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GIA Ex: The Consumers Perspective and the Technologies

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Rhino

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Hi all!

35.gif


Let me begin by apologizing for my apparent silence on the forum over the past few months. It is not intentional but as some of you know I have been working like a beaver on the site we are poised to launch and like many of you who participate here ... once you get invollved in discussion it is hard to pull away.

5.gif
Time here means time not spent getting tasks done I need to do to complete our website but after reading everything here lately, I feel compelled and obligated to offer my input and the results of our latest research into this subject, which in my professional opinion is information I feel is critical to any consumer consulting a present GIA Lab Report (or AGS Report for that matter) as well as technologies that give information about diamonds.


Late last year when learning of the different proportion combinations that comprise the GIA Ex cut grade, I entered my study with a great skepticism equal to or on par with our friend Brian and the other gemologist''s that participate on this forum. As many of you know we work with many technologies that show and demonstrate quite plainly when a diamond is suffering in the arena of optical performance. During my research over the past 9 months of the GIA and AGS cut grading systems, research gemologist from both labs have been extremely helpful in providing me with data and information helping me to understand how each of the labs have arrived at their conclusions and we spared no expense acquiring the technologies each lab used to arrive at their conclusions for our own internal studies. I value the friendships I have deveoped over the course of this time with the Cut Teams from each of these labs and it would be an injustice not to accurately present the information and knowledge I have gained in this period of time.


I recall asking Al Gilbertson just a few short months ago ... "How in the world do these steep/deeps make it into the Excellent grade?!?" Al''s response ... "When was the last time you saw one?" Truth is I hadn''t and I refuse to criticize something I''ve never laid eyes on myself and while we utilize the technologies we do, what we *see* always takes precedence in the final outcome.


You see ... over the course of the past 5 years I have used technologies to help in our purchasing decisions looking only for the rarest and confirming with observation testing in our lab. With the use of reflector technology we would always weed out the steep/deep combinations as they took hits on virtually every technology you can throw at it. Just about all the manufactureres we do business with generally do not cut the steep/deep combinations I was seeking out for this study. So, I was anxious to get one of these new GIA Ex steep deeps, run it through our analysis and really see if GIA was caving into industry pressure for a broader range of "Excellents" as is being suggested here by others.


Getting a GIA Ex steep/deep however was only the first step. I wanted to be able to compare this (which is of course a NON AGS Ideal) to another diamond that is an AGS Ideal that does not make GIA''s Excellent grade which I already had in my inventory. First I would like to present the technical data then share with all of you the results of the observation testing we performed. I''m doing this from our store so this may come over in pieces. Please fogive if I can''t post all the data immediately. After we post the data I will share with you what both our staff had to say but more importantly what averagle layman consumers had to say as we valued their input more than anything.


For those not familiar with what many consider steep/deep diamonds, they exhibit a ring of leakage under the table. A phenomena I have coined to be "the ring of death". Here is a graphic demonstrating this feature under reflector technology. The data will follow (as long as I don''t get pulled away to the counter).



ringofdeath[1].gif
 

Rhino

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In the forthcoming graphics the GIA Ex (non AGS Ideal) will be the diamond on the left or first, the AGS Ideal (non GIA Ex) on the right or 2nd. These graphics are taken from an article I have written entitled "Is There Life in the Ring of Death"?

Firstly, the numbers. These profile shots are taken directly from Helium scans. The Sarin rounds off the GIA Ex to a 35 degree crown angle and 41.2 pavilion angles. The Helium takes it down to 1/100 of a degree.

HELIUMCOMPARE.gif
 

Rhino

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Punching these numbers into the HCA produce the following results.



HCACOMPARE001.gif
 

Rhino

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Now lets examine some images based on the reflector based technologies. Here are ideal-scope pictures of each of these diamonds.

ISCOMPARES001.gif
 

Rhino

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DiamXray (formerly LightScope) Analysis

DIAMXRAYCOMPARE.gif
 

Rhino

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ASET (Note in these ASET images, black represents leakage as opposed to white in the red reflectors).

