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Has anyone worked with Carl Romaner?

emb2519

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
11
I stumbled upon Carl Romaner, a diamond consultant based on out San Diego. I found him via a craigslist post where he was advertising a diamond that he was selling for a former client. His website is bestdiamondsearch.com... I am curious if anyone has experience working with him.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I don't get it. He's a buyer? You tell him what you want and he finds it for you for a fee?

We do that for you free.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,942
I'd prefer if he just displayed the link to the HCA.
Name it and tell people how to access and use it yourself.

The way he did it makes it seem you go to him and pay him so he can use "his" cut software. :roll:
 

emb2519

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
11
Gypsy - He told me that his "connections" are with the diamond cutters and that he can buy directly from them. He claims his specialty is being able to sift through all of the available inventory that these cutters have and selecting the absolute best diamonds. He evaluates the certifications and then he can call the cutter directly and ask additional questions. He then orders the diamonds and views it himself before we buy. I asked him how he makes his money and he told me that he marks up the diamonds from the price he can buy them from the cutter. After doing a bit of research I am thinking that his sources are probably the exact same diamonds that I am seeing online, and really the service he is providing is sifting through them for me and selecting the best ones. Maybe i'm wrong on this?
Kenny - I am new to this process, but a quick learner. When I watched his video I didn't realize that the tool he was using was available to the general public. Once I figured that out, I was a little annoyed that, like you said, he didn't call it by name, and made it seem like it was a special tool that he owned to make those computations.
I am still considering using his service, for $100 that is refundable at any time, I would like to see the diamonds that he selects and the prices that he is able to offer, from there I can evalute if there is a benefit.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,942
You don't need him.

Give us a price and some starting specs and we can find you the best-performing diamond for the money.
That's what we do here.
We are free, and probably better in that the well-cut diamond we send you to will be from a vendor who is probably cheaper and has much better policies like a money back review period, trade up, buy back, plus lots of tools to help evaluate cut.
Plus in the unlikely even you had an issue with the vendor you can post here about it as the world watches how the vendor resolves it.

Only you can decide on your color and clarity comfort zones, so go out and see some diamonds in person.
ONLY look at GIA or AGS-graded diamonds.
Other labs lie.
Shocking, but true.
If you send the same diamond that EGL or IGI graded F VS2 to GIA or AGS, it may get grades of H SI2 or worse!
That why diamonds graded by off labs SEEM cheaper.,
They are not; they are just mis-graded to appear to be a great deal.
Pros here have posted that they can actually cost more for what the color and clarity grades really are.

HCA is not a selection too.
It is a rejection tool.
Reject rounds that score over 2.0.
Further evaluate those scoring under 2.0 with Idealscope pics . . .

https://www.pricescope.com/tools/ideal-scope

Compare them to this reference chart, or post them here for feedback.

using_IS_Reference_Chart_72-1.jpg
 

emb2519

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
11
Thank you for your help.

I am apprehensive to ask for your help yet...I'm keep going back and forth between round and cushion and can't seem to make up my mind. I would be happy with both. I would set both diamonds in a cushion halo setting so ultimately they would have a very similiar look. For now, i'm searching for both options and when I find the right stone it will be a decision based on value. I'm not in a huge rush, so I'm going to be very picky, and my goal is to find the best bang for my buck.
With that being said, my budget is $14k - $15k
min 2ct
GIA or AGS only
Color H,I,J
Clarity SI1, SI2
Excellent / Ideal cut
If I decide on Cushion, I would be looking for Color H or better and I understand I need to be very careful about the clarity as well.
So far I have been looking through many websites and eliminating anything over 2.0 score on hca. I have found a small handful of options within the budget, but it's honestly slim pickings, so I understand I'm going to have to be patient.
I am also searching craigslist (carefully)

Thanks so much for your help.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,942
Oh boy, 2 ct. with those specs under $15K is tough when you want the best cut.
Personally I'd consider lowering the weight, or up the budget, but . . . if you insist, something's gotta give . . .

