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Costco Diamond: H, Vs2, But Smaller From The Top--Is It Okay?


sincx
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Hi everyone, I bought an round brilliant engagement ring from Costco, 1.00 carat, which Costco guarantees to be VS2 clarity and I color or better.

 

I ended up receiving a H/VS2/no fluorescence diamond. I was happy about the free I to H upgrade at first, but then I noticed the diamond is quite small for its weight: it's 6.31mm x 6.36mm x 3.94 mm, depth 62.1%, table 58.5%, medium girdle, excellent polish, very good symmetry.

 

I thought 1 ct diamonds are supposed to be closer to 6.5mm x 6.5 mm. If so, this diamond is 5% smaller as seen from the top than normal.

 

Should I think about exchanging it? Or does the I to H upgrade cancel out the smaller size?

 

Edit: information came from the IGI report included with the order.

Edited by sincx
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Hi sincx,

 

Most well proportioned diamonds that are 1.00ct actually measure in the 6.3-6.5mm range.  Those that have a slightly lower depth% of approx ~59% or a slightly over 1.0ct, like 1.05, might hit 6.5mm.  The stone you bought is not overly deep so it's diameter is really right about where it should be.  If you use the diamond finder above you can do a search of 1.0-1.05ct stones and see that many fall in the 6.3mm range.  Deeper stones will be a bit smaller and more shallow stones might be a hair bigger.  In that specific regard there should be no concern.

 

What might be of more concern is the IGI grading report, which should be taken with a grain of salt compared to the GIA grading standards as IGI is notoriously more lenient and less consistent with their grading, as is the EGL.  There are many discussions about this topic on this forum.  Though ultimately the most important thing is that you are happy with the diamond and find it beautiful. 

If you have any questions about the stone's quality and value I highly recommend you seek out an independent appraiser.

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Thank you so much for your comments, Megan.

 

Re IGI vs GIA, I heard that IGI has gotten tougher recently, and I also read this: http://www.diamonds.net/News/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=43417

So I think I'll trust their ratings for now. We'll get the ring appraised and resized on Thursday.

 

Re price, I do admit I've paid a very fair price for it: http://www.costco.com/Round-Brilliant-Diamond-Wedding-Set-%281.50-ctw%29-Platinum.product.100006939.html

 

Given that you think the stone is within the normal range (although unfortunately on the small size), we'll probably keep it. At least the color is good.

Edited by sincx
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Bear in mind that the Costco return/exchange policy ends as soon as you have it sized.  It's not clear to me if you're particularly worried about it or if this is just nervousness over an expensive purchase but, if you have gemological or quality concerns, address them BEFORE you get any work done.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Neil, we will definitely do that. We found this highly rated local store that does jewlery and watch repair, including appraisals, but don't sell any diamonds themselves. We'll get an appraisal and ask questions before doing the re-sizing. Thanks again everyone.

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Slight update - we took the ring to an independent jewler to be appraised today. He told us that he thinks the color is probably in the J-K range, definitely not H, not even I as Costco guaranteed. (He agrees with VS2.)

 

When we told him it was from Costco, he was quite surprised, as he said Costco stones are normally quite good, and even he occasionally buys from Costco in a pinch.

 

Needless to say, we were quite disappointed. We took the rings back for a refund (they can't do an exchange in store) and will order another set when we get the money back. If this one still ends up bad, we'll wait for a deal on a >1.25 carat stone (which will come with a GIA certificate, not IGI).

Edited by sincx
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Hi sincx --

 

It's a secure feeling, seeing the actual stone you'll buy in person before making a commitment.  The price you got from Costco was apparently attractive, too.  However, TANSTAAFL -- "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" -- you discovered the difference between grading report entities.  Lucky for you, it wasn't too late.

 

If you go back to Costco with a GIA requirement the pricing advantage won't be there any more, I'm afraid.  However, you'll still get to look at diamonds.  Why don't you use that opportunity, just with GIA-graded stones, then set the criteria for an online search?

 

According to JCK, 18% of diamonds are purchased online now.  When you know the obvious drawbacks of ordering "sight unseen", there must be powerful incentives (read: PRICE) to make people try an online buy.  And you're pretty well protected if you use a credit card, although there are lots of differences on return policies you need to acquaint yourself with.

 

While you're in the store looking at diamonds, ask specifically to see some "spready" cuts.  There are good and bad versions, and if you can go 5% oversize (instead of under-) you might be very pleased with the tradeoff.  Then (assuming you search online) look for shallower cuts within the range of parameters you've set.  The biggest warning you'll see is if the price a stone is offered at is a serious outlier, but a range of a few hundred dollars out of a good population is then about making/choosing a preference.  (Personally I like fluorescence.  But I also eat a lot of cheese. :) )

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Price is certainly what brings people in the door of the Internet dealers but it’s not usually what closes the deal.  That happens with selection, both real and imagined.  Because of the cost of inventory, jewelers CAN’T carry every stone for every customer, much less a bunch of them.  A million dollars’ worth of stock is remarkably sparse, and highly picky customers find this very frustrating.  The internet dealers allow the customers to zero in on tiny minutia and go away with the feeling that they searched the world for the ‘best of the best’ from a pool of thousands, rather than picking from the 3 that the jeweler brings in for them to look at.  A fair amount of this is an illusion, and most jewelers can do approximately the same thing if they want, but the online guys are FAR better at marketing it.  They've successfully turned what mostly is a disadvantage (they don't actually have what they're selling) into a feature. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update: Costco gave us a full refund, and we decided to order from Blue Nile instead.

 

Ordered a 1.26 carat, I/VVS2 stone, GIA 3x, faint fluorescence, 7.06x7.10x4.17mm. 58.9% depth (for a wider spread), 60% table, 32.0 degrees for crown, 41.0 degrees for pavilion (1.4 on HCA) for $7,733 for a total of $8,593 including platinum setting.

 

We considered going to H color, but after looking at photos comparing G, H, I, J, we decided I is good enough on color, and maybe the faint fluorescence will help. Otherwise it'd be either almost $2,000 more for the same size and VS1 or better, or we'd have to go down to 1.10-1.15 carat for the same price. Hopefully I color won't turn out to be a problem.

 

This seems like a much better deal than Costco. We are eagerly waiting its arrival. Thanks again for all your help and advice.

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Faint fluorescence will not do anything (other than fluorescing faintly: it's so faint, that you can't even attribute a colour to the fluorescence with any certainty, and in any case even if it were blue it would only "help" in environments where there is enough UV, i.e. outside in daylight). This said, I hope the new diamond is what you wish for!

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