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Fancy Color Diamond proportions

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Been trying to find a GIA Fancy Vivid yellow diamond (cushion or radiant) to put into a pendant for the missus as a gift. $5000 as budget with little wiggle room.

I went the PriceScope route for the engagement ring and I still catch her admiring that stone frequently. During my hunt, I learned about the proportions that go into cut and their importance for light performance.

I've searched on the forums for hints of what proportions to look for in a Fancy Vivid. The most common statement I come across is that FCD are cut for weight and color, not light performance. I get that.

But as a consumer, I want a balance of performance and color and face up dimensions.

I found a GIA Fancy Vivid yellow with proportions ideal for colorless stones and the photos are disappointing. This Fancy Vivid looks like an Intense.

vy1b.jpg

The color I'm after is something like this:

http://www.leibish.com/yellow-diamonds/fancy-vivid-yellow-cushion-26220

But this one is way above budget.

Questions:

1. What proportions should I be looking for to maximize both light and color performance?
2. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?
3. Is the photo above REALLY how the diamond will perform when mounted? Or is it just the way they took the photo? Leibish has white background while the vendor in the photo above uses all transparent backings...

Thank you!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Messages
8,189
Ichinichi|1478810076|4096523 said:
Been trying to find a GIA Fancy Vivid yellow diamond (cushion or radiant) to put into a pendant for the missus as a gift. $5000 as budget with little wiggle room.

I went the PriceScope route for the engagement ring and I still catch her admiring that stone frequently. During my hunt, I learned about the proportions that go into cut and their importance for light performance.

I've searched on the forums for hints of what proportions to look for in a Fancy Vivid. The most common statement I come across is that FCD are cut for weight and color, not light performance. I get that.

But as a consumer, I want a balance of performance and color and face up dimensions.

I found a GIA Fancy Vivid yellow with proportions ideal for colorless stones and the photos are disappointing. This Fancy Vivid looks like an Intense.

vy1b.jpg

The color I'm after is something like this:

http://www.leibish.com/yellow-diamonds/fancy-vivid-yellow-cushion-26220

But this one is way above budget.

Questions:

1. What proportions should I be looking for to maximize both light and color performance?
2. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?
3. Is the photo above REALLY how the diamond will perform when mounted? Or is it just the way they took the photo? Leibish has white background while the vendor in the photo above uses all transparent backings...

Thank you!
Hi Ichinichi,
To question number 2- yes, you'll be far better served with a greater understanding of Fancy Colored Diamonds. "Light performance", a term describing how a diamond reflects light is not a "hard number" where one is good and the other is bad, or lesser- just different because of different goals. For example- the most beautiful Fancy Vivid Yellow Cushion Diamonds will need to reflect light in a different way than a round brilliant white diamond.

I can't speak of specific about other vendors- in general I like to see a variety of pictures to get a better idea what I'm looking at. In other words, white is not better than black- both have value when trying to determine how a diamond looks fro a photo.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Thanks, Rockdiamond.

By light performance I meant it more in laymen terms. Think "sparkly".

Another shorter way to ask the question and education I am trying to get at is, what are quantitative metrics I can use as guidelines to select for more examples that are like the one in the leibish link above?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,202
Ichinichi|1478818674|4096578 said:
Thanks, Rockdiamond.

By light performance I meant it more in laymen terms. Think "sparkly".

Another shorter way to ask the question and education I am trying to get at is, what are quantitative metrics I can use as guidelines to select for more examples that are like the one in the leibish link above?
the more sparkle the less color. Totally different rules and there are no guidelines. Rockdiamond is correct - variety of images helps. You have a great budget for a very small stone :knockout:
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,189
Ichinichi|1478818674|4096578 said:
Thanks, Rockdiamond.

By light performance I meant it more in laymen terms. Think "sparkly".

Another shorter way to ask the question and education I am trying to get at is, what are quantitative metrics I can use as guidelines to select for more examples that are like the one in the leibish link above?
Fancy colored diamonds do not have quantitative metrics like a colorless diamond. They are cut for optimal color and to lose the least amount of valuable material. A vivid yellow diamond can vary considerably in color, so you need to just look with your eyes rather than depend on numbers.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
8,189
Ichinichi|1478818674|4096578 said:
Thanks, Rockdiamond.

By light performance I meant it more in laymen terms. Think "sparkly".

