Help! Need advice about buying loose cushion diamond online

urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
Hi Everyone! I was hoping I could get some opinions in regards to purchasing a cushion cut diamond online. This one has really caught my eye and I am very close to taking the plunge, however, since it is such a huge purchase for me I wanted to get some advice from the experts on here.

What are your opinions on this one? From an untrained eye I really like the cut as I think it looks very unique but is this considered to be great cut aesthetically in general?

I have also attached a pic with the cert specs, are these traits worth the money?

I really am very new to this so any input would be really appreciated!
 

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smashinstyle

Member
Sep 24, 2013
944
74
Toronto
the girdle isn't amazing quality... table is excellent, depth is good. colour and clarity are good. i can't see on the photo if there's a length to width ratio they provided for you, do you have those specs?

also can't see the info about the cut. is it good cut, excellent, ideal?
 

urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
the girdle isn't amazing quality... table is excellent, depth is good. colour and clarity are good. i can't see on the photo if there's a length to width ratio they provided for you, do you have those specs?

also can't see the info about the cut. is it good cut, excellent, ideal?
Thanks Smashinstyle! Below is some additional info and different angles of the stone, I couldn't see anything about the cut, is this normally graded by GIA? What is is exactly that you feel is wrong with the girdle?
 

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urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
Below is the advice I received when I inquired about the cut grade

"With this diamond being a cushion cut, it does not have a cut grade."
 

NikkisABagGirl

Nicole Angela
O.G.
Aug 26, 2009
4,958
1,269
Ame is the best at these things. You might try sending her a PM or seeing if she is available to help you out. She has steered some ladies in the direction of very nice diamonds.
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
86,327
6,287
Right, GIA doesn't do cut grade for fancy shapes; with a cushion your eyes are very important, having excellent polish and symmetry is a very good start.
It's ok that the girdle has a range, I'm not a cushion expert by any means so I'm not sure how this stone performs w/ a very thick girdle in some places - typically you don't want "very thin" or "very thick", but a cushion must be ultimately graded by your eyes.
Site unseen and as basic parameters, the table is good IMO and the depth is ok, a little deep IMO.


You REALLY have to trust your eyes if the specs are ok. Does it have a lot of fire, scintillation?


Can you ask for ASET results on it?
 

ame

O.G.
Mar 22, 2007
13,467
654
Cushions, and fancies in general, are very varied based on style and taste. This looks lovely in photos, but you need to see in person if it appeals to your eyes. There are no real set "cut quality standards" for cushions. They're kind of coming along, but you cannot buy those, or other fancies, on numbers, like you would a round. There are some "numbers" to stay within, so ideally a table of around 56-62 and usually a depth of around 60-65 (some say around 68) but again, you cannot just go on those numbers, you have to see the faceting and the pattern and the light return. I do agree it's a little deep regardless, meaning it could be larger for the carat weight. But most cushions in general just don't "face up" as large as other shapes do.

There are very few "ideal" cut cushions. The only lab that would issue such a grade would be AGS, and those such cushions are branded. Those would come from Good Old Gold (August Vintage Cushion and Briella), Brian Gavin Diamonds (Hearts and Arrow Cushion), Victor Canera's Cushion. Those are the only ones I know of that are in fact graded as IDEAL CUT.

Did the seller provide you an ASET or Idealscope image? I'd request those. Is this an online vendor or local? Most good online vendors will be able to provide one or both.
 
Last edited:

lucydee

O.G.
Jun 12, 2009
5,996
1,016
New York
Hello,
I can give you some direction as I looked for a year before I found my cushion. I learned a lot through pricescope and I posted aset images of the stones I thought I might consider. With Cushions you really cannot go by numbers. I learned this when I was picking stones with the numbers posted above that were considered to be good in cushions only to find out when the aset image came in and I actually saw the diamond in person, I did not like them.
With cushions there are so many facet patterns out there you have to know which facet pattern you are attracted to, which ones to weed out. So once I discovered which facet pattern I liked I moved on to spread of the diamond vs carat weight, then I asked for aset image and then negotiated price. I would have liked to have gotten larger but it just wasn't out there in the cut quality and specific facet pattern I was looking for.

So I would suggest to go out looking in person at all the different patterns of the cushion and see which one appeals to you then take it from there. Look at it with your eyes, see if you like it then ask for aset image which shows how well the light reflects and where you loose light. Because bottom line you want the most brilliant diamond on your finger! Not size, color or clarity will determine the brilliance of your diamond. It has to be cut well!
 

ame

O.G.
Mar 22, 2007
13,467
654
Depending on the cutting style, there really are some wild ranges of numbers you will see. AVCs for example: Tables in the range of 45-50% and depths in the 70s. But BGDs modern H&A cushions are almost like a round in terms of numbers.

It's VERY important to look at LOTS of cushions and see what appeals to your eyes and find a vendor "known for" good ones. GOG and ERD are both stellar for them, just two off the top of my head.
 

urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate all the help I can get.

I've requested an ASET image which should come in a few days.

Below is a link to the stone and video so you can see how the facets perform under what is described as a 'real life viewing experience'

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.91-carat-f-color-vvs1-clarity-sku-188192

What has drawn me to this one is the unique geometric pattern, unlike any other cushion I've seen so far. The shape is incredible and one of a kind and the polished/faceted girdle etc... show real attention to detail in my opinion.

The light play, although not 'dancing' or 'lighting up like a fireball' as some other stones are sometimes described, reminds me of music or a piano being played. But maybe this is just me looking at it from an amateurs point of view, I would love to hear some thoughts on this.

