“My girlfriend really likes the design of the Ritani Modern Bypass diamond engagement ring in 18k rose gold, but we’ve read mixed reviews about the ring, and their diamonds. We’re wondering whether you’ve had any experience with this setting, and what your opinion is of this Ritani diamond which seems pretty close to the specs of a 60/60 ideal cut diamond; it scored 1.6 Excellent TIC on the Holloway Cut Adviser, which is a bit confusing to me since it only gave it Very Good for Fire and Scintillation. We were originally looking at Brian Gavin, but they don’t have a setting similar to this, and we’re a bit concerned about ordering a custom engagement ring sight unseen.”
As a matter of fact, several of my clients have ordered the Ritani modern bypass diamond engagement ring and absolutely love it! However quite a few of them have also told me that they love the design of the ring, but that it feels a bit lighter than they expected, and that the diamonds seem a bit smaller than they thought they would be… but this doesn’t surprise me, because I have almost 30 years of experience buying diamonds and jewelry, so I have a concept of what it means when a ring weighs 2.05 grams, and I know what to expect when I see all of those tiny diamonds set in the band of the ring, and Ritani states that the combined total diamond weight is only 0.19 carats.
Those little diamonds really are tiny folks! But so are the diamonds in most commercially made diamond engagement rings, they are intended to be accent diamonds, and tend to be smaller in size to keep costs down, which makes sense since everybody is concerned about cost.
However there is also a large segment of the populace who are looking for something better, an engagement ring which feels more substantial, and which incorporates accent diamonds that are larger in size, and better in quality… people like you and me, who might be a bit concerned about the concept of ordering a custom diamond engagement ring online, sight unseen, at first, but who can get used to the idea rather easily, with just a little bit more information.
This scenario actually reminds me of another client of mine named Anita, who contacted me because she and her fiancé had ordered the Ritani French Set Halo setting with a one carat round diamond from Ritani for in-store preview; she wasn’t quite satisfied with the quality of the setting, nor the sparkle factor of the diamond, but she really liked the concept of the setting… she just wanted it to feel a bit more sturdy, wanted the ring to have a higher carat weight of accent diamonds, and most important of all, Anita wanted the center stone to sparkle like crazy, and exhibit the broad-spectrum type of sparkle that she’d read about in some of the blog posts that I’ve written.
The only option was to get in touch with the custom jewelry design division of Brian Gavin, and commission them to design a custom setting for Anita; the end result is the Anita halo by Brian Gavin, which is aptly named after my client… as is the custom at Brian Gavin Diamonds, if you order a custom diamond engagement ring, you get the honor of naming the design!
The Anita setting by Brian Gavin features a combined total diamond weight of 0.53 carats, which is significantly more than the 0.21 carats t.w. featured in the French halo setting by Ritani, or at least the version that Anita had initially ordered, there is a 0.45 carat t.w. version of the Ritani French halo setting now available.
Obviously, the two ring designs by Ritani and Brian Gavin do not look exactly the same, they are merely similar in concept, and that is because each jewelry designer must incorporate their own sense of design into every custom diamond engagement ring that they create.
Brian Gavin prefers to use a sturdier prong structure, which is also a necessity with accent diamonds that are larger in size… and they incorporated a different design pattern into the undercarriage of the halo setting based upon Anita’s preferences for how that should look, thus these two styles of halo setting are similar, but not identical, as would be the case with a bypass style setting if you chose to have Brian Gavin custom design that for you.
Speaking of which, this is a bypass style ring that is known as the Brian Gavin Twist engagement ring, notice the similarity in the concept of design, but this features a bunch of pave set diamonds, instead of a single row.; but the basic bypass concept of the designs is the same.
Old-timers in the diamond industry used to ramble on and on about the mythical unicorn known as the 60/60 ideal cut diamond, according to “them” the proportions of the diamond would somehow magically and automatically fall into place, if the total depth and table diameter measurements of the diamond were both sixty percent… which is an absurd concept to anybody with any kind of real diamond grading experience, since the reality is that the total depth of 60% can be divided up between the crown height and pavilion depth of the diamond in a lot of different ways, and will definitely be affected by girdle thickness and such.
But when I was a young pup just getting started in the diamond industry back in October of 1985, yes, it really has been that long… bummer! The “logic” presented by the diamonds wholesalers who I was working at the time seemed to make a lot of sense… but that theory quickly fell apart when we bought a Sarin DiamCalc computerized proportions analysis system in the mid-1990’s and was actually able to see what a wide variance of proportions that the famous 60/60 ideal cut classification actually produced!
The one thing that this 1.16 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut diamond from Ritani has going for it is the 40.8 degree pavilion angle, because that is going to produce a high volume of light return, while the 34.5 degree crown angle should produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion; however the 59% table diameter is going to look kind of large by my standards, and my guess is that this diamond would pale by comparison to something like this 1.127 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, which we’ll get to in a moment. The details page for this Ritani diamond features the stock image of a diamond that is pictured to the left.
Therefore we don’t even have a standard diamond clarity photograph to get an idea of the levels of static contrast being exhibited by the diamond, but you can always use the link provided to order the diamond, and then indicate that you’d like to schedule an appointment with their virtual gemologist to discuss the diamond further.
However I’ll be straight up and tell you that I don’t have high hopes for this diamond meeting my selection standards once the clarity photograph, and hopefully reflector scope images are provided, because I opened Diam Calc, which is a mathematical ray-tracing program that is used to estimate the light performance of diamonds, and while it’s not bad, it’s not great either… meaning that it’s not on par with what I’d expect from an ideal cut diamond that has proportions within my preferred range of selection criteria which is outlined within the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success.