You might ask James Allen for Idealscope pic on this HCA = 3.1
2.04 ct J SI1, $16,910 wire, if you ask for the Pricescope discount.

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1336406.asp?b=16&a=12&c=77&cid=131

You may want to start clicking through the virtual inventory Bluenile has for what they call Ideal cut.
there are 15 that meet your specs (all are J SI2s) and price range, all were graded by GIA.
You have to plug all of them into the HCA.
The problem is Bluenile will not take Idealscope pics.
You can buy your own Idealscope and buy a diamond from Bluenile then return it if it's not good.

00bm.png
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,942
I forgot to mention...
HCA calculation assumes that all 8 sections around the diamond have the exact same crown and pavilion angles.
They may not be identical.
In reality the angles can vary great deal, and the single angle reported by the grading labs are an average of the measurements around the diamond.

The Idealscope image will reveal if the cutting is wonky in a way that was not revealed by the HCA.
 

emb2519

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
11
I guess I'm a little confused about the hca. I have run many, many diamonds through the hca that are GIA Excellent cut that get scores in the mid 2's, 3's and even 4's. I guess I don't understand how they can be excellent cut, but still not perform well in the hca?
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,942
emb2519|1318817314|3041755 said:
I guess I'm a little confused about the hca. I have run many, many diamonds through the hca that are GIA Excellent cut that get scores in the mid 2's, 3's and even 4's. I guess I don't understand how they can be excellent cut, but still not perform well in the hca?
Oh yes, this question comes up a lot.
Unfortunately GIA's "Excellent" cut grade is a larger bullseye than HCA's bullseye of under 2.
There are many GIA "Excellents" I'd never consider buying because they are too deep and the crown and pavilion angles are too great.

If I'm going to spend the money I'm going to seek out the best-cut diamond possible, and even though GIA is highly respected for color and clarity grading their cut grading leaves a little something to be desired.
AGS is more consumer-friendly IMHO.

I suspect the reason for this is GIA was being industry-friendly instead of consumer-friendly.
Cutting a rough diamond down to optimum angles means grinding away lots of precious rough material.
If cutters can cut just barely enough to earn GIA's top cut grade they will, and they do.
The heavier the final diamond the more money they make.
I can't really blame them since every customer understands carat weight, but few understand good cut.
Now you know better.

AGS's top cut grade, which they call Ideal or AGS 0, does not allow the steep deep combinations of crown and pavilion angles that GIA allows.

Look at those jagged ranges on the HCA graphic below.
The large loosie-goosie dotted one is GIA.
The smaller more-selective solid white one is AGS.

I'd rather pic a diamond near the middle of both ranges, like this one:

090hca.png
 

JohnSchreck

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
2
Buying Diamonds over the Internet:
The info below are intended to increase awareness for individuals considering doing business in this manner, 9/29/2013, updated 10/11.

1. Process was lengthy (just over 100 days, 75 emails and about 6+ phone conversations) due to my dissatisfaction with first two stones that were suggested and then mailed to me and the necessity to increase the original budget by about 150% if I hoped to get any real quality and sparkle. I also increased the size twice and decreasing it once.
2. Carl quickly accepted my negative judgment of his first two mailed offerings and provided free return mailing while I just increased the budget each time to get a higher quality stone that had some real appeal.
3. Ultimately, I went down in size by .25ct and negotiated a slightly lower price than what was asked for. This was still a minimum of $850 above what the exact same stone that was being offered for sale on the Internet by North American Diamond Brokers which we can logically assume were already selling it for a profit at their lower price and even offered an additional 1-3% credit for a wire transfer of funds as well.
4. I did get a lot of nonfactual language and excuses that have proved to be fabricated in our many exchanges but am not passing judgment as I did get a service from Carl that helped educate me somewhat so it is for you to decide if you can find a value in what is offered at about a 8.5-10% mark up of stones you can find for yourself. As for the promise by Carl to find anyone "The Most Dazzling Diamonds at the absolute best price" in my case, not really, some misses and then a considerable mark up for a $10K stone I found advertised elsewhere far cheaper.

