Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity
  • Pricescope Upgrade/Maintenance Is Complete.

    We still have a few things to iron out. If you see any bugs, issues or have any concerns, let us know here in this discussion.

I am So Mad about Windows!

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
I can't believe when I look for stones how many of them are windowed. How can they do that??!! Its infuriating. I see these stones, with great color around the perimeter, seemingly symmetrically cut but with the cute little rounded bottom resulting in the gaping hole right in the middle. What were they thinking? Who decided that this was acceptable? How can they do this?! I just don't understand, for the amount saved in weight, that its worth it to ruin a stone. NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOO! :angryfire: :angryfire: :nono: :evil:

I'll let you know if my rant makes me feel better. In the meantime, would welcome your thoughts.
 

Sponsored By:

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,266
I don't like them either. I have a low tolerance for them, can barely stand the unavoidable tilt windows on low RI stones, even when they're well cut.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
But who really finds them acceptable, or do people feel that they have no option so they just settle? I feel like grabbing a megaphone and going up and down the streets yelling "Wake up, people!" :shock: :rolleyes:
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
There are a number of reasons that this is O.K. with most of the cutters in the world. The primary reason is that having a window doesn't matter at all in most places that these stones are sold...including many shops in the US and Europe. I've been working a few days a week for a B&M shop doing CAD modeling and the owner prides himself in having a large inventory of colored gems, (several million carats by his count). In looking through this stuff I would say that maybe 10% is well cut and the rest is wham, bam and out the door, into parcels that sell for really low prices by the kilo. The deal with this style of cutting is speed, speed, speed. I can cut three stones a day on a good day, those guy's can cut 30 and do pretty well for the small time allotted per stone.

The secondary reason for poor cutting is due to the shape of the rough when it enters the cutting house. Many roughs are shaped like those stones which you'd pick up on a beach in order to skip across the water...they're much wider than they are deep, somewhat like a flying saucer. To cut these shapes well they would need to be cut in to two or three pieces and be much, much smaller. Since larger stones always sell for more per carat, they remain in one piece and get cut in such a way as to just about match the original surface of the stone, making them far to shallow and with large windows. These stones aren't ruined, they just started out that way and are preformed to allow the next cutter who touches them to see what's inside and do a better job on them.

If it bugs you, buy the things and have a slow, comparatively expensive cutter in the US, Canada or Europe fix them for you.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,854
If I see a stone of phenomenal rare vivid color, and it has a window, I will accept the window, especially if its rather small. I hate gaping huge windows though, but sometimes gems are cut that way to save weight. There's the Logan Sapphire at the Smithsonian, and it's a rare and valuable stone, but the window. :errrr:

logansapphire.jpg
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
Ughh! I wouldn't be able to get over that. It would drive me bonkers :twirl:
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,380
In a large stone, there is still enough color on the periphery, so a window may be fine if the color is beautiful. Once there was a beautiful peacock tourmaline on Tan's website. It had an ugly window, which was also was asymmetrical, but the color was beautiful. I have a couple of tiny tourmalines from the same material, and I hate myself for not buying the large one. To me, it is primarily about color, although I'd hesitate to send a poorly cut stone to an expensive jeweler.
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,266
minous, those photos are majorly photoshopped to deceive. I'm sure the window looks much much worse in real life.

TL, I would want to have the logan recut!

crasru, I am with you on being all for color. A big window interferes with a stones color in a big way for me. the entire window area is washed out and all that light pouring out the back should have been available to the rest of the stone fit its color and brightness. If I HAD to have a stone that had a window and couldn't be recut I would want to have it foiled
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
TL, i think you hit it......at the All that Glitters exhibit i saw color stones with windows that were doors.....and by award winning cutters using high quality rough. at first it bothered me.....but the more i saw of COLOR, those windows seemed irrelevant.....not even noticeable over time. the cut, polish and COLOR of these set stones were very high crystal and they were world class stones. yet they had windows....and these were NOT tilt windows. i even remarked to my husband early in the exhibit my surprise at all the windowing........but i'll tell you now that i wouldn't have turned down one of those stones.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
Harumph. I'm still for starting a movement - maybe not "Occupy Windows" but something that takes the message to the streets...
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
The vast majority of people don't even notice them so there is no need for the cutters to cut better - demand = supply.

