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A Few Princess Options - Feedback Requested


RobertR
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My target for a diamond:

Princess Cut

GIA Cert

1.4-1.8 carat

Best Cut Possible (willing to give on size for better quality)

F-G color (would go to H if I saw a good one in person)

VS2-SI2 (have yet to have any issue with GIA SI1s I have been shown)

 

Budget: $10,000

 

I have been in contact with a number of jewelers and vendors, and have received the following three as recommendations. I would appreciate any feedback. I understand the value in cut, but also understand the challenge of defining it with the princess. The comments on the diamond are the dealer's, not my own. In order of size:

 

Diamond 1

 

 

1.27ct

F in color

VS2 in clarity

$7,951.00

 

The certificate:

 

Cert 1 Attached

post-129006-0-99613700-1319655543_thumb.jpg

 

Those black dots on the table are dust from the cert or scanner and are not plots.

 

Second Diamond

 

1.51ct

E in color

SI2 in clarity

$9,234.00

 

Features the Excellent Polish and Symmetry that you need to get that bright and brilliant diamond. The inclusion in the middle of the table is actually a white crystal with some shading on the bottom. My cutter assured me that this is only visible under loupe magnification and it is, in his opinion, clean to the naked eye. Finally, it’s actually the largest in size of all the recommendations I’m making. I think you’d be happy with this diamond if you want to stay close to your original inquiry.

 

The certificate:

 

Cert 2 Attached

post-129006-0-50396200-1319655565_thumb.jpg

 

1.55ct

F in color

SI2 in clarity

$9,426.00 wire

 

I was actually able to get a diamond image of this stone and I wasimpressed. The plot looked a little bit everywhere, but this is proof that the grading GIA does is very strict. It is still a square looking diamond. It also exhibits florescence

 

The Certificate and picture:

 

Cert 3 Attached

post-129006-0-06299800-1319655599_thumb.png

Pic 3 Attached

post-129006-0-03680900-1319655684.jpg

 

So, preferences? I can call all (or none) of these in. I still would need to see at 1.24-1.4 against a 1.5-1.65 to compare the size differences, so I am not immediately stuck on one size. From what I have read, its seems like the second may be the optimal cut, but that assumption is on small amounts of information. On the third, I have never considered a diamond with florescence before, any comments on that?

 

Thank You

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I appreciate the offer for another option. Those are welcome.

 

I am still hoping for some direct feedback on the diamonds I posted.

 

Commenting on the one Jan listed, it is an interesting option, and I appreciate the light performance information (though I am admittedly not sure how to put a price on that info), but I am not sure I want to step into an I color. I would probably rather go with a 1.6 carat stone and try for a better color. (I cannot say I have looked at a GIA I color in person)

 

As a learning example, can you comment on the cut quality of this diamond vs. the GIA report that it only gets a good rating on symmetry? Trying to understand the connection (if any) between report information and actual quality.

 

Thank You

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Symmetry is not the same as cut grade. GIA doesn't give a cut grade on princesses at all and they don't even really give a procedure for their students to evaluate it. The only lab that I know of that does is AGS although GCAL has sort of a halfway system for it. The AGS system uses a bunch of data that you don't have. You just don't have enough info to tell you much about the cutting on either stone beyone the l:w measurements and whether or not you like square or rectangular shapes better.

 

Have you seen either one? Can the dealer give you more information? ASET, Idealscope, Brilliancescope and/or Sarin are good places to start.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Commenting on the one Jan listed, it is an interesting option, and I appreciate the light performance information (though I am admittedly not sure how to put a price on that info), but I am not sure I want to step into an I color. I would probably rather go with a 1.6 carat stone and try for a better color. (I cannot say I have looked at a GIA I color in person)

 

What drives the price on diamonds is primarily weight, clarity and color with a modifier for cut and market selection. Light performance makes them prettier to most people, and that both drives up the prices a bit and makes them easier to sell but if you're looking for a 'deal' that's not the attribute to game. If you're looking for the overall best looking diamond, it's definitely the place to be concentrating.

