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Help and opinions wanted on round diamond please!!

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
So, as you can see this is my first post and I want to start off by saying that any and all help offered will be greatly appreciated! I've done rather extensive research on round diamonds and I think I know what I'm looking for but I could be totally wrong. Originally when I started shopping for a diamond as a complete newbie, I thought I wanted a colorless stone D-F color range, VS2 or better. My opinion continues to change on what is important and what isn't. I'm only considering triple x GIA graded stones at the moment but I'm open to opinions on other options. I've read a lot on the forums here, searched for diamonds online and have a couple brick and mortar shops hunting as well. The latest I've found that I'm considering is here locally and is a 1.71ct G, VS1, round triple x with no fluorescence. According to what I've read, it may not meet what the general consensus seems to be on PS as far as the best proportions which could affect it's overall brilliance. I think it goes without saying that I want the brightest available stone that will look the best in its setting. This will be set in a Jack Kelege 18k white gold setting as pictured in the attachment below. Also, I'll post the GIA cert below as well...

I guess my questions are:
Is this a good diamond and will it display excellent light performance?
The brick and mortar location has offered to send this diamond to AGS for a light performance test. Should I have them do this or will they be wasting their time?
Is VS1 over the top (a waste of money) and should I just be searching for eye clean vs2/si1 with a clean table?
I'm very color sensitive when diamonds are placed in a grading tray, but placing this in the setting should/could I go with an H colored stone and get more bang for my buck?
This stone is being offered at just under $15,000 which is close to the top of my budget and I wouldn't mind going a bit cheaper if possible.
I'm open to suggestions for other stones you guys and gals feel would be better than this one.
Also, what else should I consider important when searching for stones?

Thanks so much!

1.71 g.jpg

jack k.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

headlight

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
1,862
Welcome! Keep in mind that a great # of participants here are anti brick and mortar jewelers as well as anti GIA 3x. Did you run through HCA? If the jeweler is willing to get AGS data then by all means let them do it! If you like the colorless stones I don’t think you will be happy with H color as truth is it will not be as bright, bottom line. While it’s nice to have a VS stone, you can find an SI stone in an effort to get into colorless range. That’s another thing... many here are fine with lower colors but I am very sensitive to this. I was debating between a G that would've been considered here to be of higher quality cut than my stone yet my stone was an E and the difference was totally apparent... so the better cut in this situation did not look “whiter”. You will need to make the decision. You will probably pay a little more buying locally... your call if you want a personal relationship with your jeweler and to support local and have someone that will provide maintenance and checks and cleanings, and so on. Or you can take the recommendations provided to you here which will be excellent, no question about it.
 

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
Welcome! Keep in mind that a great # of participants here are anti brick and mortar jewelers as well as anti GIA 3x. Did you run through HCA? If the jeweler is willing to get AGS data then by all means let them do it! If you like the colorless stones I don’t think you will be happy with H color as truth is it will not be as bright, bottom line. While it’s nice to have a VS stone, you can find an SI stone in an effort to get into colorless range. That’s another thing... many here are fine with lower colors but I am very sensitive to this. I was debating between a G that would've been considered here to be of higher quality cut than my stone yet my stone was an E and the difference was totally apparent... so the better cut in this situation did not look “whiter”. You will need to make the decision. You will probably pay a little more buying locally... your call if you want a personal relationship with your jeweler and to support local and have someone that will provide maintenance and checks and cleanings, and so on. Or you can take the recommendations provided to you here which will be excellent, no question about it.
Thanks so much for the reply and the insight headlight!! I know everyone's opinion will be different and what really matters is what the eye sees. I'm not opposed to buying local or online as long as I'm getting a great price on a great diamond. What is your opinion on GIA 3x vs AGS or other alternatives? And I wasn't able to run the diamond in question through hca because it said I had reached a limit or something? Are you or anyone willing to plug in the numbers and let me know the results? Again, thank you so much!!
 

