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am i too caught up in numbers?

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dt104896

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
7
I posted about a week ago and I'm still having trouble deciding on what to buy. I've been looking at a H Si1 1.08 w/GIA cert for a few weeks now. I'm a perfectionist and can't decide if it is holding me up or not! I've run all the numbers through the HCA and the diamond scored a 5. I've also compared prices online and the price seems to be inline with others similar. It appears to be a good spread for the money, but doesn't have the fire and scintillation as compared to the spread for the money. This may be more of a personal preference question, but should I be more concerned with numbers and how things are rated vs. how the diamond looks on the mounting and under normal lighting circumstances? Is the average Joe going to know the difference by looking at the diamond whether or not it scored a 2 or a 5 on the HCA? I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and could use some advice and or other opinions!

Thank you much!
 

student

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
167
I'm a perfectionist too. (Lesley at Whiteflash would probably attest to this if she weren't so polite!) I'm no diamond expert, so I figure playing it safe is a good strategy.
 

dt104896

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
7
Thanks student. Hopefully I'll hear from a few other folks before my post is pushed down to the bottom of the page and into oblivion! :twirl:
 

JayTee

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2002
Messages
62
I definitely share your perfectionist obsession with the numbers (witness my earlier posts!) :bigsmile: After reading everything here, I keep mulling over depth, table, HCA numbers, etc. But I think that's a good thing!

However, what everyone on this forum (and others) have graciously told me, is that it ultimately lies with your eyes. If you like the stone, that should be the most important thing. Although some people will caution you on a stone that receive that high of an HCA score.

It depends on which is more of a priority for you. If price is a priority, then you may find that you're receiving a good buy and stay right where you are. But if cut does concern you, then you might want to search for something closer to ideal cut. Keep in mind that a diamond with a better (closer to ideal) cut is going to look larger than other diamonds with poorer cuts.

Good luck with your search!
 

divergrrl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
2,224
Here's my 2 cents from a stone wearer. The biggest thing you notice is the fire and the scintillation! So go with the one that knocks your socks off, because you don't wear an appraisal certificate on your forehead, and as a wearer, if all the numbers are great, but the stone and setting look dead, then what good is it? I wish mine knocked my socks off, but oh well what can you do? You sound like you know your numbers, so you won't purchase a crummy quality anyway. Get the one that ultimately looks the best to the unaided eye!
 

dt104896

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
7
Thanks for all the input everyone. Sometimes it just helps to see other people think out loud!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
My two cents are..you might want to look elsewhere. I don't know what kind of deal you are getting on the stone, but a 5 on the HCA is pretty high (aka not that great). I think the scale goes to 9. If you already notice a lack of fire and scintillation, then chances are it's not the best cut stone. Your money might be better spent elsewhere? If you see similar stones online for similar prices, then you could probably get a better deal on an ideal or close to ideal cut stone online, or at least use that leverage to take to other jewelers to find diamonds that fit within your range. Or find a few ideal cut diamonds online and then use those specs to look locally if you don't feel comfortable purchasing online.

If you LOVE the stone and it looks great, then go for it. But it sounds like you already have some hesitation due to the HCA score of 5 (I've put alot of diamond stats in the HCA before and never gotten a 5--the highest I got was a 3.5..we focused on finding something under 2), and the fact that it doesn't look that fiery or scintillate as well. Sounds like the HCA mirrors your thoughts? So keep looking but maybe keep this stone in the back of your mind, and if you keep coming back to this stone, then maybe it is the one for you.

Speaking on spread, we got lucky and found a diamond with great spread and other great characteristics though the table was a little large(61.4% table, .13c spread and 1.8 BIC on HCA). You might be able to find something similar if you keep looking.

Just my two cents :) :bigsmile: But you really know what is best for you and your priorities..Good luck!!
 

LesleyH

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2000
Messages
506
Student:
I'm a perfectionist too. (Lesley at Whiteflash would probably attest to this if she weren't so polite!)
The fact that you are such a perfectionist is exactly why you became interested in A Cut Above in the first place :)

:wavey:

LesleyH
www.whiteflash.com
 

hbright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Messages
40
Discrimination is a good thing especially concerning a pricey and meaningful purchase. Numbers are helpful especially since nearly all stones look good in the lighting of jewerly stores.

The HCA scores correlate well with real world performance. I've bought and returned a few stones of varying HCA scores and they correlated very well with what I saw. For example, a mounted stone that scored 2-3 looked noticeable duller compared to another mounted stone with a score of 1. I cringe at what a 5 will look like.

I'm not sure you're an average joe, as you have shown interest in HCA scores in the first. If you should chose to get that stone, you'll likely wonder how much better an HCA of 1.5 would look like.

If you can, try comparing a couple of stones is real lighting conditions. It helps to buy with a rull refund or at least a full exchange policy.

