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Light performance of non-AGS graded princesses.

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Sailon

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Hi all,
To make a long story short, I''m looking for a princess (stone, that is) and have about 4, maybe 4.5g if I push it, to spend on everything. The problem is that my eyes are bigger than my wallet, and to get even near the 1c category I have to either go too low on the clarity/color OR get a stone that isn''t AGS ideal. I want the spreadiest stone I can find with at least H/SI1-2(eye-clean) stats that has excellent light performance. Right, I know that probably sounds like 10,000 other people in the country. My question is this: Might I be able to find a stone that has been gemex-ed but not AGS graded, and if I can, would I expect any significant savings over a similar, but AGS 000 graded stone? I see a lot of places that advertise 000 stones, but what I really only want is a 0 on the light performance and lower numbers on the others. Do such stones exist? Where might I find them? Thanks in advance; this forum has been by far the most informative (and generally civil) place I''ve found thus far.

Shaun
 

Sailon

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That is officially the quickest response I''ve ever gotten on a message board. Thanks. Any idea where?
 

Sailon

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Good finds, thanks. The first one looks most promising, I guess I might not be willing to purchase a stone online unless it has a Gemex with it. I''ve seen some AGS 000''s that didn''t do so hot on the brilliancescope and want to avoid that potential pitfall. Thanks again...
 

Paul-Antwerp

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Date: 3/19/2007 9:27:25 PM
Author: Sailon
Good finds, thanks. The first one looks most promising, I guess I might not be willing to purchase a stone online unless it has a Gemex with it. I''ve seen some AGS 000''s that didn''t do so hot on the brilliancescope and want to avoid that potential pitfall. Thanks again...
If there might be some disputable value in the Brilliancescope, when looking at rounds, the device is definitely highly unreliable when looking at fancy shapes.

Live long,
 

belle

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Date: 3/20/2007 6:55:47 AM
Author: Paul-Antwerp

Date: 3/19/2007 9:27:25 PM
Author: Sailon
Good finds, thanks. The first one looks most promising, I guess I might not be willing to purchase a stone online unless it has a Gemex with it. I''ve seen some AGS 000''s that didn''t do so hot on the brilliancescope and want to avoid that potential pitfall. Thanks again...
If there might be some disputable value in the Brilliancescope, when looking at rounds, the device is definitely highly unreliable when looking at fancy shapes.

Live long,
sailon, paul cuts (awesome) princess stones for a living. he knows what he is talking about. putting your $$$ into an unreliable system is not a good use of your money. it would make much more sense to put that same amount of $$ into an ags0 if you want the paper confirmation of performance.
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 3/20/2007 9:39:51 AM
Author: belle

Date: 3/20/2007 6:55:47 AM
Author: Paul-Antwerp


Date: 3/19/2007 9:27:25 PM
Author: Sailon
Good finds, thanks. The first one looks most promising, I guess I might not be willing to purchase a stone online unless it has a Gemex with it. I''ve seen some AGS 000''s that didn''t do so hot on the brilliancescope and want to avoid that potential pitfall. Thanks again...
If there might be some disputable value in the Brilliancescope, when looking at rounds, the device is definitely highly unreliable when looking at fancy shapes.

Live long,
sailon, paul cuts (awesome) princess stones for a living. he knows what he is talking about. putting your $$$ into an unreliable system is not a good use of your money. it would make much more sense to put that same amount of $$ into an ags0 if you want the paper confirmation of performance.
Belle,

Hard to tell if this is a slippery slope, or a slide to ride!

100% reliable (the brilliancescope)? Not likely. Junk? Not likely. In a world where more than one option is available, having some tool like BS to give some sort of independent, comparative, verification is really good to have...and I don''t know that the BS has ever been criticized for its actual performance (though I may well have missed that), per se, versus the theoretical underpinnings that could allow us to criticize its performance.

Alternately, you''re right, Paul makes a good point, cuts good stones, sees the value and limits of the AGS0 system, and it may be worth just identifying the right price point for the stone he cuts himself for this purchase. Paul & Co. may prefer that his stones not be readily available for quick window shopping (check that...at least Wink has these available for a quick peek on price), but either way, looks like Dimend Scaasi is now one of his vendors, too, has one that''s likely a bit above your budget (just guessing without a price noted), though the other specs are there...
 

