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Top Light Brown; Is my H color 'more a J'? (Video attached)

ab211988

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Short version-- Jeweler said my H was more a J because its Top Light Brown. Thoughts? Links below.

Hi PriceScope community,
With your help I selected a stone which at first I thought I was happy with. However, its hard for an untrained eye to assess diamond specifics and I learned this when I went to my local jeweler, who I planned on setting my ring with.

First, I want to say that the jeweler is great and I really do like them. While picking settings, I showed them my diamond and they asked the price I paid. They told me they wouldn't be able to get close so I should stick with my selection. However, they did offer to compare it to another H stone in store.

Once it came out they compared it to my H and said that they could notice the difference from 8ft away (another salesperson standing off to the side). They said that mine was "top light brown" and that often online sellers will target these stones as consumers have no way of knowing until they look at it in person. So while my diamond looks good on paper, this was the reason for the price and it was more a J than an H.

Here is the other I diamond that this was compared to at the store. I'm sorry for the quality, these are the only images I have. The Diamond Compare Mine on left(I believe)

Not sure what lighting to use but here are some videos. I can take more if it would help:
(I added some bonus videos to not completely trash the stone :) )

I appreciate them taking them taking the time to help me pick my stone but it would hurt to return this after so much research. However, I don't want to fumble this at the goal line. Questions:
  • Would you classify this is top light brown and do you have any thoughts on the color rating?
  • Is this comparable to a yellow J and could I save money by just dropping my color 2 grades?
  • Will this be an issue when set in white gold/platinum? My girlfriend has a brown skin tone, will this be more or less apparent?
  • This is going to be set next to pave diamonds on the band, will this be a big problem? I won't be able to return this once set.
  • Steps to take next? I've obsessed over this but don't really know how to confirm this or how it'll look when set.
Any observations or answers to one or more of my questions is very much appreciated.


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ab211988

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Did you ask them what lab graded their H color stone they used for comparison? Diamonds are graded in face down position - not face up.

I did not, honestly I was a bit flustered and in my own head haha--> I believe it was GIA as they showed me 3 other GIA diamonds and that's basically all they have on their site.
The salesperson did explain that the diamonds are graded facedown and that my diamond is not as attractive faceup.
 

Rfisher

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  • Would you classify this is top light brown and do you have any thoughts on the color rating?
  • Is this comparable to a yellow J and could I save money by just dropping my color 2 grades?
  • Will this be an issue when set in white gold/platinum? My girlfriend has a brown skin tone, will this be more or less apparent?
  • This is going to be set next to pave diamonds on the band, will this be a big problem? I won't be able to return this once set.
  • Steps to take next? I've obsessed over this but don't really know how to confirm this or how it'll look when set

***Standard ‘not an expert - just an opinion’ disclaimer

Top light brown /TTLB was a thing I heard back in the early 90’s as budget alternatives for melee/studs thru Stuller. I’ve never been in the industry, so don’t know if it’s still a term regularly used these days or if it ever was a specific parameters/category of what ‘color’ it is.

-Comparable to a yellow J-
There’s a range so it can vary from one j to another j. Plus ‘comparable’ brown to yellow tint is subjective to perceptions, tastes and opinions anyways. (Get your girl involved in this)
There’s a good chance color grading differences between GIA and AGS comes into this as well. Either real or perceived.

-Issue set in white gold /platinum?-
Maybe- but wouldn’t yellow tint of a J be the same concern?
If it’s a money issue to you - you’ll have to decide what to compromise on. Same AGS grading as what you have, but no brown (wouldn't JA address this if asked before sale?) what would be the price difference and is it ‘worth it’ to you?
If it’s a taste thing - get your girl involved.
Heck - get her involved even if it’s a money issue.

-Set next to pave- is it an issue?-
Maybe. Yes. Same as above for metal color. It really also depends on color and cut quality of that melee they are going to use.

-Steps?-
Ask to see your loose stone next to set pave of what your jeweler would use in your ring. In typical lighting - not jewelry store lighting. Maybe just placed in a semi mount they might have available?
Decide if you want to make the judgement call on what’s ok to compromise on vs what not, or involve your girl.


The jeweler is being a salesperson first. A good one or a bad one is debatable.
Your (and your GF) tastes and budget and preferences should matter.
You need to see the differences in person (not in jewelry store lighting) to make those informed choices.

