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I recently bought this stunning diamond engagement ring from White Flash.
When it comes to selecting a diamond, CUT is always KING. A diamond’s cut is responsible for the brilliance and scintillation it displays. The captivating flashes of colored light dispersion are a result of carefully calculated proportions and crafted precision.
In this comprehensive review, we will perform an indepth analysis of WhiteFlash’s signature line of super ideal diamonds, A Cut Above ®, to see if they really live up to their reputation of superior quality and performance.
In fact, I recently purchased a diamond engagement ring from White Flash with a budget of $4,000 and documented the entire shopping experience. A full length unboxing video was recorded to show you exactly what I received in the shipping package.
On top of that, I also made videos to show you how the diamond ring performs in real life environments and scrutinized the ring setting for its craftsmanship. So, if you are wondering about the quality of White Flash’s engagement rings, you are going to love the highly detailed photographs, videos and insights in this review.
If you are ready, let’s jump right in…
You can jump directly to any section of the review or keep scrolling to read the full write-up.
A line up of ACA round brilliants and princess cut diamonds.
Whenever I am shopping for super ideal cut diamonds that are marketed as having superior light performance and cut precision, I demand to see tangible data of the diamond besides a grading report.
As a smart shopper, I never depend on the fluff and marketing pitch of a salesman or webpage without seeing proof to verify their claims. And I believe you should too.
After all, buying diamonds is both an emotional and monetary investment. Wouldn’t you want to present the most beautiful and sparkly ring when you pop the question? If you are shopping for a high performance diamond, wouldn’t you want to be buying one that’s truly well cut and engineered for performance?
Great vendors help customers make purchasing decisions by revealing as much information on the stone as they can. White Flash understands this philosophy when selling their signature A CUT ABOVE diamonds and its business model is exemplary.
For the purpose of illustrating this, we will be looking at a random G color VS2 1.085 carat ACA listing in more details.
Inspecting Diamonds at 10X
8 Perfectly Symmetrical Hearts
Idealscope Showing Great Brilliance
Supreme Brilliance And Contrast
From the images above, you are looking at picture perfect photographs of what super ideal cut diamonds should encompass. The ASET and Idealscope pictures indicate a stone with excellent optical performance.
With the correct amounts of reds (brilliance) and blacks (contrast), it is the pinnacle of a bright and scintillating diamond. Here are the corresponding reference charts for the Idealscope and ASET images that you can use to verify performance for yourself.
When it comes to cut precision, the hearts patterning image is the easiest way for you to determine the optical precision of the diamond. If each facet isn’t aligned with extreme precision to each other, the hearts image you see will not be symmetrical and any slight variations or deviations will show up as distortions in the hearts patterning image. You can also do your own comparisons using the image above against the H&A reference chart here.
The point I am trying to make here is that it is extremely rare to see vendors providing transparency and technical data to such a level of detail. Don’t believe me? Check out your local jewelry store or other online stores and see what kind of information they provide beyond a grading report.
From experience, the vast majority of vendors will not provide you with concrete information like magnified videos or performance data to help you truly see and make educated decisions. In fact, it is in their self serving interest that you know as little as possible about your purchase.
That’s not what you get at Whiteflash.com.
You see, when you are buying ideally cut hearts and arrows diamonds, getting additional data is mandatory. Information like ASET, Idealscope, hearts and arrows patterning and even a magnified photograph of the diamond are essential for a proper assessment of the stone.
Otherwise, how would you be able to judge the precision of the cut and craftsmanship?
Most other vendors simply want you to trust what they say (and why should you?) or filter their inventory with useless computer algorithms. How would you know whether a GIA triple excellent diamond is at the pinnacle or sitting at the bottom boundaries of the grade?
And for the record, GIA triple excellent diamonds are not made equal. I have actually made an entire post about that here. Despite scoring three excellent ratings, there can be huge variations that account for light leakages and symmetry issues in these stones.
Here’s What You Get With a Typical Ideal Cut Diamond
Badly formed hearts that can barely be seen
Arrow shafts missing and unequal lengths
As you can see, the difference between a typical GIA triple excellent stone and WhiteFlash.com’s A Cut Above is like a day and night comparison. Would you pay a premium for a diamond with mediocre cut quality or a top notch one that sparkles like crazy?
I think the choice is obvious.
Many jewelers (both online and physical stores) will advertise that they are selling hearts and arrows diamonds. Sadly, while some do meet the standards of being one, most in the industry aren’t. Buyers beware. Just because a stone has a triple excellent grade from GIA or a triple ideal from AGS doesn’t automatically qualify it as one.
For the layman, the Sarin offers detailed measurements of the diamond’s exact proportions. The report contains figures that enable you to double check and verify the measurements found in a GIA/AGS grading report. What you want to see on the Sarin report is a small variation of the measurements. If there are big discrepancies, you would need to raise a red flag and be wary.
1. AGSL triple ideal (proprietary Dual Light Map report)
2. Light performance analysis like ASET/Idealscope performed by WF team.
3. Optical symmetry of Hearts And Arrows is checked for round brilliant cuts.
4. Negligible fluorescence exhibited by the diamond.
5. Diamonds inspected for any clarity features that might diminish sparkle.
6. Tight range of cutting proportions for ideal optics.
For complete specs and qualifications, click here.
