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EGL-USA & GIA - my experiences (and the search for mind-clean)

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AmicusDye

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
15
Okay, I came here about six weeks ago and it''s fascinating stuff. Before then, I never had much appreciation for the minutia of diamonds and I''ve learned so much, and have had a great time doing it. It''s strange, I never really cared about diamonds at all until I met my fantastic GF and I just wanted to do the best for her I could. As an aside, now I swear I want to drop law and become a gemologist...Garry H., Dave A., Rich S., and Neil B. have become daily must-reads for me.

With that said, here is my little story:

When my GF and I discussed a possible engagement ring, her only parameters (and I had to goad her into giving me any) were that she wanted something between 1 and 2 carats and she wants it to be sparkly. Awesome, done. (I love that woman). So, we went to a B&M to kill and hour and get some ideas. Obviously, I watched her reactions very closely. She was surprised to find that she liked round brilliants on her finger much more than she like the princesses. Score! RB are my preferred shape, but I acted like I didn''t care. Armed with this info, my search began. I went to every B&M I could looking at diamonds...gauging size, color, clarity (eye-cleanliness)...and above all, cut quality.

I found that the two most important things to me were... (1) it better be fiery, and (2) I love to see the arrows.

So I made a purchase from a PS Vendor...

(GIA) 1.73 Round, I, VS2, Ex/Ex/Ex (HCA 1.7 - Ex/Ex/Ex/Vg) ($11,000)

I should note that in deciding to buy online, I figured that part of my budget had to include at least two trips to a PS approved appraiser, return shipping costs if necessary, etc. Small price to pay for the deals available online (and no tax either). Anyhow, the total budget was supposed to be around $12k-15k total so I thought this was a good pick.

First impression...ehhh, it''s nice. It was eye-clean, it showed the arrows, but where was the "BOOM"? Not wanting to give up on my little buddy, I took him everywhere...the park (direct sun and under shade), the bar, the elevator (for direct lighting), etc. It just didn''t do it. Not the sparkle I wanted. I thought it might have to go back to the vendor.

But then it happened...my GF''s brother got engaged! That meant that I had to hold off for at least 6-8 weeks so as to not steal their thunder. Wonderful. A consumer has no greater gift than time. So now the 1.73 was going back for sure, but what to do next? Well, my favorite picture on PS is Vespergirl''s 2 carat stone. I finally found a thread where she showed it off and I thought it was the cat''s meow. Lo and behold, it was an EGL. What? Really? So I decided to read every thread mentioning EGL, EGL-USA, the various labs, the PS survey on grading reports, every IDEX article, everything.

So with all of this newfound time I have...why not swing for the fences? Plus, I didn''t bring the 1.73 to an appraiser before I returned it, so I can give it a shot with this one if it looks great. Plus, like I said, if I didn''t like the stone, I could just send this one back too, insured shipping is only $35.

So, these were the ground rules on the "swing for the fences" approach:

1) Had to be EGL-USA (Los Angeles lab preferred)
2) Had to have a "Diamond Analysis Report" so I could get every single angle and percentage (not just a basic EGL grading cert.)
2) Because I was fine with an "I" colored well-cut stone - the EGL-USA stone had to be "G" or whiter.
3) Because of EGL-USA''s decent reputation for clarity grading, I stuck with a VS2, but no lower.
4) Had to be an EGL-USA "Ideal Plus" cut. My table/depth/crown & pavilion angles/girdle requirements are more stringent than those anyway.
5) Had to be less than 2 on the HCA.
6) Had to be much better priced than GIA - G/VS2
bettter priced than GIA - G/SI1 & H/VS2,
slightly better priced than H/SI1,
and not a complete rip off at I/SI1 (but that one is tough...those prices are cheaper)

And I found a candidate...EGL-USA(LA) - G, VS2, "Ideal Plus H&A", EX/EX, 55% table, 60.5% depth, 35ca, 40.6pa, 1%-2.1% faceted girdle. (the HCA is 0.8 - Ex/Ex/Ex/Vg) And I bought it...with the wire discount it was around $14,300. I skeptically opened up the box and...KABOOM. This thing sparkled so much I thought it was angry. It was so different from the previous stone GIA stone. It was whiter too from the side. I could not stop looking at it. I found my new buddy.

So then, the test...take it to a PS approved appraiser. I don''t want to say who it was (because I''m going to quote him), but he is well respected on PS.

Interestingly, he said that EGL-USA are usually in line with GIA, but those reports go into a drawer unless they benefit a stone.

He did not want to see the grading report prior to his analysis.

His analysis:

Carat...he said it was 1.927 (whew...passed the first test -in fact, got 7/10ths of a point extra-...now I feel like I''m routing for my little buddy.)

Clarity...he said it was eyeclean, and was a VS2 (yes!), but low VS2 (damn.) He explained that it was "table clean" but there was a crystal on the edge. There might be 1/5 graders who call this SI1, but he also said that this is the case with every stone. he said this would easily be covered by a prong if I chose to keep the stone.

Color....not a "G" (Aghhh...I knew it!) He said just too much color...he got out the stones to compare and said it was an "H"...but maybe an "I". We sat there for 20 minutes looking at comparisons and it was whiter than an "I", but lower side for an "H."

Cut...wonderfully cut stone, he said there was clearly defined hearts and arrows, extremely fiery, fantastic symmetry.

We talked about price for a bit and I asked him point blank if he thought I should keep my "swing for the fences" stone. He was hestitant to answer, but in the end he said that he thought I got a fair deal on a fantastic stone. He said I could contact him if I chose to keep looking and he would give me his thoughts at no charge, but that I was in danger of "over-thinking" it. He asked if I was willing to give up 20 carat points to get a stone that was a "G" or a strong "H"...or was a "stronger" VS2 for that matter.

Right now, I don''t know what I''m going to do, but to this I can attest...it is way easier to find an eye-clean stone than it is a mind-clean stone.

-Amicus
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
12,578
Thank you for sharing your story. It was very interesting to read. I say go with your eyes. You seem to love your new little buddy!
 

AmicusDye

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
15
Thanks Maisie. My first thought was to return it, actually. We''ll see. I''ll keep looking around just to be sure.
 

jet2ks

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
2,022
Keep it! It sounds like you were very happy before talking to the appraiser. If the diamond really speaks to you and you like it, why mess around. It sounds like it met your criteria and I would agree that you are in danger of "over-thinking". Great story, by the way.
 

vespergirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
5,497
Hey, it''s me, I''m so flattered that you like my stone! I picked out my EGL Israel stone after being on PS, but like you, after comparing it to AGS and GIA stones at the vendor, that stone was just the one that spoke to me the most. I agree that color grading may be softer iwth EGL - I was willing to go down to an H SI2, so I bought a G SI1 to give myself a little wiggle room, but I just really love the stone, and it performs incredibly. I think the most important thing is getting a stone that you love. Your fiancee will be wearing a diamond on her finger, not a piece of paper, so just go with the diamond you love the most. Good luck, and post pics if you can!
 

elle_chris

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
3,153
It sounds like you picked a great stone. So let me ask you something. If it was GIA graded and the appraiser said it was a low H, would you still consider returning it? I''m asking because your first stone was a GIA graded "I" so you''re actually getting a better color now. So I''m not sure what the problem is?

It sounds like it''s everything you want it to be except for the paper. Like vespergirl said, you''re not wearing the paper but the ring.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 2/20/2009 8:10:03 PM
Author: Maisie
Thank you for sharing your story. It was very interesting to read. I say go with your eyes. You seem to love your new little buddy!
Ditto!
 
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