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Is this a good buy?

WhitGA88

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
27
My boyfriend might pull the trigger on a stone tomorrow. We have done so much research and truthfully are exhausted from this search. My wish list is around 2.2 ct I-J color, eye clean GIA XXX for around 14K. I really want the cut to be amazing. I read so much on here about ideal AGS, HCA, Idealscope and look at the Brian Gavin / white flash stones all the time but they are out of budget. I personally have not seen an HCA <2 in person, although my boyfriend has and said he could not tell much difference to the comparison stone. He is aware of the HCA pitfalls and isn't as strict about buying a stone <2 as I am. Of the stones I have seen I find that a lot appear "dark" inside, like they have black shadows. I think I am picking up on the cut? Although every stone we have seen is GIA excellent cut.

The specs for the stone he is considering are: Depth: 62.8 , Table: 57 , Crown: 36.5 and Pavillion: 40.8. I haven't seen it but it is eye clean and appears white to my boyfriend. HCA is greater than 2, and more concerning to me is that it falls out of the GIA excellent cut range on the graph despite it having an excellent cut certification. It is a 2.4 which is bigger than I wanted, but of course I think that would be great :)

We have looked into buying online but are concerned as we want to get a custom setting that its a lot of moving parts to get the stone (possibly have to return if we dont like it, wait for money to get back in the account, buy another one, etc), have a jeweler create the setting and have it set....rather than going to 1 store who can do it all with a stone we approve upfront.

The stone I have found online is 2.2 ct HCA <2, eye clean, J color (does appear to have some warmth when really zoomed in) - specs are Depth: 62.1 , Table: 56 , Crown: 35 , Pavillion 40.8 . It is about 1K more expensive than the 2.4.

The question I have is, for untrained eyes, will the 2.4 ct be okay? It certainly would be easier! But I do want the best our money can buy.

Thanks, in advance, for your input!
 

skypie

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
503
If you are placing an emphasis on cut that 2.4 stone might leave you disappointed. The crown angle is extremely high and the stone is deep. Almost guaranteed to have light leakage.
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
So, let's talk a bit about cut and size.

The stone with the 36.5 crown and 62.8 depth is what we call a steep/deep. It will appear darker that a properly proportioned stone. And, most important for you, it is a deep stone that will appear smaller than its carat weight both because it is too deep to face up at the right dimensions for its weight, and because it is poorly cut, and will not have the edge to edge brilliance required for it to look as big as possible. So cut affects size more. And SIZE is what matters, not WEIGHT. It is a mistake to confuse the two.

I know you've said that you've done your research and you can't make an ideal cut stone work with your budget. I am going to challenge you on that a bit.

You aren't wearing the lab report on your finger. You are wearing the diamond. So it doesn't matter what the diamond weighs. It matters what the diamond looks like. And nothing affects a diamond's appearance as much as cut. Period. That goes for how large the stone looks. A deep stone like that will face up small and look small.

You would do much better to drop your weight requirements to a stone that is 1.8-2.0 ct and is as close to 8mm and you can get (7.8 or higher) and go for the best cut you can. People will stop you in the streets asking to look at your diamond because it looks so huge and amazing. I've had it happen wearing the Crafted by Infinity diamond in my Avatar.

You don't want a dull, dark, heavy rock on your fingers. You are spending a lot of money on a special purchase. Don't skimp on the most important part: cut.

See here what I mean. Which diamond would you rather have? This is exactly your dilemma. Your 62.8 depth 36.5 crown stone is the one on the right. See how little that extra 20 points in weight matters? And the extra diameter? It doesn't. The smaller, lighter stone LOOKS bigger. And that's due entirely to the edge to edge brilliance I mentioned earlier. And you ONLY get that with a stone that doesn't compromise cut.

diamond-brightness-size-2.jpg
 

WhitGA88

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
27
Thank you for your quick replies! I'm bummed it's a "deep and steep" - I was so ready to just be done! How about the one I found online?

Are we likely to find a better stone online or do the B&M jewelers expertise in choosing stones better/equivalent to what we can do online?
 

skypie

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
503
Can you post the link to the stone you found online? Does it have IS or ASET images?
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
Thank you for your quick replies! I'm bummed it's a "deep and steep" - I was so ready to just be done! How about the one I found online?
The angles are not complimentary. Which is why it failed the HCA. HCA is a bare bones pass/fail test for GIA stones. 2 and under a pass, which means that the stone warrants further investigation because the angles are complimentary. Over two and it's a fail because the angles are not complimentary to reflect light.

Are we likely to find a better stone online or do the B&M jewelers expertise in choosing stones better/equivalent to what we can do online?
There are good B&M jewelers and there are bad ones. There are good online retailers and there are bad ones. You need to do your research, that's why the people on these boards recommend the same retailers time and again, they have proven to be good ones.

