shape
carat
color
clarity

Grading of Ideal cut diamonds, a better way.

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by oldminer, Apr 30, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
  1. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007

    The GIA and AGS labs have fostered an overall cut grade on the trade and consumers. The trade really wants to satisfy the demand for grading, but many or most diamond dealers would prefer no grading or blindness on the part of their buyers. Internet vendors do appreciate that grading makes their job easier since nearly all the diamonds being sold on the Internet are better to super fine makes. By mixing the craftsmanship with the light grade, the labs have given the traditional deals the blindness they wanted to retain. It isn’t a good deal for anyone.


    My approach to cut grading has always been how suitable a diamond is for use in jewelry and also how good it looks to the eye. These are forever two separate grades which ought not to be intermingled into a single grade. Maybe this posting will clarify why I hold this view.


    Everyone should be entitled to the very widest possible range of diamond cuts. Why not? Do we need to be bound by tradition? Why can’t everyone have the widest selection. Obviously, there will be certain cuts which are going to succeed better than others. Cutters will decide what to cut based on their client’s needs and what they feel they wish to market. Consumers will pick what they like based on their own mentality. Some may opt for the unusual, but the majority of consumers follow the dictates of fashion and current trends. This is the way every other market functions so diamonds should be similar.


    The way I see it, to give meaningful diamond cut grades, is to provide a craftsmanship grade side by side with a light behavior grade. The elements of craftsmanship come from the skill of the cutter and the nature of each rough piece of diamond. Since diamond rough is valuable, a cutter is forced to consider the outcome of cutting and what the many choices for each piece are. A cutter nearly always considers the final beauty of the diamond, but cutting necessities may outweigh ultimate appearance. The goals of a cutter are to create beauty and a return on investment. It is not a simple task. There are many technical and business decisions to be made.


    Because of the nature of rough diamonds, and the dictates of large customers, cutters often cut very deep, heavy diamonds. The also leave thick girdles to retain more weight. They may not wish to spend their time lavishing high degrees of polish or symmetry on a diamond since their customer may not want to pay for the added labor. Yet, even after all this apparent lax attitude, such diamonds sometimes have excellent beauty although they have substantial compromises in craftsmanship. The price will reflect all these factors. Most of these diamonds will not be tops in beauty or performance, but some will.


    On the other extreme are diamonds cut to exacting parameters which should also insure excellent performance with light and ultimate beauty. Most succeed, but sometimes a set of cut combinations does not give the best look or performance. Its in the tiny details of the cut, or inherent in the nature of that stone why. Maybe the stone is a little cloudy, sleepy. Maybe it is highly fluorescent in the visible spectrum. Maybe the inclusions interfere with the way light is refracted and reflected. Maybe it is a tiny thing like painting, digging, or some other minuscule attribute of cutting which we don’t measure or can’t measure with sufficient precision.


    Not all Ideal cut diamonds or Excellent cut diamonds look identical. Some are really prettier to your eyes than another, yet they are all sold with the same adjectives, adverbs for you purists, to describe them.


    I believe, the big labs need to re-think their position on this. They ought to offer a grading of craftsmanship separate from the grading of light behavior, light performance. This would clearly gives the trade and consumers the benefit of the widest range of choices. A consumer ought to be able to buy the finest diamonds with the same knowledge as someone else who prefers a shallow or a deeper diamond with more of an eye to budget yet still knowing the beauty quotient. There are beautiful diamonds at every craftsmanship level. There are a few less than truly Ideal cut diamonds presently given a top grade by the major labs and worse, many very beautiful diamonds graded as if they were not good enough to consider for purchase when the opposite is true.


    Separation of light performance grading from cut craftsmanship grading would give the industry and consumers a better handle on making choices in an intelligent, meaningful and uniform manner.

     
    


    


  2. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    5,951
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    by Regular Guy » Apr 30, 2007
    This is provocative, and possibly reasonable...but I''d like to see it explicated.

    For example, although AGS has recently expanded the detail for its cut grading...to include some 11 factors for review, now explicated on its cert...many of us initially frowned upon learning this, but ... in light of this post...I wonder if they haven''t met your criticism head on, in fact.

    Can you help us review those details reviewed by the major labs you cite, and review why craftsmanship is not attended to?
     
  3. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007
    Craftsmanship is being looked at and combined with the end result in a single "grade". Looking at these important things and grading them, into a single relative grade for craftsmanship alone, without regard to light performance is a "better way". If you give everyone many different components of cut craftsmanship to make subjective judgments on, then no one will agree with anyone else on whiich is ''better" in the overall. What sort of solution to the mystery of grading is that. Not a good one.
     
