T.K. from Poland writes: I’m looking for a loose stone circa 2.5 carat. e color and minimal inclusions. I live in Poland but have family in the USA. So I looked through the inventory of my preferred diamond vendors and found a few options worthy of consideration, which we’re going to consider in order of carat weight. The first option is this 2.41 carat, E-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile, which is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent. Now the proportions of this diamond are a smidge outside of the parameters of my normal selection criteria because the crown angle is 35.0 degrees, which is one-tenth of a degree beyond my preferred range of 34.3 – 34.9 degrees, however it works because the pavilion angle is 40.6 degrees which is on the shallower side of my preferred range which is between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees.
Based upon the numbers, my guess is that it probably is a great looking diamond, however I’d like to know for certain and since Blue Nile does not provide any of the reflector scope images required for me to get an idea of how bright this diamond is facing up, or the degree of optical symmetry, I asked my friends Wink Jones of High Performance Diamonds and Brian Gavin of Brian Gavin Diamonds whether they could source this diamond upon request and both indicated that they could, so guess what I would do if I were interested in knowing more about this diamond…
You see the fact of the matter is that Blue Nile does not own this particular diamond, it is merely part of the virtual inventory that they offer for sale, and as such it can be sourced by the diamond vendor of your choice… Brian Gavin Diamonds and High Performance Diamonds are two of my favorite diamond vendors because they share my passion for diamond cut quality and are just as precise as I am when it comes to their diamond selection process, so I trust them to look at the diamond and determine whether it is worthy of further consideration or not.
The plotting diagram located on the diamond grading report for this particular diamond, indicates that the primary inclusions consist of a few smaller diamond crystals which appear within the table facet of the diamond and a very small feather which appears in the lower half of the diamond along the facet line which divides the two lower girdle facets which appear in the five o’clock position, all of the inclusions look minimal and appear to be of no consequence.
I think that this diamond is definitely worthy of consideration, but I’d like to see images of the diamond as seen through an ASET scope, an Ideal Scope, and a Hearts and Arrows scope so that I can judge the degree of optical symmetry even though I don’t expect the diamond to exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows. And perhaps Brian or Wink will even shoot a video of the diamond for us so that we can get an idea of the sparkle factor of this particular diamond… I’ll be that they would if we asked real nice!
This 2.51 carat, E-color, Internally Flawless, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile seems to be exclusive to them, so you’ll have to order it through them if it is of interest… which isn’t bad, they just don’t provide the reflector scope images and computerized proportions analysis that I like to have on hand while making a decision of this magnitude. The diamond has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees, which is the “sweet spot” located smack dab in the middle of my preferred range for proportions, so should be incredibly bright and full of life! The clarity grade of the diamond is internally flawless, so you shouldn’t be able to find any inclusions using 10x magnification, but might be able to find something minor if you examine the diamond using higher magnification such as 30x or 40x.
This 2.53 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from James Allen has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, which is often referred to by the slang term of “GIA 3X” because the overall cut grade is based upon individual grades of GIA Excellent for Polish, Symmetry and Proportions. Obviously this diamond is not an E-color diamond, but I thought that it was worthy of an honorable mention just in case the price of the E-color options exceeds your desired price range which was not specified. Many of the diamond crystals which are the primary inclusions within the diamond are visible within the clarity image of the diamond which appears to the left.
There is also a small feather located on the underside of the diamond which appears to be of no consequence, the inclusions within this diamond are typical of a VS-2 clarity diamond. The diamond has a crown angle of 34.0 degrees which is on the shallow side of my preferred range which is between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees and is offset by a 40.6 degree pavilion angle which is also on the shallow side of my preferred range which is between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees. If I had to guess, I’d say that this diamond is likely to exhibit more brilliance than dispersion, but it should still exhibit phenomenal light return in terms of volume. I mention it because not everybody prefers a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and having some understanding of how different combinations of crown and pavilion angle are likely to effect the type of light return exhibited by a diamond can be useful during your search for the perfect diamond to suit your personal preferences.
Another option worthy of consideration is this 2.59 carat, E-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Ritani, which has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent with faint blue fluorescence. Here again, the crown angle of 34.0 degrees is a little shallower than I prefer, but the pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees is going to produce an excellent amount of light return and the diamond should exhibit a lot of brilliance with very good dispersion. The image of the diamond which appears to the left is a stock image of a diamond which Ritani uses as a placeholder on many of their diamond details pages, actual imagery of the diamond is available upon request.
The primary inclusions are feathers, crystals, and needle-shaped diamond crystals, all of which look minimal, they should be readily visible when the diamond is examined using 10x and higher magnification, but the diamond should be completely “eye clean” when the diamond is viewed from a top-down perspective using just your eyes.
Unfortunately, the closest my friend Brian Gavin has to this request is this 2.018 carat, E-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which exhibits the crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows which is pictured to the left. Diamonds cut to this level of optical precision tend to exhibit a higher degree of light return and larger flashes of light than other ideal cut diamonds. These diamonds are incredibly cool, each half of a heart is created by the reflection of facets located on the other side of the diamond! It takes an incredible amount of skill to produce diamonds cut to this level of perfection and they cost more to produce, but the end result is completely worth it!
Enough so that if I were the one buying one of these diamonds at the moment, I would seriously consider dropping down in carat weight a little bit to pick up this 2.018 carat, E-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond because the difference in outside diameter between it and the other options mentioned on this page is only about half a millimeter. However the difference in the volume of light return and the overall sparkle factor is likely to be distinct and well worth the slight reduction in carat weight, which is not a difference that somebody would be able to detect from across the dinner table, but the difference in light return and sparkle might be something that is visible from across the room! Something to think about.
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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