“I found your site while searching for reviews of the French Set Halo by Ritani. I really appreciate the diamond buying advice you provide. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this 1.041 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Ritani Reserve diamond. According to the diamond buying cheat sheet that I got from you, the pavilion angle is off by 0.3 degrees. I’m wondering whether that is reason for concern, or if it’s within tolerance.”
“I’m also wondering how the French Halo by Ritani compares with the Anita Halo setting by Brian Gavin. I was actually leaning towards the Anita setting first, but then a co-worker suggested Ritani to me. The ring styles look pretty similar, but I’m wondering what the differences might be. Based upon some of the articles I’ve read on your site, I get the impression that you’re partial to Brian Gavin Signature diamonds. How do those compare with Ritani Reserve ideals? Are they the same thing?”
“By the way, I’m searching for round diamonds weighing between 0.90 – 1.10 carats. My preference is that the diamond be completely eye clean and face-up nice and bright. I’m not exactly sure how that translates in terms of the combination of clarity and color grades. But I’d like to spend no more than $8,000 on the diamond, maybe a little bit more if really necessary. Thank you for your time.” — David R.
The French Set Halo by Ritani is certainly a beautiful ring, which is quite popular with my readers. Several of my clients have purchased this setting and all of them have told me the same thing. They love the ring, it’s stunning and beautiful, but it feels a little light. Certainly lighter than they seem to think a platinum ring is going to feel on their finger.
And yet, only one of those clients returned the French Set Halo to Ritani. She’s actually the client who inspired the Anita Halo setting by Brian Gavin. The ring design is named after Anita, because the ring reflects her style and preferences. Right down to the little heart that you’ll see peeking out from underneath the center stone. Which is a 1.68 carat, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that I helped her select. But let’s get back to the French Set Halo by Ritani for a minute.
The French Set Halo by Ritani is part of the Bella Vita collection. In Italian, the words Bella Vita loosely translates as being a beautiful and uncomplicated life. That description seems appropriate for a setting as light and beautiful as the French Set Halo by Ritani.
The setting boasts an accent diamond weight of about 0.23 carats. The diamonds are VS-2 clarity and H-color, which is identical to the Ritani Reserve diamond you are considering. In my experience, VS-2 clarity diamonds face-up eye clean and H-color diamonds face-up nice and white.
As you can see, this Ritani Reserve diamond has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0. It was graded on the AGS Laboratories Platinum Light Performance grading platform. Which incorporates Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to grade diamonds for light performance. That all sounds well and good, right?
But the reality is that the AGS Ideal-0 cut grade encompasses a broad range of parameters. Because it represents a range of proportions and optical precision. Based upon what I’m seeing in the ASET Scope image, this diamond lies at the low end of the spectrum.
We don’t even need to know the proportions of the diamond to know that it doesn’t compare with Brian Gavin. One glance at the erratic pattern of light return reflected in the ASET Scope image is all it takes. Look at how much green is interrupting the distribution of red under the table facet and outer edge of the diamond. The article what the different colors of ASET mean explains this further.
This Ritani Reserve diamond has a pavilion angle of 41.2 degrees, which is only 0.3 degrees beyond my preferred range. Unfortunately this seemingly slight variance makes all the difference in the world. Especially when combined with a pavilion depth of 43.6% which is also on the steep side.
A shallower combination of pavilion angle and depth is likely to produce a higher volume of light return. Which is why I look for options with a pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees. That range is commonly known as “the sweet spot” because it produces the highest volume of light return. While the crown angle of 34.6 degrees is within my preferred range, the crown height is a little shallow. I’d prefer to see it up in the range of 14.5 – 15% for this crown angle. That tends to produce better brilliance & dispersion.
People often ask me to explain diamond brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. The fact of the matter is that these terms can be confusing. Especially since a people in the diamond industry throw them about all willy-nilly without explaining them. I’m going to define the three components of sparkle factor in plain, simple English:
It is important to recognize that the AGS Ideal-0 cut grade encompasses a range or spectrum of possibility. There are many different combinations of crown and pavilion angle within the ideal cut range. Proportions at each end of the spectrum are capable of producing exceptional light return.
I prefer diamonds that exhibit a volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. Thus, I tend to adhere to the middle of the spectrum when shopping for diamonds. However you might prefer a different look in an ideal cut diamond. In which case, this Ritani Reserve diamond might be just what you’re looking for. Consider taking advantage of Ritani’s in-store preview program and see it alongside the French Set Halo setting. However tighter proportions will produce even better light performance.
If you think that your preferences might be similar to mine, then adhere to these proportions:
The pavilion angle of 40.6 – 40.9 degrees is going to produce the highest volume of light return. While a crown angle between 34.3 – 35.0 degrees produces a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.
Round diamonds with lower girdle facets in the range of 75 – 78% produce larger sparkle that is bolder, brighter and more vivid. While lower girdle facets around 80 – 82% tend to produce pin-fire type sparkle, which is smaller in size. You should also carefully evaluate diamonds to determine the degree of contrast brilliance and obstruction. The reflector scope images necessary to make this determination are provided for all Brian Gavin Signature diamonds.
Both the Anita Setting by Brian Gavin & the French Set Halo by Ritani are beautiful rings in their own right. The craftsmanship of both designers is top notch, and both rings offer great value. However I dare to say that the Anita Halo setting by Brian Gavin is more to my liking.
It’s made more to Anita’s liking as well, because it was designed to her exact specifications. The ring creates more presence on your finger, because it feels heavier. It also features a higher carat weight of accent diamonds: 0.53 carats versus 0.23 carats total weight. In addition, the diamonds are of a higher quality. Brian Gavin uses accent diamonds cut to the same standard of larger BGD Signature diamonds. This means that they offer the same high volume of light return and incredible sparkle factor.
The first thing we took into consideration with the Ritani Reserve Diamond was the ASET image. Thus we’re going to do the same thing for this Brian Gavin Signature round diamond. Notice how much more red is visible under the table facet and along the edge. The higher concentration of red indicates that this diamond will be even brighter.
Notice how the pattern of light reflecting throughout the diamond is more even. The pattern of green color reflecting throughout the diamond is also more even. Not surprisingly, the proportions of this super ideal cut diamond are within my preferred range. It’s also cut to a higher degree of optical precision, which means brighter and more intense sparkle. Which is why I choose this 1.01 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond over the Ritani. It’s going to look amazing in the Anita Halo setting!
Thank you for taking advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service. I look forward to seeing pictures of your halo engagement ring! Be sure to post them on Facebook and Instagram and tag me @NiceIceDiamonds if you get the chance!
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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