  4. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    5,951
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    by Regular Guy » Apr 30, 2007
    To each his own.

    The only substantive question, to my mind, is if the individuated factors your directing our attention to in "craftsmanship" are accounted for. Sounds like you have no quarrel, in substance, that they are being accounted for at all. It''s just a question of how you tally the score.

    A diamond buyer makes one choice. A single score helps the buyer consider whatever reasonable weighting might be applied...and further...suggests an expert''s opinion is being given as to how to weight these factors, in fact. Provisionally, one score seems more helpful, but I dunno.
     
    


    


  5. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    You''ve obviously been thinking about this and I have to say I find myself agreeing with you more this time than the last time we discussed this. I would like to see you break down the attributes for what you consider both craftmanship as well as light performance and once again put a plug in there for diamond footprints of the actual stone to be included in craftsmanship. (ie a basic plot outline from sarin/helium etc.)
     
  6. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007
    In order to keep the playing field of shape and outline as wide as possible, the parameters one looks at for Craftsmanship are relatively limited.

    1. Consider the "finish" This is composed of an analysis of "polish" and "symmetry"

    2. Consider the girdle thickness. Is there an area on the girdle which is thin enough to create a breakage hazard when the diamond is worn? Is there an area of thickness to the point where weight is trapped that does not add instead to the visible size of the diamond face-up? In other words: Is there a zone which is thinner than GIA "thin" or an area which is thicker than GIA "slightly thick"?

    3. Consider total depth. This is probably the controversial topic since certain stones are gnerally accepted at very deep total depths. These inlcude Asscher cuts and even some of the new princess cuts graded AGS 0. With round diamonds we have a lot of historical data along with visual confirmation that there is a sweet range of depths. With fancy shapes one can arbitrarily draw the line where the "best" ends and the "next best", etc begin and end. My way of thinking limits the depth of "best" crafted round diamonds at 63% and "best" crafted fancy shapes at 70%. Its a subjective place to put the depth, but I believe its about right. This does not mean you can''t love a deeper diamond, but you ought to know such a stone won''t disply the largest size for its weight.

    4. With round diamonds only, we can consider crown angle since it ought to be very consistent over the entire diamond. Too shallow a crown angle encourages breakage. No real fault happens with steeper angles. With fancy shapes, we expect crown angles to be different all around the diamond with the rounded shapes and differ from side to side on the rectangular shapes. The only discount is for shallowness, not steepness and then only for rounds.

    5. Lastly, one considers culet size. Medium to none is considered acceptable. Larger than medium is a detriment.

    These are the easy enough elements to come to grips with to determine a baisc craftsmanship grade. This allows consumers to have a concise overall measure for Durability, Finish and Size (spread). Reported separately along with a Light Behavior Grade, we have a system that will probably meet the criteria for saying why one diamond is priced differently than another based on craftsmanship and appearance. These are currently the missing elements when anyone wants to discover the pricing strategy of cut diamonds. We have cut (shape), color,clarity, carat weight well understood. Now, adding these two other items, will make the market pricing sensible.

    The Light Behvior Grade has its own set of controversies. The Lighting Model, the methodology, and the human subjective element of beauty are all making this element quite complex, but beyond the scope of this thread. We''ve had many threads on this or that system. No one is in charge of which is the "right one". There is a competiton growing and a system or two may succeed while others fail. This competition is necessry and beneficial. What I would like to prevent is the mingling into a single grade of both these important aspects of grading. If the industry accepts a single grade the choices of shape in "best" cut will be very much more limited than what I propose.
     
  7. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    My comments:

    1 Symmetry has ambiguous meaning when you consider that most don’t realize there is a difference between physical symmetry and optical symmetry. I know you are referring here just the physical symmetry but I think it would be a good idea to get in the habit of verbally differentiating the two. I''ll let others argue that one is more important than the other and that who cares if you have physical symmetry (so why worry the little consumer heads over it) if the optical symmetry is superb....

    3 Glad to see you’ve broadened your depth for fancies! I am firmly torn on defining ideal ranges for fancies, and I still would personally rather see a 75 there, but I think expanding it to 70 is a step in the right direction.


