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Advice on center stone?

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
HI all. I've been doing quite a bit of research on this site, and appreciate all of the great assistance by forum users. I now am asking for a bit of specific help.

I have been engagement ring shopping with my boyfriend and we have found the perfect setting. It's been a bit more difficult to find the perfect stone. We're working with a jeweler in LA's jewelry district that we feel very comfortable with. Today I found a stone that I really like. I am, however, a little unsure about the price that we worked out. We haven't purchased because I want to be 100% comfortable. I thought I would post all the information and ask for opinions.

Here are the specs for the diamond:

GIA Report
1.06 carat
H
SI2
Excellent cut, Excellent polish, Excellent symmetry
Depth: 61.7%
Table: 57%
Crown Angle: 34'
Crown Height: 14.5%
Pavilion Angle: 41.2'
Pavilion Depth: 43.5%
Girdle: Medium, Faceted

While I would prefer SI1, the crystal inclusions in the center are not visible to the naked eye. The clouds on the edge of the stone can be easily covered by a prong. I could not see a discernible difference in color for this stone side by side with a GIA G color.

What do you all think? What you pay for this stone?

BTW, here is the GIA report. https://myapps.gia.edu/ReportCheckPortal/getReportData.do?&reportno=6137340477&weight=1.06
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Based on the numbers on the GIA report, and using the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor), the stone comes out to a 3.0, which isn't terrible, but it's not great either. Generally, most pricescopers will recommend that you look for a stone that has aan HCA of < 2.0. Granted, this is not the only tool that you should be using to pick your diamond, but it's a good screening tool as to which stones you should tend to avoid. https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

As far as price, you can always plug in your desirables into the diamond search tool on the homepage, and find comparable stones through the online vendors (White Flash, Good Old Gold, James Allen), are all very reputable online vendors.

Hope that was helpful :)

-Gayan
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,954
footshooter5|1319338856|3045730 said:
Based on the numbers on the GIA report, and using the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor), the stone comes out to a 3.0, which isn't terrible, but it's not great either. Generally, most pricescopers will recommend that you look for a stone that has aan HCA of < 2.0. Granted, this is not the only tool that you should be using to pick your diamond, but it's a good screening tool as to which stones you should tend to avoid. https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

As far as price, you can always plug in your desirables into the diamond search tool on the homepage, and find comparable stones through the online vendors (White Flash, Good Old Gold, James Allen), are all very reputable online vendors.

Hope that was helpful :)

-Gayan

Ditto Gayan. The option you're considering might be lovely, but since there's lots of fish in the sea, I'd look for one you both like, and which also, conform to the other tried and true tests referenced here, like the HCA. Getting an idealscope, if you're looking local, may assist as well. But, even then, for your own piece of mind, I'd tend to want to restrict your consideration to those diamonds that meet the "pass" test of the HCA. Because....you can.

Regards,

Ira Z.
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
Thank you so much for pointing me towards the HCA tool. I definitely will continue to look.

Another question while I have people -- I looked at several stones yesterday, some of which were GIA, some were EGL-USA and some were EGL international. I know the reputation of EGL isn't great, particularly international. Should I stick to a GIA-certified stone or are there good stones to be found that are EGL certified?

Thank you again to everyone. This is such a big decision..
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
cdg said:
Thank you so much for pointing me towards the HCA tool. I definitely will continue to look.

Another question while I have people -- I looked at several stones yesterday, some of which were GIA, some were EGL-USA and some were EGL international. I know the reputation of EGL isn't great, particularly international. Should I stick to a GIA-certified stone or are there good stones to be found that are EGL certified?

Thank you again to everyone. This is such a big decision..
stick with GIA.
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
+1 for sticking with GIA..AGS is as good as GIA (some may argue that one is better than the other...blah blah blah...), but as far as strictness to grading and consistency, those two labs take the cake in the US market. You'll notice that many stones that are appraised by an EGL lab, are sometimes 50% cheaper than a "similarly" graded GIA or AGS stone...well, that's most likely due to the fact that they're really not the same grade, as EGL tends to be a bit more lenient in their grading. My understanding is that EGL USA is making a name for themselves in a positive light, but the tried and true labs as of now are GIA and AGS.

Keep posting with further questions - this is what this community is here for :)

-Gayan
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
It looks like a pretty solid stone, but I would call White Flash on Monday and check a few things: the first thing is do they have access to the stone? If they have it "in house" then they can look at it for you and give you their opinion. The next thing is you want them to make sure it's eye clean from various distances (12", 6" etc...obviously if someone is inspecting your diamond from any closer than 6" then they're getting a bit too close IMO...)

