This diamond is one that I deem to be the best buy under $3,000 and still have an incredibly beautiful diamond. There is a little trick I used to locate this diamond and this trick is only possible if you can view an actual photo of the diamond and not a stock photo. The trick is to compromise in one selected area which doesn’t detract too much from the beauty of the diamond. James Allen is very handy for this as this is really the only place that strives to put up photos of every single diamond in their inventory. I think they are up to 25,000 diamonds currently.
If you start looking at diamonds within the $2,000 to $3,500 range you’ll find that either they are very small or have an inferior cut grade, a lower color grade, or lower clarity grade. It’s up to you to choose which area a compromise is acceptable. You will find that jewelers and diamond experts agree that the greatest disappointments occur when a compromise is allowed in regards to the cut grade. Ideal or Excellent cut diamonds are the most likely to please you. James Allen’s TrueHeartsTM are their signature Hearts and Arrows design and are all meant to be Ideal/Excellent cut. I hate to say this, because I am a huge fan of almost everything James Allen does, but I have noticed that there are some TrueHearts that look a little less than perfect. I am glad that it is possible to examine both the image of the diamond as well as the diamond’s grading report and this prevents disappointment. The diamond I selected to highlight today is a TrueHeartsTM diamond. And it has perfect symmetry and shows superior light performance on its grading report, thanks to the AGS labs Platinum Light Performance Quality Document, which you can see below.
To locate a diamond which would at least be of average size for an engagement ring (between 0.5 carat and 1 carat) I decided to make the compromise in the clarity grade. This means that I allowed SI1 diamonds to show in the search results. I had a closer look at any diamond that stood out to me from the thumbnail images that showed up. Examining the diamond using James Allen’s Virtual LoupeTM helped me decide whether there were any inclusions which would be visible without magnification. The term is “eye-clean”, and that’s often the aim when looking for a diamond that is going to be pleasing to the eye. The AGS lab document confirmed that the light shines through the diamond without obstructions and this is why I can recommend this diamond as extremely good value, with hardly any compromise, and certainly no compromise that hampers the stone’s beauty.
I found this diamond listed at JamesAllen’s website today and I had to include it as the Catch Of The Day.
First of all this is a very good example of why it’s a good idea to buy diamonds online. I know for a fact that even a “wholesale” street price for this diamond would be $34,900.00. However the prices are so much more reasonable at JamesAllen that it is listed there for only $29,680.00!
You can see from the high resolution image that there is no bow-tie effect (or only very faint). The “bow-tie” effect is where there is a bow-tie shape shadow caused by the way light interacts (or doesn’t interact) within the diamond. It is quite rare to have one that is so well cut and has such very good symmetry. It certainly is a beauty to behold.
The inclusions do not appear noticeable at all, so it is surprising that this diamond has a clarity grade of SI1. All the better because this brings the price down considerably, and it is still very beautiful.
Just to get an idea of how rare a diamond like this is, if you were to go through a pile of 5 million diamonds, you might only find one this big, not to mention one that is this perfectly cut. As you can see the task of cutting it was given to a very good cutter as the job has been done in a most excellent manner.
Today’s search for the catch of the day went very fast. This diamond was one of the first I looked at and it looked very promising.
But I thought it too easy and kept searching. Well I am back to the one I started with. Here is what I was trying to accomplish. I figured I would look through the stones that have an SI1 clarity grade and see which ones look the best.
Here is one which I think fits this very well. It is from James Allen, who gives us the ability to view the diamonds they list at 18x magnification. This is the only reason we can go around looking at stones with an SI1 clarity grade. Otherwise the risk of ending up with a diamond which is not eye-clean would be rather high. All the diamond vendors I recommend do offer you the option of being able to return the stone if it doesn’t meet expectations. With stones purchased from James Allen you get the the longest return period of anyone on my list of recommended places to buy diamonds. It’s a very generous 60 days.
Since we can actually get to view specific diamonds on their site, not just sample images, we can do a bit of bargain hunting.
What I mean by this is that we look for stones which have more inclusions according the grading report, but when looking at their magnified image we see that the inclusions are not obvious. You see, just because a diamond is graded SI1 doesn’t mean that the inclusions are all at the top of the stone where they would be visible. James Allen welcomes people calling them up and asking their expert staff to actually look at the diamond as well. They will be able to tell you if the diamond’s inclusions are visible to the naked eye. They are experts and will have seen so many diamonds that thy will know instantly if it is a good buy or not.
I definitely recommend this as a great idea, especially when bargain hunting like this and trying to find a diamond with a clarity of SI1 or SI2.
I tell you what. After looking at the diamonds being sold at local mall jewelers for $9,500 with huge visible inclusions that make you want to scrub them with steel wool, this diamond at $2620 just seems like an incredible bargain with a tiny inclusion which would just barely be visible.
Here is a diamond which truly stands out amongst the other diamonds of the same size.
The reason it makes the grade as our
Catch Of The Day
is because it is just so close to perfection and its symmetry is outstanding.
Retail price on this would undoubtedly be $3100 to $3400.
All the important things are present. Its one flaw is mentioned in the Diamond Dossier: a feather. This means there is a tiny line somewhere. Look through the magnifier and you’ll see that the feather is not even visible under such intense magnification. As a matter of fact there are no flaws visible under high magnification. That’s what is called “eye-clean”, even “loupe clean”.
When one of these comes along it’s a sure thing that it won’t be around for long. It’s clear from the high resolution image that it is a stunning beauty. The symmetry is mesmerising and I can guarantee that this stone is absolutely eye-clean as you can clearly see that any inclusions are not visible on the table. With any of the (very small) specks you see when looking at this stone through the virtual loupe just imagine those specks (inclusions) being one eighteenth of the size you see! That’s how you know it is eye-clean. Those specks are microscopic.
The size of this 0.70 ct round when viewed from above is 5.68 mm across. This is barely a millimeter smaller than a one carat diamond, but about $4000 cheaper!
Diamonds under 1 ct when graded by GIA receive a Diamond Dossier. This also costs less than the full grading report which 1 ct stones and greater get. The main difference is that you don’t get an actual mapping of where the inclusions are. But this is why James Allen is so great. You can look directly at the exact diamond you will be getting and see whether or not it looks perfect, or close to perfect.
What really makes this stone great is that it is an Ideal Cut. This is always one of the most important considerations when choosing a diamond.
The photo is taken in such a way to be able to view the diamond’s features, so it doesn’t show how much it sparkles, but this stone is a real sparkler.
Those arrows in the middle will of course not be black when you look at it. GIA did a study and found that the stones which show those dark arrows in photos were the ones that got the greatest positive response from consumers.