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leod11

Leo Diamond Solitaire

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Unless there's some particular reason that you're going with a signature cut, I think you can totally get a better price on a better diamond if you were to go with standard cut round brilliant. You pay a premium for a signature cut, but those extra facets just make it sparkle on the surface--that doesn't mean that it's a better cut and that it has good light performance, which is what you're looking for in a diamond.


Diamonds Graduate, Pearls Graduate, AJP GIA

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...and BTW, when you are comparing, take into account that GSI is not a reliable lab, so their I/SI2 could be J/I1 (which is a BIG deal as far as price is concerned) or it could be lower or higher. No way of telling without seeing the stone (and preferably having it regraded by a reliable lab)


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Buying from a large and well known supplier comes with a level of confidence that’s valuable and I have no great problem with Leo’s. There are a few things you’ve brought up that I think may require some clarification.

 

#1. All Leos are not the same in terms of cut. Just like modern round brilliants, they vary from one to the next and it’s worthwhile to shop them against one another. The onus is on the jeweler to convince you that THAT one is the best for you. Maybe they’ve done this but you haven’t mentioned it.

 

#2. Prices. Stores can charge whatever they want but be careful about blanket claims like ‘Leos are cheaper than H&A’s’. This is flatly false. In most cases they cost more, and sometimes quite a bit more. Leo has a limited distribution network and the whole point is to drive up the prices. H&A is a loosely defined concept that may or may not mean anything for you but the fact that generics are available drives the prices down. This store may be charging more for THEIR H&A line, or at least the one that they showed you to defend their prices, but it’s a mistake to extrapolate this to the suggestion that all H&A claimed stones cost more.

 

#3 The lab isn’t what makes a beautiful diamond beautiful and it’s not correct to say that you are being cheated by getting a GSI grading. That said, as with the above, they are using this lab because they get better sounding grades for the same stone and they are making it more difficult for you to compare apples to apples. They charge whatever it is that they charge and since you’ve said you’re ok with paying a premium to buy from these folks I’m not going to get into the pricing but if you’re being told to compare against stones from another lab, you are being led to make an unreasonable comparison. If you want to buy from a local store that sells GSI stones with extra facets, shop for that as your basis for comparison, not with H&A's sold there or with GIA stones sold elsewhere. If you’re in a big city it’s not that hard a call and if you’re online, shop for fantasy cuts with IGI or EGL grading (GSI is a rather small lab so they don’t have much of a footprint in the global market. There are several cutters out there using special facet designs ranging from 88 - hundreds of facets each). Your local jewelers really should be able to get them if you ask.

 

Is it a good price? That’s the question you keep on coming back to and it depends on what you are using for comparison. If the standard for comparison is how much that particular store charges for a Leo branded stone today, yes, that seems to be what they charge. But then you already knew that. If you’re using something else as a comparative basis or asking us to do the same, what is it?


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Hello - I hope it will be benificial to share my story with a recent Leo purchase. I was looking for a nice right hand ring as a mother's day gift (from husband and kids). This was a "one time shot" purchase, so I wanted to make sure I got a nice ring that will be something to hand down to my daughter some day. I purchased the Leo .98CT solitare, color: H, SI2, with an enhancer band, .75CT color I, SI2 for a total of just over $8K. I was sold on the "brilliance" this ring was to have. I admit, this is my fault for not doing research. After a few days I was not impressed by any additional "brilliance" of this stone compared to my non Leo solitaire engagement ring. I became curious and after reading reviews, I felt like perhaps I had been slightly "taken". This is my concern for other shoppers:

 

I had three separate appraisals done by reputable non-mall chain jewelers in my state:

 

The solitaire consistently appraised at only $3700! (this alone was $6K from Kay's). The color and SI2 rating seemed to be okay, but the cut was consistantly rated as "Poor".

 

The enhancer ring faired slightly better, although the cuts did not match and it was reported back to me that it has an "uneven" appearance due to this small variation.

 

In total, the appraisals priced this ring in total as no more than $5K. Again, I paid over $8K. Needless to say, I returned this set to Kay's and am in the process of finding a better stone at a better price.

 

I do believe some Leo's can be much nicer than the one I purchased, however, I believe they are all overpriced. My recommendation to anyone looking at this brand is to research reputable jewelers in the area that offer a GIA cert and just see the difference in cost and quality.

