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Help buying a Diamond in Canada

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Hi there,

With all the information out there, frankly I am overwhelmed by all the options.

I live in Canada and want to buy a diamond with the following specs my budget for a diamond is $9000 CAD

Colour: D-F
Clarity: VS1 and upwards
Cut: VG/EX
Carat: 0.9 - 1.1

Today I got a quote for two CanadaMark diamonds with the following specs and wanted to find out if it was a good price:

Round Brilliant. SI1-F, Excellent Cut. 0.90cts - $9100 (Price in CAD)

Round Brilliant. VS2-F, Excellent Cut. 0.80cts. - $7500 (Price in CAD)

With the loonies being so low, should I stick to purchasing in Canada or is the US an option if the prices are going to be cheaper.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Lee
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
It does not matter if you buy in the US or Canada.
All diamond dealers quickly adjust to the latest exchange rate. Diamond prices are based on US dollar. In fact, lately, I noticed some jewellers and dealers using that exchange rate excuse to justify their ridiculous pricing. I just went to a local mall for a pair diamond stud and saw what they say.

Who are you dealing with?? People's Jeweller? Ben Moss? Spence? Birk? Michael Hill? Dallany?? If you are, forget it.

Here is an example of a well come GIA graded diamond from JA
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.91-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-832884
$6821 for 0.91 SI1.

Don't even bother with dealing with any retailer/wholesaler who don't even carry GIA or AGS graded diamonds.
Don't get confused by Canadamark, Arctic, Celebration, Extra faceted diamonds, etc..... All rubbish.

If you have to work with a local wholesaler, and if you live in Vancouver
http://vancouverdiamonds.ca/
http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?reportno=6205628042&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FDispatcher&c=Page&cid=1355954554547
$7704 for 0.92 VS2 (GIA)
I have not bought anything from this dealer. But I did talk to the manager/owner. His inventory is reasonably good including some ideal diamonds and pricing is very comparable to James Allen, which is extremely rare in Canada.
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Thanks flyingpig,

That's very useful to know about CanadaMark etc., I guess this is a way for dealers to justify a price.

I live in Toronto and received quotes from a local dealer, obviously I want to get the most diamond for my buck so is online the best place to look for that?
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,567
HI:

Welcome! I also live in Canada. Yes, the exchange rate is abysmal, but that is out of our hands! Lets focus on your needs. You posted high color and clarity as parameters and both are desirable. But you mentioned the possibility of VG cut. Really? Since you ask--and as much as "I" love high color and clarity, my first priority would be top cut. Just MHO.

Those diamonds you posted--do you have links to their (lab) certificates?

cheers--Sharon
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Hi canuk-gal,

No I unfortunately I don't have the certs, as I looked at them instore. Perhaps I could ask the jeweller for GIA cert numbers...

TBH I am very new to all this and pulled those specs together based on what I was seeing and my budget.

Any advice/thoughts would be most welcome however if you think I should ONLY be looking at EX cut.

Lee
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,567
HI:

Is your budget just for the stone? Are you comfortable with buying online?

What style of setting does your intended want--do you have suggestions from trying on IRL (together), or is this a "surprise"?

cheers--Sharon
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
At those prices, those must be SUPER IDEAL diamonds, the best of the best, which is highly unlikely....

Next time when you go into a local store, ask for GIA Excellent Cut or AGS Ideal Cut graded diamonds with the following proportions.

table: 54-58
depth: 60-62.3
crown angle: 34-35.0
pavilion angle: 40.6-41

And ask for the report itself and/or the report number

If they can't, look for a store that does. Don't engage.. Run..

If you are ok with dealing with online vendors (which we recommend even from Canada), provide us your budget and people here find you an ideal diamond in no time. In addition to diamond, I also noticed the setting and band prices unreasonably high...

In Canada, we produce both gold and diamond. We have two biggest gold producers by volume and market cap. We produce oil for production of those commodities... Go figure.... :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire:

PS. Loose diamonds and engagement rings are duty free. You pay local sales and provincial taxes, just like you normally do locally. Most US vendors offer free shipping to Canada (return is not free though. So we just need to be more careful with selection).
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
http://www.diamondexchange.ca/

Try this wholesaler.

I know nothing about Toronto or about this wholsaler. At least, according to their website, their pricing is reasonable and they carry AGS and GIA graded diamonds. That's if you prefer working with a local business.
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Thank you so much for all the advice!

We are buying it together so that makes it a bit easier.

We are looking to spend that budget on a round diamond with the specs I mentioned earlier but with an excellent cut.

I wouldn't mind buying online game if I was confide in my choice and I think being on here def is going to help that.

Lee
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
What is your budget?
You chose colorless range. Is there a certain reason?

If you prefer to find a stone for yourself (which is fun), refer to the ideal proportion ranges I gave you.
and
https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca
The score should be less than 2.0. and Light Return/Fire/Scintillation should be excellent.

For now.. Here are reasonable considerations that should give you some idea.
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.03-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-765772
$11534
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.91-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-832884
$6821

If you stay under 1.0c, the saving is rather significant.

