“What is the difference between diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin Select and Brian Gavin Signature collections” is a question which I am often asked by people who are shopping for a diamond, the answer is relatively simple… Diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin Signature Collection are diamonds which have been produced by Brian Gavin Diamonds using very strict production standards with the intent of producing some of the very finest diamonds in the world in terms of “sparkle factor” and overall visual performance.
Diamonds featured in the search engine under the Brian Gavin Select option were not produced by Brian Gavin, but have been produced by diamond cutters who Brian recognizes as producing a diamond of better than average quality in terms of visual performance.
Diamonds featured within the Brian Gavin Signature collection of Hearts and Arrows diamonds have been hand selected for maximum visual performance and each one exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows when viewed while unmounted through a hearts and arrows viewer.
Now when I talk about “visual performance” what I am actually talking about is the amount of light being reflected back up through the top of the diamond and the type of light in terms of “sparkle factor” which is what is commonly referred to as brilliance, dispersion (a.k.a. “fire”) and scintillation. The diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin line of Signature diamonds have been cut to “super ideal proportions” so that the maximum amount of light is reflected back up through the top of the diamond and the facets have been aligned to create a significant amount of virtual facets which produce lots of white and colored flashes of light.
Brian Gavin also offers a selection of precision crafted round brilliant ideal cut diamonds which exhibit blue fluorescence under the Brian Gavin Blue label. These diamonds are produced by the same diamond cutters who produce the Hearts & Arrows diamonds for the Brian Gavin Signature collection, but they are not marketed as hearts and arrows diamonds because the focus is on the blue fluorescence and not the internal patterns created by the facet design.
All of the diamonds featured in both the Brian Gavin Signature Collection of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds and the Brian Gavin Blue Collection have been graded by the AGS Laboratory and have received the top grade of AGS Ideal 0 for overall cut grade which is based upon individual grades of AGS Ideal for Light Performance, Polish, Symmetry and Proportions. Whereas the majority of diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin Select category seem to be graded by the GIA Laboratory based upon the search results produced by my inquiry today… while I find the AGS and GIA gemological laboratories to be comparable in terms of the consistency of their grading for diamond carat weight, diamond clarity, diamond color and fluorescence, there is a huge difference between the two laboratories when it comes to diamond cut grade… it seems to me that the parameters relied on by the GIA for their overall cut grade are too broad, but then again I’m kind of a snob.
GIA Excellent for Polish and Symmetry is pretty much equivalent to AGS Ideal for Polish and Symmetry, but when it comes to the range of proportions that make it possible to get an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent in comparison to the range of proportions permitted by the AGS, the AGS parameters are definitely stricter and when you add the option of the Light Performance evaluation which is only available from the AGS Laboratory I definitely find myself leaning towards diamonds which have been graded by the AGS Laboratory these days.
Now this is not to say that you can not find exceptional diamonds which have been graded by the GIA, nope that’s not what I’m saying at all… it’s just a little easier these days because the AGS Laboratory is taking Light Performance into account. But in some ways the Light Performance rating available from the AGS Laboratory might give consumers the wrong idea because it doesn’t actually take “sparkle factor” into account, it merely measures the amount of light which is moving through a diamond and not the type of light being returned by the diamond in terms of brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. Just about the only way to determine that at the moment is determining whether a diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows… and to that regard I’m going to steer you back towards diamonds from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection.
Okay so when it comes to my preference for buying a diamond from Brian Gavin, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’d purchase something from either the Brian Gavin Signature or Brian Gavin Blue collections and this is because those diamonds are produced within the tolerance of the selection criteria which I used when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice Diamonds. As stated previously, I’m kind of a diamond snob and not everybody shares my passion for extremely well cut diamonds… and to that regard, most of the other diamond vendors I know cater to a larger audience in terms of what they offer and I imagine that this is the purpose for the Brian Gavin Select and “Everything Else” categories featured within the online inventory for Brian Gavin Diamonds. It presents Brian Gavin with a way to cater to a broader market of diamond buyers in much the same fashion as James Allen and Blue Nile.
However it is unreasonable to expect to find a diamond within the Brian Gavin Select and “everything else” categories which is going to rival the visual performance of a diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature or Brian Gavin Blue collections because the diamonds are simply produced to different production standards. It’s like trying to compare a Porsche to a Volkswagen in terms of design and performance, but the truth is that not everybody needs or wants a Porsche, plenty of people are perfectly happy with their Volkswagen… get the idea? It’s all a matter of personal preference and yea I definitely lean towards diamonds which have been produced to the high side of the performance equation so that’s what I write about.
If you’re going to buy something from the Brian Gavin Select category (or anybody else for that matter) the best advice that I can give you is to try and keep the proportions within the following range to maximize light return in round brilliant cut diamonds:
Total depth between 59 – 61.8% and maybe up to 62%
Table diameter between 53 – 58%
Crown angle between 34.0 – 35.0 degrees and I truly prefer 34.3 – 34.9 degrees
Pavilion angle between 40.5 – 41.0 degrees and I truly prefer 40.6 – 40.9 degrees
The reason why I focused on ideal cut diamonds produced to the center range of parameters for the AGS Ideal Proportions rating when I was the diamond buyer for NiceIce.com was because it increased the odds of finding truly exceptional diamonds for our inventory… broader parameters beyond the 34.3 – 34.9 degree crown angle and 40.6 – 40.9 degree pavilion angle offset lowered the odds that I would find the diamond pleasing in terms of light performance. I personally find that round brilliant ideal cut diamonds which exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows tend to produce the type of contrast that I personally prefer in a diamond as well as the virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion that I look for… so I selected diamonds for Nice Ice based upon my personal preferences for light performance and sparkle factor. If you are looking for a round brilliant ideal cut diamond that falls in line with my expectations for visual performance, then you’ll want to select something from the Brian Gavin Signature or Brian Gavin Blue collection. If you prefer less optical symmetry, a different type of contrast in terms of the light and dark areas created by the facet structure, and a different balance of brilliance and dispersion you’ll need to play within the broader range of options reflected by the realm of Brian Gavin Select by ensuring that box remains checked when you search for diamonds.
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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