Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) diamonds are of top-notch quality when it comes to gems. They boast extraordinary fire and brilliance, and compared to an average diamond you can buy at a jewelry store, a Triple X diamond appears visibly superior.
Yet, even though Triple Excellent diamonds are undoubtedly crème de la crème in regards to cut quality, they are not always worth spending your hard-earned money on – and here’s why: There is more to a diamond – so always consider color, clarity, fluorescence, and proportions, too.
We can agree that GIA XXX-certified diamonds are a good choice as long as you consider all the other features. But do not rush to any conclusions only on the basis of the Triple Excellent standard, though.
Start by learning all there is about Triple Excellent diamonds! We’ll help you out!
What Are Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) Diamonds?
Numerous terms are used for Triple Excellent diamonds, such as “Three Excellent,” “Triple Ex,” and “Triple X.” All these terms serve the same purpose – to describe diamonds of superb cut quality, polish rating, and symmetry.
Therefore, all the diamonds that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates as excellent in the above categories are considered the Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) stones. Surprisingly, the terms we’ve mentioned aren’t used by the GIA; they are used only by jewelers.
How Does GIA Grade Diamonds?
The GIA grades diamonds by utilizing a scale that ranges from poor to excellent. The grades issued by GIA are as follows:
- Very Good
Before any grade is issued, the diamond is assessed and closely examined in a lab. The final GIA Diamond Grading Report includes information on:
The report is based on scientifically determined information and an unbiased 4 Cs assessment. There are also GIA Diamond Dossiers, which are more compact versions of the GIA Diamond Grading Reports. GIA Dossiers are available for stones that weigh between 0.15 and 1.99 carats. They include all 4 Cs grading results – but without the plotted diagrams.
Diamonds can have only a GIA online report (GIA Diamond eReport) too, and it also contains detailed grading results based on 4 Cs. Some stones have their report numbers inscribed on the girdle. The laser inscription is optional but provides additional security for the buyer and allows for easy identification of the stone when it is needed.
The GIA offers inscribing customized messages, too. You can personalize your diamond and add a date, text, or symbol you desire.
1. Excellent Cut Quality
Cut quality is among the most critical factors in assessing a diamond’s value. It has to do with the stone’s proportions, depth, and the angles of its facets. The quality of the cut affects how the light goes through the diamond and bounces around. It directly influences several aspects of a diamond, including:
The highest grade for cut quality issued by GIA is excellent. It is reserved for diamonds that emit intense brightness and superb sparkle and fire. Such diamonds do not have visible light or dark patches nor appear dull to the eye.
2. Excellent Symmetry
The symmetry of a diamond is determined by the preciseness of its shape. So, if the facets are perfectly aligned and proportional, the diamond can receive an excellent grade in this category. In order to be rated this high, the same types of facets have to be identical in:
All of the facets must meet at the girdle. Likewise, facets on the top of the diamond (the crown) must align with the points of the facets on the bottom (the pavilion). That means that the top octagonal table facet needs to be centered, while the bottom facets should meet at a designated point at the tip of the stone.
Diamonds that receive the highest grade in symmetry return light more efficiently. As a result, they look balanced and harmonious to the eye.
3. Excellent Polish
Polish is a category that represents the quality of the finish. The smoother the surface of the diamond is, the higher its grade in this category. A diamond that receives an excellent grade can’t show any defects even at 10X magnification.
Namely, the polish wheel often creates minor surface defects, like pits and polish lines, that are invisible to the human eye – and can be tolerated in gemstones of lower grade. However, in order to receive the highest rating, such diamonds have to be re-polished.
Diamonds with no surface defects boast extraordinary shine, sparkle, and mirror-like effects. And the smoother the diamond facets, the better the reflection. Diamonds that have excellent proportions, symmetry, and polish gather light from around the observer and then reflect it in a spectacular play of scintillation, brightness, and fire.
Should You Buy Only Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) Diamonds?
Buying a triple excellent (GIA XXX) diamond is a good idea. However, diamonds that do not come with this rating can be worthy of your attention, as well.
The overall cut grade is greatly influenced by its symmetry and polish, but some diamonds do not have the highest rating in these categories and still receive an excellent cut grade.
The difference between a diamond that receives a very good polish grade and a diamond with excellent polish quality is visible only to experts – and even then, only under magnification. For this reason, numerous diamonds with very good polish and symmetry get excellent cut grades.
Cut, polish, and symmetry – no matter how perfect – cannot stand alone. There’s so much more to consider when determining the quality and beauty of the diamond.
Therefore, a diamond can look beautiful even though it is not graded as triple excellent. Find the stone you will fall in love with, instead!
Are Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) Diamonds Very Rare?
The short answer is – no. So, if you have your heart set on buying a Triple Excellent gemstone, go for it. You should have no trouble finding one.
How come there are so many Triple X diamonds on the market?
