I want to start out by expressing my congratulations to Matthew and his fiance Emilee, and thank them for this amazing photograph of their engagement moment which was captured in the coastal caves of Hope, Alaska. This exceptional photograph not only captures a beautiful moment in time, it makes me feel like I was there, witnessing the moment, and it makes me want to go hike in the amazing splendor of Hope, Alaska, which is somewhere that I’ve never been. This adventure began by Matthew expressing concern about whether it was a good idea to purchase a Brian Gavin Advance Selection Signature diamond, because the diamonds are pre-sold on very limited information.
Brian Gavin is one of the diamond cutters who I used to purchase diamonds from when I was the primary diamond buyer for Nice Ice; Brian is well known throughout the diamond industry as being one of the leading producers of Hearts and Arrows Diamonds, and is a leading authority on the creation and grading of hearts and arrows diamonds… you might be more familiar with Brian Gavin’s work under the brand name “A Cut Above” which is currently marketed by Whiteflash, but those diamonds are no longer produced under his supervision, they parted ways a few years back and suffice to say that I followed Brian Gavin to his new venture Brian Gavin Diamonds, and I continue to be impressed by the production quality and visual performance exhibited by his line of Brian Gavin Signature diamonds.
A few months ago, Brian Gavin introduced a new variable to the diamond search engine on Brian Gavin Diamonds, it is called “Advance Selection” and it provides you with access to the full list of diamonds which are currently in production. Instead of only having access to the diamonds which have already been fully cut, polished, and submitted to the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) for grading, you now have access to the details for every Brian Gavin Signature Diamond that is in production.
Beyond the fact that Brian Gavin Advance Selection Diamonds have yet to be completed, there is virtually no difference between them and the Brian Gavin Signature diamonds which are finished and available for immediate shipment, you just have to wait a few weeks for the Brian Gavin Advance Selection diamonds to be completed and sent to the AGSL to be graded; this concept however has yet to be fully explained on Brian Gavin’s web site, and the listings for Brian Gavin Advance Selection diamonds provide only very basic information, which is perhaps why Matthew contacted me initially to find out more, this is part of what Matt wrote when he first contacted me via my Free Diamond Concierge Service:
“I searched through Brian’s inventory and found the in-house diamond choices fitting this criteria to be somewhat slim (there are a couple .74 ct options, but I was hoping to see if I could find something in the .80s). He has a lot of “Advance Selection” inventory in the overseas factory [editors note: Antwerp, Belgium] and there’s a .80 G stone with specifications/price that caught my eye, but the problem is that those Advance Selection diamonds have no AGS info yet or even a photo.”
“When I emailed staff at BGD about possibly getting at least a photo to help make the decision, the response basically said that people all over the world trust them to buy sight-unseen diamonds and I should, too. What’s your opinion on this? It seems very risky to me, even with a respected company like BGD.”
“Here’s the .80 stone: [link to diamond details page on Brian Gavin] So my big question is: Should I trust BGD enough to purchase the sight-unseen .80 Advance Selection diamond? If not, I have to decide between selecting the best in-house diamond they have available within my criteria (settling for one of the .74 ct options) or broadening my search to include Whiteflash and maybe another vendor. The most important things to me are cut and brilliance (since she doesn’t want the stone to be big, ideal cut/brilliance should make it look impressive even if the size is modest). That’s why I had been focusing on BGD in my search, but perhaps I should be looking at Whiteflash as well. Thanks so much for any help/advice!”
Here is my initial response to Matt, which explains the concept behind Brian Gavin Advance Selection diamonds, I think that it provides good insight into the concept, so it makes sense to simply reprint my response:
Thank you for your inquiry, it made me chuckle because I’ve been having a similar conversation with Brian Gavin about the concern that people might have purchasing diamonds via the advanced selection option, without the normal photographs that are provided on the standard diamond details page; this is a rather new concept and I think that it will take some time to perfect the marketing and delivery process, but that it is a viable concept.
Since I’ve purchased literally tens of thousands of super ideal cut diamonds from Brian Gavin over the years, I have developed an expectation for what his production will look like; however there is a difference when working with the public, who is purchasing one diamond at a time, quite often for the very first time, and off of the internet, where all the customer has to go on, is the lab report, clarity video, reflector scope images, etc., and I can certainly appreciate how hearing that “people all over the world trust them and buy diamonds sight unseen and thus you should also” but that could be countered with “yes, but how many people do not buy diamonds from BGD or other vendors, because they aren’t being provided with the diamond details?” so it’s a wash – right?
However the concept behind the advance selection program, is to give the diamond buying public an opportunity to pre-purchase diamonds that are in-production, at various levels of the production process, which might otherwise not be finished to the higher standards dictated by the Brian Gavin Signature line… because there are varying degrees of perfection that “ideal cut diamonds” are polished to, and not all of them will exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, in fact, most of them won’t… and Brian Gavin is involved in the production of diamonds for a variety of companies, and thus not all of their production is turned out for their own web site… so the program provides you with the opportunity to select diamonds from a larger virtual inventory of goods that are in-production, and the reality is that the factory doesn’t have the capability of photographing diamonds, and these diamonds are not lab graded yet, because they are not finished.