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May I ask for you to clarify your point a little?

 

As you said, the main variables are weight, clarity and color, so keeping clarity a constant, I made the statement that I would likely drop the size to allow for a better color. What is the issue with that variable trade off?

 

The attribute I should not game is light performance, correct? If that is so, from what Jan provided, does that diamond show exceptional light performance?

 

Cut and light performance are inherently connected, right?

 

What is the attribute to game, if I am not gaming the right attribute? From what I have learned, from a purely day-to-day visual perspective, its seems I can give up clarity (to the SI1-SI2 level) first, then give on color (perhaps up to H?), then I need to probably give on size to maintain cut (and its impact on light performance).

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It's not quite so simple, not least because:

 

1. The relationships with price of most attributes are not linear; particularly weight has significant thresholds at 0.30, 0.50, 0.70, 0.90, 1.00 and then every 0.50 carats. So you may gain a significant amount of budget by staying below 1.50, while going from D to H in a relatively small stone may be worth relatively little.

 

2. Personal preferences need to be taken into account. For example, your stone #3 above will trade at a discount because it is visibly rectangular, and most people like princesses to be square. Same goes for colour - some people quite like the light yellows between K and N; however they are relatively unpopular choices and so go at a significant discount (if you can find them at all - they are actually quite rare, properly graded!). From that point of view, I would encourage you to go out and LOOK at diamonds before making categorical statements like "I would not like an I colour stone". You don't need to buy, but Jared's/Kay's carry GIA and AGS graded stones, and Tiffany's are pretty reliable with their internal grading.

 

Also, bear in mind that a well cut stone will show less colour (face up) and may well hide inclusions better than a poorly cut one.

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Commenting on the one Jan listed, it is an interesting option, and I appreciate the light performance information (though I am admittedly not sure how to put a price on that info), but I am not sure I want to step into an I color. I would probably rather go with a 1.6 carat stone and try for a better color. (I cannot say I have looked at a GIA I color in person)

 

As a learning example, can you comment on the cut quality of this diamond vs. the GIA report that it only gets a good rating on symmetry? Trying to understand the connection (if any) between report information and actual quality.

 

Thank You

My comments were targeted at the above comment. You mentioned Jan's stone came with data that you don't know how to attach a price to. She likes a tool called a Brilliancescope, which is a thing that I generally don't have a lot of regard for for a variety of reasons, but it *IS* data and it's better than nothing, which is what you've got now. With the exception of AGS-0 documented stones, good performers don't generally cost all that much more than otherwise similar mediocre performers (bad ones do come at a steep discount). This means that your strategy changes depending on your objectives. If you want a bright stone, the first step is to buy from a dealer who you count as reliable and who can evaluate the stone using their eyes and/or a variety of tools. They are your ally in the search, not your opponent. In general this is NOT the rock bottom market level so, in effect, you are paying a small market premium in order to get good advise. On the other extreme, if the goal is to get the best 'deal', meaning the lowest price for a particular weight/clarity/color, you find the best prices are with the drop shippers who never have, and never will see the stone you're buying. You have the report from the lab and nothing else to work from.

 

You can't maximize all of these (cheap prices, high 'off report' grading, reliable council). My usual advice is to adopt a strategy of first choosing your dealer, give them your specs and then choose the stone. That's path #1 above. Path #2 is to search the online databases for what looks like a bargain, order in a stone or 2 to look at, get them appraised, show them to your friends et.al. and return what doesn't suit you. Path #3 is to search the secondary market like Craigslist looking for a distressed seller who doesn't know what they have. Kiss a lot of frogs and eventually you might find a princes.

 

I don't comment on specific stones I haven't seen in any but the most general way and this includes the ones you posted and the one Jan is trying to sell. Others here are a bit freer about that but it seems inappropriate for an appraiser to be doing that.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Going by number on a piece of paper like a lab report, won't tell you how bright or sparkly a diamond is. Light performance analysis is a computer that reads how much white light, colored light, and scintillation comes off the diamond.

