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Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
I posted here about a month ago and everyone was really helpful in giving me advice on what to consider. I think I’m ready to make a decision, and I’ve got a better idea what I’m looking for. Budget around $6000, setting a simple 4-prong solitaire, maybe knife edge.

Carat I’d like to try and get to about 1.25 if possible, but it’s negotiable. She liked the ones in the store that were one carat and up. Her mom’s is a bit over a carat so I’d like to match that at least, but prefer to exceed it. She does have small fingers though so I worry that if I go too big it won’t look good anymore. Not sure.

Cut obviously I want as good as possible, although I don’t care nearly as much as some here haha. I want it good enough to make it seem bigger, clearer, whiter, etc. but it doesn’t need to match a CBI. Can’t afford one of those in the size I want anyway.

Clarity I was thinking SI1 but she’s mentioned in passing that she wants to see the inclusions under magnification at least once so if it’s SI1 it’s gotta be good - nothing big on the table or obvious streaking. I’ve seen seriously questionable SI1’s so I’d be more comfortable at a VS2.

Color has the most wiggle room. We saw an L in yellow gold and she didn’t see anything odd and didn’t notice anything yellow until they told us the L grade. When the cut is good I can’t even see a J in white gold. I’m looking for an I or J, MAYBE a K if it‘s a high K and looks good in the setting. But I’m wary about a K that I can’t see in person, and also I’m considering putting it in a halo setting later on for an anniversary or something and worry the other stones will make it look too dingy.

Fluorescence I’d prefer to stick to medium and below, don’t know how she’ll react to a blue glowy stone. Lower values shouldn’t even register and may help for the colors I have in mind. Not that we’re ever in clubs and rarely outside so UV rays won’t affect us much.

I know you can’t recommend anything directly if you’re in the industry, but I’d be more than willing to take suggestions on who to work with either as a company or individual. I’ve talked to local independent jewelers and a diamond distributer who’s helped my family. The local guys were obviously better than Kay’s et al but still had outrageous prices. The family dealer had better prices but I didn’t like how he spoke to me on the phone amd was trying to get me to settle in areas that I didn’t want like cut while emphasizing color and fluorescence which aren’t as big an issue to me. In retrospect his prices aren’t too bad but he told me he gets 10% commission on the diamonds he buys which is more than some. Plus his dismissive attitude toward my own ideas and priorities put me off him. I’m sure he helped my cousins who probably just wanted someone else to do the legwork and get them a good stone. I’m sure he did but also those cousins are accountants and work for hedge funds and have more money to work with. As an idea of what he offered here are the specs I got from him. All GIA certs.

1.01 G SI1 exexvg 5400
1.04 E si2 vgexvg 4920
1.05 (didn’t hear color or clarity) exexex 5400
1.12 I SI2 exexex 4700
1.11 j vs2 vgvgvg 4450

So his price point doesn’t actually seem too bad, if I’m not mistaken. But I want the best possible and also not to be talked down to. My mother is convinced that I’ll get ripped off if I buy online and that I should go with him, but I think I can do better. Anyone have either stones they think work for my specs, or possibly a dealer they think I should contact? I know people can’t do self-promotion here but is there any place I could post where the dealers here would seek me out and recommend what they have? Thank you all for all your help.
 
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coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,631
These options keep you right around $6k. I went to Whiteflash because they seem to have the largest inventory. If you are willing to do some legwork, or maybe some other members here will do that for you, you might be able to get closer to 1.25 carats at another vendor. I left out any K stones since you seemed a bit unsure if they might be too tinted.


If the clarity on the first one scares you.

Here’s a setting that might work for you.
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
I absolutely love Whiteflash: the aesthetic, the upgrade policy, the advanced imaging. Just don’t love the prices - I like to look at Cadillacs but I drive a Honda. It’s better than I’d get in person in terms of quality of cut for the same price but I’m also looking at size. What does everyone think of this one? Can’t see the cert yet (one issue I have with JA) but it seems a good bang for the buck.

 

coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,631
You need to call JA and get the cert, and an idealscope image too if they will send you one. This is one of the reasons I won’t buy from them. They don’t make it easy to compare their stones anymore.
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
I do really like this diamond...but I feel like I shouldnt get top of the line cut just because I like it so much. The diamond isn't for me after all. Maybe I should look at some more K diamonds in person to make sure they won’t disappoint her...