ASETCOMPARE001.gif
 

Rhino

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Since the reflectors do not give any numerical readings or bar graphs, lets see how these same 2 stones fare on technologies that do! Here are the bar graphs taken from the Bscope results. (btw if any of you DiamCalc geeks would like .dmc or .gem files let me know and I can forward them to you or post the .gem files here.

GEMEXCOMPARE.gif
 

Rhino

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And lastly ... the Isee2 Results.

isee2giaags[2].gif
 

Rhino

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To date we have conducted observation testing with these 2 diamonds showing 21 observers (I haven''t had this GIA Ex too long) but we''re gathering more consumer feedback today and this weekend as well before our manufacturers want it back. We showed each of these observers under calibrated diffuse daylight for brightness/scintillation. L.E.D. spot lighting for fire/scintillation plus a mix of the 2 to observe the phenomena of brightness, fire and scintillation at once.

Before I share the results of the consumer opinions we have gathered, does anyone care to take a crack at the ratio of people who selected one diamond over the other?

Do you think about half way? 10 for the GIA/11 for the AGS? 0 for the GIA/21 for the AGS? ... 5/16? I look forward to hear your input. I will post the results of our observation testing either later tonight or tomorrow and I look forward to your input.

Warm regards,
 

Shay37

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I''m going to go out on a limb and say 2 for GIA and 19 for AGS.

shay
 

kenny

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I'll bite.

After seeing all this data if it is not near unanimous for AGS we need to take back all advice ever given on Pricescope, throw all these tools into the trash, turn off the lights and go home.

(Of course these are only one each of many combos)
 

adamasgem

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Date: 3/10/2006 5:31:57 PM
Author: kenny
I''ll bite.

After seeing all this data if it is not near unanimous for AGS we need to take back all advice ever given on Pricescope, throw all these tools into the trash, turn off the lights and go home.

(Of course these are only one each of many combos)
Not quite.. Remember that the "tools" represent analysis in a SYMMETRIC lighting environment, hopefully such that the environment does NOT ALIAS the physical response characteristics (i.e. which has better light performance/fire/symmetry etc), and the lighting envirionment I believe Rhino is talking about is the GIA DiamondDock, which will never be a consistent, symmetrical envirionment, because of the way it is built and used.

You can design a lighting environment to mask differentiation or favor one type of stone over another or also to try to "mimic" or elict some type of preferential response from the consumer for the limited viewpoints and or observational distances involved. This was the problem GIA had in trying to match their observational data with their models, which has been addressed in many PS threads, and the response all depends on what questions you ask and the conditions the viewer has been given under which you choose to pose the questions.

It will be interesting to see Rhino''s "preference" results but I wouldn''t necessarily jump to any conclusions about the validity of the use of "tools" or analyses because they either "agree" or "disagree" with a "survey" or poll.
 

WinkHPD

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I will be interested in hearing what the exact ratio was, but having seen pictures of an actual steep deep side by side with a diamond with an AGS 0 cut grade of the exact same weight I can tell you that there was a dramatic difference in appearance. I have not yet been able to get my hands on one here in Boise, but from the photographic evidence I will guess that at least 80% chose the AGS stone. If the two stones were the same weight then the AGS stone looked larger because it has a larger circumference, while the steep deep is noticeably smaller.

So I guess part of my question is, how were the two stones presented. Were they in individual holders? Were they presented side by side? Are they the same weight or the same diameter with differing weights. Tell us more so that we might guess better, then for heavens sake, tell me if the steep/deeps look as poorly as I know they must. I have seen such stones before, just not with the GIA excellent label, and they were definitely wanting as far as I was concerned. It will be interesting to hear what your clients had to say, as the taste of the public is often different than the taste of the trade.

Wink
 

WinkHPD

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Rhino,

Were you using the diamond dock or letting people look at them in real light, that too is an important question. The diamond dock will make many dogs look good. Please tell me you are not using the diamond dock for this "test".

Wink
 

Dancing Fire

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Jon
why only compare with a painted girdle type of stone? how about throwing in a third stone
2.gif
a well cut stone with leakage along the edge.
 

