Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

My search for the perfectly cut asscher has led me to a lab grown stone

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
I got really fed up of looking for a decent asscher in the size I wanted with the right specs and a really great cut, without breaking the bank. :wall: And with all the financial uncertainty around COVID as well, I have been cautious about a big purchase. Ive been looking for just the right stone for years, and never quite hit the jackpot.

Anyway, it occurred to me recently that my perfect asscher doesnt have to be a mined diamond. I have other mined diamonds in my collection which I love, but maybe my quest for an asscher might be better served by going down the lab diamond route. The big problem I have found with mined asschers is that they all seem to be so bottom heavey, which messes up the light return and makes them look small for the weight. And also the pavilion angles are often very strange in order to save weight, which also causes light performance problems and an unattractive profile view. But it occured to me that with lab diamonds, the cutters may be able to prioritise beauty and performance over weight retention because the material is far less expensive to begin with.

It turns out that there are some really bad ones out there, and a few really nice ones. I managed to find one with 5 pavilion steps just like a Royal Asscher, and it looks good from what I can tell from the video. So its on its way to me next week :dance:

1.74ct F VS1.jpg


Here's the video:


I'm trying not to get too excited because this asscher has to tick ALL of the following boxes, and no other asschers (mined or lab) have managed to achieve this yet within budget:

* pleasing shape - I prefer wide corners and a 1:1 ratio (this one has slightly smaller corners that I would have ideally liked but I could compromise on this if the other boxes get ticked)
* Excellent light return from all areas of the stone, every step must light up as it moves, no "grey box" area of leakage inside the table that so many asschers have, plenty of coloured light return across the stone as well. There is no ASET for this diamond but I have my hand held scope to help my evaluation once the stone gets to me
* Perfect step pattern of evenly proportioned steps from the girdle right to the culet, with each step flashing on/off as the stone moves
* Perfect "windmill" effect with similar angles in the cut corners of the crown facets continued down through the pavilion facets - lots of asschers lack this aspect of symmetry
* Little or no windowing when the stone is tilted off axis - I'm not sure if this is what might let this diamond down
* At least 4 pavilion steps (5 was my ideal) to create additional scintillation - I prefer smaller and more numerous flashes than fewer big blocky flashes
* Bright white appearance (G colour or higher) and eye clean
* Pavilion and crown facets to be evenly spaced, and with pleasing angles so that the side profile does not show a pavilion bulge or an overly flat looking table, nice crown angle
* Good face up size for the weight, large enough to appreciate the effects of the stepped facet pattern - for me that's at least 6.5mm
* It must "speak to me" when I see it in person, it needs to be lively and have the perfect dance of light across the facets.

So at least my expectations are not too high for this one........ :lol: :lol:
 
Last edited:

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,192
Oooh, that is really nice - I think it will be a good one, I can't wait to hear your thoughts when it arrives! :))
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
42,054
Looks gorgeous ❤
I hope it’s everything you hope it will be. Fingers crossed!
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
Wow, it looks amazing!!! :kiss2:
Oooh, that is really nice - I think it will be a good one, I can't wait to hear your thoughts when it arrives! :))
I really love it! Please update when it arrives.
Looks gorgeous ❤
I hope it’s everything you hope it will be. Fingers crossed!
:shock: eyeballs on, I can't wait to see this.
I will update here as soon as I receive it :D
 

monipod

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
592
Looks amazing. I ended up going lab for my Asscher as you need a bigger pool to find the right one! I think this one ticks all the boxes!
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
286
Your heart's going to race when you open that box! Wow, what an Asscher! I can't wait to read your reaction.

But in case you don't care for it, there's a Royal Asscher wedding ring on ebay for $2,100. It's round and it's small, but it comes with a cert and a card for your wallet.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,470
Looks like a beauty!
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
Well the asscher arrived today. It meets all of my technical criteria, so is exactly what I asked for. So I was really surprised to find that I'm completely underwhelmed by it. :doh:

Here is the ASET which I took with my handheld scope:

20201021_120856.jpg

Some pics:

20201021_121654.jpg 20201021_121717.jpg 20201021_121723.jpg 20201021_121732.jpg 20201021_121811.jpg

In spite of the strong light return suggested by the ASET, in person its very "quiet". In fact I would go so far as to say boring!

