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Bad HCA score?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by sixmillionmiles, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    Hi there! I recently made an upgrade (it's my second upgrade in a month - long story) - to a 0.92 ct RB. It's a GIA triple ex, SI1. However, I just got back from the jeweler and plugged in the specs to the HCA tool (which I just found out about) - and the diamond scored a 3.6 ("Very Good - Worth buying if the price is right").

    I felt like I scored the diamond for a steal since it faces up large for its carat (6.36x6.38 and HCA gave the spread an "Excellent" rating) and for our budget ($3k). It looked very beautiful in the store, and I'm now wondering if I should go back to the jeweler and pick a different stone. Has anyone ever found a diamond with an HCA > 3 that was acceptable? I loved it in the store, and now I'm unsure what to do!

    Here are the other stats:
    Depth: 59.9%
    Table: 59%
    Crown: 32%
    Pavillion: 41.6%
    Symmetry: Excellent
    GIA cut: Excellent
    Measurements: 6.36 x 6.38 x 3.82
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  2. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Sep 3, 2019
    I think "acceptable" is a really subjective term. I wouldn't personally buy a stone with a score of over 2 on the HCA because I would know it wasn't "ideal" and that I could do better. I'm personally willing to sacrifice color and clarity (to a point) to maximize ideal cut. But that's my own preference and doesn't mean it's yours. Could you post a picture of the certificate?
     
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  3. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    Thanks for your thought! Unfortunately, I don't have the certificate on me - just took down the specs when I was at the jeweler. I already sacrificed color (went to J, because it will be set in yellow gold anyway) and went down to the lowest clarity I was comfortable with (SI1). I wasn't originally concerned because it was stunning in person and was a triple excellent grade by GIA.
     
  4. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Sep 3, 2019
    I was just curious about the details of inclusion plots, etc.

    Overall I wouldn't be happy with a stone that I knew wasn't an ideal cut. Are you able to return? Do you have to stick with this jeweler? Was the price exactly 3k for the stone?
     
    


    


  5. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    I guess my main question is if a great diamond could possibly have an HCA score >3. It looked great, so I'm not sure of the score.
     
  6. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Sep 3, 2019
    Probably not, but again it depends on what you mean by "great". The cut doesn't seem great.
     
  7. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Dancing Fire » Sep 3, 2019
    Your stone is cheap for a reason (flat top) not so well cut. how much did you paid?. All diamonds look :love: under jewelry stone lights. Can you return or exchange for another stone?
     
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  8. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    I paid $3k for it. I can go back to the jeweler and ask for an exchange.

    My main reason for posting this thread is that I was wondering whether HCA score should be taken as gospel.
     
  9. OoohShiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by OoohShiny » Sep 3, 2019
    HCA tool is used to sift out stones where the pavilion and crown angles work with each other - Garry Holloway (the inventor) has previously said that some stones up to a 2.6 (ish?? IIRC??) score can still be beautiful, and 3 is not that far from that point, so I don't think a stone scoring a 3 is the end of the world.

    As mentioned, it is a 60/60 style, so larger table and shallower, the latter of which gives it the bigger spread for its weight. They tend to produce more white light than coloured fire - neither is better than the other *really*, as it is personal taste which one you prefer.

    You've seen the stone and it looks good in the store, which is a good thing, but you also need to make sure it performs well in other lighting environments too - such as 'flat' uplighting (no spotlights), overcast cloudy days, in low-light situations (which can be tested by holding it under the table or a piece of dark/thick paper)...

    Test the stone out in the different lighting environments it will be in and see how it goes - if it still does well (even if not identical to a SuperIdeal) and you paid a bargain price, the trade-off you've made suits your needs so you shouldn't stress too much, I reckon.

    As already noted, we would be happy to help you identify alternative options that might suit your needs ;-) but as you say, it is likely you'll get a smaller spread for your budget if you go with a SuperIdeal - the trade-off there being the other end of the scale, with top-of-the-tree cut quality but a smaller spread.
     
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  10. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    Thanks so much for your comprehensive reply! I actually called the jeweler back and she's pulling a few more stones with different specs. I think I'd prefer it to be "mind-clean" and have a better HCA :)
     
    


    


  11. Kaycee2018
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Kaycee2018 » Sep 3, 2019
    For most people here, the HCA is gospel. If exchanging it for something with more complimentary angles (and thus a good HCA score) is something you want to pursue, post the GIA certs for the other stones being offered by your jeweler and you will get great advice from the experts here. Or is you are able to get a refund, the folks here will help you find something. But if you are happy with your diamond and feel it is beautiful and stunning, then just enjoy it (though you may want to thoroughly check it under all sorts of non-jewelry store lighting conditions....Those lights are designed to make even the worst diamonds look appealing). GL!
     