There is no "better;" it's just what works better for you.

For example, Crafted by Infinity, the superideals we carry at HPD, are sold through us online, but they are also sold through B&M stores all over the US and internationally as well. Now, some people prefer online and contact us, and some people prefer to go to a showroom and so that's what they do. Some go to a showroom and still buy from us. There really is no "better," its just based on what customer's preferences.

Some people want a professional to recommend stones to them and find them the right stone. Others do not, they want to do their own research and see what stones are out there and pick the ones they like and then have the jeweler bring them in.

And you can have both experiences at a B&M and online. There are many online retailers, us included, with staff that are happy to hand hold customers through out the buying process. And there are B&Ms where you have to be dying to get someone to notice you and come over to help.

Either way, on these boards we recommend working with retailers with impeccable reputations, great return policies, a strong history of excellent customer service, and exceptional trade-in and buy-back policies.

And that goes for B&Ms, online retailers, and hybrids. You even see some people that do both on Pricescope. They will buy an amazing stone online. And then also work with a local jeweler to find a diamond based on their research parameters, then take the online stone into the local jeweler (there are tips and tricks to watch out for if you do this) and compare them head to head.

This is what you need to ask yourself:

What do you want in a jewelry shopping experience? Do you want hand holding from a jeweler? If you do, ask for jewelers that will provide you that (many online do as well, you don't have to be at a B&M to get this)? Do you want someone on these boards to find you the best stone for your budget-- these boards are full of knowledgeable people here to help you with just that. Or do you want something else. Just ask for it, and Pricescope can help you find it.

This experience can be whatever you want it to be. :wavey:
 
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TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
1,248
I second the recommendation to drop in size and make sure it's an excellent cut. Make cut your top priority. There's many images like the one posted by @LaylaR above demonstrating how a smaller diamond with excellent light return will look bigger than a larger diamond with leakage.

1.8 carat H SI1 with great proportions. Inclusions are off the table and should be eye clean:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.80-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3670784

Here's a 2 carat that meets your budget and is an excellent cut (and should be eye clean):
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.00-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4379297

Here's a 2.05 carat "I" that meets your criteria and has excellent proportions, although it is about 1K over your budget My favorite if your budget permits:
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.05-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3297805
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
Just as an FYI: AGS0 trumps HCA. HCA is a basic screening tool for GIA stones. AGS evaluates the actual stone, not rounded numbers on a GIA lab report like the HCA. So you don't run the HCA on AGS0 stones.
 

WhitGA88

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
27
I see! Thank you for all your replies. I have requested ASET images of the online stone and will see where it goes. I really love the stones recommended above - thanks! Of course, I do have my heart set around a 2.2 ct - just because all of the >2cts have looked so good on my size 7.5 finger compared to the 2 - but I do understand that cut affects the look.

but to clarify once more - if the 2.4 deep/steep stone LOOKS awesome in person but angles are off - is it still a bad buy? Or should I never consider a stone with these angles no matter how it looks?

I appreciate the help so very much!
 

skypie

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
503
If you see a stone in person and you love the way it looks (inside AND outside of the jewelry store)...I'd say just buy it! Emphasis on not judging the diamond on how it looks inside the jewelry store since EVERYTHING looks amazing under jewelry store lighting.

However, all the discussion of angles and ASET and IS images are invaluable when you can't see the stone in person.
 
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HappyNewLife

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
2,524
If you love the stone in person and the vendor has a good return policy, you could always buy an ASET and idealscope and check for light return at home.
 

pfunk

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
770
The key has already been stated... you need to see the diamond that you love not only in the favorable spot lighting of the jewelery store, but also in daylight and ugly incandescent indoor lighting to know if you will truly love it once you leave the store. Also, if it wont be set in an open setting you should be looking at it while preventing light from entering through the bottom of the stone.

If you still love the look then for sure, buy it and be happy. But you should find comparable, non-ideal stones online to compare and make sure the price you pay is fair.
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
When you say the stone looks awesome, here is my concern.

First, as everyone has helpfully pointed out: jewelers lights are specifically designed to make mediocre stones look great. So you need to see the stone specifically away from the jewelers lights, completely. A good jeweler (and I'm not sure you are dealing with one) will make sure you see that diamond in all light. I've watched John Pollard of Crafted by Infinity take a diamond someone was looking at outside, in the dark corners of the showroom, in the shade outside. I've watched him take his fingers and smear the stones will oils so buyers can see how it performs dirty (because it will be dirty most of the time you wear it, just a fact). So make sure you put the stone through it's paces like a dog at Westminster.

Second, awesome compared to what? If you haven't seen a super ideal or an ideal stone and all you've seen is poor ones, of course a mediocre stone is going to look awesome. But... once that stone is away from the jewelers lights and you compare it to a truly excellent performer... are you still going to be happy?

