Monday, 1 January 2018

James Allen Partnership

JamesAllen Rings

My Engagement Ring Experience is now affiliated with James Allen.

I am now checking with them whether they are willing to ship to Malaysia or not, but they do ship to Singapore. So for Malaysians who are working in Singapore, you have an alternate option. Anyway, they may review the policy again and see if Malaysia is one of their destination in 2018.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Friday, 15 December 2017

WhiteFlash ACA 40-Pointers Recommendations

One of the thing I would like to do in 2018 is to create different category of diamonds based on size for my readers to pick from. The purpose of doing this is to provide easier consolidation of diamonds that I will recommend to my dear readers. I choose 40-pointers to start with because it is one of the more popular size in Malaysia. I will keep this post updated from time-to-time and hopefully you will find it beneficial. I would probably have to find a way to pin this post on the main page of this blog.

Below is the list of 40-pointers that I deem worthy to become a stunning engagement ring:

0.408ct G VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond
USD 1238
Calculated ideal weight: 0.409ct
Remark: This diamond is a fiery one. The table at 55% and the crown height at 15.6% provides the a lot of room for the light return to be fully dispersed into colourful fire. The 76% lower girdle facet percentage further improves the beauty of this diamond by returning very bold sparks to the viewer.
IdealScope is showing great light return, as expected from an excellent quality WhiteFlash ACA, while the ASET image is showing great contrast that can make the diamond look more alive than just looking brilliantly white due to the great light return. Lastly, the Hearts & Arrows are simply top-notch and it will be one of the best diamond money can buy.

Update 16 January 2018
While reviewing back this stone after a forumer  asked me about it,  I found that there is some minor bending tip at the heart between 1 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions. It is nothing too major, but if you are a perfectionist, perhaps you may want to reconsider it. Anyway, I still like the proportions and performance of this stone a lot. ;)

Overall, this diamond has all the proportions and precision I desire. And at VS1, this diamond definitely provides eye-clean and mind-clean factors, while at G colour, this diamond will definitely look like a colourless diamond thanks to its great light return. With all these factors combined, this diamond is certainly a good fit to become the ideal stone for an engagement ring.

0.411 ct G VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond
USD 1276
Calculated ideal weight: 0.411ct
Remark: This diamond is perfectly done (well, almost) . The table of 55.4% paired with the crown height of 15.5% and 34.8 crown angle allows a lot of fire to be returned to the observer. The amount of contrast is excellent as well. The Hearts & Arrows of this diamond is not bad, despite there seems to be a very tiny bending tip at the 7 o'clock heart. But rest assured, it is not obvious at all. With the lower girdle percentage at 77%, this diamond will return bold sparks to the observer as well. The light return of this diamond is simply excellent as well based on the IdealScope. This is as per expectation. Overall, this diamond is definitely a good buy.

0.411 ct F VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond
USD 1292
Calculated ideal weight: 0.409ct
Remark: This diamond is yet another one with good optical precision and great fire! There seem to be some minor bending tip of the hearts at 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 5 o'clock, and 7 o'clock positions. But those are again, not obvious. This is yet another diamond with great light return, great contrast, and great fire! A worthy contender I would say!

0.417 ct F VS2 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond
USD 1298
Calculated ideal weight: 0.416ct
Remark: This diamond is bursting with fire. Although its lower girdle percentage is 78%, but it scintillates beautifully. The Hearts & Arrows is pretty good with the heart at 11 o'clock seem to be a bit smaller and there seem to be some very minor bending tip at its heart. There are also some small clefts in some of the hearts, but they are well within acceptable range. This is a fiery glittering darling.

0.404 ct G VS2 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond
USD 1227
Calculated ideal weight: 0.408ct
Remark: This diamond will return a lot of fire and brightness! There is a minor bending tip at the heart at the 10 o'clock position but that is okay for me as it is not obvious and I consider it pretty negligible. As I moved the diamond around, I noticed that there is a lot of fire and brightness returned o the viewer. From the looks of this diamond, I think it is probably cut by the same group of cutters that cut the 0.411 ct G VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond I mentioned earlier above. In comparison to that diamond, this diamond seems brighter, but then, the 0.411ct G VS1 is returning a more vivid colour sparkles. I still prefer the 0.411ct G VS1 slightly more as it gives a better contrast overall by looking at the video. But don't get me wrong, both diamonds will be exceptional and they can become a matching pair for earrings as well. If you want better clarity, go with the VS1, if you want better contrast, go with the VS1, if you want better brightness, go with the VS2. Given that the colour is G colour, better brightness may make the diamond look whiter and colourless. Ultimately, the choice is entirely up to the purchaser/receiver.

