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a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Hello All,

This site has been a mountain of wisdom for me (a veritable Mount Everest) since o/a Spring 2008 when I took baby steps into the world of diamond shopping. I''ve come a long way and am now a few days from making my final selection on a stone for my beautiful GF of 3.5 years. I''ve looked at tons of certs using the HCA as a kind of machete-toting jungle guide through the thick diamond spec foliage and sales talk.

I am now down to three. I''ve been agonizing over the following:

B&M STORE A
Candidate 1 -- Round Brilliant TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.08ct, D Color VS1 61.5% Depth, 57% Table, 34.5 degrees Crown Angle, 41.0 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.67x6.73x4.02mm HCA says 1.9 Excellent US$13,899

B&M STORE B
Candidate 2 -- Round Brilliant, AGS IDEAL CUT certified - 1.087ct, D Color VS1 61.9% Depth, 55.7% Table, 34.6 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8% Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.57x6.60x4.08mm. HCA says 1.4 Excellent US$13,873

Candidate 3 - Round Brilliant, TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.04ct., D Color VS1 61.4% Depth, 56% Table, 35 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.60x6.57x4.01mm, HCA says 1.5 Excelelnt US$11,820

I have seen all three stones in person under store lighting and towards the natural light of the doors, though the times of day and the amount of lighting (cloudy vs. clear day) varied. Under my untrained eye under both the ASET scope and the Ideal scope I noted no difference that really, really jumped out at me (though oddly I could the few small inclusions in each of them better!). I took my GF along with me under the condition that she not see the specs and just give me pure reaction to stones. She loved all three but liked the more firey and the "bigger" looking stones a tad more. She thought Candidate no.2 and no.3 looked a "hair" more firey BUT I''d swear I thought candidate no.1 looked the most firey. Folks, since HCA is too blunt of a tool at these tollerances (HCA 1.4, 1.5 and 1.9) to differentiate here, I thought I would ask you all for some expert help. I particularly didn''t want to eliminate the HCA 1.9 just because of the number (it is after all under the magic "2" umbrella) and does that really make all that much of a difference?

Price of course is always a consideration but making my GF the happiest woman in the world is my utmost priority and I know she would like sporting a more firey stone around her finger for the rest of her life. I am under budget with any of the three.

Your sagacious thoughts and calculations are herein solicited and most welcome to help me get to that sought after buddha-like nirvanic state of "mind-clean".

Kindest regards to all,

-Dean
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
HCA is a rejection tool only. Lower DOES NOT equal better.

Go with the one that spoke to you most in person.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Date: 2/22/2009 8:14:39 PM
Author: neatfreak
HCA is a rejection tool only. Lower DOES NOT equal better.

Go with the one that spoke to you most in person.
...or...well...spoke to her.

Sounds like that may be #2 on both size, and fire, from her point of view. It also is uniquely the only AGS option.

Your evaluative criteria are sound, I think.

Good wishes!
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,559
Dean, first of all I am loving your subject line.


Date: 2/22/2009 8:07:15 PM
Author:a140a

B&M STORE A
Candidate 1 -- Round Brilliant TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.08ct, D Color VS1 61.5% Depth, 57% Table, 34.5 degrees Crown Angle, 41.0 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.67x6.73x4.02mm HCA says 1.9 Excellent US$13,899

B&M STORE B
Candidate 2 -- Round Brilliant, AGS IDEAL CUT certified - 1.087ct, D Color VS1 61.9% Depth, 55.7% Table, 34.6 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8% Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.57x6.60x4.08mm. HCA says 1.4 Excellent US$13,873

Candidate 3 - Round Brilliant, TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.04ct., D Color VS1 61.4% Depth, 56% Table, 35 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.60x6.57x4.01mm, HCA says 1.5 Excelelnt US$11,820

I have seen all three stones in person under store lighting and towards the natural light of the doors, though the times of day and the amount of lighting (cloudy vs. clear day) varied. Under my untrained eye under both the ASET scope and the Ideal scope I noted no difference that really, really jumped out at me (though oddly I could the few small inclusions in each of them better!). I took my GF along with me under the condition that she not see the specs and just give me pure reaction to stones. She loved all three but liked the more firey and the 'bigger' looking stones a tad more. She thought Candidate no.2 and no.3 looked a 'hair' more firey BUT I'd swear I thought candidate no.1 looked the most firey.

You have three fabulous candidates by the numbers there. Your own eyes would trump us asking for IS or ASET images, and the fact that you have seen them in IS and ASET with no obvious differences indicates the minor facets are all similar (normally lower halves near 80 and stars 50-55 in these configs) and you judged them to have good cut consistency.

