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EG ring help, IS/ASET/Raw images & ideal cuts and BICs

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
Hi everybody,

Shopping for my first (and last) EG ring. Read a lot before I went out hunting and I think the information overload is crippling me but also has really helped clear up why one looks better than the other despite having the same grade. Now that I have more than 4Cs I feel that I have a bigger tool chest and a little more bargaining clout when I pull out my idealscope and camera.

I live in Los Angeles so have focused my diamond shopping in the Jewelry district and in the Asian jewelry district in Chinatown.

This is the first diamond I am interested in:

EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-raw-set.jpg
EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-raw.jpg EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-IS.jpg
EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-ASET.jpg

I really love this diamond, clean table, eye clean, looks white when set, more G-H (despite EGL F) face up with tweezer over white background. The cloud is hard to see with the naked eye because its under the facets and as seen with the IS and ASET it reflect light back up so doesn't really stand out. The price is 15k + tax with an buyback/upgrade option. I think because of it's proportions, AGA 1 (sorry don't have the full measurements now but did use HCA without girdle compensation). The reason I have trepidation is this next diamond.

This is number 2/1 on my list:

ungraded-2p17-G-VVS2-23k-raw.jpg ungraded-2p17-G-VVS2-23k-IS.jpg
ungraded-2p17-G-VVS2-23k-aset.jpg

This diamond was pure white, not cloudy but white. The owner didn't turn on the halogen lights and I failed to see it under the sun but there was little fire. I didn't bring my ruler/protracter, but it appeared to be a BIC instead of an IC. The price is fair for what it is at 22k no tax, but what bothers me is the flash. It is blinging because of the size and I can't stress how brilliant it looked but its lack of fire really turns me off. I don't know if the Chinese buy diamonds that specifically look like this but all of his diamonds were VVS (that's a must, for the Chinese) and were brilliant but all lacked fire. After taxes and setting the price difference is 5k for a larger and clearer diamond but losing sparkle. This is where the trouble arises. Now do I abandon both diamonds and ask the Chinatown dealer for same size and quality but more fire, better cut (by the way still haven't checked if it's a moissanite, have to get that tool) or go ahead and buy the EGL (top diamond) and upgrade for clarity later. *Note: Chinatown does not offer buyback/upgrade.

Here is where the extra knowledge really helped:

GIA-2p01-vgvgX-F-VS2-35698+tax-ASET.jpg
Jewelry district: GIA 2.01, F, VS2, VG-VG-F, going for 35.7k plus tax with buyback/UG option. As you can see, the VG symmetry really did show on the ASET and my opinion is that the VS2 on a GIA appears more like a VVS2 on EGL. There was only a slight wisp v feather seen at 2 o'clock. The problem for me was the price but also that face up it didn't really look better than the EGL above. Now I never trained at GIA but neither did my girlfriend. She is near-sighted (I'm farsighted) so maybe she will pick up something I don't see but the two diamonds really do compare pretty well. As long as you don't bring a loupe with you.

GIA-2p02-xxx-G-SI1-24k+tax-IS.jpg
Jewelry district: GIA 2.02, G, SI1, X-X-X, going for 24k + tax with buyback/UG option. This is comparably graded to the EGL above but under the loupe I think this diamond is +1 in every category. The caveat is that face up on skin (picture not shown) so I saw the 9k difference as not a sensible buy other than under the loupe clarity.

ungraded-2p08-G-VVS-28k-chinatown-ASET.jpg ungraded-2p08-G-VVS-28k-chinatown-IS.jpg
Chinatown: Ungraded, 2.08, G, VVS, 28k + tax, no buyback or upgrade. Not only was this lady rude she was dismissive. I think it is always a problem when your jeweler is wearing 3ct studs and shows off her 5ct pinky ring and bragging about how good her diamonds are. She didn't even want to show me the diamonds but when she did she tried to pass off this diamond as 28k quality and now I understand how my scopes really help out. When I brought it to her attention that this diamond lacks in fire because of its assymetric cut, she told me to go with GIA for 40k + if i want an ideal cut. They don't make ungraded ideal cuts. Nonetheless, her diamond was clear (VVS) very brilliant (seen by IS with ok light return) but had little fire (and this was under halogen). So reconfirms my suspicion that the Chinese seem more interested in BIC then IC.

