Monday, 20 November 2017

Another 2 Wondeful WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Diamonds

Update 21 November 2017

0.406ct E VVS2 -
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3916952.htm?a_aid=myengringexp

This diamond has tight proportions and it checks out well in all departments. The optical precision is excellent and there is no complain for it. The small table, high crown height, and the crown angle incline towards the steeper side means that this diamond has excellent fire! The ASET on the brand new certificate shows great contrast and there won't be a dull moment with this gem. Although I prefer 76% lower girdle percentage, but 77% will work just fine as well! There are also some variance in terms of arrow size, for example, the arrow at 10 o'clock position vs. the arrow at 4 o'clock position, but overall, they are pretty even and this diamond looks great!

The calculated weight based on its dimensions is close enough as well, indicating the cutter did not cheat: 4.75 x 4.78 x 2.94 x 0.0061 = 0.40719147ct.

WF ACA Collection Series 0.406ct E VVS2
WF ACA Collection Series 0.406ct E VVS2 IdealScope
WF ACA Collection Series 0.406ct E VVS2 ASET
WF ACA Collection Series 0.406ct E VVS2 H&A
Actual Diamond Video Tilted Right
Actual Diamond Video Center
Actual Diamond Video Tilted Left
WF ACA Collection Series 0.406ct E VVS2 ASET in Cert

The loose diamond price is USD 1346.


As usual, add 6% GST and the total will be RM 5982.23. Add misc. charges (GST on freight and insurance), the loose stone final price we round up to RM 6000.00.

Now, Memory Jewellery's setting will cost you between RM 1000 - RM 1500. So making the grand total to be around RM 7000.00 - RM 7500.00.


0.40ct F VVS2 -
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3916953.htm?a_aid=myengringexp

This is another excellent piece! As its matching sibling above, this diamond's fire is fantastic as well. The minor complain I have for this diamond is that the ASET image is showing some minor weaker light return, but that is not detectable by the ASET in the certificate though. Nonetheless, that is so minor that it is probably impossible for our eyes to pick-up. My own ACA has even more obvious "green" under the table but its light return is like so strong and so powerful, so there is really nothing to worry about. This diamond has my preferred 76% lower girdle percentage, therefore it will return bold sparks! Although the arrow at the upper section of the stone is slightly shorter than the ones at the lower section of the stone, to me this is acceptable and it did not affect to overall beauty of the stone much.

The calculated weight based on its dimensions is close enough as well, indicating the cutter did not cheat: 4.73 x 4.74 x 2.92 x 0.0061 = 0.3993486024ct.



WF ACA Collection Series 0.40ct F VVS2
WF ACA Collection Series 0.40ct F VVS2 IdealScope
WF ACA Collection Series 0.40ct F VVS2 ASET
WF ACA Collection Series 0.40ct F VVS2 H&A
Actual Diamond Video Tilted Right
Actual Diamond Video Center
Actual Diamond Video Tilted Left

WF ACA Collection Series 0.40ct F VVS2 ASET in Cert
The loose diamond price is USD 1284.



As usual, add 6% GST and the total will be RM 5706.67. Add misc. charges (GST on freight and insurance), the loose stone final price we round up to RM 5750.00.

Now, Memory Jewellery's setting will cost you between RM 1000 - RM 1500. So making the grand total to be around RM 6750.00 - RM 7250.00.

You can't go wrong with either one, but at the end of the day, I think I will go with diamond 1. In fact, I am in a dilemma right now that if you ask me later, I could change to diamond 2!

Oh, by the way, if you are transferring using MoneyMatch, remember to key in coupon code "REF637" to enjoy RM 15 discount!

Overall, I have to say that WhiteFlash has outdone themselves recently and they are improving their core competencies.

I am currently writing this on my handphone, so it is not so convenient to write in detail, therefore do anticipate some pictures and content updates later.

