Originally Posted by mafoofan
It doesn't matter what mine a diamond comes from or who gets first pick. The quality and cut of the stone are what count. Harry Winston does not have a monopoly on top-quality diamonds.
The 4 C's are very rudimentary. You need to learn about cut and proportions.
Yes, I'm very well aware that that 4C's are the very baseline of rudimentary understanding.
Since I was using the selected HW ring as my basis for comparison against other wholesaler/retailer/independent jeweler carried stones, I meant I was keeping the baseline variables of the 4Cs constant across the board (1.25ct, RB, F, VS1). Then to narrow the field to compare to the HW stone, I filtered only GIA XXX, HCA<=1.6 (score of the HW) notwithstanding weird outliers. Of course the other variables of no culet, no fluorescence, thin-med faceted girdle, etc were held constant for comparison as well.
I wasn't concerned with H&A since I didn't feel the need to pay the premium for perfect optical symmetry and HW didn't have Firescope/Sarin/OGI/etc data available for comparison.
With those quantitative parameters set, I compared the qualitative parameters of the position, size, number, and type(s) of inclusions since this was uncontrolled subvariable within the spectrum of the clarity grading. When I previously expressed that the HW was the cleanest VS1 I've seen (searching over the past 4 months) all other variables held constant, the HW stone only had a couple of pinpoints in the crown area (none in the table) that were barely even visible with a loupe. It must be at the borderline between VS1 and VVS2 since it contained only pinpoints. I'm guessing it was the number of pinpoints that must have pushed it out of the maximim threshold for VVS2 qualification.
There were no stones avail from any online, mom&pop, other designer retailer that were better (variables constant) and the ones that came close were about 30% less expensive. Factoring in the cost of the handmade HW platinum setting (me and my fiancee both fell in love with the delicate double 4claw/talon prong that I've yet to see any independent jeweler replicate with comparable precision), the designer markup of the HW ring became further minimized. Other qualitative factors of the fire, scintillation, refractive colors spit out by the stone, and general "sparkliness" were also pretty much unmatched.
Granted there may be some measure of psychological justification I may have sold myself to minimize the markup (which was much less than expected), at the end of the day I came in with a budget I was prepared to spend irrespective of where I was going to purchase from (someone can feel free to poke holes in my methodology, I'm sure I must have missed something). Feeling somewhat informed on the various facets of diamond evaluation, I felt more than satisfied proposing with a designer ring (at the top of Clayton Peak at the Brighton Ski Resort in UT!).
(and if anyone's wondering, yes I do conduct scientific research for a living so that contributes to my analretentiveness to detail).