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.90 D Color Vvs2 Or 1.0 E Color Vs2


J-Crock
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Hi,

 

I'm new to diamonds and this site. Have lots of questions but this is the most specific.

 

Both choices are round, super ideal cut diamonds and have medium fluorescence.... (Which I'm also a bit leery about but I posted that question separately). The 1.0 carat is about 700 hundred more but still within my budget.

 

I really like the idea of having higher quality as far as color and clarity but would these differences be noticeable in a side by side comparison?

 

Love to hear your thoughts.

 

Thanks!

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Here are some more specifics including price.

 

0.90 Carat, Round, Super Ideal Cut, D Color, VVS2 Clarity, 6.18 x 6.15 x 3.85mm, Conflict Free Russian Diamond $7490.00

 

1.00 Carat, Round, Super Ideal Cut, E Color, VS2 Clarity, 6.56 x 6.51 x 3.85mm, Conflict Free Russian Diamond $8190.00

 

Thanks!

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Yes, they both have GIA reports which I've viewed online but currently don't have access too. I placed the diamonds on a 3 day hold while I'm thinking about it and they've taken them offline during that timeframe. And yes Joshua, the vendor is BE. I'm not really questioning the validity of their attributes so much as just getting a general opinion on which would be a better purchase. So assuming everything is valid, which would you personally gravitate towards and why?

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Unfortunately that still isn't enough info, like I mentioned earlier BE has a fairly loose standard when it comes to "super ideal" from my research.  

 

As far as price goes, Im seeing super ideal (really super ideal) 1 carat, E VS2's for approx $6500. So you are paying quite the premium as far as online prices go. 

 

Also, I know the BE markets Russian diamonds as "conflict free" and not to start a discussion about geo-politics but have you seen whats going on in Russia? BE is very good at taking a fairly standard product from the wholesale market (we happen to sell Russian diamonds as well) and mark them up drastically. But you can find these Russian diamonds on pretty much every online retailer's website, but very few of us market them as such, same goes for Canadian diamonds.

 

If we had more specs on the make of these diamonds (something found on the GIA certificate) it would be much easier to give an opinion on which is the better of the two. As far as price - you can certainly do much much better on both.

 

My take is, you should be scrutinizing the heck out of the attributes. All diamonds are not created equal. 

Edited by Joshua Niamehr
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Well, you see, first problem is that GIA does not use the term "Ideal", much less "Super Ideal", and frankly every vendor uses those in the way they like.

 

Frankly, if it were my money I'd not be buying a D or an E, and I would not be spending it on VVS2 clarity anyway. This said, my dominant choosing criterion would be cut, and we know next to nothing about it; knowing that they are "GIA excellent" (if they are) goes a little further, but only relatively little. At the very least, all the info on the report is required to comment, and ideally good quality reflector images.

 

Well, cross-posted with Joshua, but it seems we are going in the same place... :)

Edited by davidelevi
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I’m not as down on BE as some of the above but they have some valid points:

 

1) Ideal and Super ideal are not GIA grades.  Those are coming from the dealer, and they're red flags when any dealer uses them.   I haven’t a clue what they mean by it and these are terms that are widely abused in the industry.  Ask.  At the very least make sure you understand their grading scale and what they’re evaluating here.  It may not be as important to you as it sounds and it may actually be a distraction from other things that actually ARE part of the GIA grading system.  

 

2) Russian.  Most diamonds are processed in a way that makes it difficult to follow country of origin through the cutting chain and there are no physical properties of the finished stone that point you to it after the stone is polished.  It’s all in the paperwork.  To some extent the Canadians have set up a chain of documentation that allows you to trace a stone from mine to finger but I’ve never heard of anything like that from Russia.  Maybe BE's got something I'm not aware of or something that's proprietary to them.  This means that, like the above, you’re relying entirely on the dealer’s claim that it’s Russian origin.  That’s certainly believable, many are.  Russia is currently the #1 producer of gem diamonds after all, but if it’s important to you to KNOW where it came from, pay attention to how the data is flowing.  This is not an easy claim to defend and it's all about the paperwork.  The same applies to cutting.  Obviously every diamond is cut somewhere, and whoever cut it knows, but how that information flows through to the end consumer is highly suspect.   The difference between ‘made in Russia’ and ‘made in India’ has to do with the paperwork, not the product.  By all means support Russian miners and Russian cutters if you want but don't believe the hype that rocks found in Russia are fundamentally different than rocks found in Canada, Botswana, or anywhere else.  They're rocks.  The same holds for cutting.  There are some great cutters in Russia, but there are great cutters in India and Israel too.  The difference in cut quality isn't a function of the address of the cutter.    

