Blue Nile kicked off the holiday season today by announcing savings up to $700.00 off the price of Blue Nile Signature diamonds by way of an exclusive coupon code. Note that this Blue Nile coupon code is only valid towards the purchase of Blue Nile Signature diamonds, it can not be applied to other Blue Nile ideal cut diamonds, or any other diamonds offered by Blue Nile.
In the event that you are not buying a Blue Nile Signature diamond, and are buying an ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile, I have a different coupon that will save you money on wedding rings ordered at the same time, just ask for it.
Not all Blue Nile Signature diamonds are created equal. It is important to understand that I find the apparent selection criteria upon which the Blue Nile Signature diamond brand to be built upon, has a rather broad foundation of diamond cut quality, and the range of proportions that they consider to be an “ideal cut diamond” varies from my own considerably.
Therefore when I search for Blue Nile Signature diamonds, the first thing that I do after setting the parameters for diamond carat weight, diamond color, and price; is to click on the Advanced Filters option that is highlighted by the red arrow on the screenshot provided to the left. The next thing I do is adjust the sliders so that only EX / ID is selected for Polish and Symmetry, which will limit the options to diamonds graded with either GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal polish and symmetry; then I enter a range of 59 – 61.8% for total depth, and 53 – 58% for table diameter; and adjust the range of fluorescence appropriately based upon your preference.
Note that it seems to be necessary for me to click on the blue tab to “Hide Filters” in order to be able to see all of the Blue Nile Signature round diamonds that are currently available.[separator]
The next thing that I will do is click on the orange colored > that appears to the right side of each diamond listed, which will open up a small version of the diamond details page, then I right click my mouse over the blue tab that is labeled “More Details” (see the green arrow) and select the option to “Open Link in New Tab” which will open up another page in my browser with the full diamond details page for the Blue Nile Signature round diamond; I will repeat this procedure for all of the diamonds that resulted from my search for Blue Nile Signature diamonds, so that I can select the best Blue Nile Signature diamonds available.[separator]
In this particular instance, I would normally not click on the “More Details” tab for this particular diamond, because if you look to the right of the red arrow pictured on the graphic above, you’ll see that it has a very small culet, which is something that I tend to avoid, since I personally prefer a culet size of either GIA “none” or what the AGS Laboratory (AGSL) refers to as “pointed” which is the exact same thing. The reason why I tend to avoid diamonds with very small or small culet sizes is because my experienced eyes usually pick it up as a small white circle that is visible in the center of the table facet when I scrutinize the diamond, but the reality is that I’m not so sure that the average person would pick up on it without a great deal of coaching.
Now the reality is that “by the numbers” this 2.11 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond is on the edge of my preferred selection criteria as indicated in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success, but it’s not that bad of an option, and I’m going to use it as an example of what a small culet looks like in a round brilliant cut diamond; click on the graphic to the left to open up the GCAL diamond grading report and you’ll see a small black dot located in the middle of the diamond in the clarity photograph, it’s highlighted here by the red arrow. The next thing that we’re going to look at is the difference in the static contrast being exhibited in the pavilion view (bottom right).[separator]
Do you see how the left side of the heart shapes located in the relative eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, one o’clock, and five o’clock positions are shaded a bit? To an experienced diamond grader like myself, that is an indication that there is some variance in the size and shape of the pavilion facets, as well as some difference in the indexing of the facets, this is known as Azamet shift on the floor of the diamond cutting factory; it doesn’t look too bad in this particular instance, but it is something to take note of when buying a diamond, however you need to have reflector scope images of the diamond in order to be able to judge the degree of optical symmetry.
As stated previously, the proportions of this diamond are right on the edge of my preferred range, it has a crown angle of 35.0 degrees, which is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees, and it works in this particular instance, because the pavilion depth of the diamond is only 43% so I’m willing to let it slide… but if it were steeper, such as 43.5% then I’d kick this Blue Nile Signature diamond to the curb, because that is the place where I’ve noticed that light begins not to strike off of the pavilion facets properly… my expectation in this case, is that this 2.11 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond is going to exhibit a high volume of light return, with a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) but that the sparkle is going to be smaller in size due to the 80% lower girdle facets, making it more like the pin-fire type sparkle seen reflecting off of the mirrors of a disco ball, rather than broad spectrum sparkle that is larger in size and more vivid.
The key thing to realize here is that you might actually prefer a diamond that exhibits pin-fire type sparkle, a lot of people do, including other diamond buyers, because it is all a matter of personal preference… but I happen to prefer the broad spectrum sparkle that tends to be created by lower girdle facets that are in the range of 75 – 78% combined with my preferred range of proportions, to each their own and all that.
Based upon the fact that I personally prefer diamonds that exhibit broad spectrum sparkle, I’m more inclined to choose something like this 2.08 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond, because the 40.8 degree pavilion angle should provide a high volume of light return, while the 34.5 degree crown angle should produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, while the 75% lower girdle facets are likely to produce broad spectrum sparkle. And if you look at the pavilion view of the diamond pictured to the left, which is provided on the GCAL diamond grading report, you’ll notice that the static contrast is evenly distributed across the reflections created by the pavilion facets.[separator]
Which makes this Blue Nile Signature round diamond the type of diamond that I look for when I conduct a search for Blue Nile Signature diamonds on behalf of my clients… If you’d like help finding the best Blue Nile Signature diamonds, feel free to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service, be sure to let me know the range of diamond carat weight, clarity, color, fluorescence, and price that you are willing to consider. The service costs you nothing, Blue Nile will compensate me for the time spent if you buy a diamond from them, and your price on the diamond will not be affected; it’s a win / win for both of us, and I might even have a Blue Nile discount coupon code that I can share with you (wink, wink) when the current offer expires, but it won’t be for savings off of Blue Nile Signature diamonds, that offer expires on December 15, 2014.
This 1.76 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature round diamond is a great example of a diamond that I would choose for myself, it has a 40.8 degree pavilion angle that is offset by a crown angle of 34.5 degrees, with 75% lower girdle facets; so it should exhibit a high volume of light return, with a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, with broad spectrum sparkle that is bold and bright. The proportions of this diamond are what we refer to within the industry as a Tolkowsky ideal cut diamond Needless to say that the diamond looks great in the images provided on the GCAL report, and the inclusions which consist of needle shaped diamond crystals, small feathers, and diamond crystals look great also! It goes without saying that I flipped through quite a few diamond grading reports to find this option, there is not a lot of consistency in the Blue Nile Signature brand.[separator]
Which is why I like for people to ask me for assistance in selecting the best Blue Nile Signature round diamonds, because I’ve got the experience to look over the details provided on the GIA diamond grading reports, and make sense of the images provided on the supplementary GCAL diamond grading report, and determine whether the diamond is a good option or not.
There is a lot of information to be gleaned from diamond grading tutorials like this one, it is intended to make it easier for you to search for Blue Nile Signature diamonds and select the best options based upon the proportions, images provided, and the inclusions indicated as being present within the diamond, but feel free to take advantage of my Diamond Concierge Service if you’d like some professional insight, please provide me with the following information so that I can be most effective:
And if by chance you are looking at a specific Blue Nile Signature diamond, feel free to send me the link, and/or the Blue Nile reference number for review, it usually looks like LD123456789.
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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