It's like someone who hasn't seen the color red before. They've see orange and they've see pink and they say... I love orange and pink: they are my FAVORITE colors!

But are they really? How do you know red isn't your favorite if you haven't seen it? And then what happens if you've committed to pink, you've bought pink, and then you see red? Are you still happy with pink? Maybe. But isn't it better to see red BEFORE you commit to pink?
 
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WhitGA88

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
27
LaylaR - I haven't seen the stone yet. My boyfriend has and I am going to look at it tomorrow. I just was speculating that if I saw it in a variety of lights and thought it looked good would I be wrong to buy it.

We are seeing much more amazing stones when we look around the 2 ct. range. The GOG one listed above is awesome and my boyfriend loves it. We never thought we would be able to afford a "branded" stone....but I have also found a 2.2 HCA <2, GIA XXX I/SI1 that is eye clean and cheaper than the GOG (recommended to me by Martin w. USA Certed).

Is there a noticeable difference between a H&A ideal cut from GOG and a regular GIA XXX w/ HCA <2 (presuming the ASET looks good)?

Does a 2.09 stone actually appear smaller than a 2.2?

Should I choose the bigger, cheaper stone in this case?
 

mrsgreeneyes

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
408
Of course, I do have my heart set around a 2.2 ct - just because all of the >2cts have looked so good on my size 7.5 finger compared to the 2 - but I do understand that cut affects the look.
I would be less concerned with carat weight and more concerned with cut (which I know you already know) and diameter. What was the diameter of the 2.2ct that you liked? It's possible that if it was a steep/deep stone that it wasn't that far off from the diameter of a well-cut 2ct stone. For example -

2.20ct GIA Ex, dimensions are 8.22x8.28x5.23
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.20-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3664112

2.05 AGS0, dimensions are 8.15x8.18x5.04
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.05-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-true-hearts-cut-sku-3499382

We are talking about a difference in diameter of .07-.1mm but a total of 15 points, so where is that weight going? It's being hidden in the deeper stone and the fact that the 2.2ct has a medium to thick girdle. How much bigger will that 2.2ct look on your finger? Let's try them on -

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 7.55.22 PM.png

The 2.2ct steep/deep stone has 2% more surface area than the 2.05 but I promise your eye will never notice that difference. What it absolutely will notice is that one stone has a significantly better cut. And let's not forget that the poorly cut 2.20ct is also ~$8k MORE expensive than the 2.05ct and it scores a hefty 4.9 on HCA. Basically that 2.2ct was cut to make weight and therefore command a higher price.

So. Don't sacrifice cut for carat weight (which you already know), and don't get hung up on the numbers when it comes to carats. Keep it 8mm and over with an ideal cut stone and you'll be very, very happy.
 

Attachments

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
i can't comment on diamonds that belong to the other vendors. The forum rules are for your protection and they limit me as a member of the trade. As long as you were listing the diamonds without the names of the vendors, I could comment. But once the vendors are named I cannot.

That said, msgreeneyes just gave you excellent advice. If you follow it you will end up with a lovely stone that you will be proud to wear!

I will be watching your journey and look forward to seeing what you choose and the pictures when you have them!
 

WhitGA88

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
27
Super helpful - I had not been looking at diameters but that all makes sense.

So I now know my new search criteria is 8+mm with no compromises on cut. The question is what am I looking for to objectively determine cut? Should I be focusing on angles/table/depth to help weed out bad stones and then looking at images? Only choose AGS 0?

Can AGS 0 have bad polish and symmetry?

Also, What about AGS with regard to color. Now that I know AGS ideal cuts are the most promising measure to get a well cut stone we likely will choose this route. As i had always been told to get GIA certified stone we are only familiar with their color grades.

We are comfortable with a GIA I, but were hoping a well cut GIA J would be okay too. Would a I/J AGS be okay?

I feel guilty asking all these questions but your replies are really super helpful - thank you so so much!
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
457
Can AGS 0 have bad polish and symmetry?
No. AGS 000 Polish, symmetry and cut must be excellent with no defects. We use the term AGS0 but really it is a triple 0 we are referring to.

Also, What about AGS with regard to color. Now that I know AGS ideal cuts are the most promising measure to get a well cut stone we likely will choose this route. As i had always been told to get GIA certified stone we are only familiar with their color grades.

We are comfortable with a GIA I, but were hoping a well cut GIA J would be okay too. Would a I/J AGS be okay?

I feel guilty asking all these questions but your replies are really super helpful - thank you so so much!

AGS is not soft on color. Please read John Pollard's posts in the following thread:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/2-69ct-g-vvs2-worries-feather-natural-ags-color-clarity.203189/#post-3698017

The color grades will be the same as GIA. So stick to your same color requirements.
 
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