The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for Round Brian Gavin Diamond 1.7-2 Carats

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us.
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First of all, thanks for the website and all of its Q&As. They’re very helpful in my learning about diamonds. I’ve been looking on the two websites that you recommend and have found several good stones. I have a stone that was found through a friend of mine who is a jeweler and I wanted to get your opinion on it compared to a couple stones on the James Allen site.

The two James Allen stones I’m looking at are:

If you respond, I can send you the GIA and image of the diamond that my friend is recommending.

I would really appreciate the help!


Those two stones are beautiful, but I think you’re overspending on clarity in a big way. Send me the GIA from your friend and then we’ll talk.

Here’s the GIA. Thanks for your help.

So I think you really should consider shifting your priorities with this purchase. First, makes sure to read my article on clarity.

You would be so much better served by taking the money going toward the upgrade to VS1 and putting it into the diamond’s cut. The difference between SI1/VS2 and VS1 is not perceptible to the human eye whatsoever, yet you can gain some significant light performance by upgrading to a super-ideal Hearts & Arrows cut diamond. Brian Gavin is the best at this. I would recommend these stones over the ones you linked to a million times over:

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the prompt response. You are truly helpful and a valuable source of information.

I will most likely propose around Christmas time so I figure I still have some time to learn/browse around. Regarding the two stones you linked, I think they are great and I understand the clarity issue and the downgrade of one or two levels. I read somewhere that AGS tends be to a bit looser than GIA, so I’m not sure if the AGS “ideal” cut is an upgrade over GIA’s “excellent”. Can you advise on that? Also, does Brian Gavin have the same type of customer service (i.e. comparison and recommendation of stones) as James Allen?

Finally, do you think you can help find a few more stones that are closer to 2 carats? I was hoping for something in the 1.8-1.99 range.

Thanks so much for your help.

AGS is very slightly looser than GIA, but certainly not in cut. In fact, in terms of cut, they are more strict. Their leniency in color/clarity is also not something you need to worry about. It’s something that you see in small percentages over hundreds of diamonds. The effect isn’t really noticeable on a stone by stone basis as it would with IGI or EGL.

As far as these H&A stones go, these aren’t “just” AGS Ideal, these are a tiny subset of AGS Ideals and GIA Excellent. If these were just the regular rank-and-file Ideals (or Excellents), they wouldn’t cost more.

Right now, all BGD has are I color 2ct stones, which I personally think are 100% fine:

They’re supposed to be getting in a shipment of a lot more stones in early september if you can wait.

Thanks Ira, I will check in with you in early September then.

Sounds great. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sorry to bother you again, but what do you think about Whiteflash’s A Cut Above compared to BGD? I took a quick look and found this one that’s similar to what I’ve been looking at:


We’ve had some less than stellar experiences with WF, so we no longer refer people to them. But lets say we found that diamond on BGD – the difference is that it’s noticeably smaller. Not overwhelmingly so, for sure – but definitely noticeable.

if you wanted to go down to a 1.70-1.80, then I would suggest this stone on BGD which is a better value:

The difference in size between this stone and the WF stone is not significant enough to be noticeable (under 0.2mm).

Understood. Thanks. I will wait for the new shipment in early September from BGD then. Thanks!

Sounds good. Please get in touch then.

Just checking in to follow up with our previous conversation. Do you know if Brian Gavin’s new shipment is in yet? Thanks.

I sent an inquiry to BGD. This was their response:

 Brian is in Antwerp and the goods are shipping to the AGS tomorrow or Tuesday – we have preliminary factory gradings but of course don’t want to finalize until we get the AGS results. I am assuming the new goods should be in house by the middle to end of next week (AGS moves fairly fast for us)

Thanks Ira, I will check in with you at the end of next week. Very excited to finally select a ring after all this research.

sounds great!

Just checking in to see if the inventory is in yet at BGD. If so, can you help take a look for me? Thanks.

I was in touch with BG and they said that they just got back a few stones yesterday from AGS and they have a few more at the lab. I was told they have a 2.13 H SI1 and a 2.14 G SI1. None of these are uploaded to the site yet because they are either still at the lab, or they didn’t have time to get them on the site yesterday. They also have a 1.72 H SI1 that’s currently live in their inventory:

If either of those two sound interesting, I would recommend you call them and ask them what the price is. Just tell them you heard about them from me. Otherwise, the 1.72 H SI1 is a fantastic choice as well. The difference in size would definitely be noticeable between the 1.72 and the 2.13, but it would not be overwhelmingly so. So whether that difference is worth the difference in price (how much it is, I don’t know because the stones aren’t live yet), will really be up to you.

Let me know how it goes!

Thanks for the detailed update. I’m having some doubts about SI diamonds and the 1.71 seems to have some marks in the middle of the diamond. Are there any diamonds around the same size that is VS2? I think H and VS2 are the lowest parameters for color and clarity for me, unless there’s an absolute eyeclean SI.

Thanks again.

This is really nice:

But honestly, I think the H SI1 is a MUCH smarter buy. There’s no way that those inclusions will be eye clean. I think you’d be much better off taking a risk on the H SI1 and returning it if you’re not satisfied. We’re talking about $5k and I’m 99.9% sure it’ll be eye clean.

Also a fantastic looking stone

I looked over these three choices, and I gotta say, I still like the SI1!

Unfortunately, my coupon code hasn’t worked on JA for over a year. And I don’t have one for BGD either. They were running a special recently because they launched a new line of settings. I’m not sure if it’s still in effect, though. You should ask them about it.

I think I will go for the SI1. Thanks Ira for your help through this process!

My pleasure! I expect a full report when you receive it!

Of course! The final thing for me was looking at the report and comparing it to some other diamonds. I think this one is really the best of the ones I’ve seen.

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