Tuesday, 4 September 2018

My WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Experience

Welcome September! Welcome SST!

How will it affect us as a consumer when we import diamonds in from the United States? Well, stay tune to find out more!

0.304ct F VVS2 ACA Collection Series Diamond!
I shall take this opportunity share with you my WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series experience!

Stay tune to find out more!

Update: 20 September 2018 It is almost here! Stopping by Alaska now.
Update: 15 October 2018
Finally, I have some time to update my blog. Have been busy with work and other misc. stuff.

Alright, so my diamond did not arrive on 21/09/2018. This is because there has been a flight delay in GuangZhou, China. So, it arrived the following Monday (24/09/2018). I did my final transaction to MoneyMatch on 12 September night time, so MoneyMatch transfers the money out on 13 September, WhiteFlash replied me on 15 September midnight saying that day have received the money, but it will take 3 days to clear starting from that day itself. At the point of receiving the email from them, US is still 14 September, so it is still a valid business day. So let's count. 14 (Friday), 17 (Monday), 18 (Tuesday). So the diamond was shipped out on US date 18/09/2018.

In case you are wondering, I mentioned final transaction above because I have split my transactions into 3 parts. Why? This is because I have 3 RM 50 vouchers thanks to the referral code (REF_ACOO) some of my clients put in, so I am rewarded with them. Hence, in my dashboard, it looks like this:

So with this referral code, first time customer can use it to gain RM 50 discount, and at the same time, I can get RM 50 voucher.

Alright, let's see the packaging.
The  package contents. They also include a Hearts & Arrows scope along with a stone picker which I did not include here.
The AGS Lab Grading Report
WhiteFlash 2018 Calendar

Temporary stone holder aka spring holder
Now, please be reminded that the cherry wood ring box and the temporary stone holder aka spring holder are not included by default. However, feel free to request for it and they are more than happy to include them as well. WhiteFlash will always try to meet customer's satisfaction as long as it is within their means.

Let's move on to the stone itself.
Hearts... Very prceise!

Arrows... Nice.
Video taken under yellow room LED with Samsung Galaxy Note 5 torch flashing over it. Just look at how it is firecracking over there!

This is my second WhiteFlash diamond purchase and the result is definitely better! Clarity aside, the proportions of this diamond is simply great as it meets all the criteria I wanted in a stone - Small table, steep crown angle, 50% or beyond star length, 76% lower girdle percentage. This stone hits the nail, seriously. Moreover, the calculated ideal weight of this diamond is the same as the actual weight, complementing this diamond in a good way.

Does this mean the previous stone is not good? Definitely not. However, the previous stone has a star length of 48% and I find that the sparks are glittering around the stone more than bursting out in full spectrum. I used to focus on the contrast level in the ASET of the grading report a little bit more but after looking at more and more diamonds from WhiteFlash, I find that it is also quite practical to do a check and balance with the actual diamond video. I have a client that upgraded to a bigger stone and it outperforms the original stone despite the ASET in the grading report looks clean and lack of contrast. This is probably because the new stone has a 76% lower girdle facet while the old stone has 78% (I think). So this shows that the contrast level is not as important as I think it may, but nonetheless, it provides a mind-clean effect for myself. As long as the diamond has a star length of at least 50% and above, I am fine with it.

So, will I skip any 48% or 49% diamonds? The answer is: It depends. I will have to look at the video and the cut precision to determine whether that particular diamond is worth to consider or not. If everything checks out well, I am fine with it. Chances will be higher if the lower girdle percentage is 76%. This is because this will help the stone to return bold sparks that can fully convert to beautiful fire. Besides, star length is a minor facet and should not be the only factor to determine a stone's worthiness.

Buying a stone from WhiteFlash Collection Series means the stone is 100% guaranteed eye-clean, even at close range. This is because the lowest possible clarity level is VVS2 and this itself is already an overkill. Nonetheless, due to the very clean nature of these WhiteFlash Collection Series stones, we can rest assure that the inclusions did not affect the performance of the diamond. This is one of the main strength of WhiteFlash Collection Series.

