While buying a diamond might seem like a normal business to some people, others find it quite laborious. There are so many important factors to be considered, making the whole process convoluted and exhausting, especially for new buyers. Before making a diamond purchase, you would have to consider such factors as cut, color, clarity, and carat. For an inexperienced or new buyer, the process can be overwhelming and risky.
The CUT is one of the factors that make buying a diamond quite tricky. This is a crucial factor since it is what gives the diamond its original lustre and feel. After doing a bit of research to learn more about a diamond cut, I stumbled upon the term “Super Ideal Cut.” This, I later learned, is a term for diamonds with impeccable cut, brilliance and highlight performance. Most buyers, therefore, invariably strive to get a Super ideal cut diamond at a fair price.
The internet is laden with a plethora of information on the same, and websites purporting to offer or teach you how to get “Super Ideal Cuts” are countless. While different sites may give these diamonds different names for branding purposes, they are basically the same thing.
You will also get information on how to tell a super ideal cut diamond apart from others of lower quality using specialized tools (For example the HCA tool – https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca). Other websites will teach you about scope; how to evaluate it and such things Hearts and Arrows Scope, ASET scope and so on.
More research brought to my attention one particular website – Fonder Diamond, (http://fonderdiamond.sg) which claims to sell Super Ideal Cut diamonds at insanely low prices. The first time I came across it was on Money Smart (https://blog.moneysmart.sg/wedding/never-overpay-engagement-ring-singapore) where they had done an article claiming that buyers do not have to pay more than what is worth for a Super Ideal Cut diamond. This made it seem quite genuine.
My curiosity drove me to Fonder Diamond’s website where I did further digging. I searched for Super Ideal Cut diamonds and compared them to others from different sites and jewellery stores. True to their word, their Super Ideal Cut diamonds held a much lower price tag as compared to others. However, there was something quite dubious about their diamonds.
To confirm my fears, I went ahead and browsed their ‘Super Ideal Cut” category. This is where I found the Super Ideal Cut 0.90 F VS1. I decided to find out more about this particular diamond.
On clicking on it, I was presented with some specifications, including a price tag of $9, 715.
Below was its GIA certificate
On checking its proportion with the HCA tool, I discovered that the diamond had a remarkable score. However, I couldn’t find any ASET or Heart/Arrows scope for analysis. While having an excellent proportion score is plausible, that alone does not define a genuine Super Ideal Cut Diamond. You need the scope too, since that’s what is used to evaluate the light performance of a diamond and clarify if it is really Super Ideal Cut.
My suspicion was naturally heightened, but I didn’t want to make any conclusions just yet. I contacted the Fonder Diamond team to inquire about the lack of scope for their diamonds. I got no satisfactory answer even after numerous inquisitions.
All they told me was that they couldn’t provide the scope photos since they didn’t physically have the diamonds with them, but were crystal sure the diamonds were of good quality. I wondered how they could be so sure of the diamond quality when they didn’t even have the scope. How could I purchase diamonds from people who didn’t even have them?
I was confused. A glance back at their website seemed to suggest that these guys were pretty confident of the quality of these diamonds. https://www.fonderdiamond.sg/news/super_ideal_cut_diamond.html
All this confusion and suspicion motivated me to do more research. I headed over to Bluenile (https://www.bluenile.com), a hugely famous diamond website. Bluenile’s diamonds may not be of the best quality, but they pride themselves on a vast collection of well-priced diamonds making them the go-to site for price comparison.
Bluenile usually uses their own labels. For example, their normal Excellent cut diamonds are categorized as “Ideal Cuts” while diamonds of superior quality are categorized as “Astor Ideal Cuts.” Unlike Fonder Diamond, Bluenile does not claim to offer Super Ideal Cut diamonds.
I searched Bluenile’s website for a diamond with the same specifications of 0.90ct F VS1. Luckily enough, I found exactly the same diamond!
To further prove that both Fonder Diamond and Bluenile were selling the same diamond, I discovered that the GIA certificate numbers of the diamond on the two websites were precisely the same – #7271460301. Despite this being the same diamond, the price difference was quite significant.
0.90 F VS1 (GIA 7271460301) – $9,715
0.90 F VS1 (GIA 7271460301) – $8,050
If you do your math above, you will realize that Fonder Diamond’s price is higher than that of Bluenile’s by $1,665! All this for the same diamond!
After speculating, thinking and researching some more, I discovered the following:
1. Fonder Diamond categorizes as ‘Super Ideal Cut’ the same diamond that Bluenile labels as ‘Ideal Cut’ in the normal GIA EXC range. This can only mean that Fonder is exaggerating the value of a mere Ideal Cut diamond and labelling it “Super Ideal Cut.”