So that's my early shopping; without these tools I probably would have just bought diamond number 1 and I'm still considering it, but I think I will take more pics and stew some more. Does anybody have an EGL 2, SI1-VS2, 50% back, Ideal cut diamond with good IS, ASET, AGA 1/HCA cut diamonds in the 15k range or am I looking for a needle in a haystack?

All comments are appreciated, thanks in advance.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
the first one is probably priced lower because of the inclusion...
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,130
The inclusion definitely stands out in the first photos. And it's a sizable stone - big enough that you wouldn't be able to fully cover it with a prong. Did you examine the stone in different types of lights, and confirm that it's clean to your personal specifications in all those types of lights? Some lights tend to highlight some inclusions, I;ve found. If you know your intended is nearsighted I would honestly lean toward passing on this one unless you can confirm that she;s okay with it (she'd have to see the stone), or you plan to propose well within the return period (just be sure to get an idiot-proof return policy in writing, and I'd recommend not bothering with an intricate setting, if you do wind up changing the stone you don't want to have to restrict your search to just those that will fit a given setting)

How old is the stone's report? If the report is from several years ago you'll want to plan on an independent appraisal to verify that the current condition of the stone is the same as that described on the report - no nicks/chips/scratches acquired in the intervening years. I see what looks like some minor abrading on the table/star facet-meet at 10 o'clock - could be the photo or dust/dirt, but something to investigate..

If you do choose this stone you'll definitely want to talk to your vendor about putting that big inclusion as close to a prong as possible, and you may want the girdle inclusion under a prong as well, so you'll have to consider what sort of prong/stone configuration you'll need to get prongs in the right places - 4/6, evenly or unevenly spaced, etc.


Little fire from the second... compared to what? Other stones, or what you expected to see, or both? You've noticed that spotlights, direct sunlight are two of the most common lights in which to see coloured light return, and in other types of lights - diffuse office lights, outside on a cloudy day - all stones are white, and in in-between types of lights different stones with different proportions nuances will err toward white/colour. At the end of the day there are lots of reasons for a stone to show more white light return than colour compared to other stones of same size w/ different types of proportions - A) shallower crown/steeper pav combo, B) long lower girdle facets (so thinner arrows/less spready pavilion main facets), C) less optical symmetry (decreases avg facet size and avg angular difference between adjacent virtual facets), D) brillianteering (manipulating the angles at which c/p facets meet at the girdle)... this one doesn't look like a BIC to me, table isn't large and table reflection doesn't indicate a steep pavilion, and optical symmetry isn't terrible, so I'd guess that your eyes don't approve of painting - GOG has a good tutorial on that here.


Side note - the labs (AGS/GIA anyway) grade physical facet-meet symmetry, not optical symmetry. They correlate to some extent, but not perfectly, surprisingly - there are lots of stones with EX sym on the report and not-excellent optical symmetry, and then there are the rare specimens with lower sym grade on the report that have very high optical symmetry (in part b/c of the variety of ways a stone might earn the sym report grade demerit!) AGS/GIA don't consider optical symmetry in grading cut - HRD has a H&A report, and GCAL does an optical symmetry analysis, some info on EGL-I grading here, not sure about EGL-USA or others though.



Ditto slg - first one is probably priced as it is b/c of the inclusion. There are truly no deals to be had in the primary market, so if something's priced oddly... there's definitely a reason for it.
 

FordFairlane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
14
Can't help you with your purchase decisions just try to view them all in the same outside natural light.
Great photos of ASET and IS sometimes the stone is not level with the scope but the resolution is great.

Can you explain what camera, setup, and scopes you are using to get those images I think myself and many others could benefit from how well you have been able to take images.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,763
Personally I would not accept ANY of those. I would keep looking OR go online.
 

pmbspyder

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
45
I agree with the advice to keep looking or go online. Especially if you're looking at stones in that price range, going on line will save you thousands of dollars in taxes as well...
 

thbmok

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
891
blackmonday75|1317574244|3031247 said:
Does anybody have an EGL 2, SI1-VS2, 50% back, Ideal cut diamond with good IS, ASET, AGA 1/HCA cut diamonds in the 15k range or am I looking for a needle in a haystack?
More like looking for a penguin in the north pole.

