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Need help choosing my first diamond

greendingo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
5
Hi all,

I’m looking for some advice regarding purchasing my first diamond. I’m only new to the diamond world so please excuse any errors I may make below. I have tried to educate myself regarding the basics, however, the wealth of advice on this forum is amazing so I would very much value any input you could all give.

My budget is 13,000-14,500 USD.
Characteristics I was looking for include:
Excellent cut/polish/symmetry. Colours E/F maybe G. I am OK with inclusions but do not want any visible inclusions to the naked eye ie “eye clean” (I was hoping to get away with a SI1/VS2 if possible). In regards to size, I was hoping to get to 1.7 ct but didn’t want to sacrifice cut or clarity to get there, 1.5 as a minimum.

I am from Australia so have been sticking to looking mainly at James Allen due to ease of international shipping.

The diamonds that have caught my eye include:

1. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.64-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-565409
2. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.69-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-805053
3. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.70-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-825452 (A little more than I wanted to spend, but still a possibility)

Any advice regarding which ones of these represent the best stone would be much appreciated. Also, as I mentioned I’m new to the diamond world so any critical feedback regarding these would also be much appreciated and if anybody could provide better stone suggestions I would love that too.

Thanks for your help.
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
greendingo|1451485108|3968385 said:
Hi all,

I’m looking for some advice regarding purchasing my first diamond. I’m only new to the diamond world so please excuse any errors I may make below. I have tried to educate myself regarding the basics, however, the wealth of advice on this forum is amazing so I would very much value any input you could all give.

My budget is 13,000-14,500 USD.
Characteristics I was looking for include:
Excellent cut/polish/symmetry. Colours E/F maybe G. I am OK with inclusions but do not want any visible inclusions to the naked eye ie “eye clean” (I was hoping to get away with a SI1/VS2 if possible). In regards to size, I was hoping to get to 1.7 ct but didn’t want to sacrifice cut or clarity to get there, 1.5 as a minimum.

I am from Australia so have been sticking to looking mainly at James Allen due to ease of international shipping.

The diamonds that have caught my eye include:

1. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.64-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-565409
2. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.69-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-805053
3. http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.70-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-825452 (A little more than I wanted to spend, but still a possibility)

Any advice regarding which ones of these represent the best stone would be much appreciated. Also, as I mentioned I’m new to the diamond world so any critical feedback regarding these would also be much appreciated and if anybody could provide better stone suggestions I would love that too.

Thanks for your help.

Hey mate - i can't speak to these stones specifically (against forum rules as i'm in the trade and i'd be speaking about my competitors) - however i can speak in general about a few things to look for/avoid...
Colour - F-G is more than adequate - wouldn't recommend going better than F as you won't see any colour difference face-up anyway.
Carat - much of a muchness with these weights - so unless you want bragging rights that you've hit 1.70cts - you won't see any noticeable difference in the mm outline.
Cut - they are all GIA EXx3 stones - and they all fall into an AGS 'ideal' if that matters to you - so the cut is pretty schmick on all of them
Clarity - If you can find an SI1 that's guaranteed to be eye clean because of a few very light inclusions under the table you'd be laughing!...and if you had found a fantastic eye clean SI1 inclusion in one of the stones above...lets say...hypothetically...opiton number 1 ;-) it would be a GREAT stone. Some other SI1s might have...hypothetically...a big black inclusion under a star facet...or even a black inclusion under the table that's reflecting throughout the stone and follows the edge of the girdle...if this were the case they may not be eye clean...hypothetically of course...
When you're pricing, don't forget to factor in what you'd get charged for bringing the stone into the country (customs/duty/etc) - but for approx AUD20k you should be able to get a pretty top end stone
Hope this helps
 

greendingo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
5
Thanks ADN, I really appreciate the feedback. In regards to hypothetical clarity characteristics you have been great too.
Would the size difference between a 1.64 and a 1.5 be visibility noticeable or would I better to drop the size to increase the clarity say to VS2? I’m nervous about buying a stone online that is a SI1 that I cannot see in person and I’m not sure if a VS2 would give more piece of mind. In saying that I would like the largest carat size in my budget and if it’s eye clean, I think spending more money for a VS2 is pointless.
Also, stone option 1, is 2.7 on the Holloway cut adviser. Is this a big problem in terms of visual performance?

Does anybody have any advice regarding dealing with JamesAllen from Australia?

