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Need help deciding for engagement ring

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
I've officially reached the point of analysis paralysis in my diamond search for an engagement ring. This is for a solitaire engagement ring, yellow gold band with a white gold or platinum head.

I'm trying to weigh the importance of the technical aspects, scores, chart ratings, etc, versus the constant unknown of should I keep looking for better. All three are GIA triple Excellent, no fluorescence. Here are my current contenders:

1) 2.07 carat, H, VS2. 58% table; 36 degree crown angle, 15% crown height; 40.8% pavilion angle, 43% pavilion height; 62.2% depth; 80% lower girdle. 8.11-8.13x5.05mm

2) 2.07 carat, I, VS2. 56% table; 36.5 degree crown angle, 16.5% crown height; 40.6% pavilion angle, 43% pavilion height; 62.5% depth; 75% lower girdle. 8.11-8.14x5.08mm

3) 2.03 carat, I, VS2. 59% table; 33.5 degree crown angle, 13.5% crown height; 40.8% pavilion angle, 43% pavilion height; 59.3% depth; 80% lower girdle. 8.26-8.28x4.91mm

Here's where my analysis paralysis has taken over. Looking at the AGS charts, #1 is an EX (bordering ideal), but scores 3.6 on the HCA. In person though, it has great fire and sparkle and appears bright white. The hearts and arrows also appear very symmetrical and straight. #2 is an AGS EX (bordering ideal), but scores much better at 2.3 on the HCA. In person it doesn't appear quite as bright as #1 (I'm guessing I vs H?), but it does still have great fire. #3 charts as Ideal on the AGS charts and scores a 1 on the HCA, but in person it probably has the least bright sparkle. I do like that it shows the biggest though.

I do like the H color of #1 the best, and the difference is noticeable to me, but I'm having trouble moving past the relatively poorer scores. #3 is the only one that scores AGS ideal, and I like its size, but for whatever reason it doesn't appear to have as much "life" to it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
570
Firstly, the HCA is just a tool, and not infallible. Are these the only stones you have in your consideration set, or is there any way to make the consideration set bigger? Ie, are you set on buying from a specific jeweler etc? Also I’m assuming your observations are based on a number of lighting conditions, and not just under the big sparkly lights? You should, at a minimum, see each stone in natural sunlight, natural indirect light, normal fluorescent light, and in shadow, before picking a fav that performs best to your eye in all conditions.

I ask about the possibility of increasing the data set because while I am no expert, between the three diamonds you’ve chosen, the last one is the kind of “approaching 60-60 (or more accurately 59-59)” stone that has complementary angles and will probably provide good white light return and brilliance, face up bigger, but at the expense of fire. But you don’t seem to like that look. However, you don’t actually have a diamond that is more cut to those modern ideal (Tolkowsky?) cut specifications in your data set to see whether you actually prefer those more to the ones you have in front of you.

If you could find a diamond that fits those proportions that you could compare to number 1 (which seems to be your fav) that would be best, because then you know for sure what kind of look you like (whether you want to go the “ideal” look or not). You might find that you can’t see a difference between the two, or you just straight up prefer the look of the “non ideal” number 1. You’re not wrong for having preferences.

If these three are the only stones in your consideration set, go with the one that you like the most. The one that makes your heart sing. There is no point spending this kind of money for something everyone else thinks you should love but you personally do not love.
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Thanks for the response. The jeweler that I've chosen to work with has brought in several diamonds, and these are the three that I have not eliminated. One other one that I considered, but ultimately eliminated due to florescence was 2.02 carat, I, VS1; 58% table; 36 degree crown angle, 15.5% crown height; 40.6 degree pavilion angle, 43% pavilion height; 58% depth; 75% lower girdle. 8.04-8.07x5mm. This one maybe had the best sparkle of all of them.

I also looked at one that fit the 60-60 rule: 2.04 carat, J, VS1; 60% table; 34 degree crown angle, 13.5% crown height; 40.8 degree pavilion angle, 43% pavilion height; 59.8% depth; 80% lower girdle. 8.2-8.25x4.92mm. This one was at a different jeweler, so I was not able to compare it to the three listed above. I did ultimately eliminate it due to the very noticeable J color.

To your question about considering others, I certainly can, but I'm not sure where to make adjustments. Given the three listed, I'm curious what parameters are the weak links that keep those from scoring technically better....

