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Are we too elitist & doing 99% of newbies a disservice?

Are good at helping enough newbie buyers?


  • Total voters
    100

prs

Brilliant_Rock
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Good point.
But the difference is I'd give that music student lessons, one on one, in person, for an hour a week, for a long time.
On PS we can only post words on a screen and links to videos.
A forum is a poor format for learning to read and play music, but is very good for diamond education.

If a noob gets overloaded and just wants good product, service, value and to not be ripped off but learn zero technical stuff, it's their job so say so.
I'd respond with 5 simple words, "Just go buy an ACA."
Done.
This is true but, like most other enablers, you forgot to mention paying the 30%+ premium for a super ideal cut.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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This is true but, like most other enablers, you forgot to mention paying the 30%+ premium for a super ideal cut.
Enabler? :doh:

Nice.
 
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MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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This is true but, like most other enablers, you forgot to mention paying the 30%+ premium for a super ideal cut.
It is not enabling - I think you are missing the point. If a poster doesn't want to pay the premium for a sure thing, then they will have to put in the time to read and learn. You can't have it both ways.

PS is first and foremost a diamond education forum. It is not a diamond concierge service. As with all things in life, you glean from it what you can, you apply that information or recommendation to your situation, and you discard the rest. No one is twisting anyone's arm to buy anything.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
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It is not enabling - I think you are missing the point. If a poster doesn't want to pay the premium for a sure thing, then they will have to put in the time to read and learn. You can't have it both ways.

PS is first and foremost a diamond education forum. It is not a diamond concierge service. As with all things in life, you glean from it what you can, you apply that information or recommendation to your situation, and you discard the rest. No one is twisting anyone's arm to buy anything.
Figuring out diamond pricing is a complicated business, and if you haven't already figured out the 4Cs how could possibly have figured out pricing? Yet we shunt newbies off to super ideal branded cut vendors like it's a no-brainer, and without a mention of the significant premium they are going to pay.

If newbies were told up front you are going to pay a whole lot more for one of these super ideal branded diamonds, maybe they would be motivated to do their homework. That's not to say they won't still pick a super ideal, but at least they'd do it with their eyes wide open.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Prices are clearly stated. There is no smoke and mirrors regarding diamond prices online. If they state their budget, they may be given options that might include a super ideal. Most people have already been looking around either online or in stores. That is generally how they happen upon PS. I don’t think they are stumbling into diamonds completely blind. They can certainly look at vendor websites as well.
As I have said before, finding someone a diamond that is ‘good enough’ but sparkles like crazy and faces up white is not an easy order to fill. What exactly constitutes ‘good enough’? Does it mean the same thing to you as it does to me? Probably not. There have been lots and lots of satisfied diamond buyers here through the years so PS must collectively be doing something right IMO.
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
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I’m not sick and it gave me a headache. So many words!!!
But the OP did write a bit as well, so in this case perhaps it was a good match.
I personally like things simple during the learning curve, but that is just me.
PS is an amazing resource.
Excellent point. And the idea that we give "too much" information - attaching a negative implication to more resources - is a curious position. :think:
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
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A lot of great feedback, suggestions, cautions, experiences, observations, etc. in this thread. And good reminders for us all to observe when trying to help someone.

I do periodically see legit ‘elitist‘ comments by long-time posters that quite frankly make my skin crawl; I immediately think about how someone who has the ‘inferred-inferior’ item probably feels reading that ... not exactly a welcoming environment when that is allowed, so why should that person create an account or stick around ... to learn how to be a judgmental snob? There is no reason to ‘shame‘ a .25ct any more than there is for a 5ct, or a MMD vs a mined diamond. In other cases, I think perceived ‘elitism’ may sometimes be an unintended by-product of the various education levels/cultures/countries represented on PS, and the use of lingo that others just aren’t familiar. I’ve often thought it’d be helpful to have some sort of little badge that lets folks know where others are from (e.g. small country flags or something) just as a ‘friendly reminder’ of sorts that PS is a global community to aid more tolerance in that regard.

I like the idea of some sort of standard ‘screening’ tool/questionnaire for those seeking advice/assistance to get them started and make it easier to help them ... a sticky thread laying out a ‘help us help you’ framework on their priorities, knowledge level, timeline, budget, etc. Diamond novices - PhD or not - don’t know what they don’t know ... so a better way to present basics in a manner that is not overwhelming or sends them on a wild goose chase/search to hunt down a thread posted 5 years ago would probably be helpful.

