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ASET Scope Reveals Cutting Quality Flaws

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Wife and I visited our local high end shopping mall and visited six jewelry stores with some nationally recognized brand names. Took my new ASET Scope along and examined the diamonds. To my surprise, every 2 ct stone was not well cut and showing sub-table leakage. This is an invaluable tool in assessing diamond cut quality and light performance prediction. Also, not every stone was GIA or AGS grade reported. Some were from known marginal over grading lab reports. Purchased the ASET via the esteemed appraiser, David Atlas, for $50 + 1cent postage. Highly recommend the ASET for visually aiding in profiling your diamond accurately for cut quality and predictable light performance.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,514
My post above is sounding a sour note to me when I read it and that was not my intent.
If I may try again.....

I am not surprised at what your found but I applaud you for going out and doing the testing.
Did it spark any conversations in the stores and if so how did it go?
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Hi Karl K, At Ben Bridge the sales lady had a desk top Ideal Scope and ASET available. She fumbled setting them up and the 2ct stone cut was mediocre on observing under both scopes so I passed on the microscope exam for clarity imperfection viewing. The Tiffany salesman got interested in my ASET, borrowed it and looked at his diamonds and was surprised at their cut mediocrity. Asked where I got mine. And, of course, all diamonds under jewelry store lighting were all glittery and fiery.
 

foxinsox

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
3,602
I have heard this mentioned here before… why is this? Thank you!
I’m not sure why the steep deep but if you have rough which will yield a “good enough for GIA ex ex” >2 ct or a super ideal proportions <2ct, it’s really hard to make the $$ stack up for the super ideal to be cut instead of the good enough >2 ct.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,569
THANKS for posting this thread. You have given great motivation for every shopper to do their own due diligence when shopping. The name recognition on the storefront may not be a true indication of the diamond cut quality in their inventory.

Look at what has taken place with diamond sales within the past 20+ years I have participated on Pricescope. Internet vendors are offering virtually every diamond with professional views of ASET or Ideal-Scope images. This requires lots of time and effort, but it is a successful venture. See how this is in contrast with most brick and mortar retail sellers who hardly still have a clue, 20 years and counting, about the importance of these little tools to determine diamond cut quality.

Your story rings true. This truly helps consumers all over the world.
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
My post above is sounding a sour note to me when I read it and that was not my intent.
If I may try again.....

I am not surprised at what your found but I applaud you for going out and doing the testing.
Did it spark any conversations in the stores and if so how did it go?
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,514
I’m not sure why the steep deep but if you have rough which will yield a “good enough for GIA ex ex” >2 ct or a super ideal proportions <2ct, it’s really hard to make the $$ stack up for the super ideal to be cut instead of the good enough >2 ct.
yep basically.
You buy rough on the basis of what potential it has for finished diamonds.
The will often be gia ex which has a lot of steep deep combos in it. If anything the gia system has a bias toward steep deeps getting ex.
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
I have heard this mentioned here before… why is this? Thank you!

Headlight, My understanding is that prevailing market forces indicate a majority of diamond shoppers are most concerned with carat weight and mistakenly equating it with diamond size. This coupled with a grading report of either 3-Ex or 3-0 suffices in diamond selection while ignoring light (optical) performance. Also, it appears naive shoppers are seduced by the heavily biased and embellishing jewelry store lights which make all diamonds look fabulous.

That being the case, diamond cutters are cutting to meet this demand and are cutting steeper pavilions to increase carat weight at the expense of excellent proportions and symmetry which can negatively influence light performance. To me, it is all about maximum brilliance, scintillation and fire that excellently cut diamonds will exhibit unfailingly.

I refer you to the "ASET Scope" section under the PS's "RESOURCES" & "EDUCATION" tabs for further diamond knowledge development. Now that jewelry stores are emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown, I am investigating and vetting diamonds in person armed with my loupe and ASET Scope.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
5,203
It’s refreshing to see a potential buyer using some technology to aide in their shopping process. I’m also happy that you noticed how their lighting contributes to the trickery.

For whatever reason this industry is largely unregulated and it makes it very easy for the consumer to be preyed upon.