To be honest, for the price I am paying for the stone, I would consider it a steal. This is because there are VS stones that are priced beyond this 0.304ct F VVS2 stone itself. This is probably because the time WhiteFlash buys in the VS stones, the base price is more expensive (due to various reasons).

Introducing WhiteFlash Collection Series looks like a battle against Black by Brian Gavin to me. While I do not doubt the quality of Black by Brian Gavin in terms of cut as they are pretty consistent, I find that WhiteFlash's pricing is more competitive usually. More over, WhiteFlash usually has better inventory and the right-to-choose first compared to other vendors because of the volume of stones that they take-in. While sometimes the Hearts for a WhiteFlash stone can be hit-or-miss, they have shown some improvements in terms of optical precision consistency over this one year. I guess the steep competition in the market has pushed them to improve.

WhiteFlash remains one of the best place on this planet to buy AGS graded stones that have tight proportions that are coupled with excellent 4Cs and high optical precision. The inventory level of WhiteFlash is also rather high compared to its competitors. And with the addition of WhiteFlash Collection Series, this has made them a jeweler that can produce some of the rarest stone in this world. Oh,  by the way, their upgrade policy is rather generous. You can always upgrade to a diamond with the same value or higher. However, please remember that the original "free shipping" cost will be removed while upgrading.

In conclusion, I am certainly a happy man to be able to buy this magnificent diamond that falls under the prestigious WhiteFlash Collection Series. Can't help but to look at it a few more times every time I pass by it. Also, tax-free experience means Malaysia will be one of the cheapest country in the world to get a super ideal from WhiteFlash!

Of course, to put it objectively, if I want the best consistency in terms of Hearts, no doubt Brian Gavin Diamonds comes to my mind first. However, if I view the whole buying process by factoring in the price, the quality, the 4Cs, and also the upgrade policy, no doubt, WhiteFlash will be the first to pop-up in my mind. This is how good they are, thanks to some of the fantastic people that work there. ;)

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Rare Find on Zoara! A near Hearts & Arrows 50-pointer!

Wow. This diamond is pretty decent and definitely won't break the bank!

Pretty cool, right?

Let's check the proportions:

HCA is 0.8:

Ok. So below 2. Great! If you noticed, the price listed on BlueNile for the exact same piece of diamond is USD 1862.23 (wire transfer). For Zoara, the price including shipping (USD 30) will be USD 1808.00 (wire transfer). So Zoara still wins. However, the slighly higher fee of BlueNile warrants you a future upgrade of the stone, whereby you only top-up the price difference of the new diamond. For Zoara, you will need to double the price of the existing diamond. That being said, Zoara is actually your only choice in Malaysia as BlueNile does not ship to Malaysia. Besides, I don't think most of us will be upgrading our engagement diamond, right? 

Anyway, BlueNile can provide you the 360 degree video which looks pretty good. Here is a screenshot of it when facing-up:

The video shows that the 12 o'clock arrow looks slightly blurred out. I suspect this could be due to lighting, or it could be due to very slightly less precise in terms of cut. Nonetheless, overall looks fabulous.

Now, this is a within the colourless range and it has a clarity of VVS2. Therefore, this is diamond will be white and eye-clean at the same time. The only complain I have for this stone is that it is slightly heavier than the calculated ideal weight of 0.492ct. This is based on the formula 5.07 x 5.10 x 3.12 x 0.0061 = 0.492ct. The reason I am little upset is because this stone may actually be a 0.49ct if it is further polished to a higher cut precision, and thus, fails to hit the magical 50-pointer mark. There may be another reason - this diamond is actually cut to pretty high optical precision, but the extra weight is added by the mediun to slightly thick girdle. Anyway, whatever the reason may be, this diamond hits the 5.00mm mark and it will certainly look like a 50-pointer. And for such price, it is certainly hard to resist and I don't know what to call it other than best bang for your buck! The pros definitely outweights the cons a lot!