Txborn79

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
85
Thanks so much for the reply and the insight headlight!! I know everyone's opinion will be different and what really matters is what the eye sees. I'm not opposed to buying local or online as long as I'm getting a great price on a great diamond. What is your opinion on GIA 3x vs AGS or other alternatives? And I wasn't able to run the diamond in question through hca because it said I had reached a limit or something? Are you or anyone willing to plug in the numbers and let me know the results? Again, thank you so much!!
I ran it through the HCA and got these results
85EAA6BB-FF03-462F-AD37-DCB2C80AFA0C.jpeg
 

Txborn79

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
85
I personally look for stones that have excellent listed on light return, fire and scintillation
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
First off, kudos to your jeweler for offering to send the stone to AGS for light grading. That is very cool and not something most jewelers will do. Will the expense be borne by you, or him? And what happens if the report doesn't come back as expected -- can you walk on the deal with no repercussions?

One of the issues with answering your question about performance is all we can see is the certificate. Yes, that's very important and does give us a general idea about the stone. However, because of the way GIA rounds and averages actual data to get a condensed value shown on the report, there is quite a bit of variance that can occur.

For instance, there are 8 actual crown and pavilion angles in a round diamond. In a detailed SARIN report you would see that each value is slightly different, so you may see something like 35.5, 35.8, 36.2, 36.1, etc for crowns and maybe 40.6, 40.9,41, 40.7, etc for pavilions. While I have honed in on the CA and PA values, the same thing is occurring for lower girdle facets (LGF's), stars, etc.

The importance of a 3D ray trace that AGS does is important because it analyzes each of these tiny variances to determine light performance.

However, on a GIA report, they collect the data then average it and round it to the nearest 0.5 degree for CA's and nearest 0.2 degrees for PA's. Stars and LGF's are rounded to the nearest 5%.


Again, while the report does give us an idea, the pure inaccuracy of the rounding & averaging that is going on leaves quite a lot to be desired. That said, the steep 36 CA does not pair well with the moderately steep 40.8 pavilion. I would expect there to be some leakage issues. Sometimes, you can get away with a 36 CA if you pair with a shallow 40.6 PA, assuming faceting is precise.

So it's no surprise the HCA is popping back the score it is. It's basically trying to say the geometry, or proportions, of the diamond are not complimentary for the best light return. I would agree you could pick other stones with a higher probability of giving you better light return.

I personally would continue to look for a better cut stone if I were in your shoes. And yes, I think you can back of the VS1 clarity requirements. Depending on the vendor you choose, and specifics, I would consider down SI1. Especially if considering a super ideal vendor that owns & vets their stones vs a virtual inventory supplier like BN, Yadav, etc.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
FYI, here is another option:

WF ACA 1.657 G SI1 @ $14,235 wire

55.8 table, 61.6 depth, 34.5 crown, 40.8 pavilion & 76 LGF

Proportions are gorgeous, and good DNA for a sparkle bomb! The stone is AGS000 certified and has hearts & arrow (H&A) symmetry. It has a full array of performance and symmetry images to prove she's a solid performer.

Additionally, it's backed by a lifetime trade-in program that only requires you to spend $1 more and get full credit of the original purchase towards a new stone.

You may be thinking it's "smaller" due to the carat weight. But look closer at the dimensions. The spread of the 1.71 stone you listed only measures out at 7.59 x 7.62mm, or roughly 7.6mm diameter.

Now take a peek at the dimensions of the WF stone, and you will see it measures out nearly identical although it's less carat weight -- 7.60 x 7.63mm, or roughly 7.6mm diameter.

It's not a trick. The 1.71 is simply carrying extra weight in the vertical depth (62.5%) because of the lesser complimentary proportions. The WF stone has better proportions which is resulting in less depth and instead pushing some of that weight out in diameter, which is also creating a stone that is cut for maximum beauty.

The only potential downside I can see to this stone is the clarity. It has some crystals that I would prefer not see; however, the stone is listed as EYE CLEAN. Keep in mind, the images you see that glorify the imperfections are grossly magnified/zoomed.

WF owns all their stones, so if you are interested in this stone, I would have them pull the stone from their vaults (as they keep all their stones in-house) and ask one of their trusted gemologists to review the stone and confirm it is indeed eye clean. WF is a very well trusted and respected vendor here. They will shoot you straight, even at the expense of a potential sale. Assuming the clarity checks out, I would be all over this one. It's cheaper than your other stone and a true H&A stone with great upgrade program for future flexibility.

