Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Help! Trying to select a diamond

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
First post! First of all, this is a great forum and I've learned quite a bit from it!

Now onto the problem: I have three choices, all from uniondiamond.com. As of right now, I'm pretty confident that I'm going to go with Union Diamond as they can make my custom ring within my time frame (I need it for the end of October which is the last time I will see my girlfriend until Christmas) and I like dealing with someone online (until this point . . .) however, I could be sold on someone else if it met all my specifications. My budget is $5K although I'd prefer to stay even lower than that. The quotes I've gotten on the custom setting range between $1,700 - 1,925 (14K white gold) to $2,200 - 2,900 (platinum); I'm not yet decided on which one I'd prefer.

I've obtained all the information I could, have looked up the HCA scores, etc etc. They say the don't have the IS images so I'm at a loss at which one to pick. If and when I do decide on one of these, I will take it to an independent appraiser. Which one would you take:

Diamond #1:
Carat: 0.51
Colour: H
Clarity: VS2
Cut/Polish/Symnetry: Excellent
Florescence: None
Certifcation: GIA
HCA: 1.9 (Excellent)
Price: $1970
Notes (from seller):Very beautiful stone, the H color is good, very white, the VS2 is totally eye clean, under magnification, there is a small faint cloud inclusion in the table, and small white feather off to the side. It’s a beautiful diamond with amazing fire and sparkle. Gorgeous!

Diamond #2:
Carat: 0.52
Colour: H
Clarity: VS2
Cut/Polish/Symnetry: Excellent
Florescence: None
Certifcation: GIA
HCA: 1.3
Price: $1973
Notes (from seller): also a very beautiful diamond, good white H color as well, VS2 is eye clean, under magnification there is a small white inclusion on the side of the table and off to the side in the crown. Nice VS2.

Diamond #3:
Carat: 0.58
Colour: I
Clarity: Si1
Cut/Polish/Symnetry: Excellent
Florescence: None
Certifcation: GIA
HCA:1.9
Price: $1665
Notes (from seller): very nice diamond, it’s a nice white I color, the SI1 is also nice and eye clean. Under magnification, there is a faint white feather in the table and a few wispy inclusions in the stone. Not at all eye visible. Nice big millimeter spread, it’s a really good size, and extremely brilliant. Gorgeous stone.

So here are my questions:
1. Which one should I pick of the above?
2. Should uniondiamond.com be able to provide me with more information before I get one of these in hand?
3. How much should an appraiser cost? I live in NYC. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Post the GIA report number.

Also, UD should be able to provide you idealscope image of the stones.
 

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
GIA Report numbers:
Diamond #1: 2131624560
Diamond #2: 2131519565
Diamond #3: 1127295446

I am still pushing my contact to get the Ideal Scopes and will post if/when I receive them.
 

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
Stone-cold - thanks for your help!

The last email I received from UD said the following:
"Unfortunately we don’t have those images available. The stones are with our diamond cutters, and they do not have an IS or an ASET to take those images for us. The stones you are inquiring on are all triple excellent by GIA standards which is the foremost authority in gemology and they all rate well on the HCA. They are all beautiful diamonds. And of course you will get to see the diamond in person before making the ring to ensure it meets your needs, so you will see for yourself how beautiful it is. Once you see the stone, you can either bring it to either GIA (since you are in NY) to be verified or to an independent appraiser to confirm the stones exceptional quality. "

Unfortunately, I can only pick on stone to be shipped to me. Based on what we know, am I getting good value on these diamonds? As of right now, I am leaning towards the .58 carat ring however I'm interested in how much of a difference the HCA score of 1.2 vs. 1.9 is.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
HCA is a rejection tool not a selection tool, meaning it will tell you which are the ones not worth looking at but not which one looked the best. All tools we have at the present are rejection tool, just progressively more stringent.

My preference would also be with the I SI1.
 

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
I've gotten a picture of the 0.58K diamond. See attached - can we tell anything from this picture?

image003.jpg
 

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
I just went to the diamond district and talked to a store there where I had been referred. She said to put less emphasis on cut and finish and more emphasis on color and size (showing me 0.7ct instead of 0.5, E's instead of I). She showed me a 0.7ish SI2/VS2 VG cut, VG/G polish and symmetry which would set me back about $3Kish (i would say similar to #AE0055823 at Union Diamond).

I asked her to show me one I stone, but she didn't really give me a chance to look at it closely; instead, she would just show it against a white sheet of paper (and I could see the color) and strongly recommended against going into the near colourless range which is the exact opposite of what everything online says. What am I supposed to make of this?

She also didn't particularly like my setting - saying it was too big and a 0.5ct diamond would be overwhelmed in it; I pushed her to get me a custom quote so she is going to get back to me on that - with about half a carat of diamonds in the setting (more than what i've been hearing from the online guys I've been talking to). Lastly, she recommended 18K white gold vs. 14K white gold - what are the benefits to this?

So confused . . .
 

arof

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
6
All GIA certified; i was at the jewelry store, so the lighting there.

Would you stil recommend going with the I color?
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,130
arof|1316886330|3024722 said:
I just went to the diamond district and talked to a store there where I had been referred. She said to put less emphasis on cut and finish and more emphasis on color and size (showing me 0.7ct instead of 0.5, E's instead of I). She showed me a 0.7ish SI2/VS2 VG cut, VG/G polish and symmetry which would set me back about $3Kish (i would say similar to #AE0055823 at Union Diamond).