All the best!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Zoara - Affordable GIA Diamonds


For those that wish to get a GIA graded diamonds, do consider Zoara diamonds. Like other great companies, such as WhiteFlash and Brian Gavin Diamonds, I am affiliated to this great company too. While both WhiteFlash and Brian Gavin Diamonds offers Hearts & Arrows diamonds at reasonable prices, Zoara is a budget friendly company and this means that certain things will be taken out of the equation - IdealScope image, ASET image, and H&A image. However, this puts Zoara as good as any other jeweler in Malaysia, if not better, heck, I have confident that it can compete with BlueNile as well as far as GIA loose diamonds are concerned, so those who wishes to buy from BlueNile, but found out that BlueNile does not ship to Malaysia, then Zoara is your best choice. If you are wondering why I do not focus solely on Hearts & Arrows alone, reason is simple - Not all people needs a Hearts & Arrows diamond, and some actually need a budget friendly diamond that is reasonable and not too shabby.

Zoara offers Fedex International Priority Shipping for purchases USD 400 and above. It is free, but there is a USD 30 handling and insurance fee applicable to the final price, so I would say not entirely free, but reasonable enough. From the time a person places an order, on average it takes about 10 days to receive it. Every product arrives in a branded Zoara box. Rings arrive in a classical ring box, while loose diamonds arrives in a smaller box. Customers can also request not to receive the box and instead, use other packaging (probably can try to ask for ring box + temporary ring setting combo. No guarantee, but no harm trying) or even request for a non-branded box.

Zoara's packaging
Zoara's packaging
I am not joking when I say they offer the best price because I have randomly picked a diamond from one of the local jeweller and one of the US jeweller and Zoara's price beats both of them hands down. For example, the 40-pointer diamond I am comparing to a local vendor is cheaper by hundreds (yes, with an 's'). That being said, if you ever come across a GIA diamond that is not available physically in-store, but on the vendor's listing, this means that that diamond is still available for purchase on any vendor's sites, as long as the vendor is tied to that particular supplier. In this case, do let me know the GIA number of the diamond you are looking at because I am able to do price comparison for you as long as Zoara is tied to the same supplier. I will then let you know the approximate price for you to get your hands on it in Malaysia. In order to get the final price of the item, remember to add USD 30 for handling and insurance fee on top of the diamond price, as simple as that!

Just in case you do not know yet, most jewellers that are not as big as Wah Chan or Tomei will rely on suppliers' listing to sell diamonds. This listing is known as Multiple Listing Service (MLS). You can read more about it here: http://www.myengagementringexperience.com/2017/11/multiple-listing-service-mls.html. By doing so, they do not need to stock up loose diamonds in their inventory and this will certainly lower their business cost, and hence, part of the savings are transferred to the customers as well.

I hope this article shed some light to those who wishes to purchase a GIA graded diamond at a reasonable price. Let me know if you need any help. As mentioned in my other blog post,feel free to search my blog using the keyword "Zoara" for my postings on GIA diamonds provided by Zoara. Also, I can also help you to filter out some better GIA diamonds from the Zoara list. What I mean by better is the proportions will score at least 97% on Enchanted Cut Score Calculator (usually I will aim for 100%) and the HCA score will be below 2.0.

I am reachable in Lowyat forum. My username is "kambingkoh". I am also reachable via email, so drop me an email at myengringexp at gmail dot com if you need any help.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Friday, 17 November 2017

A Really Great WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series 30-Pointer

Update 20 November 2017

This WhiteFlash ACA 0.321ct E VVS1 diamond is simply amazing. With table at 55.9%, crown height at 15.3%, crown angle at 34.8%, and lower girdle at 76%, this diamond is sending bold flashes of fire! Will it sacrifice light return? Not at all! Just look at the bloody red IdealScope image! With E colour paired with VVS1 clarity, I am telling you, this diamond is one of the best diamonds I have ever seen. With such tight proportions and maximum performance, this is certainly a collection good! The Hearts & Arrows is exceptionally good as well, so this diamond is very well cut to extreme precision.

By the way, the calculation to check whether the diamond is cut to its ideal proportion is precise as well: 4.39 x 4.41 x 2.72 x 0.0061 = 0.3212194608ct. It matches its carat weight of 0.321ct!

