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Inclusions And 102-Facet Round Cuts...should I Pay More For More Facets?


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Hello everyone.


I have begun to actively search for a diamond for my girlfriend. She really likes the look of a solitaire, and, personally, I think it's very elegant. I'm looking at 1.0 ct+, however, at that size price becomes a consideration and I need to be certain I'm getting what I'm paying for.


Personally, I would sacrifice size for quality if it was for me, however, she really enjoyed one of the 102-facet round cut diamonds offered by one of the mall jewelers. But, after I began looking into what makes a "quality" diamond, and I compared what I had learned to the quality of the diamonds the 102-facet diamond they were selling, I wasn't so impressed. The "1.5 ct" (which is the only way they sell it so it could be less than 1.5 ct realistically) diamonds they offer have minimum specifications of: color-I, clarity--SI1, cut--excellent. I just have a difficult time knowing how significant the color and clarity actually have on the diamonds sparkle. I obviously don't want to give her a yellow, cloudy diamond, but when we looked at the 102-facet diamonds, it appeared to have a much better sparkle. Which brings me to my first question, does the number of facets truly change the diamonds sparkle, and if so, how will a lower clarity and color be affect the diamonds look and sparkle?


So, I began searching for diamonds with minimum color = F, clarity = VS2, and cut = excellent. But, it's difficult for me to do anything because I can't really compare the 102-facet to the standard 54-facet round diamond. Which brings me to my next question, when it comes to selecting a diamond, which inclusions are the most significant contributors to decreasing the quality and sparkle of a diamond?



Thanks for all your suggestions, thoughts, and opinions in advance.

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You have two separate issues. Colour will not affect "sparkle" (meaning brightness, dispersion and contrast) at all until you get into the "Fancy" colour range. Clarity is also a non-issue up to and including I1 - with a few rare SI2 and I1 exceptions where large and dense clouds give the stone a - well - cloudy appearance.


As to your last question on "which inclusions are good bad or ugly" - it is a case by case, stone by stone question. A perfectly formed, large(ish) diamond crystal near the girdle of the stone is one thing. A cluster of black diopside bang under the table quite another - but both would be classified as "crystal".


Some recent threads that discuss the issue:





The other, distinct issue is cut. As you point out, you cannot easily compare prices of custom cut diamonds. In many cases, you cannot compare colour or clarity either, because they are graded by labs that are less than reliable. FWIW, this is my view on custom cuts - particularly round custom cuts:


1. They look different - not "better". In most cases, they have a very high number of facets resulting in a very splintery appearance with a lot of pinflash, but little fire and larger-scale patterning of reflection.


2. They cost more - sometimes a lot more - when compared to equivalent traditional cut diamonds


3. They are more difficult to resell or trade in for an upgrade - often only the original dealer will buy them back.


In short, I would not recommend them. If your girlfriend is totally in love with the look, go for it, but do make sure that before you commit you (and she) do the following:


1. See a few really well cut and fairly graded traditional round cut. Tiffany has well cut stones, and Kay's and Jared's Peerless collection also are well cut (AGS-0). Don't be taken in at Kay's and Jared by their own custom cut stuff.


2. Make sure that she sees and compares the diamonds (and particularly the 102-facet) in different environments - not just under halogen spots. Natural light, overhead fluorescent, dim lighting are all easily obtainable environments where diamonds will look significantly different from the way they do in the main area of a well built jewellery store.

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