Saturday, 8 December 2018

Memory Jewellery Promotion!

Memory Jewellery has thrown its gauntlet by offering a rather attractive engagement ring package!

Check it out:

Get in touch with them via their Facebook page!

I am not sure how good is their selection criteria, but if you stick to WhiteFlash ACA specs, you will have a higher chance to land yourself on a better diamond! Of course, diamond precision is very important as well, but at this price, I think all you can get is the actual diamond image only.

Wow! Look at this Beautiful 0.91ct G VS1 WhiteFlash ACA!

This diamond is simply amazing. Performance is really top-notch!

The tremendous performance of 0.91ct G VS1 WhiteFlash ACA
Price-wise, not cheap at all. USD 7086! That's like RM 29798.15.

In comparison, if we look at ZCOVA, we can find a 90-pointer as well, priced at RM 24766.00.

As you can see, we will have some savings in the thousands if we buy this stone from ZCOVA.

Based on the proportions, this diamond will favour brightness more. Cut is not as top-notch as the WhiteFlash piece above, but the price justifies it. Compare the table width to the diamond depth, it is a 60/60 stone, but this one, has a rather decent crown angle and pavilion angle pairing.

Of course, you can still approach ZCOVA to source you more options if the WhiteFlash piece above is too pricey for your liking and the current ZCOVA stone in picture does not meet your requirement, I am sure ZCOVA is able to assist.

Nonetheless, the video of the diamond really captures my attention and I believe this diamond will be a very exciting diamond in real life!

If you want other options, I see that this 0.915ct D VS2 Black by Brian Gavin piece is worth considering. It is slightly pricey that the 0.91ct G VS1, but you will be getting a D colour instead at the cost of 1 clarity grade lower, but yet remain eye-clean.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

ZCOVA Full-Blown Referral Tracking System!

It has been awhile since my last meeting with ZCOVA and today I finally received an email from their referral tracking system. This probably makes ZCOVA one of the first jeweller in Malaysia to implement a full-blown referral tracking system, so congratulations to team ZCOVA!

Note: The other jeweller I just found out that has an affiliate program will be Jeole Jewellery (MY) via the Involve Asia platform. They are doing fashion jewellery rather than engagement rings though.

ZCOVA's implementation of Post Affiliate Pro!
If you are thinking to buy from BlueNile, the world's largest diamond online shop, then do consider to buy from ZCOVA instead. Firstly, this is simply because for one obvious reason - BlueNile does not ship to Malaysia. Secondly, ZCOVA has inventory that is as extensive as BlueNile (other than BlueNile in-house stones). Price-wise, ZCOVA might be slightly more expensive, but might be cheaper at other times. There is one-time a reader asked me about a stone and I found out that ZCOVA is actually cheaper than BlueNile itself! Of course, some time ago, I can actually get the same stone that ZCOVA offering at a cheaper price from Zoara, another online-based company which I affiliate with. So as you can see, things can go both ways.

One thing to note is that ZCOVA won't list the whole inventory in their website due to some constraints I mentioned previously. Therefore, if you want to search for a diamond from the comfort of your home, I would suggest you to go to BlueNile. If you see a particular stone you like, feel free to contact ZCOVA to request them to source for you. I have tried that and yes, it actually works.

In any case, if you are confident that you are able to get the same stone at a cheaper price than ZCOVA, they have a price match policy that will allow them to consider to match the cheaper price, but of course, the final decision lies with them. ZCOVA will also try to match the price of a different stone which is pretty identical to the list of stones that are able to offer as well. At the end of the day, the extra that you are paying for ZCOVA is really for their one-stop service and the comfortable experience that they are able to provide.

If you are a newbie into diamond purchasing, what I would suggest you to do is to walk-in to any brick-and-mortar stores in the shopping centers around you. Have some extensive experience with them, then, make an appointment with ZCOVA (yes, they are running a lean team so it is best to make appointment) and try them out. As I have always said, whichever way that you feel best for you and your partner is the most important. No right or wrong decision.

Anyway, ZCOVA is here to stay. With the implementation of this referral tracking system, I would say they are moving in the right direction to become a better online diamond seller. I am looking forward to see one day for them to become the BlueNile of Malaysia, and after that, they may possibly become an inspiration for other jewellers, which we will call them the ZCOVA of <some place here>.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

An Extremely Amazing 1.348ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Stone!

This extremely amazing stone from WhiteFlash is gorgeous!

