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How cut grading is killing horse head diamonds

Rockdiamond

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Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
 

kenny

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Thoughts? ... You're friggin joking.
 

dollyanjuli

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Rockdiamond|1472685986|4072031 said:
Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
I'll play, as I often have viewpoints that are opposite to the "cut is king" mantra- not that i don't 100% agree with this statement. But I think when it comes to everything BUT round diamonds, there is so much more to consider. I have often seen stones in person that quite literally take my breath away ( and all of the people who see them!) but they aren't considered "well cut". Henri Daussi stones are a great example, yes many are shallow and have windows but I have owned two that made people stop and grab my hand, much more than my current ring even. In fact with all fancy cut stones I know that there is a lot of emphasis put on ASET's and light leakage but I have always felt that you need to see these types of stones with your own eyes, not just fancy imagery. I know many disagree with me and that's ok. I also know many people who FAR prefer "crushed iced" cushions in person vs. the modern cushions that have clear cut facets, and when I first started frequenting PS i was surprised at how many people hated them. Yes some of them are hot messes, but isn't that the same for all diamonds? That's what eyes are for, and diamonds like beauty are all in the eye of the beholder.

I will never try to talk about rounds or how to determine which of them is best, because I feel that specifically for those there is something to be said for the math and the precision is takes to cut them and it's way out of my comfort zone for discussion. But for other stones- the wonky shaped pears that are full of charm, the shallow cushions that don't sparkle but scintillate, and yes the horse head diamonds that make you look twice- there are people who love and appreciate them numbers and certs be damned. I don't have a certificate on my finger, I have a shiny piece of rock that hopefully makes my heart skip a beat. When I bought my current stone i knew the pattern I was after and looked at MANYYYY stones in person and let my eyes pick. It may not be for everyone but I am beyond happy with it.

As an aside my feelings may be culturally based. Indian jewelery is rarely certed or made with top grade stones, but I have to say (and of course i am biased) to me it is truly the most beautiful and luxurious jewelry in the world for the price, and BIGGER and BRIGHTER is ALWAYS better hahahaha

:dance: :dance: :dance:
 

Karl_K

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Sky high rough prices will have more to do with it way sooner than lack of skilled cutters. Like right now.
That said with more and more diamonds being cut on what is basically an assembly line there is some truth to it.
There are many cutters who are highly skilled at cutting their part of the stone but they are not and
likely never will be all around masters of the craft.
 

Rockdiamond

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Definitely not kidding Kenny
Part of my motivation for pushback against "performance" based cut grading was the fear that exactly this would happen. I saw this coming more than 10 years ago.
If you look at RBC's, there's less diversity nowadays. Everyone cuts smaller tables. It's not that I don't love smaller tables. I love the super ideal stones as well. I appreciate the balance of scintillation, brilliance and contrast.
I just don't think they're "better" than other flavors. I do prefer the balance offered by a well cut 60/60 as opposed to Ideal proportions.
It's different- and may not "score " well, if the benchmark is the way an ideal cut diamond behaves.
That's part of my point- when you standardize beauty, by tying it to performance which is purported to be scientific, you loose the essence of artistic expression. I mean who would ever willingly buy a stone that does not "perform as well"- especially because cut it king, as everyone knows. A far better system would describe the as different flavors, as opposed to one performs better than the other. But that's my dream world.
The general discussion/information online is totally slanted towards ideal cuts.
This has had a huge impact on round diamonds.
I just did a broad search..10-100cts
table 59-60
Depth 60
I specified GIA XXX
results: 2843 diamonds

Leave all other parameters, and change to
table 55-57
depth 62
A little over 9000

I can't go back in time to check what it was statistically in the past- but I know for sure, 60/60's used to be far more predominant in well cut goods
 

Rockdiamond

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dollyanjuli|1472696379|4072094 said:
As an aside my feelings may be culturally based. Indian jewelery is rarely certed or made with top grade stones, but I have to say (and of course i am biased) to me it is truly the most beautiful and luxurious jewelry in the world for the price, and BIGGER and BRIGHTER is ALWAYS better hahahaha

:dance: :dance: :dance:
THIS!!!