Ok, stay tuned for more options! Alternatively, drop an email to myengringexp at gmail dot com for assistance, which is not only limited to diamond companies that I am affiliated with!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA

This 1.014ct carat diamond is beautiful. The proportions are definitely great! I always fall for smaller table size (<= 56%) diamonds because this will result in better fire. How I landed on 56% is because I observe my wife's other diamond that has a 55.9% table and that diamond is returning a lot of fire. Also, a lot of Black by BGDs are cut to around that average, as far as I am concerned, so I believe 56% is a good and safe number for better fire. You will tend to see that when the table has a smaller percentage, the crown height will usually be more than 15%, so there will be more room for the fire to disperse, which is good! The 34.8 degree crown angle will certainly make sure the fire of the diamond is very very good.

The hearts & arrows of this diamond is simply top notch. Very beautiful and well-cut. Nothing to complain there. Light return checks out very well based on the IdealScope so this diamond is going to return a lot of light, as expected from a diamond with 40.8 pavilion angle. Personally, I feel that too much brightness will tend to make the diamond less interesting, hence, I always look for the extra contrast which always come together with the smaller table and higher crown as mentioned in the paragraph above. Other than that, another important contributing factor will be the star length, which is at 53%. This will certainly improve the contrast level of this diamond and add more life to it. In general, diamonds above 50% star length seems to be returning good contrast level, based on the ASET image found in the respective diamond certificate.

Below are the images cut out from the respective diamond page. Please refer to that page for better representation of the images.

1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA
1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA Hearts & Arrows
1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA IdealScope
1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA ASET

1.014ct F VS1 WhiteFlash ACA ASET in Cert

The calculated ideal weight is 6.44 x 6.47 x 3.99 mm x 0.0061 = 1.014ct
The actual weight of this diamond is also 1.014ct. So, perfect!

Of course, quality comes at a price, at USD 9687, this is certainly not cheap in terms of Ringgit.

MoneyMatch shows this diamond costs RM 39782.34 before tax
So, RM 39782.34 add on 6% GST, the price will be RM 42169.28. The insurance cost is 1% of RM 42169.28, which means it will be RM 421.69. This insurance is included as part of the free shipment by WhiteFlash, however, you will still need to pay 6% GST for this insurance, so it will be RM 25.30. Now, you will also need to pay 6% GST for the freight charges, which I am not sure what the exact amount will be, but let's take RM 498.75, which is from my previous Brian Gavin Diamonds freight charges. I use this figure because both WhiteFlash and Brian Gavin Diamonds are based in Houston, Texas, so I figure the price might be the same. I will let you guys know again if I have an updated price in the future. So 6% of RM 498.75 will be RM 29.92. There is also one more charges known as Free Commercial Zone (FCZ) charges, which is at a flat rate of RM 5.00. So, I will call all these GST on insurance, GST on freight, and FCZ charges as misc. charges, which in this case, the total will be RM 60.22, a figure that pales in comparison to the total amount purchase! Now, you see why I usually don't focus on this amount and simply round up a the final diamond price (inclusive GST). So, the grand total for this diamond will be RM 42229.50.

So, the price is really not cheap, even if you compared with other options for 1 carat from another local vendor, for example this one: However, the price is pretty minimal, less than RM 3000 difference (for a price this big). Again, the price for this local vendor is actually RM 5000 more expensive than Zoara, for the exact same piece of diamond! So in actual fact, you can actually save up more than RM 8000 if you buy a normal GIA Triple Excellent diamond from Zoara.

