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Need Help Deciding Between Two Rb's


richardjay
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Hi Everyone,

I'm quite new to buying diamonds, but I have had some guidance from some friends. I'm getting ready to purchase an engagement ring, and have narrowed it down to two stones found online. My criteria may be different than other people, but my order of importance is:

Carat
Cut 

Clarity
Color


First Diamond

GIA Certified (see attachment)
Includes magnified photo (see attached)

Shape: Round Brilliant
Carat weight: 1.90
Cut: Ideal
Color: J
Clarity: VS1
Depth %: 62.5%
Table %: 56%
Crown Angle: 36.5
Pavilion Angle: 40.6
Crown %: 16%
Pavilion %: 43%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Strong
Measurements: 7.90 x 7.85 x 4.93 mm
HCA Score: 2.4
Light Return: Very Good
Fire: Very Good
Scintillation: Very Good
Spread or diameter for weight: Very Good


Second Diamond

AGS Certified (see attached)
Includes ASET Images (see in AGS)

Shape: Round Brilliant
Carat: 1.91
Color: J
Clarity: VVS2
Cut: Excellent
Depth %: 61.6%
Table %: 55.0%
Crown Angle: 35.3
Pavilion Angle: 41.2
Crown %: 15.8%
Pavilion %: 43.4%
Measurements: 7.97x8.03x4.93
Culet : Very Small
Fluorescence: None
Girdle: Thin-Medium

HCA Score: 4.0
Light Return: Very Good
Fire: Good
Scintillation: Good
Spread or diameter for weight: Very Good


The dealer selling the 2nd diamond told me that there's a chance that the 2nd diamond may perform better than the 1st. It's hard to tell since the 1st diamond doesn't have ASET Images and only has computer based HCA calculations. Is this true?

Both diamonds are priced relatively similar. The first being priced roughly $900 USD more. I would love to hear which diamond you think is the better.


Thanks,

Richard

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Based on the paper, I'd like the second more than the first, but the steep pavilion angle means the HCA likes it less because it's likely to be less bright.

 

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preferences. If size is your (her) hot button, then go for the second one: it faces up a shade larger.

 

(BTW - GIA does not use the word "Ideal" in grading anything, so the cut assessment of "ideal" for the first diamond comes from the vendor; ask them what they mean and how they distinguish between GIA excellent - what it says on the report - and what they call 'ideal')

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Thank you Davide. May ask why based on the papers for each diamond you like AGS diamond more than the GIA?

 

I also noticed that the GIA diamond has strong blue fluorescence. Should this be viewed as a plus considering it is a J colored diamond? I've read that blue fluorescence will help the diamond look a color grade whiter under certain lighting. 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

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Slightly spreadier and more information available (AGS cut grade/ASET) are the only "objective" criteria I can point at; in general, it just "sounds" like a (slightly) nicer stone. I like steep crowns when they are associated to really small tables. 36.5° with a 56% just doesn't sound very appealing. The issue is that I have often found that this type of "paper-based" call ends up being wrong once one sees the stones in reality.

 

On fluorescence - it could be a plus, it could be a minus. Some interesting reading (or at least interesting photos) here: http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/9246-curious-about-diamonds-in-general/

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Thank you for sharing Davide. 

 

Still a bit torn between the two diamonds, however I'm leaning more towards the AGS diamond simply because the paperwork provides more information and of comments from you and another user on price scope. 

 

The AGS diamond is also being sold for about $1,000 less than the GIA, which does help a bit as well

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I'm far from an expert, but here's 2 cents anyways --

 

The AGS stone is1% larger on one axis, 2% larger on the second.  Will you notice?  No ... but you'll remember.

 

Although I just bought a stone with Very Strong Blue fluorescence, it's going on an earring, in an asymmetric grouping.  I would have to re-evaluate if I was trying to select a stone to wear out in broad daylight.

 

The GIA stone supposedly ranks higher in fire and scintillation, but as you said, there's a chance the AGS could outperform it.  You will not remember the difference here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

** Update **

 

I went ahead and wired money over for the AGS stone and the dealer brought the diamond in house and took some pictures for me. 