 

I hope this is helpful

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VERY! Thank you for sharing your experience. This is a great example of why I tend to try to steer people away from the signature cuts, because you're paying a huge premium for the name and not necessarily getting a better diamond. Not to say that this is always the case, because I'm sure they cut some higher quality stones, too, but it seems (at least to me) that a lot of the times they're selecting diamonds that would otherwise have a hard time moving for what they are, and cut them just so that the surface can look nicer, but ignore that a lot of the beauty of a diamond comes from how the light performs inside of it, and they're really side-stepping that altogether.

 

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, but I'm glad that you were able to return what you purchased and I hope you have MUCH better luck second time around!


Diamonds Graduate, Pearls Graduate, AJP GIA

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nancial - thank you very much on behalf of all other posters and readers. This is precisely the sort of post that I wish more people were ready to put up. At least you have the option of returning and getting a refund, and your next ring is going to be much better - let us know if we can help in getting you to pick a nice stone and setting.

 

Neil - don't know, but it's pretty unusual.

 

Hermann/Laurie - would it make sense to have something like a time lock on posts, so that people can edit to their heart's content for an hour, but then they can no longer edit or delete posts?


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Yeah...that's pretty crazy. I wonder why they did that. I figured the first person maybe got in a tizzy b/c they didn't like what they were hearing, or something, but this one...I'm at a loss...

 

I don't think the edit function should be frozen or anything like that, b/c think how sometimes folks have been away for a day or so before coming back and reading responses, and we've asked them to add information or corrections to their original post... I dunno...i hope it doesn't become a trend though. Not that locking down something like that is something I'm empowered to do, so it'd be up to the big guy to figure out if something like that would be possible if he saw fit.

 

Anyway...thanks again for sharing, nancial :)


Diamonds Graduate, Pearls Graduate, AJP GIA

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I am glad it could be helpful. Thank you Davidelevi for the offer to help pick out a new stone... an since you offered...rolleyes.gif I would like to ask an opinion.

 

I am looking at another stone. I am doubtful that I have all the info you need, as I am not sure what that info in total would be. The stone is 1.01CT, round cut, Triple Excellent rating, SI1 and color is I The stone is GIA certified. The price on this stone is $5970.00. I don't know much else that would be important to convey. He (the jeweler) did show me the one inclusion he noted, and it is off to the side, and there were no others. I am not sure how important it is that it is not in the center. Anyway, I was told this price was a good deal. I am not trying to be skeptical, but I am out of my realm here and don't want to be "taken" again. He did urge me to look at other stones that were very nice and less money, so I didn't feel that he was "trying to make a sale" but this itself could be a technique to make people feel comfortable. I have no reason to distrust what he said, but since you offered to help, I hope you don't mind I am asking..

 

Thank you for any help, you can provide.

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Laurie - if people need to add info, they should do so in a new post, possibly quoting the original. That's the way things work out in a normal conversation; you don't go back and "presciently" add the information required. Think of this as a dialogue:

 

OP: I am looking at this diamond, G/VS1, 1.20 ct, and am wondering if $9000 is a good price

DR regular: Who is calling it G/VS1, and what is the shape and cut grade?

OP: It has a GIA report, it is round and the cut grade is Very Good

 

versus:

 

OP: I am looking at this round diamond, G/VS1, 1.20 ct, and am wondering if $9000 is a good price. It is graded by GIA as Very Good cut.

DR regular: Who is calling it G/VS1, and what is the shape and cut grade?

Another poster: Uh? Are you guys on dope or something?

 

not to mention that the wholesale deletion of posts is even more disruptive to people trying to understand the flow.


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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nancial: it is no trouble at all.

 

The price sounds reasonable, if slightly higher than what you may find from an online vendor for a similar stone. This is also reasonable; a store has higher overheads. Even if you have no intention of buying from any of the vendors advertising, use the Diamond Finder (link at the top of the page) to check prices for different grades, sizes and shapes; at the very least it gives you something to base your bargaining on!

 

Other information that would be good to have: the diamond's proportions (cut angles, table, depth, crown/pavillion height, girdle thickness) and whether it shows any fluorescence are interesting to know. Direct visual examination (aka seeing the diamond) is more important than any of these - GIA "Excellent" cut covers a pretty wide ground, allowing stones with different looks to have the same grade. None of them will be in any way bad, but you may well prefer one to the other. The cut estimator software on the GIA site (https://www.gia.edu/facetware/) is another thing you may want to look at to understand which parameters are influencing the cut grade most.

