What should I know about Whiteflash - the company?
We are definitely NOT your grandfather’s jeweler! Please read about who we are and what sets us apart from every other jeweler in the world on our About Us page.
Can you give me an overview of Whiteflash in two minutes?
The Whiteflash "Two Minute Drill"
Whiteflash specializes in Ideal Diamonds and Engagement Rings. We are internationally known for expertise in the field of diamond light performance. Our A CUT ABOVE® super ideal diamonds
are considered by experts to be among the finest diamonds in the world.
We stock a deep inventory of certified AGS Ideal diamonds
, both round brilliant and princess cut, in three in-house categories. In addition to our A CUT ABOVE® brand , we stock two other categories of diamonds- Expert Selection and Premium Select. All diamonds in these three categories are available and posted to the website with a full set of gemological data and light performance imagery
. In addition, we provide access to the world diamond market through our Virtual Selection category and our virtual diamond service
, performing the full compliment of gemological reviews and light performance analysis on every certified diamond we offer. We provide a lifetime 100% trade up benefit on all in-house diamonds, as well as 30 day returns and one year buyback guarantee. We provide beautiful packaging and free FedEx insured shipping, and there is no sales tax collected on out of state shipments.
Whiteflash is a full-scale manufacturing jeweler as well as an authorized distributor for some of the finest national jewelry designers
including Verragio, Ritani, Vatche and Benchmark. For local customers we offer an intimate in-store experience at our Sugar Land boutique showroom
, just 15 minutes southwest of Houston’s Galleria shopping center. We provide a complimentary one year service plan
on all our finished jewelry.
All Whiteflash diamond and jewelry consultants are GIA trained Accredited Jewelry Professionals and we have several Diamond Graduates and Graduate Gemologists on staff. We are the only retail jeweler certified for ISO 90001
Total Quality Management and are the recipients of the 2012 BBB Pinnacle Award
honoring the best retail jeweler in the Houston metropolitan area.
Welcome to Whiteflash and thank you for your interest!
What makes Whiteflash so special?
Through the years Whiteflash has gained international acclaim for the finest ideal diamonds available. A CUT ABOVE® (ACA) Super Ideal Diamonds are considered by diamond connoisseurs to be among the elite diamonds in the world in terms of craftsmanship and performance.
In addition to our vaunted A CUT ABOVE® brand, our Expert Selection category also includes certified ideal hearts and arrows diamonds. Rounding out our in-house diamond inventory is the Premium Select category consisting of a variety of beautiful diamonds of outstanding value.
Whiteflash stocks an extensive inventory of certified AGS Ideal diamonds, each of which is available and ready to ship and is presented with the most comprehensive set of data and light performance images available today. All Whiteflash in-house diamonds are backed by our trademark Lifetime 100% Trade-Up Benefit.
In addition to in-house inventory, our reputation for excellence affords us access to the entire global diamond market. We regularly source diamonds for our clients from these “virtual” inventories, many of which are searchable through our Virtual Selection category. Our virtual diamond service entails bringing the diamonds in to our facility and doing the same thorough inspections and performance reviews performed on our owned inventory. All diamonds and jewelry products sold by Whiteflash are thoroughly inspected by our staff gemologists and experts. None of our products is ever “drop shipped”, ensuring our ability to deliver top quality with each and every order.
Our modern manufacturing facility and team of experienced and highly skilled jewelers give us the ability to create fine jewelry of all kinds and levels of complexity, and to service what we sell. And our partnerships with some of the finest jewelry designers in the world provide us access to an extensive catalogues of the most sought after designer engagement rings.
As the only retail jeweler certified for ISO 9000 total quality management, you can have confidence that our multi-level quality control systems will enable us to deliver top quality jewelry in the most consistent, dependable manner possible.
And finally, our knowledgeable Whiteflash diamond consultants (all of whom have GIA credentials) provide our customers with expert guidance and assistance making the Whiteflash shopping experience convenient, worry-free and enjoyable. Our entire focus is to provide each client “A Brilliant Diamond Buying Experience®”.
The Whiteflash advantage is a combination of top quality products and services, in-depth product information, expert guidance, outstanding value, and more. Thousands of satisfied customer testimonials and reviews say it all!
What kinds of diamonds do you offer?
Whiteflash is your direct connection to education and confidence in diamond buying, and easy access to some of the most phenomenal diamonds in the world. With headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas - just minutes from the Galleria in Houston -Whiteflash specializes in precision-cut diamonds and custom jewelry creations for a clientele that is knowlegeable and discriminating. We combine old world knowledge with new age technology to bring diamonds direct from our Antwerp siteholder to our Houston headquarters and to your home. Our inventory ranges from the excellent to the most precisely cut diamonds in the world and we have an extensive collection of original and custom jewelry designs. Our industry best assurance package guarantees complete satisfaction. The Whiteflash Team includes leading authorities in the world of diamonds and jewelry design, along with a staff of gemologists, craftsmen and professionals committed to providing diamond buyers with enriching, life-changing experiences.
A CUT ABOVE® is our flagship line of Super Ideal diamonds. They include Princess cut and Round Hearts & Arrows diamonds, cut with optimum alignment of all facets for unparalleled light performance, fire and brilliance. A CUT ABOVE® is internationally recognized as one of the elite diamonds in the world. Whiteflash was selected to present a grading system for H&A at the International Diamond Cut Conference in Moscow in 2004. Whiteflash is the only company to safeguard H&A buyers with a top grade in optical symmetry meeting the IDCC presentation criteria. They have been described as the most visually balanced diamonds in the world.
Our Expert Selection line of diamonds consists of a variety of shapes and includes rounds with AGS Ideal and GIA Triple Excellent certificates. And our third category of in-house diamonds, Premium Select, are all beautiful diamonds priced for value. All in-house diamonds are posted to the website with a comprehensive set of gemological informantion and performance images. All have been put through extensive gemological and visual evaluation.
Our Virtual Selection category consists of over 30,000 diamonds quickly available through our network of manufacturers and dealers. Whiteflash will never "drop ship" a diamond to a customer from a supplier. Our policy is to bring any sourced diamond we offer to Whiteflash headquarters for our own verification, expert analysis, and your approval before delivering it to you. These services combined with our complete satisfaction guarantee will give you total confidence in all purchases at Whiteflash.
Is Whiteflash rated by the Better Business Bureau?
We have rating of A+ with the BBB - the highest rating possible. In addition, we have been chosen for six consecutive years for the BBB "Winner of Distinction" award, and we are very proud to say that Whiteflash took the very highest honor winning the BBB 2012 Pinnacle Award.
Do you have gemologists on staff?
Yes. We currently have two G.I.A Graduate Gemologists on staff and they are an integral part of our customer service team. In addition, all of our diamond consultants are GIA Acredited Jewelry Professionals, as well as most of our support staff, and some are working toward advanced credentials. We are happy to arrange for you to speak with a graduate gemologist at any time.
