community at large."

 

Is there a nationally advertised "GIA graded XXX cut/polish/symmetry, 58 facet round brilliant cut untreated natural diamond" ?

 

The use of 'some' was generic - per my original post and per the line above and per your excellent explaination, I can readily understand why (i still feel a strong user to use 'some') people go one way or the other - or perhaps better stated why one cut isn't necessarily better than another.

 

Most popular? Beats me! I'd like to assume there was some sort of marketing research behind the decision to market the CELEBRATION diamond as it is designed.

 

Back to:

- GIA graded XXX cut/polish/symmetry, 58 facet round brilliant cut untreated natural diamond

 

XXX = ?

cut = 58 facet round brilliant

polish = untreated natural

symmetry = ?

 

I can't stress enough that I'm about numbers and that I need a starting point (an anchor) before I can move forward.

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GIA means stones graded by these guys. www.gia.edu

 

XXX refers to a GIA assigned grading of ‘excellent’ in the grades of ‘cut, ‘polish’ and ‘symmetry’.

 

Untreated natural diamonds means just that. No treatments, no synthetics, no imitations.

 

58 facet round brilliant cut is the ‘traditional’ facet design for a round diamond (some have only 57 and that’s fine, better actually). ‘Modern round brilliant’ is the name of the round facet design that you see on fingers and in jewelry stores all over town. It is, by a lot, the most popular design in the market although my above list of specs will narrow you down to the top few percent.

 

There are lots of these out there. That’s why I suggested it for your benchmark to work from. A good place to start is the ‘find online jeweler’ button at the top of the page. Even if you have no intention of shopping online this is a useful exercise. Fill in a few specs on the form and look at the results you get. You can sort the column by price by clicking on the header and then look at the ones rather near the top pricewise ignoring what seems like typos. You can click the ‘open’ button on the right hand margin and it’ll take you to the dealers advertisement for that particular stone. Some of the dealers give you more information than others but if you play with the database for a bit you can learn quite a lot and you can get a solid feel for what you can expect to pay for a particular size/clarity/color with the above specs. These folks are pretty competitive and you’ll find them to be very similar to one another given the above specs. By tweaking your search you can zero in pretty quickly to what you can expect for a particular price range.

 

Do some reading on cutting, cut grading and how the optics of diamonds work. I think you are working from some false assumptions but I don't want to take the time to write a tutorial here. There are some good online tutorials about this topic, some on the various dealers’ sites and some just out there. It’s a forum rules violation for me to give you a link but it shouldn’t be hard to dig up some material. There’s some good stuff on the GIA site mentioned above.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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It's easy for me to see Person A presenting their hand to Person B to show off their diamond.

In this the hand of Person A is relatively statitionary.

 

Odds are that the angles will favor a 102 facet stone over a 58 facet stone with respect to Person B receiving diamond sparkle.

 

Davidelevi , if you don't mind my asking, what is your affiliation within the diamond industry?

I don't mind at all. I am a consumer (or a collector is perhaps more accurate) of jewellery. No professional association except through long-standing friendships with various dealers and other pros. Apologies for responding late to your post, but I live in Europe and I'm 6 hours ahead of EDT...

 

The issue is not whether they would be stationary; the issue is that any movement, however small, of the hand or head is likely to be significantly bigger than the whole diamond - never mind a facet - indipendent of how they are cut. Plus, as Neil said, I think you are making some incorrect assumptions about how diamonds are cut and where light would get reflected or refracted from.

 

At any rate there is little point in making assumptions when you can simply test your hypothesis by going to any jeweller that stocks both and compare two rings, one with a Celebration, another with a traditional well cut diamond (say an AGS0). Then assess whether there is a. any significant difference in the amount and quality of sparkliness, and b. which pattern you like most. When I did that with a Leo a couple of years ago (admittedly not with the explicit purpose of making a sparkliness comparison), the traditional cut came up on top on both accounts - though clearly b. is purely subjective.

 

Some more comments below in bold within the quote:

 

It's not that I prefer a 102 custom cut or anything other at this point... It has more to do with CELEBRATION being a 'packaged deal' so to speak. Like I said: "nationally advertised with their specs I suppose, well known by the diamond community at large."

 

The question is what appeals to you within this package?

 

"nationally advertised" -> so are many others, including different custom/patented cuts and traditional ones. I assume you know the names of Tiffany or De Beers? These are advertised globally, yet as far as I know don't carry custom round cuts. So are they better?

 

"with their specs" -> as above. Tiffany for example will not sell diamonds below I/SI1, even though many people feel that "warmer" colour diamonds are as beautiful, and SI2 or I1 can be excellent value for money if you can find an eye-clean one. Most specs are only as reliable as the labs that grade them. On this, the industry trusts GIA and AGSL unconditionally; Tiffany and similar high-end mass retailers will self-grade for "smaller" goods and are also reliable, but even they will use GIA or AGSL for important stones. All other labs are more or less worth the paper they print on... either because they are notoriously unreliable, or because they are not widely known.

 

"well known" -> for what? For being a fad? Marquises were all the rage in the late '70s and early '80s; now you can't give them away. At any rate, I would bet that pretty much no-one "in the community" will be able to tell you off hand the number of facets in a Leo, Solasfera, Celebration, or Eighternity cut (66, 91, 102, 81 - since you like numbers :) ), while most will be able to tell you that a standard RBC has 57 or 58 facets.

 

Is there a nationally advertised "GIA graded XXX cut/polish/symmetry, 58 facet round brilliant cut untreated natural diamond"?

 

Pretty much any non-custom/patented cut round diamond advertisement...

 

The use of 'some' was generic - per my original post and per the line above and per your excellent explaination, I can readily understand why (i still feel a strong user to use 'some') people go one way or the other - or perhaps better stated why one cut isn't necessarily better than another.