Unearthed

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http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2789/
http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/

Not sure if the second is eye clean or not...
 

belle

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Date: 3/20/2007 10:12:59 AM
Author: Regular Guy

Belle,

Hard to tell if this is a slippery slope, or a slide to ride!

100% reliable (the brilliancescope)? Not likely. Junk? Not likely. In a world where more than one option is available, having some tool like BS to give some sort of independent, comparative, verification is really good to have...and I don't know that the BS has ever been criticized for its actual performance (though I may well have missed that), per se, versus the theoretical underpinnings that could allow us to criticize its performance.
absolutely not 100% reliable. it comes with it's own +/- 5% disclaimer, so you can take that right off the top.

also, don't forget, calibration issues, operator error and possible flawed results.


gordon's uses it though. why? because it's (as they say) a SALES TOOL. kind of like.... jewelry store lighting but with a three-way graph.


again my point is, if you want paper proof, go with an ags0.
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 3/20/2007 12:32:45 PM
Author: belle

again my point is, if you want paper proof, go with an ags0.
I dunno. Cavalieredona makes a good point here about AGS anyway. And, it''s the same criticism that Garry levels, too. AGS for its refinement, I think, makes no pretense at being an observationally based system. GIA may not have aced it, but that is ostensibly their target, and to have their categories fall out of that observational testing.

If you have to make a choice between which kind of science you like better...one based on actual observations, or one based on an understanding of how light behaves...I''m not sure how I''d have to land.

Sailon says he''s rather not have to make a choice. Who''s to argue with him.
 

Sailon

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First off, I appreciate all the responses. I don''t pretent to even begin to understand all the math and science that''s behind grading, gemex reports, etc. What it boils down to is that I want the brightest looking diamond that I can find at the lowest price. Who doesn''t? I also don''t live in an area with many B&M''s, and I don''t have the funds or time to fly to NY to check out a bunch of stones. So I have to pick something that I can use to guide me in the right direction. I''ve seen AGS000''s with mediocre gemex''s. The reverse is not true, though I''m not saying it doesn''t happen, frankly I have no idea. I''d look at GIA graded princesses but I have yet to see one for sale, online or otherwise. The reality for me is that I''ll likely be buying a stone sight unseen and when it arrives I won''t have a whole lot to compare it to. At the same time my budget is limited so I can''t afford an AGS000 stone with a fabulous gemex from whiteflash, or if I can I have to sacrifice significantly in size. Like everyone else I want to have my cake and eat it too. If you all had to pick a bright stone as inexpensively as possible, what would you rely on besides your own eyes? Thanks again for the comments...

Shaun
 

Rockingout

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Regular Guy

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Superbcert is an interesting place, vis a vis princesses. Anyone ever talk to their people there on positioning for them?

Rockingout's last pick is one to consider. But K, IF? The H, SI 1 I recommended earlier, too, but, yeah...we need a price.

If it's a tight budget, and you want a princess with AGS0, Superbcert seems the "go to" place, and Julie beat me by minutes when she initially posted those. Will SI 2s work, though...I don't know.

Thing about Superbcert...their AGS0s...they sell them for considerably less than their "home fashioned" Princesses, that they send to GIA.

Of course, they feature the AGS0s because of a certain market demand for them. But...presumably they premium price the GIA certed princesses...because they do move at that higher price. Is this a "shop" as a "lab" that merits further study...or has this been understood by someone here already.

Shawn, I'm not quite getting your meaning where you say: "I've seen AGS000's with mediocre gemex's. The reverse is not true, though I'm not saying it doesn't happen." Are you saying basically...forgetting the gemex...that you've seen AGS0s that don't look so good, and also don't have good gemexs...but that all the ones that have good gemexs look good? Otherwise...I'm not following the second 1/2 of your statement. Can you clarify?
 

Rhino

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Having daily, hands-on, first hand experience with both AGS ideals and the BrillianceScope I''ll say this.

