Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

going shopping for a radiant

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
I hate shopping but I'm going out tomorrow shopping for an engagement ring tomorrow and need some help. My girlfriend insists that I pick it out myself and I'm scared to death to screw it up. I think she wants a radiant with little round diamonds around it. Any tips on what I should look for to make sure I get her something great?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,680
Radiants with good light return are hard to find. Give us your specs (color/clarity/budget/size) and we can post some to give you
an idea of what to look for.

Little diamonds around the radiant (main stone) are called Halo settings.

Edit...And why do you *think she wants a radiant? What has she said that made you come to that conclusion?
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
Her best friend told me that. My budget is $6000-$7,000 for the ring but I could stretch it a little if if I had to. Other than that I don't really know other than wanting something that really sparkles.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,680
You'll need about $2k-2.5k for a halo setting. Are you wanting a square radiant or rectangular? My preference would be something
that has clear facets with a structured faceting pattern. I'll list a few like what I'm talking about...

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut/1.01-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-375971
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut/1.02-carat-f-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-138001
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut/1.04-carat-f-color-if-clarity-sku-989552 table big but look at the faceting
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/radiant-cut/1.01-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-325420
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,187
HI Zomberg,
Welcome to PS.
First of all, it's very good knowing what she wants- makes your job easier!
One tip on the ring- you can skip the diamonds going down the shank, and still have a halo, you might save a bit on the setting. It depends on how large a diamond you want. This might sound silly ( or private) but may I ask how old the intended recipient is?
In my experience that makes a difference in the quality of diamond I'd advise.

When I am considering radiant diamonds, I keep in mind that they return light differently than a round brilliant.
In this way, we can avoid comparing apples to oranges.

Pictures are a good manner of selecting certain aspects- but in truth, you'll need to see some stones in person to appreciate some of the differences in light return as compared to round diamonds. When the diamond is sitting on it's pavilion rotating, you get angles that are really not consistent with how you'd look at the diamond on your ( her) finger)- which is another reason I feel it's very important to look in person as well.
Are you in a big city?
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
I'm in Atlanta. I have appointments at a couple of stores tomorrow. They didn't have any radiants in the stores so they said they'd order them in. I looked at those links they were really helpful but I think she wants a rectangle.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,187
Got it!
From my perspective, if a store already told you they don;t have Radiant cut diamonds in stock, it's likely not going to be productive for a radiant diamond shopper........
With the right research, you will be able to find a store in Atlanta that does carry Radiant cuts.
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
So I went to a couple of jewelry stores to look at radiants and now I really don't know what to do. Every diamond looked different and I don't know what look my girlfriend likes. I think I'm gonna have to go back and bring her friend (the one who clued me in on the radiant) with me.

Before I do that I have a couple of questions that maybe someone can help me with just so I don't feel so stupid when I go back to the stores. Most of the radiants looked kind of dark in the center. I didn't like that but the lady in the store told me that's what a good radiant looks like. Is that true? Also one of the salespeople at the other store told me he would never sell a radiant with a depth or table percentage over 70% because that meant it was poorly cut. But most of the diamond links I got here were over 70 and so were the diamonds at the first store. Is he BS'ing me? His prices were much higher than the online prices or the other store so I was worried that he was just telling me stuff to get me to pay his high prices. Then I did some online research and found some other people saying the same thing but still other people saying numbers in the 70's were actually better so I don't know what to think now.

I read some other radiant threads on here that said you really have to see radiants to judge them but since my girlfriend won't shop with me I'm kinda lost since she needs to like it not me.
 

gregfisherman

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
6
- what they were telling you is actually in line with the truth regarding table and depth being over 70%.

- Radiants with over 70% for table and depth have poor light performance, as the light enters it doesn't return maximum light back to the top through the table and to the viewer's eye. This essentially creates that dark shadow you're referring to. It is caused by weak refraction.

- on the flip side you don't want to go below 60% for table and depth either, otherwise you'll have a similar problem with light performance.

- 63-68% - sweet spot for table and depth of radiant. 65% would be perfect.

You can't avoid some dark points entirely however if you keep within these parameters you should find the ideal radiant that she will love!

Good luck in your search!
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,495
Honestly I would sit your girlfriend down and tell her that you are not a mind reader and need more guidance on what she would like, preferably with the two of you picking the ring together. Present the idea as a romantic date. Or ask her if she can create a pinterest of rings she likes or send you links.