Another shorter way to ask the question and education I am trying to get at is, what are quantitative metrics I can use as guidelines to select for more examples that are like the one in the leibish link above?
This discussion highlights why the term light performance can be a problem for shoppers.
From my perspective fcd's do sparkle more than a round brilliant which glitters more.
I agree in principle with Garry - but we're using different words.
I also agree with Pinkjewel that there's no metric which can be applied to assist in selecting other than eyes
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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1,649
The budget is not realistic at all for a true Vivid GIA graded stone.

I can only comment in general but buy from a reputable vendor, with a GIA report, this is where it begins.

There is a great difference between one vivid and the other. Based on one image, it would be impossible to tell but the stone you posted does not look like a pure vivid yellow, more like a lower saturated color with some brown in it. Again I cannot tell you for sure based on one photo and only commenting in general on what the color looks like not whether this is a nice stone.

If you get a brown modifier, the price will go down of course. I would readjust my wishes to my budget if I were you. This is where I would begin. Going down in saturation is one possibility, adding a modifier is another and of course going way down in size as suggested before.

Cut is evaluated entirely different in FCDs. I like them with a nice light return, still that is totally different from what you want want in a colorless stone. Most FCDs are also cut deep to bring out more color and will face up small for their weight. I personally do not select deep FCDs. This is your choice.

Think over your original idea and/or budget, you can get a beautiful stone but you will not get a substantial vivid for that price.

We as people in the trade can only give you general guidelines objectively, the rest is entirely up to you and I am sure that some people on here will gladly help you pick a beautiful stone.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Thanks for all the great input!

The stone in the photo above is GIA graded as fancy vivid. 5.5mm x 4.7mm or so but depth is 58%. Price is sub 5000 and it is through a reputable seller. Sounds like it is worth bringing in for a look in person from the comments here.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
I guess the only remaining question is whether there's a difference in ... "generosity" of grading by GIA labs outside the US versus labs in the US?
 

RosieR

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Feb 3, 2013
Messages
571
This is a fantastic topic Ichinichi. I too hope to buy a yellow diamond in the future. I just wanted to ask, if you cannot use numbers to purchase a ‘good light performing’ FCD, then can you use an ASET?
As FCD are cut to retain colour and weight, if a FCD which is a good ‘light performer’ will the colour always be lacking? If so can this be rectified in part by the setting of the diamond i.e. using yellow prongs and or basket on a yellow diamond to help intensify the colour?
Sorry for all the questions I am fascinated by this topic. I hope I’m not thread jacking :roll:
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
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An ASET will give you an idea of whether light is being returned to the top, to the sides, or the back. However for a colored stone what you want is the (incoming white) light to be reflected (and all but the yellow light to be reduced) as many times as possible to enhance the color, unless the stone is dark already. There's also the fact that many stones are irregular in color, and that the cutter wants to preserve as much weight as possible, and that very included stones that would be rejected if white are valuable as colored.

So you would have to take depth of color, color distribution, presence of brown or gray modifiers, inclusions, and rough shape into account to determine the perfect cut for a colored stone, and an ASET can't do any of that.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Ichanichi
If I may ask- what is the weight of the diamond being offered for $5k?
Regarding weight and light performance: there's a misunderstanding of the relationship between cutting to save weight and light performance.
Every peice of rough requires decision making. Polished weight will be considered on every peice of rough.
There's times that decisions are made which result in a larger polished stone- and sometimes resulting in a stone with deficiencies in cut quality. . But relating weight retention as a condition which is always a priority won't provide an accurate picture of all FCD or colorless diamonds. Basically it's not a fact that all FCDs are cut for r weight retention. In fact face up color lot is probably more of a factor in many cases. A vivid which is 10% smaller in weight might bring 20% more than an intense.
By the way- regarding the entire weight retention question… The decisions made are always made to maximize profits.
 