    4 I don’t know how to fully explain my thoughts on this without making graphics and I’m on the wrong computer for that right now… but my thinking harkens back to Garry’s theories on corresponding angles… I don’t see where expecting to see the 4 corners on say… ::cough:: a cushion to be equal to one another – the two long sides to be equal to one another, and the two short sides to be equal to one another and for each of these angles to then correspond with a complimentary crown angle. Yes, it might not be best for all 8 of these locations to have the exact same angle, but I do think it is reasonable to expect what I just mentioned.


    5 on most diamonds I would agree with you on culet size, however – on old cut cushions I would vehemently disagree. I don’t even like the way they gauge size – it should almost be more of a square area percentage of the table than these culets that are almost invisible but considered slightly large because they are very thin but long. Anyway, my point is twofold – the descriptors of culet size could use some work, and having a visible culet can actually improve the look of a particular cut style. Okay, so maybe there’s really only one cut style to benefit from that but it’s my ‘job’ to advocate for that! LOL


    Yes, lets ignore light behavior – especially until we can figure out a name that starts with “C” for it ;-) After all, craftsmanship is yet another C. My only gripe with light grading is that thus far it has been so heavily weighted toward a 2D face up view. (and occasionally a consideration at 30*) I was actually thinking of this last night as I helped my 7 year old with a project and was printing out photos of him and one was a profile shot and he said he didn’t look anything like that and I said well yes you do, you’re just not used to seeing yourself like that, you only see yourself in the mirror with your eyes looking straight ahead. Sure, mug shots, ID and school photos utilize the face forward view, but his true beauty is seen in person with the benefit of every angle. Sometimes in fact he looks most beautiful from the side as he reads a book…. Nothing beats a big look me in the eye smile, but if I were to just focus on that one aspect of beauty I might not pay attention to the rest. I worry about diamonds being cut to focus on the one view lose a lot when you turn them a bit and they get blah. But I do support that it is ONE look that is worthy of ownership.


    And one last thing, again I encourage those with the power to push these changes in the grading labs to implore the use of facet plotting on the grading certificates.
     
  8. Paul-Antwerp
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    2,831
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    by Paul-Antwerp » Apr 30, 2007
    Dave, you raise very interesting points, and I partly agree with you. However, before judging ''craftsmanship'', you should first find out what the limitations and possibilities are for a craftsman.

    1a. On Symmetry, this is clearly craftsmanship, but is this related to meet-point-symmetry, physical symmetry or optical symmetry?

    1b. On Polish, in many cases, a diamond not obtaining Ideal or Excellent Polish is due to the qualities and the attention of the craftsman, indeed, but there are also cases, where the rough or the position of a facet simply does not allow the cutter to obtain the highest degree of Polish. I agree that this is a reason for judging this feature separately from Light Performance, but I wonder whether the term ''craftsmanship'' is the correct one in this respect.

    2. Girdle thickness: Maybe we should introduce a third category, like ''Durability Issues''.

    3. Total depth: Hold on, this has nothing to do with craftsmanship, and very often in fancy shapes, also not with spread. If anything should happen to the term ''Total Depth'', it is burial and forever forgetting about it. Instead, one should work out a grade for ''Spread'', and stop misusing Depth, simply because it is easy to measure.

    4. I do not understand your comment about crown angle, so never mind.

    5. Culet size: you have my automatic agreement, but I do understand the counter-argument about old-cuts.

    Live long,
     
  9. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007
    Thank you Sara and Paul.

    The old cut diamond appearance and culet size thing just serves to highlight the plain truth that some people like a particular look in spite of, or because, it looks so different. An old cut without a large culet is not better looking than with the large culet. Strange but true.

    Symmetry of facet shapes, angles, meet points, and outline, all leads to whatever kind of symmetry subcategory you want to discuss. Smymmetry in hand cut items is not generally totally perfect, but within a small margin either symmetry reigns or it is not so well accomplished. We are always thinking of rather small symmetry errors becoming meaningful. Large errors definitely change things.

    Diamond dealers would love 75% to fit into the "ideal" world. I know why, but I think it is self serving. Paul''s suggestion of visible surface area, face-up, is exactly what we plan to offer for all shapes. It makes much more sense and ought to replace depth % entirely at some point. I won''t be soirry to see it replaced by a measure with more meaning.

    I agree that a diamond might be constructed, in theory, to perform super in the face-up position only to fail when angled a bit. However, diamond cutters are not fools, right Paul? No cutter would make such a diamond even if it was possible. I want to impress the readers that no diamond which fails to look superior in the face-up position can possibly be "ideal".
    This is the heart of the issue. In order to make a reliable system which works repeatably, one must find the smallest test which works to properly define the product. If you know the face-up is in the top group, you have done the necessary work. The nature of the business and of the cutter''s skill will cover the rest.