Does Whiteflash have a retail store?
Yes! We have just opened a showroom in Sugar Land, about 15 minutes from our former location in soutwhest Houston. We are open to the public and drop-ins are welcome. However, because of the personal attention we like to give to our customers, appointments are encouraged. Please see our Sugar Land Showroom page where you can learn more about our store and even book your own appointment online! To speak to a diamond consultant about a visit please call our toll free line 877-612-6770 .
2150 Town Square Place, Suite 330, Sugar Land, Tx 77479
How can I trust that I will get everything that I am paying for?
Customers are naturally cautious when shopping on the internet. This is especially true when it comes to expensive and emotionally important purchases. Whiteflash is dedicated to providing top quality products at the most competitive prices and delivering exceptional customer service.
We use a multi-level quality control system that is ISO 9001 certified. Whiteflash is the only jeweler to have achieved that distinction. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and were honored with their highest award- the 2012 the BBB Pinnacle Award. All purchases are backed by our Complete Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee.
In addition to these assurances, our great customers worldwide say it best. There are reviews from consumers posted all over the internet including many independent review sites. You can also read testimonials by real customers with pictures of the jewelry we have made for them posted on the Whiteflash website.
Are all of your diamonds in-house?
We own and stock a large number diamonds, including am extensive inventory of certified AGS Ideal diamonds . We have three categories of in-house diamonds- A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideals, Expert Selection including AGS Ideals and GIA Triple EX, and Premium Select consisting of various shapes including some Ideal Rounds.
We also provide access to the wider market through our Virtual Selection category, which consists of the inventories of dozens of our vendor partners. Arrangements can be made to bring in these diamonds for our thorough evaluation.
What is an A CUT ABOVE® diamond?
The A CUT ABOVE® is our internationally recognized brand of Super Ideal Cut diamonds, Round and Princess. They are the "best of the best" in terms of cut craftsmanship and light performance, possessing brilliance and fire at the limits of what is technically possible. To achieve the A CUT ABOVE® pedigree a diamond must first be certified by the AGS Laboratory as Triple Ideal with a Platinum Certificate. It must then pass an extensive series of further evaluations by the Whiteflash review team before being branded A CUT ABOVE®.
What are Hearts and Arrows (H&A) diamonds?
Diamonds cut to a very high degree of three dimensional symmetry (also referred to as Optical Symmetry), when observed with special viewers will exhibit a pattern of eight Arrows when viewed from the top and eight hearts when viewed from the bottom. One of the hallmarks of A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamonds is perfect optical symmetry. More information about Hearts and Arrows diamonds.
What are the advantages of buying an A CUT ABOVE® diamond?
Consistently and predictably A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideal Diamonds are the finest performing diamonds in the world.
- All certified AGS Triple Ideal (platinum certificate)
- Extraordinary light performance demonstrable by imaging on multiple reflector instruments (IS, ASET, H&A)
- Cut to within a narrow subset (sweet spot) of AGS Ideal parameters, resulting in best performance over the widest range of lighting conditions (The Most Visually Balanced Diamond in the World®)
- Passing rigorous additional performance tests beyond those conducted at the AGS Laboratories.
- Most strenuous quality control in the world- must pass three demanding levels of analysis- manufacturer, AGSL, Whiteflash review team.
- Guaranteed 100% trade-up benefit for life
- Branded laser inscription
- Diamond tool kit
The benefits of owning an A CUT ABOVE® diamond are experienced every moment of every day with every glance of every eye.
What is the A CUT ABOVE® Princess?
It is our internationally recognized Super Ideal Princess Cut.
The A CUT ABOVE® Princess is the dazzling sister to our A Cut Above® Hearts & Arrows Round. As a true Super Ideal the diamond must first attain the coveted "Triple Ideal" Platinum certificate from the American Gem Society Laboratory. In addition, it must pass additional performance testing and evaluation by the Whiteflash review panel before achieving the A CUT ABOVE® brand. For more information please visit our A CUT ABOVE® Princess page.
I'm new to the subject of diamonds. Do you have a primer with basic info and guidance?
Yes we do. This page gives you a quick overview of the things you need to be thinking about as you shop for a diamond. It provides real-world practical advice as well as links to detailed information. Our Diamond Buying Guide is a great place to start your journey!
What are Expert Selection Diamonds?
Our Expert Selection category contains very high quality diamonds, many of which narrowly missed our A CUT ABOVE brand. Round diamonds in this category are ideal cut with hearts and arrows patterning. They must be certified as Ideal with AGS Triple 0 report or as Triple Ex by GIA. Expert Selection contains other shapes with superb cut quality including many AGS 0 Princess cuts. All diamonds in this category must have certification with the highest cut grades given by AGSL or GIA, and have outstanding light performance as evidenced in ASET and IDEAL scope images.
Are Whiteflash diamonds conflict free?
All diamonds sold by Whiteflash have been purchased from legitimate sources operating in strict compliance with United Nations Resolutions and not involved in funding conflicts. We deal only with suppliers who explicity warrant that their diamonds have been brought to market in accordance with the Kimberly Process.
Whiteflash is dedicated to socially responsible business practices and supports the United Nations Global Compact. We are also proactive in efforts to benefit local diamond mining communities through our support of the Diamond Development Initiative and our own Dreams of Africa initiative. All profits from products purchased from our Dreams of Africa website go to support the Centers of Compassion for Children International.
For more information about this important issue and the Whiteflash response, please see our Conflict Free Diamonds page.
What is your definition of ‘Eye-Clean’?
The Whiteflash baseline definition of eye-clean is:
No inclusions visible to the naked eye of a person with 20/20 vision when viewing the diamond in the face-up position at a distance of approximately 10 inches under normal overhead lighting .
Distance, lighting and human vision all influence this judgment. There is no universally agreed upon definition of eye-clean in the trade so we developed this one in order to communicate meaningfully with our customers. 10 inches is the ‘distance of most distinct vision’ as defined by the field of optometry. It is also a basis used by the AGS Laboratory in light performance grading, and so this is a logical standard and a practical baseline.
Diamonds graded by AGS and GIA with clarities of VS or above are almost always completely eye-clean by the above standard. On our website diamond detail pages Si clarity diamonds include an icon indicating when the diamond is eye-clean. The icon does not appear on VS or above clarities.
AGS vs GIA - Why are most of your diamonds certified by AGS Laboratories?
Whiteflash specializes in ideal and super ideal cut diamonds. Our customers demand laboratory reports with the most thorough cut quality analysis available. Although the GIA introduced the basic diamond grading system that is used throughout the industry and is the most recognized gemological authority with an excellent reputation, the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) has pioneered diamond cut quality analysis and has a global reputation for excellence and consistency in diamond grading. The AGS Platinum certificate is the ultimate diamond document and is a baseline requirement for our A CUT ABOVE super ideal.
