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[Help] Buying first Oval diamond

cserbane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
4
Hi there,

I'm a first time buyer and hoping to lean on your guys' experience in choosing between a couple of diamonds I've shortlisted:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6579850
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-6563714
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.26-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6811797

A couple of notes for context:
- Budget is around $10.5k CAD (or ~$8k USD)
- Will be used for engagement ring. Planning on going with a yellow gold solitaire setting and small pave band.
- Prefer to keep to an 'H' as minimum color grade; fairly color-sensitive, was initially looking at "I" color but decided to move up after inspecting a few diamonds in person.
- Preferred L/W ratio is between 1.35 - 1.42.
- I attempted to screen the available inventory on JA based on my preferences and tried to select diamonds that did not display a prominent bow-tie, displayed even scintillation across the crown/table and had crisp faceting.
- I reached out to JA to see if they can provide ASET images for each diamond. I will share those if/when available.

My observations of the diamonds:
#1 - small black inclusion on north side of table. Not sure if this is significant enough to be visible without magnification
#2 - recognize VVS2 clarity is a bit 'overkill' but I thought the diamond had really good visual performance when comparing to other options at around the same price point.
#3 - most prominent bowtie of the three in my opinion. There are a few slight angles where there is sharper contrast in the bowtie but does not extend to the crown and is pretty scattered across otherwise. Not sure how visually distracting this will be in person.

I looked at a handful of SI1 diamonds within my price range, but didn't really like the appearance of the larger Ct stones available. The price difference at the 1.2ct mark is not that significant enough for me to consider going down in quality.

Hoping you guys can offer some feedback. Thanks in advance!
 

Morenita21

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
449
My pick is the second one. Reason being it has little to no bow tie. The others have a significant bow tie which I hate in ovals. A great oval should have no bow tie.
 

david b

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
235
As a thumbrule to avoid bowtie effect (besides observing) try to locat an Oval that has around 62% depth, around 10% of crown and table less than 60%
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
6,636
As a thumbrule to avoid bowtie effect (besides observing) try to locat an Oval that has around 62% depth, around 10% of crown and table less than 60%
Hi David,

IIRC @Rockdiamond was of the opposing view - that one can't buy ovals from the numbers alone!

If your experience has given you these guidelines that you generally use, though, that is fair enough :)
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
7,958
Thanks for bringing it up @OoohShiny!
My reasoning is based on real-life experience.
I've never eliminated oval diamonds based solely on table and depth - and I've found may great looking stones outside @david b's recommendation of 62% depth and less than 60% table.
I've seen some great looking stones that fall within those parameters- but also many that are outside.
Secondly- consumers won't have access to crown hight numbers on the majority of Ovals available.
Third- a bow tie" is not always negative. Sometimes the larger facets in the middle of an oval flash on and off in an attractive way- again, nothing to do with depth/table per se.
 

cserbane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
4
Thanks for the great insight so far.

A quick update. JA was able to provide ASET images for the first two diamonds.

#3 was not available but I think I might be ruling it out as it has the most prominent bow-tie when looking at the diamond face up.

I'm leaning towards #2 as @Morenita21 pointed out. It seems like it has the best optics out of the three.

What do you guys think?

#1: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6579850
6579850.jpg

#2: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-6563714
6563714.jpg
 
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AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
2,854
I would use the brighteness of the bow tie area as a benchmark & appreciate to what extent the rest of the diamond lights up to match while tilting some 30 degrees or so. [does the ASET give more information - perhaps... a little]

WWW
 

cserbane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
4
#1 is just meh, #2 is def the the nicer out of those. What about this one?

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.22-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6673680
I had actually made note of the 1.22ct vs2. Concerned about the strong fluorescence as I understand there's a chance it could look dull/oily under direct sunlight and potential blue tint.

The larger ct is a bit of a red herring since it actually has smaller face up dimensions than the 1.2ct vvs2 stone. This last part is by no means a deal breaker, but I guess if I was to split hairs here...
 

Morenita21

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
449
Thanks for the great insight so far.

A quick update. JA was able to provide ASET images for the first two diamonds.

#3 was not available but I think I might be ruling it out as it has the most prominent bow-tie when looking at the diamond face up.

I'm leaning towards #2 as @Morenita21 pointed out. It seems like it has the best optics out of the three.

What do you guys think?

#1: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6579850
6579850.jpg

#2: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.20-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-6563714
6563714.jpg
Again, out of these, my pick would be #2.
 

Morenita21

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
449
I had actually made note of the 1.22ct vs2. Concerned about the strong fluorescence as I understand there's a chance it could look dull/oily under direct sunlight and potential blue tint.

The larger ct is a bit of a red herring since it actually has smaller face up dimensions than the 1.2ct vvs2 stone. This last part is by no means a deal breaker, but I guess if I was to split hairs here...
Also, fluorescence wouldn’t bother me as long as I saw it in person. However, a well cut diamond will always look larger because of its cut. Are you a fellow Canadian too? Noticed you put in CAD $$
 

cserbane

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
4
@Morenita21 - yep, fellow Canadian based out of Ontario.

A further update: I received a copy of the ASET for the 1.22ct VS2 that @farrahlyn suggested (https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.22-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-6673680).
6673680.jpg

To my untrained eye, it seems like there's a fair bit more leakage around the perimeter of the diamond and lower part of the table as compared to the vvs2.

Thinking I might ask JA to have a gemologist inspect the two stones (1.2 VVS2 / 1.22 VS2) before setting into the ring to compare the flash/fire between the two and confirm if the fluorescence has any impact on the visibility and hue of the stone.
 
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