The more educated the consumer becomes and more tools like the ASET are used to judge cut quality that the average Joe can comprehend the sooner trends may shift. Imagine a world where every buyer used an ASET. Stones that didn’t perform well under ASET would not sell and slowly jewelers would buy differently which would force cutters to cut differently because demand would shift.

This is where I believe AGS has missed the mark. Poorly cut stones don’t get sent to them for a lab report so being vocal won’t reduce their business. They should be giving ASET’s away for free or at cost and pushing an education campaign. They have everything to gain if demands shift and consumers focus on cut quality instead of carat weight. Not to mention they are the only lab putting a ray-traced ASET on the lab report. IMO, it’s their desire to not cause waves or they have poor leadership that won’t engage in the fight.
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
THANKS for posting this thread. You have given great motivation for every shopper to do their own due diligence when shopping. The name recognition on the storefront may not be a true indication of the diamond cut quality in their inventory.

Look at what has taken place with diamond sales within the past 20+ years I have participated on Pricescope. Internet vendors are offering virtually every diamond with professional views of ASET or Ideal-Scope images. This requires lots of time and effort, but it is a successful venture. See how this is in contrast with most brick and mortar retail sellers who hardly still have a clue, 20 years and counting, about the importance of these little tools to determine diamond cut quality.

Your story rings true. This truly helps consumers all over the world.

Hi oldminer (AKA David Atlas), I am humbled and honored by your kind words, stature and stellar reputation. I am a diamond shopping newbie and shopping for my dearest wife of over 51 years while we still try to adjust to each other (ha, ha). So I started by reading diamond buying books by Maitlans and Newman twice, poured over vendors' websites' education, self-proclaimed diamond gurus and GIA YouTubes and online blogs and even earned a free online Intro to Diamonds certification from SSEF, etc, to become an informed diamond consumer. I now know about diamond purchasing now but, admittedly, do not know diamonds.
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
It’s refreshing to see a potential buyer using some technology to aide in their shopping process. I’m also happy that you noticed how their lighting contributes to the trickery.

For whatever reason this industry is largely unregulated and it makes it very easy for the consumer to be preyed upon.

The more educated the consumer becomes and more tools like the ASET are used to judge cut quality that the average Joe can comprehend the sooner trends may shift. Imagine a world where every buyer used an ASET. Stones that didn’t perform well under ASET would not sell and slowly jewelers would buy differently which would force cutters to cut differently because demand would shift.

This is where I believe AGS has missed the mark. Poorly cut stones don’t get sent to them for a lab report so being vocal won’t reduce their business. They should be giving ASET’s away for free or at cost and pushing an education campaign. They have everything to gain if demands shift and consumers focus on cut quality instead of carat weight. Not to mention they are the only lab putting a ray-traced ASET on the lab report. IMO, it’s their desire to not cause waves or they have poor leadership that won’t engage in the fight.

Hi sledge. You hit like a hammer. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for you knowledgeable insight, sharing and expertise.
 

John Pollard

Shiny_Rock
Staff member
Premium
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
153
@DRSAMURAI , I wish every diamond shopper would be as proactive as you have been. Thank you for taking time to pursue knowledge, and for posting your experience.

My career in the diamond business has always focused on educating diamond shoppers, with an emphasis on cut analysis. Can you imagine the impact it would make if every consumer were taught about tools such as ideal scope and ASET at the diamond sales counter? It might not change anything for some people, but it would certainly change many things for many people.

@headlight , in addition to the great sumups offered above, here is some information from our education page on Diamond Cut:

*

PriceScope Round Diamond Subsets

The PriceScope community will help you predict the visual qualities of diamonds you are considering. Experienced members can identify discernible subsets or “makes” of round brilliant diamonds, three of which are described below (other subsets exist but are less frequent – we plan to detail them on a separate page).

The three examples below are hypothetically polished from the same starting rough crystal (the dark blue outline). As you can see they have different final weights.