See this page for more info on AGS vs GIA and this page with a more technical look comparing GIA EX and AGS Ideal.
Do I have to pay to bring in a diamond for evaluation?
All of our in-house diamonds (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection and Premium Select) have been comprehensively evaluated and a full set of information and performance imagery are available on our website. Diamonds from our Virtual Selection category or other diamonds that may be sourced for you can be brought in for the same thorough evaluation. Payment for the diamond is required before bringing in a diamond for analysis. Upon recieving the results of the gemological review and light performance imaging, should you decide not to confirm the purchase of the diamond, you are entitled to a 100% refund.
For more information see our Virtual Diamond Service page.
What is ASET?
Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) is central to the AGS Light Performance diamond grading system. The ASET device is a viewer that produces a color coded view depicting how a diamond is handling light. Red and green both represent light that is being returned to the eye. Red represents the most intense light entering the diamond from the highest angles directly from the overhead light source.
To see an interesting case study highlighting the practical value of this ingenious tool please see this article on ASET.
ASET theory is at the foundation of the AGS system and is embedded in the sophisticated ray tracing software that is used to calculate light performance. For more information see our page on ASET.
Whiteflash provides a variety of valuable diagnostic light performance images on every certified diamond we sell. For more information on the value of each and how to put all the imaging information together for a complete understanding of the light handling properties of the diamond, please see our Diamond Imaging page.
What Is the Ideal-Scope?
In the 1970s a Japanese scientist named Okuda developed ways to study diamond light performance using colored reflectors in magnified scopes. This method of assessment became popular on the internet with the “Ideal-Scope”, a simple magnifying tube containing a red reflector that creates a structured light environment. The Ideal-Scope was developed by Garry Holloway FGAA, DipDT, JAA Appraiser.
An ideal-scope photograph shows what areas of a diamond return light to the viewer’s eye and what areas do not. In 2005 the AGS introduced a similar scope, the Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool. Based on the same principal, the ASET shows light return using multiple colors. The AGS grades light performance as part of cut on a scale of 0 through 10. Diamonds earning the top grade of 0 are considered “Ideal.” Only a fraction of the world’s diamonds will earn this grade.
In these scopes, light returning at extremely high angles will be dark since that light normally comes from directly above and is blocked by the camera. In an optically symmetrical diamond these dark areas should look like matching arrows radiating outward from the center of the diamond. Light returning at optimum angles outside of the obscured area will be red. Less optimum angles will look light pink in the ideal-scope or green in the ASET. Light that is escaping (or leaking) from the diamond will appear white. Small, triangular patterns of white along the edges (girdle), and at meet point junctions outside of the table are acceptable and enhance a diamond’s contrast, but large patches of white indicate leakage that is detrimental to the diamond’s face-up appearance.
Why are Sarin numbers sometimes different than those on the grading report?
Sarin states an error potential of ± 0.02 mm linear, and ± 0.2 degrees angular. Between the lab grading document and our own machine onsite slight inconsistencies may occur. In such cases we consider the laboratory document to be the authority.
What is the meaning of the Whiteflash Star Ratings on loose diamonds?
WF Ratings indicate quality/value based on available measurements, polish & symmetry grades and performance data balanced with the price of the diamond. All in-house diamonds have been analyzed firsthand. Outside diamonds available to us are rated based on available information (we cannot guarantee details of outside diamonds).*
||Whiteflash A Cut Above diamonds meet our standards for performance, craftsmanship and Visual Balance™ beyond ‘Ideal.’
||Preferred diamonds combine best performance, craftsmanship and value for the money.
||Near-Premium diamonds can perform at high levels for a lower price.
||Often located with a supplier who has not provided enough information for a decisive judgment: Contact us.
||Often located with a supplier who has not provided enough information for a decisive judgment: Contact us.
* The WF Rating is based on our expertise. It is not a substitute for official laboratory grading.
>>Read more about diamond raiting
What is A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows melee?
A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows melee refers to the small accent diamonds that we use in many of our finest jewelry pieces. They are superb quality, fully faceted diamonds from .01ct to 0.25 ct. While they are too small for lab certification, they are selected for top light performance and hearts and arrows patterning. Colors and clarities range from F-G and VS1-VS2, and are non-fluourescent. For more details please see our page about A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Melee
What is meant by the term AGS 0 or Triple 0?
This is the designation of Ideal Cut by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL). It is their highest grade for cut quality. AGSL performs the most comprehensive and critical cut quality analysis of any laboratory in the world. They use a 0-10 grading scale, where 0 is the best (think of it as 0 deductions). As the AGSL cut grading system advanced and evolved the use of the term "Triple 0" has changed. Today it means Ideal in light performance, polish and symmetry. A diamond must have 0 in all three of these areas in order to have an overall cut grade of Ideal. For more information see our page on AGS Ideal.
What is the process for bringing in diamonds outside your in-house inventory?
Our Virtual Selection category consists of about 30,000 certified diamonds on any given day. These are the collective inventories of several dozen manufacturers that we work with. Diamonds in this category are available to Whiteflash and can often can be brought in to Whiteflash for evaluation within two business days. In addition to the diamonds posted to our website, Whiteflash diamond consultants have access to a global database of diamonds and can access diamonds in addition to those listed on our website. Virtual Selection diamonds undergo a thorough evaluation upon arrival at Whiteflash and the customer will have a full range of gemological and performance information with which to make a final decision. The diamond must be paid in full before being shipped in, but if for any reason the customer decides not to complete the purchase after receiving the results from our evaluations, they are entitled to a 100% refund. For more information see: Virtual Diamond Service
What is the big deal about Ideal Cut diamonds?
Ideal cut quality brings out the full potential of the diamond. It optimizes the fire, brilliance, sparkle and overall beauty of the gem. In cutting a diamond to ideal specifications, the costs are higher but the benefits are tremendous. Please see our Ideal Cut Diamonds page for more information.
What is a Princess Cut diamond and why is it special?
The Princess Cut features a straight sided rectangular outline with a brilliant style facet arrangement. It is a hybrid of shape and cutting style that produces more sparkle than traditional square or rectangular diamonds. Princess cuts are more popular today than any other "fancy shape" diamond. For more information about what makes the Princess cut so appealing to modern diamond shoppers, please see our Princess Cut Diamond page.
To understand more about princess cut quality please see this page about why there are so few ideal cut princess diamonds in the market.
Does Whiteflash deal in synthetic diamonds?
No we do not. We sell only natural mined and untreated diamonds. All of our loose diamonds come with laboratory certificates from AGSL and GIA documenting them as natural and untreated.
Please see this page for more information on the issue of synthetic diamonds in the market today.