Shay37

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Date: 3/10/2006 6:34:21 PM
Author: Dancing Fire
Jon
why only compare with a painted girdle type of stone? how about throwing in a third stone
2.gif
a well cut stone with leakage along the edge.
I think that because painted girdles are penalized under the new GIA cut system (from other thread), and Jon was trying to pick two stones. One GIA excellent steep/deep, and the other that is AGS-0 but would not get the GIA excellent because of the painted girdle. I think that was the point.(hope it was, or I need to re-read)

shay
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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I agree with other Rhino - if you use Diamond Dock you should get different results to many other environments.

Also what the stone is resting on is most important.

You might like to try making the stones a little greasy too.

And why the painted stone?
Why not an AGS 0 outside GIA''s range?
Why not a GIA VG or Good that looks good?
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/10/2006 6:25:16 PM
Author: Wink
Rhino,

Were you using the diamond dock or letting people look at them in real light, that too is an important question. The diamond dock will make many dogs look good. Please tell me you are not using the diamond dock for this ''test''.

Wink
To answer the questions thus far ...

We received the diamond dock in end of December or beginning of January time frame. Our first 10 observers were shown in natural daylight coming in through our window, then under both diffused 5800 degree kelvin and direct l.e.d.''s from a light source I have always used which we got from Gesswein, then under our newly acquired diamond dock. When the first 10 observers told me the same exact response under each of these 6 lighting environments, only then did I stick with the diamonddock. Let me say this about the DiamondDock ... I received mine after spending roughly 7-10 days video taping diamonds in every lighting environment you can imagine and I will tell you with 110% confidence, it mimicks both daylight and spot lighting conditions *excellently*.

Wink, over the course of time when showing diamonds side by side loose and in a tray, have you ever experimented using different colored backgrounds? Have you ever tried flat white? Black? A neautral color? If so, which do you think best represents true appearance? I have always found neautral colors do and was practicing this way before there was ever a diamonddock. My main skepticism of the tool was whether it duplicated daylight for brightness and spotlighting for fire *accurately*. I have found that it does indeed.

You say above that "The diamond dock will make many dogs look good." My question in response is what made you arrive at this conclusion? Have you ever observed diamonds under it as compared to natural daylight? This picture below is of a GIA Ex/AGS Ideal next to a GIA good under the dock that is a steep/deep. From the photograph, do you think the diamonddock makes the dog look better? I don''t think so personally as this photograph reflects what I and all consumers see in real life.

Peace out,

GIAEXVSGIAGOOD.jpg
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/10/2006 6:34:21 PM
Author: Dancing Fire
Jon
why only compare with a painted girdle type of stone? how about throwing in a third stone
2.gif
a well cut stone with leakage along the edge.
That''s coming DF. One comparison at a time.
1.gif
Night night.
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/10/2006 8:10:56 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)
I agree with other Rhino - if you use Diamond Dock you should get different results to many other environments.

Also what the stone is resting on is most important.

You might like to try making the stones a little greasy too.

And why the painted stone?
Why not an AGS 0 outside GIA''s range?
Why not a GIA VG or Good that looks good?
Greetings mate,

Good questions.

When observing in the daylight coming through the window I hold both diamonds in tweezers, side by side with the neautral color of my hand as the backdrop.

When I would show the clients under the Gesswein diffuse and direct 5800 kelvin I would place the 2 diamonds side by side in a transparent tray very much like the ones you use to take the shots with in the IS. I had one made with 2 holes in it for side by side comparisons. I then place the tray in the clients hands so the neautral color was always simply the backdrop of their own skin.

Over the years I have found this to be the best possible observation testing, however I felt to some degree that the Gesswein light was a little *too* bright as there are many l.e.d''s. but it still communciated appearance well.

