H&A Diamond Prices | Is the Premium Worth It?

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January 22

Stephen writes: I’m looking for a round brilliant ideal cut diamond preferably in the 2-carat range for around 23k. It will be set on an eternity band and was thinking about Brian Gavin’s signature but am open to something just as brilliant and nice if it’s a better value. I would prefer f/g color and it has to be eye-clean. Thanks in advance for your help.

I realized the moment that I read this email from Stephen that his desires in terms of characteristics were not aligned with his desired price range. This is quite common because the average diamond buying consumer does not have his finger on the pulse of the diamond market. Therefore he is not aware of the dramatic effects that slight differences in carat weight, color, or clarity grades can have upon diamond prices.

The reality is that we’re not going to find a two-carat round ideal cut diamond in the F/G color and SI-1 to VS-2 clarity range (the beginning spectrum of eye clean) for around $23,000.00 within the premium quality production of a diamond cutter like Brian Gavin. Likewise, we’re not going to find it within the Crafted by Infinity production either. That is because it can take up to 4X longer to polish an ideal cut diamond to exhibit the higher degree of optical precision necessary to produce a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows. In addition, more diamond rough is left on the cutting room floor during the manufacturing process for the same reasons.

So there are two ways I can approach this project. In the first place, I could simply tell him that it’s not possible to find what he’s looking for at that price. The second approach is to say “Houston we have a problem…” And then explore the options that are available for $23K without regard for the range of desired characteristics stated. Or we can review some diamonds within the range of characteristics stated and completely ignore the fact that they are going to be significantly more expensive than the desired price range. I vote that we take the second approach.

Why Are 1.50 Carat Diamonds More Expensive than 1.49 Carat Diamonds?

There is a substantial price increase which occurs between the 1.49 – 1.50 carat marks and between the 1.99 – 2.00 carat marks. That price increase affects the Price Per Carat (PPC). That is why the PPCt for this 1.743 carat, G color, VS-1 clarity Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond is going to be significantly less than this 2.043 carat, G color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond.

In other words, the 1.743 carat, G, VS-1 is selling for $26,841.00 which means that the Price Per Carat (PPC) is $15,399.31

The 2.043 carat, G, VS-1 is selling for $33,485.00 so the PPC is $16,390.11 and the only real difference between the two diamonds is that one weighs less than 2.00 carats. While the other weighs more than 2.00 carats or at least that’s how things appear at first glance.

The reality is that the difference in the PPC of the 1.743 carat diamond and the PPC of the 2.043 carat is a reflection of the amount of diamond rough left on the cutting room floor during the production process. The piece of diamond rough used to produce the 1.743 carat diamond probably weighed somewhere in the range of 3.60 – 4.20 carats. While the piece of diamond rough used to produce the 2.043 carat diamond probably weighed closer to 4.30 – 5.00 carats before it was cut down into the finished product.

And more diamond rough is essentially lost during the cutting process to produce a round brilliant super ideal cut diamond of the finished caliber of a Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond and those produced by Crafted by Infinity because of the attention to detail not only in terms of the proportions of the diamond but also because of the precise facet alignment that must be achieved in order to produce a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows.  Not only must the facets be consistent in terms of their size and shape per section, but they must be precisely aligned in all directions in order for the pattern to display properly.

How Does Diamond Cut Quality Affect Price?

It is much easier to focus on producing a round brilliant ideal cut diamond within a targeted range of proportions without the attention to facet shape and alignment. At the same time, it is less expensive in terms of production costs because less skill is required, and most of the cutting process can be performed by automated machinery.  In contrast, the cutting process required to produce a Hearts and Arrows quality diamond is a hands-on process requiring that each facet be carefully planned and placed step-by-step throughout the cutting process.

Interestingly enough, the PPC for the 2.043 carat, G color, VS-1 is actually a little less because the diamond exhibits strong blue fluorescence and therefore is priced several percentage points less than a comparable diamond without blue fluorescence would be.  This is not because blue fluorescence is a negative factor in terms of the actual beauty of the diamond, in fact I’m rather fond of the effect that blue fluorescence can have upon a diamond; but rather is the result of a long-standing discount applied to fluorescent diamonds which is reminiscent of a diamond investment pricing scheme from the last century.