 

Inclusions: an inclusion directly under the table is likely to be more easily seen - think of each facet as a window to the inside of the stone, and the table is the largest of all of these windows. To the side it may even be hidden under a prong. Don't necessarily rely on the jeweller's word for this being the only inclusion - that's what the plot diagrams on the GIA report are for: to help you find and identify the inclusions. However, do not assume that because a plot shows a lot of inclusions that stone is necessarily "bad" - visibility is not taken at all into account in the plotting, so a stone with many difficult to see inclusions has a very busy plot, but a stone with one highly visible inclusion has just that - in reality, you will see the latter but not the former.

 

Having said that, for your budget you should be able to get something perfectly eye-clean. Which brings me to a question: how important is it to you that the stone is heavier than 1.00 carats? Would you be happy to trade off that against higher colour or clarity - with the proviso that to a casual glance the upgrade will not be all that visible - or a truly top-of-the-line cut, which will be visible?


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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thank you Davidelevi,

I have attached a copy of the GIA report of this stone. I don't know what the other measurements mean, so I figured I would just post this report. Any feedback would be VERY appreciated...

To answer your question, no, I am not committed to anything of a specific weight. Actually, this jeweler did reference that and stated that if I didn't need to be at a 1CT it would drop off a price of a nice stone, just for being slightly less in weight. I did think this stone looked nice, and I don't mind paying a fair price for a nice stone. I just don't want to be told I am getting a "deal" when I am in fact not - much like the Leo experience. I really appreciate the help!

nancial: it is no trouble at all.

 

The price sounds reasonable, if slightly higher than what you may find from an online vendor for a similar stone. This is also reasonable; a store has higher overheads. Even if you have no intention of buying from any of the vendors advertising, use the Diamond Finder (link at the top of the page) to check prices for different grades, sizes and shapes; at the very least it gives you something to base your bargaining on!

 

Other information that would be good to have: the diamond's proportions (cut angles, table, depth, crown/pavillion height, girdle thickness) and whether it shows any fluorescence are interesting to know. Direct visual examination (aka seeing the diamond) is more important than any of these - GIA "Excellent" cut covers a pretty wide ground, allowing stones with different looks to have the same grade. None of them will be in any way bad, but you may well prefer one to the other. The cut estimator software on the GIA site (https://www.gia.edu/facetware/) is another thing you may want to look at to understand which parameters are influencing the cut grade most.

 

Inclusions: an inclusion directly under the table is likely to be more easily seen - think of each facet as a window to the inside of the stone, and the table is the largest of all of these windows. To the side it may even be hidden under a prong. Don't necessarily rely on the jeweller's word for this being the only inclusion - that's what the plot diagrams on the GIA report are for: to help you find and identify the inclusions. However, do not assume that because a plot shows a lot of inclusions that stone is necessarily "bad" - visibility is not taken at all into account in the plotting, so a stone with many difficult to see inclusions has a very busy plot, but a stone with one highly visible inclusion has just that - in reality, you will see the latter but not the former.

 

Having said that, for your budget you should be able to get something perfectly eye-clean. Which brings me to a question: how important is it to you that the stone is heavier than 1.00 carats? Would you be happy to trade off that against higher colour or clarity - with the proviso that to a casual glance the upgrade will not be all that visible - or a truly top-of-the-line cut, which will be visible?

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Sorry, I guess I can't attach this file for some reason..?

 

Anyway, here is some additional information:

 

Measurements: 6.38 - 6.42 x4mm

Flourescence: Medium Blue

Additional twinning wisps are not shown

Surface Graining is not Shown:

Girdle: Medium to slightly thick (faceted) 3.5%

 

thank you Davidelevi,

I have attached a copy of the GIA report of this stone. I don't know what the other measurements mean, so I figured I would just post this report. Any feedback would be VERY appreciated...

To answer your question, no, I am not committed to anything of a specific weight. Actually, this jeweler did reference that and stated that if I didn't need to be at a 1CT it would drop off a price of a nice stone, just for being slightly less in weight. I did think this stone looked nice, and I don't mind paying a fair price for a nice stone. I just don't want to be told I am getting a "deal" when I am in fact not - much like the Leo experience. I really appreciate the help!

nancial: it is no trouble at all.

