“What Is The Difference Between ‘Signature Ideal’ and ‘Very Good’?”
Hi! I’m trying to search for diamonds and am hoping you can help. What’s giving me the biggest struggle is the decision between signature ideal and very good cut from Blue Nile. I believe that a color >=G and clarity >= VVS2 are important but I can be persuaded. Here is my criteria:
Shape: princess cut
Carat: 1.3 – 1.7
Cut: signature ideal to very good
Price: $10k – $13k
First and foremost, Blue Nile doesn’t have actual magnified pictures for most of their loose diamond inventory. This is what makes purchasing from them very difficult. I do not advise purchasing a diamond from only the GIA report’s information. This is the equivalent of ‘buying blind’ and contrary to what many people believe, you cannot make an educated assessment on a diamond without more information. In my Blue Nile review, I offer a step-by-step process in which to purchase a round brilliant diamond, but searching for a round diamond is much easier than trying to search for a princess or any fancy cut diamond using just the lab report’s proportions.
Secondly, GIA does not issue a cut grade for princess cut diamonds. The ‘very good’ ‘excellent’ and ‘signature ideal’ you are searching through from Blue Nile is Blue Nile’s idea of what is considered a good princess cut stone. If you look at any of the GIA grading reports for these princess cut diamonds, you will not see a ‘cut’ grade, you will only see color, clarity, and carat weight.
This is in contrast to AGS (American Gemological Society) which DO issue a cut grade for princess cut diamonds. Diamond vendors like Brian Gavin Diamonds for example, only sell triple 0 ideal (ideal light performance, ideal polish and ideal symmetry) for their ‘Signature’ Super-Ideal princess cut diamonds. This is great for the consumer, as there is no doubt that you are getting the very best ‘performing’ diamond that will maximize light reflection and offer optimum brilliance.
May I ask why you are looking for such a high clarity grade? Did you know that clarity does not have anything to do with a diamond’s ability to ‘sparkle’? A diamond’s brilliance comes from it’s cut. An ideal cut diamond is what produces maximum light reflection.
Thank you for your prompt response Liz.
Your last question first. I chose the higher clarity trying to avoid any visible imperfections. Would you say I should be looking at a VS1 instead? I’m just concerned of a spec being visible…
What do you think about color? I choose G being that it is the low end of the colorless scale, but read that princess cut diamonds are more forgiving.
How can I remedy your Blue Nile comments? I went to Blue Nile because their search feature for diamonds and sets was very easy to navigate. As for going to a store… I’ve heard numerous times that their prices can’t compare.
Most people are fine with the center stone being ‘eye-clean‘. However, for clarity sensitive individuals I advise upgrading to VS1 just to be sure. You will not be able to visibly detect an inclusion in a VS1 clarity grade diamond. Anything higher than that is a bonus if it fits within your overall diamond budget.
Princess cuts show more body color towards the corners. A safe bet is a G color, as you have originally chosen. You could go to a ‘H’ too and still be ok.
As I said, Blue Nile has been around from the beginning and offers many thousands of diamonds in their virtual inventory but finding a diamond that has an actual image posted is like finding a needle in a haystack. They do sometimes offer images from GCAL’s gem report for their Blue Nile Signature Princess Cut diamonds and I managed to find three for you:
1.32ct G VVS1 for $11,740.22: http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05445698
This diamond has 4 chevrons in the pavilion, dimensions of 6.07×6.05mm, nice light reflection but large dark arrow under table facet.
1.53ct G VS1 for $12,951.77: http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05036422
This diamond has only 2 chevrons in the pavilion resulting in bigger flashes of light, dimensions of 6.51×6.27mm, and nice light reflection but a large dark arrow under the main table facet.
1.55ct G VVS2 for $13,509.28: http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD05036424
This diamond has 2 chevrons in the pavilion with dimensions of 6.49×6.42mm. This diamond is the best of the three due to the obvious increased white light reflection. If choosing between these three, this would be the best overall value.
Wow – thank you so much for this detailed response. This all makes sense now, after seeing the images side-by-side. Thanks for taking the time to illustrate that to me.
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