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Help with 3 Carat Round Cut Diamond Choices

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Hi all,

I'm new to all of this - although learning as much as I can from the forums (which are super helpful). I'm looking for a ~3 carat round diamond for an engagement ring. I've generally hewed to looking at things in the $30-40k range, and am currently in the process of evaluating a few different rocks (still in the early stages):

1 - http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD06710197 (Ideal Cut, 3.3 ct, F, SI1, Medium Florescence) - I've been getting some conflicting advice about the "twinning wisps" that are shown in the GIA report; I'll note that BlueNile has indicated that this stone is eye-clean)

2 - http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD07355368 (Ideal Cut, 3.06 ct, G, VS2, Medium Fluorescence) - BlueNile is evaluating to see if this is eye-clean)

3 - http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD07239961 (Ideal Cut, G, VS2, Strong Florescence) - BlueNile is evaluating to see if this is eye-clean as well as for fluorescence impact)

Was wondering if the community could provide any thoughts they might have on these, as well as things that I might be failing to look out for, or if there is anything else I should be thinking about. I've learned somewhat about proportions and these seem to comport with what I've been told by various friends (and jewelers with, as is to be expected, agendas). If any of the community here could take a look at these and the linked GIA reports and provide any thoughts I'd really appreciate it.

I understand BlueNile may not be everyone's favorite here, and I'm not wedded to them - just beginning my process on one of the more easy-to-use interfaces :)

Thanks ----
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
All are straight NO's. Are you stuck with BN or can we expand your vendor selection?

Also read below.


Are you sure wearer wants a round diamond? How do you know?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
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 as GIA's criteria for EX cut is over broad and includes many stones have compromised light performance, or spread. And you must stick to GIA and AGS only (HPD in Europe is good as well). EGL is a bad option: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/[/URL]
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want?
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-cut
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.
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/holloway-cut-advisor
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? Not really.

So what you need is a way to check actual light performance of your actual stone.
That's what an idealscope image does. https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/firescope-idealscope
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. Most vendor "ideal" designations are overbroad so you cannot rely on them.

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: 40.6-40.9 (there is a little give on this). And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA checks for you.
Also you need these numbers PLUS he HCA. Not one or the other.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Thanks, Gypsy - I'm going to read and understand what you posted now and will respond with further thoughts shortly. Really appreciate the explanation. Re: the wearer - she's expressed her preference.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
And to your other question - I am open to expanding my vendor selection, certainly. Want to proceed with caution and informed decision-making, but certainly appreciate that the posters here have a lot more experience and can try to point me in the right direction, which I'd greatly appreciate.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If wearer has a Pinterest account with rings pinned please post images here for us to see.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
She doesn't have a Pinterest, unfortunately. She's put just enough thought into that she's made up her mind as to the aesthetic that she wants - round solitaire in a simple setting; but all of the details are (as is appropriate - but - sigh) for me to optimize.

I ran the HCA tool on the three diamonds that I linked to and got the following scores:

1 - 2.4
2 - 2.4
3 - 4.8

Based on the criteria you set out, it seems like 3 is an easy "hard no," and 1 or 2 are really only in the "maybe" category after the first pass (HCA evaluation). I'm still digging in to understand more about what you said re: Idealscope; doing my background reading now. I've also started poking around some of the other sites you've recommended.

Appreciate the guidance so far as well as any other considerations I should be keeping in mind (as I continue to learn more about cut, fire, and brilliance, I'd love any thoughts about how I've calibrated the color and clarity as well and whether there are further optimizations or recalibrations there).

Thanks again----
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
antics|1471479661|4067119 said:
She doesn't have a Pinterest, unfortunately. She's put just enough thought into that she's made up her mind as to the aesthetic that she wants - round solitaire in a simple setting; but all of the details are (as is appropriate - but - sigh) for me to optimize.