What I like about the DiamondDock is that the lighting is raised higher and is not as intense as the Gesswein though plenty bright. When I did my video taping and observations of certain stones and then started comparing under the dock I couldn''t help but notice how much it did resemble actual daylight appearance. I bought the dock knowing I could return it if I was not satisfied. Not only am I keeping it, I may even purchase a 2nd and the neautral gray backdrop is no different than using any other neautral color. Matter of fact I would have been disappointed if the backdrop was too bright or too dark as that can *really* impact the reality of the appearance. Diamonds are generally not set against bright backgrounds, nor inky dark backgrounds. The neautral color of the metal with skin is the norm.

One other reason I like it ... You know as well as I, a common problem when viewing diamonds in jewelry stores is that consumers do not get an accurate presentation of diamond brightness. How many threads have you and I seen over the years mate... "Diamond looked good in jewelry store but when I brought it home it stunk" ... to that effect. This alleviates that problem by showing the consumer how it will appear in the most common viewing environments.

Why the painted stone? Because I wanted to compare an AGS Ideal that does not make GIA Ex and see what the general public thought. Same reasoning with the GIA Ex.

Why not an AGS 0 outside GIA''s range? That is an AGS 0 outside of GIA''s range.

Why not a GIA VG or Good that looks good? Actually ... that is a GIA VG that looks good.
1.gif
(There''s a possibility it may be a GIA good, but I am still becoming familiar with how much painting must be done exactly to cause a stone to fall from VG to G).

Peace out till tomorrow.

Kind regards,
 

Serg

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Re:Do you think about half way? 10 for the GIA/11 for the AGS? 0 for the GIA/21 for the AGS? ... 5/16?

If you showed to consumers diamonds only ( did not show any figures, grade, images)

From( 8 for the GIA/13 for the AGS) to (13 for the GIA/8 for the AGS ) ( depends from light conditions and age consumers)



 

Shay37

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Okay, here is just a little observation that I was able to make (bennie of a painted girdle if you will). Some of you know that for a few days, I was able to observe side by each two superideals. One was a GIA (not new paper) but from the numbers it would receive an excellent under the new system. It was also by the numbers AGS-0. This is a .764 superbcert. The other diamond had a painted girdle ACA new line. AGS-0 obviously The size .747ct. One weighed more, and had a bigger mm spread by the numbers. I got to looking at them, and was absolutly amazed that the smaller diamond appeared to be the larger diamond. What''s more, I asked several people without telling them who was bigger their opinion. They all thought that the smaller diamond was the larger of the two. When I told them the truth, they thought I was on crack or mistaken about what I had (fat chance).

Just thought I would share that observation about why a painted girdle can be way cool (one of many reasons I found while I had it in hand)
Sorry for the hijack, Jon. I now return you to your regularly scheduled techno-geek discussion.
31.gif
Which I love BTW. Keep it coming guys.

shay
 

Rhino

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Hi Marty,

Sorry for not addressing your questions last night. I heard when you called yesterday but was with another client. Please forgive. To address your concerns/comments.


Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

Not quite.. Remember that the ''tools'' represent analysis in a SYMMETRIC lighting environment, hopefully such that the environment does NOT ALIAS the physical response characteristics (i.e. which has better light performance/fire/symmetry etc), and the lighting envirionment I believe Rhino is talking about is the GIA DiamondDock, which will never be a consistent, symmetrical envirionment, because of the way it is built and used.
What people on this planet view diamonds in a perfectly symmetrical environment? Even my wife, who is a neat/clean freak and has everything in order, does not have my bedroom and all the items in it placed in a symmetrical fashion. That would drive me crazy. Normal viewing environments are not symmetrical by asymetrical. Even the obstruction before a diamond is in no way symmetrical, that is unless both your body and head are in the shape of a sphere or cube.
emsmilep.gif



Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

You can design a lighting environment to mask differentiation or favor one type of stone over another or also to try to ''mimic'' or elict some type of preferential response from the consumer for the limited viewpoints and or observational distances involved. This was the problem GIA had in trying to match their observational data with their models, which has been addressed in many PS threads, and the response all depends on what questions you ask and the conditions the viewer has been given under which you choose to pose the questions.
My questions were as simple as I knew how to ask. They were ... "As you view these 2 diamonds side by side, which diamond shows a greater display of fire and scintillation?" (While showing them under the leds.) "Which diamond displays greater brightness & scintillation? (while showing them under daylight)

Very simple and straightforward. No trick questions. I was also careful NOT to show the consumers any tech results. I did not want any pre-conceived bias whatsoever. Just straightup opinion.


Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

It will be interesting to see Rhino''s ''preference'' results but I wouldn''t necessarily jump to any conclusions about the validity of the use of ''tools'' or analyses because they either ''agree'' or ''disagree'' with a ''survey'' or poll.
Which is why the only tool/technology used by these consumers were that of their own eyes. No scopes, no technologies. Just diffuse daylight and direct leds. Simple and straightforward.

Peace,
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/11/2006 1:30:13 AM
Author: Serg

Re:Do you think about half way? 10 for the GIA/11 for the AGS? 0 for the GIA/21 for the AGS? ... 5/16?

If you showed to consumers diamonds only ( did not show any figures, grade, images)

From( 8 for the GIA/13 for the AGS) to (13 for the GIA/8 for the AGS ) ( depends from light conditions and age consumers)




Thanks for the input Sergey. I''m running back and forth today between appointments/phone calls. As soon as I get a chance to sit down I''ll post the rest asap.
 

adamasgem

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Date: 3/11/2006 11:55:59 AM
Author: Rhino
Hi Marty,

Sorry for not addressing your questions last night. I heard when you called yesterday but was with another client. Please forgive. To address your concerns/comments.




Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

Not quite.. Remember that the 'tools' represent analysis in a SYMMETRIC lighting environment, hopefully such that the environment does NOT ALIAS the physical response characteristics (i.e. which has better light performance/fire/symmetry etc), and the lighting envirionment I believe Rhino is talking about is the GIA DiamondDock, which will never be a consistent, symmetrical envirionment, because of the way it is built and used.
What people on this planet view diamonds in a perfectly symmetrical environment? Even my wife, who is a neat/clean freak and has everything in order, does not have my bedroom and all the items in it placed in a symmetrical fashion. That would drive me crazy. Normal viewing environments are not symmetrical by asymetrical. Even the obstruction before a diamond is in no way symmetrical, that is unless both your body and head are in the shape of a sphere or cube.
emsmilep.gif


I agree 100% that normal viewing environments are assymetric, but are you trying to analyse the cutting of diamond or the assymetry of (one, somewhat variable) envirionment combined with the diamond. Unfortunately, it muddies up the water, and you can design that "envirionment' to muddy it up most anyway you want to, which I guess might have happened.




Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

You can design a lighting environment to mask differentiation or favor one type of stone over another or also to try to 'mimic' or elict some type of preferential response from the consumer for the limited viewpoints and or observational distances involved. This was the problem GIA had in trying to match their observational data with their models, which has been addressed in many PS threads, and the response all depends on what questions you ask and the conditions the viewer has been given under which you choose to pose the questions.
My questions were as simple as I knew how to ask. They were ... 'As you view these 2 diamonds side by side, which diamond shows a greater display of fire and scintillation?' (While showing them under the leds.) 'Which diamond displays greater brightness & scintillation? (while showing them under daylight)


Again, "environment", fire from 12 small sources directly overhead????
Did you "ask the question regarding the observability of fire or "scintilation" from 4 or 6 feet away, from the wearer's friend viewpoint who doesn't invade her space and look at the diamond from a foot away.

And as to "scintilation" or smaller areas of dynamic contrast, the farther away, the less resolvable, as it is caused, for the most part by assymmetries in the stone and reduces broadflash fire, which you can see from farther away. I believe that there would be a knee in a scintillation curve, the more misalignment, the smaller the contrast pattern areas (scintillation)

Very simple and straightforward. No trick questions. I was also careful NOT to show the consumers any tech results. I did not want any pre-conceived bias whatsoever. Just straightup opinion.

And we know that eveyone has one...