1623517006771.png

The Steep Deep

In the world of round brilliant diamonds this subset is most abundant, by far. Producers use wide (steep deep) cutting angles to increase the diamond’s final weight, maximizing yield. Those wide angles cause some of the light entering the diamond to leak out of the bottom, instead of reflecting and returning to the viewer’s eyes. When removed from bright lights, steep deep diamonds quickly go dark and look physically smaller than they should.

Since they finish heavier than other subsets, steep deep diamonds are frequently less expensive for the relative carat weight. Using the illustrations above, this steep deep finished at 1.15 carats, notably heavier than the other two subsets would finish if polished from the same rough diamond crystal.

1623517025921.png

[ Read similar descriptions of PriceScope Ideal and Super Ideal subsets here. ]

The “Deep” Discount

Steep deep diamonds are most abundant on the market because, lacking this education, casual shoppers assume they are getting more carat weight for the money. Many jewelry stores do not carry diamonds in the PriceScope Ideal or Super Ideal subset, so you may never have seen one in person before.

*

Full overview can be found on this page:
 

John Pollard

Shiny_Rock
Staff member
Premium
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
153
I’m not sure why the steep deep but if you have rough which will yield a “good enough for GIA ex ex” >2 ct or a super ideal proportions <2ct, it’s really hard to make the $$ stack up for the super ideal to be cut instead of the good enough >2 ct.

Precisely. In fact, if you'll look at 2.00 and 3.00 ct "EX" and "VG" cuts, you'll often find they have the mm spread of well-cut diamonds in the 1.85-1.99 ct range (2.00 Steep Deeps) and 2.70-2.99 ct range (3.00 ct Steep Deeps). By using deeper angles and more girdle thickness they can finish at the higher X.00 "magic weight" with a stone that still spreads, physically, like a well cut diamond with notably smaller weight.

1 carat examples

1623518199877.png
- The shallow example weighs 1.00 carat but measures 6.64-6.66 x 3.80 millimeters.

- The center example is proportionate. It weighs 1.00 carat and measures 6.44-6.46 x 3.80 mm.

- The right example weighs 1.00 carat and measures 6.24-6.26 x 4.06 mm, making its spread 6.25 mm - About the same as a well-cut 0.91 ct diamond.

Now take the math of the right example - and you can see how it's far more profitable for producers to prioritize weight over beauty and push a diamond with the spread of a 1.85 carat up over that profitable 2.00 carat mark.

More here.
https://www.pricescope.com/education/diamond-carat#spread
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Precisely. In fact, if you'll look at 2.00 and 3.00 ct "EX" and "VG" cuts, you'll often find they have the mm spread of well-cut diamonds in the 1.85-1.99 ct range (2.00 Steep Deeps) and 2.70-2.99 ct range (3.00 ct Steep Deeps). By using deeper angles and more girdle thickness they can finish at the higher X.00 "magic weight" with a stone that still spreads, physically, like a well cut diamond with notably smaller weight.

1 carat examples

1623518199877.png
- The shallow example weighs 1.00 carat but measures 6.64-6.66 x 3.80 millimeters.

- The center example is proportionate. It weighs 1.00 carat and measures 6.44-6.46 x 3.80 mm.

- The right example weighs 1.00 carat and measures 6.24-6.26 x 4.06 mm, making its spread 6.25 mm - About the same as a well-cut 0.91 ct diamond.

Now take the math of the right example - and you can see how it's far more profitable for producers to prioritize weight over beauty and push a diamond with the spread of a 1.85 carat up over that profitable 2.00 carat mark.

More here.
https://www.pricescope.com/education/diamond-carat#spread

JP, Thanks for your informative input. I'm in Silicon Valley and the high tech hot shots here think all they need is the carat weight and excellent grading marks are the only necessary requisites for proper diamond selection. After all, they labor over tech data all day to determine the validity of their respective businesses and decision making. With gem quality diamonds specs on grading reports are part of the story. Optical performance must be skillfully integrated into the equation for a wise and prudent purchase.
 

bright&shiny

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
723
I just want to chime in to say I’ve used my ASET and IS since I first found PS (a long time ago). The viewers and my loupe have been invaluable for determining for myself how a stone truly performs. Not surprisingly, with one notable exception, I have yet to experience a sales person who already knows about the viewers, is interested, or is not threatened by the use of these fantastic tools.

