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newbie asking a few questions

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mrchips

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
55
HI All,

I''m new to this board and found it by luck. I''ve been doing some research on diamonds and engagements rings for a a month or so now.

What I''m wondering is the following.

Can anyone please direct me to any information in regards to Diamond ratings and how they differ from one rating to the next?

What do the ratings mean? i.e GIA EGL IGI

I live in Canada, but will most likely NOT be purchasing a Canadian diamond as they are a lot more expensive.

Any information where i can begin my research journey would be very much appreciated and helpful.

thank you in advance

mrchips
 

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Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Welcome to PS


If you use the search tool at the top of the page, all the info you want you should find there.

GIA means Gemological Institute of America, EGL European Gemological Laboratory and IGI International Gemological Institute ( I believe!) Another important one is AGS - American Gemological Society. GIA AND AGS are the top tier labs whose diamond grading sets the standards and are said to be the most accurate, EGL and IGI are said to be softer on grading than the previous two, also the prices of EGL and IGI graded diamonds are often less. These labs grade the colour and clarity of a diamond and in some cases the cut.

Begin your journey with learning about cut - it is this which makes a diamond beautiful. Decide on budget and then fit in your parameters such as carat, colour and clarity accordingly. Many shoot for an SI grade and there are plenty of SI2 grades which are eyeclean and offer much bang for the buck. Colour - many too choose an H I or even J and have a very white looking diamond, some prefer a D IF or VVS clarity for cultural reasons or preference. Read the tutorials under knowledge and start reading up on cut and go through the topics on the left - this will get you off to a great start. Base your search on GIA and AGS graded diamonds as this will make your search for a beautiful diamond easier, these have cut info for round diamonds which helps to judge the cut.

I don't know what the import duties are as you are in Canada but I am sure someone will be able to advise, if you buy online you can get a great diamond for your money and most vendors have the expertise and cut quality info needed to make choosing your diamond much easier. If you like, let us know the type of diamond you were thinking of and we can post suggestions for you to help you see what to look for. The time you spend learning about diamonds will be time well spent, especially learning about the all important cut - it can also be absorbing and fun! If you have any questions you are very welcome to post them and we will try to help you.
 

mrchips

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
55
hi there,

thanks for the reply and info.

i''ve already been researching my cut, clarity etc...

i''ve been looking at the following diamonds at a private dealer in my area.

Diamond 1 - 1.5 carat, Ideal Cut, SI-2, D = $8,000 with setting. just the stone no side diamonds

Diamond 2 - 1.38 Carat, Good Cut, SI-1, D or E = $10,000 with setting. no side diamonds.

Diamond 3 - 1.01 Carat, Very Good Cut, SI-2 - can''t remember colour range - $5,000


In sum, i''m looking for the following.

I want to buy at least a carat. I want it to be D or E, and prefably SI-1, i can settle for SI-2 depending on where the flaw is. My choice of cut is and will be Ideal is possible.

I have set aside $10,000 for it. That is with the setting, side stones and all.

In terms of princess cut or round cut, i''m undecided. which ever i see that looks the best, is what i''ll chose. all the above 3 diamonds were round diamonds.

ps. i have heard much talk about diamonds from St. Martin from guys at work, but i''m very skeptical about this, does anyone have any info or links to previous forum posts giving information about St. Martin? Like what diamond rating do they use over there? are they really that much cheaper?

thanks in advance again

mrchips
 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
312
Cut matters most. Nix the last 2. $8k seems cheap for a 1.5 carat D stone (even SI2), may have another issue so be careful (for instance, this 1.57 D SI2 is about $11k). If you can get table %, depth %, crown angle, pavilion angle, and girdle description, and post them, you''ll get lots of feedback from people here on the quality of the stone; without these numbers, its very difficult to tell (even if its labeled "ideal").

Here at PS, people love using this tool - just specify carat, color, and clarity range, pick only excellent cut ranks, and include AGS-0 and H&A stones, sort by price, and locate a couple stones w/in your budget. The internet vendors that come up on that list are very trustworthy; in particular, PS''ers like Good Old Gold (where I bought a stone) and Whiteflash (esp. their "A Cut Above" round H&As). Other reputable vendors include James Allen, Blue Nile, and a handful of other ones.
 

mrchips

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
55
can someone please explain to me what these mean: AGS-0 and H&A stones?

thanks

and those prices are from a private dealer. maybe that''s why so cheap.

but i will find out all these questions you told me to find out and report back. i have another meeting on saturday with another one so i will ask them.

thanks.

any word on the St. Martin questions i asked?

mrchips
 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
312
Everything I''ve ever heard about stones coming from the Caribbean is a stern caution. Not really cheaper, lots of scams, etc. I''d steer clear.

AGS rates cut (and color, and clarity) on a integer scale - 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. Colors are actually rated on half scales.

For color, 0 is D, 0.5 is E, 1 is F, etc. (I believe).

But when you see AGS-0, that''s a reference to a "0" cut, i.e., ideal, the best there is. Almost everyone here at PS would limit their purchases of round brilliants to AGS-0s (the possible exception would be very very large stones where going down on cut quality would allow you to get more carat weight).

H&A refers to Hears & Arrows, the pattern one sees under a special "hearts and arrows viewer" in diamonds that are cut very symmetrically. A diamond need not necessarily be perfectly symmetrical to display good light performance qualities - cut qualities/factors, such as crown and pavilion angle, and table and depth % are really the primary factors there - but when a stone is an H&A, it indicates that he cutter has spent the time and effort to do the job right, therefore, it will likely also have nice ideal proportions. Its also kinda cool to see/think/say that you have a "perfectly" cut stone.

You can find a TON of info here using the search function on any of these phrases and concepts, and of course that Good Old Gold website has a bunch of articles that explain all this good stuff...

 
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