Brian Gavin Diamonds Review
9 Minute Read
Brian Gavin founded BGD in 2009. An expert, fifth generation diamond cutter, Gavin immigrated to the U.S. from South Africa in the 90s. First, he worked to improve the Hearts and Arrows cut, which he found unimpressive at the time.
Diamond Selection: What's the Difference Between the Brian Gavin Collections?
All of BGD's diamonds and gemstones are natural. They don't carry lab-created diamonds. All their stones also meet very high quality standards. The cut of their stones exceeds industry standards. That's BGD's main selling point.
You can search the BGD site for diamonds by shape, size, price, clarity, and color. However, they also group their diamonds into specific collections you can search. Every diamond on the BGD site is part of one of these collections.
Let's go over these collections briefly.
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
While most diamond retailers offer only round Hearts and Arrows diamonds, BGD offer cushion cuts as well as rounds. Both cuts contain 57 facets and display eight hearts and eight arrows, cut for perfect symmetry and maximum performance.
Black by Brian Gavin
The diamonds in Brian Gavin's Black collection are the cream of the crop. They're cut using a patent-pending technique that brings out the best light performance and perfect symmetry. Only the highest-graded diamonds are selected for this collection.
Brian Gavin Emerald and Princess Cuts
These signature emerald and princess diamonds are cut using a precision technique that optimizes the reflective quality of each facet. The cut is designed to bring out the greatest amount of brilliance and scintillation.
Brian Gavin Cape
Cape diamonds refer to stones with a faint to light yellow color, originally found in the British Cape Colony (South Africa). The term now covers any diamonds within that color range.
Brian Gavin Blue
Brian Gavin Preorder
The preorder program essentially expands your diamond choices. If you find a pre-cut diamond in the preorder selection with the carat weight, clarity, and color you're looking for, you can have it shipped to the Brian Gavin lab. There, they'll cut the diamond using their Hearts and Arrows technique. According to BGD, they can even predict what the finished product will look like.
Not satisfied with how your diamond looks when finished? Brian Gavin's return policy applies to these preorders, too.
Diamond Shapes and Cuts at Brian Gavin
You can't search by cut on BGD. That's because all their diamonds are cut-graded Ideal or better. You can, however, search by shape.
They offer the standard diamond shapes: round, cushion, emerald, princess, oval, pear, asscher, radiant, marquise, and heart. If you choose a round or cushion, it's going to be a part of their signature Hearts and Arrows collection. At BGD, there's no "standard cut" for diamonds in those shape categories.
The same goes for their emerald and princess shapes. They're all cut to be high-performance diamonds that reflect as much light as possible.
Fancy Color Diamonds and Gems
BGD also offer a wide array of fancy color diamonds, including some pretty rare shades you don't see at every diamond retailer. Their chameleon diamonds, for example, start out with a greenish tone but change color when heated or exposed to light after prolonged storage in the dark. They also carry cognac and champagne diamonds, which certainly resemble their namesake spirits.
They also offer colored gemstones. While many gems don't fetch the same prices as diamonds, BGD's selection is another story. They sell loose rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, which are much rarer than diamonds. These gems cost between $4,000 and almost $100,000, depending on the color, type, and size.
In the BGD jewelry section, you'll find a wider variety of more affordable gems. However, the jewelry selection itself is limited, since their pieces are made in-house.
The Buying Experience: Engagement Rings
If you're shopping for an engagement ring, your experience at BGD is going to be different than what it would be at a retailer like James Allen or Blue Nile. Since BGD deal only in high-end, precision-cut stones, your choices are a little more limited but no less stunning.
Starting With the Ring
You can start with the engagement ring drop-down menu and choose from their custom rings. How custom they are, though, depends on the ring. Some come with the diamond already set. With others, you must choose the stones. However, you have your choice of metal for any ring you purchase. You can choose from 14K or 18K white, yellow, or rose gold or platinum.
You can also search for rings by other designers, besides Brian Gavin, or from one of several of BGD's signature ring collections.
