At what point can you see the difference in HCA and Brilliance Scope scores?

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Feb 15, 2003
Good lord - this is all so confusing!

I remember reading somewhere (though I can't find it now) about the results of the HCA and Brilliance Scope and what can be seen with the naked eye...

If I have a diamond that scores 1.9 - will that generally be visibly different (worse) then the diamond that scores 1.2? Or, since they are both under 2, are they comparable to look at?

And if I have a diamond that scores VH in all three categories on the Brilliance Scope - will there be an apparent difference to my eye between the diamond that scores low VH's and the diamond that scores with high VH's? Or - once I reach the VH category most diamonds will be amazing and there isn't much obvious difference?

Obviously each diamond needs to be looked at individually, in person, but for a first glance ordering online - would a 1.9 w/ low VH's look comparable to a 1.2 w/ high VH's?

And there are poorly cut diamonds out there and I'm just immersed in the quality area? All I seem to run into online is the better cut diamonds, but I am choosing from vendors on Pricescope so that may not be the "general population".
It's probably a good thing, but I don't seem to be running into the poor quality diamonds that are supposed to be the standard in the general population.

Rank Amateur

Feb 26, 2003
I believe that neither Garry Holloway nor the people at GemEx claim that their respective techniques will definitely yeild visually different images for such small differences in scores. In fact, if I weren't so lazy I'd find the info on both both websites that says just that.

My opinion is that both instruments can help you weed out the poor performing stones, then it's up to your eyes to make the final choice. You might pick up that some stones have a larger table, or more fire than scintillation, but it is difficult to relate these visual perceptions to BS or HCA "scores". It is also difficult for an Amateur to have the opportunity to see many different stones side by side to then pick out the really great stones among the really good stones. Truth be told, most or us would never notice the difference anyway.


Mar 28, 2001
Hi Adrienne,

When you have 2 stones side by side and both score 3 of 3 VH's or even 2 out of 3 VH's it's virtually impossible to tell the difference. Keep in mind that many diamonds on the market get NO VH's! There must be an outstanding optical quality about the diamond to cause something to jump into the VH zone be it fire, brilliance or scintillation. If a diamond scores anywhere near the VH zone you're looking good. Keep in mind however the BrillianceScope is only giving an idea of how the diamond will appear in direct light conditions as fire, brilliance & scintillation (in relation to direct light return) are primarly observed in direct light conditions.

The optical symmetry of the diamond (H&A) will affect moreso how beautiful the diamond is in softer or more diffuse light conditions.

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