Assuming exchange rate is at 4.13, in terms of Ringgit, the price is RM 7467.04. Add on a ring setting at RM 1499 from Memory Jewellery, the final price during this tax-free period will be approximately RM 8966.04. This is definitely quite unbeatable given such quality!

Oh by the way, the ASET and Hearts images are retrieved from the supplier website. However, Zoara is also be able to provide you the same set of images simply because the supplier is able to provide those. And thanks to the ASET and Hearts images, I am confident enough to say that this will be a good purchase!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Last Month of Tax-Free Period!

We have reached the final month for tax-free period. For peace of mind, it is best to buy now even if you plan to propose later.  Of course, just my 2 cents.

I am not sure whether SST will affect the price or not, but my gut feeling tells me shipping in loose diamonds might be tax-free. If I have that extra cash to spare, may be I can find out. :p

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

WhiteFlash Recommendations!

Below are some WhiteFlash diamonds I have selected based on my own preferences. I have chosen them from 30-pointers up until 1 carat.

What I focus on is the Hearts and Arrows precision and the contrast level. I also prefer table size that is max at 56 and lower girdle of 76% and 77%. I will add on some comments later, but if you are interested in any of these, feel free to drop me an email at myengringexp at gmail dot com.

p.s. I will also make time for Brian Gavin Diamonds later.

Here you go:

0.305ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.548ct D VVS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.544ct F VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.531ct G VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.544ct H VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.543ct E VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.538ct E VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.678ct H VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.66ct G VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.623ct D VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.605ct F VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.605ct G VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.614ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.617ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.608ct E VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.706ct  G VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

0.715ct H VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.80ct F VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.818ct H VS WhiteFlash ACA

0.81ct H VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

0.918ct G VS2 WhiteFlash ACA

1.007 G VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Powerful 30-Pointer WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Diamond and Perhaps a Golden Period to Get Diamonds Online!

This 30-pointer certainly looks great. The IdealScope, ASET, and Hearts images look excellent. The calculated ideal weight shows is 0.304ct, meaning the actual diamond is cut to a high degree of precision and not cut for weight retention. I do have to highlight that relying on images to determine a stone’s performance is the more important factor, in comparison to the calculated ideal weight.

0.304ct WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond Image
0.304ct WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series IdealScope Image
0.304ct WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series ASET Image
0.304ct WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Hearts Image
Now, at F colour and VVS2 clarity, this diamond falls under WhiteFlash’s Collection Series, which is the top collection available in WhiteFlash's inventory. Now, the diamonds within this collection is simply part of the original WhiteFlash A CUT ABOVE diamonds. However, due to the rarity of the combination of “colourless” and “very very slightly included” diamonds, this warrants them to stand above the rest and to become a collection series in their own rights.

The above 15% crown height and the 34.7 degree crown angle gives ample space for the light to refract into beautiful rainbow colours and increases the fire of the diamond. The rule of thumb is that the steeper the crown angle, the better the fire and I find that the proportions for crown angle, which is between 34 degree to 35 degree provided by WhiteFlash is more or less sufficient enough to land you a diamond with excellent fire. Personally, I would try to make sure it is at least 34.3 degree as suggested by Todd Gray from Niceice. Why? My personal view is that this is to make sure that the diamond you may be getting online has a higher chance to be as excellent as possible. Another thing is that I will tend to look for diamonds with star facets above 50. This is to make sure that the diamond will have enough contrast. It is pretty evident on the AGS certificate from WhiteFlash

Speaking about certificates, please note that the certificates used by WhiteFlash is actually the top certificate available from AGS. It is the Platinum Diamond Quality Document. This certificate is definitely better than the Diamond Quality Document provided by some brick-and-mortar stores (if they ever carry any AGS stones) because it includes the light performance result. 