I ran the HCA tool on the three diamonds that I linked to and got the following scores:

1 - 2.4
2 - 2.4
3 - 4.8

Based on the criteria you set out, it seems like 3 is an easy "hard no," and 1 or 2 are really only in the "maybe" category after the first pass (HCA evaluation). I'm still digging in to understand more about what you said re: Idealscope; doing my background reading now. I've also started poking around some of the other sites you've recommended.

Appreciate the guidance so far as well as any other considerations I should be keeping in mind (as I continue to learn more about cut, fire, and brilliance, I'd love any thoughts about how I've calibrated the color and clarity as well and whether there are further optimizations or recalibrations there).

Thanks again----
You missed the part where I said HCA is not enough. You need the numbers to fall in the range I posted for you in bold in addition to HCA. So all of your picks fall outside of those numbers. Which disqualifies them. As for idealscope and ASET, that is required on anything 2 and over and BN does not provide either. :wavey:
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Thanks! This is very helpful.

I've requested the Idealscope images for the B2C stones you've identified, as well as the gemologists view as to whether they are eye-clean. They aren't able to get the Idealscope images for two of them (with partner jewelers that lack the technology) but I will look forward to the information they do provide me tomorrow.

I'm also reaching out to James Allen to see what information they can provide. This is very helpful, once again - much appreciated. I've already learned a lot today.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Just a regular image goes a long way too, so get those too.

Glad to help! :wavey:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,513
antics|1471479661|4067119 said:
She doesn't have a Pinterest, unfortunately. She's put just enough thought into that she's made up her mind as to the aesthetic that she wants - round solitaire in a simple setting; but all of the details are (as is appropriate - but - sigh) for me to optimize.

I ran the HCA tool on the three diamonds that I linked to and got the following scores:

1 - 2.4
2 - 2.4
3 - 4.8

Thanks again----
they are cut too deep.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,617

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
While it is true most 3 carat Si1 stones aren't eyeclean, I do not think you should rule them out. 3 carat stones are rare, well cut ones rarer. You have, frankly, a low budget for a 3 carat G or better stone. Yes, you can afford a G Si1, but most aren't going to be eyeclean, and a G Vs2 is going to cost you closer to 50k. So limiting the already slim pool seems unwise to me by ruling Si1 out entirely.

Please do post pictures from her Pinterest page for us.

And, honestly if you can raise your budget and/or lower the weight and/or the color requirements, then we can find you more to chose from.

Tell us about her? Is size the most important factor to her? If it is, then dropping to H would be advisable.

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/R302-107162565 Over budget, but it's ready to go and truly beautiful.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Thanks again to all that have posted. I'm looking at the stones that you recommended and continuing to learn (from this and other threads on the forum) -- although it's a lot to take in!

In relevant part, the wearer of this - well, she's going to be happy with whatever I get and trusts that I'm going to strike the right balance once I've done the appropriate research.

I don't have any sacred cows - the stones that I listed in my original post were ~3ct, G (one F), SI1-VS2.

Size: I'm flexible on the size of the stone (the right cut, I'm learning, can impact not only fire/brilliance but also the size of the stone as perceived -- and some of these distinctions --- <.3mm --- can be indistinguishable).

Color: I'm also flexible on the color - not holding to G; it just happened to strike what seemed to be a reasonable middle ground, although I've looked at plenty of H's as well.

Clarity: I'd imagine (or at least, hope) that y'all are probably somewhat in agreement that this is a reasonable threshold on the low end, and for the SI1s at this size it would require verification that it is eye-clean. Don't much care about the human eye can't see (and don't know enough about the various types of inclusions - just beginning to understand the various types and their relevance) unless it's something that would have actual impact on structural integrity or is otherwise highly undesirable for some reason.

Budget: Could probably go up to $45k, although I'd rather not. I'm not in an undue rush; would like to move in the next few weeks (although I am in a position to pounce whenever the right stone is found); so I have the benefit of seeing some of the turnover and more stones as they become available. While I've still got much to learn to make sure I get the right diamond, I feel like (and tell me if I'm wrong) the overall characteristics of the stone I'm looking for should be doable - with some patience - sub $40k.