CaptureWF.PNG
 
Last edited:

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
First off, kudos to your jeweler for offering to send the stone to AGS for light grading. That is very cool and not something most jewelers will do. Will the expense be borne by you, or him? And what happens if the report doesn't come back as expected -- can you walk on the deal with no repercussions?

One of the issues with answering your question about performance is all we can see is the certificate. Yes, that's very important and does give us a general idea about the stone. However, because of the way GIA rounds and averages actual data to get a condensed value shown on the report, there is quite a bit of variance that can occur.

For instance, there are 8 actual crown and pavilion angles in a round diamond. In a detailed SARIN report you would see that each value is slightly different, so you may see something like 35.5, 35.8, 36.2, 36.1, etc for crowns and maybe 40.6, 40.9,41, 40.7, etc for pavilions. While I have honed in on the CA and PA values, the same thing is occurring for lower girdle facets (LGF's), stars, etc.

The importance of a 3D ray trace that AGS does is important because it analyzes each of these tiny variances to determine light performance.

However, on a GIA report, they collect the data then average it and round it to the nearest 0.5 degree for CA's and nearest 0.2 degrees for PA's. Stars and LGF's are rounded to the nearest 5%.


Again, while the report does give us an idea, the pure inaccuracy of the rounding & averaging that is going on leaves quite a lot to be desired. That said, the steep 36 CA does not pair well with the moderately steep 40.8 pavilion. I would expect there to be some leakage issues. Sometimes, you can get away with a 36 CA if you pair with a shallow 40.6 PA, assuming faceting is precise.

So it's no surprise the HCA is popping back the score it is. It's basically trying to say the geometry, or proportions, of the diamond are not complimentary for the best light return. I would agree you could pick other stones with a higher probability of giving you better light return.

I personally would continue to look for a better cut stone if I were in your shoes. And yes, I think you can back of the VS1 clarity requirements. Depending on the vendor you choose, and specifics, I would consider down SI1. Especially if considering a super ideal vendor that owns & vets their stones vs a virtual inventory supplier like BN, Yadav, etc.
Thank you so much for this detailed writeup! I've got a call out to my jeweler regarding the AGS light test they offered to send out for. I know it's very difficult to choose a stone off of a grading report alone and that is why I've come here for advice and all advice is greatly appreciated! If my jeweler is willing to cover said costs of the AGS light test I may have them do it, unless you feel it is going to be a waste of time based on the HCA results. I trust that you're correct in saying I should continue to search for a better cut stone to give better light return performance.

Also, I see that you've suggested an AGS0000 graded stone. I've also noticed that the general consensus on this site leans towards AGS instead of GIA. In your opinion, what is the reasoning for this? The WF stone you've suggested does look good and I may have them pull it an analyze it for me! Although, I too have been looking for a 'cleaner' table with less crystals in the diamond, but to find one may push things up way above my budget.

Thank you again for all of your input and guidance!
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
Which stone was the HCA ran on?
Guessing the 36/40.8 that was initially posted. That is about the score I would expect.

And @jhes to answer your questions, I would expect some leakage in a 36/40.8 and wouldn't hold your breath of it coming back as AGS000. But who knows, maybe the GIA rounding/averaging is so jacked up it does okay.

Just remember -- the HCA is an approximation tool, and not an exact science. The 3D scan that AGS does is much more revealing. However, if your jeweler has an IS or ASET scope, then you could quickly figure out the performance of the stone as well, and what type of leakage it does or doesn't have.

As far as "calling in" the WF stone, that won't happen. It's not available on the "virtual market" like most GIA XXX stones. That stone is one that WF owns and is secured in their vault. It is proprietary to them only. If you wish to purchase, you will have to purchase the stone from WF directly.