It's also not necessarily anything to do with the cutter's skill or lack of - they are often cutting for other people and the guy who pays gets to say how he wants the stone.

There's a dealer I see occasionally in the UK who sometimes has amazing stones - incredible 20ct star sapphire was one I remember - but I always have to ask to see the stones without windows as that is what is on display, and he always laughs as he goes to get the tray of really nice stones.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,854
The stones I wear the most often are the ones that are not precision cut, and sometimes have windows, because I love the color. Some people are more about precision cutting, and refuse to wear any stone, no matter how good the color, if it's not precision cut. Nothing wrong with either preference. I guess we would all love precision cut stones with super fine color, but that doesn't always happen.

I have a friend that turned down some amazing material that I showed her long ago, when the prices were good, because they had windows. She's now kicking herself today, because the prices are now essentially out of reach.
 

mastercutgems

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
356
Hi All :wavey:

I agree with Michael_E and others on this issue as it has been a sore subject ever since I have been a member of any gemstone forum.

I know many foreign cutters and most will say it is a carat weight issue; the more the gem weighs when finished the more they make. Many times the cutting house does not own the rough; it is contracted to them to cut into finished gems; and yes they get paid ; most of the time; by the finished carat weight. I know when I have sent gem rough to Thailand or Sri Lanka I have to write in BIG BOLD letters ; I will pay more for accurate non-windowed cuts..... Sometimes they listen and sometimes they do not. So it pays not to send your most valuable and old rough to them to cut... Because there is NO guarantee you will get what you asked for...

It seems many only pay attention to the crown as they look so nice and the polish is better, etc. as it is like that is the only part that matters as that is the part of the gem you see the most. I do not underestimate their intelligence as I think many are much smarter than I am; as they know angles; but they have to feed their families and they want the most they can earn in that day; as it is not their gem and they will not get a portion when the gem is sold...

I battled this for many years and I have come to the conclusion that many hired cutters in some countries do not know the rarity of the gem mineral they have before them; also they look at speed of cutting, finished weight they arrive at that day for wages; and hope they please their boss so they will continue to have a job.

I know it must be getting worse over in those countries also as they are emailing and calling me wanting parcels to facet; but I can not run the risk any longer as there is much stress in the world and right now I am waiting for a parcel out of Tanzania and was just told there are issues in Nairobi that is making people fearful to travel there to ship goods... Not a good thing as your investment may be lost and there is no recourse...

I have had friends go to these countries to teach faceting and they taught them well as they were good cutters; but within 6 months or less they are right back cutting for weight and not optics. I will not say who is the better cutter and I think most of us cutters cut like we like to see the finished gem; we may cut once in a while what the client wants even if we disagree; but when we are just cutting; we will cut what we like and what we feel will do the gem mineral the most justice..

Nothing meant to harm or flame anyone.

Just one ole cutters opinion :)

Most respectfully;

Dana
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,621
Minous - many windows will minimise or close once set and would you much rather have a smaller stone (potentially worth less) or a larger one where you can hide its flaws?

Take my 4ct Paraiba - it has a window. I was told that because it's got a very shallow cut, if I were to have a re-cut the stone would end up at less than half the size. Considering its value it was a no-brainer to leave as it was! I then set it and the window has minimised for it not to bother me.

You do tend to find that the more valuable stones will display such characteristics because they will have been cut to maximise weight (and probably value).
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,854
I think this is the most expensive gem ever purchased at auction, around 30 million. LOL! I guess when the gem is rare and valuable enough, windows don't make much of a difference. I do think it is distracting though. :knockout: But then again, I'm not a big fan of this overly grey diamond.

Wittelsbach-Graff1.jpg
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,854
LovingDiamonds|1319646093|3048026 said:
Minous - many windows will minimise or close once set and would you much rather have a smaller stone (potentially worth less) or a larger one where you can hide its flaws?

