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Is it really that hard?

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Hi Folks,

I've been up all night looking online (maybe I've been going about it the wrong way?) but I have not been able to find what I'm looking for. I am beginning to think that it is a fool's errand and I have set forth expectations that are unreasonable. Basically, I'm looking for a princess cut diamond in the 2.5 Ct range that is AGS Ideal. Any ideas? I can't seem to find a single one, let alone compare a few of them. :???:

Thanks...
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Thank you CS - I am certainly surprised that there aren't more to choose from. I have to believe that there is a market for the size range I am looking at? At the risk of sounding like a complete dummy, are diamond inventories seasonal? Do mines have continuous output for rough or do they shut down for parts of the year? I know when it comes to fine grade wristwatches, the factories close every year in July and August for European vacations and availability is severely constrained.

Thanks!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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8,817
There are certain mines, like those located in Siberia or northern Canada that are seasonal in nature but this doesn’t really have much affect on the finished goods marketplace. For starters, diamonds aren’t perishable so it’s ok if they wait around a while but there are quite a few other steps like cutting, grading, importing and the like that take up a fair amount of time. The path from mine to finger is many months long even if it’s going fast and routinely it takes years.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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I think a big part of what you're experiencing has to do with the fact that the AGS "Ideal" grade for Princess cut diamonds is by no means widely accepted by cutters, dealers, or consumers.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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too late to edit, but I wanted to add that all you need to is not restrict your search to AGS graded stones only. If you consider GIA graded stones as well, you will find a much greater pool to choose from
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Hmmmm....thanks for everyone for their insights. Thanks for the tip on CraftedbyInfinity - I will take a look at them.

As for the limited adoption of the AGS standard, I do see and ultimately understand my dilemma. Would it be fair to say that a BN Signature Ideal would be comparable to a WF ACA or AGS0 or AGS1? This hyper segmentation of the market by certifications and branding is really a good marketing strategy for the sellers but I have to admit it confuses the consumer more than it provides any clarity (no pun intended!)...

thanks

RC
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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You bring up some great points.
I can not comment on any sellers or stones in particular.
But I can say I understand your dilemma.
How is a shopper to be able to make reasonable comparisons of grades issued by different sellers?


My own personal experience is that cut grading, for any fancy shaped diamond, is limited by it's nature. What are they grading?
For example, some people value perceived size.
Sometimes fancy cut diamonds can be cut, nicely, yet be a little on the shallow side.
Are these diamonds "worse" than a stone with a greater crown height, which is thought , in some camps, to improve the cut-but may also result in smaller perceived size for the weight?
Not by everyone.
When it comes to cut grading, the only systems that have enjoyed wide acceptance are GIA and AGSL cut grading on round diamonds.
Even then- finding an AGSL stone is much harder to do.

Standard advice: Get a money back guarantee-
Try and see some stones in person to get some sort of basis for comparison.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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AGSL has a tiny market share compared to GIA. The difference is at least a factor of 10. They have a narrow set of specifications on what will earn a princess the ‘0’ cut grade and it doesn’t just happen by accident. Cutters are cutting stones because they want that 0 and they want to be able to charge a premium for it. It's more work and, in most cases, the yield from the rough is less when they cut to these standards but the premium for 0 is hoped to be more than the higher labor costs and the discount for the smaller weight. 1’s are stones that they were trying to get the 0 and screwed up for some reason. 2’s are because they screwed up badly. 3-10 are effectively absent in the marketplace. Just try and find one and you'll see what I mean. GIA doesn’t give a cut grade for princesses so the 95% of the stones that wouldn’t make the 0 standards but are otherwise saleable get sent to them.

No, the Blue Nile rules for ‘signatiure ideal’ are not the same as AGS’s. They include all AGS-0’s but they have a broad category of non-AGS graded stones that are based on completely different criteria. If you want an AGS-0, buy an AGS-0. Pretty much any jeweler, including Blue Nile, can get them even if they don’t have them in stock so don’t be shy about calling and asking.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Neil- I don't think AGS0 Cut grade princess cut diamonds are all that easy for any jeweler to get their hands on.
A quick search found a 100-1 ration- GIA graded to AGS graded princess cut 2-3cts D-F IF-VS2

Plus, only one cutter is carrying the AGSL stones- while at probably 25 carry GIA stones in that range

I'm not saying not to buy one, if that's what someone wants- only that there are many amazing stones in that range with GIA reports
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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1-2 carat AGS princesses shows 77 stones listed on Rapnet and 14,000 GIA stones listed. I agree that’s not the same sort of selection by a wide margin but, 77 stones is enough that any jeweler who tries should be able to get one, especially if the buyer has some flexibility on some of the other specs. I also agree that that selection of 14,000 stones surely includes some awesome pieces. Interestingly, GIA ‘ideal’ princess, a grade that doesn’t even exist, shows 44 stones available. :nono:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,093
sumfungai|1312754873|2986055 said:
Hmmmm....thanks for everyone for their insights. Thanks for the tip on CraftedbyInfinity - I will take a look at them.