I'm not entirely sure what exactly your parameters are, but I did a quick search of some stones that are in the 1ct area, and are close to your clarity and color hopes. For the record, G and H are a very nice "sweet spot" as far as color and value are concerned, and as long as a stone is eye clean, there's no point in paying super premium for a VVS1 or VVS2.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8758/

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2696765.htm (this is the WF hearts and arrows - called A Cut Above)

http://www.solomonbrothers.com/DiamondDetail.aspx?sku=IR411194&affiliate=9318613A-AD0C-4530-A456-0409DFEFB8DE%20&utm_source=PriceScope

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2676062.htm

I hope this was helpful...I might have talked in circles a bit there.

-Gayan
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,129
footshooter5|1319390630|3045958 said:
It looks like a pretty solid stone, but I would call White Flash on Monday and check a few things: the first thing is do they have access to the stone? If they have it "in house" then they can look at it for you and give you their opinion. The next thing is you want them to make sure it's eye clean from various distances (12", 6" etc...obviously if someone is inspecting your diamond from any closer than 6" then they're getting a bit too close IMO...)

I'm not entirely sure what exactly your parameters are, but I did a quick search of some stones that are in the 1ct area, and are close to your clarity and color hopes. For the record, G and H are a very nice "sweet spot" as far as color and value are concerned, and as long as a stone is eye clean, there's no point in paying super premium for a VVS1 or VVS2.

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8758/

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2696765.htm (this is the WF hearts and arrows - called A Cut Above)

http://www.solomonbrothers.com/DiamondDetail.aspx?sku=IR411194&affiliate=9318613A-AD0C-4530-A456-0409DFEFB8DE%20&utm_source=PriceScope

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2676062.htm

I hope this was helpful...I might have talked in circles a bit there.

-Gayan
Good post! I like G-H VS myself! The stone posted in the previous post was a virtual stone and not in-house. Yes, it can be called in and evaluated (sometimes there is a fee for this), but with WF and GOG, I prefer dealing with their in-house stones that have already been assessed for cut. And absolutely stick with GIA and AGS lab reports.
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
Thank you both, this is fantastic! I wish my budget was closer to $9K, but I need to get as close as possible to $6K for the stone, since I've picked out a beautiful halo setting that bumps everything up. Perhaps I need to go a little lower in carats so I can be assured of quality. Thank you for pointing out more stones, I will use these as a guide. Great help!
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Oh good! I wasn't sure what your budget was, but now that we have an idea, maybe it'll be a bit easier to find you something. Just out of curiosity, if you're looking to save more money, many online vendors will give you a better deal if you pay with a wire transfer, i.e. coming straight from your checkings or savings accounts (usually this is an additional 2-3% off). Not sure if this helps you in your diamond hunt, but when I was searching for my stone, I saved about 800 dollars because I was a pricescope member, and because I used a wire transfer.

Were you specifically looking for a stone in the 1ct area? Just so you know, there is a reasonable price difference between a 0.95ct stone, and a 1.00 ct stone...even though there really is no observable difference size wise - this may help you find something within your budget that's as close as possible.

The other thing to keep in mind is that some vendors have excellent trade up policies, meaning that they will put 100% of your diamond's purchase price towards another diamond if/when you are ready to do so.

If you ARE able to stretch your budget a bit, this is a lovely stone http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/8704/

You may be able to negotiate down a bit, since you found them through pricescope, and if you pay via wire transfer (maybe another 5% total?), which would bring the stone down to about 7,125.

I'm happy to keep looking for you as well :)

-Gayan
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
Thanks Gayan! I may take you up on your offer later. I would like to continue to work with my jeweler locally, as she is knocking quite a bit off of our wedding bands and my setting. I'd like to first see if she can find something that checks all the boxes. If she cannot, then I will consider buying the diamond online and dealing with the rest separately.

The last link is a BEAUTIFUL stone. I may send a note to them just in case. =) You have saved me $$ and alleviated stress. I can't thank you enough!
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
My pleasure :) This is a great community to learn from, and I've spent numerous hours scouring the forums and learning from other members, so I'm happy I could pass some of their wisdom and knowledge along.

Best of luck in your hunt!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,404
Hi cdg,
Not everyone agrees with HCA results- in fact, if you're looking in person, it's a lot smarter to ignore them entirely on GIA EX cut grade stones.
If you're working locally with a jeweler, don't be surprised if the seller does not know what HCA is.
This say absolutely NOTHING about their commitment to well cut diamonds.

Now, if a seller is not advising you about the shortfall of EGL grades, that's another story- red flag.
Stick only with GIA EX cut grade, and trust your eyes over HCA.