Take my 4ct Paraiba - it has a window. I was told that because it's got a very shallow cut, if I were to have a re-cut the stone would end up at less than half the size. Considering its value it was a no-brainer to leave as it was! I then set it and the window has minimised for it not to bother me.

You do tend to find that the more valuable stones will display such characteristics because they will have been cut to maximise weight (and probably value).
Your paraiba is an example of a gem I would never recut, despite the window, and I'm so glad you didn't!! :appl:
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
LovingDiamonds|1319646093|3048026 said:
Minous - many windows will minimise or close once set and would you much rather have a smaller stone (potentially worth less) or a larger one where you can hide its flaws?

Take my 4ct Paraiba - it has a window. I was told that because it's got a very shallow cut, if I were to have a re-cut the stone would end up at less than half the size. Considering its value it was a no-brainer to leave as it was! I then set it and the window has minimised for it not to bother me.

You do tend to find that the more valuable stones will display such characteristics because they will have been cut to maximise weight (and probably value).

I know, I know, but I can't get over my infuriation when I see it so perfect save for this glaring void in the middle. As you all know, I have little experience setting stones and I'm still learning. For example, TL's $30 million blue diamond I would take (nice of me, huh?) because it would definitely close, but the first stone TL posted would drive me to distraction.

Maybe I'll get over it some day, we'll see. :wink2: But in the meantime, if there was ever a safe place to vent, I have surely found it here. :wavey:
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
VapidLapid|1319605674|3047765 said:
TL, I would want to have the logan recut!
In recutting many of the stones which have large windows, you would end up with a well cut stone that is about the same face up size as the window you are fixing and at maybe 1/2 of it's present weight. Since many of these stones are valued in the thousands of dollars per carat, cutting the carat weigh in half and hoping to double the value of the stone, ( per carat), is a very risky proposition that most cutters won't make. I'm afraid that big windows on high end stones are here to stay. Maybe we should just ask that pictures be taken at lower angles? =)
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,854
minousbijoux|1319648064|3048055 said:
TL's $30 million blue diamond I would take
Yeah, I wish it were TL's $30 million blue diamond. ;( ;))
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
2,218
TL|1319601263|3047741 said:
If I see a stone of phenomenal rare vivid color, and it has a window, I will accept the window, especially if its rather small. I hate gaping huge windows though, but sometimes gems are cut that way to save weight. There's the Logan Sapphire at the Smithsonian, and it's a rare and valuable stone, but the window. :errrr:
eeeekkk.....Bay window
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,266
well, I suppose another solution would be to make a doublet! glue a nice piece o quartz or something on the crown so you could cut the pavilion deeper!!
 

Edward Bristol

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
538
I’d like to add a perspective:

When you arrive in the gem-trade from the consumer or buyer side, it is truly shocking to see all those terrible gems.
You easily may think: “OMG! What are they doing??? Don’t they see?”

However, coming from the mining side I understand why most gems are so bad:

Because it is so unimaginably hard to find quality rough in even the best ground! It is terrifying.

To ask for natural rough to be of good size and strongly colored and perfectly shape and clean at the same time is asking for a small miracle.

Such a perfect rough is in fact a local sensation. To a small mine in Sri Lanka it happens once or twice in a good year.

I have seen mine teams working like mules for months with just one rough worth cutting at all. If that one rough can be cut only into a windowed stone, well then, so be it - that is all there is.

The terrible truth is that most rough can be cut only with windows and of those many have inclusions and then many have weak colors.

That is why I still stand in awe when I come across a perfect natural gem. It is a miracle. Really.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
26,931
I thought every piece of rough could be cut to ideal proportions, of course with whatever weight loss is necessary.
The same rock could be polished to a diameter of 6mm with window or 3mm without a window.

So it's not that most rough cannot be well cut; it's that most rough cannot be profitably and competitively well cut.

The problem is not the rough.
The problem is money.
 

colormyworld

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
1,172
kenny|1319669365|3048283 said:
I thought every piece of rough could be cut to ideal proportions, of course with whatever weight loss is necessary.
The same rock could be polished to a diameter of 6mm with window or 3mm without a window.

