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Selecting The Perfect Diamond For You!
As with buying fine art, everyone has a different idea of perfection. Some are more concerned with color than clarity. Others may have the opposite view. Most people, when given the chance to compare, want the largest diamond possible, provided it looks ‘eye-clean’ and ‘white’, and are willing to sacrifice technical perfection. Pattivs also stocks the ‘exotic’ qualities so all will be pleased.
By selecting color and clarity Grades, not higher than you are happy with, will result in a much larger diamond for the same budget.
The only way to determine the best diamond for you is to see many diamonds, of different qualities, sizes and shapes, side-by-side. ‘Comparing’ diamonds at different times and under different lighting is almost impossible.
Pattivs offers the largest selection in the area, allowing many, side-by-side comparisons. Pricing is substantially below the Rapaport wholesale diamond list, assuring far more diamond for your budget! Pattivs recommends purchasing a diamond by how it looks, as with selecting any other fine art! After all, what you are buying is something to enjoy looking at!
- The unit of measure for gem weight.
- The value of a diamond increases significantly at carat weight intervals (other qualities being equal).
Clarity refers to relative size of internal imperfections. Clarity, beyond ‘eye-perfect’, adds nothing to the beauty, brilliance or visible perfection, but only to the price.
VS, VVS & F are clarities that are far beyond eye-clean. VS-1 and above generally require a skilled gemologist, with 10X magnification or better to find the imperfections. A “Flawless” diamond is one that no imperfections can be seen under 10X magnification but bit higher.
SI-1 will assure that the most ‘sharp-eyed’ viewer will see no imperfections. One can expect a very significant improvement in clarities up to SI-1, beyond that; improvements are discernible only under high magnification!
SI-2 may also be eye-clean or may have an inclusion that can be covered with a prong. SI-2 will have inclusions easily seen under 10X magnification, though.
SI-3 may on occasion be equally eye-clean. This is possible when there are many very small inclusions; too many to be graded SI-2, but too clean to be I-1.
I-1 grade diamonds are brilliant and beautiful, but will have eye-visible inclusions. Lower, I-2 & I-3 clarities offer diminished brilliance and beauty. Clarity grades less than SI-2 are best considered for earrings or pendants where imperfections are less noticed.
- Internal Characteristics: feathers, crystals, carbon spots & laser drill holes.
- External Characteristics: natural facets & abrasions.
Color refers to the tint of the diamond. D, E & F are exceptionally colorless, often referred to as “top white”. G, H & I are nearly colorless. J, K and sometimes L can look ‘white’ when set. Lower colors will look tinted. J & K offer the best value.
- The degree of tint in the diamond
- Blue fluorescence will enhance apparent whiteness.
At Pattivs, we recommend selecting a diamond like choosing other fine art: by how it looks! This requires a large selection to compare side-by-side.
Most stores offer little selection, so diamonds are sold citing ‘cut statistics’ in an effort to make comparisons unnecessary. The retailer strives to make his diamond seem so special and the cut so unique, that none others will ever be as good. Selling gems by statistics is rather like buying art blindfolded!
The “Ideal Cut” is the name its designer gave it in 1926. The “Ideal Cut” is a slight variant of a modern cut.
The new GIA cut grading system has cost 11 million dollars, and taken over 13 years to complete. It is the first system ever to have based on actual observations. Many thousands of carefully controlled observations were required to account for all variables. All prior attempts were based on just theory and assumptions. Interestingly, GIA found the “Ideal Cut” (often marketed as best) to be “good, but not best.”
Branded & Propriety Cut Diamonds
Branding diamonds and patenting slight variants in cuts has been a successful approach for the retail jeweler to protect themselves from discounters. One widely marketed & successful brand claims to be the ‘most perfect cut’ when it is just a well-cut, standard modern round brilliant. These diamonds show “hearts & arrow” patterns when viewed through a special scope.
Hearts & Arrows
Standard, ‘Ideal Cut” round brilliant diamonds that happen to show certain patterns when looking through a special scope. Many diamonds at Pattivs also show these patterns and no extra is charged. Pattivs has the special scope so you can see the “Hearts & Arrows” patterns yourself.
Branded Diamonds & Jewelry
The hottest trend for jewelers to maintain full retail pricing is with ‘branded’ diamonds & ‘designer’ jewelry. Branded, “unique” diamond cuts are actually, very slight variations in standard cuts, others are standard cuts such as marketed as the “most perfectly cut” due to “hearts and arrows” refraction patterns seen through a special scope.
Light is treated very differently depending the area of the diamond it enters:
Light that enters and returns through the table is returned very efficiently as white sparkles. This light makes the diamond look brilliant, and white. Diamonds with larger tables will tend to look larger and be more brilliant but will display less prismatic colors.
