Carat vs. clarity & online vs. jeweler

lynne_ross

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Dec 18, 2008
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Hello all,

My boyfriend and I have been researching engagement ring options. I would prefer he picks the ring out on his own but I am so picky he does not want to take the risk. So we are making the decision together. Anyway, with our given budget, I can either get:

A) Round, 3+ carats, GIA excellent cut, H colour and S1 quality or
B) Round, 2.8- carats, GIA excellent cut, H colour and VS2 quality

Which option would you chose and why? Keep in mind I will not compromise on the clarity or colour!
I have always wanted at least 3 carats. I know 2.8 carats is close to 3 but it is still not 3 (to me). Seems silly…

I would also like people’s opinion on buying online vs. using a jeweler when buy a stone around 3 carats. I know there are pros and cons with both but would love other’s opinions.

Thanks
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
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if the SI1 is COMPLETELY eye clean I'd go for it.

I'd buy online for sure if it were from a reputable retailer.

Have you plugged either's stats into the holloway cut advisor yet?
 

wintotty

O.G.
Jan 24, 2006
3,715
2,394
Congrats first of all!!!

I'm actually on a market for the similar spec stone for my upgrade! When you said 3 plus carats, how much plus are we talking about? Anyway you are talking about the difference of the clarity, if it's eye clean SI1 I will take the (A) option for bigger size. If you are buying online, make sure to get the photos of the actual stone, and ideally Ideal Scope Image for the performance of the stone!
 

lynne_ross

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Dec 18, 2008
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Hey Swanky, I have never heard of the holloway cut advisor - I had to goolgled it!


Wintotty - thanks (not there yet but thanks!)
It really depends on the stone (wrt 3+) and whether we buy online vs using a jewelry. With a jewelry I can not be as specific and would be more like to go over the budget if it is the right stone.
Have you been looking online or using a jeweler?
 

ame

O.G.
Mar 22, 2007
13,472
674
For me, probably B. Id rather have a cleaner stone than a larger one. I just had to replace my original set after it was stolen and I found myself less comfortable with SI clarity than I ever suspected, considering my original was a completely eye-clean SI2, the only visible inclusion was an indented natural at the girdle that was prongable (though I liked it visible.)

If you can find a HIGH I-color you could go up in clarity to VS2 and possibly break that 3ct mark.

It was hard to find a stone I liked enough to replace the original, and I went through several before choosing this one. I ended up with a VS1 that two appraisers said was really a VVS1-2, because you need a 60x to find the inclusions. They disagreed with the report on color, calling it one grade lower, but the color is fine with me!

That all said: I purchased online from Good Old Gold (goodoldgold.com) in NY. and I am SO glad I did. I got an extremely fair deal, and a stone that is a total fireball knockout of amazingness. (That's the technical term!).

I have done business with several other online vendors and honestly, aside from my opinions about their workmanship in jewelry pieces, the diamonds from Brian Gavin and Whiteflash are un-be-lievable and are worth it.
 

hposnm

Member
Sep 10, 2008
168
0
W.A., Australia
I only purchase from my family jeweller just because when mum bought my first piece, the internet was still many many moons away!

Since then though, the high cost (including the evil customs!) and risk of an online purchase has just been a deterrent. But most importantly, I relaly like the customer service you get from a regular jeweller. Non-tangible stuff like:

- Trying on every other piece they have on display and in hiding. I find sometimes viewing stuff online is nothing like trying it out yourself and seeing how it fits.
- Getting them to keep a lookout for you.
- Getting them to clean your pieces or replace items, even if it wasn't purchased from them.
 

lynne_ross

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Dec 18, 2008
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Ame - I do not know how I could get a 'high I' stone online. All the I stones I have seen in-stores have been yellow.

hyposum - From shopping around, I have noticed there is not much of a price difference between online and at stores (for larger stones at least). However, the selection is minimal in that most stores only have one stone in the 3 carat range.
 

daluu

Member
Oct 20, 2007
1,663
2
reputable online jewelers might give you better value overall. i suggest you check out pricescope.
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
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Jan 12, 2006
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GIA graded I stones w/ ideal/excellent cut will face up white :yes:
 

Gimmethebag

Gimme Gimme Gimme
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Dec 2, 2008
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Chicago
Personally, I would go for a 2.5ct-3.0ct with the best clarity and cut we could afford. I think with large stones especially, clarity becomes more obvious versus color which you can really only tell when it is comparitively next to another stone.

I won't be getting my engagement ring/diamond online because customer service is very important for me. I like to feel taken care of and I want to be able to drop by and have my ring cleaned/inspected without being considered a bother (since they sold the diamond).
 

surfergirljen

Ooooh, pretty!
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Feb 24, 2009
3,196
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My original ring was SI1 and you could TOTALLY see the little carbon (black) specs in it if you looked with just your eyes (no loupe) - and it kinda bugged me. Honestly I'd take the 2.8 and run! :smile: I had a similar dilemma (only smaller rings!) with my replacement one - I could have gone up to 1.39 in an I colour, or 1.26 in a G and I went for the G and am really glad. Quality over quantity - especially if NO one will be able to tell the difference size wise! They'll face up so closely I'd rather have better clarity. AND Gimmethebag is totally right - the bigger the stone the more you'll see the imperfections... and those are pretty big stones you're talking about!
 

AMJ

~More CHANEL~
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Jan 5, 2009
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CA
I would go for option B.
Since you are getting a 3 carats diamond, clarity seems very important since it's not a small stone. Do not sacrifice the quality. I would go for a high quality diamond but not a bigger one IMO.
Online store sometimes offer good deals for diamond and local jeweler usually provides well customer service but small discount. If the online stores could offer certificates with excellent return policy, I will consider it!
Good luck~
 

Swanky

Admin
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Jan 12, 2006
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My original ring was SI1 and you could TOTALLY see the little carbon (black) specs in it if you looked with just your eyes (no loupe) - and it kinda bugged me. Honestly I'd take the 2.8 and run! :smile: I had a similar dilemma (only smaller rings!) with my replacement one - I could have gone up to 1.39 in an I colour, or 1.26 in a G and I went for the G and am really glad. Quality over quantity - especially if NO one will be able to tell the difference size wise! They'll face up so closely I'd rather have better clarity. AND Gimmethebag is totally right - the bigger the stone the more you'll see the imperfections... and those are pretty big stones you're talking about!
it probably shouldn't have been graded an SI1 then :sad:
Good SI1 stones don't really have visible imperfections w/o a loupe.
 

lynne_ross

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Dec 18, 2008
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I hope to have pave diamond (H or above colour) bands (E-ring and wedding), so the diamond will be next to other diamonds and the yellow I colour will be visible (to my eye at least).
I completely agree that in the larger stone it will be easier to see imprefections in the S quality range.
 

Gimmethebag

Gimme Gimme Gimme
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Dec 2, 2008
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I hope to have pave diamond (H or above colour) bands (E-ring and wedding), so the diamond will be next to other diamonds and the yellow I colour will be visible (to my eye at least).
I completely agree that in the larger stone it will be easier to see imprefections in the S quality range.
Have you looked at an I in a branded ideal cut like H & A. It might face up white. Did the ring have a culet that showed more color? I know that Tiffany's specs are fluorensce, culet, and girdle sensitive. I've seen I-color stones at Tiff's that still looked colorless. I read that Tiff's always assigns the lowest color grade to its diamonds, so an I there might be considered an G-H somewhere else.