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Perfection vs. Size

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altamurl

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Hi guys,

Here''s a philosophical question of sorts ...

After read posts here for a few weeks, it seems like a lot of people here are in the market for large (1-2+ carat) diamonds, but seem not to care much about color and clarity.

Personally, I think that a perfect (or as close to it) stone is best, even if it is smaller because that stone would be more rare and and closer to the ideal of all that a diamond is supposed to be in terms of beauty, glamour, status, etc ...

But instead, it seems that people just try to get the biggest thing possible and sacrifice other features. Why is size so important? To me, this seems a little "tacky". It''s kind of like driving a stretch Hummer to your wedding. Why not just rent a small antique Rolls Royce?

Anyway, I''m just curious what people think. Clearly my opinion is no better than anyone else''s, and I hope that this doesn''t offend anyone ...

Thanks.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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because how many people can tell the difference between an F and G, or a VS1 or VS2, and how many people can tell the diff between a Rolls and a Hummer?

interesting idea.

This is America. Diamonds for everyone!
 

JulieN

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If you want to talk about what's under the hood:

bigger diamonds have more fire and more scintillation
 

Kaleigh

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Hmm, well you didn''t mention CUT. That''s key to buying a beautiful diamond. Then it''s a toss up for color and clarity. Many here do want size and will sacrifice on clarity with the mind set of why pay for what you can''t see. Color is a personal preference. Some are color senistive while other''s aren''t. To each his/her own.
 

altamurl

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I guess I''ve always watched the "Diamonds are forever" commercials and such on TV and they evoke this image that diamonds are suppose to be elitist. That''s the whole point. That''s why people want them. It''s not just because they are shiny or pretty. It''s because it is diamond. If people wanted shiny, you could probably get a fake stone and most people probably could tell the difference between that and a real diamond either.

So I guess I would argue that diamonds symbolize an ideal that people want a piece of, if only once (e.g, an engagement ring). So why not focus on trying to get something perfect?

To continue the automotive allusions, you can put big wheels and a fresh paint job on a lemon, but it is still a lemon.
 

diamondfan

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I think cut is major, an ugly stone is ugly no matter the size, though certainly an ugly stone looks worse the bigger it gets...
 

KristyDarling

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Because if you can afford to get a little more of something so darn beautiful, why not? And like Julie said, most people can''t tell the difference between a G-H and an E-F. And unless you''re carrying a loupe around, most people can''t tell between a FL and a SI.

Of course, all of this is assuming you''ve got a drop-dead gorgeous CUT. This forum is above all, one about the excellence of cut -- the one C that is under man''s control. You''ll find that most of the people here with larger stones (myself included) were careful to get an ideal or very close-to-ideal cut stone.

And Julie''s right, bigger stones return more light than smaller stones. It''s basic physics.
 

iheartscience

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I agree with Kaleigh...I''d rather have a well cut I/SI1 over a poorly cut D/IF any day! One might be "flawless" but it''s not going to look like it.

I just don''t see the point in paying more for something you and no one else (unless they''re carring around a loupe!) will see. As long as a stone is ideally cut, faces up white and doesn''t show inclusions, what''s the problem with it?

Diamonds don''t really do anything but (hopefully) sparkle and look pretty, so I don''t think the "what''s under the hood" analogy applies.

Why do you think it''s important to have a "perfect" stone? And what would you consider "as close to" perfect? Just curious...
 

monarch64

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To me, the 4 c''s and personal preference are what make diamonds SO interesting! Every single diamond is different with its own personality, so to speak, and we humans are left trying to decide what characteristics we prefer. So fun due to the neverending choices we''re offered! back to size vs. cut/clarity/color: visually size (or carat weight) is the first and foremost thing another notices about your diamond...I won''t go into why I think size is so important to women OR men, but it is in some cases. Others may prefer to know "what''s under the hood" is possibly better than their neighbor''s...it all comes down to personal preference and which factor floats your boat more than the rest. Or what you can afford, hee hee.
 

altamurl

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Why would a bigger stone return more light? If it were cut to the same exact proportions, then it should have the same light properties. Would it not?