It costs only a few hundred dollars to get GIA/AGS reports on stones and the stones that come back as GIA Excellent/AGS Ideal can be sold for at least 10% more. I don't see any reason why vendors would opt not to sell with GIA/AGS reports in this price range unless the cut is average or the color and clarity are graded more harshly by GIA/AGS than other labs.

ETA: If you don't mind low color/clarity, consider some Crafted by Infinity stones, such as this one: http://www.highperformancediamonds.com/index.php?page=view-id-diamond-infinity&id=753
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,408
rule #1...do not deal with a Chinese Jeweler!!. i know how they operate, cash out the door and no return policy... :knockout:
 

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
Thank you everybody for responding, as you all know, dropping 15-20k on a stone is not like buying a shirt.

About the photos, my setup includes an:

Ideal-light: it uses an incandescent light with two slots for stones.
http://ideal-scope.com/cart_zoom_item.asp?Id=3&ShowAdd=Y

I have an expert ideal scope and an ASET scope

to take the pics I use my Canon IS300 programmed for normal focus (not macro) and white balance (tungsten) with ISO 100 for less graininess. I also use my Samsung Infuse (cameraphone) 8mp camera floating above the scope so that I get the right white balance. Then I just crop the photos using Microsoft Office Picture Manager (any program will do).

I'm going out shopping again tomorrow. I feel like I need to bring a Moissanite tester to the Chinese dealers, but there payment plan offers the option to get better clarity for less upfront. But like the last comment stated - no buyback.

If anybody can help me out, I would love an eyeclean, F, SI1-VS2 ideal cut 2+ carat stone that has excellent brilliance and fire. Right now the jewelry district is giving 50% back on EGL stones and 2% plus on GIA stones.

I know nobody can make the decision about which stone to buy but I do appreciate all the insightful comments. I know the danger of a little too much information with too little knowledge. Diamond dealers usually all give me the same suspicious looks when I pull out my light, scopes and camera. Then they get a little more apprehensive when I bring out my pen UV light. I don't know how they will take it with the diamond verifier. Next post, I'll have all the angle angles and measurements.
 

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
Hey Yssie,

I appreciate your help, when you say no deals in the primary market do you know of or think it would be possible to find a diamond cutter to cut me a diamond or do they only deal to wholesalers? I mean, how do I cut off a stone before it gets sent off for grading or displayed in a jewelry case?

I haven't seen enough diamonds to really compare physical symmetry with optical symmetry but I have seen plenty of XXX diamonds that have poor optical symmetry but I havent seen any VG symmetry diamonds with good optical symmetry to really compare. The chinatown diamond had good optical symmetry but the light return under the table was light and the diamond didn't appear to have any fire. Noted though that I only saw it under diffuse fluorescent lamps (no halogens) but is that what I should expect from a good cut diamond as that will be the most likely environment it would see on my girlfriend's finger? I mean, she has admired other people's diamonds out at dinner I guess with firelamp lighting or indoor restaurant lighting (didn't pay attention to type) and they would sparkle from four five tables away. That's what I'm looking for but that is eye clean up close.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,130
blackmonday75|1317695068|3032595 said:
Hey Yssie,

I appreciate your help, when you say no deals in the primary market do you know of or think it would be possible to find a diamond cutter to cut me a diamond or do they only deal to wholesalers? I mean, how do I cut off a stone before it gets sent off for grading or displayed in a jewelry case? I'll leave the details to the experts and tradepeople - I don't know much about the industry. Long story short - if you, as a customer new to the industry, happen to run into someone who is willing to 'do you a favour' by helping you shortcut - be very, very, very wary. Reputable dealers selling reputable goods know what they can - and can't - get for their wares.

