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meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
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50
Hi,

I am a complete novice to the diamond business.

I understand that other than the clarity, colour and carat, it is very important to look at the cut too. A cert will give me the table and depth. But I am not sure if that is going to make me feel comfortable about spending a few grand? Are there anything else I should look out for?

I have not bought a diamond before. Is it too much to ask for a sarin report to determine the crown and pavilion?

Can someone help?!?

:((
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
No, it's not unreasonable at all to ask for complete information on an item you're spending thousands of dollars on.

If they don't have a Sarin report, ask them if they could have one done, or have a gemologist measure the stone.

Alternatively, you could have it done by a gemologist when you get indepenent confirmation of the diamond.
 

meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
50
Thanks Richard. Being able to request for a sarin report even before commiting myself to buying is brilliant.

Would you be able to cast some light on my diamond search and tell me in your opinion, what are the ideal proportions for a 1.01 round?

Also I like the Tiffany 4-prong platinum ring setting. What would be the price I have to pay in NYC?

Thanks a million!

:wink2:
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
"or have a gemologist measure the stone. "

How easy is it for a gemologist to accurately measure the stone to give the information provided on a Sarin report?
 

meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
50
I found a dealer who readily agreed to provide sarin reports!! (although many just dismissed me perhaps because I am not 'serious' in buying yet)

Another question - Is there much difference in a VS1 versus a VS2? The price hike is quite substantial - $1000 or more for a 1.01 round. Should I just get a smaller stone and choose a VS1 instead of a bigger stone with VS2?

:twirl:
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,272
From VS1 to VS2 there can be a serious little price jump. Sometimes the difference (under inspection) is not much at all and sometimes the difference is considerable. Whether that difference is important to you or not ONLY YOU can answer. That depends on how particular you want to get under the microscope. If you'd like to see what you can expect among the VS1 and VS2 clarity grades you may want to paruse our "Educational Diamonds" (http://www.goodoldgold.com/educational_diamonds.htm) section which features photomicrographs of many VS1 and VS2 clarity stones. If after viewing around 5-10 VS2 stones and you feel comfortable with that perhaps you may want to stick with the VS2 grade. However when you go to VS1 you'll really start seeing the difference under the microscope.

Beyond that I would be more concerned with the stones cut. If a diamond was a more superior cut VS2 then I'd suggest that over the VS1 any day of the week. If you can get the Sarin's that's a good start and all of us here can offer our .02c once we know the actual proportions of the stone.

Peace,
Rhino
 

meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
50
So you are recommending: If the VS2 stone has a better cut than the VS1 stone, I should go for VS2.

I know that there is a cut adviser on this website to tell me whether it is an excellent or very good cut if I put in the pavilion and crown angles. But if I am at the dealer's showroom, how can I tell?!? Would they allow me to take a copy of the sarin report home?

Also do things like cutlet and girdle etc....matter a lot?
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Hi--
The culet is only important if its a huge culet which can definitely downgrade a diamond's cut. If the cert says 'none' or 'v.small' or 'small' then you should be fine. The Cut Advisor takes the culet into consideration, so be sure to try to get the % of culet if you can from the sarin as well. The culet should be around 1% or under/slightly above as a basic average.

When looking at the sarin, tell the vendor that you found an online tool that will help you determine how this diamond will look on virtual paper..they can't fault that. The people I told this too looked a little skeptical but what can they say? Or if they don't let you write it down, memorize the crown and angle pavilions. Run home and plug them in quickly!


Girdles only really matter when they are 'extremely thin' or 'extremely thick'. The HCA will also advise on this as well, as best it can. But on the certificate report it will probably say something about the girdle as well. Chances are there will be a 'range', such as 'thin to slightly thick' which means that at any given point AROUND the diameter of the diamond, the girdle areas will be thin, thicker, medium, etc. Thin to slightly thick is fine, you just should worry about any extremely thin places which could mean that the diamond could be more at risk for chipping, or extremely thick meaning that the diamond is carrying extra weight than can affect the cut (if I am not mistaken). A medium, faceted girdle is the more desirable choice I think.

