Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Is this too good to be true?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
I just ran across this forum and it seems like a great place that might be able to help me out! I''ve been looking at diamonds both locally and online. What I want is a round 1.3-1.5ct, SI2, J or better diamond. I want a big diamond who''s inclusions are difficult to see with the naked eye and I''m mounting it in platinum so I need atleast a J color. I''ve found diamonds in this range to be more expensive than my budget allows.
But I don''t want to simply aim my sights lower and so the search continues.

My budget is not fixed in stone (heh) yet as I have to take out a loan to buy a ring and do the marriage/honeymoon. I''ve already proposed (yeah kinda lame but in the situation it was necessary). Anyway, my budget is something like $4-5k.

Here are some quotes I got at a local store:

1.5ct, I2, H, $4310
1.2ct, I1, K, $3775

Not exactly what I want. Here are some stones I''ve found online:

1.50ct, SI2, H, 61.7 depth, 61 table, no cutlet, polish VG, symmetry VG, no flour, 7.37*7.31*4.53, EGL cert, $3855
1.42ct, SI2, J, 60.9 depth, 62 table, no cutlet, polish VG, symmetry VG, girdle MF, MB flour, 7.19*7.11*4.36, EGL cert, $3578

More like what I want it seems. From the poking around I''ve done, these prices seem extremely low! I have always said, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. What is the deal here? The place will allow me to buy the diamond and ship it to me, giving me 10 days to return it. I am really considering doing this as it doesn''t seem like I will be able to get the diamond I want any other way. Will I be wasting my time? It will cost me probably $40 if I decide to return it, but if it is what I want then I will be very happy...

Thanks in advance for your help! This has been a difficult thing for me. I have about 1.5-2 months left to find the right diamond and setting. Any advice/suggestions/etc are very much appreciated!
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Looking at http://www.pricescope.com it seems I can find plenty of 1.5ct SI2 diamonds for under $4k! Are these just horrible cuts or what? Like I mentioned, I want a big diamond with hard to see inclusions, but what am I sacrificing by going with these cheaper diamonds?

::confused::
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hi Nate!
And welcome to the Forum!


Two things right off jumped out at me as to why both the diamonds you posted are "economically" priced.

First, both are EGL certs. Because EGL is not as consistent or strict as AGS or GIA, EGL Certed diamonds tend to fetch lower prices than similar diamonds graded by AGS or GIA. That does not mean the grading isn't accurate. There are EGL graded diamonds that are accurately graded. Just the chances are against that being the case.

Second, both of the diamonds you posted have large tables. At 61 and 62%, you are looking at Class 2A cuts at best, according to the AGA RB Cut Grading Chart. That means they aren't the "best" cuts by diamond grading standards. If you were to see either/both of them in person, you might think either one is a nice looking diamond that appeals to your tastes. Shallower cut diamonds can be spectacular. You just have to be careful in the selection process. You can get into structural issues where the diamond can easily be chipped or damaged.

While bigger sounds better, with diamonds that isn't always the case. CUT is the key to diamond buying. You might want to consider a smaller, better CUT. Visual performance of diamonds is totally dependent on CUT. If you do decide to stay with that size in your budget, I would recommend you contact a professional. The vendor and/or appraiser will be your eyes and help you find the right diamond for you.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Thanks pqcollectibles!


Maybe I should get a little better than a J if the EGL certs tend to be on the low side. As for inclusions, if I can't see em, they aren't there, regardless what they are rated.


So you're saying that probably they are poorly cut. Do you think it would be worth it for me to buy one on the internet and see it in person? If I don't like it I can (supposedly) send it back, has anyone had bad experiences with this?

Its not that bigger just sounds better, bigger is more impressive.
IMHO of course. She would be happy with any ring I give her I'm 100% sure, but beyond that I think that the biggest diamond is the most impressive (as long as flaws are hard to see). Its going to still sparkle right? Even if it isn't sparkling quite as much as a smaller diamond, I doubt anyone will ever know or be able to tell.

What sort of professional would you suggest I contact? The diamond stores I've gone to have all showed me stones that I cannot afford or stones that are too small. I'm going to visit another one tomorrow (if I'm not still sick
), I'll let you know how it goes.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hey Nate~

EGL is known for being off on color and clarity. An EGL G might really be a H or even an I. An EGL SI1 might be SI2 and rarely I1.