In a nutshell, White Flash has done up all the legwork to build up a brand that is synchronous with superlative quality. Even if you close your eyes and randomly picked an ACA stone, you’ll end up with a diamond that is better than 99% of the diamonds available in the market.
Perhaps you might wonder why A Cut Above diamonds might cost more than a generic GIA triple excellent or AGS triple ideal stone. Why do these branded diamonds cost an additional 10-15% more than other diamonds with similar grading?
The Relative Range Of Cut Qualities And Proportions For GIA And AGS Grading
In order to achieve that tight band of proportions for a super ideal diamond, more skilled labor and rough material is required during the polishing process. From the chart above, you can see that GIA’s triple excellent grading is much more forgiving in terms of proportions and craftsmanship.
For a more indepth discussion on this topic, read this article on the comparison of GIA triple excellent diamonds against AGS 000 diamonds.
Did you know there’s a reason why diamonds are often cut to “inferior” standards instead of being polished to the highest possible standards? In fact, most cutters intentionally compromise on the cut while trying to achieve the bare requirements for a diamond to receive a GIA triple excellent rating.
This is done mainly for 2 reasons.
Firstly, a triple excellent grade from GIA is a great branding and marketing tool. It helps jewelers move diamonds quickly since consumers are familiar with them.
Secondly, cutters can save significant weight on the stone by meeting the minimum criteria of a GIA triple excellent rating and this translates to higher profit margins. If you had ever wondered how so many diamonds in the market fall flat on magical carat weights like 1.00 or 0.70, this is the reason why.
In total, there are 3 tiers of in-house diamonds at Whiteflash. Besides the signature ACA and Premium Select, the Expert Selection offers a range of AGS ideal round diamonds that still displays great light performance and a good standard of hearts and arrows patterning.
The difference between the Expert Selection (ES) and other top tier diamonds is that the categorizing process isn’t as stringent. For example, the ES diamond range allows minor variations of the hearts and arrows patterning to be present. Other times, the diamond could have a near miss in attaining proportions which designates it as a top tier diamond.
We review 2 stones from the Expert Selection in more details to explain what you would expect to get.
In this particular example, you can see small areas of light leakages beneath the table. The truth is, these areas of light leakages are only detectable by trained eyes in real life and are very minor issues. Yet, this stone was downgraded into the 2nd tier of in-house diamonds and this should give you an idea of how strict Whiteflash’s criteria are for their top-tier ACA diamonds.
This Expert Selection stone didn’t make it into ACA because of its proportions and light performance. This diamond has a 58.4% table facet which didn’t meet the criteria of an ACA. While the Idealscope image does indicate a diamond with good brilliance, the ASET image reveals some hidden details.
As pointed out with the yellow arrows, this diamond has green colors near the girdle of the stone which should ideally be red. Technically speaking, this is a result of slight digging in the diamond’s girdle. For the layman, this means the diamond has relatively lower brilliance in those areas and will not look optically “balanced”.
Overall, I find the Expert Selection to be a great line of diamonds with excellent light performance (although not as good as the ACA but they are still better than the signature lines of many other vendors).
The Premium Select range is targeted at consumers who are shopping for value. While diamonds in this range typically possess a GIA triple excellent rating, they might not display crisp hearts and arrows patterning and perfect optical performance.
If you don’t consider the H&A patterning as an important criterion for your engagement ring, by all means, choose a stone in this category to save some money. In my opinion, the stones listed under this category are still picked for their better performance compared to typical GIA diamonds offered by other vendors.
Anyway, let’s review a couple of random stones from the Premium Select category in more details and offer some suggestions on how to choose a great diamond within this range.
In this example, it is easy to see why this stone is categorized in the third tier of Whiteflash.com’s in-house stones. Under the table facet, we can obviously see a pale ring of light leakage via the Idealscope image. This light leakage is caused by the diamond’s proportions it was cut to.
With a high crown angle of 35.9°, the emphasis of the diamond’s cut is placed on achieving more fire from the crown facets rather than on the diamond’s overall performance.
Hey? Wait a minute? It looks great! Why isn’t this an ACA?
As I had mentioned in my review of Whiteflash.com’s ACA, a diamond needs to pass through stringent requirements and inspections before it can be labeled as A Cut Above®. From the ASET and Idealscope images, it looks every bit as good as an ACA stone. Why was this a Premium Select instead?
Well, let’s take a look at the tangible data for answers…
First of all, a diamond has to attain an AGS 000 rating in order to meet one of the requirements for an ACA. Since this diamond was graded by GIA, it was an auto exclusion. Next, if we review the tangible data in the listing, you will see that there are minor inconsistencies in the hearts patterning of this Premium Select diamond.
Having a perfect optical symmetry (hearts and arrows) in a diamond would be impressive but the truth is, the majority of people out there cannot tell the visual difference between a diamond with perfect precision and another with minor deviations like this diamond. In my opinion, this Premium Select stone is just as good as an ACA to the naked eye.
