It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not referring to Christmas and the anticipated onslaught of the 2015 holiday season. I’m talking about the media craze that surrounds the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which occurred last night and will be aired on Tuesday, December 8th on CBS television. It seems like practically everybody in the diamond business who I talk with is “Blah, blah, blah, have you seen it?” referring to the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra, which the company has used to excess since 1996. Make no mistake, as a red-blooded American male, I’m down with sexy lingerie. I just don’t see the point of wasting 685 man hours of labor to shove 6500+ precious gems into a “Fireworks bra” which nobody is really going to wear for more than a few minutes and which is probably even more uncomfortable than a regular bra (which I’ve never worn, I’m merely repeating what I’ve heard). I’m afraid that I’ve got to side with Faith Summers from High Performance Diamonds on this one. I love her article by the way: “Woman’s Bra Bursts. Eleven Injured.” Classic.
Instead of drooling all over a diamond studded bra that costs in excess of $2 million dollars, I propose that you buy “Your Angel” something she could really use, like a diamond halo setting. And then feel free to wrap things up with some lingerie from Victoria’s Secret that is actually functional, fun, and affordable. Let the Fireworks begin… Ahem. Speaking of Fireworks, how about this Empress Halo Setting from High Performance Diamonds? It’s pictured with a round brilliant cut diamond in the middle, which measures 8.5 millimeters in diameter. This 2.31 carat, G-color, SI-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity round hearts and arrows diamond would do nicely! In fact, it will make that (not a CBI diamond) set in that setting look pale in comparison! The combination of the ideal proportions, overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, and the higher degree of optical precision necessary to produce the hearts and arrows pattern will make practically make this diamond glow in the dark![separator]
Awhile back I was working with a client who was in love with a particular Brian Gavin Signature hearts and arrows diamond that I’d found for her, but all of the halo settings that they offered at the time had too much carat weight for her preferences. The ring is named after my client Anita, who ordered it custom made by Brian Gavin to fit her specifications, and thus the ring is named The Anita setting by Brian Gavin. One of the cool things about having a ring custom made by Brian Gavin, is that you get to name it. Imagine the “Fireworks” you will create when you present “Your Angel” with a custom designed engagement ring from Brian Gavin, which is named after her! Don’t worry, she’ll probably stop by Victoria’s Secret and buy some lingerie all on her own the very next day! In fact, you can host your own private Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show! Ring! Bling! Ring-a-ding-ding! Too far? Maybe. But you were thinking it.[separator]
Now where was I. Oh yea. My client Anita had originally set her sights on the French halo setting by Ritani, but she felt that it felt a bit light on her finger, and she wanted to customize it a bit. Notice the little hearts that are tucked under the diamond within the cagework that holds the center stone in-place. What? You don’t see any hearts? That’s because you’re supposed to click on the link to see the Anita halo setting by Brian Gavin, and then watch the 3D video file turn ’round and ’round.
The Round French Halo setting by Ritani is extremely popular with my clients. I’ve got a long list of people who have purchased this engagement ring from Ritani, and everybody has loved it. Although I have received several messages from people that indicate that the ring felt lighter on their finger than they expected a platinum ring to feel. Ritani clearly states that the ring weighs approximately 3.65 grams. How heavy is it really going to be? About the weight of three standard size paperclips… The weight of the ring drops down to about 2.1 grams if you select 18k white gold, but it also costs about five hundred dollars less. What’s the difference? Not much. Did you know that during World War II, non-military use of platinum was banned because it was determined to be a strategic war metal. So white gold was invented as a substitute. Both platinum and 18k white gold are great alloys for diamond engagement rings. Setting diamonds in platinum and white gold help make them look whiter![separator]
Since I just touched on the subject, let’s further discuss the effect of metal color on the appearance of a diamond. Generally speaking, the effect of the color of the metal that physically touches the edge of a diamond, such as the color of the prongs, bezel, or halo setting that holds the diamond in-place, will affect the color of the diamond by one color grade. Thus setting this 1.687 carat, I-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond in this 18k white gold Brian Gavin Signature halo setting, is likely to make it appear to be closer to H-color than I-color. Which is why many appraisers and graduate gemologists adjust the perceptible color of a diamond by one color grade when it is mounted, depending on the color of the metal that is in contact with the diamond. If you wanted the diamond to face-up a bit warmer, or wanted to accentuate the warmer properties of a faint yellow color diamond, then you might want to set it in an all yellow gold setting.[separator]
Another way to boost the apparent color of a diamond is to purchase one that has blue fluorescence, such as this 1.661 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which features medium blue fluorescence. The blue fluorescent molecules within the diamond will be activated when the diamond is exposed to light sources that contain higher amounts of ultra-violet light, such as direct sunlight. Which will then help serve to filter out some of the yellow undertones that are present in diamonds of all colors… Yes, that’s correct, even a D-color diamond exhibits a hint of “color” even though we actually grade diamonds for an absence of color, rather than the presence of color. Chew on that little fact for a bit.