1.348ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond Image
1.348ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond IdealScope
1.348ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond ASET
1.348ct D IF WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Hearts
Being at the very top of the scale of almost everything, it is for those who aim towards perfection. You won't reach perfection because the stone is no FL yet, but you will be damn close to it. And...what I don't like about the stone? Probably the slight variances in the arrows length, which I totally don't really care too much because the arrows look fat enough to return some seriously bold sparks! Also, the Hearts look amazing! The calculated ideal weight is 1.350ct, so we can assume that this diamond is cut to maximize its beauty rather than weight retention. Also, the pairing of the crown angle and the pavilion angle is nicely done! It is close to the classic Tolkowsky ideal cut and the concept of the ideal inverse relationship between the crown angle and the pavilion angle is nicely executed here. To add on, the table is on the smaller side of things as well while the lower girdle percentage is also at 76%. All I can anticipate is that this stone will return some seriously excellent fire and some flowing bold sparks!

In my own experience studying online and understanding more about diamonds, I came to the conclusion that smaller table indeed perform better, but don't let that idea overcome you. In fact, you can safely choose any diamonds that fall within the proportions of the ACA specs. But for me, as a rule of thumb, as the diamond depth goes deeper, the diamond table should go smaller, or as the diamond depth goes shallower, the diamond table can become wider. However, in this case, the diamond depth is going deeper, yet the table is still small? Is this alright? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think this is very hard to come by and it is even better! This is because in the original Tolkowsky ideal cut, the table is 53% and the table is only 59.3%. But let me iterate again, let's not get too overly concerned on this because the diamonds provided by WhiteFlash are fully vetted by a few person before being categorized as an ACA. In real life, you can of course always find a better diamond, but I am almost certain that once you get your hands on this stone, it will be so special to you, just like your partner or other precious things in life, that you will keep wanting to look at it and cherish it for the rest of your life. It is a damn good stone.

Super Ideals are Expensive, but Brick-and-Mortar Stores Signature Diamonds are More Expensive!

Some of us may know that super ideals come with a premium, but why are these stones still selling well? In my opinion, this is because the premium that is factored into the diamond prices of those signature diamonds in brick-and-mortar stores are higher! I was quoted RM 17K for a 50-pointer together with a 18k white gold ring. Of course, this is the price before any negotiation, but I honestly do not think that I can get a few thousand Ringgit discount off the original quoted price, which is where the price of a high quality super ideal together with a 18k white gold ring stands. I can't remember the colour and clarity of the stone that was quoted to me, but I doubt it is a D VVS2 like this one.

0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond Image
0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond IdealScope
0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond ASET
0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series Actual Diamond Hearts
This stone is extremely well-cut. I might complain about the 2 o'clock hearts which seems to exhibit an almost non-existent bending tip, as well as the 6 o'clock arrow head at the actual diamond image that shows that the arrow head is very very slighly tilted to the left side. But again, when you go to such level of details, it is crazy because this is one hell of a diamond. The fact that WhiteFlash is showing such large image is beneficial to the consumer, but not so beneficial to themselves. Why? Simple, try to zoom out your browser window, you can see the bending tip becomes less obvious, and this can easily make the diamond looks better. Not sure is because they want to be more transparent, or they simply don't mind or maybe don't care at all. Nonetheless, after seeing terrible hearts and so-called Hearts & Arrows diamond from some other places, I really can't neglect this diamond, it is very good. If I am in the market searching for something with extremely white and extremely eye-clean, this will be the one, as of now.

Now, the price for this stone is USD 2701, which converts to RM 11382.22 using MoneyMatch at the exchange rate of 4.2141. Use my referral code REF_ACOO to get RM 50 off first transaction! Be ready to pay RM 8 transaction fee though.

Then, we move on to the ring. Memory Jewellery engagement ring starts from RM 1499 and the price may still be negotiable a bit. Finally, we just take the final amount of the diamond without any discount and add it to the amount of the ring setting, which we can safely assume it is RM 1499, the total will be RM 12881.22. Let's just round up to RM 13k.

