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Buying E-ring - Continue waiting for H&A or buy now?

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy my girlfriend of five years an engagement ring. After studying up a fair amount, I'm having trouble deciding on what to buy. I have a very good idea of what I want, but am having a hard time figuring out whether or not a particular diamond is the best I could possibly find given my needs.

Here is a list of what I'm looking for:
Cut: Triple Ex or AGS000 only - H&A preferred
Color: G or better
Clarity: VS2 or better
Carat: 1.44 to 1.54
Cost: $16500 hard max for diamond

Initially I was dead set on getting a hearts and arrows to insure I was getting the best cut, but unfortunately very few have popped up on JA in the last few months and all seem to have some other issue to them. So now I'm looking at everything and having a tough time determining if what I'm seeing is the best I will find (or if a week from now I could find something similar or better). As someone who will spend hours researching a toaster before buying, this has definitely been overwhelming to say the least.

Here's a few that caught my attention at the moment. Feel free to critique the heck out of them so I can learn what I'm missing when I look at these!!

Diamond #1
1.50 Ct
GIA Triple Ex
G
VS1
HCA: 1.4
$14,810
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...g-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2220616

Diamond #2
1.51 Ct
GIA Triple Ex
G
VS1
HCA: 1.9
$14,150 (no idea why this is cheaper than #1. Is it the higher HCA? the 80% lower half facets??)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...g-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2220558

Diamond #3
1.43 Ct
GIA Triple Ex
G
IF
HCA: 1.4
$14,730 (seems rather cheap for an IF with an HCA of 1.4. Not sure what I'm missing)
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...-g-color-if-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2248758


Thank you everyone in advance! Hopefully I can learn from all of the experts here and make the best decision possible for my future fiancee.
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
whitewave|1481762601|4107345 said:
Go look at Whiteflash "a cut above" diamonds. From what I can tell, you can just pick one and it will be good.


Like this one: http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3706900.htm

Thanks for the reply! I've been mainly focusing on James Allen, but am now taking a second look at the whiteflash site. I really like how they already provide the idealscope and ASET images upfront. The only issue I have with them is that their diamond photos all appear overexposed, which makes it incredibly hard to pick out the inclusions and determine how obtrusive they are. Even though it lists as eye clean or not, I still like to see what's going on.
 

tuckie

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
184
Is there a reason you prefer JamesAllen? There are other stones available from trusted PS vendors that may also meet your criteria.

I see whitewave has given a few WhiteFlash ideas. Brian Gavin may also be an option.

For example:
1.523 G VSI http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/d...1.523-g-vs1-round-diamond-ags-bl-104090535098
1.578 H VS2 - realize it is an H but gets close to 7.5mm if that is interesting to you. http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/d...ls/1.578-h-vs2-round-diamond-ags-104090535099
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,639
I agree about the Brian Gavin option idea as well. If I had a nice budget like you do, I would focus on both of those vendors. You will not be disappointed (I very much doubt it anyway)...
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
tuckie|1481820446|4107499 said:
Is there a reason you prefer JamesAllen? There are other stones available from trusted PS vendors that may also meet your criteria.

I see whitewave has given a few WhiteFlash ideas. Brian Gavin may also be an option.

For example:
1.523 G VSI http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/d...1.523-g-vs1-round-diamond-ags-bl-104090535098
1.578 H VS2 - realize it is an H but gets close to 7.5mm if that is interesting to you. http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/d...ls/1.578-h-vs2-round-diamond-ags-104090535099

The reason I gravitated towards James Allen was due to their 360 degree diamond videos. The detail that I can see on these videos is unmatched by any other site, but of course the trade-off being they aren't giving other details upfront (IS and ASET images). When purchasing something so expensive and without seeing it physically, this allows me to get the best sense for exactly how the diamond looks, where the inclusions lie, etc.
I will go ahead and take another look at both of these sites (whiteflash and brian gavin). I just never spent too much time on them since the only benefit I saw was the few extra details included and the IS/ASET images - all of which I figured I could get from James Allen if I had a diamond I really thought was the one.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,639
They both set a high standard for their stones, and they are very responsive. I put something on my whiteflash wish list and within minutes I received an email from a staff member letting me know they can help me with any questions. Whiteflash is next on my list to do business with, and I'm looking forward to it.
 

crizq0

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
5
Thanking for posting this, I am in the same boat as you and I am looking for the same specs.