Are Whiteflash diamonds laser inscribed?
ALL A CUT ABOVE diamonds are inscribed with the AGS certificate number. This valuable benefit enables the owner to easily identify their diamond at any moment. The number is etched on the girdle of the diamond at the lab by a very small and very precise laser beam. It is only visible under magnification and does not alter the beauty, durability, or light performance of the diamond.
Most Whiteflash Expert Selection and Premium select diamonds are also inscribed. To know if the diamond is inscribed look at the "comments" section of the lab report where any inscription will be noted in detail.
For more information and to see a picture of what a diamond inscription looks like please visit our Diamond Laser Inscriptions page.
What is a "super ideal" diamond?
A true super ideal is a certified ideal cut diamond that has passed additional critical tests for cut craftsmanship and light performance. The A CUT ABOVE is considered by experts to be the leading super ideal because the criteria and standards are published and superio proven through light performance imaging. To read more please go to our Super Ideal Diamonds page.
Does Whiteflash carry Designer Engagement Rings?
Yes we do! We are authorized distributors for Tacori, Verragio, Ritani, Vatche, Mark Schneider, Benchmark, and Leon Mege. If you do not find a particular style on our site made by one of these fine designers, just let us know and we will get it for you. Read about our designers and access their catalogues conveniently on our designer engagement rings page.
Will you copy a setting I saw somewhere else?
We will not copy designer pieces as they are the creative property of the artist. If you love everything about the designer style we recommend you purchase the original from the designer. Our custom design process enables us to put together design elements inspired by a style you like in order to create a new style, but it must not be a duplicate of a trademarked design. Many designs are in the public domain and not trademarked and therefor can be replicated. Our diamond consultants can help you determine what is possible.
White gold or platinum-which one is best?
Both precious metals are popular for fine jewelry. Both look very similar. There are important differences to consider in making your choice. White gold is a mixture of pure yellow gold with other metals such as nickel that give it hardness and a whitish color. It must then be plated with rhodium to give it a bright white luster, and may eventually need re-plating. Platinum is used in almost pure form, is very dense and a bit softer than gold alloys so it scratches a bit more easily but can always be repolished. Platinum is intrinsically white and does not require plating. For engagement rings many people prefer platinum for its purity and durability despite the fact that it is more expensive than white gold. For fashion jewelry that gets more occasional wear, most prefer white gold, especially in earrings and larger pieces that will become very heavy and expensive in platinum.
Can I have a diamond I bought elsewhere set in a Whiteflash mounting?
Yes. Arrangements can be made to set your diamond provided it is certifed by AGS or GIA. We require proof of insurance and a signed waiver releasing Whiteflash from any liability. Customer diamonds can be set into Whiteflash catalogue items or settings from our designer's catalogues. (Whiteflash custom design projects are reserved for Whiteflash diamonds). For important details on this service please see our page on working with customers diamonds and jewelry.
Ring sizing - what if I get the size wrong and need it adjusted later?
Many of our clients are purchasing engagement rings or other gift items that involve surprise. We strongly recommend they make every effort to establish the ring size accurately at the time of the order. In the event that a ring size needs adjusting we provide one free sizing. Be aware however that certain ring designs are limited in their range of sizeability. Most rings are sizeable within one full size. Eternity rings with diamonds all around are NOT sizeable.
Although we provide labor, materials and handling for the one free sizing, shipping is the responsibility of the customer. Important information about shipping can be found on our Returns page.
Will Whiteflash set a diamond in a mounting I purchased elsewhere?
Yes. There is a $100 setting fee. It is necessary to have the ring assessed by our production team to verify that the selected diamond is appropriate for the mounting, and to determine if any other parts or materials are necessary. For important details about this services please see our page about working with customers property.
What is rhodium plating?
White gold products are routinely electroplated with a very expensive metal called rhodium. Rhodium is a platinum group metal that is intrinsically white and lustrous. Gold alloys are not pure white because they contain a high percentage of yellow gold. Rhodium is what gives white gold it's bright white look.
Because plating deposits a very thin layer of metal over the alloy, it is possible for it to wear off and reveal areas of the yellowish metal beneath. How often a piece of jewelry will need to be replated to retain its bright white appearance is affected by several factors: Lifestyle, body chemistry, and exposure to certain chemicals in the environment.
Re-plating is not difficult or terribly expensive. It is a routine final step in servicing such as sizing, prong repair, or repolishing. Typically customers do not have a need for frequent replating.
One of the advantages of platinum is that it is intrinsically white and does not require plating. However, white gold alloys are harder than platinum and resist scratching and deformation better.
What type of metal alloys does Whitflash use?
Our gold products are either 14k or 18k. 14K is 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metals that give gold the hardness to be durable in jewelry. 18K is 75% pure gold. White gold is an alloy of metals that give the metal hardness and whiteness. Nickel is normally used in this alloy. White gold products, because they are not pure white, are normally plated with rhodium to give the metal a bright white luster.
Our platinum products are made with 95% pure platinum and 5% irridium.
Does Whiteflash service the jewelry it sells?
Yes. We have a full service manufacturing operation and provide servicing on everything we sell. All purchases are covered under our One Year Service Policy, which is part of the Whiteflash Guarantee, offering great convenience and peace of mind.
Are Whiteflash designs available in Rose Gold (Pink Gold)?
Some, but not all, items in our catalogue are available in Rose Gold by Special Order. We use only 14K rose gold as 18k tends not to be distinctly pink. Prices tend to be a bit higher for specialty manufacturing, and turn around times tend to be one to three weeks longer. As a special order item, rose gold products are not returnable. If you are interested in ordering one of our designs in Rose Gold please contact us for a quote, availability and expected delivery times.
How will my jewelry or loose diamond be packaged? Do you supply a high quality box?
Yes we do. We understand that the presentation is a very important part of the experience and we provide elegant packaging. Please see our packaging page for images and information about our jewelry and loose diamond boxes.
In which currency are your prices listed?
All prices are listed in US Dollars.
What forms of payments do you accept?
For purchases within the USA we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal and Bank Wire Transfer. For all purchases outside the USA we accept only payment made by bank wire transfer. (Unfortunately, we are not able to securely process credit card payments issued by non-US banks)
How do I place my order?
We try to make it as easy as possible! You can order securely online, by using our CHAT function to communicate with a diamond consultant, by sending email with the items you would like to order, or by calling us toll free at 877-612-6770. If you are in the Houston area you are cordially invited to visit our new showroom in Sugar Land!
Does Whiteflash collect sales tax?
Whiteflash is required to collect state sales tax (8.25%) on all orders shipped within Texas or picked up at our facility in Houston. We are not required to collect tax on orders shipped out of state. Customers outside of Texas are responsible for adhering to the statutes governing tax collection of the state in which they take delivery.
