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Since Fatwallet currently presents a scattered collection of archived and active threads that discuss diamond purchase considerations, I decided to consolidate them into one. In the process, I hope to start a healthy discussion regarding the best way to get exactly what you want at reasonable prices.

While I have taken the liberty of posting my opinions below, they are anything but gospel. Please feel free to agree/disagree or introduce additional considerations into this discussion. Please also note that this is NOT intended to be yet another basic 4C's tutorial. Instead, I presume that most of the readers have already gone through the trouble of educating themselves on these very basic things and are just looking for a way to correctly apply this knowledge. For the more advanced tutorials, I would strongly encourage people to review information posted on Pricescope (www.pricescope.com), which is the preeminent diamond buying forum.

Purchase considerations
Clarity
As long as the stone in question is eye-clean, I do not see any particular reason to pay for higher clarity. Now, the "eye clean" status of the stone will certainly depend on its shape (it would be more difficult to see the same inclusion in a round brilliant stone than in, let's say, an emerald), size (it's easier to see inclusions in larger diamonds), cut (the better the cut, the more it will obscure the inclusions), location of the inclusion and the type of the inclusion (black inclusions are much easier to spot than white feathers). For round brilliants, quite a few SI2 stones, especially the ones with ideal cuts, are perfectly eye clean and, therefore, present a great value.

Now, some people just have a personal preference for a stone with higher clarity because they equate it with "purity" or just like seeing a very clean certificate. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this personal preference as long as the person realizes that others will never be able to discern the higher clarity without magnification.

Color
As for color, again, some shapes show color more than others (round brilliants typically show color the least). Further, the quality of the cut makes a huge difference here -- for round brilliants, an ideal cut (which I'll discuss below) will often make diamonds face up at least one color grade higher than its certificated grade.

Just like with clarity, some people have a personal preference for the highest color money can buy. Unlike high clarity, which cannot be discerned with a naked eye, however, most people can tell the difference between icy white D color and, let's say, J. Differences in color can also often be discerned by comparing stones next to each other, which is the reason that most people think of high color as more important than high clarity. Depending on your age, personal preference and visual acuity, many people think of H and I colored round brilliants as presenting the best value for the money. Some J colored round brilliants also face up very white and, therefore, are a great option.

Carat weight
Carat is the most objective criteria of the 4C's. It is simply the weight of the stone, which does NOT equal size. For instance, a cutter can increase the carat size of the stone by leaving more weight on the bottom (called a "pavillion") -- such a stone would cause you to pay for weight you can't see and the extra weight can dramatically alter the angles of the stone, making it appear dull and lifeless.

Cut
Cut is an extremely important variable since it can really make your stone sparkle or make it look very dull. Both GIA and AGS labs now offer "cut" ratings in their new certificates, although their definitions of differ somewhat. Pricescope offers a free Cut Advisor tool (http://www.pricescope.com/cutadviser.asp), which can also be extremely helpful in evaluating the quality of the cut.

People generally like to pay for things that they can see, which in the diamond context means that they want an eye-clean (SI clarity and up), white looking (H-I color and up) and very sparkly diamond. So, once the first two attributes (eye-clean and white) of the diamond are satisfied, cut becomes absolutely paramount since it can really make a diamond appear full of fire and sparkle.

The quality of the cut depends and is evaluated not just based on the basic measurements (depth %, table %) but also the crown and pavillion angles. When online retailers say "ideal" or "very good" cut in their online listings, they are often just guesstimating the cut based on the depth and the table. It is quite unwise to rely on such a guesstimate -- instead, you have to know what the diamond angles are (if they are not listed on the report, they can be obtained by a Sarin or an Ogi machine), so you can then be in a much better position to evaluate the performance of the diamond.

A current collection of FW threads that discuss these and others considerations can be found below:

Buy the engagement ring w/o breaking the bank at Boscovs!
Guide on how to buy loose diamonds at wholesale prices.
Blue Nile
Diamond engagement ring advice
costco diamonds and 2% off
Tips & Tricks to Buying an engagement Ring

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For diamond or engagement ring questions, you will get fast and excellent supports from diamond experts at Pricescope forum.

WhiteFlash.com provides IdealScope and "Hearts and Arrows" images of their stones which you can upload to PriceScope to help with your selection. A few other sites provide scope images as well.

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Outstanding post. Thank you.
Since you are suggesting starting a thread about this topic, you may want to change your title.

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WashingtonState said: Since you are suggesting starting a thread about this topic, you may want to change your title.Title has been updated.

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Nice post.

Cut. For the reasons you mention, cut does have a huge impact on price. Go to Blue Nile, use the search tool there to set it at same carats, color, and clarity - you'll see the price can be hugely different depending on cut.

But like a lot of this stuff, it gets taken too far and becomes theoretical, just a statistic - whether you can actually see the difference you describe without a scope of some kind is another question. Just as some (like you) suggest not getting carried away about the statistics of clarity and going based on what you can see (plus a safety margin, maybe) ... you could make the same argument about cut, and similarly save some serious money.