Or when you say "return more light" are you suggesting that it is like comparing a small mirror to a big mirror.

I mean, that it obvious. Right? Or am I confused. because that doesn''t seem like much of a physics argument to me.
 

KristyDarling

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Date: 3/14/2007 12:19:02 AM
Author: altamurl
To continue the automotive allusions, you can put big wheels and a fresh paint job on a lemon, but it is still a lemon.
A GVS2 or HSI stone (if well-cut) could hardly be considered a lemon.

There are a handful of people out there who see the purity of the diamond as directly symbolic of the purity of their love....it seems you might fall into that category, which is totally cool. But at the end of the day, most of us just want a really pretty, bright, sparkling stone. Big or small...it''s just a matter of personal preference. Bigger well-cut stones means bigger flashes of light than smaller well-cut stones....and that''s why many people like them.
 

KristyDarling

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Date: 3/14/2007 12:24:29 AM
Author: altamurl
Why would a bigger stone return more light? If it were cut to the same exact proportions, then it should have the same light properties. Would it not?


Or when you say ''return more light'' are you suggesting that it is like comparing a small mirror to a big mirror.


I mean, that it obvious. Right? Or am I confused. because that doesn''t seem like much of a physics argument to me.
Well, I am not a physicist so I can''t speak on this topic, but based on my own experience, I mean that my larger stone emits bigger flashes of light than my smaller stone. Just empirical observation.
 

boston_jeff

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The diamond''s on those "diamond commercials" are pretty big, too, last time I checked, so I''m not sure I follow you.

Not that I think those commercials should dictate our behavior in either direction, but it doesn''t seem that DeBeers is trying to dissuade someone from getting a 2ct H/VS2 because it is not "rare" enough. Secondly, look at price/ct to determine actual rarity-- I am no expert, but I am sure that a honking G/VS1 is actually rarer than a very small stone in higher color/clarity...

Play a game for a second... would you rather a .25 D/IF to a .40 E/IF, or a .50 E/VVS1, or a .70 F/VS1?

If you answered .25 D/IF, what about if the D/IF was .20? .15? The point is that either you would always rather the D/IF no matter how big, which would be your personal preference to buy a diamond as an expression of rarity, or eventually you would step down in color or clarity to get a bigger size, in which case you are makingthe same trade-offs as everyone else on this board, you might just weight color and clarity higher in the equation.

For the most part, I think the people on this board make extremely intelligent tradeoffs based on their personal preferences, and most of the stones I see are eye-clean and colorless, and those that aren''t have tremendously beautiful cuts.

I don''t think PSers are a good group to question as far as their choices between the 4Cs... now, your point may have more relevance out in the main retail market where consumers by poorly cut, visibly included, and/or low color stones graded in house or by unreliable labs in order to get a large, lifeless stone. However, even in their case, although they could have done better, they made a personal decision based on what was important to them. What is the harm in that?
 

JulieN

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It is the idea of what the eye can see vs what they eye cannot see. It's not as obvious as your small vs large mirror.

You can do a search for virtual facets.
 

altamurl

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Well ... I am a scientist. So the cutting science and quality, elemental composition, and physical properties of the stone are interesting and important to me. I know that I will never learn to tell the difference between all of grading factors for a diamond. But it is very important for me to know that I bought diamond as close to the ideal as I can possible afford. Admittedly, I cannot afford that much (being a poor scientist). Also, I am a modest person and I think big rocks (> 1 ct) are ostentatious. But I were a big rock kind of guy, I think that I would still want something perfect. I mean, I spent weeks trying to find a perfect stone on my budget. But that is my preference ... rare is valuable to me.

