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Advice On 3/4 Carat...


Newb2Diamond
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Hello,

 

I am new to this world alike many and have been trying to do as much research as I can on selecting the right diamond (or at least the right diamond for me). Reading this forum has helped a bunch but I would be silly to say that I don't have a rookie question to ask...

 

As the title states I am looking for a diamond around 3/4 carats (yes, this is budget involved). I am also looking for best bang for buck...

 

Using the Diamond Finder above, I think I have decided on the following specs (and please let me know if I am misguided):

 

Clarity - VS2

Cut - Excellent

Color - H

 

Would the above lend to a good looking diamond? 

 

Oh and a couple more questions... Sorry, again very new to this. Should I ask for pictures or assorted before I decide on the diamond, and what specifically do I ask for. I have seen images on this site with flaw marking and some with red luminance-like graphs.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you might offer. I am here to learn.

 

 

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Those specs are fine. 

 

Add to it GIA or AGS grading only. 

 

Consider SI1 as well.  Maybe I too. 

 

It's worth noting that 'about 3/4 cts.' covers some ground.  In particular, there's usually a significant price bump at 0.70cts.  If a 0.68 fits YOUR definition of about 3/4, there's a savings to be had there. 

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Neil,

 

Thank you so much for the quick reply!

 

Yes I am looking for GIA grading.

 

As for SL1, I am scared of imperfections being seen... Am I wrong in thinking that?

And as for looking at lets say a .68 diamond, how noticeable in size is that from say a .74 or .71?

 

BTW - Do you happen to have any recommendations on what I should ask an online retailer for picture wise?

 

Again, Thanks in advance!

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SI1: the vast majority won't have inclusions from the top without having some magnification. This said, some will - the only way of knowing for sure is to see the diamond. Expert opinion (including the vendor - if they have the stone in hand) is next best, then photos.

 

Size: look at diameter differences and you'll get a pretty good idea. If "0.05 mm difference" (or whatever) doesn't give you an idea, use PowerPoint or another graphics package to draw circles of the different diameters.

 

Pictures: the more (of good quality), the merrier, particularly if the vendor can provide them of different diamonds together under different lighting conditions. Videos are also useful. Reflector images require more technical expertise to understand, but can provide more insight on some things (e.g. symmetry of pattern; on-axis brightness).

 

At the end of the day, though, there is no picture substitute for seeing diamonds. Go around a few jewellers and look: at colours, clarities, sizes, cut grades and proportions: some things you'll be able to see easily and others with great difficulty if at all. Focus on what you can see and makes a difference to whether you like a stone or not; you may be surprised at the result...

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Size differences are tricky.  You won't see the difference between, say, a 0.71 and a 0.74, and you can't see the difference between a 0.74 and a 0.78, or a 0.78 and a 0.82, but somehow these add up.  It's up to you to draw a line.  Enough people draw it at 0.70 that there's an price effect. 

 

Properly graded SI1's do not generally have eye visible inclusions.  Yeah, there's a lot of weasel words in there.  I would say the same about VS2's.  The proof is in the looking.  In general, the risk is low.

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Davide and Neil,

 

You guys are so great for chiming in with so much information. It is greatly appreciated!

Hmm.. I guess I should at least take a look at .68's as you recommended as the few I had my eye on were .71/.72

 

Being that I would like to buy online to save a few dollars and get better quality than most brick and mortars, leaves me in the realm of not being able to physically see the diamonds... so I guess I will have to rely on pics and questions to the vendors.

 

Would it be ok to post some of the specs that I receive for your opinions?

You guys are greatly appreciated!

 

And so sorry to have so many questions but on a GIA grade like this:

http://goo.gl/OzGTtR

 

What does a Fluorescence of Medium Blue and Clarity Characteristic of Feather, Crystal mean and is it bad?

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Being that I would like to buy online to save a few dollars and get better quality than most brick and mortars, leaves me in the realm of not being able to physically see the diamonds... so I guess I will have to rely on pics and questions to the vendors.

I beg to disagree. It is true that many high street stores are more expensive than many "online" dealers, however:

 

1. There is no law that says that you need to go a store to buy. You are going there to see and train yourself.

 

2. As a retailer, it is in my interest to at least get you into the shop. If I turn you down on the basis that I think you are unlikely to buy from me, you definitely will not buy; if I help you, I stand a chance.

