Brian Gavin Signature vs James Allen True Hearts Diamonds

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April 8

This post aims to distinguish the difference between Brian Gavin Signature and James Allen True Hearts diamonds and enable you to make an informed decision.The following client inquiry is the basis for this article:

"Hi Todd, I need help choosing a diamond, please. By reading your post, I see that at least you are objective in your view instead of leaning towards one vendor. My goal is to get a diamond with the least amount of maintenance that sparks into eternity (if that even exists)."

"I am debating between JA and BGD. My budget is $6.5K. Looking for something between 0.8 – 1.0 carat. Highest cut quality to give brings out the brilliance and fire. The rest I can forgo, such as color and clarity as long as they are eye-clean. Thank you — Annie."

Are Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds Eye Clean?

Thank you for your inquiry Annie, since you’ve specified that you want a diamond that is eye clean, I limited my search to diamonds that are SI-1 clarity and above. That's because SI1 clarity diamonds are more likely to be “eye clean” from a distance of 9 – 12 inches.

Consequently, 9 - 12 inches is the standard distance the industry uses to determine whether diamonds are eye clean. It is essential to realize that determination is made from the face-up position. Inclusions may still be visible from a side profile because diamonds are not faceted to hide inclusions from a side profile.

In the event that you prefer a diamond that remains eye-clean under scrutiny, then we recommend VS2 clarity or higher. Be aware that the difference between VS2 and higher clarity grades will only be visible using 10x magnification.

What creates diamond brilliance and fire?

I began the search with Brian Gavin because you are looking for the best brilliance and fire. Brian's production reflects the highest degree of optical precision and his passion for excellence.

Optical precision is the consistency of facet shape, size, and alignment from the perspective of 360-degrees. It dictates the sparkles' size and intensity, but also the number of virtual facets within the diamond.

Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond as seen from the pavilion.

Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds.

Brian Gavin holds the patent for maximizing light performance in the modern round brilliant cut diamond. Be sure to read our review of Brian Gavin Black diamonds for more details.

The best way to judge the optical symmetry of diamonds like this 0.810 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond is to look at the precision of the hearts and arrows pattern.

A higher degree of optical precision is necessary to produce a crisp and complete hearts' pattern. Differences in facet shape, size, and alignment create inconsistencies in the size and shape of the hearts.

Since this diamond exhibits a hearts' pattern that is uniform in size and shape, we know that there is a higher degree of optical precision. Read our hearts and arrows diamonds tutorial for more information on creating this effect.

Using ASET to Grade Light Performance:

AGSL ASET for Brian Gavin Signature Diamond.

ASET for Brian Gavin Signature Diamond.

This 0.810 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond is definitely one which I would consider. It has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 as determined on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform.

That relies on Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to measure the brightness of diamonds and takes into account other factors of diamond visual performance which contribute to the sparkle factor of a diamond.

The results of the ASET scan for this diamond, which appear in the middle of the diamond grading diagram pictured to the left, show lots of red, which happens to be the brightest light possible.

There is also a good balance of green which is the second brightest light, and excellent contrast which is indicated by the color blue. The distribution of color is nice and even, which is another indicator of superior optical symmetry.

Best Proportions for Round Diamonds:

The proportions of the Brian Gavin Signature diamond above are within the "sweet spot" we recommend in the One Minute Diamond Buying Guide. Read that tutorial to discover why we recommend the following proportions:

  • Total depth between 59 – 61.8%.
  • Table diameter between 53 – 58%.
  • Crown angle between 34.3 – 35 degrees.
  • Pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees.
  • Lower girdle facet length between 75 - 80%.
  • Girdle between 0.7% thin to slightly thick.
  • Culet: GIA "none” or AGS "pointed” (same thing).
  • Polish of AGS Ideal or GIA Excellent.
  • Symmetry of AGS Ideal or GIA Excellent.

The majority of Brian Gavin Signature diamonds have proportions within that range. In terms of other diamonds, you might also consider this 0.891 carat, F-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond. Brian Gavin assures me that it is eye clean and I trust his assessment.

