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Old JamesAllen

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 05-25-99 , 08:56 AM


This question goes out to both the experienced jeweler and more importantly "John Q. Public".

Why buy VVS clarity diamonds?

I have been dealing diamonds part-time for about a year now. Over the course of the last year I have had a chance to see everything from VVS1 to I3 clarity diamonds. Although I agree that Imperfect diamonds take a special kind of buyer and that SI2/SI3 are not always "eye-clean", I still have to chuckle when I see people buying 1/3 carat D-VVS1 diamonds. Why not maximize that budget and look for a nice SI clarity diamond? Put a 35 point D-VVS1 next to a 70 point G-SI2 and tell me which one most women would choose?!?

Am I the only one not driving a Bentley or a Rolls Royce? When did size stop being important? If any woman tells you size isn't important she might be trying not to hurt your feelings...

Here are my guesstimates as to why so many people inquire about VVS stones. I look forward to feedback:

1. Lack of information: Most people simply look at a clarity scale and don't understand that SI clarity is just as beautiful as VVS to the naked eye.
2. Misinformation: Jewelers can't sell the VVS diamonds so they promote them to buyers with small budgets.
3. The "linear theory": On a scale of D-Z, I/J color doesn't look too bad. On a scale of Flawless through Imperfect, VVS "looks about right".
4. Pride: If you can't have two carats or "D" color, why not have the best clarity, even if it's at the cost of color or carat?
5. All or some of the above.

In no way am I trying to offend anyone, nor do I think that there is anything wrong with buying VVS stones, IF budget is not an issue and you have adequate color/carat/cut values. I'm just trying to understand the dynamics of this whole process.

As I've said in other postings; It doesn't matter what you read, it doesn't matter what anyone tells you: At the end of the day carat is king. No woman has ever looked at my wife's ring and said "Wow - is that VVS clarity!" It's always been "Damn - that thing is BIG!!!" (slightly spread 1.5 ct G-SI1 and proud of it...)

Jim Schultz
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[This message has been edited by YOungPapa (edited 05-25-99).]

[This message has been edited by YOungPapa (edited 05-25-99).]

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 05-25-99 , 12:36 PM


As an amateur, I'd buy size and give up a little clarity, that's if the naked eye can't pick up.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 06-04-99 , 07:58 AM


Interesting question...
It depends on the market and the background of the buyer. In America size is king. In Asia the better the quality, both color and clarity, well, the better...Many parts of Europe will prefer quality to size...that's why variety is important.

I have another question. Why buy an IF Diamond with K color? Or a D Color I1?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 06-25-99 , 11:51 PM


Hey Papa,
I hate to pick your brain but I'm a very inexperienced buyer starting to look for a ring. I want a nice solitare but have no idea
about the grades or how to tell them apart. this is going to be a pretty big investment for us so we want to find good quality but not lose out bottoms. Help!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 06-26-99 , 10:39 AM


srmquestions -

Send me an e-mail and I would love to help you out. I do sell diamonds myself, so don't be surprised if I offer up something in my own inventory, but I also have a sincere interest in helping people find great deals on great diamonds, regardless of whether or not they buy from me...

Jim Schultz
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Old MIKE C


Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 07-09-99 , 02:57 PM


O.K. JOHN Q. PUBLIC HERE. I HAVE NARROWED DOWN MY SEARCH FOR THAT SPECIAL RING. TWO STONES. ONE IS A VVS1 D COLOR ROUND BRILLIANT, 1.23 CARAT, EXCELLENT SYMMETRY, VERY GOOD POLISH, FLOURESENCE FAINT, CULET NONE, BOTH TABLE AND DEPTH 59%, MEDIUM FACETED. COMMENTS; ADDITIONAL PINPOINTS NOT SHOWN AND SURFACE GRAINING IS NOT SHOWN. $9,720
THE OTHER IS AN E VS1 ROUND BRILLIANT,1.21 CARAT, VERY GOOD POLISH, GOOD SYMMETRY, FLOURESENCE NONE,TABLE 60% DEPTH 58.5% , THIN TO THIN,FACETED. COMMENTS; NONE $8,000

DIFFERENT DEALERS SO I CAN'T SEE THEM TOGETHER. I HAVE LOOKED AT OTHER STONES TOGETHER D TO G AND VVS1 TO S1 WITH EYE, LOOP, AND EVEN UNDER PROPER LIGHT. CAN'T SEE THE DIFFERENCE. I AM LEANING TO VVS1 BECAUSE ITS BETTER BUT SHOULD I SAVE THE 1700 OR IS ONE STONE A BETTER VALUE? HELP!!
MIKE

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 07-12-99 , 07:44 AM


Mike -

Let's see - should you buy the Ferrari or the Porsche??

They are both wonderful diamonds at fair prices. I personally think the D-VVS1 is the better value (you're almost talking flawless), but the faint fluorescence is going to pull down the price a tiny bit (even though you probably won't notice it).

If you've got the 10K to spend, and you're not going into debt, why not spend it. Unless you're thinking of upping the size of the stone (why not buy a 1.75 carat E-VS1 for the money) then I'd buy the VVS1.