@John Pollard - what a great explanation and illustration of the cut vs carot dilemma cutters face each day! We should have a sticky for these kinds of illustrations and charts.

I’ve created a little kit that I carry around if there is even a remote chance I’ll be looking at jewelry. For those who haven’t already, I can’t emphasize enough that getting your own is a fantastic investment - especially compared to the cost of a mistake or misreported performance parameters.
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
I just want to chime in to say I’ve used my ASET and IS since I first found PS (a long time ago). The viewers and my loupe have been invaluable for determining for myself how a stone truly performs. Not surprisingly, with one notable exception, I have yet to experience a sales person who already knows about the viewers, is interested, or is not threatened by the use of these fantastic tools.

@John Pollard - what a great explanation and illustration of the cut vs carot dilemma cutters face each day! We should have a sticky for these kinds of illustrations and charts.

I’ve created a little kit that I carry around if there is even a remote chance I’ll be looking at jewelry. For those who haven’t already, I can’t emphasize enough that getting your own is a fantastic investment - especially compared to the cost of a mistake or misreported performance parameost of the rest
I just want to chime in to say I’ve used my ASET and IS since I first found PS (a long time ago). The viewers and my loupe have been invaluable for determining for myself how a stone truly performs. Not surprisingly, with one notable exception, I have yet to experience a sales person who already knows about the viewers, is interested, or is not threatened by the use of these fantastic tools.

@John Pollard - what a great explanation and illustration of the cut vs carot dilemma cutters face each day! We should have a sticky for these kinds of illustrations and charts.

I’ve created a little kit that I carry around if there is even a remote chance I’ll be looking at jewelry. For those who haven’t already, I can’t emphasize enough that getting your own is a fantastic investment - especially compared to the cost of a mistake or misreported performance parameters.

Most of the responders to this thread are credible, seasoned, experienced and credentialed diamond experts. Thank you all for your sharing your validated knowledge and expertise. If you are all using the ancillary tools to assess and test diamond cut quality and predictive light performance, why isn't everyone else doing so? Sure, you can go to certain online jewelers who provide the data and cut assessment photos, but I have to admit I got brain fog from viewing so many top tier diamonds.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,553
Were you looking at round brilliant diamonds? Or fancy shapes?
 

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Were you looking at round brilliant diamonds? Or fancy shapes?

Hi yssie, My wife prefers MRB because when excellently cut displays maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation. The loupe + ASET Scope are assisting to steer me to a knowledgeable and sophisticated diamond buy. However, my understanding is that the ASET has utility for vetting virtually all diamond shapes.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,553
Allow me to play the contrarian in this thread.

Beginner users of ASET and IS often operate under the presumption that "more red is better". This is at best an oversimplification. It's an oversimplification that PS zeitgeist furthers determinedly and irreverently. @Rockdiamond often makes the point that if what we wanted most was maximal light return we'd all walk around with plain old mirrors on our fingers.

Take these two radiants. ASET would reward the top stone - it would certainly show more red. If comparing the two in-person, however, I'll wager that the vast majority of viewers would choose the bottom. That's because "more red" on its own isn't better - the distribution of red amongst other colours matters. I'd argue that the distribution of colour matters much more than the specifics of the colour itself, actually. Because the distribution of colour as viewed under the ASET scope corresponds directly to flavour of light return from that portion of the stone, and most two-eyed humans will prefer a stone which shows uniform distribution of light return flavour across the face-up over a stone whose face-up is dissected into portions with significantly different flavours of performance.

1623530548274.png

1623531219281.png


If you're photographing a diamond and you want to take a photo showing "fire" (coloured dispersion) - one trick is to shine a bright spotlight on the stone and then bump shutter speed and f-stop way up (you want the aperture to be as small as possible, and you want the camera to allow light to enter for as short a time as possible). This gives your camera the best odds of capturing a single wavelength of dispersion from the stone. Human pupils work the exact same way - that's why you see fire in the sunlight, or in jewellery store spotlights. Both your eyes and the camera's single eye are incapable of seeing both white light and coloured light at the same time - if you want to see coloured light return from your diamond, you need to minimize immediately proximal light return, both geographically and chronologically.