So it's not that most rough cannot be well cut; it's that most rough cannot be profitably and competitively well cut.

The problem is not the rough.
The problem is money.


True but what a waste of a rare and precious gift from nature.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
kenny|1319669365|3048283 said:
I thought every piece of rough could be cut to ideal proportions, of course with whatever weight loss is necessary.
The same rock could be polished to a diameter of 6mm with window or 3mm without a window.

So it's not that most rough cannot be well cut; it's that most rough cannot be profitably and competitively well cut.

The problem is not the rough.
The problem is money.
Not necessarily - often with stones like sapphires where there can be a lot of colour zoning, a good cutter will orient the stone so that the colour is as good as possible face-up. In order to cut to perfect proportions this could mean eliminated that part and destroying the colour.

For example you can find beautiful blue sapphires that when looked at sideways on have a lot of colour in the lower part of the pavillion and paler or even no colour higher up the stone. When viewed from above the whole stone takes on the deeper blue colour. Because it's a much smaller area, messing about with it can really reduce the value of the stone.
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,651
kenny|1319669365|3048283 said:
I thought every piece of rough could be cut to ideal proportions, of course with whatever weight loss is necessary.
The same rock could be polished to a diameter of 6mm with window or 3mm without a window.

So it's not that most rough cannot be well cut; it's that most rough cannot be profitably and competitively well cut.

The problem is not the rough.
The problem is money.
Kenny is right, any stone can be cut with out a window. I have cut several thousands stones, and have never cut one with a window. I'm working now on a pink garnet, that was a very flat stone, and I could have gotten a larger face up size from it had I cut it shallow with a window, and it would have weighed more. However, I think I can sell it for more with the correct cut I'm doing on it, because it will be much more beautiful and lively. To leave it shallow and windowed, why not just leave it as a specimen and not even cut it?
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
2,218
PrecisionGem|1319673743|3048318 said:
kenny|1319669365|3048283 said:
I thought every piece of rough could be cut to ideal proportions, of course with whatever weight loss is necessary.
The same rock could be polished to a diameter of 6mm with window or 3mm without a window.

So it's not that most rough cannot be well cut; it's that most rough cannot be profitably and competitively well cut.

The problem is not the rough.
The problem is money.
Kenny is right, any stone can be cut with out a window. I have cut several thousands stones, and have never cut one with a window. I'm working now on a pink garnet, that was a very flat stone, and I could have gotten a larger face up size from it had I cut it shallow with a window, and it would have weighed more. However, I think I can sell it for more with the correct cut I'm doing on it, because it will be much more beautiful and lively. To leave it shallow and windowed, why not just leave it as a specimen and not even cut it?
:appl:
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,093
I understand why cutters find it profitable to cut stones for maximum weight. With that said I absolutely hate to buy a stone and return it because it has a big window and lacks sparkle. I love color, but I need sparkle too. I was sooooooo disappointed to have to return two Mahenge spinels back to the seller when they looked dull and flat. The seller is very nice, but educated me on what was mentioned before- about how rough was cut to maximize weight. In the end I was happy to get my money back, but wondered why the seller would think I would want a stone that lacked any sparkle? I started to doubt myself and wondered why I went to so much trouble to buy natural gems when I could get a lab stone that looked and performed so much better. I still only buy natural stones, but honestly I am kind of getting discouraged to buy a stone with a glowing description and pictures, and to receive a stone that looks nothing like what was described. I am thankful to Dana to have received stones that looked better then pictured. But sad to have to return stones from others that are not. It is not just about windows- it is about disclosing all you know about a gem and showing accurate pictures of what the gem looks like in real life. Just my two cents since we are venting. :)
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,224
Everyone who understands the gem cutting process says the same thing about weight retention as the greatest influence on the cut. Some people don't mind windows as long as the stone is special and has some other redeeming quality, like great color. For me, its that I can't get past looking at it and how the whole design or symmetry or whatever you want to call it is thrown off. Its like if I ordered a sandwich and someone cut the middle out and gave me the rest; I would feel cheated and it would not look appetizing.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

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