Have a look at that GIA diamond:

1ct F VS1 GIA-2267763222
Honestly, the diamond above looks not bad. However, not all of the arrows are fully reflecting off the dark camera lens of the camera taking the picture. This means there is some cut inconsistencies there. Also, some of the arrows are also not that well-aligned - 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock, and 3 o'clock. This diamond will return a lot of fire if you view it under spot lighting thanks to its 36.5 crown angle, 55% table, and 16.5% crown height. However, from what I have learned by reading online, this diamond will be pretty lifeless under normal fluorescent light. Also, this diamond will probably be leaking light. Of course, I have not seen one, so take it with a pinch of salt. Anyway, one thing for sure is that you will find it easier to look for diamonds with such proportions, compare to diamonds within 34 - 35 degree crown angle and 40.6 - 40.9 pavilion angle. Now, why is that so??? Because those values in general, are considered as ideal cut proportions and diamonds with such proportions are either sold as top of the shelf diamonds or they are probably sold out pretty fast once they are listed on MLS.

Anyway, you have to know that when you are buying a super ideal cut such as this 1.014ct carat diamondwhat you are paying for is cut quality. You have to know that diamond cutters will spend more time to perfect the diamond compared to a similar carat diamond that has a worse cut or cut for weight retention only.

Of course, ultimately, the choice is up to you. If I can find a diamond with some slight misalignment or some minor cut inconsistencies but with decent proportions, I think I can live with it, since I will be saving over RM 8000! Of course, such diamonds are to hard come by, at least from my experience.

For ring setting, Memory Jewellery will be able to do loose stone settings from RM 1000 for existing designs and between RM 1300 - RM 1500 for custom designs. This is the latest price I have obtained from their staff. And yes, it is still this price even for a 1 carat diamond!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Black by Brian Gavin 30-Pointers

Here is a list of Black by Brian Gavin 30-pointers that I have picked out. Preference is from top to bottom, but ultimately, it is up to individual preference:

0.316ct D VS1
USD 931
Calculated weight: 4.37 x 4.39 x 2.71 x 0.0061 = 0.313ct
Actual weight: 0.316ct
Remark: My favourite piece among all current 30-pointers. Why? Great colour, great clarity level, and 75% lower girdle facet makes me expect a lot of bold flashes from this diamond.

0.327ct E VS1
USD 890
Calculated weight: 4.44 x 4.46 x 2.73 x 0.0061 = 0.330ct
Actual weight: 0.327ct
Remark: Value for money. Size also not bad. Proportions will return great fire as it small table and high crown height. Contrast level, clarity level, colour level is also great.

0.330ct F VS1
USD 881
Calculated weight: 4.44 x 4.45 x 2.74 x 0.0061 = 0.330ct
Actual weight: 0.330ct
Remark: Not bad, but if USD 9 difference can have a better colour, then the 0.327ct E VS1 wins. There is also a small feather close to the edge of the diamond's pavilion at the 12 o'clock position, but this looks very safe to me. Besides, this is a VS1 diamond. roportions will return great fire as it small table and high crown height.

0.346ct F VS2
USD 891
Calculated weight: 4.52 x 4.54 x 2.78 x 0.0061 = 0.348ct
Actual weight: 0.346ct
Remark: Not bad, can consider if want to go for size. Bigger than most stones here. Better value than the 0.345ct E VS2. Everything checks out pretty good. Prefer this over the 0.338ct F VS1.

0.338ct D VS2
USD 977
Calculated weight: 4.46 x 4.48 x 2.77 x 0.0061 = 0.338ct
Actual weight: 0.338ct
Remark: This one looks like a high VS2, close to VS1, which is good. 34.4 degree crown angle may be the lowest among all but it can still return pretty great fire I believe. This is due to its small table and high crown height.

0.336ct E VS1
USD 966
Calculated weight: 4.43 x 4.45 x 2.75 x 0.0061 = 0.331ct
Actual weight: 0.336ct
Remark: Not bad. But I prefer the 0.338ct D VS2 more, for better colour grade and perhaps slightly bigger size.

0.332ct E VVS1
USD 966
Calculated weight: 4.44 x 4.46 x 2.76 x 0.0061 = 0.333ct
Actual weight: 0.332ct
Remark: The arrow head at the 10 o'clock position seems to be slightly titled to the right. The arrow shaft of the heart at the 11 o'clock position also looks smaller than the rest. But then, I am just being picky! If you want fire, colour, clarity, contrast, you won't be disappointed by this diamond. The 75% lower girdle facet will return bold sparks as well and this diamond seems to cut to maximum fire. The size of this diamond is also not bad!

0.338ct F VS1
USD 907
Calculated weight: 4.47 x 4.50 x 2.77 x 0.0061 = 0.340ct
Actual weight: 0.338ct
Remark: The shafts of the hearts at the 3 o'clock region is a bit smaller than preferreed though. The arrow head on the ASET seems to be slighly tilted to the right as well. But overall, should return great fire based on proportions.

