Hi Liz. I just read your Blue Nile review and attempted to search for diamonds based on your criteria but could not find any diamonds with an AGS report. I sent off an email to Blue Nile to ask if they had AGS reports and they responded vaguely saying that GIA is like AGS with similar grading criteria. Is there a general AGS criteria you can share because its very difficult to input every diamond into the HCA tool for analysis.
Thanks for contacting me. My AGS diamond criteria are listed in my Blue Nile review (for round brilliant). You just have to input the diamond proportion sets to get a list populated with good candidate diamonds. If you are searching for a well cut AGS Ideal diamond, then you have no need for the HCA tool. The tool is only meant to assist for GIA or other graded diamonds that don’t offer as much information as AGS (namely an ASET image is what you are looking to evaluate for light reflection and brilliance).
I work with many dealers globally. You don’t have to limit yourself to what is available through Blue Nile’s changing inventory. What kind of diamond are you looking for (shape, color, clarity, carat weight) and maybe I can help you find something?
Hi Liz, I’m just starting my search, doing a lot of reading and research on how to buy diamonds. I could use some help but the big question I’m dealing with right now is if I should ask my GF what kind of rings she likes and shop with her for the stone and ring or surprise her with one. On one hand, a surprise sounds great but I don’t want to buy something she doesn’t like, whereas if I told her, she could choose what she liked but there would be no surprise. That’s my quandary right now and I’ve been thinking about it for the last 2 weeks.
A few questions for you though,
1)For the Holloway Cut Advisor, I understand anything under a 2 is deemed a decent stone, but from what I’m reading, lower doesn’t necessarily mean better? For example, a 0.5 score doesn’t mean its better than a 1.5 score? I read the description of the graph and its a trade off between more brightness vs more fire and stones that “young people” like in the upper red area.
2)Since a “Hearts and Arrows” cut is a certain cut for a round brilliant diamond, how does a H&A cut compare to a regular excellent/ideal cut round brilliant in terms of brilliance? Would one out shine the other if their ratings were the same except for the cut (H&A vs ex or ideal)?
3)Fluorescence, good or bad? Most of the literature I’ve read says that they cause higher quality diamonds to look cloudy but lower quality diamonds to look clearer. I went into a few jewelry shops and was advised against purchasing a diamond with high fluorescence but then I read the Brian Gavin Blue webpage and he claims to have blue diamonds with no negative qualities? Sales gimmick? Marketing/advertising?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Every guy in your situation thinks about the same thing. It really depends on your relationship as well as your GF. Have you guys ever talked about marriage before? Has she even “hinted” at all about what kind of engagement ring she’d like? Is she a girly girl that has lots of accessories and different kinds of jewelry? All of these questions should help you figure out if you should get some insight from her or not. Many guys go ahead and purchase the diamond and propose with a temporary setting and then go shopping together for the setting. There’s another option for you too.
As far as the HCA goes, it is meant to be a useful tool in narrowing down your diamond selection. Use the HCA algorithm only if you have no other information about the diamond other than the lab report. In most cases, an AGS “ideal” cut stone will have a Platinum Diamond Report which has an electronic representation of an ASET image for the diamond based on it’s proportions. This is a very accurate indicator of brilliance and light performance so it trumps the HCA anyday.
Hearts and Arrows cut refers to optical symmetry within the facet structure. A hearts and arrows diamond is a more precise cut stone. There are noticeable “arrows” with these diamonds and many people appreciate the increased light reflection and contrast these diamonds possess. Of course no diamond is the same and all are cut to infinitesimal differences, however with that being said, hearts and arrows diamonds offer the most consistent brilliance and light reflection along with contrast. There are ideal cut diamonds that offer maximum brilliance that aren’t hearts and arrows. The only way you’d be able to ascertain this is buy seeing the diamond’s ASET or ideal-scope image. A diamond grading report with HCA score isn’t enough information.
Fluorescence is a characteristic of a diamond and that’s all it is. Some people like it and some people don’t. Basically, if a diamond has fluorescence it means that it’s atomic properties are such that when UV light is reflected inside the diamond, the diamond emits a fluorescence (most often blue). So, in natural daylight you may see a slight “blueish” sheen when looking at the diamond and of course in black lights (night club) it will shine various strengths of blue. These diamonds are sold a bit cheaper than diamonds that don’t have fluorescence so you can save a bit of cash if you go for these. Diamonds can appear cloudy if they have ver strong fluorescence, but not all of them do. Brian Gavin’s Blue collection have all been hand selected by him so they are all safe. And yes, a lower color grade diamond when paired with medium to strong blue fluorescence can appear “whiter” because the blue cancels out the yellow tones. Many people that want to maximize carat weight go for a K or L colored diamond that has strong blue fluorescence and are very happy with their choice.
Let me know when you are ready to search and I’ll be happy to offer some more advice. 🙂
I chose the Brian Gavin Blue line after doing some research both online and in the retail shops in my area because it is the Hearts and Arrows cut but at a competitive price point because of its fluorescence. I’ve read that some fluorescent diamonds may look cloudy but according to Brian Gavin’s website, their Blue line has no negative qualities that are usually associated with fluorescent diamonds.
I’ve also read that there is a price jump at the 1 carat mark so was thinking of getting a diamond in the 0.90-0.99 range to take advantage of this. Unfortunately diamonds in that range are few and far between on Gavin’s website. I found a 0.926 Signature Blue Round in late Dec or early Jan but was sold after seeing it for less than a week online. I need the ring in the first week of March so I have to make a decision soon.
Today, I found a new listing on Gavin’s site for a 0.910 Signature Blue Round. It’s so new that there aren’t any photos of it yet. I was hoping you could take a look at the stone and critique it. If you think it’s lacking for any reason could you possibly suggest some replacements?
I was hoping to spend between $5-10K total and I’ve tentatively picked out the Classic Truth Sleek Micro Pave setting. My GF’s hands are on the smaller side with a ring size of 5.5-6 and she works at an office job. I’d definitely want the stone to be eye clean. Please let me know if there’s any other information you need. Thank you!
Good to hear from you. Are you talking about this diamond?: http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/0.910-g-si1-round-diamond-ags-bl-104063219025
This diamond has strong blue fluorescence but very nice proportions (as usual with all of Brian’s stones). I like the fact that the size in mm is 6.23×6.25. This will be a very nice sized diamond and your fiance will never be able to tell the size difference from a comparable super-ideal 1.00ct (typically well cut 1.00ct diamonds are around 6.45-6.55 in mm, so your diamond is about 2/10ths of mm in size difference, hardly noticeable!) The AGS report looks very good, the inclusions will not be visible. I’ve attached a better copy pulled from AGS’s diamond verification query in case you wanted to see a better copy.
I think your selection on Brian’s Truth Micro-Pave ring would look great with this diamond too.
Overall, I think your diamond is lovely. And you are right, those specs go pretty fast…so if you know that this is the diamond for you, I’d definitely tell them to put it on hold for you!
Let me know if you have anymore questions. I’m happy to help.
Thank you Liz. I’m currently speaking with Brian Gavin’s people regarding it. You’ve been a great help!
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