Color. Cut has a big effect on color, but I'm not sure it's in the way you describe. I don't know that you can prove that an ideal cut actually makes that much difference, at least in a way that most people would perceive.

But the overall shape of the cut - round vs. emerald etc. - and the faceting will have a big impact on how people perceive color and clarity. For example, an emerald cut has a big clear area in the center that can show imperfections; so if that's what you want, be sure to pay a little more attention to clarity.

Also, it seems a consensus that stones set in yellow gold seem whiter than stones set in platinum, just by virtue being next to that color. Or to put it another way, you can probably worry a little less about how white the stone will look when you are planning on using a yellow gold setting.

Certifications. They don't all mean the same thing, or even mean anything; it's too much to summarize right now. Also, it's impossible to get a real one on a stone that is in a setting, and you often can't get good info on all 4 Cs for a stone that is in a setting.

The setting. Some people seem to end up putting these statistically perfect diamonds into some really ugly or poorly made settings. Don't lose sight of the bigger picture. The setting; what you can see about the stone iself; and the experience of buying it all is what will get perceived. The main point of knowing about the statistics is to know if you are getting a decent deal.

Pricescope. Pricescope is great on the details and has good info, but it's a little short on practical info - the people there are obsessed with diamonds and the statistics around them. It's become a hobby for most of the regulars, and a mania for some. And there are many pros in the forums there too - which is good, there's some good candid info - but you will get a certain slant from them too.

Practical advice. Take a look at some of the more practical, more FW-spirit advice in the threads as well. Collecting some of that would help, too. Take it or leave it, as it fits your situation:
- You are not making an investment; some of the concern about the statistics would make more sense if you were, and they certainly want you to think you are for just that reason. But - this is consumption. If you are thinking in the back of your mind that you might sell it ... hold off on the wedding! If you are unlucky enough to end up selling it, you will be lucky to get more than 50% of what you pay for the diamond, and often nothing but scrap metal value for the setting.
- Unless you clean the ring often, normal every day use will mean it has soap, etc on it most of the time.
- For those among other reasons, some would argue that the goal is to spend as little as you can, within you and your SO's preferences.

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buzzy said: Cut. For the reasons you mention, cut does have a huge impact on price. Go to Blue Nile, use the search tool there to set it at same carats, color, and clarity - you'll see the price can be hugely different depending on cut.

But like a lot of this stuff, it gets taken too far and becomes theoretical, just a statistic - whether you can actually see the difference you describe without a scope of some kind is another question. Just as some (like you) suggest not getting carried away about the statistics of clarity and going based on what you can see (plus a safety margin, maybe) ... you could make the same argument about cut, and similarly save some serious money.
I couldn't agree with you more. People should go to solid, reputable B&M retailers and compare various cuts to see what's important to them. Yes, most B&M jewelers have lighting set up in a way to add maximum brilliance to even the dullest stones, but the differences should be noticeable anyway. How much you should pay for these differences is up to you, however. Most people, including me, can see very little visual difference between branded signature cuts and ideal/excellent cuts that don't quite qualify for the "signature" series. Going with such a cut allows you to save serious money while still purchasing a great performer. On the other hand, I can also see a significant difference between most of the ideal cuts and the lesser cuts and try to stay away from the latter.

The reason that the cut does not qualify as "ideal" is also very important -- an overly deep cut, in addition to making the stone less sparkly, also makes it face up smaller (i.e., the stone looks smaller than its carat weight suggests it should be).

Color. Cut has a big effect on color, but I'm not sure it's in the way you describe. I don't know that you can prove that an ideal cut actually makes that much difference, at least in a way that most people would perceive.

But the overall shape of the cut - round vs. emerald etc. - and the faceting will have a big impact on how people perceive color and clarity. For example, an emerald cut has a big clear area in the center that can show imperfections.
That's exactly right.

Also, it seems a consensus that stones set in yellow gold seem whiter than stones set in platinum, just by virtue being next to that color. Or to put it another way, you can probably worry a little less about how white the stone will look when you are planning on using a yellow gold setting.Agreed. Just keep in mind that diamonds tend to reflect colors around them, so that stones set in yellow gold may also appear more yellow than the ones set in white metals (platinum, white gold, palladium, etc...)

Pricescope. Pricescope is great on the details and has good info, but it's a little short on practical info - the people there are obsessed with diamonds and the statistics around them. It's become a hobby for most of the regulars. And there are many pros in the forums there too - which is good, ther's some good candid info - but you will get a certain slant from them too.Agreed. A lot of the Pricescope pros work with diamonds 24/7, so that their visual acuity is significantly higher than that of us, regular people.

The setting. Some people seem to end up putting these statistically perfect diamonds into some really ugly or poorly made settings. Don't lose sight of the bigger picture. The setting; what you can see about the stone iself; and the experience of buying it all is what will get perceived. The main point of knowing about the statistics is to know if you are getting a decent deal.Excellent point!

