Does the clarity/color of diamonds less than 20pt affect sparkle?

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  1. Wondering how important the clarity/cut is for the sparkle of diamonds smaller than 20pt. I know that big designers (VCA, Cartier, Tiffany) use VS1 and G/H or better even for their pave and smaller diamond pieces, while some other online jewelers like Blue Nile routinely use SI2 and H for their melee and diamond hoops, etc.

    How much of a difference in sparkle and shine would it make for pave pieces and for say, diamond hoops with 20-25 pointers? There is such a markup for the high end designers but many local and online jewelers use significantly lower grade diamonds and I obviously don't want to end up with diamonds that don't shine.

    Am looking at some ShaneCo jewels - they have some nice designs, but their diamonds are all I1 or I2 grade for non-engagement rings. Should I take a chance on them?
     
    jimmie staton likes this.
  2. It makes a huge difference. I have cluster rings, that are absolutely beautiful but the clarity is always VS1 or above. I1/I2 is not worth it at all. No matter how small a diamond is, the clarity and color matter. Honestly places like ShaneCo (and this is just my advice because I have purchased from places like Helzberg in the past and it was not worth it and one of my biggest regrets of my life) are a real ripoff, it is such bad quality it should be illegal to sell it at the prices they do.

    You would be better off going to a local smaller jeweler that would sell better quality for the same price.
     
    Addicted to bags and nicole0612 like this.
  3. I have had pieces with smaller pave diamonds and never knew how much they could sparkle with so much fire until I bought VCA pieces. All if their diamonds, including the smallest like 0.01 each, sparkle like crazy with so much fire. I am sure every piece varies but the cut of the smallest pave diamonds is much better in my VCA than my non-VCA pieces.
     
  4. I think at that size or smaller the cut would be most important to have great sparkle and to be eye-catching. Then color because you see that next and finally clarity though I wouldn’t go less that SI1. Never go less than I on color.
     
    nicole0612 likes this.
  5. Clarity always matters no matter what size. It's a part of the 4 C's.... the clarity is determined on how flawed and the location of the flaws and/or blemishes in and on the diamond. Most diamonds look great in store under the store lighting, most diamonds look great if photographed well with great lighting...it's when you get them out of the store and wear them for a while, you will regret not getting a better clarity in your diamond(s). A fake diamond with great clarity will look better than a real diamond with lesser clarity. Pave being a cluster of tiny diamonds... would you rather have a cluster of bright sparkling diamonds or a cluster of dull lackluster diamonds? Diamonds are a girls best friend... take your time and choose your friends wisely and with great clarity. :eek:
    "J!m"
     
    Addicted to bags likes this.
  6. Thanks all. I’ve definitely seen diamond jewelry that doesn’t shine one bit, and figured it was because they were poorly cut. But yes probably the clarity matters also. Are there any jewelry retailers (online or otherwise) that any of you would recommend outside of the major jewelry houses that are reputable with good quality diamonds? I have a few Tiffany/Cartier pieces and love them, but am hoping to find some nice diamond items that don’t have as much of a brand markup.
     
    jimmie staton likes this.
  7. #7 Oct 14, 2019 at 12:58 AM
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019 at 1:32 AM
    Believe it or not...Costco has the best value for best price, just ask about the 4 C's before purchasing. Depending on the size of the stone, Tiffany & Co has the best upgrade for life policy and depending on the size, the diamond is laser cut with the logo Tiffany & Co inside the diamond, bring the value way up.... no other jeweler offers an upgrade policy but Tiffany & Co.. Graff laser inscribes the logo Graff and a tracking number inside the diamond, no upgrade policy, but will fetch a pretty penny if you were to sell. I've purchased a lot of diamond jewelry as gifts for friends and family from as low as Costco and as high as Graff, and many others in between. Independent places play around with the true mark of the stone by inflating the 4 C's and inflating the price, and will even provide you with a GIA certificate because most people will not spend the money to have authenticated and/or verified else where and they are just too happy to have a diamond anything. Example, they will tell you it's a VVS (very, very small inclusions which is great) when it is actually a SI (small inclusions which is just okay) and to the naked eye, you won't be able to tell the difference, but the price would be a few to several thousands above what it is actually worth and later on you will notice that your diamond is not looking as sparkly as it did when you purchased it.... and if you go to sell it, you would be really embarrassed. So stick with Tiffany & Co,,Cartier, Harry Winston, VCA, Graff and the like, if you are gonna spend big money just go with the luxury houses... plus, they will guarantee and replace and repair with great stones, sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee, but at least you will start with quality stones and end with quality stones. Luxury houses will always stand by their product for life or as long as they are in business, and most luxury houses have been around longer than any of us and will not be going anywhere anytime soon... If not, go with Costco... just do your homework.
    "J!m"
     
    saren, ccfun and baghagg like this.
  8. I know some people who buy jewelry from Costco. They are some nice pieces too. Bright diamonds with really nice sparkle and color.

