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Should I Buy This 1.01 Ct. Gia + Gcal/vvs1/princess Cut?


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Hello everyone, I've been lurking the forums for about a week in search of information that will help me make my first diamond purchase a successful one. I would define success at this point as: Coming in at under $7,000.00 for the diamond and setting. So far, my search has lead me around to James Allen, Blue Nile and even a local Jared. 

 

Needless to say I've had better experiences shopping online than even setting foot in Jared. Jared takes pride in their IGI diamonds, that's fine; but they lied to my face about the overall quality vs. GIA and told me "It doesn't matter who grades the diamonds, they'll get the same grade everywhere,"

 

I have come to ask the opinions of the experts here regarding the deal on this diamond, if I may:

 

It is a 1.01 ct. Princess cut GIA (report)/GCAL (cert), VVS1, I color, Excellent polish/symmetry, no florescence and two or three "needle" or "pinpont" inclusions as indicated on the GIA report when looking at the diamond from the pavilion. 

 

Measurements (from GIA report): 5.68 x 5.54 x 3.91 mm.

 

Square Modified Brilliant cut/style. (not sure if that means anything other than princess cut?)

 

GIA report will be attached as well as GCAL.

 

I'm looking at this setting: http://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-ring/cushion-halo-diamond-engagement-ring-platinum_49864?elem=img&track=product

 

I've been quoted $6,700.00 out the door at Blue Nile. The only way I can even see this diamond is through the GCAL cert and I know that people have had issues in the past with BN by not being able to see what they're buying and getting something that is only semi close to what they ordered based on what I've read. I'd never seen a diamond in person until I went to Jared last weekend. However, through the help of James Allen, I've come to realize what I'm looking for as far as "eye clean", but I also want quality; and that means money.

 

I have been looking for diamonds and setting for around a month now and I would say that I am humbly educated. I've been through budget woes and have been brought WAY down to earth with what I thought I'd wanted vs what I can actually afford. I do want quality for my future fiancee's finger which is why I've been digging and digging for what I think is a decent deal for something above SI1/2.

 

If I were especially concerned about size/weight I would just order an SI1 as large as I could in my budget, but I believe (this is just me) that making sure you're getting a good deal for good merchandise is important. I would equate this to why I would buy an American Made Fender Stratocaster over a mexican "equivalent": quality. 

 

What do you guys think? This diamond and the setting for $6,700 means the diamond is roughly $4,730. How does this deal look based on your experiences? Any insight is much appreciated. Thank you!

 

P.S.: I am "Not permitted to upload"  PDF files. In their absence, here are the report number from GCAL and GIA respectively:

 

GCAL REPORT: 242020036
 
GIA REPORT: 2176533593
 
Many thanks!
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Thank you for a clear and complete description of the situation and of your thinking. I wish more posters were doing what you just did!

 

Links to GIA and GCAL reports for convenience:

 

http://images.gemfacts.com/gcalimages/certs/GCAL242020036.jpg

http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?reportno=2176533593&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FDispatcher&c=Page&cid=1355954554547

 

A few comments - not necessarily answering every one of the points you raise, but hopefully it's a start:

 

1. Square modified brilliant: it means that the cut pattern is different from what GIA considers a "non-modified" one (probably because of the 5 steps on the pavilion). The "modified" makes zippo difference as far as you (or anyone else) is concerned: it's a normal 5 chevron princess.

 

2. Eye clean: VVS1 is definitely above SI1 or SI2 - in price too. Interestingly, the vast majority of SI1 are eye clean to the vast majority of people, and so are many SI2. If your guide to "eye cleanness" is 20x videos/photos by JA, I suggest you go back to a couple of jewellery stores and look at diamonds in various clarity grades, with and without a loupe. You may be surprised about what you can(not) see in a VS stone, or even in a good SI, in reality.

 

3. Cut: the only information you have is the GCAL report, and to me it doesn't look particularly attractive. It's a very bright stone, but with a very steep, thin crown and huge table it looks like a piece of glass. This said, it's my personal opinion/taste, I haven't seen the stone in real life and I don't particularly look princess cuts anyway. Which neatly brings up the next point:

 

4. Look at your purchase as being divided in two steps: first step, you are purchasing an option to see the stone for the price of return shipping. You may even ask Blue Nile to ship you the loose stone so you can more easily compare it to others and/or have it appraised (esp. with regards to cut) by your own expert. Second step: if and only if you are convinced it's the right stone you buy it - and ship it back for setting if you got it loose. The credit card charge is just security until this point.

 

5. Price and other considerations: at $4700 change it's priced like a premium stone (83 percentile in the 60 equivalent stones on the Diamond Finder: http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Prin&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.05&fColorLo=I&fColorHi=I&fClarityLo=VVS1&fClarityHi=VVS1&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&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=1000000000&fLabGIA=1&fLabAGS=1&adv=1)but in my opinion you can do significantly better. Part of it is related to clarity (and whether you want to trade up in colour, size or simply pocket the savings), and part of it is related to cut: even staying with I/VVS1, for example, these two are significantly better cut - and have the paper to prove it - plus they are even slightly cheaper:

 

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut-loose-diamond-2940067.htm

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/1.03-carat-i-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-283660

 

There may well be others, particularly if you decide to change your mind on the clarity/colour/size trade-off - I just have picked the two easy "Made in America" ones...