Lastly, the reason most people prefer AGS over GIA is many of the reasons already mentioned. The gross rounding & averaging that GIA does is a turn off. In contrast, AGS utilizes the 3D scan to obtain all their data. Yes, they still average the data onto the report, but that's it. More importantly, they utilize that 3D scan to create a computer generated ASET, which tells us about the light performance.

At a bigger picture level, GIA XXX criteria is very vast. AGS000 is very narrow. Any stone that meets AGS000 criteria will also receive GIA XXX certification. However, very few GIA XXX stones is also capable of receiving AGS000 certification.

So those that value cut quality above all else (most people here) prefer AGS as it is stricter and provides more meaningful information when a stone is ideal 0 rated.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
I recently wrote a thread about a stone I encountered that had very promising proportions. Most would consider them good enough to recommend. But this stone had advanced images (ASET, IS and H&A) to analyze and what started out as a dream, was in reality a nightmare.


In particular, here is the ASET of the poorly cut stone. Around 9 and from about 12-5 o'clock there is lots of white/light pink. That is leakage. Yes, this image had overly bright backlighting but the stone was still leaky.

1581449135808.png


Now look in comparison to the ASET for the WF stone I recommended above. You may notice the CA and PA combo are reported as the same. Notice the vast difference? This ASET is what you want to see...lots of red. No leakage.

1581449307556.png
 

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
Guessing the 36/40.8 that was initially posted. That is about the score I would expect.

And @jhes to answer your questions, I would expect some leakage in a 36/40.8 and wouldn't hold your breath of it coming back as AGS000. But who knows, maybe the GIA rounding/averaging is so jacked up it does okay.

Just remember -- the HCA is an approximation tool, and not an exact science. The 3D scan that AGS does is much more revealing. However, if your jeweler has an IS or ASET scope, then you could quickly figure out the performance of the stone as well, and what type of leakage it does or doesn't have.

As far as "calling in" the WF stone, that won't happen. It's not available on the "virtual market" like most GIA XXX stones. That stone is one that WF owns and is secured in their vault. It is proprietary to them only. If you wish to purchase, you will have to purchase the stone from WF directly.

Lastly, the reason most people prefer AGS over GIA is many of the reasons already mentioned. The gross rounding & averaging that GIA does is a turn off. In contrast, AGS utilizes the 3D scan to obtain all their data. Yes, they still average the data onto the report, but that's it. More importantly, they utilize that 3D scan to create a computer generated ASET, which tells us about the light performance.

At a bigger picture level, GIA XXX criteria is very vast. AGS000 is very narrow. Any stone that meets AGS000 criteria will also receive GIA XXX certification. However, very few GIA XXX stones is also capable of receiving AGS000 certification.

So those that value cut quality above all else (most people here) prefer AGS as it is stricter and provides more meaningful information when a stone is ideal 0 rated.
Sounds like the consensus is, above all else cut is key, and as long as it's eye clean, the diamond should give the most light return/brilliance. And, yes I see what you're saying... the second diamond pictured above clearly gives better light return even though they both have promising proportions.

I heard back from the jeweler this morning (yesterday I was dealing with the associate, now I've gotten a reply from the manager whom I've been working with as he was not in the office yesterday). And he feels it is not necessary to spend the extra money for further testing. And maybe this is because he knows it will not come back AGS0000 or come back with less than ideal light performance?

He did however offer his personal opinion on the GIA grading system and stated the following: "But what about the diamonds that are “VG/VG/VG” that when you put then in a room of 50 people, all 50 select the triple VG as the most beautiful, brilliant and sparkly against an EX/EX/EX? This happens at every GIA diamond course, and I experienced it myself when I was taking my diamond lab. GIA does this on purpose to demonstrate that light return, sparkle, and brilliance are not related to small variants in percentages and minute mathematical formulas. If it did, GIA would embrace it. They don’t."

And he did send me photos from their H&A viewer which I've attached below. Does this give me/us a better idea of how this stone will perform?

He then went on to say:
"You can see that the diamond exhibits the faceting that is in line with “ideal,” ASET, Light return measurement programs designed to monetize diamond grading for a profit. I see no reason for you to spend the money for any further testing."