Practical advice. Take a look at some of the more practical, more FW-spirit advice in the threads as well. Collecting some of that would help, too. Take it or leave it, as it fits your situation:
- You are not making an investment; some of the concern about the statistics would make more sense if you were, and they certainly want you to think you are for just that reason. But - this is consumption. If you are thinking in the back of your mind that you might sell it ... hold off on the wedding! If you are unlucky enough to end up selling it, you will be lucky to get more than 50% of what you pay for the diamond, and often nothing but scrap metal value for the setting.
- Unless you clean the ring often, normal every day use will mean it has soap, etc on it most of the time.
- For those among other reasons, some would argue that the goal is to spend as little as you can, within you and your SO's preferences.
These are all fantastic points as well. Thank you very much for your contribution!

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buzzy said: Certifications. They don't all mean the same thing, or even mean anything; it's too much to summarize right now. Absolutely! The lab that issued the certification can affect the price and the value of the diamond a great deal! For instance, EGL and IGI certified diamonds will typically be significantly cheaper than GIA or AGS certified stones. This is typically because EGL (especially the Israeli EGL labs) and IGI labs tend to be softer and less consistent on their grading, so that a D colored EGL stone can be easily graded an E or F by GIA.

Diamond wholesalers maximize the value of their inventory by sending each diamond to the lab that will allow the particular diamond to be sold for the highest price -- while they are occasionally wrong, for the most part the best cut diamonds go to AGS (typically the strictest on the cut) and then to GIA (also quite strict and consistent).

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More on certifications (imported from pricescope): the pedigree of the lab is not what makes one stone more or less lovely than another. The lab client was the dealer or the cutter and the reason they bought the report was to help them sell their stone better. The usual reason consumers insist on it to maximize the chances that they will get what they expect with their purchase. These are all fine reasons, but they are not entirely aligned. As I’m sure you know, all SI1’s are not the same.

As a rule, the tendency of customers to discriminate in favor of GIA and AGS grading over their various competitors has several major market affects:

1) Cutters and dealers who are trying to maximize their profits (which is all of them) will choose their labs strategically. The decision is not necessarily being made with the objective of providing you with the most accurate shopping information.

2) ‘Borderline’ stones, tend to go to the labs with more liberal grading policies (EGL and IGI).

3) Buyers are more tolerant of variations with the second tier labs. A ‘certificate’ that is off by a grade or 2 is much more acceptable from some labs than others. This can be useful to the dealers. Many will describe this as a feature because you get a report with a higher grade on it for the same or less money.

4) Most GIA and AGS grading reports come with a cut grade where most EGL reports do not. Dealers may not wish to be advertising this particular feature.

5) The ‘best’ stones, meaning the ones that the dealer hopes to sell for a premium price because of attributes other than color and clarity, tend to go to the higher status labs. Stones where the lab reported color and clarity are the primary sales characteristics tend to go to the less expensive and/or more lenient labs.

6) Cutters and dealers have access to many different markets and they are not all the same. Certain marketplaces are conducive to presenting stones as commodities while others involve more specialized marketing. The path of a stone from the mine to you was not chosen randomly and it wasn’t chosen by you. This choice is being made by some clever people who are working on razor thin profit margins that can vary considerably depending on the results. If they think they can make more money with that particular stone by sending it to a different lab and using a different retailer, there’s a pretty good chance that this is what they’ll do.

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I have found a stone that I like that is SI2 and I in color. Is that acceptable? Will she be able to discern anything to the naked eye? Thanks in advance.

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JohnAnthony1978 said: I have found a stone that I like that is SI2 and I in color. Is that acceptable? Will she be able to discern anything to the naked eye? Thanks in advance.Some SI2 stones are perfectly eye-clean and some are not. Is the stone at a B&M or at an online supplier? If it's the latter, ask the supplier to confirm the eye-clean status of the stone. Also, which lab graded the stone? This is critically important since, as I indicated in the above post, certain labs are known as more lax/inconsistent with their grading than others. Have you been able to check the cut of the stone (you'll need Sarin data to do this) -- do not go by the retailer's statements of cut quality.

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Thanks for replying. I am using a local store so it is not online. I am not sure who certified the diamond (it is certified). Any recs for good places of certification?

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JohnAnthony1978 said: Thanks for replying. I am using a local store so it is not online. I am not sure who certified the diamond (it is certified). Any recs for good places of certification?Please see one of the above posts that briefly discusses certifications. I would be very wary of a stone that's not certified by GIA or AGS, not because a second tier certification would make the stone inferior in any way, but because these labs tend to be less consistent, so it'd be difficult to determine whether you're getting the right things in the stone at the right price.

What shape is the stone? What is its cut? As I've indicated above, the cut of the stone is quite important, since poorly cut stones will look dark and dull and well cut ones will be full of fire and sparkle. The cut of the stone also affects the price a great deal, so you need the cut characteristics (depending on the report, you may have the sarin data noted there) to determine the right price.

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JohnAnthony1978 said: Thanks for replying. I am using a local store so it is not online. I am not sure who certified the diamond (it is certified). Any recs for good places of certification?