 

The price sounds reasonable, if slightly higher than what you may find from an online vendor for a similar stone. This is also reasonable; a store has higher overheads. Even if you have no intention of buying from any of the vendors advertising, use the Diamond Finder (link at the top of the page) to check prices for different grades, sizes and shapes; at the very least it gives you something to base your bargaining on!

 

Other information that would be good to have: the diamond's proportions (cut angles, table, depth, crown/pavillion height, girdle thickness) and whether it shows any fluorescence are interesting to know. Direct visual examination (aka seeing the diamond) is more important than any of these - GIA "Excellent" cut covers a pretty wide ground, allowing stones with different looks to have the same grade. None of them will be in any way bad, but you may well prefer one to the other. The cut estimator software on the GIA site (https://www.gia.edu/facetware/) is another thing you may want to look at to understand which parameters are influencing the cut grade most.

 

Inclusions: an inclusion directly under the table is likely to be more easily seen - think of each facet as a window to the inside of the stone, and the table is the largest of all of these windows. To the side it may even be hidden under a prong. Don't necessarily rely on the jeweller's word for this being the only inclusion - that's what the plot diagrams on the GIA report are for: to help you find and identify the inclusions. However, do not assume that because a plot shows a lot of inclusions that stone is necessarily "bad" - visibility is not taken at all into account in the plotting, so a stone with many difficult to see inclusions has a very busy plot, but a stone with one highly visible inclusion has just that - in reality, you will see the latter but not the former.

 

Having said that, for your budget you should be able to get something perfectly eye-clean. Which brings me to a question: how important is it to you that the stone is heavier than 1.00 carats? Would you be happy to trade off that against higher colour or clarity - with the proviso that to a casual glance the upgrade will not be all that visible - or a truly top-of-the-line cut, which will be visible?

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SO sorry again - I pasted a picture but it did not come out either, I apologize for this while I get used to this site...

The other measurements are: table 57%, depth 62.5%

not sure what else I should provide - thanks again!

Sorry, I guess I can't attach this file for some reason..?

 

Anyway, here is some additional information:

 

Measurements: 6.38 - 6.42 x4mm

Flourescence: Medium Blue

Additional twinning wisps are not shown

Surface Graining is not Shown:

Girdle: Medium to slightly thick (faceted) 3.5%

 

thank you Davidelevi,

I have attached a copy of the GIA report of this stone. I don't know what the other measurements mean, so I figured I would just post this report. Any feedback would be VERY appreciated...

To answer your question, no, I am not committed to anything of a specific weight. Actually, this jeweler did reference that and stated that if I didn't need to be at a 1CT it would drop off a price of a nice stone, just for being slightly less in weight. I did think this stone looked nice, and I don't mind paying a fair price for a nice stone. I just don't want to be told I am getting a "deal" when I am in fact not - much like the Leo experience. I really appreciate the help!

nancial: it is no trouble at all.

 

The price sounds reasonable, if slightly higher than what you may find from an online vendor for a similar stone. This is also reasonable; a store has higher overheads. Even if you have no intention of buying from any of the vendors advertising, use the Diamond Finder (link at the top of the page) to check prices for different grades, sizes and shapes; at the very least it gives you something to base your bargaining on!

 

Other information that would be good to have: the diamond's proportions (cut angles, table, depth, crown/pavillion height, girdle thickness) and whether it shows any fluorescence are interesting to know. Direct visual examination (aka seeing the diamond) is more important than any of these - GIA "Excellent" cut covers a pretty wide ground, allowing stones with different looks to have the same grade. None of them will be in any way bad, but you may well prefer one to the other. The cut estimator software on the GIA site (https://www.gia.edu/facetware/) is another thing you may want to look at to understand which parameters are influencing the cut grade most.

 

Inclusions: an inclusion directly under the table is likely to be more easily seen - think of each facet as a window to the inside of the stone, and the table is the largest of all of these windows. To the side it may even be hidden under a prong. Don't necessarily rely on the jeweller's word for this being the only inclusion - that's what the plot diagrams on the GIA report are for: to help you find and identify the inclusions. However, do not assume that because a plot shows a lot of inclusions that stone is necessarily "bad" - visibility is not taken at all into account in the plotting, so a stone with many difficult to see inclusions has a very busy plot, but a stone with one highly visible inclusion has just that - in reality, you will see the latter but not the former.

