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Fallen in the Fire?

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jknapper

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Messages
32
I'm wondering if I've fallen in the Hearts on Fire sales pitch. I got a .463 G SI1 for $2500. I put it in a tension mounting and think it looks very nice. I realize I probably could of done better by getting a diamond off the internet, but I like having a store nearby and dealing with an acutal person. My question is what kind of value do the Hearts on Fire hold? Obviously the last thing the jeweler said was "you bought a very high quality stone" which I took with a grain of sand, cause I don't believe any opinion of a salesperson. Also, HoF are graded by AGS, not GIA - is that bad?
 

peterchristopher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
42
I know that HoF diamonds are more expensive than most, if not all, other H&As. You should compare it with WhiteFlash's prices (www.whiteflash.com). Their H&As are fantastic and reasonably priced.

AGS certifications, though less common than GIA, are superior--AGS grades cut, whereas GIA does not. Many stones that would not receive a good AGS cert are sent to GIA to "hide" flaws in cut. You should therefore expect any Hearts & Arrows stone to be AGS certified since the basic idea behind H&A is that the cut is better.
 

jknapper

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Messages
32
So more than likely the only way to get my money back out of it down the road will be to take advantage of the "free-up" program from the Jeweler, and next time go with less of a name brand H&A? Is HoF any better diamond, or is just paying for the name?
 

peterchristopher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
42
I don't know about your return policy. Down the road you should shop several H&As and view them through an IdealScope if you can before making your final decision. WhiteFlash, where I bought mine, has a 10 day in-home viewing period. They sell A Cut Above H&A cut stones, which as far as I know is just as good as HoF and less expensive. You can also get a decent discount by mentioning this website.
 

biscuit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
67
Hi All...

As far as I know, an Ideal is an Ideal is an Ideal. Granted some ideals (within the ideal range) are visually better than others, but it doesn't matter if you have a "name" attached to the rock.

Therefore, Hearts on Fire, A Cut Above, SuperbCert, Lazare...all of these are ideal, but SO IS a non-branded, no-name Ideal diamond. Some say that 8 Star is somehow the best or distinct, but in the end, it too is an Ideal.

What we're talking about here is good old fashioned marketing...why do Guess jeans command twice the money that Levis do? It's the *name*...and good marketing to make people think that they're somehow better...

So, in the future...IF you feel comfortable with it, save some money and get a no name, non-branded AGS Ideal stone...you'll get the same beauty, for a LOT less $$.

Bottom line...LOVE the rock you got! It's yours! AND it's beautiful! But if I were you and ever wanted a bigger stone, I wouldn't bother with the upgrade policy because your B&M dealer probably can't approach the cost of rocks on the internet....

Hope that helps!:))
 

peterchristopher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
42
Biscuit,

An Ideal is NOT an ideal. The reason 8-stars are better is that they take cutting technology way beyond what AGS currently has the ability to grade. Same is the case with Hearts & Arrows, though not necessarily with all of them because there are so many H&As out there and no universal standard of grading them. You can get a better deal if you find a great non-branded H&A, but it takes a lot more work. On the other hand, even though they are more expensive than their generic counterparts, you can count on certain H&A brands to provide a quality cut.

You are right, however, that a branded H&A is not necessarily better than a non-branded one. It is also possible that a very well cut non H&A can have better light return than a poorly cut H&A, but GENERALLY speaking, the average H&A is cut better than an average AGS 0.

This is my understanding of it anyway.

Peter
 

biscuit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
67
Hi PeterChristopher!

I might be wrong (often am), but I don't think a few things you said were 100% correct. First, AGS has cut ranges for what they consider an Ideal cut. It has to do with facet measurements...I'm sure you know all this. Yes, 8 Star uses a different cutting method, but in the end, the rocks come out in the AGS Ideal cut range. In fact, you can find out *exactly* what the 8 Stars have for Pav and Crown angles etc., and they *will* fall within AGS Ideal ranges. What matters is not *how* a diamond is cut but how the cut turn out. And since 8Stars end up as an AGS Ideal type rock, then it is quite possible for another cutter, by "old fashioned" methods to produce a similar, or *even better* rock. It doesn't matter if a rock has great angles on paper, or if the rock was cut with superman laservision, but what matters is *how it performs visually*. Most cutters and gemmologists will tell you that the occaisional AGS2 or even 4 will *outperform* an AGS Ideal. 8 Star supposedly has a "look"...but, in the end it is an Ideal diamond. Period.