I love coloured light return. I have something of an extreme personal preference. One way to reduce white light return face-up is to increase the amount of light that's allowed to escape out the back of the stone - I'm not eliminating light return face-up, just reducing it somewhat to give my eyes better odds of isolating a single wavelength of colour geographically and chronologically across a variety of lighting environments (in which my pupils are varying sizes). That means that when choosing an RB for myself - I don't want to see bright red under the table. I actively prefer a stone which shows some light escape under the table. I actively prefer an RB with a pale pink under-table. And I'm no newcomer to diamonds - I've seen hundreds of RBs, I own dozens myself, I've tried to prove myself wrong, other people have tried to prove me wrong - I'm completely consistent in my personal preference.


Personal preference is key. I feel strongly that we here on PS shouldn't be encouraging newcomers to learn about diamonds through tools. These tools provide a simplified view of a very complex and nuanced landscape. Worse, these tools inflict their own embedded biases on that view. We should instead be encouraging newcomers to follow this model of learning:
1. Look at lots of stones in-person. As many as possible. In as many types of lights as possible. Catalogue which stones you prefer and which you don't care for. Don't try to validate your preferences, just let your eyes tell you how they feel.
2. Then, only then, once that catalogue of personal preferences has been built, break out the tools. Correlate what your eyes like and dislike with what the tools show.
3. Now you've got a methodology by which to judge images from tools like ASET that cater to your personal preferences, your idea of what's best, not someone else's. Now, the tools are doing your bidding, not the other way round.
If we don't encourage people not to skip that first step we're effectively telling them that there is #OneTrueBest, and those of us who've been here a while, as either industry professionals or hobbyists - we know perfectly well that that has never been true and will never be true!
 
Last edited:

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Allow me to play the contrarian in this thread.

Beginner users of ASET and IS often operate under the presumption that "more red is better". This is at best an oversimplification. It's an oversimplification that PS zeitgeist furthers determinedly and irreverently. @Rockdiamond often makes the point that if what we wanted most was maximal light return we'd all walk around with plain old mirrors on our fingers.

Take these two radiants. ASET would reward the top stone - it would certainly show more red. If comparing the two in-person, however, I'll wager that the vast majority of viewers would choose the bottom. That's because "more red" on its own isn't better - the distribution of red amongst other colours matters. I'd argue that the distribution of colour matters much more than the specifics of the colour itself, actually. Because the distribution of colour as viewed under the ASET scope corresponds directly to flavour of light return from that portion of the stone, and most two-eyed humans will prefer a stone which shows uniform distribution of light return flavour across the face-up over a stone whose face-up is dissected into portions with significantly different flavours of performance.

1623530548274.png

1623531219281.png


If you're photographing a diamond and you want to take a photo showing "fire" (coloured dispersion) - one trick is to shine a bright spotlight on the stone and then bump shutter speed and f-stop way up (you want the aperture to be as small as possible, and you want the camera to allow light to enter for as short a time as possible). This gives your camera the best odds of capturing a single wavelength of dispersion from the stone. Human pupils work the exact same way - that's why you see fire in the sunlight, or in jewellery store spotlights. Both your eyes and the camera's single eye are incapable of seeing both white light and coloured light at the same time - if you want to see coloured light return from your diamond, you need to minimize immediately proximal light return, both geographically and chronologically.

I love coloured light return. I have something of an extreme personal preference. One way to reduce white light return face-up is to increase the amount of light that's allowed to escape out the back of the stone - I'm not eliminating light return face-up, just reducing it somewhat to give my eyes better odds of isolating a single wavelength of colour geographically and chronologically across a variety of lighting environments (in which my pupils are varying sizes). That means that when choosing an RB for myself - I don't want to see bright red under the table. I actively prefer a stone which shows some light escape under the table. I actively prefer an RB with a pale pink under-table. And I'm no newcomer to diamonds - I've seen hundreds of RBs, I own dozens myself, I've tried to prove myself wrong, other people have tried to prove me wrong - I'm completely consistent in my personal preference.


