Diamond Query: Handmade or Castmade? Plus Color Preference and Pricing Factors in Round Cut Diamonds


| Anonymous Reader


Hi, I had already done a fair bit of research over the last few days but stumbled across your website this evening when Googling about diamond colours to validate my thoughts.

I wanted to reach out to you to firstly thank you for providing such an informative resource for free. And secondly to seek some personal advice.

I have set myself a budget of £7500 for an engagement ring, including the ring setting. My fiance and I went shopping in Hatton Garden, which is the most popular place to buy jewelry in London, the other day to determine the shape and setting she preferred.

She decided upon a round diamond and a very particular platinum channel setting band, with diamonds on the shoulders which are close together, with rails visible either side, and that taper towards the centre diamond – it is quite subtle and elegant. The centre diamond is set in 4 prongs.

We could only find the exact style of setting in one store, which happens to be owned by a chain with branches across the United Kingdom rather than being an independent.

Their prices for diamonds seem high so I asked how much it would cost to do the setting only, which would allow me to source my own diamond online. They have quoted £1950. I see platinum channel setting engagement rings vary on online stores from as little as £900 up to as much as £2000.

My first question is what should I ask the store about the setting (ring, shoulder diamonds, and process) we saw to determine if it is good value and whether they are offering to to do this at a price comparable to the online stores?

My second query is which loose diamond would give me the most bang for my buck with the remaining £5.5k-£6.5k (depending on the final price for the setting)?

Based on the advice I have read, I definitely want it to be an excellent cut and GIA graded and around the 1ct range. I understand anything with a clarity above VS2 is preferred (I know some say SI1 is not visible to the eye but I also hear so much about VS and above).

I remain unsure whether to go with the colour I (with medium fluorescence) to get the highest carat diamond possible (into the 1.25 ct range) or to go no lower than a G and drop the carat weight? Here are a couple of examples I have seen:

 

With fluorescence:

1.27-Carat Round Diamond

1.27-Carat Round Diamond

 

Without fluorescence:

1.25-Carat Round Diamond

1.25-Carat Round Diamond

 

Or increase colour and sacrifice the carat:

1.06-Carat Round Diamond

1.06-Carat Round Diamond

 

Or should I just save money and go for a 0.9ct:

0.90-Carat Round Diamond

0.90-Carat Round Diamond

 

In which case is an increase in clarity to VS1 worth the extra £200?

0.90-Carat Round Diamond 2

0.90-Carat Round Diamond

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

Thank you for your inquiry. I am happy to help!

Regarding the ring setting, I would ask the color and clarity grade of the diamonds. And be sure they are full cut not single cut. Also, ask if the ring was handmade or cast made. In addition, ask if the ring is 90/10 or 95/5….meaning 90 or 95% platinum?

Are prongs platinum, too or are they white gold? As for the diamonds you selected, if I lined the G color diamonds in front of you in person, you would not be able to tell them apart….which is the same for the I color diamonds.

The 1.27ct has medium fluorescence.  This means the diamond may glow blue under strong UV light and the diamond may appear hazy. You can confidently choose any one of these 5 diamonds. If, however, you want to get real nit picky, I would compare the table, depth, crown and pavilion numbers of your selections to the suggested numbers. See below link.

https://yourdiamondteacher.com/diamond-shapes-cuts/round-cut-diamond-engagment-rings/

 

 

| Anonymous Reader


Thanks Seb for the prompt reply and the much welcomed advice.

To understand better.. What diamond colour/clarity would be acceptable on the shoulders of the band? And I will be sure to expect full cut diamonds? I assume I should want hand made, 95% platinum and the prongs to be the same?

I will avoid the fluorescence then (I thought I had read it was beneficial on an I colour diamond). Do you mean I wouldn't be able to seperate the G from the I? What about the D from an I, or am better off going for a G if I want it to look like a D to the human eye? Thanks!

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

Most ring settings have either F/G or H/I color diamonds in their ring setting. I would find out which one the ring you are interested in has. And yes, you should expect full cut.

It is a matter of personal preference regarding the platinum content and whether the prongs are the same metal. But I recommend platinum prongs if the ring is platinum.

My educated guess is that the entire ring is platinum. It is usually a special request to have a different metal for the prongs. Fluorescence can make an I or J color diamond appear whiter.

There is also the chance that it can make the diamond appear hazy. Have you seen different diamond colors in person? The color grading scale is very subtle. It is difficult to tell one color grade from the next, unless you have a very keen, sensitive eye for color.

 

 

| Anonymous Reader


Hi Sebastian,

The jeweller has got back to me and advised of the following:

* From head office – The side stones would be approximately H/SI and there would be around 12 diamonds on either side depending on the size of the ring. As this is being made by the manufacture its likely to be a molded piece

* From the master jeweller – handmade and the shoulder stones would be G/VS2

Which is preferential – cast or hand made? Is the H/SI vs. G/VS2 likely to drive much of a cost difference? It is a national retailer which has the design my fiancé likes, so the cost including the centre stone is over priced.

