shape
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clarity

Is this a good diamond for my budget?

DennyCrane

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I've been researching diamonds/engagement rings for several months now, but the more I learn, the more overwhelmed I become! Basically I want a nice size rock (>1ct) that's also an excellent quality. My budget for the diamond itself is about $10,000 (Canadian) before taxes.

The best bang for my buck appears to be online. I'm thinking VS2 with an ideal cut. I'm concerned about the colour though. Is G sufficient? Some jewlers were saying I should go with an E colour, but I'm concerned I'll have to reduce the size closer towards 1ct if I'm going to be able to afford that. A big part of me would prefer to get up into the 1.3ct, but wanted to ask you the experts if that was a bad choice and if I should go with a bit smaller rock and get the E colour.

Options I'm considering are:


Thoughts? Am I getting the best value/quality for my $10k CAD with these options? If so, which of the 3 would you recommend?

_35212.jpg

_35213.jpg

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Dancing Fire

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Are they GIA graded ? all 3 are on the deep side at >62%
 

tyty333

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Dancing Fire|1447138659|3947628 said:
Are they GIA graded ? all 3 are on the deep side at >62%

I would have thought more AGS since they are all saying "Ideal"...but like DF said, all a tad deep.
 

chrono

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No crown and pavilion angles listed either.
 

doberman

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Has the stone been graded by AGS? The VSB fluorescence probably knocks the price down a bit. Some people like fluorescence, some don't.
 

DennyCrane

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Sorry for the late response. I really don't know much about the angles and whatnot. Some of those diamonds are now gone, but here are a few I'm looking at now. All are GIA certified. Basically I'm looking for the best quality/size of diamond I can get for $10k CAD. What would you guys suggest? I'm looking at Blue Nile by the way.

_35340.jpg

_35341.jpg

_35342.jpg
 

thecat

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An ideal cut 1.2ct faces up around 7mm but your choices are around 6.9mm despite larger carat weight as they're too deep. You can do better. Please use the HCA tool to help you weed out the duds.
 

Andelain

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DennyCrane

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Andelain|1448257152|3952991 said:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3471322.htm?source=pricescope

Thank you for your suggestion. So that diamond would put my right around the $10k mark when converted to Canadian Dollars.

As someone who isn't overly well versed with diamonds, can you tell me why this particular diamond is special? I was hoping for a bit larger than 1ct if possible (though 1ct would suffice), and hopefully in the D/E range for colour, yet this is H. Is it the angles or some other characteristic that make this diamond better?

Also what is your thought on colour? Am I being silly wanting something in the D/E range?

_35352.jpg
 

Andelain

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You're not being silly, but you're not going to get one anywhere near a carat. The reason I pointed that one out is that's it's a top-notch cut, you can't beat it. And H is a nice compromise, that stone will look really white.
 

DennyCrane

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How do I know what is considered a good cut? I assumed anything rated as 'Ideal' or better would be a good cut. I guess I was mistaken?
 

Gypsy

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DennyCrane|1448513164|3954287 said:
How do I know what is considered a good cut? I assumed anything rated as 'Ideal' or better would be a good cut. I guess I was mistaken?

Nope.

Here's what you need to know.


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. And GIA Ex is not enough.
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want? Well, we have tools to help you with that. But that is not enough.
What you need after that 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. All our best vendors do though.

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. With AGS0 stones you don't strictly need an idealscope image. But getting one is nice to confirm performance and that is why almost all our best vendors provide them for you. Not all AGS0's are created the same though, so if you want to make sure it's the very best cut, post it and we'll evaluate it for you.

Generally you will want a table 60% or less. A depth between 59 and 62.4. Crown angle 33.5-36. Pavilion Angle: 40.6-41 (there is a little give on this)

And the crown and pavilion angles must be complimentary which is what the HCA does for you.

ON COLOR:

It is important to remember is that color is graded FACE DOWN. Where there is NO light return. Not face up where there is light return and refraction. You wear diamonds set. FACE UP.

Within one color grade, even the labs can't agree on the color grades of stones and something could be a "high" H or a "low" E. So... no. Not really. Within 2 color grades it is hard. Not impossible. But very hard. And it gets harder once set. If you are talking ideal rounds, or any stone with ideal light return and no sharp corners it gets harder still because the ideal light return masks body color.

Generally we say to be conservative stay above H in a round. But MANY people have happily bought white I or even J diamonds when trying to eek out a little more size.

This is how I think of it.

Ever gotten one of those HUGE paint fan decks? Where there are literally 100s of colors of whites? And when they are RIGHT next to each other you can TOTALLY tell that one is bluer/colder and one is a bit warmer and which one is one is TOTALLY warmer. One there's one that's slightly greener. One that's slightly pinker? But really. They are all white?

