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Your kind expert opinion? Four loose princess diamonds

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vchao

Rough_Rock
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Hi all!

As a new member who has been reading PS for the past few months, I''ve grown to respect and admire the PS community, members, and knowledge. I finally joined and would like to make my first post - to ask for your kind expert opinion!

I''m engagement ring shopping and a local jeweler has shown us four loose princess cut diamonds. Would you be kind enough to comment and give me advice? What do you think of these diamond stats? Do any of these seem better than the others, if you were to force rank? Does it seem like I should continue with this jeweler, or start looking elsewhere?

#1: 2.20 ct Princess
VS 1 I
$14,400
GIA cert in 2005
6.90 x 6.61 x 5.24 mm
L/W ratio 1.044
VG polish, G symmetry
79.3% depth
71% table
Thin to very thick girdle
No culet
No fluoro
AGA cut grade (I referenced the princess cut chart): 2B Int''l fine trade cut
My own comments: This diamond has the deepest cut compared to the four choices. It seems to return the most number of small points of white light. Second in fire and return of colored light, behind diamond #2. I''ll admit I don''t like that it looks the smallest from the top, even though it''s the most expensive of the four. In my amateur eye, the "I" color looks the same as the others, and it appears eye-clean. I''m not very good with the loupe, but it seems fine from all sides under a 10x loupe (if there are inclusions, they didn''t seem to bother me). This diamond seems to exhibit darker/deeper gray tones, maybe from the depth?


#2: 2.01 ct Princess
VS 2 H
$12,500
EGL cert in 2007
7.06 - 6.85 x 5.13 mm
L/W ratio 1.031
VG polish, VG symmetry
74.9% total depth
77% table width
11% crown height
63% pavilion depth
Thin polished girdle
No culet
No fluoro
Nil graining
AGA cut grade (I referenced the princess cut chart): 2B Int''l fine trade cut
My own comments: This diamond has the second deepest cut of the four choices. It has the most fire and return of colored light as compared to the others, which I am a fan of. In my amateur eye, it appears eye-clean. I''m not very good with the loupe, but it seems fine from all sides under a 10x loupe (if there are inclusions, they didn''t seem to bother me). It''s the least expensive. I don''t like that it''s EGL cert, instead of GIA, but the jeweler told me that the newer EGL certs are good.


#3: 2.00 ct Princess
VS 2 I
$13,250
GIA cert in 2005
7.05 x 6.81 x 4.96 mm
L/W ratio 1.035
Excellent polish, G symmetry
72.8% depth
77% table
Medium to very think girdle
Very small culet
No fluoro
AGA cut grade (I referenced the princess cut chart): 2B Int''l fine trade cut
My own comments: In my amateur eye, the color looks the same as the others and it appears eye-clean. Under the 10x loupe, I saw more small inclusions than the other diamonds, but that doesn''t bother me. This diamond does not have as much fire as #1 and #2.


#4: 2.08 ct Princess
VS 1 H
$13,400
EGL cert in 2007
7.53 - 7.14 x 4.82 mm
L/W ratio 1.055
VG polish, VG symmetry
67.5% total depth
72% table width
6% crown height
60% pavilion depth
Medium polished girdle
No culet
No fluoro
Nil graining
AGA cut grade (I referenced the princess cut chart): 2A Int''l fine trade cut
My own comments: This diamond has the shallowest cut of the four choices, so it looks the bigget from the top. I admit that I like that it looks bigger for the money. It has less fire/brilliance as compared to #1 and #2. In fact, the middle of the diamond (when looking down at it) seems to be lighter/whiter in color and not as "alive", maybe due to it''s shallowness? In my amateur eye, it appears eye-clean. I''m not very good with the loupe, but it seems fine from all sides under a 10x loupe (if there are inclusions, they didn''t seem to bother me). I don''t like that it''s EGL cert, instead of GIA, but the jeweler told me that the newer EGL certs are good.


That''s all for now. If I manage to get pictures, videos, or clarity charts/representations, then I will update. I hope you enjoyed my first post; I was certainly thrilled to write it. I''ll be eagerly awaiting your thoughtful replies and opinions!