As for the limited adoption of the AGS standard, I do see and ultimately understand my dilemma. Would it be fair to say that a BN Signature Ideal would be comparable to a WF ACA or AGS0 or AGS1? This hyper segmentation of the market by certifications and branding is really a good marketing strategy for the sellers but I have to admit it confuses the consumer more than it provides any clarity (no pun intended!)...

thanks

RC

1. No, as denverappraiser said
2. Absolutely agree

AGS grades princesses for cut.. but that doesn't make princesses graded by AGS - even princesses graded 0 by AGS - better than the GIA competition. AGS has a niche of boutiques that cater to people that appreciate the specificity of the AGS cut grade and are willing to pay the premium that the AGS0 cut grade commands, but lots of vendors just prefer GIA. If all you are looking for is a pretty stone then the AGS report can help narrow a giant inventory - you know there are lovely stones w/ GIA reports, but you've got to start somewhere - but in this case it's narrowing it down too much :sick: If you're looking for an AGS stone with the AGS0 pedigree specifically then, well, we've got to work with what's available, limited as that may be.

You've got two choices here: you can either go branded, Crafted by Infinity, WF ACA, GOG signature, Solasfera, BGD Signature. Going this route guarantees you a precision cut stone with a certain aesthetic, and by extension "type" of performance - Infinity 2chevrons, say.

Or you can play potluck with the masses of commercially cut stones on JA's inventory, etc. You can certainly find beautiful stones here (though the pickings are slim right now!), and you still get services like professional inspections, ASET photos, return/upgrade policies - it'll just take more time and effort and they'll be all over the place - no predetermined Look and Feel. On the plus side they'll be less expensive.

Q - have you thought about the type of setting you want? Specifically, the type of prongs you want? If you know that you will want the regular bulb-shaped prongs, or claw prongs, or something instead of the V-prongs you might want to look into cut-cornered princess types that don't require the protection that V-prongs afford. GOG has two Princess of Hearts stones in the size range that you're looking for, if you want to investigate, and there are a handful of other similar brands.
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Wow - I never thought I'd feel that sense of complete, utter panic ever again. Just before I took the Bar Exam, my mind went blank for 30 seconds and I felt that I had completely forgotten 5 months of cramming all that information into my head. I am starting to feel that I can never learn enough to make the right decision on a diamond that will make my girl the happiest woman on earth. That, coupled with the desire to purchase this ring in 3 weeks (or sooner) prior our "trip" makes me feel that much more panicked. :shock:

David and Neil - I truly appreciate your comments and feedback and given an unlimited amount of time, I would be the guy who would be willing to look at all 17,000 stones to find the perfect diamond. Alas, I am kind of under a time crunch and thus was hoping something like AGS grading would narrow the time necessary to find something fabulous (as you both clearly pointed out). I find both your opinions insightful and appreciate your candor and integrity.

Yssie - The one think I know is that she has her heart set on a traditional princess cut diamond so the cut corners will likely not work. I plan to go with the standard Pt setting with the V prongs.

Given the fact that BN does not have ready access to the diamonds for pics, IS and ASET images, it looks like I will not be buying from them at this point given my inability to send diamonds back and forth for inspection/return. Please tell me if that is an incorrect course of action. With that key assumption, I found a few but am not sure how to proceed based on some key wisdom that I have gotten from this wonderful community...

Does anyone know if this is an in house diamond at BGD?
http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-details/?product_id=30841447

I have always preached that markets are very efficient and if something is too good to be true, it is. It actually pains me to say that I think the fact that this diamond is priced so low (of course, it is relative), there has to be something wrong with it.
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Premium-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1378155.asp

Any reservations or recommendations from the following from UD? I recall someone saying they don't stock these either so I should also pass on buying from UD?
AE0160879
AE0033381
AE0066889
AE0038269
AE0031733

This one seems intriguing....
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1375736.asp

How about one of these two from WF?
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut-loose-diamond-2488698.htm

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut-loose-diamond-2620611.htm


thanks for your help

RC
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,093
Whoa. I did a more thorough search for you, didn't unearth much of anything...