It’d probably be helpful to also remember that not everyone who buys a diamond has a PhD. PS shouldn’t be ‘dumbed down’ per se, but I’d argue it’s the person who has the smaller budget and/or lower knowledge level who needs our assistance the most to keep them from being screwed out of their hard-earned money by the shady sellers. IMO, it’s elitist to expect people should ‘get it or get out’; that’s not helpful. On that note, respecting people’s budgets - regardless of how big or small - vs pressing them to extend their budget is really annoying. And most of us know that it’s not just the diamond price on a website they need to consider ... there are taxes, mountings/setting costs, and possible import duties to consider. Perhaps the aforementioned screener could flush this out with newcomers.

Lastly, on the topic of vendor referrals, I won’t make apologies for recommending WF more than other vendors. I have personally had excellent service from/with WF, and they provide a unique value prop for buyers, in that they offer diamonds for ALL budgets, including three in-house product ‘tiers’ that qualify for their outstanding upgrade policy. If I get the sense someone doesn’t ‘need’ a super-ideal, I think it’s very helpful to know about their ES & PS lines which gets them a vetted, high-quality, high-performing diamond with the service & upgrade benefits (should they ever want to) that come along with a top-tier vendor.
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
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@Diamond_Hawk calls attention to a current thread as an example of the community pushing too much information to the OP. For crying out loud, the OP said in the first post “I want to go into this fully informed. Thank you all for your help!”
I'm not sure @Texas Leaguer you are reading my intent exactly right. It occurred to me that the referenced thread would give good fodder for specific ideas to be shared in THIS thread. I agreed with @Karl_K that the consumer thread already had "a lot" of information. Perhaps, I suggested, leading to analysis paralysis. But I also specifically referenced that there is much more information to be had. I didn't pronounce a verdict either way.

My latest post (which occurred before I read your response above) also indicated that it does seem silly, doesn't it, to say we are giving "too much" information to someone looking for information.

In any event, I am loving the referenced thread and will keep it in mind, at least on an anecdotal level, when drawing or posting conclusions on this thread.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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This is true but, like most other enablers, you forgot to mention paying the 30%+ premium for a super ideal cut.
How did you came up with a 30% premium? :confused: based on what?
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Does anyone trash talk high color, high clarity high carat weight, saying the enablers don't mention the 30% premium?
Of course not.
Everyone knows that every C affects the price.

PS is different in that the most mysterious C, cut, gets the attention and the education that it deserves.

Regardless of whether the so-called premium for a super-ideal is 30, 3 or 300% I'd never consider a diamond that did not have top cut.
Never!
If that rainbow doesn't dance, why bother?

When you insist that any one of the 4 Cs simply must be the best, your diamond's price is not X% higher ... the other Cs just take a hit.
Unless you're a billionaire, every diamond is a 4C compromise that caters to your priority.
Mine priority is top cut ... something few diamond shoppers have ever seen so they are ignorant of since most diamonds are cut for weight retention.

The price for ideal cut is not some dirty secret.
It's right out in the open on the websites, just like the other Cs.
I could call the zillions of size queens elitist because carat weight is my lowest-priority C ... but that would not respect diversity. Would it?

Ya get what ya pay for, even if it's merely bragging rights for that fancy brand with something less than top cut.
 
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Bailey_Lou

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 21, 2013
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262
Who goes to a diamond education forum to ask for just “good enough” recommendations? I learned so much more than “good enough” on this site before buying my first diamond and I’m thankful for people who taught me about the super ideals I didn’t even know had existed before coming to this site. I came to learn about the best I could get for my money and time.

You don’t go to your doctor when you have a medical condition to get a passable treatment plan. You go to an expert for the best that you can do to treat it if that makes sense. I don’t consider that elitist. That’s just how expert forums work. This is a diamond forum (rocky talky) and I hope that continues. If I want someone to just tell me what a nice ring I received then I can just go ask my mother-in-law. Her son bought the jewelry after all. People are so sensitive sometimes. I’m not going to go to an auto enthusiasts forum and get upset that they steer me away from buying a Yugo.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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Excellent point. And the idea that we give "too much" information - attaching a negative implication to more resources - is a curious position. :think:
What I meant was that sometimes it is possible that a whole lotta PSers jump on the bandwagon with a new poster, writing volumes. Sometimes the “educators” have just exited the newbie stage and are eager to inpart*. It’s not that it’s too much information, just that there can be too many words, from too many people. And a few opinions sprinkled in with the facts.

The way I learn is a “give and take”; a dialogue. If I am flooded with information and still in the “pre-nerd” stage I find it difficult to not be overwhelmed. But that’s just me.

