Got Diamond Questions?
Our community of diamond experts are here to provide answers
Sign in to follow this  
Vincent Woo

Princess Cut Diamond Opinion, Advice

Recommended Posts

Hi DB Gurus,

 

My fiancee and myself have been searching around for diamonds and recently found one that fit our price range and we liked at a San Francisco Diamond wholesaler. Below are the specs of the diamond at the price of $5700. My total budget for diamond and setting is around $12k. Is this diamond good and worth it for the price? I've done a little bit of research and for VS1 and H quality with same carat I've only been able to find $7000+ at other regular retailers.

 

Any opinions and advice would be appreciated. If anyone else can point me in the direction of finding a good quality diamond for a decent price I'd be very grateful.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

SQUARE MODIFIED BRILLIANT

Measurements
5.95 x 5.79 x 4.13 mm
Carat Weight
1.21 carat
Color Grade
H
Clarity Grade
VS1

PROPORTIONS

Depth
71.2 %
Table
81 %
Girdle
Medium to Very Thick
Culet
None

FINISH

Polish
Good
Symmetry
Good

FLUORESCENCE

Fluorescence
Faint

CLARITY CHARACTERISTICS

Clarity Characteristics
Feather, Extra Facet

COMMENTS

Additional extra facets are not shown.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One question, a few observations/comments and one recommendation:

 

1. Who is calling the diamond "H VS1"? Is this a vendor-assigned grade? Is there a lab report? If so, who has issued it? Not all grades are equal.

 

2. You have very little information on the quality of cut - and we have even less. The fact that you have seen it and like it, is a very good sign. A table over 80% is not a good sign - but it means little particularly against direct observation. Have you seen other diamonds which the vendor(s) say are "better" and "worse" for cut?

 

3. A price of $7000 could be reasonable (depending on the facts of grading and cut). However, as you have noticed, there are diamonds with "apparently" the same colour/clarity/size that cost more - there are also those that cost much less

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Prin&fCaratLo=1.10&fCaratHi=1.40&fColorLo=H&fColorHi=H&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS2&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=0.0&fDepthHi=100.0&fTableLo=0.0&fTableHi=100.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=999900&adv=1

 

The real question is where is that particular stone on the range from $9000 to $3000... and at the moment we don't have enough information to comment.

 

4. Read through a couple of recent threads on princess cut diamond selection - for example the ones below - where many "similar" issues are discussed.

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/8766-urgent-help-needed/

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/8774-which-one-important/

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/8772-difference-in-size/

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/8807-please-help-me-make-the-final-decision/


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. First thanks for the reply and all the good info you gave me so far :) Here is my reply to your following questions.

 

1) This "H VS1" is issued by a Lab, GIA. I'm located in U.S. and I've been told to follow only the recommendation of this lab by several jewelers.

 

2) Is the "cut" part of the GIA rating? I actually have not asked about see a better or worse cut so I will ask them the next time I go see them. From the naked eye the diamond looks really good to both me and my fiancee but we are no diamond pros.

 

3) What other information can I provide that can help me put where the diamond would be in the $9k to 3K range you provided. All the information I posed in the first post is the info I have, copied straight from the GIA Lab report.

 

Thanks again for everything I will be reading all the links you given :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Typically an 81% table will combine with a Crown height of 4-7% leading to minimal contrast brilliance and sparkle  and a resultant opaque, glassy face up look.

 

Table percentages should be in the range of  64-72%.

 

Also, note that a considerable amount of weight is hidden in the very thick girdle, not a good sign.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vincent - to your points above:

 

1) GIA is fine, but also consider AGS (see the discussion on the thread I linked above) - which has the significant advantage of providing much more info on the stone and has a similar level of reliability and consistency to GIA.

 

2) GIA does not offer a cut grade for princess cut diamond, and does not provide enough information to even guess at whether the stone is well cut or not. As Barry (and I) say, a table over 80% is usually not good news, and it certainly does not warrant asking a premium price.

 

3) The best thing you can do is to go and look at other diamonds and compare them to this one - either directly (ideally) or by trying to see each diamond in as many lighting environments as you can (under spotlights, under diffused artificial light, in natural direct and indirect light) and noting what you like and what you don't.

 

This GIA article on the foundations of cut evaluation was written about round diamonds, but the concepts of fire/dispersion, scintillation and brilliance apply to all diamonds and in fact to all cut gems. http://diamondcut.gia.edu/pdf/cut_fall2004.pdf


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vincent,

 

As Davide and Barry have both pointed out there are some concerns for this stone, large table and the large girdle. There are a few other things that you should also consider. The dimensions will show slightly off square 5.95 x 5.79, this is important if you chose a princess cut because you wanted a close to perfectly square diamond. Also the polish and the symmetry are both graded as good, which might translate to a loss of sparkle, scintillation and brilliance compared to a diamond graded ideal or excellent in polish and symmetry. 

 

From what I can see at 5700 you are kind of getting what you are paying for as most of the nicer 1.2ct H VS1 princess cuts will be priced above 6k. Within 6500 to 7500 you should have no trouble finding a nice 1.2 ct G-H VS1-VS2. And dont rule out AGS as they are the only grading lab offering a grading of a princess stone's cut. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for their input, lots of great things I learned and I definitely feel like I have a good idea of what to look for next time I visit the jeweler.

