A recent study not conducted by any university or well known authority has concluded that the majority of online diamond buyers suffer from cognitive paralysis brought on by diamond information overload. Symptoms reported by their soon-to-be-hopeful-fiance’s include the lack of ability to focus on things like work, sex, problem solving and decision making. The solution is learning how to select the perfect diamond without worrying about perfection, but this might seem easier said than done.
You’ve waited your whole life to find the perfect woman and once she found you, she made you fall madly in love with her… that was the easy part. Now you find yourself in the midst of some endless quest to find her the perfect diamond and buy her the perfect engagement ring. In an effort to conduct your due diligence and ensure that you find the absolute best and perfect diamond, you’ve turned the magical, mythical concept of her engagement ring into a quest for the Holy Grail and while you might not be quite aware of it, she might be just about over the whole thing.
Trust me, I’m a relationship coach trained in Strategic Intervention under the guidance of Tony Robbins (yes, that Tony Robbins) and I have had the immense privilege of having discussed the “whole process of getting engaged” with quite a few women who pay me to help them understand your shortcomings within the realm of your relationship.
Not surprisingly, as a general rule, their concept of the perfect diamond and engagement ring is a lot different than what most men think! I blame it all on that whole Mars / Venus thing, but the simple reality is that there are vast differences between what a man and a woman tend to think defines the perfect diamond. Note that her idea of what the perfect engagement ring is subject to change with the color of her hair, nails and attire, but the diamond itself remains pretty constant, so let’s just focus on that…
On the off chance that you happen to have a zillion, million dollars at your disposal to buy the perfect diamond, let’s be perfectly clear… it is D-color with negligible fluorescence, Flawless in Clarity, exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows, has an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal 0 or GIA Excellent and exhibits vast amounts of red with just a hint of green when viewed through an ASET Scope and shows very little white when viewed through an Ideal Scope. The perfect diamond also weighs whatever she wants it to regardless of cost, and it will set low on her finger regardless of size. In short, it doesn’t exist, so let’s…
One of the great mysterious in life (which is key to your success) is understanding that everything becomes easier the more you do it… Think about it. The more you do something, the easier it becomes, and the easier it becomes, the more you are likely to do it. I’m sure that this is a concept which is quite easy for you to grasp, because the more you think about it, the more you will begin to agree that this is true… So the more you read about diamonds, the easier it will become for you to understand all of the subtle nuances of diamond grading and the diamond selection process. The more you look at diamonds, the easier it will become for you to see which diamonds exhibit the highest degree of visual performance and which diamonds do not… However do you really want to become an expert in the field of diamond grading? After all, how many diamonds do you really intend to buy in your lifetime?
I’m guessing that the answer about how many diamonds you intend to buy in your lifetime differs greatly between the sexes, there is that Mars / Venus thing again… but for the moment, let’s focus on finding that one perfect diamond so that you can drop down on one knee and present it perfectly before she lops off your head, err, the one on your shoulders… I’m referring to the head on your shoulders, but I imagine that all things are possible if you don’t get off your butt and just buy her the ring!
From my perspective the perfect diamond is the one which sparkles the most and will bring the most pleasure to the person who is wearing it because she is able to see it as a symbol of your love (which is far from perfect) and thus the diamond does not need to be perfect either… it should however be as perfectly cut as possible because of all the 4C’s of Diamond Grading the most important factor is the diamond cut quality because this is what controls the sparkle factor of a diamond.
The perfect diamond is not actually cut perfectly because it is technically impossible, but it’s pretty darn close… there will always be minor variations in the facet-to-facet measurements and alignment, but there are varying degrees of perfection and you can select a diamond which is virtually perfect by simply restricting your search to diamond cutters and online diamond vendors who specialize in diamonds which exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows.
You can spend a lot of time trying to memorize specific offsets for crown and pavilion angle, worrying about the range of total depth and table diameter, or you can simply look to see whether the diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows like the one pictured to the left which was photographed by Brian Gavin Diamonds.[separator]
Quite simply, round brilliant ideal cut diamonds which exhibit this pattern of hearts and arrows and graded with an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal-0, produce a higher number of virtual facets and larger flashes of light which are in-turn interpreted by our eyes as sparkle. Ideal cut diamonds which are not cut to this superior level of diamond cut precision, exhibit a lesser degree of light return, smaller flashes of light and a lower amount of sparkle.
So finding the perfect diamond is as easy as looking for Hearts & Arrows and an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal 0, at least when it comes to selecting a diamond with the highest amount of visual performance and sparkle factor. Other factors such as diamond clarity and diamond color might seem more complicated, but they really aren’t…
Next to diamond cut quality which dictates the amount of light return and visual performance that a diamond will exhibit, diamond color is the next most noticeable factor that people are able to see. While it might be tempting to restrict your search to diamonds with are “colorless” in the D-E-F color range, the fact is that they can be cost prohibitive and will reduce the carat weight which you are able to afford. For this reason many people prefer diamonds which are in the near-colorless range of G-H-I-J which generally face up as “white” with just a hint of color beginning to become apparent as you cross over into J-color. According to the course material for the GIA Gemology course, the average diamond sold in America is N-color, so it’s clear that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and you have lots of room in terms of what color you decide your perfect diamond should be.
If you want the diamond to be “eye clean” in terms of visible inclusions, then set the lowest search parameter for clarity to SI-1 or VS-2 and then ask the vendor to look at the diamond in a variety of lighting scenarios to determine the extent to which the diamond is “eye clean”. The majority of SI-1 clarity diamonds will be “eye clean” under normal lighting situations unless they are being scrutinized closely and many are “eye clean” even then, but it varies from diamond to diamond because we’re dealing with natural crystal structures which contain minor impurities. If you absolutely can’t handle the possibility that you might be able to see an inclusion with just your eyes, start your search at a clarity of VS-2.
Quite simply there is no right and wrong when it comes to selecting carat weight, there is simply what you can afford within the range of quality that you have created with your expectations. If you’ve decided that your perfect diamond needs to be D-color, then factors such as carat weight and clarity will be affected. Likewise, if you need the perfect diamond to be Flawless, Internally Flawless or VVS-1 in clarity, this is also going to affect the carat weight of diamond which you can afford. Personally I tend to focus on diamond cut quality and visual performance above all else because I find that people are able to judge the sparkle of a diamond from across the room, but they are less likely to be able to judge carat weight, color or clarity without being right on top of the diamond.
Diamond vendors such as Brian Gavin, High Performance Diamonds and James Allen all offer extensive selections of Hearts and Arrows Diamonds which have been produced to exacting standards and hand selected for maximum visual performance. And of course I’m happy to help you find the perfect diamond if you drop me a note and provide me with some idea of what you’re looking for… I’ll put my diamond expertise and 25+ years of experience as a professional diamond buyer for the industry to work on your behalf so that you can focus on whatever you do best and get on with your life. I am also happy to help you look over the details of any diamond which you’ve found online from another vendor, all you have to do is provide me with a link to the diamond details page… maybe I’ll even write a blog on it so that others may learn from the experience.
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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