A good radiant should NOT be dark in the middle. Many are, but a good one shouldn't be. I've seen plenty of radiants that aren't, so they are definitely out there, but the stores you visited may not have had them. A good radiant should be sparkle all the way across when you move it around, not have persistent dark or dead spots.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,187
HI Zomborg,
Personally I advise not using table depth numbers as a guide. Simply having the "right" table/depth combo does not make a stone a winner- and conversely just because a stone is 71% table or depth does not necessarily make it a looser. This is particularly true in rectangular radiant cuts. So, if a shopper uses table depth numbers as a guide, they could easily miss the best stone.

I don't agree that the best radiant cuts look dark in the center. The best ones I've seen had an even sparkle- with not a lot of darkness- certainly no large, static dark areas under the table.

My advice ( again) is to find a store that specializes in Radiant Cut diamonds........it is true that you need to see a stone in person to make sure you love it.
And this is basically true for every fancy shaped diamond.
Every diamond purchased online actually- until the consumer sees it in person, they don't know for sure they'll love it. This is why a money back guarantee is essential for online diamond purchases- and I also feel consumers should press for, and get a money back guarantee, even if shopping in a store.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Shopping for fancy diamond can be very frustrating. I totally understand.

So why don't we break things down a little.

First and foremost, I agree you should get on the same page as your intended. I know society puts a lot of pressure on men to be psychics and to come up with the perfect 'symbol' of their love by hunting down and buying the perfect ring in secret.

That's not reality. That's Disney.

The reality is you are spending a lot of money. Love doesn't need 'symbols'. You are contemplating marriage and marriage is about communication and partnership. This ring is an opportunity for collaboration.

So start with talking to your intended.

If she does want a radiant, and you want to shop locally, at least initially, give these people a call: http://radiantcut.com/HowToBuy.aspx


And see if you can arrange to see a branded radiant.

Now, I am not saying BUY that original radiant. Branded cuts have premiums and if your lady wants a halo, then your budget is going to be snug. But at least start there, go to see the original radiant cut, see what one looks like, and that way you can educate your eyes to see what one type of radiant looks like.

In the meantime, I'll post a little information for you.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
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. With fancies though (anything other than a round brilliant), that is a little complicated. But no other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. With fancies though, cut is complicated. Both with cushions and radiants there are MANY facet patterns (I'll post images below) for each shape. And each facet pattern has different needs for table/depth and angles. So the numbers on the lab report don't do anything for us, and I agree with Rockdiamond that discriminating between stones based on their depth is a bad idea. So we are left with pictures and videos for online shopping. And, if possible, the eyes of an experienced vendor who knows what a great radiant looks like.

There really is no other way to determine if you have a good fancy online than to see images of the stones. So shopping online require images, a video if available, and an ASET. With Radiants this is further complicated. Why? Because the traditional radiant cut-- the crushed ice facet pattern-- ASETs very distinctly and at first glance it appears that they are ASETing poorly. In general the best you can hope for is a lot small sparks of green and some flecks of red throughout the stone. Also complicating the radiant is the fact that, unlike well cut cushions, the traditional radiant isn't cut to gather the majority of the light it returns from the crown and table of the stone. So, in my opinion, you have to be very careful how you set them as they do best when they are set in open settings that let in a lot of light from the side.

Shopping in person is different. But can be just as risky. Your vendor might pull 3 stones for you to look at. Two of them are duds. And one of them is clearly nicer. So you might think: hey, that's the stone for me. But... you don't know if that stone is REALLY a nice stone. Or if the stone is just an average stone that looks GOOD because of the dogs it was placed next to. And that's what you've discovered.

So these are all radiants. Cut corner square brilliants. See the differences in the faceting between them?

radiant-cut-diamond-ring-canuk-gal.jpg
This one has 'cushion like' faceting:
jaradiant.jpg
This is similar to the first:
Screen%20Shot%202012-04-10%20at%2010.21.37%20AM.png
This is an original radiant:
r6143-radiant-diamond.jpg


So that is also why you are seeing a lot of different looking stones and getting frustrated. There are many flavors of "cut cornered rectangular/square brilliant" all referred to, confusingly, as "radiant."