So, let's look back - RM 17 vs RM 13k. And that RM 17k stone's colour and clarity is highly unlikely to be the same as this 0.508ct D VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA Collection Series stone! Heck, to save further, I can even consider this Black by Brian Gavin stone - A 0.513ct E VS1 stone which is cut to exacting standard. The price? USD 2525, which converts to RM 10640.54. Let's just round up to RM 11k. They do not give out free delivery but if you are buying a Black by Brian Gavin, you can probably ask nicely for it. But from now until the end of the year, you don't have to ask because they are providing free shipping! So, 11k vs 17k for a signature diamond from brick-and-mortar store? I don't know about you, but I would prefer to save a few thousand Ringgit for my honeymoon! Despite buying from a brick-and-mortar store allows you to see the actual diamond in real life, but buying online allows you to analyze the diamond's performance images, along with the highly zoomed actual diamond video, which can be just as good, or even better because you can actually understand the details of what you are buying more. Of course, in some more affordable brick-and-mortar stores, their diamond price can compete with the super ideals I am affiliate with, but then again, we can usually only be able to see the actual diamond and not the precision of the Hearts, nor the performance images of the diamond. Because of this, I am still more inclined to buy online.

Ok, now, if we move on to normal ideal diamonds, this is where the one of the challenges to sell a super ideal diamond is. Why? This is because you can always get a normal ideal diamond at a substantial cheaper price, as far as Ringgit is concerned. What is ideal diamond? The truth is, there is really no actual definition. Some would say a GIA Triple Excellent diamond will be an ideal diamond. As for me, my definition for ideal diamond is that the diamond must meet the strict proportions of the WhiteFlash specs, with some leniency in terms of total diamond depth. And I am not saying this simply because I am affiliate with them. I am saying this because the numbers are close to the original Tolkowsky ideal cut proportions:

And they have proof to show that the proportions work. I give some leniency for total diamond depth because I find that diamonds that are deeper than 62% still do not leak light sometimes. For the savings part, I have managed to source a 40-pointer GIA Triple Excellent with ideal proportions and superb colour and clarity from Memory Jewellery for one of my clients before. That diamond shows clear and well-aligned arrows and has faint fluorescence, which is absolutely okay because AGS takes into account both GIA fluorescence none and GIA fluorescence faint as AGS fluoresence neglible. That diamond also states that it is 100% Hearts & Arrows, and although the overall look is promising, but without the actual Hearts image, it is hard to tell whether the Hearts & Arrows precision is as good as those from WhiteFlash or Brian Gavin Diamonds. There is also no ASET and IdealScope to check on the light return. Nonetheless, I believe the differences won't be as substantial as the price difference, so it is very much worth it, as far as Ringgit is concerned. Such good stones are actually hard to get, so please do not expect that all stones that are sold by Memory Jewellery is good. I can easily find tonnes of not-so-good stones compared to a very good one. You will have better chance to land on a better stone if you adhere to WhiteFlash ACA specs, and that is provided if you able to filter out any stones at all.

Ideal diamonds aside, another challenge is that the price of typical a Triple Excellent is also very tempting. When you can have a 0.4ct E VVS2 diamond together with 18k white gold ring that comes with side-stones at RM 6299.00, you will be very very tempted.

Tailored Jewel Promotion

ZCOVA Promotion
At the end of the day, only you yourself knows what to get for your partner. My advice is, always stick to your budget and try to get what your budget can bring you. If sacrificing cut can get your a bigger stone, which is what you prefer, then by all means do that. If sacrificing size for a better cut, which is what you prefer, then again, by all means, do that. Heck, if you prefer to buy from a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you can just do that as well. There is really no right or wrong. I am usually just giving you options to choose from based on your budget. Best of luck for those who are on the hunt for an engagement ring!

Monday, 26 November 2018

Actual Diamond Videos - How can They Benefit the Consumers?

Actual diamond videos are helpful, especially when determining how eye-clean a diamond can be.

Experience WhiteFlash diamonds in 360 degree HD video!
They are also useful in determining the scintillation, the brilliance, and the sparkle of a diamond, as long as the diamond retailer provides it like how WhiteFlash did. It will help you gauge how well a diamond can perform in real life. Of course, this is highly magnified videos so sometimes you may not see the minor details such as the minor sparks in real life. Nonetheless, personally I find it rather useful as I have a client that upgraded his diamond and the diamond he has chosen has tremendous performance on the video with bold flashes and coloured sparkles which correlates with its real life performance. But then, don't solely rely on the videos alone, make use of the proportions to gauge the performance as well.

Now, let's take a look at a practical usage for the video provided by WhiteFlash. We take a look at the video of this wonderfully cut diamond 0.62ct H VS2 WhiteFlash Expert Selection. At first glanced, I was deeply surprised to see this diamond falls into the category of Expert Selection, as this diamond is more than enough to fall under WhiteFlash ACA category, based on both performance images and proportions! If we are buying solely based on those images and proportions, I would say it is a good catch! However, in this case, not so, so what exactly has gone wrong?

