The Diamond Pro

Q&A: “Am I on the right track to get the shiniest diamond?”

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us. Personal information is always removed. Learn from these posts, or contact us yourself to get free personalized help.

First off, your website has been tremondously helpful for me-a first time diamond buyer.

I hugely value cut and I have been looking at Blue Nile and their signature cut. Obviously, I am paying more for the signature brand. So, I used the more stringent table (60.1 to 61.9) and depth% (55 to 57) values for the signature to filter out some ideals on Blue Nile and James Allen. Am on the right track to get the shiniest diamond?

Not necessarily. GIA’s cut grade innovations proved that you can’t look at diamond measurements in a vacuum. It’s the combinations of measurements that matter. Send me the links to the stones you’re considering and I”ll be happy to take a look!

Thanks for the quick response. I have been spending a lot of time on your website and am learning a lot from the Q & A’s of others and your responses. I am almost certainly going to order the ring from James Allen and want your advice before I do so. I will start short listing stones real soon. The one thing I couldn’t find something on was the Hearts and Arrows cut on James Allen. Is it worth going for the Hearts and Arrows cut vs the ideal cut? I obviously want to get the best cut possible. I hope the H & A doesn’t increase costs by by a 1000!

Also, I placed an order for the ring yest. evening. It’s Tacoristyle 2616rd65 in white gold She’s a fan of Tacori and I like this ring because of the crescents and intricate work. The diamonds on it as I’m sure you already know are G and VS. So, my solitaire has to be min. G correct? Do you have any comments on the kind of solitaire I should be looking for? I want to go over carat and below 1.15. the max the ring can hold I’ve been told is 1.2. My budget is 8000 Canadian dollars. I obviously don’t want to max out my budget :)-unless there is something really worth it.

I will propose on March the 19th (date obviously is imp. :)) and the Tacori ring will be here by the first week of March for sure. I plan to order the diamond by then so that I have enough time to set and possibly return it and get another one.

Sorry for the ramble.

I think you could actually go down to an H center stone and still have a beautiful white looking ring. The question of H&A is a tricky one. There is a small visual benefit, that’s true, but it’s not exactly mind-blowingly noticeable. It’s subtle. And that subtle difference costs a lot of money, so it’s a call you’ll have to make on your own.

It’s been a while. I’ve just been waiting for the Tacori ring and it is going to be in this week. So, I want to get on the diamond right away since the day is very close.

1) Since you said that the H&A cut costs a lot of money, can you by looking at the technical specs on the James Allen site be able to tell which less expensive Excellent cut would just about make the H&A or is close enough? I don’t want to purchase from Blue Nile simply because of the inability to see the diamond (as you said).

2) You said that I could go also go for a H colour diamond and be fine for the ring I’ve chosen. I’m wondering what effect the colour/cut would have on a diamond. For example, would a diamond with Excellent cut and colour G or perhaps E have the same effect as colour H and H & A keeping everything else constant? Or am I way out to lunch?

3) Based on you response, do you have any recommendations for:

Carat: 1.0 to 1.2 (the bigger the better)
Clarity: Eye Clean
Colour: G or H depends on your answer
Cut: depends on your answer
Budget: Canadian Dollars 8500 max.- I don’t want to max it out for sure :). Unless there is something great that you recommend.

I think my ideal case would be SI 1 (eye clean), H&A, G colour in the 7K or less range. But maybe I want my cake and eat it too. Pls, be brutally honest with me if my thought process is nuts!

4) I saw a few H&A SI 1 diamonds on James Allen and they had a black spot in the middle. Surely that would be visible to the naked eye right?

Thanks a lot!

nice to hear back from you. The two H&A stones you linked to definitely have great cuts, but their strong black inclusions worry me. I think they will indeed by visible to the naked eye.

Since your ring will be so white with such high color diamonds, I think pushing to a G color might actually be a good idea in this case. Lets see what I can come up with!

I think this stone has it all for you. Let me know what you think!

Thanks for the quick response. That’s a beautiful stone. I would prefer to bring the size down a to 1.15/6 max. I’m concerned the setting may be affected since the jeweler told me that 1.2 is the absolute max.

What about my question, “Can you by looking at the technical specs on the James Allen site be able to tell which less expensive Excellent cut would just about make the H&A or is close enough?” Are the specs for the diamond you gave me for close in terms of H&A and excellent cut?

I saw a few neat ones below. They are all H&A. Would I be overpaying for any of these?

Do you have any ‘steals’ in the H&A category Ira? Because I’m sure only you’d find it.

Thanks again.

That’s a smart move, because the 1.20ct stone I recommended was particularly large for its weight – it faces up more like a 1.30ct stone.

Sorry I didn’t answer the other question. Unfortunately, I can’t tell for sure re: finding a non H&A that’s close to H&A. I can estimate, but there’s no way to know for sure without seeing the stone up close.

The H&As you linked to look great! This one seems the best to me:

Unfortunately, there aren’t any steals in the H&A category!