 

Having said that, for your budget you should be able to get something perfectly eye-clean. Which brings me to a question: how important is it to you that the stone is heavier than 1.00 carats? Would you be happy to trade off that against higher colour or clarity - with the proviso that to a casual glance the upgrade will not be all that visible - or a truly top-of-the-line cut, which will be visible?

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It doesn't sound to me like this is a bad choice at all, but if you were to drop to a .9x you would save a significant amount of money and get very close to the same size diamond appearance-wise. There are "magic numbers" within the industry because of the relative increase in rarity (which obviously becomes more so the larger you get) including the .25, .50, .75, .90, 1ct, etc.. If you were to, say, open your searches up to .95-.99, you could save a lot or possibly be able to move up in Color or Clarity for the same money.

 

Btw...that brings me to another thought that I think was mentioned not too long ago, but Hermann--where do we stand with being able to set upper and lower limits for price in our Diamond Finder searches? is that possible--or could it be?


Diamonds Graduate, Pearls Graduate, AJP GIA

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Nancial - if you have the GIA report number, we may be able to check the report out through GIA.

 

So far, no red flags; depending on what you want, I think you have many choices: go slightly down in size (not to any visible extent, really), but up on colour and clarity, or stay where you are, and enjoy the bragging rights of saying "it's over 1 carat". Whatever you do, don't skimp on cut, and above all buy something that you love!


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Hi Davidelevi and Laurie - thank you both for your quick response. The GIA report number is: 2116836737. After review, I guess this is my ultimate question - is this ring at a cost of $5900 a good deal or a fair price, or even slightly higher than a fair price. I like the stone very much, and if it is in fact a "good deal" I will continue with this ring in a setting a chose. However, since I am not married to the idea of having a 1CT or plus I would be open to looking at other things, and would most likely do so, if this was anything less than a "good deal". The reason I chose this stone was because I was told, based on others that I had looked at that were less money that this was a good value for the money compared to some others... Make sense?

Thank you again - you guys have been wonderful!

Nancial - if you have the GIA report number, we may be able to check the report out through GIA.

 

So far, no red flags; depending on what you want, I think you have many choices: go slightly down in size (not to any visible extent, really), but up on colour and clarity, or stay where you are, and enjoy the bragging rights of saying "it's over 1 carat". Whatever you do, don't skimp on cut, and above all buy something that you love!

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Um - let me get one thing straight. Is the $5900 for the diamond or for a ring? If for a ring, what does the ring look like? In what metal is it?

 

Assuming it is only for the stone, and assuming the inclusions are not visible and the cut is up to scratch, it is a reasonable price - one of the reasons why it's priced relatively low is the fluorescence; it won't make a jot of difference to the looks, but the market marks it down. FWIW, the various proportions from the report seem OK but not the very very very best, however what matters is what you like, not what the report says.

 

Is it a good deal? It is not a rip off, but you could definitely get something different for the same money - whether different = "better" depends on what you value. As to whether it is a better deal than a cheaper stone, it depends on why the cheaper stone is cheaper and the value you place on those attributes; some people will agonise over a 0.1° in pavillion angle or whether VVS2 is sufficiently not included, and some people will buy a fracture-filled stone cut by a drunken monkey on a cloudy night because it's big and it sparkles (sometimes).


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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See this is what is so hard... All the different aspects to a novice like myself, make it hard to make the right choice. I have no idea if the girdle is more important than the pavillion angle or anything much outside of the basic 4Cs... I understand that it is the whole physics of the cut and the degrees and the light and the quality and all that in combination that produces the brilliance. I admire you all for being able to understand how all these aspects work together to produce either a "very desirable stone" or the contrary. I very much appreciate the assistance. It would take me a very long time at best to have the level of knowledge you folks have, and appreciate the help.

 

The price is for the just stone - now here is where I am growing concerned: I was told this price of $5900 was a "great deal" for this type of stone - most of the rational based on cut and degrees and all the terms that are newer to me than the 4Cs which I get... I was told that this stone could easily appraise for 10K (which I appreciate is subjective anyway) and that their retail price is $7900 - there is my deal - I was to be getting a 2K savings off of a stone that I was told was priced fair at the $7900.