 

So basically, this diamond is okay for the price but for a little bit more I can get a "better" one that has better features fundamentally so I will definitely look into that and ask about the things you guys mentioned to the jeweler.

 

One more question I have is, why are the online prices so much cheaper? I am going through a wholesaler right now and for the approx. same specs on the stone, the online prices through the diamond searcher has them for about 3k to 5k which is much lower than the 5.7k that I found. Also what are some benefits or disadvantages of buying online? I can't imagine buying something like a diamond without seeing it in person so is buying diamonds online viable? The prices sure look better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't speak for the other responders; but to me this diamond is not "OK", regardless of the price; for the reasons mentioned.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diamonds are cheaper online for a couple of basic reasons.

 

#1. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. Pay attention to the details. Some stones are cheaper for a good reason. Grading accuracy. Cut problems. 'Minor' details that you didn't think about and that they didn't mention.

 

#2. Local stores aren't anywhere near as transparent in their pricing as the online folks tend to be. It's a common habit for them to quote a 'regular' price, feel out your response, and then discount as needed to get the sale. This leads the casual shopper to feeling like the prices are terribly high. Maybe they are, but maybe you just haven't arrived at the real price yet.

 

#3. Local stores have a more expensive business model. That store has rent, those employees are paid, all of that advertising is expensive. People like it for the convenience and whether it's worth the cost is up to you but no, these things aren't 'free'.

 

#4. Not too long ago, say 25 years, margins on diamonds were MUCH higher for retailers and diamond sales were used to support things like repairs, free customer education and the like. That's how all of this free stuff became expected. Then came the rise of discounters like Costco, Walmart, TV shopping, and Internet sellers that cut out much of this and offer lower prices along with it. Stores are changing in response to it but there's a wide range of different strategies from one store to the next. You really can't lump them into broad categories like B&M stores, Mall stores, Internet dealers, etc. Each one needs to be evaluated on their own merits, or lack thereof.

 

So what's a shopper to so?

 

That depends on your own temperament. Every store presumably has it's own advantages and disadvantages. The online guys mostly sell on price and selection. The local guys mostly sell on convenience. Some are big on building personal relationships while some go out of their way to make things seem like commodities. Some want this to be an experience and others want it to feel like you're doing business with a vending machine. Put some thought into what you want and what's important to you in the deal. I'm pretty price conscious and am willing to put up with a fair amount of inconvenience, or at least possible inconvenience, to get the price down. That makes me a textbook Internet shopper.

 

RE: Wholesalers. You've already caught him in a lie before you even walked in the door. Selling things one at a time to the end consumer is called retail. People who do it are called retailers. This is not an evil concept but for some reason it's treated that way. Changing the name makes no difference. It doesn't even matter if they sell things for resale to someone else. They can sell whatever they want, they can sell it to whoever they want, and they can charge whatever they want but the claim that they're a 'wholesaler' is fundamentally deceptive. Pay attention to the deal at hand, not the name sign.


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RE: Risks of shopping online. This seems to be the biggie for a lot of people and they're both worse and better than expected.

 

  1. Shipping. Never buy a diamond without a return policy (this includes when you shop at local stores by the way), but shipping to you is usually not refundable and return shipping/insurance almost never is. Because of insurance, shipping costs vary depending on what you buy but they range anywhere from $25-$100 each way. It's usually a small fraction of the cost of the goods but it's not zero and if you get in and return several stones it can add up.  Sometimes it make things move more slowly than you might like.

  2. Specs. Most people don't really know the issues that drive diamond pricing very wall and it's difficult to provide a list of specs. Shopping locally the process usually entails having the salesperson show you a few stones, they tell you a bit about them and you choose one. Online it's the reverse. You come up with a set of specs and sort through a database to find a stone that meets them. This is all good if you know exactly what you want but it's a little difficult if you don't have a strong grasp of what the descriptions mean, and even then it can be difficult.

  3. Immediate gratification, or lack thereof. It's hard to pony up the money when you don't have something to show for it.

  4. Settings. Normally people want to buy a ring, not just a diamond. Settings are even harder than diamonds to tell the difference using a list of specs and a few photos. Setting craftsmanship is even more difficult to quantify. Sometimes folks want to buy the diamond, the setting and the labor from 2 or 3 different sources and it can lead to some fingerpointing and liability issues.

 

Most of these can be mitigated if not eliminated by careful shopping and, actually, most of them apply to shopping at your local stores as well but they are issues nonetheless. There are some issues shopping locally as well:

 

  1. Prices. Usually they're higher and usually they're not very transparent.

  2. Selection. Stores can't stock all that much. Actually neither do the online folks and both are drawing from 3rd party sellers so if you get into ordering in stones it's really the same process except you've got a guide to help you.

  3. Craftsmanship. It's the same problem as online but local stores generally hire a local setter to do the work and you know very little about their skills. Depending on where you are it can be pretty hard to hire good workers for this sort of thing. It's kind of an unusual talent.