As an aside, I'm assuming these diamonds are both GIA certified, come with money back guarantees, and are being sold by someone you trust???

Jim Schultz
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Old rdl44


Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 07-12-99 , 04:52 PM


ok, my turn to pick someone's brain
I'm trying to decide between two princess cut stones, and there is very little information out there on the best cuts for these types of stones.

The first stone is 1.30 carats, VVS2, I color, and has 75.6% depth and 79% table, with proportions of 5.94 x 5.89 x 4.45. The polish and symmetry are good, no fluorescence and an extremely thin to slightly thick girdle. Price - $5900

The second stone is listed as a rectangular brilliant cut (although it looks like a princess cut to me). It is 1.28 carats, VS1, H color. Proportions are 6.25 x 6.02 x 4.16 and has a table of 85% and depth of 69.1%. It has a medium to slightly thick girdle, very good polish and good symmetry.
Price - $6200

Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 07-13-99 , 07:09 AM


rdl44 -

I took the following guidelines from an online diamond dealer. For Princess cut diamonds, they recommend the following:

Depth Percentage: 64.0% - 75.0%
Table Percentage: 59% - 72%
Girdle: Thin to thick

I don't think either of those two diamonds fall in this range, and to be honest - the prices are pretty high. You should be able to get either of those stones for under $5,000.

Good Luck

Jim Schultz
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Old Mike C


Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 07-13-99 , 08:08 AM


Jim,
Thanks a lot for your advice. I bought the Ferrari. Had to borrow 1.5k, but can pay it off quickly. I kind of thought from scanty researh that the VVS1 was a better value. Thanks for confirming. Both stones are GIA certified and actually, the better stone was sold to me by a good friend of my mother's who is a diamond dealer. So I took the plunge.
Thanks a lot,
Mikd

Old Ladymorgan


Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 07-13-99 , 01:04 PM


In reply to the original post:
I have just started shopping for my engagement ring. My fiance has told me to pick out anything I want, though I did tell him that I would likely keep it under $10K.I don't have much experience in this area, but have found that I actually prefer better clarity over bigger size.
This came as a big surprise to me. I thought bigger was better, but it turns out that I actually PREFER the look of smaller diamonds. Even 1 carat looks a bit too big on my hand. I seem to prefer 3/4 carat or smaller, as long as the clarity is vs or vvs. I can look into the jeweler's case and immediately spot the rings with the best clarity diamonds, so I guess I have an eye for it.
So, at least some of us women prefer quality over size.
The thing is, I am hesitant to get a smaller diamond because I am afraid other people will think he is cheap.
In my limited search so far, here are my favorites so far (it looks like he might get off easy on the price):
.32 vvs E set in platinum, this diamond is very beautiful, but too small even for me, I am considering using a matched set as side stones with a cerlon(sp?) sapphire in the center.
.90 vs1 I set in 18k yellow gold, $5500, this one is a bit big for me.
.70 vs2 G set in 18k yellow gold, $4400 I like this one a lot.
.62 vvs1 F set in platinum, $7900, this is an "ideal cut" Lazare(sp?) Kaplan.
.53 vvs1 E set in platinum, $6700, also an ideal cut Lazare Kaplan.

They are all round cut, and I couldn't really see what was so great about the "ideal" cut.
So, how am I doing so far?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 07-14-99 , 08:46 AM


LadyMorgan -

Thanks for the input and for bringing this subject back to it's original intent.

Although I do feel that most women prefer larger diamonds, "larger" is a relative term. When I show friends and family two and three carat diamonds, they almost always say "that's way too big for me!". It's the nice 1-1.5 caraters that get their attention.

I think it's great that your favorite diamond is the one with the lowest price and clarity. It just goes to show that paying a premium for VVS quality stones is not necessary.

You also make a great comment about "ideal cuts". Personally I think they're overrated, and as you said yourself "I couldn't really see what was so great about the 'ideal' cut."

It sounds like your husband might get off cheap on the diamond, so why not hit him up for that cruise to the Caribbean! (ha-ha)


Jim Schultz
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Old Ladymorgan


Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 07-14-99 , 11:10 AM


Well, now I've got my eye on a beauty at Tiffany's, so he might not get off so easily after all.
But no matter which diamond I end up with, we are definitely honeymooning in the carribean! What a guy!

BTW, what do you think of Tiffany's certification? They have a good reputation, but should I still get it GIA certified? Why or why not?
Thanks!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 07-16-99 , 03:46 AM


Hi,

Well congrats on the engagement and the Carribbean. I noticed your post and thought I'd say a word or two.

While I don't want to comment on any specific company....I can say in general, whether shopping for boats, cars, diamonds, houses, baseball players, basketball players or any other expensive enough item worth getting an appraisal over, you would most likely be better off getting an INDEPENDENT appraisal, rather than trusting the organization's in-house services. No matter how good is the reputation of the company, there is the possibility that their staff is biased!
And some companies have a reputation of charging more for the packaging than for the actual item itself!

