HW vs. Cartier vs. the Rest


Hi Fred,
How much superior are Harry Winston diamonds to Cartier to an excellent quality GIA diamond from a local jeweler?

I'm looking for an engagement ring with a $15,000-$17,000 budget. Can I find a comparable diamond from "the rest" at a much more competitive price or is it really worth buying a HW or Cartier? A 1.09 round from HW in F color, VS1 runs around $20k. 1.10 round Cartier G color, VVS1 runs around $17k.

Please advise.

Thank you,


Hi Tim,

Q1: The quality difference between HW/Cartier and GIA “excellent” graded diamonds could be night and day or the same. Please keep in mind that since GIA does not guarantee their grades and their use of the term “ranges” in their disclaimers, their reports could vary dramatically. Don’t confuse a lab grading report with a FBA (fully bonded appraisal). Since subjective terminologies like “excellent”, “ideal”, “signature ideal”, etc. are not regulated by the FTC, anyone can misuse them as long as they define their definition somewhere–even in super fine print buried somewhere in their long non-guaranteed paperwork.
Q2: You could get a Vivid White Diamond (TM)–typical quality sold by guild stores–at local jewelers without the high mark-up. We could help you find a reputable jeweler in your area. Where do you live?