With respect to the look that I like... I like crispness. I like when the light return is sharp and defined, with a nice mix of white and fire. I think ideally I would have the H color and sparkle of #1 with the size of #3. The question is what parameters would I need to get there? And then I'll have to see what that does to the cost...
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Why did you rule out one based on fluor? Unless it was very strong fluor in a D,E,F stone then I would definitely keep considering it if you liked it in person.
I ruled out the one with fluorescence because my girlfriend works in a hospital and I was worried that she would be around lights/devices that would make it glow. I may be wrong in my thinking, but that was the reason.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
I’m with @lovedogs, the one with fluorescence sounds like it’s got the best proportions. Sounds like you’ve been on pricescope a while. Have you been given the cheat sheet for finding Ideal cut diamonds?

depth 60-62.3

table 54-58

crown 34-35 degrees

pavilion 40.6-41 degrees

(staying in the middle of the crown and pavillion numbers is safe, going to extremes on one requires adjusting the other to compensate. For example a steep crown of 35 or 35.5 which some of the diamonds you‘ve observed have, would be best paired with a shallower pavillion angle of 40.6. You want to avoid 35/41or 34/40.6.

We could help you find a killer stone (or you can find one yourself with our help) and your jeweler could set it if you want. Online diamond prices and access to great diamond inventories makes it easy.
 

Kaycee2018

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
678
Congrats on your upcoming engagement! Looks like you've done a great deal of research and are off to a good start. Jewelry store lighting is designed to to make all diamonds look great, so hopefully you were able to view these in various lighting (diffused indoor lighting, shade indoors and out, direct sun outdoors, etc.). I also like the specs of the 2.02ct that you eliminated due to floro best. What is it graded for floro? Personally, I'm comfortable with anything graded medium or less (particularly in lower colors) and would even consider strong or higher in certain diamonds. Some people actually prefer high floro diamonds (assuming they don't have a negative impact on the stone). Did you have the opportunity to view that one in various lighting to see if the floro has any negative effect?
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Congrats on your upcoming engagement! Looks like you've done a great deal of research and are off to a good start. Jewelry store lighting is designed to to make all diamonds look great, so hopefully you were able to view these in various lighting (diffused indoor lighting, shade indoors and out, direct sun outdoors, etc.). I also like the specs of the 2.02ct that you eliminated due to floro best. What is it graded for floro? Personally, I'm comfortable with anything graded medium or less (particularly in lower colors) and would even consider strong or higher in certain diamonds. Some people actually prefer high floro diamonds (assuming they don't have a negative impact on the stone). Did you have the opportunity to view that one in various lighting to see if the floro has any negative effect?
It was graded as Medium Blue Fluorescence. The only effect that I could see was it did show blue under UV, which as I mentioned, could potentially happen in a medical work environment.

What is it about the 2.02ct that makes it your favorite? It appears to me that the measurements with #1 are very similar, with the difference being the 40.6 vs 40.8 pavilion angle, and it is not quite as deep. Does that small difference in pavilion angle really have that large of an impact?

I'm going back to the jeweler today and will be sure to carry all of them around in as many different lights as I can find.
 
Last edited:

Kaycee2018

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
678
It was graded as Medium Blue Fluorescence. The only effect that I could see was it did show blue under UV, which as I mentioned, could potentially happen in a medical work environment.

What is it about the 2.02ct that makes it your favorite? It appears to me that the measurements with #1 are very similar, with the difference being the 40.6 vs 40.8 pavilion angle, and it is not quite as deep. Does that small difference in pavilion angle really have that large of an impact?
The small difference in pavilion angle is important. The angles of the 2.02ct are the most complimentary and safest of the ones you posted. Without advanced imaging it is impossible to know for sure, but even you noted that this one "maybe had the best sparkle of all of them". Also, my previous diamond before my upgrade had very similar angles and was a great performer (but again, with GIA's averaging and rounding, without advanced images it is impossible to say if this one would perform the same). The medium blue floro wouldn't bother me, but the wearer is the only one that can say if it will bother them. GLD!
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
I’d be curious to see where the 2.02 would fall on the diamond screener. I bet it would be more towards the center. You have to remember that GIA Ex is a wide range and many of them would fall short. There are also AGS Ideal stone that we would steer you away from. If you look at the parameters on the super ideal vendors websites like Whiteflash, HPD and BGD you will see the parameters are even tighter than the ones I mentioned above. 36 degree pavillion is already steep add GIA rounding to that and you’ve got to be careful about what pavillion angle you’re pairing with it.
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
I’d be curious to see where the 2.02 would fall on the diamond screener. I bet it would be more towards the center. You have to remember that GIA Ex is a wide range and many of them would fall short. There are also AGS Ideal stone that we would steer you away from. If you look at the parameters on the super ideal vendors websites like Whiteflash, HPD and BGD you will see the parameters are even tighter than the ones I mentioned above. 36 degree pavillion is already steep add GIA rounding to that and you’ve got to be careful about what pavillion angle you’re pairing with it.
I just so happen to have plotted that one as well. Looks like it falls on the borderline of both ratings.

