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Estate Ring----Diamond Advice


MariaKipp
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Thank you for your time. I am looking for some advice regarding the center stone on an estate ring:

 

GIA certificate-Y

Stone: rectangular step cut

Dimensions: 7.26 x 6.67 x 4.90 mm

Carat: 2.25

Colour Grade: E

Clarity Grade: VVS2

Polish: G

Symmetry: VG

Fluor: None

 

Table %: 69 Depth %: 73.4% Girdle: thick/extremely thick

 

My concerns: proportions? and the depth of the diamond---is it too deep? I looked at the charts for cut grades and this really does not fit into the categories.

I am also concerned with the proportions of L/W.

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What's the price?

Is it being sold by a dealer? If so, is it in person or online?

Have you seen it? What do your eyes tell you about the look?

Have you got a photo?

 

l/w ratio is largely a matter of taste. 1.08:1 is far enough off of square that you'll notice the rectangularness if you look but not really something you'll see as rectangular. A standard sheet of paper, for example, is 1.37:1. The stone was definitely cut for weight, not optics, and I presume the E/VVS2 is carrying a premium on the price. Did you choose this one because you've seen it and you love it, you just stumbled across it or because you think it's a 'deal'?

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I found this ring in the estate section of a local jeweler and I was drawn to the classic shape. The ring is being offered at $25,000 CDN and it is in a setting-18K gold with platinum; adjoining stones-baguettes-3 either side of varying weights/VS1-SI1.

 

I am always worried when the deal looks too good to be true..and I would like a very good stone which balances the clarity/colour/carat and cut.

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The price is within reasonable bounds - in fact at the low end were you to purchase this as a "new" diamond.

 

I don't think you should worry too much about the depth if you like the stone, however I would strongly recommend that you see other diamonds for comparable prices before you plump out for this one - you may be able to find better and avoid paying a premium for E/VVS2 without having to sacrifice visual colour or clarity (e.g. G/VS2).

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I agree with Davide's comments. The only thing I would be inclined to pick on is the 'premium' associated with E/VVS2 if that's not what you went into the deal looking for. In the typical case that's going to be on the order of 50% more than an otherwise comparable G/VS2. That's ok if it's what you're looking for but it's a tough pill to take if it's just a convenient stone.

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Thank you everyone for your comments...it does help. I just happened on the ring...I wanted to make a purchase and have been scouting out estate rings when possible but am in no real hurry. However, I am looking for value and thought an estate piece may have more value than retail or shopping for a loose stone.

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It depends on what your question is. A gemmologist may well be able to tell you whether the diamond is the one described in the GIA report and/or whether it is well cut, but won't be particularly good at advising on whether it is a fair price.

 

Before you start spending money on professional advice, however, make sure that it is the right ring for you.

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I spoke with the jeweler today and asked that he show me some loose stones so that I could compare/contrast them with the one in the ring. I am hoping then I can feel more confident about whatever choice I may need to make and am taking your advice by looking at other stones--with some varying specs to determine more concisely what I would like.

 

However, he did not want me to take it to another jeweler...should I be concerned?

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I wouldn't count it as a huge deal that he's uncomfortable with it but, in the end I would insist that you be allowed to do it. The problem is that other jewelers have a tendency to spike deals for less than honorable reasons. Have it appraised by an appraiser who isn't a competitor as a seller. They may have had bad experiences with 'appraisers' in the past. That's not an excuse, just an explanation. It's your call and maybe I'm biased but I would not recommend backing off on this requirement, even if you never go through with it.

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I wouldn't be concerned at this point - though I would make double sure that there is a very clear no-penalty return policy for a good period of time (at least a week), sufficient for you to take it to someone and get their expert, unbiased opinion. Unless you have a truly trusted jeweller, I agree with Neil this means an independent appraiser.

 

If there is no return policy, then I would think very very very carefully. It's a very near deal killer for me.

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Thank you both so much for your advice. I am slowing things down so I can get a better feel for what I want---although I do know that I prefer the square/rectangular lines of step cuts/asscher cuts provided its a beautiful quality diamond. I know I'm looking for something special but understand that fancy cuts have evolved considerably over the past 10 years. And, I do not want to sacrifice optics for carat weight.

 

I will start by looking at other loose stones to get a better idea of where I want to go---balancing all the 4 C's. I have enjoyed reading about the science behind the cutting as well and there are some very good articles on the forum.

 

I will also ensure that there is a no-penalty return policy or I will find another jeweler. Its a deal breaker for sure!

 

I will be in touch!

