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Radiant Cut Diamonds
This Learning Jewelry guide will provide insights to common queries such as:
- What factors should you consider while purchasing radiant diamonds online?
- Is a radiant diamond a good choice for an engagement ring?
- How can you ensure that you are getting a fair deal?
- What warning signs should you be aware of when making a purchase?
Best Places to Buy Radiant Cut Diamonds
Here are my top recommendations for reputable online dealers to purchase radiant diamonds. If you’re in a rush, you can refer to this list, but keep reading for additional details about each store.
James Allen consistently secures the top position in our guide, and it’s not hard to see why, considering the array of benefits they offer their customers. With an extensive collection of loose diamonds, James Allen offers a staggering number of options, including around 1400 natural radiant cut diamonds (minimum 1 carat, H color, VS2 clarity) and 500 radiant fancy colored diamonds.
The selection of radiant diamonds available at James Allen comprises both rectangular and square shapes, although unfortunately, they don’t have a way to separate the two categories, which could be inconvenient for some customers.
However, users can quickly eliminate diamonds that don’t meet their requirements by using the comparison feature, which allows them to view two diamonds side by side. Additionally, the 360˚ video feature is user-friendly and allows for smooth control and clear visibility of any inclusions.
When purchasing a radiant diamond from James Allen, it’s essential to ensure that you only opt for GIA-certified diamonds and avoid IGI-certified ones. However, we will discuss the topic of diamond certifications and grading reports in more detail in the FAQ section.
While browsing James Allen’s selection of radiant diamonds, it’s worth noting that they are not categorized into specific cut categories, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the diamond’s proportions to identify the best-cut diamonds. Luckily, users can check this information without clicking on each diamond individually by using the ellipsis to access details such as the length-to-width ratio, depth, and other diamond specifics.
James Allen has recently introduced a new feature called Ring Studio, which allows customers to customize ring settings. Although the store currently carries just under 100 different settings, which is less than what they offer for many other shapes, this new feature offers further flexibility for customers.
At James Allen, customers can opt for unique and personalized ring settings, such as a rose gold prong basket with a yellow gold setting, adding a surprise diamond or blue sapphire. To access further customization options, simply look for the rainbow ring emblem on the corner of the ring setting and edit it to your liking.
One significant benefit that sets James Allen apart from other in-store and online jewelry retailers is their free lifetime warranty, which covers routine maintenance such as prong retipping or rhodium plating for white gold. This warranty provides customers with added peace of mind and ensures that their jewelry remains in top condition for years to come.
AVAILABLE ON JAMESALLEN
- Smooth and easy viewing with controllable 360˚ video
- Ring Studio allows for customized ring settings
- Lifetime upgrade policy
- Free lifetime warranty covers routine maintenance
- Limited selection of radiant diamonds compared to other diamond shapes.
Blue Nile is a close competitor to James Allen in our guides, often vying for the number one spot. As the first online loose diamond dealer since 1997, they have established a strong reputation and customer base.
They boast one of the largest inventories of loose diamonds, including around 1500 radiant diamonds with standard cut grades, and up to 3000 as a whole.
However, not all of their radiant diamonds have 360˚ viewing, reducing the number of available options to approximately 1000. While their viewer is functional, some diamonds may appear too far away. In comparison, James Allen’s viewer may provide a better experience.
Blue Nile categorizes their radiant diamonds into a few different cut categories, despite the lack of official cut grades for this diamond shape. The categories include Good, Very Good, and Astor Ideal.
The Astor Collection is exclusive to Blue Nile and features their best-cut diamonds. It includes round, princess, cushion, and square radiant cut diamonds.
Aside from the GIA grading reports that all their diamonds come with, Astor diamonds also come with a GemEx report that measures the light performance of the cut diamond.
The GemEx report provides a detailed breakdown of a diamond’s light performance, including the percentages of white light, colored light, and light points being returned to the observer. It measures the brilliance, fire, and sparkle of the diamond.