 

Some diamonds can have great numbers yet lack in light performance. That is because just going by a table average percentage and a total depth percentage, won't tell you how bright a stone will be.

 

My first choice is always to measure the stone in light performance, and if you can't have that, then second choice would be to buy an ideal cut princess that has a 0 light performance grade from AGS.

 

Alot of those stones that we have tested did quite well in light performance.

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Technology today has advanced to the point where there are tools that measure a diamonds light performance and therefore basing and limiting your purchase decision in the thousands of dollars just based on the lab report is no longer necessary or advisable.

 

Two princess cuts with the same exact "numbers" may well look different and display different light performance metrics as their irregular architecture will significantly affect light entry and exit.

Minute variations by the cutter in facet size, facet angle, and facet alignment and orientation can dramatically affect contrast brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. The GIA lab report does not provide this type of information.

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I appreciate everyone's feedback so far. Jan and Barry have brought me a couple of good options. I would like to request some informational feedback from Barry's selection.

 

Barry has provided a picture, ASET, and Idealscope of a diamond that appears to fit into my range. Its seems that most of the experts on this forum are careful about the level of opinion they present, so if there is other information needed, please let me know. Even general info pertaining to how to look at the ASET/Idealscope would be great.

 

For example:

- What shows me that this diamond is cut better and performs better than the average diamond?

- What does that ASET tell me about how the diamond performs? What different information does the Idealscope give me?

- This may not matter at all, but this diamond has one of the smallest table percentages I have seen in my diamond search. What does that mean, if anything?

 

Thanks for the help.

 

The main link:

http://www.exceldiamonds.com/Diamonds-1/GIA-Graded-Loose-Princess-Cut-1-55-Carat-H-Color-VS1-Clarity-103409.html

 

orig.jpg

 

ASET:

orig.jpg

 

Ideal Scope:

orig.jpg

 

Diamond Information Shape: Princess Carat: 1.55 Cut: Excellent Lab: GIA Certificate: 2131531896 Clarity: VS1 Color: H Polish: Excellent Symmetry: Excellent Fluorescence: N Table: 65 Depth: 69.5 Length: 6.72 Width: 6.45 Height: 4.49 Culet: None Girdle: medium

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I appreciate everyone's feedback so far. Jan and Barry have brought me a couple of good options. I would like to request some informational feedback from Barry's selection.

 

Barry has provided a picture, ASET, and Idealscope of a diamond that appears to fit into my range. Its seems that most of the experts on this forum are careful about the level of opinion they present, so if there is other information needed, please let me know. Even general info pertaining to how to look at the ASET/Idealscope would be great.

Here is a reasonable "starter for 10" quick guide to the ASET - which incidentally uses princess cuts as examples. http://www.ideal-scope.com/1.using_reference_chart_ASET.asp.

 

For example:

- What shows me that this diamond is cut better and performs better than the average diamond?

Look at the examples in the page above, and compare. Also, this is one of the areas where experience is useful - ask Barry what he thinks of the diamond. Of course he has a vested interest, but he also has a vested interest in getting a repeat customer. ;)

 

- What does that ASET tell me about how the diamond performs? What different information does the Idealscope give me?
Both the IS and the ASET give you basically the same type of info: how does this diamond reflect light? The IS is easier to read (more red = better); the ASET provides more details on the angle from which the light is intercepted. In practice, though the only way in which to make sense of IS and ASET images is to see a lot of them and see the corresponding diamonds "in real life" or at least with good photos and videos. Once you are "trained" the images tell you what to expect when looking at the diamond face-on.

 

- This may not matter at all, but this diamond has one of the smallest table percentages I have seen in my diamond search. What does that mean, if anything?

[snip]

In general - and take this with a barrel of salt - a small table means a high crown and thus a diamond cut with some attention to light performance even to a slight cost in yield from the rough. Is it a surefire rule? No, but it's a good sign. The ASET and IS images confirm that it is a well cut stone, in my opinion.
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