I have all the email exchanges with Carl and web site screen shots showing the NADB asking price for the exact same stone Carl quoted me at a $1,000 mark-up available for the asking so deformation isn't a concern. In hindsight, I would now look to locate and purchase without paying so much for direct aid. I own a PriceScope and several loupes which together with the HCA Tool, this websites information and the available literature I expect I can steer clear of most glaring quality and execution issues in the hunt for a good value stone while putting ALL the cash into the purchase. I am including Carl's comments below, made after becoming aware of my intent to post the above, he is free to post here as we all are.

Hi John,
As I mentioned on the phone today, the next time you want to buy a diamond, I am agreeing to give you the diamond at my cost with the understanding that it is something simple and easy and doesn’t take a lot of my time. If it is a diamond that you spot online with some company, I usually have access to that very diamond.
 

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
7,311
fair enough.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,646
emb2519|1318799491|3041600 said:
Thank you for your help.

I am apprehensive to ask for your help yet...I'm keep going back and forth between round and cushion and can't seem to make up my mind. I would be happy with both. I would set both diamonds in a cushion halo setting so ultimately they would have a very similiar look. For now, i'm searching for both options and when I find the right stone it will be a decision based on value. I'm not in a huge rush, so I'm going to be very picky, and my goal is to find the best bang for my buck.
With that being said, my budget is $14k - $15k
min 2ct
GIA or AGS only
Color H,I,J
Clarity SI1, SI2
Excellent / Ideal cut
If I decide on Cushion, I would be looking for Color H or better and I understand I need to be very careful about the clarity as well.
So far I have been looking through many websites and eliminating anything over 2.0 score on hca. I have found a small handful of options within the budget, but it's honestly slim pickings, so I understand I'm going to have to be patient.
I am also searching craigslist (carefully)

Thanks so much for your help.

I think you need to consider other things as well. Most people like Carl simply have access to a large diamond trading network, which people in the Industry, places like Blue Nile and Whiteflash and so on all also have access to. What this means is all they do is punch in what you want into a search, then run the HCA on the stones that come up and pick the best ones based on your criteria. Great in theory. What is not so great about this is the stones that will probably come up in the bottom or least expensive price range that diamond brokers have in their inventories are usually ones that are smucky. So the cheapest usually have something else wrong with them. I tell people time and time again if it seems like this magical too good to be true price or deal on Blue Nile for example, look closely what is wrong with the stone.

You should also be looking for things like internal graining, surface graining, fluoro that impacts the brilliance of the stone where the stone comes from base hue that is not greenish grey from Zimbabwe for example and a long list of other things that could make a stone that Carl or another vendor pulls up seem like a deal but really it is not.

So what I am saying here is be careful a stone can have a wonderful HCA and be within your guidelines and still be a complete stinker. That is why so many people recommend trusted vendors like GOG, James Allen and others who will always steer to towards a better stone and will refund something you are not happy with. You might have to lower the colour or size in order to get what you want rather than accept a stone that fits your guidelines but has something else you have not considered wrong with it.
 

Dogen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
2
I'm surprised that nobody has freshened this thread in over a year.

Let me tell you about my experience with Carl Romaner.

I am an excellent cook and I love wine. But I wouldn't hold my culinary skills up to a chef at a 5 Star restaurant nor would I ever approach the discerning palate of an expert sommelier.

I had about a six month learning curve to become an internet expert diamond nerd before I was going to propose. I read, I researched, I scouted diamonds and put them through the HCA, I went to every jewelry shop in town to peruse their selections in person. And I found, as with most things in life, the more you learn, the more you know you don't know. I was not going to become an amateur diamond cut expert any time soon.

