“I’m trying to decide between three Crafted by Infinity Hearts and Arrows High Performance Diamonds, which are all in the same range of carat weight, color, and clarity, but there is a significant difference in price. I’m wondering which of the 3 diamonds is the best option for this Swan setting from D. Vatche; the diamonds that I’m considering are this 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, CBI diamond; this 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, CBI diamond; and this 1.738 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, CBI diamond. All things being equal, I’m inclined to go with the 1.667 carat, I-color, diamond; but do you think that an I-color diamond is going to look too yellow in a platinum setting?” — Dennis L.
I-color diamonds are considered to be near-colorless and will appear to be “white” to the majority of people who view them under normal lighting conditions, such as the type of lighting which illuminates most of our homes and offices. The difference between an H-color and I-color diamond is extremely slight, and it is doubtful that the average consumer will be able to discern between H-I color diamonds from a top-down perspective, set in a white gold or platinum setting, under normal lighting circumstances, with any degree of accuracy…
In other words, if we were to set five H-color, and five I-color, VS-2 clarity, one carat round ideal cut diamonds, with virtually the same proportions and overall cut grades, in ten platinum solitaire style engagement rings, and stood them up in a ring tray, and set that tray down on top of a jewelry store counter, I think that you’d be hard pressed to tell me which of the diamonds are H-color and which are I-color with any degree of accuracy.
When we grade diamonds for color under laboratory conditions, we are actually grading the diamonds for a lack of color, and we do so in a room which is practically devoid of light, and judge the diamonds from a side profile, so that the sparkle of the diamond does not affect our interpretation of the body color of the diamonds… this is very different from how people view diamonds in the real world, thus I would not hesitate to set the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond in the platinum Swan setting from High Performance Diamonds.
But let’s back up for a minute and review the characteristics of the three Crafted by Infinity, Hearts and Arrows diamonds, that you are considering from High Performance Diamonds, but before I do, I want to take a moment to clarify something… Crafted by Infinity is a diamond cutting company operating out of Antwerp, Belgium; and High Performance Diamonds is one of their authorized dealers here in the United States, they are two separate entities and I’ve known the owners of both companies for many, many years… Wink who owns High Performance Diamonds (HPD) is a former competitor of mine, who over the years has become a good friend, who I trust to work with my clients.
Quite a few of the hearts and arrows diamonds that were marketed under the trademarked Nice Ice diamond brand, were produced by Paul Slegers of Crafted by Infinity, and I used to be an authorized Crafted by Infinity diamond dealer; so it’s reasonable to assume that I’m quite familiar with the production quality and visual performance of Crafted by Infinity diamonds… they are one of my favorite brands of super ideal cut diamonds, and I don’t see how you could possibly go wrong selecting any of the following Crafted by Infinity diamonds which are being offered by HPD:
The first thing that I focus upon when evaluating round brilliant cut diamonds are the proportions, because the offset of the crown and pavilion angle will dictate both the volume of light return and the balance of brilliance and dispersion. I’m happy to say that the proportions of this 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond are absolutely 100% spot-on, the combination of the 40.7 degree pavilion angle with the 34.4 degree crown angle is going to produce a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion; while the 75% lower girdle facet length is going to produce sparkling flashes of light which are big, bright, and beautiful![separator]
The photograph of the 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond which is featured above, shows that the diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows when viewed while unmounted through a hearts and arrows scope. The eight hearts appear to be the same relative size and shape, and the tips of the hearts are not twisting, nor are the clefts of the hearts split, this is a text book example of an exceptional hearts and arrows quality diamond, and this is an indication that the diamond has been cut to an exceptional degree of optical symmetry.
Now you might be wondering why a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows is important, after all, it’s not like you’re going to be able to see the hearts pattern once the diamond is set in a ring. But what you will be able to see is the intense degree of sparkle which is created by higher number of virtual facets, which are created by the higher degree of optical symmetry… which is quite simply the precision of facet shape and alignment. The reality is that it requires an extremely precise level of optical symmetry to create a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, so the two concepts kind of go hand-in-hand.