Thanks
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
greendingo|1451521922|3968712 said:
Thanks ADN, I really appreciate the feedback. In regards to hypothetical clarity characteristics you have been great too.
Would the size difference between a 1.64 and a 1.5 be visibility noticeable or would I better to drop the size to increase the clarity say to VS2? I’m nervous about buying a stone online that is a SI1 that I cannot see in person and I’m not sure if a VS2 would give more piece of mind. In saying that I would like the largest carat size in my budget and if it’s eye clean, I think spending more money for a VS2 is pointless.
Also, stone option 1, is 2.7 on the Holloway cut adviser. Is this a big problem in terms of visual performance?

Does anybody have any advice regarding dealing with JamesAllen from Australia?

Thanks

Happy to help
-No, you aren't really going to notice a face-up outline mm difference between a 1.50ct or 1.60ct (plus/minus 7.4 & 7.5mm).
-If it was a questionable SI1, or a stone that you haven't seen at all, going to a VS2 might be a good option...but...and again hypothetically :shifty: ...an SI1 with soft light inclusions like I mentioned, which 'could' be one of the ones you've already selected, would be a dream SI1 and is going to be completely eye clean...
Perhaps some other PSers can comment on the clarity of your options and let you know what they think
-Regarding seeing it in person - if you're wanting to see the inclusions, then you're not going to be able to have a better look, or be able to see as much as what you've already got with a 40x magnification video :)
-Keep in mind that the HCA is very limited in it's use (I'm not having a go, this is by his own admission) and is really only good for eliminating stones rather than selecting one good stone from another.
-I can't comment on the vendor or dealing with them other than to say that they are named quite a bit on PS, so I would think it should be a fairly straight forward transaction...but I will leave that up to non-trade PS members to let you know. But what I can say is that as an online retailer, they will list some of their own stock, and some is virtual stock (not a criticism as that's like the rest of us do it :lol: ) so keep in mind that anything you find on an international site, you can probably get sourced locally if you ask around - and you could save yourself some hassle with exchange rates and getting the stone into the country.
Hope this helps - happy new year
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Stick to stone under 2 on the HCA
ound diamond 101:

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?
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
Hey Gypsy - you must have speed cut & paste on your keyboard for the number of times you've had to re-post this for new members :lol:
Happy new year
 

greendingo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
5
Hi Gypsy,

Thanks for the info. It sounds like you’re continually repeating yourself to newbies so apologies for that.

From what I can gather from ADN, neither stone 2 or 3 really represent good SI1 stones due the dark nature of the inclusions and the way they reflect these. I’m not entirely sure either and maybe ADN can tell me, would the nature of these inclusions mean they are likely to be visible by the naked eye?

Regarding stone 1, it seems there are different opinions regarding the use of HCA scores, but from your advice and that on PS it seems that cut is very much the number one attribute and a stone that does not have a HCA score of <2 should be immediately discounted. Is this correct?

In the meantime, I will resume my online search and attempt to find some better stones.

If you have any stone suggestions Gypsy as you are far more knowledgeable that I am at this, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you both (ADN/Gypsy) for your input.
 

centrifuge41

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
25
1) Unfortunately it's not an HCA <=2.0 stone. From the pictures, you can sometimes figure out if a stone will be HCA <=2.0 or not. Some of the stones have terrific symmetry, but there's this large dark doughnut shape near the middle. That's an area of lost light performance. Those stones are often a bit too deep, and thus score >2.0.

2) There's a carbon deposit at 2 o'clock in the image. I think it's noticeably big. I don't think this stone will be eye clean.

3) I don't think this stone will necessarily be eye clean. The inclusions are dark carbon deposits, and it seems like the inclusions reflect somewhat through the facets.

In the certificates for stones 2 and 3, you'll see that there's only a small area with inclusions. When buying VS2 or SI1/2 stones, it's actually better to see a larger quantity of inclusions on the plot diagram. That means that the inclusions are more spread out (but smaller) than other stones with the same grade.

Hopefully, you find some other candidates to share!
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
greendingo|1451555238|3968847 said:
Hi Gypsy,

Thanks for the info. It sounds like you’re continually repeating yourself to newbies so apologies for that.

From what I can gather from ADN, neither stone 2 or 3 really represent good SI1 stones due the dark nature of the inclusions and the way they reflect these. I’m not entirely sure either and maybe ADN can tell me, would the nature of these inclusions mean they are likely to be visible by the naked eye?

Regarding stone 1, it seems there are different opinions regarding the use of HCA scores, but from your advice and that on PS it seems that cut is very much the number one attribute and a stone that does not have a HCA score of <2 should be immediately discounted. Is this correct?