I haven't seen enough diamonds to really compare physical symmetry with optical symmetry but I have seen plenty of XXX diamonds that have poor optical symmetry but I havent seen any VG symmetry diamonds with good optical symmetry to really compare They are rare. The chinatown diamond had good optical symmetry but the light return under the table was light and the diamond didn't appear to have any fire. Noted though that I only saw it under diffuse fluorescent lamps (no halogens) but is that what I should expect from a good cut diamond yes as that will be the most likely environment it would see on my girlfriend's finger? I mean, she has admired other people's diamonds out at dinner I guess with firelamp lighting or indoor restaurant lighting which is spotlighting, which equals coloured light - different from diffuse light, very easy lighting type to get coloured light in (didn't pay attention to type) and they would sparkle from four five tables away. That's what I'm looking for but that is eye clean up close.
 

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
Hey Ame,

I easily understand passing on the large cloud/crystal EGL diamond but do you mind telling me why you would pass on the ungraded symmetric diamond?

Thanks in adavance.
 

FordFairlane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
14
blackmonday75 said:
Hey Ame,

I easily understand passing on the large cloud/crystal EGL diamond but do you mind telling me why you would pass on the ungraded symmetric diamond?

Thanks in adavance.
Thanks for the details on how you take pictures.
I know how much you want to shop locally but here is some words of caution:

Choosing EGL or an ungraded diamond doesn't save you money, in most cases you pay more for the same stone due to their soft or no grading.

The cutters and dealers know how this stone would grade if it was sent to GIA you don't.
This allows them to obtain a better markup and make it appear like a bargain to you.

In North America the market for round pricing is based upon GIA grading.
You will rarely if ever find a top performing cut from an ungraded and seldom from a stone being sold with an EGL grading report.

Your best bet is to choose a GIA graded stone where you can compare value more easily.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
blackmonday75|1317695628|3032603 said:
Hey Ame,

I easily understand passing on the large cloud/crystal EGL diamond but do you mind telling me why you would pass on the ungraded symmetric diamond?

Thanks in adavance.
not Ame...but ungraded is...worrisome. I would not spend 22k on something that is ungraded...how do you know you are getting a fair price? how do you know it is what they say it is? Also...no return policy?!?!
 

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
I agree with all of you, ungraded and no return policy is like buying a used car without turning on the engine.

I know that EGL upgrades their diamonds, but I can't afford a 2 ct at +2% so GIA is out of the question

I guess what i'm really looking for is an SI1 with mostly twinning wisps and feathers, eye clean, ideal cut for 15k. If I have to get filled or lasered, its ok as long as the jeweler gives me an upgrade option. Refund policy is also a must.

Im going out in the pits to look at more diamonds and will come back with many more pics, angles, etc. Hopefully I find something for the miss'

Either way, I was showing her some diamonds online from goodoldgold.com (thanks yssie) and she likes ideal cut (non-optically symmetric) diamonds equally to its H&A brethren. A little breathing room.
 

FordFairlane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
14
blackmonday75 said:
I agree with all of you, ungraded and no return policy is like buying a used car without turning on the engine.

I know that EGL upgrades their diamonds, but I can't afford a 2 ct at +2% so GIA is out of the question

I can only assume you are quoting -50% and +2% from rappoport general pricelist.

This carries no weight to your purchase decision. Its a rough guide and each individual stone including the 4Cs the grading lab, and symmetry and polish determine value not just the parameters listed on rap. Rap is for dealers as a general guide and some dealers use it to confuse customers without explaining the whole picture.

Saying that you can't afford a GIA stone doesn't make sense. The same stone could be graded

By GIA

H Color
SI1
1.5 Ct
Cut Grade = Fair

or by EGL

F Color
VS2
1.5Ct
No Cut Grade

The dealer could sell it with a GIA report for 14k or with an EGL report for 15k.
You would never know.

The paper doesn't matter its just a way of determining value and EGL has softer and inconsistent grading which allow dealers to take advantage of consumers.

The premium for GIA stones comes when they are graded Excellent cut which is something that is emphasized here more than size or color as it is the main contributor to how well a diamond sparkles. But Cut only has a +/- 5 - 20% affect on overall price between an average and excellent cut round brilliant.