The degree of optical symmetry exhibited by this 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond, actually exceeds the requirements of the symmetry grade which is part of the overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 that this diamond received from the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) and so it is kind of like an ideal cut diamond on steroids, it’s going to blow you away when you see it, so you might want to invest in a new pair of sunglasses!
By the way, the primary inclusions are indicated as being “clouds” which are little more than small clusters of tiny diamond crystals which were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed, it is going to be extremely difficult to locate these inclusions using 10x magnification, and the diamond is definitely going to be eye clean, and look absolutely incredible set in the platinum Swan solitaire from High Performance Diamonds.
Not surprisingly, I am equally as impressed with the characteristics of the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity hearts and arrows diamond, which also has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, and a combination of proportions which is optimized to produce the a high volume of light return with a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. This diamond also exhibits a beautiful pattern of hearts and arrows, and has the same crown and pavilion angle offset as the 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, CBI diamond reviewed above, so it’s going to exhibit the same volume of light return and sparkle; the only real difference between them is one color and clarity grade.[separator]
The difference in price between the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity Diamond, and the 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond is about $3,700.00 based upon the cash discount / wire transfer price, so unless you happen to be much more color sensitive than I am, I’d go with the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond because it’s going to exhibit the same incredible volume of light return, face-up just as bright, and leave enough cash in your pocket for you to pay for your honeymoon!
Understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond, it’s just that I’d personally go with the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond because I feel that the two diamonds are going to face-up the same in terms of the volume of light return and sparkle factor, and I don’t think that most people would be able to distinguish between the two diamonds by color if comparing them side-by-side while mounted in the platinum Swan solitaire from High Performance Diamonds, so why not buy the I-color diamond and save a few bucks?
All right, next up we have the 1.738 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity hearts and arrows diamond, which also has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 and is cut to virtually the same proportions, with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees that is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.7 degrees, with a lower girdle facet length of 77%, which you should know by now is going to produce a high volume of light return with a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. As with the other Crafted by Infinity diamonds that I’ve reviewed thus far, this diamond also exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, so we know that the optical symmetry is excellent and the sparkle will be exceptional.[separator]
The only real advantage that I see for buying 1.738 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity hearts and arrows diamond over the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond is that you will be able to tell your fiance that it is a one and three quarter carat diamond, as opposed to saying that her diamond weighs a little more than one and a half carats, but less than one and three quarters of a carat… and believe me, I’ve seen people get tripped up on this kind of thing in the 25+ years that I’ve been in the diamond business.
But if I were spending MY money instead of yours, and I try to approach each diamond buying scenario as if I were spending my own money, as in which diamond would I buy for myself if I were trying to make this decision, I’d go with the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond because I feel that it offers the best balance of carat weight, color, clarity, and price.
However if the 1.667 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond were off the table, then I’d be apt to choose the 1.738 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity hearts and arrows diamond over the 1.656 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity diamond, because the difference in price of about five hundred dollars, gives me the prestige of saying that it’s a one and three quarter carat diamond.
The dilemma of course is that all three of the Crafted by Infinity diamonds that you’ve asked me to review from High Performance Diamonds easily fall within the Top 0.001% of the annual production for round brilliant cut diamonds, so you’ve kind of forced me to pick them apart in an effort to help you pick the best diamond available, from a group of diamonds which is absolutely incredible. The truth is that I’d be happy buying any one of these diamonds, because every one of them meets my selection criteria 100%.
Please tell Wink from High Performance Diamonds that Todd from Nice Ice says “Hello” when you talk with him, it’s always nice for the vendors who I work with to know where people are coming from… That way he’ll feel obligated to buy the drinks the next time we get together at the JCK Trade Show in Las Vegas, and he’ll know that he needs to give you 15% off the price of the setting if you order it in conjunction with one of these Crafted by Infinity diamonds!
And if you happen to be reading these Crafted by Infinity, High Performance Diamonds reviews in an effort to learn more about diamonds, and would like help finding the diamond of your dreams, feel free to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service!
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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