I will update it further later.

WF ACA Collection Series 0.321ct E VVS1
WF ACA Collection Series 0.321ct E VVS1 IdealScope
WF ACA Collection Series 0.321ct E VVS1 ASET
WF ACA Collection Series 0.321ct E VVS1 H&A
WF ACA Collection Series 0.321ct E VVS1 ASET in Cert

Video of the diamond tilting to the right

Video of the diamond at the center facing up

Video of the diamond tilting to the left

MoneyMatch Transfer

So, how much will the diamond cost? Transferring via MoneyMatch will cost approximately RM 4036.93. I put it as approximate because exchange rate is subject to change. Remember to key in coupon code "REF637" to enjoy RM 15 discount! Anyway, let's use that amount as our base, so, adding int 6% GST to RM 4036.93 will make the diamond price to become RM 4279.15. Add in misc. charges (GST on freight and insurance), the final approximate price will be RM 4300.00.

A simple solitaire setting from Memory Jewellery will cost between RM 1000 - RM 1500, making the grand total to be RM 5300.00 - RM 5800.00.

If you were to get similar specs from local jewellers, I think it will be hard to achieve this price. But, in any case, that you really manage to find some jewelers that can offer you 0.3ct E VVS2 at a cheaper price, try to ask for the scope images like what WhiteFlash can provide, usually 99% of the time they will not be able to provide it. The jeweller can claim that their diamonds are Hearts & Arrows and show you the arrows, but perfect arrows/very good arrows does not mean perfect hearts/very good hearts. Read more about it here:
http://www.myengagementringexperience.com/2017/11/hearts-arrows-diamond-what-jewellers.html. Therefore, you really need to see the images to confirm on it. Also, please focus on the proportions as well, as what I stated in that blog post.

Of course, if budget is your main concern and you are okay with the possibility that it may not be a Hearts & Arrows diamond, then feel free to get the cheaper option. After all, getting an engagement ring is not the only thing that you need to spend money on when getting married! Now, that being said, did I tell you that Zoara can offer great value for GIA diamonds? If you ever need a cheaper alternative, feel free to search my blog using the keyword "Zoara" for my postings on GIA diamonds provided by Zoara. Also, I can also help you to filter out some better GIA diamonds from the Zoara list. What I mean by better is the proportions will score at least 97% on Enchanted Cut Score Calculator (usually I will aim for 100%) and the HCA score will be below 2.0. You can get in touch with me by looking for me in Lowyat forum, my username is "kambingkoh", or you can simply drop me a email at myengringexp at gmail dot com. Last but not least, Zoara's GIA diamonds are probably one of the cheapest around. I did some price comparison and found that they are the cheapest so far. You can read more about it here: http://www.myengagementringexperience.com/2017/11/multiple-listing-service-mls.html

All the best and happy hunting!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Now, this is something a lot of people may not know. And this is something may make some jewellers hate me. But here we go...

I think Investopedia can give a good definition on what is Multiple Listing Service:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/multiple-listing-service-mls.asp. In short, MLS is a listing service that consolidates data from multiple resources in one place.

As far as diamond business is concerned, this means that the MLS will contain resources from multiple diamond suppliers and these resources are then listed on the e-commerce site of an approved vendor. Now, here comes the fun part - The vendor gets to decide what sort of mark-up value they wish to impose on each item in the MLS.

For instance, the actual price of Item X listed by a particular supplier within the MLS is USD 900. There are 2 different e-commerce vendors that are tied to this particular supplier. Let's call them Vendor A and Vendor B. So, Vendor A decides to mark-up the price of Item X to USD 1300, while Vendor B decides to mark-up the price of Item X to USD 1500. So, in this case, you sure hope you can manage to buy from Vendor A if you want to buy Item X because you want to avoid paying USD 200 extra to Vendor B for the exact same thing, right? Heck, you might even want to get Item X for just USD 900, but sorry, that price is just for business partners only, who probably can sell diamonds at a very high volume, so it is not for normal customers. Unfortunately, in order to do this, you will have to really go through each of the e-commerce sites and check out the price individually. There are no price comparison engine built so far for diamond price comparison, unlike our local e-commerce marketplaces, whereby we can easily compare different prices using price comparison engine like http://www.jimatify.com/. I really like it by the way. So kudos to them for doing a good job! Now, if you think about it, it is just the same thing like buying Panadol tablets from either pharmacies like Caring, Watsons, or Guardian, whereby each of them can have different prices.

