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$4000 budget for round cut diamond. Please guide me

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
16
I posted a week ago about finding an engagement ring. I got a lot of great advice and have found the right setting. Thanks to those who helped. The setting I have decided on is from jamesallen so I'd like to get my diamond from them as well. I have spend a lot of time sifting through diamonds but can't decide the best cut off points as far as the 4cs to fit my budget. I wanted to get around .9 carats but am not knowledgable enough to know where to get the best looking diamond in my $4000 budget. Where should I cut myself off on color, clarity, and cut?




This is the setting I'm choosing: the $1400 price is not part of the $4k diamond budget:
https://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/engagement-rings/pave/18k-white-gold-pave-twist-diamond-engagement-ring-item-52762
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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40,198
Is this for you? Please jog my memory. Thanks!
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
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Jun 5, 2016
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This is for my girlfriend. My first post I mentioned wanting a twist and a halo. I have since shown her rings without the halo and she loves them as well. A lot of the halos seemed to swallow the main diamond from side view which she didn't like. So I think this setting is perfect. I just need help on narrowing how far to go on color and clarity to get the best bang for my buck.
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
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16
If you can find a diamond at 1 carat without sacrificing the rest of the characteristics, please show me how. :) if you happen to see one that is slightly above 4K, that's not a deal breaker either of its just right for me. 4K is where Id like to stay close to but can flex a bit.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Aug 27, 2011
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1,863
That's a really pretty style, love it! Are you getting the diamond from James Allen too? I just had a quick look and could only find 4 diamonds at 1ct in that price range- they were in the J Si1 strong blue fluorescence area of specs. Are you OK with those?
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
16
I want to get the diamond at JA too. I'd much rather go .9 carat to improve the other Cs if necessary. I need a happy medium to get the best looking diamond. Size isn't important if it doesn't pop.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Bedgette|1466007527|4044338 said:
I want to get the diamond at JA too. I'd much rather go .9 carat to improve the other Cs if necessary. I need a happy medium to get the best looking diamond. Size isn't important if it doesn't pop.
Will help tomorrow, promise.

Try for H/I vs2/sI1 and eyeclean at 85-95points.
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
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A few differences beyond the one color grade I noticed is the I diamond has strong fluorescence while the H has medium. What can I expect there? Also the I has excellent polish and H is very good. Is this noticeable at .9 carats?
 

tweeter8177

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
570
Since Gypsy has offered to help, I would wait for her to recommend better diamonds. She knows her stuff and helps a ton of people!! I took a quick look and the diamonds you have selected are a little deep and probably won't face up as big as a better cut diamond (meaning they will look smaller than they should for their carat weight).

Here' is a cheat sheet for rounds (compiled from various experts on PS):

depth - 60 - 62%
table - 54- 57%
crown angle - 34- 35 degrees
pavilion angle - 40.6- 41 degrees
girdle - thin to slightly thick, thin to medium, etc (avoid very thin or thick)
polish and symmetry - very good and above
 

tweeter8177

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
570
Keep in mind that the "sparkle" of a diamond comes from the cut and ALL the angles in the cheat sheet need to work together to do that. You could check out Whiteflash ACAs and expert selections, which might make it easier for you to pick a nice diamond. I would go down to SI1 in clarity as long as Whiteflash has it marked as eyeclean and maybe I color. My computer is failing, otherwise I would have looked for you.
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
16
I guess I dont get how the cut grade can be excellent if it actually isn't. If the angles are not ideal for good spark, how can the cut be graded so?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
40,198

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
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Bedgette|1466134316|4045034 said:
I guess I dont get how the cut grade can be excellent if it actually isn't. If the angles are not ideal for good spark, how can the cut be graded so?

It's easy.

What's the definition of "excellent". People have different definitions for things. GIA's Ex cut category is defined VERY broadly and includes many duds in terms of light performance and in terms of compromised spread. They are still better than many stones out there true. But since you don't pay MORE for a stone in the GIA Ex catagory with maximized performance you might as well get the best stone for you money, the prettiest stone, the sparkiest stone. And that means the best cut.

Here's my spiel, which I think will help you.

Round Diamonds 101:

The entire purpose of faceting a diamond is to reflect light.
How well or how poorly a diamond does this determines how beautiful it is.
How well a diamond performs is determined by the angles and cutting. This is why we say cut is king.
No other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. An ideal H will out white a poorly cut F. With round diamonds even a GIA triple Excellent is not enough as GIA's criteria for EX cut is over broad and includes many stones have compromised light performance, or spread. And you must stick to GIA and AGS only (HPD in Europe is good as well). EGL is a bad option: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/[/URL]
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want?
http://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-cut
Well one method is to start with a GIA Ex, and then apply the HCA to it. YOU DO NOT USE HCA for AGS0 stones generally, though you can. In general, AGS0 trumps HCA though as one examines the actual stone and the other does not.
http://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/holloway-cut-advisor
The HCA is a rejection tool. Not a selection tool. It uses 4 data points to make a rudimentary call on how the diamond may perform.
If the diamond passes then you know that you are in the right zone in terms of angles for light performance. Under 2 is a pass. Under 2.5-2.1 is a maybe. 2.6 and over is a no. No score 2 and under is better than any other.
Is that enough? Not really.

So what you need is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does. http://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/firescope-idealscope
It shows you how and wear your diamond is reflecting light, how well it is going at it, and where you are losing light return. That is why you won't see us recommending Blue Nile, as they do not provide idealscope images for their diamonds. BGD,BE, James Allen, GOG, HPD, ERD and WF do.