I asked her to show me one I stone, but she didn't really give me a chance to look at it closely; instead, she would just show it against a white sheet of paper (and I could see the color) and strongly recommended against going into the near colourless range which is the exact opposite of what everything online says. What am I supposed to make of this?

She also didn't particularly like my setting - saying it was too big and a 0.5ct diamond would be overwhelmed in it; I pushed her to get me a custom quote so she is going to get back to me on that - with about half a carat of diamonds in the setting (more than what i've been hearing from the online guys I've been talking to). Lastly, she recommended 18K white gold vs. 14K white gold - what are the benefits to this?

So confused . . .

1. The I SI will be clearly and visibly and memorably bigger than the Hs IRL to most people I think. That may or may not be important to you/your SO, depending on how size factors into your priorities.

2. It's a pity you didn't get to look at the stone in a variety of conditions, most of which you can indeed find at any jewellery store - the spotlights of course, then diffuse sunlight behind a piece of paper held up to a window, in direct sunlight by a window, in the back office lights, in the dimness under a desk... that would have been far more illuminating, I'm sure. You are never actually going to see the diamond upside down against a white sheet of paper unset, afterall, a more realistic representation would've been useful.

3. Proportions affect colour perception - a deeper stone, one that's cut one way as opposed to another of the same colour will show colour face-up differently, even within the same shape genre. Here's a great example of a more extreme case, both have the same colour designation from GIA (Y/Z), differently proportioned (to some extent photography, lighting, etc. as well play a part, though what that part is we don't know)

OMBDBLPhotograph.jpg
GOGOMBYZPHOTO.jpg

But.. that's neither here nor there. My point is: a stone of certain proportions (types PSers will recommend as "well cut") will show less body colour face-up because they return light differently from stones with different proportions. If the stone she showed you was "poorly cut" - exhibited lots of leakage (light escape through the pavilion instead of being returned to your eyes), low optical symmetry, etc. that stone will look more tinted face-up than a different stone even if they both have the same official colour designation. This is because GIA, AGS grade colour in the D-Z scale as if a small chip is knocked off the stone - they don't grade 'apparent colour' face-up, even though that's what you care about!

4. Of course, an I of given proportions is going to be more tinted than a G of those same proportions! But depending on what those stones' proportions are, why it earned GIA VG (was it just because of the G finish demotion, or is it proportions-based as well? And if so how? brillianteering? ....) it may look and perform considerably differently from the UD stones you're considering.

5. Alloys in gold make it brittle, 14k will be more brittle than 18k so a prong say is technically more liable to snap off on impact.. in reality plenty of people wear 14k settings and don't have problems, so if you want 14k then get it and don't worry about it. Some people also just prefer a higher karat..
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
VG cut mostly has that grade for a reason, usually not to your advantage. Usually cut for weight retention, as stone are priced more strongly on carat then cut grade.

I color, for the stone size you are looking at, most should not be able to tell the difference once mounted, and not looking at the pavilion in a side by side comparison. Some color sensitive people may be able to. I would shop around with your gf first to find out what is her color sensitivity and preference. Some people actually prefers near colorless stone or even more tinted stone if they are not brained washed by the trade.

18k vs 14k is just the amount of gold in weight of the alloy, not necessary better or worse, depending on what the actual alloy is.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
6,585
arof|1316886330|3024722 said:
I asked her to show me one I stone, but she didn't really give me a chance to look at it closely; instead, she would just show it against a white sheet of paper (and I could see the color) and strongly recommended against going into the near colourless range which is the exact opposite of what everything online says. What am I supposed to make of this?
WTF!! I call BS! This really gets me riled up. A good vendor will let you take all the time in the world to examine a diamond in ALL types of lighting. Heck, when I went to look at ID Jewelry for diamond studs, they let me go OUTSIDE the building to look in natural light (accompanied, of course!).

When I took a trip out to Good Old Gold, Charles even brought us over to the window so we could see how the diamond "behaved" in natural light.


And don't let them down play "cut". Having seen a BGD super ideal AGS000 next to a "good" cut, to my untrained eyes, there is clearly a difference in performance.

I have used UD to source a diamond before. I gave my specs, the rep made recommendations, I had him call in the diamond to UD, he looked at it and gave his feedback, etc.

However, if you are already in NYC, and are willing to check out vendors within NYC, there are plenty of Pricescope vendors you can make appointments to go see - vendors who will give you wonderful customer service AND value cut!

Engagement Rings Direct New York NY

GoodOldGold Massapequa Park NY

I.D. Jewelry New York NY

Leon Mege New York NY

Eternity diamonds New York NY

B2C Jewels New York NY
 

thbmok

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
891
Ditto PintoBean

That sounds like a terrible vendor. Good vendors will give you as much time and information as you need to come to your own decisions on your cut/carat/color/clarity/price preferences. Good vendors absolutely will not steer you towards any specific diamond that don't match match what you are looking for.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    What is PriceScope?
    What is PriceScope?
    What is Diamond Color?
    What is Diamond Color?
    Scorpio Style
    Scorpio Style

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top