Here is the some images captured from the diamond video at 3 different angles.

Do you see it has a cloudy appearance? Apparently this diamond has worse than VS2 clarity in real life. In reality, this diamond has excessive cloud inclusions that the grader decided not to take it into account. How can we know? Well, it is actually stated in the grading report: Clarity grade based on clouds not shown. Now, this practice is not only limited to AGS only, but GIA as well. You can read more about this in Beyond4Cs.

Now, I have to give it to WhiteFlash for being transparent in this matter. Without the video, it can easily fool many people as the actual photograph of the diamond itself looks pretty nice and the other performance images are simply excellent.

Sweet Spot Proportions (WhiteFlash as Example)

So, after viewing diamonds online for 2 years and study what I can get online, I can summarize what I learned about the sweet spot proportions as below:

1. Table (<=56%) - Better fire. Table (>=57%) - Better brilliance. Personally I tend to prefer better fire, but I would also prefer wider table if the diamond depth is slightly on the shallow side. The pairing of deeper cut diamond with smaller table and the pairing of shallower cut diamond with wider table is what I have observed in those super ideal diamonds inventory, hence, I come out with this theory.

2. Crown angle (34.0 degree to 35.0 degree) and Pavilion angle (40.6 degree to 40.9 degree) - The steeper the crown angle gets, the more fire it will gain. As for pavilion angle, what is a suitable angle really depends on the crown angle, but in general, the range provided above, which is the range for ACA specs, is safe to pair with any crown angle between 34.0 degree to 35.0 degree. These 2 angles are the most important criterias in choosing diamond.

Always remember - Steep crown angle must paired with shallow pavilion angle while shallow crown must paired with steep pavilion angle. This being said, 41.2 degree is actually acceptable, it is actually the steepest pavilion angle you should get, but it comes with a caveat - it is advisable not to choose a steep angle like 35 degree because it is highly unlikely to work well. A 34 degree crown angle may work well instead because it is towards the shallow side. As for 34.5 degree crown angle, I will have to review the performance images first before I am willing to put my money down.

You can still see 41.4 degree pavilion angle diamond being graded as an GIA Excellent Cut diamond but this is one of those diamonds you should avoid. It will very likely to leak light most of the time, if not, then the crown angle will be very shallow to compensate for it, and this may cause the girdle to be very thin and may compromise the integrity of the diamond (meaning the diamond will be fragile).

Nonetheless, when hitting the sweet spot proportions like what that are stated in the ACA specs will guarantee you a decent performer with excellent IdealScope and excellent ASET. They are really the bullseye for excellent light performance.

If you are wondering whether there are any more things we can further narrow down to select a better diamond, there is one thing you can do - You can still apply the same principle of the inverse relationship of crown angle and pavilion angle within the tight proportions of an ACA! For example, I find that 34.3 degree crown angle, 34.4 degree crown angle, and 34.5 degree crown angle, when paired with a 40.8 degree pavilion angle. As you can see, those crown angles are towards the shallow side to the exact middle nunber (34.5 degree is the middle) of the crown angle on ACA specs, while the 40.8 degree pavilion is slightly towards the steeper side. I always think that the best relationship of the crown angle and the pavilion angle will exhibit a Hearts pattern similar to the one below in the diamond grading report:
Hearts image with best relationship of the crown angle and the pavilion angle (in my opinion).
Of course, this is really a bonus. In reality, ACA specs are really tight enough. Personally, I may choose a diamond with 34.7 degree crown angle that is paired with a 40.8 degree crown angle if the Hearts image is better than a diamond with 34.5 degree crown angle and 40.8 degree pavilion angle. Of course, this is not all, personally, I would also rely on the actual diamond video to see which diamond really captures my eye. If the 34.5 degree crown angle and 40.8 degree pavilion angle manage to capture my attention, it is highly likely that I will go for that instead of the very slightly better Hearts diamond. Again, personal preference. I also like 35.0 degree crown angle diamond that is paired with a 40.6 degree pavilion angle. Can't say no to some extra fire, technically. ;)

