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Please note that Dimonz' carries or has access to thousands of diamonds in ALL shapes, colors and clarities -- not just those listed. Please call or e-mail me (Bill Bailey) for specific price quotes (703-237-6856) or e-mail BillBailey@Dimonz.com).

The Feinschmecker Collection

Some of the diamond manufacturers with whom I work call me "the Feinschmecker" which is a Yiddish term for someone who is very, very picky-- a kind of diamond gourmet. I have personally selected each of the diamonds listed below. To me, all of them are exceptional values for reasons described under Comments for each stone. As always, all of the views expressed on this website are my own personal opinions, based on nearly 30 years of experience in the diamond business.

All of the round diamonds listed below have the Feinshmecker characteristics I recommend (discussed under G.I.A. Certificates and Four C's) unless noted in the Comments section for each stone. Please pardon the redundancy of many of the diamond descriptions. The redundancy is due to the fact that many of the stones represent an excellent value for the same reason, e.g., they are of better color or clarity than the grade represented on the G.I.A. report.*

*Note: In my opinion, G.I.A. occasionally gives a lower color and/or clarity grade on a G.I.A. diamond grading report than the stone deserves. I actively search out stones that are misgraded in this way. I have not observed this positive misgrading in diamond grading reports issued by organizations other than G.I.A..

Also note that when comparing prices for round brilliant diamonds you should apply the criteria outlined in G.I.A. Certificates .

The stones listed below can be sold loose, mounted in a setting from www.Stuller.com (please call for price) or we can make a beautiful custom setting for you.

 

The
Feinschmecker
Collection

Feinschmecker Seal
Shape
Weight
Color
Clarity
Flour.
G.I.A.
Cert. #
Price in
U.S. $
Round Brilliant
1.53 carats
I
VS1
No Fluorescence
5163978864
G.I.A. Laser inscribed
$12,850

Comments: This stone is an excellent I color and is very clean (VS1). It has faint blue fluorescence which allows the stone to look whiter (more like an H) without negatively affecting the value or liquidity as stones with medium, strong or very strong fluorescence. In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000 cut criteria used prior to 2006 as well as G.I.A.'s Class I cut criteria (described in Four C's). Stones that meet all three sets of cut criteria are very rare. It has exceptional brilliance.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
1.50 carats
F
VS2
No Fluorescence
6202387551
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$15,850

Comments: This stone meets all of the Feinschmecker cut criteria described under G.I.A. Certificates. It is a solid F in color and a great VS2 (I'd almost give it a VS1). It is priced well below what a stone of this make (cut), color and clarity should cost. It plays beautifully with light! It is one color grade above the range I usually recognize as the best value (G,H, and I) -- but the price for this F VS round stone with this cut is exceptional.

Feinschmecker Seal

SOLD

Round Brilliant

1.40 ct
H
VS2
No Fluorescence
1229308819
G.I.A.Laser inscribed
$10,950

Comments:This stone is the top of an H in color and an excellent VS2. In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000 cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described in Four C's). With an excellent, 7.24 mm spread, it has the appearance if a 1.50 carat diamond. However, a diamond that weighs 1.50 carats or more of the same color, clarity and cut would cost at least $3,000-$5,000 more on-line and significantly more at a retail jewelry store.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
1.31 ct
H
SI1
No Fluorescence
2126957777
G.I.A.Laser inscribed
$9,685

Comments: Very top of H color and an excellent SI1 (I only pick out about one in five or six SI1s). It has a good spread or "average girdle diameter" (7.03 mm). In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000 cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described in Four C's).

Feinschmecker Seal
Princess Cut (Square Modified Brilliant)
1.30 ct
H
VS1
No Fluorescence

G.I.A. 1155357610

$7,885

Comments: This stone is an excellent H and very clean (VS1).

When choosing princess cut diamonds, I generally look for stones that:

1) Have a length to width ratio of between 1.00 and 1.04 to 1.00. Princesses with larger length to width ratios are more rectangular and don't generally play as well with light as square ones. Also, square is the most desirable shape for a princess-- more rectangular stones tend to discount. This stone has a length to width ratio of 1.03 to 1.00 (6.11 mm divided by 5.92 mm).