Personal preference is key. I feel strongly that we here on PS shouldn't be encouraging newcomers to learn about diamonds through tools. These tools provide a simplified view of a very complex and nuanced landscape. Worse, these tools inflict their own embedded biases on that view. We should instead be encouraging newcomers to follow this model of learning:
1. Look at lots of stones in-person. As many as possible. In as many types of lights as possible. Catalogue which stones you prefer and which you don't care for. Don't try to validate your preferences, just let your eyes tell you how they feel.
2. Then, only then, once that catalogue of personal preferences has been built, break out the tools. Correlate what your eyes like and dislike with what the tools show.
3. Now you've got a methodology by which to judge images from tools like ASET that cater to your personal preferences, your idea of what's best, not someone else's. Now, the tools are doing your bidding, not the other way round.
If we don't encourage people not to skip that first step we're effectively telling them that there is #OneTrueBest, and those of us who've been here a while, as either industry professionals or hobbyists - we know perfectly well that that has never been true and will never be true!

Your opinion feedback is appreciated. A side by side comparison of the above referenced diamonds would be better serve your argument with ASET, brilliance, fire and scintillation under the same exact lighting environments.
 

bright&shiny

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
723
Allow me to play the contrarian in this thread.

Beginner users of ASET and IS often operate under the presumption that "more red is better". This is at best an oversimplification. It's an oversimplification that PS zeitgeist furthers determinedly and irreverently. @Rockdiamond often makes the point that if what we wanted most was maximal light return we'd all walk around with plain old mirrors on our fingers.

Take these two radiants. ASET would reward the top stone - it would certainly show more red. If comparing the two in-person, however, I'll wager that the vast majority of viewers would choose the bottom. That's because "more red" on its own isn't better - the distribution of red amongst other colours matters. I'd argue that the distribution of colour matters much more than the specifics of the colour itself, actually. Because the distribution of colour as viewed under the ASET scope corresponds directly to flavour of light return from that portion of the stone, and most two-eyed humans will prefer a stone which shows uniform distribution of light return flavour across the face-up over a stone whose face-up is dissected into portions with significantly different flavours of performance.

1623530548274.png

1623531219281.png


If you're photographing a diamond and you want to take a photo showing "fire" (coloured dispersion) - one trick is to shine a bright spotlight on the stone and then bump shutter speed and f-stop way up (you want the aperture to be as small as possible, and you want the camera to allow light to enter for as short a time as possible). This gives your camera the best odds of capturing a single wavelength of dispersion from the stone. Human pupils work the exact same way - that's why you see fire in the sunlight, or in jewellery store spotlights. Both your eyes and the camera's single eye are incapable of seeing both white light and coloured light at the same time - if you want to see coloured light return from your diamond, you need to minimize immediately proximal light return, both geographically and chronologically.

I love coloured light return. I have something of an extreme personal preference. One way to reduce white light return face-up is to increase the amount of light that's allowed to escape out the back of the stone - I'm not eliminating light return face-up, just reducing it somewhat to give my eyes better odds of isolating a single wavelength of colour geographically and chronologically across a variety of lighting environments (in which my pupils are varying sizes). That means that when choosing an RB for myself - I don't want to see bright red under the table. I actively prefer a stone which shows some light escape under the table. I actively prefer an RB with a pale pink under-table. And I'm no newcomer to diamonds - I've seen hundreds of RBs, I own dozens myself, I've tried to prove myself wrong, other people have tried to prove me wrong - I'm completely consistent in my personal preference.


Personal preference is key. I feel strongly that we here on PS shouldn't be encouraging newcomers to learn about diamonds through tools. These tools provide a simplified view of a very complex and nuanced landscape. Worse, these tools inflict their own embedded biases on that view. We should instead be encouraging newcomers to follow this model of learning:
1. Look at lots of stones in-person. As many as possible. In as many types of lights as possible. Catalogue which stones you prefer and which you don't care for. Don't try to validate your preferences, just let your eyes tell you how they feel.
2. Then, only then, once that catalogue of personal preferences has been built, break out the tools. Correlate what your eyes like and dislike with what the tools show.
3. Now you've got a methodology by which to judge images from tools like ASET that cater to your personal preferences, your idea of what's best, not someone else's. Now, the tools are doing your bidding, not the other way round.
If we don't encourage people not to skip that first step we're effectively telling them that there is #OneTrueBest, and those of us who've been here a while, as either industry professionals or hobbyists - we know perfectly well that that has never been true and will never be true!

