While searching for ideal cut diamonds on Blue Nile, I happened to run across two Blue Nile Signature round diamonds that are quite what he’s looking for, but which are definitely worthy of mention, as I believe that they will be interesting to some of you. One is this 1.42 carat G-color, VS-1 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond, and the other is this 1.44 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond, which both have proportions that are right on the outer edge of my preferred selection criteria. Even though these Blue Nile Signature round diamonds are not quite perfect “by the numbers” they are pretty darn close, and thus they are worthy of consideration if you’re looking for something stunning, just short of the 1.50 carat mark. These diamonds are an exceptional value because they fall short of the 1.49 – 1.50 carat mark, where the price of diamonds increases substantially.
This 1.42 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, and has a total depth of 61.9% which is only one tenth of a percent beyond my preferred range of 59 – 61.8%. This is not of critical importance because it will only affect the visible outside diameter of the diamond very slightly, there will not be enough of a difference between the outside diameter created by a diamond of this size with a total depth of 61.8% and 61.9% for any of us to notice.[separator]
The pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees is well matched with the pavilion depth of 43% and this will produce a high volume of light return; while the 35.0 degree crown angle, which is only one tenth of a degree beyond my preferred range of 34.3 – 34.9 degrees, will still produce what is essentially a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle).
The 80% lower girdle facets are going to produce sparkle that is slightly smaller in size, more like the pin-fire type sparkle that can be seen reflecting off of the tiny mirrors of a disco ball. Now this is important because diamonds cut like this are likely to appear to be a bit more brilliant, than exhibit an actual balance of brilliance and dispersion, because our eyes tend to have difficulty dispersing smaller flashes of white light (and it’s all white light) into colored light / fire. Which is why some people prefer the broad spectrum sparkle created by lower girdle facets that are more in the range of 75 – 78% like those featured on Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds.
However quite a few of my clients do actually prefer the smaller, pin-fire type sparkle, exhibited by a diamond of ideal proportions that has been cut with lower girdle facets in the range of 80 – 82% such as this one, it is after all a matter of personal preference… and that’s why diamonds like this are worthy of a review from time to time.
This 1.44 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, the total depth and table diameter measurements are within my preferred range, and the pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees is only one tenth beyond my preferred range of 40.6 – 40.9 degrees, this only works because the pavilion depth is 43% but would not be acceptable to me if it exceeded that average measurement. Here again the 35.0 degree crown angle will deliver a very good balance of brilliance and dispersion.[separator]
And the 80% lower girdle facet length will produce pin-fire type sparkle, which is a bit smaller in size than a round brilliant ideal cut diamond of the same proportions would exhibit if the lower girdle facets were in the range of 75 – 78%. This will also result in the diamond producing virtual facets (internal reflections of light) which are a bit smaller, and less intense, than the broad spectrum sparkle exhibited by Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds, and this isn’t just my opinion, it’s based on research conducted by the American Gem Society Laboratory.
I generally prefer round brilliant ideal cut diamonds graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) on their proprietary Light Performance grading platform over those graded as GIA Excellent, because of the additional insight provided by their use of Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET), which makes it much more difficult for a diamond to be graded as AGS Ideal-0 than it does for one to be graded GIA Excellent.
Which is why I tend to push Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds above Blue Nile Signature round diamonds, because all Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds are submitted to the AGS Laboratory for grading on the Light Performance based grading platform.
Another reason why I tend to recommend Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds over Blue Nile Signature round diamonds is because I personally prefer the broad spectrum sparkle that is created by cutting ideal cut diamonds with lower girdle facets in the range of 75 – 78% and the larger virtual facets that result from cutting diamonds with the higher degree of optical precision to produce a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows.
The reality is that I’m an affiliate for both companies, thus I probably shouldn’t have a preference as to where my clients purchase their diamond from, but clearly I do tend to allow my personal preferences for how a diamond to look to affect the recommendations that I make… but at the end of the day, I also realize that ideal cut diamonds are produced in a variety of proportions combinations to appeal to the broader market, because everybody has their own preference for how an ideal cut diamond should look, and that’s why I wanted to review these two Blue Nile Signature round diamonds, because they are “close enough” to my ideal standards, and they will appeal to somebody who prefers the smaller, pin-fire type sparkle created by the 80% lower girdle facet length.
Needless to say, the inclusions contained within both diamonds meet with my approval. Be sure to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you’d like help with your diamond quest, your price on the diamonds recommended will not be affected by using my services, my fees are paid for by the vendors if you happen to buy the diamond using the links provided. Thank you.
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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