Diamond Brilliance vs. Fire – Which Is More Important?

Q:

Liz,

Your website is great. I do appreciate the knowledge you are applying to us. I am in the market to purchase an engagement ring. I have been to countless stores (7 to be exact) and I am not liking the low selection and marketing/sales techniques. I come to ask you if you can help purchase the best diamond for my dollar. Please see below for my specifications. Of course I would appreciate your advice.

Budget for Diamond Only: $10K-$11K

Cut: Ideal (0,0,0) or Excellent (x,x,x)

Color F-G

Clarity: VS2

Carat: Highest Carat I can receive (I know cut is most important)

Diameter: Can I reach up to 7.0MM getting the most fire in my ring?

Please see few diamonds I have viewed. Please let me know your opinion.

#1 Choice: 1.295ct G SI1

#2 Choice: 1.215ct G VS2

#3 Choice: 1.253ct G VS1

Thanks,

Tim

A:

Hi Tim,

Thank you for letting me know your diamond budget and requirements. Wow, you have been to a lot of stores! Well, I’m glad that you are doing your research. Many stores sell inferior cut diamonds and are often marked up anywhere from 25-55%. So, your best bet is to purchase from a great online vendor and save yourself tons of aggravation and thousands of dollars.

I think all your selected diamonds are great. They are all cut to ideal proportions and all of them will have superb light performance.

The cushion cut diamond from BGD will appear slightly larger than the equivalent carat weight diamonds that are round brilliant, because the corners of the cushion have a wider spread than the overall diameter of the round diamonds.

Brian Gavin’s diamonds are gorgeous and I love his strong blue fluorescence diamonds. This 1.224ct H VS1 for $9,346.00 is a super-ideal hearts and arrows diamond and is the best valued diamond. Because this diamond has strong blue fluorescence, you can go lower in color grade and not worry about seeing any warmth in the diamond as the blue fluorescence cancels out any yellow tones. I would say that this diamond is the best value for you, while still not compromising on cut. It also is perfectly eye-clean as a VS1.

Let me know if you have any further questions. I would say if you are looking for the best value diamond and don’t mind strong blue fluorescence, then go for the 1.224ct. If you are looking for something different and definitely unique, then go for the 1.253ct cushion (I have a cushion cut diamond from BGD and I LOVE it. Here’s a link to my review: http://www.onlinediamondbuyingadvice.com/cushion-cut-diamond

I look forward to hearing from you!

Kind Regards,

Liz

Q:

Hi Liz, thank you so much for the info.

I was going through the data you gave me and was wondering if there are more choices of diamonds with a lot of fire. I want to compare all my options. Also if you can include cushion diamonds with a lot of fire I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

Tim

Brilliance + Fire = Diamond SPARKLE (Scintillation)

A:

Hi Tim,

You are welcome.

‘Brilliance’ is white light reflection and is emphasized by contrast or dark areas. Hence the reason why hearts and arrows cut diamonds with perfect optical symmetry (dark arrow contrast) are preferred.

‘Fire’ describes the rainbow of colors seen in a diamond as a result of the dispersion of light.

‘Scintillation’ is the combined visual result of both brilliance and fire (flash and fire scintillation), otherwise known as SPARKLE. This is the gorgeous play of white light and colored flashes that are visible when moving the diamond. It is what everyone is looking for in a perfectly cut diamond.
Brilliance And Fire Work Together To Create A Diamond’s Sparkle Click To Tweet
To get a little more technical, steep crown angles combined with small tables exhibit more fire. Diamond’s with shallow crown angles combined with larger tables exhibit greater overall brilliance or white light return. Why is this? It’s because our eyes detect these little flashes of color better without the bright white return hence the reason why you see more ‘color flashes’ in low-light settings, for example restaurants, some museums, etc. Antique cut diamonds and some fancy cuts tend to have a lot of fire but less overall brilliance due to the larger crown angles and smaller tables. If you have read up on a diamond’s cut you’d know that the trick for all diamond cutters is to balance these proportions together resulting in an equal distribution of brilliance vs. fire. Another great resource on this topic is the AGS report: ‘Evaluation of brilliance, fire, and scintillation in round brilliant gemstones‘. Section 5.5 is of particular interest.

Diamond Brilliance vs FireAll of the Brian Gavin diamonds mentioned above will exhibit optimum brilliance and fire due to their ideal cut proportions. The American Gem Society Laboratories research on sparkle factor, which is commonly known as “the life of the diamond” is based upon computerized modeling that captures the essential elements of what is captured by the human eye. Brian Gavin Diamonds worked very closely with AGSL in creating this hearts and arrows cushion cut diamond to create a greater number of virtual facets, and larger flashes of light, which in turn, increases the sparkle factor of the diamond.

I particularly like this 1.253ct G VS1 as it has a gorgeous bright red ASET image and shows beautiful optical symmetry (hearts and arrows).

I hope this helps. AGS triple 0 ideal (ideal light performance, ideal polish and ideal symmetry) represent the top 1% of all diamonds in the world. AGS is the only gem lab in the world that evaluates their diamonds in an advanced 3-dimensional system to determine a diamond’s cut.

Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

Kind Regards,

Liz

Q:

Thanks so much Liz!

I purchased the 1.253ct from BGD diamond with setting, I will let you know how it is when I get it. You’ve been a great help!

Tim

 

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