*I’ve been riding horses competively since the dark ages, and darned if the guy with 10 lessons under his belt doesn’t come over to me to show me how it’s done.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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I think it is always important to remember that when you post in a thread, it is not just the OP you are talking to. The information or opinion you post will be consumed by potentially thousands of other newbies over time.

Therefore, what might be considered by some to be too much information for the OP, might be just what another newbie tuning into the thread wants to know.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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I think it is always important to remember that when you post in a thread, it is not just the OP you are talking to. The information or opinion you post will be consumed by potentially thousands of other newbies over time.

Therefore, what might be considered by some to be too much information for the OP, might be just what another newbie tuning into the thread wants to know.
Good point!
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Who goes to a diamond education forum to ask for just “good enough” recommendations? I learned so much more than “good enough” on this site before buying my first diamond and I’m thankful for people who taught me about the super ideals I didn’t even know had existed before coming to this site. I came to learn about the best I could get for my money and time.

You don’t go to your doctor when you have a medical condition to get a passable treatment plan. You go to an expert for the best that you can do to treat it if that makes sense. I don’t consider that elitist. That’s just how expert forums work. This is a diamond forum (rocky talky) and I hope that continues. If I want someone to just tell me what a nice ring I received then I can just go ask my mother-in-law. Her son bought the jewelry after all. People are so sensitive sometimes. I’m not going to go to an auto enthusiasts forum and get upset that they steer me away from buying a Yugo.
:lol::lol: I totally get this. Well said.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I’m not going to go to an auto enthusiasts forum and get upset that they steer me away from buying a Yugo.
IOW..Don't shop at Zale's or Kay's
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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20,195
I don’t know about providing less “information”, or deliberately “dumbing it down”, but I do agree we could stand to be more careful about
A) Disambiguating between opinion and fact,
B) Explicating parts of our responses as being driven by opinion or fact, and
C) Substantiating our facts with links, articles, threads, and other contextually-relevant resources.

I posted earlier on this thread that I don’t think we’re elitist enough. I’ve spent two decades either in or right next to academia, which certainly colours my perspective. I feel strongly that people who choose to participate in an advisory capacity have a responsibility to advise as transparently as they are able, and that enforcing a minimum threshold for that transparency is generally beneficial. Discussions about facts lead to exploration and discovery, discussions about opinions lead to hurt feelings and fewer contributions.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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A) Disambiguating between opinion and fact,
Such an excellent point Yssie.
When we're discussing the cut of a diamond, exactly how much is fact, and how much is opinion?
I remember how I felt when I discovered that it was a "fact" that a 57% table was better than a 60%

Then, one side of the discussion is backed up by experts who are legitimate experts. Their point of view is valid, no doubt- but there are other experts who have different opinions. It is by no means a "fact" that a Super Ideal is better than a well cut 60/60- or that a majority of viewers would pick the SI stone.
Unfortunately, the other side is not populated with things like ASET and IS- both of which are designed to help show what one side truly loves about "Super Ideal" diamonds. This technology is perfect for the internet.
There's no way to properly illustrate scintillation in the same way- or spread. It might seem intuitive that a 6.5mm 1.00 will look much larger than a 6.3mm just by the numbers- but my experience after showing countless thousands of diamonds to consumers is that they need to actually see this to appreciate the difference.
So the discussion became very one sided.
Now, all these later, the average depth of an RBC is up to well over 62% ( I'd believe).
When a well cut 60% depth stone is compared to the current crop of GIA "triple EX' stones, the 60% diamond will look like a giant. But at this point it's moot. The cutters are shooting for, and achieving triple EX 63.9% depth stones.
Before the GIA cut grade- the very best cutters cut for beauty. And in large part they succeded ...but that thought process is gone today.
Personally I believe many of the discussions here were one sided, and did have an impact over the years.

And actually it's not totally moot- because we stall have people right here declaring how they would insist on the "finest cut " ( sounds like a factual request) no matter the diamond they are buying.
OK, so what about any fancy shape or fancy color?
Don't buy it if the rainbow doesn't dance. Sounds extremely factual to me:)
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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There's an issue I see.
Say I, as a seller, claim that my stones are the "best cut"- and that you won't really know what the "best is" if you haven't seen what I am calling "the best cut" ( a seller made this claim yesterday on a different thread )
Even if there's a whole chorus of onlookers agreeing with me ( in this hypothetical situation) that will not make it a fact.
But the chorus agreeing with me could easily impact onlookers.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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7,036
There's an issue I see.
Say I, as a seller, claim that my stones are the "best cut"- and that you won't really know what the "best is" if you haven't seen what I am calling "the best cut" ( a seller made this claim yesterday on a different thread )
Even if there's a whole chorus of onlookers agreeing with me ( in this hypothetical situation) that will not make it a fact.
But the chorus agreeing with me could easily impact onlookers.
FWIW, here in the UK I believe it is against the law to use the words 'the best' (or directly imply as such) in describing your product.

