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Antique Asscher with a culet?

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
I've been looking for a smaller asscher-cut or square-cut emerald diamond, approximately 5 x 5 millimeters for a project. I saw a .90 carat stone today in a local store that came out of a broken 1920s deco setting. I looked at the diamond under the store's microscope and I saw what appeared to be a culet in the center of the stone. There was a small square in the middle of the stone. Is it possible for an emerald or asscher cut stone to have a culet? Or was I seeing something else?
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 4, 2008
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10,449
possible and not uncommon
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
Thank you, Karl. I just read this https://www.pricescope.com/journal/performance-and-p3-facets-discussion-about-step-cut-diamonds and I'm pretty sure that what I am seeing is a culet. From the article, it sounds like a culet in and of itself is not detrimental to performance. I am having a very hard time judging the quality of emerald and asscher cut stones in store lighting. I just spoke to the store salesman. He said the stone is a hybrid cut and has more in common with an emerald cut than an asscher cut. It has no keel down the center. The corners of the stone are flat, so no steps on the corners. It has a much brighter center than most of the emerald cuts I've seen locally.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
8,406
HI Blue- when you say the corners are flat- do you mean it's got 90 degree corners, as opposed to beveled corners like a traditional emerald cut?
Sounds like maybe a square baguette....interesting!
What shape is the culet?

eta- I see you said square- could you see through the culet?
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
Rockdiamond|1319065105|3043785 said:
HI Blue- when you say the corners are flat- do you mean it's got 90 degree corners, as opposed to beveled corners like a traditional emerald cut?
Sounds like maybe a square baguette....interesting!
What shape is the culet?

eta- I see you said square- could you see through the culet?
Hi, Rockdiamond. This stone is currently set in a plain white gold setting with heavy squared-off prongs covering the corners. The shape of the prongs makes the stone look square, but the owner of the store, who removed the stone from its original setting, said he remembers the corners being beveled. So the prongs are the wrong shape for the stone, which is weird. Based on the way the stone was sitting in the prongs, I'm not convinced the corners are beveled, or if they are, they may not be very deeply beveled if that makes sense. The salesperson I was working with never saw the stone loose, but he's the one who said that there are no steps on the corners, meaning that the edges are flat. So he's making that statement based on how the stone looks in a setting. I asked him if the corners were flat on both the crown and the pavilion and he said he crown for sure, but he didn't know about the pavilion. So I honestly don't know what he's referring to. He said the corners being flat would make the stone easier to set. I have no clue what that means either. Is it possible to cut steps into the sides of a stone and then leave the corners of the stone completely flat without steps? That seems impossible to me. Wouldn't it be harder to stop the edge of a facet at the beveled corner and then pick it up again on the other side?

But the salesperson and I were on the phone during this discussion, and he didn't have the ring in front of him when I was asking him questions. So I'm going to go in and look at it again. The stone is very well cut with beautiful facet patterning. It is not perfectly square by measurement, but looks square visually. So the culet appears square, but it is actually a very, very slight rectangle by measurement. I could not see through the culet, and the culet was only obvious under the microscope as a pale grey square. The stone is an E color and a VVS2 clarity.

The stone had very distinct what I would call "chevron-shaped" patterning on the outer edges, similar to these stones, http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1378698.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1238433.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-VVS2-Good-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1392341.asp

But the center was not dark. I should have counted the steps, but since the stone was set it was hard to see the pavilion.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Will they let you take some pics and post them? Easiest way.
 

MeganR

Rough_Rock
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Aug 12, 2011
Messages
22
I can't really say much about the stone without seeing pictures, but I can answer your culet question. Culet facets in antique stones are definitely the norm, and the setting being from the 1920's points to the stone being from the right time period. It wasn't until the 20's that the culet facet started to be phased out for step cuts. A good example of this would be the Krupp/ Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. It is an older stone with a culet facet; does that look like what you saw in the stone?