    Paul''s comment on Polish being occasionally up to the diamond rough and not the cutter is a well taken point. My quick response is he is right, but the end result is a less polished diamond. It isn''t the cutter''s fault, but we are not placing blame. It is a matter of allowing the nature of the rough to mix into "craftsmanship". It isn''t so much craftsmanship as the nature of the stone, but it does result in the same end. Differentiating the reason why is of no importance at the consumer level.
     
  10. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    Good stuff Dave [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    If I could add to this - there is also the possability for many types of cut that are missed or lumped together under the current grading system:
    eg, BIC, and FIC''s - they can each have AGS and GIA top grades - but the cookie cutter approach lumps them together.
    And diamonds that work well as pendants and earrings - but not as well as rings.
     
    


    


  11. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    Good points Sara and Paul,

    Could we throw out pavilion depth and crown height along with the total depth please? And while we are at it - if we are assessing beauty - table size is another limitation on creatinity too.
    Spread or footprint are quite well handled by comparison to the tolkowsky standard - the method first employed by DiamCalc and later adopted by AGS and a version is used here on the Pricescope data base too [​IMG]
     
  12. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007
    Table size is not included in the system I propose. Crown height is not critical, nor is pavilion depth. This does lead to more variety of possibly accepted stones. Crown angle on rounds is something I did include in the proposed system. Spread, footprint are handled for rounds by a tolkosky comparison except we are after standards which don''t hold Tolkowsky on a pedestal any more. Tolkowsky is an excellent standard, but obviosuly, not the only one, nor even defendably the best one any more. It has nothing to offer us when fancy shapes are being compared to one another. I don''t want to compare fancy shape footprints size to Tolkowsky round carat equivalents, either. That seems like comparing apples to oranges. Diificult and possibly of little true meaning. I prefer to give consumers a tool to compare similar shapes to one another and then also to compare them to any other shape at a similar weight.

    People always ask me which is larger? This 1ct pear shape or the 1 carat marquise? They are looking at two diamonds and want to know the largest footprint. Right now, it is guesswork, but the tools are readily available to tell them a correct answer.
     
  13. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    I disagree Dave - rounds me thinks are the mark that every thing should be referenced to for light performance and for spread.
     
  14. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Apr 30, 2007
    yes, id throw short lgf% in a different catagory too but then who would understand it?
     
  15. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Apr 30, 2007
    I disagree, round spread is irrelevant to asscher spread or the person shouldn''t be buying an asscher.
     
    


    


  16. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Apr 30, 2007
    Dave,

    Define diamond beauty

    then define ideal for the following shapes..
    RB
    Princess
    Asscher

    until everyone can agree on that trying to seperate them out is a little hard.

    As too a cut grade and a look grade (credit to Bill Bray) yep sounds good except it puts another area of confusion in the game and another area for slick sellers to play games.
    How much should a consumer have to know too buy a diamond?
     
  17. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    A person buying an asscher might be comparing it to a radiant or some other cut, and people can make decisions based on a single standard.

    The same rules should apply when comparing apples and oranges Dave - pears, asschers abd all other cuts can be compared to a single standard - then it is up to cutters to produce desirable dia,pmds.

    But light performance is more than 1 number - Sara for example - here diamond has a bigger bolder show of fire - but would get a lower overall grade.

    Our industry has a great need for more diversity
     
  18. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    23,295
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    by strmrdr » Apr 30, 2007
    I dont disagree but how do you do that while keeping out the woofers?
    I ended up splitting asschers into 3 different looks in an attempt to do so but it adds confusion.
    Splitting RB''s into 4-5 groups works for me too but how too avoid confusion?
    The labs have a hard enough time educating the trade on the fairly simple systems they allready have.
    I havent talked to one vendor localy who understands the AGS system to the extent that most of the regulars here do, too be honest most of them dont care, if someone wants an ags0 they will call one in but most conaumers dont ask because they never heard of it.
     
  19. oldminer
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    6,296
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2000
    by oldminer » Apr 30, 2007
    The industry is sure in a difficult spot. We are on target wanting better information and better grading, but we don''t currently have all the answers. We don''t even have a comprehensive list of all the questions.