Well cut 60/60's generally spread very well- and arrange the light in a way that many will perceive as brighter

Karl_K said:
Sky high rough prices will have more to do with it way sooner than lack of skilled cutters. Like right now.
That said with more and more diamonds being cut on what is basically an assembly line there is some truth to it.
There are many cutters who are highly skilled at cutting their part of the stone but they are not and
likely never will be all around masters of the craft.
HI Karl :wavey:
I agree, rough prices do make it difficult- but I think the downward pressure from online sales is more of an issue. Automation, increases in technology in India are biggies as well.
Specialization is key.
But Horse Heads in particular are simply to wonky as a concept to have people devote a lot of time to just that. As opposed to antique style stones, or branded cuts
 

Wink

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Rockdiamond|1472698759|4072116 said:
Definitely not kidding Kenny
Part of my motivation for pushback against "performance" based cut grading was the fear that exactly this would happen. I saw this coming more than 10 years ago.
If you look at RBC's, there's less diversity nowadays. Everyone cuts smaller tables. It's not that I don't love smaller tables. I love the super ideal stones as well. I appreciate the balance of scintillation, brilliance and contrast.
I just don't think they're "better" than other flavors. I do prefer the balance offered by a well cut 60/60 as opposed to Ideal proportions.
It's different- and may not "score " well, if the benchmark is the way an ideal cut diamond behaves.
That's part of my point- when you standardize beauty, by tying it to performance which is purported to be scientific, you loose the essence of artistic expression. I mean who would ever willingly buy a stone that does not "perform as well"- especially because cut it king, as everyone knows. A far better system would describe the as different flavors, as opposed to one performs better than the other. But that's my dream world.
The general discussion/information online is totally slanted towards ideal cuts.
This has had a huge impact on round diamonds.
I just did a broad search..10-100cts
table 59-60
Depth 60
I specified GIA XXX
results: 2843 diamonds

Leave all other parameters, and change to
table 55-57
depth 62
A little over 9000

I can't go back in time to check what it was statistically in the past- but I know for sure, 60/60's used to be far more predominant in well cut goods
Rock my friend,

I have so many disagreements with you in your post here that I need a couple of hours to go write a post to talk about them, and I am tired and need to go to bed.

But, quickly:

RE: I just don't think they're "better" than other flavors. I do prefer the balance offered by a well cut 60/60 as opposed to Ideal

Strange but in our showroom dealers, and when I get the opportunity to deal with in house clients, when I put four or five stones in a slotted tray, saying absolutely nothing about the diamonds other than which ones do you like the best, greater than 90% of the time, the super ideals are chosen above 60/60's, so the human eye largely disagrees with you.

RE: by tying it to performance which is purported to be scientific, you loose the essence of artistic expression.

That is the point, when more than 90% choose the super ideal for its beauty, how is that losing the essence of artistic expression? Are not my clients deserving of picking their own beauty? It is not my fault that so many of them choose the super ideal cuts. (Talking about rounds only, I have sold several horse head diamonds to horse loving clients, but I never actually loved any of the horse head diamonds. Some may call them art, but for me, not so much.)

RE: It's different- and may not "score " well, if the benchmark is the way an ideal cut diamond behaves.

But if the human eye prefers it, I am going to love offering it to my clientele. If you are one of those who prefer the different look, go for it, just do not look to me to provide it.

RE: A far better system would describe the as different flavors, as opposed to one performs better than the other.

This is why I say nothing about any of the diamonds on the tray, and still more than 90% choose the better performer. Why would a system that fails to reward the extra effort and cost that it takes to produce the better performer be better? It costs more money in terms of lower percentage of yield from the rough. It costs more money to hire a cutter able to produce, it takes better and more expensive equipment to produce and it looks better to more than 90% of the people looking at them when nothing is said.

You are correct now that with the "new" GIA XXX cut grade and its ridiculous allowance of over steep and deep garbage that it is harder to find a nice 60/60, simply because a steep deep allows a diamond that could have been a fantastic 0.80 - 0.85 ct to be cut to a much more expensive but lousy looking 1.00 ct diamond.

Calling a GIA XXX an ideal cut diamond is just wrong. True, some of them might be, but today, the majority are not. Not to mention that a GIA XXX is called a GIA Excellent by GIA, the Ideal grade is issued by AGS.

Just about any experienced diamond person can teach an average shopper how to distinguish a 60/60, a transitional cut, an Old European cut or an Old Mine cut in just a few minutes. It will take a lot longer to show the why of how a true super ideal cut is prettier, but it does not take long for the eye to learn to see the beauty of it when compared to other rounds. (I personally love the older cuts too, but they are instantly observable, even to the casual and untrained observer.)

You continue to beat a dead and dying horse my friend. You know I like and admire you for so many things. Your insistence that so so cut diamonds are better than ideal cuts is not one of them.

Wink
 

Gypsy

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I saw this topic and thought "What do you know, David has a sense of humor!!"

Alas, this was not borne out.


And I, unsurprisingly, agree with Wink.
 