Please do post pictures. The stone sounds very intriguing.
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
MeganR|1319119029|3044130 said:
I can't really say much about the stone without seeing pictures, but I can answer your culet question. Culet facets in antique stones are definitely the norm, and the setting being from the 1920's points to the stone being from the right time period. It wasn't until the 20's that the culet facet started to be phased out for step cuts. A good example of this would be the Krupp/ Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. It is an older stone with a culet facet; does that look like what you saw in the stone?

Please do post pictures. The stone sounds very intriguing.
Thank you, Megan, for the information on antique stones and culets. I found a photo of the Krupp diamond http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/kruppdiamond.html and, yes, this is exactly what I am seeing in the stone.

Gypsy and Megan, I will try to get photos today. I am deciding between an estate sapphire and this stone, both at the same local store. The price of this ring seems high to me -- $6300 for the stone and a very simple 14 kt. white gold setting with the wrong prongs. Is there a large mark-up on vintage diamonds?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,144
I love stones with the culet facet! Be very careful about price. I don't think you should overpay unless it is for a rare stone. I have looked at antique jewelry on ebay and some of it is grossly overpriced. Do NOT pay the asking price. See what a new asscher with those specs costs and offer a lower price.
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
diamondseeker2006|1319122634|3044160 said:
I love stones with the culet facet! Be very careful about price. I don't think you should overpay unless it is for a rare stone. I have looked at antique jewelry on ebay and some of it is grossly overpriced. Do NOT pay the asking price. See what a new asscher with those specs costs and offer a lower price.
Thank you, diamondseeker. Great advice. I just did a price comparison using the James Allen site and found that E-F colors with VVS2 clarity in the .90 to 1.0 carat range cost between $3500 and $5500. The setting this antique stone is in is a lightweight, 14 kt. band that would need to be replaced. It looks really cheap and the prongs are wrong for the stone, if it indeed has beveled corners. There is no cert with this stone. The owner states that it is an E VVS2. I believe his evaluation of the stone's color and clarity is reasonable. If I subtract $500 for the crappy setting off the price, his price still seems at least $1,000 over what a new JA stone would cost. What's a fair offer? I actually don't want the setting. I'd rather buy the stone loose. Is it okay to ask them to unmount the stone? This is a retail store that sells estate jewelry; it's not my local pawn-junk store.

Here's a link to a JA E VS1. The stone I am looking at is just under a carat though.
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-VS1-Premium-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1203772.asp
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Blue-Seeker|1319124225|3044173 said:
diamondseeker2006|1319122634|3044160 said:
I love stones with the culet facet! Be very careful about price. I don't think you should overpay unless it is for a rare stone. I have looked at antique jewelry on ebay and some of it is grossly overpriced. Do NOT pay the asking price. See what a new asscher with those specs costs and offer a lower price.
Thank you, diamondseeker. Great advice. I just did a price comparison using the James Allen site and found that E-F colors with VVS2 clarity in the .90 to 1.0 carat range cost between $3500 and $5500. The setting this antique stone is in is a lightweight, 14 kt. band that would need to be replaced. It looks really cheap and the prongs are wrong for the stone, if it indeed has beveled corners. There is no cert with this stone. The owner states that it is an E VVS2. I believe his evaluation of the stone's color and clarity is reasonable. If I subtract $500 for the crappy setting off the price, his price still seems at least $1,000 over what a new JA stone would cost. What's a fair offer? I actually don't want the setting. I'd rather buy the stone loose. Is it okay to ask them to unmount the stone? This is a retail store that sells estate jewelry; it's not my local pawn-junk store.

Here's a link to a JA E VS1. The stone I am looking at is just under a carat though.
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-VS1-Premium-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1203772.asp

I would ask him for his email. I would send him links to the JA stones-- and point out that they are over a carat, and therefore have the full carat price jump that their stone would NOT get. And then I would tell him that you prefer to support local businesses, but you would need to negotiate the price down for the unset stone. Then I'd offer him 1750 less than what he's got it listed as and let him counter and then see where you get. I wouldn't accept it for less than 1000 off. The JA stones all have GIA certificates. This one isn't certified correct? That right there is a HUGE discount-- because you are assuming risk you otherwise would avoid entirely.