The Idealscope is the 'selection tool'. Not the HCA.
So yes, with a GIA stone you need the idealscope images. Or you can buy an idealscope yourself and take it in to the jeweler you are working with to check the stones yourself. Or if you have a good return policy (full refund minimum 7 days) then you can buy the idealscope, buy the stone, and do it at home.

Now if you want to skip all that... stick to AGS0 stones and then all you have to do is pick color and clarity and you know you have a great performing diamond. Because AGS has already done the checking for you. That's why they trade at a premium. Some AGS0's are better than others though, so pay attention to any ASET or IS provided.

In general with rounds, you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.3. Crown angle 33.5-35. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-40.9 (there is a little give on this). And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA checks for you.

On color:


It is important to remember is that color is graded FACE DOWN. Where there is NO light return. Not face up where there is light return and refraction. You wear diamonds set. FACE UP.

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Within one color grade, even the labs can't agree on the color grades of stones and something could be a "high" H or a "low" E. Within 2 color grades it is hard. Not impossible. But very hard. And it gets harder once set. If you are talking ideal rounds, or any stone with ideal light return and no sharp corners it gets harder still because the ideal light return masks body color.

Generally we say to be conservative stay above H if you DO NOT KNOW YOUR LADY'S COLOR PREFERENCES.

If you are talking fancy shapes without ideal light return (because there is no 'ideal' for EC's Radiant, etc) it's a bit different.

This is how I think of it.

Ever gotten one of those HUGE paint fan decks? Where there are literally 100s of colors of whites? And when they are RIGHT next to each other you can TOTALLY tell that one is bluer/colder and one is a bit warmer and which one is one is TOTALLY warmer. One there's one that's slightly greener. One that's slightly pinker? But really. They are all white?

Then you pick one after agonizing over this white or that white and when it's on the walls and people are like: Oh. You painted again. And it's STILL white. Great.

And you're all... BUT it's BLUE white. Or it's a WARM white now. It used to be ____ white. It's TOTALLY different.

It's like that. You are talking about shades of white. D is colder... J is warmer. But it's all white.

YES. If you have an accurately graded F and an H THAT HAVE THE SAME PERFORMANCE you are going to be able to tell them apart when you compare them side by side. Just like you would be able to tell if you painted your walls a warm white, but painted the crown molding a cold/straight white. But both are STILL white, you only see the contrast because of the proximity. But it's very slight, you could set an F center with G sides and never tell the difference. And even H sides depending on the setting and the size of the sidestones... especially with round brilliants.


I want you notice all the qualifiers thought. I'm talking about stones with the SAME performance. An ideal H will out white an F that has compromised light performance from a poor cut.

NOTHING impacts the appearance of a diamond as much as cut. CUT is king.

You want the shinest whitest and brightest diamond out there: Cut is King. No other factor, not color or clarity or anything else impacts how white bright an shiny a stone is.

On Clarity: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond-clarity
Clarity Vs2 or Si1 and eyeclean is as high as you need to go in a round. So set that as a floor. And verify eyeclean with vendor or images and vendor (best). An Eyeclean SI1 will look just like an IF to the naked eye. So... really anything over VS2 and eyeclean is just because you want higher clarity for some personal or cultural reason (and that's fine of course, just make sure it's an educated decision) or because you are getting a good deal on a stone because higher clarity stones can be harder to move (especially in lower colors). So make sure you don't put a CEILING on your clarity. All you need is a floor. And with rounds, in general that floor is Si1 or Vs2.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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So at JA the pickings are slim, unfortunately. But here are three that are really nice. All hit 6mm and are a nice size for that setting.

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.84-carat-h-color-vvs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1780426
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.83-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1054071
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.83-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1810403 ask if their gemologist can tell you if there is any 'transparency or haziness or milkiness" in this stone. I don't think there is, but I would confirm it.

Those will give you the best value for your budget at JA.

Make sure to ask if they can provide idealscope images for any of them. Butif you can't get one, it's not a deal breaker on those three as they are very safe.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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I know you are hoping to go with James Allan but here is another option just to show you what you can get elsewhere, super ideal cut, eye clean, well above 6mm:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3685710.htm

They also have this twist setting:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/simon-g-mr1394-fabled-diamond-engagement-ring-3434.htm

Or this one:

http://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/simon-g-mr1498-d-delicate-diamond-engagement-ring-3423.htm
 

Bedgette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
16
Thank you so much for the information. I contacted JA about the idealscope. These gems are apparently overseas so they can't provide them. They did say there is no haziness or milkiness to them. I'm leaning toward the 1780426 you listed. Im also really sold on the setting from JA rather than the ones shown. It just flows perfectly I think.

All that said, should I pull the trigger without the idealscope?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Yes, on the H VVS I think you are very safe.

Go for it and I hope the setting as lovely as you want it to be.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
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msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Bedgette|1466342047|4045634 said:
That inclusion in the very center worries me. Wil that be noticeable?
The diamond will be the size of an eraser head, so no, I don't believe it will be noticeable at all. Remember that you're looking at a super magnified video. Decrease the magnification to just above the lowest setting... that will still be much larger than the diamond, but you won't see any inclusions even at that size.

Honestly, that's a lot of diamond for the price. I think you'd be crazy not to have JA pull it for you ASAP! :love: There are lots of lurkers here, so don't let someone else snatch it up before you get the chance to check it out for yourself. Have JA hold it for you while they get the info...
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
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Both of those options are showing as "not available" now, OP, I hope you managed to get one of them!
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Snowdrop13 said:
Both of those options are showing as "not available" now, OP, I hope you managed to get one of them!
I just noticed that... [emoji16] I hope he's the one who held them!!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
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40,198
Giod job!
 
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