Anyway, the difference is that Caring, Watsons, or Guardian need to pile up the stocks in order to sell, but using MLS will only need an e-commerce site for customers to order and then the site vendor will proceed to order the item from the related supplier and ship the final item to you in the vendor's own exclusive packaging.

But do take note that not all vendors will share the exact same list of suppliers. For example, Supplier A works with Vendor A & Vendor B, while Supplier B works with Vendor B only. So in the MLS for Vendor A, there will not be any listing from Supplier B, while in the MLS for Vendor B, there are listings from both Supplier A & B.

Now, I have managed to discovered that Zoara so far offers a far more competitive price compared to one of the local jewelers and also one of the US vendors. For example, there is a RM 4000 - RM 5000 difference between the local jeweler and Zoara when we are talking about the exact same piece of 1 carat diamond, so that's actually a substantial savings even for a person who can afford a 1 carat I believe. So, usually, in such situation, there are two options you can do:

Option 1 - Buy from Zoara right away.

Option 2 - Use the "Price Match" policy that is offered by the vendor you originally wish to buy from (if they have one) if you discovered that the diamond you intended to buy is the exact same piece listed at a cheaper price in another vendor's site.

Now that being said, if you ever come across a particular GIA diamond that you wish to buy and want to do price comparison, feel free to let me know and I will search from Zoara. I am reachable via email at myengringexp at gmail dot com.

Hearts & Arrows Diamond & What Jewellers Usually Tell You

You have read about Hearts & Arrows diamond. Many jewellers you have met may either:
  1. Downplay the importance of Hearts & Arrows.
  2. There is no visible benefit of a Hearts & Arrows diamond.
  3. Tell you that Hearts & Arrows are always there if it is a round brilliant cut.

I am not a technical person at this, so I will put it in my own layman understanding explaining why what they said are wrong.

Hearts & Arrows offers great symmetry precision to the diamond. Surely you may think that within such a small stone, the disorientation is not noticeable and the performance is more or less the same. Yes, you are right that you probably can't noticed the disorientation without close inspection, however, for performance, you have to know diamond is reflecting light, just like a mirror, so imagine you have one a light source pointing at one mirror, and the mirror then reflects the light to another mirror that is aligned correctly and so on. Keep going this until all the mirrors are reflecting light, and thus achieving maximum beauty in terms of light performance. Now, imagine some mirrors are disoriented and only reflect the light partially, so what will you get? Lower light performance, right? So that's why it is best to have the whole diamond to be as symmetrical as possible in order to achieve the best performance, and this is the benefit of Hearts & Arrows.

Now, the above is just part of the puzzle to get great performance. We move on to proportions.

In science, we know that a certain value will be a critical point for something - For example, for water to boil, it will be 100 degree celsius and for it to freeze, it will be 0 degree celsius. This concept is also applicable to light, when it is travelling to and fro within the diamond, busy reflecting and refracting the light. It is very well proven that certain angles are critical tipping point and certain angles will give the best performance. For instance, I won't buy a diamond a 36 degree crown angle because I know that the light return will be much lesser than a diamond with 35 degree crown angle. Same concept applies to pavilion, I won't buy a diamond that is beyond 41.2 because that is a critical tipping point whereby light does not fully strike off the pavilion. (Reference: http://niceice.com/diamond-grading-101/obstruction-light-diamonds/) Now, that being said, at 41.2, things may go either way, so it will be best to stay below that range. The recommended range is the middle range whereby performance will be the safest - 40.6 to 40.9 pavilion degree angle.

