It is an exciting honor and a privilege to write a review of Brian Gavin Diamonds. “Brian The Cutter” is actually one of the people who mentored me in my early days as a diamond buyer for Nice Ice. Back then Brian and his wife Lesley were manufacturing diamonds under the brand name “A Cut Above.” We used to purchase “A Cut Above” diamonds from his company Alpha Creations under a wholesale production agreement… So if you purchased a super ideal cut round diamond from Nice Ice in the mid to late 1990s, there is a good chance that your diamond was produced under the oversight of Brian Gavin.
One of the major advantages that Brian Gavin has over the rest of us slinging diamonds on the internet, is that he is a fifth-generation diamond cutter. Brian Gavin has roots in South Africa and comes from a long line of well-known diamond cutters. This made the advice that he shared with me invaluable. Brian was able to educate me about diamond cut well beyond the usual conversations about diamond proportions. He introduced me to the importance of selecting just the right piece of diamond rough, and the interplay of inclusions in terms of visual performance and durability. Brian Gavin is frequently asked to present talks on various facets of the diamond industry at diamond conferences. He provides consulting services to many firms within the diamond trade. Without a doubt, Brian Gavin is an incredible resource for diamond manufacturing and diamond grading information.
After the DOT COM bubble burst, Brian & Lesley adapted their business model. They launched Whiteflash.com in 2001 with a silent partner. Throughout the years, we enjoyed a friendly and competitive business relationship with Brian & Lesley. We recommended clients to them whenever we didn’t happen to have what the clients were looking for… This might seem like a strange practice at first glance. However, we always conducted our business from the perspective that if we couldn’t provide what our clients were looking for in a reasonable period of time, then we should try to use our knowledge and resources to help them find it elsewhere. Since Brian and I share the same beliefs in terms of diamond cut performance and diamond-cut precision, it is reasonable that Brian Gavin Diamonds would be one of the first places I turn to when looking for additional options for clients.
Fast Forward to Today. I’m not privy to the inner workings of Whiteflash, or Brian Gavin Diamonds. But suffice to say that a few years ago, Brian Gavin and Whiteflash split the sheets. Each is now operating independently of the other. Brian Gavin operates as Brian Gavin Diamonds, and Whiteflash operates as Whiteflash. This isn’t something which I consider at all relevant in terms of their diamond quality. I mention it only for reasons of historical reference. Because if you’re conducting your due diligence and searching the internet for references to Brian Gavin, Lesley Gavin, Brian Gavin Diamonds, etc., you’re eventually going to find cross-references involving Whiteflash Diamonds. All of it can be a bit confusing if you don’t have some background.
Brian Gavin Diamonds (BGD) was launched in 2009. The company enjoyed immediate success due to Brian’s recognition throughout the online diamond buying community. The launch of the new web site was accompanied by Brian’s transition from overseeing the production of the “A Cut Above” diamonds, to those produced for the new line of Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows super ideal cut diamonds. Changes were made to how the diamonds were produced now that silent partners were not part of the equation.
But the innovation did not stop there… Shortly after launching the new web site, I received a telephone call from a competitor who was furious that Brian was marketing a new line of diamonds called “Brian Gavin Blue.” The new line of Brian Gavin Signature diamonds consists of round brilliant ideal cut diamonds that exhibit blue fluorescence when exposed to black light.
I have to be honest, my initial response was “C’mon man, it’s brilliant and you’re just upset that you didn’t think of it first…” His response was a begrudging “yea…” Then I called Brian Gavin to congratulate him on the idea, and the name “Brian Gavin Blue” because it really is brilliant in concept. The diamonds look perfectly normal when not exposed to black light by the way. And it is a well-known fact, that blue fluorescence can make diamonds appear whiter and brighter. The blue fluorescent molecules serve to help filter out any yellow undertones which may be present in the diamond.
Why am I so impressed with the concept of Brian Gavin Blue Diamonds? Because the majority of diamonds that exhibit blue fluorescence are absolutely gorgeous. But they get a bad rap because in some cultures the blue fluorescence is interpreted to mean that the diamond is haunted. Since this group of people tends to purchase a lot of ideal cut diamonds, blue fluorescence was deemed undesirable by the trade in terms of salability.
However, the ability to sell a blue fluorescent diamond in specific markets due to superstitious beliefs has nothing to do with actual beauty. Nevertheless, as a result, diamonds with medium to strong blue fluorescence tend to be priced a little better than diamonds of comparable quality which do not exhibit fluorescence… So “Brian The Cutter” figured out a brilliant way to take advantage of that hedge and provide his clients with beautiful diamonds at a great price! Smart man. Kudos.
I’ve got a severe case of Obsessive Cut Disorder. The cure for my OCD is found within the inventory of Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds. Anybody who knows anything about my reputation as a diamond buyer knows that I am exceptionally strict. People within the trade have referred to me as the Golden Child, the Diamond Snob, and even a Diamond Nazi. And yes that last one was from a diamond cutter who is Jewish.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment… Because he was screaming “You’re a Diamond Nazi!” at me over the telephone! I had just rejected something like 30 out of the 40 diamonds that he’d sent me for evaluation. With this in mind, I want to talk a little bit about Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamonds.
As strict as I was as a diamond buyer in terms of inclusion type and location. And the range of color and clarity that I was willing to consider when selecting diamonds for our inventory… I’m even stricter when it comes to the range of proportions I am willing to consider. And even stricter still, when it comes to my definition of what constitutes a Hearts & Arrows diamond. This is because the majority of diamonds that I see advertised as “Hearts & Arrows” exhibit patterns that are at best more like lawn darts or rabbit ears… That said, Brian and I speak the same language when it comes to diamond grading and our understanding of what is and what is not a Hearts & Arrows diamond.
Do not discount my understanding of what constitutes a Hearts & Arrows diamond meeting up with Brian’s production of Hearts & Arrows diamonds, being due to his being one of my mentors in the diamond business. Try to keep in mind that Brian Gavin is only one of my mentors… There are three key people in the niche market of Hearts & Arrows diamonds who were instrumental to the development of my selection standards. Brian just happens to be one of them. My grading standards for Hearts & Arrows diamonds are also aligned with the grading criteria of the following gemological laboratories:
Here are more details on my selection standards for Hearts & Arrows diamonds. However, if you want to skip all the techno-psycho babble, and skip right to just buying a beautiful diamond with amazing visual performance, then check out the selection of true Hearts & Arrows diamonds available on the Brian Gavin Diamonds web site by clicking on the orange button that appears above. Prior Competition and Camaraderie aside, here are a few reasons why I would buy a Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows, or Brian Gavin Blue Diamond from Brian Gavin Diamonds*
At this point in the conversation, it kind of goes without saying that Brian Gavin Diamonds is one of my favorite online diamond vendors. In my experience, they ran neck to neck with Nice Ice in terms of their quality and selection process. In my absence from the industry, during the years when I was battling things out with issues pertaining to my late wife’s estate, Brian Gavin Diamonds have definitely taken a position at the head of the pack. Thus I am quite comfortable recommending them to you as being worthy of consideration.
By all means, drop me a note if you want some help selecting a Brian Gavin Signature diamond. I’m happy to put my 25+ years of experience as a diamond buyer to good use. Go ahead, pit me and Brian Gavin against each other. It’s always good for a laugh. I can almost hear him talking while I sort through the diamond details… it’s a kindred spirit type of thing.
* Derived from the terms and conditions stated on the Brian Gavin Diamonds web site at the time this article was written, subject to change without notice. Please review the current terms and conditions on BGD to verify and/or determine the current terms and conditions as applicable to your purchase.