Then you pick one after agonizing over this white or that white and when it's on the walls and people are like: Oh. You painted again. And it's STILL white. Great.

And you're all... BUT it's BLUE white. Or it's a WARM white now. It used to be ____ white. It's TOTALLY different.

It's like that. You are talking about shades of white. D is colder... J is warmer. But it's all white.

YES. If you have an accurately graded F and an H THAT HAVE THE SAME PERFORMANCE you are going to be able to tell them apart when you compare them. Just like you would be able to tell if you painted your walls a warm white, but painted the crown molding a cold/straight white. But both are STILL white.


I want you notice all the qualifiers thought. I'm talking about stones with the SAME performance. An ideal H will out white an F that has compromised light performance from a poor cut.

NOTHING impacts the appearance of a diamond as much as cut. CUT is king.

You want the shinest whitest and brightest diamond out there: Cut is King. No other factor, not color or clarity or anything else impacts how white bright an shiny a stone is.

ON CLARITY:
http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/SI/ and http://www.goodoldgold.com/4Cs/Clarity/VS/ Generally we say that eyeclean SI1 and VS2 are as high as you need to go with round brilliants.


Okay?
 

DennyCrane

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Wow, that was very helpful. I'm still overwhelmed, but that gives me some stuff to read up on. I'll definitely look into AGS-0 stones. And noted on BlueNile. They are so much cheaper, but what I'm hearing is that it's a bit of a crap shoot as to what you'll get.

In the meantime I found this on James Allen. The HCA tool scores it at '1.7 Excellent within TIC range'. Assuming I'm on the mark with cut? But my concern is that in the picture there appears to be a lot of visible inclusions in the rock. Is it just me?
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.03-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-474746

_35378.jpg
 

Gypsy

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Cut on that one is right in the range you want.

At Si1 clarity you do have to be careful of inclusions that will impact performance. That diamond is a prime example. Those pinpoints aren't going to have a good result.

You seem to have an approximately 7k budget.

As for the VVS AGS0. No. That stone is not automatically better than a GIA stone just because it has an AGS lab report. The LAB report is a better one for someone looking for performance. That doesn't mean the stone is better.

GIA and AGS are largely equals. GIA is better known, and is largely the industry standard. That said, their cut grading category is too broad for someone looking for excellent light performance, and means that you have to do more legwork on your own than with AGS.

AGS has tighter cut performance standards, and you know that at a minimum the AGS0 is going to be a nice performer. That doesn't mean all AGS0's are equal. It just means they are much more equal that GIA Ex's.

That AGS is a nice stone. That said, you don't need to drop to I color.

Let me see if I can find you a few stone worth your time at JA. 8)
 

DennyCrane

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Thanks again!

Yes, budget is $10k CAD (about $7,500 USD) before tax for the diamond. All-in with the setting, matching band, and taxes, I want it to come in at $15,000 CAD. Basically I want the best possible diamond I can get for $10k. At first I was set on Blue Nile because of pricing and because they have a setting I like, but I suppose I could buy a diamond anywhere, then buy the setting from Blue Nile; then I can have it set at a local jeweler I suppose.

Anyways, if you had a couple suggestions I'd really appreciate it.
 

Gypsy

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Gypsy

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Blue Nile will not sell their settings alone. But very few of their settings are unique. Can you link me to the setting there that you want?
 

DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448520489|3954322 said:
Blue Nile will not sell their settings alone. But very few of their settings are unique. Can you link me to the setting there that you want?
Oh really?

Me and my girlfriend have been looking at so many different rings that our heads are spinning. But interestingly enough, I found this one on Blue Nile and fell in love:
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/pave-diamond-engagement-ring_30612

And then she came to me a day later and found this one (I didn't show her what I found):
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-platinum_19832

Both basically the exact same, except her choice has the diamonds inside a gold trim (channel set?) whereas mine they were more standalone.
 

DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448520155|3954321 said:
JA is having a 25% off sale. So... let's see if we can find you something great that you can pull the trigger on.
Yeah I got their email today which is what prompted me to check it out. Too bad it's not 25% off the stone!!

Gypsy|1448520155|3954321 said:
That last one has a pretty good size inclusion right in near the centre, no?
 

Gypsy

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Gypsy

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DennyCrane|1448520844|3954324 said:
Gypsy|1448520489|3954322 said:
Blue Nile will not sell their settings alone. But very few of their settings are unique. Can you link me to the setting there that you want?
Oh really?


Me and my girlfriend have been looking at so many different rings that our heads are spinning. But interestingly enough, I found this one on Blue Nile and fell in love:
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/pave-diamond-engagement-ring_30612

And then she came to me a day later and found this one (I didn't show her what I found):
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-platinum_19832

Both basically the exact same, except her choice has the diamonds inside a gold trim (channel set?) whereas mine they were more standalone.