I guess what i'm really looking for is an SI1 with mostly twinning wisps and feathers, eye clean, ideal cut for 15k. If I have to get filled or lasered, its ok as long as the jeweler gives me an upgrade option. Refund policy is also a must.
Upgrades and Refund policies on clarity enhanced stones are probably more difficult to obtain. But at least if you have a lifetime upgrade policy on a normal unenhanced stone you could start out smaller and upgrade later.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
BIC, as used on PS, should be crown angle<=32.5. The IC in BIC stands for Ideal Cut. None of these are particularly BIC-y looking. They are actually Tolk-ish proportions. The top three stones look pretty good; stone 1 is showing a little over-blue in ASET, stone 2 is showing a little leakage. Even number 4 is not that bad.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,763
Because it's ungraded, and doesn't look totally symmetrical to me.

Frankly, I think you are asking for getting screwed over buying from any of these dealers. No buyback? NO SALE. No upgrade? NO SALE. No returns/refunds? NO SALE.

You need to find a more reputable dealer, part of town, or go online I think. You want the best stone for that price and I honestly think you're not going to get it doing what you're doing.
 

blackmonday75

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
18
Here is my second day shopping and thoroughly disappointed.

First stop, Chinatown just to test my mettle. Beautiful store, security with gun in holster, blazing halogens galore. I walk up to the loose diamond case and introduce myself in Vietnamese to earn a little more rapport. I see diamonds packaged in plastic sheaths with GIA and KV graded. I inquire about the KV grading and she explains that those stones are graded in house so are cheaper than the GIA stones. She has a lot of GIA stones, all VVS, all ideal, all 50k and up for two carats. I ask for the 2.01 D VVS1 in house graded stone going for ONLY $39,200. It's as clear as new plexiglass, white pavillion up, and has lots of fire lending to the halogens (there was no quiet lighting in the whole room). Here are the Ideal Scope and ASET images:

CT-InHouse-2p01-D-VVS1-Ideal%20Cut-39k-IS.jpg
CT-InHouse-2p01-D-VVS1-Ideal%20Cut-39k-ASET.jpg
The price was not right, moving on.


Revisited the CT shop from the other day with the ungraded stone, forget to bring my angle and measure tool so don't have any rough measurements but did try the diamond in hemispheric lighting, direct spotlighting, and natural daylight (but it was overcast so not much fire action outside). Looks very symmetrical to me, would probably grade GIA VS2 maybe even SI1 in my opinion, probably EGL VS1-VVS2, color was probably H-I (no colorimeter in house) and asking 23K flat (no tax), 30 day money back, and upgrade option after 10% (re-stock) but his eyes betrayed him (probably could never get that in writing). There was good contrast and you could easily see the stars/arrows as you rotated the diamond. Here are today's images, scroll back up or see page 1 for the 1st day's visit.

UG-2p17-VVS-23k.jpg
UG-2p17-VVS-23k-IS.jpg
UG-2p17-VVS-23k-ASET.jpg
In my opinion, it had very good optical symmetry, not excellent, as mentioned earlier by Yssi, there is painting of the girdles, had to look for it today and there it was (not pictured) and so my qualms are that for this price [23k] I could get a more ideal diamond that was brighter and had more scintillation. I asked him why the stone wasn't graded and he gave me the generic answer that then the diamond would cost more. So I reminded him that if GIA graded this diamond well, he could probably at least get another 5 to 10k and he just chuckled so I knew this probably was too good to be true and would probably grade 1-2 steps lower than his estimates. Based on the current Rap sheet, if this graded GIA SI1,H and above I would be getting an ok deal depending how far up the ladder this diamond could climb, but I think GIA might give it an S1, I and I would be square with the price. Worse yet, painted girdles wouldn't get an Ideal cut nod from GIA. So realistically, could I buy this diamond and get it graded myself and come out on top. That's the economics, the emotional component doesn't really grab me because the later diamonds I saw today had much better fire but lacked in clarity face up, and color pavillion up but pretty similar mounted. So, PS community, is this a send off to GIA gradeable diamond, I will ask for a Sarin report or rough measure the angles myself.


