Today’s Diamond Review Request is from Joel who is looking for a 1.2ct diamond in the H-I color range with a $7500 budget. He’s done some searching on his own and after narrowing down his own list to two diamonds, he asked me to help him review his choices.
Diamond 1 is a 1.194ct IVS1 Expert Selection from Whiteflash being sold for $7149.
Wow this is an incredible find. A Whiteflash Expert Selection will usually miss the A Cut Above mark on either proportions or optical symmetry. In this case we have a diamond that has excellent proportions that are well within the recommended ranges. In addition, the optical symmetry is also looking pretty decent. The only slight issue in the H&A image is that the 7 o’clock heart has a tiny bit of yaw so you can see that the very tip of the heart isn’t coming to a sharp point. This is a pretty minor defect that is likely to go unnoticed in many cases.
In fact, the real reason this diamond is an Expert Selection and not an A Cut Above is because it has some slightly painted upper girdles and they aren’t very symmetrical. There is going to be very little impact on the optics and the weight ratio of this diamond is 1.032 which is excellent so the painting doesn’t really affect the spread either. However, because it missed the mark on an ACA, the diamond is being sold at a really great price and that is why I say that this is a great find.
The I color range is where color can potentially be a concern, especially if it is a low-I or the diamond has been wrongly graded. Buying an in-house diamond with strict selection criteria for not just cut, but color and clarity also is one way to protect yourself and to get better value for money. A diamond that has ideal light performance such as this one means that you can get away with a lower color too because the diamond will face up brighter.
I would usually ask for a side-view comparison if we had multiple I-color options or if there is a sign that color may be an issue just so we can be on the safe side. In this case, there are no signs the I color is going to be an issue and the diamond looks like it faces up very white indeed. If you do request a side view image, make sure you ask that it is taken with the diamonds upside down against a white background. Also make sure that each diamond is spaced with at least half a diamond’s width between each stone.
Diamond 2 is a 1.19ct HVVS2 that is available from Ritani and is being sold for $7276.
The first thing to know about this diamond is that the picture that it comes with is a sample image. Unfortunately Ritani does not make it immediately clear that this is the case, and this is one of the reasons why this seller is not on my approved vendor list and I have not sought out an affiliate relationship with them. Without the image, even if all of the proportions were within the recommended range, there is no way you can be sure that those numbers are meaningful because they have been averaged out and rounded.
So although at first glance the diamond seems like the crown and the pavilion angle are ok, looking closer you will start to see some red flags like the star facet is cut to 45% which is too short and the diamond may be painted significantly. The girdle thickness is 4% and that is some more wasted weight and I would expect the weight ratio of this diamond to be much worse than Diamond 1. Indeed, when I calculate it, the weight ratio is 1.075 which is very high and outside the range that I would recommend.
The result is that even though both diamonds are similar in carat weight, Diamond 2 has a smaller footprint than Diamond 1. The difference is very slight, only about 0.1mm so these two diamonds will still look very much the same size at normal viewing distances, but you’re still paying more for wasted weight and likely poorer light performance/optical symmetry as well.
Between these two diamonds it really is a no-brainer and the Whiteflash Expert Selection wins by a mile. The only question is, is there a better option out there? Unfortunately without even having to do a search, I know that the pricing on this Expert Selection is so good that you won’t find a true super-ideal out there for anywhere close to this price. It may seem like you’re paying a premium for VS1 and maybe there’s a VS2 out there that can save you some money, but going to a VS2 is not going to help you get a higher color at this price without compromising on the size or cut quality of the diamond. Diamonds like this don’t come along too often, so if you’re looking for a near super-ideal diamond at a really good price then I think you’ve found the one!