So you couldn't say 'the best tea in Britain' or similar. :)

(I think...)
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Here's a thought....how about GIA tighten up their standards so the term "excellent" has some true meaning.

If AGS was the popular lab, would we even be having this conversation? Wouldn't best be AGS0. Near best AGS1. And so on and so forth?

Wait....then would that make AGS an elitist lab?
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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... how about GIA tighten up their standards so the term "excellent" has some true meaning. ...
They won't because they know they'd make less money.
The industry LOVES a big wide cut bullseye called Excellent that lets in steep deeps since they retain more of that precious rough, even though it degrades light performance.

The industry makes more money.
GIA makes more money.
Win Win.
 
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sledge

Ideal_Rock
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They won't because they know they'd make less money.
The industry LOVES a big wide cut bullseye called Excellent that lets in steep deeps since they retain more of that precious rough, even though it degrades light performance.

The industry makes more money.
GIA makes more money.
Win Win.
And therein lies the problem. GIA can never have an unbiased opinion about different matters because they are entrenched as the popular lab. They stand to lose face and money so they can't be totally unbiased in their decisions on "theory".

If they change the cut system, they screw over loads of people that have supported them for years. Not to mention they devalue all existing stones, etc.

Same deal with potential color over grading on stones with fluor. They won't create a UV free test zone and completely eliminate the chance of color over grading because their system cannot possibly contradict what they already graded.

Oddly enough, many industry veterans believe clarity grading creep is occuring and you'd think that wouldn't occur as GIA seems to want to keep grading even par. Yet for the dealers supporting GIA and getting SI1 clarity instead of potential SI2 then that represents more profit. Good for dealers, but bad for consumers.

If you step outside the diamond industry and consider the engineering and construction sectors you will see an organization like ASTM is neutral and defines test methods to test all sorts of strengths and characteristics of various materials.

If new technologies or methods are developed that better test that attribute they update the test method and use as reference for defining minimum requirements a material must meet. This system can be fluid and change because they use an organized system of test numbers.

For instance maybe ASTM 941 was the original but 941A and later 941B supersedes them. An engineer would define a minimum value by the most recent test method. So if a material met 320lbs using 941, maybe it only has to meet 300lbs using 941B as the latter test method is more severe and telling of true strength. All fictional examples but you get my point. It's okay for a material to have met an old spec as that was current at time. It's not devalued. But if something new was built 10 years later the new materials would have to be tested to the latest standards and meet those requirements.

Independent qualified labs around the world exist that test per ASTM methods so you are paying a lab to test, not be the authority on what a strength or test method should be.

GIA is stuck because if they get a different end result then they contradict themselves. Effectively they have restricted their own growth.

Enter AGS. Hey we can do cut better. Since you won't listen we will subscribe to our school of thought and offer our own lab services. We will subscribe to things such as color and clarity we think you got right, or help us remain comparable.

Imagine if AGS was the popular lab. Consumers would desire a 0 or 1 stone most likely. This would force the industry as a whole to shift and cut for beauty. Prices would also change. Maybe more 2 and 3 stones would be desirable as they would have a lower cost.

At least that type of a system makes sense....

AGS0 = $1,000
AGS1 = $900
AGS2 = $750

Instead it currently looks like this....

GIA XXX = $750 - 1,000

Consumer believes XXX is the best so the dealer with the $750 stone is the way to go. Then they come to PS and people is like XXX isn't really all the same. Terms like elitist start to fly.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Oddly enough, many industry veterans believe clarity grading creep is occuring and
l
Hi Sledge
I was wondering where we can poll the veterans you speak of. I’ve not heard anything like that.
I completely agree with the fact that the cut grade has done damage By allowing gaming of the system. But we can not extend this to clarity grading.

One other point...”cutting for beauty”
What’s the reason to do so?
To make more sales/profit.
Any cutter needs to maximize profits to survive. Even those using AGS.
Plenty of cutters using GIA find it more profitable to cut beautiful stones too.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
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998
And therein lies the problem. GIA can never have an unbiased opinion about different matters because they are entrenched as the popular lab. They stand to lose face and money so they can't be totally unbiased in their decisions on "theory".