Lastly..your question on VS2 vs VS1..its really a matter of preference. If you are seeing the stones in person, you will be able to determine which one speaks more to you, regardless of the clarity. Our stone is a VS1, but we were not focusing on clarity as a major differentiator. The other stone we were considering was an SI1. The VS1 won out because between the two stones, under a loupe, we both loved the clean look of the VS1...very pristine. The SI1 had a large feather that could have been set under a prong, but it still bothered us. The SI1 was an E color, so it was technically whiter, and our stone is a G, but literally we saw no difference in side-by-side comparisons in color, so went with the higher clarity and it made us really happy. I would highly consider VS over SI. Now for the differentiation between VS1 and VS2, VS1 will be cleaner, on an average, than a VS2. But VS2 is still a great improvement over SI1. With a VS2 you should be able to see nothing at all with the naked eye, whereas some with more hawk-eye vision might see flaws in SI1s. We definitely would have gone with a good VS2 if we saw one. But by chance ours was VS1. I would venture to say that if you find a good cut VS2 as well, take it over the VS1 with the large price jump. $1k is not worth it from VS2 to VS1 unless there are other characteristics that make that stone stellar.

Good luck..hope this helps some!!


 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Hi Rook. You asked -

-----------
How easy is it for a gemologist to accurately measure the stone to give the information provided on a Sarin report?
-----------

The basics are pretty quick and easy. Total depth, table size, crown height, pavilion depth, girdle thickness, culet size are not a problem, and often more accurately reported by an experienced gemologist using direct measurement than the Sarin machine's "construct the dots" method. In addition, the gemologist can supply symmetry and polish grades, which the Sarin does not.

More detailed recording such as star facet/lower girdle lengths, table & culet off-center measurements, and angle degrees are possible, but require additional time. The Sarin does it much quicker, and most gemologist's without a Sarin (or Megascope) will not take the time to record this particular data.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Wow Rich I feel flattered!
No..I am just your average consumer who became obsessed with diamonds while my boyfriend and I searched for our stone. He calls me the 'researcher', because I become like a knowledge sponge. I feel as though I have learned alot in the last 3 months, all from Pricescope, and want to impart that information to other hungry consumer minds not satisfied with mall jewels. There's alot to wrap your brain around and I am really interested in the minute details of stones which are very important and yet seem to be so overlooked.

But since you mention it, I am actually hoping to become part of the 'trade' at some point soon, if even as a poor relative.
Since I do have a career that's already well established in Marketing...my plan (hope?) is to see if our appraiser can recommend a colleague or two in our area that might need some office assistance or similar where I could offer a weekend day of my time and do data entry/office help/whatever in order to learn anything else that I can by being around stones and the experts who appraise them. I tossed the idea around of working at a jeweler for a day each weekend etc, but I don't really fancy the idea of having the *direct* responsibility of helping consumers choose something as important as a diamond--esp with my nouveau-riche knowledge base. I figure I can find a good appraiser that needs some basic help, won't have to pay me, and over time I can learn more from their books, and even just by watching over their shoulder. Then at some point later I want to take a few GIA classes and we'll see where things go from there!

Now I just have to find that local appraiser who needs me and doesn't even realize it yet..
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Heh heh heh... "Obsessed". I like that. Twenty three years now for me, and I'm more obsessed than ever.

You can work for free with me anytime... I'll throw in Florida sun, surf & sand to boot. No extra charge.

I would recommend that you go ahead and take the GIA Diamonds class through the Internet. It's not all that expensive, and can be broken into payments. I know you would enjoy it, and you would be permanently hooked once you finished.

I know plenty of people who dabble in "the trade" while working their regular jobs. Most just have fun, but more than a few make some money at it.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Tempting offer...but I think we must make do with our California surf, sun and sand here for now.
Though I am hoping that there are other people who will feel similarly to you locally!