pinkjewel

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Aug 1, 2011
Messages
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RosieR|1478870152|4096897 said:
This is a fantastic topic Ichinichi. I too hope to buy a yellow diamond in the future. I just wanted to ask, if you cannot use numbers to purchase a ‘good light performing’ FCD, then can you use an ASET?
As FCD are cut to retain colour and weight, if a FCD which is a good ‘light performer’ will the colour always be lacking? If so can this be rectified in part by the setting of the diamond i.e. using yellow prongs and or basket on a yellow diamond to help intensify the colour?
Sorry for all the questions I am fascinated by this topic. I hope I’m not thread jacking :roll:
Regarding your question about yellow prongs and baskets- yes, they can intensify the color. I am not a big fan of a closed basket as I think it makes a diamond hard to clean properly, but a partial basket leaving an opening in the bottom can work nicely.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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Rosie, to answer your question in general, no, well cut FCDs will not necessarily lack color. This depends on various factors, one is how evenly and deeply saturated the rough is among others. It is just that many are not. BTW; dark color and deeply saturated color and not one and the same. You can check out GIA FCD color depth and saturation charts to see the difference. I own myself in my own private jewelry collection an FCD with the highest saturation that is actually cut a bit shallower facing up large, so that is possible but not common.

OP it is very difficult to properly evaluate an FCD based on one picture. Best would of course be a visit to a reputable vendor who specializes to FCDs, when that is not possible find one that does. It is not enough that a vendor is reputable, they should also have expertise in FCDs specifically. Ask for recommendations of specific stones from the members here, there are people on this board with knowledge in them who can guide you.

But like I said something has to give. It is not realistic to expect a vivid 1 carat for that price, so chances are the stone is not that, which is perfectly fine if you are fine with that. We are just here to assist you so you are not misled. Just a disclaimer, I am not at all not bashing the stone or vendor you first selected as I honestly have no idea about the specifics and if I did, I would not. But like I said we trade members can offer you basic, general guidelines and education on FCDs, which may be helpful.
 

pinkjewel

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Ichinichi|1478868312|4096885 said:
I guess the only remaining question is whether there's a difference in ... "generosity" of grading by GIA labs outside the US versus labs in the US?
Grading FCD's is always a bit subjective as the color allowance even within a grade can vary so much. I haven't really noticed a difference between US GIA labs and others, but all the Trade people on this thread can probably answer that better.

The diamond in your first photo looks to have a tinge of green to my eyes- the Leibish diamond you reference is a beautiful shade of vivid yellow. You may also want to open your search to intense yellows- some will verge on looking vivid, and once set with yellow gold prongs (and maybe a partial basket), can easily look like a vivid yellow. but keep in mind even the karat color of gold can alter the end result. Study the hues of the yellows- whether it looks like a touch of brown, green, or orange is in there. Reports do not always list a modifier.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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I agree Pinkjewel, I too find that there is a green modifier there as well as brown. It is not a pure yellow shade. Now you have to realize that if the secondary or third color are in the eyes of the graders less than 5 % it will not be noted on the certificate but yet will affect pricing and many of our eyes can perceive them.

This is how you can get stones with pink in them without it being noted on the cert. This is the issue that beats me the most to this day; I see many stones without visible pink with pink noted and stones with obvious pink not noted. Now of course the latter are great buys if you want to see pink in your stone without having to pay for it (or only a slightly higher price) but grading is really a shady area in the case of FCDs. GIA makes mistakes too because color perception in FCDs is the most subjective area in my opinion and they generally note the color(s) most agreed on by the graders involved in the grading of the particular stone.

Hence, it is a fact that most yellows will have secondary or third colors. Many times these will not be noted but yet you will find the cool greenish or grayish yellows and the warm more orangy tones. Again it beats me while sometimes some of these stones do not have the modifiers noted but yet they are evident. This can, however, largely affect the price. There can be a huge price difference between vivid and vivid as saturation levels can vary greatly within that one grade. Same is true about any other grades.

Photos really do not begin to tell you the truth about FCDs but with experience and great expert help you can get a great stone based on photos too.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Rockdiamond|1478877576|4096968 said:
Ichanichi
If I may ask- what is the weight of the diamond being offered for $5k?
Half carat. But honestly, I don't see the point of taking how many multiples of 0.2g the thing weighs. I'm more concerned with what we see, that is the dimensions L×W with proper depth. Looks like leibish is a good place to start. Where else do you pros recommend ppl start lookong? Where's Kenny??
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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I was asking to get an idea of the price structure. With a $5k budget you will have no problem buying a very nice half carat vivid yellow.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Thank you everyone, especially Rockdiamond, Sunstone and Pinkjewel for the time you've paid to my humble decision.