There are some instances wherein Bscope results can''t be relied upon as there is NO technology that can function as a crystal ball to predict what a person''s brain may and may not prefer with regards to diamond beauty. Having said that I will also say that in many instances and even most circumstances the BrillianceScope does an excellent job of weeding out the better performing AGS ideal princess cuts. Before AGS came out with their system for princess cuts we were hand picking princess cuts for light performance using both Reflector and BrillianceScope technology and without fail always picked stones that now qualify as "ideal" in light performance.

More specific to the op''s question though ... non AGS princess cuts can be tested and examined for light performance in both AGS and BrillianceScope technologies as long as one has access to both.

Hope that helps.
 

Sailon

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Hi Ira,
You understood my statement correctly, I''ve seen a few AGS000 stones that were accompanied by gemex reports in the more average range. I do not know, however, if there are stones with great gemex data that would be below AGS 0 on light performance. I think there''s a thread on the subject with examples on another forum, I''ll see if I can dig it up. I have looked at the the supercert and AGS0''s but many of the AGS0''s listed are not accompanied by a gemex report. The majority of the superbcerts in my price range are too far out of square as well.

Infinity looks great, too, but I''m frustrated with their lack of online pricing, I looked at multiple stones from them (including the H/SI1) by following dealer links without being able to locate a stone or a price. It would be nice if they streamlined things a bit.



Again, thanks for the links everyone, some of the AGS1''s look promising.
 

Sailon

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Rhino,
That's just what I needed to hear, thanks for the excellent advice. I'm assuming you have access to both at your shop, correct? I've looked at some of your stones and noticed that the megascope is often far more generous than the Bscope. Is my sample size too small or is this often the case?

Also, would I expect to pay less for a non-AGS stone you tested out to have ideal light return versus a true AGS000? Thanks,

-Shaun
 

Rhino

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Hi Shaun,



Date: 3/20/2007 3:39:47 PM
Author: Sailon
Rhino,
That's just what I needed to hear, thanks for the excellent advice.
Its a pleasure to serve.



I'm assuming you have access to both at your shop, correct?
Correct.



I've looked at some of your stones and noticed that the megascope is often far more generous than the Bscope.
LOL... definitely.
The MegaScope results are their proprietary version of a ray trace analysis (Octonus MSU via the Gem Advisor files, AGS via their Performance Grading Software and even Sarin all offer various forms of ray trace analysis). Both technologies have their limitations but the Bscope is actually shining light into the diamond in question and reporting the results. I value its analysis which is why we continue to use it but the results IMHO must be tempered with other information that we garner from other technologies, most importantly how it appears alongside what we know from experience to have top light performance.



Is my sample size too small or is this often the case?

-Shaun
Or do you mean too large?
LOL... to keep yourself in the 4k zone you can definetely get a 1ct sized stone and still get top light performance.

Peace,
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 3/20/2007 11:32:58 AM
Author: Unearthed
http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2789/
http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/

Not sure if the second is eye clean or not...
Yes...others to look at, at GOG, too.

Unearthed...I wonder how you differentiate #1 vs #2 vis a vis eye clean. Maybe ask about them both...but SI1 will be more likely clean than SI2. Also, #1 is found in the search by cut here...but not #2? Maybe just a time sequencing thing.

Joanathan''s a well regarded vendor here, Shawn.
 

Paul-Antwerp

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Let me rephrase why I say that the Brilliancescope might offer some info in rounds, but is entirely useless in fancy shapes.

The machine was developed, probably like all other tools, with a lot of tests on rounds, basically because there is a general consensus on which rounds are the best performers. In this way, the results of the machine could be compared to general knowledge, and fine-tuned.

In a round, return of white light and of coloured light, is very much from eye to eye, resulting in an arrows-pattern because of head-obstruction. In a princess-cut, these directions of light are mostly absent, with almost no contrast-pattern caused by head-obstruction.

On a side-note, it is ludicrous to see that the Brilliancescope gives a result on scintillation. There is no way on earth, that scintillation can be measured by this machine.

Because of the different light directions on rounds compared to princesses, the machine is way off in its results on princess-cuts. I still remember a long thread, started by Rhino, after he received his first batch of AGS-0 princess-cuts, in which he expresses that the Gemex-results absolutely do not correlate with his personal observations and that of many of his consumers.

