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There are literally hundreds of stones 0.70+, I-J, VS2-SI1, GIA or AGS Ideal/Excellent cut, priced below $2800. How did you narrow it down from 1000+ to 6? And this is before asking about how did you get to I-J or VS2-SI1.

 

Or, if you prefer the same question asked another way, how do you define "bang"? What's "less bang-y"with a K-I1 over 1 carat? Or with a D-VVS 0.50?

 

Not that there is anything wrong with your pick, but helping you find out "best" needs an understanding of how you would define it.

Edited by davidelevi
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There are literally hundreds of stones 0.70+, I-J, VS2-SI1, GIA or AGS Ideal/Excellent cut, priced below $2800. How did you narrow it down from 1000+ to 6? And this is before asking about how did you get to I-J or VS2-SI1.

 

Or, if you prefer the same question asked another way, how do you define "bang"? What's "less bang-y"with a K-I1 over 1 carat? Or with a D-VVS 0.50?

 

Not that there is anything wrong with your pick, but helping you find out "best" needs an understanding of how you would define it.

 

Thank you so much for your reply, davidelevi. I came to the decision to choose Ideal/Ex cut, I-J color,  and VS2-I1 clarity because I would like the stone to be eye clean, not too much tinted/yellowish and performs well. I-J color and VS2-I1 clarity seem to be lowest grade that would fit my liking. My girlfriend has a small hand with 4.25 ring size, so I think something less than 1ct would still look great on her. After doing some research, these stones seem to fit my requirements and budget. I am very new to this, so I really appreciate it if you can give me some suggestion/idea. Now you mentioned it, I am not sure if I should go with Ex cut 0.5 ct D-VS1 or Ex cut 0.7 I-VS2. They are both within my budget.

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You have started from this (or something like it)

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=cut&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.70&fCaratHi=10.00&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=J&fClarityLo=VS2&fClarityHi=SI1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&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=2800&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

and have tried to boil it down by picking 6 stones more or less at random (as far as I can understand). Now you are wondering if something like this instead would be better

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=cut&sortDesc=0&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=0.50&fCaratHi=10.00&fColorLo=D&fColorHi=F&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS2&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&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=2800&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

and are left with an even bigger problem (2500 stones instead of 1200).

Well, if I may suggest a different process...

1) Do your market research.

  • Go out and look at different colours and clarities. Do NOT trust colour and clarity illustration charts - they are not reliable at all. There is nothing wrong with D and there is nothing wrong with J (or G!), but they do look different. The objective is not to find which one looks "white enough", but the one you like best; plenty of people prefer a warm white to an icy one.
     
  • Same goes for cut/proportions and size. Some people prefer smaller tables, others like big ones. Some people prefer high crowns and fiery stones, even if less bright, and others want a very bright stone even if it is less fiery. Again, nothing wrong with either preference, but you need to know what is yours.
     
  • Try to base your observations on GIA and AGS-graded stones only, for consistency: other labs have different standards, and apply them far less reliably than GIA and AGS. 
     
  • If you can, go with your to-be-fiancée; if you cannot, ask her a few questions based on your findings.

2) Choose a dealer or two to work with. 

  • During your market research, you may find a great local jeweller, or you may want to stick to big "online" names like some of those that advertise on the Diamond Finder here.
     
  • Make a few phone calls - see how you get on with people at the other end. Who is genuinely helpful and who is only interested in making a sale? Can they provide you with more information if required?

3) Only then ASK the dealer to help you find two or three great stones - where "great" is defined based on what you found out in step 1). Don't pick at random - ask for advice, but make it specific and relevant to your preferences.

 

4) If you want a second opinion, that is the moment to ask here

 

Maybe you have done exactly that, but it sounds like something went awry in step 1... otherwise you wouldn't be wondering if a 0.50 D is "better" than a 0.70 I or a 0.80 J.

Edited by davidelevi
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