 

Back to the original questions:

 

No, most people can’t tell the difference mounted between a 0.90 and a 1.00.  They also can’t tell the difference between an E and an H, or a VVS1 and an SI1.  These things have a huge effect on prices.  That’s one of the peculiarities of the diamond business.  You’re making some choices that have a significant effect on price but not the look of the final piece.  Is a full carat ‘worth’ more to you?  Maybe.  To some people it is.  That’s why they cost more.  Only you can answer if you are among them.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Well, unfortunately I don't have anything more on the .90 diamond. I remember from looking at the GIA report that it was rated as excellent for cut, polish and symmetry but I don't have all the percentages if that's what you were looking for.

 

I think I'm leaning towards the 1.0 diamond. I was able to find more specifics on that(cut and pasted below)... 

 

I get what you're saying about the "super ideal" but pretty much every site I've been to has some version of that... Blue Nile has "signature Ideal", James Allen has "True Hearts" so I understand it's marketing but I don't know that it necessarily means they're doing something shady. Here's their definition of Super Ideal: These diamonds have the highest grades of cut, polish and symmetry (Excellent or Ideal) to allow them to reflect even more light than the standard ideal cut.

 

From what I've seen on their site, if a diamond is graded as GIA excellent for cut but gets a very good in either Symmetry or Polish then BE will list it as "Ideal" instead of  "super ideal".

 

On a side note... The biggest marketing ploy I've seen so far out there seems to be the "Forever Mark" diamonds which are charging astronomical amounts for this laser engraving but not providing much in terms of specifics on the stone or even an independent report!

 

Also, I see what you're saying about the lineage of the stone. I understand Russia is in conflict with the Ukraine but not over diamonds. And their diamonds are being mined a few thousand miles from the Ukraine border. I'm not saying BE is the best at ensuring their diamonds are conflict free but I couldn't find another site that even got into the origin of the stone or provided some sort of certificate giving the stone's lineage. But if there's one out there let me know... Love to compare.

 

And lastly on the price, I've been using something online I found called Max's Diamond Pricing Guide. Looks like I can't provide the link but you can search it pretty easily. From the prices they were giving the amounts on these stones seemed fair but admittedly I don't know how accurate that guide is! 

 

Here's the info on the 1.0 diamond.

Origin: Russia Price: $8,150 Bank Wire Price: $8,000 Carat Weight: 1.00 Shape: Round Cut: Super Ideal
Color: E Clarity: VS2 Measurements: 6.44 x 6.42 x 3.92 Table: 58.0% Depth: 61.0%
Symmetry: Excellent Polish: Excellent Girdle: Medium - Slightly Thick Culet: None Fluorescence Medium Blue
Edited by J-Crock
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No, issuing a proprietary grade of some sort isn't shady, and it's quite common.  At the same time, it doesn't necessarily mean anything useful either.  In the above definition, for example, ALL stones with a GIA xxx or AGS 000  are 'super ideal'. (That's the heart of the definition for Blue Nile signature ideal too by the way).  Since GIA doesn't give a cut grade on radiants, that means that it's really just symmetry and polish.  It's not that there's anything specifically wrong with that, but you haven't actually learned anything from it either.  

Ignore price guides.  The way to compare prices is by looking up comps.  They're plentiful and it's a FAR better benchmark than what some guy you don't know says something should cost. 

Edited by denverappraiser
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Super Ideal SHOULD BE more than just depth and table! We determine (as you should) a diamonds ideality or super ideality by the all the data in the proportions of the diamond NOT JUST DEPTH AND TABLE! 

 

I would put no value on Max's diamond price guide personally. I would use the diamondreview diamond search tool to help see a major portion of the online diamond world's pricing. Also the pricing many online retailers list are DISCOUNTED if you come through diamondreview (by clicking a diamond in the diamond search engine). 

 

I also respectfully disagree with you in regards to Russia - the location of the mine has nothing to do with the funds acquired by Russia - the funds are used to fund the conflict in Ukraine (as far as I know) and to me thats a major issue - those diamonds are not conflict free as Brilliant Earth is claiming. Also, Russia has a terrible track record when it comes to Human Rights, your money goes to funding their bigotry. Im not sure how BE can even pretend that these diamonds are conflict free. 

 

I personally help clients find Canadian diamonds all the time - you are paying a premium for that though. Canadian diamonds are just more expensive.

 

Your questions and post have inspired me to begin removing all Russian origin diamonds from my companies website!

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One last, minor point: you are allowed to post links. They are just disabled until you ask Hermann (the moderator) to "upgrade" you - the reason is simply that we used to get a lot of spammer, and this proved an effective measure to contain their efforts... since any new user is by default unable to get working links.