Serg

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Rockdiamond|1472685986|4072031 said:
Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
thoughts:
20 years ago most photo cameras were analog . It took several years to train skills to create just reasonably good photos: just in focus with right exposure time.
Now almost everyone can do it after 5-10 min training ( may be even without any training)

Did it kill art in photo world? No. To became Best( top 10, top100) you still need a talent and experience that you may receive only after many years of hard work.
Yes average photo is become better than 40-20 years ago and Best photos become more amazing than 20-40 years ago.
But it is still very hard to become Best photographer .

the problems with Diamond design are:
1) cutting process is still "analog"
2) Material for tests is very expensive( specially for big sizes)

Software significantly reduce just the cost of cut optimization, it did not reduce significantly the cost of Creation New Cuts.
Cut Optimization become "Digital". But Because cutting process is still "analog" and each test is very expensive the number of nice cuts are still narrow.
Most probably the synthetic diamonds are going to change it in next 10 years. We will see digital cutting process and many new nice cut designs.
 

Rockdiamond

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Wink|1472705194|4072140 said:
Rockdiamond|1472698759|4072116 said:
Definitely not kidding Kenny
Part of my motivation for pushback against "performance" based cut grading was the fear that exactly this would happen. I saw this coming more than 10 years ago.
If you look at RBC's, there's less diversity nowadays. Everyone cuts smaller tables. It's not that I don't love smaller tables. I love the super ideal stones as well. I appreciate the balance of scintillation, brilliance and contrast.
I just don't think they're "better" than other flavors. I do prefer the balance offered by a well cut 60/60 as opposed to Ideal proportions.
It's different- and may not "score " well, if the benchmark is the way an ideal cut diamond behaves.
That's part of my point- when you standardize beauty, by tying it to performance which is purported to be scientific, you loose the essence of artistic expression. I mean who would ever willingly buy a stone that does not "perform as well"- especially because cut it king, as everyone knows. A far better system would describe the as different flavors, as opposed to one performs better than the other. But that's my dream world.
The general discussion/information online is totally slanted towards ideal cuts.
This has had a huge impact on round diamonds.
I just did a broad search..10-100cts
table 59-60
Depth 60
I specified GIA XXX
results: 2843 diamonds

Leave all other parameters, and change to
table 55-57
depth 62
A little over 9000

I can't go back in time to check what it was statistically in the past- but I know for sure, 60/60's used to be far more predominant in well cut goods
Rock my friend,

I have so many disagreements with you in your post here that I need a couple of hours to go write a post to talk about them, and I am tired and need to go to bed.

But, quickly:

RE: I just don't think they're "better" than other flavors. I do prefer the balance offered by a well cut 60/60 as opposed to Ideal

Strange but in our showroom dealers, and when I get the opportunity to deal with in house clients, when I put four or five stones in a slotted tray, saying absolutely nothing about the diamonds other than which ones do you like the best, greater than 90% of the time, the super ideals are chosen above 60/60's, so the human eye largely disagrees with you.

RE: by tying it to performance which is purported to be scientific, you loose the essence of artistic expression.

That is the point, when more than 90% choose the super ideal for its beauty, how is that losing the essence of artistic expression? Are not my clients deserving of picking their own beauty? It is not my fault that so many of them choose the super ideal cuts. (Talking about rounds only, I have sold several horse head diamonds to horse loving clients, but I never actually loved any of the horse head diamonds. Some may call them art, but for me, not so much.)

RE: It's different- and may not "score " well, if the benchmark is the way an ideal cut diamond behaves.

But if the human eye prefers it, I am going to love offering it to my clientele. If you are one of those who prefer the different look, go for it, just do not look to me to provide it.

RE: A far better system would describe the as different flavors, as opposed to one performs better than the other.

This is why I say nothing about any of the diamonds on the tray, and still more than 90% choose the better performer. Why would a system that fails to reward the extra effort and cost that it takes to produce the better performer be better? It costs more money in terms of lower percentage of yield from the rough. It costs more money to hire a cutter able to produce, it takes better and more expensive equipment to produce and it looks better to more than 90% of the people looking at them when nothing is said.

You are correct now that with the "new" GIA XXX cut grade and its ridiculous allowance of over steep and deep garbage that it is harder to find a nice 60/60, simply because a steep deep allows a diamond that could have been a fantastic 0.80 - 0.85 ct to be cut to a much more expensive but lousy looking 1.00 ct diamond.

Calling a GIA XXX an ideal cut diamond is just wrong. True, some of them might be, but today, the majority are not. Not to mention that a GIA XXX is called a GIA Excellent by GIA, the Ideal grade is issued by AGS.

Just about any experienced diamond person can teach an average shopper how to distinguish a 60/60, a transitional cut, an Old European cut or an Old Mine cut in just a few minutes. It will take a lot longer to show the why of how a true super ideal cut is prettier, but it does not take long for the eye to learn to see the beauty of it when compared to other rounds. (I personally love the older cuts too, but they are instantly observable, even to the casual and untrained observer.)

You continue to beat a dead and dying horse my friend. You know I like and admire you for so many things. Your insistence that so so cut diamonds are better than ideal cuts is not one of them.