0.345ct E VS2
USD 929
Calculated weight: 4.52 x 4.54 x 2.78 x 0.0061 = 0.348ct
Actual weight: 0.345ct
Remark: Referring to the ASET image, the arrow head at the 11 o'clock position is very slightly moved to the right. 77% lower girdle facet, although is higher than the others here, but it can still return some seriously good sparks. Bigger than most stones here.

The price range is approximately between to RM 3900.00 - RM 4300.00, assuming the exchange rate from MoneyMatch is at 4.12.

Memory Jewellery solitaire ring setting is around RM 1000 for non-custom made setting, while between RM 1300 - RM 1500 for custom made setting. Taking the maximum RM 1500, the final ring price will be approximately RM 5400 - RM 5800.

For any assistance, you may look for me in Lowyat forum: My username is kambingkoh. Alternatively, you may drop me a email at myengringexp at gmail dot com.

Friday, 8 December 2017

One of the Best 1 Carat Diamond Money Can Buy - 1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA!

When I say this is one of the best diamond money can buy, I am not joking, as this diamond I am about to talk about is a 1.098 D IF WhiteFlash ACA diamond. So you see D and IF is the highest colour and clarity you can obtained from AGS respectively, and pairing it with a superb Hearts & Arrows and ideal proportions for maximum performance, this diamond will perform like crazy.

1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA
1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA IdealScope
1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA ASET
1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Hearts & Arrows

1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA ASET on Cert

To be honest, when I first looked at this diamond, I had the feeling "boy, what a waste!". This is mainly because of the star length at 49% and another minor reason will be the 34.4 degree crown angle. I sure hope this 2 parts can go beyond 50% and at least 34.5 degree respectively. But then, once I checked the ASET on the AGS certificate, it did not disappoint me at all. There is sufficient contrast to bring this diamond to life! And when you look at that video, wow wow wow, BEAUTIFUL!

Now, the main reason for the beautiful fire is because of the small table, tall crown height, and of course, the lower girdle facet percentage, which are 55.1%, 15.4%, and 76% respectively. If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I prefer smaller table these days as well as higher crown, and also lower girdle facet like this. 76% will return wide angle light that are bold enough to dispersed into beautiful fire when the light hits the crown because there is plenty of room for the light to split into 7 beautiful components of the white light - rainbow.

Below is an interesting picture depicting fire. It is pretty straight-forward. Reference:
Light returned dispersing into fire (dispersed light) - Reference:
On a side note, if you are interested to learn more about diamonds, WhiteFlash has a whole lot of materials to educate consumers:

Now, let's take a look at some of the diamond's video images:

1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Video Right
1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Video Center
1.098ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Video Left
Simply astonishing, right? :D

The calculated ideal weight will be: 6.65 x 6.67 x 4.10 x 0.0061 = 1.109ct (rounded to 3 decimal places). The actual weight for this diamond is 1.098ct. The calculated weight is actually heavier than the actual weight by 0.011ct. Why? I can only think of one possible reason - The cutter is sacrificing more carat (albeit just a little more) to achieve the maximum beauty possible for this diamond, which seems to be a fact to me, given how nice the diamond checks out in all aspects.

Now, let' see the price - a whopping USD 21447! So, what's that in terms of Ringgit? Let MoneyMatch tells you:
MoneyMatch says: A whopping RM 88331.96!
Given the fact that one day an individual can only transfer RM 30K out of Malaysia, this means you will need to perform 1 transaction on 3 different days! But don't worry, there are no charges for each transaction, in fact, entering in the discount code REF637 will entitle you to get RM 15 discount for each transaction! So there is a RM 45 savings.

So, let's add on 6% GST and the total becomes RM 93631.88. Wow. Amazingly expensive for an amazingly great diamond. That's like one year salary for a person that is earning more than RM 9000 gross salary per month! I guess if I am earning RM 100000 nett per month, this will be mine!

Anyway, if your affordability is there, and you really want best of the best - This is it. Alternatively, if you want something more value for money, you really can't go wrong another beautiful 1 carat WhiteFlash ACA diamond that I have blogged about:

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, until next time then. And good luck to those who are looking for a diamond ring! :)