Since you asked for opinions -


That BGD is not an in-house stone - the second WF stone you've listed is the same virtual. BGD doesn't appear to have any signature princesses over 1ct.

I don't love bigger tables on princesses, so the first JA I VS2 is not my first choice. I also don't like the thin-vthk girdle range, overly thick girdle will hide weight. The second JA E SI is more promising by the numbers, though I don't like the patterning in the still photo.

We don't have enough info on the other WF G VS1 virtual to say one way or another. It's an older report so I would want an independent appraisal of the loose stone to confirm that the report represents the current condition of the stone - no chips/scratches/etc. from bad setting jobs or careless wear in those two years in between.

WF, BGD can pull stones from the virtual listings for examination, take photos, etc. if you are interested (and if the stone is available at that time, and if you're okay taking on the return shipping fees should you choose not to purchase, and if you're okay with the time it will take to put in the request, have the stone shipped, etc.) I've done this w/ WF but not with BGD, you'll want to discuss the specifics of the procedure with both. Don't know how/if UD handles it either, what info they will provide, etc.

Again, need more info on any from UD. The first UD will be significantly (visibly) out of square, and the fourth one (2.51 F VS2) and last one both have very large tables.

So far of what's in this thread I like the WF ES that centralsquare recommended best - it has the most info, and that info points to a nice looking stone. It's quite out of square though. The 2.22 E VVS1 Crafted by Infinity here is also very nice, but pricey thanks to the very high clarity.


I can imagine that this is really frustrating for you! At this point I'd recommend calling a bunch of vendors and put them on the hunt, they have more resources - starting with GOG, WF, and BGD.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I would also recommend calling vendors and seeing what they can source for you. maybe try GOG...they can make a comparison video which helps when shopping online

obviously I am not yssie but that last one you posted from JA is not my favorite.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,818
I just read this thread and wanted to comment on it: I am really impressed by the consumers' ability to help RC with his (her) search. Yssie, centralsquare, stone-cold, and slg, especially, were just amazing in how authoritative and knowledgeable they were. If I were on a diamond search, I'd really want them to have my back. Pricescope is a fabulous resource!

Deb/AGBF
:read:
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Thanks SLG, what is it about the JA below that turns you off?

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1376811.asp

I am particularly interested in certain clues and triggers that readily stick out? To be perfectly honest, all these stats are starting to run together!

Deb - I second your comments. I have been very fortunate to find this site and even more impressed with the sincerity of its members. Just don't tell my fiancee that I got all this help as she thinks I'm the smartest man in the world! Obviously, she's not met many men! :D

RC
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
sumfungai|1312822047|2986519 said:
Thanks SLG, what is it about the JA below that turns you off?

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1376811.asp

I am particularly interested in certain clues and triggers that readily stick out? To be perfectly honest, all these stats are starting to run together!

Deb - I second your comments. I have been very fortunate to find this site and even more impressed with the sincerity of its members. Just don't tell my fiancee that I got all this help as she thinks I'm the smartest man in the world! Obviously, she's not met many men! :D

RC
there is nothing 'wrong' with it but from the picture the facet pattern is not the most pleasing to my eye. This could be just the way the photograph is taken but it looks a little...flat (for lack of a better word?) and the corners seem to lack brightness.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
21,093
Huh...

Well, ditto slg, I don't like the photo at all. But you can see it wasn't centred, so the darkness at the bottom is probably at least in part thanks to the photography...

Definitely some 'mush' under the table in the corners, where you can see that each facet isn't clearly delineated. These areas won't return light as the clearly outlined facets will - they won't throw out beams of light or quickly twinkle, they'll just kinda - go from grey to white to black back to grey as you rock the stone, if you're watching them closely. But the vast majority of princesses have this region, emphasised more or less (your stud stones are the exceptions!) so the real question is whether or not it's displeasing IRL (and it may not be, the adjacent flashes might totally distract from it for example, it's just something to look out for) - we can't get that judgment from the photo!

Same issue w/ and question about the corners of the stone, though these I'm personally rather less concerned with since A) they'll be cupped w/ polished white metal, so if light does escape out the bottom a good bit of it will be redirected right back in by the insides of the prongs, and B) these areas will be outlined by the V prongs so the illusion of a smaller stone thanks to lack of edge-edge light return is less of a worry

All in all I think it's just not a flattering photo. It looks to lack contrast, but we've only got info for that precise configuration - we have no idea which of those facets will turn black and which will stay white when the stone is tilted 5degrees, 10degrees, and what patterns the slight tilts might create. I'd request the gemologist's opinion and ASET photo and go from there. Will JA take stone/ASET videos, or ASET from a variety of angles?