Try an independent appraiser from here:
ASA Certified Appraisers
or here:
Accredited Gemologist Association

They will be able to determine with an independent eye.

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http://www.isee2.com/

&

http://www.dbof.com/why-the-hca-does-not-work-2.htm

&

http://www.diamondbrokersoffl.com/bfireprincess.htm

i bought all 3 rings from dbof. no tax. discount for cash. preview of diamond. 150 emails and 30 phones and never got mad. They sponsor diamondtalk.com the best diamond forum last time i checked.

lastly your eye is the best judge of many things.

http://www.isee2.com/

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rigor said: http://www.isee2.com/

&

http://www.dbof.com/why-the-hca-does-not-work-2.htm

&

http://www.diamondbrokersoffl.com/bfireprincess.htm

i bought all 3 rings from dbof. no tax. discount for cash. preview of diamond. 150 emails and 30 phones and never got mad. They sponsor diamondtalk.com the best diamond forum last time i checked.

lastly your eye is the best judge of many things.

http://www.isee2.com/
I checked out diamondtalk.com and noticed that it is ANYTHING but unbiased -- while it has a lot of good information, the only "experts" on the forum are the small jewelers (they are also the ones who sponsor the forum -- just look at the forum ads) who undoubtedly use it as a way to cheaply get their name out there and in the process to bash the big retailers. There is nothing wrong with this strategy as long as people realize that a number of companies are mentioned on diamondtalk not because the companies are so great but because their reps/owners are there to promote themselves.

Not surprisingly, the prices and selection at these small companies cannot even come close to that of the big boys -- Diamond.com (especially after its Cash Back and additional promotions shown on their FW merchant page), WhiteFlash, Blue Nile (which also tends to be on the slightly expensive side), James Allen, etc...

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To underscore what I said above, I just noticed that Diamond Brokers of Florida is using Diamondtalk.com to advertise this not particularly well cut round (http://www.diamondtalk.com/forums/t67752-133si2hroundbrilliant.html), 1.33ct, SI2, H, GIA's "very good" cut, a subpar 3.2 on the HCA (http://www.pricescope.com/cutadviser.asp) for $6,998! This is about $900 higher than this IDEAL cut, AGS 000, 1.30ct, SI2, H, fantastic 1.2 on the HCA (the cut is almost as good as it gets on this) for $6,032 on Pricescope!

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Yeah, I haven't recommended DiamondTalk since it seems to highlight small vendors and bans discussion about other online retailers. I have seen similar complaints about Pricescope but it didn't appear to be anywhere near as bad. In general I found more helpful information on PriceScope than DiamondTalk.

Number 1 rule I learned: All the stats are just a guideline...you have to see the stone to know if you got the right one.

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Rigor, the HCA disclaimers SPECIFICALLY caution people against buying diamonds based just on an HCA score. What HCA scores do for you, however, is allow you to weed out dogs and underperforming diamonds. By the way, the new AGS system (reports issued after June, 2005), use light performance factors including software like DiamCalc, and the ASET scope, which is like a multi colored Ideal-Scope. Proportions are now used only as a guide to manufacturers and not the basis of grading. Stones must not breach certain 'bad proportions' and finish rules outlined by AGS. AGS gets it information from an actual 3D scan of each diamond, so it tends to be EXTREMELY accurate.

Based on the Diamond Brokers of Florida offering above, I'd really like to hear an explanation/justification for the higher price of their stone versus the AGS stone above. I believe that the real explanation is just that they offer good service and pass on the costs to you -- it just appears that you can get the same or better service from other retailers at a much lower price.

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Thank you for all the replies and good advice. In answer to the cut question it is a princess cut if that helps.

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JohnAnthony1978 said: Thank you for all the replies and good advice. In answer to the cut question it is a princess cut if that helps.John, "princess" is the shape of the diamond. The diamond's cut refers to its proportions (for princess cut, table %, crown height %, girdle thickness, total depth, length: width ratios), which can usually be found on the certificate. Speaking of the certificate, which lab certified the stone (please see our posts above that discuss various labs)?

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That's right got to ask the dealer if it's eye clean. I got a 1.521 AGS triple O color I and SI2 from Tom 1860) 677-8400 who stated that it was eye clean and it's a beauty. I recommend you call him and state what you're looking for at the price you like and he'll help you select the diamond. He was so helpful. He even acknowledge that his competitor had a good price on a gorgeous diamond that he didn't have in his inventory. Mention Janette recommended you not that it matters but I just like to let him know that I like doing bussiness w/ him so much that I'm recommending him everywhere I go. Also search eBay.com under AGS diamond and you'll see his store as well as Ely. eBay user: Aurely use code :RT05 for $50 off gift certificate. I'm in no way connected to them except that I've purchase two diamonds from them. Both have hearts and arrows ideal cut and they're beautiful.

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as i said the good cuts are "EYE" and machine based "ISEE2" "Brilliancescope"
you can play number games all day long but that princess isn't going to sparkle unless its 1 out of 100. and if you haven't figured it out yet, that 1 out of 100 flashy princess is about as flashy as a medium round. Thats why a 1ct princess is far cheaper than a 1ct round.