At the risk of sounding too basic - this is what matters to me - this is a gift from my family - my three small children and husband. Hubby knows even less about jewelry ( if you can believe it )and wanted me to find something "perfect" within a set range of cost. Obviously, I want to get the best ring for the cost since this is a one time deal - I am not one that will be dropping this kind of money on myself again for jewerely. It just want to be able to look down at it and be happy and feel good about it. With the Leo, when I looked down at the ring, I felt taken and that I had wasted my family's money and been "bamboozeled"

 

I just want a pretty ring that sparkles and is worth the money I spent. A good deal is even better, but again, I am willing to pay fair cost for a good product.

 

I know so much of this is subjective in looking at the actual stone, and appreciate the continued advise. May I pose the question to you? If you had this stone presented to you (as on paper)_for $5900 would you buy it?

Um - let me get one thing straight. Is the $5900 for the diamond or for a ring? If for a ring, what does the ring look like? In what metal is it?

 

Assuming it is only for the stone, and assuming the inclusions are not visible and the cut is up to scratch, it is a reasonable price - one of the reasons why it's priced relatively low is the fluorescence; it won't make a jot of difference to the looks, but the market marks it down. FWIW, the various proportions from the report seem OK but not the very very very best, however what matters is what you like, not what the report says.

 

Is it a good deal? It is not a rip off, but you could definitely get something different for the same money - whether different = "better" depends on what you value. As to whether it is a better deal than a cheaper stone, it depends on why the cheaper stone is cheaper and the value you place on those attributes; some people will agonise over a 0.1° in pavillion angle or whether VVS2 is sufficiently not included, and some people will buy a fracture-filled stone cut by a drunken monkey on a cloudy night because it's big and it sparkles (sometimes).

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Honest thoughts on that price (not that I give any other kind, but just brutally honest right now) --no one gives away 2k out of the kindness of their hearts. If they could get 8k for it, they would. But they can't. So they're talking out their behind, to a degree. Yes, you can expect to pay a little more at a brick&mortar store vs an etailer because of overhead, but not to the tune of 30% upcharge. If you use the Diamond Finder, you'll see that the price he's asking is pretty much an average price for a stone with those basic stats. Throw in the fluorescence, and you're probably talking a little more towards the middle/lower side of average. Consider whatever the inclusions might be and their locations and visibility (unaided).

 

Now looking at the report itself, I'm glad you're triple EX, and I really never worry about twinning wisps--you mentioned that the inclusion at the side, the dealer said was slightly visible, but considering its placement, even if it is glaringly obvious, it's somewhere that it *could* be hidden with the prongs. The diamond will face up white enough, no problem, and personally, I don't sweat the numbers on the angles and whatnot if it's gotten an Excellent Cut Grade, because to me, that means that not only do the numbers fit a criteria, a human being has looked at it and judged it to be in their most superior category for appearance. Your girdle is fine--not too much thickness, not too little, so it's not going to be exceptionally susceptible to chipping and it's not tying up excess weight that don't add anything to the appearance (just the price).

 

SO that's the bigger breakdown. Could you find something easily comparable or better for the same price or less if you were to shave even just .02 carats off of that diamond--ABSOLUTELY. In fact, I can't recommend anyone outright, but doing a basic search, I was able to find a .97 I VS2 (so you'd never have to worry about visible inclusions, facing up) for about a grand less. It's a VG cut grade, which is still totally fine in my book, since it's a fairly subjective "close second".


Diamonds Graduate, Pearls Graduate, AJP GIA

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Two separate considerations; on price, I agree with Laurie. It's a totally honest price, but it's certainly no bargain, and this is not a rare stone. Give or take a hundred, there's about a thousand like it advertised for sale here, and the mid-point price is somewhere around $6000 for those with an "GIA-Excellent" cut grade (my rough estimate). Add a little for this, take away a little for that, $5900 is what it's worth.

 

Second point: would I buy that particular stone? Honestly - no. Why not? Because there is nothing about it (on paper) that excites me. It's not an interesting size, colour, clarity or cut. And I don't mean that I would only consider 5 carat D-IF with a 40.75° pavillion angle and a 53% table as "interesting". Quite the opposite. Here is the latest diamond I bought for my wife - and curiously enough it wasn't much more than $6000:

 

P1000480.jpg

 

What is it? It's a 0.92 Fancy Deep Yellow Orange I1. With a 66% table and rather large variation in girdle thickness (VTHN/VTHK). Oh my God. On paper, it sounds awful, except perhaps for the colour, but fancy colour grades cover rather broad ranges, so it could be murky and dark. Coloured diamonds are also far less predictable in terms of cut parameters, because the cutter has to think about the colour as well as all the other things (brilliance, fire, contrast, clarity and weight) that matter in a (near) colourless stone, and this results in some rather unusual choices like the extremely large table on this stone.