It's a virtual dead-heat but nods to your girl...smaller table sizes & higher crowns generally lend themselves to more fire, although 1% and half a degree are a pretty slight difference. Seeing more or less fire between these closely-matched candidates could be minute differences in your eyesight, in your heights relative to lighting ... or maybe even what you ate for lunch.


Knowing you've done your homework I presume (and respect) that you've decided on D color (my first diamond was a D).

Price of course is always a consideration but making my GF the happiest woman in the world is my utmost priority and I know she would like sporting a more firey stone around her finger for the rest of her life. I am under budget with any of the three.

Your priorities are in order and you've done a yeoman's job of locating and verifying some options that sound truly dazzling.

You do realize photos are in-fashion around here?
 

phildominator

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
63
I am far from one of the well-versed here on PS, so I''m not here to provide any technical input.

With that being said, I''d ask BM Store #2 why the $2,000.00 difference between Stone 2 & 3.

That''s a sizable price difference between the two stones, despite both having the same specs (cut, carat, color, clarity, HCA).

Secondly, is there a difference between Store # 1 and 2 in terms of upgrade policies, number of locations, etc?

Third, location of inclusions?

If there''s no difference, the practical person in me says save the $2,000.00 and use it towards giving your girlfriend an awesome proposal - expensive hotel room, romantic weekend getaway, etc.
 

Noahsmom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
228
I think the price difference is because one is not a B&M, hence the lower price. B&M''s tend to have a considerably high markup over online vendors.

I think it''s funny that you have the subject line and then mention machete-toting. It was probably intentional, but it still made me giggle.
 

phildominator

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
63
Date: 2/22/2009 9:20:25 PM
Author: Noahsmom
I think the price difference is because one is not a B&M, hence the lower price. B&M''s tend to have a considerably high markup over online vendors.
I read it to understand that Stone 2 and 3 came from the same BM store.
 

a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Date: 2/22/2009 9:36:41 PM
Author: phildominator

Date: 2/22/2009 9:20:25 PM
Author: Noahsmom
I think the price difference is because one is not a B&M, hence the lower price. B&M''s tend to have a considerably high markup over online vendors.
I read it to understand that Stone 2 and 3 came from the same BM store.
Stone 2 and 3 were ordered by the B&M through two different cutters with which the B&M works. Not sure if the premium for the make is the difference or whether it is the slight difference in carat weight.
 

a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Date: 2/22/2009 8:14:39 PM
Author: neatfreak
HCA is a rejection tool only. Lower DOES NOT equal better.

Go with the one that spoke to you most in person.
You''re right about that. HCA helped me do some garden weeding. I''m left with pretty flowers, each unique in their own right. Hard to choose between them.
 

a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Date: 2/22/2009 9:07:56 PM
Author: phildominator
I am far from one of the well-versed here on PS, so I''m not here to provide any technical input.

With that being said, I''d ask BM Store #2 why the $2,000.00 difference between Stone 2 & 3.

That''s a sizable price difference between the two stones, despite both having the same specs (cut, carat, color, clarity, HCA).

Secondly, is there a difference between Store # 1 and 2 in terms of upgrade policies, number of locations, etc?

Third, location of inclusions?

If there''s no difference, the practical person in me says save the $2,000.00 and use it towards giving your girlfriend an awesome proposal - expensive hotel room, romantic weekend getaway, etc.
B&M 1 is more high brow store in the DC area. Has several locations. B&M2 is a one store operation specializing in finding ideal cuts. Not sure what the "updgrade" policies are but fair question to ask. Both Stone 1 (very tiny darker-colored carbon spec) and 2 (whitish crystal and needle) have inclusions in the table area. Stone 3 has a feather and cloud in non-table areas.

Though I''ve put thought into the proposal, it''s not been nearly enough as the diamond "mining".
 

a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Date: 2/22/2009 8:35:42 PM
Author: John Pollard
Dean, first of all I am loving your subject line.



