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A Study in Compromise: Carat over Clarity (photos inside)

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hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
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335

OK, I was really afraid of posting about the stone I currently have because I was certain everyone would scream "Run Away, Run Away" as soon as I revealed the clarity but so far there seems to be a lot of positive encouragement so I''m willing to lay it all on the line.


* For those of you that don''t care about the drama, you are more than welcome to scroll right down to the pictures :) *



Heidi and the Stone: Long story short
The boyfriend and I are about 5 days away from permanently owning a 2.01 ct G/H I1/I2 Ideal cut RB.
Heidi and the Stone: The long story
I have pudgy fingers and I love a good bargain so I went in search of 1.5 ct + stones that would be both beautiful AND as big as possible.

Thanks to the pricescope search engine, I came across a GIA cert''ed 2.01 ct H/I2 whose inclusion plot seemed promising and whose price was Oh so very right, so I contacted some vendors to find out more information.


Pretty immediately I was told the stone was unavailable...bummer but no big deal as I had not yet seen the stone. I would be given an update within 24 hours.


That Wednesday I was informed different things by different vendors, some said the stone was unavailable, some said the stone was sold, and only one gave me the honest truth: "They (the manufacturer) submitted the diamond to EGL-NY and got a color/clarity grading of G-I1. They intend to sell it with the EGL Cert and the price will be recalculated (higher)."


So obviously, what would have been a phenomenal deal had suddenly become a decent deal: Blow one to my bargain loving self. I handled it in a very mature fashion by whining to the vendor and vowing never to buy any diamonds from the greedy manufacturer in the future. I mentally marked the diamond off my list of prospects and moved on.


About 7,273 pricescope searches later, I began to realize that even at the higher price, such a well cut stone in that price range, being touted as “super eye clean”, was pretty rare. I swallowed my pride and contacted the vendor again to ask if he might pretty pretty please check to see if the stone was still available and perhaps take a closer look for me.


Luckily he''s a forgiving sort of fellow, and he had the stone in house within a matter of hours (I''m still not sure how he pulled that one off...color me impressed). Unfortunately, I''ll admit, I was a bit turned off by the photos when I first laid eyes on them. Lo I was naive and green where diamond buying was concerned. Once again I turned my nose up at the stone, partly on principle for the price hike, partly in fear of the inclusions. And then I went on a romantic Valentine''s trip to Las Vegas baby!


Of course while in Vegas, I couldn''t help but think about the 2 ct stone...what if it was the one that got away? The horror!


The following weekend Nate and I got into a discussion about clarity...me saying "bring on the I1/I2", him saying "you''re not going to like the inclusions, I know you."


That discussion is what landed us at a local jewelry store in front of a microscope looking at various types of clarities. Unfortunately while the store is well loved in this area, I found their merchandise lacking. I knew there were some horrible I1s out there, but I''m beginning to think this is where they''re stock piled. I was very afraid that Nate had been completely turned off by the inferior products.


And then, a few days later, I was once again contacting my vendor to check on availability (I swear that man is halfway to sainthood just in dealing with me). On Friday, March 2nd, Nate actually plopped that little beauty in his online cart and checked out. Our vendor called on Saturday to check in and let us know he''d be contacting the manufacturer on Monday.


Monday I received a frantic email from my vendor: "Have you put this diamond on hold with another vendor? If yes, please release so that we can have it sent to us for your processing." and as I''m sure we can all guess by now, I had NOT put a hold on the diamond. I was later informed "Manufacturer will know status on Wednesday."


Ahh yes, what is more enjoyable than a 3 day wait when you''ve finally made the decision to purchase? Fun times!


We''ll skip right past all the stress, tears and freaking out and move right on to Thursday, March 8th, the day the diamond finally arrived at our house.


Since Nate isn''t a total meanie, he allowed me to open the diamond without him, provided I take tons of photos and send them to him *before* I was allowed to study the stone.


Heidi and the Stone: A first meeting


My first reaction upon opening the box was "Holy crap, its huge!" From there I noticed how easily I could see the beautiful arrows and the sparkles of light dancing across the facets in the sun. Even the whiteness of the stone was a pleasant surprise as I didn''t expect a G (EGL) or H (GIA) colored stone to be such a bright white. It honestly took me MINUTES to find the inclusion the first time as it is so well masked by the cut.


Of course it has become much easier for me to locate the main blemish and that''s where my hesitation lies. Perhaps if it wasn''t so well cut, the inclusion wouldn''t be as bothersome as it wouldn''t break 2 of the 8 amazing arrows. As much as I know that no one but me will ever notice the inclusions, I feel bad that every time I look at the stone, I''m automatically looking for the inclusion, not just admiring the beauty. Perhaps it''s just a matter of being overly critical while the return period is still an option and it''s quite possible that this would be a non issue once I''m locked in. I''d hate to spend the rest of eternity WANTING to love this diamond but I''d also feel horrible to later regret missing out on such a great purchase. I am definitely torn.