You gotta see them in real light, not store light. You gotta look at more than the numbers, like Isee2 and Brilliance scope. If you don't believe me go try a few and you'll see.

I would say it is retarded to buy based on #'s and promises alone. LOOK AT the ROCKS. you will see for yourself. They are happy to present them to you for inspection. Look at them in all sorts of lighting and angles.

some girls dig the smooth glassy pool of water of a emerald cut. The princess look alot like the Tiffany's modified square (which an ascher is really good at imitating). Or a hybrid round/square. There's so many choices. But you gotta find one of these dealers, and have them call in the best stones to compare. Many times alot of the stones listed on the pricescope are held in a network of the smaller brokers. Each store contributes to the list. Just because its listed doesn't mean Store A has to sell it to store B for that price.

It's quite an interesting racket. The customer support is defintely where things count. DBOF has super customer service, and experience. Hence the reason i went back to get the wedding rings which where several thousand dollars..

plus if they tried to screw me they are only 6.5 hours away from home lol heh.

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rigor said: you can play number games all day long but that princess isn't going to sparkle unless its 1 out of 100. and if you haven't figured it out yet, that 1 out of 100 flashy princess is about as flashy as a medium round. Thats why a 1ct princess is far cheaper than a 1ct round.Rigor, once again, there is no such thing as a "medium round," so I have no idea what you're talking about. Yes, fancy cuts are significantly more difficult to choose based on the numbers alone than rounds since fancy cuts simply don't have the number of facets and the optical proportions that facilitate that sparkle.

I would say it is retarded to buy based on #'s and promises alone. LOOK AT the ROCKS. you will see for yourself. They are happy to present them to you for inspection. Look at them in all sorts of lighting and angles.Yes, whenever possible, especially with fancy shapes, you should look at the stones. Such an inspection is not, however, absolutely essential, especially with new AGS certified rounds and princess cuts (AGS does actual 3D scans of each diamond and then produces its cut ratings based on those).

The customer support is defintely where things count. DBOF has super customer service, and experience. Hence the reason i went back to get the wedding rings which where several thousand dollars.. Rigor, did you see my post above about DBOF's diamond offerings? I have no doubt that DBOF offers great customer service but they seem to combine it with very high prices. On the other hand, a number of other online vendors offer significantly more information about their diamonds than DBOF and then sell them at a lower price.

plus if they tried to screw me they are only 6.5 hours away from home lol heh.Just out of curiosity, what would you do? They don't hold a gun to your head -- you make an independent decision to purchase from them or some other retailer and the fact that they are not priced competitively (at least with respect to the stones I've looked at on their website) is not a crime. This is exactly why price shopping is sooooooooo important.


Rigor, I realize that you are very happy with DBOF and that's great. You could've certainly done way worse in terms of both price and quality by going through a mall jeweler. In light of all the information I've posted about their prices and diamond quality, however, I just don't see how you can continue to tell people that DBOF has the best prices and quality when there are a number of competitors offering better prices on their diamonds as well as impeccable customer service (more information about diamonds, more generous return/upgrade policy, etc...). For instance, Good Old Gold, which I consider to be quite expensive, offers this diamond (http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/1790/), which, as you can see from the link, is in every way superior to that offered by DBOF and has way more information than DBOF offers at a lower wire price of $6,800.

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I've read the posts regarding different attributes to look for in a diamond. But i stumbled on to some diamonds that are not certified... Is that reliable? Thanks

Here are the specs I am looking at ( if it helps at all):
Certificate: NONE
Carat: 1.32
Color: E
Clarity: SI
Measurement: 7.25-7.10X4.30
Depth: 60%
Table: 57%
Crown: 13.8%
Pavilion: 43.8%
Girdle: VERY THIN TO MEDIUM FACETED
Culet: NONE
Polish/Symmetry: GOOD/GOOD
Fluorescence: NONE

I checked the pricescope cutadvisor and this is what I got:

Light Return Very Good
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Very Good
Spread Excellent

I emailed the dealer to see if it's eye clean.. If it is, would it be a good buy for $4500???

THANKS!

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The best frugal engagement ring source

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ardentazn said: I've read the posts regarding different attributes to look for in a diamond. But i stumbled on to some diamonds that are not certified... Is that reliable? Thanks

Here are the specs I am looking at ( if it helps at all):
Certificate: NONE
Carat: 1.32
Color: E
Clarity: SI
Measurement: 7.25-7.10X4.30
Depth: 60%
Table: 57%
Crown: 13.8%
Pavilion: 43.8%
Girdle: VERY THIN TO MEDIUM FACETED
Culet: NONE
Polish/Symmetry: GOOD/GOOD
Fluorescence: NONE

I checked the pricescope cutadvisor and this is what I got:

Light Return Very Good
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Very Good
Spread Excellent

I emailed the dealer to see if it's eye clean.. If it is, would it be a good buy for $4500???