So now you have a little bit of an understanding of what goes into the planning and production process of a round brilliant super ideal cut diamond behind the scenes and perhaps some perspective in terms of how diamonds are priced.  Let’s get back to the details of the  1.743 carat, G color, VS-1 clarity, Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond from Brian Gavin because it’s an excellent option despite the fact that it exceeds the desired price range by several thousand dollars.

The diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, so we know that the facet structure of the diamond is structured for maximum visual performance and that the diamond is going to exhibit the sparkle factor that we are looking for.  The diamond was graded by the AGS Laboratory and received the top grade of AGS Ideal 0 on their Platinum Light Performance grading platform and looks phenomenal when viewed through an ASET Scope, so we know that the diamond is exhibiting a high degree of light return.

This coincides with the fact that the diamond has proportions within the center spectrum of the range designated for the zero ideal cut proportions rating, so essentially the primary reflective surfaces of the diamond which act as mirrors to reflect light throughout the diamond have been properly aligned for maximum light return.

The inclusions are indicated as crystals and clouds which are simply tiny crystals which were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed and they are located off to the edge of the diamond as indicated within the kite-shaped bezel facets in the relative nine and ten o’clock positions of the upper plotting diagram.  Quite simply, it doesn’t get any better than this… this diamond is going to be crisp, white and full of light!

Two Carat Brian Gavin Signature Diamond Prices:

There is an absolutely stunning 2.008 carat, H color, SI-1 clarity, Hearts and Arrows Signature Diamond from Brian Gavin which is a little less money than the 1.743 carat and cut equally as nice… the essential trade-off is that you pick up a little bit of size, jump up and over that magical 2.00 carat mark, drop down one color grade from G to H, and drop down a couple of clarity grades, but everything is comparable in terms of the overall visual performance and sparkle factor of the diamonds because they are cut to the same specifications and level of precision.

The inclusions within the diamond are going to be easier to detect using magnification than those within the 1.743 carat, but hey we don’t live under magnification so I’m perfectly fine with that… her girlfriends are more apt to take notice of the jump up to two carats than they are of the subtle difference in clarity and color.

There is, of course, the very beautiful 2.043 carat, G color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond with strong blue fluorescence from the Brian Gavin Blue collection which was mentioned previously.  The presence of the strong blue fluorescence will have the effect of lifting the body color of the diamond just a bit when the diamond is subjected to ultraviolet light and will cause the diamond to glow a very pretty neon blue similar to the color of the active links on this web page when the diamond is subjected to black light.

I happen to be quite fond of blue fluorescent diamonds and practically all of the diamonds which I have personally owned throughout the years have exhibited medium to strong blue fluorescence.  But this puppy comes in at a whopping $33,485.00 which is a substantial increase of $10K more than the desired price range stated…

And honestly, if I were going to jump up that kind of money throughout the course of spending your money… I’d be kind of tempted to buy this 2.358 carat, H color, SI-1 clarity, Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond from Brian Gavin because the increase in carat weight is going to be more noticeable than the slight jump up in clarity and color.

The Best Brian Gavin Signature Diamond for the Money:

Now if we’re moving back down and approaching this project simply from the perspective of price and diamond cut quality, this 2.008 carat, I color, VS-1 clarity, Signature round brilliant ideal cut diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue collection is the closest option available to the desired price range of $23K because it comes in just a hint over $24K.  Like all of the other options discussed so far, it is graded by the AGS Laboratory with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal 0 on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform.

The proportions are in the center range of the spectrum designated for the zero ideal cut proportions rating and the inclusions are minimal.  The strong blue fluorescence will help offset the subtle warmth of the I color grade and will be beautiful when the diamond is exposed to black light.  I wore a 2.25 carat, I color, SI-1 clarity diamond with strong blue fluorescence in my wedding ring for many years, so I have no issue with the I color personally, but it really is all a matter of personal preference.

As you might imagine, I did poke around the inventory of Crafted by Infinity in hopes of finding some additional options for you to consider but did not find anything at this time.  I also reviewed the inventory holdings of James Allen True Hearts and did not find anything enticing within the stated parameters or even close.  This is an extremely challenging range of characteristics to find truly well-cut options in at the moment. However, I  hope that this information assists you with your diamond quest Stephen.

About the Author

Dive deep into the glittering world of diamonds with Todd Gray, the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC. Todd has 35+ years of experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant. He ghostwrites content for several online vendors and is an avid Freediver, currently exploring the Cenotes of Yucatan, Mexico. Dive into brilliance with Todd Gray!