I have only started looking at stones this week though, so I don't want to rush into anything or make a bad decision. But this is the only one that really caught my eye and will cost more than 20K, which is a lot of money for me.

This will be my ering and will be set from under the girdle in a way that most of the stone will be visible. Almost as if it is floating on air.
I really do appreciate any further input I could get so that I can make a wise decision.
 

smashinstyle

Member
Sep 24, 2013
944
74
Toronto
Do you have your heart set on purchasing online? To be completely honest with you, I would be iffy purchasing online, possibly because I'm super biased and work at a jewellery store. I just feel more secure purchasing from a store, personally, especially since this is such a big purchase. A jeweller can source something for you that would be excellent quality and within your price range and still GIA certified and find stones that are the right "look" for you.

As for the light play you mentioned, stones of good quality will have this kind of light play, depending on the facets and cut of the diamond you can get more or less light play. And the geometric pattern you're seeing is because it's a modified cushion cut rather than a standard cushion cut, a minute detail really that doesn't make a whole lot of difference to the look of the stone, but you've noticed it.
 

urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
Do you have your heart set on purchasing online? To be completely honest with you, I would be iffy purchasing online, possibly because I'm super biased and work at a jewellery store. I just feel more secure purchasing from a store, personally, especially since this is such a big purchase. A jeweller can source something for you that would be excellent quality and within your price range and still GIA certified and find stones that are the right "look" for you.

As for the light play you mentioned, stones of good quality will have this kind of light play, depending on the facets and cut of the diamond you can get more or less light play. And the geometric pattern you're seeing is because it's a modified cushion cut rather than a standard cushion cut, a minute detail really that doesn't make a whole lot of difference to the look of the stone, but you've noticed it.
Thanks Smashinstyle, it's not that I have my heart set on purchasing online it's just really the fact that I'm located in Australia and there appears to be a big markup here compared to OS/US prices. I'm really open to any suggestions though.

Would you suggest I look for a local diamond dealer? How would I begin my search, bricks and mortar jeweller or diamond dealer?
 

smashinstyle

Member
Sep 24, 2013
944
74
Toronto
I understand what you mean, markup is something we can't avoid in Canada too - usually at least $1000 difference between US prices and Canadian prices, not including dollar conversion and shipping and duties on top of that. If you buy from OS you are going to have to pay duties as well, even if you buy online, right?

I think you could look for either, both are going to have roughly the same markup on the diamond in my experience. At least with a jeweller you can source the stone, design the setting, and everything can be done for you all in one spot, you can build a relationship with the jeweller, and if he's a good jeweller, he will do all his designing and own repairs in house rather than sending everything out. If you have a relationship with the jeweller, if anything were to happen to your stone or the setting (which, judging by the way you described the setting, could happen if you go to a jeweller who isn't quite so experienced in doing settings that make the stone appear as though it's floating while still maintaining proper security of the stone) the jeweller should be able to repair it within a few days maximum, if not on the same day that you bring it in.

The trick is just finding a very reputable jeweller, who is modern enough to understand what you're looking for in a cushion and design your ring nicely, but old school enough to understand your design specifics and execute them very well.

With a cushion, I highly recommend that you see the stone first, which is why I recommend going to a brick and mortar jewellery store. You'll never really know exactly what you're getting with a cushion unless you see it in person - how rounded are the edges? What exactly is the length to width ratio? Does that ratio work for your finger? How much colour does it retain (cushions are notorious for retaining colour)? These are all things you would need to consider.

If you build a relationship with a jeweller, you may find yourself with a lot more wiggle room regarding price as well. Typically jewellers will work with you to find the absolute best value for what you want. It's also quite possible that you can find a stone that is still eye-clean at VVS2 or even SI1 rather than paying a premium for a VVS1.
 

urasia

Member
Aug 25, 2006
74
0
Australia
Hello,
I can give you some direction as I looked for a year before I found my cushion. I learned a lot through pricescope and I posted aset images of the stones I thought I might consider. With Cushions you really cannot go by numbers. I learned this when I was picking stones with the numbers posted above that were considered to be good in cushions only to find out when the aset image came in and I actually saw the diamond in person, I did not like them.
With cushions there are so many facet patterns out there you have to know which facet pattern you are attracted to, which ones to weed out. So once I discovered which facet pattern I liked I moved on to spread of the diamond vs carat weight, then I asked for aset image and then negotiated price. I would have liked to have gotten larger but it just wasn't out there in the cut quality and specific facet pattern I was looking for.

So I would suggest to go out looking in person at all the different patterns of the cushion and see which one appeals to you then take it from there. Look at it with your eyes, see if you like it then ask for aset image which shows how well the light reflects and where you loose light. Because bottom line you want the most brilliant diamond on your finger! Not size, color or clarity will determine the brilliance of your diamond. It has to be cut well!
Thanks LucyDee, I'm happy to hear you found your perfect stone in the end! Did it really take a whole year for you to find one you were happy with?

It worries me a little that a really amazing cushion might be so rare, especially since I''m no expert at this. Although I have a learnt a lot so far and am wanting to learn more!

All I know is that I really want one with excellent fire and scintillation, with nice looking proportions, more rectangular than square and no crushed ice effect.

The problem is I live in Australia and I don't think there are too many options here, let alone I have no idea where to start. It seems every jeweler I've visited will just try to talk up what they have in order to get a sale.

Do you have any advice in regards to where to start locally sourcing a stone (what types of stores/dealers etc...)?