 

3. Many "internet" retailers are brick-and-mortar stores - just in someone else's high street. You'd be surprised by how competitive some high street shops can be (and I say that as a representative for a "pure internet" diamond dealer).

 

4. Nobody forbids you from negotiating and pointing out that you can find effectively the same stone for less online.

 

Would it be ok to post some of the specs that I receive for your opinions?

Of course it is!

 

And so sorry to have so many questions but on a GIA grade like this:

http://goo.gl/OzGTtR

 

What does a Fluorescence of Medium Blue and Clarity Characteristic of Feather, Crystal mean and is it bad?

No need to apologise; the forum is here for people to ask questions. Fluorescence Medium Blue means that the stone reacts to UV rays by emitting blue light, and it does so with an intensity that GIA evaluates as "medium" (which is less than "strong" and more than "faint"; to decide that, they use master stones that someone in time immemorial decreed are "medium", "strongly" or "faintly" fluorescent).

 

It is not bad, in the sense that it will have very little impact on what the stone looks like, but it will cause the price to be a little lower than it would otherwise.

 

Clarity Characteristics: Feather, Crystal mean that the two inclusions that determined the clarity grade are a microscopic fracture reaching the surface of the diamond (feather) and a crystal of some mineral (it could be diamond, or it could be something else from calcite to rutile to garnet to...). Again, given that the inclusions are graded VS2, chances are that they are not visible at all without magnification, and the type of inclusion at VS2 (or SI1) clarity has no impact on the stone optics at all.

 

FWIW, while it's going to be a perfectly decent diamond, it's definitely not the best cut out there; for example, I would bet that this one trounces it quite comprehensively (and it's even a little bit cheaper): http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05847361?click_id=590646239

Edited by davidelevi
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Davide,

 

First off - My apologies if I offended in any way, as that was not my intention. And thank you for laying out why I should go "in store". I appreciate all of your help.

 

And in keeping with your recommendation, I came up with a couple of diamonds that were alike your .65 spec (at least I think hahaha). Would either of these diamonds do justice (or trounce the other I linked) to be alike the one you recommended?

 

1.) http://goo.gl/OGlmxA

2.) http://goo.gl/TlEsMB

3.) Other you might recommend in the up to 2500 range???

 

Thanks in advance!

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One more thing that I'm surprised Davide missed.  Any internet seller that's worth considering will take a return for 100% refund for some reasonable amount of time after your sale.  10 days is a good minimum but 30 days is fairly typical these days.  Take a look at it, show it to your friends, show it to your appraiser, even show it to a competitive jeweler.  Only after it passes this gauntlet is the deal done.  Until then you are only betting the cost of shipping. 

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First off - My apologies if I offended in any way, as that was not my intention. And thank you for laying out why I should go "in store". I appreciate all of your help.

I am the one who should apologise - and am definitely not offended.

 

I was concerned that you may have been stuck in "I can only get information from the channel where I am eventually going to purchase" mode, which is a not infrequent syndrome. Like many similar syndromes it is totally irrational: if you are allowed to look at Blue Nile's offering and compare and contrast it to James Allen's, while ending up buying something from B2C Jewels, then why is comparison and contrasting not allowed to another seller's goods just because that seller happens to be on the street rather than on the net?

 

On the other two diamonds: yes, I think they would look better than the first one you picked; no I don't think they would look better than the one I picked. The really interesting question here is: would you (or I) see the difference?

 

Differences of 0.2° on pavilion angle are relatively easily detectable using reflector technologies, but I don't know anyone going around wearing an IdealScope glued to their left eye and an ASET glued to the right (or vice versa). In addition, while I have a preference for smaller tables and higher crowns, your preference may well be for exactly the opposite look; neither of us is wrong: there are personal aesthetic preferences in diamond cut like in many other things, including for example H vs. I colour. The only way you can address these issues (detectability and preference) is by seeing the diamonds - or at least seeing some 59% tables and 55% ones, and some H and I together.

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Picking up on Neil's last suggestion to ...

 

... even show it to a competitive jeweler. 

I would take this last opinion with a grain of salt.  It is obvious that a competitive jeweler will be biased toward dissuading you from buying anywhere else than his own store.  I'm not saying not to go there, just remember that this particular opinion will be biased.