Mostly due to consumer demand. People nowadays look for diamonds with excellent GIA ratings, and jewelers must respond to this tendency. Luckily for them, the technological advances allow jewelers to easily manufacture high-quality diamonds. They have no trouble cutting precious stones following standards that GIA defined.
After all, GIA defined its standards based on extensive research on the diamond scintillation patterns that people find appealing. Their cutting parameters are now distributed to all cutting centers – and used to cut most diamonds you can find in jewelry stores.
It is the golden standard of the diamond industry.
Moreover, most companies now own the machines needed to cut precious stones to the best possible proportions automatically. High-quality, well-crafted gems such as Triple X diamonds have, thus, become pretty common.
Are Triple X Diamonds More Expensive?
Yes, Triple X diamonds usually cost more. If you’re on a budget, you should best consider the difference – or even give up on triple excellent (GIA XXX) stones. Do not be disappointed, though. You can buy a diamond that appears almost identical to an Excellent Triple gem for less money.
We have already brushed upon this subject: Diamonds with very good polish and symmetry do not cost as much as Triple X diamonds with similar characteristics, yet, the two look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
If you are not an expert, the chances that you’ll be able to spot the visual difference between such stones and a Triple X diamond are almost non-existent.
So, why not save some money? You can save even more by opting for a stone with a lower color, clarity, or carat weight. Diamonds with faint or medium fluorescence cost less, so they might be a good bargain, too.
The good news is: You do not have to compromise much on the visual impact of the stone you buy. If you properly prioritize the 4 Cs, you can save money and have a beautiful diamond. With all this said, we must warn you that you won’t save a fortune! It’s best to keep your expectations low.
At the end of the day, the difference in price between Triple X diamonds and diamonds with somewhat lower cut, polish, and symmetry grades, is not huge. It might even be insignificant to some buyers.
Therefore, if you have a few dollars to spare, feel free to purchase a Triple Excellent diamond. After all, the Triple X designation guarantees that the stone is crafted with care and skill.
How To Choose A Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) Diamond
Most jewelry stores you go to will probably have promotional signs with terms such as “Triple Excellent” and “GIA Triple X,” which indicate you can purchase premium GIA XXX diamonds on their premises. And, of course, these diamonds will usually cost more than those without the Triple Excellent grading.
As we have already established, a Triple Excellent grade is a validation that you’ll be spending your money on an exceptionally well-cut precious stone. Besides high-quality cut, Triple X gems typically have a good level of brilliance, too.
Yet, if you want to purchase the most brilliant diamond, you’ll need to make sure it excels in other categories, as well. Numerous characteristics have a direct influence on the diamond’s brilliance and light performance.
Is it possible to stumble upon a bad Triple Ex diamond?
We wouldn’t use such a strong word as “bad,” but it’s definitely possible to come across a faulty Triple X diamond. Some GIA XXX diamonds can appear flawless at a glance – but lack the proportions needed for extraordinary light performance.
Let’s see what you need to consider when shopping for a Triple X diamond!
Diamond proportions refer to its:
- Depth or height
- The total size of the table (the flat top facet)
All these features play a crucial role in how a diamond reflects light. Optimal depth and table vary depending on the type of diamond you’re looking to buy (deep cut, shallow cut, round cut, cushion cut, and so on).
For example, the ideal depth range for a round brilliant cut diamond is between 62.9 and 59.5%. Perfect table size is usually in the 54 to 57% range.
If the stone you choose has a table that is way outside this optimal range, its light performance will be compromised. An overly large table can impede a gemstone’s brilliance by hindering the refraction of light onto its upper facets.
A Triple Excellent gem can sometimes have strong blue fluorescence, too. Such stone appears hazy – and might not be the best choice.
Three Remaining C’s: Color, Clarity, Carat Weight
As you can see, relying solely on Triple Excellent grading can sometimes fall short. And you might not get the high-quality stone you have hoped for here.
If you want the best available stone, don’t count on the Triple X grade only. Be sure to consider other features, as well – including color, clarity, and carat weight. As far as color is concerned, opt for the stone that appears colorless against its setting and pay special attention to fancy-shaped diamonds since they’re not good at hiding color.
Diamonds that have visible inclusions have a poor clarity grade. Regardless of how well these gemstones are cut, these inclusions make them appear dull and lifeless. It can happen to Triple Excellent cut diamonds, too.
And even though there is no ideal carat weight, you should still read a carat weight guide. You can also consult an expert for professional advice. You have to do your homework to purchase the best possible stone.
Where To Buy A Triple Excellent (GIA XXX) Stone?
We recommend buying your Triple X diamond from an online diamond vendor. In comparison to most brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, reputable online vendors offer better deals. After all, they have lower operating costs.
How much can you save if you buy a diamond online? You can save 30% – or even more – for a Triple X diamond of comparable quality. Amazing news, right?