Surprise gifts (engagement ring???) are nice. Until they aren’t.
We don’t know your GF nor her preferences. Or if it even matters what it is you give her - maybe she doesn’t have any preferences. Maybe as long as it’s something YOU picked is what matters.
Throwing more money at a different stone for a ‘safer’ bet, or downgrading size or cut is an easy solution to stay in budget. Or thinking the brown or yellow tint /current stone is ok and that’s the easy solution.
But it may not truly be what would make her happy/what she would choose looking at every day.

Best wishes.
Enjoy the new diamond obsession.
And congratulations on an engagement is in order?
:)
 
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marymm

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Your local jeweler would like you to return your diamond and buy one from them ... they will make so much more money if they sell you the diamond and the setting ... they are in business to sell diamonds and jewelry ... not to pat a savvy consumer on the back for a beautiful diamond bought elsewhere.

That said, if you truly are not impressed with the diamond you selected, then return it and start again. But personally I would reach out to Whiteflash or Brian Gavin Diamonds and get the diamond and setting from them, rather than utilize your local jeweler.

FWIW your diamond looks beautiful to me, and if I were you I'd be feeling great about the fact that it is an AGL Ideal cut diamond. If you stick with your diamond, considering reaching out to David Klass for a quote on your setting, or finding another local jeweler.
 

Lookinagain

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I don't see brown in the JA video. I see a slight tint of yellow. Is it more tinted than a GIA H? I don't know. Color grades have ranges. Some H's may be closer to G and some may be closer to I. Would a J look the same? I would think that a J, graded by either lab, would have a bit more tint. I think it is a beautiful stone and only the wearer can decide if they need something whiter, depending on their color sensitivity. But the jeweler telling you that it is top light brown is a sales ploy. One we've heard many times before.
If you want a whiter stone, you can return yours and hunt for something in a higher color, but I wouldn't do it because of what the jeweler said. I'd only do it if the slight tint bothers you or your GF (and yes, you should figure that part out).
And I also agree that you should reach out to David Klass and get a quote on your setting. You can also ask that melee in the same color grade be used, although melee of the same color often looks whiter just because the stones are so small.

And one more thing, why can't you have the jeweler drop the stone into a setting of white gold/platinum with melee so you can see how that looks? They should be able to do that for you without actually setting the stone.
 

Bonfire

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This is standard operating procedure at most all brick and mortar jewelry stores. They want to sell you their diamonds. Don’t be sucked in by your local jeweler and sales clerk‘s comments vs an AGS graded cert.
I second @marymm advice to reach out to Davis Klass to make the setting. Good luck and congratulations on your engagement!

Edit: There are variations within each color grade.
I don’t know where your H falls (high, low or middle range) but it’s nowhere near a ”J”
 
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distracts

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If your H is an H then it is by definition not a J. Since it is AGS, I think it is possible it could be a GIA I, but I think there's no way it's a GIA J. It doesn't look light brown in any of the images.

They told you your diamond wasn't as attractive face up? You have an AGS ideal. Your diamond is a stunner. Don't listen to them - IMO you did a fantastic job picking. My SIL's engagement ring is an AGS ideal H and it looks very white all the time even set in rose gold with a rose gold head. It's going to be fine. You chose a beautiful diamond.
 

ab211988

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Thank you all so very much. This community is great and provides a resource where there is very few people that can give unbiased --yet knowledgeable-- opinions! This thread helped walk me back off the ledge and its amazing how quickly the mind can play tricks on something when its so subjective.

I spent a lot of time on JA's site comparing H, I, and J diamonds side by side and concluded that this isn't brown(IMO). It is low on the H scale, and better than >50% of Is. I didn't find any Js that my untrained eye thought were better. Thanks @Lookinagain @Bonfire @distracts for your analysis and kind words!

@lovedogs @marymm it does seem that the jeweler was trying to impose doubt in my mind. Some things we discussed 1) That the diamond I received was a bait and switch but concluded obviously JA isn't going to do that. 2) The feather could be structurally detrimental to the diamond but I said it was no where near the crown or edges--they agreed 3) The diamond had been sitting or returned recently but I said the AGS certificate is from last month. --> I guess this is part of the game. It did feel like we were just chatting it up and I don't have any negative feelings but the comments on the color did cut deep haha.

