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Looking For A Princess Or Emerald Cut


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I've decided to pop the question to my love and I am now looking for a ring that will be almost as beautiful as she is! This is my first diamond purchase so I'm trying to do as much research as possible...


Here is what I'm looking:


1) Either a princess or emerald cut (seems as though emeralds are cheaper than princess)

2) No noticeable colour in the diamond (E or F?)

3) I would really prefer no visible to the eye scratches or cloudiness or black marks etc. (SI1 - VS2?)

4) Carrot size in the .70 to .90 range


It seems like I can get a much better deal online on a stone than going to retailers and having them order in the stone and having it made.


I am thinking I will just have the stone set in a simple solitary setting (14k white) and then in the future let her pick something to her liking. How much should this cost? I'm hoping not to spend more than $3500-4000


Have I overlooked anything? Am I in the ballpark?


Any help would be appreciated!

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Your budget is plenty.


I would seriously consider G or even H color. If your reasoning for looking at E's is to have no visible color than I think you're in overkill. I gather by your comment about storefront jewelers that you've visited a few. Have you looked at stones there? Can you see color in a correctly graded H (GIA or AGS grading only)?


I would push all the way and decide if you want an emerald or a princess. They're quite different and, for example, the setting that holds them is going to be different. Princesses are quite a bit easier to find but the key is to find what you want. A good deal on the wrong thing is no bargain. Again, you mentioned that you've done some shopping already. Are you leaning one way or the other?

Edited by denverappraiser
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I am leaning to the emerald because I see lots of girls with princess cut and none with emerald.


Now that you mention it the stores that I have gone too and that have shown me H colour I can't see the difference. I guess I simply said E or F because when some offer to source a diamond for me they go right away to E-F. You just saved me some money right there.


One thing I've failed to ask the storefronts is whether they are graded is GIA or AGS the best?

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GIA and AGS are the most consistent which makes them the most useful for shopping purposes. That is to say, GIA graded G's are pretty similar in color so if you buy a GIA-G you can be pretty confidident of what you're going to get. Unfortunately, this is not the case with some other labs, particularly EGL. Sometimes G means G and sometimes it means I or even J. That makes them extremely difficult to use for calibrating your eyes for what you count as acceptable. It's also the reason they appear to be less expensive in the databases. Some stores have a nasty habit of making this worse because if they're trying to sell you a particular stone they'll show you a 'comparable' one that's chosen to make that one look good. Emerald cuts do show color more than princesses so I wouldn't go for I or J but G should be just fine. Tiny details like this make big differences in this business.

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As you approach the 1.0 size range, funny things tend to happen with cutting. As I'm sure you've noticed, there's a significant premium that kicks in at 1.00 and cutters are well motivated to reach it. That begs the question why they cut a 0.97. Maybe it was an error, maybe it really was the best they could do and maybe it was a recut of a previously damaged stone that brought it down but you can bet there was a reason. BN isn't all that inclined to give much more information than what appears on the cert and this will be from the details of the symmetry and proportions (which aren't there). I would probably think twice over that.


I make it a point not to recommend particular dealers because it's a conflict of interest for an appraiser to do that but there are zillions of them out there, including quite a few who are sponsors of this site. If you're going to be comparing with non-Canadian sites, make sure to factor in the VAT and any provential taxes in your comparison or you're going to get hit with a nasty bill at customs. A bit of math beyond the obvious curency conversion is required as part of the price comparison process.

Edited by denverappraiser
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In Emerald cuts I would not go below VS-2 and the inclusion(s) should be whitish-gray and off the center of the diamond.


As far as color in Emeralds, the safe bet is to not go lower than G as depending on the angle of the step cut facets, H can draw some coloration.



Princess cuts are a whole other story.

Edited by barry
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  • 4 weeks later...

Princess cuts are a whole other story? Do tell.


I want to purchase a princess for my sweet. After much reading and looking I thinking this could be the one.

Wondering your thoughts.


1.0 ct

cut- very good

symmetry- very good

polish-very good





girdle-medium-slightly thick.