Canadamark simply tells where the diamond is from and where it is processed. It has nothing to do with quality.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/?CaratFrom=0.05&CaratTo=15&Color=K,J,I,H,G,F,E,D&Cut=Good,Very%20Good&PriceFrom=&PriceTo=&ViewsOptions=Images&CM=True
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
flyingpig|1452986730|3976950 said:
It does not matter if you buy in the US or Canada.
All diamond dealers quickly adjust to the latest exchange rate. Diamond prices are based on US dollar. In fact, lately, I noticed some jewellers and dealers using that exchange rate excuse to justify their ridiculous pricing.

***Hi flyingpig :wavey: - yes the global diamond market is in USD, so if someone is buying outside of the states (vendor or consumer) it actually does matter...quite a bit! - if the Canadian (or Australian where I am) dollar goes down...the cost to purchase goes up. For a vendor, this is mainly to cover the replacement cost (I won't comment on someone else's 'ridiculous pricing' outside of the exchange rate :D )
For example, the AUD is sitting at about .68:1 right now (I think the CAD$ is about on par with us?) - I just transferred US$11500 last night, and with the ex rate it ended up costing me just under AU$16911...So the exchange rate is incredibly important when spending in USD...

Don't get confused by Canadamark, Arctic, Celebration, Extra faceted diamonds, etc..... All rubbish.

***Not necessarily - yes Canadamark does come at a premium (it's up to you if you want to pay it or not ;-) ), but if a person is interested in knowing where their diamond came from, or would just like a Canadian diamond, then Canadamark guarantees that the diamond is a Canadian stone (has been mined in Canada) - and some people are willing to pay extra for that info.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
Hi ADN.

Thank you. I must be corrected. CanadaMark is a bit different. The fact that there is a system that traces a diamond from the mine to the processing facility is encouraging, and can be important to some buyers. In fact, we LOVE local stuff here in Canada. I should support this.

However, it absolutely makes you laugh when you talk to these local businesses, and they only emphasize how well cut and how amazing Canadian diamonds are because they are "polar", "white","arctic" and "Canadian". I just talked to 5 local businesses and asked for GIA/AGS graded stones. Not a single store showed me. They went even further and said "all Canadian diamonds are graded locally because their are Canadian. GIA is for Americans". "These have more than 60 facets, that has more than 70 facets, this has 101 facets. They are better than 57 faceted rounds".

I just wanted the OP to focus on grading reports first. If one can find an ideal cut, GIA graded, and CanadaMark diamond, and is willing to pay a premium, that's good.

Those prices OP listed.. there is no way Canadamark should command 25% premium, based on my market research, considering current exchange rates (local and online). One thing that businesses do in Canada is that they VERY slowly adjust their pricing when the exchange rate is in their favour. When it is against them, they quickly adapt and adds additional premium on top of that. That's how businesses work. But as a consumer, it is frustrating, because we live 30min from the US border....
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
flyingpig|1453011610|3977149 said:
However, it absolutely makes you laugh when you talk to these local businesses, and they only emphasize how well cut and how amazing Canadian diamonds are because they are "polar", "white","arctic" and "Canadian". I just talked to 5 local businesses and asked for GIA/AGS graded stones. Not a single store showed me. They went even further and said "all Canadian diamonds are graded locally because their are Canadian. GIA is for Americans". "These have more than 60 facets, that has more than 70 facets, this has 101 facets. They are better than 57 faceted rounds".
Yep...sometimes it can be tough for a consumer to distinguish between what's 'marketing' and what is a grading report from a third party independent lab - - all of the stones with extra facets would just be branded cuts - not necessarily better or worse...just different.
When diamonds were first discovered in the Territories back in the 90s, the gov't tried to create a downstream diamond industry (cutting & polishing / etc.) - they have had some trouble (cost of doing business is pretty high), so maybe this is reflected in the local grading as part of the whole 'country of origin' campaign?
Not surprised that you won't find any AGS locally as they're really not seen outside of the US, and are quite rare even within the states (I hope the other PS members don't stone me for that comment :shifty: :lol: ) - it's a niche lab that only caters to the trade, and unfortunately they don't grade stones for the public like GIA does, so their not nearly as well known as GIA - but there should be plenty of GIA cert'd stones around.
Good luck to the OP in your search
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
My budget is $9000 without tax, I am hoping this will get me what I want...

I want to go for a white gold or platinum band so want colourless diamond to compliment that.

I'm not opposed to getting a diamond that is close to 1.ct for example 0.95 if it means I can save some $.

We are not announcing the engagement for a couple of months so I have time to look for a diamond.

Should I check on a daily basis and what websites are tried and tested with excellent service to buy the diamond.

Thanks

Lee
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,567
HI:

Have you looked on Blue Nile Canada?

cheers--Sharon
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
irishcanadian|1453076947|3977308 said:
The crown angle is shallow at 33.

