“Hi Todd, First of all, thank you for sharing your experience which is a gold mine of information, it helped tremendously during my research for a diamond so far. Here is my situation : She wants a Canadian Diamond (Since she has the Canadian citizenship..), I have a $3,000- to $4,000- budget and I am looking for the “wow sparkle” that is gonna last in any weather on a .50-.85 ct stone. So far my search has been intense (several dozens of hours on Blue Nile) and I managed to narrow down to 4 diamonds [Links Provided Below]. I have few questions for you : – Does the “Signature Ideal Cut” matter if the “Super Ideal Cut” characteristics are met? – Does the size matter? Can a .50ct with the Super ideal cut detail compete with a .80 with a Very Good cut for equal Color/Clarity? – Which of those would you consider as a must-pick or deny? I am extremely grateful for finding your website and really enjoy reading your articles. Please share your thoughts, it would be an amazing help in my decision process! – Tom”
First off, allow me to apologize for the delay in responding to your email. It arrived when I was hanging out on the coast with friends, I looked at it on my phone and apparently neglected to mark it as unread, so it got dropped down to the bottom of the stack of email and I just found it… so this is a great time to ask my readers to send me a friendly reminder if they don’t receive a prompt response from me, I tend to respond to most email within 24 hours during the week, and quite often will respond faster than that, so if you don’t get a response – drop me a reminder!
It is clear to me that you’ve spent a fair amount of time researching diamonds, because the selection which you’ve chosen is quite good. Let’s run through them. but note that since this article was written, that Blue Nile has changed the format of how deep links were created when they switched their affiliate network from GAN to CJ, and thus the original links to the following diamonds were broken and have been replaced with links directed to their diamond search engine, which is fine since these options have probably sold by now. Please use my free Diamond Concierge Service if you would like me to help you find the best options currently available, but the information that can be obtained by reading the article is still applicable even if the diamond details pages can not be accessed.
Blue Nile Signature 0.52 carat, D-color, VVS-1 clarity, measuring 5.19 – 5.22 x 3.20 mm with a total depth of 61.6% and a table diameter of 56% with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees and a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees and a thin to medium, faceted girdle with no culet. Overall cut grade GIA Excellent, and the primary inclusions are listed as being pinpoint size diamond crystals. Selling for $3,292.00
All right, it’s cut like a dream in terms of the proportions and I’m seeing only minimal azamet shift in the pavilion view clarity photograph provided on the GCAL report (see the slight twisting in the tips of the hearts). It’s probably going to sparkle like a disco ball, but I’d be more inclined to choose the next one over it…
Blue Nile Signature 0.53 carat, E-color, VVS-2 clarity, measuring 5.21 – 5.23 x 3.22 mm with a total depth of 61.7% and a table diameter of 55% and a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and no culet. Overall cut grade GIA Excellent, and the primary inclusions are all diamond crystals in the form of clouds, needles and pinpoints. Selling for $2,788.00
If you look at the pavilion view clarity photograph, there is significantly less twisting in the tips of the hearts and they are more uniform in shape, thus there is less azimuth shift, so technically speaking, there should be a little more sparkle. Most people would be hard-pressed to detect a difference between a D-color and E-color diamond, and the difference in clarity is something which you’re only going to be able to detect using 30x – 40x magnification, so I’d pick this puppy up and save the $500.00 and change. Plus it’s produced from diamond rough which was sourced from Canada and some people like the “mind clean” perspective that Canadian diamonds provide ~ personally, I have enough confidence in the provisions of the Kimberley Diamond Act of 2003 and the legitimate diamond trade not to give it a second thought, but it’s still a plus.
Next up we have this Blue Nile Diamond weighing 0.57 carat, E-color, VVS-2 clarity, measuring 5.33 – 5.37 x 3.31 mm with a total depth of 61.8% and a table diameter of 55% and a crown angle of 34.5 degrees and a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees with a medium, faceted girdle and no culet. The overall cut grade is GIA Excellent, and the primary inclusions are listed as needle shaped diamond crystals. Selling for $3,348.00
Since it’s not a Blue Nile Signature Diamond, we don’t have the benefit of the GCAL report, so I can’t judge the level of azimuth shift. But what I can tell you is that diamonds cut like this fall into the Top 1% of the annual production for round brilliant cut diamonds… The scope images just enable me to be able to fine tune the selection process. This one is also a Canadian Diamond, so it’s probably produced by the same cutter who produced the 0.53 carat diamond, but that doesn’t guarantee that the cut quality will be the same… and it’s more expensive, so I’m still inclined to lean towards the 0.53 carat diamond.
The same principle holds true for the Blue Nile 0.62 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity diamond, which measures 5.54 – 5.56 x 3.34 mm with a total depth of 60.2% and a table diameter of 58% and a crown angle of 34.5 degrees with a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees and a thin to medium, faceted girdle and no culet. Except that I find this one the most tempting of the group so far, because of the shallow total depth, it’s going to give the diamond great spread in terms of outside diameter, so it’s got good surface space if that makes sense. The proportions of all these diamonds are spot-on, dead-center zero ideal cut, the only question is the azimuth shift and I’d be inclined to risk it on this one… The fact is that I like the balance of the F-color and VS-1 clarity, I don’t see the point of paying a lot of money for clarity and find that I’m quite comfortable in the VS-2 to VS-1 clarity range. However I notice that this diamond is not currently available for purchase, hopefully you grabbed it. If not, my second choice is obviously the 0.53 carat.
I would not sacrifice the overall cut quality of the diamond to pick up carat weight, I would be more inclined to drop down in color and clarity, something like F-G color and VS-2 in clarity, because the proportions and cut quality dictate the light return and sparkle (brilliance, dispersion, scintillation) and that’s what diamonds are all about.
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