Please keep us updated on which vendor and diamond you end up purchasing. =)

Good Luck!
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,273
If you want to make it easy on yourself, call Leslie at BGD and tell her your parameters and she will help you.
Best of luck.
 

Nomax

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
3
I have purchased three diamonds through Brian Gavin and every experience has been great. Cut quality is the most important attribute and I would stick with vendors that specialize that. My wife's e-ring and pendant is head and shoulders above her friends GIA Ex/Ex/Ex choices. James Allen HA cuts are not that much cheaper than BGD and WF. You could also bump down the color to an H and VS2 - SI1 to go slightly bigger. I don't think you will be able to tell a G from an H and BGD will not sell you a cloudy or visually included diamond - their reputation depend on it.
 

coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,633
Just an FYI as I see people recommending Brian Gavin Diamonds that my most recent purchase from them was not a good experience at all. I purchased quite a few items from them, and this time the customer service was definitely not up to par. Hopefully this is an anomaly, and I did not get to work directly with Lesley who has always provided top notch service. Their diamonds are beautiful, but just to be on the safe side I would recommend going with Whiteflash because their diamonds are equally beautiful, and their customer service is great.

ETA-need to proofread my 2 am posts a bit more carefully!
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
Thank you all for your feedback. I'm surprised by how many people have suggested either whiteflash or Brian Gavin. My feelings were that if I picked a good diamond from JA it would be roughly equivalent and it was just a matter of determining which are good (since they have a ton of stock not worth looking at). I thought I had some solid picks in my original post in regards to measurements and fitting my criteria, but I'm getting the sense that it will still be a step down from most anything from the other aforementioned vendors.

I will continue to keep this thread active as I search. Thank you all for your suggestions!

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,633
I have not seen James Allen's stones in person, so I cannot make any claim that they are inferior to Whiteflash and Brian Gavin Diamonds. I just know these two companies have very beautiful diamonds, and they are worth the bit extra you may pay. Also, one other company that sells beautiful superideal stones is highperformancediamonds.com with Crafted by Infinity stones. I have not purchased from them, but they are highly praised on here, and I will purchase a Crafted by Infinity stone at some point.

Here's a stone that I would consider:

http://highperformancediamonds.com/shop/diamonds/HPD8052/?shop=yes
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
3,683
I agree that you should take a closer look at WF. I have purchased multiple ACA's from WF--their prices are very competitive amongst the super ideal vendors. They also have great upgrade policies for their in house diamonds which I have utilized quite a few times now.

This is my suggestion for you, since an "H" will be hard to distinguish from a "G" (for most people):

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3772302.htm

This is my "I" colored ACA for reference:

img_14085.jpg
 

mrfat

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 15, 2015
Messages
19
Have you seen any 1.5ct diamonds in person? These picture and vids at 20x the actual size can be misleading. You can get lower spec diamonds that have nearly no discernable differences. You might not be able to tell an I SI1 with a G VS1 at this size. Now when you move up to a 2.5ct you may notice the difference. I've been looking at these larger stones and it's harder to find eye clean SI1 but that wasn't as big an issue at 1.5ct.
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
So after doing a bit more reading, I am definitely taking a much closer look at whiteflash and BGD. I really like the A Cut Above series from whiteflash - it seems to be the pinnacle of what I can buy as far as cut and light performance. The only issue is that I'm not seeing one that fits everything I'm seeking. Some have suggested moving down a grade or two in color, but unfortunately my girlfriend has a very keen eye for color (could easily point out an H or lower when we looked) and this will be a white gold or platinum setting. I'm also looking for no fluorescence (another plus of the ACA diamonds).

