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Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search continues

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Three months ago I began the search for a diamond engagement ring with little knowledge of the ins and outs of selecting a nice diamond. I was fortunate to stumble upon this forum where I have read as much as I can and studied your collective advice, which has been so helpful. Last week I was very excited to find a diamond I thought I liked, with a "cut score" of >95% on the vendor's website. As a result of the reading I had done on this forum, I requested an ASET image. You can imagine my surprise when I received the ASET image below, which revealed that this diamond seems to allow almost as much light through the diamond as light reflected.

With that potential pitfall averted, my search continues and I am hoping to draw on some of the pricescope experts to help me find a special diamond. My wishlist is as below:

Round shape
excellent to ideal cut
2.25-2.5 carat
I or better color
SI1 or better clarity
budget: ideally 15-17k

I have looked at Whiteflash, GOG, Victor Canera, and Brian Gavin without much luck as most of their in-house diamonds are their own signature cuts which run significantly more per carat than I can afford. If some of the diamond experts on the forum could suggest some diamonds which fit my wishlist, I would be very very grateful.

Thank you all again for all of the valuable information you have shared so far, it has been a great education for me.

6daaec9c-5a93-4910-8aa0-12e1d61c0690.jpg
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Hi ewright,

Quickly- you said you're looking for a round shape, but the ASET you requested is for a cushion. Which shape are you wanting?
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

E B|1461805895|4024398 said:
Hi ewright,

Quickly- you said you're looking for a round shape, but the ASET you requested is for a cushion. Which shape are you wanting?
E B,

Thanks for clarifying, I was originally interested in a cushion but decided to go with a round shape instead.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Yes, the vendor cut scores for diamonds are usually misleading, at best. Worthless at worst.


Your budget is on the low side for what you want. Rounds cost more than cushions per carat. You are, reasonably, in the 2 carat range, that's true. But not really in the 2.25 carat range. Remember clarity gets to be more of an issue the larger you go, so finding an eyeclean SI is a little harder. I didn't find any eyeclean Si stones in your budget with pictures posted. This is what I did find.

http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-8289885-2.01-carat-Round-diamond-I-color-VS2-Clarity.aspx?sku=8289885&utm_source=pricescope.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pricescope.com

http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-8182705-2.25-carat-Round-diamond-I-color-VS2-Clarity.aspx?sku=8182705&utm_source=pricescope.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pricescope.com

I would call IDJ if I were you. They specialize in finding great stones on tight budgets (for the specs requested). They can located a great SI1 for you with I color and 3x "Pricescope" specs (make sure you tell them this), and provide you with an Idealscope image (you only need an idealscope, not an ASET for rounds).

What shape does the wearer want?
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Gypsy|1461808616|4024421 said:
Yes, the vendor cut scores for diamonds are usually misleading, at best. Worthless at worst.


Your budget is on the low side for what you want. Rounds cost more than cushions per carat. You are, reasonably, in the 2 carat range, that's true. But not really in the 2.25 carat range. Remember clarity gets to be more of an issue the larger you go, so finding an eyeclean SI is a little harder. I didn't find any eyeclean Si stones in your budget with pictures posted. This is what I did find.

http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-8289885-2.01-carat-Round-diamond-I-color-VS2-Clarity.aspx?sku=8289885&utm_source=pricescope.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pricescope.com

http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-8182705-2.25-carat-Round-diamond-I-color-VS2-Clarity.aspx?sku=8182705&utm_source=pricescope.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pricescope.com

I would call IDJ if I were you. They specialize in finding great stones on tight budgets (for the specs requested). They can located a great SI1 for you with I color and 3x "Pricescope" specs (make sure you tell them this), and provide you with an Idealscope image (you only need an idealscope, not an ASET for rounds).

What shape does the wearer want?
Gypsy,

Thank you for taking the time to pick out a couple of diamonds for me to look at, both of these look great. I have a quick question for you: how do you know without idealscope/ASET images whether these are quality cuts? Either of the two diamonds you linked look great from the specification standpoint, but how is one to know what there true optical performance is without an idealscope/ASET image?

I ask because if I were to go to bluenile (for example) and plug in my criteria, I see 25 diamonds starting at $14,000 with the criteria I specified and an "ideal" cut. How am I to tell the difference between a $14,000 2.25 I SI1 ideal cut and a $19,000 diamond with the exact same specifications at bluenile? Or how can one compare between online vendors if there is so much variability in price within diamonds with the exact same specifications?