Anyway, for full disclosure ... here is what I bought recently ... as close to my ideal that I could get on my non-ideal budget

whiteflash ACA Princess
0.547 ct
VVS2
E color
AGS O cut
no fluorescence
 

TaraLeigh

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Joined
Mar 9, 2007
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57
I guess each person has their own opinion... whatever works for you...and there is so much variety available!

For me, I am pretty colour sensitive so my minimum is a G... an awesome cut ofcourse. Other than that it has to be super eye clean and very sparkly which means I could end up with an SI1/SI2 if I fall in love with it.

I figure why pay for something that someone can''t see for themselves, only you will know if it is flawless or not. My Mom has a flawless diamond and it doesn''t look any better than others I have seen that aren''t flawless... ofcourse it does look better under a microscope but so far in over 15yrs only the appraiser has looked at it with one.
 

KristyDarling

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Your stone sounds beautiful. There are several people here in in the "mind-clean" camp so you''re in good company.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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9,488
I vote for bigger as I cannot see an inclusion. If I can and know where one is, it''d bother me forever.

My SI1 is super eye-clean. I know an inclusion exists toward the edge of the table, but I cannot find it. And I''ve tried!
 

neatfreak

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Feb 17, 2007
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Well the economist in me says, it''s all about preferences. Some choose perfection and a smaller stone, some choose to go larger. If budgets were limitless, I assume that most rational people would choose to get the most "perfect" stone in terms of cut, clarity, and color. But budgets aren''t limitless for most people and so they make tradeoffs to get what is important.

Many in the US WILL get a crappy stone in order to get a BIG stone. But that generally doesn''t apply here on PS. Most of the big stones on here are both big AND gorgeous. Does it mean it''s not flawless? Yes. But it does give the stone some character and allows it to be easily identified should the need arise.

I also don''t love big stones on me. I think I look like a kid dressed up in mom''s jewelery. But that is just me. I am only 23...when I am older I am SURE my preferences will change and maybe I will upgrade. But that isn''t to say that another person my age shouldn''t have what they prefer (size) if they can afford it.

I think almost no one on this forum would have the exact same preferences for spending their money or the exact same preferences for a stone. Different strokes for different folks!
 

decodelighted

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Date: 3/14/2007 12:06:44 AM
Author:altamurl
it seems that people just try to get the biggest thing possible and sacrifice other features. Why is size so important? To me, this seems a little ''tacky''.
To each his own ... but IMO: I think seeking ultimate rarity (D IF??) is buying into a different kind of hype & "materialism" ... Like the Emperor''s New Clothes.

Perfectionism floats some folks boats ... Value does the trick for others .... Or: wacky idea -- a balance of the two.

Personally, I don''t dig on the white white white of "D" colored stones on my skin tone. Period. They''re rarer? So what? They don''t look NICE on me. I''d rather have what''s right for ME.

BTW -- Pinks & blues & greens are even more rare ... is wanting larger "cheap old whites" tacky in your book too?
 

chiefneil

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
174
Date: 3/14/2007 12:06:44 AM
Author:altamurl
Personally, I think that a perfect (or as close to it) stone is best, even if it is smaller because that stone would be more rare and and closer to the ideal of all that a diamond is supposed to be in terms of beauty, glamour, status, etc ...

But instead, it seems that people just try to get the biggest thing possible and sacrifice other features. Why is size so important? To me, this seems a little ''tacky''. It''s kind of like driving a stretch Hummer to your wedding. Why not just rent a small antique Rolls Royce?

Anyway, I''m just curious what people think. Clearly my opinion is no better than anyone else''s, and I hope that this doesn''t offend anyone ...

Thanks.
So are you saying that you would only ever buy an AGS 0, H&A, D, IF diamond? That''s a tough ideal to pursue, and stones meeting that spec and being remotely affordable would be quite small.

If we look to the car analogy again, look at Porsche 911''s. You can get a regular 911, 911 GT3, 911 Turbo, or even a Carrera GT. Should people only buy the GT for 500k, or get 90% of the experience with an 80k 911?