So I searched around the net and found Carl's website. After reading through the site and listening to several testimonials, I decided to put a deposit down for a consultation. Carl was extremely easy to work with. During our interview we settled on a priority of budget vs. cut vs. color vs. clarity. He explained his philosophy regarding cut quality and the absolute importance of physically viewing the stones vs. going by cut grades alone.

A couple weeks later, he had two stones he felt met his standards and that met my demands. We talked for a while about them and I decided on the one that seemed best suited for me.

Then came the hard part… Taking that leap of faith and wiring the funds to a complete stranger. That was definitely a sweaty palm moment.

Well, two days later, I received my diamond in a simple cathedral setting. It was incredible. None of the diamonds I had seen in person came close to the fire this one had. As far as I'm concerned Carl hit a home run with this stone. I did, however, take it to a highly qualified appraiser who confirmed my appreciation for his selection.

After proposing to my fiancée (who adored the diamond in the temporary setting), we decided to have Carl work with his goldsmiths to create the final wedding set for us based on our designs. There were a few hiccups in getting the rings completed but Carl was always very up front about what was going on and the cause for the delays. He actually ended up voluntarily eating the cost of the first set of rings due to a problem with the design. The final rings, however, are absolutely incredible! I doubt a single day goes by where my fiancée doesn't get compliments on the diamond and the rings in general. In fact, we recently went back to Los Angeles for my family reunion. There were several relatives with diamonds much larger than my fiancée’s. None, however, garnered as much attention as her ring! Cut! Cut! Cut!!!!

Now, could I have researched and ordered a diamond online of similar brilliance and fire myself? Sure. There's definitely a chance that I might have chosen just the right one based on my recently garnered diamond "expertise" and HCA recommendation. There are certainly outstandingly cut diamonds out there. But despite me now being a diamond dilettante, it would have been a complete crap shoot as far as I’m concerned.

So, all this is to say, if you want somebody with years of experience to scout diamonds for you. Somebody who will not just run cut numbers through an automated tool. Somebody who has a definite preference for a specific type of high-performance diamond cut and who will only give his recommendation after viewing it in person, you really can't go wrong with choosing Carl. He'll find you a diamond that will draw attention. But more than that, he really will bend over backwards to ensure that you are not just happy but honestly blown away with his customer service and the diamond he chooses for you.
 

bobsanchez

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
1
Dogen,

If you see this can you please reply. I am currently working with Carl Romaner and would like to ask you questions.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,646
I am glad it worked out for you but as Kenny said, I don't really get it, people on here find stunning stones for members for free.
 

Dogen

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
2
bobsanchez|1425079030|3839412 said:
Dogen,

If you see this can you please reply. I am currently working with Carl Romaner and would like to ask you questions.
Sorry Bob - I haven't logged on in quite a while. Would be interested knowing what you ended up doing and what your experience was?

Dogen
 

jdixon41

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
1
My experience with Carl mirrored much of Dogen's. In short, I am extremely happy with the stones Carl Romaner provided.

I've had around 3 years of experience in the jewelry business. I know the 4 C's, and I've seen a lot of jewelry while working retail and for an estate buying company. It's been several years since I was doing it, and I was hesitant to reach out to any old connections. So I started my search with used jewelry looking for a deal. I found Carl and I immediately knew this guy was extremely knowledgeable. Way beyond me, and he had a grasp for diamonds that was just as good (if not better) than many other people I worked with that had been in the business for 30+ years.

I couldn't get what I wanted for the price i wanted to pay, and he was very nice and let me know to contact him if I found something better than he was suggesting (at a similar price). So the challenge was on. I started searching retail outlets. I then started calling my old connections. What I found was frustration and the sinking sensation that I was going to have to pay 'full retail' for an engagement ring.