I'm really surprised that it has not captured my imgination. I have been a lover of asschers since my teens when I first discovered some vintage ones in an antique jewellers window. I have always wanted one, and have been on the lookout for my perfect one for many years.

I think that this one doesnt have enough contrast, flash, and fire. It has made me realise that a modern asscher (square emerald) is probably not going to do it for me. I need wide cut corners, greater depth and a small table so I probably need to be looking at cut corner square step cuts rather than square emerald cuts. And that is going to narrow my search even further. :wall:

There is also the possibility that I'm just not an asscher person. But having said that, I have 2 EC rings which I love, and don't find boring at all. (They were also meticulously chosen against various criteria). I don't find those "quiet", they both have lovely fire and bold flashes of white light as well. So I don't think I have a problem with step cuts, just the steps of this particular asscher did not "speak to me".

I now have to hope that Brilliant Earth's returns process is user friendly as this is an international purchase.

Back to the drawing board........
 

foxinsox

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
3,298
Well the asscher arrived today. It meets all of my technical criteria, so is exactly what I asked for. So I was really surprised to find that I'm completely underwhelmed by it. :doh:

Here is the ASET which I took with my handheld scope:

20201021_120856.jpg

Some pics:

20201021_121654.jpg 20201021_121717.jpg 20201021_121723.jpg 20201021_121732.jpg 20201021_121811.jpg

In spite of the strong light return suggested by the ASET, in person its very "quiet". In fact I would go so far as to say boring!

I'm really surprised that it has not captured my imgination. I have been a lover of asschers since my teens when I first discovered some vintage ones in an antique jewellers window. I have always wanted one, and have been on the lookout for my perfect one for many years.

I think that this one doesnt have enough contrast, flash, and fire. It has made me realise that a modern asscher (square emerald) is probably not going to do it for me. I need wide cut corners, greater depth and a small table so I probably need to be looking at cut corner square step cuts rather than square emerald cuts. And that is going to narrow my search even further. :wall:

There is also the possibility that I'm just not an asscher person. But having said that, I have 2 EC rings which I love, and don't find boring at all. (They were also meticulously chosen against various criteria). I don't find those "quiet", they both have lovely fire and bold flashes of white light as well. So I don't think I have a problem with step cuts, just the steps of this particular asscher did not "speak to me".

I now have to hope that Brilliant Earth's returns process is user friendly as this is an international purchase.

Back to the drawing board........
Oh! That’s so disappointing but it’s good that you now know more about what makes your heart sing.
Parks Fine Group on IG is cutting antique style lab diamonds I think. You could reach out to them and ask?
 

jjdear

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
42
Oh! That’s so disappointing but it’s good that you now know more about what makes your heart sing.
Parks Fine Group on IG is cutting antique style lab diamonds I think. You could reach out to them and ask?
I was going to suggest him. I saw he has cut antique emerald square cut so he might be able to help. A friend of mine reached out and she said he mentioned he plans to cut more of lab diamonds in his favorite cuts.
http://instagr.am/p/CFAui4QFbYI/
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
286
You've walked around with it and it doesn't light up for you?
Every time I buy a diamond (haven't been that many) I open the box and go, What did you do? It takes me a week to decide if it's nice or not.
But you've forgotten more about diamonds that I know, and you're certainly qualified to make a judgment right away. I'm truly sorry it doesn't make your heart sing.
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
You've walked around with it and it doesn't light up for you?
Every time I buy a diamond (haven't been that many) I open the box and go, What did you do? It takes me a week to decide if it's nice or not.
But you've forgotten more about diamonds that I know, and you're certainly qualified to make a judgment right away. I'm truly sorry it doesn't make your heart sing.
I normally get a little thrill when I open the box, and then I will take days looking at it in different lights, photos, videos etc before making a final decision. But this time, no sharp intake of breath on box opening. I did try it in various different lighting, thinking surely one of these lighting conditions is going to bring it to life, but sadly no. I know that I don't even need to sleep on it this time.