 

We all agree on this, then. That's all that Neil and I were trying to point out - even though you happily(?) admit you will be buying the numbers as much as the diamond, I doubt you'll be carrying the report with you when going out with your wife...

 

Most popular? Beats me! I'd like to assume there was some sort of marketing research behind the decision to market the CELEBRATION diamond as it is designed.

 

Ford Edsel, anyone? Jokes apart - the diamond industry has been trying to "improve" on the classic cut ever since it was invented. In relatively recent times there is a fashion for custom cuts in small stones, since they afford higher margins to the dealers, but try reselling one. Conversely, well-cut 57 (or 58) facets are always in demand.

 

[snip]

 

I can't stress enough that I'm about numbers and that I need a starting point (an anchor) before I can move forward.

 

I appreciate that. But precisely because you need an anchor, I would suggest that you choose a sensible one - the standard for round shapes within the industry is the 58 facets brilliant cut, not the Celebration. This will give you greater ease of comparison and much broader choice - they are retailed by anyone in the industry, not just a limited number of stores. If in the end you decide you like the look (or the numbers) of a Celebration, a Biro88, a Wishing Star or a Gabrielle (102, 88, 74, 105), no-one here will think any the less of you!

 

EDT: fixed typos and blasted b bracket that keeps turning into B):angry:

Edited by davidelevi
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I'ld like to add that I agree with Davide that AGSL is an entirely acceptable, and possibly preferable substitute for GIA as a grading lab. I recommended GIA for your 'benchmark' because they are so much more common. There are no other labs that I would give this endorsement by the way.

 

You'll find several national brands including Hearts on Fire, Lazare and the Peerless line at Jared's that meet my above specs.

 

Neil

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An interesting point though you mention about facets and the standard of 58 - it makes sense perfect sense that the amount of light reflected by say, a quality 58 and a quality 102 should be the same.

 

However, a wearer of a 58 has to work harder to impress the onlooker by rotating the ring/finger as just the right angle relative to light/viewer to get that the reflection just right - and it would seemingly be more blinding than say the 102 since the surface it bigger.

 

On the flip, the 102 has a better chance of reflecting light but that the reflection wouldn't be quite as bright.

 

An interesting observation with respect to say infinite facets would suggest a reflection at any angle with a sharp in prick in the center of the perfect angle relative to viewing perspective with a gradual dimming to the outer edge of those cuts perpendictular to the viewer.

 

All said, I can see that some people might prefer the 58 over the 102 since , under the right conditions, you'll get a stronger flash from the 58 - although you'd have to work for it (rotating the ring more, etc...).

 

But back to a more basic question , do you tend to look at the CELEBRATION as a benchmark?

Is it fair to look at the CELEBRATION as a starting point?

 

 

Let me begin by stating that I am not a diamond expert - just a regular consumer who recently purchased an engagement ring. But for what it’s worth I started off my diamond search using similar logic (considering the Celebration diamond the benchmark for the stone I wanted) because I wanted a Princess cut diamond that had tremendous sparkle, fire, and scintillation. Add to the fact that there are less options for finding a well cut sparkly Princess then there are for round brilliants and I was convinced I was going to purchase a Celebration diamond. After lots of research I decided to pass on the Celebration diamond and found the perfect stone for me some place else. Let me make it clear that I have no problem with the Celebration diamond and thought the ones that I saw were lovely stones but for what it’s worth I will give you the reasons why I decided to purchase something different.

 

 

 

(1) Stone Certification. I can't speak for the round brilliant Celebration diamonds but the Princess diamonds offered to me did not have a GIA or AGS cert. While Zales had plenty of GIA certified stones, none of the Celebration stones offered to me had GIA certs but all used some other type of certification (I think its IGI or something like that). I personally did not want to spend a large amount of money on a stone without it having a GIA or AGS certification. I won’t go into a long explanation as to why I feel this way but for me a non-GIA or AGS stone was a deal breaker. Now, I’m sure I could have asked Zales to send the stone to GIA to be graded if I found a particular one that I loved and was on the verge of purchasing it but I chose not to do that once I found other stones that I liked more than the Celebration that already had the necessary certifications.

 

 

(2) Cost / value. The way the Celebration diamonds are priced it seemed to me that you either (i) got tremendous value for the ring you receive or (ii) got a very nice sparkly stone but could have gotten a very well cut stone with lots of sparkle that was larger for the same price. Unless other stores price it differently, all the Celebration diamonds are priced in ranges based on size. Meaning that all Celebration diamonds between .95 carats and 1.45 carats are set at the same base price. So if you’re offered a 1.4 carat Celebration for that base price then I say go for it. However, the ones they found with the specs I wanted were always in the lower end of the range and I was able to find better value (in my opinion) for the same price I would have paid for the Celebration diamond. Again when I say better value I don’t mean that I sacrificed on cut and purchased a poorly cut stone to save money, but I found other very well cut stones that sparkled tremendously, with a larger carat weight, and larger face up look for the same price I would have paid for my Celebration diamond.

 

 

 

(3) Sparkle. Finally, the most important factor and the reason I started looking at the Celebration Diamond in the first place the sparkle. I personally found that I liked the sparkle of some other diamonds more than I liked the Celebration. It’s hard to explain but I liked the more patterned sparkle of some other well cut diamonds more than I like the big bright flashes of the Celebration. I’m not sure if I am allowed to post videos here but if you google other specially cut diamonds with extra facets like the Solasfera (which does not have 102 facets but I think it has like 98) then you can find some comparison videos to look at. At the end of the day like it was explained to me its all about personal preference I would just encourage you to look at a number of different well cut stones to see what your personal preference is.

Edited by Chris - DC
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