Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

H&A is it worth it?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
I''m torn around whether or not it''s worth the premium for something like Whiteflash ACA diamond or some other AGS0 H&A cut. Under magnification or with some of the tools like ASET, the diamond clearly is nicer. My question is, once you mount the diamond in a setting, is the brilliance and fire going to be that much more noticeable versus buying a diamond with the same size / clarity / color that has a GIA rated excellent cut? Especially is it going to be noticeable to her :), who hasn''t been involved in all this diamond research? :)
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
for the average person, it doesn''t make a difference.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
in order of importance:
no durability issues
table %, crown and pavilion angles work together and the range is within acceptable limits
Minor facets work with c/p combo and table.
face up symmetry or at least pleasing contrast
reasonable finish and facet alignment (polish and lab symmetry)
hearts beyond what is needed for above.
reasonable spread
physical tightness of the angles once you get past an acceptable level

The best will have all of the above.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,511
I think for most people, the difference between a perfect H&A stone versus an almost H&A stone, is negligible, provided both are AGS0 rated. GIA excellent is rated a little differently and you can still get a not so nice stone with such a grade from GIA.
 

ilovedogs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
85
From someone who went from an excellent GIA to a H&A, honestly I cannot see the difference. I have both stones still and often look at them side by side and cannot see the difference. I would not be able to tell them apart if un-set and side by side.
 

Imdanny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
6,186
I'll tell you how I look at it. Please keep in mind I'm just an average layperson and consumer.

ACA is worth it to me because it's standardized. It's what a RB "should" be, to me. One less thing to worry about.

I think we're very lucky to have pricescope, and all of the information and choice that can readily be found on the internet today.

When my parents' generation were buying their engagement rings and all, this wasn't the case, and I don't remember anyone debating between patented cuts, and specific clarity and color options. I think we're much better off for having more knowledge available to us, and, yes, I would (and will) pay a "premium" (if you could even call it that, since mall stones are so often horrendously overpriced) for an ACA, after choosing my own comfort level with clarity and color, and seeing 40x magnified pictures of the diamond before I buy it.

We have it good today. I truly think we do. Short answer, it's worth the premium for the peace of mind of buying that particular product, and doing business with that particular company. The AGS report is secondary. That's how I feel about it.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/7/2009 11:07:29 PM
Author: JulieN
for the average person, it doesn''t make a difference.
Ditto
 

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
So if a GIA rated excellent stone comes up < 2 in HCA, would that mean it''s well-proportioned and I should look at the other factors (color, cost, clarity, etc.)?
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,427
Date: 3/8/2009 9:15:48 AM
Author: raz91
So if a GIA rated excellent stone comes up and I should look at the other factors (color, cost, clarity, etc.)?
It depends. In some cases, no. Their EX range is too broad, and includes what we call steep/deep. Which can translate to a somewhat to terribly leaky diamond.

If you are shopping local retailers, get the info and plug it in the HCA. You want a numerical score of less than two, ideally with the x falling in the overlap area of AGS/GIA, or close to.

If you are shopping online, go with someone who provides IS pics, Sarin reports, etc.

And you can always ask on here about a stone if you''re unsure.
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
Date: 3/8/2009 9:15:48 AM
Author: raz91
So if a GIA rated excellent stone comes up < 2 in HCA, would that mean it's well-proportioned and I should look at the other factors (color, cost, clarity, etc.)?
No. But I respectfully disagree with the logic of Ellen's answer above. The reason I say no is because the HCA only considers 4 numbers describing (at best) 17 facets of the stone, covering less than 50% of its surface.

An HCA below two is a good sign, as is a GIA "Excellent"; both together is a very good sign (the GIA cut rating picks up things that the HCA doesn't, such as excessive weight retention in the girdle or not-so-good simmetry). The combination of both is still not sufficient to say what the stone will truly look like (and whether you'd like the look).
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,504
Date: 3/8/2009 5:13:13 AM
Author: Imdanny
I''ll tell you how I look at it. Please keep in mind I''m just an average layperson and consumer.

