“Hi Todd, I know that it has been a long time since I last communicated with you, but I wanted to tell you that I did purchase the 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, round diamond from Blue Nile . I wanted to say thank you for all your help! When I proposed to my girlfriend, she was completely floored by the ring. The diamond is absolutely stunning and she is constantly gushing over it as well as her co-workers, family, and friends. The sparkle from the diamond is amazing! When the sunlight hits it, it cascades light everywhere and shines so brightly. Nothing we saw in the “big box” stores ever came close to the quality and value of this diamond. We had it independently appraised for insurance purposes and the jewelry appraiser loved the quality of the diamond and stated that it is exactly what she would have purchased for herself. More importantly, it appraised for $5,000 more than I paid, so I feel I got a great deal! Thank you for all your help and guidance!” — Jason M.
That is fantastic news Jason, thank you for letting me know that you and your fiance love the GIA Excellent cut round diamond that you purchased from Blue Nile. I’m happy to hear that the insight provided via my free Diamond Concierge Service and this web site contributed to your online diamond buying success!
Thank you for granting me permission to include your experience as part of the Blue Nile diamond reviews that are featured on this web site, so that other people shopping for diamond engagement rings online can better understand what to look for. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the GIA Excellent cut diamond that you purchased from Blue Nile, to better understand why it is delivering such spectacular visual performance.
I’ve written a lot of Blue Nile diamond reviews, and tend to have quite a lot to say about their diamonds, but it’s kind of difficult to follow in the footsteps of Jason’s description of the 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from Blue Nile that he eventually chose from their vast inventory of virtual diamonds, however I can provide the technical insight necessary to understand why the diamond looks so spectacular.
The first email that I received from Jason was standard in nature, he provided me with links to a few diamonds that he was considering from some of the vendors whom I work with, and the range of carat weight, color, clarity, and budget that he was working with… Unfortunately none of those diamonds met the selection criteria outlined in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success, but I provided Jason with an in-depth review of each one, and explained why those diamonds were not going to deliver the volume of light return and sparkle factor that I look for in a diamond.
I then proceeded to provide Jason with a few options, and he continued to search for diamonds on his own, armed with a bit more knowledge about what to look for, and then one day he sends me a link to this 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from Blue Nile, and my response was this:
“So it is VERY rare when I click on a link provided by a client, and the words “Oh dead on, absolutely dead on” come out of my mouth, but everything about the 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, round diamond from Blue Nile puts a smile on my face! It’s like it was made from a diamond mold created by me.”
It’s kind of difficult to follow in the footsteps of Jason’s description of the 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from Blue Nile that I reviewed for him, but I can provide the technical insight necessary to understand why the diamond looks so spectacular. The proportions of this diamond are spot-on in the middle of the range designated for the zero ideal cut proportions rating, I had no doubt that the 40.8 degree pavilion angle would produce a high volume of light return, and that the 34.5 degree crown angle would produce a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) and that the 75% lower girdle facet length would pretty much insure that it would come in the form of “broad spectrum sparkle” which is the type of sparkle that people tend to notice from across the room![separator]
The 50% star facet length is within the range that I consider to be optimum, the table facet of 58% is within my preferred range of 53 – 58% and the total depth is well within my preferred range of 59 – 61.8%, and the medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle is perfectly fine given the excellent light return that is going to be created by the combination of a 40.8 degree pavilion angle that is offset by a 34.5 degree crown angle.
The fact of the matter is that these proportions, combined with the overall cut grade of GIA Excellent places this 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent round cut diamond from Blue Nile in the realm of the Top 1% of the annual production for round brilliant cut diamonds, no wonder people are gushing over how it sparkles!
The GIA Excellent Symmetry grade is based upon what the industry refers to as “meet point symmetry” which is an evaluation of how precisely the facets of the diamond meet up with one another at the junction points.
Limiting your Diamond Search on Blue Nile to those options graded with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal-0 is a great place to start because those grades require the diamonds to have the best polish, symmetry, and proportions (although the accepted range is MUCH broader than I think it should be) however the gemological laboratories do not take optical precision into account.
Optical Precision is based upon the consistency of facet shape, alignment from the perspective of 360 degrees, and the indexing of the facets as they are polished on to the surface of the diamond. Diamonds with the highest degree of optical precision and minimal Azimuth Shift are likely to exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows, but only if the proportions of the diamond are also within the range specified in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success <==== BIG CLUE ====> Notice how that article keeps popping up as a diamond buying resource!
Note that “Optical Precision” was originally referred to as “Optical Symmetry” however I try not to use that term anymore, because people tend to get confused between “Optical Symmetry” and the “GIA Excellent Symmetry” grade provided on GIA diamond grading reports.
Jason had originally inquired about a couple of diamonds from James Allen, who provides a high resolution video of the diamonds that they offer, we discussed some additional options from them, and since Jason wasn’t committed to buying specifically from them, we discussed additional options from other vendors like Brian Gavin who provide high resolution video, clarity photographs, and the full range of reflector scope images that are required to judge the optical precision of a diamond.
One of the things that we discussed via email was the absence of diamond clarity photographs, high resolution video, and reflector scope images on Blue Nile. The fact of the matter is that the GCAL diamond grading report provided for Blue Nile Signature round diamonds does feature a diamond clarity photograph, and their variation of reflector scope images, but these are not generally available for “virtual diamonds” that are offered as part of the diamond inventory featured on Blue Nile.[separator]
Sometimes I’m able to look the diamond up in the multiple listing services (MLS) that are used by the diamond industry to market diamonds globally, and provide clients with a clarity photograph, and perhaps even an ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and a Hearts & Arrows scope image, when the cutter has provided that type of detail in their listing, however that was not the case in this particular instance.
Since clarity photographs and reflector scope images were not available for this diamond, Jason proceeded to buy the 1.81 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent round cut diamond from Blue Nile “by the numbers” and “Why Not? Because “by the numbers” the diamond is easily in the Top 1% of the annual production for rounds… So how bad could it be, right? And as it so happens, everything turned out perfectly fine, the GIA Excellent cut diamond that he purchased from Blue Nile is Drop Dead Gorgeous!
Take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you’d like to have a similar experience, just be sure to provide me with the diamond shape, and range of clarity, color, and budget that you are working with, it also helps if you let me know whether you’re open to the idea of blue fluorescence or not.
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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