 
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coda72

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
1,631
There are many people here on PS that love their K stones. You said your gf was not color sensitive, so this stone may be the way to go. You can always return it if it doesn’t work for you; I’m pretty sure WF has a great return policy. And there’s nothing wrong with buying top of the line cut. I’m sure your future fiancée will love it.
 

Miss Marple

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
205
You should also contact ID Jewelry in NY. They can find great stones on a budget.

below are a couple of photos of my mom’s 1.2 ct K Si1 with strong blue fluorescence in a Gabriel & Co setting. Total cost was around $6k.

718260 718227
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,107
There are just too many stones out there, no need to settle for VG.

I would not go as low as K.

Many people find knife edge not comfortable, depending on the severity of the edge and/or the narrowness with regard to it having a propensity to spin more.
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
I really like the first one I posted. Here’s the cert and idealscope. I know it’s not a “super ideal” but frankly it’s really close and the price is $500 less than the super ideal from Blue Nile. Idealscope shows some minor light leakage on the left I think but I doubt it’s something she or I would notice.

AA8EB1C9-09DE-40F8-B4E7-5032BEA1C11F.jpeg 451729D2-0BD1-4A88-A79D-C79C7ECED366.png
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
Perhaps but Blue Nile doesn’t offer advanced imaging and I’m only calling it super ideal based on the cert numbers and HCA<2. If anyone has other stones they like I’m open to suggestions. I’m thinking of reaching out to B2C to see what they can do. Maybe Martin Sheffield.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
2,787
$500 over the course of a long-lasting marriage is really very little. If that amount doesn't pose a financial burden, I think it is very much worth it to pay that difference for a super ideal. When a diamond knocks your socks off with its performance (scintillation, fire, brilliance) it's hard to find fault in other areas. =)2
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
It's not the money it's more whether the difference will actual be noticeable to anyone who isn't an expert who knows what to look for. Outside this forum it seems like there's a big discrepancy over whether ideal vs super ideal reallyatters for anyone who isn't a diamond enthusiast. I don't know what to think but regardless of whether I can afford it paying $500 for a stone that may look .1% better to my gf seems a waste, I'd only be doing it for peace of mind. @sledge you were super helpful last time, do you have any input?
 

diamondsR4eVR

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
457
I don’t have a super ideal or ideal stone but I love my ER! If you don’t want to spend the extra money then don’t. You have to do what makes you comfortable and hopefully your intended loves the stone just as much. At the end of the day, she will be looking at it all. the. time. And showing it off to everyone she encounters. It’s always good to get expert advice but ultimately the decision is yours to make. GL!
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
Just went to a jeweler and I'm more confident than ever that I'm fine with a J. I had to hold it sideways, cover the light, and look through a loupe to see the difference in color and it was incredibly faint. Prices were insanely high compared to what Im finding here and the quality wasn't as close to ideal. He showed me a couple of Forevermore (tm) diamonds and they were beautiful but also 7k to 8.5k for a carat, and the proportions weren't as good as what I see here. The table was like 59, the pavillion angle was almost 42, crown was 35.1. I don't think it would get a good HCA score but it still looked very impressive. After seeing them I'm not as concerned about super ideal, but hey if I can get a stone she'll love that's great with me.
 

diamondsR4eVR

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
457
I’m not color sensitive and don’t mind J at all. Just for reference I have a K. I just snapped this pic so not the best. Personally, I would not suggest K unless the wearer is totally ok with warmer colors and 2) EX cut.
Obviously since I’m not color sensitive I’m totally cool with it. Plus with my simple band bulk of budget can go towards the stone.
 

Attachments

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
Thank you all! Does anyone have any feedback or see any dangers with the James Allen or Blue Nile stones?
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
Rather or not you decide to go super ideal is a personal decision. You definitely do not have to choose a super ideal to find a gorgeous diamond. I also do not believe that lowest dollar determines the best value.

Point in case, last year my wife tried to get me to buy a season pass to a local amusement park. They had a special sale for half price, and it includes free parking, discounts on in-park goodies (drinks, food, etc), access to associated water parks and also access to other parks located across the country that are also within their chain.

Of course, I declined. Later in the summer, we decided to go visit the water park. Guess who spent about $400 for 4 tickets, parking and some drinks? My wallet was crying. My pride was hurt, but fate wasn't done yet.