In the meantime, I will resume my online search and attempt to find some better stones.

If you have any stone suggestions Gypsy as you are far more knowledgeable that I am at this, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you both (ADN/Gypsy) for your input.

Hi - regarding stones 2&3...if they did have the inclusions I mentioned, it would be likely that you would be able to see them with the naked eye...hypothetically.
Yes, on this forum cut is king - but regarding the HCA score...I'm afraid I have to disagree with Gypsy on this (sorry Gypsy :) )
The HCA has gained popularity over time on forums like this because many of the regulars here on PS use the HCA quite a bit and suggest it to new members to help eliminate what they have come to perceive as ‘good cut’ diamonds from ‘bad cut’ ones, or to simply re-enforce their own personal bias for a particular range of cut parameters. But by its own admission, the HCA is designed to be a rejection tool; and while it is useful in a limited capacity, to consider it the be-all-end-all when buying diamonds is a bit naïve as there are so many other factors at play which determine a diamonds light performance.

I want to state clearly before I continue, that I believe Gary Holloway (HCA inventor) has done a very good job of trying to increase awareness with the public on the importance that cut plays in a diamonds light performance. I also believe that he had the best interests of the consumer in mind with its creation. I also want to note that it is not necessarily the tool itself that is in error since the HCA states clearly its limitations - but even with all its disclaimers clearly visible, many people still naively place significant weight on a HCA score.
I also want to point out that this is also not a criticism of any PS members that promote/use/rely on/or even just like the HCA…so save the abuse for another less civilised forum. :lol:

While there are a number of limitations to the HCA that we could discuss, such as:
-The HCA reflects the inventors’ preferences and interpretation of what a good cut quality is, based on his interpretations of reflector-based imagery.
-HCA has not gained support from industry authorities such as GIA/AGS/HRD/IGI/trade/etc. who believe that the best optical properties can be found among a range of balanced proportions.
-It relies on mathematical external averages representing only a portion of the diamond - it’s light return grade is based on only 17 out of 57 diamond facets, and therefore does not take all the other facets into consideration which have an impact on light performance (example - painting and digging on the upper and lower girdle facets).
-HCA uses the averaged/rounded values of only 5 parameters to generate its results – so while GIA does do a bit of rounding in their measurements, it's usually not enough to impact the face up appearance of a diamond…although it could dramatically impact the overall HCA score.
-Doesn’t take into account how inclusions can impact a diamond’s beauty
-The HCA score can change for the same stone depending on which report or information is entered.
-The HCA assumes precise optical symmetry
-And so on…and so on…I could even plug in the numbers of a black diamond and get a good score on light return :lol:

…but for this exercise, lets focus on just one issue as it relates directly to the HCA grade for your stone option #1.
- The HCA favours shallow angled diamonds even if they don't make the GIA Excellent/AGS Ideal grade. This means that the HCA penalises many diamonds that have a perfectly normal spread for their carat weight based on their total depth.

Many excellent/ideal cut grade diamonds on the market today have crown angles in the 34-35 degree range. For example, AGS and GIA, two of the most respected and moderate labs, begin to penalise for spread in their cut grades once the depth reaches about 63% (which most of the industry consider a reasonable cut off). However, on the HCA, diamonds begin to get knocked back at a depth percentage of about 60.5ish%. There are lots of very well cut diamonds that have depths greater than 60.5% and are perfectly fine, have the correct face-up size for their weight, and are not disproportionate in any way. And, according to both GIA and AGS, diamonds with a 35 degree crown angle and 41 degree pavilion angle (which would get a HCA score of about 2.5ish) are considered a top grade and display what is possibly some of the best visual optics to be seen in round brilliant diamonds.

So, because this is all about visible light leakage seen under a reflector tool like the Ideal scope (also designed by Garry Holloway, and for which the HCA is based on), would our eyes even be able to pick this leakage up (without using a scope or other measuring tools)? Some research has shown that with a 35-degree crown angle, leakage is not visible to human perception until the pavilion angles reach a bit over 41 degrees.