    I would never compare an Asscher cut to a round. Maybe a few people might think this has some meaning, but I don''t. These cuts are VERY different. The customers for these cuts are also very different.

    I have given definitions of Brilliance, Sparkle and Intensity as I use them many times. Unfortunately, there is little agreement that these measures mean what I want them to indicate. I know how they are arrived at, how repeatable they are, how they relate to the exact image of the diamond, but I cannot prove that these measures mean anything unless people expose themselves to a series of measured diamonds and come to an agreement that the measures do relate to appearance. That part is a human, subjective test. The test has been done over and over, but not with this audience. I can well understand the skepticism. People need to see with their own eyes if digitally measured results correspond to human perception of light behavior and possibly to beauty.

    One thing is certain, there are ranges of results which indicate beauty and performance, but just because the numbers are higher, does not mean more beauty. Higher numbers within the upper range make a difference in appearance, but not everyone would choose the highest nmber stone as the one they prefer. This is the truth about the subjective nature of beauty. Engineers tend to want the highest numerical performance regardless of appearance because they trust numbers more than they trust their own eyes. Most folks prefer their own eyes when judging beauty or choosing a diamond. We best not leave this task only to engineers. This is a very human based process.
     
  20. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    That''s like saying that a tiger without stripes is just as attractive. That may be a valid opinion, but it no longer looks like a *tiger*.
     
  21. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    I still disagree with you. At least as long as "Ideal" is the ONLY zenith in the diamond world, I will disagree with this. I do not think *strict* face up is the *only* OR best way to judge a diamond. The more you zero in on that view the more it will be ugly from any other. I cannot accept the minute pinacle of light tightness is the best. As long as the industry is pushing for "ideal" and "ideal" is that pinacle, that zenith, and ONLY that zenith - ptooey! I would rather have a looser diamond that looked good from more angles. That is MY ideal. So as long as the industry only has one ideal I don''t think it should be so finely focused.

    And as for spread, again I see the point with rounds, they''re pretty specialized stones that are cut to perform in one direction and only one direction so spreading wide IN that one direction is reasonable. Other stones that are NOT cut to perform the way rounds do, are hindered by being held to that standard. heck, I could argue rounds are hindered by that standard but whatever, not where I''m going today.

    I really think that word "ideal" is deserving of becoming passe. It is overused, overdefined, underdefined, and restrictive as hell.
     
  22. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    Okay I take it back - the more you go into this the more I disagree with you. I really wanted to share your vision, but I don''t. I see the benefit for having a square mm system for those to whom it is all about how big a diamond LOOKS but there are those of us who care about how big a diamond performs and not just in one direction. Telling people that its okay to like sub-ideal diamonds is condescending at best. Crown height isn''t important? table size isn''t? Yeah... you''ve lost me dave.
     
  23. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
  24. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    if the dealer is *credible* (truly) then all they really NEED to know is the price. They can use their *eyes* for all the rest of this mumbo jumbo.
     
  25. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    I hope that you say these two in succession because they relate to one another, and if that is the case I am beyond thrilled that you have come to this point, Garry :)

    I think knowing the zenith and understanding how to get there is a VERY important step in the evolution of diamond cutting, but in time I think we realize that splitting rat hairs in order t achieve greater and greater levels of optimization in one direction is no longer making the stone more beautiful. We aren''t purchasing flashlights and with the creativity of diamond setting allowing us to look at stones in all sorts of new directions, opportunities abound! Not that you want all of your light to go straight out the bottom, but there''s a HUGE playland of artistic beauty between and this is what I see referenced when diagem (whom I greatly admire) talks about having seen beautiful diamonds with 80* depths!
     
  26. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    (I have edited this text below from a document that Sergey and I particpated in writting)

    A recent KPMG report projected global jewellery sales will under perform unless the industry as a whole focuses on “growing demand for jewelry as a category”. KPMG’s Advisory Services director said, “Transformation is necessary for growth. The industry has the potential to successfully compete against the luxury goods industry and preserve its traditional domination of the consumer’s discretionary spending.” It is not surprising that the most luxurious jewellery segment – diamond jewellery - is suffering a lower growth rate in both sales and profitability.

    The round and the princess currently make up two thirds of the market by value.

    Why does diamond – the ultimate luxury product – loose out so badly to “other luxury goods”? It is because other luxury industries (expensive cars, high fashion, yachts, etc,) practice technical novelty, fashionable brands and customization, while diamonds evolved into a very traditional business with little innovation. How did it happen?


