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Down To The Top 5 - Need Assistance


HpnotiqCrunk
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I've always been interested in diamonds - and have recently been seriously shopping for a November surprise. However, it seems like whever I lock in my vote on a diamond I've seen online (so far the best bang for the buck) there is another article which keeps me guessing... the latest trend is the "optical brilliance analysis". I've been browsing BlueNile and a few other mostly, and noticed that their 'Signature Ideal' princess cuts provided both GIA and GCAL reports.

 

So here's my dilema - I've notice a few perks and discounts lingering through BlueNile's site and want to make my mental selection now and wait within the next few weeks (and for my girlfriend to be out of town) to pull the trigger.

 

Cut is my highest priorty in reviewing details and in-person selections. However, I'm having a hard time commiting to one diamond. :unsure:

 

I would love some feedback in the selections I've gathered so far...

1.) I have chosen option 1 in my head - 'signtaure ideal' that appears to have great 'optical brillance' - I realize it's among the top options, but does it justfied the next bracket of $$$?

2.) Does 'signature idea' provide enough bang to stay in that filtered selection choice - or do the statistics of these 'very goods' compete?

3.) My goal is a complete set (with band) for around $4-$5k.

 

BlueNile Option 1:

Princess .81ct E / VS1 Signature Ideal

Stock #: LD02492972

 

GIA & GCAL seem to show great stats

 

BlueNile Option 2:

Princess .81ct F / VS1 Very Good

Stock #: LD02429919

 

BlueNile Option 3:

Princess .81ct H / VvS1 Very Good

Stock #: LD02346403

 

BlueNile Option 4:

Princess .89ct D / VS2 Very Good

Stock #: LD02623123

 

Large size for similar $$$?

 

BlueNile Option 5:

Princess .94ct G / VS2 Very Good

Stock #: LD02623130

 

Biggest in terms of carat - while keeping at least very good with ex/ex

 

 

I would love other suggestions as well if there is another option (JA...etc) that I could see these stats online of other diamonds. Someone help me before I end up reading more into this... hahah :P

Edited by HpnotiqCrunk
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"Optical brilliance analysis" is a phrase used by GCAL and, as far as I can tell, no one else. Definitely not GIA.

 

I'm curious what you've read about it and where. I've looked through their website and tried to figure out what they think it means and I'm finding nothing with even a shred of substance. For example, here's what they say about their Light Performance Grades in their education section....

 

"The Light Performance Guaranteed Certificate… because a well cut diamond is beautiful regardless of color or clarity. This certificate features Optical Light Performance images and Cut Grade Analysis to highlight the beauty of masterful cutting"

 

Umm, ok. What's being measured? How does this measurement apply to the scale being used? What does it have to do with the look of a diamond?

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks for the reply - here's what I was comparing at least their GCAL reported 'Signature Ideal' listed above to:

 

http://www.bluenile.com/diamonds/diamond-cut/diamond-cut-grading/gcal-diamond-report

 

Option #1 seemed to have minial 'blue' light loss according to it's report on the site - in the excellent range. I just didn't know if these GCAL stats should alter those less that 'signature ideal' when comparing the diamonds above because they doesn't have those reports listed - only GIA. Seems like everyone would want to see those images.

 

If you were given the option of the 5 listed above... what would be your #1 and backup selection - and why? I know it's always personal choice, but given your professional experience, which of these should I look more into and which should I stray away from (given the goals of the purchase)?

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Couple of things to bear in mind:

 

1. GIA does not grade cut in princess cuts (or square modified brilliants, as they would have it). AGS does, but stones graded by AGS represent a tiny percentage of the market. Therefore, most "cut grades" that you see for princess cuts are awarded by the vendor. This could be OK, but for two small details: i) the majority of vendors (including Blue Nile) don't have the time, skills and equipment necessary to conduct a serious cut analysis for every stone they sell, and ii) GIA reports for non-rounds don't include much of the basic information to even make a first cut assessment "sight unseen": table and depth are worse than useless, because they can be misleading.

 

2) Blue Nile's terminology is slightly deceptive. What they call "Signature Ideal" is not a cut grade. It's a marketing/service label: Signature Ideal diamonds have more information supplied about them, possibly more after sale "benefits" (at one point you could trade them in for 100% credit, while you could not do this for the others; now I think they have changed the policy to a 2x original purchase price on any stone), and are generally among the best cut stones too - of course all this comes at a premium price. But you can find equally well cut diamonds among BN (or other vendors) "normal" selection, so it's not really about cut.

 

This said - and I share Neil's scepticism about GCAL: it's not clear what they are measuring - the Signature Ideal stone you picked looks fine on paper, and is likely to look significantly different than the other 4.

 

My very quick notes on those - take them with a big pinch of salt: I haven't seen these diamonds, and am working from information that although reliable is totally insufficient to even guess at cut quality.

 

2) Nothing notable (for good or ill).

3) Why pay for clarity you cannot see, and lose something on colour for an indifferently cut stone (nicely square, but look at the size - though you'd hardly notice it with the naked eye, it's the smallest of the 5)

4) Same observation, but on colour: once set, a 0.80 D and a 0.80 F will look the same, colourwise.

5) Here instead you are paying for size. Going above 0.90 means an increase in price/carat, not just in weight. This one will look a little larger than the others, and it may be a good choice if size is important. It is also nicely square, and seems cut certainly no worse than the others. It would be my number 2 choice (but see below).

 

All this said, if cut really is your priority, I would consider using a vendor that can and does assess cut using better methods and tools than Blue Nile. There are quite a few dealers that specialise in top-flight cuts, and while they do charge a slight premium in my view they are more than worth it in time savings (and some times in shipping back-and-forth costs too).