Seems as if they're willing to send the diamond in on my dime for further testing. Where would you go from here if you were me? Continue to push for the light return test, purchase this stone, or move on and find a better stone with more 'ideal' proportions?

Thanks again for all of everyone's help!!

1.71 g hearts.jpg

1.71 g arrows.jpg
 

jp201845

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
279
I would definitely move on from this diamond there are better performers out there. With the help of prosumers on this forum you will get a beautiful diamond with excellent light performance.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
He did however offer his personal opinion on the GIA grading system and stated the following: "But what about the diamonds that are “VG/VG/VG” that when you put then in a room of 50 people, all 50 select the triple VG as the most beautiful, brilliant and sparkly against an EX/EX/EX? This happens at every GIA diamond course, and I experienced it myself when I was taking my diamond lab. GIA does this on purpose to demonstrate that light return, sparkle, and brilliance are not related to small variants in percentages and minute mathematical formulas. If it did, GIA would embrace it. They don’t."
Guess it depends on the 50 people. Put 50 from here, and I bet he gets a very different result, assuming the story wasn't complete and utter BS in the first place.

The math, angles and percentages do matter. Even within his own story, there is fallacy. If you compare a group of VG/VG/VG diamonds, some will be better than others. The reason is simple -- they will have better proportions and more precise faceting than others.

The problem is he's lumped all triple X's or triple VG's in a category so they are all equal. They aren't. If you were shopping for a SUV, is every vehicle labeled a SUV equal? Of course not. This is no different.

The range for triple X is pretty wide. The range for AGS000 is more narrow, because it deals with ideal stones. Start adding precision H&A symmetry and it becomes even more narrow. This graphic does a decent enough job explaining it. If this graphic had a VG section that would be outside the excellent circle.

1581531684337.png
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,399
In regards to the H&A images he provided you, that deals with symmetry.

This stone is NOT a true H&A stone, if that is what he was trying to imply, but I do agree the hearts image looks decent. But there are some issues going on with a few LGF's as that one heart is considerably different.

More importantly, the H&A images tells us nothing about light return. And frankly, it's possible to have good symmetry but poor light return. The ASET or IS would let us determine if we have leakage or not.

Again, with a 36/40.8 I would be surprised if you don't have some problems.

For $50, you can pick up an ASET scope and inspect the stone.

Personally I'd check my other options.
 

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
In regards to the H&A images he provided you, that deals with symmetry.

This stone is NOT a true H&A stone, if that is what he was trying to imply, but I do agree the hearts image looks decent. But there are some issues going on with a few LGF's as that one heart is considerably different.

More importantly, the H&A images tells us nothing about light return. And frankly, it's possible to have good symmetry but poor light return. The ASET or IS would let us determine if we have leakage or not.

Again, with a 36/40.8 I would be surprised if you don't have some problems.

For $50, you can pick up an ASET scope and inspect the stone.

Personally I'd check my other options.
Great, Thanks for all of the information and your input!
 

jhes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
11
In regards to the H&A images he provided you, that deals with symmetry.

This stone is NOT a true H&A stone, if that is what he was trying to imply, but I do agree the hearts image looks decent. But there are some issues going on with a few LGF's as that one heart is considerably different.

More importantly, the H&A images tells us nothing about light return. And frankly, it's possible to have good symmetry but poor light return. The ASET or IS would let us determine if we have leakage or not.

Again, with a 36/40.8 I would be surprised if you don't have some problems.

For $50, you can pick up an ASET scope and inspect the stone.

Personally I'd check my other options.
After speaking with the jeweler today they've now got an ASET scope (funny they didn't offer anything up before and said they just got one in??) and they're going to send over images shortly. I'll post as soon as I have them.

Jeweler is trying to make a sale and I don't blame them, as it is their job.

We'll see what these look like and go from there.

I've also found this diamond below in the meantime...What are everyone's thoughts on "affinity" cut diamonds? It looks to be within the appropriate range of ideal values as far as table, depth, pavilion, etc.

 

headlight

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
1,862
There is a little bit of leakage. I don’t think it will translate into affecting performance in real life but I’m sure others here will disagree and find fault and think it will suffer. You’ve seen in person.
 
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