For value buyers, this is good news. You don’t have to pay the higher price for an ACA diamond as long as these minor deviations don’t affect you psychologically. For the record, the 2nd Premium Select diamond is what I would recommend buying instead of the first stone I reviewed.
To summarize, the Premium Select line of diamonds offers value shoppers a chance to purchase stones with superb optics without burning a hole in their pockets. While these diamonds may seem like “rejects” that didn’t make it to A Cut Above, the underlying reasons could sometimes be minor and not necessarily a deal breaker.
In my humble opinion, the slight premium in the pricing of ACA diamonds is rightfully justified. This is because you are getting one of the most beautiful diamonds money can buy. Comparatively, it offers far greater value (significantly lower prices) and better craftsmanship quality than what you can get with international brands such as Tiffany’s, Cartier or Hearts on Fire.
For example, a 0.75 carat F color VS2 round diamond in a solitaire platinum ring setting will cost you around $12,000 at Tifanny & Co. For a similar price point, here’s what you can get at Whiteflash…
Not only will you get a better diamond in terms of cut quality and clarity, Whiteflash’s ACA diamond cost significantly less than branded diamond rings. For less than what you would expect to pay for a 0.75 carat diamond ring at Tiffany’s, you even get a bigger diamond that’s over 1 carat in size at WhiteFlash.
Given a choice between Tiffany & Co. and WhiteFlash.com, would you pay more for a smaller diamond with lower cut standards just for the sake of branding?
I know I won’t. Being a practical person, a brand name means nothing to me as performance is the key criteria I look for. On top of that, the money saved by shopping at White Flash can be put towards other things in life.
White Flash is ISO 9000 certified and has been awarded the BBB Winner of Distinction for fourteen years in a row. On top of that, their yearly A+ rating with BBB is a clear indication of their customer care standards, product quality and integrity in doing business.
Here’s a rundown of their consumer orientated sales policies:
Free Shipping Worldwide: Fully insured FREE shipping via FedEx to both US and international destinations.
Life Time Trade Up: All in-house diamonds are eligible for a 100% lifetime trade-up. You may choose to upgrade or trade in for a new diamond with no time-limitations as long as your purchase is at least $1 more.
Generous One Year Buy Back: For an entire year, if any unfortunate circumstances require you to raise cash or sell your diamond ring, they will buy back all in-house diamonds for 70% of the purchase price.
One Year Service Plan: Your purchase is fully covered for free repair, resizing, repolishing or cleaning.
Money Back Guarantee: All purchases are risk-free and backed by a full 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked. This gives you complete peace of mind when shopping with them.
3-Year Ultimate Care Plan: This affordable protection plan covers common issues like repairs, missing stones and common damages for a peace of mind.
The bottom line is, there’s absolutely no risk when you shop at White Flash. In fact, the policies are skewed in your favor and you know you are working with a great vendor when a company stands behind their products in this manner.
Over the years, I’ve actually made several purchases from White Flash. And each time I dealt with them, I always had a positive experience. Like I said earlier, selecting a diamond is really straightforward as all the details of the diamond are provided in their listings and they have a huge selection of ring designs to choose from.
This time round, I spent a little under $4,000 on a 0.622 ct diamond and Vatche designer ring setting. Here are details of my most recent diamond ring purchase from White Flash:
After the order was placed, the ring took 30 days to be made because it was a designer ring manufactured at Vatche (in house designs will be completed much faster).
After quality checks were performed by White Flash, the package was then securely delivered by FedEd directly to my doorstep. Being an international customer, my shipment took 3 days to arrive. Check out the box opening video I recorded below…
Overview of package contents you will receive from WhiteFlash.
Original AGS diamond grading certificate in a black holder.
Printed copy of my invoice for the engagement ring purchase.
Information brochures for insurance, referrals and jewelry care.
Calendar with some of the most beautiful and inspirational ring designs.
When buying a diamond from White Flash’s A CUT ABOVE selection, you will get a great looking diamond even if you blindly picked one because of their strict curation standards. These diamonds are cut for the best sparkle and brilliance. Period.
Here’s how the diamond ring I bought looks like in real-life and it is absolutely bursting with life.
Besides the center diamond, the ring setting is equally important when it comes to the visual impact an engagement ring creates. Watch this video below to scrutinize the ring details for yourself.
I’ve also included some close up pictures of the diamond ring to show you the kind of finishing and high standards it was crafted with. If you are interested to see more photographs about the Vatche ring, click here.
Close up view of the six prong basket and cathedral ring design.
The 6 prongs are evenly distributed across the diamond to hold it securely.
Side profile view reveals a streamlined pave setting and nicely shaped shanks.
When it comes to super ideal cut diamonds, few can match the degree of cut quality that White Flash offers. In fact, White Flash is the only vendor in the industry with such a broad inventory of super ideal diamonds that are fully vetted, imaged (including video), and ready for immediate delivery.
Another huge benefit of shopping at White Flash is that they are willing to go the extra mile to help you make an educated purchase. Not only are their support staff ready to address questions instantly via live chat, they are also able to provide additional information such as side-by-side comparison photos or videos on request.
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