In shopping for an e-ring, I wouldn't go any lower than SI1 in clarity. Eye clean SI2's are out there, but it's risky business finding one. Net shopping can definitely save you money. No sales tax is a big factor. That alone can buy a simple solitaire setting.

As far as size goes, if you go with a really really well cut diamond, what you give up in carat weight you make up for in WOW and DAZZLE. Skilled cutters are true artists and their work is a part of the price of a very well cut diamond. The facets align, the angles are within ideal tolerances, no dead weight in the girdle, on and on and on. Their work maximizes white light return and flashes of color and sparkle.

With your budget, you can get a SUPER IDEAL Hearts and Arrows diamond around the 1 carat mark that will knock her socks off. You might try searching for diamonds with known angles on the upper right hand side of the PS homepage. If you go with an H&A, you can drop down to J in color and it will face up bright and white.

Oh, and FYI. If you want to see a Hearts and Arrows diamond on a walk-in basis, check out Helzberg's, the Mall chain store jewelers. Helzberg's carries a line of H&A's they call their Master Piece Line. Just look. Don't buy. Helzberg's charges double what PS vendors do.

Watch out for jewelry store lighting too. They use special lighting to make crappy diamonds look better. Check the PS threads from this past week for a thread on a Leo diamond bought at Kay's.

Several of the PS Vendors will ship to independent appraisers (there's a list, check out the link above) for evaluation. Some of the vendors won't even make you pay until after you approve the evaluation. The appraisers don't sell jewelry or diamonds. They are independent, free standing appraisers. That's all they do and they work for you.

Hope this all helps!


Here's a link to the thread discussion about Kay's and the Leo diamond.
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/need-help.6541/
 

caratgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
634
Hi Nate,

You know, there is nothing wrong with being pleased with a very well cut stone even though it is not perfect! It may be a great deal for your vision of the type of stone you want. I would have the vendor fax you an enlarged copy of the inclusions on the H color SI2 stone, and maybe you could describe it to us a bit. Even if the color is off by a grade, an 'I' color is nothing to sneeze at!
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Also, try to avoid EGL stones with fluorescence: they're even more off in the grades with them!
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hey Nate~

It's great you are getting out and looking for yourself locally. You will get a feel for color and clarity, actual physical size ranges in various cut classes. And, yes you can do better for price here on similar cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Definitely do what Carat suggested. As you find diamonds that interest you, post the info. Let the folks here help guide you. There are experts and very knowledgeable consumers with a lot of experience who will advise you in an unbiased way.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
caratgirl, getting the vendor to fax an image of the inclusions is a great idea! Do you think most vendors would take the time to do this? I'll send off an email tonight!

pqcollectibles, I looked at some cert'ed SI2 stones that had quite visible inclusions.
You were right! I guess I should aim at an SI1. I think theres a Helzberg at one of the malls around here, I'll have to check it out soon and see what all this CUT business is about.
I'll take a more serious look at diamonds on PS and see if I can find one I'd like to purchase and look in to getting the vendor to supply pictures or shipping for evaluation.


Giangi, really? Do you think that could be just a fluke or is there something substantial there?

I looked at some stones today... the only ones they had in stock within my budget at that size were uncertified and had large inclusions near the center of the stone. I mentioned some stats and prices of stones I had found online and they were impressed by the price on the 1.42ct SI2. They said they couldn't beat that with a cert'ed stone but they had a lot of uncert'ed stones at other locations within my budget. Since they aren't cert'ed, there is no telling how bad the inclusions will be, but they randomly chose one and are having it shipped in for me to take a look at. No obligation to buy. I'll go take a look Thursday.

I also looked at a D color stone next to a J color stone... this made me rethink J being the yellow-ist I should go. Now I'm thinking an H or above would be much better. Atleast color doesn't affect the cost like clarity does!
 

homer_j

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
234
Color certainly does affect the end-cost. You will pay a higher premium for DEF than GHI. Color can demand a higher premium than clarity. If you look at how the rap prices stones it is first by carat and then by color. Other factors such as cut quality and clarity then increase or decrease the value.

There are many posts here on color impressions, especially in the lower ranges H-J. Many don't see much difference b/n H and J in an ideal cut stone, especially once set. It all depends on how sensitive your eye is to gradual color shifts. If you picked up the change easily and it bothered you, then shoot for G-H, you will still save some money over E-F but end up with a whiter stone than an I-J. According to many here, the ideal cut stones will show up whiter so don't necessarily exclude I-J ideal cut rounds until you see them side by side with an ideal cut higher color.