The park is undoubtedly packed full, probably full of all the smart people that bought the season passes. Once we finally find a spot to setup our lounge chairs (provided by the park), I tell my wife to scoot down one because the one she just about sat in was broke. Feeling all heroic for saving her from an embarrassing moment I proceed to flop down in my chair without ever checking and instantly hit the ground. My wife looks at me as I'm all sprawled out on the ground with a terrified look on her face. I start busting out laughing, she starts laughing and the 20-30 people behind me that gasped and was trying not to laugh all started laughing as well. Seconds before I'm about to get up, our guardian kiddo comes up to me and does a double take and asks why I'm on the ground and not in my chair. The smart ass in me cannot resist and I tell her that I found the ground more comfortable and was working on a new tanning technique. She says, "be careful, some of the chairs are broke". I told her thanks for the heads up, and as I got up she goes, "ohhhhh" and also starts laughing.

Later in the day, I realized I looked like a burned racoon and for the rest of the weekend I got to hear about how funny it was that my chair broke. Apparently, it was a joyous time for the family. Oh yeah, my wife has reminded me about 647 billion times that we should buy the season passes so it's not so expensive next time. Thanks dear, you're so wise.

Learn from my mistakes....best value isn't the cheapest dollar. :cool2:
 
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sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
Thank you all! Does anyone have any feedback or see any dangers with the James Allen or Blue Nile stones?
I'd pass on the JA stone. Too much leakage, even for a "good enough" stone IMO.

The BN has promise. I worry being a 35/40.8 combo. When you factor in weird GIA rounding & averaging and faceting I see some that are great and some that aren't so great. The numbers on the cert gets us in the ballpark but an actual ASET or IS will confirm rather it's a performer or not.

One of the advantages of a super ideal is you get all the images.

That said, IDJ and B2C can both bring stones in and do full imaging. I'm just not sure how committed you have to get with your dollars. I think with B2C, they work with several overseas suppliers, so you have to be willing to purchase before they bring in. But I'm sure there is a return/refund policy. @Diamond_Hawk can clarify further.

With IDJ I've seen them pull stones and provide images, etc and people swap or request different stones. Not sure that applies to all stones, so you should check with them.

Of course, if you are shopping JA, you will be limited to IS images and max of 3 unless they changed that. And BN doesn't provide any advanced imaging at all.
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
1,216
I'd pass on the JA stone. Too much leakage, even for a "good enough" stone IMO.

The BN has promise. I worry being a 35/40.8 combo. When you factor in weird GIA rounding & averaging and faceting I see some that are great and some that aren't so great. The numbers on the cert gets us in the ballpark but an actual ASET or IS will confirm rather it's a performer or not.

One of the advantages of a super ideal is you get all the images.

That said, IDJ and B2C can both bring stones in and do full imaging. I'm just not sure how committed you have to get with your dollars. I think with B2C, they work with several overseas suppliers, so you have to be willing to purchase before they bring in. But I'm sure there is a return/refund policy. @Diamond_Hawk can clarify further.

With IDJ I've seen them pull stones and provide images, etc and people swap or request different stones. Not sure that applies to all stones, so you should check with them.

Of course, if you are shopping JA, you will be limited to IS images and max of 3 unless they changed that. And BN doesn't provide any advanced imaging at all.
I am happy to clarify @sledge . B2C has access to a large number of diamond partners throughout the world and there is some variance in what they (the partners) are able to provide. Many of our partners can, indeed, get the advanced images in-house on any diamond we request. That makes it easy for us to turn around those images in 24-48 hours in most cases.

Other partners do not have the requisite equipment to create the images. In those cases we do try to get the diamonds into our New York office and take the images in-house. Again - this makes it fairly easy, but takes a bit longer with a usual turn-around of 2-5 business days.

In a worst-case scenario the diamond partner will not allow the diamond out 'on memo' which means the diamond does, in fact, have to be purchased prior to the release to us. Because we have a fully-backed 30 day no questions asked return policy the consumer is never at risk, but the diamond does have to be purchased before we can take the pictures.

In that scenario, as soon as we get the diamond in our office in New York, we get the images and send them to the customer. If the customer likes the images we then send the diamond on to them. NOTE: our 30 day return policy begins from the day the customer receives the diamond. If, for any reason, the customer does not feel the diamond lives up to expectations (either upon seeing the images or taking possession of the diamond), the diamond can be returned to us (our cost) and returned to the diamond partner and the money if fully refunded.

In all cases the diamonds are quality checked by a gemologist at the diamond partner, then also in our office in New York - we NEVER drop-ship a diamond direct to the customer. Nobody likes 'surprises' (hazy appearance, noticeable tint, etc...) not found on the lab report so we always look over the stones first in our offices to help ensure a satisfied, happy customer.