Thanks for the reply Ira. I am hoping that you can look at these next few that are in my $8000 range. (not worth the price for a VS2 over the SI 1 that you preferred in the previous e-mail)

Which one is your pick?

Apart from price, which one do you recommend for the style of ring between your pick from above and the your pick for the 7000 range ( Would D colour have a big impact as opposed to G?

I honestly am hoping to get something in the 1.05/06/07 range that’s 7000K range. But I don’t see any. Do you?

Honestly, you can choose between those three stones by flipping a 3-sided coin. I can pretty much guarantee you that if they were in front of you right now, you would not in any way be able to distinguish them one from the other.

The D SI1 is a much better buy than these. You can definitely see the difference if a D is next to a G. The only thing you gain in the other direction is higher clarity, and that adds nothing to the visual appeal of the stone.

1) Thanks for the response. I am extremely close to deciding here. I saw the AGS certificate for my shortlisted diamonds and it doesn’t show the inclusions clearly at all. The GIA certs are very clear but the AGS isn’t. Is there a risk with the AGS certification particularly with regards to diamond integrity?? Are the certs much better when viewed in person??

2) Also, my short list has come down to 3 choices and I am hoping that you give me some advice to help me decide. The short list and my comments with respect to each other are as under:

Pros: Colour D. Cons: Size is 1.01 want a 1.05/6/7 ideally.

Pros: Carat is 1.07 Cons: G colour and this huge feather on the left. Would that be visible or affect the integrity of diamond?

Pros: Carat 1.06 Cons: G colour, price is $1000 more.

Ignoring the price, I guess I want you to tell me if the G colour 1.07/6 carat diamond is better or worse compared to the D colour 1.01 carat for my ring style. I feel that the bigger size would mean more surface area causing the diamond to appear to sparkle more. The ring diamonds are VS G.

Thanks a million!
A stressed xxxxxx 🙂

I still think the D is the better choice. The size difference is only 0.2 mm which is just on the border between not noticeable at all, and JUST BARELY noticeable. The difference in color, however, is much more easily noticeable.

So i spoke to a James Allen rep and she said that there is a good enough risk that the diamond inclusion for could be seen if held close to the eye. She spoke about how eye clean is about 6 to 8 inches and encouraged to buy a VS2 instead. I am not doubting her integrity but I would like to have your opinion on the matter.

I’m surprised she said that. If you’re concerned, ask them to have the stone pulled and inspected face to face by their gemologists to tell you for sure.
Btw, I spoke with a contact at JA about this, and they were very surprised. Do you by any chance remember the name of the person who helped you on the phone who gave you this advice?

I believe her name was Angelia or Angelina. She said she’s been in the diamond business since 1990. I called JA again since I thought it could merely be opinion. The second person male ( I forgot his name) didn’t strongly say that I will the D stone inclusion would e visible to the eye, but again spoke about the 6 to 8 inches and said upclose it could be a problem. She also spoke about the diamond getting dirty with oil and dirt which may perhaps make the inclusion more visible. It obviously made me very nervous. I want to order the diamond today and am hoping to reach a conclusion soon since I am running short on time.

I’ll call JA and ask them to pull the diamond and have a gemologist look at it face to face.

I can’t tell you how much i appreciate your help Ira. Thanks
I called again and ended up speaking to Josh Cales who is manager there and he said that he was very surprised that I got that information about that D 1.01 diamond. He said that he 100% sure that the diamond in question 1236916 is eye clean and said that he’ll pay in advance for the return shipping because I won’t return it since it’s eye clean. He also bet his next pay cheque over it. He asked me the person’s name I spoke to and was disappointed with what I was told. He said that he will use this example as a training tool today.

I told him that I have been consulting you and that your opinion of the matter and he agreed with you 100%. So, I’ve made the purchase. I am very confident that the diamond will be good. I will look at at it closely when it arrives and hope to see nothing.

Once again, thanks a million Ira. Your website helped immensely clear the air on so very many issues with regards to the diamond and made it possible for me to get to the point of buying one. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you.

I will let you know when I receive the diamond. It’ll probably be here on Monday or Tuesday at the latest since I am using bank wire to save some money.

A very grateful xxxxx

My pleasure! Please let me know what you think when it arrives!

I got the diamond after a lot of hassle. It was shipped on the Friday before the last and would’ve been here the next day. But the JA guys put the wrong country code and it was on route to Andorra! After a lot of stress, I got it last Thursday-5 days late.

The only good thing out of all that is the diamond. It is absolutely wonderful. It is eye-clean just as you said. I got engaged on Sat and my fiancee loves it! Your recommendation for the D colour diamond instead of the G was excellent. It made the whole setting stand out. I’m glad I went with it.

Thanks a lot once again Ira. I wouldn’t be able to do this without your input and guidance.

Glad to hear it all worked out in the end! And thanks for stroking my ego that my call on the D was right!! 🙂

If you have the time, do you think you might be able to leave me a review on ivouch? If you could, I would be extremely grateful. Here’s a direct link should you find the time:

Thanks! And congrats!

Done. it was a pleasure. Thanks again.


It’s fantastic!! Thanks so much!!

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