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Advice On Round Diamonds


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Hello all,


I have been doing a lot of research on diamonds and decided to join here as I have read some good threads and figured some interaction with people who have nothing to gain could help.


The only thing I am sure of is shape and size. I am looking for a round shaped diamond at least 1.5 carats, would prefer more around 1.75 or larger if it can be done.


Everything that follows is based on what I have read and seen in person.


Certification: GIA. I read this is the certificate to trust.


Color: I-J. I have read that color is not as important in a round diamond, and that you should not go better than H.


Cut: Would like a Very Good cut to make up for color.


Clarity: Si1 or Si2 maybe even an I1 - really what I am looking for is naked-eye clean.


This would be for a brand new ring. My budget is 10,000 - 15,000.


I live very close to the diamond district and have looked at and priced out some diamonds. I also have looked online at JamesAllen - I like their photographs and the virtual loupe.


Bottom line, I am looking for the best size diamond that looks naked-eye brilliant. I guess my first questions are:


Are my expectations reasonable?

Should I be sacrificing more in certain areas or is my combination of the 4C's about right?

Any recomendations for shopping in the diamond district - stores, shopping strategy etc.

Laser drilled diamonds. - opinions? I have seen an online vendor - 'Freddy Diamond' and it makes sense to me.

Is online really a better route? The diamond district seems to have pretty competitive prices when comparing the diamonds "on paper".


For now this is all. I have just started learning and looking for diamonds and am trying to get as much information as I can. Based on this feedback I will share some diamonds I have found online and in store. I will be working with a jeweler on Friday and will get some good pictures for you experts. Which is another question - any tips for a great picture that gives you all the best view of the diamond.


Sorry this was so long, but I thank you greatly for your response.

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GIA and AGS are the top labs.


EGL-USA; you need to look at or have the vendor evaluate; there are values to be found.


I-J will face up white in well cut stones.


You can easily go to SI-2 clarity. Face up eye-clean I-1's are rare but do exist and represent tremendous value. SI's are not created uniformly and vary considerably in their location, size, coloration, and reflectivity. Check it out.


Laser drilling: An excellent technique to whiten black inclusions but no longer used on diamonds submitted for lab reports due to an unfortunate incident years ago that led the FTC to require disclosure of laser drilling. Laser drilling today probably has a worse reputation than fluorescence.


Are you sure you don't mean fracture-filled diamonds?


Your focus should be to prioritize on Cut-Color.

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Thanks for the reply Barry.


I am not talking about fracture filled. Just laser drilled. It seems like laser drilling does not do any harm to the structure of the diamond that would cause problems later. You can spend less and get a larger and just as good looking real diamond (to the naked eye - which is all that matters to the average Joe).


You say laser drilling has a worse reputation than fluorescence - are you saying this as "it is not really as bad as it is made out to be", or no? Because I understand that some fluorescence isn't always a bad characteristic either, depending on the diamond.


Going back to the retailer I mentioned above, it also seems like he has happy customers, (as do you I see!). I am just not yet convinced that a laser drilled diamond is a bad choice.



Thanks again!

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A few points:


1. Laser drilling is beneficial to the diamond and does not damage the structural integrity of the stone; consider it akin to polishing a facet at the cutters bench.


2. Many years ago here in the NYC Diamond District, a woman purchased a diamond from a diamond vendor at one of the street level booths. She then took it to her local jeweler to be set. Her jeweler informed her that the diamond was laser drilled. She got upset-went back to the jeweler who sold her the diamond and asked him why he did not disclose the laser drilling treatment. Instead of admitting to an oversight, he denied that the diamond was drilled. To make a long story short- this ugly escalated into a lawsuit which the Press feasted on-depicting 47th jewelers and the diamond tradespeople as knaves, rogues, and con-men. The FTC stepped in and issued rules/guidelines that laser drilling had to be disclosed.


The end result was that this tsunami publicity made laser drilling anathema and elicited a weak-in-the knees reaction from consumers much like Kryptonite did to Superman.