Please refer to this.
table: 54-58
depth: 60-62.3
crown angle: 34-35.0
pavilion angle: 40.6-40.9 (or 41)

Based on your specifications (VS1 or above, F or above, something close to 1.0c)
This is worth considering.
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-f-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-860721

Here is a stone with similar proportions. You can get some idea (although not exact) how the above stone may performs by looking at the ASET and Idealscope images.
http://www.b2cjewels.com/dd-7155768-0.90-carat-Round-diamond-F-color-VS2-Clarity.aspx?sku=7155768&utm_source=pricescope.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pricescope.com

From bluenile (if you are ok without photo, for maximum value). copy and paste the links.
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamond-details/LD06593311
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/diamond-details/LD06567763

I respect your decision to look for a stone with F or above and VS1 or above.
You may want to consider G and H colors, which are considered ok on a white gold and platinum setting. Having that said, color is highly subjective, and it is something that only you and your partner can tell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHvnYtIpD3Q
SI1 can be totally eye-clean and offer good value.

Should I check on a daily basis and what websites are tried and tested with excellent service to buy the diamond.
Yes. Especially around this time. Inventories come and go. Good stones are snatched within a few hours.. sometimes within minutes. If you are not in a hurry, keep doing market research and get some idea on pricing, and wait for a perfect stone to come. When you see one, put the stone on hold and wait for other members' inputs.
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Thanks flying pig, as our conversation has progressed, I am more comfortable with looking at G colours.

With regards to the Labs where the stones are graded, should I be concentrating on one over the other?

Also I have to say, this really has opened my eyes beyond the 4Cs!
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
AGS
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-785019

GIA
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.91-carat-g-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-768573

Both and ONLY AGS and GIA should be considered. AGS Platinum report (not all AGS reports are platinum) includes a computer generated ASET that serves as additional assurance in regards to stone's light performance.Many signature super ideal diamonds are graded by AGS (Whiteflash ACA, Brian Gavin, CBI, etc..), although not always. Good Old Gold has some GIA graded stones that they market as Ascendancy H&A. Also many JA's True Hearts are AGS-graded.

Notice that GIA rounds crown angle to the nearest 0.5, and pavilion angle to the nearest 0.2.

Both are equally good and respected. You just have to take their rounding practice into consideration.
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Ok, that's great advice. Now I have to start looking. I will report back when I find some contenders.

Thanks
Lee
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
blackprophet|1453214113|3977872 said:
Ignore the horrible website, Martin is a PS vendor, and is reputable. He's not great at emailing, I would call and talk to him.
That website brings me back to 1998.
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Ok guys, can you tell me what you think of this one? It's $7,268 CAD

http://www.gia.edu/cs/Satellite?reportno=6202959094&childpagename=GIA%2FPage%2FReportCheck&pagename=GIA%2FDispatcher&c=Page&cid=1355954554547

Incase the link doesn't work:

Measurements - 6.24 - 6.26 x 3.86 mm
Carat Weight - 0.93 carat
Color Grade - F
Clarity Grade - SI1
Cut Grade - Excellent

Depth- 61.7 %
Table - 57 %
Crown Angle - 35.0°
Crown Height - 15.0%
Pavilion Angle - 40.6°
Pavilion Depth - 42.5%
Star Length - 55%
Lower Half - 80%
Girdle - Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 4.0%
Cutlet - None
 

irishcanadian

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
25
Flyingpig - I have requested further information, so hoping I will get a photo, idealscope, or all three.

I'll update when I find out more. Just got a bit excited when I saw the details and price...
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
the computer generated ASET is perfect as expected; there is slight deduction in contrast, which should not be a concern. All others are 0.
I am not too sure if that is the idealscope image (maybe hearts and arrow viewer image. Regardless, it looks flawless.
The inclusions are hard to see at this magnification, although eye-cleanliness is something hard to judge.
Twinning wisps is the major clarity charatertics, which you can read here.
http://www.goodoldgold.com/galleryofinclusions.jsp

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Twinning wisps can also be found among stones the graining that's usually noted on lab report and are the result of growth defects within the diamond's crystal structure. While graining and strain are very difficult to see upon initial inspection of a diamond, twinning wisps are more easily seen as in this SI1 clarity diamond. All of these inclusions are twinning wisps.

If you think you can see those inclusions with the human eye think again. Here it is under overhead fluorescent lighting under a microscope! See how they disappear? ;-)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wait for couple more comments from other members and you should be good to go..

PS. Could you let me know who the vendor is after the transaction is complete?? I am interested for my purchase.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,177
irishcanadian|1453952098|3982769 said:
Thanks Flyingpig,

I had a quick look on JA today and found this one, it looks beautiful but understandably more expensive:

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-g-color-vvs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-766370

Sure I will pass on the details either way.
While that G VVS1 appears pretty, it is safer to stay within the ideal proportion range, especially with JA not providing any IS image.

I cannot find a good stone at JA.. except this one which I posted earlier.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.91-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-832884
This stone is very similar to the one you picked, but cheaper.
I would pick whichever appears more eye clean.
 
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