So far you are doing everything right, get out, look and compare. I think any reputable vendor will fax a copy of the cert or even better email you a copy (better resolution). That is, if they have it. Some vendors may only be brokers and don't have the cert, if this is the case ask them to get it or just find another vendor who will do this for you.
 

jlim

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Messages
250
----------------
On 5/17/2003 6:11:52 PM pqcollectibles wrote:

Second, both of the diamonds you posted have large tables. At 61 and 62%, you are looking at Class 2A cuts at best, according to the AGA RB Cut Grading Chart. That means they aren't the "best" cuts by diamond grading standards.
----------------
pq - When you said AGA, are you referring to Accredited Gem Appraisers? Well, looking at D. Atlas site, he lists 59.1% - 62% Table as a 1B American Ideal Cut.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
Hi, Nate:

A few points: You've said you want an eye-clean diamond. I'd stay away from SI2 in the size range you're looking at. SI2s can possibly perform eye-clean in smaller sizes, but are much more noticeable in more sizable diamonds.

Second: A little perspective for you. A diamond that is bigger but is dead on sparkle is absolutely not more impressive than a slightly smaller but DAZZLING diamond. Also, a well-cut diamond will actually appear larger to the eye than it really is, so a well-cut 1 ct. or 1.1 carat diamond will actually appear larger than a 1.2-1.3 diamond which has an inferior cut.

Most important, what makes a diamond appear "large" is its DIMENSIONS, not it's carat weight. Carat measures weight, not size. What you should be concerned with is the measurements (millimeters). You can have a 1 carat diamond and a 1.2 carat diamond, and both can measure about 6.25 mm. What this means in the heavier diamond is that it carries the extra weight in the bottom where you cannot see it....you're paying for something that doesn't make the diamond appear "larger".

Finally, on color: Of course an I or J diamond will appear more yellow when placed next to a D diamond, but once it's in a ring, it will be viewed alone and not side-by-side, and will appear less noticeable to the eye. Also, if you purchase a WELL-CUT diamond, you can fudge a little on color because the diamond's cut compensates the color and makes it appear whiter to the eye.
Also, the larger the diamond, the more noticeable the color, so if you're going platinum, I'd stay at H. You might be able to get away with a well-cut I color.

I think nearly all the women on this board (and probably most of the men and definitely most of the gemologists) would tell you to put CUT first, and most would suggest a smaller but well-cut diamond over a larger, dead diamond. Good luck!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
Nate: Here are a few examples of well-cut diamonds that are in your range and would dazzle....all ideal cuts (not superideal, but ideal). They can be found at Whiteflash.com

1.15 ct, H, SI1, EGL cert, $4818
1.05, H, SI1, AGS cert, $4961
1.08, H, SI1, GIA cert, $5102
1.27, H, SI1, EGL cert, $5248

To find, go to Whiteflash.com; select "ideal" radio button, set search for 1.05 to 1.3 carat, H to I color, VS2 to SI1 clarity and you'll get results back that include these diamonds.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Nate it sounds like you still have yet to figure out your priorities in diamond buying. Is it cut that comes first? Carat weight? Color? It's important to figure out before you really start shopping or else you will flip-flop all over the place which it looks like you are doing...and really not get anywhere. If your budget is firm, which it sounds like it's not...then make a decision on how high you can go. Is $5k the max? Could you do $5500 if you HAD do? That figured out, what comes next? Is it carat weight? Are you unwilling to go under 1.2c? That will help you figure out where your next priority comes in. You want eye clean. That's at least SI1, maybe a very well cut SI2 from a reputable vendor and GIA graded. You said you didnt like D next to J. Well as ALJ said, of course a D next to a J looks different!! But set that J in plat and if its well cut, it will face up very white. Someone posted a J ACA stone (or SuperbCert?) in the Eye Candy forum in plat and that thing is a white beauty. So I think if you go well cut, you could still go down to a J to stay with a higher carat weight and keep SI1 clarity. So then maybe you are looking for a 1.2-1.3 J SI1/SI2 well cut stone?