Ok, I think I have learned that it's difficult to evaluate a fcd online...unless I've got an expert eye. Would you pros be able to help me gauge what pricing ought to be? Seems like my budget isnt going to get me much...

Take http://www.leibish.com/yellow-diamonds/fancy-vivid-yellow-cushion-26220 as an example. It's above budget, so it's a no go for me, but what's the pricing scale? At $9000 is that a jump-on-it price? On the higher end? Lower end? Would you bring it in for a look at $9000? What is a shoot-first-ask-later price? $8000? $6000?

I just want some help to adjust my expectations. THANK YOU!!!
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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Ichinichi|1478868312|4096885 said:
I guess the only remaining question is whether there's a difference in ... "generosity" of grading by GIA labs outside the US versus labs in the US?


I thought all GIA labs were in the USA. I don't believe there is one in the UK anyway and I always heard HRD was the main
lab in Europe followed by IGI. Are there GIA labs outwith America?
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,189
Ichinichi|1479214295|4098746 said:
Thank you everyone, especially Rockdiamond, Sunstone and Pinkjewel for the time you've paid to my humble decision.

Ok, I think I have learned that it's difficult to evaluate a fcd online...unless I've got an expert eye. Would you pros be able to help me gauge what pricing ought to be? Seems like my budget isnt going to get me much...

Take http://www.leibish.com/yellow-diamonds/fancy-vivid-yellow-cushion-26220 as an example. It's above budget, so it's a no go for me, but what's the pricing scale? At $9000 is that a jump-on-it price? On the higher end? Lower end? Would you bring it in for a look at $9000? What is a shoot-first-ask-later price? $8000? $6000?

I just want some help to adjust my expectations. THANK YOU!!!
I'm not sure the Trade members are allowed to answer these questions as it might seem they are either bashing other vendor's pricing or promoting their own. Although i am not Trade, I have not been following pricing on yellow FCDs- I have been a pink diamond lover for years and follow pricing for them much more closely. Hopefully, yellow diamond lovers will pitch in to answer your pricing questions. Leibish does offer discounts at times and I always ask, too. Have you contacted them? Many times they have more inventory than what is online. I have purchased quite a bit from Leibish as well as Diamonds by Lauren (rockdiamond)- you might want to ask David if he has anything else. A really nice color Vivid yellow is going to be very expensive as they are not common- are you sure you don't want to expand your search to a nice colored intense yellow? You will get so much more for your money.
 

fishfrenzy

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Pyramid|1479218453|4098763 said:
Ichinichi|1478868312|4096885 said:
I guess the only remaining question is whether there's a difference in ... "generosity" of grading by GIA labs outside the US versus labs in the US?


I thought all GIA labs were in the USA. I don't believe there is one in the UK anyway and I always heard HRD was the main
lab in Europe followed by IGI. Are there GIA labs outwith America?
Nope. There are GIA labs in the US, Africa, and Asia. Surprisingly none in Europe, although they do have a campus in the UK.

Here is a list of locations.
 

Ichinichi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
28
Thanks for the insight, pinkjewel. You raise a great point: Intense would get me more everything, especially given the how variable and subjective the color grade can be. That's a harder search though. Thanks for the pointers regarding asking Leibish and your vouch for them. They seem to be a big player in the space. What is L's return policy like? Is it a hassle? I will check out the others you mentioned.
 

pinkjewel

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,189
Ichinichi|1479262793|4099112 said:
Thanks for the insight, pinkjewel. You raise a great point: Intense would get me more everything, especially given the how variable and subjective the color grade can be. That's a harder search though. Thanks for the pointers regarding asking Leibish and your vouch for them. They seem to be a big player in the space. What is L's return policy like? Is it a hassle? I will check out the others you mentioned.
Leibish has an excellent and easy return policy- I have returned a couple of diamonds. Are you in the US? If so, returns are sent to their New York office and you don't have to deal with overseas shipping.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Hi Incinichi If you're interested I wrote an article for Pricescope about Vivid Yellow Diamonds- here.
https://www.pricescope.com/journal/how-evaluate-fancy-vivid-yellow-diamond
For someone who is not totally dedicated to getting a vivid yellow, fancy intense yellow may represent a very good alternative. The darkest intense yellow can possibly be as dark as the lightest fancy vivid yellow.
The setting is also crucial to how this diamond will look – how are you planning on setting it?
 
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