Patricia from Canada writes: “I have up to $195,000 and I would like your opinion of what you would suggest to be the diamond you would choose if it was you choosing a stone for myself. I have been many weeks reading and researching the various options; now I just need to find the right one that meets budget along with the best of the c’s. I am getting buried in the process of finding the right stone and need your help in narrowing it down.” Note: this comment was originally posted in response to my article Perception of Carat Weight.
Thank you for your inquiry Patricia, in order to serve you best I would like to know your preference for diamond clarity, diamond color and diamond carat weight, the three factors of the 4C’s of Diamond Grading which I feel are truly a matter of personal preference. Since the majority of diamond grading tutorials and diamond grading information provided here on Nice Ice focus on diamond cut quality and diamond visual performance, it should be assumed that I’m always going to focus intently on optical precision, visual performance and cut quality when purchasing a diamond for myself as you’ve suggested.
Assuming for the moment that this diamond grading quest is all about me and I were in the process of selecting a round brilliant cut diamond for myself, the first thing which I would focus on is diamond cut quality. To begin with, I would limit my search criteria to diamonds which have been graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) with an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal 0 on the AGS Platinum Light Performance grading platform because it is the only diamond grading system which takes the light performance of the diamond into account at this time. I would only consider diamonds which received the top tier grade of AGS Ideal 0 for Polish, Symmetry, Proportions and Light Return.
Since there are very few super ideal cut diamonds being produced in higher carat weights at the moment, I would also consider diamonds which were graded by the GIA Laboratory with an overall cut rating of GIA Excellent. However I would insist that the seller provide me with ASET and Ideal Scope images so that I would be able to judge the degree of light performance for myself and evaluate the diamond for light leakage to determine whether it is a significant amount or something which is well within the norm for super ideal cut diamonds.
I would limit the parameters of my search to diamonds with proportions within the following range of measurements:
Total depth between 59 – 61.8%
Table diameter between 53 – 57.5%
Crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees
Pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees
Girdle: thin to medium, faceted or polished
Culet: AGS pointed or GIA none (same thing)
Since I’m more interested in the visual performance of a diamond than I am the carat weight, I would further limit my search to super ideal cut diamonds which exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows because of the superior sparkle factor provided by diamonds of this cut quality. Thus it is most likely that I would be considering diamonds from either the Brian Gavin Signature Collection of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds or the production of Crafted by Infinity.
While there are several other diamond cutters who produce round brilliant cut diamonds which exhibit variations of patterns of hearts and arrows, I feel that this is most often a side effect of the facet design of a round brilliant cut diamond and not necessarily an intention of diamond design and the diamond manufacturing process. The hearts pattern which can be seen within round brilliant cut diamonds is a result of the kite shaped bezel facet located within the crown facets (top half of the diamond) being skewed to look like hearts by the combination of the crown and pavilion angle surfaces.
The arrows pattern visible within round brilliant cut diamonds is a result of the eight pavilion main facets located within the pavilion (lower half) of the diamond being skewed to look like an eight pointed star. Since the facet design of all round brilliant cut diamonds consist of eight kite shaped bezel main and eight pavilion main facets, there is always the potential for the diamond to exhibit some sort of pattern of hearts and arrows, however fewer than 1/10th of 1% of all the round brilliant cut diamonds produced in the average year will be specifically cut to exhibit and crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows suitable to be properly represented as a “Hearts & Arrows Diamond”.
With this in mind, I looked through the diamond holdings of Brian Gavin and Crafted by Infinity and didn’t find anything of interest within the color range of D to I color and a clarity range of SI-1 to VS-1 which would be the range of diamond color and clarity that falls within my personal preference… So I gave Brian Gavin a call and inquired as to what he had “coming off the wheel” so-to-speak and discovered that he has a four carat diamond in production which is expected to have a clarity grade of VS-1 and a color grade of G with an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal 0 which should be selling for around $190,000.00 give or take a nickel… so this is one viable option if you’re like me and prefer diamonds which face up bright, white and eye clean with minimal inclusions to be seen while viewing the diamond through 10x and higher magnification.
Now other options might be available Patricia, but I’d need to have a better idea of your preferences for diamond carat weight, diamond color and diamond clarity in order to be more effective in my diamond search. If you’d like more in-depth assistance, please provide additional details via the comment form below or send me an email.
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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