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  12. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    Thanks! My new stone hasn't been set yet (I just purchased it), so my jeweler will be able to make the switch for a comparable price. To achieve a better HCA score, I think I may have to sacrifice a bit of size since this one had great spread, but hopefully the better cut will make up for it!
     
  13. OoohShiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by OoohShiny » Sep 3, 2019
    If you or the jeweller has an ASETscope tool, you can use it to check cut quality / consistency, and for any light leakage. :)

    We usually recommend the following ranges to help sift stones that might come near to SuperIdeals:

    Table 54-57 or 58%
    Depth 60-62.4%
    Pavilion Angle 40.6 - 40.9 degrees
    Crown Angle 34 - 35 degrees (up to 35.5 or even 36 with a shallow pavilion, i.e. 40.6)

    As implied, shallow crown should match with steeper pavilion, and vice versa. :)
     
  14. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    This is super helpful!! Thanks! My jeweler totally knew what I was talking about and is aiming to give me some options that fit the HCA formula. She told me that it was largely preference (this proportion vs 60/60), but I think I'd just feel better knowing it was HCA-approved.
     
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  15. OoohShiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by OoohShiny » Sep 3, 2019
    Ooh, and use the search bar at the top of the forum to search for similar spec stones - select 'Excellent' within the HCA score section of the Advanced Filters to sift stones that score under 2 and will perform well, and you can compare prices :))
     
    


    


  16. OoohShiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by OoohShiny » Sep 3, 2019
    It sounds like she is on the ball, which is great to hear. If you can compare the two cuts side-by-side you can buy in full awareness of the options, which is all we can ask!
     
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  17. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    Will do! So it sounds like it's worth it to sacrifice face-up size / spread for a better HCA score, given that all else stays the same (carat, color, clarity)? She warned me that the dimensions wouldn't be as large, but I'm thinking it's worth it for better cut?
     
  18. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » Sep 3, 2019
    Yes, most ideal cut stones will score excellent on the first three factors on the HCA and very good on spread. But it's worth it to have a top cut quality diamond. As someone else said, most diamonds look good in jewelry store lighting, but that's generally not where we actually wear our diamonds on a daily basis.
     
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  19. moneymeister
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by moneymeister » Sep 3, 2019
    It's great that you will have a few to look at visually and select. Make sure you look at them outside and with indirect light (shield from spotlights). Happy hunting!
     
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  20. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Sep 3, 2019
    As others mentioned, the HCA tool is not the “be-all and end-all”. It provides a very informative estimate as to the diamond’s expected performance based on how complimentary the angles and other specs are, but ultimately you want to view the diamond at least under an ideal scope (ASET preferable) and with own eyes under different lighting (not jewelry store lighting). The scopes will help identify potential light leakage (light passing through and not returning to your eyes, aka dead spots/windowing). Even two diamonds with identical specs on certs and same HCA scores may have very different light performances per scopes and you’d want to select the best from your options. There’s also optical symmetry (Hearts & Arrows/H&A) to consider if you are truly keen on an ideal cut. Note that optical symmetry is not the same as meet-point symmetry. GIA only grades the later. You’d need a H&A viewer to assess optical symmetry. All of these tools can be purchased to be at your disposal as most jewelers may only carry the H&A viewer.
     
  21. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Dancing Fire » Sep 3, 2019
    SI1? what color?
     
  22. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    It's a J color since I like warmer diamonds, and it's being set in yellow gold anyways! It also has a blue fluorescence to offset.
     
  23. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Sep 3, 2019
    I think OP mentioned J in earlier post.
     
  24. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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  25. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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    by sixmillionmiles » Sep 3, 2019
    So it turns out the jeweler didn't have any diamonds in this size range with <2 HCA scores in store. There's a .8 ct with an HCA score of 0.6 we can order, but I'm sad about sacrificing size...going from 6.36x6.38 to 5.93x5.97. Maybe it's worth it though?
     
  26. sixmillionmiles
    Rough_Rock

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  27. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  28. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Sep 3, 2019
    Can you purchase a diamond from a different vendor and have the jeweler set the stone in their setting? Or, are you locked into an exchange/upgrade policy with the jeweler since you’ve already purchased/upgraded previously? Basically, can you return the current diamond for a full refund and start anew with sourcing an ideal/super-ideal diamond through a PS-recommended vendor like WF? If so, would the return policy apply to the setting, too, as many PS-recommended vendors also make lovely settings. Just want to have a more global understanding of your situation.
     
  29. moneymeister
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by moneymeister » Sep 3, 2019

    Really, with the Signature Brian Gavin Cuts, and White Flash Hearts and Arrows, you'll fall into the HCA specs. But here you go :)
    83.png
     
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  30. Dancing Fire
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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