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A rare article about FCDs and good cut

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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FWIW, after this article was written Eightstar company was recently sold to Seng Diamonds in Kentucky.

http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=4788

A Different Angle on Colored Diamonds
Dec 1, 2000 9:57 AM By Karen Nestlebaum

By Karen Nestlebaum

Any educated diamond buyer knows that value is linked to the 4Cs. Each "C" plays into the mix to varying degrees, and it’s up to the buyer to decide whether she’d rather sacrifice color, clarity, cut or size to accommodate her budget.

In colored diamonds, however, the balance among the 4Cs has always been heavily skewed toward the elements of color and carat weight. Inclusions could be overlooked and cut standards waived, in an effort to preserve the richness of the color and as much as possible of each costly carat of the stone. Common wisdom was that if one would cut a colored diamond to the specifications of a round brilliant, the brilliance might wash out the color.

Recently, however, one company has challenged that common wisdom. Antwerp colored diamond dealer Arthur Langerman had long been dissatisfied with the sacrifice of brilliance in the cutting of colored diamonds. He asked EightStar Diamond Co. of Northern California to apply the precision cutting techniques it uses for colorless diamonds to a fancy colored diamond. EightStar bought a 1.02-carat, GIA-graded fancy vivid yellow to recut with the EightStar technique. Recut to 86-points, the stone went back to the GIA and was graded again — still fancy vivid yellow. Meanwhile, the marked increase in brilliance and improvement in symmetry more than compensated for the weight lost in the recutting.

The company repeated the experiment several more times, and each time received the news that the color grade hadn’t suffered. And so, a new line of business began under the EightStar name.

So far, the market for EightStar fancy color diamonds is limited to the few people who understand and can convey the stone’s attributes to customers. The company sells its colorless diamonds through 29 chosen wholesalers in the U.S., and so far, they are the only ones who have had access to the fancy colors. However, given the limited nature of the market, the company has said it would consider selling to other retailers who have a customer interested in this type of diamond.

Few Candidates

According to Richard von Sternberg, company president, the cutting technique has only been used to recut fancy colored diamonds that have already been cut into either brilliants or other fancy shapes. The vast majority of colored diamonds are not candidates for recutting. In some, the stone has been cut to maximize color that is unevenly dispersed. Recutting would reveal the zoning and lower the color grade. Other stones, that have been cut to poor proportions in order to retain weight, would lose too much weight to justify a recut.

"Most colored diamonds are cut so far off the proportions for maximum brilliance that it doesn’t pay to recut them," he said. He estimated that about 10 percent of the fancy colored diamonds he sees are good candidates for an EightStar recut.

Because the company’s raw material has been limited so far to stones already out there in the marketplace, its inventory and sales potential has been limited accordingly. Von Sternberg said he hopes to be able to begin cutting from rough. The trick, of course, is to develop a source for the rough. He said the company has a full-time rough dealer negotiating with mines in Canada and Africa in hopes of establishing such a source.

The Firescope

EightStar diamonds — both the colorless and the fancy colors — are brought to their optimum proportions through the guidance of the Firescope, an instrument invented in 1984 and first used in Japan. A spokesman for the company maintains that at that time, the machine was received poorly in the U.S. because the American market was largely unconcerned with cut. The industry was resistant to using a machine that would show retailers and consumers how much light was leaking out of their diamonds.

The machine operates by sending an eight-rayed red light into the upper portion of the diamond. The viewer sees red in the areas of the stone in which light is being reflected, and white where the light is leaking out of the bottom. A "perfect" stone shows an eight-rayed black star on a background of pure red.

Using this instrument as their guide, von Sternberg said, the company’s cutters are able to cut round brilliants that are completely leak-proof, providing the maximum possible brilliance. Sometimes the resulting proportions are right in line with the Tolkowsky ideal cut, but sometimes there are variations.

Marketing Director David Federman said that EightStar’s results have by-and-large supported Tolkowsky’s work to a surprising degree. However, he explained that internal features of the stone sometimes create a need for adjustments in order to bring out the diamond’s maximum brilliance. Attention to the numbers alone will not always achieve the result.

After establishing itself successfully in Japan, EightStar re-entered the American market in 1990. Since that time, cut has gone from the neglected fourth "C" to an all-consuming passion among American diamond buyers.

In its foray into the fancy colored diamond world, EightStar has had the enthusiastic backing of Arthur Langerman. In 35 years of specializing in colored diamonds, he said he had never seen one cut specifically to maximize brilliance rather than weight. "When I saw the magnificent colorless diamonds EightStar was cutting," he said, "I was eager to see what kind of colored diamonds they would produce working to the same high standards."

Von Sternberg considered it a powerful vote of confidence when Langerman sent him two fancy colored diamonds from his own inventory to recut, "almost on faith."

Challenging the Orthodoxy

EightStar’s principals feel they have now succeeded in challenging the orthodoxy on colored diamond cutting. They’ve also succeeded in bringing something new to market, although in a limited way. The question still remains as to how the improved cut will weigh into the market valuation of a fancy colored diamond.

For instance, in EightStar’s first effort, a 1.02-carat fancy vivid yellow was recut into an 86-point fancy vivid yellow. True, it didn’t lose anything on its color grade. But it did lose 16 points of weight. Also true, its proportions and symmetry improved. But in a fancy colored diamond, is the improvement in cut enough to compensate for the loss of weight? Does the market care enough about the cut of a colored diamond to pay for it?

According to Federman, the market value of a fancy colored diamond is far more subjective than that of a colorless diamond. There’s no "price list," no incremental price increase as a stone moves along the scales of color, clarity and carat weight. Far more than in the white diamond market, price is based on desirability and beauty. If the recut produces a more eye-catching stone, its value will be enhanced despite the loss of weight, Federman maintained.

Since the product is relatively new and its sales figures not public information, there’s no way to know exactly how this calculation is being borne out. But with the American appetite now attuned to gourmet cuts like hearts and arrows, triple zeros and ideals, the idea of a diamond that delivers both color and precision cut would seem to be a tantalizing addition to the menu.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
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Ah... my dream is occuring! Now I just need to earn a few million bucks, and start buying diamonds to recut with the reborn Eightstar! I'm thrilled this is happening though. So sick of seeing FCDs with crap cuts and gorgeous colour.
 

kenny

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minousbijoux

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Wow, they are so perfect looking that they look fake (I hate even saying that)
 

kas baby

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WOW. :love: :cheeky:
 

TristanC

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Messages
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Ok, somebody tell me who I have to kill.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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TristanC|1311831537|2978683 said:
Ok, somebody tell me who I have to kill.
Someone with a few million bucks in their pocket.
I'll help you. :Up_to_something: :wink2: :lol:

I WANT that blue!

I've heard it is VS1.
Can anyone find out the carat weight?
 

Rockdiamond

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The word "article" is misplaced here
"Advertisement" is what this is.

Not to say it's not interesting- and a cool idea- but the stuff written is no more educational than any other advertisement- and needs to be taken in that context.
 
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