I''m actually quite surprised at the number of people on this site who buy ACA or H&A stones. I would''ve gotten an SI1 if I could''ve easily viewed multiple candidates in person, but that wasn''t practical online, so I went for VS2. I also would''ve liked a G, but they''re difficult to get in combination with my other criteria so I settled for an H color. But the one thing I didn''t compromise on was the H&A AGS 0 cut.

In software there''s a saying - "pick any two - reliable, affordable, fast".

In diamonds it looks like the equivalent might be - "given a great cut, pick any two additional features: big, clear/colorless, affordable."
 

KristyDarling

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Just want to say that this has been a fun thread so far. So many intelligent, articulate responses!
 

altamurl

Rough_Rock
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Hmmm ...

I think this young boy may have strayed too far beyond the kiddie end of the pool ...

But anyway, I''d like to retract the stretch hummer, tacky, lemon, and any other negative comments I made ...

I still think that ideals and rarer are my preferences. But I have to acknowledge that these are not "better criteria". That said, I hope I can extend a few olive branches among the posters to this thread. I apologize. (... returning to kiddie pool ...)

So can we change things up here?

Why do people predominantly buy diamonds for engagement rings? And does the diamond itself represent anything to people in terms of an expression of love? What are people trying to say with diamond? Why not some other big shiny object on your finger? I suppose I am trying to get at why "diamonds or forever"?
 

chiefneil

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Not picking on altamurl, but for grins I ran a cut-quality search on D, IF, Ideal cut, .2 - 7 carats.

There were only two hits. One was not ideal cut - it was GIA very good, 2.02 carats for 54k. So it wouldn''t meet the criteria for being perfect in all respects.

The other was GIA excellent cut, but even though HCA 1.6, it falls outside the AGS 0 range and is not H&A. Polish and symmetry were VG/VG, not excellent, so again this one is not perfect. It''s 2.47 carats for 79k.

Surprisingly no smaller stones came up in the search. So based on this search, it appears that the "perfect" diamond is not available for purchase at this time!
 

tanalasta

Shiny_Rock
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Personal preference.

Some people prefer 'value for money' ... as a H/SI1 ideal cut will still look fantastic and appear white set in platinum (especially with some fluoro).

Some prefer knowing their diamond is of a higher clarity or colour or are simply colour sensitive and/or prefer to pay for it. It doesn't look 'that' much different but it's all psychological - like how some people purchase a Hermes or LV bag.

Other people with regards to Ct weight - simply prefer a smaller stone because of their finger size and because it looks dainty and it's what they like.

A lot of near colourless / high clarity stones don't go to the US market as the Asian jewellers and people have a preference for them. It's a different niche and so they are quite difficult to find unless you get lucky or specifically ask somebody to source them for you. I'm sure if you wanted that elusive D/IF stone and requested WF or any big vendor to keep an eye out for them, they could probably locate one for you. Cutters and virtual databases would have them ... although I don't know how many vendors would keep many of these 'in stock'.

www.diamondsandopals.com have a 'virtual' database and have a selection of D/IF stones.
 

widget

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Date: 3/14/2007 1:00:36 AM
Author: altamurl
Why do people predominantly buy diamonds for engagement rings? And does the diamond itself represent anything to people in terms of an expression of love? What are people trying to say with diamond? Why not some other big shiny object on your finger? I suppose I am trying to get at why ''diamonds or forever''?
Because DeBeers drilled this into our collective heads!


widget
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/14/2007 12:06:44 AM
Author:altamurl
Hi guys,

Here''s a philosophical question of sorts ...

After read posts here for a few weeks, it seems like a lot of people here are in the market for large (1-2+ carat) diamonds, but seem not to care much about color and clarity.

Personally, I think that a perfect (or as close to it) stone is best, even if it is smaller because that stone would be more rare and and closer to the ideal of all that a diamond is supposed to be in terms of beauty, glamour, status, etc ...

