“Hi Todd, I just stumbled across your site while doing some diamond research! Your in-depth responses to questions are so informative and helpful! I thank you in advance if you help me with my diamond search. Your article on the 1.33 James Allen diamond is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been on the hunt for a diamond between 1.3 and 1.5 carats and you’re right, it’s not an easy find! This diamond looks perfect, but I would like recommendations on some other diamonds as well. There are just too many options and I feel like I’m drowning in all the information!! I feel like this James Allen one is literally PERFECT (except you said that the hearts and arrows were “decent”), but I’ve read so many good things about Brian Gavin diamonds.”
“Does finding a diamond from a certain company matter and should we just be looking at the specs? That is something I wouldn’t know how to compare, and where your expertise comes in. If you could give me some other options, my future husband and I would be eternally grateful! We’ve been looking for a couple months now! In stores (an epic fail (thank goodness!)), and now online. Our budget is around 13k to 15k and we are looking for a G color, SI1, Excellent or Ideal cut. It’s going into this: https://www.tacori.com/ht2623rd/ Also, I’ve also been reading your thoughts on Brian Gavin Blue. Would it be a better buy, in terms of price, to get one of those diamonds that’s the same quality? Thank you for reading this!!!”
Thank you for your inquiry and kind words regarding the content of Nice Ice in terms of being a wealth of diamond grading tutorials and information! It’s always nice to hear that my time spent blogging about diamonds and diamond grading information is appreciated!
I’m going to begin by addressing my comment about the Hearts pattern within the James Allen True Hearts Diamond weighing 1.33 carats, F color, VS-1 clarity being “decent” because I feel that it is important to recognize the fact that I have a tendency to take the diamond selection process to the extreme. As a professional diamond buyer, it is my job to look past the obvious factors such as diamond clarity, diamond color, diamond carat weight and diamond cut quality (polish, symmetry, proportions) and delve into the realm of optical performance and sparkle factor… while the proportions of the diamond are going to control the majority of light return in terms of volume, the optical symmetry of the diamond is going to dictate the visual performance of the diamond in terms of the sparkle factor.
The most convenient way for consumers to determine the potential for a diamond to exhibit maximum sparkle factor is whether the diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows or whether any sort of pattern is visible at all. Japanese gemological laboratories such as Consumer Gem Lab and Zenhokyo take optical symmetry into account when grading diamonds, however gemological laboratories such as the GIA and AGS do not at this time.
Now if you look closely at the tips of the hearts in the Hearts Image which is provided by James Allen on the diamond details page for the 1.33 carat, F color, VS-1 clarity diamond, you will see that there is very slight bending of the tips and that there is a very slight variation in the size and shape of the hearts… very slight, as in the diamond exhibits a very high B+ grade quality pattern in my opinion which is considerably better than the majority of ideal cut diamonds currently available. So it’s an excellent option and I’m confident that the diamond is quite lively and full of sparkle… however in the magnified world of diamond grading where minor variances in such things as the consistency and crispness of hearts and arrows patterns within diamonds matters, I have to say that the pattern is “decent” since some minor variances are visible in the photograph. I hope that this makes sense…
Now you asked about diamonds from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection and I certainly feel that these diamonds which are hand selected by Brian Gavin for maximum visual performance and the presence of blue fluorescence are some of my favorite options because they reflect the discounted market price for blue fluorescent diamonds while delivering the visual performance that I’ve come to expect from the diamonds featured in the Brian Gavin Signature Collection of Hearts & Arrows diamonds.
Whether to select a diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection or a Hearts & Arrows diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection can be a bit confusing at first glance for diamond buyers who are conscious of diamond cut quality and optical symmetry because the focus is different in terms of marketing for the two different product lines… Brian Gavin’s Signature Collection focuses on the presence of a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows and the Brian Gavin Blue Collection focuses on the presence of blue fluorescence within the diamonds… the important thing to realize is that all of the diamonds from either collection are produced on the same production line and thus reflect similar features in terms of optical symmetry and sparkle factor.
The reason why diamonds from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection tend to be less expensive than comparable diamonds without fluorescence from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds is because diamonds with blue fluorescence reflect a discounted price throughout the industry which actually goes back several decades and has nothing to do with diamond cut quality. So do I think that you should consider diamonds from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection while shopping for diamonds? Definitely.
Unfortunately, Brian Gavin doesn’t have anything currently available within the range of carat weight, color, clarity and price that you are looking for in either collection. The closest option currently available is this 1.380 carat, F color, VS-1 clarity diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection and it weighs in at $18,375.00 in terms of price which exceeds your desired price range considerably. Although the scope images haven’t been posted on the website yet, I know that it is in the midst of being processed and that it does exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows. Obviously, the price would be less if it were a G color, SI-1 clarity diamond like you’ve stated that you’re searching for.
Now I’m sure that you realize that you’re not going to find much in the way of options weighing more than 1.50 carats and although you indicated that the lower threshold for your search was 1.30 carats, I wanted to mention two options which caught my eye just short of the 1.30 carat mark…
This 1.267 carat, G color, SI-1 clarity Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond from Brian Gavin has all the sparkle factor and sizzle that you’ve come to expect from Brian Gavin’s production and is selling for $11,079.00 which is a savings that will come in quite handy when purchasing that beautiful ring from Tacori which you referenced. The diamond is graded by the AGS Laboratory on their proprietary light performance grading platform with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal 0 and exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows. The offset of crown and pavilion angle is well within my preferred range and the inclusions are minimal.
There is also a 1.274 carat, G color, VS-2 clarity diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection which is cut to the same standards and selling for $12,637.00 if you prefer a slightly higher clarity. The visual difference in terms of outside diameter between the 1.267 carat diamond and this 1.274 carat diamond and something in the range of 1.30 carats is so minimal that most people would be hard-pressed to make the distinction unless the diamonds were literally sitting right beside each other…
Needless to say, I poked around James Allen to see if they had any other options which piqued my interest however they didn’t have any today… but I feel that these are a great start and hope that this insight is helpful to you. Feel free to leave a comment below or use the contact form if you have additional thoughts or questions.
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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