As a matter of fact, when AGS started issuing cut-grading-reports on princess-cuts, the only people criticising the new method, were trying to use the Brilliancescope to show that the AGS-system was wrong. It is a bit like turning the world upside-down.

To summarize the whole discussion: there are a lot of AGS-0 princess-cuts, that score well on the Brilliancescope, while you will also find some stones that suddenly score very mediocre. And you would not be able to see that difference in performance.

On the other hand, there are a lot of non-AGS-graded princess-cuts, that score well on the Brilliancescope, but which might get a grade of AGS-3 on light performance at best.

Finally, even within the AGS-0-grade, there are still different levels of performance. But the Brilliancescope is definitely not the tool to make the distinction between these top-levels.

Live long,
 

Paul-Antwerp

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Date: 3/20/2007 3:35:16 PM
Author: Sailon

Infinity looks great, too, but I''m frustrated with their lack of online pricing, I looked at multiple stones from them (including the H/SI1) by following dealer links without being able to locate a stone or a price. It would be nice if they streamlined things a bit.

Thank you for the comment, Sailon. There are two reasons, why we do not have pricing on our site:

1. Being based in Belgium, we are legally obligated to mention the full price on our site. This means including the Belgian VAT of 21%, even if it is not applicable when exporting. If we would put pricing, this would be very confusing in comparison with the American system, where the net-price is listed, and the sales-tax is added afterwards.

2. We do not sell directly to the public, and we have a variety of dealers, some more active on the Internet, some strict B&M''s. They have the liberty of choosing their own profit-margin.

I am very sorry if this is frustrating, but the whole point of working with dealers is to offer the consumer a good level of service. This often starts by sending a short e-mail for information.

Live long,
 

strmrdr

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There out there but on the top end there isn't a whole lot of difference in price.
To cut a great princess cut you lose weight compared to a badly cut one and that is made up by higher costs per ct which is why with princess cuts mm width is a much better indication of size than weight. (there is less variation in rounds within reasonable cut limits)

Paul, the ags grade is a sales tool too.
The main thing is that you and Jon and Brian and Todd and Wink don't need ags or b-scope to know a kicken diamond.
For example you were cutting and Jon selecting/designing new score AGS0 rounds long before the new AGS system was released both of your primary products were new ags0 performance long before the new AGS0 score was available.

Properly used they are both tools(ags0,b-scope) to communicate that to the consumer. (some consumers do get too caught up in both tools and both tools have flaws)

With princess cuts its a little harder because AGS went out on the limb but the high performance princess cuts pre-ags0 are still that if they were properly selected.
Personally I think all princess cuts should have been cut into asschers so I have little interest in them.
 

Unearthed

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Date: 3/20/2007 4:01:39 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Date: 3/20/2007 11:32:58 AM

Author: Unearthed

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2789/

http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/


Not sure if the second is eye clean or not...
Yes...others to look at, at GOG, too.


Unearthed...I wonder how you differentiate #1 vs #2 vis a vis eye clean. Maybe ask about them both...but SI1 will be more likely clean than SI2. Also, #1 is found in the search by cut here...but not #2? Maybe just a time sequencing thing.


Joanathan''s a well regarded vendor here, Shawn.
Look at the micro pics of the two stones. I can barely see the inclusion in the first one...where as in the second pic there is a large crystal right in the middle of the stone. I suppose it''s possible the first isn''t eye clean, but the second seemed to be more apparent.
 

Rhino

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Greetings Paul,


Just a few thoughts/comments/clarifications.


Date: 3/20/2007 6:35:42 PM
Author: Paul-Antwerp
Let me rephrase why I say that the Brilliancescope might offer some info in rounds, but is entirely useless in fancy shapes.
There are some fancies wherein the machine is very helpful in the assessment of examining light output in fancy shapes. Where the machine typically fails in way of fancies is more in particular to elongated shapes like marquise, ovals, pears, etc. These are diamonds that by the nature of their shape dictate large areas of leakage even in the most well cut stones within their given shape. Ie. if a pear lover were to look at Bscope results on a beautifully cut pear the results would show what seems to be a not so good score. Same with marquise, oval, etc. which is why I don''t even post results on those shapes as they can be misleading to the diamonds actual beauty. On symmetrically cut diamonds (ie. square & rounds), these shapes the machine is alot more helpful as it is easier to eliminate leakage in a more symmetrically cut stone.


