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Dealbreakers for princess cut?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by tempestofnight, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. tempestofnight
    Rough_Rock

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    by tempestofnight » Mar 11, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    I'd like everyone's opinion on two recommendations for characteristics of princess cut diamonds that I've read online. If a diamond does not meet these characteristics, would you say it's a deal-breaker (assuming all other characteristics are acceptable), or would you say they're not a big deal?

    1) Recommendation: avoid stones with greater table % than depth %
    2) Recommendation: avoid stones with any part of the girdle begin very thin or very thick (stick to thin, medium, slightly thick, or thick). So GIA rating of "thick to very thick" would not qualify

    Thank you!

    -Ben
     
  2. tyty333
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by tyty333 » Mar 11, 2019
    Avoid stones that have feathers in the corners.
     
  3. tempestofnight
    Rough_Rock

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    by tempestofnight » Mar 11, 2019
    Will do! But what about the 2 things I specifically mentioned?
     
  4. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Mar 11, 2019
    Hi Ben
    Welcome to PriceScope.
    A lot of “guides” use charts and rules to make themselves relevant.
    There are no workable rules regarding table/depth relationship on a princess cut. I’ve seem all sorts of combinations work well- and also others with the same combos not work well.
    Common sense would dictate caution regarding feathers near the corner- I totally get that . Peace of mi d is important. But it’s very rare for a stone to break on a feather. Rare like never happens. But the corners on a princess are susceptible even without feathers.
    As far as girdle- again - it’s a case by case situation. No workable “rules” in my opinion.
     
  5. tempestofnight
    Rough_Rock

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    by tempestofnight » Mar 11, 2019
    Thank you David! With regards to case-by-case, would it be enough to tell if I have a video of the diamond, but nothing fancy like ASET?
     
  6. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Mar 11, 2019
    You’re welcome Ben!
    The issue today is that most sellers are offering g stones they’ve never seen.
    Videos can give a reasonable picture of the overall look of a stone- especially combined with ASET ( if one knows how to read an ASET)
    But for a thorough assessment any responsibile gemologist would need first hand examination .
     
  7. Mamabean
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Mamabean » Mar 11, 2019
    I’m not an expert at all..but I recently purchased supposedly great princess cut diamonds and had them mounted into studs . They should have been extremely sparkly..ideals, vvs2, E,F color great numbers and they were lifeless so I sent them back. I really think princess cuts are tricky..and you need to see them with your own eyes..I saw the videos on them and they looked fabulous but in person they were lifeless..Purchase the diamond where you can easily return them if you don’t think they perform like they should.
     
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  8. tempestofnight
    Rough_Rock

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    by tempestofnight » Mar 11, 2019
    Thanks Joanne! Unfortunately I need to purchase online because there just aren't venders in my area for my price range. In Pittsburgh I can find Zales/Kay/etc. but as everyone knows, they mark everything up. In the city there are small shops, local owners. I would love to patronize those businesses, but they don't have much variety within my budget unfortunately. Seems like everything is either way more expensive, or extremely cheap, with very little in the middle. If I weren't a graduate student fully supporting both myself and also my soon-to-be fiance (also a graduate student), then I'd be able to stretch things a little more!

    Anyway, I will be careful with return policies for the sites I'm looking at, so thank you!
     
  9. tempestofnight
    Rough_Rock

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    by tempestofnight » Mar 11, 2019
    That makes sense, David. I wish I could see in person, not that I would personally know what to look for, but as I was saying above to Joanne, I don't feel like any of the jewelers in my area will be able to provide me with something in my budget. I know what I want to spend, and I've spent so many hours over the last 5 weeks or so on databases like Rarecarat and DiamondReview that I've convinced myself I "know" what specs ought to be available for my budget. But perhaps I've deceived myself, if the diamonds I've been looking at have some flaw only visible with in person inspection, then maybe I've high-balled what kind of specs I can actually get for my budget, if I actually want to avoid said flaws. It seems impossible to know this?

    To give you an idea of said specs, I've convinced myself that for <$2200 (stone only, not setting. spending another $1100 on halo setting), I can get:
    • At least 0.8 carats
    • SI1 to IF clarity
    • J to E color
    • None to medium fluorescence
    • Video of the actual stone available
    • "Very good" or "excellent" symmetry + polish
    • Depth btw 64% and 75%, Table between 67% and 72% (made this flexible to 74%)
    • Rarecarat cut rating of "very good" or "excellent"
    • No cavities, chips, or knots
    • Girdle thin to thick
    With those criteria I've found 10 stones, or 16 if you remove the girdle criteria. But again, maybe I've deceived myself into thinking those specs matter?
     
  10. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Mar 11, 2019
    I guess my views are kind of old fashioned in a way. I recommend people choose the seller, as opposed to trying to become a diamond expert.
    There are sites out there that purport to offer "unbiased" information- yet they are clearly endorsing certain sellers.
    I'm sure you can figure out how a seller can get an endorsement ($)
    A site like this one also has sponsors, and lists of diamonds- but this part of the site- the forum, is open to all- including tradespeople who are not paying to sponsor the site. That differentiates it from "informational" sites with no open discussion
    I recommend reaching out to sellers and speaking with them- that's what I'd do if purchasing an expensive item online ( or in a store)
    You already are equipped to judge the nature of information people give you in a discussion.
     