Also, i'd look into a slight lower carat weight and increase the color grade a notch or two and possibly the clarity grade the same amount (unless it's an eye clean SI). I prefer very high quality at a slight reduction in weight.
 

dt104896

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
7
Thanks again for all the responses. I went out tonight again to a few stores around town and I just feel like everything is way over priced compare to what I find on the net. I feel like I can't hardly trust anyone in these stores. I'd like to think I've picked up on enough over the last month or so to make a good informed decision. I know that some of these stores are just trying to sell sell sell, and will say anything to do so. I'm just starting to get real frusterated! I came back tonight and had my mind set on the stone I'd been talking about, but now I'm not sure again... :confused:

As a test tonight, I held up an ideal cut stone to an average cut round brilliant and I could see a difference in the brilliance, but to my rookie eye, I'm not sure if it was $$$$$ of difference. I'm not sure if I'm on the verge of a purchase, or back at square one!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
If what you are looking for is an ideal cut round, then maybe take some price stats with you to some of the jewelers who carry them, where you can SEE the difference(as you noted), and try to negotiate them down to a price you feel comfortable with.

Cut is definitely the most important thing in a diamond, if you have a D IF, then great, but what if it doesnt sparkle or scintillate or have fire? Then you just paid alot of $$ for a dull flawless, colorless rock. As you have noted from online price comparisons, there are some great deals to be had online, but we also hear very often from people who buy from B&M's as well and get great deals, similar to or less than online prices for similar stones. So what you are looking for IS out there, maybe you need to broaden the search a little, or really try some negotating tactics.

Do you have an aversion to buying online? If not, then maybe work with one of the vendors you see online that you trust, some of them like virtcert.com have Brilliance Scope readings and animations as well as closeups like GoodOldGold does as well. This might go a long way in alleviating some of the concern. If you see a stone online and see all the reporting that is to be had on it, and there is a return policy, then you might feel more comfortable making a purchase online.

Just some ideas for you. It's very stressful while searching, and its easy to get worked up about finding the right thing. It's also hard when you have pressure put on you by B&M's who really do just want to sell you something most of the time. My suggestion is learn all you can, and then get armed to do battle if you need to. There is no reason you can't talk the jeweler for an ideal stone that you see much brilliance in down to a reasonable price. Everyone wants to be happy with the sale at the end of the day.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
HCA is not the end; but a tool to *predict* performance. It can be quite arbitrary - for example a significant result difference (all other numbers being the same) between a 58.9 table & a 59 table. The HCA favors certain cuts and does not take into consideration personal tastes. I have one stone that scores approx. 2.5 & one that scored a .5. I can't not see a remarkable difference in their cuts & actually prefer 2.5. My OEC scores rather high in the 4 range; and, it's quite beautiful in a different way.

As for a 5, that's rather high. Could you repost the specs? Also, have you thought about getting a second pair of eyes look for you?

My remarks about HCA are made w/ all due respect. HCA is a great tool; but, doesn't take the place of one's eye. Sometimes certain stones just speak to you.

good luck
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
Hi,

For me, nothing will ever replace my eyes. For a stone to be beautiful,
it HAS to be good when I look at it. That's it. Of course, i'd like to
know the crown and pavilion angles.... the HCA score, etc.. But
remember that at the end, the one who's going to look at your
stone is your wife... not a gemmologist with a Sarin machine or
10x loupe or a microscope..........!!!

Best regards,

Trichrome
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Ooooh F&I..multiple diamonds!!!! :love:
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 12/11/2002 12:29:48 PM

Ooooh F&I..multiple diamonds!!!! :love:
----------------


I've had many more years of accumulating than you.
:bigsmile:

The OEC is a family stone. My .70 is my original engagement stone. My big rock was a 20 year anniversay of our engagment present.

You have to earn them :wink2:
 

dt104896

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
7
Here at the stats again:

Table 62%
Depth 59.1%
Crown 32.9 %
Pav 41.8%
Culet 0

H SI1 1.08 ct.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Ah!

large table - HCA doesn't like large tables. But, 62% is a large table.

I don't know. Is the price really great? Have you had a second set of eyes look at it.

I'm O.K. w/ good/vg instead of excellent; but two fairs. I'd consider still shopping.

Why are you attracted to this stone? You're the one making the decision.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Ours is:

1.23c G VS1
Table: 61.4%
Depth: 56.9%
crown angle: 29.9%
depth: 41.1%
culet: none
HCA score. 1.5 BIC (EX, VG, VG, EX)
spread: .13 (meaning the 1.23c diamond looks more like a 1.34c)

From what I have read, when you have a larger table, you need to balance that out with a slightly shallower depth. So for example if you take your numbers and play with them a bit, you might find that if the depth was more around 58 or 57, the HCA score might be better. It sounds as though this diamond might be a little deep for the large table, cut more for weight retention than actual brilliance and fire. Your diamond on the HCA is Good, Fair, Fair, Excellent. Ours in comparison is Excellent, Very Good, Very Good, Excellent. I think the depth makes the difference between the two diamonds.

If it looks good to your eyes then get it, but again, many people feel that 5 is not a desirable score for a diamond..I agree. You should be able to find something that is under 3, no problem. Again I don't know what sort of deal you are getting on the diamond, maybe the $$$ is what is the clincher, but is spending a chunk of change on a dull rock your top priority? If not, keep looking and I bet you will notice a difference as you view other stones.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Wow Mara, traditionally I never would have thought your %'s to be good. Glad you found correct proportions.

I wonder if DT's attraction is one that you can see & feel the stone. Personally, I think I would start over. Traditionally, your %'s are not prefered. Coupled w/ the poor HCA score & the fact that the stone is not cheap, I'd bail unless it really speaks to you.

I think you can get a better cut stone for less, if not equal, cost on line.
 
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