Another tip, but take it with a pinch of salt
3. Star Length (>=50%). I find that diamonds with star length 50% or more will exhibit more contrast, making the diamond look busier and subsequently improve the fire of the diamond. WhiteFlash has a minimum requirement of 48% star length, but personally, I find that higher star length gives me the necessary peace of mind that the diamond will exhibit more interesting sparkles. 52% to 55% seems to be an excellent choice. Using the actual diamond grading report, we can observe the contrast level of the diamond better. Below is an example of the ASET on the grading report that exhibits good contrast level:
ASET with Good Contrast. Notice the Blue Burst in the Middle.
I tend to favour higher star length when Brian Gavin Diamonds firstly release their Black by Brian Gavin Collection, I saw that most of the diamonds produced by them exhibit great contrast. I learned from Black by Brian Gavin because this collection is produced by one of the best cutters in the world - Brian Gavin, and Black by Brian Gavin is the pinnacle of his work. Nonetheless, as time goes by, more variances start to pop-up. Some Black by Brian Gavin starts to show lesser contrast in the ASET. Are those bad stones? Definitely not. Brian Gavin's stones are one of the top in the world and the Hearts are very precise. Just that personally, I still prefer 50% - 55% star length, regardless of the contrast level shown on the grading report. I am overly particular about star length because my 0.53ct F VS2 WhiteFlash ACA exhibits more white flashes than colour flashes and star length is the thing I suspect. Please take this with a pinch of salt as I am just relaying this theory based on my own experience. One point to take note is that videos do help on knowing the actual performance of the diamond. I have actually written a separate blog post regarding this.

At the end of the day, WhiteFlash ACAs represent some of the very top diamonds in the diamond industry. Although there are hit-and-miss sometimes, but with the largest AGS online inventory, you have quite some selection to choose from. Their consistency has certainly improved little by little, especially with the introduction of their best of the best Collection Series - excellent eye-cleaniless with excellent optical precision. Perfection? No diamonds are absolute perfect. But factoring in price, quality, return policy, upgrade policy, and absolute top-notch customer service, WhiteFlash is seriously good.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

My ZCOVA Visit

So one day Ziwei from ZCOVA pm me to have a visit to his ZCOVA showroom and see if we can form a affiliate relationship. Well, why not? So we meet up.

Their showroom is located at Kota Damansara Technology Park where you can find all sorts of light industry around. It is a strange place to locate a showroom but then Ziwei has multiple businesses to run, including a chemical company which shares the same building, so it is "strategically" located.

Upon reaching the showroom, the door bell doesn't seem to work, so I just called up ZCOVA phone number and the lady on the other side opened the door promptly, but remotely. Hmm, feels like some movie whereby everything is so secretive and the big boss is hidden somewhere and does all the talking behind some veil or curtain or maybe using some proxy. ;) Proceed through the door and went up a flight of stairs and there is yet another glass door... but this time, I can see that everything looks posh, with the nicely designed ZCOVA hanging on the wall right behind the glass door. Again, the door is opened remotely by probably the same lady. So, another flight of stairs... I am sure glad that I visited them before I get too old to walk stairs lol.

So I finally reached the showroom's main reception area. Everything looks elegant. Very well-thought. If I don't know them beforehand, I will think that they are going to sell me something like 1000% marked-up. A pretty lady handed me an Aqua Panna 250ml. What's there not to like when you were given a branded mineral water by a pretty girl while wearing t-shirt, shorts, and slippers, whereby my Birk is the most expensive wearable on me. Oh yes, there is really a curtain next to the main reception area and I was wondering whether the big boss (Ziwei) will come out from there. Nope. Instead, he walked up the stairs. First impression - Hey, he is better looking in person... and slimmer too (probably because of the stairs). Then, the second boss (Ziyin, appears from behind the curtain. So we shook hands, and sat down to talk about diamonds and what is ZCOVA all about.

Now, to be honest, I only know ZCOVA through their website and also Facebook page. They are doing things pretty alright and I would say they are trying to disrupt the market. Their website is designed pretty well and I can see they put in quite some effort. Just that, the diamonds that they displayed on their site is not something I would like to see. There are just not enough nice diamonds that can capture my attention! So naturally, we talked about this. To my surprise, the diamonds listed are not the only ones they have, instead, their inventory is actually more or less the same as Blue Nile! Now, this is really a good news. One of the reasons that they did not list out all inventory from their suppliers is because certain suppliers require them to commit a certain amount of sales before allowing ZCOVA to list out the diamonds on ZCOVA's website. Nonetheless, ZCOVA's inventory is much more than what you can see so that means they can have better options that what you are able to see online. Ziyin actually showed me a diamond that he is choosing for a customer and I am deligthed to see that the diamond looks way better than most diamonds I can see on their site. This shows that they really put in good effort to assist the customers to choose the best diamond for their budget. And by the way, that diamond is an eye-clean SI1 diamond, so I would say they are trying to assist their customers to get the best bang for their bucks. Nice. Overall, I would say that their looking website has understated their true value. I sincerely hope that they can sort that out, and be as great as Blue Nile in terms of potraying the loose diamonds.