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Great follow-up davidelevi.

 

I think that is the part I'm honestly struggling with... understanding that not all things in this market are the same. Lingos, reports, and selling methods are all different.

 

After reading your review I hadn't ever noticed certain vendors our terminology for 'ideal' / 'premium' / 'signature'... and the fact that not all reporting (GIA) happens on all shapes.

 

I noticed a few new vendors (through the coupons area) - and I've always been told a great cut makes the diamond not only shine more brilliant but can make it look larger in the long run. Are these the vendors I should compare Option #1 / Option #2 too? I've already noticed about a $650/800 difference in some of those sites, but then again it's a new vendor I haven't heard much from.

 

Thanks again for all these thoughts though - I'm becoming more and more confident in this decision process.

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Be careful - you may or may not be comparing like-for-like. It's not uncommon for vendors to share inventory, but then the price difference is no more than a couple of hundreds, usually. If you look at your own selection above, you have the "same" stone (discounting the vendor-assigned cut grade for all the reasons above, plus another one below) going at prices ranging from $4500 (E to F is not a big jump in looks or price) to $3800...

 

The additional reason is the following: iii) since the cut grade is vendor assigned, you cannot compare it across vendors, not least because no-one is being transparent and clarifying what criteria they are using to assign the cut grade (unsurprisingly, considering reasons i) and ii) above).

 

I would not count any of the vendors currently on the coupon page as specialising in top-end cut stones - though they can certainly find you one.

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Very good points -

 

So I browsed and browsed and browsed last night - and nothing really won me over considering your points above.

 

However... this morning I wanted to still tackle these BlueNile 'signature ideals' and I kept the same same setting as last week and noticed a new listing!

 

If I only compared the new one to the other matching 'signature ideal' stats - why is this one so much cheaper?! Does color drop the cost that much more... this new one almost seems to have better measurements.

 

 

Option #1 (original consideration) :

.81CT E / VS1 Sig-Ideal ex/ex... The GCAL optics look great - GAI stone shows Crystal / Pinpoints.

Stock #: LD02492972

 

Option #2 (new listing this morning) :

.81CT H / VS2 Sig-Ideal ex/ex... The GCAL optics look great on the stone as well - GIA listed with tiny cloud in a small spot.

Stock #: LD02612898

 

Unless there is something I'm missing - color and minor GCLAC details seem to be the difference? Does $1,600 impact E -> H even in a ideal cut?

 

If given a blessing by your points above... I'm ready to swipe this one up today! :ph34r:

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Yep. Down to colour + a little bit of clarity (which you won't see with the naked eye, but still counts for 5-10% on the price). Remember that diamonds are sold primarily by size, colour and clarity, and only secondarily on cut, particularly when there is no "standardised" cut grade.

 

FWIW - and again based on insufficient info - I have a hunch that the H/VS2 is going to look better than the E/VS1, cut-wise. Bear in mind that H will look different from E: neither will show even a hint of yellow, but E will be icy white, while H will be warmer.

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Terrific! I just called BN and asked what the big differences were and they had nothing notable except the color and minor clarity difference. I was able to confidently order it right there on the phone!

 

Thanks for all your support and answers to my diamond purchase - greatly appreciated and was even able to save money while understanding the true "standards" to watch for.

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I've always been interested in diamonds - and have recently been seriously shopping for a November surprise. However, it seems like whever I lock in my vote on a diamond I've seen online (so far the best bang for the buck) there is another article which keeps me guessing... the latest trend is the "optical brilliance analysis". I've been browsing BlueNile and a few other mostly, and noticed that their 'Signature Ideal' princess cuts provided both GIA and GCAL reports.

 

So here's my dilema - I've notice a few perks and discounts lingering through BlueNile's site and want to make my mental selection now and wait within the next few weeks (and for my girlfriend to be out of town) to pull the trigger.

 

Cut is my highest priorty in reviewing details and in-person selections. However, I'm having a hard time commiting to one diamond. :unsure:

 

I would love some feedback in the selections I've gathered so far...

1.) I have chosen option 1 in my head - 'signtaure ideal' that appears to have great 'optical brillance' - I realize it's among the top options, but does it justfied the next bracket of $$$?

2.) Does 'signature idea' provide enough bang to stay in that filtered selection choice - or do the statistics of these 'very goods' compete?

3.) My goal is a complete set (with band) for around $4-$5k.

 

BlueNile Option 1:

Princess .81ct E / VS1 Signature Ideal

Stock #: LD02492972

 

GIA & GCAL seem to show great stats

 

BlueNile Option 2:

Princess .81ct F / VS1 Very Good

Stock #: LD02429919

 

BlueNile Option 3:

Princess .81ct H / VvS1 Very Good

Stock #: LD02346403

 

BlueNile Option 4:

Princess .89ct D / VS2 Very Good

Stock #: LD02623123

 

Large size for similar $$$?

 

BlueNile Option 5:

Princess .94ct G / VS2 Very Good

Stock #: LD02623130

 

Biggest in terms of carat - while keeping at least very good with ex/ex

 

 

I would love other suggestions as well if there is another option (JA...etc) that I could see these stats online of other diamonds. Someone help me before I end up reading more into this... hahah :P

 

 

Here are a couple to compare with light performance as well if you click on the red Gemex Live link. These also come with a 100% upgrade option in the future.

 

 

 

http://www.dbof.com/jewelry/princess-85-ct-vs1-f/

 

http://www.dbof.com/jewelry/princess-0-92-ct-e-vs1/

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