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Need Help Deciding w/ HCA Rating

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qtn5

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
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3
Hello,

I''m trying to decide between 3 different engagement rings. Size wise, I prefer the 2 larger ones, but I''ve included the 3rd contender just in case anyone has input to consider that I am unaware of.

At first I was only looking at rings with all EX cut/polish/symmetry which I believed would give the best sparkle. Of the 2 larger rings, I had been leaning towards Ring #1 which has all EX in cut, polish and symmetry over Ring #2, which has EX cut, VG polish and VG symmetry.

After reading the forums and learning about HCA scores, I''m wondering if I should still put importance on having the cut/polish/symmetry be all EX because when I did the HCA, Ring #2 (which only had EX cut, VG polish and VG symmetry) actually had the highest score.

I''ve seen the 3 rings in person, and they all seem to sparkle the same to the naked eye. However, the 2 larger ones did seem a little darker than the smallest one (Ring #3). What should I be looking for when examining the rings with the naked eye?

Also, Ring #1 has a larger Table Size Percentage (59%) than Ring #2 and #3... will this throw off the brilliance and sparkle of the ring despite its EX cut/polish/symmetry ratings?

Ring #1 has an HCA score of 2.3 (EX cut, EX polish, EX symmetry)
Ring #2 has an HCA score of 1.1 (EX cut, VG polish, VG symmetry)
Ring #3 has an HCA score of 1.7 (EX cut, EX polish, EX symmetry)

With all the factors to consider (HCA rating, importance of excellent Polish & Symmetry), I''m not sure which one is best and will sparkle the most. Should I base my decision off the ring that recieved a better HCA score?

Any input would be much appreciated!


RING #1:
Round Brilliant
1.5 carats
H
VS1
Cut: EX
Symmetry: EX
Polish: EX
Fluorescence: None
Girdle Thickness: Medium to Slightly Thick
Depth %: 61.1
Table %: 59
Crown Angle: 34.5
Pavilion Angle: 41.0
Culet: none
HCA score: 2.3


RING #2:
Round Brilliant
1.6 carats
H
VVS2
Cut: EX
Symmetry: VG
Polish: VG
Fluorescence: Medium Blue
Girdle Thickness: Thin to Medium
Depth %: 61.1
Table %: 55
Crown Angle: 34.0
Pavilion Angle: 40.9
Culet: none
HCA score: 1.1

RING #3:
Round Brilliant
1.3 carats
H
VS1
Cut: EX
Symmetry: EX
Polish: EX
Fluorescence: Faint
Girdle Thickness: Medium
Depth %: 61.7
Table %: 56
Crown Angle: 35.1
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Culet: none
HCA score: 1.7


Thank you!
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
Hi qt,

All of them have potential to be a pretty diamond. What lab are these graded by?

The first is the the iffiest. The pavilion angle, if not tightly cut, could possibly cause some light leakage. But without an IS, no way to tell. Also, the table is slightly larger that what we see in near Tolk's. You might loser a tad bit of fire with it.


I like everything on this second stone. It's crown/pavilion would lend itself to being a very bright stone, but should have a nice mix of brilliance and fire. It sounds like you couldn't tell the difference with the VG sym and pol, which is not unusual. The only thing is, I hate to see you pay for that clarity. Outside of that, it would probably be my pick.


The third diamond looks good. No red flags.


I would pick between 2 and 3 myself, just to be safe. It could be once you got the first one in the right lighting, you might find it lacking a bit, because we just don't know about the pavilion.

I would go back and compare again, you want to see them away from the jewelers lights, they make all diamonds look good. Get them in natural diffused light for a look, and then away from as much light as possible. Cup your hand around them, or put them under the counter. A well cut diamond will still look very nice away from light, with just the slightest hint of sparkle, it should not look flat or dead. You want a diamond to sparkle nicely, be nice and bright, and have nice fire.

Just spend some time with them, don't rush, and see which one strikes your fancy!
 

qtn5

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
3
Hi Ellen,

Thanks so much for your help! The rings are from Tiffany. Unfortunately, I don''t have an IS so I can''t observe Ring #1''s angles in depth. When you say it''s not unusual that I couldn''t tell the difference with the VG sym and pol in Ring #2, do you mean that a trained eye would be able to see the difference? Thanks for pointing out the concern about paying more for the higher clarity. If there was a lower clarity (VS1), higher color (G), would that be more worth the price than Ring #2 even if it''s at a higher cost?
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
Date: 3/13/2009 7:39:09 AM
Author: qtn5

Hi Ellen,

Thanks so much for your help! The rings are from Tiffany. Unfortunately, I don't have an IS so I can't observe Ring #1's angles in depth. When you say it's not unusual that I couldn't tell the difference with the VG sym and pol in Ring #2, do you mean that a trained eye would be able to see the difference? Thanks for pointing out the concern about paying more for the higher clarity. If there was a lower clarity (VS1), higher color (G), would that be more worth the price than Ring #2 even if it's at a higher cost?
You're welcome.

Yes, a trained (as in pro) eye would be be able to tell the difference with sym and pol, but most lay people can't. So that's what I meant, it's not unusal that you didn't see a difference.

As for your last question, changing the color/clarity can change the price, but it's the cut of the diamond (with particular attention to the crown/pavilion angles) that plays the most important part in getting a beautiful diamond. For instance, when I was looking for my upgrade, I wanted just under 1.5, H VS2/SI1. What I came across was a 1.40 G VS1. It was higher color and definitely higher clarity than I wanted. But it's numbers and IS told me it was extremely well cut. So I went for it, and have never been sorry. In looking for diamonds, it's rare to find all the stars aligned at one time to get exactly what you want, and you have to decide what sacrifices you want to make.
 

qtn5

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
3
That makes sense... thanks for the advice, Ellen.

Out of curiousity, from a trained eye''s perspective, what do you see is different between a stone that has EX cut/polish/symmetry and one that only has EX cut, but VG polish and symmetry?

Is the difference in the brilliance or fire?
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,324
there might be no difference, or there might be some difference. can''t tell without looking at it.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/14/2009 8:31:35 PM
Author: qtn5

That makes sense... thanks for the advice, Ellen.

Out of curiousity, from a trained eye's perspective, what do you see is different between a stone that has EX cut/polish/symmetry and one that only has EX cut, but VG polish and symmetry?

Is the difference in the brilliance or fire?
Polish and lab graded symmetry are details of finish, they don't affect performance as such. As Ellen says the trained eye might be able to pick up some difference between ex ex polish and symmetry and vg vg, but this would depend. Also it is important to remember GIA Excellent cut grade diamonds are not created equal.
 
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