The more I learn, the more I realize there is to know and it gets overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your expertise.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Neither of those are "ideal" cuts, but they should IS out well. You would, of course, have to get an IS of them. The way I know, is because I have a spec list memorized from being on here. Below will explain it better.

With rounds:
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. 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?
https://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.
https://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. https://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 62.4. Crown angle 33.5-35. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-41 (there is a little give on this). And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA checks for you.
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Gypsy: thank you so much for spelling out your evaluation process step by step, this is exactly the sort of advice I was hoping for. I am going to use it when I am looking at the final contenders, starting by requesting IS images of the two diamonds you suggested. Thank you again, this algorithm is a huge help! I will keep you all posted...
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Hi all,

I've been looking hard over the past weeks, and before I pull the trigger I just wanted to ask the experts whether you think this stone with the specifications and idealscope image below is a solid pick. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!

2.04 Carat
G color
SI1
GIA excellent polish/symmetry/cut
600_178234-officelight_gray-01.jpg 600_178234-idealscope-01.jpg screen_shot_2016-05-01_at_1.png
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

I like it!
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,776
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

That looks like a gorgeous stone!! Did you get it, OP??
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,616
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

That's a beauty!
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,058
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

That looks like a real find!
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Hi all: I'm disappointed to report that shortly after posting this diamond, someone else put a deposit on it and bought it. The search continues, thanks as always for your help and advice.
 

3Bean

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
28
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Ouch! Why didn't you put a hold on it before posting?
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

3Bean|1462315527|4026788 said:
Ouch! Why didn't you put a hold on it before posting?
Excellent point; I should have thought to do that prior to posting.
 

3Bean

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
28
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Well, hard lesson learned. Time to hunt again! Yeah, I was recommended a diamond, and I hemmed and hawed. It was even on sale, but I still delayed. Then it was gone. Found a new one, and glad to say, engaged! Just have patience. and good luck!
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

3Bean|1462315806|4026795 said:
Well, hard lesson learned. Time to hunt again! Yeah, I was recommended a diamond, and I hemmed and hawed. It was even on sale, but I still delayed. Then it was gone. Found a new one, and glad to say, engaged! Just have patience. and good luck!
Thanks 3bean, that's what I'm telling myself. It's just a matter of time until I find the (next) right one!
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

So after another thorough search, I am considering this diamond which I am hoping to get your thoughts on:

2.04 ct
I
VS2
62.4% depth
56% table
HCA score: 2.6

IS/ASET images included below

The one thing that concerns me is that the HCA score on this diamond is 2.6; should I automatically rule out this diamond? The idealscope and ASET images look very nice, perhaps there is something I am missing here?

After months of reading threads on PriceScope, I am considering spending an extra $3,000-$4,000 for a Whiteflash ACA diamond because of the excellent reputation they have earned here. Do you think this substantial price premium translates into a noticeable visual difference over the diamond I have posted above? If not, I think both me and my future wife would be so happy to use that money towards a wonderful honeymoon. But if an extra $3,000 means getting a more beautiful diamond that my future wife will wear for the rest of her life, I think it's a great investment indeed.

Thanks again for all of your patient advice, look forward to hearing your thoughts!

63bf20ec-f843-4457-a80b-0af5c6564564.jpeg

screen_shot_2016-05-03_at_9.png

2f5d066a-3e64-4008-ac94-52eb2956f090.jpeg

46875669-4149-4a94-8748-39827351f2b4.jpeg
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

The HCA is fine, given the IS and the ASET. It's a nice stone. Not as nice as the G, but hopefully its much more affordable (should be!).

The HCA doesn't matter give the IS and the ASET.
 

ewright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
14
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

Gypsy|1462337083|4026962 said:
The HCA is fine, given the IS and the ASET. It's a nice stone. Not as nice as the G, but hopefully its much more affordable (should be!).

The HCA doesn't matter give the IS and the ASET.
Thanks for the confirmation Gypsy. What are your thoughts on comparing this diamond to a Whiteflash ACA with identical specifications? Do you think the diamonds would look different in person? I'm just trying to decide whether to spend the extra $3,000. I'm not really concerned with having a hearts and arrows diamond per se, but would gladly spend extra if the ACA really did look nicer in person.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Crisis averted, thank you PS! Help needed, search contin

I would only spend 3k on higher color, not an ACA, personally, if you don't want H&A. That's about it.
 
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