The crown facets serve as prisms. Light that passes through this area is dispersed into prismatic colors. As the light is dispersed, it is returned very inefficiently to the viewer. Diamonds with smaller tables (such as “ideal” cuts) will tend to be less brilliant and therefore appear darker, but will display more spectral colors.
All diamond shapes, other than round, are called ‘fancy’ and are normally sold by retailers at a premium. In the wholesale field, however, all fancies are less expensive for the same size and quality. Those preferring a fancy can get more for their money and have most will view as more prestigious and unique.
GIA, EGL, IGI, AGS and HRD are among the large, internationally respected, certification houses. The largest is EGL. All charge very similar fee per carat. The fee is due regardless of the jeweler’s satisfaction with the results. The certificates give very specific details on measurements, weight, color and clarity. Even the imperfections are mapped on a diagram of the stone. This diagram serves as a ‘fingerprint’ allowing any expert to match a diamond to a certificate.
Which Certificate Is Best?
The most prestigious brand in the US is GIA, EGL is the second most prestigious. In Europe, HRD is considered the most prestigious. Some suggest only GIA certificates should be considered, as they argue GIA grading is slightly stricter. It is suggested that this can result in a slightly better stone at the same grade. This perception results a market premium that more than factors in any improvement, be it real nor not. Second, greatly narrowing your options will rarely result in a best choice & value for you.
Pattivs carries many certificate brands, the majority being EGL as they return the graded diamonds much more rapidly.
Certification adds to market value. In other words, a certified diamond will cost more than the same diamond uncertified! Certificates are, in reality, a sales aid. The certificate removes all doubt as to the true grading and adds prestige.
Buyers of more exotic grades generally expect certification. Certification can play an important part of the perception of perfection. Buyers of ‘medium’ quality, good value diamonds, often, do not wish to pay extra for certification they just want the largest great looking diamond for the money.
At Pattivs, almost all higher-grade diamonds are certified. With the more ‘middle’ grade stones, Pattivs generally opts not to certify.
Some stores offer ‘certificates’ that are generated in-house or are from unrecognized firms. They will look like the real thing and often have similar sounding names to the recognized firms. A ‘cert’ from an unrecognized company or an in-house company, is regarded as non-certified in the marketplace. The recognized certification houses are: EGL, GIA, HRD, IGI and AGS.
Pattivs sells all diamonds from 15% to 40+% below the Rapaport wholesale price list! Pattivs buys diamonds in quantity, direct from cutters avoiding middlemen markups. The typical retail store will price well above, to as much as double the Rapaport, benchmark wholesale price.
Rapaport Diamond Report is the only wholesale standard widely used in the world. Its price chart is updated weekly, based upon the asking prices of major diamond cutters. It is the ‘Kelly Blue Book’ of diamonds. At Pattivs, we are glad to show you how to use Rapaport and show you how our prices compare.
- Pattivs always discounts below the Rapaport Diamond Wholesale List, Assuring exceptional value to you.
- Rapaport is used worldwide as the only wholesale reference guide.
- Retail stores often double Rapaport!
This section of the Rapaport Chart is for 2.00 to 2.99ct Round Brilliant cuts. Prices are shown in $100 of dollars.
DIAMOND SUGGESTIONS, AT THE SAME BUDGET
- Diamonds in earrings & pendants are not looked at as closely as are rings.
Most prefer sacrificing some clarity & color, to gain a larger size.
J-K-L color SI-3 to I-1 clarity
Beautiful & bright with some visible inclusions.
- For a ring, most prefer a diamond that is ‘eye-perfect’ and looks ‘white’.
J-K color SI-2 to SI-1 clarity = Largest diamond
Looks white with inclusions almost to impossible to see to truly eye-clean.
I-H color SI-1 clarity = Smaller, but fine quality
Fine white color, perfect to the eye
G-D color VS-2+ clarity = Still smaller, exotic quality
Extraordinary white color, almost perfect under 10x magnification.
The smallest markup of retailers is “Keystone” or double cost. At retail, at least one half of what you pay for goes to store profit!
Most stores offer little selection, so they attempt to ‘sell’ the perfection of what they have. Selling of ‘branded’ and ‘designer’, diamonds & jewelry to convince if a customer can be convinced that what they are seeing is “best”, then why look further? Selling “designer” lines and selling the “perfection” of a diamonds cut is key to selling with a small inventory.
DIAMOND ‘UPGRADE’ OFFER
Your continued satisfaction is assured by offering a full purchase price credit toward a diamond upgrade!
Returned diamond must be undamaged and with Pattivs receipt & documentation, such as certificates. Upgrade diamond must be at least 1/3 greater cost. Offer does not include non-inventory or ‘special-order’ diamonds, settings, sales tax or labor. This offer is subject to cancellation with out notice and will automatically be withdrawn should diamonds drop in price.
- Trade in your Pattivs diamond at full cost towards an upgrade!
- Offer also applies to certain mounted jewelry where the settings are relatively insignificant such as with larger diamond studs and solitaire pendants.