I would highly recommend anyone that wish to purchase from them to engage them directly first before picking a diamond on the website and make payment. With this, their consultants will be able to advise you accordingly and let you experience the better part of the ZCOVA experience. In order to experience the full ZCOVA experience, I would suggest you to drop by their chic showroom located in Kota Damansara.

Now, you might be wondering whether they have performane images or not. The answer is - It depends. If the supplier provides the images, then they can provide them to you. However, according to Ziyin, sometimes suppliers might reuse the same image for different diamonds. Now, I would prefer to sit on the fence for this statement but I am inclined to believe that it is true. There is nothing to back my belief but just based on common sense. This is simply because taking all those performance images take time and time is money. So, it is possible for  certain suppliers to do some shortcut. Of course, I can always give the benefit of doubt to those suppliers and just assume that they attach the images wrongly. Ziyin mentioned that the plethora of colours used in ASET, IdealScope, Hearts & Arrows may confuse potential buyers, which I believe that it is true, but not something unteacheable. Instead, I would think that what Ziyin meant was the inconsistency in terms of images such as different photography setup, different resolution, different attention to detail (some can be sloppy images), as well as inconsistency in the availability of images for a certain carat range that really confuse people. You want to see how confusing? Visit Enchanted Diamonds. Now, Enchanted Diamonds is pretty good in their own rights but that is not the direction ZCOVA is moving towards to. ZCOVA is also not the likes of WhiteFlash, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Crafted by Infinity, Victor Canera, or Jann Paul, whereby all of them are championing in the realm of super ideal diamonds. ZCOVA is more like Blue Nile, but with their own set of principles. It is a company that aims to be your personal shopper and a company that runs by people with passion. They also refuse to mark-up diamonds based on cut quality, all they care are the 4Cs because their diamond price is based on Rapaport Price List and the price list does not even care about cut quality nor optical precision. Since they do not buy a better cut diamond at a more expensive price, they don't find any reason to incur extra cost at your side. This is actually what Ziwei wishes to highlight - Diamond is actually a commodity. They are sold based on weekly updated prices and so-called signature diamonds shouldn't be sold at a more expensive price. Just imagine diamond as durian, which is a commodity. It is sold in terms of kilogram (carat for diamond), and the durian seller (ZCOVA) will try their best to pick the best durian (best diamond) for you.

Of course, this is what I was told by ZCOVA, so I can choose to take it with a pinch of salt. However, I remembered I saw a better looking diamond that is priced cheaper than a bad looking diamond before on their website, so I am inclined to believe it is true. So does that make other companies that sell very good cut diamonds at a more expensive price bad? In my opinion, it is absolutely fine for good looking stuff to be more expensive, but the mark-up should be fair enough. As for what is fair, only you can answer that. Just remember - To achieve better cut, more time and wastage is needed, but that's a story for another day, for now, let's just focus back on ZCOVA. Overall, I would say ZCOVA will get the diamond with the best cut quality and proportions for the customers without incurring extra mark-up. The price difference that you may see will be caused by the update of the Rapaport Price List.

ZCOVA has made the first move to become Malaysia's first online-based jeweller that show loose diamonds online together with the exact diamond picture (if available). The website is beautiful and elegant. Compared to the other competitors, they are doing the online thing slightly better. Why only slightly? This is because they are well-connected to a whole lot of suppliers, yet the website is only limited to one or a few only. This, to me, has greatly understated their true ability to provide better quality stones. One of the reasons is because not all suppliers are willing to let ZCOVA to integrate their inventory into ZCOVA's website unless ZCOVA is able to hit a certain sales target, which is quite a huge amount for a young start-up. However, no fret, you can simply contact them via Facebook Messenger, which is integrated in their website, and let them know what you are looking for. They will be able to sort things out for you professionally. Now, although the website is not as functional as I would have hope, but I have confident that the 2 founders of ZCOVA will improve it gradually. For now, I would say they are running on a hybrid model - Online + Brick & Mortar (B&M), and leaning more towards B&M, which is not a bad thing! For those who are skeptical to buy online, this is definitely good news. For anyone (skeptical or not) that wishes to get an engagement ring, I would strongly encourage you to make an appointment to visit their showroom to enjoy the full ZCOVA experience.

