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Help Me Choose Between 2 Round Brilliants Please!


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Hi all,


I posted a few weeks back about my search for a round brilliant engagement ring. Well, after going through several vendors, I have narrowed down my search to 2 stones. Please let me know which you think is the better overall pick, please!


Stone 1

AGS 000

2.263 carats

F colour

S1 clarity

Table: 56.2

Diameter: 61.0

Crown: 34.5

Pavilion: 40.8

8.44 x 8.51 x 5.18 mm


The stone is totally eye clean, the crystal at 8:00 is not visible to the naked eye, and can be partially covered by a prong. Stone has an excellent HCA score.


Stone 2

GIA triple excellent

2.59 carats

F colour

S2 clarity

Table: 56

Diameter: 62.1

Crown: 35

Pavilion: 40.8

8.71 x 8.88 x 5.46 mm


I am told that the stone is eye clean, there is a minor white inclusion on the table, but this is not vsible to the naked eye. I am nervous about geting an SI2 for a large stone however. Stone has an excellent HCA score.


Initially, I was leaning towards stone 1. I think it's harder to get an AGS 000 vs a GIA triple excellent. I also like how the crystal can be covered with a prong. However, stone 2, although I am worried about it being a SI2, I can't help but be attracted to the fact that is is bigger in carats, and pushes me through that 2.5 threshold!


Both stones are approximately the same price - please help me in picking my future engagement ring! :) We live in Europe, so unfortunately, it would be cumbersome to order both rings and just return/exchange one - trying to get this done right on the first time! :)





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Tough question. The whole issue as I see it revolves around whether the larger stone is eye-clean to your satisfaction. It is true that AGS ideal is more restrictive than GIA excellent, but based on the info on the reports the GIA-graded stone would also qualify for AGS ideal cut. BTW - the HCA is totally irrelevant in this case.


Unfortunately, the only way of knowing for sure if something is eye-clean is to see it. Possible proxies include:


1. Asking the seller - with specific criteria as to distance, angle of observation, lighting, etc. (and making sure that the person you are talking to actually has the stone in hand; it's not uncommon for people to make things up). It is definitely the cheapest and easiest, but it relies on a seller who has a clear conflict of interest - some people I would trust blindly, others I would not trust at all. How is your relationship with the seller?


2. Getting good quality photos taken by the vendor - which is also a great way to ensure that they have the stone. Interpreting the photos is not completely straightforward, since they are typically greatly magnified (or totally useless) and an inclusion visible in a 5x or 20x photo is not necessarily visible to the naked eye.


3. Finding a reputable expert (appraiser) that is located in the US (I assume this is where the stones are at the moment) who can look at one or both and give you his/her unbiased opinion as to which one you should buy. The cost is modest, particularly compared to the potential cost and time to sort out duty and VAT reimbursement on the "wrong" stone.

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‘Eye clean’ is NOT part of the clarity grading process, despite the fact that people wish it was. It varies with the lighting, it varies with your eyes, and it even varies with your brain (it depends on whether you know what you’re looking for). Under the right circumstances a sugar cube is eye clean after all. That’s the reason it’s not part of the GIA clarity grading scale. There are what I would call eye clean SI2’s and there are eye visible SI1’s. In both cases you are relying on the grader and you’re using the seller to do the grading. This means you must vet the seller(s). Are they coming from the same source? Do they have both stones in hand? Do you trust them? Do you have time to include a 3rd party grader in the process?

You’re correct that the AGS-0 grade has significantly less variation than the GIA-x grade. That’s not the same as saying it’s ‘better’ but I do like the look and it is a more consistent thing to buy sight unseen. We don’t know why the cutters chose the labs they did but I’m going to guess that the AGSL one wanted the bragging rights to the AGS triple zero claim and the GIA one wanted to ride on the coattails of the GIA brand recognition. Those are good enough reasons and I wouldn’t worry about either one.

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