I have consistently found that I love stones that GIA grades EX, that HCA knocks- and I'm not alone in this.
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Agree with this 100%; but I think the HCA is a good tool to use as a negative screening for those who might not be as well versed in diamonds and are specifically looking online. At the end of the day, if a diamond sparkles and it's beautiful, then who cares what a bunch of numbers say :)

Rockdiamond|1319404950|3046053 said:
Hi cdg,
Not everyone agrees with HCA results- in fact, if you're looking in person, it's a lot smarter to ignore them entirely on GIA EX cut grade stones.
If you're working locally with a jeweler, don't be surprised if the seller does not know what HCA is.
This say absolutely NOTHING about their commitment to well cut diamonds.

Now, if a seller is not advising you about the shortfall of EGL grades, that's another story- red flag.
Stick only with GIA EX cut grade, and trust your eyes over HCA.

I have consistently found that I love stones that GIA grades EX, that HCA knocks- and I'm not alone in this.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Rockdiamond|1319404950|3046053 said:
Hi cdg,
Not everyone agrees with HCA results- in fact, if you're looking in person, it's a lot smarter to ignore them entirely on GIA EX cut grade stones.
If you're working locally with a jeweler, don't be surprised if the seller does not know what HCA is.
This say absolutely NOTHING about their commitment to well cut diamonds.

Now, if a seller is not advising you about the shortfall of EGL grades, that's another story- red flag.
Stick only with GIA EX cut grade, and trust your eyes over HCA.

I have consistently found that I love stones that GIA grades EX, that HCA knocks- and I'm not alone in this.

Talk about a misleading post.

Ignore Rock Diamond, he is the ONLY one of our MANY experts (who are in the trade) that feels this way and is pushing his own agenda.

The HCA does knock SOME GIA EX stones because they might be FLAWED and have potential performance issues that compromise light return and make it necessary to get an ideal scope to verify if the stone is a good one.

If you want a "no-brainer" and if you want to ignore the HCA stick only to AGS grades stones with "ideal" or "0" in their light performance rating. They are MUCH stricter than the GIA ex/ex category.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,404
Thanks foot!

For me the problems are:
1) a reader might easily draw the conclusion that someone not using HCA is not committed to well cut diamonds. This is not true
2) personal experience has shown me that I don't always agree with HCA results within GIA's EX cut grade.
So, in essence, a shopper buying blind, trusting HCA might very well get a stone they'd like less than another scoring higher ( worse) on HCA
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,404
Gypsy|1319405467|3046056 said:
Rockdiamond|1319404950|3046053 said:
Hi cdg,
Not everyone agrees with HCA results- in fact, if you're looking in person, it's a lot smarter to ignore them entirely on GIA EX cut grade stones.
If you're working locally with a jeweler, don't be surprised if the seller does not know what HCA is.
This say absolutely NOTHING about their commitment to well cut diamonds.

Now, if a seller is not advising you about the shortfall of EGL grades, that's another story- red flag.
Stick only with GIA EX cut grade, and trust your eyes over HCA.

I have consistently found that I love stones that GIA grades EX, that HCA knocks- and I'm not alone in this.

Talk about a misleading post.

Ignore Rock Diamond, he is the ONLY one of our MANY experts (who are in the trade) that feels this way and is pushing his own agenda.

The HCA does knock SOME GIA EX stones because they might be FLAWED and have potential performance issues that compromise light return and make it necessary to get an ideal scope to verify if the stone is a good one.

If you want a "no-brainer" and if you want to ignore the HCA stick only to AGS grades stones with "ideal" or "0" in their light performance rating. They are MUCH stricter than the GIA ex/ex category.
Hi Gypsy,
How many experts post here on PS?
How many have endorsed HCA?
How many experts in diamonds do not post on PS?

Since you've attributed my post to an "agenda", what are you alleging that my agenda is?
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Okay okay, let's not get into this kind of "discussion" on this person's post. We are here to offer our opinions and to help the OP out any way that we can, and I think everyone has offered sound advice, and cdg has plenty of new tools and advice to help them in their hunt.

:)
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,404
great point Foot.
cdg- my apologies - I too would love to see you get a great stone.
 

Ella

Brilliant_Rock
Staff member
Trade
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
1,365
Please keep to the topic. Every person is entitled to their opinion. Be polite.
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Generally speaking, it's easier to get a better deal when you're doing everything with your local jeweler, and it's easier for them to cut some of their profit margin since you're spending a great deal of money at their store already. You can however save the sales tax if you buy online, which obviously depending on where you live changes (of course, what you decide to declare to the IRS and/or any other governmental institution responsible for that sort of business is completely your business, and I don't condone any methodology either way...*phew*).

As always, everyone here is happy to help with your search if you decide to go that route - feel free to ask :)

-Gayan
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
Thanks everyone, I do appreciate the candid feedback and help. I'll let you know what my jeweler says this week! At the very least, now I have the proper tools to feel comfortable and negotiate a good deal.
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
So my jeweler sent me 2 new stones via email to look at today. The first was similar to the original I posted above, but it was upgraded to an SI1 and a G. The HCA was still around 3 and it was $1K more. I passed on that one.

