Super Ideal – True Hearts – Signature Series… Fancy Names – What’s In Them?
Are you confused by the myriad of names and branding out there?
If you had done some jewelry shopping, you probably had come across fanciful names that jewelry companies use to brand some specific line of diamonds. Whether the diamonds are marketed to have better cut properties or unique facet structures, one thing certain about branding is that it helps the product to stand out from the competition.
Now, when I first got into the foray of hunting for a proposal ring, I was introduced to some supposedly “high quality” stones that were termed as super ideal cut or signature series.
This really confused me.
What is a super ideal cut diamond? What is a signature diamond? How different are they from the usual ones you see inside the store? Are branded jewelry and diamonds really “better”? This confusion was further compounded because every jewelry store had their own in-house specialty stones!
When I took a look at the grading certificate of these diamonds, the cut grades were still labeled as “Excellent” (for GIA reports) and “Ideal” (for AGS report). If they were classified under the same grade like other diamonds, what made them so different or special (besides the staggering price differences between them and the non-labeled diamonds)?
It was only later that I found out these terms were usually nothing more than fluffy advertising gimmicks.
I receive emails from readers all the time with regards to the nomenclatures used by different jewelers. Questions like: “I was recommended to buy this super ideal princess cut diamond by XXX jeweler. What are your thoughts about the diamond and should I take my jeweler at his words that it offers the best value?”
“What is a super ideal cut diamond?” or questions like “Hey Paul, I been looking online for diamonds and come across some that are classified as a signature series by the jeweler. What does this mean? Does this mean that the jeweler has their own in-house cutter who polishes the diamond? I don’t see a super ideal cut grade in the certification. Could you explain this to me?”
In my opinion, a diamond is just a diamond. Jewelers try to use fanciful names to make their diamonds sound different from the competition. That’s basic business marketing – 101.
Let me reveal an insider secret to you… Most of the diamonds you see in signature lines are basically sourced from the same diamond cutting facilities located in India and the United States. What happens here is that the vendor simply applies a filter and select diamonds within a specific range of proportions.
This filter defines the diamond’s appearance and represents the jeweler’s “special inventory” since they had gone through a round of “pre-qualification” process.
In nowhere does it state on a GIA grading report that a diamond has super ideal optics or hearts and arrows. These terms are merely invented by jewelers to label diamonds they had sieved out with better performance.
Also, you need to understand that a diamond graded as an excellent cut by GIA may have totally different optical properties from another diamond which has the same cut grade.
In a nutshell, when we talk about branded jewelry, it generally means that the work to filter out the better performing stones had been done on your behalf. Yet, herein lies the problem itself in “branded” jewelry. What set of rules or conditions does the vendor applies when classifying the diamonds? Every different vendor has their own set of methods to labeling their diamonds and who should you trust or think you can rely on?
My answer to the above is: Trust yourself.
Don’t let the sales staff talk you into a purchase you are not sure of especially if you are buying from a local brick and mortar store. To help yourself in choosing a diamond, it is better to educate yourself instead of relying blindly on the sales staff for recommendations. This step by step article on how to choose a diamond will teach you exactly how to do that.
Before I wrap things up, you might be interested to learn more about the online vendors I recommend. You can check out reviews of BrianGavinDiamonds.com and WhiteFlash.com with the following links here and here. The reason why I recommend them is that they don’t give you the usual marketing bullshit without substantiating their claims and are fine examples of companies to do business with.