In fact, personally, I feel that AGS certificates give more accurate details as they do not round up crucial angles such as crown angle and pavilion angle. For instance, 33.8 degree angle and 34.2 degree angle is always rounded to 34 degree for GIA, but for AGS, the result will remain the same. Also, AGS provides a diamond’s carat weight up to 3 decimal places while GIA maintains 2 decimal places only. This means a 0.596ct diamond will be shown as a 0.596ct diamond on a AGS certificate while the same diamond will be shown as a 0.60ct diamond on a GIA certificate. To add on, the Platinum Diamond Quality Document will provide the inclusion plot diagram that depicts the location of each inclusion clearly. Last but not least, as mentioned before, you will also be able to see the light performance image of the diamond itself. 

Now, since WhiteFlash is using the Platinum Diamond Quality Document for most of its in-house diamonds (if not all), this means that even if your diamond is a 30-pointer diamond like the one I am recommending here, you will get a better overall view of the diamond compared to a 30-pointer GIA diamond, whereby it will only come with a GIA Diamond Dossier most of the time. This certificate does not contain any information regarding the location of the inclusions, which is only available for GIA Diamond Grading Report that mostly comes with a diamond that is at least one carat and above. And of course, light performance is not available for GIA reports. However, some major diamond cutting companies start to capture light performance images themselves even the stones are graded by GIA as they probably start to see the value by doing so.

Alright, I am drifting away, so let us get back to this diamond. Now, the lower girdle percentage of 76% is definitely great. This makes the arrows look fatter and thus make them to return bold sparks that are mesmerising. At VVS2, this diamond is definitely eye-clean so there is nothing to worry about. And F colour? Well, this just makes the diamond to be highly desirable as it is within the colourless range. Overall, this is one of the best 30-pointers money can buy!

Now, at USD 846, this diamond will cost us RM 3384.00 (assuming an exchange rate of 4). I would highly recommend you to use MoneyMatch to perform the wire transfer simply because they provide the best overall rate so far, thanks to the one-time RM 25 discount for new registration, provided that you mentioned my name “Yang Kin” when you are doing the e-KYC video call. Just tell them that “Yang Kin introduces you to MoneyMatch” to get the RM 25 discount code. In case the promotion is no longer available, then do use the discount code REF637 to get RM 15 off, which is still not bad!

With the removal of GST in June and the pending reintroduction of SST in September, I strongly believe this item will be tax-free within this period. Therefore, assuming I am right, we will be saving around RM 203.04 without the GST. So, let us move on to choose a very decent ring setting at RM 1500.00 from Memory Jewellery, we can get the whole engagement ring done at approximately RM 4884.00. And yes, again, the RM 1500.00 ring settings from Memory Jewellery are pretty decent. They look thick enough and classy enough. You can always message them and enquire more details from them! 

Alternatively, you can also look for iDo Jewellery at Bukit Jalil as she also offer ring customisation service. Although her price is higher, but she uses palladium in her 18k white gold alloy (according to iDo Jewellery's info) and this makes the ring to be hypoallergenic. This is definitely a good news for those who are sensitive to nickel, which is used in standard 18k white gold. Do note that the people that are sensitive to nickel are quite rare.

I hope you find this article useful, and I sincerely hope that you guys can really enjoy the very possible tax-free period between June til September. So if any of you that read this article buys a diamond from WhiteFlash, do let me know if it is really tax-free so that other potential buyers can know! Many thanks and good luck!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

1.012 Carat of Awesomeness from Brian Gavin Diamonds!

This 1.012 Carat L VS1 Brian Gavin Blue Diamond can make your 1 carat wish come true. First of all, I will consider this a high precision cut diamond despite that no H&A image is provided. This is because Brian Gavin Diamonds is famous for its H&A and the cut quality should be applicable across all their in-house diamonds. Of course, you can still say that no image means no proof, well, that's good news, at least you know what you want. But for me, I think I am fine with the stone as long as it is from Brian Gavin Diamonds.

