A mere 8 weeks ago I became engaged and DR happened to be the first website I stumbled upon in my quest for knowledge. I've enjoyed the regulars' postings and wit very much, and thank you all for sharing your experiences and expertise.
I've read here and on other places that diamonds depreciate by as much as 80% just by walking out of a store. That is a saddening expectation! Being a reasonably intelligent person, the thought that the person I love most in the world would spend his hard-earned money on a shiny bauble to please me, that would then be worth 20% of its original value, is disheartening. But if this factoid is anywhere near true - where in the world are all those second-hand and discounted diamonds?? The good ones I mean....
I've been cruising eBay and am stunned by the quantity of less than desirable diamonds out there and what people want for them. I'm not one for branding, but there are probably more Tiffany's rings on eBay than at Tiffany's. I found it odd that in running 4 or 5 Tiffany's numbers through the Holloway Cut Advisor, I broke it. It consistently says that "the depth % provided suggest a girdle overly thick or overly thin" - bot won't give me a calculation. Is there something different about Tiffany's cuts or dimensions that I simply haven't learned of yet?
So my poor fiancÃ© goes along with my idea to buy a ring from Costco...I was lured by the size! And guess what? I received a beautiful 1.5 ct. VVS2 I, 3 ct. tw. But right off the bat, I could see the vaguely greyish tone to the center stone. The side stones are an F-G, and I could SEE the difference between them! Not in all light - but most. See pictures below. Before I bought and returned this ring, I went to a local jeweler who showed me an overpriced GIA 1.01 ct. XXX VS1 F that was dazzling white. They took me outside to see it in the sun and it was brighter than any other I've seen. I think that ruined me.
I've seen other F color stones that weren't as clear and white - and it's not because of clarity. Are there differences in color even in the range of E and F? And how important is the cut in relation to color? I know how it relates to fire, brightness and scintillation, but can a diamond's cut make it appear whiter and cleaner? Or is it that the brightness is so enhanced by the cut that it looks that way?
After learning of fluorescence, I went to another local less reputable jeweler who had faint, medium and strong fluorescent stones. These stones all had good GIA reports, cut, dimensions and HCA seemed in line, but they were dull and lifeless. Is it possible for jewelers to give out GIA reports that belong to other stones, hoping that no one will ever be the wiser? Because there was no comparison between what I saw there and what I've seen almost anywhere else.
Someone posted a link a while back on a post re fluorescence to a G&G article of Fall 2004 entitled 'A Foundation for Grading the Overall Cut Quality of Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds'. I think it was Davide, but I'm not positive. Very informative, as is that website. However, it makes continued reference to a pull-out at the end of the article that shows the diamonds tested, the results and measurements. Does anyone happen to have a scanned copy of that pull-out? I read 25 pages of scientific study without the benefit of seeing the results....
Thanks in advance.
@Amit: from my small corner on retailing, I see all things: some stuff, even good stones, going at 10-15 back because it's not moving (e.g. some cushions or radiants), to people quoting 50+ over for indifferent quality rounds - whether they get it is a completely different thing. I suspect that there is so much variability in cost structures at the retail level ("premium street level shop" vs. "office in suburban location dealing via internet") that it adds even more "randomness" to the prices.
Multi-vendor listing engines like the Diamond Finder are actually a pretty good tool for getting an idea of retail prices - and they are free to use!
On the (non) investment - I'm looking forward to a more detailed "quoted" reply/conversation based on previous posts, but I'll let you catch your breath rather than adding more at this point. I have some pointers/observations that go largely in the direction that Amit has mentioned (and I also sketched in my previous posts): choose what is likely to remain desirable, rather than maximising current return (or minimising current loss, whichever).
On fluorescence - I think it's just a nice "added feature". It can give the diamond more of a "multiple personality" in different lighting conditions, even though in the majority of places it makes absolutely no difference. Many fluorescent diamonds are also phosphorescent, and it's fun to see which ones have it and in which colours it comes out (red and greenish blue by far the most common). The fact that fluorescent stones typically come with a discount is an added bonus.
In some cases, it really improves the look of the stone - rubies being a case in point: since most are strongly red fluorescent, they seem to have an inner light when exposed to the sun. I have a fancy deep orangy-yellow that has strong yellow fluoro; it is the closest thing to a "yellow ruby" that I can think of: in sunlight it just boils over with yellow light.
This is a mild case of haze due to blue fluorescence; the stone was noted as "Strong Blue" on the EGL report it came with. It is a 3.03 M/SI1h
A severe case would go almost completely white/fuzzy. You'd only see it on Strong/VS/XS lfuorescence. I have never seen haze happening in a colour other than blue, but there are accounts that for yellow it is also present, and it looks rather horrible...
The "yellow cancelling effect" is definitely there; I'd say it's far more noticeable on I-K or even I-M stones than on G-H. Here is an example in a J colour cushion (1.01 J/VS2/SB). First photo in no-UV environment (indirect sunlight, filtered through glass), then direct sunlight, filtered, then full sunlight with no filter:
The effect is the same on higher colour stones, except that of course there is no yellow to "compensate", so the stone shows a blue tinge of varying intensity whenever there is UV radiation present. Same three lighting situations as above for an F-colour pear (1.00 F/VS2/SB):
note that in neither of the two cases above transparency is affected; what you may see as "haze" is just the camera sensor getting total saturation (blow-off). It is rare to get haze - but it does happen.
The "negative" effect is that it causes a much stronger discount in D-G colour stones than it does in H-M ones, where in fact it may even lead to a slight premium. As I mentioned, I like the change in appearance, and I like blue as a colour, so the fact that the stone becomes blue-tinged is a plus for appearance in my book. Some people don't like it and want a consistent colourless appearance.