Here is one from GoodOldGold that came up in the Pscope Cut Quality Search
1.22c I SI2 Hearts and Arrows AGS0 HCA 1.7EX scoring for $4775 from www.goodoldgold.com

Or
1.21c I SI1 Hearts and Arrows AGS0 HCA 1.9EX scoring for $5326 also from GOG

Or
1.29c H SI2 Hearts and Arrows AGS0 HCA 1.0EX scoring for around $5800 from GOG if you decide to stretch the budget a little farther. This gets you closer to the 1.3c you wanted and an excellently cut H colored stone.

GOG (Jonathan) hand picks his stones, so these SI2s have a good chance of being eye clean or having an inclusion that can be hidden by a prong or similar. These stones did not have specific links so email Jonathan at GOG and ask for more information.

As you can see..there are tons of options..but if you decide to stay with carat weight as close as possible to your $5000, can stretch the budget a bit, then you can get an eye clean H or I colored stone that shines like the dickens! But figure out your priorities first. What can you budge on and what will you not?

Good luck!

(BTW Leonid and Jonathan..kudos on getting GOG onto the Pscope Cut Quality search. Many more stones to choose from now!! Does the (b) mean that Jonathan doesn't see the stones before they are sent or ? Are they still handpicked?)
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hey Nate!


The AGA Cut Charts can be found off a link in the Tutorial. Just click on the Tutorial link at the top of the page. 1st page of the Tutorial has a bar on the left. Cut Charts are toward the bottom.

Dittos to what ALJD said. A truly well cut diamond appears larger than the same carat weight in a not so great cut. I have a .766 carat A Cut Above from White Flash that has a larger diameter than a 1+ carat Maul store trade-in I looked at at a local B&M. And it's not just diameter. It's flash, sparkle, white light return. Real attention grabbers. Very well cut diamonds also "face up" whiter than their color rating. I looked at a H and a J ACA side by side and the J only had slightly more "body" color than the H. Both returned blazing white light and flashes of color. Throw some flour in the I's and J's and you get beautiful flashes of blue that I love!

And, man have I been in your shoes! Like in February this year! I found PS and all I saw was CUT, CUT, CUT. It wasn't until I saw well cut diamonds at a diamond broker and the H&A's at Helzberg's that I knew what these folks were talking about. The H&A's at Helzberg's glow, but they don't have the quality of polish of WF's ACA's on the lower part of the diamonds. Looks like burrs on the lower facets.

Homer is right too. Super Ideal Cut, no prob going lower on the color scale. Drop out of the D/E/F range and you save money right there. H/I and even J is no problem to "face up" white in white gold or platinum.

Mara is right. You have to decide your priorities first. Do you want larger size and less well cut? Will you sacrifice carat weight to get a better cut and more pizzazz. Gotta figure that out first.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Color certainly does affect the end-cost. You will pay a higher premium for DEF than GHI. Color can demand a higher premium than clarity.
From what I've seen, clarity seems to affect price more than anything (barring wieght).

Sorry, didn't mean to just disappear on you guys like that! Been busy.

Well, I've been out looking a lot. I spent about an hour and half at Helzbergs, looking through the scope, checking out H&A, comparing sizes, cut, etc. I got to compare a nice H&A to a poorly cut SI2/I1 (IGI cert) diamond. The IGI stone was a bit wide and so I assume had a shallow pavillion. I couldn't see a fish eye effect, though I haven't seen a fish eye stone before so maybe I could be didn't know it.
It was, however, darker in the center when compared to the H&A.

Before comparing them side by side I did not notice the darkness in the middle of the table. I blocked out their crappy lighting with a piece of paper, though thinking back I should've asked if I could leave the store with the diamond to see it in the mall lighting. Would this be acceptable as "normal" lighting? I'm sure they won't let me take it all the way outside.
I might go back and do this.

The H&A was definitely nice, though I can't say the difference was all that big. I can't say how poorly cut the other diamond was, but it was a bit wider than all the other 1ct diamonds. I wish I knew if the difference was hard to see just because of the lighting...
I knew to look at it in natural light but at the time figured a piece of paper was sufficient.

I also looked at a diamond with a faceted girdle. It was nearly impossible to tell that the girdle was far too thick until I took a look under the scope. A faceted girdle is a red flag!

So now I can see the difference between a poor cut and an excellent cut (I'm pretty sure). I'm still not sure what fits my needs. I kind of feel that a slightly "worse" cut (maybe AGS 1-2?) would suit me fine. Atleast SI1 and I color.