Wink
The admiration is indeed mutual my friend. The only part of your post I take real exception to is terming what I might pick as a super well cut diamond "so so". We may have different tastes- but we're both able to select well cut diamonds
When I've been using the term "ideal" in this thread, I mean smaller table LK style stones. Which will include super ideals. I do not doubt your personal experience of your clients picking 90% super ideals, however looking at a broader market, many others have different experiences with consumers. Clearly GIA did very extensive testing- far more than any single seller could do- and they included a far wider range than AGSL. There's still many 60/60 lovers out there- maybe not that are walking into your store.

The point of the thread was not to re-open a 60/60 vs ideal discussion- rather to point out how the market has gotten quite slanted in one direction.
In that, Wink is one guy who's been around long enough to have witnessed to my main point- an increase in consistency which leads to a dearth of diversity.

I'm using 60/60 vs what I'm terming "Ideal" ( not super ideal mind you but stones cut to mimic the proportions) to illustrate how the market has responded. Wink- do you not notice this change?
 

Rockdiamond

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Serg|1472724082|4072172 said:
Rockdiamond|1472685986|4072031 said:
Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
thoughts:
20 years ago most photo cameras were analog . It took several years to train skills to create just reasonably good photos: just in focus with right exposure time.
Now almost everyone can do it after 5-10 min training ( may be even without any training)

Did it kill art in photo world? No. To became Best( top 10, top100) you still need a talent and experience that you may receive only after many years of hard work.
Yes average photo is become better than 40-20 years ago and Best photos become more amazing than 20-40 years ago.
But it is still very hard to become Best photographer .

the problems with Diamond design are:
1) cutting process is still "analog"
2) Material for tests is very expensive( specially for big sizes)

Software significantly reduce just the cost of cut optimization, it did not reduce significantly the cost of Creation New Cuts.
Cut Optimization become "Digital". But Because cutting process is still "analog" and each test is very expensive the number of nice cuts are still narrow.
Most probably the synthetic diamonds are going to change it in next 10 years. We will see digital cutting process and many new nice cut designs.
HI Serg, Thanks for adding your valuable point of view.
I love your analogy- but I don;t see it exactly the same way.
Let's shift if from photography to music.
With digital technology, anyone can have a full blown recording studio on their phone. Sweet, right?
Well, in the process, analog recording has pretty much gone by the wayside- and with it, fidelity.
So, we get a huge benefit in that we can hear so many more artist's creations- but we loose something, which I think is very important- the texture of music.

Hopefully you're right and creativity will still flourish in cutting.....
 

Karl_K

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I have been thinking about this thread a lot.
There are a ton of things that if I spent all day typing to explore about the effects both bad and good
relating to cut grading, "modern" cutting practices, and todays markets both rough and polished.
What I keep coming back to is the world has moved on and years and even decades after many
industries the diamond industry has moved on.
In some ways good and some ways bad.
The only sure thing is that it will keep changing now that it has started because to stop moving is to fade away into history.
 

PintoBean

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David - what IS a horse head diamond? Is this a term of art for your industry?
 

Rockdiamond

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Gypsy|1472706078|4072142 said:
I saw this topic and thought "What do you know, David has a sense of humor!!"

Alas, this was not borne out.


And I, unsurprisingly, agree with Wink.
Dr- You've got 6 months to live
Patient- I want a second opinion
Dr- Ok, you're ugly

for Gypsy:)
 

Karl_K

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PintoBean|1472754565|4072318 said:
David - what IS a horse head diamond? Is this a term of art for your industry?
r3179a.jpg
 

Rockdiamond

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Karl_K|1472754523|4072317 said:
I have been thinking about this thread a lot.
There are a ton of things that if I spent all day typing to explore about the effects both bad and good
relating to cut grading, "modern" cutting practices, and todays markets both rough and polished.
What I keep coming back to is the world has moved on and years and even decades after many
industries the diamond industry has moved on.
In some ways good and some ways bad.
The only sure thing is that it will keep changing now that it has started because to stop moving is to fade away into history.
Thanks Karl- my main goal in starting the thread was to get people thinking- I mean, we all love diamonds, and talking about them is fun- and can be thought provoking.

Your point is well taken. Time marches on- I just feel like we should take a bit of time and attention to notice what might be getting lost on the way.
Wink said I was beating a dead horse- but I'm not beating the poor thing- I'm kinda sad that the horse is indeed, dead.
 

diagem

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Started as an Interesting conversation...., since this was supposed to be a horse head (or novelty cut) conversation what happened? It turned RB vs 60/60 or xxx vs ideal.
Wink, the super ideal cut is stuck. The market is stuck at ideal and or triple X cuts.
No one is willing to push further out of the comfort zone.