Thanks all,
Chao
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
If #2 is the clear winner, I think you should go with that one.

You said the GIA I was the same as the others, so at least the color seems to be right.
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi JulieN,

Thanks for your prompt reply! I was happy to read your comment.

Can you please elaborate a bit more on your response? Do you mean that #2 is a clear winner from your opinion, or are your reflecting my own opinion?

From my novice understanding, I don''t know which of these four diamonds is a clear winner. My grasp of comparison ends with:
#1 has the most white points of light
#2 has the most fire and is the least expensive
#4 looks the biggest and has the best AGA cut grade.
After that meager understanding, the dimensions and stats are somewhat of a mystery to me. I have been trying to educate myself, ask appropriate questions, and research tutorials and charts. But I don''t know how these four diamond quotes stack up against the whole diamond landscape. Do the prices seem right for the given quality?

My original criteria for our e-ring:
2 ct or more princess
H color or better (though the jeweler gave us H and I)
VS 2 or better
VG or better polish
VG or better symmetry (jeweler gave us VG and G)
GIA or AGS cert (jeweler gave us GIA and EGL)
More square than rectangular shape
None or faint fluro
No or small culet

We didn''t tell the jeweler, but our loose diamond budget is $15000.

Maybe that information helps! Thanks all!

- Chao
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
ah, ok.

IF #2 is not your favorite, then, from your descriptions, #2 would be what I would pick.

Can you describe the lighting environment? Was it office/fluorescent lighting or was it lots of small spotlights?

you don't sound that interested in 3 or 4 (except for the size, which shouldn't be a consideration at this point.)
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Hi vchao! Welcome to Pricescope


Do you have any others you can look at?
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi JulieN - The lighting conditions were not ideal. We were viewing with natural cloudy sunlight at the time, coming in from the windows of the jewelry store. We didn''t have store/jewelry lighting at the time. I can go back for another visit so I can view under fluorescent/office lights, bright sunlight, and a "diamond light".

Hi Lorelei - Thanks for the kind welcome! I will ask if I can look at other stones that fall in or near my parameters. Do you think my current four choices aren''t very good?

Thanks all!
- Chao
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/16/2009 3:46:56 PM
Author: vchao
Hi JulieN - The lighting conditions were not ideal. We were viewing with natural cloudy sunlight at the time, coming in from the windows of the jewelry store. We didn't have store/jewelry lighting at the time. I can go back for another visit so I can view under fluorescent/office lights, bright sunlight, and a 'diamond light'.

Hi Lorelei - Thanks for the kind welcome! I will ask if I can look at other stones that fall in or near my parameters. Do you think my current four choices aren't very good?

Thanks all!
- Chao
Hi Chao!

To be honest there are various aspects of each diamond which concern me, so I would see what else is out there. Examples of this are the girdles of thin to very thick, flat crown height on one, EGL reports - we would need to know which EGL labs - , tables being greater than the depths in some cases.

Although you can't tell that much by numbers, what I can tell implies that the diamonds aren't the best cut. If you don't want the very highest cut standards thats fine, but I want to try to help you find a Princess which has a really good cut which will sparkle and be beautiful!

What I would suggest you do, if there is a Jareds near you - ask if they can show you some AGS0 cut grade diamonds so you can compare any others you see with ones of pretty much known cut quality. Also you could buy an ASET scope which could be of great help to you in judging the cut of any diamonds you particularly like.

http://www.ideal-scope.com/cart_zoom_item.asp?Id=23&ShowAdd=Y

http://www.ideal-scope.com/using_reference_chart_ASET.asp
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi all,

I already ordered the ASET starter kit and am eagerly awaiting it''s arrival!
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/16/2009 6:06:08 PM
Author: vchao
Hi all,

I already ordered the ASET starter kit and am eagerly awaiting it''s arrival!
Great stuff!!!
 

JasonFaber

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
74
To be perfectly honest, I wouldn''t pick any of them, but I am a bit picky.

1) The dates of the certifications are old (these diamonds have already been picked threw and thrown back into the pile)

2) In order to have a very brilliant diamond, the table really should be under 70% and the depth be above the table but under 78% (diamond #1 had the most fire because it had the smallest table and the depth was more on par)

3)Most of the girdles are too offset (thin to vthick). Try and pick one that is more consistant.