Therefore Brian Gavin guarantees that diamonds pre-ordered via the advance selection option, will be finished to the same standards as all of his other BGD Signature diamonds, thus you are assured of the same high level of light performance and sparkle factor, as you would have if you selected a diamond from the inventory of BGD Signature diamonds that are available for immediate delivery.
However there is some waiting time involved, for the diamond polishing to be completed to BGD Signature standards, and for the diamond to be shipped from Antwerp to the United States, and for the diamond to clear the AGSL from being graded, shipped to BGD in Houston, Texas, etc., and then it will be photographed, etc., upon receipt and prepared to ship to you.
And at the end of it all, if you don’t like the diamond for any reason, it is backed by the same guarantee that covers all other Brian Gavin Signature diamonds, so essentially you have nothing to lose…
The concept behind Brian Gavin Advanced Selection Diamonds is not exactly a new idea, there has always been a list of diamonds that are in-production that has been available to his wholesale customers, and those customers have the option of deciding to what degree of perfection the diamond should be polished, e.g. standard center range zero ideal cut proportions, or those proportions with super ideal optical symmetry that produces a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, which is part of the selection criteria for diamonds chosen for the Brian Gavin Signature round diamond collection.
By deciding to provide the public with access to the list of zero ideal cut diamonds that are currently in-production, Brian Gavin has essentially tripled the number of diamonds that his customers have to choose from, while maintaining the option for his wholesale customers to purchase the diamonds in bulk, finished to whatever degree of perfection fits their market niche, it’s actually a brilliant concept.
The only part that seems to be confusing to the public, is why the diamond details pages for Brian Gavin Advanced Selection Diamonds do not feature the same high resolution video, clarity photograph, and reflector scope images that are provided on the diamond details pages for Brian Gavin Signature diamonds that are already finished, lab graded, and available for immediate shipment; and the reason is simple, the diamonds are in-production.
The process for ordering a diamond from the Brian Gavin Advanced Selection inventory is the same as ordering any other diamond from Brian Gavin, all you have to do is click on the orange colored “Buy Now” button that appears on the diamond details page. The basic details of the diamond are provided, as well as the approximate proportions of the diamond, once the diamond has been ordered, the factory will finish it to the standards set forth for the Brian Gavin Signature brand and the diamond will be shipped to the AGSL for grading, the diamond will be shipped to you within approximately 10-14 business days from the date of order, check with one of the customer service representatives from Brian Gavin Diamonds for a more precise schedule, this estimate is based upon my personal experience of ordering diamonds from Brian Gavin.
I believe that Matthew and Emilee would tell you that it is definitely worth the few days that it takes to receive your Advance Selection Diamond from Brian Gavin, here is the quick note that I received from Matt the day that he received the diamond from Brian Gavin:
“Thanks Todd! The ring arrived today and looks AMAZING! Thank you so much for encouraging me to trust the quality of a sight-unseen stone from BGD.” By the way, the engagement ring that Matthew selected for Emilee is the 3 stone Grace from Brian Gavin, which features two pear shape accents that highlight the center stone, he elected to have the inside of the ring shank engraved with a special message for Emilee; he sent me this photograph of the ring to share with you on my blog, it truly is a beautiful three stone ring! And I was able to save Matthew a little bit of money on the setting because of an exclusive Brian Gavin coupon code that is available upon request, just ask for it.[separator]
Brian Gavin Advance Selection Diamonds are a great option!
Clearly the only difference between Brian Gavin Signature diamonds and Brian Gavin Advance Selection diamonds is that the diamonds listed in the Advance – Ideal category are in-production and available for advance purchase… upon completion they will exhibit the same traits that Brian Gavin Signature diamonds are well known for, such as an extremely high volume of light return, a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) with broad spectrum sparkle that is bold and bright!
I would not hesitate to order a diamond from the Brian Gavin Advance Selection inventory, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain because access to the list of diamonds that are in-production literally triples the options that you have to choose from…
But it stands to reason that it might be safer to wait for the diamond to be cut to Brian Gavin Signature standards, sent to the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) for grading, and for the diamond grading report, high resolution video, clarity photograph, and reflector scope images to be posted to the diamond details page… the problem is that if you wait for all of this to happen, the diamond will probably be sold to another customer who understands the relative rarity of diamonds of this cut caliber, and who is willing to take the plunge, knowing full well that every diamond is backed by Brian Gavin’s personal guarantee and that it can simply be returned if you don’t absolutely love it!
Feel free to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you would like help figuring out which diamond from Brian Gavin is the best choice based upon your personal preferences, I’m happy to help, and if you remind me, I’ll be happy to send you the Brian Gavin Diamonds coupon code that I negotiated to save my clients a little money on the setting.
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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