Thoughts? Appreciate everyone's help, again. It's amazing to me how many people make this decision without learning; I don't think for any other purchase of this magnitude people would act so rashly.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,188
Just a comment on clarity. As Gypsy mentioned it is not that easy to find a completely eye-clean Si1 in a 3ct size. Clarity grades are to a degree relativistic, so the same size inclusion that would result in an Si2 in a smaller stone and be easily eye-visible, could be an si1 in a larger stone - and of course just as eye visible. On the flip side, an Si1 in a 3ct could very well be completely eye clean, in which case you would need to verify that the stone does not suffer from any light performance deficits due to inclusion types that are difficult or impossible to resolve with the naked eye.

Final thought, just because an inclusion is technically eye-visible does not mean that the stone cannot be very beautiful and that the vast majority of observers would never notice the inclusion(s). What matters more is your tolerance for being able to see it yourself.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Texas Leaguer -

Thanks - appreciate it. What inclusion types "are difficult or impossible to resolve with the naked eye" that would cause light performance deficits?
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,188
antics|1471558521|4067465 said:
Texas Leaguer -

Thanks - appreciate it. What inclusion types "are difficult or impossible to resolve with the naked eye" that would cause light performance deficits?
Inclusions such as crystals are often the easiest to see as they are solid in nature and can show up in high relief. Feathers can also be pretty visible, especially when viewed perpendicular to the plane. Inclusions such as clouds, twinning wisps and graining tend to be transparent-ish in nature. As such many people prefer these inclusion types. However, if they are too numerous, too dense, or located in certain areas within the diamond,(often a combination) they can impede light to a degree that reduces brilliancy. This effect can be subtle and not readily apparent to an average consumer.
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
Hi all,

Thanks for your help so far - I've asked for images (Idealscope and pictures) on a number of stones from several websites and am awaiting their response. In the meantime I'd love your thoughts on this one:

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD07418405

Color is a little lower but clarity is significantly better. I put the numbers through HCA and it came out at 1.7 - so perhaps a candidate? I understand (or am led to understand) the girdle is a little thicker than ideal...thoughts?

Thanks ----
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,513
antics|1471807017|4068396 said:
Hi all,

Thanks for your help so far - I've asked for images (Idealscope and pictures) on a number of stones from several websites and am awaiting their response. In the meantime I'd love your thoughts on this one:

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD07418405

Color is a little lower but clarity is significantly better. I put the numbers through HCA and it came out at 1.7 - so perhaps a candidate? I understand (or am led to understand) the girdle is a little thicker than ideal...thoughts?

Thanks ----
The stone looks a bit deep (62.7%) so the diameter will look smaller for its weight. Do you mind owning a blue fluorescence stone?
 

antics

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
9
I don't think we conceptually mind owning a blue fluorescent stone as long as it isn't contributing milkiness to it. I see that the depth is a little outside the perfect range that was noted above; but it seems like it is still likely to look quite substantial and also to fit some of the other parameters (cut, clarity, budget) nicely.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,513
antics|1471813059|4068414 said:
I don't think we conceptually mind owning a blue fluorescent stone as long as it isn't contributing milkiness to it. I see that the depth is a little outside the perfect range that was noted above; but it seems like it is still likely to look quite substantial and also to fit some of the other parameters (cut, clarity, budget) nicely.
The chances of that happening is very slim. I own a VSB stone and I don't see any milkiness, maybe IDK what milkiness look like.. :bigsmile: Here's a pic of my wife's 3.34ct non fluorescent stone vs my VSB stone under the sun.

img_12562.jpg
 

breanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
188
I don't know what 'your' parameters are, but depth is part of cut, so ideally, to me, I wouldn't compromise on that aspect.
 
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