Aren't you getting sick of offering just super ideals that your clients choose 90% of their time? (I know..., kinda stupid question but still worth the thought!)
Why aren't cutters moving forward with diamond design?
Why are labs (including but not limited to AGS) stuck that the light comes from above only?
Why are super ideal cuts not tested on Real ETAS for the most precise optical symmetry results LIVE!

I think it's because we're all in the comfort zone and we are ok with it.

The next level of 3D optical precision is intriguing. The possibilities are endless. Yes it's a very costly process which deserves its own value plateau and shouldn't be compared to any other inferior levels of cut.

Now let's resume and talk artsy novelty cuts and their light performance issues... :evil:

David, please go on....
 

PintoBean

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Karl_K|1472754814|4072321 said:
PintoBean|1472754565|4072318 said:
David - what IS a horse head diamond? Is this a term of art for your industry?
WOWOWWOWOW!!! :love: You LITERALLY meant a horse head diamond! :lol: :lol: :lol: Now I have to pray that SOMEONE keeps cutting them so that one in my budget pops up! My DH and I like horses since we're born the year of the horse!
 

Rockdiamond

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I swear Yoram- I didn't want to go down the 60/60 rabbit hole.
I'm super glad you joined the discussion!

You're a shining example of the fact there's still some hope for artistic original designs.....

What do you think about the statement made by the cutter who told me horse heads are pretty much done because no young cutters want to learn the skill?
That's what got me thinking about how and why we've gotten to this point.
 

Rockdiamond

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dollyanjuli|1472696379|4072094 said:
Rockdiamond|1472685986|4072031 said:
Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
I'll play, as I often have viewpoints that are opposite to the "cut is king" mantra- not that i don't 100% agree with this statement. But I think when it comes to everything BUT round diamonds, there is so much more to consider. I have often seen stones in person that quite literally take my breath away ( and all of the people who see them!) but they aren't considered "well cut". Henri Daussi stones are a great example, yes many are shallow and have windows but I have owned two that made people stop and grab my hand, much more than my current ring even. In fact with all fancy cut stones I know that there is a lot of emphasis put on ASET's and light leakage but I have always felt that you need to see these types of stones with your own eyes, not just fancy imagery. I know many disagree with me and that's ok. I also know many people who FAR prefer "crushed iced" cushions in person vs. the modern cushions that have clear cut facets, and when I first started frequenting PS i was surprised at how many people hated them. Yes some of them are hot messes, but isn't that the same for all diamonds? That's what eyes are for, and diamonds like beauty are all in the eye of the beholder.

I will never try to talk about rounds or how to determine which of them is best, because I feel that specifically for those there is something to be said for the math and the precision is takes to cut them and it's way out of my comfort zone for discussion. But for other stones- the wonky shaped pears that are full of charm, the shallow cushions that don't sparkle but scintillate, and yes the horse head diamonds that make you look twice- there are people who love and appreciate them numbers and certs be damned. I don't have a certificate on my finger, I have a shiny piece of rock that hopefully makes my heart skip a beat. When I bought my current stone i knew the pattern I was after and looked at MANYYYY stones in person and let my eyes pick. It may not be for everyone but I am beyond happy with it.

As an aside my feelings may be culturally based. Indian jewelery is rarely certed or made with top grade stones, but I have to say (and of course i am biased) to me it is truly the most beautiful and luxurious jewelry in the world for the price, and BIGGER and BRIGHTER is ALWAYS better hahahaha

:dance: :dance: :dance:
Interesting historical point- The people at Daussi claim that it they invented the tools necessary to create the cleavage in a heart shape- and those are the type of tools which cutters use making a horse head.
Maybe Yoram knows if this is true-
Also for Yoram: Horse heads are cut from the same type of rough as heart shapes- yes?
 

diagem

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Rockdiamond|1472758671|4072346 said:
I swear Yoram- I didn't want to go down the 60/60 rabbit hole.
I'm super glad you joined the discussion!

You're a shining example of the fact there's still some hope for artistic original designs.....

What do you think about the statement made by the cutter who told me horse heads are pretty much done because no young cutters want to learn the skill?
That's what got me thinking about how and why we've gotten to this point.
Horse heads are a thing of the past because demand for them is minimal. For example take the horse head that Karl posted, I count 8 complications in the shape alone. And honestly I have never seen such a shape reflecting a horses head almost to the tee!! Who ever cut this had a great eye for proportions, a great hand and a lot of patience. Limited demand for these make the time it takes to cut such a beautiful shape completely non economical (again, when comparing to other fancy shapes and the time it takes to cut them).
Unfortunately today cutters are spending most of their expertise on achieving the wide scope of triple X's, the limited scope of Ideals or simply double X fancies which are usually useless as a parameter for beauty.

