Help Me Make Some Sense of it All!


Dec 8, 2015
Hi all!

So, my fiance and I decided to buy the diamond for my engagement ring from Blue Nile. We are both completely new to diamond buying. I started to do some research in order to be able to make at least a somewhat informed decision. I was thrilled to find the Holloway Cut Advisor while researching. I took comfort in knowing ( or assuming) that I had some type of barometer to weed out poorer performing stones. I watched a lot of Good Old Gold videos so I had a good idea of how I wanted my stone to look and perform. After plugging in countless diamond specs into the HCA and considering cut, color, clarity, price, dimensions, fluorescence, etc... I narrowed it down to these two diamonds:

Option 1
Carat: 1.18
Color: I
Clarity: vs1
Cut: Ex
Polish: Ex
Sym: Ex
Fluo: Strong Blue
Dimensions: 6.88-6.89
Girdle: Thin- Med
Depth: 60.3%
Table: 57%
CA: 33.5
PA: 41
HCA: 1 (ex,ex,ex,ex- TIC Range)

Option 2
Carat: 1.33
Color: J
Clarity: vs2
Cut: Ex
Polish: Ex
Sym: Ex
Dimensions: 7.17-7.14
Girdle: Med
Depth: 60.4%
Table: 57%
CA: 32
PA: 41
HCA: .8 (ex,ex,ex,vg- BIC Range)

I ended up choosing option 1, the more expensive stone, because the second stone being in the "BIC range" kinda scared me into thinking it would not have enough fire and contrast for my taste. I also wanted the strong blue fluorescence of the first diamond. Option 1 arrived and visually, I love it. To my untrained eye, it performs beautifully. But... My fiance thinks its too small. So I ordered the second diamond, the larger one, so that I could compare the two in person. Within hours of ordering the second stone, I received a call from a BN "senior gem expert". He basically says, "I see you just ordered another stone. It looks like you're trying to compare the two, and we don't really encourage that method. I can help you with your diamond selection". I was a little taken aback, but I let him know that I loved the diamond I got, but I may want a larger stone. He tells me that the 1.33 is not going to be significantly larger than the 1.18 when it isn't side by side; I should go up to 1.5 to see a difference. He has me pull up the product page of an equally priced 1.53 carat and asks me if I'd like that one better. Now I'm thinking: how the heck would I know if I like that one, I obviously don't know what it looks like, I don't know the HCA... I let him know that I'd been using the HCA and he informs (or misinforms, idk) me that the HCA is an antiquated tool that is 30 or so years older that GIA's modern method of evaluating diamonds. He says that he's sure the 1.53 will perform the same as the 1.18 and may even have more fire. So still unsure, but taking his word for it, I let him set up an exchange. This is the diamond that was suggested by the BN gemologist:

Option 3
Carat: 1.53
Color: J
Clarity: vvs2
Cut: Ex
Polish: Ex
Sym: Ex
Fluo: Strong Blue
Dimensions: 7.35-6.37
Girdle: Med
Depth: 62.3%
Table: 56%
CA: 36
PA: 40.6
HCA: 1.8 (ex,ex,vg,vg- FIC Range)

So, obviously, I calculated the HCA anyway. And it does fall below a 2, but the scintillation is only VG. Is this stone going to have less sparkle? It also falls within the FIC range and I don't really know what that means performance wise. I really need help sorting through all of this info. The 1.53 does look intriguing, but I don't want to make a bad decision and lose the 1.18 that I can see clearly performs well. Im just getting very confused and flustered and would like to have some opinions of the stones based on the provided info.


Nov 7, 2015
1. You mentioned that you watched many GOG videos. Have you watched this one?
This should give you an idea how super ideals are selected.
You can find a better stone.

2. Post your budget, and 4Cs you are looking for. Members here will find you a perfect stone for you in no time.

the HCA is an antiquated tool
This is the reason why I don't even bother to talk to these diamond "experts", or shop from them.


Oct 24, 2012
I am so sorry that the "expert" called you and bullied you into buying a 1.53. I agree that you wouldn't see much of a difference from a 1.33, but that is your decision to make. It doesn't matter what they "encourage". Are you allowed to buy the stone or aren't you? It's not your fault that they don't offer ASET image.

However, good luck! I hope you like your stone. I think it will be pretty. I do think you should tell, write a review of how didn't appreciate how BN communicated with you and bullied you, even if you do love your stone. You should be allowed to buy two stones, as long as you have the money to pay for it.
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