Carat weight is still up in the air... she wants a 3 stone ring while I'm trying to convince her to go for a solitaire and get a bigger center stone. I dislike 3 stone rings unless the sidestones are large. I'm thinking like 0.5-0.7cts each sidestone. This means we'll need a cheaper 1ct center stone.
I put together this page to help show her some different styles...

http://natestl.seattleone.com/d/settings.html

She wants a square-ish, thick band. Like this...

http://natestl.seattleone.com/d/3%20stone%202.gif

...but with a thicker band. She said she liked this "knife edge" band:

http://natestl.seattleone.com/d/knife%20edge%20set.gif

As well as the "royal crown":

http://natestl.seattleone.com/d/royal%20crown%206%20prong.jpg

I have an appointment with a jeweler I've dealt with before on Saturday. They do custom settings and we'll see what they can do for me diamond wise. I'm going to ask them how much it would cost to have a custom setting made that has prongs like the royal crown and a band like the knife edge. In the knife edge setting image above it seems the stone sticks out a lot, I wonder if the band had bridges like a cathedral setting if it would look even better? I'm also going to ask about a 3 stone setting that has a wider band, as I haven't seen them anywhere.

I spoke with a friend who spoke with a friend and she is going to ship me a 1.25ct, "I clarity", "I-J color" diamond that is an "older cut". Shes asking $2700. I think its really kind of her to send it to me to check out, hopefully its pretty nice.


The saga continues!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144

----------------
On 5/21/2003 8:50:55 PM Nate wrote:
I spoke with a friend who spoke with a friend and she is going to ship me a 1.25ct, "I clarity", "I-J color" diamond that is an "older cut". Shes asking $2700. I think its really kind of her to send it to me to check out, hopefully its pretty nice.


The saga continues!
----------------
Nate, I really have doubts about this diamond. Any 1.25 ct diamond going for $2700 is a red flag to me.....waaaaaaaaay underpriced to be any kind of decent cut.

Also, "I clarity" means *included*.....as in, inclusions will be visible to the naked eye.

Of course, the final choice is up to you, but on the surface, this diamond sounds like a pass.

 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Yeah, I had some of the same feelings. But theres no strings to take a look at it so it can't hurt. Maybe I'll learn something.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Nate, a faceted girdle is not a red flag. Girdles are supposed to be faceted.

By older cut, it could be an Old European cut. These will appear smaller as they have smaller tables & deeper pavillions. My 1.25 OEC has more of a diameter of a 1c. Though, they are real charmers. $2700 is not unrealistic for an OEC.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Yes I agree with F&I..faceted girdles are actually a more modern thing..older cut stones will usually not have faceted girdles and personally they look a little odd if you really stare. My coworker has an older OEC stone which is beautiful, the girdle is not faceted, and it looks like a very tiny frosty white line. My girdle is thinner but faceted and I really love it. Faceted girdles may hide more thickness though as you noted, so just be on the watch and get that loupe out while critiquing.

Sounds like you are learning alot. This 1.25 I old cut will be interesting for you to view..chances are you will not like it due to the I clarity, but you never know. The older cut stones are usually cheaper because they are less desirable to the general masses who want the modern round brilliants. Personally I love the old cuts and how they look very different, esp the rose cut that doesn't have a table. Fun...get out the loupe when the diamond arrives and use it as an educational tool. $2700 is a steal, it will be interesting to see what the thing looks like when it arrives. Let us know!


Good luck.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hey Nate!

I seriously doubt Helzberg's would have let you out with their diamond to view it in regular light. When I was there, they made me go to a special "diamond viewing" room. I held the diamond, in tweezers for about 30 seconds in full view of the salesman. When he took it back from me, he whipped out a diamond tester and checked it to verify it was still diamond.

I don't mean to sound rude, but if you couldn't see an obvious, head and shoulders difference between the H&A and other diamonds side by side, then having a Super Ideal CUT may not be a necessary premium for you. Lots of people don't see the difference, but I certainly did. The H&A I saw at Helzberg's glowed with white light and had a lot more color and sparkle, where their other diamonds didn't.

