Help finding the right diamond! GIA too clean? 18k budget


Mar 12, 2016
Hello there,

I am happy I came across this site as I've already learned so much. I just wish I found it sooner!
Anyway, down to the nitty gritty, I've been looking for:

Budget is $18k max, Ideal cut round diamond, 1.8-1.9 carat, H color, SI1 or VS2, faint or no fluorescence, eye clean.

I've been looking at Blue Nile and found: stock# LD06612897 GIA 2214303231 ( )

The HCA score seems good at 1.4. The GIA report looks fairly clean (suspiciously so) except for pretty much a single inclusion on the outer table. My inkling is that since its SI1, the inclusion will probably be noticeable without magnification, but BN doesn't include any photos or anything.

I've also tried looking at some on James Allen but couldn't really narrow it down well:,VS2&Cut=Ideal,Excellent&PriceFrom=200&PriceTo=999000&Sort=Carat%20desc,%20DefaultOrder&ViewsOptions=Images&TabSelected=1&showAdvanced=show&Polish=EX,ID&Symmetry=EX,ID&Lab=&Flour=None,Negligible&DepthFrom=45&DepthTo=63.00&TableFrom=50&TableTo=57.00&ps=12

Maybe this one

Would it be better to go with a 1.8c VS2 over like a 1.9c SI1 everything else being equal? I figure, as long as they're both eye-clean it wouldn't bother me. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate anyone's input.



Aug 8, 2005
Re: Help finding the right diamond! GIA too clean? 18k budge

You've got only part of it right.

Please read this and re-evaluate diamond options. Post revised list and we'll comment.

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.
No other factor: not color, not clarity has as much of an impact on the appearance of a diamond as its cut. An ideal H will out white a poorly cut F. With round diamonds even a GIA triple Excellent is not enough. And you must stick to GIA and AGS only (HPD in Europe is good as well). EGL is a bad option: [URL=''][/URL]
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want?
Well one method is to start with a GIA Ex, and then apply the HCA to it. YOU DO NOT USE HCA for AGS0 stones generally, though you can. In general, AGS0 trumps HCA though as one examines the actual stone and the other does not.
The HCA is a rejection tool. Not a selection tool. It uses 4 data points to make a rudimentary call on how the diamond may perform.
If the diamond passes then you know that you are in the right zone in terms of angles for light performance. Under 2 is a pass. Under 2.5-2.1 is a maybe. 2.6 and over is a no. No score 2 and under is better than any other.
Is that enough? No, the HCA by itself is not enough.

So what you need is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does.
It shows you how and wear your diamond is reflecting light, how well it is going at it, and where you are losing light return. That is why you won't see us recommending Blue Nile, as they do not provide idealscope images for their diamonds. BGD,BE, James Allen, GOG, HPD, ERD and WF do.

The Idealscope is the 'selection tool'. Not the HCA.
So yes, with a GIA stone you need the idealscope images.
Or you can buy an idealscope yourself and take it in to the jeweler you are working with to check the stones yourself. Or if you have a good return policy (full refund minimum 7 days) then you can buy the idealscope, buy the stone, and do it at home.

Now if you want to skip all that... stick to AGS0 stones and then all you have to do is pick color and clarity and you know you have a great performing diamond. Because AGS has already done the checking for you. That's why they trade at a premium. Some AGS0's are better than others though, so pay attention to any ASET or IS provided.

In general with rounds, you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.3. Crown angle 33.5-35. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-40.8 (there is a little give on this). And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA checks for you.


Mar 12, 2016
Re: Help finding the right diamond! GIA too clean? 18k budge

Thank you for the input! I will now probably avoid Blue Nile (it did bother me that they didn't have photos of the actual diamond for me to look at). I think I've found 3 options at James Allen that I am considering and would appreciate some assistance in choosing:

1.) 1.81 carat, ideal cut round, H color, no fluoresence, VS2, HCA 1.4, AGA cut 1B

2.) 1.80 carat, ideal cut round, H color, no fluorescence, SI1, HCA 1.8, AGA cut 1A (only crown angle is 1B)

3.) 2.01 carat, ideal cut round, H color, STRONG fluorescence, SI1, HCA 1.0, AGA cut 1A (only crown angle is 1B)

I've been speaking to the reps at James Allen, the SI1 are both reported to be eye clean which is important to me. I'm considering going with one of the SI1 diamonds (#2 and #3 on the list) because of the value. I'm not sure the extra $1000 dollars will justify the VS2 clarity and .01 carat over the 1.80. The other debate I'm having is, whether the strong fluorescence on the 2.01 carat will have an impact on the diamond and make it appear "hazy" or "milky". I feel like the 2.01 carat is a good value overall, but the strong fluorescence worries me. I'd love some additional input.

Thank you all!


Jan 11, 2006
Re: Help finding the right diamond! GIA too clean? 18k budge

I like the 2.01 ct stone the best of those three. It appears to be the best cut. It also appears to be eyeclean. The primary inclusion is a feather (which is a nice name for a crack), so I would want to know more about it's placement and where it might break the surface. I'd want to know if you can see it from the side. The fluorescence is usually not an issue. I really love it, actually. I don't think you can do much better at 2 cts. But there are many other choices around 1.8 such as the ones Coralfish posted (and others) if you want a top cut diamond. Here is another:


Dec 2, 2014
Re: Help finding the right diamond! GIA too clean? 18k budge

I agree with DS... The 2.01 looks fantastic. Beautiful stone at a good price.
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