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Advice On Picking The "right One"


mays24
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I recently have gone ring shopping and I have found myself stuck between the radiant star and the Leo Diamond. They are both 1 ct. The radiant star has a Clarity-I1 Color H-I Cut-VG but has a much larger amount of facets than the Leo. The Leo has a Clarity - VS2 Color - H-I Cut - VG and has a much bigger look to it. Im wondering which one of these contains the overall better quality and I also want to know if it would be worth getting a certified diamond with an Ideal Cut and better color or clairty for around the same price?

 

Any help is appreciated,

 

Mays24

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Facet count has a lot to do with the look of the stone but nothing at all to do with the clarity, color and optical performance. Both of the ones you've chosen are outside the usual and they're usually charging a healthy premium for it so the first quesiton is this:

 

Do you like the look of the extra facets?

 

If the answer is no then you're done, don't buy either one. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you have a preference of one pattern over the other. Neither one could be demonstrably called 'better' than the other and usually they come with weak lab documentation so it's hard to shop, even if you're shopping one Leo against another. A generic stone of similar weight/clarity/color will undoubtably be less money, even if you go for an 'ideal' cut but if what you like is that look that comes from extra facets, shop it against other extra facet designs. Most dealers can get them although they don't stock a lot. Check out the Solisfara line for comps for example.

 

Watch out for unusual labs. They're often the source of problems when it comes to grading issues that adds another wrinkle to the shopping process. Grading is a big deal and 'Color: H-I' doesn't sound like a lab grading at all. What's the source of this info?

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I made a mistake there. The color of the Leo diamond was H and the color of the Raidant Star was an I. This diamond was at Helzberg Diamonds and it had an IGI cert. I was really impressed by the "sparkle" of both. However I am concerned that its mainly due to the extra facets instead of having a great cut. I favor the Leo over the radiant star due to the Clarity and how the 1ct Leo looks much larger than most 1ct diamonds that I have seen. So I guess my dilemma is can I find a better quality certified Diamond (better cut, colour, and clarity) that is not large brand diamond for the same price as the leo, ultimately giving me more for my money.

 

mays 24

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OK, so the radiant star is out unless the price is whats driving it. I assume they're substantially different given the VS2 vs. I1 clarity with everything else about the same. By the way, what's the price?

 

You've used the word 'certified' in both posts as describing the alternative. That's a tricky word. I asume you mean GIA graded, which is a good thing, but that doesn't make it certified any more than IGI grading makes the ones you're looking at certified.

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Yes, the majority of the diamonds that I have seen are GIA certified. The cost of the radiant star was 5,300 and the cost of the Leo is around the 6,000 range. Now I was told by Jared and JB Robinson that they price their Leos by carat. So it makes me take into consideration the value I am getting the Leo at with a Clarity of VS2. However, do you think that I can find a 1ct, F or G colour, SI 1 or VS2 clarity that has an Ideal cut with Excellent or VG Polish and symmetry for a better price?

 

mays24

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Traditional 58 facet rounds are MUCH easier to shop. Start with the 'diamond finder' utility at the top of the page. Enter a your parameters and do a search. Even if you have no intention at all of shopping with these people it's a good way of getting a benchmark for what things cost in a highly competitive market. Limit your search to GIA, sort by price and then look at the top of the scale ignoring the most expensive few and any obvious outliers.

 

ALL diamonds are priced by the carat. If they're telling you that clarity and color don't matter, ask to see their selection of D/IF goods.

 

No, I don't think you'll find a 1.00+ GIA/G/SI1/xxx for under $6000. Adding F and VS2 just drives it up. I'm curious how you picked this set of specs when what you're comparing to is are an IGI/I1/H an IGI/VS2/H.

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[snip] what you're comparing to is are an IGI/I1/H an IGI/VS2/H.

...which GIA would not call H, I, VS2 or I1...

 

To mays: Why would you want to compare what are likely to be SI-clarity (or worse) K-M colour (or lower) with a GIA F/VS2?

Edited by davidelevi
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I did not necessarily hand pick these selections. I was simply beginning my search for the right choice. These two just so happen to be the diamonds that were most impressive to me based on the "sparkle" and shine of the diamond. One thing I picked up on from the people working that these stores was that these two diamonds had extra facets Radiant star (145) and Leo (66). I am by far an expert on diamonds and I wont try to be which is why I posted in the first place. I did not want to be fooled on a diamond with many facets but low quality in the 4c's. I do not know enough about diamonds and jewelry as a whole, thus the reason I am asking for advice. So I have not hand picked anything to look at, I am basing this on what has been shown to me thus far. So please understand that and help educate me, I am a perfectionist who is trying to find the perfect ring with my budget range.

 

Thanks,

 

Mays 24

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‘Sparkle’ is a remarkably complicated concept but the #1 component to what you see is the lights, not the diamond. Another piece has to do with the size and count of the facets. Here’s another analogy: Imagine a mirror on the table. The light return has to do with the size of the mirror and the brightness of the lights. Now break the mirror. In terms of light return, nothing changed, right? It doesn’t matter how many pieces, it doesn’t matter if you arrange the pieces in a pattern but both of these things affect the look. ‘Ideal’ is about light return. In the above example it would be how clean the glass is. Extra facets has to do with the number of pieces you break the mirror into. These aren’t the same things. If you like the look, by all means get the extra facet designs, but don’t confuse that with optical performance or light return. Some are better than others. Sometimes they get the angles right and sometimes they don’t, but it’s not a function of the number of facets, it’s about the geometry of the stone. Lots of people sell these things and it’s a very competitive market. The database here is about standard 58 facet stones but that doesn’t mean you can’t get something else if that’s what you want. Call the dealers and ask them what they can get. If you like a particular store, tell them what you want and see if they can help. Most can. It’s harder to shop these things and the dealers go out of their way to make it difficult but that doesn’t make it impossible. It’s just more legwork.

One more thing. What tends to drive the price in diamonds is weight/clarity/color with an adjustment for cutting and an adjustment for market selection. Weight is roughly related to size. Heavier stones generally face up bigger. Color and clarity are largely a matter of taste but they have a BIG affect on price. A VS1 will be more than double the price of an otherwise similar I1. F is going to be twice the price of J. This is what the lab issue is about. If one lab calls it an H and another lab calls it a J, that’s a big deal. You MUST decide where you want to land and you MUST decide who you want to rely on for grading. The answer you'll get from absolutely everyone here is the same. GIA and AGSL only. No one else. That's different from the answer you're getting from your jeweler and I would encourage you to look into why that is. Again, it's a big deal.

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that analogy makes sense. What i am ultimately looking for is a diamond that is going to speak for the one who is wearing it. She is a simple and modest woman so I want other people to be talking about whats on her finger. It does not have to be a speciality diamond or a big name brand diamond. I am looking for something that will have great optical performance (which i am guessing is based on Cut) with color that is as close to colorless as I can get it. Now I understand the price breakdown. My question is, which one of those 2 can I sacrafice the most (clarity or color) because I would really like to stay around the 1 ct range?

 

mays 24

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Spend some time playing with the 'diamond finder' utility at the top of the page. Enter a few parameters and see what you get. Then change one and search again. It's free, fast and a very useful educational tool. Even if you have no intention of buying from any of these folks you'll get a feel for what affects what.

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