1.012 Carat L VS1 Brian Gavin Blue Diamond

1.012 Carat L VS1 Brian Gavin Blue Diamond ASET
1.012 Carat L VS1 Brian Gavin Blue Diamond IdealScope

So, what's so good about this stone?

Apart from being a VS1 stone, which guarantees eye-cleanliness, the calculated weight of this stone is 1.011ct. As the difference between the actual weight and the calculated weight is pretty minimal, I would say that this stone is cut to maximize its beauty. Next, its ASET images shows that there is no weaker light return whatsoever and the IdealScope image shows that the light return is very strong. We can be picky and penalize on the slight leakage at the 5 o'clock position of the IdealScope but that is really about it. Now, the 76% lower girdle facet will guarantee that this diamond will return bold sparks!

Next, the pairing between the wide table (56.9%) and the diamond height (61.2%) looks good to me. This is because I have observed that a lot of H&A diamonds that have a wide table will tend to have a shorter diamond total depth.

We now move on to the colour of this diamond. Despite it is an L colour diamond, the presence of the medium blue fluorescence will probably help this darling to look whiter by complementing its L colour yellowness. Because of the colour, I would say that this diamond is pretty unique as I don't think that there are many high precision cut diamonds that come with this colour. To me, it is really a selling point as it makes one stand out from the norm. How often do you hear your friends or family saying that "Oh, this is an L colour diamond?" Also, it looks kind of cool just to tell people around that "I am wearing an L colour high precision cut diamond that has blue fluorescence." Cool right? Or it is just me? :p

Of course, the best part is the price. With such colour and fluorescence drilling down the price, it is absolutely a value buy for those who appreciate such "uniqueness". No pun intended, I am actually serious. To add on, with April being the Diamond Month, Brian Gavin Diamonds is running a promotion of 10% discount (including 3% wire discount), further dropping the diamond's price.

Using USD 4182.00 as base, which is the price without the 3% wire discount, let's apply a 10% discount to it. This will make the price of this diamond to be USD 3763.80. As Brian Gavin Diamonds does not provide free shipping, therefore, please add another USD 55 for shipping. This will make the price to be USD 3818.80. Using MoneyMatch's estimated exchange rate of 3.9, the price for this diamond in terms of RM will be RM 14893.32. Add on 6% GST, and the price becomes RM 15786.92. Now, add on RM 100 for misc. charges (I have used RM 100 to provide more buffer. In reality, it should be lesser), and the price becomes RM 15886.92.

For ring setting, if you engaged Memory Jewellery at Sentul, the price should be from RM 1000 for standard designs while between RM 1000 - RM 1500 for custom design. Yes, I have checked with them before and apparently the price does not increase with size. At least not for 1 carat diamond. So, assuming this diamond is mounted onto a simple 6 prongs custom design solitaire with rose gold in order to complement the diamond's yellowish tint, the final price will be RM 17386.92.

Not too bad, right?

Thanks for reading and let me know if you need any help. You can look for me at Lowyat forum. My username is kambingkoh. Alternatively, you may email me at myengringexp at gmail dot com.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Brian Gavin Diamonds April Promotion!!! And why Signature Blue?

This is absolutely great news! Brian Gavin Diamonds in throwing in a 10% off promotion this whole week! Just use coupon code APRILDIA181 when you check out! Offer valid until 15/09/2018 11:59pm (Houston time).

Use coupon code APRILDIA181 this whole week!
Yes, I know - No Black by Brian Gavin for this promo, but then this does not mean you can't get anything decent from them! As a matter of fact, it is much harder or almost impossible to get something that you would want to return to them right away. I just have absolute faith in Brian Gavin's product.

