So I thought it would be fun to dig around the James Allen Diamonds web site today and see what they had to offer in the range of three-quarters of a carat… something that would spark my interest in terms of visual performance and deliver outstanding value. To be honest, I sifted through about 20 online diamond details pages to find this puppy because I’m really particular when it comes to the overall proportions of the diamond and the size, type and location of the inclusions. Essentially I’m looking for the whole package and it isn’t always easy to find!
So what do we have? This diamond was graded by the AGS Laboratory as weighing 0.750 carats, it is SI-1 in clarity and F in color with negligible fluorescence. The SI-1 clarity indicates that the inclusions should be relatively easy to find with 10x and higher magnification and the F color means that the diamond is going to face up a crisp, clean white color. The bright, white F color combined with the ideal proportions should make this diamond a real barnstormer in terms of visual performance!
Now the first thing that I look at when searching for a diamond is the overall proportions because not all ideal cut diamonds are created equal. I didn’t like the proportions for the first 20 or so diamonds that I looked over and selected this one because it has a total depth of 60.8% which means that the diamond is not cut too deep, in other words, you’re not paying for a bunch of carat weight that you’re not going to visually benefit from. When a diamond is cut too deep, like with a total depth of 62.3% and deeper, then the outside diameter of the diamond can be smaller and you’re probably paying for carat weight that you’re not visually benefiting from, this is not the case with this diamond. The table diameter is 58.2% which is neither here nor there, but the pavilion angle (lower half) is 40.6 degrees and offset by a crown angle (upper half) of 34.3 degrees which means that light is going to bounce around inside of this diamond and be directed right back up towards the viewer and it’s likely to exhibit a lot of brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation!
The next thing I look at are the inclusions. Here is a screenshot of the plotting diagram from the AGS Diamond Quality Document:
So what are all the red marks all over the top view of the diamond on the plotting diagram? Well, for the most part, they are simply diamond crystals and groups of tiny pinpoint size diamond crystals called clouds which are nothing more than tiny particles of diamond that were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed. And then if you look closely along the left side of the diamond in the 8:30 region there is a tiny red swish mark running up into the stone which is the feather. I see nothing indicated on the plotting diagram which causes me any sort of alarm. I played around with the virtual loupe tool that is available on the diamond details page and all of the inclusions seem to be slight and fairly translucent ~ now it is important to note that it can be difficult to judge this off of a picture because a lot depends on the position of lighting when you evaluate inclusions, just as the position of backlighting can affect a photograph, but everything looks promising!
If you look closely at this photograph of the diamond as seen through a gem scope you will be able to see some of the inclusions scattered around the stone. Keep in mind that the outside diameter of the diamond averages 5.82 mm which is just a little smaller than the diameter of the eraser on a #2 pencil which is about 6 mm, so things have been blown up quite a bit in this picture! So while it might seem easy to find the inclusions on this photograph, it’s not going to be so easy when you’re looking at the diamond in the real world!
The light source being used is located underneath the diamond, so the diamond is being backlit which results in the inclusions appearing darker because they essentially look like shadows… the same principle holds true if you were to take a picture of somebody standing in front of a sunset without using a flash to offset the exposure, they would appear as dark shadows standing against a beautiful sunset. So my guess is that the inclusions within this diamond are going to appear more translucent than they do here, but you can always ask James Allen for confirmation.
The diamond was graded by the AGS Laboratory as having AGS Ideal 0 polish, symmetry, proportions and light performance, so the overall cut grade of the diamond is AGS Ideal 0 which is simply the best available. So I can’t get any better in that department.
These next two pictures show how the diamond looks when viewed while unmounted through an Ideal Scope and a Hearts & Arrows scope:
Things look perfectly fine through the Ideal Scope and pretty good through the Hearts & Arrows scope… I’d like to point out that every dealer has their own selection criteria with regards to what they call “Hearts & Arrows” diamonds and the pattern of hearts on this diamond is not bad, but it’s not Japanese A-Grade Hearts & Arrows either… at least not as represented by the picture. If you look closely, very closely, you will be able to see a subtle difference in the size and shape of the hearts, there is also some minor twisting of the tips of the hearts in several positions.
Is this something critical? Not really, but I’m a stickler when it comes to the designation of the Hearts & Arrows label, so I like to be very clear in terms of grading parameters. That said, nobody really cares whether each heart is perfectly formed or not once you get outside of the grading room, so buy this puppy and assign a special meaning to each one of the hearts and pick a setting for it. It’s going to make some lucky girl very happy!
Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)
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