I am definitely considering taking the basic GIA diamond class..we got a brochure from our appraiser and I checked out GIA's online site. The pricing is not bad at all..I just have to be pro-active and actually do it. Also I was wondering after viewing their short description if I might not already know most of what they seem to teach. But I guess that is where I should start officially.

Our jeweler who we bought our stone & setting from owns his own small store with his wife after working in the diamond retail industry for 30+ years. They have a small store in Aptos, CA right near the beach, and run it together. They are a great pair, he is the 'knowledge' aka 'That is an excellent AGS 000 stone' and she is the 'enthusiasm' aka 'That ring looks so beautiful on your hand!' You walk in and are greeted by their dog who has a lavish bed setup under the jewelry cases. It's a great environment..you feel very comfortable. That would be a dream for me to have later..something fun that I love to do in a healthy environment which can support me and mine. Maybe I am on my way there!


Thanks for the encouragement!
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Also I was wondering after viewing their short description if I might not already know most of what they seem to teach.
-----------

Trust me, you'll learn more than you ever thought there was to know about diamonds.
 

meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
50
Hi Mara/Richard,

Thanks for your advice.

Here's another question. Say if you have to choose between these 2 stones for about the same money, which one would you choose?

1) 1.01, F, VS2, (not H&A but good enough cut)
2) 1.01, G, VS2, (H&A)

===> ie. Would you pick a H&A over the colour?

I am sorry if I am not specific enough or if this sounds like a stupid question. I just want to make sure I will not be 'pushed' into buying a diamond that I will regret.

Thanks!

PS: Mara, you should really consider going into the 'business'. You seem to know your stuff!!

 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
Go with the better cut ALWAYS....... a little bit in color... won't
change anything.... only on paper!

Trichrome
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Definitely go with the G, VS2. Ours is a G and faces up very white. The difference between an F and a G should be minimal, and even though the G is in the 'near colorless' range while the 'F' is in the colorless, some have suggested that G should be almost in its own range, as it is closer to an F than an H. Guess that makes sense since it's a G!


The better cut is the clincher..many people who purchased H&A's swear by them, so if the pricing is the same or a minimal difference, definitely go with the G. Before making the decision, I would compare the two stones on a white piece of folded paper upside down and see if you can even detect any color difference. Chances are you won't.

Good luck!
 

meow4444

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
50
How much should I be expecting to pay for:

1.01, G, VS2,H&A?


Also, I have not done much research on the setting. I like platinum. Seen the X-prong before and I like it. Where can I get more information on settings?

Mara, have you any recommendations?

 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Far be it from me to ever disagree in the slightest with the estimable Mara,
but I'd just like to throw a very small word of caution into the mix about the vaunted H&A grail. Although the marketing dollars thrown at the cut would say otherwise, I think it's important to remember that an H&A cut is only a definitive indicator of the overall symmetry of the diamond's facets, and doesn't always mean it's a well-proportioned diamond. In my experience H&As typically are also very well proportioned (probably due to the fact that a cutter who puts the level of craftsmanship required into producing an H&A will also go to the trouble of making sure the proportions/angles are ideal as well), but the H&A pattern isn't a concrete indicator of brilliance/fire/scintillation all by itself.

I mention this because the two stones meow asked about may be of equal cut quality, but perhaps the descriptor "but good enough cut" was applied to the second stone simply because it was not H&A. To my way of thinking, it's entirely possible that the non-H&A diamond could in fact be of better cut quality (from an optical performance perspective) than the H&A, but the hype surrounding the H&A cut may cloud that.

Like I said, I understand why H&As often are so good, but it seems to me there is sometimes a bit too much emphasis put on it, to the exclusion of other very important factors...

Perhaps the "observations" section from Garry's H&A page is appropriate here:

"Here are some technical observations:
* Most H&A look better than most AGS 0’s
* There are beautiful H&A’s well outside the AGS 0 range
* Not all AGS 0 stones display H&A
* Some H&A leak light and are not ideally cut"

My $.02

-Tim
 
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