I agree - and I completely left of the importance of evaluating by eye first. It’s critical, and only after it passes that test, and I’m still curious or have questions, that I’ll use the tools. Training my eye (just like training my ear in music) has been and continues to be critical in finding what I love. The tools are for data, and like all data, we need a skill set to evaluate the data. They shouldn’t substitute for experience.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,553
I agree - and I completely left of the importance of evaluating by eye first. It’s critical, and only after it passes that test, and I’m still curious or have questions, that I’ll use the tools. Training my eye (just like training my ear in music) has been and continues to be critical in finding what I love. The tools are for data, and like all data, we need a skill set to evaluate the data. They shouldn’t substitute for experience.
Bingo.
My point in a nutshell.
The tools provide data. Users of those tools will do best allowing their personal preferences to shape interpretation of that data.
This process takes some time, but for those genuinely looking to educate themselves and train their own eyes - there is no substitute.
Those who would disagree are merely doing themselves a disservice.

Edit - @DRSAMURAI Take a piece of cardstock or a notebook when you go shopping. You can use it to mask the spotlights - the diamond will be quite bright even in the localized shadow ::)
 
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DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
Bingo.
My point in a nutshell.
The tools provide data. Users of those tools will do best allowing their personal preferences to shape interpretation of that data.
This process takes some time, but for those genuinely looking to educate themselves and train their own eyes - there is no substitute.
Those who would disagree are merely doing themselves a disservice.

Edit - @DRSAMURAI Take a piece of cardstock or a notebook when you go shopping. You can use it to mask the spotlights - the diamond will be quite bright even in the localized shadow ::)

The card is another good tool. As a neophyte, I rely on these ancillary tools. After purchasing my wife's diamonds (ring & matching earrings), my brief but intensive diamond career will be retired like me. Unfortunately I do not share your passion for diamonds so I will never become a diamond stalker. We are seeing it from different perspectives. I value your opinions.
 

John Pollard

Shiny_Rock
Staff member
Premium
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
153
@DRSAMURAI , as you may have guessed, this place is a lodestone for jewelry lovers. Many of the veteran members who contribute are passionate observers with lots of experience, and diverse opinions. Also interestingly, people see things differently - as in they literally may see things differently. Logically, all of this makes PriceScope fertile ground for granular discussions. If you like those, you'll continue enjoying PS. It's always nice to see new members engaging.

Going non-granular: My position on this topic-at-large is an issue with the inconsistent "education" consumers receive regarding a diamond's value factors. Most experienced jewelry professionals are able to go into great detail about a diamond's color and clarity assessments... "Why" this SI1 is different than this other SI1. "Why" the H color of this 3 carat round brilliant seems less tinted than the H color in this 3 carat emerald cut, etc. Connecting depth and spread to carat weight does occur, but Diamond Cut education continues to be a blind spot, even for many well meaning pros.

For over a decade now, when conducting seminars for jewelry pros, I do a show and tell. I ask is for someone to explain "why" Excellent cut diamond A is so much brighter and visually dynamic than Excellent cut diamond B (dear crooks, I don't keep these on my person). It generally gets quiet. Someone may ask what their depths are- irrelevant in this case. Someone might suggest one is an ideal cut - okay, but that doesn't answer "why." Bear in mind, everyone in the room knows more nitrogen generally causes more yellow or brown tint. They know how to ID a grade-setting clarity characteristic and may be able to tell you how a Type 1a diamond differs from Type 2a - but rarely can anyone explain how cut grading systems work or were established (for the record, GIA's system is based on several hundred observations, mostly done by jewelers and their families, which get correlated to lookup charts based on average proportions). They simply don't know. Many don't even know how to thoroughly define fundamental components of Diamond Performance.