Date: 2/22/2009 8:07:15 PM
Author:a140a

B&M STORE A
Candidate 1 -- Round Brilliant TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.08ct, D Color VS1 61.5% Depth, 57% Table, 34.5 degrees Crown Angle, 41.0 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.67x6.73x4.02mm HCA says 1.9 Excellent US$13,899

B&M STORE B
Candidate 2 -- Round Brilliant, AGS IDEAL CUT certified - 1.087ct, D Color VS1 61.9% Depth, 55.7% Table, 34.6 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8% Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.57x6.60x4.08mm. HCA says 1.4 Excellent US$13,873

Candidate 3 - Round Brilliant, TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.04ct., D Color VS1 61.4% Depth, 56% Table, 35 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.60x6.57x4.01mm, HCA says 1.5 Excelelnt US$11,820


I have seen all three stones in person under store lighting and towards the natural light of the doors, though the times of day and the amount of lighting (cloudy vs. clear day) varied. Under my untrained eye under both the ASET scope and the Ideal scope I noted no difference that really, really jumped out at me (though oddly I could the few small inclusions in each of them better!). I took my GF along with me under the condition that she not see the specs and just give me pure reaction to stones. She loved all three but liked the more firey and the ''bigger'' looking stones a tad more. She thought Candidate no.2 and no.3 looked a ''hair'' more firey BUT I''d swear I thought candidate no.1 looked the most firey.

You have three fabulous candidates by the numbers there. Your own eyes would trump us asking for IS or ASET images, and the fact that you have seen them in IS and ASET with no obvious differences indicates the minor facets are all similar (normally lower halves near 80 and stars 50-55 in these configs) and you judged them to have good cut consistency.

It''s a virtual dead-heat but nods to your girl...smaller table sizes & higher crowns generally lend themselves to more fire, although 1% and half a degree are a pretty slight difference. Seeing more or less fire between these closely-matched candidates could be minute differences in your eyesight, in your heights relative to lighting ... or maybe even what you ate for lunch.


Knowing you''ve done your homework I presume (and respect) that you''ve decided on D color (my first diamond was a D).


Price of course is always a consideration but making my GF the happiest woman in the world is my utmost priority and I know she would like sporting a more firey stone around her finger for the rest of her life. I am under budget with any of the three.

Your priorities are in order and you''ve done a yeoman''s job of locating and verifying some options that sound truly dazzling.

You do realize photos are in-fashion around here?
John, first of all thanks for the pic. That''s an awesome movie (great soundtrack) and around these stones I''ve seen I kid you not that I do feel the electricity of an IDEAL "quickening".


Pics will definitely be posted, rest assured. It''s the least I can do to give back to this board. Had I not happened upon this forum I would for sure have settled for a lesser stone out of ignorance rather than means.

One question for you - your take on an AGS Ideal cert vs. a GIA Triple EX?

-Dean
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Date: 2/22/2009 10:16:02 PM
Author: a140a
B&M2 is a one store operation specializing in finding ideal cuts.
a140,

I happen to be in this area, too, so at a convenient time, I hope you won''t mind sharing your sources...
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,559
Date: 2/22/2009 10:35:23 PM
Author: a140a

John, first of all thanks for the pic. That's an awesome movie (great soundtrack) and around these stones I've seen I kid you not that I do feel the electricity of an IDEAL 'quickening'.
Aye lad - I ken whatya mean.


Date: 2/22/2009 10:35:23 PM
Author: a140a

Pics will definitely be posted, rest assured. It's the least I can do to give back to this board. Had I not happened upon this forum I would for sure have settled for a lesser stone out of ignorance rather than means.

One question for you - your take on an AGS Ideal cert vs. a GIA Triple EX?
Based on the numbers, all three diamonds are candidates for the top grade from either lab interchangeably. GIA assigns a grade based on the 2D proportions you see on the report. AGS takes a 3D scan of the subject diamond and uses ray-tracing to determine performance values in the face-up position at 2 distances and tilted, so it's more thorough and diamond-specific. In this case however, seeing them for yourself in many different lighting conditions, you should let your eyes decide.

As suggested, it's a good idea to keep in mind the short and long term benefits the different sellers offer. And I'm with Ira - when you're comfortable please share your sources so future readers will benefit from your hard work.

Cheers.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
hmm one option with 3 is put the price difference in the setting or earrings or necklace.
That increases its bling factor and it is one of the ones she preferred.
 

phildominator

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
63
Choosing between the two different stores could also be a difference-maker...

I already mentioned upgrade policies...

1. Buy-back policy? Will they buy back a stone purchased from them?

2. Trade-In Value with REVISED APPRAISAL DOLLAR AMOUNT? Say $10k gets me an awesome diamond in 2009. Theoretically-speaking with inflation, in 2020, $10k won''t get you a piece of bubble gum. If you got the ring re-appraised in 2020, will the store accept a trade-in value at the 2020 dollar amount?

3. Have they declared bankruptcy? We''ve read about some of the BM stores (ie Shane Co) that have gone into Chapter 11 and their refund turned into store credit.