Heidi and the Stone: The Stats


Original GIA certificate
Carat Weight:
2.02
Color:
H
Clarity:
I2
Depth%:
61.6
Table %:
55
Symmetry:
X
Polish:
VG
Girdle:
TN-M
Culet:
N
Fluorescence:
F
Measurements:
8.13x8.17x5.02
Cut Grade:
Ideal
Newer EGL certificate
Carat Weight:
2.02
Color:
G
Clarity:
I1
Depth%:
61.5
Table %:
54
Symmetry:
VG
Polish:
VG
Culet:
N
Fluorescence:
F
Measurements:
8.13x8.18x5.01
Cut Grade:
Ideal Plus
Heidi and the Stone: A Love Affair in Photos

Here we go...
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
One of the more obvious inclusions photos. Of the hundreds of photos I took, only a handful highlight the inclusion.

And no, I have no real flowers so beaded garland it is ;-)

hopefulheidi_d5.jpg
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
Please forgive the boring hands, I didn''t have time to put polish on...I had diamond photos to take.

I''m sure we all recognize the yellow lighting so familiar to the bathroom hehe.

hopefulheidi_d6.jpg
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
The vendor photo that first repulsed me, then drew me in, then scared me off, then lured me back in...you get the idea.

hopefulheidi_vendorphoto.jpg
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
Any questions? :) (other than "Are you keeping it?" because I''m not sure about that one just yet)
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Hi Heidi,

Your pictures are fantastic. In the interest of putting it all on the line as you put it, when you first posted the montage on one of the other threads I didn''t notice the inclusion. I noticed the missing arrows, but I didn''t notice the inclusion per se. Now that I know to look for it, it''s staring me in the face in some of the pictures.

If it were me, I think I would drive myself nuts, but that is because I prefer clarity over size.

For an I1 that is a GORGEOUS stone however, and if you are worried about people noticing the inclusions, I didn''t really notice until my eyes were drawn to it. If you love the size I say keep it and love it for it''s imperfections.

It really is a beautiful stone, I don''t think you could go wrong either way.

Good luck with the final decision!
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I think it''s great that you''ve found your stone :) Every diamond deserves someone to love it - and they all have quirks of some sort! It wasn''t until the vendor pics that I could even see it... I think its great!! And in time it won''t be the only thing you see... for a long time after my son was attacked by a dog all I saw were his wounds and scar, but now I rarely see them... sometimes I do and when I do they glare at me, but 99.9% of the time its just his smiling face :) congratulations!
 

mcblohe

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
223
Hi Heidi,

How much (if i may ask?) are you paying for this stone?
It looks beautiful for an I1/I2
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
neatfreak...
I thought I was mostly worried about the general public and the pricescope consensus, but it's really been *my* hang up with the clarity that has been bothering me. My RHR has a pretty stinky I1 in it and it never really bothered me but for some reason this new stone is just SO beautiful that I almost feel bad that it's beauty is marred by an imperfection. Perhaps this should be a lesson that even the most gorgeous things have hidden flaws ;-) Unfortunately it appears I may be a size AND clarity snob which is NEVER a good combination ;-) hehe

Cehrabehra...
Aww thanks for the really sweet words. In a way I kind of feel like this diamond was meant to be for me after all of the hassle I've been through with/for it. It's almost like my relationship with Nate...neither the diamond nor Nate is perfect (shhh don't tell him I told you that) but perhaps both are perfect for ME :)

And I can certainly see the details losing their importance over time. The big picture is definitely more important and I'm still feeling really wonderful about the fact that Nate is willing to spoil me in buying this 2 ct. If he loves this stone as much as he seems to, I'm sure I can love it too.

Besides, over the years I've learned better than to second guess anything Nate buys me. One Valentine's Day in particular I picked out this cute little diamond bangle bracelet and I somehow figured out that Nate had purchased it for me so I started teasing him about it. Come Valentine's Day I was certainly surprised when I opened a more expensive diamond/sapphire bracelet of which I wasn't quite as fond as the bangle. He had wanted to surprise me with something even nicer since I had guessed right about his initial purchase. If I had just left him alone instead of tormenting the poor boy, he could have saved some money and I could have gotten the bracelet I really wanted. Wow, does that story sound like a message now that I think of it ;-) hehe
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
Aww what the heck, I feel like we''ve all shared so much up to this point hehe...