If they change the cut system, they screw over loads of people that have supported them for years. Not to mention they devalue all existing stones, etc.
GIA is certainly part of the cut problem, but I think the Rapaport pricing report system is by far the main culprit. When a 0.99ct G/VS2 lists at $6,200/ct but a 1.01ct G/VS2 lists at $8,300/ct the cutter is going to do everything he can to hit that 1.01ct mark. If that means means deviating from the perfect angles and making a slightly less beautiful diamond then so be it. The 30% loss the cutter would take by not hitting the 1.01ct mark must far outweigh every other consideration. And if you or I were the cutter I've no doubt we would do the same.

I fully understand why the Rapaport system was designed as it was when we all lived in a paper world. In the age of computers he should be able to come up with an algorithm that adjusts $/ct on a sliding scale as carat weight increases. So if you download his report onto your phone a 0.90ct stone might come up at $6,200/ct, a 0.95ct stone might come up at $7,200/ct and the 1.00ct stone at $8,300 etc. Thus the penalty for making a more beautiful 0.99ct diamond would be insignificant, and cutters would then be incentivized to cut better diamonds.

If we only lived in a perfect world!!! :mrgreen2:
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Do any of the other long time members of this forum remember the chorus of complaints about how broad the GIA EX category is, and the scorching criticism that ensued here when GIA finally released their cut grade system?

Heck, the push back was so strong that even though I am a big proponent of AGS light performance cut grading, I have often found it necessary to apologize for GIA in that, yes the system is broad and open to criticism, but it still led to improved cutting in general and is therefore a win for consumers.

The overly broad GIA Ex category has been a big driver of the use of HCA to reject stones that GIA calls excellent but have uncomplimentary pavilion and crown angles, leading to performance deficits. If this were not true the HCA would have become obsolete when the GIA system came online, as a GIA Ex would have served the same purpose. The controversy has also cemented the reputation of AGS Laboratories as the gold standard of cut quality analysis. In the process this whole debate has driven a huge amount of interest, discussion and educational content on this forum, engaging and informing a generation of prosumers and trade members.

And now, in this thread and others I am seeing pop us with this new “elitist” theme, there is apparently an initiative underway to encourage pricescope members to recommend 'good enough" diamonds.

Does anyone else see the irony?
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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9,768
Here's a thought....how about GIA tighten up their standards so the term "excellent" has some true meaning.

If AGS was the popular lab, would we even be having this conversation? Wouldn't best be AGS0. Near best AGS1. And so on and so forth?

Wait....then would that make AGS an elitist lab?
When in doubt, the answer is ALWAYS money. Period.
 

mission1

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 17, 2019
Messages
145
FWIW, here in the UK I believe it is against the law to use the words 'the best' (or directly imply as such) in describing your product.

So you couldn't say 'the best tea in Britain' or similar. :)

(I think...)
A slight Segway, but I can’t think of any UK legislation on this! The Advertising Standards Agency considers subjective and objective claims of “best”. My understanding is an advertiser can demonstrate that their product or service is objectively “the best” in terms that are clear in terms of the comparison, it may not fall foul of the standards.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
998
Do any of the other long time members of this forum remember the chorus of complaints about how broad the GIA EX category is, and the scorching criticism that ensued here when GIA finally released their cut grade system?

Heck, the push back was so strong that even though I am a big proponent of AGS light performance cut grading, I have often found it necessary to apologize for GIA in that, yes the system is broad and open to criticism, but it still led to improved cutting in general and is therefore a win for consumers.

The overly broad GIA Ex category has been a big driver of the use of HCA to reject stones that GIA calls excellent but have uncomplimentary pavilion and crown angles, leading to performance deficits. If this were not true the HCA would have become obsolete when the GIA system came online, as a GIA Ex would have served the same purpose. The controversy has also cemented the reputation of AGS Laboratories as the gold standard of cut quality analysis. In the process this whole debate has driven a huge amount of interest, discussion and educational content on this forum, engaging and informing a generation of prosumers and trade members.

And now, in this thread and others I am seeing pop us with this new “elitist” theme, there is apparently an initiative underway to encourage pricescope members to recommend 'good enough" diamonds.

Does anyone else see the irony?
I see the irony of a seller of super ideal diamonds stating vehemently and frequently that this board should only encourage consumers to buy super ideal diamonds!!!

Every consumer has a different budget to purchase a diamond. That consumer may choose to buy a smaller, super ideal diamond, or choose a larger, not quite so ideal cut diamond. That choice is personal preference, and many consumers will choose the bigger diamond. There is absolutely no reason why PS shouldn't help those consumers find a good looking, bigger diamond. For you to brand that help as recommending "good enough" diamonds is IMHO self serving.
 
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