  11. seaurchin
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by seaurchin » Mar 11, 2019
    Also, if it helps, it’s likely you and your fiance would be equally happy with any of several stones, if a decent selection of what you want is available within your budget. Some of the differences just aren’t that different, in the overall scheme of things. At some point you just gotta pick one and pull the trigger. As has been mentioned, just be sure it’s returnable and from a trusted vendor. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  12. OoohShiny
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    by OoohShiny » Mar 13, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    Whiteflash and Brian Gavin Diamonds would be my two 'go to' / 'safe' options for Princess cuts, as their in-house cuts are designed to perform well (on ASET and IRL, AFAIK!).
     
  13. rockysalamander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by rockysalamander » Mar 13, 2019 at 11:34 AM
    I'm glad to see that you have wide criteria, as that maximizes the chance of finding something that is nice. I don't doubt that stones existing within your ranges. But, the issue that is at hand is that they may or may not be a stone you want to own. At the end of the day, a diamond's "job" is to reflect light. If light enters the crystal and bounces out the sides, that is lost to the viewer and you have a grey or dull stone.

    Your critiera get you to stones to evaluate, they don't give you any guarantee that stone will perform.
    • At least 0.8 carats *focus on size in mm not weight*
    • SI1 to IF clarity *be open to SI2*
    • J to E color *J may or may not work with a princess, it depends on the precision of the light return and your tolerance for color in the corner vs. body being different*
    • None to medium fluorescence *why?
    • Video of the actual stone available *useful!
    • "Very good" or "excellent" symmetry + polish, *agree
    • Depth btw 64% and 75%, Table between 67% and 72% (made this flexible to 74%) *I don't look at this with princess cuts. I look at the video and light return and spread relative to weight.
    • Rarecarat cut rating of "very good" or "excellent" *this is not helpful
    • No cavities, chips, or knots *agree
    • Girdle thin to thick *agree, but I like not thin when you have choices. A halo can be a protective setting (assuming your stone is in the halo and not well above it), but you may not always want a halo and then the girdle can be exposed.
    When folks post here ask for help, I routinely look at a hundred or more princess cuts for them and, maybe, find 1 or 2 worth pursuing. While not all vendors post videos and ASET images, many can provide these upon request. Those are important tools.

    Another option is to work with a vendor that is known for fancy cuts. Diamonds by Lauren is once such vendor. They can help you figure out of a particular inclusion, cloud or color is an issue or not.

    Finding a worthwhile diamond, especially non-round, is an IronMan race. Not just a sprint. Buying from WF or BFD or DiamondsbyLauren takes out much of the hard work.

    For example. Flexing clarity to an SI2. With a known vendor, I'd have them look at this for you and give their thoughts. There is a lot of little stuff, but its clear and not impacting the light return (ASET proves this). Its also below budget, and 4.96 mm. https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut-loose-diamond-3081024.htm [if this looks interesting, put it on hold. These budget stones move fast}

    Princess cuts are not a spready cut, so they face up smaller than their rounds counterpart by weight. So, this round is in your $2200 budget and faces up at 5.7 mm.

    https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4089765.htm

    So, another factor to consider is how important is a visible size to you? Would you rather spend the same and get more spread or is that square shape that makes your heart sing? Would a round in a squared halo give you the look you want and yet gain face-up size?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 11:45 AM
  14. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Mar 13, 2019 at 11:43 AM
    This should be stickied. Yes yes yes.
     
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  15. Texas Leaguer
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    by Texas Leaguer » Mar 14, 2019 at 11:18 PM
    As others have said, buying princess remotely is tricky as most princess on the market do not have an overall cut grade because GIA still does not issue one. AGS Laboratories is an exception to that rule. Their light performance cut grading system is applied to princess and several other shapes in addition to round.
    There is more info here in the pricescope knowledge base:
    https://www.pricescope.com/articles/ags-laboratories-diamond-cut-grading-princess-cut

    Towards the end of the article there are some generalizations (rules of thumb) gleaned from ray tracing that might be helpful in filtering GIA reports.
    The section above it about measurements is also worth noting. People generally think princess cuts are much smaller than equivalent weights in round. When you take a closer look at the math, it's not as dramatic a difference as it would seem.
     
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  16. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Mar 14, 2019 at 11:46 PM
    32154040-E2A6-4713-A03F-1299B32E3E1C.jpeg I’m just throwing this out there!
    I’m the “pre loved queen” because of the extra buying power.
    This ring is preloved and is $4,500 to buy BUT it is a 1 carat H VS2 set in a Tacori setting. The setting alone is $3,620 retail!
    It has an extra .35 carat diamonds.
    So this is a $12,000 retail ring, slightly preloved for basically 1/3 the price.
     
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