I went back to the jewelry stores, because at least I could examine the stones myself. I was hoping to find a clean to the eye SI2. I wanted to get a 1 carat stone. It was impossible to fit it in my budget. I ended up raising my budget. I went to some stores and I would haggle and shop around and look and examine. I would go online and compare specs, I would go back to the stores and try to drive down prices.

One day after some frustration I called Carl back. It was a little over two months since I talked to him. He went over a stone that was in my price range, and he kept going on and on about the diamond proportions. I knew cut was part of the specs diamonds were graded on, but for some reason I didn't realize how loose the GIA interpretation of an ideal cut actually is.

After some time researching what Carl had told me. I obsessively spent 6+ hours in front of my computer looking for the perfect stone on the online stores. Once I get into the advanced search tools, what I wanted to find got extremely thin. As in, the really good ones aren't that plentiful.

I finally found a great stone that I fell in love with and bought it.

Well, I got back to Carl and told him of the stone I found, because he had a challenge. What happened next was he found me EVEN BETTER STONES, for LESS MONEY.

Coincidentally, I happen to live about 10 minutes from Carl so I was able to meet him in person. I was able to see the product with my own eyes. He's now my go-to guy for diamonds and jewelry. I was so pleased with the stone I bought for my fiancee, I bought another stone for my ring. I don't even want to go anywhere else or waste any more of my time when it comes to jewelry. I can simply tell Carl what I want and he'll treat me right.
 

SDGT

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
1
I just came across this thread and wanted to add my input. It's very similar to Dogen and JDixson's above. I can't speak highly enough about Carl and 100% recommend him to anyone looking to buy a diamond.

I originally found Carl while searching online for an engagement diamond for my wife. By the time I found him, I had been doing quite a bit of research online and was somewhat knowledgable; I thought. Once I spent about an hour speaking with him,I realized 3 things 1 - how little I knew 2 - how little most of the salesmen & women at the jewelry stores knew 3 - how much Carl knows and how passionate he is about sharing it.

In short, the biggest thing is CUT. You can have two identically rated stones with different cuts and the brilliance/shine of the diamond is going to be completely different. One of the tools he uses (and does give credit to even though someone above said he didn't) is the Holloway Cut Advisor. It's another tool used to help find the "perfect cut".

After going through a very educational process with Carl and finding a magnificent stone, I was still a little nervous. Instead of trying to pressure me or convince me to buy, he told me to go spend a few more days looking around with the new knowledge that I had. I did and I couldn't find anything close to what he had found for me. In addition to the stone, he helped in having the engagement ring designed based on ideas I provided him and everything turned out amazing. 5 years later, my wife still talks about how much she loves her ring on a weekly basis.

She could obviously be a little biased... When I truly knew that I did well was after another jeweler asked to buy the ring & stone from us. Since then, it has happened again when we took it to be cleaned and they asked us to let them know if we ever want to sell it. Anytime that my wife wears the wring out, it's guaranteed she's going to get a compliment on it. It doesn't matter where we are, people stop her to comment on it. The shine/brilliance of the diamond is incredible.

Carl Romaner is 100% the real deal and I can't speak highly enough of him. He has since helped us with other jewelry and everything turns out amazing. If you have any questions about working with him, message me through here and I'll be happy to answer them for you.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,969
So the last two people that responded made this long comments and they are new to Pricescope. Then all they made is one response regarding their experience with this guy? Something is not right.
There have also been some 1-post members reviewing HPD positively, so although the cynic in me urges caution, there is also the possibility that they are genuine reviews.

Caveat Emptor, as always!
 

KKJohnson

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
1,827
I am also curious as to why no photos
 

diamondnewbieny

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
584
There have also been some 1-post members reviewing HPD positively, so although the cynic in me urges caution, there is also the possibility that they are genuine reviews.

Caveat Emptor, as always!
True. But do they usually open up someone’s thread to make comment or start a thread on their own? The fact that this thread is very old but they made sure they find this thread to comment is what made me think. Perhaps you are right, but if it was me using his service I will make sure to do more research.
 
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