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You guys are so great!

 

So much info for me to digest... Thanks again!

 

Just sent off for some info/pics for a few diamonds, so I will be posting soon when I get them for some recommendations!

 

Oh and one quick question on color... I and J are they a big noticeable difference than the H's I've been looking at? or just stay in my original realm of thinking?

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There is more color in I and J color stones but some people are less sensitive to it than others.  When setting a J color stone in most "prefab" settings the sidestones tend to be whiter so the color of the center becomes more noticeable.  If your jeweler is custom creating the setting around the center of your choice, he/she should match the sided stones accordingly.  We often have customers who look for I and J colors with some fluorescence as this tends to "whiten" the look of the diamond.  The lower color and fluor allows them to get a slightly larger stone than they were originally aiming for without changing their budget.

Edited by GeorgeDI
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I'm back! hahaha

 

So I am debating upping my budget a bit so as to go closer to the 1ct mark.

I have read to stay a bit below the 1ct mark so as to save some money as there is a premium at that mark.

I have also read that it wont be too visually noticeable barring how much under...

 

So of course in order to go larger without sacrificing budget too much I will have to be open to SL1 diamonds.

You guys mentioned that most will not show flaw to the eye... and I am still worried but open to the possibility.

 

With all of that said... I am looking at these diamonds. Thoughts?

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05920027

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05916193

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05575595

 

BTW - I was recommended this diamond from the dealer at my previous point and size. Is this a preferable diamond?

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05772173

 

Thanks so much guys for all of the help.

I hate hitting all of you with so many questions but again, I'm still learning!

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The +/- 1.00 point has exactly the same issue and for exactly the same reasons as explained above at 0.70. More so actually.

 

The way to tell if an SI-1 is eye visible is to look at it. The way to best estimate in advance is to ask your dealer to look at it, and that requires a dealer who actually has the stone. You may or may not want to do this but the guys you chose on all 3 of the samples is one that is NOT prepared to help here. They'll send you the stone and you can deal with it yourself. They're a credible enough outfit but this is their weakness. Just an observation here ... both of the other people giving advice here are direct competitors of BN. They have links to their selling sites at the bottom of every post. If you find them helpful and trustworthy, that's a reason to consider shopping with them.

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Short of actually seeing the stone in person, as Neil says, you can start by putting some faith in the vendor of your choice.  Before you do that though, you can get good pictures that will give you a better idea of what you are going to see once you have the stone in hand.  Many sites have pictures/videos of stones which are designed to show you what is inside the stone.  These are all well and good, but I refer to them as X-ray pictures as they show you everything even if the imperfections are not noticeable to the naked eye.  What you should ask for are actual pictures of the diamonds on a normal background with normal lighting.  This will give you a better idea of what you are going to see.  Here is example of a face shot as opposed to an X-ray:

The reality is that many inclusions are masked by the brilliance of the stone.  This becomes less true as the stone gets larger, but in the 3/4 to 1 carat range it should be rather easy to find an eye clean SI1.

 

I hope this helps

 

post-109884-0-65542000-1433456886_thumb.jpg

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Couple of semi-random points re: previous discussions:

 

1. There is a third weight threshold, and that is 0.89 -> 0.90. It's not as large as 0.99 -> 1.00, but it's there too.

 

2. Colour sensitivity - as George says - is individual. What matters here is her colour sensitivity (and, if you are so blessed, that of her mum). Just for fun, you could try doing together this colour sensitivity test: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge

 

Even once you've figured out that she beats the crap out of you in that (which is likely, BTW), it still tells you nothing about what she likes. Go out with her, explore things, buy magazines and thumb through them together. There's going to be plenty of surprise left!

 

Next batch of 4 stones: all well cut as far as it can be determined on paper; the 0.74 I/VS2 is very nice, and so is the 0.91 I/SI1; the other two are no slouches but - and here we go again - I would prefer these two (and "my" 0.65 from earlier on); others may well like other stuff better.

 

Incidentally, I cannot avoid noticing that your budget has nearly doubled... be careful with this sort of thing: first of all it is something that effectively, for normal human beings has no ceiling, and secondly, even if you don't believe it now, there is something called shrinkage that sets in once the diamond has been worn for a few months...

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