The fine folks B&C have asked for my help in fielding the possibilities from the Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds in the range of 1.50 – 1.99 carats, G to H color and VS-2 in clarity… and just for the sake of argument I’m going to toss in a few variables from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection because I think they are worthy of consideration and a good way to save some $$$ and who doesn’t want more $$$ in their wallet? Besides that cute little baby featured in those Capital One commercials? No I’m not slinging credit cards, I just like the ads… but not as much as the ones from eTrade where “riding the dog like a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment” which by the way my German Shepherd has chosen to boycott for reasons yet unknown.
Now before we go much further, I want to take a second to explain the primary differences between the two diamond collections offered by Brian Gavin because I receive a lot of email messages asking me about which diamonds are better in terms of light return and visual performance and the short answer is “neither” because they are both produced on the same production line by the same diamond cutters… so what gives? Quite simply Brian wanted to distinguish a difference between diamonds from his production which exhibited fluorescence and those which do not and he did it through what we in the diamond business refer to as “Brilliant Marketing” ba-da-boom! Feel free to quote me on that one…
People often assume that the diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin Blue Collection exhibit less light return and less visual performance because they cost less than the diamonds featured in the collection of Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds, however this is not the case… the difference in price is merely a reflection of an industry-wide discount which is applied to the price of diamond rough when it exhibits blue fluorescence.
I think that the discount applied to blue fluorescent diamonds is absurd by the way, because it is not based upon any negative effect caused by the presence of fluorescence within a diamond… but rather because back in the 1980’s an Asian investment firm which specialized in marketing parcels of diamonds for investment purposes chose to distinguish themselves from their competitors by advertising that none of the diamonds in their parcels exhibited fluorescence and fluorescent diamonds got a bad rap as a result…. public perception is a funny thing which often has nothing to do with reality.
Speaking of reality, the reality is that many of the people I know within the diamond industry prefer diamonds with blue fluorescence because the fluorescence can have a beautiful effect upon a diamond when it is exposed to direct sunlight… sometimes it creates a soft and beautiful light lavender blue hue in the diamond. I personally owned a 2.25 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity diamond with strong blue fluorescence which benefited from this visual effect and practically every diamond which I’ve ever personally owned has exhibited medium to strong blue fluorescence. “Blue White Diamonds” which were D-color and E-color with very strong to distinct blue fluorescence were so popular back in the mid-20th century that the some disreputable jewelers were going as far as displaying their diamonds under blue light bulbs to mimic the look… thankfully the Federal Trade Commission shut that practice down. The point is that blue fluorescent diamonds can be quite pretty and Brian Gavin has figured out a brilliant way to market the ones in his inventory and you reap the benefits by being able to purchase a beautiful diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue collection and save a little $$$ without sacrificing light return or visual performance.
For purposes of demonstration, let’s consider two round brilliant ideal cut diamonds from Brian Gavin’s current inventory:
This 1.507 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection. This diamond is graded by the AGS Laboratory with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the proprietary Platinum Light Performance grading platform with a total depth of 61.8% and a table diameter of 56.9% with a crown angle of 34.9 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and a pointed culet… And it has Medium Blue Fluorescence which is not really something that you’re going to be able to detect without the help of a black light and a reasonably dark room… The diamond is currently being offered for $18,598.00 with a discount available for payment via cash / wire transfer.
Compare that with this 1.508 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection which is currently being offered for $19,770.00 and while the savings is quite clear, the difference between the diamonds which results int he discount might not be so clear because there is only a 0.001 difference in carat weight and the diamond clarity and diamond color grades are the same and so is the Light Performance and Visual Performance. So what’s the difference? The less expensive diamond exhibits medium blue fluorescence that causes the diamond to glow a beautiful neon blue color when it is exposed to black light. “So let me get this straight… I can purchase a diamond of the same size, same carat weight, same color grade and same cut quality and get the benefits of blue fluorescence AND I get to save money?!?! Oh I am so there!” Yea it’s one of those Brilliant Revelations.
Now from my perspective I often wonder why everybody doesn’t buy diamonds with blue fluorescence, but I happen to have a lot of experience working with blue fluorescent diamonds and am quite comfortable with the inherent visual properties that they bring to the table… not everybody is. Heck some people simply don’t like the color blue… and believe it or not, there are some people who consider such diamonds to be haunted by the spirits of their ancestors (you may think that I’m kidding but I’m not) so it really is a matter of personal preference, but another reason why people might elect not to purchase a diamond with blue fluorescence is simply because there are more options available in terms of different combinations of carat weight, color and clarity within the inventory of the Brian Gavin Signature Collection.
For instance if you look at this screenshot of the options currently available from Brian Gavin Diamonds, the small diamond shaped icons located to the left of each listing are color coordinated to indicate which collection the diamond is part of. Orange colored diamonds represent diamonds from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection and Blue colored diamonds indicate diamonds which have been hand selected to be part of the Brian Gavin Blue Collection.[separator]
Of the thirteen diamonds which are currently available within the parameters of my search criteria, only three of them are from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection.
This 1.517 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection has all the makings of a stunning diamond! Like all of the other diamonds featured in this review this one is graded by the AGS Laboratory on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal 0 which is the highest rating available from the the AGS Laboratory. The diamond has a total depth of 61.6% with a table diameter of 56.3% and a crown angle of 34.9 degrees offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and a pointed culet.
So what do all of those numbers mean? Well we can get into a big long discussion about how different combinations of crown and pavilion angle result in different degrees of light return… but I think it would be best to simply state that the selection criteria which I rely on for selecting diamonds with maximum light return is the following range:
Total depth between 59 – 61.8%
Table diameter between 53 – 57.5% (and maybe 58%)
Crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees
Pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees
Girdle thickness between thin to slightly thick, faceted
Culet: GIA “none” or AGS “pointed” (same thing)
And move on to another diamond and for this 1.51 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection which exhibits strong blue fluorescence because there are plenty of other tutorials available on this web site that discuss the reasons behind my selection criteria. This diamond is the same size as the G-color diamond listed above but it is one grade lower in color and one clarity grade higher which is kind of a wash in terms of value and isn’t going to make much of a difference in terms of what we see with just our eyes, especially when the blue fluorescence is taken into account in terms of the body color of the diamond… but the 1.517 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity diamond is currently selling for $19,904.00 and this one is selling for $16,160.00 which is one heck of a savings!
Next up we have this 1.524 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection which is selling for $18,792.00 which here again makes the 1.51 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity option with strong blue fluorescence described above look pretty amazing in terms of price! Here again the diamond has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 and has proportions within my preferred range. All of the scope images look fabulous and I have no doubt that it is an amazing looking diamond!
And finally we have this 1.558 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection which tops out our budget at $20,150.00 and has all the makings of a beautiful looking diamond which exhibits maximum light return and visual performance because the numbers are right where they need to be in terms of the proportions and the optical symmetry of the diamond is spot-on.
I’m glad you asked… this 1.706 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection meets all of my selection criteria but I can’t say that it’s going to be any more impressive than the 1.558 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity puppy described above and it costs a whole lot more, coming in at $25,970.00 for less than a quarter carat of a difference in size !!! YOWZA !!! Personally if I were going to crawl up into that price range, I’d be more inclined to grab this 2.022 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity round brilliant cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection because you’re going to see the difference in carat weight from across the table but would be hard pressed to see the difference in color. It’s just something to think about. For that matter, you could grab this 1.740 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection for $17,101.oo and kind of land smack dab in the middle of everything which seems like a pretty good option!
Feel free to drop me a note if you would like me to help you find the Diamond of Your Dreams!
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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