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Effect of Cut on Color and Clarity?

jmb1978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
13
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster here. I've spent a few months reading up tons of information regarding diamonds, the 4 C's, hearts and arrows, and various other parameters. I feel like I am far more educated than I ever thought I would be but I have not found adequate clarification on one point: The effect that Cut has on the other C's.

The gist that I get is that an absolutely ideal cut can cause a round diamond to, when set, appear larger and a few clarity grades higher than it really is; I've also read that a great cut can make inclusions harder to detect in some cases. Is this generally true or simply vendor hype?

This uncertainty is causing me grief because generally I'd prefer to buy quality vs. quantity. I'd prefer to have smaller F-G-H VS1 instead of a larger I-J SI1 for example. Now suppose I buy a Whiteflash ACA diamond, or an Infinity Diamond from HP Diamonds. From what I read these are among the best cut diamonds to choose from. Would these cuts really cause the stone to face-up more colorlessly and appear a little larger? I'm wondering if I lower my color/clarity standards and raise my cut standards to the maximum, if this would be a smart move; for it would allow me to look for a larger carat size for the same money. I might be bothered a little knowing that the AGS report would maybe say J and SI1 on it, but if the diamond itself truly looks better than the grade suggests due to the cut, I would be happy. For what its worth, the setting will be either white gold 18k or platinum .950; possibly with side diamonds channel-set or pave. My budget is flexible; I've looked at diamonds anywhere from 3k to 8k. I guess once I know better what qualities I want for my 4 C's, I'll tighten that range accordingly.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
idea cut can make diamond look face up a bit whiter. I'm not sure about the make it look larger part, I will let others confirm it. G VS2 is a good place to have for a white and eye clean diamond as well as price.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
9,725
Hi JMB,
A few common misconceptions -
1) A well cut diamond will appear larger than a poorly cut on e of the same grade. This is simply untrue- in fact, sometimes a poorly cut stone will look much larger than a well cut one of the same weight.
2) A well cut diamond will face up whiter than another stone of the same color, less well cut. Again, simply not true
3) A well cut diamond hides imperfection better- again, false.
In each case the specifics of the given stone are what will make the difference.
For example, where is that SI1 imperfection- and what is the nature of that imperfection?
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I think the bottom line is a well-cut diamond has more sparkle and brilliance because they are cut to maximize this. So while against a white backdrop they might both look the same color (IF they are graded by the same lab) face-up, the ideal cut stone will have tons of sparkle and life. The other stone will just not have as much brilliance and therefore look more dull and the body color will be much more noticeable.

Also bear in mind that most of the stones at local B&M/Mall stores tend to be either uncerted or graded by 2nd + tier labs (EGL, IGI, etc.) that are not consistent in their grading scales and/or are soft compared to GIA and AGS. So yes, a J at pop's maul store graded by IGI is going to seem yellow because it's likely a L/M or even lower on the color scale per AGS/GIA. The reality is that a well-cut H, I, J are not yellow in the least and are barely tinted. I personally think H/VS2 is the best spot for value/quality balance. I have an AGS Ideal I/SI2 that I think is fabulous, sparkly, white, and I see no tint face-up compared to the surrounding stones in my setting which are F/G .17 each. Before finding pricescope I would have heard I/SI2 and thought "yellow crap" :tongue: .
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
it depends on the actual dimensions. some poorly cut stones are very deep and cut to retain weight. those are smaller in diameter than ideal cut diamonds of the same carat weight. ideal cut stones will also have more edge to edge reflections making them appear larger to the eye in certain lighting.

as far as color, an ideal cut stone will have more bright light reflections so it may appear whiter face up than a poorly cut stone of the same color grade but an ideal cut J will not look like a D. I would try to see some diamonds in person to determine your color preferences.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
9,725
There are many diamond terms that sound definitive, yet they are not.
"Ideal" diamonds is a great example.
I've found that 60/60 stones may sometimes look larger than tolkowski style ( can also be called "ideal") of the same weight and diameter.

It's important because of how many sellers are abusing the term "ideal"- making many consumers think that just because someone calls a stone "ideal" that automatically means something.
On many occasions it simply means a seller is willing to use deceptive terminology.

nowife has a great point about how consumers can get turned off to I-J color stones because they've sen M colors graded I by EGL
The same thing can happen with the term "ideal"
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
27,253
Do you have a jareds near by? You can go check out their peerless line which are well cut stones. That way you
can see if an I/J colored stone does or does not bother you.