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Actually - you are right, and I am blushing for not having noticed it. Rectangular step cut means it's effectively a rectangle - sharp corners. Rare in this size - I would not call it a baguette (or rather, at 2 ct a baton) because the length/width ratio is not rectangular enough - I'd call baguette or baton something that has a l/w of 2 or greater, but nevertheless a rare cut.

 

Cut-cornered step-cut rectangles would be called "emerald cut" on the GIA report. "Square emerald cut" if the l/w ratio is below 1.05.

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No problem...I missed it too at first glance but something was nagging me about it. What is your opinion about this cut? I have no experience with it so I am not sure as I have never heard of a baton. And, what are the number of facets of this stone?

 

Given its rarity is it worth considering or do you think its an oddity?

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A baton is a large baguette (over about 1 ct.). Number of facets on step cuts varies - they may have 3 or 4 pavilion steps, and 1 to 4 crown steps, each with 4 facets, plus a table and sometimes a culet. The plot on the GIA report is usually a good guide to the number of steps and thus of facets.

 

I don't think it's an oddity at all - the question is "do you like it better than anything else"? It really does come down to that. A "proper" emerald cut will look busier, but some people (me, for example) like the simplicity of pattern of simple steps. Also, the 4 sharp corners may need some protection or greater care than with a cut-cornered shape.

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I liked it as well---I like the simple elegance of the stone. I am concerned however about the corners because it may eliminate being able to wear it on a regular basis. Currently it is in a channel setting--I will post a picture of it but it is not very as clear as I would have like.

 

How does one evaluate its proportions then based on it being a "baton"? How would it hold its value in comparison to other fancy cut shapes?

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How would it hold its value in comparison to other fancy cut shapes?

 

 

It depends on what you mean by 'hold it's value'. This would be a difficult item to replace in the case of a loss and that tends to drive up prices come replacement time. At the same time, it would also be a difficult item to sell if you decided to get your money out of it and you would probably take an even bigger loss than you would on a more traditional stone (which is substantial by the way).

 

This is not a reason to avoid the stone as much as it's a reason to possibly avoid diamonds entirely. Diamonds are NOT a sound investment in the financial sense. I'm a big fan of diamonds but buy them because you love them, not because you expect to ever see your money again.

Edited by denverappraiser
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My guess is that it's an older stone from an era when people weren't so boxed into names of shapes. People are much more inclined now to choose a shape from a fairly short list and summarily dismiss anything else as outliers and therefore somehow defective. This is actually a fairly recent phenomena.

 

Yes, the shape was probably chosen at least in part to preserve weight. That's been a big deal in the diamond cutting universe for a LONG time.

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Thank you Neil and David for all your helpful advice and knowledge as it is really helping me evaluate this more rationally.

 

I actually appreciate the stone because of its uniqueness and simplicity and do not mind that it has a vintage quality to it. My only real concerns from the beginning was not having enough information upon which to make a decision---as all this was not disclosed/shared---. I would prefer to have all the possible information and facts upon which to base my decision.

My only concern now would be to address the grade of the cut given its simplicity cut especially in today's market (as you mentioned Neil) to determine how much it is actually worth.

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‘Value’ is a tricky concept and I’m always cautious about phrases like ‘actual worth’. What sets the price on this sort of thing is weight/clarity/color/cert/market. Cutting has remarkably little to do with it. It would be very difficult to go back to the dealer (or any other dealer for that matter) and say that you prefer something a little longer, shorter, taller crown or whatever. Shop it against emerald cuts of comparable weight/clarity/color/cert to see if the price is in the right neighborhood. Surely there’s something in the database. As I mentioned a few posts ago, the hardest part is deciding if you REALLY want an E/VVS or if you would be just as happy with something else that’s cheaper. We can’t answer that. Your price is reasonable for what you’re getting and it may not be even possible to find a similar alternative but a good price on the wrong thing is no bargain. What I’m fishing for is enthusiasm and maybe you’re not doing it because it’s an expensive item and you’re trying to be a methodical shopper but the reason to buy it is because it makes your heart sing, not because it seems like a deal. Tell me you love it for what it is and I'll tell you to buy it. Without that you should move on.

 

FWIW, I like unusual and vintage looking cuts. To me it’s a feature to be outside of the mainstream. Cut grading is fairly new activity and has only been around for a decade or two. Before that there was a shared wisdom among cutters and diamondtaires who knew what produced results that they liked and there was a significant variation between them. Something HAS been lost in the artform by the advent of computers and raytracing in the same way that the beauty of buildings from 100 years ago is very very different from the beauty of buildings today.

Edited by denverappraiser
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