Date: 3/10/2006 6:13:10 PM
Author: adamasgem

It will be interesting to see Rhino's 'preference' results but I wouldn't necessarily jump to any conclusions about the validity of the use of 'tools' or analyses because they either 'agree' or 'disagree' with a 'survey' or poll.
Which is why the only tool/technology used by these consumers were that of their own eyes. No scopes, no technologies. Just diffuse daylight and direct leds. Simple and straightforward.

I would hardly call 2 overhead 15" fluorescent tubes a "daylight" envirionment, from a relative intensity standpoint or distributional, last I looked, the sun was circular. Don't get me wrong, it is probably a good selling "tool" to try to obscure the differences between diamonds, but then again, I'm not a retailer, I try to analyse the technologies.

Peace,
I also took note of your choice of comparison stones, with two different styles of brillianteering, and you lack of the question which stone appears bigger.

The white/gray tray will also "cloud" the issue as a large % of light that is lost out the pavilion will reenter the stone. Ever Notice that in ANY published studies, GIA or AGS or MSU, that since that effect is left out becuase it does muddy up the waters, and you might ask the question, why GIA doesn't use a black tray with their DiamondDock, or is that the purpose, to cloud the issue.
 

adamasgem

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I am looking forward to seeing your "preference" results Rhino, but I might point to yesterday's defense of the GIA cut grade "system" in this link regarding the subject

http://www.gia.edu/newsroom/issue/2798/2536/insider_newsletter_details.cfm#3

"4. The system acknowledges personal and regional Tastes and Preferences. One of the most compelling findings from our observation tests and interviews was that different people prefer different appearances in diamonds. Sometimes these differences are from one person to another, and other times they represent preferences in certain countries or regions. We knew that the GIA Diamond Cut Grading System had to be applicable around the world. In some cases, this meant recognizing that a certain face-up appearance might be favored by some but not others. This recognition, backed by the findings of our ray-tracing and observation tests, is incorporated into the final system. Even though there can be different appearances within a given GIA cut grade (a good thing from both a sales and consumer point of view), the overall performance (e.g., the brightness and fire) of each diamond with the same grade is similar.



In otherwords, lets muddy the water a little, and allow off make stones to be pitched as EX even though technology, whether you believe in it or not, says differently. Again it all depends on what your definition of the word similar is..

I find that quite often a sales perspective and a consumer's best interest are diametrically opposed based on the seller's needs
 

dhog

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Has anyone done a study on the human eye and brain and
how it corelates to the 256 shades of grey,and how the
brain processes dark and bright spots in shades of grey


assuming that the diamond in the diamond dock would be
assorbing the background colors, I would think that the
human eye would see these stones the same.

I will say the score is 100% gia

Latinhib(ghostlines).GIF
 

strmrdr

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What would be an interesting next step would be to mount them in simple 4 prong heads side by side on a ring lenthwise in relation to the finger and repeat the test that way on the persons finger
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/11/2006 7:58:58 AM
Author: Shay37
Okay, here is just a little observation that I was able to make (bennie of a painted girdle if you will). Some of you know that for a few days, I was able to observe side by each two superideals. One was a GIA (not new paper) but from the numbers it would receive an excellent under the new system. It was also by the numbers AGS-0. This is a .764 superbcert. The other diamond had a painted girdle ACA new line. AGS-0 obviously The size .747ct. One weighed more, and had a bigger mm spread by the numbers. I got to looking at them, and was absolutly amazed that the smaller diamond appeared to be the larger diamond. What''s more, I asked several people without telling them who was bigger their opinion. They all thought that the smaller diamond was the larger of the two. When I told them the truth, they thought I was on crack or mistaken about what I had (fat chance).

Just thought I would share that observation about why a painted girdle can be way cool (one of many reasons I found while I had it in hand)
Sorry for the hijack, Jon. I now return you to your regularly scheduled techno-geek discussion.
31.gif
Which I love BTW. Keep it coming guys.

shay
No apologies necessary dear and I would agree. Many stones that have painted girdles do have a little more spread at times. In our testing, the painted diamond was a larger stone as well.
 
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