By working with the designers at BGD, you can have them create a fully custom ring. You can even get a stone that meets your exact quality standards custom cut.
For an extra $30, most rings can be engraved, too. And if you're not sure about size, BGD can send you a free ring sizer.
Starting With the Stone
You can start with one of BGD's signature stones and then add it to the setting.
Using the Diamond Finder, you can also search by price, carat, shape, clarity, and color. (Remember, there's no wiggle room on cut. All of BGD diamonds are Ideal cut or better).
When you click on a diamond in the results list, you'll get all the specs for that stone and an image of its grade report. On some other sites, you'll have to request them.
There are several image and video options for viewing a stone's sparkle and brilliance. You can zoom in and out for each one. You can also see an "eye-clean" image for each stone, which will prove it has no inclusions visible to the naked eye, even at 5x magnification.
If you're not sure about your selection, you can use the "View Comparisons" link to view other stones you've selected. The "Similar Diamond" link can also help you continue your search. If you have a question, hit the "Ask an Expert" button to live chat.
Please note that not all BGD stones come with video, particularly those in their 2+ carat section called "We Do Big Rocks". If you only want to see diamonds with videos, check the "Must Have Video" box in the search field in the Diamond Finder.
How to Save Money at Brian Gavin Diamonds
If you're on a tight budget for your engagement ring, BGD might not be the place for you. Their diamonds, gems, and jewelry often exceed industry standards and are priced accordingly.
If you just want to shave off a little from the price, you can certainly play with color, clarity, and carat settings in the Diamond Finder.
In addition, shapes like marquises, ovals, and emeralds might help you save money. Their large tables and elongated shapes make them appear larger than a round of the same carat weight. You could opt for a smaller (and less expensive) stone that will still impress.
Don't overlook your ring metal options. If you like the look of white metals, consider white gold instead of platinum. You can also juggle your ring metal and diamond color options for additional savings. Some lower diamond color grades will actually look whiter in yellow or rose gold.
Finally, your payment options can also save you money. If you wire your payment rather than use a credit card, you can lower the price of your purchase by $200 to $300.
Customer Service at Brian Gavin Diamonds
If you're going to purchase a ring from BGD, you need to know what you're looking for. For example, if you know you want a fluorescent or Hearts and Arrows diamond, it will make your buying experience a lot easier.
What if I Don't Know Anything About Diamonds?
If you know nothing about diamonds, BGD can still help. They have an extensive education section that walks you through the Four Cs — color, clarity, cut, and carat — and the different collections at BGD. They also have helpful blog posts on every aspect of diamond buying, an FAQ, and even videos featuring Brian Gavin himself discussing diamonds.
Of course, you can always live chat with an expert, or simply contact them via email.
What if I Don't Like the Ring or Something Happens to it?
BGD diamonds come with a lifetime warranty, so if something happens, you're covered. They also partner with Jewelers Mutual, so you can insure your purchase.
If the diamond or ring you receive isn't what you pictured, you can send it back within 15 days of receiving it, but you have to pay for the shipping yourself. And hold onto that grade report. If you return the ring without it, they'll charge you an extra $200!
If you need the ring resized, BGD will do it for free for one size up or down, but it's an additional cost for resizing beyond that. Again, you have to pay for shipping.
If you eventually decide to upgrade your diamond, BGD have a lifetime upgrade program. For diamonds from certain collections, you can apply 100% of the cost of your original purchase (minus shipping) toward the cost of the new diamond. Make sure to review their policy to understand what constitutes an upgrade. And again, make sure you have the grade report.
So are Brian Gavin Diamonds Worth the Money?
It's pretty easy to find a lovely, eye-clean diamond without spending a lot of money. However, if you're looking for something next-level, something with superior performance and perfect symmetry, then BGD is absolutely worth the money.
BGD may have a more limited inventory than other sites, but that's because they're more selective about their brand. Their diamonds are for the more discerning customers, looking for the perfect diamond engagement ring.
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