ACA is worth it to me because it''s standardized. It''s what a RB ''should'' be, to me. One less thing to worry about.

I think we''re very lucky to have pricescope, and all of the information and choice that can readily be found on the internet today.

When my parents'' generation were buying their engagement rings and all, this wasn''t the case, and I don''t remember anyone debating between patented cuts, and specific clarity and color options. I think we''re much better off for having more knowledge available to us, and, yes, I would (and will) pay a ''premium'' (if you could even call it that, since mall stones are so often horrendously overpriced) for an ACA, after choosing my own comfort level with clarity and color, and seeing 40x magnified pictures of the diamond before I buy it.

We have it good today. I truly think we do. Short answer, it''s worth the premium for the peace of mind of buying that particular product, and doing business with that particular company. The AGS report is secondary. That''s how I feel about it.
I agree with danny- I wanted to rest assured what I was getting and cut was my most important criteria to be Ideal, plus buying site unseen I had to be 110% sure.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,427
Date: 3/8/2009 12:29:07 PM
Author: oldmancoyote
No. But I respectfully disagree with the logic of Ellen''s answer above. The reason I say no is because the HCA only considers 4 numbers describing (at best) 17 facets of the stone, covering less than 50% of its surface.

An HCA below two is a good sign, as is a GIA ''Excellent''; both together is a very good sign (the GIA cut rating picks up things that the HCA doesn''t, such as excessive weight retention in the girdle or not-so-good simmetry). The combination of both is still not sufficient to say what the stone will truly look like (and whether you''d like the look).
OMC, you are right, in that I am wrong, sorta. Only because I read GIA EX, but was not thinking about less than 2 combined (note to self, no muti-tasking). The two together could not include a steep/deep, as Gary won''t let it. However, using the guidelines I mentioned above will be the best assurance of having a decent stone, per Gary. And of course all stones need further evaluation.

But as far as a GIA EX grade alone being a good sign, it''s not.

Also, the HCA does warn of overly thick/thin girdles.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
If you look at gia EX and the HCA as rejection tools and use them together they work ok for that.

GIA EX rejects the pendant/ear ring stones the hca passes(as well as some fic/bic good combos) and the hca rejects the steep/deep(its a little to harsh) that gia EX passes.

So after both gia ex and hca pass a diamond what does that mean?
look at the IS/ASET images and/or view in person and compare if local....
That''s it....nothing more....
 

coatimundi_org

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,281
Date: 3/8/2009 6:32:23 AM
Author: Lorelei
Date: 3/7/2009 11:07:29 PM

Author: JulieN

for the average person, it doesn't make a difference.
Ditto
KA-ditto!

Also, what size stone are you considering?

Larger stones, larger facets, easier to see facet patterns.

Smaller stones--not as easy to see pattern, and the scintillation of a well cut smaller stone will make it even more difficult.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
The answer to the question is h&a worth it is yes to many people it is worth it.
Some love the patterns and love knowing the bottom pattern is as nice as the top.
Some love the theoretical performance gain.
Some love the workmanship/craftsmanship
Some love the marketing
Some love it because someone said it was the best

I love the workmanship/craftsmanship that goes into cutting tight h&a diamonds.
 

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
Thanks, everyone, for the informed advice. I''m looking at diamonds in the ~1.5ct range, SI1, G. Something like that ...
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,427
Date: 3/8/2009 2:34:46 PM
Author: raz91
Thanks, everyone, for the informed advice. I''m looking at diamonds in the ~1.5ct range, SI1, G. Something like that ...
Sounds perfect!
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
Date: 3/8/2009 1:43:33 PM
Author: Ellen
OMC, you are right, in that I am wrong, sorta. Only because I read GIA EX, but was not thinking about less than 2 combined (note to self, no muti-tasking). The two together could not include a steep/deep, as Gary won''t let it. However, using the guidelines I mentioned above will be the best assurance of having a decent stone, per Gary. And of course all stones need further evaluation.