 

Their diamond expert replied back to me in the email and stated:

 

"Thanks for your patience!  I was able to take a look at the stone and it’s very nice in person!  It’s got nice light return, and is a fantastic size and price.  It is also a very very clean stone, both eye clean and loupe clean."

 

What do you all think?

 

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It looks pretty good, but not exceptional. Which is me saying the same thing that AGS is saying with a cut grade of "excellent".

 

If it hits the other checks in your criteria, why not? Personally, I'd rather have a lower clarity and a different colour, but there is nothing wrong with J/VVS2.

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Hi Davide,

 

I agree with you 100% on compromising with a lower cut grade for a higher color, however unfortunately I have not been able to find anything remotely close to the price I found for this diamond with a higher color grade - not even going down to a SI1 clarity.

 

WF is listing this AGS stone for $11,200 USD. All the other stones that I've found around the 1.8-1.9 carat with I color and lower clarity (SI1 and above) start at around $14,000 USD. 

 

Right now my only concern is the actual color of the stone. I've heard that AGS has a looser color grading scale than GIA, so I've asked WF's diamond expert to take a look and tell me if they think the stone is closer to a K color or an I color by GIA's standards. I'm not sure what to expect from WF's ability to answer my question, since I'm sure it may be hard to determine if a stone is a J color closer to a K or an I.

 

For $11,200, do you think this is a good deal?

 

Looking at the 2014 Rapaport Report, diamond's also in the 1.50-1.99 ct, J color, and VVS2 range should have an asking price of $8,200 USD/ ct. 
 
So based on the Rapaport Report, this diamond's asking price should be around $15,700 USD. I'm guessing because this diamond's proportions and cut are not ideal, may be why it is selling for less?
 
 
 
Thanks,
 
Richard
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Yes, cut and to some extent the relatively unpopular combination of J/VVS2 are why the stone is selling at a discount. The question is - as usual - what is important for you (your girlfriend): half a mm in diameter, or a whiter colour? There is no right answer. And whether it's closer to a K or an I is also not an answer; the answer is your (her) sensitivity to colour and the extent to which you like a warmer white in a diamond.

 

BTW Rapaport prices are completely irrelevant for this discussion. Simply ignore them. http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/9392-please-help-me-rate-this-aset-image-thank-you/#entry47287 has a bit of a discussion as to why.

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Thanks Davide for the link. 

 

At the beginning of my search, my criteria for diamonds were ranked:

 

Carat
Cut 

Clarity
Color

 

I would say that after looking at some diamonds in person, it has changed to: 

 

Carat

Cut

Color

Clarity

 

Although the AGS stone that I am looking at may not appear to reflect that those are preferential order, it just so happens that for my budget, that has been the best stone that I have found. Upgrading to a I colored diamond would require me to drop down to around a 1.75 ct and perhaps a SI1, which isn't what I'm looking for. 

 

I've visited a lot of local jewelers and have taken a look at their stones. For the most part I can see a color difference between a J and a H (side by side or apart), but to me a J colored diamond looks perfectly fine to me. For others that are in this industry and look at diamonds on a daily basis, it may not be, but for me I think it looks just fine. What I found harder to see a difference in was how well a diamond sparkles (light return, fire, etc.). I'm sure that the diamonds they showed me performed differently in this category, but to be honest I don't know what too look for. 

 

My girlfriend has an even less trained eye than me, so I don't think she will be able to notice the difference (however her friends might). Either way, my girlfriend is very understanding which helps out a lot. 

 

I think I am going to go ahead with the AGS stone. I really appreciate everyone's help during my search process. 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

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What to look for: http://diamondcut.gia.edu/pdf/cut_fall2004.pdf has a good description of the "appearance" elements used by GIA to assess cut quality. AGS does much the same, though using different criteria, and judging from what Marcel Tolkowsky wrote in 1919 the industry has been using these "appearance elements" (my name for brightness, fire, sparkle, patterning) for well over a hundred years.

 

I hope the famous AGS stone is what you are wishing for and more. Let us know what you think when you get it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got some pictures back from WF set on a knife-edge ring. For some reason in the pictures, the stone doesn't look quite as big as other diamonds I have seen in person.

 

I'm guessing it's due to the angle and perhaps the camera lens used?

 

Nevertheless, here they are!

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