It's very good you're looking locally. You find out what's important to you!
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
fire&ice, I agree a faceted girdle does look nice. However, a faceted girdle is also a way to hide a very thick girdle so I'll make sure to take an extra close look at the girdle. I think the majority of stones I've seen have not had a faceted girdle, though I hadn't paid much attention before.

pqcollectibles, I also went into Helzbergs "diamond viewing room" and they did indeed make sure it was a diamond before and after showing it to me. I did however get to hold it as much as I wanted. When I first arrived I asked to see a 1ct, 1.25, and 1.5ct side by side. They said they couldn't have more than one stone out at a time for insurance reasons so I compared through the glass case. I was at the store about an hour and a half and at one point they had 4 diamonds out.


Well its true that I could not see a "head and shoulders" difference between a poor cut and a super ideal cut. I am not sure if my expirement was flawed in some way (store lighting maybe) or if I really just couldn't see much difference. The difference I saw was that one stone's center did not shine as evenly as the H&A. I could only notice this by holding the stone still. Rotating, both diamonds would glint and gleam and the difference was too hard to tell.

Can someone explain exactly how I should be evaluating cut? Holding the stone still? Looking directly down on top of it? Does it help to do it through a gem scope? Am I looking for all the facets on the pavillion to be reflecting light when I look into it? Any tips?

The 1.25ct stone came in today. I'm impressed my friend called it an I clarity as I have seen worse cert'ed SI2s. There is a very small crack from one prong into the center of the stone. It isn't easy to pick out but unfortunately you were right Mara, it is enough for me to decline the stone. As for the cut, it looks like the crown facets are not all the same size. Its not hard to find kites of different sizes. It does seem to shine pretty well though. I might try taking some pics of it.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I think good advice is to go with your gut. You should definitely see a difference between a poorly cut and a well cut stone. It very well may be the jewelry store lighting that masks a poor cut. They must go to jewelry store lighting school to get those lights the way they do.

A poor cut stone is that way for a reason. Either they are hiding weight in the girdle or the pavilion, or the symmetry is horrible or or or ...there are tons of reasons. But if it was really not all that bad, it would get a better grade. So something has to be off.

Have you surfed around the web and/or looked at the eye candy forum to see a well cut stone vs a poor cut? GOG's site has a great educational area and tutorial, I am sure somewhere on there Jonathan has pictures of a poorly cut stone next to an H&A. Take a peek.

It's really all up to you and what your budget is and how comfortable you feel with a stone and a purchase. Keep looking, try a few other stores. Maybe try some that don't have an overabundance of jewelry store lighting. My jeweler has a store right near the beach with all glass windows. This lets in tons of natural light and he uses hardly any store lighting. It's great and you can see the stone the way you would in a regular situation. He also would let us run out the door with it for comparison and all that I'm sure.

Don't give your business to a company that treats you like a criminal or plays games with your mind. Ask for what you want and if they can't accomodate (e.g. taking it out into natural light), then go elsewhere. There are too many stores out there that WILL treat you well and appreciate your business.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Hey Nate!

I found your Helzberg's experience interesting. They only let you have 1 H&A at a time in the diamond viewing room, yet I had 2 H&A's and 2 similar color and clarity "Ideal" cuts to compare side by side on the desk. Sometimes women can get away with things, and I was pulling my "Dumb Blonde" routine that day.

I was shopping for a .75 carat H color so I looked at comparables. I viewed a H and an I H&A and comps of their "Ideal" cuts in the .75 carat range side by side. I only held one H&A, the H, for such a short period of time because I watched the diamonds as the salesman rolled them around on the desk while he talked up his Master Piece Line. By the time he finished his little talk I'd really seen what I wanted to know. I just wanted a closer look at the H color H&A before I left the store.

I saw in that little visit to Helzberg's what people in the forum were talking about. CUT is the most important C. If you have CUT you can trade off on color and carat weight.

The Helzberg's H&A's don't hold a candle to White Flash's A Cut Above H&A's tho. The I color I viewed at Helzberg's had obvious yellow tones to it. I previewed a J ACA that didn't have any hint of yellow.

The best way to look at diamonds is in as many lighting conditions as possible away from fancy jewelry store lighting. When I had the 2 ACA's at home, I set them up on a white background similar to the diamond viewing troughs I'd seen in jewelry stores. I used regular house light, halogen light, fluorescent light, candlelight, and indirect outdoor light. I tried every thing I'd read in the forum to do. I moved them around to simulate what other people would see when I was wearing the diamond. And, I left them in one spot as I moved around the room to see how different types of light played off each diamond.