I hope that answers your question.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,069
You've got 9 AGS 000 stones with HCA scores of Excellent within proportions usually recommended on PS:

One of which is a 1.25ct K VS2 ACA from WF:


If you switch to GIA XXX, there are over 400 stones in the D-M range (with all levels of Fluor), some of which are up to 1.8ct:

If you restrict to D-J and Fluor less than medium, you've got 138 stones in the list at the moment, going up to 1.4ct:
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,069
1.2 I VS2 - inclusion in the table but hard to see in the video. High crown, smaller table, short LGFs... should be a stone with increased levels of coloured fire.


I'm not sure about Etch Channels as inclusions and if they would need any particular care regime (maybe more regular cleaning??) - I'd have to let wiser people than I comment on that.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
Here's one that got me all revved up. I'd have B2C pull this baby, and run a full image analysis and detailed SARIN report.

No super ideal premium but better than your standard GIA XXX. Read on.

1.238 J SI1 @ $5,329 wire

Per AGS (6/29/2010) = 54.8 table, 62.2 depth, 34.9 crown, 40.8 pavilion & 76 LGF
Per GIA (11/16/2018 ) = 55 table, 62.1 depth, 35 crown, 40.8 pavilion & 75 LGF

No typo. This stone has dual certification.

In 2010, AGS granted 000 ideal status. Later in 2018, GIA gave the stone XXX status. No surprise there as 000 stones will meet XXX criteria, but most XXX stones don't meet 000 criteria. So this is indeed a rare one.

Also, look at the clarity plot -- stupid clean for an SI1.

Proportions are great. And look at that 54.8 table. :love: :love: :love:

Also, for grins, pulled the HCA -- 1.5 if you utilize GIA data, or 1.4 if you utilize AGS data.

If you are even remotely going to consider this stone -- right now, go place a hold on this stone so no one can poach it from you. Seriously, right now!

104045439043-PDQDFK.png

OpenPdf.jpg

CaptureHCA-AGS.PNG

CaptureHCA-Dual.PNG
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
Other honorable mentions....

1.25 I VS2 @ $5,945 wire

57 table, 61.9 depth, 36 crown, 40.6 pavilion & 75 LGF

No images or videos, so that is request #1. But the proportions look reasonably promising.

HCA score of 1.7, which is great but HCA is predicting only excellent fire and very good on light return & scintillation. Because of the steeper 36 crown this falls outside the typical ideal recommend proportions here, but because of the crown (when paired with that 40.6 pavilion) it can produce big fire.

Also I want to make sure none of the actual pavilion values drop below 40.5 and cause excess obstruction. But you can't tell that yet. We need more data.

I'm still sweet on the J from earlier, but if you want a color bump this might be a good option. Despite some minor carat weight difference, the spread (diameter) is essentially the same as the J.

Capture125.PNG


1.40 J SI1 @ $5,507 wire

57 table, 61.6 depth, 34.5 crown, 40.8 pavilion & 80 LGF's

Extremely promising set of proportions. And dreamy 1.3 HCA score. Assuming no craziness is going on, this baby should be a little sparkle bomb with excellent balance.

Again, no images or videos, so you have to request those. But this stone is a great size, keeps you in J color and if the images/video checks out offers a great bang for the buck.

One final note -- this stone does have medium blue fluor (MBF). Typically not an issue, but you want to vet the stone to ensure it's not hazy or sleepy. The stone has some crystals on the table and we want to make sure those aren't black as well. Also, the notes indicate there is some additional pinpoints & internal graining not shown. I mention that because sometimes different inclusions can play into the fluor, and that graining may or may not be a factor. Not overly concerning, but it needs vetted/confirmed.

CaptureHCA140.PNG


1.44 K SI1 @ $5,212 wire

Available at two vendors: B2C & USA Certed

57 table, 61.1 depth, 35 crown, 40.6 pavilion & 75 LGF

Giving up the J color to gain a little more size. Very promising proportions, but again no images or videos, so we need those to determine more. HCA score is solid at 0.9 and all excellents where it matters.

This one has quite a bit of clutter on the table. I'd want to make sure none of the crystals are black, or impeding light performance. Also, that none of the additional clouds not shown isn't causing any hazy or sleepy conditions.

One thing to note here is cert is dated 2012. A lot can happen in 8 years. If things check out and you go this route, I'd want an updated cert.