If cutter would explore the time and expertise incorporated on such a horse head on other more relevant out of the box thinking we would have clear winners. But as Serg mentioned above, R&D on the Diamond material makes exploring extremely expensive.

I agree with Serg that synthetics will give new opportunities to creativity in the future. Interesting times ahead.
 

Rockdiamond

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Yoram -a few of the guys that traditionally cut them were really good.
ON the very good ones, you can even see different expressions on horse head based on the angle of the neck and ears.
Many that I've seen over the years were dogs ( trying to be horses) or horses a$$es:) Seriously, I've seen some horrible attempts, both in shape as well as optical properties.

I agree demand for Horse Heads is minimal- but it was never a high demand item.
Thing is, there's a dedicated audience....maybe if Serg and you are correct, we'll get even more boutique cuts.
If we only had a Pokemon shaped diamond!
 

Wink

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Rockdiamond|1472753582|4072310 said:
Wink|1472705194|4072140 said:
<SNIP>

I'm using 60/60 vs what I'm terming "Ideal" ( not super ideal mind you but stones cut to mimic the proportions) to illustrate how the market has responded. Wink- do you not notice this change?
What I have noticed most is a huge rush towards the steepest deepest proportions that can be cut to barely keep the diamond in the GIA XXX ranking which if this is what asking vendors to look and tell you what is cool is what you get. As a result I see diamonds of 2 cts that look smaller than a properly cut diamond of 1.8 cts in all but the most jewelry store, I can make any thing sparkle, lighting.

This is a fun experiment that we do when in bricks and mortar stores. Put a steep deep junker next to a really nicely cut diamond that is actually smaller. In the I can make you sparkle lights, they look about the same size. Cast a shadow over the two diamonds and WHAM, the steep deep junker goes dark around the edges and looks much smaller than the well cut diamond next to it. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE LOWER WEIGHT DIAMOND IS ACTUALLY SMALLER IN DIAMETER!

So why do the steep deep junkers sell? Because they are sold in lighting that has been created to make everything look sparkly. I now have an office inside a jewelry store in Meridian, Idaho. There is a store down the street from them that lines up a Hearts on Fire, a nice ideal cut and a steep deep junker on a slotted tray. Then the sales person will hold it out to them and say something like this. "Look, this diamond is a Hearts on Fire and it costs an absurd amount of money. This one is an ideal cut and it still costs too much money. This one is a nice GIA XXX and it is 25% less than the ideal cut. Which one do you want?" The first time we heard this we about fell out of our chairs.

We showed them our two stone demonstration and recommended that they go back to the jeweler and cast a shadow upon his diamonds. They did.

Then they came back laughing at the reaction that got from the sales clerk. Since that time we have earned many sales by teaching unsuspecting victims the tricks that will be used at that store.

However, I will agree that there are more well cut diamonds out there today than ten years ago, but there is still a LOT of junk out there too, and the steep deep junkers that allow cutters to retain more weight and retailers to brag about how their diamonds are so much cheaper than XYZ well cut brand just make my heart weep for those who do not know better and buy them.

And as for that horse head that Karl K shared with us, it does not really ring my bell, but I have to admit that it is a fun diamond to have available for those whose bell it would ring.

In my youth I sold many 60/60's but I never, even then, loved them like I did a nice ideal cut. Now that I have been exposed to the beauty of the super ideal diamonds that I am well known for selling, I do not sell the nice ideal cuts any more either. I just feel that not offering my best available diamond is not doing my best for my clients. There are plenty of places and jewelers who disagree with me and I am very comfortable letting them have that sale.

Wink
 

Rockdiamond

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Wink! Love ya man!!

But really- I don't want to debate 60/60 vs Ideal here..... the ONLY reason 60/60 is relevant to the discussion is to point out how so many cutters are all following the same path in RBC cutting
 

Serg

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Rockdiamond|1472754306|4072314 said:
Serg|1472724082|4072172 said:
Rockdiamond|1472685986|4072031 said:
Sounds weird right?
Followers of these boards know I'm not an advocate for cut grading, as it is currently practiced. This thread outlines part of my issue.
So how does cut grading affect Horse Head Diamonds?
Cut grading has standardized a lot of the more popular shapes. With modern technology the truly skilled cutters have less to do. Basically, with modern facilities and computers, a "regular" cutter can polish an ideal cut diamond, as currently defined by modern cut grading. In years past, there was a far larger differential from better to worse cutters.
We are all the beneficiaries of this because cutting quality, in general, has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. I see far fewer badly cut fancy shapes than in years past.
So what's the down side?
If there's less of a need for skilled cutters, you're going to have less people going into the field.
I learned today that Horse Head Diamonds may be a thing of the past because there's no young people willing learn the skill required to cut them.