 

Here it is with a couple of Art Deco citrine and diamonds clips that were bought a little later, to give you an idea of the intensity of colour

 

P1000484.jpg

 

So, is it awful? I don't think so, neither does my wife nor do any of the people that have seen it, including several jewellers. What it does - to me at least - is speak with a uniqueness and character that few other stones can match. Was it a bargain? Not by a mile; it was reasonably priced, but that was that: the cutter knew well that despite the relatively unappealing characteristics on paper, it was a very attractive diamond. This is what it looks like when it gets light directly on it.

 

r3568ra.jpg

 

To get back to your current quandary - my feeling is that at the moment, because you are very conscious of your recent near-burn with the Leo stone, you are more concerned with getting fair value for money than with getting something you really love. I love unique, strong looks, and that's what got me into coloured diamonds in the first place. What do you love? If it is fire, sparkle, "iciness", (which is what I like in colourless diamonds) then don't buy an I colour with a good but indifferent cut. And you can still get very fair value for money without breaking the bank with a 0.90 F/VS2 like this one, for example:

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/clk.cgi?http://www.jamesallen.com/diamond.asp?b=20&a=16&c=79&cid=131&item=1377428

 

I'm not recommending you buy this stone; I'm just providing it as an example of something that will look very different from the one you are considering, yet costs roughly the same, and has the same visual size. But this one is appealing to me because of the colour and the cut; the other one isn't.

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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First of all - a world of thanks to you and Laurie. You have provided me with much assistance, and no doubt, spared me from future disappointment - at least on some level. I have decided that it seems to get the best price, I should strongly consider eretailers. To do this with confidence, I will need to continue to research the dynamics of what makes one stone better than another. For example, the link to the stone you sent - The colour is much better than the stone I was considering, but the SI2 vs SI1 and the cut of Excellent vs. Very Good would have made me consider them "equal" stones - I would have been wrong. I am no where near at this time to be able to view an online image or GIA cert and know I will be happy or disappointed with a stone. I think for this purchase I will try to invest the time to get to that level. You are right, it is more important that I love the stone and will be happy with my purchase. I do like the stone you sent the link on, so I will consider that as well. It seems a little scary for a novice like me to order a $6K stone based on an internet picture.. that is the reason for me to try to get more knowledge of knowing what I am looking at and for. I will be looking at stones in the under a ct range as suggested - It makes total sense. If interested, I will follow up and post when I find my dream ring.

 

Regarding your ring - I think it is beautiful! Like you said, one could read the specs and think it was "awful" but look how gorgeous that ring is! That confirmed for me also that I need to invest the time to "get" what I am looking at. I am sure your wife is thrilled with this piece. It is very unique and has a definite "wow" factor! Just gorgeous. I am sure much is lost on the picture vs. in person too.

I hope you all understand, I am not pretending I can research this for 6 months or a year and be at your level of knowledge. I have a tremendous respect for the ability you have. That is where someone like me must rely on an expert. I feel, however, that not arming myself with more info on cut angles, pavilion degrees, and table with and depth, I will again be at the mercy of someone who may not be as forthcoming as I would need. This experience has made me feel that it is much like buying a car!

 

Thank you both again - I can't tell you how grateful I am. I wish I could offer you something in return for all the time and effort you invested...

Two separate considerations; on price, I agree with Laurie. It's a totally honest price, but it's certainly no bargain, and this is not a rare stone. Give or take a hundred, there's about a thousand like it advertised for sale here, and the mid-point price is somewhere around $6000 for those with an "GIA-Excellent" cut grade (my rough estimate). Add a little for this, take away a little for that, $5900 is what it's worth.

 

Second point: would I buy that particular stone? Honestly - no. Why not? Because there is nothing about it (on paper) that excites me. It's not an interesting size, colour, clarity or cut. And I don't mean that I would only consider 5 carat D-IF with a 40.75° pavillion angle and a 53% table as "interesting". Quite the opposite. Here is the latest diamond I bought for my wife - and curiously enough it wasn't much more than $6000:

 

P1000480.jpg

 

What is it? It's a 0.92 Fancy Deep Yellow Orange I1. With a 66% table and rather large variation in girdle thickness (VTHN/VTHK). Oh my God. On paper, it sounds awful, except perhaps for the colour, but fancy colour grades cover rather broad ranges, so it could be murky and dark. Coloured diamonds are also far less predictable in terms of cut parameters, because the cutter has to think about the colour as well as all the other things (brilliance, fire, contrast, clarity and weight) that matter in a (near) colourless stone, and this results in some rather unusual choices like the extremely large table on this stone.