2. Fonder price their diamonds higher than what is worth by claiming that they are “Super Ideal Cuts.” If indeed the Diamonds were Super Ideal Cuts, then yes, their pricing would have been insanely low as they purport. But they are not! They are simply luring unsuspecting buyers into buying a normal diamond for the price of a Super Ideal Cut diamond.
This fact sharply contrasts their gospel of not overpaying for diamonds as shown in their articles. (https://blog.moneysmart.sg/wedding/never-overpay-engagement-ring-singapore)
3. Fonder Diamond sells the same diamonds that can be found on other websites. This suggests that they are drop shippers, meaning they sell goods they don’t actually own. The products could, therefore, be with a manufacturer from another country. The problem with drop shipping is that quality control is never assured, especially now that you never get to see or touch the goods yourself.
If you would like to know more about the setbacks of drop shipping, follow this link-https://blog.brilliance.com/diamonds/we-dont-drop-ship-loose-diamonds. Since I wasn’t ready to label Fonder Diamond as being fraudulent, I decided to check out their other “Super Ideal Cut” diamonds.
I randomly singled out this 0.80ct E VS1 diamond from their ‘Super Ideal Cut” category.
These are the details I got after clicking on it:
Here is the GIA certificate for the diamond:
At the bottom of the diamond specifications was a Fonder Light Performance score of 1.0 which I noticed had a suspicious similarity to that of the HCA tool.
I suggest watching this video if you don’t know how an HCA Tool works.
Basically, to compute a score for the diamond, the tool utilizes the table %, depth %, crown angle, and pavilion angle of the diamond. The more perfectly a diamond is proportioned, the better the score gets. This tool is, however, only vital for narrowing down your diamond selection and not confirming its quality. For proper analysis, you will still require the ASET and Hearts/Arrows scope.
The HCA tool takes advantage of the diamond’s symmetrical shape. This is because the Crown and the Pavilion angle indicated on the certificate represents only the average value. A diamond may, therefore, have a ’35 degrees” crown angle when in the real sense, the angles range from 33 to 37. This means that 35 degrees is nothing but the average. For the tool to generate accurate scores, the diamond would need to have nothing less than an “Excellent” Symmetry grade.
This is where the confusion comes in. The so-called ‘Super Ideal Cut” 0.80 E VS1 has been given a ‘Very Good” Symmetry score. The problem is, a diamond with a ‘Very Good” Symmetry can neither qualify to be a Super Ideal Cut nor an Ideal Cut.
The ‘Super Ideal Cut” 0.80 E VS1 is priced at $6,894 which would have been an excellent price for a real Super Ideal Cut diamond. A quick search on other websites proved that none of their Super Ideal Cuts matches Fonder Diamond’s price.
I adhered to the same criteria to check other websites such as Bluenile and James Allen (https://www.jamesallen.com).
For instance, Bluenile prices the same 0.80ct E VS1 diamond with a Very Good Symmetry at about $5,300-$5,900.
The James Allen price for the same diamond ranges from $5,200 – $5,800.
From the above information, we can come up with the following deductions:
1. Fonder Diamond ‘Super Ideal Cut”
0.80 E VS1 (with Very Good Symmetry) – $6,894
0.80 E VS1 (with Very Good Symmetry) – $5,300-$5,900
3. James Allen
0.80 E VS1 (with Very Good Symmetry) – $5,200 – $5,800.
You will realize that the same diamond is priced unreasonably high on the Fonder Diamond website as compared to other sites.
After further searching for other Super Ideal Cuts, I found a 1.07 G VVS2 diamond.
Just like the other diamonds, it had a great Fonder Light performance score of 1.0.
On further scrutiny, I found out that this particular diamond was EGL certified!
EGL certified diamonds are generally engulfed in ugly controversy. EGL is known for duping customers into buying diamonds with exaggerated grades for very high prices. If you search online, you will find a ton of articles putting a red flag on EGL’s diamonds and advising buyers to stay clear of them.
Here are some samples of articles that will show you why you want nothing to do with EGL’s scam products:
I also came across a law firm that is devoted to helping victims of EGL’s over-graded diamonds – http://www.diamondlawsuit.com
You can only imagine how perplexed I was at discovering that the same Fonder Diamond that masquerades as a genuine diamond dealer sells Super Ideal Cuts diamonds that bear EGL certification.
The importance of doing extensive research before buying a diamond cannot be emphasized enough. The diamond business is shrouded with frauds and risks that can make you lose a lot of money for nothing. There’s a lot of confusion and complexities that come with buying a diamond. This is why new or unknowledgeable customers will usually find themselves in the middle of a scam that will likely drain them financially.
You will come across tantalizing deals and be tempted to jump on them without delay. But don’t be surprised if what you get is not what you expected. Do not allow yourself to be duped. Use the wealth of information to learn how to truly analyze the quality of a diamond and make informed purchasing choices.
Always do your research before buying a diamond.