1597414477979.png
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
Look at this chart which show the broadness of GIA Ex in red and AGS Ideal in purple. 40.6 paired with 36 gets an AGS Ideal. 40.8 with 36 falls to a GIA Ex. That’s assuming those GIA numbers are exact and we can’t make that assumption because they round the numbers. That’s why I’m suggesting you stay away from the edges.

89820111-4A69-4B5D-B9F6-579936E2872D.jpeg
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Well, I went back today to take another look and it turns out that #3 above and the one with fluorescence had both been sold. But even with that, I think #1 is my pick. I looked at it in multiple lights against #2, and to me the color of the H compared with the white crisp sparkle just looked nicer. Part of me still has some concerns due to it's not great HCA score of 3.6 and the fact that it doesn't measure as AGS Ideal. But if it looks good to me (even after comparing to some much more expensive stones), then how much weight should the technical measurements hold?

We talked about the price difference required to get an AGS triple zero, and it would be roughly 50% more (~20k -> ~30k), and I don't think the value is there. If I was going to spend another ~10k, I would go up in size... which is a new can of worms...
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
I've almost made my choice. I'm now deciding whether I want to go bigger and 'buy once, cry once'. But, if I stick with ~2ct, then I think I have unless anyone points out something that I've missed. That link you provided was very helpful - I'm paying approx 10% less, so I think it's a fair price.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
I've almost made my choice. I'm now deciding whether I want to go bigger and 'buy once, cry once'. But, if I stick with ~2ct, then I think I have unless anyone points out something that I've missed. That link you provided was very helpful - I'm paying approx 10% less, so I think it's a fair price.
Ask the jeweler what their upgrade policy is before you make your final decision. Sounds like you might want to go up in size on some important anniversary and it’s good to know ahead of time. If you think you want 2.5 to 3 carat at some point you may have to spend twice the original purchase amount to trade it up. If that’s the case you might want to cry once and do it now :lol:.
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Ask the jeweler what their upgrade policy is before you make your final decision. Sounds like you might want to go up in size on some important anniversary and it’s good to know ahead of time. If you think you want 2.5 to 3 carat at some point you may have to spend twice the original purchase amount to trade it up. If that’s the case you might want to cry once and do it now :lol:.
It's 100% purchase price towards trade-up, but I don't think she is a trade-up sort of person. I'd wager she'll hold on to whatever I buy forever.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
639
It's 100% purchase price towards trade-up, but I don't think she is a trade-up sort of person. I'd wager she'll hold on to whatever I buy forever.
Perfect! No doubt it will be beautiful. Come back and show it off. We’d love to see the final product when it’s done.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
570
Well, I went back today to take another look and it turns out that #3 above and the one with fluorescence had both been sold. But even with that, I think #1 is my pick. I looked at it in multiple lights against #2, and to me the color of the H compared with the white crisp sparkle just looked nicer. Part of me still has some concerns due to it's not great HCA score of 3.6 and the fact that it doesn't measure as AGS Ideal. But if it looks good to me (even after comparing to some much more expensive stones), then how much weight should the technical measurements hold?

We talked about the price difference required to get an AGS triple zero, and it would be roughly 50% more (~20k -> ~30k), and I don't think the value is there. If I was going to spend another ~10k, I would go up in size... which is a new can of worms...
I bolded the part in your comment that I wanted to reply to - I am a huge believer in buying by eye. Sometimes things just look beautiful to us and they speak to us in a certain way. It’s your diamond to love, so if you love it.... then you should get what you love. And honestly, even though your fiancée most probably won’t take advantage of it, if you can put 100% of your purchase price against an upgrade and there’s some sort of a return period that doesn’t expire before you propose/she sees the ring, there’s no real risk that she will be stuck with something she doesn’t love forever. Congratulations!!
 

stonehunter20

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2020
Messages
316
you have done pretty extensive research already. if at the end of day, you wanted to trust your instinct. go for it! congrats on the engagement! she will be very moved if she sees this thread! :bigsmile:
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Reviving my thread as I have a new contender in the mix and would like opinions. I asked my jeweler to find me a slightly larger stone with parameters closer to ideal, and they came back with this one.