The second stone she sent was the same price as the original above, but SI1 and G. The HCA was worse (around 4) and it was a smaller stone (.9 carats). I also passed.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable in my requests to her, or if the first stone is a good deal considering what I am looking for. If the GIA report is all Excellent, does the HCA play that big a role? I really like the jeweler that I'm working with, perhaps I am not being clear enough in my messaging to her or my expectations?

Would appreciate any thoughts...
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
I think there is definitely something to be said for Ex/Ex in the GIA grading, but it's also important to remember, that a stone can still receive an overall Ex in GIA grading, while being a Very good/Ex (someone correct me if I'm wrong, please?)

You'll also have to remember that your local jeweler will have a tough time price matching the same quality you'll find online, just because they have way more overhead to cover their profit margin.

I think you're being pretty clear as what your expectations are...maybe you should find some comparable stones with some of the online vendors, print them out, and show her - maybe this will open up some new avenues of conversation :)

-Gayan
 

cdg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
18
Thanks Gayan. I've showed her what I've found online, and I agree, I don't think she can exactly match the price, although I know she's trying.

While part of me wants it to be "perfect" for me, I wonder if I'll really notice if it's not <2 on HCA. Will I be able to tell a difference? Should I care?

This is much harder than I tought it would be!
 

footshooter5

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
I think if a diamond sings to you, it sings to you :) The only downside is if you haven't seen a stone that's less than 2.0, just for comparison sake, it's really hard to say if you'll notice a difference.

Maybe you could have her show you a stone that fits your HCA criteria, and compare it to the other stones she's shown you, just so you have something to compare (make sure it's a similar color and clarity).

-Gayan
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,399
Gypsy|1319405467|3046056 said:
Rockdiamond|1319404950|3046053 said:
Hi cdg,
Not everyone agrees with HCA results- in fact, if you're looking in person, it's a lot smarter to ignore them entirely on GIA EX cut grade stones.
If you're working locally with a jeweler, don't be surprised if the seller does not know what HCA is.
This say absolutely NOTHING about their commitment to well cut diamonds.

Now, if a seller is not advising you about the shortfall of EGL grades, that's another story- red flag.
Stick only with GIA EX cut grade, and trust your eyes over HCA.

I have consistently found that I love stones that GIA grades EX, that HCA knocks- and I'm not alone in this.

Talk about a misleading post.

Ignore Rock Diamond, he is the ONLY one of our MANY experts (who are in the trade) that feels this way and is pushing his own agenda.

The HCA does knock SOME GIA EX stones because they might be FLAWED and have potential performance issues that compromise light return and make it necessary to get an ideal scope to verify if the stone is a good one.

If you want a "no-brainer" and if you want to ignore the HCA stick only to AGS grades stones with "ideal" or "0" in their light performance rating. They are MUCH stricter than the GIA ex/ex category.
yup!!... :appl:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,399
cdg|1319500162|3046922 said:
Thanks Gayan. I've showed her what I've found online, and I agree, I don't think she can exactly match the price, although I know she's trying.

While part of me wants it to be "perfect" for me, I wonder if I'll really notice if it's not <2 on HCA. Will I be able to tell a difference? Should I care?

This is much harder than I tought it would be!
do you care if you bought a piece of steak with a lot of fats?
 

kal2021

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
585
I think it's nice that you want to give your local jeweler your business, but if she is not getting you what you want at the price you want (and I do think it's almost impossible for B&M stores to match online prices), I say stick with online for the diamond/e-ring and maybe get your wedding bands from her or something else in the future (or you can get the setting from her if you've fallen in love with it). Some business is better than no business! This is a big purchase, and you don't want to feel like you settled on a diamond or paid more than you should just because you don't want to hurt her feelings or give her the sale. It's a business, she will understand. You have to do what's best for you and your BF, and you don't want to have any regrets. Remember, you will be looking at this diamond for a long time to come!

ETA: I just noticed you are in LA and shopping in the jewelry district. I know there are definitely trustworthy people down there, but I have to speak from experience and tell you that we got taken advantage of twice down there before all of our PS research, so just be very careful. They often don't have return policies and the people I met with were amazing salespeople (and I'm not the gullible type, I just wasn't nearly as knowledgable as I am now). I am by no means saying there are not people to be trusted down there, I'm just saying to be cautious and don't rush into anything. Since you are here in LA, have you met with Victor Canera or Single Stone? They are both downtown and PS faves - not cheap, but may be worth checking out if you haven't already and you feel more comfortable buying in person as opposed to online.
 
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