Next stop, the dealer on the 7th floor. He showed me three diamonds with all different characteristics. The one constant was all three of these were being quoted at 15k. One of them was a GIA SI1, E or F, but had strong fluorescence. Now I had heard of these diamonds but this was my first encounter. I know fluorescence doesn't automatically make a bad diamond, but it could make the diamond cloudy, and this one looked milky, especially next to the other two. Here are some pics:

GIA-I-SI2-Ideal%20Cut-strong%20blue-cloudy-15k.jpg GIA-I-SI2-Ideal%20Cut-strong%20blue-cloudy-15k-IS.jpg GIA-I-SI2-Ideal%20Cut-strong%20blue-cloudy-15k-ASET.jpg
The one on the left is the one with the fluorescence. Interesting effect. I don't know if its cloudiness was due to the light leakage under the table (see Idealscope and ASET images) or because of the fluorescence, either way, GIA or not, not worth 15k.

EGL-2p00-D-SI1-XXX-app15k.jpg EGL-2p00-D-SI1-XXX-app15k-IS.jpg EGL-2p00-D-SI1-XXX-app15k-ASET.jpg
This is an EGL European stone (EGL2121356828) from June 20,2011, 2.00 ct, 8.23 - 8.18 x 4.84 mm, XXX, no culet, SI1, D, faint fluorescence diamond with total depth 59%, table width 61%, crown height 13%, pavillion depth 43%, girdle med to slightly thick, faceted. With comments "'EXCELLENT IDEAL CUT' ... obtaining the optimal dispersion of light and brilliance." HCA = 1.7. In my own opinion, this stone had good contrast and good fire but not excellent. Despite there being leakage around the table, I didn't think the stone looked small. The girdle was thick and uneven. The real deal breaker was the large inclusion under the table. Under the halogen lights, I think the diamond actually looked ok, after locating the inclusion with the loupe I could see it under the halogen. When I took the diamond to a corner with just diffuse lighting, the inclusion popped right out. You can see on both the IS and ASET that the light just leaks right through it so it doesn't conceal very well. The faint blue helped it look more like a GIA E, but I think the stone looked mostly white and would give it an E-F but not D. Either way, I am not buying this stone.

EGL-I-VS2-2p07-IdealHA-XX.jpg
EGL-I-VS2-2p07-IdealHA-XX-IS.jpg
EGL-I-VS2-2p07-IdealHA-XX-ISv2.jpg
EGL-I-VS2-2p07-IdealHA-XX-ASET.jpg
EGL-I-VS2-2p07-IdealHA-XX-ASETv2.jpg
This is an EGL USA stone (US 60916802D GP) from March 20, 2011, 2.07 ct, 8.17 - 8.07 x 5.13, Ideal Cut, VS2, I, no fluorescence, hearts and arrows, XXX, table 57%, depth 63.2%, crown angle 35.8, pavillion angle 41.7, girdle 1.1-2.7%, no culet. HCA = 5.1, AGA 2A. In my opinion, this diamond had a slight warmth to it, mounted and away from the halogens it was sufficiently white, but the color was noticeable, probably more GIA J-K, maybe L. It was symmetric but I thought it lacked the same fire as the stone above. Now the son and the father thought this stone had more fire and who was I to argue, but based on HCA the top stone should have more brilliance than this stone. In the end, I thought the stone was ok, but pavillion up it was definitely very close to a brown diamond. I have the feeling now that these stones are hard to move, and that they happen to meet my "I need an ideal cut" criteria so maybe he will buy it. On that same token though, face up these stones look pretty good minus the top one because of the inclusion and this bottom one because the top one had more fire and was the same price. So I have to move on. Next stop, down in the pits of the trading floor in the LA jewelry district.

I revisited the stone from the day before, the one with the large cloud under the star and bezel facet. Here it is again, some new shots though:

EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-rawv2.jpg EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-raw.jpg EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-IS.jpg
EGL-2p04-F-SI1-15137+tax-ASET.jpg
This is an EGL International stone (laser inscribed 3011137521), 2.04 ct, 8.29-8.24 x 4.92, F, SI1, XXX, no fluorescence, hearts and arrows, with fire trace B-VG, F-VG, S-EX, commented as "EXCELLENT IDEAL CUT." The table width is 59%, depth 59.5%, crown height 14%, pavillion height 43%, culet none. HCA = 1.2. In my opinion, this diamond has the most fire of all the diamonds that I have seen. It has a great HCA score and it looks white and bright face up and mounted with maybe a hint of warmth. Pavillion up, it has a slight yellow to it and I wouldn't give it an F but rather an H. The only thing is that under the halogen lights, its hard to see that large inclusion unless you located it with a loupe first, but in hemispheric lighting it became pretty evident. That just kills it for me, because the miss' is near sighted and will spot it like a hawk hunting white rabbits on a green lawn. I really like this stone otherwise for its fire and for its brightness. It's not as symmetric as the ungraded diamond above (the pics are a little off balance). I'm ruminating on this one until my gums bleed.