But instead, it seems that people just try to get the biggest thing possible and sacrifice other features. Why is size so important? To me, this seems a little ''tacky''. It''s kind of like driving a stretch Hummer to your wedding. Why not just rent a small antique Rolls Royce?

Anyway, I''m just curious what people think. Clearly my opinion is no better than anyone else''s, and I hope that this doesn''t offend anyone ...

Thanks.
There''s nothing wrong with you. You are totally okay wanting to spend the money on a D IF diamond if you wish.

I''m sure there are people who will engage you in this "lets look down our noses at each other for our ridiculous choices" fun. And some of them would be looking down their nose at you. You can call them tacky and they can call you wasteful. Whatever. You invited us to play ;-)

As for large diamonds - not all large diamonds are intended to be worn as a flashy bling bling sort of thing. I wanted big rainbows and the bigger the facets the bigger the rainbows... the bigger the stone, the bigger the facets. I also chose a cut that gave me big facets and I bet I have two of the biggest facets on the board. Not the biggest diamond, but that wasn''t my goal.

As for clarity - I like clarity... my stone is a very high VS2 but anything above that is just... unnecessary. Might as well give you a VS stone and give ME the money you''d waste on an IF. But hey, mind clean issues and all that... it doesn''t bother me in the *least* to have a tiny little crystal that can only be seen at 20x magnification. I can hand that stone off to any jeweler and they''re not going to see a speck. But feel free to spend more on IF if that floats your boat.

As for color - clearness is overrated. It''s great, but it isn''t the ONLY great. I''d love to have a D colored stone, but only in *addition* to my J colored stone. Why? Because I like seeing SOMETHING when I look at my stone. It isn''t totally clear and it has a bit of substance to it. My stone has an antique cut and the antique white just gives it an antique charm. I''m even hoping for very low colored melee diamonds despite the fact that they''re just as inexpensive as high colored melee. I''m also using white gold because I don''t like plat that much and I really don''t like matte plat much and I love the yellowy creaminess to white gold and I don''t plan to rhod plate it. Is that an inferior choice as well?

Really... its okay to have differences in opinion. And if you want to look down your nose at the choices of others, tis best to do so without confrontation.
 

solange

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
871
One carat D Flawless stones used to be considered an investment. I believe they were selling for at least $26,000 or more.If they had flourescence, they were called "blue Whte." Perhaps someone can correct me if I am mistaken about price. They turned out to be a poor investment.

I bought a 4.10 carat I SI 2 perfectly eyeclean stone from Whiteflash about three years ago. The cut is excellent and it looks white to me. I never thought of it as an investment, I just wanted a big, beautiful stone. I now learn that large rough are extremely difficult to get and have gone way up in price as a result of the rarity, not withstanding the fact that it is not a top color or clarity. I was advised to have the ring reappraised (by the same appraiser) and have learned to my surprise that, because of the rarity of large rough, my ring is now worth many thousand dollars more than I paid and far more than the original appraisal.

I did not expect this outcome because I bought a stone that was far from top color and clarity but it seems that there is a great demand and short supply of larger,well cut stones that are not high clor and clarity. so it shows that priorities differand many people are willing to sacrifice color and clarity to get a large stone as long as it is well cut.
 

Cehrabehra

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11,071
Date: 3/14/2007 12:19:02 AM
Author: altamurl
I guess I''ve always watched the ''Diamonds are forever'' commercials and such on TV and they evoke this image that diamonds are suppose to be elitist. That''s the whole point. That''s why people want them. It''s not just because they are shiny or pretty. It''s because it is diamond. If people wanted shiny, you could probably get a fake stone and most people probably could tell the difference between that and a real diamond either.

So I guess I would argue that diamonds symbolize an ideal that people want a piece of, if only once (e.g, an engagement ring). So why not focus on trying to get something perfect?
LMAO - well this is easy! You guessed wrong!! ::whew:: now you can be welcomed into the world where shiny and pretty RULE!! Who really GAS about being elitist? I bet the numbers of elitist people here are few to none, present company excepted.
 
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