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Another Question Regarding A Diamond


BlackRat
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Hi everyone, I recently stumbled across this forum when taking the plunge into researching the purchase of an engagement ring.

 

I have read many a thread on here where people ask what they should get / is this ring good value / etc. I guess this is my version of that, however i have the added benefit of reading their threads beforehand. I have really loved reading the advice to others by denverappraiser and davidelevi.

 

Whilst i am wary of online diamond retailers, i think they play an important role in the research of diamonds and assist by exposing a huge variety. the one negative is you cant see any of the diamonds.

 

Which is why i think the local diamond dealer also plays a huge role in allowing you to work out what is important in you/her eyes and what the order of priority is.

 

In my particular case, we have gone minimal diamond browsing, with the view to do more, however i am in a position so start looking at available options if i were to purchase via an online retailer.

 

Through our viewings, we identified that we liked the below paramaters:

 

Shape - Round

Carat - 0.80 - 1.00 (we dont want the moon, just something nice)

Cut - Excellent

Colour - H/G (we want value for money, not the PERFECT diamond)

Clarity - SI1/VS2/VS1 (as above)

 

We decided that we are after something that looks good to the naked eye (we wont carry a microscope around with us to show all our friends how flawless our diamond is) and represents good value - hence the lower colour and clarity values.

 

 

My first question relates to the first of what i imagine to be a few shortlisted diamonds.

http://au.bluenile.com/round-diamond-1-carat-or-less-ideal-cut-g-color-vs2-clarity_LD02722771

 

The above diamond has the following characteristics:

Shape - Round

Carat - 0.90

Cut - Ideal

Colour - G

Clarity - VS2

Polish - Excellent

Symmetry - Excellent

GIA cert, etc, etc.

 

The diamond contains a few minor feathers and pinpoints - however everything I have read suggests these shouldn't be a problem on a VS2 diamond.

It scored 0.8 on the HCA tool - although i dont totally understand what this means, I understand it has to do with the proportions of the diamond to allow light to reflect? Please correct me if i am wrong.

 

Question time:

Do you think the above diamond represents good value ($5.5K AUD) in today's market.

Is there anything you would be cautious of in relation to the above diamond?

Has anyone from Australia purchased from BN before? how was your experience?

Has anyone purchased from DiamondsExchange.com.au since their takeover in 2011? Again, how was your experience?

 

As this is the first time i have purchased an engagement ring in my life (and hopefully the last) im sure you can all understand my nerves in relation to making such a big investment.

 

Thank you once again and any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Jy.

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Hello Jy, welcome to DiamondReview!

 

To your questions - and a few assorted comments in between.

 

Your set of criteria is very sensible (and popular) - I don't think you should feel in any way bad about G-H/VS2-SI: once set, they will look the same as a D/FL for all practical purposes.

 

Do bear in mind when you are searching for "your" diamond that there are large jumps in price/carat at 0.90 and 1.00, and this creates all sort of distortions in the market.

 

With a VS2 stone, don't worry about the inclusions. And while we are at it, don't worry about the HCA either. With the introduction of a systematic cut grading scale by GIA and AGS in the mid-2000s, there is better information available through those than through the HCA.

 

Value is a relative concept. The diamond you picked looks (on paper) like a fine diamond, and it is priced reasonably. Can you find better? Probably yes. Cheaper (with the same characteristics)? Probably yes as well, but not by a huge amount.

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Thank you for the comments davidelevi.

 

I have found out very quickly with diamonds that there is (more often than not) a better quality diamond available for the same price, or the same quality diamond available cheeper, however the problem is finding that diamond!

 

Do you have an example where (for the same amount of money) a better diamond can be found.

 

Or alternatively, a similar diamond at a cheaper price.

 

Once again, im quite sure the above two exist, i have just had difficulty finding them.

 

Regarding the HCA - I thought the reason people used HCA was that GIA didnt have a strong cut grading scale, creating a lot of variation between "good" and "excellent" cut grades. Am i wrong in thinking this?

Edited by BlackRat
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Here's a possible option - although you'd need to request the GIA report to make a fairer comparison - and it is 10% cheaper:

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/clk.cgi?http://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/553453/

 

Use the DiamondFinder, and you can find more - including some from BlueNile themselves.

 

On the HCA: there's a lot of aspects to what is an apparently simple question.