2) Have a good spread . For princess cut stones weighing 1.25-1.30 cts.+, I require a spread (or average diameter) of 6.00 mm or more. This stone has an average diameter of 6.02 mm (6.11 mm + 5.92 mm divided by 2).

3) Have a total depth percentage (tdp) of 73% of rhe width of the stone or less--deeper stones (74%+ tdp) tend to leak light and appear dark in the center, sometimes exhibiting a dark X in the middle of the stone (the X- effect). This stone has a 72% tdp and fabulous brilliance, without any extinguished areas.

4) Have a table percentage of 72% or less of the width of the stone. Stones with a table percentage of 73% or greater have too little fire. As with rounds, generally speaking, the smaller the table percentage, the more fire the stone will exhibit. This stone has a 72% table and excellent fire.

5); Have a crown height of and a crown height of at least 10% or more of the width of the stone. The problem is that G.I.A. reports don't tell you the crown height for princess cut diamonds and other fancy shapes. In my opinion, knowing the crown height percentage is absolutely critical in order to determine whether or not the stone will sparkle and play beautifully with light. Do not buy a princess cut diamond unless you know the crown height percentage (not the crown angle), even though the salesman may look at you as if you are crazy for asking for it!

6) Have Very Good to Excellent Polish and Symmetry (but I may allow a Good rating on either one if all of the other cut criteria are met and, based on personal observation, the stone plays beautifully with light). Generally speaking, the Polish and Symmetry grades aren't nearly as important as the proportions (i.e., the crown height, the table precentage and the total depth percentage) in determining the optical efficiency of the stone.

7) Applying the information used on the G.I.A. diamond grading report for this stone (plus the crown height of 10%, which is not contained on the G.I.A. report), this stone meets the 1A cut criteria (the best on a scale from 1A to 4B) used for assessing cut with the AGA/NAJA (American Gem Appraisers/National Association of Jewelry Appraisers) cut grading system-- please refer to the AGA/NAJA Cut Class Grader .

Note: Unlike round brilliants, princess cuts (and other fancy shape diamonds) aren't assigned an overall cut grade on G.I.A. reports. G.I.A. only assigns a Polish and Symmetry grade. The other criteria that apply to rounds described under G.I.A. Certificates (e.g., girdle thickness, fluorescence, comments, etc.) apply to princess cut diamonds as well. Note: The price of G.I.A. certified fancy shape diamonds of the same color, clarity and carat weight can vary up to 50% (in some cases more) depending on how well they are cut. Fancy shaped diamonds cannot be purchased on the basis of the G.I.A. report alone.

 

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
1.20 ct
H
VS2
No Fluorescence
1229183986
G.I.A.Laser inscribed
$8,885

Comments:This stone is the top of an H in color and an excellent VS2. In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000 cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described in Four C's).

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
1.09 ct
H
VS1
No Fluorescence
1163422675
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$7,485

Comments: I would give this stone a low G rather than an H in color and it is very clean (VS1). I graded the color three ways: visually against American Gem Laboratory certifed diamond master stones as well as a set of cubic zirconia masters and with an Austron Colorimeter (an objective, calibrated gemological instrument for measuring the intensity of color, which I personally regard as the most accurate way to measure the color of diamonds).

At 1.09 carats and with a 6.57 mm spread, it is slightly oversized-- it appears larger than most properly cut one carat stones. In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it also meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described in Four C's ). Only 1%-2% of all round diamonds manufactured meet these cut criteria. It is a beautiful stone with a fabulous play of light, lots of life and copious fire.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
1.04 ct
H
VS1
No Fluorescence
1193397980
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$6,885

Comments: This stone is an excellent H color and very clean (VS1). In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates. It also meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described in Four C's ). Only 1%-2% of all round diamonds manufactured meet these cut criteria. It is a beautiful stone that plays wonderfully with light.

Feinschmecker Seal
Princess Cut (Square Modified Brilliant)
1.02 ct
H
SI1
No Fluorescence

G.I.A.2141452062

$4,385

Comments: This stone is an excellent H and very clean SI1. It plays beautifully with light!

When choosing princess cut diamonds, I generally look for stones that:

1) Have a length to width ratio of between 1.00 and 1.04 to 1.00. Princesses with larger length to width ratios are more rectangular and don't generally play as well with light as square ones. Also, square is the most desirable shape for a princess-- more rectangular stones tend to discount. This stone has a perfect length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.00 (5.58 X 5.58 mm).