Does Whiteflash ship internationally?
Yes. We are currently able to ship securely to more than a dozen international destinations. All orders shipping outside the US and Canada must be paid by wire transfer. We are not able to accept credit cards for international orders. For details about shipping procedures and fees please see our shipping page.
What is a bank wire transfer and how do I make one?
A bank wire transfer is a direct bank to bank transfer of funds. You transfer money directly from your bank account to the merchants bank account. Some banks allow you to do this by phone or online. In some cases you may need to go to your bank to execute a transfer.
Bank transfers can sometimes go through within hours, but can sometimes take longer depending on several factors including the time of day and day of the week that the transfer is initiated.
If you place an order selecting wire transfer as the form of payment, you will be contacted by our order processing department who will give you the necessary information to execute the wire transfer.
Do I receive a discount if I pay by wire transfer?
YES. You will receive a 3% discount on the portion of your order paid by wire transfer. * Please note: We are unable to offer any discounts on certain designer settings. Please contact a sales consultant if you have any question about whether your setting is excluded from the wire transfer discount.
Can I split payment between two credit cards ?
YES, but you will have to contact us by phone, live chat, email or visit our showroom so that a consultant can process your order. *Please note that we can only split between cards under the same name.
Can I split payment between credit card and wire transfer?
YES, but the 3% wire discount will only apply to the portion of the order paid by wire transfer.
Does Whiteflash offer financing?
Not really. Most of our customers interested in financing use credit cards to make their purchase. However, as a courtesy we do offer a 90 day Flex Plan.
How it Works
Any purchase of in-house diamonds and regular catalogue jewelry over $1,500 is eligible for the Whiteflash Flex Plan. The order may be placed with a 20% non-refundable down payment and three equal payments of the balance scheduled at 30 day intervals. (Prepayments may be made at any time.) Should any scheduled payment be more than 10 days late, the merchandise will be returned to stock and a store credit issued to the customer in the amount of the down payment. Any amount paid over the 20% down payment will be refunded.
The order will begin processing upon final payment of balance. Normal 30 day return privileges apply for all in-house diamonds and jewelry items from our catalogue. The 20% down payment portion of applicable returns for Flex Plan orders will be made in the form of store credit.
Diamonds from Virtual Selection category are not eligible for Flex Plan. Custom designs and catalogue items altered from their stated specifications (semi custom) are not returnable.
Customer’s interested in making a purchase using the Flex Plan should speak to their Whiteflash diamond consultant or contact customer service at 877-612-6770.
Do I have to pay in full at the time of my order?
Payment in full is required before an order can ship. We have provisions for temporary holds of merchandise while wire transfer or other arrangements are made. We also have a flexible payment plan (Flex Plan) that provides for payment spread out over 90 days. A customer service representative will be happy to assist with such requests.
What are Whiteflash turn-around times?
We make every effort to turn around orders promplty, while at the same time exercising great care and attention to detail. We provide free Fedex insured delivery with every new order.
In-house diamonds (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection and Premium Select) can usually be shipped same day if payment is received by noon.
Virtual Selection diamonds (or those sourced for you) can usually be shipped the same day that diamond is approved and payment recieved, provided payment arrives before noon. The complete virtual selection process involves extensive handling, real time gemological reviews, imaging and approval. Logistics and unforseen delays can impact the start to finish process time. Please see this page for more information about our Virtual Diamond Service.
For catalogue items we endeavor to meet or beat the delivery times included in all our product descriptions. However, due to seasonal demand fluctuations or situational events, there are occasional delays. We will advise you at the soonest possible time of any delays expected on your order.
Custom design projects are usually completed in about a month. Because of the nature of this process, the time frames cannot always be predicted with certainty. Please see our Custom Jewelry Design page for more details.
What forms or procedures are required to process my order?
Because we deal in expensive items, for your protection there are sometimes security steps necessary to process your order. Depending on many different factors you may be required to fax or email forms for verification, and in some cases we will need to speak to you before proceeding with your order. The process is usually very straight forward and worth the extra effort in order to be certain that the transaction is secure.
How much does Whiteflash charge for shipping?
We provide FREE SHIPPING on all initial orders!
In cases where shipping is the customer's responsibility, information can be found regarding fees and other important issues on our shipping policy page
Who pays for shipping and insurance in a mixed situation?
All Whiteflash orders come with one free FedEx shipping. However if the diamond or setting was not purchased from Whiteflash the customer is charged for the insurance portion of the FedEx shipping costs of that diamond or setting.
Is my order insured while in transit?
Yes. All outbound Whiteflash shipments are insured until the package is picked up.
Because values are typically very high, there are specific procedures that Whiteflash follows to ensure the security of your jewelry. Please see our shipping policy page for important details.
Can I get a Fed Ex tracking number to track my package?
You will be given a tracking number if your order has been paid by wire transfer.
Because of the high values involved, for your protection tracking numbers are not given on orders paid by credit card. This prevents unauthorized diversion of the package to another location. You will have to be present and show identification in order to pick up the package.
Do you ship to Australia and are there special provisions as a result of AUSFTA?
Yes, we have alot of great customers from the land down under! And yes, the Australia United States Free Trade agreement has advantages. We have created a page of information and helpful links about AUSFTA. *Be sure to verify the information at your local offices as things may have changed since this page was updated.
International Shipping -which countries does Whiteflash ship to?
We ship to destinations worldwide. We are limited only by the ability to deliver high value packages securely to certain locations. Please see our international shipping list for countries we currently service. If your country is not on the list, please contact us for current status as delivery options do change.
What is your return policy?
Our return policy is designed to give you complete confidence in your purchase. All in-stock diamonds (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection and Premium Select) and regular catalogue items are covered by a full 30-day money back guarantee. Diamonds from our Virtual Selection category as well as diamonds and jewelry that may be sourced for you from outside vendors are covered by a 10 day money back guarantee. Jewelry that is custom made or altered from original specifications (other than normal sizing) are not returnable. For important details please see our return policy page.
Can I exchange or trade-In a diamond I buy from you at a later date?
Yes! One of the outstanding benefits of buying Whiteflash diamonds is that all in-house diamonds come with industry best 100% Guaranteed Lifetime Trade Up Policy. You can trade your diamond at any time for a diamond of equal or greater value.
Do you accept diamonds for trade up that were purchased elsewhere?
Unfortunately, no. Our Trade-Up benefit only applies to qualifying diamonds purchased from Whiteflash.
Can I trade in my Whiteflash pendant, bracelet or earrings?
Our trade up benefit only applies to certified diamonds. If your pendant or earrings contain qualifying diamonds they are eligible. While the jewelry settings are not eligible, we will make you an offer for an allowance based upon raw materials.
For more details about our trade-in and upgrade please visit our page about Lifetime Trade-Up.
Will Whiteflash price-match?