The machine was developed, probably like all other tools, with a lot of tests on rounds, basically because there is a general consensus on which rounds are the best performers. In this way, the results of the machine could be compared to general knowledge, and fine-tuned.
To my knowledge, not the case Paul. The core science behind the BrillianceScope is that of basic photospectometry. It just so happens that ideal proportions produce some of the finest results on it based on how much light is exiting through the crown, particularly in spot lighting environments. Ie. Randy Wagner didn''t have precise specs (lower girdle, stars, upper halves) when he was calibrating the machine. I say this because you can put two diamonds on the machine both with identical slope angles (pav/cr/table) yet the results be entirely different based on the cutting of the minors (lower/upper halves and stars). I have a page on our site published that demonstrates the differences. Even a twist in one azimuth angle on a lower half can alter the results.


In a round, return of white light and of coloured light, is very much from eye to eye, resulting in an arrows-pattern because of head-obstruction. In a princess-cut, these directions of light are mostly absent, with almost no contrast-pattern caused by head-obstruction.
I understand what you''re saying but disagree. The AGS ASET, Red Reflectors, H&A viewers, may show an arrows pattern because of "eye obstruction" in that particular viewer but in real world viewing the arrows pattern is hardly distinguishable in most lighting environments. I mean you can see them lighting up in most circumstances and I would agree that there is a direct correllation between the amount of blues seen in ASET imagery to head/body obstruction but I find that the actual patterning we observe in common lighting does not match the exact patterning seen under scopes/viewers. In fact I''ve written an article on the subject which we''ll be publishing around April. One lighting environment wherein it is easier to see arrows patterning is primarily a reflected lighting environment with few to none overhead light sources. In those environments its easier to make out the arrows pattern but is not very common to most viewing environments.


On a side-note, it is ludicrous to see that the Brilliancescope gives a result on scintillation. There is no way on earth, that scintillation can be measured by this machine.
I totally agree. I don''t think scintillation can/should be graded in any system as different types of patterns and sparkle appeal to different personality types. Some love emphasis on broad chunky flash and some prefer lots of small pin flash and then there are those who like something that falls somewhere in the middle.


Because of the different light directions on rounds compared to princesses, the machine is way off in its results on princess-cuts. I still remember a long thread, started by Rhino, after he received his first batch of AGS-0 princess-cuts, in which he expresses that the Gemex-results absolutely do not correlate with his personal observations and that of many of his consumers.

As a matter of fact, when AGS started issuing cut-grading-reports on princess-cuts, the only people criticising the new method, were trying to use the Brilliancescope to show that the AGS-system was wrong. It is a bit like turning the world upside-down.
With regards to that study, it actually demonstrated 3 things to me.

1. The inability of a machine to predict human visual preference (which I would say regarding any technology).
2. Yet at the same time, in a critical exam of light return/leakage the Bscope did successfully select the stone which, in a critical exam had the least leakage.
3. The inabillity of this particular technology to accurately assess brightness/contrast (relating to point 1 above). This has been further confirmed to me with other shapes besides princess cuts.

This is why I never extol any single technology over another friend. In fact it grieves me when I see folks place blind faith in the results of any one technology without considering the whole picture. It''s an easy trap to fall into and I''ve seen it happen more than once.


To summarize the whole discussion: there are a lot of AGS-0 princess-cuts, that score well on the Brilliancescope, while you will also find some stones that suddenly score very mediocre. And you would not be able to see that difference in performance.

On the other hand, there are a lot of non-AGS-graded princess-cuts, that score well on the Brilliancescope, but which might get a grade of AGS-3 on light performance at best.

