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Second Guessing Myself


max432
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Hi All

 

Would like some opinions on what to do. I am in the market for an ideal/excellent cut stone. I know pretty much what I want in regard to the 4cs and have been working with 2 different vendors. Both are local brick and mortar stores. One is small strip center store and does a lot of wholesale in addition to retail. The other is a very large independent high end store.

 

My dilemma is that the high end store has found me an AGS 1.08ct Ideal cut VS1 G color that they originally wanted $9300 for. I told them it was more than I wanted to pay and that I would get back with them. In the meantime the small store contacted me and I said I was probably going to purchase the AGS stone. The small store owner explained that he only buys GIA excellent cut stones because the reports are universally accepted and most dealers want to pay less for AGS graded stones. He told me the stone was way over priced and that $8000 would be a good price but not a great price.

 

I have spoke with the large dealer and he is now willing to sell me the stone for $8400. He too usually deals primarily with GIA and it was unusual for him to have an AGS stone. I am not sure what to do as I was made to feel that in-spite of all that I have read the AGS document is inferior to the GIA and will command a lower price in dealer to dealer sales but that the savings are generally not passed on to the consumer because there are those who only want AGS because of the internet following.

 

Any thoughts regarding AGS vs GIA and the price I am being offered would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

 

Stone info:

 

Ideal 000 VS1 G faint fluorescence 1.08 ct

table: 55.3

depth: 62

crown angle: 34.9

pavilion angle: 40.7

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"Most dealers want to pay less for AGS (D-Z round ideal cut) stones"? Since when? If it is a statement uttered in good faith, it denotes ignorance. If it isn't... well...

 

I'm intrigued by the notion of a "small strip centre store that does a lot of [diamond] wholesale [business]". Who told you they do, and what did they mean by that? Diamond (or jewellery) wholesaling is hugely capital intensive, and not something normally associated with small strip mall stores. Is that two strikes?

 

$8400 sounds a reasonable deal: here's two stones by premium online retailers who have a reputation for selecting (or cutting) the best

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.10&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

 

both are priced well over $8400, and closer to the original quote of $9300 (I'm making the assumption that the super-selected cut is somehow compensated by the higher cost structure of high street vs. online retailing)

 

If you "expand" the search to GIA-graded stones, you'll find that both AGS stones are priced in the top 25% or so of GIA-excellent prices... and that only the bottom 25% of GIA-excellent stones are $8000 or less - from online dealers that are usually lower-priced than their high street pure brick-and-mortar competitors.

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.10&fColorLo=G&fColorHi=G&fClarityLo=VS1&fClarityHi=VS1&fCutLo=exc&fCutHi=exc&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=999900&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1

 

Note that none of the above is an indication that the AGS diamond in question is actually nice - only that it is priced largely in line with competitive online dealers' offers. Chances are that it is indeed nice, but we haven't seen it, nor have we even seen all the data on the report. You, on the other hand, have. Did you like it? (The diamond, not the report).

Edited by davidelevi
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Perfectly said Davide.

 

Most retailers deal with GIA more than AGS reports for the simple reason that there are more GIA reports on the market.  The GIA has done more marketing, especially overseas, and is the more popular grading report to sell in Asia, where the most market growth is at the moment.  In addition, it is still easier to achieve 3X on a GIA than triple ideal on AGS so the tendency is to go to the GIA.  There are still true believers in the AGS amongst consumers but the cannot outweigh overseas market forces.  This is clearly shown with the two links Davide posted above: the same search yields 361 GIA and 3 AGS reports.  This in no way impacts the worth of an AGS vs a GIA graded stone.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the quick replies. The smaller store is family owned and the wholesale business is their primary. They deal in large lots and have a large Asian (the country) base. The store is small because the primary business is jewelry making, used high end watches, and gemstones. I am confident that they are on the up and up. They have been in business over 15 years at the same location. I feel better hearing your comments and will probably purchase this weekend.

 

The store that has the diamond in question is very customer focused and to be honest it feels pretty good to get big store customer service and treatment plus what appears to be very competitive pricing. I have seen the diamond and it is beautiful. Very fiery and strong H&A patterns. I am interested to see what the independent appraiser says about color though as do think it has more than a G stone should. Probably just me though as I am seeing it unmounted in the store and psychologically I wanted a D or E.

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One easy way of testing the colour is to do just that: ask the vendor to show you a D/E stone right next to the G and observe both against a white or light grey background through the side (table down) to minimise the impact of cut quality. Then observe the stones face up and see if you can still spot the difference. Bear in mind that the colours in the environment will be reflected in the diamond (no matter what its colour), so if you wear a bright yellow shirt... you'll see yellow!

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Well I went ahead and purchased the diamond today. I think my concerns about the color grading were brought about by the store lighting. At home and outside I am thrilled with the color. The stone is very bright and firey and I could not be happier.

 

I also took the diamond to an independent appraiser who confirmed the AGS report. He made all of his evaluations prior to seeing the certificate. Told me the price I paid was excellent and also assigned a retail insurance replacement value.

 

Next step is to start looking at settings.

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Max432,

 

It's so pleasant to read about your experience.  You carefully educated yourself, you worked with more than one jeweler, you used an independent appraiser.  And you knew enough to be seeking a superior stone instead of something in the bottom or middle of the pack.  Finally -- you pinged this forum for an even more independent address to some lingering questions you had.

 

I look forward to your further experiences with finding an appropriate setting. The stone is a pretty easy size to fit, so I'll be watching the metal selection and question of side stones.  (I'm writing down the answers I think I know in advance on a card, which will be face down until your actual answers are revealed. :)

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(Peeking at card) BzzzT!  I'm sorry!

 

The answer was ... trillions.

 

Quoting Wikipedia: " [...] For example, the step cut baguette—which accentuates a diamond's luster, whiteness, and clarity but downplays its fire—was all the rage during the Art Deco period [...]"

 

Since that was considered the years before the Great Depression (I), this would make you about 90?  Correct?

 

If I'm wrong, an alternative guess might be prominent display on an HBO series.  Since I've only ever seen Sopranos and Breaking Bad, downloaded after both series ended, I wouldn't have knowledge of that.  (Sex in the City?)

 

After Googling a bunch of images, this is a very intriguing shape, I have to admit.  We added a similar step-cut (Asscher) to the assembly of stones for our 4-earring set, primarily because of the way light reflected, so differently from the usual triangular faceting.

 

"Lustre and clarity, downplaying fire".  That would be supportive of the center stone.  A good arrangement!

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