The problem I'm seeing is I worry about being able to see any inclusions (and I'm pretty picky) with these ACA diamonds. With the photos and videos they provide, it's hard to get a good feel for how the diamond will actually look. Looking at the reports, I'm seeing a lot of diamonds that have inclusions under the table, which is something I was hoping to avoid as much as possible (since our eyes always seem to focus towards the center). I wish there was some sort of way to get a better idea of what I could actually see in person. I can pick up a few of these diamond's inclusions from the pictures and videos, but it's hard to know whether I could in person as well. Given that, this is one that stood out to me while I searched:

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3735111.htm

It's a bit smaller, but it looks great overall. The perfect diamond for me would be something similar in cut/clarity but with a G color (and hopefully higher carat weight in return). I'd like to hit mid 1.4x if I could, but ultimately my girlfriend will be happy with anything and it's just me having a hard time determining the perfect diamond.
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
3,517
Are you set on that high of color and clarity for a reason? Check out goodoldgolds videos to actually see high def videos comparing them. Diamonds are graded face down against a white background-G H I will all still be really really white to the vast majority of people and then you'll get your face up size your after. As well as eye clean-you can get an eye clean SI stone easily-most women aren't walking around with a loop on their face :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h52kPEWEfco

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWFuxm-y9FQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJlTvmVzGKM

And for fun and ideal AVR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q7rhrrS1WM

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond-search/1.52-ascendancy_heart_arrows-I-AGS-G-SI1-diamond-stock-13338-cert-104073831009


http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/1-ct-to-2-00/1-52ct-old-european-gia-g-vs2#.WFvaitQrLGg


Would you consider an estate piece?
http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/1-70ct-round-brilliant-diamond-soliatire-ags000-h-vs2#.WFvZv9QrLGg

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-66-ct-G-VS1-GIA-Graded-EX-EX-EX-Free-Platinum-and-Diamond-Ring-Included-/311581282135?hash=item488bb10f57:g:lIIAAOSwbwlW~pPl
 

tuckie

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
184
It seems that you are having some concerns about clarity given that you can see so many inclusions when the diamond photos are blown up 20x and its hard for you to imagine what this would look like with your own eyes on a stone of the size you're considering. This is a reasonable thing to want to investigate - especially as your budget will loosen or tighten if you find that you are comfortable only in the VS1 vs. SI1 range.

Preferences vary. There are some experienced posters who are in the "don't wanna pay for what I can't see" camp and frequently buy eye clean SI stones and others in the "mind clean VS1 only for me, please" camp. Both are valid. Doesn't seem like you YET know where your preferences are on this one.

Why don't you visit a few local jewelers that have well cut stones to try to learn about this (e.g. a HOF dealer, T&Co, etc.). You could learn about how VS2 or SI1 stones appear in person to your own eyes - though it would be important to see a few stones at each grade because each one will be different. Perhaps this gives you some clarity (ha!)

Good luck! :wavey:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633
The Whiteflash one MissGotRocks posted is perfect if you can just swing $500 more dollars. G VS1 is my personal sweet spot! But as far as eyeclean goes, WF tells you that on every stone down in the specs. Most VS2 diamonds are eyeclean.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3759779.htm?source=pricescope

There's nothing wrong with the 1.54 G VS2, either. But because of the tiny size and price difference, I'd personally choose the VS1 above.
 

gm89uk

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,449
Not all inclusions under the table are large enough to be resolved by your eyes. Talk to the people at white flash, they have people with a keener eye that do this for a living. If they can't see it from your quoted distance, I'm sure you won't either. That is more useful than any video.
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
diamondseeker2006|1482421462|4108994 said:
The Whiteflash one MissGotRocks posted is perfect if you can just swing $500 more dollars. G VS1 is my personal sweet spot! But as far as eyeclean goes, WF tells you that on every stone down in the specs. Most VS2 diamonds are eyeclean.

