Brian Gavin Diamonds is an online diamond vendor that was founded by Brian Gavin. Brian Gavin himself is a big player in the diamond industry and is a diamond cutter in the 5th generation! His grandfather was the master diamond cutter Barend Deutz and his father the master diamond Cutter Ben Gavin. In his blog Brian Gavin describes that his earliest memories, before he could even walk, are sitting at the polishing wheel with his grandfather and father.
Originally from South Africa Brian Gavin moved to America in 1985 and quickly made himself a reputation for providing diamonds of superb cut quality. Inspired by the emerging “Hearts and Arrows” diamond cutting style emerging from Japan Brian Gavin came up with his own brand “A cut above” committed to diamonds with the best cut imaginable.
A “Hearts and Arrows” diamond is a diamond cut to ideal proportions that result in the near perfect pattern of eight symmetrical hearts when viewed from the pavilion position (table down) and in eight symmetrical arrows when viewed from the crown position (diamond facing up). This hearts and arrows patterning becomes particularly pronounced when the diamond is viewed through a hearts and arrows viewer.
In my post about hearts and arrows diamonds I described how these diamonds are considered to be the absolutely top-notch diamonds to which only about 1% of all produced diamonds belong.
Brian Gavin is obsessed with these kinds of diamonds and has made it his personal mission to provide the most excellent diamonds in terms of diamond cut. In fact, Brian Gavin had a major influence in defining the standards for hearts and arrows diamonds.
In this Brian Gavin Diamonds review I will have a look at Brian Gavin Diamonds’ business model, the conditions of purchase and later on I will get into the nitty-gritty details of their signature series diamonds. I will scrutinize their “Hearts and Arrows” diamonds and their “Signature Blue diamonds” to find out whether they really hold up to the promises made by Brian Gavin.
Brian Gavin Diamonds’ business model
The first thing that is amazing about Brian Gavin is that it holds all its Signature Hearts and Arrows diamonds and the Brian Gavin Signature Blue diamonds in house.
I don’t know of any other diamond online retailer that has any diamonds in its own inventory. Online retailers such as Blue Nile for instance never get hold of the diamonds they offer and have them directly sent from the supplier to the customer. This has the disadvantage that the online vendor will not be able to inspect the diamond before shipping to make sure that it is eye-clean or provide you with an ASET or Idealscope image of the diamond.
Other online retailers such as James Allen have the supplier send the diamond to their headquartes before shipping it to the customer. This way, they can have the diamond examined by their gemmological staff to review them before shipping them to the customer. Typically, such online vendors will also provide you with ASET and/or Idealscope images which can help you in evaluating the light performance of a diamond.
The fact that Brian Gavin holds all their signature series diamonds in house is a big indicator of the quality of experience that Brian Gavin is committed to. The other diamonds that don’t belong to the Brian Gavin signature series are first sent to Brian Gavin for examination before sending it to the customer. This way, you can be sure to get an accurate assessment of the diamond and you can ask for instance whether a diamond in the VS2 – SI2 clarity range is actually eye-clean or not.
In fact, every diamond that is sold through the website is examined by Brian Gavin personally before shipment! Unless Brian Gavin does not give his approval the diamond will not be shipped!
You therefore have a master-diamond cutter with a reputation to lose and a firm commitment to excellence examine your diamond before buying it!
Brian Gavin is thus able to provide a diamond picture, an ASET image and even a Sarin report via e-mail before finalizing the sale. Once you approve the sale in accordance with the provided data the diamond will be shipped to you via FedEx Priority overnight.
Brian Gavin Diamonds Review of the Shopping Experience
Now, what I like about Brian Gavin is the fact that it is providing 360° videos of all its signature series diamonds. For the Diamonds outside their signature series however it is only providing sample photos. Thus, when buying at Brian Gavin I would stick to their signature series diamonds as these are the real core strength of Brian Gavin. This is a great way to actually see whether your diamond will have inclusions or not. And you can check out the sparkling style of a diamond which is for instance important for princess cut diamonds. Of course, you can always ask the customer service whether a particular diamond is eye-clean or not. In my own experience of dealing with Brian Gavin Diamonds I have found the customer service to be highly competent and honest.
Furthermore, Brian Gavin also provides an Idealscope image, an ASET image and an image of a hearts-and-arrows-viewer from every diamond! I don’t know of any diamond vendor where all these three images are automatically included in the signature series. These three images combined can give you a very accurate impression not only of the light performance of a diamond but also of the symmetry of a diamond.
As you can see, the diamond I have chosen as an example actually has a a superb light performance and a is a true hearts and arrows diamond. The diamond however has an inclusion and therefore in such a case you should check first with the customer service whether the diamond is really eye-clean.
Brian Gavin predominantly provides AGS reports for all its diamonds. As I have explained in my post about the best diamond grading labs you should only buy diamonds graded by either AGS or GIA. Thus, you are on the good side with Brian Gavin Diamonds.
All in all, Brian Gavin Diamonds provides all the necessary tools for making a really educated purchasing decision.
Brian Gavin Diamonds’ conditions of purchase
Now, let’s have a look at Brian Gavin’s conditions of purchase.
Brian Gavin is offering free insured shipping but not for international customers. Thus, international customers outside the US might expect to pay a shipping fee.
Furthermore, diamonds can be returned back to Brian Gavin within 15 days of receiving the diamond. Other diamond vendors such as James Allen offer a 30-day money back guarantee but I don’t think that this is too huge of a disadvantage if you make a quick decision whether you want to keep the diamond or not.
What is slightly bothersome however, is the fact that you have to pay for return shippings. Now, I really think that Brian does a superb job at providing excellent customer service and providing more than enough data for making an educated decision. Therefore, I think that the return rate at Brian Gavin is pretty low. Still, in case you want to return the diamond for whatever reason you need to be aware that you will have to pay for the insured return shipping.
Brian Gavin so far surely makes a decent impression. In the next part of my Brian Gavin Diamonds review I will get into the in-depth details and analyse their Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamonds to check out what Brian Gavin Diamonds is really worth in terms of the diamonds they are offering! Read on to find out more…