Finally, even within the AGS-0-grade, there are still different levels of performance. But the Brilliancescope is definitely not the tool to make the distinction between these top-levels.
This is primarily due to the fact that the AGS PGS software does a MUCH BETTER job of assessing brightness/contrast which is the most common viewing environment people look at diamodns in. In diffuse light, different contrast patterns appeal to different personality types and this is a feature the BrillianceScope does not measure. Thank you for sharing Paul. If you have any other questions or if you would like clarification on any of my thoughts let me know and I''ll do my best to answer more clearly.

Kindest regards,
 

Rhino

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Date: 3/21/2007 4:21:36 AM
Author: strmrdr
There out there but on the top end there isn''t a whole lot of difference in price.
To cut a great princess cut you lose weight compared to a badly cut one and that is made up by higher costs per ct which is why with princess cuts mm width is a much better indication of size than weight. (there is less variation in rounds within reasonable cut limits)

Paul, the ags grade is a sales tool too.
The main thing is that you and Jon and Brian and Todd and Wink don''t need ags or b-scope to know a kicken diamond.
For example you were cutting and Jon selecting/designing new score AGS0 rounds long before the new AGS system was released both of your primary products were new ags0 performance long before the new AGS0 score was available.

Properly used they are both tools(ags0,b-scope) to communicate that to the consumer. (some consumers do get too caught up in both tools and both tools have flaws)
True dat.
 

Sailon

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Hello again...
I just wanted to say that this discussion is exactly what I was looking for and I want to thank all of you for your input. What has become more apparent to me is the importance of selecting a good vendor who looks at diamonds everyday to help me make a decision rather than relying solely on technology. That being said, I think I''ll be leaning towards an AGS1 or 2 graded stone. As an aside, the worst part of all this is that I''m not even positive my gf prefers a princess over all other stones (but definitely over a RB). She''s just too damn smart to tolerate any questions without figuring things out. Thanks again everyone.

-Shaun
 

Sailon

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For anyone interested, I got a price for the .996 H/SI1 Infinity diamond mentioned above. Dscaasi quoted me ~$4350 with a 2.5% wire discount, which is slightly less than I anticipated. It's a nice stone, very similar to this one at good old gold: http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/ which is cheaper but has a good old booger in it, though I'm not sure it's readily visible under normal conditions. I'd probably spring on either of them if they were a bit spreadier, both are ~5.4mm. I really, really, like the way this stone looks, the arrows are really neat: http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2037/ ...if only in weren't a J. I sure am a picky SOB... Anyone have more leads on some AGS1-2 stones?
 

belle

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Rockingout

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Date: 3/21/2007 1:48:25 PM
Author: Sailon
For anyone interested, I got a price for the .996 H/SI1 Infinity diamond mentioned above. Dscaasi quoted me ~$4350 with a 2.5% wire discount, which is slightly less than I anticipated. It''s a nice stone, very similar to this one at good old gold: http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/ which is cheaper but has a good old booger in it, though I''m not sure it''s readily visible under normal conditions. I''d probably spring on either of them if they were a bit spreadier, both are ~5.4mm. I really, really, like the way this stone looks, the arrows are really neat: http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2037/ ...if only in weren''t a J. I sure am a picky SOB... Anyone have more leads on some AGS1-2 stones?
The .996 H SI1 (http://www.visagem.be/External.php?SIT=1&REM=c62d0b7219b6d208327273dbcd6bede2) from Inifinity is bound to be a really great looking stone, great pav and crown angles. The difference between the .996 and the 1.013 http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2990/ is different personality of the diamond. The .996 has 2 cheverons in the pavilion and the 1.013 looks like it has 4 chevrons. These two diamonds will look completely different. The 2 chevron will give more bold flashes of fire and the 4 chevron will give pin point (smaller) flashes of fire. I have seen 2 chevrons vs 3 chevrons and my personal preference is the 2 chevron look. The 2 chevron diamonds tend to not look as busy as diamonds that have 3 or 4 chevron diamonds. If you are confused as to what I am talking about in regards to the number of chevrons look here. http://goodoldgold.com/videos/AGSPr2chev3chev.wmv Rhino does a great job at capturing the visual difference of the two different diamonds. http://goodoldgold.com/diamond/2037/ this diamond is a 2 chevron. Enjoy.
 
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    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

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