The primary inclusions consist of twinning wisps, which are crystal planes that twisted during formation. They usually contain tiny crystals that can be light or dark in color. In this case, the inclusions appear fairly translucent in the high-resolution video.

I also like this 0.907 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that's only a few hundred dollars higher than you specified. I feel it's worthy of consideration if you have a little wiggle room in your budget.

James Allen True Hearts Diamond Reviews:

James Allen True Hearts Diamond Review.

James Allen True Hearts Diamonds.

The crown angle of this 1.040 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond is only one-tenth of a degree beyond my preferred range of 34.3 – 34.9 degrees.

As such it is acceptable because the 40.9 degree pavilion angle provides it with an excellent offset which should result in a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

If you look at the tips of the hearts pictured in the relative 2-4-7-8 and 10 o’clock positions in the photograph provided to the right, you’ll see that the tips of the hearts are bending slightly. That is a telltale sign that the lower girdle facets of the diamond differ ever so slightly in size and length.

How Hearts patterns are created in round diamonds:

Creation Hearts Patterns Brian Gavin Diamonds

How Light Reflects to Create Hearts' Pattern.

This diagram reveals how light reflects off the facets of a round brilliant cut diamond to create the hearts' pattern. The main pavilion facet in the 12 o’clock region is colored green for your reference.

Notice how the light reflects across the diamond and splits into two halves that reflect off of the lower girdle facets on either side of the main pavilion facet in the six o'clock position.

Imagine the same effect continuing around the diamond in a clockwise direction to create the complete the hearts' pattern.

If the length, size, or indexing of the lower girdle facets is off even slightly, the lengths of the reflections will be uneven. In that case, the two sides of 'the heart' will be different lengths, creating the illusion that the hearts' tips are bending and twisting. Ultimately, that will create uneven light return and possibly obstruction under the table facet.

Applying This Knowledge to Diamond Buying:

Now that you know how hearts' patterns are formed in round brilliant cut diamonds, it is reasonable to assume that there are minor variation in the length, size, or indexing of the lower girdle facets of the 1.040 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond.

Even so, it also appear to be fairly slight, and the hearts pattern is certainly better than what I’ve seen in the large majority of round ideal cut diamonds which are not cut specifically to exhibit patterns of hearts and arrows. Thus this remains an excellent option if you’re not looking for an extremely high level of precision and optical symmetry.

Hearts Pattern of James Allen True Hearts diamond.

James Allen True Hearts Diamonds.

This 1.062 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond offers a similar level of optical symmetry as the option referenced above. The photograph shows the diamond as seen through a hearts and arrows viewer.

Notice that the tips of the hearts are bending due to slight differences in the indexing of the lower girdle facets. The difference is most evident in the 2-3-7-8 and 9 o’clock positions.

Note that the optical symmetry of the diamond appears perfectly fine in the ASET map featured on the diamond grading report. That is why I also like to see reflector scope images when judging diamonds for optical symmetry.

Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamond Reviews:

Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond.

Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds.

I just realized that I neglected to expand the range of color to include J-color diamonds during my search for diamonds from Brian Gavin, so I went back and ran a fresh search.

That revealed this 1.008 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that looks great!

As you can see by the photograph provided to the left, the pattern of hearts looks fantastic, hence we know that the optical symmetry of this diamond is top-notch.

Note that the dark spots which are visible within the hearts’ pattern are merely reflections of the inclusions within the diamond, which are visible because of the magnification being used to capture the hearts image.

I also like the look of this 1.064 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond. Needless to say that both of these diamonds meet my selection criteria.

I feel that these diamonds provide you with excellent options for $6.5k. Hopefully this tutorial helps you to see the differences between Brian Gavin Signature vs James Allen True Hearts diamonds.

About the Author

Todd Gray is the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC., DBA Nice Ice Diamonds. He is also a trade consultant and diamond buyer with 35+ years of experience specializing in light performance. Todd also ghostwrites educational content for online ventures and is an avid Freediver.