I just bought an antique stone from a local jeweler. They wanted 4,000. I got them to 3,000 plus full (no% off) trade in value for some crap gold. They wanted to make the sale, I wanted the diamond. It was a good fit.

If this is the right stone for you the jeweler will make it work. But first, before you negotiate anything, post pics so we can see if it is worth your time!
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
Gypsy|1319157963|3044544 said:
Blue-Seeker|1319124225|3044173 said:
diamondseeker2006|1319122634|3044160 said:
I love stones with the culet facet! Be very careful about price. I don't think you should overpay unless it is for a rare stone. I have looked at antique jewelry on ebay and some of it is grossly overpriced. Do NOT pay the asking price. See what a new asscher with those specs costs and offer a lower price.
Thank you, diamondseeker. Great advice. I just did a price comparison using the James Allen site and found that E-F colors with VVS2 clarity in the .90 to 1.0 carat range cost between $3500 and $5500. The setting this antique stone is in is a lightweight, 14 kt. band that would need to be replaced. It looks really cheap and the prongs are wrong for the stone, if it indeed has beveled corners. There is no cert with this stone. The owner states that it is an E VVS2. I believe his evaluation of the stone's color and clarity is reasonable. If I subtract $500 for the crappy setting off the price, his price still seems at least $1,000 over what a new JA stone would cost. What's a fair offer? I actually don't want the setting. I'd rather buy the stone loose. Is it okay to ask them to unmount the stone? This is a retail store that sells estate jewelry; it's not my local pawn-junk store.

Here's a link to a JA E VS1. The stone I am looking at is just under a carat though.
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-VS1-Premium-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1203772.asp

I would ask him for his email. I would send him links to the JA stones-- and point out that they are over a carat, and therefore have the full carat price jump that their stone would NOT get. And then I would tell him that you prefer to support local businesses, but you would need to negotiate the price down for the unset stone. Then I'd offer him 1750 less than what he's got it listed as and let him counter and then see where you get. I wouldn't accept it for less than 1000 off. The JA stones all have GIA certificates. This one isn't certified correct? That right there is a HUGE discount-- because you are assuming risk you otherwise would avoid entirely.

I just bought an antique stone from a local jeweler. They wanted 4,000. I got them to 3,000 plus full (no% off) trade in value for some crap gold. They wanted to make the sale, I wanted the diamond. It was a good fit.

If this is the right stone for you the jeweler will make it work. But first, before you negotiate anything, post pics so we can see if it is worth your time!
Thank you, Gypsy. These are great suggestions, and I'm going to use all of them! You are correct; the stone is not certified. And t's in a setting. I wish it was loose because it would be a lot easier to evaluate the stone. Plus, it drives me bonkers when the salesperson tells me what a great deal the setting is because the price on the ring does not reflect the increase in gold prices. Give me a break! It's a flimsy 14 kt. white gold band with princess prongs that weighs maybe 2 grams! I actually think leaving the stone in that setting would increase the chance of damage to the beveled corners -- if indeed they are beveled -- because the princess prongs would leave a gap between the beveled edge of the stone and the corners of the prongs. So another argument I'm going to make is that the stone will need to be reset, and I'm not paying for the setting its in.

I'll have time over the weekend to stop in the store and get some photos. I have the salesperson's e-mail and I will send those JA links to him. I'm sure he'll give me some song and dance about this stone being worth more because it's an antique, but I also found some listings on some antique jewelry sites for asschers set in original deco settings for comparison. So I've got my data ready :bigsmile: Right now this store is acting like they don't care if they make the sale or not, so I really don't have anything to lose. I honestly think they are just biding their time, waiting for the Christmas season.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
One last piece of advice. Don't deal with a sales person. Speak to the owner or the top manager of the store.

You are in good shape! No matter what you get, you are on the ball, and I KNOW you will get something beautiful. =)
 
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