So, with great optical precision and great proportions combination, what you will get is an ideal amount of light reflecting and refracting at the best angle possible to maximize the beauty of the whole diamond. Missing out either one of them, and you won't be getting the best possible performance in terms of brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation.

For your info, there can be Hearts & Arrows diamond that returns poor amount of light because that diamond has very steep crown angle. For instance, this diamond: https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3855514.htm?a_aid=myengringexp

0.7 F VS2 Premium Select GIA-2185393735 H&A

Can you see how beautiful the Hearts & Arrows is? I do notice that the 2 hearts between 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock position looks slightly smaller, but that is within an acceptable range in terms of percentage. Therefore, this diamond is a real Hearts & Arrows diamond. In fact, its precision is pretty top-notch as far as I am concerned.

Now, let's look at both IdealScope and ASET images:

0.7 F VS2 Premium Select GIA-2185393735 IdealScope

0.7 F VS2 Premium Select GIA-2185393735 ASET
So, what does this tell you? Light leakage. This diamond will certainly perform under spotlight condition, but will be dead under normal fluorescent light. This is due to its very steep angle at 36.5 degree crown angle. So it is advisable to avoid such crown angle. Some cutters may really cut it for the fire it produces under spotlight, but personally, I think most cutters will cut such steep angles if they want to retain the carat weight of the diamond, and they are willing to do it at the expense of the overall diamond beauty.

That being said, have you ever got the chance to look at a diamond that claims to be Hearts & Arrows? If you said yes, did they show you the hearts? I guess probably not, because based my own experience, the sales person will tell you that the stone is mounted. Fair enough, but despite the arrows can be very good, we can't guarantee that the hearts can be as good. This is certainly different that what some salesperson will usually claim: "Perfect/very good arrows mean perfect/very good hearts".

Update 20 November 2017
I updated the statement:

Perfect arrows to Perfect/very good arrows
Perfect hearts to Perfect/very good hearts

Reason is that what I am comparing here, some vendors will claim this to be "perfect arrows", which is actually fair enough because they are in fact very good arrows.


Below are some of the diamonds with very good arrows, but with inconsistent hearts.

Here is the first diamond: https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/R552-0628956Z2?
GIA-2161035626
The arrows are good, with some small penalty for the arrows at 11 o'clock. But overall, the diamond's arrows are pretty much well-aligned.

GIA-2161035626
This is what you see when you see through the diamond from the top through a H&A scope.

GIA-2161035626
Now, this is what I mean good arrows, but inconsistent hearts.
Here is another one: https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/R100-5Z6082690?
GIA-6242735300
The arrows are pretty much well-aligned as well, with some penalty for the arrow at 1 o'clock position 6 o'clock position, and 11 o'clock position.
GIA-6242735300
This is what you see when you see through the diamond from the top through a H&A scope.

GIA-6242735300
Oh my, what happened to the hearts?
The example I provided above have some of the best arrows around, there could be better ones, but there are more worse ones. And despite being good arrows, the hearts does not share the same fate. Why is this so? This is because most likely because of light obstruction.

Observe the below picture:
GIA-2161035626
GIA-6242735300
Referring to this post - http://niceice.com/diamond-grading-101/obstruction-light-diamonds/ by Todd Gray:
Obstruction can result from slight differences in the size, shape, or alignment and indexing of the facets. Diamonds that exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows tend to exhibit very little obstruction. Whereas diamonds with a lot of obstruction almost always exhibit irregular patterns of hearts and arrows.
Therefore, as you can see, we have to be careful with a the claim that perfect arrows mean perfect hearts because perfect arrows is just one of the main criteria to achieve perfect hearts, and not the only one. Do request for the actual diamond image and check on the image and see if you can find any light obstruction.

Also, both of these diamonds score a 100% on Enchanted Cut Score. Therefore, this means good cut score does not necessarily translate to good hearts / good optical precision as well.

So now, if you ask me - If there is not light obstruction, and the arrows are perfect, will the hearts be perfect? My answer is "As long as the lower girdle facets' percentage is not too big and being kept at max 80%, there will not be any clefts (or obvious ones) in the hearts of the diamond, and hence it is very likely that this diamond has perfect hearts. This is based on my observation on Enchanted Diamonds after browsing through their diamond inventory and filter out those diamonds that provide images.