1345769333.jpg

In person, the stone really wows me and has better sparkle than the 2.07 I had previously settled on. In addition, the difference between 8.1mm and 8.45mm is quite noticeable. It scores a 1.8 on the HCA, and plots quite well.

2.3ct.png

The main drawback that I can see is that it includes a feather on the underside. The feather is visible through the loupe, but without the loupe the stone is eye clean. Is this feather something to be concerned with? Would it dissuade you from purchasing this stone given all of the positive aspects? There is approx a $6K jump to this stone from the 2.07 I was considering, so I'm trying to determine if the value is there. Thanks in advance.

feather.jpg
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
570
The only time a feather would give me pause is if it were to impact the integrity of the stone (ie, make it prone to chipping or breaking). I don’t think a feather on the underside would do that, but it’s def worth checking this with the jeweler to be sure.

For price comps, I found the following on the PS search:

- 2.25ct H VS2 $23,160 (JA) measurements not given
- 2.26ct H VS2 $19,187 (B2C) 8.6x8.64x5.04mm
- 2.33ct H VS2 $26,552 (ACA from WF) 8.49x8.52x5.23mm

I would compare the stone you found to these prices and see if the price is fair. I think you would start seeing a visible difference around the 0.2mm mark (and that too only in comparison) so the sizes are all approximately the same.
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
The only time a feather would give me pause is if it were to impact the integrity of the stone (ie, make it prone to chipping or breaking). I don’t think a feather on the underside would do that, but it’s def worth checking this with the jeweler to be sure.
Thanks - that's my main concern as well. I'm hoping others here can chime in on that too.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,666
According to that plot, the thing on the pavilion (underside) is a natural, not a feather. A natural is a bit of the diamond's original outer surface ("skin") that was not polished off when they cut the diamond, probably because if they'd polished it off they would have had to make the whole diamond smaller all around, if you see what I mean. I find the idea of retaining a bit of the original surface very romantic, though others might not agree. It should not affect the diamond's integrity, especially on the underside of the diamond where there's no chance it will ever get hit.

There are a few feathers here and there on the plot, but they look tiny and nothing to be concerned about.

I'm attaching several micrographs (microscope photos) of the natural on the girdle (edge) of my grandmother's diamond. See how cool-looking? It shows the geometry of a diamond's crystalline structure.

Upshot: I say go for it. You love this diamond, and your only hesitation is whether the natural compromises its integrity, which it doesn't.

Photo on 8-17-20 at 1.29 PM.jpeg
Photo on 8-17-20 at 1.44 PM #2.jpeg
Photo on 8-17-20 at 1.46 PM.jpeg
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Thanks, glitterata. I was thinking that the mark that I circled below was the natural because it was marked in green, and so is the Natural symbol on the key. feather2.jpg

Are you saying the symbol on the pavilion is a natural as well, even though it is marked in red? If so, which symbols are feathers and which are needles? I was thinking the feather would be the most severe since it is listed first.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,666
Thanks, glitterata. I was thinking that the mark that I circled below was the natural because it was marked in green, and so is the Natural symbol on the key. feather2.jpg

Are you saying the symbol on the pavilion is a natural as well, even though it is marked in red? If so, which symbols are feathers and which are needles? I was thinking the feather would be the most severe since it is listed first.
Oh, you're right! I couldn't really see the colors well on my screen. That IS the natural, and the thing on the pavilion is a feather. That makes more sense anyway--naturals are usually on girdles. Apologies!

I still think the feather is not going to be a problem, down there on the pavilion where the setting will protect it. But ask your jeweler.
 

cavalier

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
14
Oh, you're right! I couldn't really see the colors well on my screen. That IS the natural, and the thing on the pavilion is a feather. That makes more sense anyway--naturals are usually on girdles. Apologies!

I still think the feather is not going to be a problem, down there on the pavilion where the setting will protect it. But ask your jeweler.
Thanks. The jeweler has also said it shouldn't pose any issue. There's just something about buying a diamond with a feather (i.e. crack) in it that poses a mental hurdle for me, even though it appears that they are relatively common.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
570
Thanks. The jeweler has also said it shouldn't pose any issue. There's just something about buying a diamond with a feather (i.e. crack) in it that poses a mental hurdle for me, even though it appears that they are relatively common.
Seems like the stone will be eye clean, but you have to decide whether it’ll be mindclean. FWIW, I would buy it if the price was right! I doubt the feather would even be visible by the naked eye - and definitely not once set. I like to think of inclusions as natural imperfections, I actually like how mined diamonds have them because it’s like a reminder that they came out of the earth and survived and thrived in crazy conditions!
 
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