While a GemEx report is not essential for a diamond, it does not increase its resale value or replace a grading report or certification.
Blue Nile’s prices for radiant diamonds may be slightly higher compared to some online retailers like James Allen, but they offer an excellent selection of 250 ring settings to choose from. However, keep in mind that they categorize settings by color metal, so many of them are duplicates.
AVAILABLE ON BLUENILE
One drawback of Blue Nile is their lack of a comprehensive warranty. Although they offer a “lifetime manufacturing warranty,” it does not cover routine maintenance work that engagement rings may require down the line, which will need to be paid for out of pocket.
- Lifetime warranty
- Free ring sizing for a year
- Lifetime upgrade
- Clear 360-degree view
- Limited selection of diamond fine jewelry
- Does not cover the loss of stones from settings
FAQs About Radiant Cut Diamonds
Listed below are some of the most often posed queries concerning diamonds in the radiant shape:
Are Radiant Cut Diamonds Cheaper Online?
Yes, they are. Not only do online retailers offer better prices, but they also provide a wider variety of options to choose from. In comparison, physical jewelry stores are limited in their selection and typically only offer popular diamond shapes like the round brilliant cut.
While some traditional stores such as Kay, Zales, and Jared now offer loose diamonds on their websites, the selection is still relatively small and often overpriced. On the other hand, online retailers benefit from a business model that allows them to source diamonds directly from wholesalers and vendors, reducing costs and ultimately making it cheaper for consumers to buy diamonds online.
In addition to cost savings, shopping for radiant diamonds online offers the convenience of a clear and controllable 360-degree view of the diamond, and the absence of pushy salespeople. Online associates do not work on commission, so their advice is unbiased.
However, it’s important to note that buying a diamond online comes with its own set of risks. Therefore, it’s crucial to do proper research and purchase from reputable and trustworthy online retailers who offer grading reports and a reasonable return policy.
How Do Radiant Cut Diamonds Compare in Price to Other Shapes?
Compared to round brilliant diamonds of the same quality, all fancy diamond shapes are generally less expensive. However, compared to marquise or emerald cut diamonds, radiant cuts tend to be more expensive.
Marquise diamonds have a smaller table size, while emerald cut diamonds are step cut, making them less expensive than brilliant cut shapes like the radiant diamond.
When it comes to the price of a 1-carat radiant cut diamond, it can vary depending on factors such as cut quality, color, and clarity. However, on average, it can cost anywhere from $4,500 to $9,000. This puts it in a similar price range as other fancy shapes, such as cushion or princess cuts. However, it may be more expensive than a 1-carat marquise or emerald cut diamond of comparable quality.
What to Consider When Buying Radiant Cut Diamonds
Unlike round diamonds, radiant cut diamonds do not have an official cut grade. Retailers may categorize their own inventory into different cut grade categories, but this is done at their discretion.
With fancy shapes like the radiant cut, it is essential to examine details such as length to width ratio, table size, polish, and symmetry. Radiant shapes have 70 facets and have the closest light performance to the round brilliant. It is crucial to pay attention to the shape of the radiant, ensuring that cropped corners are even, to achieve the best aesthetic.
Radiant diamonds often have slight misshapenness, so it is crucial to choose one with excellent polish and symmetry.
Clarity and Color
Brilliant cut diamond shapes like the radiant diamond tend to conceal subtle and even some obvious blemishes or inclusions. When selecting color grades, it is not necessary to purchase a VVS1 or VVS2 diamond. A VS2 clarity diamond is usually recommended as there are more eye-clean options, but an SI clarity diamond can save you more money without too much of a difference.
Radiant cut diamonds tend to show more color tint than other shapes, so choosing a diamond within the G-H range is recommended unless you prefer warmer diamonds. Radiant cut diamonds are popular for fancy colored diamonds, as they allow gemstone cutters to retain more of the diamond rough, resulting in more color reveal.