Hopefully others like tradepeople and Jstar will see this thread soon and give you more to chew on!
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Thanks - I have requested ASET images for diamonds 1375736 and 1376811 from JA. Has JA ever provided ASET videos like GoG? That would be something.

In the meantime, there has to be more! I'm calling BGD and WF today and GoG tomorrow when they re-open.
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
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Aug 3, 2011
Messages
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Question for Neil - Thanks for sharing the information on Rapnet regarding the virtual inventory. However, if you raised the criteria from 1-2 Ct. to 2-3 Ct. wouldn't that narrow the pool down from 77 AGS Princess cuts and 14,000 GIA Princess cuts to a much smaller number that one could analyze and sift through? I would assume that as you go larger, the pool of stones becomes smaller? I have to believe that there has to be that one perfect stone for me in that smaller pool! ;-)
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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sumfungai|1312834063|2986664 said:
Question for Neil - Thanks for sharing the information on Rapnet regarding the virtual inventory. However, if you raised the criteria from 1-2 Ct. to 2-3 Ct. wouldn't that narrow the pool down from 77 AGS Princess cuts and 14,000 GIA Princess cuts to a much smaller number that one could analyze and sift through? I would assume that as you go larger, the pool of stones becomes smaller? I have to believe that there has to be that one perfect stone for me in that smaller pool! ;-)
I'm sure it would. I picked a range that is popular and that I knew would have a lot.

I just searched. 2-3ct princess with no other criteria produces 24 AGS's and 3300 GIA's. Most jewelers, including most of the online dealers, can get nearly all of these stones but there are certain ones that the seller won't allow to be listed in online price lists and sometimes companies just don't want to work together so what you see from searching the various dealers may be less.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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8,399
I used the term 100-1 based on what I found.

denverappraiser said:
sumfungai|1312834063|2986664 said:
Question for Neil - Thanks for sharing the information on Rapnet regarding the virtual inventory. However, if you raised the criteria from 1-2 Ct. to 2-3 Ct. wouldn't that narrow the pool down from 77 AGS Princess cuts and 14,000 GIA Princess cuts to a much smaller number that one could analyze and sift through? I would assume that as you go larger, the pool of stones becomes smaller? I have to believe that there has to be that one perfect stone for me in that smaller pool! ;-)
I'm sure it would. I picked a range that is popular and that I knew would have a lot.

I just searched. 2-3ct princess with no other criteria produces 24 AGS's and 3300 GIA's. Most jewelers, including most of the online dealers, can get nearly all of these stones but there are certain ones that the seller won't allow to be listed in online price lists and sometimes companies just don't want to work together so what you see from searching the various dealers may be less.
Neil, I disagree with that statement.
There are definite channels of business- for example, cutter "A" has a relationship with a large store in Anytown USA- strong enough that they may give them an exclusive in that region. In some cases, the other store uses cutter "B"- but both have different stones.
Or, credit ratings- some sellers simply don't have the internal credit rating within the industry to convince cutters to send them an expensive stone.
Or a stone is out on memo already.

Bottom line- just because a stone is on Rapnet does not necessarily mean any it's actually available to any jeweler.
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Thanks to Neil and David for their insight - I have a few dealers looking into Rapnet now and we will see what comes up. I'll keep you all posted!

RC
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Hi Folks,

I got one come back so far:

Princess 2.15 F SI1 I I I AGS N 69.6% 69% 7.20x7.20x5.01

AGS%20Princess%202.157%20F%20SI1.jpg


I am disappointed that this was the largest AGS0 Princess cut stone that BGD found on Rapnet. Would love to hear your thoughts.

thanks,

RC
 

sumfungai

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
25
Hi - 2 more Aset images for your perusal and feedback. Appreciate any and all comments!


2.23 Ct / F / VS2 / Cut Ideal / Depth 72.3% / Table 65.00% / Pol/Sym EX/EX / Fluor NONE / Culet NON / Measurements 7.18*7.08*5.12


1376811aset.jpg


2.42 / E / SI1 / Cut Ideal / Depth 70.6% / Table 70.00% / Pol/Sym EX/VG / Fluor NONE / Culet N / Measurements 7.69*7.49*5.29
This one has been confirmed eye clean as well

1375736aset.jpg


Thank you all for your insights.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
which one did JA recommend?

I would probably pass on both and call GOG.
 
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