THANKS!
I am assuming that the stone's shape is round brilliant, correct? What do you mean that there is no certificate? If the stone has not been certificated by a reliable independent lab, how do you know that the numbers above are correct? The price of the stone HEAVILY depends on the certifying lab since that is your assurance (or the lack thereof) that you are paying for the correct set of criteria. I would not, under ANY circumstances, purchase an uncertificated stone since you then have no way to know what it is that you are buying and cannot, consequently, determine the right price.

Further, what's the clarity (your post says "SI" -- it could be SI1 or SI2). As for the crown and pavilion, we need ANGLES rather than %'s to determine the quality of the cut -- %'s are calculated based on trigonometry and are very approximate.

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lamplighter13 said: That's right got to ask the dealer if it's eye clean. I got a 1.521 AGS triple O color I and SI2 from Tom 1860) 677-8400 who stated that it was eye clean and it's a beauty. I recommend you call him and state what you're looking for at the price you like and he will help you select the diamond. He was so helpful. He even acknowledge that his competitor had a good price on a gorgeous diamond that he didn't have in his inventory. Mention Janette recommended you not that it matters but I just like to let him know that I like doing bussiness w/ him so much that I'm recommending him everywhere I go. Also search eBay.com under AGS diamond and you'll see his store as well as Ely. eBay user: Aurely use code :RT05 for $50 off gift certificate. I'm in no way connected to them except that I've purchase two diamonds from them. Both have hearts and arrows ideal cut and they're beautiful.Just out of curiosity, I just look at a couple of diamonds that esalediamonds.com that you talk about in your post sells on eBay. Their AGS diamonds I've looked at have so far all been quite good and the price has been either in-line or somewhat higher than the prices offered by other internet vendors. What I did notice is that all the certificates at esalediamonds.com are fairly old, which leads me to believe that they're buying second-hand diamonds from pawn shops and the like and are then re-selling them on e-bay.

The issue with this is the fact that the second-hand market for diamonds is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper, so, if such a diamond is acceptable, you should be able to do significantly better by going through your local "for sale" ads. Another issue with the second-hand diamonds is the fact that the stone itself may've been scratched, repolished (which would make it slightly smaller), etc... Consequently, the original certificate that comes with the stone may not accurately represent the stone you are buying. The bottom line is that I just see no advantage to going through esalediamonds.com when there are much better retailers that can offer you more information about the stone at a better price.

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geo123 said: ardentazn said:

I emailed the dealer to see if it's eye clean.. If it is, would it be a good buy for $4500???

THANKS!
I am assuming that the stone's shape is round brilliant, correct? What do you mean that there is no certificate? If the stone has not been certificated by a reliable independent lab, how do you know that the numbers above are correct? The price of the stone HEAVILY depends on the certifying lab since that is your assurance (or the lack thereof) that you are paying for the correct set of criteria. I would not, under ANY circumstances, purchase an uncertificated stone since you then have no way to know what it is that you are buying and cannot, consequently, determine the right price.

Further, what's the clarity (your post says "SI" -- it could be SI1 or SI2). As for the crown and pavilion, we need ANGLES rather than %'s to determine the quality of the cut -- %'s are calculated based on trigonometry and are very approximate.
Ditto. I would never buy a stone that cost more than $1000 without a certificate, and $2500 without a cert from AGS or GIA. Compared to the price of the stone, the cost for the certificate is very low. My memory seem to be on a cost of $75 but I am not sure. Anyway, $75 on a $4500 stone is money well spent and jewlers that think their stones are worth the asking price will get them certified. Even ones from EGL are better than not having any certification at all.

As an aside, who else has insurance on their stone? I currently pay $50 a year for a replacement-price policy from Chubb for a nice 1ct stone.

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MaxRC said: As an aside, who else has insurance on their stone? I currently pay $50 a year for a replacement-price policy from Chubb for a nice 1ct stone.With the exception of Chubb, all other insurance companies that I am aware of will only provide replacement coverage for your diamond but will base their insurance rates on the appraised value. This means that an inflated appraisal will cause higher insurance premiums but, when it comes time to make the claim, the insurance company will only pay for the fair market value of the diamond. What this means is that if your diamond can be replaced for $1,000, that's all the insurance company is required to spend in that case, a higher appraisal value notwithstanding.

Chubb provides stated value coverage for diamonds, so that they will pay out however much you tell them the diamond is worth up front. The catch is that Chubb's rates are higher than those of other insurance companies.

MaxRC, if you don't mind, what's the stated value of your policy with Chubb that's only costing you $50/year? The policy premiums will of course vary depending on the state, county and the face amount of the policy, but the stated value of your policy should have the biggest influence on the premiums.

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yah good idea to use JM or chubb. JM covers travel to europe too so you can wear your bling without worries. Just keep it appraised so you are only paying the actual replacement cost. Diamond pricing is an up/down market and quality is based on how well the appraisal is.

the people who are using ISEE2 and Brilliancescopes are doing you alot of justice when you have a super brilliant stone on your appraisal. You can fight for a stone of equivalent.

the whole model is a trust system. Your diamond which is the most fiery on the planet in theory could be mailed to AGS to get certified and laser inscribed and be swapped out.