If you're going to deviate away from either GIA or AGS and the specs for their top grade based on the HCA score, that’s completely your decision; just keep in mind that there are many ways to cut a beautiful diamond, and it’s a real shame that everything over a 2.0 on the HCA is automatically dismissed on PS as a ‘bad cut’ – people are missing out on some perfectly fine diamonds because they don’t use all the relevant information with which to make an educated and informed decision.
Hope this helps
 

Shellcm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
265
I've been on this forum for almost a year reading daily, and have seen several people disappointed with James Allen settings and the need to return them. Returns may be easy for those in the USA but it's not so practical for us Australians. I decided not to risk a James Allen or blue Nile setting (blue Nile prongs are often said to be large). That's just what I decided, please nobody attack me! I know some people love their settings from these vendors but it wasn't worth the risk to me to not be pleased with the craftsmanship when a return was just not feasible. Just my opinion about online purchasing as an Australian.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
ADN, I don't disagree with you. The HCA is a rough tool that uses four data points (and with GIA stones, data points are rounded to boot) to make a prediction about how a stone may perform and it has many limitations. It is DEFINITELY a rejection tool. Absolutely. Absolutely not a selection tool-- IN IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES where there is other information. And in that version of the speech I say so. And I go on to explain that the selection tool is the idealscope and that we recommend working with vendors that have that technology to assist in selection. Or to buy an idealscope themselves for 25 bucks and learn to use it.

Problem is many shoppers put more effort into chosing their socks than they do on their diamond purchases and they want quick and easy, and also want to shop locally, for various reasons. At that point the HCA is better than nothing. Still the devil, but the devil you know. ;))

I also know for a fact that many of our most experienced PSers have stones that score outside of the under 2 HCA (but still usually under 2.5).

You can absolutely correct and disagree with me. As long as you are amicable (and you clearly are) I welcome it. I just ask you to understand what we do here, which is help a large volume of people (I am going to generalize here) with typically short attention spans, that do not have the patience to do the things "right" and learn about the stones to the extent that they can make a truly educated decision. Either they want a short cut or they want us to substitute our judgement for theirs. It is a rare poster that wants to really learn what they would need to. Especially since most are on tight timelines as they have procrastinated.

I will try to find my correct 'speech' and use that instead of this version. And thank you for drawing my attention to that.


To greendingo. No worries. After 10 years on here it's just easier to cut and paste on certain topics.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Shellcm|1451629089|3969200 said:
I've been on this forum for almost a year reading daily, and have seen several people disappointed with James Allen settings and the need to return them. Returns may be easy for those in the USA but it's not so practical for us Australians. I decided not to risk a James Allen or blue Nile setting (blue Nile prongs are often said to be large). That's just what I decided, please nobody attack me! I know some people love their settings from these vendors but it wasn't worth the risk to me to not be pleased with the craftsmanship when a return was just not feasible. Just my opinion about online purchasing as an Australian.


I have seen this as well, and I agree with you. Ideally I would recommend getting your setting elsewhere or working with BGD or WF or BE or HPD or GOG who have gorgeous bench work.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Corrected version:

Round Diamonds 101:

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. With round diamonds even a GIA triple Excellent is not enough. And you must stick to GIA and AGS only (HPD in Europe is good as well). EGL is a bad option: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/egl-certification-are-any-of-them-ok.142863/[/URL]
So how to we ensure that we have the right angles and cutting to get the light performance we want?
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-cut
Well one method is to start with a GIA Ex, and then apply the HCA to it. YOU DO NOT USE HCA for AGS0 stones generally, though you can. In general, AGS0 trumps HCA though as one examines the actual stone and the other does not.
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/holloway-cut-advisor
The HCA is a rejection tool. Not a selection tool. It uses 4 data points to make a rudimentary call on how the diamond may perform.
If the diamond passes then you know that you are in the right zone in terms of angles for light performance. Under 2 is a pass. Under 2.5-2.1 is a maybe. 2.6 and over is a no. No score 2 and under is better than any other.
Is that enough? Not really.

So what you need 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. BGD,BE, James Allen, GOG, HPD, ERD and WF do.

The Idealscope is the 'selection tool'. Not the HCA.
So yes, with a GIA stone you need the idealscope images. Or you can buy an idealscope yourself and take it in to the jeweler you are working with to check the stones yourself. Or if you have a good return policy (full refund minimum 7 days) then you can buy the idealscope, buy the stone, and do it at home.

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. Some AGS0's are better than others though, so pay attention to any ASET or IS provided.