thoughts?
thoughts:
20 years ago most photo cameras were analog . It took several years to train skills to create just reasonably good photos: just in focus with right exposure time.
Now almost everyone can do it after 5-10 min training ( may be even without any training)

Did it kill art in photo world? No. To became Best( top 10, top100) you still need a talent and experience that you may receive only after many years of hard work.
Yes average photo is become better than 40-20 years ago and Best photos become more amazing than 20-40 years ago.
But it is still very hard to become Best photographer .

the problems with Diamond design are:
1) cutting process is still "analog"
2) Material for tests is very expensive( specially for big sizes)

Software significantly reduce just the cost of cut optimization, it did not reduce significantly the cost of Creation New Cuts.
Cut Optimization become "Digital". But Because cutting process is still "analog" and each test is very expensive the number of nice cuts are still narrow.
Most probably the synthetic diamonds are going to change it in next 10 years. We will see digital cutting process and many new nice cut designs.
HI Serg, Thanks for adding your valuable point of view.
I love your analogy- but I don;t see it exactly the same way.
Let's shift if from photography to music.
With digital technology, anyone can have a full blown recording studio on their phone. Sweet, right?
Well, in the process, analog recording has pretty much gone by the wayside- and with it, fidelity.
So, we get a huge benefit in that we can hear so many more artist's creations- but we loose something, which I think is very important- the texture of music.

Hopefully you're right and creativity will still flourish in cutting.....
David,
Digital music recording does not significantly reduce time that human have to spend to receive skills as musician . You have to spend similar time as 20, 50 years ago. Years and years of trainings. Human is still main part of musical creation , Human is still analog creation.

Just digital music recording does not change a lot in whole music process. Digital music instruments of course change process and give additional opportunities, but main limitation ( and and main source in same time) is analog human nature. You can not upgrade human skill without long training, you can not save it, transfer, load,..
Music history, industry, culture is very old. It has thousand years of evolution, innovations and adjusting to Human nature.
So digital recording and even digital instruments are very small step in so long historical process. It is not revolution .
( Machine Deep learning could be such revolution for music . If AI start creates music for digital instruments, it would change a lot)

In same time photographing and diamond industry are very young industries in compare with music history . For them the digital step is very big step that is changing a lot for these industries.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I have a diamond wishlist, but horsehead diamonds just aren't on there. I imagine that is why no one cares to learn to cut them (they aren't on anyone's wish list).

I agree that superideal cuts are an easy buy because they are consistently fabulous for someone who wants a round brilliant. I have some and love them. I would imagine that round brilliants are the number one seller for engagement rings, and I can't think of anything better to recommend than a superideal cut for someone who wants one. This is especially true on PS where most people are buying from a distance without seeing the stones.

That said, Yorman is the cutter I admire most because he cuts some of the most gorgeous (and unique) stones I have ever seen. I am extremely fortunate to have one. His stones pretty much make up my whole wish list!
 

Karl_K

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PintoBean|1472758605|4072345 said:
Karl_K|1472754814|4072321 said:
PintoBean|1472754565|4072318 said:
David - what IS a horse head diamond? Is this a term of art for your industry?
WOWOWWOWOW!!! :love: You LITERALLY meant a horse head diamond! :lol: :lol: :lol: Now I have to pray that SOMEONE keeps cutting them so that one in my budget pops up! My DH and I like horses since we're born the year of the horse!
They are pretty kewl.
I admire the skill that goes into creating a good one as well as how it looks.
They are very rare and a good one is even more so.
The one I posted I would say is in the top 5 of any I seen pictures of over the years.
 

oldminer

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It is a difficult thing to draw a beautiful horse's head. Likely, far more technical and difficult to cut one in diamond. However, the concept of high performance cutting standardization of round diamonds and a few other standard fancy shapes hardly seems relevant to the "artistic endeavor type" of cutting such as creating a good looking horse head versus a childish and clumsy horse head. I don't see how one could connect the dots between the superb cutting of standard shapes and the rare cutting of truly artful and unusual cuts with highly limited and strange market preferences. These two markets and skill sets are as distant as the head of the horse is to the opposite end of said horse. I believe you were serious in your intent, but how the two different parts of this endeavor mingle with one another is mostly not-at-all.

The diamond trade must be willing to train artisans both in commercial cutting and in artistic cutting. Obviously, the larger set of jobs will be in standardized cuts and a tiny fraction of starving artist types will want to work the fringes of the odd stone in the strange shape. A few of those cutters will do great work and hopefully make a living, but most will waste their time and their rough diamonds. This artistic cut effort will have little to no impact on the standard market for regular cut diamonds or the demand for and training of the vast majority of cutters.

Automation and the never ending push to low labor cost countries are far more damaging to job creation in the Western world and likely beneficial to the Third world where jobs and skills are welcomed in spite of what seems low wages to us.