4. 30 day full refund, exchange, etc?
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,559
Date: 2/22/2009 11:51:04 PM
Author: strmrdr

hmm one option with 3 is put the price difference in the setting or earrings or necklace.
That increases its bling factor and it is one of the ones she preferred.
Gotta love the stealth bonus gift. Imagine her excitement when that comes out on the honeymoon.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 2/22/2009 11:51:04 PM
Author: strmrdr
hmm one option with 3 is put the price difference in the setting or earrings or necklace.
That increases its bling factor and it is one of the ones she preferred.
 

a140a

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
7
Folks, I will be buying the setting from one brick and mortar and potentially buying the diamond from another. I have not decided yet. I''d like your take on the pros and cons of splitting a transaction like that.

-Dean



Date: 2/22/2009 8:07:15 PM
Author:a140a

Hello All,

This site has been a mountain of wisdom for me (a veritable Mount Everest) since o/a Spring 2008 when I took baby steps into the world of diamond shopping. I''ve come a long way and am now a few days from making my final selection on a stone for my beautiful GF of 3.5 years. I''ve looked at tons of certs using the HCA as a kind of machete-toting jungle guide through the thick diamond spec foliage and sales talk.

I am now down to three. I''ve been agonizing over the following:

B&M STORE A
Candidate 1 -- Round Brilliant TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.08ct, D Color VS1 61.5% Depth, 57% Table, 34.5 degrees Crown Angle, 41.0 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.67x6.73x4.02mm HCA says 1.9 Excellent US$13,899

B&M STORE B
Candidate 2 -- Round Brilliant, AGS IDEAL CUT certified - 1.087ct, D Color VS1 61.9% Depth, 55.7% Table, 34.6 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8% Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.57x6.60x4.08mm. HCA says 1.4 Excellent US$13,873

Candidate 3 - Round Brilliant, TRIPLE EX GIA certified - 1.04ct., D Color VS1 61.4% Depth, 56% Table, 35 degrees Crown Angle, 40.8 degrees Pavillion Angle, no floro. 6.60x6.57x4.01mm, HCA says 1.5 Excelelnt US$11,820


I have seen all three stones in person under store lighting and towards the natural light of the doors, though the times of day and the amount of lighting (cloudy vs. clear day) varied. Under my untrained eye under both the ASET scope and the Ideal scope I noted no difference that really, really jumped out at me (though oddly I could the few small inclusions in each of them better!). I took my GF along with me under the condition that she not see the specs and just give me pure reaction to stones. She loved all three but liked the more firey and the ''bigger'' looking stones a tad more. She thought Candidate no.2 and no.3 looked a ''hair'' more firey BUT I''d swear I thought candidate no.1 looked the most firey. Folks, since HCA is too blunt of a tool at these tollerances (HCA 1.4, 1.5 and 1.9) to differentiate here, I thought I would ask you all for some expert help. I particularly didn''t want to eliminate the HCA 1.9 just because of the number (it is after all under the magic ''2'' umbrella) and does that really make all that much of a difference?

Price of course is always a consideration but making my GF the happiest woman in the world is my utmost priority and I know she would like sporting a more firey stone around her finger for the rest of her life. I am under budget with any of the three.

Your sagacious thoughts and calculations are herein solicited and most welcome to help me get to that sought after buddha-like nirvanic state of ''mind-clean''.

Kindest regards to all,

-Dean
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
It would be best if you could buy the diamond and have it set from the same place, if a store sets a diamond they didn''t sell they won''t always assume liability should anything happen to the rock such as breakage etc. This is rare but can happen, so always check to make sure that the diamond is covered.
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,559
Date: 2/26/2009 4:55:44 AM
Author: Lorelei
It would be best if you could buy the diamond and have it set from the same place, if a store sets a diamond they didn''t sell they won''t always assume liability should anything happen to the rock such as breakage etc. This is rare but can happen, so always check to make sure that the diamond is covered.
Desire for business has caused some sellers to loosen their policies a little regarding this, so either place may be willing to set the diamond if you get them separately. What Lorelei said is key; be sure that whoever is setting the diamond is set up to cover any accidental damage during that process. Rare with a skiller setter but a reasonable precaution.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Regarding being covered/protected...Jeweler''s Mutual with an appraiser''s involvement can get you there; seek threads here to review...and you may wish to do this with even one vendor involved (see last post in helpful threads archive, third from the top here).

Re:


Date: 2/26/2009 12:00:52 AM
Author: a140a
Folks, I will be buying the setting from one brick and mortar and potentially buying the diamond from another. I have not decided yet. I''d like your take on the pros and cons of splitting a transaction like that.

-Dean
Personally, the emotional issues alone of separating a dealer from not getting the whole enchilada would be a challenge to me...such that, unless I had strong reasons to get one from each, I''d be predisposed to go with one shop.
 
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