This time around, my focus is on Signature Blue. So, you may me wondering, why Signature Blue? Why choose a diamond with fluorescence? Isn't fluorescence a bad thing? So, let me show you this link to one of Malaysia's famous private jeweller - Suen Jewellers:

According to the post, she (assuming the writer is a she) mentioned that:
Actually, the visible effects of faint to medium fluorescence are perceptible only to a gemologist using a special UV light source.
Follow by:
Overall, fluorescence should not be a major factor in the diamond purchase since its effects on appearance are negligible, if not slightly positive. The exception would be to exercise caution in purchasing a diamond with strong or very strong fluorescence in D-H color diamonds (which do not possess enough yellow color to offset the blue fluorescence).
Also, according to Todd Gray from NiceIce - http://niceice.com/blue-fluorescence-diamond/:
In the 25+ years I spent as a diamond buyer, I literally graded and evaluated thousands and thousands of diamonds and during that time I recall seeing very few diamonds which were negatively impacted by the presence of blue fluorescence and every one of them had been graded as having a level of fluorescence which was “extremely strong blue” or “distinct blue” which are synonymous grading terms used to describe a level of fluorescence which is beyond very strong.

If you wondering who is Todd Gray, he is my go-to-guy for any diamonds related matters, I would consider him my teacher provided if he sees me as his student. Haha! I would say he is a close friend to Brian Gavin and he is extremely picky when it comes to picking diamonds.

So, I can conclude that not only fluorescence can bring down the diamond price, but at the same time, it can make lower grade colours to appear whiter! Speaking of which, lower grade colours can also bring down the diamond price as well!

I am not sure about you, but I find this piece decent and price-friendly - 0.808 J VS2 SIGNATURE BLUE ROUND! Great proportions, great IdealScope, great ASET. No Hearts image though, but then, it is very hard to doubt that it is not cut to a very high degree of optical precision as there are no light leakage detected on the IdealScope and no weaker light return detected on the ASET. Also, the arrows are also sharp and crisp, therefore it is highly likely that this is Hearts & Arrows diamond. In fact, I don't think Brian Gavin's cutter can cut something that is not as good! I am not sure why they would choose to omit it, but my best guess is that they want to save the time spent on photographing the Hearts. Just take it with a pinch of salt though. Anyway, the price? USD 2508.00! Oh wait, remember we can have 7% off now by entering APRILDIA181 when we check out?! Why 7%? Because the 10% discount is inclusive of wire discount of 3%, and the price I listed here is the wire price, so, 7% off it is! So, after factoring in this, the price should be: USD 2332.44. Please note that this is just an approximate price because I am not sure which price they will use as the base to calculate the final price, nonetheless, it should be close! Now, at this price and be able to get something at this size with such great quality, it is pretty remarkable! Besides, it may look whiter than a J colour!

Personally, I find that the video of this 0.310 I VS1 SIGNATURE BLUE ROUND is even more remarkable! I am obsessed with its sparkles! Wire price is USD 580.00, so reducing a further 7% will make the price to become USD 539.40. Again, this is just an approximation. The actual value should be closed.

Now, you will probably have to pay for the shipment no matter which diamond you buy. The price will be approximately USD 55.00, but you can try to negotiate with them and see if the price can be waived totally or reduce a little. Using the 30-pointer as example, and assuming the final price is SD 539.40 + USD 55.00 = USD 594.40. This converts to around RM 2318.16. Then, add on 6% GST and the value becomes RM 2457.25. Lastly, add RM 50 as misc. charges such as 6% GST on freight and insurance, and the final payable will become RM 2507.25. Add on a ready design ring setting from Memory Jewellery at Sentul, assuming the price is RM 1000, the final price for this lovely 30-pointer will be RM 3507.25! You can look for them at the KL PJ wedding fair next Friday - Sunday (20/04 - 22/04). Overall, I would say this is certainly a great route for those who have a tight budget, but wanted something that brings the best bang for money! 

Oh, by the way, Brian Gavin chooses each Signature Blue personally to make sure it has no negative impact, so you are certainly in safe hands!

Alright! Let me know if you need further help. You can either look for me on Lowyat forum, my username is kambingkoh. Alternatively, you can email me at myengringexp at gmail dot com.

Good luck!