Whiteflash pricing is designed to be highly competitive. Because we provide many benefits and assurances that others do not, there are times when a competitor may be offering an item at a lower price. While we may not be able to match the price, we would love to talk to you about it. It is important to us that you know full value proposition that comes with making your important purchase from Whiteflash, including trade-up and buyback guaranties, free One Year Service Plan, and Referral Policy, as well as our comprehensive gemological evaluations, light performance imaging, creative photography, and ISO 9000 certified multi-level quality control.
We care about safeguarding your privacy and your sensitive information. Please see our Privacy Policies
page for details.
What is the Whiteflash pricing policy?
Whiteflash is dedicated to providing the absolute best products, services and benefits at extremely competitive prices. We post comprehensive information, including pricing, to a huge number of products that change on a daily basis. We make every effort for that information to be current and accurate and that products are available. In the event that pricing or other errors occur on our website, we will do our best to work with customers for satisfactory resolution to the issue, but we do reserve the right to void orders that we cannot fill due to errors.
Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA)
*The following is intended to point our Australian customers to information that may be helpful in determining taxes and duties that may and may not be applicable to your purchase from Whiteflash.com. It is important for customers to verify this information independently before completing a transaction as laws do change and information and links contained within this article may become outdated or be otherwise incorrect.
Contained in this article:
The International trade agreement known as AUSFTA went into effect on January 1, 2005 as a means of stimulating trade between Australia and the United States. Under AUSFTA, Australia and the United States have agreed to eliminate customs duties on goods originating from the other country.
Because most of the jewelry products that Whiteflash.com sells are manufactured in-house they may qualify as originating in the U.S. under AUSFTA, even if certain components (such as diamonds, precious stones, and precious metals) originate from other countries. These products may therefore become eligible for preferential treatment and exemption from import duty into Australia. For high value products costing in the thousands of dollars, duty exemption may save the customer hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their purchase! The trade agreement also provides a process for receiving refunds of any duties paid in the last four years for qualifying imports.
In an effort to make the process convenient and seamless for our customers, Whiteflash.com makes specific notations on the commercial documents to ensure that Australian customs has the information they need to properly classify the products and apply any duty exemptions that qualify. We use FedEx exclusively for shipments to Australia and our documentation specifically alerts customs that the product may be eligible for preferential treatment under AUSFTA.
No extra action should therefore be required on the part of our customers to ensure that a qualifying import is cleared free of duty. But some customers take the additional precaution of calling their local customs office as soon as they receive their tracking number further alerting them that the item should clear under AUSFTA.
*Although a product is duty free, other fees and taxes that may be payable such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) are not exempted by AUSFTA.
For customers that have imported items in the past four years on which duty was paid on items eligible for preferential treatment under AUSFTA, Australian customs provides a form that can be filed in order to get a refund. This form can also be obtained from Fed Ex if the import was delivered by them and they will file it. * You might be eligible for refund of some GST in addition to duty, as GST is calculated after duty is added.
It should also be noted that loose diamonds are duty free even apart from the AUSFTA.
Article 5.12: Claims for Preferential Treatment
1. Each Party shall provide that an importer may make a claim
for preferential treatment under this Agreement based on the
importer’s knowledge or on information in the importer’s possession
that the good qualifies as an originating good.
2. Each Party may require that an importer be prepared to
submit, on request, a statement setting forth the reasons that the good
qualifies as an originating good, including pertinent cost and
manufacturing information. The statement need not be in a
prescribed format, and may be submitted electronically, where
Article 5.12 of AUSFTA does not require a certificate of origin. The information can
be in any form that the manufacturer wishes to provide, so long as it shows that the
imported good meets the rules of origin requirements of AUSFTA.
"Customs operates in a self-assessment environment, where information provided to it
is treated in the first instance as true and correct.
When a customs entry states that a US preference rate of duty applies, this will be
taken to indicate that the importer of the goods possesses information, or knowledge,
as required in Article 5.12, paragraph 1, above, that this declaration is correct."
Claiming Preferential Treatment / Exporting to the United States
Under the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement, the onus for making a claim for a preferential tariff rate for a product rests with the importer.
The Agreement does not require a Certificate of Origin in support of a claim for preference. However, importers claiming preference for a good must be prepared to submit, upon request by Customs authorities, a statement setting out the reasons why that particular Rule of Origin applies. The Agreement does not specify a particular format for such a statement.
Customs officials can require importers to maintain documents relating to purchases and costs for up to five years after importation should investigation and verification of preference claims be required. Customs officials can also seek information from exporters in verifying claims.
Period for Lodging a Refund Application
An application for refund of duty paid on goods imported on or after 12 October 2005 must be lodged within a four (4) year period after the date on which the duty was paid. An application for refund of duty on goods imported prior to 12 October 2005 can now only be considered in specified exceptional circumstances – please contact Customs for advice if you think they may apply.
For More Information
For information on obtaining refund of import duty on goods for export, see the EXPORT CONCESSIONS DUTY DRAWBACK SCHEME fact sheet and the Refund of Customs Import Duty Practice Statement on www.customs.gov.au
For information on any Customs matter, contact the Customs Information and Support Centre on 1300 363 263, email email@example.com
Tariff Classifications (see page 30 for jewelry related items)
Customs Tariff Schedules pertaining to jewelry
Determination of Originating Goods
Refund of Duties Paid
Australian Customs' dedicated refund centre (03)9244 8054.
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is The Whiteflash Guarantee?
The Whiteflash Guarantee is a comprehensive set of assurance policies designed to give you complete confidence in your purchase. It starts with multi-level quality control systems certified for ISO 9000
and a complete satisfaction money back return policy
. It includes our promise that we sell only conflict free diamonds
. Every jewelry item we sell is also backed by a One-Year Service policy.
Can I get a commission or reward for recommending a friend to Whiteflash?
YES! Our Referral and Customer Loyalty program was designed to provide extra incentive for recommending Whiteflash to friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the most important ways that we grow our business and we love sending out those referral checks! You can also benefit when you come back to make additional purchases for yourself ("self" referral).
Find out how it works and how easy it is to get rewarded by reading our Referrals and Customer Loyalty page.
How can I sell my diamond or jewelry items?
While Whiteflash regularly does trade-ups and buybacks covered under our value added benefits, we do not buy from the public at large. There are several ways to go about selling your valuables. As a service to our customers we provide information on our "How to Sell a Diamond" page that gives the pros and cons of various methods. There is also a recommendation of a reputable company that Whiteflash recommends at the bottom of the article.
Will Whiteflash copy a setting I saw somewhere else?
We will not copy designer pieces as they are the creative property of the artist. If you love everything about the designer style we recommend you purchase the original from the designer. Our custom design process enables us to put together design elements inspired by a style you like in order to create a new style, but it must not be a duplicate of a trademarked design. Many designs are in the public domain and not trademarked and therefore can be replicated. Our diamond consultants can help you determine what is possible.