 

ETA: 6. Setting: two important points: 1) the design you have chosen is commonly available; pretty much every vendor has something similar. However, that specific model is for a cushion cut, and it's probably not suitable (or easily modifiable) for the sharp corners of a princess cut; in any case you will end with gaps between the centre stone and the halo because the sides of a princess cut are straight, those of a cushion are curved. 2) Precisely because of those sharp (and fragile!) corners, often people set princess cut stones in something with either dual prongs/claws, or corner rub-over settings. This is something that may restrict the choice of setting quite significantly (and raise its price too, unfortunately). Possibly not necessary with a halo protecting the stone, but make sure that you have someone taking responsibility for breakage while setting (of course if you order stone and setting from the same place, there are fewer problems).

Edited by davidelevi
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I absolutely see what you mean with regards to price.  I see some 1.0X ct. VVS1/I color/GIA report diamonds which would save me $1,200.00. The reason I'm not concerned with color is that price does jump considerably from what I've seen. I just don't want to move into J and below color grade. I think I'll order the stone by itself and take a look around at other jewelers and compare what I can actually see; that's a great idea.

 

I wasn't aware that the corners of the diamond are fragile. I suppose that means I'll need to look into getting a different setting. I'm sure BN would be able to accommodate protection for setting the stone; but we never know until we ask so I'll do that today.

 

Regarding the cut and GCAL cert, that's the only way I've been able to view diamonds online besides James Allen. I figure that it probably won't look that bad in person and, living in Seattle, I would hope BN might be easy to work with if it needed to be returned to have my journey continue to what I think would be the perfect diamond. I suppose that seeing it in person is what differentiates one diamond from another, if I'm not mistaken. Paper can be misleading; it's usually best to just see it.

 

I will look at VS1 stones to see if i can get a considerable break in price and still retain quality. I don't like that most jewelers around me only have IGI or EGL stones. It makes me think twice about them before I talk to anyone unfortunately. I shouldn't let that scare me, so I will take a look this weekend. This BN diamond is on hold for me so I think I'll order it and go around the jewelers and compare.

 

Thank you so much for the insight! I will be back.

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I absolutely see what you mean with regards to price.  I see some 1.0X ct. VVS1/I color/GIA report diamonds which would save me $1,200.00. The reason I'm not concerned with color is that price does jump considerably from what I've seen. I just don't want to move into J and below color grade. I think I'll order the stone by itself and take a look around at other jewelers and compare what I can actually see; that's a great idea.

I'm not at all suggesting you move to J; I think your budget can actually get you a whiter stone than "I", particularly if you get a greater understanding of clarity and how the (GIA) scale works.

 

I wasn't aware that the corners of the diamond are fragile. I suppose that means I'll need to look into getting a different setting. I'm sure BN would be able to accommodate protection for setting the stone; but we never know until we ask so I'll do that today.

Probably yes - they do offer settings for princess cuts, and as long as they provide the stone, the ring and the setting work, they are usually responsible for the result...

 

Regarding the cut and GCAL cert, that's the only way I've been able to view diamonds online besides James Allen. I figure that it probably won't look that bad in person

It won't, but there are other things that could look better.

 

living in Seattle, I would hope BN might be easy to work with if it needed to be returned to have my journey continue to what I think would be the perfect diamond. I suppose that seeing it in person is what differentiates one diamond from another, if I'm not mistaken. Paper can be misleading; it's usually best to just see it.

Agree, and certainly working with a US-based vendor makes life a lot easier. However, the issue is "how do you know that what you see is any good" if you lack a reference for what is "good" or even "best".

 

I will look at VS1 stones to see if i can get a considerable break in price and still retain quality.

You seem to have a considerable amount of prejudice about clarity. Be aware that clarity in diamonds is graded so as to artificially increase rarity of "high clarity" grades. Keep an open mind, and look at as broad a range of clarities as you can before you decide that (say) a VS2 or an SI1 are "low quality" as you imply.

 

I don't like that most jewelers around me only have IGI or EGL stones. It makes me think twice about them before I talk to anyone unfortunately. I shouldn't let that scare me, so I will take a look this weekend. This BN diamond is on hold for me so I think I'll order it and go around the jewelers and compare.

IGI or EGL are not a good sign in general... about the jeweller, if not about the specific stone. This said, there are plenty of decent jewellers in Seattle, including Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels, and even Kay's and Jared's carry decent diamonds together with a lot of other stuff. While I'm not for a second suggesting you shop in any of those places, you can still look and get more information on how different grades and proportions affect appearance.
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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05469249?keyword_search_value=Ld05469249

 

I picked a different diamond, varies slightly, works much better with my budget: blue nile specs:

 

1.01-Carat Princess Cut Diamond

$3,553

$3,499.71 Bank Wire Priceïš

Summary

 

Stock number LD05469249

Price per caratïš $3,518

Carat weight 1.01

Shape Princess

Cutïš Very Good

Colorïš I

Clarityïš VS2

Length/width ratioïš 1.03

Depth %ïš 74.9%

Table %ïš 68.0%

Polishïš Excellent

Symmetryïš Very Good

Girdleïš Thick to Thick

Culetïš None

Fluorescenceïš Medium

Measurements 5.57 x 5.41 x 4.05 mm

 

Is this a good deal? I think, all things considered this one is the best looking that I can see for the money. Here's a pic of the diamond and link to GIA report:

 

http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?pagename=GST%2FDispatcher&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&c=Page&cid=1355954554547&reportno=6167937334

post-134849-0-67580900-1424809755_thumb.jpg

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It's a good deal if you have seen it and you like it; it's an even better deal if she likes it.

 

There are no glaring red flags, though we have very little information on cut quality (and since price is ~ the bottom 25% of similarly graded stones, it's likely not what the trade considers as a top flight cut). If you like it, it's a perfectly acceptable stone in all regards.

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