Most professional setting houses like DVATCHE' set the stones too. This ensures the lifetime setting warranty on the VERY expensive settings.

So your stone travels around quite a bit. Your only reassurance is the other guy doesn't have a laser enscribing machine to dupe your stuff and has good intentions.

Crook in the diamond biz? never heard of it

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rigor said: yah good idea to use JM or chubb. JM covers travel to europe too so you can wear your bling without worries. Just keep it appraised so you are only paying the actual replacement cost. Diamond pricing is an up/down market and quality is based on how well the appraisal is.Jewelers Mutual is a very good insurance company that even provides coverage for things like mysterious disappearance, which is often excluded from standard homeowners insurance policies. Their rates are higher, however, and they require periodic inspections of your item (Chubb's rates are typically even higher but the coverage is also more extensive). If you are like most people who get too busy and forget to get these inspections done, your claims can be denied if the loss can be attributed to your failure to comply with the inspection requirement.

the people who are using ISEE2 and Brilliancescopes are doing you alot of justice when you have a super brilliant stone on your appraisal. You can fight for a stone of equivalent.Sure, the more data you have on the appraisal, the better off you are if you ever need to get your insurance company to replace your diamond with an equivalent. It's important not to get carried away with this, however, and, at the time of the initial purchase, not to pay a ridiculous premium for a stone with all these tests when an equivalent stone is available for a much better price.

the whole model is a trust system. Your diamond which is the most fiery on the planet in theory could be mailed to AGS to get certified and laser inscribed and be swapped out.

Most professional setting houses like DVATCHE' set the stones too. This ensures the lifetime setting warranty on the VERY expensive settings.

So your stone travels around quite a bit. Your only reassurance is the other guy doesn't have a laser enscribing machine to dupe your stuff and has good intentions.

Crook in the diamond biz? never heard of it
Respectfully, I have no idea what you are saying in the portion of your post above. What does dvatche have to do with anything? Can you please rephrase your post, so we can understand what you are trying to say.

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Also consider that diamonds are controlled by the DeBeers. They have worldwide agreements to keep prices really high by buying every country's diamonds & determining prices. If a country has a huge supply of small diamonds to sell, they start doing ads for eternity bracelets

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I did some research and settled on this one. Bought it OCT 1, 2004, how did I do?

1 carat rock

Your Ring

Description: Round 1.04-Carat Diamond
Price: $4,291.00
Description: Platinum Six-Prong Solitaire Setting
Stock Number: 2
Size: 5.5
Price: $350.00
Item Total: $4,641.00

Shipping: Free (FedEx Priority Overnight(R))
Order Discount: -$100.00
Subtotal: $4,541.00
Sales Tax: $0.00
Total: $4,541.00

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geoffkin said: I did some research and settled on this one. Bought it OCT 1, 2004, how did I do?

1 carat rock

Your Ring

Description: Round 1.04-Carat Diamond
Price: $4,291.00
Description: Platinum Six-Prong Solitaire Setting
Stock Number: 2
Size: 5.5
Price: $350.00
Item Total: $4,641.00

Shipping: Free (FedEx Priority Overnight(R))
Order Discount: -$100.00
Subtotal: $4,541.00
Sales Tax: $0.00
Total: $4,541.00
I looked at a copy of your report on BlueNile and pulled it up through GIA -- unfortunately, GIA was not reporting the Sarin data (pavillion angle, crown angle) back in '04, so it's impossible for me to tell how well it is cut.

The depth and the table look quite good though. The stone's spread (how large it appears face up) is right where it needs to be for an ideal cut, which is excellent news. With a round brilliant, presumably well cut I color stone, you probably got a very white looking stone without overpaying for a higher color. The clarity, at VS2, probably assures that it is completely eye-clean -- many but not all SI clarity stones are also eye-clean, so you paid a premium over those. For stones in this category, the premium was not, however, very significant (I'd venture a guess that a similar stone with SI2 clarity would've been about $400 cheaper) and with VS2, you probably saved yourself the trouble of doing "eye-clean confirmations" of SI stones.

With the important caveat that the cut quality of the stone cannot be ascertained without sarin data, with today's prices you seem to have gotten a very fair out the door price on a seemingly very good to excellent stone and avoided overpaying for things that your eye would not have been able to see (higher clarity and higher color). Congratulations on making, what appears to have been, a very good purchase.

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By the way, on the subject of BlueNile, they do have the reputation of being slightly on the expensive side, at least when compared to the other drop-shippers. I do not know whether they've changed their price models lately but the prices that I've seen, especially when they're combined with FW's CashBack, have been quite competitive. For instance, I recently came across the following stone on BN (it was NOT listed on pricescope) and strongly recommended it to my friend: it is a NEW performance-based AGS000 round brilliant, 1.21ct., I, SI2 (confirmed eye-clean by BN), 62.1 depth, 55.7table, 34.9 ca, 40.9pa. Fluo: strong blue. The dimensions are 6.80-6.84 x 4.24mm. The HCA score is 1.9. The price is $4,421 after FW's Cash Back (http://www.BlueNile.com/diamonds_details.asp?pid=LD00919924)!!!