4) For the price you want to pay, I would honestly recommend getting an Aset scope to finalize your puchase....I did. (it just makes you feel better knowing that you got a good diamond)

Have you tried looking threw the diamonds at Pricescope?

2 pics.JPG
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/17/2009 12:25:35 PM
Author: JasonFaber
To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't pick any of them, but I am a bit picky.

1) The dates of the certifications are old (these diamonds have already been picked threw and thrown back into the pile) Actually in the scheme of things 2007 is fine, even 2005 isn't that unusual.

2) In order to have a very brilliant diamond, the table really should be under 70% and the depth be above the table but under 78% (diamond #1 had the most fire because it had the smallest table and the depth was more on par) Its a bit more complicated than just depth and table alone, as other proportions need to be considered - table being less than depth is a good guide but really for overall evaluation if buying online, images such as ASET are the most useful - and you yourself know how useful ASET can be when viewing diamonds!

3)Most of the girdles are too offset (thin to vthick). Try and pick one that is more consistant.

4) For the price you want to pay, I would honestly recommend getting an Aset scope to finalize your puchase....I did. (it just makes you feel better knowing that you got a good diamond) Our poster has one on the way!

Have you tried looking threw the diamonds at Pricescope?
 

JasonFaber

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
74
Just a few that Pricescope has that look VERY promising......

http://www.bluenile.com/princess-diamond-1-carat-very-good-cut-g-color-vs1-clarity_LD01339062

http://www.abazias.com/database/NewDiamondInfo.asp?stock=29294935&src=builder

http://search.virtcert.com/cgi/u/1012/v.cgi?stock=9360171&_s=1012&_p=sdf348gd743&_c=&_fs=1&prestock=&_ln=ps

http://www.abazias.com/database/NewDiamondInfo.asp?stock=61363381&src=builder (Very impressive for 12k)

1) GIA certificate is newer (Feb, 08) According to the GIA website

2) Depth and Table have great %s

3) the Girdle has only a fluctuation of 1 step

4) Symmetry/Polish both VG


I know there are many more factors, and fancy cuts cannot be evaluated all that well on paper, but this is a very good start... and if you don't like the diamond, there is a 30 day return policy.
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hello JasonFaber, Lorelei, Stone-cold11, and all,

Thanks for the very much appreciated opinions on these four diamonds and your leads on diamonds through PS. I''ll look at these of course.

I haven''t received the ASET yet, but when I do, I''ll upload the ASET images!

Thanks all,
Chao
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/19/2009 2:35:00 PM
Author: vchao


I haven''t received the ASET yet, but when I do, I''ll upload the ASET images!

Thanks all,
Chao
Keep me posted - I will be keeping an eye out!
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi all,

Thanks again for reading and for your responses. I visited the jeweler again, and he had a 5th loose stone for me. The specs are below.

I also have ASET images, ASET videos, regular images, and regular videos to show you! I will include these in the next post.

#5: 2.01 ct Princess
VS 2 I
$11,445
EGL USA cert in 2008-2009
6.93 x 6.80 x 5.08 mm
L/W ratio 1.0191
VG polish, G symmetry
74.7% depth
72.2% table
11.6% crown
59.3% pavilion
47.4 degr crown angle
58.1 degr pavilion angle
Medium to slightly thick girdle
No culet
No fluoro
AGA cut grade (I referenced the princess cut chart): 1B Premium cut
My own comments: This diamond looks very nice compared to the other four choices. It has similar brilliance as compared to #1 and #2. In my amateur eye, the "I" color looks similar to the others, and it appears eye-clean. I''m not very good with the loupe, but it seems fine from all sides under a 10x loupe (if there are inclusions, they didn''t seem to bother me).


Thanks,
Chao
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi all,

Here are the ASET images under the ASET scope and on the light that came with my ASET. Here are also regular images under a "diamond light", but with the flash of my camera. I have numbered the images according to my original post # scheme.

I''m working on posting the videos to youtube, and I will provide the link.