I looked at another stone ($1200 less but you'll see why)
EGL-2p02-G-SI1-VGVGVG-13k-IS.jpg EGL-2p02-G-SI1-VGVGVG-13k-ASET.jpg
This is an EGL Europe stone (EGL3107177834), 2.02 ct, 7.92 - 7.84 x 5.04, G, SI2, VGVGVG, no culet, no fluorescence with no comments. Table 57%, depth 64%, crown height 15%, pavillion depth 43% with a slightly thick girdle. HCA = 1.5. In my opinion, this diamond had some good fire and brilliance but had large contrast patterns (not pictured) and for the price just wasn't even an option for me. Just wanted to share a diamond with you PS folks.

Ultimately:
1) Is the ungraded diamond a possible good grade via GIA or maybe EGL USA or is it really worth what he is charging and grading it only risks losing value? The cons to this deal is the lack of fire, sketchy buyback return policy, and price range.

2) Is the EGL 2.04 a good buy even though it has that sizeable inclusion? Can I get a more eyeclean diamond for less or the same?

3) Is optical symmetry well correlated for you guys?

Thanks everybody for helping out.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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ditto ame on both counts :))


Unless they've changed their policies as far as I know BN does not provide additional images or photos of the stone. But there's no reason to believe the stone won't be a beauty, even assuming some scanning error, and I would feel very comfortable buying and planning to return on the off chance it doesn't meet expectations upon receipt :sun:

BTW I will never give a stone the full out A-okay blindly online without a ton more info, so I'm really not hesitating over the stone here - just the lack of that ton of info!
 

yssie

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Sorry BlackMonday - replied in the wrong thread! I'll reply to this one in a minute.
 

ame

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lol woops!

ame|1317744694|3032952 said:
Frankly, I think you are asking for getting screwed over buying from any of these dealers. No buyback? NO SALE. No upgrade? NO SALE. No returns/refunds? NO SALE.

You need to find a more reputable dealer, part of town, or go online I think. You want the best stone for that price and I honestly think you're not going to get it doing what you're doing.
I am going to restate my first post. None of these. None. I feel like you're going to get taken on all of these.
 

slg47

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1) Is the ungraded diamond a possible good grade via GIA or maybe EGL USA or is it really worth what he is charging and grading it only risks losing value? The cons to this deal is the lack of fire, sketchy buyback return policy, and price range.
if it is worth more why would the dealer not spend the $200 and send it to GIA???

WAY too many cons for me. WAY too many.
 

FordFairlane

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Oct 1, 2011
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You are not a an GIA lab grader, not an appraiser, not even a GIA gemologist and you have noone independently working on your behalf.
I can see how much time and effort you have put into this and it is admirable but in the end I think you will just convince yourself of what a great deal you are getting and ignorance will be bliss.

I propose to you the following:

Take whatever stone you are going to buy and make sure the dealer will allow you to send it to GIA for grading. Make the deal contingent on a favorable GIA lab grade. Match the grading report with something as similar as possible with a search engine like Bluenile (Weight, Color, Clarity, Symmetry and Polish, girdle thickness, faceup dimensions, cut grade) to see how well your deal has worked out. If it works out in your favor great, if it doesn't you have the right to return the stone.

I doubt any of these dealers will agree to such a deal but if you make that a condition and are prepared to walk than one might. Ask them to give you at least a 2 week return policy in writing and make sure GIA will get it back to you in time.

I am going to bet once any EGL or ungraded stone comes back from GIA you will understand why its just very difficult to beat a dealer on pricing and get a "bargain"
 

yssie

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I like this thread. It is a dose of reality.