Now the thing to understand about mathematical ray-tracing programs like DiamCalc, is that in this particular instance where we’re not uploading the results of an actual computerized proportions analysis such as a Sarin scan into the program, we’re going to get results that are less precise; because the GIA rounds off the measurements for the proportions of the diamond on their diamond grading reports, so we’re not able to take the high and low measurements into account which the average measurements stated are based upon, nor do we have all the measurements of the diamond.
Which means that the program assumes a kind of “perfect diamond cut scenario” based on the measurements entered for the basic framework of the diamond, such as the outside diameter and depth measurements, the table diameter, the crown angle, pavilion angle, and so on… thus the images tend to represent a “best-case scenario” and in my experience the actual ideal scope image will not look this good; and this one is actually indicating that we should expect to see a bit of light leakage beneath the table facet. However this 1.16 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, diamond from Ritani is still a good option.
Assuming that you’re simply looking for a GIA Excellent cut diamond that is going to blow away the type of diamonds you’re likely to find in the average retail jewelry store… This diamond is basically in the range of the Top 2% of the annual production of round brilliant cut diamonds, things could be better, things could be worse, it’s better than most of the diamonds that you’re friends are likely to be wearing. Ultimately it comes down to what you personally find acceptable in terms of diamond performance. By the way, notice that the pattern present in the table facet is reversed in this ASET image…
The computer-generated estimation of what this 1.16 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, round diamond from Ritani is likely to look like when viewed through an ASET image, continues to indicate that the diamond is likely to exhibit some light leakage under the table facet. It would be interesting to see how this diamond appears in actual reflector scope images, please forward them to me if you get your hands on them.
One of the nice things about Brian Gavin Signature diamonds like this 1.127 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue Signature round diamond, is that we don’t have to venture to guess about the degree of optical symmetry, because every Brian Gavin Signature round diamond is submitted to the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) to be graded on their proprietary Light Performance grading platform, which relies upon Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to measure the brightness of the diamonds, and which provides us with a visual representation of how evenly light is being distributed throughout the diamond. You can learn more about what the different colors of an ASET image mean by reading the article referenced via that link, but suffice to say that this diamond is going to be like a mini-mag light on her finger! You’d better buy shades!
Just look at how consistent the distribution of red is throughout the actual Ideal Scope image that Brian Gavin provides on the diamond details page for this 1.127 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue Signature round diamond! This ideal scope image indicates that the diamond is not leaking any substantial amount of light, there is lots of red present under the table facet, indicating that this diamond is a top performer! And this is an actual photograph of the diamond, there is no guesswork involved, it’s not a computer-generated rendering that is based upon a best case scenario, this is the real deal. This diamond exhibits an exceptional degree of optical precision, it’s a shining star!
One of my favorite things about this 1.127 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue Signature round diamond is that it exhibits this beautiful medium blue fluorescence when exposed to black light, the rest of the time it will look perfectly normal, but if you look at it under black light it will exhibit this beautiful neon blue color, which I find quite soothing and fascinating! If it’s any indication about how I feel about blue fluorescence in diamonds, practically every diamond that I have ever selected for myself personally, has exhibited medium blue to strong blue fluorescence, and one even exhibited very strong distinct blue, it was absolutely stunning! And medium blue fluorescence is an absolute no-brainer!
An I-color diamond with medium blue fluorescence is never going to exhibit any of the potential negative visual properties that some people write about on the internet; in fact, the reality is that the vast majority of diamonds with strong blue fluorescence will not exhibit any negative properties either; the only real chance of that type of thing occurring is within the realm of very strong distinct blue, and even then it is only present in less than 2% of gem-quality diamonds according to a study published by the Gemological Institute of America.
And since Brian Gavin personally evaluates every diamond that he selects for inventory, you never have to worry about any Brian Gavin Blue Signature diamonds exhibiting any of the potentially negative effects of blue fluorescence, he’ll just wholesale off any diamonds that don’t meet his extremely strict production standards.
You do realize that there simply is no comparison… right? We’re essentially trying to compare super ideal cut diamonds to, uh, not even my type of ideal cut diamond… In my mind, the Ritani diamond isn’t even an option, I never would have selected it for inventory when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice, because it simply doesn’t meet my selection standards.
But it really depends on what you personally want from a diamond. Are you looking for a reasonably inexpensive round brilliant cut diamond that has a nice paper grade (GIA Excellent) and which offers somewhat better than average light performance? Or do you really want a diamond that people are going to notice from across the room, again and again? It really is like that… We’re talking Top 0.001% Light Performance vs Top 2% and on the race track of real life, it’s pretty clear to me which diamond is the winner!
Now if you really want an ideal cut diamond from Ritani, I’ll be happy to conduct an in-depth search of Ritani diamond inventory however you didn’t ask me to do that, you asked me to evaluate this particular Ritani 60/60 ideal cut diamond, and hinted at being open to options from Brian Gavin, so that’s the direction I went.
I don’t feel that it is likely that you will find anything comparable to a Brian Gavin Signature round diamond within Ritani’s virtual inventory, the realm of super ideal cut diamonds is simply not their target market; however they do offer some very nice options in GIA Excellent, and a small handful of AGS Ideal-0 cut diamonds that fall in the Top 1% range, but I do find that they are few and far between and that it can be difficult to get those reflector scope images. Let me know if I can help you further.
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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