To see styles from some of the top bridal designers please see our designer engagement rings page.
Will Whiteflash build a custom design using my diamond or gemstone?
Unfortunately, the Whiteflash custom design process is reserved for Whiteflash diamonds. You can select from our in-house categories (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection, and Premium Select) as well as from our Virtual Selection category or diamonds otherwised sourced for you by a Whiteflash consultant.
We can set your certified diamond into Whiteflash catalogue settings and settings from our designers. For more details please see our page on working with customer property.
What is the payment process for a custom design project?
There is no charge to have our team evaluate your project and provide you with a firm quote. In order to proceed from that point full payment is required. (Full payment of any certified diamond or other feature gemstone going into the custom piece is also required). The project then goes to our designer who builds your project in CAD software. Photorealistic images of the design are shared with you for your approval. One minor modification is allowed at no extra charge. If you should decide not to proceed at this point you will be refunded the amount of your payment less a non-refundable $250 design fee. Upon design approval, your project will to move to the production phase. At this point it the order is non-refundable.
For more information see our page on the custom jewelry design process.
How long does it take to make custom jewelry?
We are very experienced in computer aided jewelry design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM). Our step-by-step process, during which customers work directly with our senior designer, is relatively quick. The design phase requires approximately 7 business days. Upon finalization of design and customer approval of CAD renderings (photo realistic images), the design goes to production and it takes approximately 12 business days to build and finish the piece.
For more information see our page on the custom jewelry design process.
Can you design a piece of jewelry from my sketch?
Yes. Our custom jewelry design process involves collaboration between you and our senior designer. You can provide design ideas through sketches, pictures, or even verbal descriptions. One of our diamond and jewelry consultants can guide you through the process and gather your information and get you a quote.
How do the CAD images differ from what the finished piece will look like?
Computer "renderings" generated from the CAD file are quite realistic, but there are important subtle differences between these images and what you will see when the piece is finished. The primary difference is that the program file includes extra metal that will necessarily be removed in the finishing and polishing steps. Therefore prongs look longer, edges sharper and the piece is overall a bit bulkier than it will be when finished.
Can you send me the CAD file so I can look at it using my software?
You will get renderings (computer generated images) from the CAD file but not the file itself. As a normal part of our agreement Whiteflash retains all rights to the design. We provide information and CAD renderings necessary for the customer to verify that the design elements have been assembled in the manner specified and that the overall design captures what the customer envisioned.
Can I speak to the designer before he starts working project?
Yes. If you feel that a preliminary conversation is necessary for the designer to fully understand your project, you may request that the designer contact you before beginning work on your project.
Grading Lab Overview and Differences
The grading of diamonds can and does vary. Apart from carat weight (which is not subjective) the color and clarity grades a diamond receives differ, depending on the standards and strictness of the laboratory that does the grading. To a lesser degree grades can even vary within labs.
The American Gem Society (AGS) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA) are recognized as having very strict standards. The International Gemological Institute (IGI) having labs all around the world and the Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD) in Antwerp shares a similar reputation for top grading standards. These laboratories hold to the highest, most traditional standards of diamond grading. Other major laboratories vary. In our experience the European Gemological Laboratories USA Group (EGL-USA) has higher standards than their other international locations (EGL-LABS), but all of them are less strict than the AGS and GIA. The world’s most common grading service is the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Many sellers of diamonds, including well-known chains, prefer to have their diamonds graded by the IGI.
All laboratories use trained Graduate Gemologists who adhere to that lab’s chosen set of standards. When grading, inconsistencies may occur when a diamond is on the line between two grades. Each diamond is observed by several graders and the majority opinion is used to issue the final color or clarity grades. The strictest labs are, as a rule, also the most consistent.
Practically every lab provides information on carat weight, grades for color, clarity and finish (polish & symmetry) and girdle & culet measurements. The amount of information provided on a round diamond's cut proportions varies significantly and some laboratories offer different reports internally with varying amounts of information. Most labs, particularly second and third-tier labs, provide no more than depth and table percentage, occasionally supplemented with crown and/or pavilion height percentage. Fancy shapes include even less details as a rule. This is logical, as measurements are far less useful for predicting performance in shapes other than round.
The major laboratories currently reporting all major measurements for round brilliants, including crown and pavilion angle averages, are IGI, AGS and the GIA (although the GIA reports several measurements in rounded form).
There are boutique labs, small and independently run, that provide far more information and reporting than their major counterparts, including in-depth cut evaluation. Notable examples of these are the AGR in Denver, AGA in Philadelphia and SGL in Sarasota.
Cut quality determines how well a diamond will perform, therefore it is paramount in importance, but many grading reports still do not include a grade for cut. The AGS, GIA and IGI again, are the major leaders: The AGS "Diamond Quality Document" (DQD) assigns a grade based on a scan of the diamond which is ray-traced to arrive at numerical values. The AGS also offers a "Diamond Quality Report" (DQR) which costs less and provides all measurements, a cut grade but not light performance. The AGS' top cut grade of 0 ('AGS Ideal') is considered very strict. Since the AGS Ideal cut grade also requires highest marks in proportions factors (durability) and finish (polish & symmetry), these diamonds are sometimes called 'triple zeros.' In 2005 the AGS switched from proportions, or measurements assessment, to direct light performance assessment. The GIA began grading cut for rounds in 2006. Their top cut grade of Excellent is currently based on proportions assessment (much like the old AGS system was). Although they approach cut grading differently, either lab's top grade is a good assurance of durability and finish. The GIA's top grade is not as narrow as the AGS', but the information provided is useful to discerning shoppers.
IGI Antwerp have had a proportion (cut) grade since 1975 - 30 years prior to GIA which has subsequently been improved upon. EGL USA has offerd a performance grade since July 2007 based on Imagem light behavior technology. We will be better able to assess the system's strictness once those diamonds begin hitting the market and reach the hands of independent appraisers and other experts in a position to give unbiased feedback.
Independent appraisers have their own standards for grading. Like laboratories, appraisers vary in strictness and consistency. It is not uncommon for an appraiser doing a blind evaluation to vary from the lab in color or clarity by a grade (particularly when the diamond is on the line between two grades). Mounted diamonds are especially hard to agree-on, so the standard for these may be two grades difference. Some appraisers maintain the high standards of the AGS and GIA while others do not. The AGS GIA and IGI have training programs and most reputable appraisers have completed coursework with these organizations.
Grading accuracy will never be 100% consistent as long as some elements are subjective and graded by humans, but laboratories and appraisers who maintain high standards and disclose complete information also tend to have the greatest consistency and reputability.