@Rfisher thanks for the advice and I totally agree, it really just matters to who is wearing the ring. Lucky for both me and my girlfriend, I'm the one that is more particular about these things. I'm fairly confident she'd be happy with anything. I will totally place my diamond in a semi mount and see how it looks next to some pave. That is a great next step to make me confident whether this will work.

I will be seeing a family friend(he'll be at the wedding) who has sold diamonds for the last 30+ years. Personally I felt his diamonds just didn't score well on the HCA -not ideal- so I chose to go elsewhere (blasphemous in my family). I'll update the group if there are any other developments. Thank you all for taking the time.


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DejaWiz

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You did great!
AGS 000, clean SI1 with no transparency issues, beautiful 40.8/34.7/55.7 combo, and an Ideal-Scope image that shows tons of light return.


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distracts

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@lovedogs @marymm it does seem that the jeweler was trying to impose doubt in my mind. Some things we discussed 1) That the diamond I received was a bait and switch but concluded obviously JA isn't going to do that. 2) The feather could be structurally detrimental to the diamond but I said it was no where near the crown or edges--they agreed 3) The diamond had been sitting or returned recently but I said the AGS certificate is from last month. --> I guess this is part of the game. It did feel like we were just chatting it up and I don't have any negative feelings but the comments on the color did cut deep haha.

Yeah quite frankly jewelers commenting like that make me distrust them. If they have to rely on insulting things you already own to try to get business, how good could their products actually be? I also don't trust the eye of anyone who is knocking the aesthetics of an AGS ideal diamond... would NOT want them picking a diamond for me if they think that's not attractive! I've encountered jewelers like this, but fortunately there are plenty of local jewelers who are normal about jewelry you bring in instead of insulting, and I choose to give my business to them instead.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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In the trade vendors list the brown when it is present so as not to loose clients who are regular buyers.
It results in a drop in price of maybe 10% or so. @Rockdiamond can offer an opinion on the discount too?
There is a build of NQR diamonds that are sold online after the trade have not chosen them. So it is not suprising as I have never seen a consumer site that carries the "no BGM" warning through. Brown Green (likely Zimbabwe) Milky.
I have infact tested a couple of other biggest affiliate sites by asking questions about diamonds that I know are brown and also milky and the chat people have come back with "no problems, it is a beauty" etc.
 

Rockdiamond

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Interesting discussion!
Based on the JA video ..... I see no brown whatsoever. The tint looks to be straight yellow.
It's possible GIA would have graded the stone I color. But sometimes the rotating videos exaggerate the tint. It really shouldn't matter- the stone looks lovely in your pictures!
In the trade vendors list the brown when it is present so as not to loose clients who are regular buyers.

Yes, the better vendors surely do. Less and less of those though....NYC Diamond District has really changed over the years.
I have infact tested a couple of other biggest affiliate sites by asking questions about diamonds that I know are brown and also milky and the chat people have come back with "no problems, it is a beauty" etc.

MUCH more of that with the newer vendors.
My old buddies will always give me a straight shot. The newer companies are mostly Indian firms that send young guys over, pay them $hit wages, and have 10 living in a small apartment in Queens. Nice guys most, but they're no "diamond men". This impacts your question about price.
When working with a pro, the finer points matter. The bulk of these new guys really knows less than a person who's spent a few hours reading this forum. They have no idea what the diamond is worth...just what they're allowed to sell it for.
Sometimes this works in the buyer's favor, sometimes not. Gotta know when to hold and when to fold'em as it were:)

More: Yes Virginia, TLB was certainly a big thing in the 80's and '90's. At Fabrikant, TLB was about J-K+-. TTLB could be as light as H. It was desired by sellers because the light brown was tought to be less evident than yellow. And or because they were cheaper.

More- a local jeweler trashing an internet-purchased diamond in this manner is just shooting themself in the foot.
It's a shame. There are real, valid reasons that a retail brick and mortar store can ask for a bit of a higher price than the internet.
Some buyers go for the lowest possible price, but some want a higher level of service. IMO being disingenuous to make the sale....bad news.

Anyway- enjoy your new rock !
 

AprilBaby

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Your diamond looks lovely! What a mooch to claim you got a bait and switch!
 

Ionysis

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Run don’t walk away from this jeweller. They are talking rubbish. Never use a jeweller you can’t trust. Please contact one of the PS recommended vendors to make a ring out of your very very beautiful, well cut, near colourless diamond.
 
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