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HCA begs AGS??

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hbright

Rough_Rock
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Nov 24, 2002
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I really like the idea of HCA, but it seems the proportion values needed to determine an HCA score is only provided by an AGS doc! I'm sure there are online store that will specify the numbers and perhaps B&M stores that may actually measure them for you, but it would seem the readily availble way to determine an HCA would be an AGS doc. Seems a little ironic since the HCA will mostly give you confidence in purchasing a good AGS rather than helping you choose a non-AGS stone.

Furthermore, if HCA is widely as adopted the new standard by labs, then what benefit will it to the consumer as an increase in price of such stones will likely rise? The only way HCA will be useful is if proportion values are readily available and HCA is not readily adopted so as to not command a premium. There would seem little incentive for labs to list proportion sizes if it did not benefit the industry. Even if listing of proportion values became widespread by independent vendors only, then why should the price of such stones stay the same? As such, I see HCA scores as a improvement and eventual supplanter of AGS premium and not a real money saving tool for the average consumer. The discrimination of high quality diamonds rather than value feature is the main aim of HCA, which is welcome nonetheless.

Just a thought.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 15, 2000
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15,202
Boy - did you wake up with night mares or something (he he he).

I produced HCA to help change lots of bad practices. I never thought HCA would have as much effect as the Ideal-Scope though.
You see hCA is an elitist thingy-majig. It will only appeal to nerds like us - but it has had a small impact by creating some $$$ driven demand.

The Ideal-Scope is more acessable - more people will end up buying a better quality cut from a vendor who sells diamonds that are supplied with a give away Ideal-Scope. Give it a year or 2 and there will be a store right near you selling Ideal-Scope diamonds.

IS diamonds cost less to produce than H&A's stones, and you can IS a set stone (most of the time :)

Well off for a few nightmares!
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
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294
In my diamond searches, and there have been quite a lot, I have only dealt with one company that would not give me the specific dimensions of the diamond and a sarin report. AGS is not the only one. It is rather easy and common for jewelers, at least those I spoke with, to get sarin reports.

I have asked around 15 b&ms and over 30 internet sites for sarins that have supplied or were willing to supply them. Only mall stores, the Tiffany/Cartie(sp) and one internet vendor refused.

So, the HCA should not have an impact on the sales of AGS stones. Also the increase in prices, I think, is do to the increase in consumer education and awareness, not HCA or other tools.
 

hbright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Messages
40
I didn't say HCA will cause a increase in price of AGS stones, rather that idealscope or HCA stones will supplant, with overlap, the AGS premium. Seems ironic when the website snubs the AGS premium. Yes, the reason for questiong is that AGS000, isn't perfect, but it has been the best for its time; a testament to Tolkowsky's "genius". It's now showing its age thanks to new studies and tech, which is a good thing.
 

hbright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
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40
No, my sleep wasn't perturbed. Don't get me wrong, I love the HCA and hope it becomes next iteration of the quantifiable visual performance standard. I was just amused as I discovered the slight irony of it during my shopping.

Ah, the idealscope... I just recently happened upon pricescope and didn't read everything. Somehow quantifiable numbers or scores are more satisfying to a nerd like me.

How easy is the scope to use and how well does a "scoping" correspond to HCA scores?

Btw, I've discovered that one can actually just make out the proportions on AGS docs of diamonds for sale at blue nile. This won't help with avoiding the premium, but it will help to avoid purchasing the worst AGS and help find the specific BIC, TIC, or FIC one desires prior to purchase. Also, the B&M shopper can accomplish the same thing if he/she uses a cell phone to relay proportions of an AGS doc being viewed at a store to a willing "accomplice" at home with access to the internet.

It's suprising that so many shopper little know, and perhaps morever little care, about the details of such an significant, essential (well, to couples at least) and costly purchase. The industry seems to have thrived on this. The online industry and consumers, however, seem rather savvy. Nerds are rarities aggregated online, I guess.

One question: What percentage of AGS000 are bad visual performers? I've checked out a couple of AGS proportions from the net and B&M and have found them to be excellent HCA scorers. A small sample size, no doubt. Since AGS ideal range was thought to produce nearly equal ideals in any combination, one would expect the distribution of bad cuts to good cuts to be nearly the same, unless there was a bias of some sort. Perhaps cutters usually cut a certain proportion more than others, or pretty stones are more often sent to AGS, etc. Knowing this statistic would more fairly and realistically portray the AGS ideal's ability to practically predict true ideals.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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15,202
The Ideal-Scope could be hard for nerds, but it is pretty easy for normal people :)

As for the # of steep and deep AGS 0's which is an excellent question - I just did a search on Cut Quality and found no stones below excellent from Whiteflash and about 30% (estimate - did not count them all) of NiceIce's were very good or below.

Since WhiteFlash is a branded cutter - you would expect them to have a quality control system, where as NiceIce thinks we are all raving loonies (they have said some 'interesting' things about HCA and DiamCalc in the past).

So based on that small sample from one supplier - I guess we do not know. But from my own general experiance, 30-40% could be worse than I would want when paying top dollar.

Anyone else have any idea of how to check this out?
And anyone like to post their Ideal-Scope experiance?
 

hbright

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Messages
40
I purchased an AGS ideal cut diamond from a B&M a bit hastily. I did a good portion of my research aftwards. I used the HCA and also used an idealscope that I recently purchased to "grade" my diamond. I found that I got a HCA score of 1 (excellent in all areas save "spread", which achieved a very good) and the ideal scope showed what appeared to an excellent light return/symmetry (nearly perfect arrows). Needless to say I am happy and relieved I stumbled upon an excellent cut stone. I guess I'm lucky to have stumbled upon an AGS ideal that is not the worst AGS and also has excellent symmetry. I've read that AGS ideals often do not show excellent symmetry.

The idealscope is a wonderful tool and very easy too use (just got it yesterday). I looked at sister in law's stone (gia, non ideal proportions) which did not fare so well as mine. It had a ring of white near the center just like the example of a medium light return stone on idealscope.com. I tried not to gloat .

One concern I have is that the idealscope image appears a deep pink more than a deep red like those I see on websites. Also the blacks appear silvery/gray and reflective like a mirror rather than black. Perhaps I'm not using it correctly? I know it can't be because of spread out light leakage because the calibration stone is just the same.

Garry, thanks for the HCA and idealscope. They're great ways to select stones as well as to validate purchases (if you're hasty like me).
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2000
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15,202
Thanks for your kind words Hbright :)

The color diferences and the silver sheen on the stars you correctly mention are limitations of photography that combined with computer screens are hard to overcome.

This is why we thought it wold be good to introduce the CZ. Did it give you more confidence?

Re the AGS steep / deep stones - it seems that not that many bad stones are getting through these days. The fact that the lab are experimenting with the Firescope for their heralded fancy cut system might mean they are not letting the worst stones through any more. We can hope :)
the AGS have done lots to help promote better cut and I would like to see them tighten things up a bit - even if it was only in an informal way (politics rules you know).
 
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