What to Watch Out for When Purchasing Radiant Diamonds Online?
While there are not many red flags when it comes to diamond shapes, there are a few things to be cautious of when shopping for radiant diamonds online. These include:
Bowtie and Excessive Depth Percentage
One red flag to look out for when purchasing radiant diamonds online is the bow-tie effect. This is a shadow that appears across the table area of certain diamond shapes, including marquise, pears, ovals, and even radiant cuts.
For those who prefer longer rectangular radiant cuts, it’s important to ensure that the diamond is not too long, as this can cause the bowtie effect to appear. While some people may appreciate the uniqueness of a bow tie, most people see it as a shadow that detracts from the diamond’s brilliance.
To avoid purchasing a diamond with the bow-tie effect, it’s recommended to use a good 360˚ viewer that can reveal any obvious bowtie online before making the purchase. A controllable viewer is also suggested, as it allows for manual angle checking.
Another important factor to consider is the depth percentage. The depth percentage is a part of the diamond details like polish and symmetry, and it’s recommended to stick to a depth between 61-65%. Diamonds with excessive depth will diminish light performance, so it’s important to avoid those as well.
Diamond grading reports and certification are essential when purchasing radiant diamonds online. Most diamonds found in large retailers are either uncertified or are certified by a cheaper and less reliable lab. The GIA and AGS are reputable labs that provide reliable diamond certification and grading reports, making it important to seek out diamonds that have been certified by these labs.
When purchasing diamonds, it’s worth noting that GIA and AGS graded diamonds are often sold at a higher premium in stores compared to online retailers. The reason for this is that getting diamonds certified by the GIA can be more expensive for physical retailers like Kay, whereas online vendors often already have the certification and do not incur additional costs.
Some physical retailers may opt for cheaper certifying labs such as GSI or IGI, but it’s recommended to stick to diamonds certified by GIA or AGS for quality assurance.
Other certifications may not carry the same level of strict guidelines when it comes to grading diamonds. For instance, a diamond certified by GSI may receive a lower color and clarity grade if graded by GIA.
Therefore, it’s important to choose diamonds that are certified by reliable labs to ensure that you get the quality that you paid for, especially when it comes to appraising or reselling the diamonds.
While we’ve briefly mentioned it earlier, it’s important to emphasize the reasons behind our recommendation to purchase only certified diamonds. It’s true that certified diamonds are typically more expensive than uncertified ones, but the certification process provides an assurance that you’re getting the diamond quality you paid for.
This means that the diamond has undergone a thorough evaluation and grading process by a reputable third-party organization, and the certification provides a detailed report of the diamond’s attributes such as carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. By purchasing a certified diamond, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re investing in a high-quality stone that meets the standards set by industry experts.
The American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) are both acceptable diamond grading authorities. While they have similar grading methods, the main difference is that the AGS considers their Ideal 0 cut to be equivalent to the GIA’s Excellent Cut.
When purchasing a diamond, it is important to look for independent certification, such as GSI certification, to ensure that the diamond is of the appropriate quality and value. Retailers often use these agencies as they are more affordable than getting certification from the GIA or AGS. However, GIA certified diamonds may be sold at a higher price due to the increased cost for the company.
RECOMMENDED: Where to Buy GIA Certified Diamonds
Get the Best Deal When Buying Radiant Cut Diamonds Online
To secure the best deal when buying radiant cut diamonds online, consider the following tips:
- Opt for a retailer with a clear 360˚ viewer and a vast selection of diamonds.
- Purchase only GIA or AGS certified natural diamonds, or opt for GIA, IGI, or GCAL certified lab diamonds.
- Select a retailer with a warranty covering routine maintenance and a favorable return policy.
- Remember that radiant cut diamonds show more color, so choose a higher color grade.
- Note that radiant cut diamonds tend to hide inclusions, so higher clarity grades are not necessary.
- Ensure that the cut corners of the diamond are even.