It is an exciting honor and a privilege to write a review of Brian Gavin Diamonds because “Brian the Cutter” is actually one of the people who mentored me in my early days as a diamond buyer for Nice Ice. Back then Brian and his wife Lesley were manufacturing diamonds under the brand name “A Cut Above” and selling them to us under a wholesale agreement… So if you purchased a diamond from Nice Ice in the mid to late 1990’s there is a good chance that the creation of your diamond was overseen by Brian Gavin.
One of the major advantages that Brian Gavin has over the rest of us slinging diamonds on the internet is that he is a fifth generation diamond cutter with roots in South Africa. This made the advice which he shared with me invaluable because he was able to educate me about diamond cut well beyond the usual conversations about diamond proportions and into the realm of selecting just the right piece of diamond rough and the interplay of inclusions in terms of visual performance and durability. Brian Gavin is frequently asked to present talks on various facets of the diamond industry at diamond conferences and provides consulting services to many firms within the diamond trade, he is an absolutely incredible resource for diamond manufacturing and diamond grading information.
After the DOT COM bubble burst, Brian & Lesley adapted their business model and launched Whiteflash.com in 2001 with a silent partner. Throughout the years, we enjoyed a friendly and competitive business relationship with Brian & Lesley and frequently recommended clients to them whenever we didn’t happen to have what our clients were looking for… this might seem like a strange practice at first glance, but we always operated our business from the perspective that if we couldn’t provide what our clients were looking for in a reasonable period of time, then we should try to use our knowledge and resources to help them find it elsewhere. Since Brian and I share the same beliefs in terms of diamond cut performance and diamond cut precision, it is reasonable that Brian Gavin Diamonds would be one of the first places I turn to when looking for additional options for clients.
Fast Forward to Today… I’m not privy to the inner workings of Whiteflash or Brian Gavin Diamonds, but suffice to say that a few years ago, Brian Gavin and Whiteflash split the sheets and each is operating independent of the other. This isn’t something which I consider at all relevant in terms of their diamond quality, I only mention it because if you’re conducting your due diligence and searching the internet for references to Brian Gavin, Lesley Gavin, Brian Gavin Diamonds, etc., you’re eventually going to find cross references involving Whiteflash Diamonds and it can be a bit confusing if you don’t have some background.
Brian Gavin Diamonds (BGD) was launched in 2009 and enjoyed immediate success due to Brian’s recognition throughout the online diamond buying community. The launch of the new web site was accompanied by a transition in the “A Cut Above” diamond brand name to the “Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows” brand of super ideal cut diamonds.
But the innovation did not stop there… shortly after launching the new web site, I received a telephone call from a competitor who was furious that Brian was marketing a new line of diamonds called “Brian Gavin Blue” which consists of round brilliant ideal cut diamonds which exhibit blue fluorescence… I have to be honest, my initial response was “C’mon man, it’s brilliant and you’re just upset that you didn’t think of it first…” and the response was a begrudging “yea…” then I called Brian to congratulate him on the idea and the name because it really is that brilliant of a concept.
Why am I so impressed with the concept of Brian Gavin Blue Diamonds? Because the majority of diamonds which exhibit blue fluorescence are absolutely gorgeous, but they get a bad rap because in some cultures the blue fluorescence is interpreted to mean that the diamond is haunted and since this group of people tend to purchase a lot of ideal cut diamonds, blue fluorescence was deemed undesirable by the trade in terms of salability which is not the same as beauty. As a result, diamonds with medium to strong blue fluorescence tend to be priced a little better than diamonds of comparable quality which do not exhibit fluorescence… so Brian The Cutter figured out a brilliant way to take advantage of that hedge and provide his clients with beautiful diamonds at a great price!
Anybody who knows anything about my reputation as a diamond buyer knows that I am exceptionally strict. People within the trade have referred to me as the Golden Child, the Diamond Snob, and even a Diamond Nazi, and yes that last one was from a diamond cutter who is Jewish so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment… well, that and I had just rejected something like 30 out of the 40 diamonds that he had sent me for evaluation. So with this in mind, I want to talk a little bit about Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamonds…
As strict as I was as a diamond buyer in terms of precise range of proportions, inclusion type and location, and the range of color and clarity that I was willing to consider when selecting diamonds for our inventory, I am even stricter when it comes to calling a diamond “Hearts & Arrows” because the majority of diamonds which I saw being advertised as “Hearts & Arrows” were haphazard accidents at best… that said, Brian and I speak the same language when it comes to grading and our understanding of what is and what is not a Hearts & Arrows diamond.
Now before you discount my understanding of what constitutes a Hearts & Arrows diamond meeting up with Brian’s production of Hearts & Arrows diamonds being due to his being one of my mentors in the diamond business, the key thing to remember there is that he is just one of my mentors… when it comes to the formation of my standards for grading Hearts & Arrows diamonds, there were three people who were instrumental to the development of those standards and Brian just happens to be one of them.
If you want to know more about my selection standards for Hearts & Arrows diamonds, then read the tutorial; however if you want to skip all the techno-psycho babble and skip right to just buying a beautiful diamond with amazing visual performance, then check out the selection of true Hearts & Arrows diamonds available on the Brian Gavin Diamonds web site. Prior Competition and Camaraderie aside, here are a few reasons why I would buy a Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows or Brian Gavin Blue Diamond from Brian Gavin Diamonds*
- Brian Gavin is intricately involved with the production of diamonds for his inventory and adheres to a strict selection process when choosing diamonds for his brand and inventory.
- All of the diamonds listed under any heading including “Brian Gavin” are in-house and privately owned by Brian Gavin Diamonds – average inventory exceeds 500 diamonds.
- All Brian Gavin brand diamonds are graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) and are laser inscribed on the girdle edge with the Brian Gavin logo and the number from the corresponding diamond grading report.
- BGD provides their customers with high quality diamonds at prices which are significantly better than prices for diamonds of “comparable quality” in a traditional brick and mortar jewelry stores. Actually in my experience, you’d be hard pressed to even find diamonds of this cut quality and visual performance in most traditional jewelry stores…
- All Brian Gavin Diamonds are conflict free and sourced from legitimate sources*
- BGD does not drop ship diamonds direct from diamond wholesalers to customers, even when sourcing a diamond from an outside source for a client, Brian insists on personally inspecting every diamond and will provide you with a detailed analysis.
- Brian Gavin Diamonds offers an extensive selection of fine jewelry and custom design services.
- 15 day inspection period with a generous return policy*
- Lifetime upgrade on diamonds, full purchase price of original diamond applies to the new diamond being purchased, simply pay the difference*
At this point in the conversation, it kind of goes without saying that Brian Gavin Diamonds is one of my favorite online diamond vendors… In my experience, they ran neck to neck with Nice Ice in terms of their quality and selection process and in my absence from the industry during the years when I was battling things out with estate issues they have definitely taken position at the head of the pack and thus I am quite comfortable recommending them to you as being worthy of consideration.
And by all means, if you want some help selecting a diamond, drop me a note because I’m happy to put my 25+ years of experience as a diamond buyer to good use. Go ahead pit me and Brian against each other, it’s always good for a laugh because I can almost hear him talking while I sort through the diamond details… it’s a kindred spirit type of thing.
* Derived from the terms and conditions stated on the Brian Gavin Diamonds web site at the time this article was written, subject to change without notice. Please review the current terms and conditions on BGD to verify and/or determine the current terms and conditions as applicable to your purchase.