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Some Guidance On Selecting A Diamond


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In December my wife and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.


This is her current ring


Shortly after we go married I had made up my mind that on our tenth anniversary I wanted to give her a better diamond (bigger too) in a white setting with ten diamonds flanking it. I intend to knock her socks off...or at least give her a ring she can proudly wag in front of her girlfriends! SO...I have found this setting.




Now the trouble is...selecting a diamond to put in it that will look good. I've got 3700 to spend, but would really like to have some left to take her on a weekend trip or at least a nice dinner to present it... so my wallet keeps trying to tell me that cheaper is ok...but I have learned that it isn't always


I'm trying to get as close to 1ct as possible, buying shy to save some money...I just want it to be noticeably larger and obviously bright and sparkley. Otherwise I have no idea...Here's what I'm looking at:









anyone have any guidance?

Edited by RCT1202
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It pains me to say it but, in this case, I don't think cheaper IS better. I rarely give that advice but since what you're doing is a 10 year upgrade to what she really wants, make sure you end up with what she really wants.


I can't tell from the photo but a competent jeweler may be able to retrofit the setting you have to accomodate a larger stone. This would get you both your larger look and save some coin. It also preserves the fitting wedding band and the general feeling that it's still the original ring that's been improved with time. Just a thought.

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The yellow setting was an error on my part. She has never worn any yellow gold except that ring but I was a bit of a dummy and didn't pay attention. She graciously accepted it and wore it without a word. It wasn't until much later that I realized she disliked yellow gold :( That's why I'm looking into the white gold pave setting

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Couple of points that are worth considering, since you are looking at a heart shape:


1. There is no standard for grading the cut of a heart shape. GIA will not grade the cut at all, and will not provide enough information on a report to even begin to do so. Any cut "grade" that you see is thus given by the vendor - and I would be very careful (if not outright suspicious) of any claims that aren't backed up by at least proof that the vendor has seen the diamond. Sample photos of "a heart" are not proof. A GIA report is not proof either.


2. Hearts are among the most variable shapes. They can go from almost triangular with little or no cleft to a very pronounced cleft. The bottom half can be very rectilinear and pointy or plump and almost rounded. The cut pattern and angles can also vary a lot, and can create rather different looks going from rather dull to very sparkly. To give you an idea of how different they can look, here's a few images - ignore colour and clarity and focus on the shape!








And this does not even start getting into the possible variety considering "bad" diamonds.


So, whatever you do, before you start looking for "the" diamond (and setting - what you want to do is a fairly common design, and most dealers will have or can create it), make sure you select the right dealer.

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What about James Allen? They boast actual photos... would their descriptions be more accurate? Also are inclusions usually an issue with an SI2 cert by GIA? I am not looking for perfection, just trying to avoid obvious black spots

Edited by RCT1202
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JA is certainly a step in the right direction - though from one photo you cannot tell much about the cut, and their photo technique is aimed mostly at telling you about clarity.


Si2 is a mixed bag in terms of visibility of inclusions. Some are obvious, some are totally invisible. Again, no way of telling for sure without visual inspection, but this one seems OK as far as one can judge.



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In general yes, there are inclusions that tend to be more visible than others. The problem is that visibility also depends very much on factors that aren't on the report - primarily colour and location.


Take "crystal" - it simply means that there is another crystal inside the diamond. It may be a perfectly transparent diamond (only visible because of refraction changes), or it may be a garnet or diopside (brown/blackish). Of course the visibility of the two is rather different...


In general, I would say that pinpoints and needles are pretty innocuous. So are twinning wisps unless they come associated with a lot of extraneous material. Clouds and feathers depend on size, colour and - for clouds - density. Crystals depend a lot on colour. Naturals and indented naturals depend a lot on position and size (and the actual aspect of the natural - some are almost as smooth as polished facets). Extra facets are inconsequential unless they are large or positioned in a place where the symmetry break is noticeable. Graining is usually minor, but strong internal graining may cause loss of transparency because of strain in the stone.


With all of these, even a subtle change in position may make a certain characteristic completely invisible from the top or intrusively apparent and perhaps reflected multiple times in the stone ("buy one crystal, see sixteen black spots").


Whatever you do, don't rely on a GIA/lab plot to make decisions on clarity. The plot is there to help you locate and identify the inclusions, not to tell you how visible they are. There are diamonds with horrendous plots (lots of clouds and feathers and long twinning wisps) that turn out to be totally eye clean, and there are (rare) VS2 with one tiny crystal under the table that however is visible with the naked eye.

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It's another "it depends" question. It depends on the specific stone, it depends on how sensitive to colour you are (and alas ladies tend to be better at colour discrimination than gentlemen), it depends on what you compare it to.


Here's a few photos of something that can be interesting for you:




I can get more photos "not in sunlight" so you get an idea of how yellow it can get (not much, but it's not going to be icy white).


And here's a few more photos of J colour diamonds to give you an idea of how a properly graded J could look like.






unfortunately none of these are hearts, but I think you'd get a pretty similar effect in a heart as in a cushion (a little more colour visible than in a J round).

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Well, there's going to be some contrast. However, it won't necessarily be for the worse.


Take a look at this: M colour centre, and F colour melée:




or for something closer to what you are thinking of (I just love that ring) - here is a J centre with E-F melée



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