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3759779.htm?source=pricescope

There's nothing wrong with the 1.54 G VS2, either. But because of the tiny size and price difference, I'd personally choose the VS1 above.

Agreed! That one is very nice, but the report shows inclusions right under the table towards the center. I can't see them in the one picture they have, but I do see various pinpoint dots on the face of the table in the video. I'm not sure if that is them or not, but I'd hate for the case to be an eyesore type of inclusion right in the middle despite the VS1 rating (similar to this other diamond: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-di...g-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2345594 )
This is why I gravitated towards the 1.4ct one that I posted, it just seemed to be a cleaner VS1.

I think my best bet is to just ask whiteflash as someone mentioned. It is a bit scary to put so much trust in another person's perception of cleanliness, especially since this would be over the high end of my budget. Given no diamond or inclusion is ever the same, it makes it difficult without more pictures or seeing it firsthand. I guess there is a full return policy if anything didn't look as good in person. I was just thinking about sending it straight to another vendor to be mounted.

It might also be worth my time to wait and see if anything new pops up in my range. I'm not sure how often these ACA diamonds come on the market though since I have only been looking since everyone pointed me in the right direction!
 

gm89uk

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,449
You are being overly cautious regarding the inclusions. I suggest you go to a B&M store and look for inclusions with a certificate map and a loupe, then try find them. With a VS1 I guarantee you will never be able to see them, even if it's right under the table, and black. It will never be an eye sore. The JA inclusion is microscopic. The diamond is poorly cut regardless. The stones you picked originally are too deep.

Trust the experts and the vendor, the advice you have had here is brilliant. You have a healthy budget which is allowing for VS1 exactly for peace of mind. I see no reason to wait further, unless you wanted to save cash and wait for an eyeclean SI1 or definite eyeclean VS2.
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
Just some thoughts:
I agree with the "too picky" (unnecessarily so) assessment. http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3735111.htm < I don't see any inclusions in that table. I doubt that you would.

Whiteflash and Brian Gavin's shop are very skilled. I'd trust what they said about clarity and all. Just be sure to ask if the diamond is still eyeclean from the sides or at a tilt, because you sound like the kind of buyer who must have something 100% eye-clean under all circumstances at all times. If so, you might even have to go to the VVS1 or VVS2 clarity range just to satisfy yourself. Personally, absolute eye-cleanness is something no longer of importance to me, after owning diamonds since 1993. "Hides well" is my new specification. :lol:

"I" color definitely looks ivory or creamy white to me, even in a .8RB, from the side. Not sure about face up, but I own a I diamond with strong blue fluor and it always looks ultra-white face up. Just not from the side. If you're going to sink the diamond down into a halo mount or some other type that will hide the pavilion, I think I color might still be a contender.

A correctly graded GIA H looks white to me when mounted, face up or from the side. It can look very tintes upside down. But you will not see that when the diamond is mounted. Consider H or above.

Blue fluor is not something I'd shy from in any G / H / I color range. I might in a F or above, simply because those might look pale blue-ish in sunlight.
 

adelitas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
7
Hey everyone, I have an update!

Sent an email to whiteflash and asked them about the eye cleanliness of the 1.501 ACA that was suggested. They replied that in natural light and spotlight, the inclusions were not able to be seen even with knowing exactly where to look. I'm definitely considering this one now as the center stone even though it is over my max budget. I would have rather done something more in the 15's but I'm considering this one since it is so nice and she will have it forever.

Now for the setting, I have a good idea of what she wants, but now I definitely have to budget a bit. She likes 14k white gold pave settings. And I think the James Allen cathedral might be perfect. The only thing I worry about is the height of the center stone. She prefers a more flush fit. If anyone has a better suggestion for a different cathedral style setting (or even a regular pave setting), please feel free to suggest some. Unfortunately, the ones on whiteflash under 1k weren't what I was looking for so I will have to go elsewhere for the setting

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