 

1. The HCA was developed in the late 1990s when GIA did not have a cut grading system, and AGS had a significantly more limited one.

 

2. It was never meant to be a select tool, only a reject tool, and even as a reject tool it has a fair amount of limitations - foremost the fact that it relies on 4 bits of information (whereas a GIA/AGS cut grade takes into account many more because it has the stone to measure) and the fact that it reflects Garry Holloway's aesthetic preferences - which are fine but are his, not yours or mine.

 

3.When, in 2006, GIA came to market with its cut grade system, it deliberately created an "inclusive" Excellent grade, allowing for many different looks to be called excellent in a way that was consistent with its observation of people's preferences (dealers, graders and consumers). AGS always took a more restrictive/prescriptive view - with its pros and cons.

 

4. In 2006, probably about 10% of stones were graded as GIA/Excellent; nowadays it's close to 50%. This has resulted in the accusation that GIA/Excellent is not sufficiently discriminating. I disagree: there is a clear and visible difference between a GIA EX and a G (some VG, particularly those that get penalised only for spread or finish characteristics are arguably EX in all but name). The fact that the industry has decided to cut (and sell) as many stones as they do that fit within "EX" parameters is the demonstration that the system works - it produces diamonds that look nice, allows for different looks and preferences, and it allows cutters to make money.

 

5. If you want to get more discriminating about the way your diamond looks, the way to do it is to add to the information you get from GIA: get reflector images (IS, ASET), geometry scans, pictures, opinions of experts. Not to take away from the information by using the HCA...

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One of the problems with the diamond business is that everyone wants the ‘best’ for the least. That’s not unique to diamonds, and it’s not even an unreasonable objective, but there are a LOT of diamonds out there and the tradeoffs aren’t always obvious. For example, terms and conditions. Is a diamond ‘worth’ more if it comes from a dealer who has a convenient showroom nearby, who will spend hours helping you through the process, will take returns and tradeins, provides access to pre-selected designers, etc? Of course it is. How much more is the tricky part. I’ve seen sites where the terms are to wire your money in advance to some bank account in Africa and your stone will supposedly arrive in a few weeks by FedEx. Maybe it will, but this obviously requires a different sort of client from the people who shop at the mall and what they’re looking for is cheap prices. Unfortunately, the Internet tends to make these sorts of differences nearly invisible and Google makes it very fast to look around. You can ALWAYS find ad for something better, cheaper or both. You might even get it but there are a lot of variables that aren’t entirely clear. Decide what’s important to you and then stick with it. View your dealer as an ally in the hunt, not as your opponent and it goes much better. If you think they're giving you bad advice, don't just pass on the stone, pass on the dealer.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Hi everyone, I recently stumbled across this forum when taking the plunge into researching the purchase of an engagement ring.

 

I have read many a thread on here where people ask what they should get / is this ring good value / etc. I guess this is my version of that, however i have the added benefit of reading their threads beforehand. I have really loved reading the advice to others by denverappraiser and davidelevi.

 

Whilst i am wary of online diamond retailers, i think they play an important role in the research of diamonds and assist by exposing a huge variety. the one negative is you cant see any of the diamonds.

 

Which is why i think the local diamond dealer also plays a huge role in allowing you to work out what is important in you/her eyes and what the order of priority is.

 

In my particular case, we have gone minimal diamond browsing, with the view to do more, however i am in a position so start looking at available options if i were to purchase via an online retailer.

 

Through our viewings, we identified that we liked the below paramaters:

 

Shape - Round

Carat - 0.80 - 1.00 (we dont want the moon, just something nice)

Cut - Excellent

Colour - H/G (we want value for money, not the PERFECT diamond)

Clarity - SI1/VS2/VS1 (as above)

 

We decided that we are after something that looks good to the naked eye (we wont carry a microscope around with us to show all our friends how flawless our diamond is) and represents good value - hence the lower colour and clarity values.

 

 

My first question relates to the first of what i imagine to be a few shortlisted diamonds.

http://au.bluenile.c...rity_LD02722771

 

The above diamond has the following characteristics:

Shape - Round

Carat - 0.90

Cut - Ideal

Colour - G

Clarity - VS2

Polish - Excellent

Symmetry - Excellent

GIA cert, etc, etc.

 

The diamond contains a few minor feathers and pinpoints - however everything I have read suggests these shouldn't be a problem on a VS2 diamond.