So start with talking with your intended. And then narrow down what she wants. And we'll help you to deliver that.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,495
I don't know if there is one at Chicago but my city has a De Beers store and they always have nice radiants you can see in person. I have no idea what their pricing is like but given where they are located in my local mall, almost certainly more expensive than buying online or from an independent jeweler.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
distracts|1474947709|4081167 said:
I don't know if there is one at Chicago but my city has a De Beers store and they always have nice radiants you can see in person. I have no idea what their pricing is like but given where they are located in my local mall, almost certainly more expensive than buying online or from an independent jeweler.

I think he's in Atlanta. My bad.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,187
HI Zomborg,
Gypsy has given you excellent advice IMO.
Best of luck and please report back to let us know what you find!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I forgot to ask, does your intended have a Pinterest Account?

If she DOES, please go immediately to that site and check out to see if she has pinned any rings and if SO, you may not need to speak with her, just link us, or if you prefer just download the pictures of the rings she has pinned and them upload them here for us.

That would be a HUGE help.

I know her friend said radiant. But I have people working in jewelry stores that call my asscher a princess, and when I correct them they argue with me! There is a lot of confusion, especially once you put a stone into a halo that can obscure some of the details of the stone, as to what each cut looks like. I know you said rectangle. But what could be an Emerald Cut, a Radiant, or a Cushion.

So let's double check that, and check the Pinterest account too while we are at it.

Thank you David.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,495
Gypsy|1475030124|4081470 said:
I know her friend said radiant. But I have people working in jewelry stores that call my asscher a princess, and when I correct them they argue with me! There is a lot of confusion, especially once you put a stone into a halo that can obscure some of the details of the stone, as to what each cut looks like. I know you said rectangle. But what could be an Emerald Cut, a Radiant, or a Cushion.
Or they might not mean a rectangular cut at all, but be using "radiant" as a description adjective and just want a sparkly round brilliant. I've seen that one before.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
distracts|1475036081|4081522 said:
Gypsy|1475030124|4081470 said:
I know her friend said radiant. But I have people working in jewelry stores that call my asscher a princess, and when I correct them they argue with me! There is a lot of confusion, especially once you put a stone into a halo that can obscure some of the details of the stone, as to what each cut looks like. I know you said rectangle. But what could be an Emerald Cut, a Radiant, or a Cushion.
Or they might not mean a rectangular cut at all, but be using "radiant" as a description adjective and just want a sparkly round brilliant. I've seen that one before.
65841972.jpg
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
Thanks everyone. This has all been really helpful. I sent her friend the original radiant link to find out if this is what she wants. I'll keep you all posted.
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
Just want to bump this too the top since I'm seeing a couple more diamonds locally tomorrow and want to pull the trigger on something this weekend. I'm proposing on a trip to Paris next month so I don't have much time left. The James Allen one looks like the best deal and the numbers on the certificates all look alike but I'm nervous because it doesn't look as nice in the video which might just be picture quality.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Ok so you've got it all wrong. I don't think you understood what I posted. The JA stone os not the best deal. It is the same size as the .92 original radiant cut. The JAmstone is heavier but hit larger.

If you have to make a rushed decision before you have the knowledge you need to make an informed choice the .92 Original Rwdiamt is a much better choice.
 

zomborg

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
8
Thanks Gypsy.

I called radiantcut.com to pull the trigger on the 0.92 ct as you suggested and Sharon, their gemologist, suggested another diamond - a 1 ct G SI1 already set in the ring I wanted. it was a bit more expensive but close enough to my budget to work. Apparently they have finished pieces that they don't put up on their site for some reason. They're sizing it and I should have it by the end of the week. I'll try to post a picture when I get it.
 

iwantsparkle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
306
Gypsy|1475030124|4081470 said:
I forgot to ask, does your intended have a Pinterest Account?

If she DOES, please go immediately to that site and check out to see if she has pinned any rings and if SO, you may not need to speak with her, just link us, or if you prefer just download the pictures of the rings she has pinned and them upload them here for us.

That would be a HUGE help.

I know her friend said radiant. But I have people working in jewelry stores that call my asscher a princess, and when I correct them they argue with me! There is a lot of confusion, especially once you put a stone into a halo that can obscure some of the details of the stone, as to what each cut looks like. I know you said rectangle. But what could be an Emerald Cut, a Radiant, or a Cushion.

So let's double check that, and check the Pinterest account too while we are at it.

Thank you David.
Ok, this made me laugh. Grrrr!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Handmade diamond studs
    Handmade diamond studs
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top