Diamond Reviews: Leo Artisan or Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamond

Diamond Reviews: Leo Artisan or Brian Gavin Signature Round, which is the better value?

The Leo Diamond is a 66 facet, modified round brilliant cut diamond produced by Leo Schachter and marketed through chain jewelry stores, like Kay Jewelers and Jareds. I was asked earlier today whether I would consider buying a Leo Diamond if I were shopping for an engagement ring and the answer seemed to surprise the person I was talking with because the Leo Diamond is advertised as being brighter than other diamonds, or at least that’s what he interpreted the advertisement to say, it actually states that the Leo Diamond is the “first diamond ever independently certified to be visibly brighter” which means absolutely nothing as you’ll discover in my other Leo Diamond Reviews.

Brian Gavin Signature vs The Leo Diamond:

After we discussed the Pro’s and Con’s of modifying the facet structure of the traditional round brilliant cut diamond by adding extra facets to it, and how doing so doesn’t really improve the light return of the diamond, or actually make it brighter in the way that people seem to think that it does… but rather how it reduces the dispersion or fire of the diamond by causing the light to be broken up into such little pieces that our eyes are unable to disperse the light into spectral hues, and thus we interpret what would otherwise be seen as dispersion as brilliance.

So diamonds like the Leo Diamond are not actually brighter and more brilliant diamonds which exhibit a higher volume of light return, but rather they simply break the light apart into smaller particles which provide an alternative look for people who might prefer diamonds which are more brilliant than dispersive (fiery) or which provide a virtual balance of the two types of sparkle.

Clearly I’m not a fan of modified round brilliant cut diamonds like the Leo Diamond, because I prefer the look of a round brilliant ideal cut diamond cut to Tolkowsky proportions that have been recognized since 1919 as being optimized to produce the highest volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion with a high degree of scintillation… Like the round brilliant cut diamonds featured within the Brian Gavin Signature and Brian Gavin Blue collections.

Hearts pattern within Brian Gavin Diamond produced by superior optical symmetry, CAGS_104064814003However my preference for the production offered by Brian Gavin isn’t only because of the proportions, nor the superior level of optical symmetry and precision of facet shape and alignment which produces this exceptional pattern of hearts and arrows which is visible within this 1.008 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, my preference is also based upon the value presented by the diamonds in terms of price. You see this diamond is currently being sold by Brian Gavin for $6,900.00 with an additional discount for payment via cash / wire transfer which brings it down to $6,693.00 at the time this article is being written.


Leo Diamond Reviews Kay Jewelers, SKU 151029903Compare that with this 14k white gold Leo Artisan Diamond solitaire style engagement ring which Kay Jewelers is advertising on their web site for $6,999.00 which they describe as weighing “one carat” and being either SI-1 or SI-2 in clarity, and either H-color or I-color with no reference as to whether it has fluorescence or not, and absolutely no mention of the polish, symmetry, or proportions ratings of the diamond… and if you read the fine print, Kay Jewelers explains that this “one carat diamond” might not actually weigh one carat.


Kay Jewelers Leo Artisan Diamond Reviews, SKU 151029903bNo. According to the fine print provided within this section of the product description, the “one carat Leo Diamond” that you’d be buying could weigh anywhere between 0.95 – 1.11 carats. The issue I have with this vague type of description for diamond carat weight, is that there is a substantial price increase which occurs in the Price Per Carat (PPC) of diamonds between the 0.99 and 1.00 carat marks, so a 1.00 carat diamond costs considerably more than one which weighs between 0.95 – 0.99 carats. So how do you get your money’s worth?

From my perspective, Kay Jewelers is asking you to pay a specific price of $6,999.00 for a diamond of unknown carat weight, unknown color, unknown clarity, unknown proportions, and unknown polish and symmetry… when the majority of online diamond dealers readily provide customers on their web sites with extremely detailed information for every diamond, including diamond grading reports issued by either the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) which are the two most reliable and recognized gemological laboratories in the United States.


So you can order the Leo Artisan One Carat Diamond Ring from Kay Jewelers for $6,999.00 and maybe the diamond weighs 0.95 carats or it might weigh as much as 1.11 carats, and the diamond clarity might be SI-1 or it might be SI-2 and it may or may not be “eye clean” and it will be either H-color or I-color, as determined by “Uh Somebody”who probably knows something about diamonds… or you can order a diamond from an established online vendor like Brian Gavin and be provided with all of the diamond grading details, including a diamond grading report issued by the American Gem Society Laboratory, a high resolution video and clarity photograph of the actual diamond, images of the diamond as seen through all of the reflector scopes used to grade diamonds for optical symmetry and diamond cut quality, and a whole lot more!

The One Carat Leo Diamond Artisan Ring from Kay Jewelers and the 1.008 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond are around the same price, leave me a comment below and let me know which diamond you would choose and why.

About the Author Todd Gray

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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