L.Jaff wrote:Ok. My main priority is for the diamond to be big and as shiny as it can get. And of course, I would want the best bang for my buck. This leaves those high end brands out. Also, paying more for a high end brand diamond doesn't necessarily mean the quality is better either...
Hehehe... It's good that you're thinking about it/such things, because any knowledge you gain before-hand will more than pay off when the time for purchase comes. You don't need to go crazy with the learning, but there is a happy-medium, a point at which you can read a certificate and understand what it means, and the salesman sees that you can so takes you seriously too...
 'Big and shiny'
You might consider those like two opposing aspects within a fixed budget. It's like saying I have a budget of $x, and I want a big condo
in D10. For most people something has to give somewhat and with a bit of reading up you can understand where compromises can be made without materially impacting the outcome.
For example as per the linked vid you'll see that a well cut smaller stone can look larger than a poorly cut same size or larger stone. It's because a major element of a stone's perceived size
is simply due to it's light performance; i.e. how much light going in from the front/top ['table'], is internally reflected and sent straight back out of the table. So when you see a stone and it's a real 'dazzler' that's primarily due to it being very well cut [etc]. But it's worth noting here, if your wife is not going to dip-clean her ring weekly or so, the back of the stone will tend to get coated in grot and then... your Super-Ideal cut is going to perform like a hunk of glass!
 Have you considered what shape she would like? Round/Brilliant cut has always been popular, but become almost a default choice these days. Perhaps as a result some ladies seek something different, like emerald-cut [rectangle] or princess-cut [square of almost square]. It's useful to know what you're aiming towards as each cut has it's own idiosyncrasies. Example: one of the 4C's is 'Clarity'. That's basically the amount of inclusions, er... sh*t in the stone. It's usually sand or silica grains, usually dark brown/black. In an Ideal-Cut because the table is very 'busy' with numerous facets you can cope with more and you won't notice them as much. Flip-side is an Emerald-cut, the table is wide open, and any inclusions will be more apparent.
So the reason to consider the shape now is because if seeking Ideal-cut then inclusions matter less, but light performance (cut) and colour more. Emerald-cut, i) colour ii) inclusions iii) cut, IMHO. So if you have an idea, then you can focus on the nuances of that specific cut rather than learning about every kind of cut out there...
 Nope it doesn't. In London all commercially landed fish are wholesaled via Billingsgate Fish-Market. You could have a crate of cod from one market trader go to Harrods, and the crate right next to it from the same vendor go to a high-street fish-monger. But the now 'Harrod's cod' will miraculously be priced 3-4* as high as the high-street price, despite being exactly the same. It's precisely the same with diamonds... that's when you realise that desiring only Harrod's cod is all a little silly, and a very expensive habit.
L.Jaff wrote:I noticed not all diamonds from Tiffany are Triple Excellent grades.. also, they're not GIA certified. Has anyone heard or tried using this when buying a diamond?
Interesting! A cert from one of the reputable graders used to run to, ... say up to about US$150. So there is a price-point at which it becomes economic providing and requiring one. Don't know, maybe US$2k/+ ? Over say US$5k you really want to see one. If a stone is uncertified you can certainly ask for it to be certified (your expense), though a high-street retailer might not know how to do this.
Dealers/retailers will pick a grader according to the stone they want graded. There are several agencies and one might put more weight on just say clarity than others might. So GIA are used a lot and broadly. EGL used to be popular for grading Emerald-cut diamonds, and so on. The dealer will source a cert from where he thinks he'll get the best grading - 'clever' eh?
So, start by considering budget. Then desired shape/cut. Then later the style of shank or 'mount', the metal. The type of metal. The design of the mount... say a 4-prong mount for a solitaire is the most discreet and least obtrusive, but if she's an outdoorsy/sporty type and she'll wear it every day then a 6-prong mount might be wiser as it'll withstand more wear and tear.
re: Ideal-scope. Yes, in fact I have one somewhere. Not something you're likely to need too often, esp. because the relevant data should be on the certificate.
I remember one time buying a piece of jewellery in SG and pulling out my own loupe (lens), and the jeweller was like WTH!?
That response was amusing, but for me it was more to signal that I didn't intend to get ripped-off, and in fact I was only looking for any really obvious flaws (inclusions/cut). Gawd knows what they'd do if you whipped out an Ideal-scope
You'll see some of the websites I've mentioned before. Have a dig around, most good reputable sites will go to the trouble of providing you with resources to help you understand what you're buying.
So Tiffany's have their own grading system? LOL - well I never, I didn't know that! Ask yourself why. Perhaps they're suggesting they're so
trust-worthy they don't need to bother with such things. Be cautious, IMO no one is so reputable, so as not to provide certs.
Some links I dug up just earlier on this, that I'll read later, meanwhile...
Ideal-scope: http://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamond ... amples.htm
Tiffany's grading: http://www.tiffany.com/Service/FaqDetai ... ATEGORY=65
https://m.tiffany.com/mobile/expertise/ ... icate.aspx
http://www.pricescope.com/forum/rockyta ... 30727.html
http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Blog/tif ... tificates/
http://www.mjgabel.com/blog/entry/tiffa ... r-diamonds
Note this from the above! ->
'Recently I have been approached with Tiffany Diamond engagement rings. Their owners seem to be having difficulty getting offers that are remotely close to their asking price. The commonality between all of these clients is that they kept stating that their diamond was a “Tiffany Diamond”, and therefore is worth more than a diamond of equal quality without the Tiffany name tag.
Since there seems to be a misconception about the diamonds that are mounted in these rings, I would just like to take to clarify the initial impressions about a Tiffany Diamond.
Also to be clear, I contacted Tiffany & Co. and spoke directly with a “Diamond Specialist” in a management position so that I could be informed on their policies/standards and what exactly a “Tiffany Diamond” is.
Just to re-cap quickly: diamonds take millions of years to form deep within the earth. They are then mined in rough form, and transferred to a manufacturer. The manufacturer cuts the diamonds to be used in fine jewelry, and then typically sells them loose to wholesalers or directly to large jewelers. Many jewelers set standards for which they like to uphold when it comes to the quality of stones they purchase from a manufacture. These diamonds however are no different than others of equal quality going to a different jeweler.'