“Hi Todd, I have been reading through your site and blog finding out as much as possible about diamonds before committing to a diamond for my partner. Being from the UK I have found that Blue Nile and a company called 77Diamonds are really very competitive with price for the standard I am looking for. There are so many stones to choose from that I am now going round in circles. My initial thoughts were to get as good a quality as possible and I selected D color Round stones with VS2 or better clarity and excellent cut. I then discovered Table and Depth percentages, Culets, Girdles, Angles and Fluorescence and don’t seem to be able to determine where I should concentrate to get the best ‘sparkle’. The fluorescence issue is one I am really interested in as I personally think it would be pretty cool to have a slight blue glow to the stone under UV light but don’t want the stone to suffer, although you say this is very rare. I have a budget of approximately 3000 pounds sterling, (4500 USD). Any help is much appreciated as even though I thought I’d started my research early (April) the day of reckoning is getting closer (October). Kind regards” ~ Richard T.
Thank you for your inquiry Richard, Blue Nile is an excellent company to work with if you’re located in the U.K., because they have a division over there, however vendors like Brian Gavin, High Performance Diamonds, and James Allen, also have the capability of shipping diamonds internationally… we used to do it all the time, it’s pretty simple.
Quick Review of 77Diamonds.com
This is the first time that I’ve ever heard of 77Diamonds of London, so I checked them out and the simple truth is that I don’t have the patience to endure searching for diamonds on their search engine. The Advanced tab pictured to the left, enabled me to limit the search to diamonds with Cut, Polish, and Symmetry grades of Excellent, but it would be easier if there was also a way to limit the range of total depth to between 59 – 61.8% and the table diameter between 53 – 57.5% which is something which I can do on Blue Nile, even better would to be able to limit the range of crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9° and the pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9° which is my preferred range.
When I did click on a few of the diamonds listed in their inventory, the diamond details pages seemed to only feature a “sample image” of a round brilliant cut diamond and a summary of the diamond grading report, but not the actual diamond grading report. I like the overall graphic design of the 77Diamonds web site, but think that there is a lot of room for improvement with regards to their diamond search tool and the amount of information provided on their diamond details page.
Sifting through the options from Blue Nile:
Using the Advanced options tab which is available within the diamond search engine from Blue Nile, I set the search parameters as indicated above for lab, polish, symmetry, total depth and table diameter, this produced a list of 17 diamonds within the range of D-F color and VS-2 to VS-1 in clarity with a cap of $4,700.00 U.S.D. and I used the crown angle, pavilion angle, and inclusions to narrow down those options to the following four diamonds (all links provided below are affiliate links):
The first option is this 0.71 carat, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature Diamond which is D-color with medium blue fluorescence, measuring 5.72 – 5.74 x 3.54 mm with a total depth of 61.8% and a table diameter of 56% with a crown angle of 34.0° which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8° with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet. So the first thing is that I’d prefer that the crown angle be somewhere between 34.3 – 34.8 degrees, but this is an ideal cut diamond and the pavilion angle is spot-on, so it’s worthy of consideration. The GIA indicates that the primary inclusions are “crystals” and they appear to be pretty small in the clarity photograph provided on the GCAL report.
Note: Blue Nile changed the format of how deep links were created when they switched their affiliate network from GAN to CJ, and thus the original links to the following diamonds were broken and have been replaced with links directed to their diamond search engine, which is fine since these options have probably sold by now. Please use my free Diamond Concierge Service if you would like me to help you find the best options currently available, but the information that can be obtained by reading the article is still applicable even if the diamond details pages can not be accessed.
This 0.72 carat, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature Diamond which is E-color with medium blue fluorescence is comparably cut with a total depth of 60.9% and a table diameter of 34.0 degrees and a pavilion angle of 40.6 degrees with a medium, faceted girdle and no culet. Here again, I would prefer that the crown angle measurement be between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees, but it’s still acceptable. The diamond measures 5.78 – 5.81 x 3.53 mm and has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent just like the last option. The primary inclusions are clouds of pinpoint size diamond crystals and diamond crystals, all of which look fine in the clarity photograph provided on the GCAL diamond grading report.
A better option is this 0.72 carat, D-color, VS-1 clarity, Blue Nile Signature Diamond which is cut within my preferred range of parameters, it measures 5.76 – 5.78 x 3.52 mm with a total depth of 61.1% and a table diameter of 57% with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.6 degrees with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet. It’s cut to a set of proportions which is just a little bit tighter and that is likely to produce just a little more light return. The primary inclusions are diamond crystals and pinpoint size diamond crystals, and here again, they look fine in the clarity photograph provided on the GCAL diamond grading report.
My favorite however, is this 0.81 carat, VS-2 clarity, Blue Nile Signature Diamond with medium blue fluorescence, because it is cut the way I like and exhibits medium blue fluorescence, which I’m kind of partial to… this diamond measures 6.01 – 6.03 x 3.67 mm with a total depth of 61.0% and a table diameter of 57% with a crown angle of 34.5 which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.6 with a medium, faceted girdle and no culet. The primary inclusions are listed as clouds, feathers, crystals, and I don’t see anything on the clarity photograph that alarms me.
Brian Gavin Blue Fluorescent Diamond:
This 0.757 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue collection, it exhibits strong blue fluorescence and I just asked Brian to take it for a spin in different lighting situations, and am told that it’s gorgeous! The diamond is graded by the AGS Laboratory with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform, and measures 5.84 – 5.86 x 3.60 mm with a total depth of 61.5% and a table diameter of 57.7% with a crown angle of 35.0 degrees (that’s 0.01 beyond my preferred range) and a 40.9 degree pavilion angle, with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and a pointed culet. The primary inclusions are crystals and feathers.
James Allen True Hearts Diamond:
This 0.70 carat, E-color, VS-2 clarity diamond from the James Allen True Hearts collection is a pretty nice option! It is graded by the AGS Laboratory with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on their Platinum Light Performance grading platform. I feel that this report is superior to the GIA Excellent format because it also provides insight into the light return of the diamond using Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) which is proprietary to the AGS Laboratory. The red, green, and blue ASET image which appears on the lab report pictured to the left looks excellent and is indicative of a diamond which has been optimized for maximum light return. The proportions of the diamond are within my preferred range and the inclusions look perfectly fine. Read: Information for International Shipments with James Allen.
I hope that this article provided you with some insight into the whole UK Diamonds thing Richard, I realize that buying a diamond online from overseas presents some additional challenges in terms of duties and tariffs, but the reality is that most of the online vendors who I work with have been shipping diamonds internationally for years… in most cases, you’ll just need to pay the delivery person the duty at the time the package is signed for and delivered.