De Beers Forevermark Diamonds are ideal cut and represent 1% of the annual production of rounds; varying degrees of proportions produce performance differences.
Advertisements describe them as "The World's Most Carefully Selected Diamonds." According to the description provided by Forevermark, they are scarce:
"Less than one percent of the world's diamonds are eligible to be inscribed as Forevermark, making them truly rare… Each one must be at least 0.14 carats in size; with SI2 clarity or above; a Very Good cut or higher; and L-color or higher."
I have to admit that I'm not sure what makes a Forevermark diamond rare. There is nothing special or unique about very good cut diamonds from our perspective. Diamonds with GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal-0 ratings are readily available with an overall cut grade.
The fact is that there are lots of L-color, SI2 clarity diamonds available with a cut grade of only Very Good. None of those diamonds will meet the selection criteria in the One Minute Diamond Buying Guide. It suggests a minimum overall cut grade of GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal Cut.
Forevermark Very Good vs. Excellent:
The difference between Very Good and Excellent is something that I can help you figure out in 15 seconds. In that case, I’m thinking that the Forevermark Diamond brand should up their game.
After all, DeBeers has been in the diamond business a whole lot longer than I have been. DeBeers has been around since the 1880s and I’ve only been buying diamonds professionally for the past 30 years.
This is not to say that there aren’t Forevermark diamonds that meet our selection criteria. Only that you’re going to have to be selective about the options that you’re willing to consider.
I recommend that you not blindly accept the marketing hype that suggests that a Forevermark diamond. In other words, I don't think a diamond is going to be spectacular simply because the brand is Forevermark.
As with every diamond that I evaluate, I recommend that you look beyond the brand name. Take the time to consider the nitty-gritty details of diamond cut quality and judge the degree of light performance.
How to Select the Best Forevermark Diamond:
I recommend that you only consider the Forevermark Diamonds that have a cut grade of GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal-0. In addition, I would only consider round diamonds with the following proportions:
To be clear, the advertising executives in charge of writing compelling copy for the Forevermark Diamonds marketing campaign didn’t say that Forevermark Diamonds are selected from the "Top 1% of Diamonds.”
Nor did they disclose the proportions criteria for their Signature Brand of Diamond. They simply said, "Less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to be inscribed as Forevermark.”
That's "eligible to be inscribed as Forevermark” in case you missed it the first time. If I had to guess, I imagine that the eligibility "to be inscribed as a Forevermark diamond” has more to do with the type of diamond crystal used to produce Forevermark diamonds and the location of the inclusions within the diamond.
The inclusions might be a factor because they might interfere with the appearance of the Forevermark logo which is inscribed in the middle of the table facet of the diamond than it actually has to do with the cut quality of the diamond, but it’s just an educated guess.
Forevermark Diamonds vs Blue Nile Signature:
To be perfectly blunt, the selection criteria for the Blue Nile Signature Round appears to be more precise than the selection criteria for Forevermark Diamonds.
At least Blue Nile indicates that the standards for their Signature Round Diamonds require a total depth between 60.1 – 61.9% and a table diameter between 55.0 – 57.0% with a polish and symmetry rating of Ideal and a grading report issued by the AGSL or GIA.
Although if the diamond were graded by the GIA the highest rating for polish and symmetry would be Excellent because the GIA doesn’t have an ideal cut rating. Note that Blue Nile does not provide any indication as to what the requirements are for crown or pavilion angle.
Are Forevermark Diamonds Expensive?
Without a doubt, you’ve got to love the advertising campaign that promotes the De Beers Forevermark brand. First, it's romantic and creates a great impression. It even makes me want to buy a Forevermark Diamond and set it in some sort of halo setting for the woman who is the center of my universe! Now that’s brilliant advertising!
Of course, if I were to purchase a Forevermark diamond, it would have to meet my selection criteria for proportions as indicated above and have an overall cut grade of either GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal-0.
However, the truth is that I’m probably too cheap to buy a Forevermark Diamond. After all, they are only available from authorized retailers like Ben Bridge Jewelers. In that case, it's not likely that I'll find any Forevermark Diamond discounts online.