2) Have a good spread . For princess cut stones weighing approximately 1.00 carat, I require a spread (or average diameter) of 5.5 mm or more. This stone has an average diameter of 5.58 mm.

3) Have a total depth percentage (tdp) of 73% of rhe width of the stone or less--deeper stones (74%+ tdp) tend to leak light and appear dark in the center, sometimes exhibiting a dark X in the middle of the stone (the X- effect). This stone has a total depth percentage of 72.1% and does not exhibit any dark areas..

4) Have a table percentage of 72% or less of the width of the stone. Stones with a table percentage of 73% or greater have too little fire. As with rounds, generally speaking, the smaller the table percentage, the more fire the stone will exhibit. This stone has a table percentage of 69% and exhibits wonderful fire..

5); Have a crown height of 10% or more of the width of the stone. The problem is that G.I.A. reports don't tell you the crown height for princess cut diamonds and other fancy shapes. In my opinion, knowing the crown height percentage is absolutely critical in order to determine whether or not the stone will sparkle and play beautifully with light. Most princess cut stones have a crown height of under 10%. Do not buy a princess cut diamond unless you know the crown height percentage (not the crown angle), even though the salesman may look at you as if you are crazy for asking for it! The crown height on this stone is 10.7%.

6) Have Very Good to Excellent Polish and Symmetry (but I may allow a Good rating on either one if all of the other cut criteria are met and, based on personal observation, the stone plays beautifully with light). Generally speaking, the Polish and Symmetry grades aren't nearly as important as the proportions (i.e., the crown height, the table precentage and the total depth percentage) in determining the optical efficiency of the stone.

7) Applying the information used on the G.I.A. diamond grading report for this stone (plus the crown height of 10%, which is not contained on the G.I.A. report), this stone meets the 1A cut criteria (the best on a scale from 1A to 4B) used for assessing cut with the AGA/NAJA (American Gem Appraisers/National Association of Jewelry Appraisers) cut grading system-- please refer to the AGA/NAJA Cut Class Grader .

Note: Unlike round brilliants, princess cuts (and other fancy shape diamonds) aren't assigned an overall cut grade on G.I.A. reports. G.I.A. only assigns a Polish and Symmetry grade. The other criteria that apply to rounds described under G.I.A. Certificates (e.g., girdle thickness, fluorescence, comments, etc.) apply to princess cut diamonds as well. Note: The price of G.I.A. certified fancy shape diamonds of the same color, clarity and carat weight can vary up to 50% (in some cases more) depending on how well they are cut. Fancy shaped diamonds cannot be purchased on the basis of the G.I.A. report alone.

Feinschmecker Seal

SOLD

Round Brilliant

.96 ct
I
VS1
No Fluorescence
5171217991
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$5,285

Comments: This stone is actually a solid, middle of the range H color rather than an I color and it is very clean (VS1). I graded the color three ways: visually against American Gem Laboratory certifed diamond master stones as well as a set of cubic zirconia masters and with an Austron Colorimeter (an objective, calibrated gemological instrument for measuring the intensity of color, which I personally regard as the most accurate way to measure the color of diamonds).

This stone meets all of the Feinschmecker cut criteria described under G.I.A. Certificates. With a nearly 6.4 mm spread or Average Girdle Diameter, it has the appearance of a one carat stone. However, because it doesn't quite make a carat, it costs subtantially less than a one carat stone of comparable color, clarity and cut. It's an excepionally beautiful stone and a great value.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
.91 ct
H
VS1
No Fluorescence
6181988099
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$5,785

Comments: I would give this stone a low G rather than an H in color and it is very clean (VS1). I graded the color three ways: visually against American Gem Laboratory certifed diamond master stones as well as a set of cubic zirconia masters and with an Austron Colorimeter (an objective, calibrated gemological instrument for measuring the intensity of color, which I personally regard as the most accurate way to measure the color of diamonds).

In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry it meets all of the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates. It is a beautiful stone that plays wonderfully with light.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
.81 ct
H
VS1
No Fluorescence
6152076282
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$3,950

Comments: This stone is an excellent H color and very clean (VS1). In addition to having an Excellent cut grade and Excellent Polish and Symmetry and meeting the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates, it meets all of the strict American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000cut criteria used prior to 2006 (described below). Only 1%-2% of all round diamonds manufactured meet these cut criteria. It is a beautiful stone that plays wonderfully with light.