GIA cert.

My budget is $6200+/- for the stone.


Thanks for any advise you could offer.



Edited by liam
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Princess cuts are part of the "brilliant cut" family. This means that the main facets on the pavilion (bottom of the stone) converge to a point, rather than being laid out in tiers (which is what happens on a "step cut"). The effect is that inclusions are masked more easily since much more of the light entering the stone is reflected back at a different angle and with a shorter path than in a step cut; this can also help with perceived colour. End result: you can go for lower colour and lower clarity in a brilliant cut/princess cut stone without it being noticed than you can in a step cut.


This said, bear in mind that each stone is a one-off, and there are eye-clean SI1 and Si2 emerald cuts. They just take a fair bit of searching...


About the stone you picked: it's very difficult to comment with the information you have posted, however the following should be taken into account:


1. GIA does NOT grade princess cut diamonds for cut. The "very good" cut grade is the vendor's. What they mean with it, how they determined it and whether it's in any way reliable or relevant to you is something you should ask them. The default position is that any advice you receive (including mine!) is worthless unless you are convinced of its validity through your own research - in other words, people don't automatically deserve trust, and people with a vested interest should be subject to a higher level of scrutiny.


2. 'D' colour is very nice. But once set it will be indistinguishable from E or F (or even G), yet is going to trade at a premium. Before you fork out for the premium, I think you should go to a couple of jewellers, look at stones of different colours and decide what it is you really think you should spend for - be careful to ask for GIA or AGS (or HRD) graded stones, since pretty much all other labs are fairly inconsistent in the way they grade colour and clarity. If you have already done this, apologies for pointing this out again.


3. Budget: it is perfectly adequate to get you a very high colour, good clarity princess cut of around one carat. However - sting in the tail - it is not enough to get you a truly premium cut on the diamond (and keep colour, clarity and size within range). To me, that's a significant obstacle, but I would again encourage you to go and look for yourself. Beware that not everything that is claimed to be "premium" is, particularly so-called custom/branded cuts. Stick to AGS-Ideal graded stones as your comparison for cut.


FWIW, This is little more than guesswork on my side, but the stone you picked has a very large table - and thus a low and/or steep crown. This in general means little fire and contrast but very bright. A "premium" cut would typically have a much smaller table, balancing brightness with fire and sparkle. You may well find that you like the look, and this is absolutely OK, but check what's available first...


ETA: 4. Bear in mind that the retail diamond market is very liquid and competitive and "bargains" are unlikely to exist - don't waste time looking for the "bargain"; you are more likely to end up being stung. Focus your energy on finding a good vendor or two that can help you look for the right diamond.


5. Very small details can make huge differences to price. For example, on the Diamond Finder there are about 70 stones comparable to your pick; prices go from a shade under $7000 to just over $4500 - essentially because of cut quality. In general, there is a reason for each and every price difference, and relatively little of it is margin/profit for the different vendors.

Edited by davidelevi
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Thanks so much for your help!

I have been looking online as well as the brick & morter shops.

She likes the princess cut more than any other so thats where I'm going.


The issue with online venders is that you see the diamond after you buy it. So you look at the specs and hope for the best.




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Any decent online vendor will have a return period. What you are buying is the option to see the stone for the cost of return postage; you are only buying it if you are keeping it...


My point is that you can find - online or not - better cut stones and better value stones than the one you are looking at. This said, if you like it, go for it.


Finally, I don't understand your comment on princess cut; it sounds as if you are defending your choice of it. I was not criticising your choice of cut; I was only trying to explain why Barry said "princess cuts are different [than step cuts]", which was your question, I think.


Happy Easter!

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Any decent online vendor will have a return period.
Any online vendor that you should be considering shoping with will do this. This should be a deal killer.


No refunds = No sale.


Actually, this is true of b&m stores as well. If they're not willing to let you get it checked out by your own expert, to look at it in your own lighting, and to think about it for a few days away from the pressure of their salespeople, shop somewhere else.

Edited by denverappraiser
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