While looking for a diamond on behalf of a client, I ran across this puppy which is a little bigger than what he’s looking for, but which is a great option and thus I feel compelled to share it. It is a James Allen True Hearts Diamond weighing 1.225 carats, G-color and VS-2 clarity with an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal-0 with negligible fluorescence. According to the AGS Laboratory the diamond measures 6.88 – 6.92 x 4.26 mm with a total depth of 61.7% and a table diameter of 53.9% with a crown angle of 34.4 degrees offset by a pavilion angle of 40.9 degrees with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and a pointed culet. This is my kind of diamond!
This diamond has proportions which are right in the middle of the spectrum allocated by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) for the zero ideal cut proportions rating, so the light return is going to be spectacular. Only a very small percentage of all the round brilliant cut diamonds produced in the average year are cut well enough to receive an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform and only about 0.001% of those will exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows like this one does! The precise optical symmetry of diamonds like this deliver maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation![separator]
One of the things which I love about this diamond, besides the overall diamond cut quality, is the combination of carat weight, color and clarity… There is a substantial price increase which occurs between the 0.99 – 1.00 carat marks, so I figure if you’re going to pay to “break the mark” then you might as well make it pay off by jumping up to something in the 1.20 – 1.49 carat range. Unfortunately there are very few well cut diamonds to be found these days in this weight category, because most diamond cutters are focusing more on the retention of carat weight, than beauty.
And I feel like the combination of G-color and VS-2 clarity is a perfect balance of color and clarity, not only in terms of what you see with your eyes, but also in terms of fiscal balance as it relates to the structure of diamond pricing. While many people tend to gravitate towards diamonds in the D-F “colorless” range, the reality is that very few people are able to detect any real difference between F-color and G-color diamonds under normal lighting circumstances and even then, only with a great deal of coaching.
Obviously people want to buy the best looking diamond for their money, but they don’t want to pay a lot for something which they’re not going to see… And this is why a lot of people buy SI-1 clarity diamonds, which represent the beginning of where diamonds are likely to appear “eye clean” to the average observer. However there are a lot of SI-1 clarity diamonds which are not unclean and this is why I prefer the VS-2 clarity grade which is almost always “eye clean” to the average observer… I say “almost” because my brother who has 17/20 “eagle vision” is able to see the inclusions within most VS-2 clarity diamonds with just his eyes, but come on, how many people have 17/20 vision? My eyes are corrected to 20/20 and I’m not able to see inclusions within most VS-2 clarity diamonds and I feel this is a good middle ground in terms of clarity for you to consider… the reality being that higher levels of clarity, such as VS-1 and the VVS-1 and VVS-2 clarity grades will not look any different to your eyes, and the inclusions will only be more visible when higher levels of magnification are used… So why pay for something which you’re not going to see?
Speaking of clarity characteristics, this 1.225 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, True Heart Diamond from James Allen has a few diamond crystals, small feathers, clouds of pinpoint size diamond crystals and needle shaped diamond crystals within it, those are the basis for the VS-2 clarity grade. I’ve looked over the characteristics indicated on the plotting diagram of the lab report and they all look benign.
If I look closely at the rotating image of the diamond which is provided on the diamond details page, I can detect a few of the inclusions, but they all look pretty slight… and keep in mind that James Allen has blown the diamond up to the relative size of a tennis ball in order to give you a good idea of what to expect when you look at the diamond through a 10x diamond grading loupe. In real life, the diamond has an average diameter of 6.90 mm which is just a little larger than the diameter of the eraser on a standard #2 pencil, which actually measures 6.50 mm in diameter in most cases.
Obviously this may or may not be the diamond which you are looking for, but it serves as an example of what I would recommend to you if you came to me and said that you were looking for a diamond in this weight category and range of clarity and color. The reality is that I sifted through about ten diamonds on the James Allen Diamonds web site, eliminating the available options for various reasons, to find this one which caught my eye. Assuming that you’re not a diamond buying expert, and that you don’t want to spend your time sifting through pages and pages of diamond details, in hopes of finding the diamond of your dreams, why not drop me a note letting me know what you’re searching for?
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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