Today. you rarely, if ever will see a laser drilled diamond submitted to GIA, AGS, and the lower tier labs because Manufacturers know such disclosure is the kiss of death and the diamond won't sell. Hence, laser drilling today is not preponderant. Fluorescent diamonds, on the other

hand, despite their undeserved bad rep- do sell, albeit at a discount.


For a through discussion and the best study ever done on the effects of fluorescence on face up color and transparency, read this 1997 study by GIA:




3. In short, a laser drilled diamond does represent the possibility of excellent value and the ability to stretch your budget to obtain a larger, whiter, and "eye-clean" diamond. Just don't expect it to come with a top tier lab report.

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Another thing to toss in here: IIRC, laser drilling is the one "treatment" that is actually listed as an "inclusion". And I've actually had a laser drilled, GIA graded cross my desk, but I was actually REALLY surprised to ever see one. That said, it's personally something that I would stay away from because I'm a purist. But, you can certainly find an eye-clean SI1, and maybe even SI2 if you dig around enough. Keep in mind, you're going to need to find a retailer or e-tailer who will be able to actually SEE the diamonds because you'll only be able to learn the nature and location of inclusions from a plot on a certification--not the color, depth, or how noticeable or potentially reflective an inclusion might be.

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Thanks Barry. Not sure if this is appropriate to post on this board or not, but do you sell laser drilled diamonds?


Specifically, no. There may be an occasional listing on our web site from a Manufacturer and you can, of course, look at the lab report for confirmation.


As mentioned, LD diamonds with reputable lab report is rarer than a needle in a haystack. You'll have to get it independently appraised.

Edited by barry
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I have been doing a lot of looking around the diamond district these last days.


I've found two diamonds in the diamond district that are close, but not exactly what I am looking for. I do have a copy of their certs, but I wanted a little more size (looking for 1.7 - 1.8, these were 1.6). After looking at them in person and pricing I went back online and compared to James Allen. I have found 4 diamonds that seem to look good to me that are in my budget and more of what I am looking for. These are about the same price as what I found in the diamond district, but I also would be saving on the NY sales tax. If anyone could take a look and give me their opinion I would GREATLY appreciate it.


Like I mentioned above, I really just want something that can maximize my size that is eye-clean and looks great with the naked eye. Thank you all so much again.


EDIT: I seem to be having trouble getting the links to work as a clickable link within the text....

1.77 Carat H-SI2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond


1.73 Carat H-SI2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond


1.71 Carat I-SI1 Ideal Cut Round Diamond


1.67 Carat H-SI2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond

Edited by JohnnyCat5
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I don't think you'd go wrong with any of this lot, though one of the reports is not yet available online (1.67 H/SI2). Coincidentally, and simply based on the one photo, it is the one that appeals the least to me. My favourite - based on GIA report info and one photo - is the 1.77, but that is personal preference since it is the one that looks closest to old cuts (which I love).


They all seem eye-clean, with the possible exception of the 1.73, where however the (possibly) visible inclusion seems to be prongable.You should ask JA for verification; one photo is not enough to tell whether the inclusion is visible or not.


ETA - see here on links: http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/7492-outbound-links-restricted-new-membership-class/


If it bothers you, contact Hermann or Laurie and ask them to classify you as verified member.

Edited by davidelevi
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My favourite - based on GIA report info and one photo - is the 1.77, but that is personal preference since it is the one that looks closest to old cuts (which I love).


Thank you Davide. The 1.73 was snatched up already so can't ask about that one. Just curious what is an "old cut" and why you favor it. Thank you!!

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If it bothers you, contact Hermann or Laurie and ask them to classify you as verified member.


Done :) He'll get you upgraded shortly. Not sure if he'll get it done over the weekend, though. After that, you'll be able to post links and whatnot more easily. It was just a change we had to make to disable that for new members b/c of lots of spamming. Thanks for understanding :)

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Thank you Davide. The 1.73 was snatched up already so can't ask about that one. Just curious what is an "old cut" and why you favor it. Thank you!!