But as far as a GIA EX grade alone being a good sign, it''s not.

Also, the HCA does warn of overly thick/thin girdles.
I was thinking more of excessive digging and painting, which the HCA cannot pick up by definition... Averages can be deceiving. But you are right, with painting or digging the weight ends up in the girdle facets (upper and lower) not in the girdle itself.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,496
Date: 3/8/2009 1:43:33 PM
Author: Ellen

Date: 3/8/2009 12:29:07 PM
Author: oldmancoyote
No. But I respectfully disagree with the logic of Ellen''s answer above. The reason I say no is because the HCA only considers 4 numbers describing (at best) 17 facets of the stone, covering less than 50% of its surface.

An HCA below two is a good sign, as is a GIA ''Excellent''; both together is a very good sign (the GIA cut rating picks up things that the HCA doesn''t, such as excessive weight retention in the girdle or not-so-good simmetry). The combination of both is still not sufficient to say what the stone will truly look like (and whether you''d like the look).
OMC, you are right, in that I am wrong, sorta. Only because I read GIA EX, but was not thinking about less than 2 combined (note to self, no muti-tasking). The two together could not include a steep/deep, as Gary won''t let it. However, using the guidelines I mentioned above will be the best assurance of having a decent stone, per Gary. And of course all stones need further evaluation.

But as far as a GIA EX grade alone being a good sign, it''s not.

Also, the HCA does warn of overly thick/thin girdles.
LOL! That is the ultimate in honesty! Good for a chuckle too. Thanks from Snowy Downtown Boise...

Wink
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,396
Date: 3/8/2009 2:13:41 PM
Author: strmrdr
The answer to the question is h&a worth it is yes to many people it is worth it.
Some love the patterns and love knowing the bottom pattern is as nice as the top.
Some love the theoretical performance gain.
Some love the workmanship/craftsmanship
Some love the marketing
Some love it because someone said it was the best

I love the workmanship/craftsmanship that goes into cutting tight h&a diamonds.
agree,but not all H&A are tightly cut.
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
Date: 3/8/2009 2:53:03 PM
Author: oldmancoyote
I was thinking more of excessive digging and painting, which the HCA cannot pick up by definition... Averages can be deceiving. But you are right, with painting or digging the weight ends up in the girdle facets (upper and lower) not in the girdle itself.
GIA desn''t allow it, so between GIA EX and HCA<2, we''re left with the problem of averages.
 

raz91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37
Date: 3/9/2009 6:18:51 AM
Author: JulieN
Date: 3/8/2009 2:53:03 PM

Author: oldmancoyote

I was thinking more of excessive digging and painting, which the HCA cannot pick up by definition... Averages can be deceiving. But you are right, with painting or digging the weight ends up in the girdle facets (upper and lower) not in the girdle itself.

GIA desn''t allow it, so between GIA EX and HCA<2, we''re left with the problem of averages.
Hi JulieN, can you explain what you mean by problem of averages? (First-time diamond buyer
)
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
??? Julie, I don't understand your reply either (and I do know what the problem of averages is - I believe GIA does not use "all stone" averages when assessing cut grade)

The "problem of averages" is also known as the problem of the man with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer. On average, he was just fine. Brought to diamonds, the fact that (say) a pavillion angle is measured to be 40.8 on average does not mean much if in reality pavillion angles are inconsistent and vary between 40.2 and 41.4. Unfortunately, short of having a Sarin or similar scan, the information on consistency is not available, even though GIA and AGSL will use it in evaluating cut quality.
 

phildominator

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
63
Date: 3/9/2009 1:00:37 AM
Author: Dancing Fire
Date: 3/8/2009 2:13:41 PM

Author: strmrdr

The answer to the question is h&a worth it is yes to many people it is worth it.