Grading Lab Symmetry vs Optical Symmetry (Hearts & Arrows)
Many people don't realize the Symmetry grade on a diamond's laboratory report only refers to external meet point symmetry (facet junctions meeting equally) and uniformity of the diamond's external shape.
Optical Symmetry, on the other hand, is the type of symmetry that is seen through a Hearts & Arrows viewer (both crown and pavilion views) or an ideal-scope/ASET image (crown view). Optical Symmetry is the observable result of how the diamond's facets physically align with each other internally, and how light reflects inside the diamond.
The fact that some diamond experts use simply 'symmetry' when referring to optical symmetry confuses the issue for newcomers.
Graphic examples follow.
(they are not the same)
EXAMPLE A: Meet Point Symmetry (graded by labs)
What is evaluated here?
Facet junctions meeting equally: Seeing if the lines are clean and there is no misalignment.
Uniformity of the crown in relation to the pavilion: Making certain all of the main facets are aligned - that there is no “twist.”
The diamond's symmetry grade you see on a laboratory 'certificate' is an assessment of the above. Studies have concluded that there is negligible visible difference between Ideal, EX and VG in lab-issued symmetry and polish grades.
EXAMPLE B: Optical symmetry (not graded by labs)
Also called Patterning or Hearts & Arrows Patterning
What is evaluated here ?
Good physical symmetry resulting from a detailed indexing of the facets (crown and pavilion facets appear in their correct place on the ‘clock’).
How precisely patterned and flat facets are relative to their opposites (that there is no shift in the azimuth). When a cutter takes the facet (polishes it) from E to W, rather than from N to S, it can cause an azimuth shift, resulting in facet yaw. This will show in optical symmetry.
Variation between crown and pavilion angles: It is acceptable to have some variation (subject to limitations) as long as there is no E-W yaw and opposite facets average correctly. Some might consider this an angles/proportions issue, but it is directly related to physical symmetry, as the question here is opposite facet relations, averaging and resultant light interaction. For that matter, it has been observed that a slight variation in opposite angles can improve overall scintillation and contrast as long as there is no presence of E-W yaw.
What does this mean?
Meet point symmetry is external, the labs do not look at how each individual facet performs or interacts with other facets internally; They check only junctions and crown/pavilion relations. This means a diamond can receive a grade of Ideal or Excellent in symmetry but may still have indexing issues (bottom clock in relation to the top clock), facet tilt, or yaw and extreme variations in angle measurements. The only way to observe physical symmetry is through a reflecting viewer.
EXAMPLE C: Both of these diamonds were graded EXCELLENT in Symmetry
Both diamonds were photographed using a hearts & arrows viewer. Both received a top grade of Excellent in symmetry. The difference in facet relationships is obvious, but on paper the symmetry grade is the same.
This is how patterning - or optical symmetry - differs from lab graded symmetry. To learn more about optical symmetry, visit our information on Hearts & Arrows and our Whiteflash A Cut Above superideal Hearts & Arrows diamonds..
What are the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor) and GIA Cut Estimators?
These online computerized estimators predict performance for a diamond when proportions are plugged in. In 2001 Australian geologist Garry Holloway introduced the HCA which gained great popularity on the internet. The GIA cut estimator is based on a similar principal.
The GIA cut estimator uses a scale of 5 levels. The top grade, “Excellent,” overlaps several AGS grades. This wider range allows for configurations farther away from Tolkowsky’s and a broader range of taste. The other grades in GIA’s system are Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
The Holloway Cut Advisor is a discriminating tool and will identify those diamonds predicted to be highly beautiful (the top 5% of known performers). It is a useful tool for rejection, but should not be used to select one good diamond over another. The best use of HCA is a final check on your selection to ensure it is a good performer.
Visible Effects of Painting & Digging on Superideal Diamonds
With grateful acknowledgment to John Pollard, Sergey Sivovolenko, AGSL and GIA Laboratories for valuable resources and input. Graphics produced with DiamCalc software by OctoNus.
Note: This article pertains only to 'superideal' diamonds, meaning those with commonly agreed 'ideal' proportions and a high level of optical symmetry. Our understanding is that this diamond category makes up less than 1% of all round brilliant diamonds produced. The effects can be quite different on deeper and shallower diamonds.
Preface: Common Questions
Q: What are painting & digging?
A: They are approaches taken in final stages of polish, or brillianteering.
Painting shifts upper/lower girdle facets toward the mains so angles are closer together. The result is that average girdle thickness where the half junctions meet is greater than average thickness where the mains meet (diagram below).
Digging tilts upper/lower girdle facets away from mains so angles are farther apart. The result is that average girdle thickness where the half junctions meet is thinner than average thickness where the mains meet (diagram below).
For a more technical description refer to this GIA publication: Click Here
Q: Why Paint or Dig?
- To try and retain weight at critical points: If a diamond is close to a commercially important weight the painting approach may be used because less material is polished away. On the example below normal indexing would result in a finished diamond weighing 0.99 ct. Painting to 4 degrees - particularly on the pavilion's long lower girdle facets - allows the commercially important 1.00 ct mark to be 'saved.'
- To improve a verbal description of girdle thickness or clarity: For example, a very thick girdle may be dug out enough so that it will appear only 'slightly thick' to the grader, or an inclusion could be dug-out in order to improve the clarity grade.
- Relative to crown-only painting: To acquire desirable visual properties. A measure of crown-only painting on 'superideal' diamonds can improve the diamond's brightness and increase the amount of visible broadfire dispersion.
Q: Why is it said that Painting & Digging are bad?
A: Because the most common uses of painting & digging are 'swindling strategies' in answers 1 and 2, above. What is not commonly known is that a measure of crown-only painting on superideal makes can be used to acquire desirable visual properties. Remember that the 'superideal' category of diamonds makes up less than 1% of all round diamonds produced.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate the differences between crown-only painting (which can be positive) and pavilion painting or digging of any kind (which are negative).
Surface Graining, Pinpoints or Additional Clouds 'not shown'??
What does it mean?
Many times a diamond grading report will list surface graining, pinpoints, additional clouds, etc. as 'not shown.' The diamond's report is just noting that these things exist for sake of thoroughness. 'Not shown' means they are non-issues.
Surface Graining is diamond structural irregularity. You can see it with a microscope. The diamond graining may resemble faint facet junction lines, or cause a grooved or wavy surface. They look like polishing lines, but they often cross facet junctions where polishing lines don't. It is a natural characteristic of the diamond crystal, and not a reflection of the diamond's cut quality.
Pinpointing are miniscule spots internal to a Diamond. A diamond's cluster of pinpoints can form a cloud. To draw them would make them appear far more intense than they actually are, and would give a false impression of the diamond's clarity grade. For the sake of thoroughness Additional Clouds are mentioned, since they were taken into consideration for the diamond's total clarity grade. Not drawing them is standard procedure and nothing to worry about.