In general with rounds, 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 checks 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, have your vendor check the diamond for this. VS1 will always be eyeclean, but they do cost more and an eyeclean SI1 and a VS1 will look the same to the unaided eye.
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
Gypsy|1451631105|3969204 said:
Problem is many shoppers put more effort into chosing their socks than they do on their diamond purchases and they want quick and easy, and also want to shop locally, for various reasons. At that point the HCA is better than nothing. Still the devil, but the devil you know. ;))

I just ask you to understand what we do here, which is help a large volume of people (I am going to generalize here) with typically short attention spans, that do not have the patience to do the things "right" and learn about the stones to the extent that they can make a truly educated decision. Either they want a short cut or they want us to substitute our judgement for theirs. It is a rare poster that wants to really learn what they would need to. Especially since most are on tight timelines as they have procrastinated.

Ha! Fair call...welcome to my world :lol:
 

greendingo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
5
ADN/Gypsy thanks for quick lesson in the limitations with HCA scores. Cut is obviously a very complicated but important area that I will need to educate myself more in. :)

centrifuge41 - thanks for the tips regarding the certs, I'm still trying to get my head around them.

Thanks Shellcm for your input. Can I ask did you end up purchasing a stone online? Or you decided to do the whole process locally.
 

Shellcm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
265
greendingo|1451638249|3969217 said:
ADN/Gypsy thanks for quick lesson in the limitations with HCA scores. Cut is obviously a very complicated but important area that I will need to educate myself more in. :)

centrifuge41 - thanks for the tips regarding the certs, I'm still trying to get my head around them.

Thanks Shellcm for your input. Can I ask did you end up purchasing a stone online? Or you decided to do the whole process locally.

I ended up purchasing from Brian Gavin. One limitation I found is if you get a diamond from one vendor, not all setters will work with the diamond so you'd need to check that. Americans can cheaply purchase insurance on the diamond for the setting process but we cannot as we are not American residents, and whiteflash would therefore wouldn't set an outside diamond for me. Brian Gavin would, but at my own risk. High performance diamonds would not set it without insurance either. They're the only vendors I asked though. Another option is to find a setting and stone and have them shipped separately, and set locally, but I rang a few jewellers and they said they'd decide if they'd risk it on a case by case basis. Having no confidence that that was an option for me, I decided to have a completed ring shipped as I didn't want to wind up with a diamond and setting that nobody could complete. I wound up buying a diamond from Brian Gavin too so I didn't need to worry about it being damaged, but admittedly I was pretty set on what setting I wanted and it was a Brian Gavin one so that somewhat dictated my choice (for a short time I considered vatche which is why I went to whiteflash and HPD, but I came back to Brian Gavin in the end). If you are more flexible, it will be easier for you!
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
centrifuge41|1451578267|3968915 said:
In the certificates for stones 2 and 3, you'll see that there's only a small area with inclusions. When buying VS2 or SI1/2 stones, it's actually better to see a larger quantity of inclusions on the plot diagram. That means that the inclusions are more spread out (but smaller) than other stones with the same grade.

Hi centrifuge41 & greendingo - - while there is a bit of truth to this theory...sometimes...you might want to be a bit careful with this in practice. It is next to impossible to judge a diamonds inclusions based only on the report plotting diagram - there are a lot of unknowns by just looking at a diagram (what is the inclusion colour/does it reflects/does it reach the surface/is it solid/how does it affect performance/is it eye clean/etc). The purpose of the plot is to indicate where/what the main clarity setting inclusions are, and to assist with stone identification by inclusion/position comparison. The inclusions on the report plot can often be way worse/better than what the actual stone shows to the eye. In my 10yrs+ of wholesale and now online retail, I've never bought a certified stone solely off the plot diagram.
Hope this helps
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
ADN|1451654815|3969235 said:
centrifuge41|1451578267|3968915 said:
In the certificates for stones 2 and 3, you'll see that there's only a small area with inclusions. When buying VS2 or SI1/2 stones, it's actually better to see a larger quantity of inclusions on the plot diagram. That means that the inclusions are more spread out (but smaller) than other stones with the same grade.

Hi centrifuge41 & greendingo - - while there is a bit of truth to this theory...sometimes...you might want to be a bit careful with this in practice. It is next to impossible to judge a diamonds inclusions based only on the report plotting diagram - there are a lot of unknowns by just looking at a diagram (what is the inclusion colour/does it reflects/does it reach the surface/is it solid/how does it affect performance/is it eye clean/etc). The purpose of the plot is to indicate where/what the main clarity setting inclusions are, and to assist with stone identification by inclusion/position comparison. The inclusions on the report plot can often be way worse/better than what the actual stone shows to the eye. In my 10yrs+ of wholesale and now online retail, I've never bought a certified stone solely off the plot diagram.
Hope this helps


This is good advice.
 
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