As far as Hearts and Arrows goes, this is a *type of symmetry* and NOT a cut!!! If you read the pricescope tutorial it says *plainly* that H&A CANNOT be observed by the naked eye, and that the reason a person would buy an H&A would be for primarily emotional reasons. It says that! I promise! Hearts & Arrows was discovered looking through a *microscope*!!! If H&A "cut" was so tremendously beautiful, don't you think that people would have discovered it looking at diamonds with the naked eye??? They'd say, "wow, what a great cut!" No, H&A was discovered in a lab, by some geek, and can only be seen with a viewer. So should it matter to us, the consumer, for any reason other than emotional (since we can't see it with our naked eye)????? Absolutely not!!

I do agree that an H&A rock does mean you're getting something...a symmetrical diamond. And that is definitely worth something. But since H&A has much less to do with optical performance than, say, pav and crown angles, then what should matter to us is AGS or GIA grading that takes these into account.

In the end, BOTH 8 Star and the H&A phenomenon (these are related) are worth $$ due to good marketing.
 

biscuit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
67
----------------
On 10/28/2002 3:15:18 PM

Biscuit,

An Ideal is NOT an ideal. The reason 8-stars are better is that they take cutting technology way beyond what AGS currently has the ability to grade.

This isn't true. AGS is quite capable of grading 8 Star.

Same is the case with Hearts & Arrows, though not necessarily with all of them because there are so many H&As out there and no universal standard of grading them.

True, there is no universal standard, but I'm not really sure of the point you're making. What matters for visual performance is not the H&A pattern, but cut dimensions.

but GENERALLY speaking, the average H&A is cut better than an average AGS 0.

I think our difference is probably related to your understanding of "H&A cut". H&A is an type of symmetry, not cut. Therefore, *many* AGS 0 cuts display H&A symmetry. Hope that helps. Again, i'm no expert, so experts out there, feel free to clear up the subject.
:praise:
 

peterchristopher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
42
Biscuit,

I agree with a lot you are saying, with the following exception:

An 8-star is always an Ideal cut but an Ideal cut is NOT always an 8-star. If you've ever compared an 8-star with another diamond under a FireScope you have seen the difference. Yes, it is possible for an Ideal or even a non-Ideal cut diamond to approach 0% light leakage but that is due to luck, not the skill of the cutter. NOT the case with 8 stars. Furthermore, some H&A brands are beginning to approach this standard of excellence. WhiteFlash, for example, is beginning to use an IdealScope when cutting their diamonds.

I do agree with you that H&A refers to symmetry more than light performance and does not make a big difference once the diamond is set, especially in respect to the hearts (the arrows ARE visible after the diamond is set through a H&A viewer or an IdealScope). But a perfectly symmetrical diamond is supposed to have better light performance than a non-symmetrical one, all other things being equal of course.

Peter
 

peterchristopher

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
42
Forgot to mention that AGS is only beginning to incorporate a method of measuring light return. As far as I know this has not yet been instituted. They are currently working with Richard von Sternberg of 8-Star to develop this new grading standard.

Also wanted to make it clear that there is a strong, though not necessarily direct, relationship between symmetry and light return.
 

biscuit

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
67
Hi Peter!

Absolutely!! Not all Ideals are 8 star! Quite true...infact, not all ideals are visually ideal performers. I think we probably agree on more than we disagree. As far as the symmetry and visual performance go, I think that it really still has to do with personal taste. You'll still find a lot of oldtimers (especially on Diamond Talk) who swear by asymmetrical diamonds...they prefer the "chaos". My personal taste is definitely in favor of symmetry, so personally I would agree with you that for me, a well perfoming diamond would have to be ideal symmetry.

Thanks for the dialogue!

:praise:
 
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