It scored 0.8 on the HCA tool - although i dont totally understand what this means, I understand it has to do with the proportions of the diamond to allow light to reflect? Please correct me if i am wrong.

 

Question time:

Do you think the above diamond represents good value ($5.5K AUD) in today's market.

Is there anything you would be cautious of in relation to the above diamond?

Has anyone from Australia purchased from BN before? how was your experience?

Has anyone purchased from DiamondsExchange.com.au since their takeover in 2011? Again, how was your experience?

 

As this is the first time i have purchased an engagement ring in my life (and hopefully the last) im sure you can all understand my nerves in relation to making such a big investment.

 

Thank you once again and any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Jy.

 

Keep in mind, that the only lab that grades diamonds as ideal cut is AGS. Also you can get a light performance report from AGS if it is a performance based report. GIA stones are tricky. Sometimes certain websites will call a stone ideal cut when it is not. You certainly have enough budget to get a top performing diamond.

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Here's a possible option - although you'd need to request the GIA report to make a fairer comparison - and it is 10% cheaper:

 

http://www.diamondre...iamonds/553453/

 

 

 

I put the specs of this diamond through the HCA and it returned a score of 4.0.

 

They also didnt offer reference diagrams, reflector images (IS, ASET), geometry scans, pictures, etc as you have suggested.

 

They suggested this diamond instead:

GIA report

Venus Report

RRP - $5550

 

As everyone has talked about, there is ALWAYS a better diamond / price around the corner. I didnt want to get sucked into that game however it appears i have been.

 

What do you think of the above diamond vs the original diamond? Does the image / ASET view / etc look ok?

I dont think i NEED a E of F colour, i think thats just wasting money, HOWEVER it is the same price. More BANG for BUCK? Maybe.

 

Maybe i need to contact enchanted-diamonds again and stick to my original contraints, which might allow me to get a bigger diamond in the original H/G colour contraints.

 

Cheers,

Jy.

Edited by BlackRat
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I put the specs of this diamond through the HCA and it returned a score of 4.0.

Um. The HCA is not particularly relevant, unless you happen to have the same aesthetic preferences as Garry Holloway. I'd also be curious how you put the specs through it - would you mind posting the GIA report number, if ED have sent it (or a scan of the report) to you?

 

They also didnt offer reference diagrams, reflector images (IS, ASET), geometry scans, pictures, etc as you have suggested.
Which is one of the reasons why they can offer diamonds at a cheaper price - and by the way BN does not offer them either. Reflector images take time to produce, so do scans and pictures, and there is a definite segment of "high end service" dealers that make their money precisely by offering these things and their expertise against a premium price. What makes little sense to me is to get low-end service and pay a premium price...

 

They suggested this diamond instead:

GIA report

Venus Report

RRP - $5550

 

As everyone has talked about, there is ALWAYS a better diamond / price around the corner. I didnt want to get sucked into that game however it appears i have been.

 

What do you think of the above diamond vs the original diamond? Does the image / ASET view / etc look ok?

You have far more information on this stone than your original one. The E/VS2 also seems well cut,

 

I'm not sure the Venus report is for the same stone; they are grading it F/VS1 even though the dimensions are the same, so perhaps they have regraded it. Assuming the Venus is for the same stone, there is some small asymmetry and it is not what I would call an H&A stone. Does it matter? Not to me, and we have no idea whether the G/VS2 is H&A either.

 

BTW - have you converted from USD to AUD? It may mean an extra 5%...

 

FWIW, from the information available they are both fine stones. Which one you (and your intended) may prefer is completely up for grabs. They seem pretty similar on paper, but if there is one thing I have learned is that seeing a GIA report and a stone are two very different things.

 

I dont think i NEED a E of F colour, i think thats just wasting money, HOWEVER it is the same price. More BANG for BUCK? Maybe.
To be honest you don't need a diamond. Plenty of people get engaged, married, have children, buy houses, divorce and nary a diamond or even a ring in sight.

 

Maybe i need to contact enchanted-diamonds again and stick to my original contraints, which might allow me to get a bigger diamond in the original H/G colour contraints.

 

Cheers,

Jy.

This is a perfectly viable plan - with one exception: you are unlikely to get a much bigger diamond, because the next significant step is to go above 1.00 which means a 30-40% increase in price (assuming same cut quality and clarity). You should be able to spend a little less and still get a very nice stone.
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