However, if I provide the centre stone then they can do the setting for £1950. I am going to ask independents to see if they would do the setting cheaper. Do you have an idea of the going rate? I suspect if I get the diamond and setting from the same independent then they are likely to provide a more competitive price overall?

Thanks for highlighting that the difference in colour between D and I is not noticeable to most naked eyes. My fiancé has seen a chart which suggests G is rare white, H is white and I-J are slight tinted white so wants a H minimum. Is this a recognised view in the industry because the charts I have seen online have J-G together in the near colourless category. And as you say, D-I has very little difference.

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

It is up to you, whether you like the idea of having a handmade piece or a cast made piece. As far as the small diamonds being G/VS2 or H/SI1, the eye will not detect the difference. So, proceed with whichever you prefer.

I would think if the diamond and ring are from one place, they would offer a more competitive price. I think the chart your fiancee is referencing for color seems accurate in their breakdown.

 

 

| Anonymous Reader


Whats the pros/cons of handmade and castmade? Will the choice of shoulder diamonds affect the centre stone appearance, e.g. if the centre stone is H/VS2, would the shoulder diamonds being a G detract from it.

Looks like I am going for a H over an I then based on the perception of colour it has given my fiance 😊

 

What do you think of these stones:

1.20-Carat Round Diamond

1.20-Carat Round Diamond

 

1.23-Carat Round Diamond

1.23-Carat Round Diamond

 

1.16 CARAT H-VVS1 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

1.16 CARAT H-VVS1 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

 

1.20 CARAT H-VS2 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

1.20 CARAT H-VS2 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

 

Would be great to have you appraisal on which is best. Thanks again!

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

Hello,

If you have a discerning eye, then you may be able to visually see the difference between handmade and cast made. It's like a handmade garment versus a mass produced garment.

The difference between a G and H diamond is negligible. And a jeweler typically uses G/H or F/G diamonds in the band of the ring. So, my point being the eye will not detect the difference between one color grade. Please see my comments on each diamond:

The below diamond has strong fluorescence, which could make the diamond appear hazy. Also, it will glow blue under strong UV light.

 

1.20 CARAT H-VS2 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

1.20 CARAT H-VS2 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

 

The below diamond is graded by IGI. Their grading standards are not as strict as AGS or GIA.

 

1.16 CARAT H-VVS1 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

1.16 CARAT H-VVS1 EXCELLENT CUT ROUND DIAMOND

 

The other two diamonds from Blue Nile, are basically identical. You can choose either one and be happy!

 

 

| Anonymous Reader


A couple of people have advised the following about the Blue Nile diamonds I showed you earlier:

 

1.20-Carat Round Diamond

1.20-Carat Round Diamond

 – not eye clean as it has marks on the surface

 

1.23-Carat Round Diamond

1.23-Carat Round Diamond

 – too big so will lead to lack of brilliance

 

Can you suggest why they would say this and if it is something to worry about? Also, how does the one in the attached certificate differ?

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

It is nice to hear from you, again! Both diamonds are a VS2 clarity grade. They will absolutely be eye-clean. The 1.23ct diamond has a larger table size. There is a suggested range for the table size. The table is the flat surface at the top of the diamond. The table size for this diamond falls outside the suggested range, however, this does not concern me.

You can safely choose either one and you will be very happy with the diamonds sparkle and overall performance. Keep in mind a team of highly trained and experienced GIA Gemologists carefully evaluated these diamonds and determined that they are an excellent cut based on their proportions and angles.

 

 

| Anonymous Reader


Sebastian,

I am learning so much about diamonds during this search, particularly from you. What confuses me however is why some diamonds with the same spec might be so much cheaper in some cases.

Take the following for example: https://www.77diamonds.com/certification_RBMUEUNXCX3.html

It is £6.5k including tax compared to others in the 1.25ct H/VS2 XXXN range which are over £1k more. And the other diamonds at £6.5k are under 1ct.

 

Your Diamond Teacher |

 

Hello,

There are other variables that effect pricing even when the specs appear to be the same.

  1. Diamonds are a commodity, so depending on when they were purchased in the market place impacts their retail price.
  2. If a diamond has fluorescence, this lessens the price.
  3. The grading report attached to the diamond influences the price. For example, a diamond graded by IGI will often times be less expensive than a diamond graded by GIA or AGS.
  4. The location of the diamond can influence the price. A diamond obtained from a supplier in India, for example, may be less expensive than a diamond from a supplier in the USA.

 

Best,

Sebastian

 

 

 

 

Diamond Query: Handmade or Castmade? Plus Color Preference and Pricing Factors in Round Cut Diamonds
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About 

Sebastian Naturski loves to write about diamonds and share his knowledge with his readers.
When he is not working on his website he is studying law at Humboldt University of Berlin.
He has taken part in several international law competitions and likes to broaden his horizons.
His other big passion are languages. He is fluent in German, English, Polish and Japanese and got basic skills in French and Spanish as well.