  4. Value add. This can be both a feature and a problem. Good stores will be happy to discuss with you why you should shop with them rather than their competitors but a lot of these things are a little hard to pin down. Things like warranties, financing, tradeup programs and the like can be difficult to analyze. They're valuable if you want them but it's a whole new thing to analyze as part of the shopping process. One option is to just go with the flow and not worry about it but careful shoppers generally hate this and digging into it is a chore.

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your stone nailed it on depth but not on table.

 

Ideally: Depth should be 70-74% range, while table should be 66-72% respectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do you get that "ideally" from, Ronk?


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i•de•al•ly (aɪˈdi ə li)

adv.

1. in accordance with an ideal; perfectly.
2. in theory or principle.
3. in idea or imagination.
[1590–1600]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barry….The Diamond Dictionary! LOL <_< 
 
Generally speaking or "ideally" a well cut princess should have measurements that are near perfectly square: i.e.: 5.51 x 5.50mm a depth of 70-74% and a table at 66-72% respectively. This does not mean that I have not seen AGS0 or GIA triple X with tables at 57% and depths at 75%...but ideally I would shoot for the above range 70-74% and 66-72% respectively; amongst other things....
 
 
 
 
 
 

Edited by ronk15a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

i•de•al•ly (aɪˈdi ə li)

 

adv.

1. in accordance with an ideal; perfectly.
2. in theory or principle.
3. in idea or imagination.
[1590–1600]

 

 

Imagination is correct, :rolleyes:

 

There is no Towlkowsky "Ideal" in Fancy shapes as there is in Rounds;These ranges are a suggested starting off point to deter consumers from ice skating rinks (81% Tables), fish-eyes (shallow Crown/Pavilion angles), and nail-heads (steep crown angles/deep pavilion angles-very thick girdles-diamond appears smaller than its carat weight).

 

A skilled diamond cutter can artfully maneuver within and even  a bit outside these suggested ranges to craft a beautiful diamond_therefore more information than just the lab report is usually necessary.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone. Thanks for all the insight of the princess cuts. After looking at several jewelers and doing more research, the fiancee and I decided we're going with the round cuts instead. Right now we have our deposit on this following stone as provided by GIA report for $5400. Is it a good diamond for the price?

 

ROUND BRILLIANT

Measurements
6.12 - 6.15 x 3.89 mm
Carat Weight
0.92 carat
Color Grade
F
Clarity Grade
SI1
Cut Grade
Very Good

PROPORTIONS

Depth
63.4 %
Table
57 %
Crown Angle
36.5°
Crown Height
16.0%
Pavilion Angle
40.6°
Pavilion Depth
43.0%
Star Length
50%
Lower Half
80%
Girdle
Slightly Thick to Thick, Faceted, 4.5%
Culet
None

FINISH

Polish
Excellent
Symmetry
Very Good

FLUORESCENCE

Fluorescence
Medium Blue

CLARITY CHARACTERISTICS

Clarity Characteristics
Feather, Crystal, Needle

COMMENTS

Twinning wisps are not shown.
Surface graining is not shown.

INSCRIPTION(S)

GIA 2121719243

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Vincent,

 

I think the price is ok for a brick and mortar store, you could probably do a little better though.

There are a few things that might help you in deciding on a diamond, the stone you have chosen above is a fairly deeply cut diamond, this is not necessarily a bad thing but you should compare it to some stones with shallower depths 59-62% as they will have different looks because differing angles cause the light to behave differently. Shallower cut diamonds will also tend to have larger girdle diameters and thus look larger in face up appearance. The stone you have chosen is on the smaller side appearance wise of .92 ct stones.

 

Also consider comparing F G and H colors to see if you are able to see the difference that you will be paying for when buying an F colored stone, as the difference in each color grade works out to be $3-400 and most trained experts cannot tell the difference once the stone is set or even when viewed face up.

 

My personal opinion is that you money is better spent getting a better cut say a GIA XXX or AGS 000, as you will have a better chance of noticing the cut upgrade. Dropping the color a bit and or going a step lower in clarity to SI2 (provided it is still eye clean) will give you a chance to get a better cut and a larger stone. It is a trade I usually advise my customers to make as you will be trading off things you cant see for those you can.

 

Just my 2 cents, regardless the most important thing at the end of the day is that you and your wife to be are happy with the purchase. 

Edited by thediamondshopper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thick girdle and out of range depth of 63.4 indicate that this diamond faces up smaller than it should for its carat weight.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it accurate to say that a round stone in which is considered "deep" is a stone that is characterized and defined where the total depth is greater then 70.9%?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Round or Princess?


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people count a stone as 'deep' at 62ish.  Total depth isn't a very good metric for evaluating much but it's hard to imagine a decent set of proportions that includes a total depth over, say, 64.  70.9 sounds like some other cut.  For a round that would look like a carrot. 


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning, Neil;

 

In this case, it's the combo of the depth (63.4%) + the thick girdle.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
@Exceldiamonds on Twitter

Excel Diamonds on Facebook

sales@exceldiamonds.com
1-866-829-8600
1-212-921-0635

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this