Now you might ask - What is the full ZCOVA experience I mentioned? Basically, when you visit a normal brick & mortar, you will be greeted by a whole range of diamonds that are available in-house. However, when you visit ZCOVA, you probably won't see any! This is because ZCOVA runs on virtual inventory, and because of this, you are actually able to choose from a whole lot more diamonds compared to the typical brick & mortar. In fact, ZCOVA prides themselves as one of the diamond sellers that has access to a whole range of diamond suppliers that are as comprehensive as Blue Nile, thanks to the connection that Ziyin has built while working as a diamond consultant in Lebanon. With Ziyin's professional expertise, he is able to guide you through all the diamonds that are available and give you his insights about the pros and cons of a particular diamond. From my own brief encounter with him, I certainly enjoy looking at him choosing eye-clean SI clarity diamonds because they give some tremendous value in terms of money. Also, I have also emailed him to ask about some diamonds and he did give me some useful feedback about clarity. Although I am not a professional myself, but I really don't see the need for him to bullshit me because I see a lot of passion when he is talking about diamonds. If you visit ZCOVA, they will probably guide you through to the various virtual inventories and look for something that falls right into your budget and requirements. I don't see them as pushy people so don't worry about that. Besides, according to Ziwei, ZCOVA definitely won't upsell you anything. All they want to champion in this industry is to allow the customers to buy a diamond at the right price together with the right quality. Anyway, this is the internet, so don't take my word for it. Pay them a visit and experience yourself. Remember, my experience is solely my own, your experience is solely yours.

Since ZCOVA's site does not show all the available diamonds from their supplier due to reason mentioned above, one trick I would use is to browse some diamonds on Blue Nile and then ask ZCOVA and see if they are able to source for it. It is highly likely they are able to source the same diamond at a fair price. There is one forumer who asked me about a particular diamond offered to him by ZCOVA which is sold at Blue Nile as well. And guess what? ZCOVA price is actually cheaper. Of course, I believe there can be cases whereby the diamonds sold by ZCOVA can be more expensive as well, but in this case, you may consider using ZCOVA's price match policy and see if they are able to match the price. Please be reminded that the final decision lies with ZCOVA, and having a price match policy does not guarantee that you can get it, but it is worth a try. For your info, price match is pretty common among online diamond retailers. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. Nonetheless, looking for a diamond a Blue Nile and then check with ZCOVA to see if they are able to get it for you is a pretty good way to get quality affordable diamonds. If you are wondering why I don't ask you to buy from Blue Nile straight away. Reason is because Blue Nile does not ship to Malaysia.

Lastly, I would like to say that ZCOVA is a trustworthy company and it is certainly safe to buy from them, whether by visiting them, or through their online store. They don't push for sales and they are willing to educate you. You will find it carefree when talking to anyone in ZCOVA. Their prices can be more affordable then what you see online, at least that is what my experience tells me, as I have picked 2 diamonds and check for their prices on ZCOVA. Quality can be better too. So, well done ZCOVA! As of now, they have 2 consultants that are able to serve you. One is Ziyin, and the other is Ms Chong Hui (based on Facebook comments). I am not sure about Ms Chong Hui's qualification, but I am sure if Ziwei and Ziyin put her up to this role, she should be pretty reliable. For Ziyin, he is actually a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) from GIA. This is actually the highest education level you can get from GIA (as far as I know). Some may claim themselves to be gemologists but in actual fact, they probably only end up with a one or two beginner qualifications. being a G.G. means that Ziyin is capable to advice you on both diamonds and precious gem stones! This is yet another plus point for ZCOVA. So, the next time you are shopping for diamonds, you should probably pay ZCOVA a visit. By the way, ZCOVA accepts credit card and possibly installment as well!

Note: Now, some may think that this article seems contradicting because all this while I have been advocating people to buy diamonds with proper performance images. Honestly, I still believe in getting all those performance images. However, do understand that my preference does not necessarily need to become your preference. All I can do is to advice, but at the end of the day, it is you who is going to make the final call. If you have been reading my threads in Lowyat forum, you see that I have also helped people to buy from places like Wah Chan as well. Reason? Because their diamonds are pretty affordable. As for ZCOVA? They are a company with their own set of principles and I respect that. Also, I love to see a Malaysian company to succeed. They are certainly moving in the right track and I see that they will continue to grow further. If you don't know yet, I am also affiliate with Memory Jewellery not too long ago. Some may think  that I am earning good money being affiliate here and there, but I just wish to highlight that I can actually get better commissions from WhiteFlash, Brian Gavin Diamonds, or Zoara compared to Memory Jewellery. Also, I am not sure how ZCOVA can track my referrals, but I will just let it be for now. Yes, earning some commissions is one of my main purpose of writing this blog, but not my sole purpose. I believe in giving back and giving proper information to my readers. Therefore, I will try to put my articles as objective as possible when it involves different vendors. I think by helping others, what I want in life will come naturally. At least this is what some successful people taught me and this is what I believe.