Try finding a local B&M diamond broker who isn't as paranoid as Helzberg's. Even though they tend to have higher asking prices than Price Scope vendors, they seem to be more willing to assist the customer. One I went to locally was very aware of their Internet competition and they let me look at Ideal cut diamonds in several kinds of light. I checked their lighting and found a mix of regular "house" type bulb lighting and fluorescent. They had a larger store front window that they let me take diamonds near for indirect outdoor light viewing. The only thing I couldn't do there was candlelight viewing.

Just like Mara said,... There are other dealers who will treat you as a person and not just another piece of meat that walked through the door.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Well, it seems any part of the diamond that is dark will shine if viewed at the right angle. This is true for all but the most horrible diamonds. I really wish Helzberg's would have cleared this up for me.


One thing I was wondering... I was reading about DFI on GOG... I remember the guy at Helzberg turning off something and then the next guy that came to help me turned something back on... maybe one of them was trying to get me to look at diamonds without DFI?

I've been looking through GOG but all I can find are images of perfect diamonds.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Keep looking, visit a few more places and see more diamonds with your eyes. As you start to learn more, you will end up eventually SEEING what you know to be true over time as your eyes become more practiced.

Also--if you find a reputable offline jeweler, see how close they will internet price match. I know that if some offline vendors are aware of their online competition and you treat them with respect, they may be inclined to help you out (and garner themselves a lifelong client) by matching the internet price or getting you as close as possible.

Our offline jeweler we had purchased from once in the past. We had a 'friend' connection but I am sure Jeff saw future $ coming his way if he gave us this stone at internet pricing, which he did. We also bought our setting from him and I think he made a pretty penny off of it. So he knows in the future we will at least consider him for purchases and by losing maybe $1k in markup on this stone, he took a gamble that in the future the relationship built will mean more to him $wise in the longrun.
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Jonathan at GOG is GREAT with pics. But pics don't do diamonds true justice. No offense meant to GOG. They are very knowledgeable, helpful, reputable, etc, etc, etc. Pictures just don't do justice to the true beauty of great diamonds. It's something you have to see for yourself.

I get the feeling this is possibly the first time in your life you've ever given a second thought, much less look, at diamonds. Here it's time for you to pop the big question and you are killing yourself. Don't get down on yourself or your shopping. You are supposed to enjoy this experience!

Keep looking at shops, like Mara suggested. Call around and see if you can find a local B&M diamond broker that is saavy and aware of internet competition. Vendors who really know their stuff, that are not just sales people behind the counter, will be very helpful.

Relax. Enjoy. Try not to be analytical when you look. Don't strain to see what you've "learned" to look for. Let the diamonds "speak" to you. Some won't say a thing because they are dead fish. Some will whisper. Some will chat a bit. Some will shout. And, then you'll find the one that screams, "I'm the ONE! I'm YOUR diamond!"

Then get the specs on that one diamond, come back, crunch the HCA, check the price stats, and compare.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Well, I am running out of shops.
I've been in sooo many, all the major ones near where I live and work. There are some smaller shops and quite a few in the malls that I haven't gone to. The only thing I have to look at is a well cut versus a poor cut... maybe I'll do that tomorrow. Depends on what happens when I go to the jeweler I mentioned.

They are good people as far as I know. I went there and bought a pair of diamond earrings, 0.5cttw w/ platinum studs, for about $550 over a year ago. I didn't research it very much and didn't know 1/10th of what I do now so I can't say what the quality of them are. I look forward to checking as soon as I can (the earrings aren't available to me at the moment). Anyway, its quite private where I make an appointment beforehand and I'm the only one in the office/store. They're in a building downtown. So I've done business with them before and I was referred to them by a pretty good friend of theirs... I am hoping that they will come close to internet pricing, if not match (or beat! heh right) it. Atleast he has windows where I can view stones in the daylight!

Wish me luck! I'll be sure to share what happens.


EDIT:

GOG came through with a pic, though as PQ mentioned, they are still pics:



Guess which is which!
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Left is a true Ideal Cut H&A.

Right is a diamond that might be marketed as an H&A but does not exhibit true crisp internal patterns.

I can even see an external difference in the precision of the facets arrangements on the top of each diamond.