The modern round brilliant is the result of centuries of evolution of jewellery fashion, machinery and knowledge of optics. "Old cut" is a general term for diamonds that were usually cut until the beginning of the 20th century, and that are characterised by the following:


* Large( r), chunky facets (particularly lower girdle) and short, broad pavilion mains.

* Tall crowns and small tables

* Large culets, sometimes reflecting in the crown (Kozibe effect)

* Usually - but not always - great depth.


One interesting point about old cuts is that they look at their best - and in my view better than their modern equivalents - in dim lighting sources such as candle light. I don't think this is coincidence.


For a long while (say 1920s until 2000), it was fashionable to recut old diamonds into newer, more brilliant styles. Now there is a tendency to preserve them (although in some cases the increase in value with the recut is considerable) or even to cut "new" old cuts.


Here is an original (~1890-1900) Old European Cut - round shape but rather different from a modern RBC:




And here is an Old Mine Cut - cushion shape, old style but cut in 2011:




As to why I favour them: simple personal aesthetic preference.

Edited by davidelevi
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Hi everyone,


After working with this great jeweler on 47th st., he has found three diamonds that are both what I am looking for and look great. I am at the point where it is time to discuss price.


I have copies of the GIA that I can upload if you with, but from what I have read, the experts here can look at the GIA cert if I just provide the number.


The GIA numbers are:


1126983402 - 1.70 I SI1 VG VG VG

2116785293 - 1.71 I SI1 VG X X

2126181685 - 1.60 H SI1 X X X


All are about the same price 14K, which is what he quoted me. We haven't negotiated, but he has indicated he is willing to move. The last one is the smallest at 1.6, but has a better color and Excellent cut. It is definitely more brilliant. They are all naked eye clean. I couldn't notice any yellow in the I's and I could not even find the twinning wisps on 1126983402 with the 10x loupe.


Any thoughts on these? Is the price right? I went on to the diamond finder and I found diamonds similarly priced around 1.70 with Excellent Cut instead of VG as I have above. Here is an example from JamesAllen: 1.71 I SI1. It is about the same price, but has a better cut according to the GIA cert. Am I missing something, or should the price of the ones I found on 47th st be lower? This jeweler really has been great and I want to give him my business, but I need to get the best value for my money. I also save on the sales tax from JA.


Thanks everyone. I am looking forward to getting this over with and uploading a pic of my final product.

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Rents at street level on 47th are very high. And the cost of employing courteous, knowledgeable staff to deal with customers is not zero either - these staff can be a lot more efficient on the phone than in a shop, but having them in the shop allows you to see and compare the diamonds with far greater convenience and certainty than through photos and the post. All of this is part of the reason why the prices in a physical store are often higher than online.


Is it worth it? Not for everybody. If the JA stone is not eye clean, looks worse to the eye, or is a "low I" (meaning close to a J), you may have less leverage than now, when you can see if the vendor on 47th is ready to negotiate the 1.60 at the same price/carat as the 1.71 you have seen at JA (so giving you about 6% off)...


Sales tax is - strictly speaking - a false argument: NY state levies use tax on items bought out-of-state.

Edited by davidelevi
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Technically, just because an out-of-state vendor isn't required to collect and remit the sales tax in your state, you are still responsible for paying it. As (i think) DenverAppraiser pointed out, that's something they'll possibly get you for if you're ever audited. And no, a brick-and-mortar store is not necessarily going to be cheaper than an e-tailer and vice versa--just depends on the stone, how long they've had it for, how much they bought it for, etc etc. I'd say, though, that if you're in the right ballpark on price, the fact that you've gotten to see it in person and that the jeweler has been willing to bring in stones for you, etc, and the personal service you're getting--if it's even a tiny bit higher in that ballpark range, it's still value for money. Especially if you're not on the tightest budget with all the time in the world.

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