Still it has been useful to help me rule out what I dont want. =)2
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
I was going to suggest him. I saw he has cut antique emerald square cut so he might be able to help. A friend of mine reached out and she said he mentioned he plans to cut more of lab diamonds in his favorite cuts.
http://instagr.am/p/CFAui4QFbYI/
Thanks - I had seen this when he first posted it and thought it looked great but I just missed out on this particular stone by about 15 minutes. It wasnt meant to be.....
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
Oh! That’s so disappointing but it’s good that you now know more about what makes your heart sing.
Parks Fine Group on IG is cutting antique style lab diamonds I think. You could reach out to them and ask?
Thanks for the suggestion. I had already been in touch with Alex. You are right that he does have some interesting lab stones, but I missed out on the inexpensive one I liked the look of, and although some of his other larger ones look good, the prices are well into the range that I would have a problem with spending on a lab stone. But I do keep an eye on his instagram because you never know what else may be coming.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,192
Sorry to hear it didn't work out! But it's good that you are being positive about it :)

Stepcuts are tricky beasts - I've looked in plenty of shop windows and I've only ever seen one (1!) that really stood out, so don't be disheartened that your first attempt didn't work out :))

We will look forward to accompanying you on your journey ;-) :D
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
286
I was reading some old posts by Gypsy, telling how to choose an Asscher by various numbers and characteristics. She said in every post, "This doesn't always work. You have to see the diamond."
Isn't she with CBI now?
 

Big Fat Facets

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
Messages
1,450
Well the asscher arrived today. It meets all of my technical criteria, so is exactly what I asked for. So I was really surprised to find that I'm completely underwhelmed by it. :doh:

Here is the ASET which I took with my handheld scope:

20201021_120856.jpg

Some pics:

20201021_121654.jpg 20201021_121717.jpg 20201021_121723.jpg 20201021_121732.jpg 20201021_121811.jpg

In spite of the strong light return suggested by the ASET, in person its very "quiet". In fact I would go so far as to say boring!

I'm really surprised that it has not captured my imgination. I have been a lover of asschers since my teens when I first discovered some vintage ones in an antique jewellers window. I have always wanted one, and have been on the lookout for my perfect one for many years.

I think that this one doesnt have enough contrast, flash, and fire. It has made me realise that a modern asscher (square emerald) is probably not going to do it for me. I need wide cut corners, greater depth and a small table so I probably need to be looking at cut corner square step cuts rather than square emerald cuts. And that is going to narrow my search even further. :wall:

There is also the possibility that I'm just not an asscher person. But having said that, I have 2 EC rings which I love, and don't find boring at all. (They were also meticulously chosen against various criteria). I don't find those "quiet", they both have lovely fire and bold flashes of white light as well. So I don't think I have a problem with step cuts, just the steps of this particular asscher did not "speak to me".

I now have to hope that Brilliant Earth's returns process is user friendly as this is an international purchase.

Back to the drawing board........
your asscher diamond is out there for you! i understand it can be discouraging. just don't give up.

ive always found asschers to be so very tricky. when i discovered fancy cuts for myself, i loved the asscher first before any other fancy or old cut/deal old style. but somehow i never came across an asscher that looked like my mind's asscher and didn't like how square and rounds looked on my hand.

in viewing diamonds, each time an assortment of cuts was brought out, i never would gravitate towards it. so finally, i just succumbed to what i was more drawn to instead of deliberately seeking out and hunting for an asscher. i feel i will always be fascinated by an asscher, its just that i haven't encountered one yet and did not choose to hunt high and low for one. so thank you for allowing me a glimpse of what it would be like it i had embarked on the asscher journey.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,192
I was reading some old posts by Gypsy, telling how to choose an Asscher by various numbers and characteristics. She said in every post, "This doesn't always work. You have to see the diamond."
Isn't she with CBI now?
She is!

