Tips And Lessons

Is the HCA Score Always Reliable For Diamond Selections?

This post was updated on 2nd Oct 2017.

For most online shoppers, you might have come across a diamond performance predictor called the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor) tool to help you make your selections. This was a question which was posed to us about using the tool.

“Recently, I had some diamonds sent in for a physical review for light performance at James Allen. (more…)

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Is Buying a Diamond at Bluenile a Good Idea?

buying a diamond at blue nile

Questions About Blue Nile Selections

Hi Paul,

I read your guide on diamond buying and first want to thank you for your help.  I found the guide very informative and helped me narrow down my diamonds.

I did have a question on buying a lower grade color diamond with strong fluro.  Will it look similar to a higher grade color with no fluro?

Here are the diamonds I’m considering:  (more…)

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How to Tell a Radiant Apart From a Cushion?

This is a question that I frequently get asked a lot by people who are shopping for fancy cut stones – “What is the difference between radiant and cushion cut diamonds?”. For the layman, it is understandable to get confused between a cushion cut and a radiant cut since they look very much alike.  (more…)

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Round Diamond Comparison – Depth Lower than Table %

Hi Paul,

I came across these 2 diamonds on James Allen and was stumped by what I saw in the Idealscope images.


( Update: These 2 diamonds had been sold and removed from JA’s listing. )

First of all, I want to mention that I had read through your entire site on choosing a diamond. Great stuff. Good information. However, this particular phenomenon was not covered in your articles. Perhaps you did and I couldn’t find it. If that’s the case, could you point me in the correct URL.

Here’s my question: Why is the Idealscope image for the G SI1 diamond so weird looking? It has alot more blacks than the usual Hearts and Arrows I had seen on your website.

g color heavily contrasted diamond

By comparison, I picked out an I VS2 and now, the idealscope image looks ‘normal’ to me. (more…)

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How to Design Your Own Engagement Rings

bench jeweler working on a ring

Customizing Your Diamond Rings

Perhaps you’re someone who is very picky about selecting jewelry. Or maybe, you are looking for a truly unique proposal ring for a loved one. Whatever the reason might be, you don’t have to be daunted by the idea of designing your own engagement ring.

You see, selecting your own engagement ring design ensures you get exactly what you want and something that fits your own style.

Now, most people think that it will cost you an arm and leg just to get something custom made. The truth is, all you need to know is how to shop smartly and have a budget in mind.

Let me run through the process and give you some handy tips you can use while shopping…

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