You can clearly see the crisp arrows inside and clean cut facets on the top of the one on the left. The one on the right has a faint impression of what is supposed to be arrows and the top facets don't jump out at you as clean crisp cuts. Also, notice the circles in the center of both. Probably a reflection of the girdle inside both diamonds. (Someone will correct me if I'm wrong. LOL) The left is small, clean edges, and centered. The right is larger, irregular edges, and not centered.

Jonathan gave you 2 great examples there in a side by side presentation. If I were choosing from just these 2 diamonds, I'd definintely go with the one on the left. It will be a much better visual performer, the WOW factor, than the one on the right.

What I was referring to about pics, is you don't always see how the light plays off the diamonds. One shot pics tend to be "static". Check out the Eye Candy Folder in the Show Me the Ring forum. While all the rings are great examples of truly beautiful diamonds, only some of the pics show the diamond throwing off colors and flashes.

Good luck in your next adventure. Sounds like the appointment place will give you much more personalized attention. Relax, take your time, and ENJOY. And, don't jump on him/her to see if they will compete with the internet. Feel your way around to that issue and see how they respond. Some brokers/vendors are very aware of their new competition and receptive to the challenge. Others are very old school, telling you the Net is full of junk and crooks.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
Just got back from the jeweler! She was very, very nice, charismatic, and helpful. She seems like a really honest person.

I was shown an uncertified 1.33ct SI1 G mounted in a 3 stone platinum setting with 0.7cttw SI1 side stones. This was a beautiful ring! Big center stone like I wanted, the side stones are about as small as I can stand in a 3 stone ring. Completely eye clean as far as I could tell. Under the loupe there was a small, clear inclusion in the center of the 1.33ct stone. I couldn't really tell if there was any yellow in it (hard to look through the side or back of the stone mounted) but she said that it is most likely not a G and is more like an I-J. She also said the side stones were slightly more colorless than the center, though I could barely tell a difference. It was nice and sparkly, even when I took it to the window and looked at it in daylight. You already know I'm not a CUT expert, but it looked very nice to me.
I compared it to a few other diamonds (from a cloudy 1ct to a beautiful 1.62ct) and it seemed up to par with them in the sparkly department. I inspected the faceted girdle and it looked to be a medium thickness all the way around.

As I mentioned, the stones were not certified. She said she could have them appraised next week by an appraiser she usually goes through. I told her I needed crown and pavillion angles. She expressed some concern taking them out of the setting before it is sure that I am going to purchase them because she would have to eat the labor if I don't buy them. While this makes sense, I want crown and pavillion angles. If I do buy them she would have to take them out of their old settings to put them in the custom setting anyway.

She offered to take me with her when she goes to the appraiser and I could ask him any questions I wanted. If I decide I really want to pursue this I could tell her that I will pay for the labor if we get the appraisal on the diamonds loose and I don't buy them. She is going to call me Tuesday to set something up.

I didn't like the setting and talked to her about doing a custom platinum setting. She showed me some waxes and showed me a very intricate ring on a page in a magazine that someone had given her. It had a split band covered in diamonds that wrapped over itself. Then she showed me the ring... it was exactly like the picture! It was very impressive! I told her I would figure out exactly what 3 stone setting I'd like and have her do it custom. Any thoughts? My fiancee likes a wide, square band. Maybe I'll go for something like the Vatche 3 stone settings with a wider, square band...

The price isn't final yet but she said we are looking at around $7000 for the 1.33ct SI1 center stone and the two 0.7cttw side stones and a custom platinum setting. Lets figure about $900 for the custom setting. This sound about right for a wide, 3 stone setting? How much for both the roughly 0.35ct SI1 side stones? PS is telling me around $500 each. If these are accurate then we are looking at about $5100 for the center stone.

I know that its hard to determine if this is a good deal or not without more specifics on the center diamond. I felt like the cut was good, I would be satisfied with a stone cut like it. So lets assume the cut is pretty good and that the color is an I. How is this deal looking? I like the stone but if I can get a better stone for the same price, I would rather do that. Lets just pretend sales tax isn't an issue.


PS comes up with some stones that may be better. I see some 1.4 and 1.5 carat SI1 G-I stones at or around the $5000 mark. Its hard to say if I would be happy with the cut on these stones without looking at them...
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    A 1.7ct Upgrade For A 17th Anniversary
    A 1.7ct Upgrade For A 17th Anniversary
    A Classic Solitaire
    A Classic Solitaire
    August Birthstones: Peridot And Sardonyx
    August Birthstones: Peridot And Sardonyx

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top