A comparison of the asking prices of fine cut equines versus ugly horse head diamonds in similar colors and clarities would be useful for informational purposes, just in case we wish to be adorned by the front end of a horse.....far better than the rear view :naughty:
 

oldminer

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It is a difficult thing to draw a beautiful horse's head. Likely, far more technical and difficult to cut one in diamond. However, the concept of high performance cutting standardization of round diamonds and a few other standard fancy shapes hardly seems relevant to the "artistic endeavor type" of cutting such as creating a good looking horse head versus a childish and clumsy horse head. I don't see how one could connect the dots between the superb cutting of standard shapes and the rare cutting of truly artful and unusual cuts with highly limited and strange market preferences. These two markets and skill sets are as distant as the head of the horse is to the opposite end of said horse. I believe you were serious in your intent, but how the two different parts of this endeavor mingle with one another is mostly not-at-all.

The diamond trade must be willing to train artisans both in commercial cutting and in artistic cutting. Obviously, the larger set of jobs will be in standardized cuts and a tiny fraction of starving artist types will want to work the fringes of the odd stone in the strange shape. A few of those cutters will do great work and hopefully make a living, but most will waste their time and their rough diamonds. This artistic cut effort will have little to no impact on the standard market for regular cut diamonds or the demand for and training of the vast majority of cutters.

Automation and the never ending push to low labor cost countries are far more damaging to job creation in the Western world and likely beneficial to the Third world where jobs and skills are welcomed in spite of what seems low wages to us.

A comparison of the asking prices of fine cut equines versus ugly horse head diamonds in similar colors and clarities would be useful for informational purposes, just in case we wish to be adorned by the front end of a horse.....far better than the rear view :naughty:
 

Wink

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DiaGem|1472760856|4072360 said:
Rockdiamond|1472758671|4072346 said:
I swear Yoram- I didn't want to go down the 60/60 rabbit hole.
I'm super glad you joined the discussion!

You're a shining example of the fact there's still some hope for artistic original designs.....

What do you think about the statement made by the cutter who told me horse heads are pretty much done because no young cutters want to learn the skill?
That's what got me thinking about how and why we've gotten to this point.
Horse heads are a thing of the past because demand for them is minimal. For example take the horse head that Karl posted, I count 8 complications in the shape alone. And honestly I have never seen such a shape reflecting a horses head almost to the tee!! Who ever cut this had a great eye for proportions, a great hand and a lot of patience. Limited demand for these make the time it takes to cut such a beautiful shape completely non economical (again, when comparing to other fancy shapes and the time it takes to cut them).
Unfortunately today cutters are spending most of their expertise on achieving the wide scope of triple X's, the limited scope of Ideals or simply double X fancies which are usually useless as a parameter for beauty.

If cutter would explore the time and expertise incorporated on such a horse head on other more relevant out of the box thinking we would have clear winners. But as Serg mentioned above, R&D on the Diamond material makes exploring extremely expensive.

I agree with Serg that synthetics will give new opportunities to creativity in the future. Interesting times ahead.
Yoram, a question. Could some of the exploration not be done with inexpensive simulants such as CZ which although they have a different RI? The design could then be adjusted for diamond properties if desired? Currently, even synthetic diamond rough is very expensive for "play".

I have seen some incredibly beautiful non traditional cut diamonds, such as the Octavia that do light my fire, although I fear that the demand for them is much lower than their beauty would warrant. I worry that it will be very difficult to produce for just about any cutter to ever be able to afford to "play" with diamond rough to test potential designs for new shapes. Even when they are stunning, it is hard to create the demand for them.

I have seen some incredible modeling done with Sergey's Diamcalc software, which provides a great starting point and certainly saves a great deal of trial and error work with real diamond rough, but I would still wonder about how do you create sufficient demand to make it commercially viable?

Wink

P.S. Re your question: Aren't you getting sick of offering just super ideals that your clients choose 90% of their time? (I know..., kinda stupid question but still worth the thought!)

No. I am about to open a package with a new, yet unseen by me diamond and make a video of it for my client who lives on the other side of the country from me. I know this, when I open the package and see the light hit the diamond for the first time, my heart will beat a little faster and my eyes will take great joy in what I see. When I steam the diamond prior to making the video, my heart and eyes will be even happier, and when I make the video, my voice will betray that excitement.

Maybe that is why I will never get tired of offering the "Same old thing." time after time after time. So long as my heart picks up its pace and my eyes tell my brain, "OH WOW!" I just do not see how I would ever get tired of it.

Thus I did not consider it a stupid question at all, but one that gave me a chance to think about it before responding. I was still thinking about it when the package come in a short time ago and the answer coalesced.
 
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