 

Here it is with a couple of Art Deco citrine and diamonds clips that were bought a little later, to give you an idea of the intensity of colour

 

P1000484.jpg

 

So, is it awful? I don't think so, neither does my wife nor do any of the people that have seen it, including several jewellers. What it does - to me at least - is speak with a uniqueness and character that few other stones can match. Was it a bargain? Not by a mile; it was reasonably priced, but that was that: the cutter knew well that despite the relatively unappealing characteristics on paper, it was a very attractive diamond. This is what it looks like when it gets light directly on it.

 

r3568ra.jpg

 

To get back to your current quandary - my feeling is that at the moment, because you are very conscious of your recent near-burn with the Leo stone, you are more concerned with getting fair value for money than with getting something you really love. I love unique, strong looks, and that's what got me into coloured diamonds in the first place. What do you love? If it is fire, sparkle, "iciness", (which is what I like in colourless diamonds) then don't buy an I colour with a good but indifferent cut. And you can still get very fair value for money without breaking the bank with a 0.90 F/VS2 like this one, for example:

 

http://www.diamondre...31&item=1377428

 

I'm not recommending you buy this stone; I'm just providing it as an example of something that will look very different from the one you are considering, yet costs roughly the same, and has the same visual size. But this one is appealing to me because of the colour and the cut; the other one isn't.

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Nancial - you are offering a lot in return. Meaningful conversations, the sense of being useful to a forum member and your willingness to contribute your experience with the Leo stone and others are worth a lot to me and to all that read here. If we can help you make a choice that you are happy with, and see photos of it on your hand, it is even better.

 

From that point of view, if we can continue to help and answer questions or discuss ideas and options, we are all delighted to do so. Keep asking!

 

If you want to read a bit more on cut, http://www.gia.edu/diamondcut/index.cfm is a good primer on how the GIA cut grading system works, and it explains the whys and wherefores of cut in an easy to understand way. The Facetware site (free) is here https://www.gia.edu/facetware/ - you can play with the parameters and see how they affect the cut grade (a little more on this below).

 

One point about e-retailing: while it is true that seeing is believing, most people offer generous return terms (15, 30 even 60 days), so in a sense what you are "paying" for is the shipping back and forth in exchange for a lower price. And, if you choose your dealer well, you can rely on their sense for what is actually worth seeing as opposed to just "reading nicely".

 

Finally, two tiny points - the stone I picked is VS2, not SI2 - precisely because I wanted to find something that was almost certainly (99.99%) eye clean, as opposed to the greater caution one has to exercise with SI stones. The cut is an interesting one: I like it because it has so many elements of old cuts: small table, high crown, small star and short lower girdle. According to GIA, the star is a little too small to deserve an "Excellent" - in practice, if you like old stones (and I love them), this is going to look fantastic. Other people - Laurie for example - prefer a more modern, brighter cut with a larger table. Nothing wrong with that, but I feel there is something special with the old cuts. Here is why:

 

P1000186.jpg

 

These are all old cuts. And they are fiery like little else on Earth. Is this the right look for you? I don't know, but in your search for the perfect stone you should be aware of everything that is available and make up your mind from a broad choice, not from one or two stones that a jeweller happens to have in stock!


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Hello All - Well, I have been continuing my research as well as my search for my perfect ring... I have a stone I am considering, and am hoping for a second (or third or fourth rolleyes.gif ) opinion....

 

I did get to see it, and it looks very nice (as does everything under the lights in a jewelry store)...

 

GIA # 2116474270

Round Brilliant

1.76CT

I

SI

Cut VG

Polish Ex

Sym. Ex

Flour: None

Table 58%

Depth 62.4%

Med-Slightly Thick faceted

 

Cost $11K

 

It appears to be very nice - I did some price comparison, and the price seems good - I just want to see if I am missing anything here, and would really appreciate another set of (expert) eyes...

 

Thank you very much if this is no trouble..

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