Originally it was posted at $5500 when I tried to snatch it up the first time but we got stuck paying somewhere in the ballpark of $7800 (CC price). It''s not the lowest price for a diamond in it''s color/clarity combo (and feel free to pick one, is it an H/I2 or a G/I1? hehe I''ve decided to call it an H/I1 since it seems like a nice compromise) but I also know just how many yucky I1/I2s are out there so finding one that is so pretty with such well masked inclusions was worth paying more than bottom dollar.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Wow, cool!
 

risingsun

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5,549
HH--I think we all have different priorities for our diamonds. What is most important for you? As far as the cert, I would trust the GIA more than the EGL. That being said, do you love the stone? If you do, keep it and enjoy having a 2 ct diamond. If you think the inclusions will bother you, than take a pass and look for higher clarity. It would bother me, but I'm obsessive about such things and would drive myself crazy
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
After seeing the new pics, here are my thoughts:

In all the photos that look like what a diamond looks like in real life (sparkly, white, brilliant, beautiful) I really can''t see the inclusion at all.

In the photos that are more like "Diamond Photos" I can see it. But you and everyone else are definitely going to be looking at it in real life, not in "Diamond Photo" conditions.

Not to mention that you blew my mind when you told us the price of that baby! Wow-that is a steal on any 2 carat diamond, let alone one this gorgeous!

(And thanks for sharing, by the way-I''m always curious about different diamond clarity/color/cut combos, but people are funny about it, so I never ask! I''m the type of person who will tell almost anyone how much anything costs if they want to know, but I know a lot of people aren''t like that.)

And finally, I have a related diamond anecdote: my coworker has a large 3 stone round brilliant diamond ring she bought at a local independant B&M. It has a much more obvious inclusion than your diamond, but I still can never see the inclusion when I work with her, and I do stare openly at her ring! The only way I can see the inclusion is when I look at it really really closely, as in, she takes the ring off and lets me play with it!

Sooooooooooo you can probably figure out my final vote: keep that gorgeous stone! It''s killer! (And like I said before, the pain of parting with a 2 carater would nearly kill me!)
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
When the vendor did his own diagnostics he declared it a solid H in color and said the clarity could really go either way so I just picked H/I1 because it''s a pretty stone and I want it to feel good about itself hehe

Wearing the stone around right now, in this lighting, I cannot find the inclusion for the life of me...All I see is big, white and super cut. There are times that I look at it and think I''d be absolutely crazy to give up the chance to have a 2.0 ct stone. I''d also feel especially horrible making Nate pay to send it back and then pay some additional money to get the 1.5 ct G/SI2 I really like. Keeping such a gorgeous big stone certainly wouldn''t be the worst decision I''ve made lately :)

I can sympathize with those that are bothered by the clarity. It''s something I''m working through right now hehe

I think the size loving, budget conscious side of me might win out in the end though ;-)
 

hopefulheidi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
335
thing2of2...
You hit the nail right on the head. To anyone just observing it in every day situations, I imagine the size and sparkle will dazzle them so much that they''ll not even think to look for inclusions (either that or they''ll assume it''s fake). For someone that enjoys taking diamond photos with the awesome camera her wonderful boyfriend bought her, this inclusion can be deemed a bit of a bummer. Perhaps it will just encourage me to experiment more with my photograph taking...like using different lighting and perhaps props to hide the blemish ;-) hehe Or better yet, it will lead me to develop a very pricey but super cool liquid diamond coverup, perfect for those days when a certain diamond has an important photo shoot and wants to look it''s very best ;-)

I''m always curious about the details as well, but usually too timid to ask :) I figure we''re all a big family here, what''s not to share? hehe

and with as many supportive comments as I''ve received, I''d love to give the whole Pricescope family a big Pricescope family hug
You guys are the best. Even if you''re in the clarity over carat camp , you''ve been very considerate of my feelings and I appreciate you sharing your opinions. It is certainly a great help in making such a big decision.
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
The vendor images don''t do justice to this stone, it looks fabulous in your pictures! The inclusions don''t really show up at all.
 

[email protected]

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
62
It really is a bright, white stone! Can''t really see the inclusions myself until I saw the GIA cert. Fantastic price.

I''m eagerly awaiting my 2ct, D, VS2 ideal cut ering to arrive this weekend myself. My bf almost broke the bank purchasing it for me (I love him to bits:) I would have gone for a slightly higher clarity and smaller stone myself but that is a really good price for what you have! Why not find out if there is an upgrade policy with the vendor for the future?

Bottom line is that you have to love it, and it seems as though you''re already beginning to fall in love with the stone already!
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Heidi - I really doubt you will find another diamond so large for the price which is so well cut! I think the choice is this - have your lovely large diamond with the inclusion or go to much smaller and higher clarity. There are some good I2's out there, they are hard to find, but not all are frozen spit as your diamond shows! If size matters to you, then this might be the one, if you think the inclusions will bug you forever, then pass.
 
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