This cushion outline halo setting by James Allen is designed to accommodate a round center stone. It is available in versions built to hold a round brilliant cut center stone ranging in weight anywhere from 0.30 to 3.00 carats. This 1.108 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond would do nicely if you’re looking for something around a carat. Of course you can use my preset selection criteria to Search James Allen for Ideal Cut Diamonds if you’re looking for options with different characteristics. This will save you the hassle of setting the parameters for total depth, table diameter, polish, symmetry, etc., and leave it so that all you have to do is adjust the sliders for price, carat weight, color, and clarity. And I am more than happy to look over the details for any diamonds that you might be considering, if you’d like to send me links via the submission form for my free Diamond Concierge Service. All I ask in return is that you use my affiliate links, and tell them that you heard about them on Nice Ice![separator]
Which brings up an interesting topic. Somebody was really surprised the other day when I responded to their inquiry advising them not to buy a diamond that they had their heart set on. Apparently they thought that I would simply “rubber stamp” the quality of the diamond as being good, because it was offered by one of the preferred vendors whom I work with. That is not how this works… They might pay the bills as far as the affiliate commissions go, but I believe that I work for you. So take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service, it exists to help you find the very best diamond within the range of price and desired characteristics that you have chosen to work with.
Several of my clients have ordered the Monique Lhuillier Twist Halo setting from Blue Nile and loved the ring. Naturally I helped them select the diamond to ensure that it met my selection criteria. About 50% of the time I’m able to provide additional details, like diamond clarity photographs, and a reflector scope image or two, which are not provided on the diamond details pages provided by Blue Nile. Here again, it pays to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you’re shopping for a diamond, online or offline, I’m happy to help whether you intend to purchase from one of my preferred vendors or not. Diamond Shopping Tiffany & Co? Great. Send me the specs and we’ll discuss both the good and the bad. The same goes for online vendors who are not featured on this web site. Which should be a clue if they happen to have an affiliate program, but if you want to do business with them anyway, I’m happy to help… You can lead a horse to water and all that.[separator]
Last but not least, there are quite a few Halo settings from Enchanted Diamonds that you’ll probably like and they also offer the option of having a ring custom designed. Several of my clients have purchased settings from Enchanted Diamonds, and several others have had custom rings made. The general consensus seems to be favorable. The ring pictured to the left is my favorite halo setting from Enchanted Diamonds, it is built for a round brilliant cut diamond. I prefer the design of this ring shank and how it transitions into the halo head configuration, as opposed to their petite scalloped halo setting, which seems a bit more rigid in design to me. Note that when I search Enchanted Diamonds for round diamonds, that I never consider anything with a cut score less than 100% and that not all of those are going to pass my selection criteria, so please send me links to any options that you might be considering so that I can weigh in on the details and help you select the best diamond.[separator]
Another reason why you’ll want to contact me before completing your purchase is because I might be able to save you a little bit of money on the setting, I’ve got:
Which will save you some money on the setting, the ring… Nobody has coupon codes for savings off of the diamond, nobody. But I will let you in on a little secret. There is a chance that you can save some money on the diamond if you Register Now with Brian Gavin as a client, because they usually send out special offers to clients at this time of year, and they quite often include a discount off of diamonds and jewelry, which beat any discount or coupon code that I’m going to be able to provide you with. The only thing that I ask in return is that you select my name “Todd Gray” from the drop down list of referrers when you register as a client with Brian Gavin. And if possible, remember to tell them that you’ve been working with Todd Gray of Nice Ice when you speak with them.Note that the vendors I choose to work with generally only accept one coupon or discount offer, so you won’t be able to stack up the discount and coupon codes, nor should you… We want these companies to remain profitable, so that they can stay in business to serve you.[separator]
Online dealers are not working with the same high mark-ups enjoyed by their traditional brick and mortar counterparts, they are competing globally for your business, not just hoping to capture the interest of their local markets.
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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