On PS it's easy to forget that most people aren't looking for - or willing to spend for - those perfect stones with perfect hearts and arrows patterns from vendors with reputations of gold and fantastic policies. Most people are looking for a decent stone at a great price, and are willing to sacrifice some things for it, and I think BlackMonday's posts illustrate what most people are looking at and choosing between very well.


That said, there is a reason PS exists - to let people know the about the incredible. Once they're aware, it's up to them which path they want to take. If you do go the ungraded/EGL route OP I would STRONGLY recommend making the sale contingent on a satisfactory GIA report (if it comes back as expected you pay the report fee, otherwise you return the stone for full refund - or if you love the stone they pay the report fee...) or at least plan on getting an independent appraisal done within the return period (there's a list under Resources at the top of the page). Like all of use long-timers find out sooner or later, tools and scopes do not an expert make, and for this amount of money you want the expert's opinion.


On the stones themselves -

--Stone 2 - the shop from the other day w/ the ungraded stone.

Agreed - one reason they didn't send that stone to GIA is because GIA is a bit nutty about anything more than the girdle treament inevitable in actually cutting the stone. AGS keeps more - open perspective, I guess. But then, the highly reputed AGS DQD report is expensive, and if they didn't feel they would beneift from whatever colour/clarity the stone received - or doesn't have the the symmetry/polish/light return to merit the AGS0 grade (and so the premium the AGS0 on the DQD commands)... and that's ignoring the possibility that they may not want to stock AGS stones at all for one reason or another!

I would guess 57ish table - so 40.8pav, 35crown? Whatever the numbers are, the photos detail.

Is that 23k including tax, then? How big is it? BN is one of my go-tos for price comparisons - if you can figure out how to reasonably factor in buying in-person vs. online services, any return/upgrade/trade-in policies... without more info to negate like a super thick girdle or something it looks like a decent specimen - worth taking to an appraiser if you are interested.


--EGL USA stone (US 60916802D GP) from March 20, 2011

Photos do not look like a 41.7pav or high crown/pav combo to me.?

Don't know what standard EGL uses to judge H&A, I would want to see w/ (or photos through) a H&A scope before paying more for the moniker.

Slight light escape through the pav means there's less overall light return to your eyes, but I remember DiaGem has posted about how this improves fire and the logic makes sense - A) less overpowering white light return from adjacent, the eyes will automatically focus on the more powerful bright white and ignore the lower-energy refraction, and B) fewer other proximal dispersions to combine back into white. ..


--EGL 2.04 w/ giant inclusion - I could not stomach that un-prongable inclusion myself, and you've mentioned your SO is nearsighted so if *you* are wondering and worrying it may well set her teeth on edge. Or it may not, but there's no way to *know* without asking her specifically, which most men don't want to do. So in the interests of making at least a somewhat "safe" guess, I recommend skipping the not-eyeclean-on-relatively-close-inspection-in-most-lighting-types stones. And yes, she WILL put her ring up right up to her eyeball and peer at it, we all do!
 

slg47

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yssie I agree that not everyone wants a perfect H&A and can afford the premiums associated with all of the services that PS vendors provide but I can't endorse an ungraded stone with no return policy...at the very least get the seller to send to GIA for grading or take the stone to an independent appraiser within the return period.
 

yssie

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slg47|1317866756|3034274 said:
yssie I agree that not everyone wants a perfect H&A and can afford the premiums associated with all of the services that PS vendors provide but I can't endorse an ungraded stone with no return policy...at the very least get the seller to send to GIA for grading or take the stone to an independent appraiser within the return period.

Actually I completely agree slg - 2nd paragraph. Sorry if that wasn't clear! BlackMonday, making the final sale contingent on an unbiased authority's verification of what you're getting is really important! Otherwise you have no idea of what you're getting, and no way of knowing if you are paying a fair price. And that of course requires an ironclad return policy... no return-for-refund policy in writing, clearly detailed, signed, and dated, no sale. End of story.



ETA: another thing to worry about with an ungraded stone with no return policy is stuff like clarity enhancement filler treatment - yes, they should disclose to you before sale, but it's your problem if they don't and you haven't arranged for recourse.
 
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