 

One of the databases for comps is here: http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds

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Oh, man Joshua... I shouldn't have questioned you! I went back to BE's site and did a little digging around specifically about Russian diamonds (based on your comments)  and found the following quote:

 

CHOOSING RUSSIAN DIAMONDS

"At Brilliant Earth, we are committed to informing our customers about the origins of each of the diamonds in our collection. We have long believed that labor and environmental standards at Canadian diamond mines are the most rigorous in the world. Our diamonds from Namibia and Botswana also meet the highest labor and environmental standards while contributing to the economies of these two developing countries.

 

We do not yet believe that Russian diamonds can match Canadian, Namibian, and Botswanan diamonds on all measures of social and environmental responsibility. Like much of the Russian business sector, Russia’s diamond industry has not fully adopted Western standards for transparency and governance. The diamond industry is also owned by the Russian government, which complicates efforts to create and enforce strict labor and environmental laws.

 

However, Russia’s diamond industry is independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers and is striving to enhance its international reputation. Although there is still work to be done, we recommend Russian diamonds to customers seeking diamond sizes and shapes not available from Brilliant Earth’s other countries of origin. Finally, like all Brilliant Earth diamonds, our Russian diamonds fall within a select group of diamonds that are traceable to their source, giving you peace of mind that your diamond is beyond conflict free."

 

 

Ughhh, that is pretty disappointing... I'm basically just trusting them based on the bulk of their marketing and then I have to go digging around on their site to find out that they're not totally comfortable with Russia either but you know... money! I mean, I guess the last sentence in there is sort of comforting. Makes me think they at least strive for specific diamonds in Russia that aren't as bad as the rest?? But who knows how diligently they really keep track of that.

 

It's crazy because I'd say the bulk of their selection is from Russia!!

 

Thanks for setting me straight on that, Joshua. 

Edited by J-Crock
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Don't want to disappoint you further, but it's very unlikely that they are tracking anything... If they do, ask them what proof they have; in any case, the only mine-level producer of Russian diamonds is the Alrosa group, which is heavily influenced/owned by the state, so, while Russian diamonds may be "non-conflict" in the traditional definition of the word, you are still going to provide money to the Russian government.

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The whole business of ‘conflict free’ is a can of worms.  Normally it has to do with the Blood Diamond movie that depicts a war that took place in Liberia and other west African nations where diamonds were used as currency to finance the war.  It was a spectacularly uncivil civil war and yes, diamonds played a part.   That war ended in 2002 by the way and, if it's any consolation, the good guys, or at least the better guys, won.  

 

The solution adopted back then is what’s called The Kimberley Process (KP).  It’s an arcane bit of accounting but what it does is require exporters to document that they mined legally and paid their taxes, and to provide evidence of that to the importing country in order to get the goods through customs.  The United States, and pretty much everyone else in the world outside of Cuba and North Korea, signed this into law between 2000 and 2002.  What that means is that every diamond legally imported into the US since 2002 has been KP compliant, aka 'Conflict Free'.  Add to that the fact that that particular war didn’t actually start until 1996 so everything mined BEFORE that is, by at least this definition, also conflict free.
 

Obviously there are some gaping holes in this and I applaud BE for digging deeper into it.  Botswana is a fine place that lives on diamonds and they deserve your support.  Actually, Liberia is a place with some other serious problems, like being the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic, and THEY deserve your support too.  Canada, on the other hand, amid all of their niceness, has land claim issues in the diamond fields with the First Nations (that’s what Canadians call Native Americans).  Some people avoid them for that reason.  The Russians have that whole Ukraine thing going on along with their general bad attitude, and Zimbabwe, one of the worse human rights offenders in the world, is a diamond producer and a Kimberly signer.  Kimberley isn’t about worker’s rights or environmental controls after all.  It’s not an easy question and there are no easy answers.  Thank you for taking it seriously and I wish it were easier. 

 

I agree with you that the fact that Brilliant Earth at least tries to navigate this mess puts them ahead of the vast majority of their competitors.  They may not have all the answers but they at least appear to understand the question.  At the same time, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t a ‘fact’.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks, Denver. That's definitely one reason I gravitated towards the BE site.

 

I don't think I've seen any mention of diamond origin on any other diamond retailers I've visited. So while I'm not entirely happy with BE's stance on Russian diamonds at least they're trying. I mean, if I had just put up the stats on these diamonds and not mentioned BE or Russia... we'd just be talking about cut, clarity and color. So at least BE is having the conversation! 

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Most jewelers, well many jewelers, well some jewelers, are prepared to discuss this issue if you ask about it.  None will have all of the answers for reasons we discussed above, but the fact that you ask is what causes the conversation to happen, and if enough people ask the answers will get better.  

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