Post # 1
I’m just about settled on an engagement ring. Looking at a french pave setting, elongated cushion cut, around 1 carat, and as low as I can reasonably go on color/inclusions without risking a warm tone or the diamond not being eye clean. Budget is 4k euros max (around 4.5k USD). I think I found the perfect diamond but maybe there are some red flags I’m not considering. Can you guys tell me what you think?
Post # 2
I could be wrong, but the black areas seem like areas of light leakage. I could be wrong. Try going for an ideal or excellent cut in a 0.90 – 0.99 carat, because you will notice the increase in sparkle, but not so much the decrease in size. Also when you buy a stone bang on 1 ct it cost more than 0.99 ct.
Try asking the good people over at Pricescope their opinion, they will share their knowledge with you.
Post # 3
This one is 0.93 and is an ideal cut, it seems much brighter with less dark areas.
Put the measuremnts into DB diamond for both the diamonds and see what the difference is between the two diamonds.
Post # 4
I would go for an excellent cut and bring the clarity down, look for diamonds without inclusions on the table, as those are most visible, especially carbon ones.
Inclusions can be hidden by facets or by prongs if they are near the edge of the diamond, but those on the table get reflected and can make the diamond look more heavily included than it really is. I would look for an excellent cut VS2 or SI1 with feather inclusions.
Post # 5
I just compared the 2 for you, the 0.93 faces up small.
I agree with the above poster, go for SI1 with no visible inclusions. I have an SI1 and I can’t see anything unless I look through a loupe. While searching for my diamond I saw many VS stones with more inclusions than mine. They get rated by the size of the inclusion, but not the position. So an SI stone with a feather inclusion will be better value than a VS with a small carbon inclusion right at the top of the diamond.
Post # 6
PPs are spot on. The carbon inclusion in the center would drive me crazy.
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
Josh1 : that black carbon spot would drive me insane. I’m surprised the grading is VS when it’s so noticeable. I think you can do better! There are probably SI1 graded diamonds that are eye clean but more affordable- or you could go up in size a bit with an eye clean SI1
Post # 8
As you are shopping you should know that GIA does not grade on cut for fancy shapes (ie: cushions) and will only grade on polish and symmetry. James Allen and other websites that add their own “cut grading” drive me bonkers because it just isn’t true! A perfect example of this is the .93ct ideal/excellent cut above, it just didn’t look right on the 360 view and sure enough it faces up very small for its size.
When selecting a cushion please don’t just look at the specs but really narrow your search to say: .90-1.05ct, D-H, SI1 and better and then laboriously look at each one for inclusions, light return, and plug them into diamdb.com to see if they are “adequate” size (you don’t want a cushion to be deep cut/small for its size or shallow cut/spread cut). Though remember that a 1ct cushion will be smaller than a 1ct round. Cushions also tend to show more color and inclusions than round diamonds do so just be aware of that (though as a PP mentioned, you can find an eye clean SI1, just make sure the table of the diamond is clean-no black carbon spots either if you can avoid it).
A quick note if you do request the GIA certificates for a few diamonds you’ve narrowed down (James Allen recently changed over to this new system…): If you want a slightly elongated cushion like the 1ct you picked out (it has a LW ratio of 1.09), symmetry will naturally not be excellent (I have a slightly elongated cushion with a LW ratio of 1.10 and it has a “very good symmetry”) and that’s okay in the case of cushions. If you and/or your SO want an elongated cushion look I would suggest you narrow your search to LW ratios of 1.15-1.20 as this will really look elongated rather than just slightly elongated. Polish should be very good or excellent.
My last recommendation is this: try to see them in person if you can! Cushions are each so unique, they differ more than rounds, and you really can’t know how a cushion will perform unless it’s out of a lab-like setting. Good luck finding that perfect diamond!
Post # 9
Although I can’t confirm it without the GIA cert, it looks like the cushion you initially had picked out is a hybrid cushion modified brilliant. Modified brilliants make up about 97% of the cushions in the market but give you that crushed ice/hazy look from angles and since they hold their weight in the bottom half bulge they tend to face up smaller than hybrids and true brilliants.
I am telling you all of this because you will want to find a cushion that is either a hybrid or true brilliant because they sparkle more and look larger, but it will take time to find a good one!
Post # 10
Josh1 : that black spot right bang in the middle would drive me nuts. I wouldn’t buy it if I were you.
Post # 11
Yeah an inclusion right there would irritate the hell out of me.
Post # 12
Josh1 : Another vote against the carbon spot. It would be noticeable with the naked eye.
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2008 - County courthouse
I don’t think this diamond’s clarity is really VS2. The carbon spots were the first thing I noticed when I saw this diamond. Also the H color makes the diamond look “dirty”…like beige. I’d continue looking