Let me know what you think, please. Thanks very much!

Thanks,
Chao

Diamonds 036 s.jpg
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
ASET images. Note there are two #2 images, and the sizes are not accurate compared to each other. I cropped and copied and pasted different pictures. Thanks!

ASET s.jpg
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
I''m pretty impressed by your efforts.

I''m thinking 2 and 5?
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi JulieN,

I was thinking the same thing! Sit tight, I have the ASET youtube videos coming soon. (I don''t know how to embed videos here.)

Here is the link to a regular video of the loose stones. View in "HQ" for the high quality version of the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaloON2Vmno


So, I agree that 2 and 5 are the favorites of the bunch, but based on price and quality, should I be looking elsewhere? Or should I stick with this jeweler?

Thanks,
Chao
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi all,

This is the last photo/video evidence I have of the 5 loose stones I''m considering. This is a link of a youtube video of the ASET viewings. Please view in "HQ" for high quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n_N0WdmOwc

Please let me know what you think. I think #2 and #5 look very good, but I''d like your opinion too. And should I move forward with this local jeweler? Or continue looking elsewhere. My budget and specs are listed in the early posts.

Thanks all! This has been very educational for me!
-Chao
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Hi all,

(Sorry for the multiple posts tonight)

I wanted to address an earlier question. #2 and #4 are EGL international certs, they reference the website www.eglinternational.org

#5 is an EGL USA cert, I confirmed the report number on www.eglusa.com

And now a new question - can someone explain why #1 looks so different from the others in the ASET images? The cut lines look so different!

Thanks
Chao
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
Let us just consider #2 and #5...

#2: 2.01 ct Princess
VS 2 H
$12,500
EGL cert in 2007
7.06 - 6.85 x 5.13 mm
L/W ratio 1.031
VG polish, VG symmetry
74.9% total depth
77% table width
11% crown height
63% pavilion depth
Thin polished girdle
No culet
No fluoro
Nil graining

#5: 2.01 ct Princess
VS 2 I
$11,445
EGL USA cert in 2008-2009
6.93 x 6.80 x 5.08 mm
L/W ratio 1.0191
VG polish, G symmetry
74.7% depth
72.2% table
11.6% crown
59.3% pavilion
47.4 degr crown angle
58.1 degr pavilion angle
Medium to slightly thick girdle
No culet
No fluoro

It seems from your video that #2 has less red under ASET. #5 looks great under ASET, except 1 side seems to have reduced performance.

If you want one more for consideration, it would throw this into the ring: http://www.whiteflash.com/princess/Princess-cut-diamond-912107.htm# for around the same size and price, with GIA report. ASET looks pretty good, too.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
I must congratulate you vchao, you have gone to extraordinary lengths to evaluate these diamonds - very well done!!


I agree with Julie also that 2 and 5 look to be the best ones.
 

vchao

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
17
Thanks for your input! What do you think of the shape of the tables on #2 and #5? You can see that one is more square and the other is more hexagonal. Does it make a difference?

Also, I''m still curious about the completely different ASET image of #1. Notice the cut lines? I wonder why it looks so different and how it affects the quality!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks,
Chao
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274
Incredible effort vchao.


As I reviewed the specs of the diamonds you were considering i wasn''t surprised when I saw the ASET''s. Honestly ... I''m not impressed with any of them. I don''t think a single one would make or qualify as "ideal", as loose as that range is. If you are after a budget diamond you have succeeded. Toss the coin and make your choice. If you are after a beautiful princess cut, I will not sugar coat it ... keep looking.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Date: 3/24/2009 11:13:17 PM
Author: Rhino
Incredible effort vchao.



As I reviewed the specs of the diamonds you were considering i wasn''t surprised when I saw the ASET''s. Honestly ... I''m not impressed with any of them. I don''t think a single one would make or qualify as ''ideal'', as loose as that range is. If you are after a budget diamond you have succeeded. Toss the coin and make your choice. If you are after a beautiful princess cut, I will not sugar coat it ... keep looking.
ditto that is what I was going to say.
They are more along the lines of ordinary princess cuts rather than high performance cuts.
 
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