Forevermark Diamond Prices:
The prices of Forevermark Diamonds seem to be straight up, full-blown, traditional retail. And the details pertaining to diamond cut quality appear to be extremely vague for the Forevermark Diamonds that I found online, perhaps to prevent people from comparing prices and shopping Forevermark authorized jewelers in hopes of finding the best deal.
For instance, I found this collection of Signature Forevermark Diamond Rings on the web site of Ben Bridge Jewelers. When I click on the links to view the details of the Forevermark diamonds featured within each ring style pictured, the only characteristic of the 4C’s provided is the carat weight of the diamonds stated in vague categories such as "one carat” and "half carat” which by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards can range several points one way or the other.
This means that the "one-carat Forevermark diamond” that you purchase could weigh anywhere between 0.98 – 1.02 carats, and there is a pretty substantial price increase that occurs between the 0.99 – 1.00 carat marks. Therefore I prefer to know the exact weight of the diamond that I’m purchasing, not buy blindly on a range of carat weight. Please and thank you very much for nothing… And there is no mention of color, clarity, or cut quality? What The Frak?!?!
It's All In the Details:
This Signature Forevermark Diamond Solitaire Ring is described by Ben Bridge Jewelers as being "one carat, in 18K white gold” for $10,999.00
Based upon the selection criteria stated by Forevermark Diamonds, I suppose that we can safely assume that the clarity of the diamond will be SI-2 or better, L-color or better, and that the cut quality will be Very Good or better.
For eleven thousand dollars, I certainly hope that it will be better! But one has to wonder who would actually buy a one-carat Forevermark diamond set in a ring for $11k without knowing more about it. I can’t believe anybody would buy a ring blindly like that. It’s like buying a car without knowing what engine is under the hood!
I think you can do better than Forevermark:
Because I could buy this 1.160 carat, L-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamond for less than five grand. Set it in this 18k white gold cathedral from Brian Gavin for another $1,250.00 and sleep well at night knowing that I purchased a true ideal cut diamond with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0.
Sure it might not feature a hologram-like inscription of the Forevermark Logo and a registry number in the middle of the table facet, but it is inscribed on the girdle edge with Brian Gavin’s logo and the lab report number.
Personally I’d rather have the superior light return and sparkle factor of a Brian Gavin Signature Diamond and the extra cash in my pocket!
Of course if my diamond buying budget actually went up to $11k, the odds are that I still wouldn’t purchase a one carat Signature Forevermark Diamond Solitaire ring from Ben Bridge Jewelers or anybody else.
Especially without knowing the clarity, color, fluorescence level, polish grade, symmetry grade, proportions grade, and without seeing images of the diamond through the various reflector scopes necessary to judge the optical precision of the diamond. The proportions of the diamond dictate the volume of light return, the optical precision of the diamond dictates the sparkle factor.
Would I Buy a Forevermark Diamond?
I’d be more inclined to purchase something a little higher in color, such as this 1.210 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows. And I’d still have money left over to buy the setting!
I would absolutely love the opportunity to examine a handful of Forevermark Diamonds in my gemological laboratory, and compare them with diamonds from the Brian Gavin Signature collection for consistency of diamond cut quality, optical symmetry, and proportions… the odds are that a few of them might be comparable since the stated cut quality for Forevermark Diamonds is very good and higher.
However, I’m guessing that those options are few and far between. It is doubtful that very Forevermark Diamonds are going to exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows by the Japanese grading standards set forth by the CGL and Zenhokyo gemological laboratories of Japan, with an overall cut grade of very good.
But I know for a fact that the diamonds from BGD and CBI will exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows because they are specifically cut to exhibit a higher standard of optical precision. Thus I’m personally inclined to go with the production offered by those two companies in lieu of accepting what appear to be extremely high priced diamonds being sold with little to no actual diamond grading detail being provided on the consumer level.
Forevermark is a registered trademark of De Beers… the images provided of Forevermark Diamond Rings featured on this web site were captured from the web site of Ben Bridge Jewelers on 01/12/2014 and full screen shots of the page are available upon request.