Despite all the cons above, I am actually okay if the price charged is relatively cheaper compared to a real super ideal diamond, but if the price is as close, then it is not worth it.

I hope this article shed some light on why the images such as Hearts & Arrows images are important to proof that a particular diamond has great optical precision.

For those who are on the hunt for the perfect diamond, all the best and good luck. If you need help, you may PM me on Lowyat forum or reply on the "Brides & Grooms" tab. My username is "kambingkoh". Alternatively, you can also drop me an email at blogger.yang85 at gmail.com.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A 0.4ct E VS 2 from Zoara with Decent Proportions & Price Comparison Against WhiteFlash ACAs

Well, this diamond really caught my eye - A 0.4ct E VS2 GIA Triple Excellent from Zoara!

0.4ct E VS2 GIA 6183747850, HCA 0.9, Enchanted Cut Score 100%

GIA 6183747850

Alright, there are some minors complain about the arrows at as below:

Some slight misalignment of arrows as circled in red.

However, at this price point, I find it acceptable. What really captures me is the overall look and feel. Yes, sure it is slightly misaligned but the pattern of arrows are really there distinctively. This diamond has feather inclusions, so as usual, check with the customer service if there are any dangerous feather near the girdle of the edge that will cause durability risk.

Again, you see that I have chosen a diamond with depth above 62%. This is once again acceptable, as this diamond does not sacrifice on performance. This is because the performance is still within acceptable range. The pairing of crown angle and pavilion angle seems nice as well, as the crown angle is slightly on the steep end, while the pavilion angle is slightly on the shallow end. A good inverse relationship as far as I can tell.

At the price of USD 899, add on USD 30 shipping handling fee, the final price for this diamond will be USD 929. Let's use MoneyMatch now:

With exchange rate at 4.2355, the total RM to transfer will be RM 3934.77.
There will be a RM 8 flat transaction fee for anything below RM 5000, but if you apply the discount code REF637, you will get RM 15 off!

For simplicity's sake, we just let the RM 15 savings to contra with the misc. charges. So, add on GST 6% to the final price, and the total now will be RM 4170.86. Now, add on a 18k white gold plain solitaire ring for this diamond with price range between RM 1000 -  RM 1500 at Memory Jewellery, and your final grand total will be approximately RM 5170.86 - RM 5670.86.

Let's see what I can get from WhiteFlash at this price:
3 alternative options from WhiteFlash

As you can see, at this price, we can only get I colour for 40-pointers, and H colour for a diamond close to 40-pointer. So this is the time you have to ask, what is your preference. H colour can possibly still look like colourless range from what I have read, but I colour may show some slight hint of yellow, but I guess it won't be that noticeable without close examination. If I were to go for cut, I will possibly choose this:

WF ACA 0.403ct I VS2 -
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3880123.htm?a_aid=myengringexp

WhiteFlash A CUT ABOVE 0.403ct I VS2 Diamond Image
WhiteFlash A CUT ABOVE 0.403ct I VS2 IdealScope Image
WhiteFlash A CUT ABOVE 0.403ct I VS2 ASET Image
WhiteFlash A CUT ABOVE 0.403ct I VS2 H&A Image
It's gonna blow!
Move it to the right...
And move it to the left! Boom!
If you are wondering why I chose that, it is because it gives off the most eye-captivating fire. No doubt about that, if you look at its proportions that show steep crown angle and small table. Although the arrows on the diamond does not look even in terms of length size, but its Hearts & Arrows seem to be the best, if we take the size of all the hearts into concern. Given this diamond has pros more than cons, I think it is the one I would buy among these 3 diamonds.

Anyway, as what you can see, in order to gain Colour, you have to sacrifice on Cut, and in order to gain Cut, you have to sacrifice on Colour. No matter which choice you choose, it will be the best choice for yourself.

So good luck and have fun choosing your engagement diamond!