Feinschmecker Seal
Round Brilliant
.70 ct
H
VS2
No Fluorescence
6137398468
G.I.A. Laser Inscribed
$3,500

Comments: This stone is a high H in color and a very clean VS2. In addition to having an Excellent cut grade, it meets the Feinschmecker cut criteria defined under G.I.A. Certificates. It also meets the proportions criteria for both American Gem Society Ideal Cut/000 used prior to 2006 and the G.I.A. Class I cut criteria used prior to 2005.(please see Four C's ).

Feinschmecker Seal
Numerous Round Brilliants
.30-1.00+ carats
E-K
VS-I1
Numerous
G.I.A. Reports
Varies

Comments: I have numerous G.I.A. ceritified diamonds in the range described above, both matching and individual stones. I use the matching stones in three-stone engagemeny rings, stud earrings, etc. The individual stones can be used in engagement rings, pendants, etc.

Feinschmecker Seal

* In order to ensure optical efficiency in the stones listed in the Feinschmecker Collection, I require that all of the fancy shapes that I list have a crown height of at least 10% of the width of the stone. Stones with a crown height of less than 9% generally do not play as well with light as those with a crown height of 10% or more. Unfortunately, while the crown height is recorded on G.I.A. reports for round brilliant cut diamonds, this critical measurement is not shown on G.I.A. diamond grading reports for other shapes. I obtain the crown height of fancy shapes (i.e., cushions, princess cuts, Asschers, emerald cuts, radiants, ovals, pears and marquises, etc.) using a device known as a Sarin Brilliant-Eye.

** Cushion Cut Diamonds-- Gentlemen frequently tell me their prospective fiancé's would like a cushion cut diamond as the main stone for her engagement ring. But before buying a cushion cut stone for your fiancée', there are two things you need to know. First, does she prefer a squarish or more rectangular stone? Traditionally, cushion cut diamonds are somewhat rectangular (about 1.25 to 1.00 length to width ratio +/-). However, more recently, square ones have become fashionable both domestically and overseas (I noticed a big up-tick in demand for square cushions after Kate Hudson sported a square one in "The Bride Wars"). Generally speaking, squarish cushions tend to be more optically efficient than more rectangular ones and have become very popular. The second question is, what variety of cushion cut does she prefer? There are four: Cushion Brilliant; Cushion Modified Brilliant; Antique Cushion; and Old Mine cut. Generally speaking, unless your fiancée' has specified she prefers an antique look for her ring, I would buy a Cushion Brilliant or Cushion Modified Brilliant. Antique Cushions and Old Mine cut diamonds, do not play as well with light Cushion Brilliants and Cushion Modified Brilliants (for reasons too numerous to discuss here).

Halo Engagement RingTennis BraceletSolitare Engagement Ring
Stud EarringsStud Earrings

Feinschmecker Melee-- I use only the finest cut small diamonds (melee) available anywhere. All of the melee that I use are of very fine make or cut. I generally use melee cut in Russia or Thailand that is F/G in color and VS1/VS2/SI1+ in clarity. A small percentage of total output of round diamond melee are manufactured in these countries, which are generally recognized world-wide as producing the best cut stones. The overwhelming majority of small diamonds are manufactured in India*, China, Vietnam, et al.

To be frank, in my opinion, most of the diamonds used in halos and and the shank (the band portion) of engagement rings as well as tennis bracelets are of poor quality-- i.e., not cut well and lower in clarity.

Dimonz melee used in engagement rings and wedding bands (as well as melee used in tennis bracelets), is head and shoulders above the quality used in most jewelry, especially in terms of cut. Russian and Thai cut melee can also be purchased loose from Dimonz, depending on availability (minimum purchase, $1,000).

*"Of the total melee production in the world, 90 percent of melee is estimated to be cut in India."--Vipul Shah, from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India--quoted in the August 2015 edition of Rapaport Diamond Report. Other countries which manufacture significant amounts of small diamonds are produce significant amount of diamond melee are China, Vietnam, et al. A very small percentage are produced in Thailand and Russia which are widely recognized for manufacturing the finest cut melee in the world.

 

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