The links aren't working for me. What are the rings named?
 

DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448521540|3954329 said:
DennyCrane|1448520844|3954324 said:
Gypsy|1448520489|3954322 said:
Blue Nile will not sell their settings alone. But very few of their settings are unique. Can you link me to the setting there that you want?
Oh really?


Me and my girlfriend have been looking at so many different rings that our heads are spinning. But interestingly enough, I found this one on Blue Nile and fell in love:
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/pave-diamond-engagement-ring_30612

And then she came to me a day later and found this one (I didn't show her what I found):
http://www.bluenile.com/ca/build-your-own-ring/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-platinum_19832

Both basically the exact same, except her choice has the diamonds inside a gold trim (channel set?) whereas mine they were more standalone.


The links aren't working for me. What are the rings named?
Sorry, I checked them again but they don't seem to be working. Copy/pasting the link might work? When I click from PriceScope it just brings me to a homepage for BlueNile. In any case, these are them. My choice first, hers second:

my_34.jpg

gf_choice.jpg
 

DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448521435|3954327 said:
Other stones worth your time:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.01-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-376288
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.09-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-645735


That last one in the previous set DOES have a white inclusion on the table but is graded VS2. That stone is the size of a pencil eraser. I don't think it's going to be eyevisible. But of course, you would have their gemologist check that for you.
Gotcha. So would the process be that I contact JA and ask for a gemologist to inspect a couple of diamonds I make note of?
 

Gypsy

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JA has some diamonds that a gemologist can't check out before you buy. That's why I gave you so many options, since many of them are VS2 or SI1 clarity (VS1 will automatically be eyeclean).

I would ask them which of the stones I chose for you (that you liked) that they can get a gemologist to check out for you. Then of those, see what the gemologist says.

Okay. You both like cathedral settings. She likes channel set, you like pave.

I like this one a lot and it looks great with a one carat stone:
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/18k-white-gold-petite-pave-cathedral-engagement-ring-item-50083

And this one is a channel set:
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/channel-set/platinum-thin-channel-set-round-shaped-diamond-engagement-ring-item-2208

I would not get too thick a shank on your ring. A one carat stone will look really nice with a 2mm-2.5mm shank setting. Especially if you are going to get a matching band, which will double up the widths.
 

Gypsy

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DennyCrane|1448522339|3954333 said:
Gypsy|1448521435|3954327 said:
Other stones worth your time:
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.01-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-376288
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.09-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-645735


That last one in the previous set DOES have a white inclusion on the table but is graded VS2. That stone is the size of a pencil eraser. I don't think it's going to be eyevisible. But of course, you would have their gemologist check that for you.
Gotcha. So would the process be that I contact JA and ask for a gemologist to inspect a couple of diamonds I make note of?

Yes. They have a way you can do that through their site. You can just click on that link and talk to them about it.
 

DennyCrane

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So if I chose to go with one of the VS1 options, what would the gemologist be checking for if we're sure it's eye clean? Do they give an overall opinion between the stones?

I like the settings you linked. Especially the first one. She thinks she has "fat fingers" (ring size 7.25), so she doesn't want something that's "too dainty". So that was the thought behind the thicker band. Retailers have told her (in different words of course) that she's being silly.
 

DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448520489|3954322 said:
Blue Nile will not sell their settings alone. But very few of their settings are unique. Can you link me to the setting there that you want?
I called BlueNile and they told me they will sell some of their settings without diamonds. I got them to check my two stock numbers, and I'm good to go. Only thing is I won't be able to get the exact sizing I want. If I go with my pave choice, I can get it in an 6 or an 8, so she suggested getting an 8 and having my jeweler size it down to a 7.25. If I went with the channel set I could get it in a 7 and have my jeweler size it up to a 7.25.

In either case, they won't come with prongs to hold the diamond. And as soon as my jeweler starts messing with it, my 30 day return policy and warranty is up.

Back to your suggestion, I took a closer look and I honestly think she might think it's too thin. Not sure, but I have a feeling. Do you think it's smart to purchase a diamond from JA, the setting and matching band from BlueNile, and then have a local jeweler put it all together? I really want this to be perfect.
 

Gypsy

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DennyCrane

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Gypsy|1448530632|3954358 said:
Thank you

The first one is nice. Not a fan of the other two. Such a tough choice. I have a bit of time to decide while JA is inspecting my diamonds though.

Why are the JA settings so much cheaper than BlueNile's? Even before the 25% discount they are considerably lower. "White gold inspired" doesn't mean fake gold, does it?!

I'm still leaning towards a rock from JA and a setting from BlueNile. Not sure though. I'm going to spend some more time looking at that first one.
 
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