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HCA- that thing actually works! -& why GoodOldGold rocks… (long)

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by hakalugi, Mar 28, 2002.

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  1. hakalugi
    Rough_Rock

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    by hakalugi » Mar 28, 2002
    I want you to picture a diamond with amazing brilliance and fire, absolutely stunning. Now I want you to picture a diamond with a 61% table and a 57.8% depth.

    Now imagine they’re the same diamond.

    Yup, that’s right. I visited Jonathan’s store, GoodOldGold yesterday and one of the stones on my “to see” list was the one described above.

    On paper, it’s table is wider than it’s total depth… but the HCA gives it a very, very respectable 0.9 “BIC” (ex, vg, vg, ex) and it doesn’t disappoint. It stood shoulder to shoulder with several SuperbCerts (with HCA scores of .6 - .8) ***

    Not only was it very, very ‘sparklie’ but it was ‘bigger’ than a 1.24 ct stone normally looks like (esp. if you compare it to a maul-cut deep/heavy cut) –the last figure in the HCA, ‘spread’ does show up in reality and did make the diamond look great.

    I can say that whether you’re buying a super-ideal, branded –or- generic H&A, or especially looking for a ‘find’ that, on paper, may not be ‘ideal’ but will look great, you should try the HCA.

    The only times I found the HCA to not match the BrillianceScope reading (and more importantly- what I saw in person) was when the symmetry is less than really good. (do I mean less than Good or VeryGood? –I dunno, but on diamonds with higher degrees of variance in the pavilion and crown angles, the HCA was ‘optimistic’- but if you read the HCA notes, it assumes a symmetrical stone- so nothing unexpected).

    So, did I go with the 1.24ct AGS2 ‘sleeper’ – nope, I ended up going for a bit bigger rock, but for someone looking for an amazing rock that may someday be recognized for being the performer that it is, go check it out at Jonathan’s site: http://www.goodoldgold.com/1_24ct_h_vs2_ags2.htm

    Speaking of Jonathan’s site and store- wow what a blast- I got to look at the 5 stones on my ‘list’ side by side, through a firescope, under a H&A viewer, in the ‘analog’ BrillianceScope, through my loupe, under the ‘jewelers’ spotlights, under fluorescent light, and even in the parking lot under natural light. (even when I though that I’d made up my mind, he brought out a ‘new one’ that he’d just gotten in from Barry that was not yet on the site… ;-)

    In natural light is where the SuperbCerts stood out. He put upto 4 stones at a time in these ‘temporary’ settings for me to compare them in a ‘faceup/onhand’ position once the ‘on counter’ nit-picking was done.

    When you put your back to the sun and looked at the S.C. rocks in the shadow cast by your person, some rox did look ‘brighter’ than others- and later- referring to my notes, those where the ones with the Higher B.Scope “white light” readings and the ones with the lower HCA scores.

    Some might say: “ah, you’re splitting hairs on a gnat’s ass” yup, but if I can tell a difference, then so will my soon-to-be fiancé with her better senses!

    In closing, by visiting GoodOldGold, I was reassured that the BrillianceScope and the HCA can be indicative of how sparklie and beautiful a symmetrical diamond will look like in person, so if you can’t make it by his store- his website and the info on it- will do you fine. If you are anywere near Eastern Long Island, look Jonathan up, you won’t be disappointed. He is by far the best jeweler I’ve dealt with- up front, informative, consultative, and with a passion for his vocation.

    -Hakalugi

    PS- sorry, I won’t be posting data/pix/details on my stone until she says “yes”- she’ll be the first to see it. After that, I’ll post the info here for all to see.



    ***I’m sure someone would ask a follow up, so here’s the info ahead of time- what does “shoulder to shoulder mean”? well under the following light conditions the following was observed:
    1) under the jeweler’s spots- the AGS2 with the HCA of .9 look just as good as the superideals- from the TOP- as far as light return goes. There was certainly a greater amount of ‘chaos’ in the AGS2 within the stone- the S.Certs looked more symmetrical internally, with a more consistent light return, the AGS2 had some hot/cold spots - but on the counter- it was very beautiful none-the-less.
    2) Under fluorescent lights (with the ‘spot-lights being 10’ away) the S.Certs gave off a bit more color and personality.
    3) In the ‘diffused light’ of being in my shadow outside the S.Certs gave a bit more white light
    4) In the direct sunlight, the S.Cert gave a bit more white light (but that could be from the exterior of the diamond… as a function of the ‘vg.good’ polish on the 1.24 and the Ex. polish on the 4 S.Certs I compared it to).

    Either way the differences were apparent, but varying in degree based on the lighting conditions.
    Bottom line: the “AGS2” killed the 5 stones of same color/clarity/width that I looked at via local dealers in Washington DC (that DID have GIA EX/EX ratings and tables/depths in the 56-57/60-62 range) and it’s thousands less $.
    IF I would have bought SOLELY from the GIA CERT (“off paper”), I would have picked the ones here in DC. But that would have been my loss. Because based on my eyesight (light return, sparlie-ness, etc) I would have picked the AGS2 over the 5 candidates in DC So what I’m sayin’- if you can’t see them for yourself- you gotta get the ‘other angles’ and run some numbers- as long as it’s symmetrical- the HCA will help you decide
     
    


    


  2. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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  3. pricescope
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pricescope » Mar 29, 2002
    Hakalugi,

    Congratulations :appl:

    Thank you for sharing it with us!
     
  4. sparks
    Rough_Rock

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    by sparks » Mar 30, 2002
    Hakalugi,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with Good Old Gold. I am considering purchasing a diamond through that site. I was wondering if you could elaborate/describe what you meant by the AGS2 having "chaos" and "hot/cold" spots. Would you have been able to notice the differences if you did not have the Superbcerts next to the AGS2 to compare?