I would consider G color pretty standard.
 

jmb1978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
13
Thanks for the excellent replies. A lot of what was said makes sense to me. I know for sure, I am planning to buy a stone that has a GIA or AGS cert. I'm not willing to buy a stone with any other cert, or lack thereof due to the fact that I am very comfortable trusting GIA and AGS. If anything I am preferring AGS because they appear to me, to be tighter on cut (i.e. AGS triple 0's are a small subset of GIA's Excellent cut). The whole reason this came up at all was that I've been looking mainly at .75-ish carat Whiteflash ACA's within the F-H range and VS clarities; possibly even better depending on how much I feel like spending. I was turned off from 1 carat SI2 - J's because I thought quality should overrule quantity. Then I noticed a K SI1 ACA on Whiteflash of 1.2 carats, with a very attractive price. I know Whiteflash to be a highly respected and trusted vendor. That's when I started wondering if the ACA cut quality might help the K color "appear" to be a little whiter and if it's "really" such a bad thing. I don't expect it to look like a D or anything, but I wonder if it would look grossly yellow, even with its ACA cut and set into a white gold or platinum ring.

Here's the 1.2ct K SI:
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-179737.htm

and a smaller but higher quality diamond I've also looked at: .76ct H VS2
http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2638933.htm

This whole thing is making me rethink my priorities; I know first and foremost that I want the best cut I can find but Is an ideally cut ACA 1.20ct K color something I should avoid becuase it's K?
 

0-0-0

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
1,308
jmb1978|1310508737|2967551 said:
This whole thing is making me rethink my priorities; I know first and foremost that I want the best cut I can find but Is an ideally cut ACA 1.20ct K color something I should avoid becuase it's K?

It really depends on your preferences. Some people actually prefer stones with more color. When I was shopping with my fiancee, she consistently picked out H/I color as her favorites among AGS0 / GIA Excellent stones of similar cut and size, without knowing which was which beforehand.
 

InnaR

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
328
I don't think ACA K will look much whiter than any other K. I owned AGS ACA I, and GIA non ACA Expert selection J (with Mid Blue Flour). In my opinion (I posted my own comparison AGS ACA and GIA Expert selection, based on my experience) GIA J looked whiter than AGS ACA I. I also noticed that it outsparkled the ACA.
I also own three stone ACA ring. All three stones are I color. I love the sparkles, but they cannot hide fairly strong yellow tint.
The bottom line, no ACA does not hide the color. I would also dare to suggest that my feeling is that GIA is tighter with color grading. If you know what kind of cut you prefer within the Excellent range (75% LGF or 80% LGF, high or low crown and so on) you can find a beautifully cut diamond high in color and not to pay premium for ACA.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
K is about where a stone is noticeably off white at a glance to most laypeople. Is it yellow? Not really. More like a soft cream color. Set properly it'll look reasonably white- definitely not an icy white, more like an antique white. Nobody is going to go, wow, is that a peridot? Also, at about J each color grade broadens considerably. So a "high color" K is likely to be noticeably (if subtly) less body color than a "low color" K.

I own an M colored antique cut with enough size (3.39 cts) to make the body color even more noticeable. Let me tell you, the setting type makes a ridiculous amount of difference in perceptible color. It came in a setting originally that had a halo of J colored melee. Even that much contrast between the sidestones and the center emphasized the color a lot- you could glance at it and see that it was a low color easily. Then I reset it into a platinum bezel with side stones that matched exactly... and the body color is way, way, way less noticeable. It faces up pretty much white in this setting- no visible yellow face up, just a hint of off white in some lighting. Huge, huge, huge difference.

So, if you decide you are willing to go lower in color go for no no melee- and if you go for side stones, have them larger and matched exactly in color. (Melee, due to the way optics work on tiny stones, tend to appear whiter than larger stones even if they're the same color- so if you're wanting to de-emphasize color, don't use any and go for larger side stones, in my experience anyway.)

I think a well cut stone- not necessarily ideal- is better at masking body color because you see more light return face up, than a lousy cut. But if you're thinking there's gonna be a difference in perceptible face up color between, say, a near-ideal cut and a super ideal? Nope, there wouldn't be. Any stone that returns light pretty efficiently is going to look a little whiter to the eye than a cruddy cut, just because you see more light.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,676
Well, I know if given the choice between a smaller E VS1 and a larger H SI1 (assuming cut is excellent on both), I would pick the larger H SI1 every time! I would wager that most women would too. The reason is that you get more stone for your dollar. In many cases, as long as the stone is eye clean, people can't tell the difference between SI1 and VS1 or VS2. Same with color, unless you are sensitive, you probably can't tell the difference between an H or an F face up.
 
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