Upgrading my center stone, advice needed.

posted 2 years ago in Rings
Post # 2
Member
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I would personally not get any stone below a GIA SI1. Most GIA graded stones above SI2 are eye clean. Who did the grading for the stones you looked at?

Many grading facilities don’t have as rigourous standards as GIA or Tiffany. For example an EGLI graded VS2 is most likely a GIA I1-I2.

If the grading is done in house then request to use a loupe so you can look at the stone up close. It’s much easier to check for chips, cracks, and inclusions that way. 

So yeah, if it is GIA graded I would say to keep the clarity above SI1, but if it’s something like EGLI then get a VVS1-VVS2. Clarity does matter because a low clarity would compromise the integrity of the stone. A more included stone is more likely to chip or break in the long run. 

Post # 4
Member
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

jen.harvey.549:  you can go lower on clarity with an excellent cut, but not too low. I wouldn’t go lower than SI1 and I would ensure that it was eye clean. Your new stone is going to be beautiful! My stone is a GIA Excellent cut VS2 and is completely eye clean. All I see are sparkles!

Post # 6
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May

SI1 is the lowest I would go clarity wise, GIA specs. after that it gets dicey. Also I’m not sure whT your target range is but .90-.98 is a great way to get a 1 ct without paying the price. Once it hits .99 or above, the cost instantly doubles. but the difference between .90 and a full carat isn’t discernible size wise. If you can get a VS1-2, go for it. My SI1 often leaves me longing for slightly better quality.

Post # 7
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

This would be my choice… it has ideal optics and a very nice spread at 6.37mm for $5750.  At that size, an I color will be very white, especially with an AGS 0!!

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/12130/

This is an extremely reputable vendor recommended at length by Pricescope members daily.  They also have a good upgrade policy.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 8
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

 

Strawberryshmoo:  Although you are correct about saving money by going 0.9-.99 ct in stead of passing the 1 ct mark, the price doesn’t double… not even close.  🙂

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 9
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The larger the stone, the more “tint” will be seen.  For example a 2.5 ct I will show more tint than a 1.5 ct I colored stone.  That said, a stone of that size will look very white at I, even J or K if it has a great cut.  Not all GIA XXX are created equal — some are great performers, some are dogs.  Getting GIA XXX doesn’t mean it’s gonna automatically be the best.  AGS grades on optics, so an AGS Ideal (0) will have premium performance.  This is why I like the stone I linked above.

If you’re worried about color, use this for reference…  My stone is a 2.43 J, SI1 (complelety eye clean) GIA XXX with a HCA of 2.7 (which isn’t even “premium”).  It would show much more tint than a 1 ct J, not to mention an I…

Post # 10
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May

msop04:  well that’s good news then. I based that on our experience of picking a stone and a 1.02 in VS2 quality was 8k in my neck of the woods this past weekend. I’m sure your mileage may vary and I’m not versed in online prices just local jewelers. Plus everything doubles in the tri-state area.

Post # 11
Member
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009 - Mountain Meadow/Mansion

 

akirasan:  I would agree with this. Plenty of 1 ct diamonds in the D/E/F/G, Ideal, VS2 or better clarity range for under $7k on Blue Nile. If you go to H/SI2 and above, there are plenty under $5k. Definitely better stones than what you’re being offered for a comparable price at your local jewelers. My stone came from James Allen and I have diamond earrings from Blue Nile. Love them all and get compliments regularly!

http://www.bluenile.com/diamond-search?track=DiamondSearchRD

Post # 12
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The problem with Blue Nile is they have ZERO imaging (no photos, videos, ASET, Idealscopes), so unless you get an AGS Ideal (000) in a VS1 or better, you really don’t know how it will perform or if it will be eye clean.  I have seen SI2’s that were completely eye clean and VS2’s that were not at all…  James Allen, GOG, Ritani, HPD, and other vetted PS vendors are the best best.  

Unless you are pretty well-versed in diamonds, I wouldn’t even attempt to shop at a brick-and-mortar or “home town jeweler”… and mall stores are OUT.  Unfortunately, simply asking for GIA XXX and XXcolor/XXclarity doesn’t get it… there are many other specs to be considered. 

If you absolutely must shop at a B&M, I’d stick with AGS 000 stones, this way you know they will have premium optics.  All you’ll have to do is make sure the color is acceptable to your tolerances and the stone is eye-clean.  🙂

My advice is to visit Pricescope.  There are many members who will be more than happy to help you get the absolute best/biggest for your budget.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can actually get!  🙂

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 13
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

 

Strawberryshmoo:  No worries.  🙂   I think a lot of B&M jewelers count on the average consumer having much less education where diamonds are concerned, so they can tell them anything they want to make a the sale… Also, they have higher overhead (rent, advertising, series of middlemen, etc), so they have to charge much more than those who do not, i.e. online retailers.

FWIW, many of the trusted PS vendors have an actual building and are not just online (Brian Gavin, Whiteflash, etc…)

Post # 14
Member
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I second msop04’s suggestion, and highly recommend that you post the same question over on pricescope.com.  Within minutes, you’ll have an abundance of input, and even suggestions on actual stones for purchase. The men and women on that forum are hardcore diamond lovers, and extremely educated. Good luck!

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