    I am conflicted between buying a Superbcert/H&A vs. an internally non-symmetrical stone with excellent Brilliance Scope results.

    Thank you!

    :))
     
    


    


  5. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Mar 30, 2002
    The stone has an ideal-scope pic on goodold gold website.
    if you look at it you will note that the black is all over the place.
    On the sarin / ogi megascope report you can see that there are large variations in crown and pavilion angles.

    it is possible to find stones with these AGS 2-3 proportions that are symmetrical. Then the stone will outshine many H&A's.
     
  6. hakalugi
    Rough_Rock

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    by hakalugi » Mar 31, 2002
    sparks,

    sorry for the delay. Like gary says the AGS2 in question is not symmetrical.

    here's it's lightscope (?) reading:

    [​IMG]

    now- could i have been able to tell it was 'not' symmetrical if the SuperbCerts had not been side by side... before my visit to Jonathan's- no. Now, yes.

    I was shocked by seeing the 'ideal' superbcerts- I had never known a diamond to look like that (i'd never seens HoF, ACA, 8* or nothin')- so when I first saw the AGS2 (first rock of the day) what I noticed first was how much dispersion it had (fire)- very very sharp under the spotlights. It was beautiful- and as my post says, I would've taken it over the 1/2 dozen rocks I'd seen at the 3 dealers in DC that I visited locally. (even though different store, different lighting- it was apparant that the others, althoug EX/EX GIA stones were not as efficient as returning light- this I confirmed when taking the AGS2 to the windows- as I had done with the 1/2 dozen DC stones (to the wonder of the sales people))

    Then I saw the superbcerts. Instead of seeing chaos when looking directly on the table, one sees symmetry. It was amazing- I'd never seen it in a rock worn by a family member of friend. Once you see that- you can't miss/ignore it (or it's absence) in other stones.

    Now, will people 'across the room' see it? (the symmetry) nope. but when I was left alone to stare in peace. it was something that I know she'd enjoy seeing (the consistant pattern in the symmetrical, in my case, SuperCert stone)

    But as Gary says- just cause something is an AGS2 doesn't mean it /has/ to be unsymmetrical... so start hunting (also: just b/c a stone is an H&A doesn't always mean it will be more brilliant/sparklie than other non H&A, like the AGS2 in question). You can ask Jonathan to be your hunter- he seems very willing to please, that way you can compare a non-branded candidate to one of his branded stones.

    There's plenty of threads, many rather spirited :) threads, on the 'value' of branded stones vis a vis unbranded stones. One fact that always returns is 'consistancy' of the branded rox. EG: if you know your size/color/clarity then given N diamonds of each type: , or unbranded H&A, or unbranded AGS000's it seems you're more likely to find your winner in the first group. This does NOT mean one cannot find a winner in the other 2 groups... if you're willing to look a 'bit' more... these unbranded winners (assuming your subjective final decision is based on: symmetry and type/quantity of light performance) are more common than a needle in a haystack but more rare than hay in a haystack.

    I found the 'premium' for my SuperbCert to be single-digit percentage over 'non-branded' ones of same/similar specs. And beyond the 'consistancy' thing- I like the serial # on the girdle (less stress when shipping it between seller/appraiser/plat.smith/home/cleanings, etc)- yes some AGS0^3 have serial numbers, so those might work if you want that identifying char. too. And I like knowing it's one of Barry's stones, I won't lie to you. It's not a 'brand' anyone can see (like the emblem on your car's trunk, or the emblem on your shirt's pocket) it's a secret branding that's only for her and I to enjoy.

    But if you've found a generic stone that is also cut to very tight tolerances (like .x degree of the Superbcerts) that has excellent light performance (like "insert your favorite brand") in the B.Scope/Idealscope/Lightscope/Firescope(tm); and the HCA does not 'rule it out'--- then it, too, will be a winner in 99.99999% of the population's eyes. At that point it would boil down to the dealer, and their service policies.

    (FYI- none of the stores in DC that I visited would match Jonathans 'return for cash'/Trade Up at full value/Buy-Back at 75%)

    best of luck.
     
  7. hakalugi
    Rough_Rock

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    by hakalugi » Mar 31, 2002
    i just re-read my post and remembered what one of the stores would offer me as a 'trade-up' policy:

    me: "...another dealer I'm considering visiting offers 100% value of the originally purchased stone when used to buy a new stone at his store..."

    her: "oh, we don't have a set policy like that."

    me: "so, there's not buy-back program?"

    her: "well, nothing in stone... let me ask"

    her manager: "we'll sometimes give someone full credit for their original purchase here"

    me: "like when, for example?"

    her manager: "well, there's someone who bought a 1.10 ct. diamond with us and now is buying a 3.x ct diamond, we're upgrading him with full credit on his original..."

    me: "oh, well, i'm not sure we would want something that dramatic- but if I want to upagrade say 1/2 ct and 2 color grades... would that work? (with me still getting 100% trade-in on the new rock) "

    her manager: "not sure; it depends on what the diamond market is doing then"

    me: "so, we could put it in writing that unless there's an X% drop in wholesale prices an upgrade that would cost me several thousand $$$ would stand? (with me still getting 100% trade-in on the new rock)"

    her manager: "no, not in writing, we'd just see how things are later..."


    like friggin pulling teeth.

    the other one had no such program.

    the stores that /do/ regularly have that kind of program sell at maul markups and have H-L grades stones that often turn out to be M color... you know the drill.
     
  8. sparks
    Rough_Rock

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    by sparks » Mar 31, 2002
    Hakalugi,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. You have been very helpful. This is all a very confusing process. Congratulations on finding a beautiful diamond, I'm sure she will be happy with it!

    Thanks again!:wavey:
     
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