Yes, it is slightly deep and has strong blue fluo but it also comes with a NEW AGS000 report with DQD and an excellent HCA score. The numbers and the price of the stone look terrific and strong fluorescence can actually be beneficial for I colored stones (as long as it doesn't look milky in daylight). The stone was actually held by Waldman Diamond Company, which is one of Blue Nile's suppliers, an enormous and very reputable Israeli diamond wholesaler with offices in the heart of the NY diamond district, on 47th street.

The point of this post is not that BlueNile offers the best prices on outstanding diamonds (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't) but that price shopping with a number of different vendors can really yield wonderful results.

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So you really need the other data, to determine just how "Ideal" a cut it is?
Well, her GASP and everyone else's at it is all I need. It looks really big for a 1 carat and it SPARKLES INCREDIBLY! Very happy with Blue Nile CS too.
I didn't want to have to worry about returning, because I wasn't happy with it. So I went VS2 to insure "Eye Clean" which it is!

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gexi said: Yeah, I haven't recommended DiamondTalk since it seems to highlight small vendors and bans discussion about other online retailers. I have seen similar complaints about Pricescope but it didn't appear to be anywhere near as bad. In general I found more helpful information on PriceScope than DiamondTalk. Just out of curiosity, I decided to explore this whole Diamondtalk vs. PriceScope issue and came across the following rather bizarre threads: Diamond Brokers of Florida Trashing Pricescope and Brad's problem with Pricescope. Pricescope explains the issue by pointing to the following articles: Internet sites may be undercutting retailers and Pricescope: Friend or Foe?.

Here's a quote: Roshto [of DBOF] is upset about pricescope.com, a site that compares diamond prices for consumers on sites like dirtcheapdiamonds.com and jewelryzone.com. Roshto says that most of the companies selling on pricescope.com simply use listings from Polygon’s CertNet and RapNet – which retailers use as well... “Sometimes you try and sell a stone to a customer and the customer comes in two weeks later with the exact same stone for 2% over cost,” he says. “There is no way a retailer can survive on that kind of margin. A lot of business is flying out the door because of it.”

Honestly, I am not sure that we, as consumers, really need to care about personal dislikes and disagreements among diamond vendors. I have seen very good things that have been said about Brad's company as well as about the Pricescope and the non-pricescope vendors. As long as the vendor of your choosing gives you the type of customer service that you desire and your research shows that you are purchasing a great diamond at a terrific price, that's all that matters.

The Internet has definitely made price shopping significantly easier and, consequently, caused some diamond vendors to lose business to the lower priced competitors (it sounds like this is what's happening with Brad's company). We, the consumers, are the beneficiaries of these price wars, however, and are in a great position to use them to our advantage.

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geoffkin said: So you really need the other data, to determine just how "Ideal" a cut it is?
Well, her GASP and everyone else's at it is all I need. It looks really big for a 1 carat and it SPARKLES INCREDIBLY! Very happy with Blue Nile CS too.
I didn't want to have to worry about returning, because I wasn't happy with it. So I went VS2 to insure "Eye Clean" which it is!
Yes, although I am no expert, I'd need sarin data to be in a better position to tell you about the quality of the cut, but all the data that you do have points to a great diamond. Please understand that the "other data" affects the market value of the diamond and is, therefore, essential to determining the value of the stone, which is exactly what you asked for above.

Overall, it certainly sounds like you've made a great purchase, both in terms of quality and price. The fact that you are both extremely happy with the stone provides even better evidence that your purchase was an excellent one.

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Still don't understand. Spend ludicrous amounts of money for shiny stones.

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Fist said: Still don't understand. Spend ludicrous amounts of money for shiny stones. Yep, these are just rocks. Very pretty, shiny, sparkly rocks that have no practical use. The same can be easily said about various gadgets, designer clothes, nice cars (or cars with any options for that matter), etc... Ultimately, these are all luxury items that you certainly don't have to own to survive in this world.

Respectfully, I'd ask, however, that people not hijack this thread with comments such as the one above. It is perfectly fine to feel the way that Fist does but this thread is dedicated to a discussion of the way to get the best value for your natural diamond rather than to debate the wisdom of buying one in the first place.

Skipping 723 Messages...
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Greetings,

Long time lurker that has decided to start this process in looking for an engagement ring. I spent all night reading and appreciate all that Geo and others have provided in this thread. I'm in no rush (don't tell her that), but I found this one on James Allen that caught my eye.

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-j-...

Clarity :SI1
Color : J (I did notice a little color in the pic)
6.08*6.11*3.83
0.9 Carat
Depth %age :62.9
Table Diameter %age :56
Crown Angle : 36.5
Cutlet : None
Pavilion Depth Percentage : 40.2
Symmetry : Excellent
Polish : Excellent
HCA: 1.2
Price: $3370

Any thoughts from the forum pros?

Thanks in advance!

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