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar
Thanks Todd! ;)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Two Amazing WhiteFlash ACA 40-Pointer Diamonds!

Now getting a D colour or a VVS stone is like an overkill. But when it comes to engagement ring, overkill seems quite appropriate, as long as your budget allows you to do so.

Today I am going to write about 2 ACAs that looks amazing. Let's start off with the first one:

Now this diamond looks pretty good. Personally I would prefer the 56.8% table to be slightly smaller when it is paired with a total diamond depth that is above 61.5%. I observed that usually diamond around this depth is usually paired with smaller table, hence the preference. Nonetheless, it is just an observation that becomes a preference, to keep things simple, as long as the diamond falls within the ACA strict proportions and the other performance images looks great, I won't hesitate to shortlist it, which is the case here.

This diamond possess the classic look of a 57-facets diamond and it looks great. The 34.6 crown angle is a very well-balanced angle for fire and brilliance while the 40.8 pavilion angle is also another top-notch angle that can ensure great light return. Now, how do I come out with that? You see, ACA specs state that the crown angle has to be between 34 to 35 degree while pavilion angle has to be between 40.6 to 40.9 degree. So for crown angle, that makes 34.5 to be the middle of the range and it is the classic Tolkowsky ideal cut crown angle. Since 34.6 degree is close enough to 34.5, that makes it a well-balanced angle. By the way, from GIA point of view, 34.6 degree will be 34.5 degree on paper because they will round up crown angle to the nearest 0.5 degree. Now, for pavilion angle, it is good because it is also right in between 40.6 and 40.9 degree. If we compared to Tolkowsky ideal cut for pavilion angle, it is actually 40.75 degree, which makes 40.8 to closest angle if we apply the normal mathematical rounding.

Getting the Tolkowsky ideal cut proportions is really just a bonus. In reality, the ACA set of proportions is already very tight, hitting those proportions is already suffice to get a very good diamond. Instead, diamonds that fall within these proportions are known as Tolkowsky Ideal Cut (TIC).

2. 0.43ct E VVS2 WhiteFlash ACA
This WhiteFlash ACA that falls under Collection Series is another stunner!

Wow! Now, this diamond hits all the numbers I am aiming at. The smaller table at 55.8% can help to increase the fire of the diamond a little bit theoretically. This is because as the table is small and the crown height is tall (which is the case for this diamond here), the angled crown will have a bigger area to refract the light into beautiful rainbow colours! The 76% lower girdle percentage will ensure beautiful bold sparks to be returned to the viewer.

Again, this diamond's proportions will definitely fall under Tolkowsky Ideal Cut (TIC). This can ensure a well-balanced performance when the diamond is viewed under different lighting in different environment. Like the diamond above, this diamond exhibit superb craftsmanship, however, I would prefer this diamond because of the proportions that can exhibit extra fire. Nonetheless, this is just personal preference.

Both of these diamonds are not cheap if we compared to a standard GIA 3EX diamond or a standard AGS Triple Zero diamond. However, one have to understand that the time and effort that is spent to cut a high precision diamond is actually more, hence the higher price tag. I believe in buying something that is not too overly charged and at the same time, able to proof its performance is worthwhile. Together with generous return policy and upgrade policy, these make WhiteFlash ACAs to be something that is worthy to purchase. Overall, both of these diamonds are very well-cut diamonds that are worthy to be part of an engagement ring,

Until next time.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Brian Gavin Diamonds Year End Free Shipping!

The company of one of the best diamond cutters in the world has come back with its year end Free International Promotion!

Just key in FREESHIPPING18 during checkout the enjoy the benefit. This promotion can be used in conjunction with other promotions. However, I did not see any at this point of time, but I will keep my eyes peeled for other promotions. If there is some promotion for their in-house collections, it is definitely a good time to buy from them!

I know many Malaysians have succeeded to get free shipping from them by simply requesting it nicely. But then, as I have mentioned, there is really no guarantee whether they will give it or not. So with this promotion, you are guaranteed to get free shipping as long as the total purchase is below USD 10,000.

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. ;)