Regards from the French Riviera...

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 08-04-99 , 02:03 PM


RockDoc -

Reread my postings. I never recommended buying spread stones. I did say, however, that my wife is absolutely IN LOVE with the slightly spread stone I bought her.

I also said that Ideal cuts are overrated (which I know you highly disagree with) and I also said that most women prefer larger diamonds, all else being equal.

Welcome to the sight, Rockdoc. I'm sure we will play off each other very well. I just hope you don't turn this sight into an advertising billboard for Richard...

Jim Schultz
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[This message has been edited by YOungPapa (edited 08-05-1999).]

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 10-01-99 , 07:01 PM


I've just found this site, so pardon me if this is a repeat question (I know there are no dumb questions, right?). I know that we should get an independent appraisal. What is the process, though? Do we buy the stone, walk away, go to an appraiser, and if there's a negative discrepancy, go back to the seller? How do we find a reputable appraiser?

Old Fi to Be


Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 10-01-99 , 10:56 PM


I have the same question as Anne.. ALSO.. the diamond we have selected is an AGS cert. stone. Can we trust this to be equally rated by GIA standards as far as color, clarity? (I know the cut is more detailed).
Also.. want to be sure we got a good deal on an oval, 1.04 H/VS1 for 5700 (stone alone). I don't have the proportions yet but was assured it was cut grade 1. Thanks in advance!! We have been poring and agonizing over several stones and HOPE we have finally settled on the right one... what a process!!!!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 10-08-99 , 08:24 AM


Have to add my 2 cents. I think most women love a little more size. Most of the time a well cut diamond, maybe a little spread(based on the American standard) in the H to I color range, and being a true SI-1 is about the ideal purchase. I also see to many people trying to purchase a diamond from a piece of paper. We don't buy homes, cars, etc from a piece of paper. We must like the way they look!! A big question? How many people have actually seen something wrong with a friends new engagement ring? I doubt many have. These are just a few things I have seen after selling diamonds for over 30 years. Put the Love and Emotion back into your purchases.....They will be worth more!

Old Wilk1


Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 11-03-99 , 05:10 PM


In regards to your message to "John Q. Public", I would have to respond that it is the rarity of the diamond (or for that matter VVS-I) which allows someone to comprimise size. If the outside of something is all that matters why not purchase a replica porche?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 11-03-99 , 08:39 PM


However, the naked eyes can discriminate replica Porsche and real Porsche (Have you ever seen those lame "Porsche" kit cars?). The same can't be said for "eye-clean" clarity grades.

Old Wilk1


Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 11-04-99 , 01:25 AM


I guess I would have to argue that you would have to get close enough to the porche to see it is fraudulent, just as you would notice the difference between SI and VVS1/2 under inspection.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 11-04-99 , 09:10 AM


If you bought a kit car Porsche you would know it every time you saw it, and anyone riding with you would surely know. But if you bought a "eye clean" diamond you still bought a diamond, and your friends don't know the grade.

Old Wilk1


Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 11-04-99 , 10:46 AM


If you buy an SI quality diamond you are going to know it everytime you view it. The statement is wheter you choose to acknowledge it, just because it is not eye apparent does not establish the fact that it is still in your psyche less rare, and therefore has higher value. As for those people who are "riding your porsche that would surely know", anyone who took the time to match the brilliance of your diamond with another stone, or surveyed the diamond, as does a passenger in a porche, would soon see that your diamond is not "top grade". Your assumption also deals with audience. When driving around your vehicle (or showing off your diamond) who is your audience? Who are your friends and how discerning are they? If your friends are mechanics, car dealers, or car enthusiasts or have atleast had the chance to ride in a real porche they might be able to tell the difference, just as a a discerning group of fellow jewelers, gem enthusiasts or "people who know".

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 11-04-99 , 11:45 AM


You can get different kinds of Ferraris. Connoiseurs will know what kind you have. Some people could care less about cars and won't even realize that it's a ferrari.

I don't think the difference between SI diamonds and VVS diamonds are not noticeable. They sure are. If the argument is why buy vvs diamonds versus VS diamonds, that's a good point.

But although D and E and F are hard to distinguish, every D color diamond I saw looks just amazing. E and F nice too. I can't tell the difference if the diamonds are not next to each other but when they are next to each other I was able to see that the D is nicer. Maybe it was an effect of the cut.

So, I go for VS1 clarity and E or F color to be on the high end and then go for the biggest diamond matching the quality with a nice cut for my budget. Forget ideal cut. You guys on this forum are right. Ideal cut is baloney.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 11-04-99 , 12:05 PM


I have been selling diamonds for over 30 years, and I challenge anyone to tell me the difference between a properly graded SI-1 and anything above that with the naked eye when color, and cut also match.... Especially when set in a mounting and worn for a week or two. All of you in the trade know how cosmetics, hand lotions, and anything even slightly greasey affects the over all look of even a quality diamond. Why do we use tweezers and lint free clothes? Because diamonds adhesion to grease/oils and lint is very high. Just a few more thoughts.

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