Capture144.PNG


1.53 K SI1 @ $5,799 wire

If you can live with K color, this one would make resident size monger @msop04 smile (just picking :lol:).

Seriously, it's the biggest of the groups and still has promising proportions, and a 0.8 HCA score:

57 table, 61 depth, 34.5 crown, 40.6 pavilion & 75 LGF

Like all the others, no pictures or videos, so you know your #1 request if you go this route.

No clutter on the table, but it does have a decent size feather around 10 o'clock. I'd want to understand that better and ensure it's not a problem. Being graded SI1 only, it's probably not a structural issue. But sometimes feathers will catch light differently as you twist and rotate the diamond making them visible under the right angle/motion.

Also, this stone has MBF and has notes about pinpoints and internal graining. Anytime we deal with fluor, you want to vet and ensure it's not sleepy or hazy in an array of lighting conditions. Probably not an issue, but always double check.

Capture153.PNG
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
I am happy to clarify @sledge . B2C has access to a large number of diamond partners throughout the world and there is some variance in what they (the partners) are able to provide. Many of our partners can, indeed, get the advanced images in-house on any diamond we request. That makes it easy for us to turn around those images in 24-48 hours in most cases.

Other partners do not have the requisite equipment to create the images. In those cases we do try to get the diamonds into our New York office and take the images in-house. Again - this makes it fairly easy, but takes a bit longer with a usual turn-around of 2-5 business days.

In a worst-case scenario the diamond partner will not allow the diamond out 'on memo' which means the diamond does, in fact, have to be purchased prior to the release to us. Because we have a fully-backed 30 day no questions asked return policy the consumer is never at risk, but the diamond does have to be purchased before we can take the pictures.

In that scenario, as soon as we get the diamond in our office in New York, we get the images and send them to the customer. If the customer likes the images we then send the diamond on to them. NOTE: our 30 day return policy begins from the day the customer receives the diamond. If, for any reason, the customer does not feel the diamond lives up to expectations (either upon seeing the images or taking possession of the diamond), the diamond can be returned to us (our cost) and returned to the diamond partner and the money if fully refunded.

In all cases the diamonds are quality checked by a gemologist at the diamond partner, then also in our office in New York - we NEVER drop-ship a diamond direct to the customer. Nobody likes 'surprises' (hazy appearance, noticeable tint, etc...) not found on the lab report so we always look over the stones first in our offices to help ensure a satisfied, happy customer.

I hope that answers your question.
Thank you for clarifying Brian, much appreciated. :cool2:
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
Thanks @sledge ! I really like that Blue Nile stone I posted earlier, particularly since I found it myself, but those other two J’s you posted seem like really good candidates too, as long as they look good when I see them magnified, since she’ll be looking at the magnification too. B2C was able to find that same stone BN had and is offering it to me cheaper (technically same price since I have a $100 coupon for BN) except they charge for the appraisal. But I live close enough to NY that I could see it in person and have them walk me through it. They also gave me an ASET and idealscope, though I’ve still not been 100% convinced of their usefulness. I like that stone in a personal way though so it’ll take something really nice to get me to change my mind. I do like that yours are cheaper though haha.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
They also gave me an ASET and idealscope, though I’ve still not been 100% convinced of their usefulness. I like that stone in a personal way though so it’ll take something really nice to get me to change my mind. I do like that yours are cheaper though haha.
Post up the ASET and IS images you have so we can review.

Both images allow us to see if there is any leakage in the stone. They do it slightly different ways. Without getting too nerdy on you, the IS image is very basic and white is bad as it shows leakage.

1582067676833.png



The ASET works in a similar fashion, except it has 3 primary colors: red, green & blue. These colors identify different degrees of light return that we see. Short version is you want as much red (intense light return) as possible. Leakage will show up as black or white, depending on the setup used to take the ASET image. Some vendors will provide both an ASET with both a black & white background.

The advantage of white is leakage is easier to detect. The disadvantage is that too much backlight can provide a false leakage reading. The advantage of black is for some people (like me) it's easier on the eyes. Also, it takes away the risk of using too much backlighting. The disadvantage is that leakage is much harder to detect.

While the ASET can be more difficult to master reading, IMO, it provides a little more in-depth analysis of the stone and is much better suited not only for rounds but fancy shapes as well.


1582068742703.png
 

Ambrose

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
44
So it looks like they don't offer idealscope or ASET for the two J stones you mentioned, but I'm going to get video and magnified images. The guy did say he was concerned about the inclusions in the table affecting light performance but we'll see.
 
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