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Help with Princess Cut Diamonds

Kellie1982

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
6
Hello all!
This will be my very first post on PriceScope! I have been doing some research on my own before learning of PS - but I am thrilled to have found this site and I have already been lurking and checking out the info.

Here is my info and questions (and please forgive me if these are silly ones - I am still learning):
My boyfriend and I are looking into purchasing a princess cut, 1.25-1.5 carat, F-G color, VVS1 - S12 depending on eye cleanliness and price. All of that aside, I desparately want to make sure the cut is Ideal or Excellent because I would love to have a super sparkler.

Question 1: I was just informed by someone at White Flash that GIA does not grade cuts. I wanted to know if there is any way to determine/find out the cut of the diamond w/o having it inspected.

Question 2: It seems that AGS diamonds are more expensive as well, is that because of the additional grading? I really care about the cut, but want to save as much money as possible without compromising too much. If it comes down to it, I am afraid I have to narrow down to AGS graded diamonds because I can rest assured that my cut is what I want.

Question 3: Since clarity seems to be the most reasonable feature to sacrifice on, I thought to ask if inclusions tend to worsen and damage the diamond over time.

Lastly, I wanted to share my 4 C's "scale of importance" with you guys to see how you felt about what I am focusing on. Comments and suggestions welcome!

Starting from most important:
1) Cut - ideal to excellent
2) Color - I have a feeling some won't agree on color over carat, but since I haven't seen any diamonds in person, I am hoping some side by side comparisons could help me with this.
3) Carat weight
4) Clarity - no visible inclusions in plain view

Thanks ahead of time for your help! :)) I hope I can get some good insight on this.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
1) no. Unless the vendor can provide ASET image.

2) Yap, premium associated with knowing that it is a well cut stone. As above, ASET image can help narrow down the search of stones not graded by AGS.

3) Clarity, generally no problem at SI2 but dependent on the type, severity, extent and location.
 

druidtime

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
44
It sounds like you have been doing your homework.

As far as clarity goes, I have read that the princess shape in particular can be 'more forgiving' in regards to inclusions compared to other shapes. Easily an SI1, SI2, or perhaps even a higher I1 can still be eye-clean.

I personally went with a VS2 clarity stone. It is not a guarantee that it is eye-clean, but the way the statistics are, its generally a safe bet when buying online that AGS/GIA VS2 would not disappoint. Whatever clarity you go with, if you open the box and you see something you didn't want to, be sure that your return policy will cover that.

The price premium for an AGS 000 stone is pretty steep compared to the rest of the diamonds but will ensure lab backed performance parameters.

GIA does not grade fancy shapes yet. AGS is the premier authority certifying princess cuts. Here is a calculator from AGA that you can run the specs of the stone through to get their grade. If you get a 1A or 1B you should have a good sparkler on your hands!

You will need the crown height for the stone which can usually be found on the diamond's certifications. This crown height % must be measured in a lab and not by hand.

http://datlas.com/AGA_NAJA_Cut_Class_grader/index.php
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-grading-chart-princess

My stone was only GIA/GCAL graded from blue nile's signature line. I ran the diamond through the AGA's calculator after I bought it, and it returned a 1A score. Even though it didn't go to AGS to get graded, I am very happy with a 1A from AGA's calculator and from blue nile's signature line, as much as that's worth.

Here is the stone I chose and we both love it.
http://www.bluenile.com/princess-cut-diamond-1-carat-or-less-very-good-cut-d-color-vs2-clarity_LD01695706

Good Luck!
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
druidtime|1308077678|2945821 said:
It sounds like you have been doing your homework.

As far as clarity goes, I have read that the princess shape in particular can be 'more forgiving' in regards to inclusions compared to other shapes. Easily an SI1, SI2, or perhaps even a higher I1 can still be eye-clean.

I personally went with a VS2 clarity stone. It is not a guarantee that it is eye-clean, but the way the statistics are, its generally a safe bet when buying online that AGS/GIA VS2 would not disappoint. Whatever clarity you go with, if you open the box and you see something you didn't want to, be sure that your return policy will cover that.

The price premium for an AGS 000 stone is pretty steep compared to the rest of the diamonds but will ensure lab backed performance parameters.

GIA does not grade fancy shapes yet. AGS is the premier authority certifying princess cuts. Here is a calculator from AGA that you can run the specs of the stone through to get their grade. If you get a 1A or 1B you should have a good sparkler on your hands!

You will need the crown height for the stone which can usually be found on the diamond's certifications. This crown height % must be measured in a lab and not by hand.

http://datlas.com/AGA_NAJA_Cut_Class_grader/index.php
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-grading-chart-princess

My stone was only GIA/GCAL graded from blue nile's signature line. I ran the diamond through the AGA's calculator after I bought it, and it returned a 1A score. Even though it didn't go to AGS to get graded, I am very happy with a 1A from AGA's calculator and from blue nile's signature line, as much as that's worth.

Here is the stone I chose and we both love it.
http://www.bluenile.com/princess-cut-diamond-1-carat-or-less-very-good-cut-d-color-vs2-clarity_LD01695706

Good Luck!
Thanks for the AGS resource, druidtime. I've got a princess too and I'd like to find out more about its cut grade as well. However, my GIA certificate doesn't give a crown height percentage. Did yours? How were you able to run their test?

Edit: I just checked out the link to your diamond and I see that you were given the crown height measurement.
 

Kellie1982

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
6
Druid - thank you, thank you for the info and the links as well. Yes, I've been doing a lot of research. I just want to make sure that if we purchase wholesale (and it looks like we might be using a local broker) that we get a decent deal and get what we pay for. My boyfriend is a lot more lenient than I am when it comes to looking into this stuff - but I could see him being taken for a fool if he goes in knowing nothing about what good quality is. And like I said - I want something sparkly. :)

Thanks again to all of you - keep the information and comments coming. I need all the advice I can get!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I would go look at some diamonds in person-it is quite possible you will not notice any difference between F G and H and that could get you some extra size. Also I would not consider VVS clarity stones if clarity is least important to you--you can narrow your search to VS-SI.
 

PCMusicGuy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
26
I'll throw in my $0.02. I've been looking for a quality princess stone for over 6 months now. I'm looking in the 1.5 to 1.75 ct range which are pretty tough to find with the light performance I want. I've looked at dozens of stones in person, bringing my ASET everywhere and looking at stones in the sunlight when allowed.

I've been disappointed with every GIA stone I've viewed including a 1.75 IF D stone from a local jeweler, an expert selection WhiteFlash stone, and too many others to count. Finding a local jeweler that carries AGS stones is not always the easiest thing, even for a city the size of Houston.

AGS stones I saw included a Peerless stone (from Jared) that sparkled very well but they are too overpriced for what they are. I also saw some Solasfera stones that are beautiful but almost never come in the size I want. Most recently, I viewed a Crafted by Infinity stone locally and it was gorgeous. All of the nice looking stones were AGS certified.

So if you really have your heart set on something that really sparkles, AGS is what you want. I did get a chance to see a WhiteFlash ACA stone in person and they look pretty good. Certainly better than any of the GIA stones I've seen. Also, I know you list clarity as the least important thing, but during my search I saw a lot of VS2 and VS1 stones that were NOT eye clean from the side, looking up towards the table of the stone. This could be a factor depending on how the princess is set. In addition, If it comes down to a few different stones and you need to narrow it further, if applicable, I would avoid stones with feathers near the corners as it only increases the risk of damage during the setting process.
 
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