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Evaluating Old Cuts (Project Pendant)

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
How do you tell how well an antique diamond is cut, sight unseen? Sometimes I can see nice faceting from a still photograph. Sometimes I don't but it still might be a really nice stone in person, but how would I know?
I am in San Diego and I don't really know where to look at old cuts in person to get an idea of what I might like.

I am shopping for a pendant in the half carat range. I know I can stretch my budget with a warmer stone (I plan to set it with a rose gold chain) but i don't have any sense of if I'd like that or not.

I bought and returned some really pretty rose cuts, hoping to get studs made. The stones, though beautiful, were not quite right for me. I've looked for other matched pairs but it's harder than I thought to get a nice match. I still want to get some nice jewelry for myself, so maybe a pendant is a better place to start. It has to be easier to fall in love with one stone than find two.

I went to Tiffany today to try on a few sizes on RB pendants to get a sense of size. I really like the .50 carat range (bigger would be nice but may not be feasible). They had a .44 for $2340 and .5 for $2850. They were both I color and VS1. If I get a RB I will probably choose an online PS vendor, but if I knew HOW to pick an old cut, I would really like to find one.

My budget has been arbitrarily set at $1500. Is this realistic? I really don't know where to start.
Online vendors of older stones I'm aware of include LAD, JBG, IDJ and OWD and Ivy and Rose. It's been a total wash trying to find something local.
 

StephanieLynn

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
4,870
Antique cuts you really have to buy with your eyes. It helps if you can get a magnified view of the diamond you are considering to try to spot inclusions as well as chips which are so common on the girdles of old stones.

Rose cuts are a very specific look and don't appeal to everyone. The vendors you listed are all very good, probably get the most bang for your buck with Ivy and Rose. Is $1500 just for the stone or the whole ring? Also do you like the look of a round brilliant? You can get an early round brilliant/transitional in an old stone.

Your best bet is going to be to go with a vendor that provides clear pictures, has specs of the stone AND a generous return policy.
 

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
@StephanieLynn $1500 for a stone than I'd like to set as a pendant.

I do like RBs too. I like anything sparkly. You can't really plug old stone specs into the HCA can you?

@joelly I wasn't able to follow the link.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
615
Post photo on Rocky Talky and our experienced old cut people can help you evaluate potential. Identify what you want in an old cut, it’s not just about size. Color, clarity, cut style? What do you prefer... also check out Loupe Troop, Ivy and Rose and Parks Fine Group and XOTHEbijousbox. eBay has many antique old cut rings in that size, you just have to be able to identify well cut stones... Good luck, take your time.
 

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
Thanks @LightBright
Ben Bridge had some different colors in a case, maybe I can go see the more tinted colors and see how I like them. I would like to set something in rose gold, and I'm probably not even going to look at DEFG due to pricing. J, K, L and beyond might be well cut enough to make a great pendant and look lovely in rose gold.

For clarity, I'm still learning how to identify what makes a stone cloudy versus inclusion that don't effect the stone in that way.
 

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
@LightBright are you talking about magnified videos? I've only seen those on some of the bigger retailers' sites. I guess I feel a bit shy about asked vendors for extra things. Is it very common for them to do that?

I wish I could buy one of everything.
 

StephanieLynn

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
4,870
Granted a lot of people are not great at pictures either because they lack the skill or the equipment or both. Also diamonds can be very difficult to photograph.

Here is what I would do and I have done this in the past. If you find a diamond online that meets your requirements take a pic of it and crop out any identifying information and then post it to Rocky Talk so they can evaluate it. Doing this saved me from buying a diamond that had a feather which btw the seller was refusing to call a feather and instead referred to as a "break" except there is no such thing by GIA standards.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,484
The one LightBright posted looks promising.
My advice is not get too hung up on chasing perfection. The diamond will be about 5mm so keep that in mind when looking at super magnified photos. Look at it in different lighting and angles. And, take your time. When you see one that makes you smile you’ll know.
 

ForteKitty

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
4,452
Thanks for posting that, @NKOTB. I'm not sure I feel confident enough to buy a stone with no returns.

.
Hi, that's mine! (and also the one @PreRaphaelite posted) I'd be happy to show you my old cut stash if you're ever in LA. The loose one is more of a transitional, and the bezeled pendant stone has a tiny 44% table with flowery petals. Both are excellent performers. Btw, was it you who messaged me through LT? I responded but the registered email bounced back.
 

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
Does anyone have ballpark estimates for a simple bezel setting and chain? Even if it's a wide range.
I didn't really like trying to have loose stones set locally. Maybe I just didn't ask the right jewelers.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,484
Does anyone have ballpark estimates for a simple bezel setting and chain? Even if it's a wide range.
I didn't really like trying to have loose stones set locally. Maybe I just didn't ask the right jewelers.
Look at David Klass instagram, find one you like and email/message him for a quote.
 

MercurialK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
16
I really appreciate all the advice! It looks like the .71L of @ForteKitty is going to work for me!
Yesterday my cousin came over and reminded me that i had an allergic reaction to a rose gold necklace I borrowed from her mom.
I was considering swapping out the chain but probably won't. Maybe a future project can have a rose gold bezel and then the metal against my skin something I don't react to. Sigh.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.
 
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