If I hold up a carat scale, the whole room can calibrate and use it. If I hold up a color card and masters the room knows how to use them for analysis. If I hold up a microscope most or all know how to do darkfield and reflective clarity analysis. But I can wave a Zeiss loupe (circa 1980), ideal scope (2001) or ASET scope (2005) in the air and you can almost see cartoon question marks pop up over everyone's heads.

Sidebar: Credit to certain of the vetted PriceScope vendors on this topic. More and more frequently - when I illustrate how an ideal scope works on a round brilliant and show them images in the PPT - there are "aha" moments from folks who have spotted them before in those PS vendors' listings.
 
Last edited:

DRSAMURAI

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
17
@DRSAMURAI , as you may have guessed, this place is a lodestone for jewelry lovers. Many of the veteran members who contribute are passionate observers with lots of experience, and diverse opinions. Also interestingly, people see things differently - as in they literally may see things differently. Logically, all of this makes PriceScope fertile ground for granular discussions. If you like those, you'll continue enjoying PS. It's always nice to see new members engaging.

Going non-granular: My position on this topic-at-large is an issue with the inconsistent "education" consumers receive regarding a diamond's value factors. Most experienced jewelry professionals are able to go into great detail about a diamond's color and clarity assessments... "Why" this SI1 is different than this other SI1. "Why" the H color of this 3 carat round brilliant seems less tinted than the H color in this 3 carat emerald cut, etc. Connecting depth and spread to carat weight does occur, but Diamond Cut education continues to be a blind spot, even for many well meaning pros.

For over a decade now, when conducting seminars for jewelry pros, I do a show and tell. I ask is for someone to explain "why" Excellent cut diamond A is so much brighter and visually dynamic than Excellent cut diamond B (dear crooks, I don't keep these on my person). It generally gets quiet. Someone may ask what their depths are- irrelevant in this case. Someone might suggest one is an ideal cut - okay, but that doesn't answer "why." Bear in mind, everyone in the room knows more nitrogen generally causes more yellow or brown tint. They know how to ID a grade-setting clarity characteristic and may be able to tell you how a Type 1a diamond differs from Type 2a - but rarely can anyone explain how cut grading systems work or were established (for the record, GIA's system is based on several hundred observations, mostly done by jewelers and their families, which get correlated to lookup charts based on average proportions). They simply don't know. Many don't even know how to thoroughly define fundamental components of Diamond Performance.

If I hold up a carat scale, the whole room can calibrate and use it. If I hold up a color card and masters the room knows how to use them for analysis. If I hold up a microscope most or all know how to do darkfield and reflective clarity analysis. But I can wave a Zeiss loupe (circa 1980), ideal scope (2001) or ASET scope (2005) in the air and you can almost see cartoon question marks pop up over everyone's heads.

Sidebar: Credit to certain of the vetted PriceScope vendors on this topic. More and more frequently - when I illustrate how an ideal scope works on a round brilliant and show them images in the PPT - there are "aha" moments from folks who have spotted them before in those PS vendors' listings.

Hi John Pollard, Thanks for the clarification. We can all learn from one another whether or not we agree on the topic. As a diamond novice, I am impressed with the knowledge sharing and unselfish mentoring. I have an open acceptance and tolerance of all views and take them in the vein of learning about diamonds. My wife has the love of jewelry bling. I look at it as a new investment and data gathering, analyzing the data, comparing the data, enlisting opinions and advice from recognized experts is how I approach this endeavor. The diamonds purchase will come to a sizable sum and I want to ensure good value for the outlay. The intangible is the happiness they will bring my wife. Can't put a price tag on that. So worth it.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
16,532
For whatever reason this industry is largely unregulated and it makes it very easy for the consumer to be preyed upon.
This is where I believe AGS has missed the mark. Poorly cut stones don’t get sent to them for a lab report so being vocal won’t reduce their business.
GIA is meant to be the regulator - they are paid a lot of money that eventually comes from consumers to do it. But alas! The are paid first by the vendor.
And I think AGS standards have slipped.
I have seen some stones run through their software that score AGS 0 that were not far off the steepest deepest GIA Excellent cuts.
 
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