    My preference though would be to go to a local jeweler, one that is privately owned. Local jewelers can get in touch with suppliers and manufacturers for you, if you choose to go a custom route. I remember eyeing a triple diamond bolo necklace which had better quality diamonds than what Tiffany was offering me for a single solitaire pendant. The diamonds were adjustable/slides on the chain. If I wanted, I could have requested even better diamonds. They were willing to swap the chain for white gold, since I don't like yellow gold. The custom necklace would have been less than a third of what Tiffany was offering me. I'm actually hoping I can still request for it to be made, since I shopped around for a long time.

    Another thing you could look into are places that deal with estate pieces. There are some beautiful jewelry pieces with intricacy levels you just don't see today. Give them a nice cleaning and they look brand new.

    Forgot to add, some local jewelers have gemstone microscopes for a buyer to look at the piece with. If allowed to, absolutely take advantage of it. It's the best way to judge the clarity of the stone and decide for yourself if you are satisfied with it.
     
    karly9 and jimmie staton like this.
  9. Agree with all the above posters. No matter how small the diamond, even pave, cut/color/clarity make all the difference.
    I ran into trouble trying to find the right diamond bracelet. I found most retailers used SI stones that looked drab to the naked eye.
    I finally went to a local jeweler who specializes in vintage and purchased a 3.5 carat brilliant-cut E vvs tennis bracelet that dazzles!!!! I am in danger of crashing my car sometimes it’s so brilliant!
    Size doesn’t matter but the 4 C’s do!!!!!
     
    karly9, LanaA and jimmie staton like this.
  10. Perfectly and elegantly stated Efleon,
    "J!m"
     
    efleon likes this.
  11. Really, 20-25 point diamonds are tiny and if you want sparkle and shine the cut will make a big difference as long as you don’t go below SI1. No one will look at the stones on your ears and see any inclusions unless they are clouds then possibly they might look a little hazy but at SI1 they shouldn’t with the naked eye.
     
    karly9 and jimmie staton like this.
  12. I decided a long time ago that in the long run, I am much happier with quality in most things I buy, especially in jewelry. I had a hard time finding excellent quality jewelry locally, and finally stumbled upon a diamond forum years ago when my husband said I could get a new diamond ring for an anniversary. Since you asked, my favorite site that has ideal cut diamonds and diamond jewelry is Whiteflash (https://www.whiteflash.com/). I have diamond studs from them and a custom diamonds by the yard long necklace and a bracelet. I found their prices to be better than local stores, and those stores didn't have the diamond quality of these. They use mostly F-G VS ideal cuts in their jewelry pieces. The other good thing is, they have top quality without the high end brand mark-up. (If you search for loose diamonds, always click in-house to get the diamonds they have in house that are selected for their inventory.)
     
    jimmie staton and karly9 like this.
  13. Thanks for your detailed reply. I have heard that Costco has some very good quality diamonds - might check them out for a tennis bracelet in the future. Haven't had the chance to drool over anything at Graff in person yet... have been meaning to but am afraid of falling in love with something unaffordable!

    Good point about inflated specs from shady dealers. Will ask around a bit more locally for reputable jewelers in the diamond districts.
     
    jimmie staton likes this.
  14. Yes, this is my hope - that I can find a reputable local jeweler that would be willing to work with me on a relatively simple custom piece like a tennis bracelet and cluster diamond earrings. I know they will be beautiful at Tiffany's but I can get bigger diamonds at the local jeweler for the same price. Thanks for the reminder to ask for the loupes/microscope!
     
    jimmie staton likes this.
  15. Thanks! Did you find Whiteflash easy to deal with when making custom jewelry? Do you think it's important to get ideal cuts in pave jewelry and in something like a tennis bracelet?

    BTW, I love the ring in your avatar! Is it an AVR by any chance?
     
    DS2006 likes this.