Some love the patterns and love knowing the bottom pattern is as nice as the top.

Some love the theoretical performance gain.

Some love the workmanship/craftsmanship

Some love the marketing

Some love it because someone said it was the best


I love the workmanship/craftsmanship that goes into cutting tight h&a diamonds.
agree,but not all H&A are tightly cut.
Dancing Fire...please elaborate.

You talking about poor crown/pavilion angles -- Would an example be H&As on a steep/deep stone or a stone with a, say, 65% table? Or are you referring to something different?

These not-so-tightly-cut H&As...is there a special way to identify them...or would they be identifiable like other non-H&As? i.e. >2 HCA score, poor IS/ASET photos, etc...
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Date: 3/9/2009 10:26:59 PM
Author: phildominator

Dancing Fire...please elaborate.


You talking about poor crown/pavilion angles -- Would an example be H&As on a steep/deep stone or a stone with a, say, 65% table? Or are you referring to something different?


These not-so-tightly-cut H&As...is there a special way to identify them...or would they be identifiable like other non-H&As? i.e. >2 HCA score, poor IS/ASET photos, etc...
tightness is the range of related facet angles for example a 34.00 to 34.30(.3) crown angle range and a 40.80-41.00 pavilion range would be tight(.2).
You really need a helium scan to play this game the sarin isn''t accurate enough and it doesn''t really matter much anyway as long as it is reasonable except to nuts like me.
Here is a screen shot for the forth tightest diamond I have ever seen the report for:

supertight1.gif
 

John P

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
Date: 3/9/2009 7:42:50 AM
Author: oldmancoyote
??? Julie, I don't understand your reply either (and I do know what the problem of averages is - I believe GIA does not use 'all stone' averages when assessing cut grade)

The 'problem of averages' is also known as the problem of the man with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer. On average, he was just fine. Brought to diamonds, the fact that (say) a pavillion angle is measured to be 40.8 on average does not mean much if in reality pavillion angles are inconsistent and vary between 40.2 and 41.4. Unfortunately, short of having a Sarin or similar scan, the information on consistency is not available, even though GIA and AGSL will use it in evaluating cut quality.
I've got to remember the feet/head comparison OMC. Excellent!

I believe Julie is correct with regard to GIA; I'm not aware of any assessment apart from visual symmetry grading to account for more subtle cases where inconsistency may be causing problems. At AGSL the whole diamond is scanned and ray-traced in 3D, so leakage will cause it to take a hit in brightness. You may be interested in this conversation, where the above was discussed.



John
 

ring tutor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
10
I''m just wondering if when you say H&A you mean the diamond is so well cut that it displays the hearts and arrow pattern, or do you mean the diamond actually is branded Hearts and Arrow. The pattern reflects a beautiful cut and light reflection, but you do not have to pay for the brand name to receive this pattern or light display.
ring tutor
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 3/10/2009 8:23:42 AM
Author: ring tutor
I'm just wondering if when you say H&A you mean the diamond is so well cut that it displays the hearts and arrow pattern, or do you mean the diamond actually is branded Hearts and Arrow. The pattern reflects a beautiful cut and light reflection, but you do not have to pay for the brand name to receive this pattern or light display.
ring tutor
Generally when we say h&a we are usually referring to top cut branded h&a diamonds. Some other non branded diamonds with excellent optical symmetry. proportions and cut precision may be ' near h&a' but do not quite meet the standards for one reason or another as laid down by experts and h&a conoisseurs. These diamonds can be an excellent buy in some situations. To turn the other side of the coin, there are also diamonds out there which show a strong arrow pattern and recognizable hearts which may not be the best for performance and beauty, again depending on various factors such as the proportion configurations.
 

ring tutor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
10
thanks for the info. i was trying to figure out if this customer is concerned with "branded name" or just optical efficiency.......
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top