    Since the early 1900’s professionals worked with cuts to stimulate consumer demand by offering different diamond shapes and by working to improve the proportions of the most popular shape, the round brilliant.


    The very successful “Diamond is Forever” campaign was the first major step towards stopping diamond Cut evolution. It was launched by De Beers in the 1940’s and created a mass diamond market, especially for diamond engagement rings. However, this mass marketing ideology did little to differentiate between diamonds, so the main market differences became those of nature: clarity, colour and size.
     
  27. He Scores
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    by He Scores » Apr 30, 2007
    RE: My approach to cut grading has always been how suitable a diamond is for use in jewelry and also how good it looks to the eye.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Two things from my point of view. With the exception of the girdle thickness, few cutters will argue that the "overall" best look for a stone, you simply put the main angles on the measurement that Tolkowsky pointed out.

    My Scoring Cut Analysis provides a sufficient girdle thickness to properly put the girdle brilliandeering facets on without creating the dangerous very thin or knife edge girdle. This is one aspect where Tolkowsky was criticized.

    As far as "how good a stone looks to the eye", while this is certainly admirable to make a decision to buy a stone, however it is not suitable to judge all the effort a cutter puts into the stone.

    My 33 years in the business has taught me that when people ask the question..."how well is this stone cut?" ...or "which of these stones is cut the best?", they have already made up in their mind what it looks like and whether or not they like it, but the cut question has to do with..."how well did the cutter do his job?" Much in the same way that one would look at the workmanship of a suit jacket.

    BrayScore simply judges the efforts of the cutter. Not the effect of the efforts of the cutter. For instance, a cutter doesn''t cut to pav % or crown%. These are products of other work that he does, that is judged in my system.

    In all my research with my limited ability with regards to time, EXPERTS in the field, and that includes some of you here, are unable to tell the nuances of a better cut even with a loupe, let alone the naked eye.

    As far a the "symetry" question is concerned, fanatical cutting (read meet point extremism, 100 power finish examination to name two) for the sake of fanatical cutting is just that. The GIA cut observation tests confirmed that. The reason IMHO is this....if you take two canvases of the same "paint by the numbers" pictures, have a festidious person fill in each area with the proper color of oil paint never going out of the lines, and then have an artist paint the same picture with the same colors in the same numbered areas, I''m sure you will see a remarkable difference as to the appearance of the two paintings.

    This is the same thing you''ll see with two identical idea cuts, with one with traditional brilliandeering and the other with the "patterning precision" of the top top ideals sold today.

    The fork in the road where our industry went ary is when they tried to find "the worlds most magnificantly scintillating perfectly performing brilliant diamond when the light obfuscation is divergent with retenal reactions".

    This neither made diamond selling buying or selling easier for those in and out of the trade, rather it created a field of this profession where "I research this topic so that makes me more of an expert than you are so buy from me."

    Read my lips. There is no such thing as the best performing diamond. Just like no woman is the most beautiful, or a place in nature is the most beautiful, nor a piece of artwork, or a piece of jewelry, or a house. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF ANYTHING DOES NOT EXIST.


    There is a diamond that is cut closer to established standards accepted by 85+ years than any other. This is the best cut diamond in the world. It can exist....just as a perfectly cut diamond CAN''T exist.

    Bill Bray
    Diamond Cutter
     
  28. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    14,541
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Apr 30, 2007
    That sums up the negativity of the word "ideal"

    Is there any other product based usage of such an elitist word?

    It is a show stopper because the show cant go on when it is used.

    It is good to aim for an ideal
    but bad to proclaim achievement of ideal
     
  29. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    it is a product, yes... it is a way of business, yes... but it is also the convergence of art and science. In the realm of science, yes you can aim for an ideal - several of them in fact... but in art shooting for an ideal is shooting off your own foot! The truest beauty in my eyes is like my quote says - where art and science meet....
     
  30. Cehrabehra
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    by Cehrabehra » Apr 30, 2007
    OMG bill you really made me laugh here - in a good, amused way :)

    I did take slight (very slight) difference when you said about judging all the effort above, I immediately thought, is this a contest? Is it like an olympic sport - who cuts the best diamond? Or is the goal pretty diamonds on happy fingers? I imagine there is a great deal of pride to be had in cutting beautiful diamonds for happy fingers, so I don''t begrudge the judgments you pass on one another, but it isn''t really the point in all of this is it? The point is happy fingers that give you money, right?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Share This Page