I can't remember her new username, though... lol
 

Ada Diamonds CEO

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
69
@diamondhoarder Since you're returning the diamond, I'll chime in with a conjecture as to why you find it so unexceptional: the diamond has pronounced strain which negatively hampers the light performance of the diamond.

In the video you posted you can clearly see the strain lines running from 10 o'clock toward 4 o'clock (top left to lower right). The strain is caused by dislocations in the the crystal lattice.

When the light hits these dislocations it causes the light to split (birefringence is the technical term) and it simply results in fuzzy, mediocre light performance when the diamond is not blasted with light in a lightbox.

All diamonds (mined and man-made) have strain in the crystal; however, CVD diamonds can have much worse strain (and worse light performance) than mined diamonds if the seeds are of poor quality, or disadvantaged CVD reactors are used to grow the diamonds.

Personally, Asschers are my favorite cut and my first impression of your chosen stone was quite positive (similar assessment to you), but once I saw the stain in the video I would have immediately rejected the stone for the same reasons you chose to return the stone.

The last time I checked 0.37% of lab diamonds offered to us were Asschers, so finding a good one is quite difficult. All the best with your search!
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
648
@diamondhoarder Since you're returning the diamond, I'll chime in with a conjecture as to why you find it so unexceptional: the diamond has pronounced strain which negatively hampers the light performance of the diamond.

In the video you posted you can clearly see the strain lines running from 10 o'clock toward 4 o'clock (top left to lower right). The strain is caused by dislocations in the the crystal lattice.

When the light hits these dislocations it causes the light to split (birefringence is the technical term) and it simply results in fuzzy, mediocre light performance when the diamond is not blasted with light in a lightbox.

All diamonds (mined and man-made) have strain in the crystal; however, CVD diamonds can have much worse strain (and worse light performance) than mined diamonds if the seeds are of poor quality, or disadvantaged CVD reactors are used to grow the diamonds.

Personally, Asschers are my favorite cut and my first impression of your chosen stone was quite positive (similar assessment to you), but once I saw the stain in the video I would have immediately rejected the stone for the same reasons you chose to return the stone.

The last time I checked 0.37% of lab diamonds offered to us were Asschers, so finding a good one is quite difficult. All the best with your search!
That's really interesting, and not something that I noticed. I have never heard of strain before - is this different to striation? I did notice some slight unusual texture when viewing the back of the stone on the video, although I was unsure if that was a polish issue or possible striation. Your explanation would certainly explain why the stone was a let-down despite its promising specs. I clearly have a lot to learn about lab diamonds!
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
42,054
I clearly have a lot to learn about lab diamonds!
I think most of us do. We don't know what we don't know after all. Really appreciate experts like @Ada Diamonds CEO chiming in sharing their knowledge with us.

Good luck @diamondhoarder your perfect stone is out there. I am sorry this one didn't work out but you will find the diamond of your dreams.
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
286
I wouldn't have identified strain in that diamond a hundred years. I thought strain was what made pink diamonds pink. Thank you Ada Diamonds CEO for your explanation! Being on PriceScope is a blessing.
 

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
560
That's really interesting, and not something that I noticed. I have never heard of strain before - is this different to striation? I did notice some slight unusual texture when viewing the back of the stone on the video, although I was unsure if that was a polish issue or possible striation. Your explanation would certainly explain why the stone was a let-down despite its promising specs. I clearly have a lot to learn about lab diamonds!
I believe strain and stria/striation are the same phenomenon, but I’d love more clarification from an expert!
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
286
I think Layla is her real name. She actually called me a few years ago when I'd expressed interest in a CBI diamond. Now I'm a bottom-feeder and was looking for an M with a big hunk of carbon in the middle so I could afford it. But she was very patient and charming with me, and her language about those diamonds was quite lyrical. She knows everybody in the business and she said these CBI diamonds are without parallel. "They almost look liquid." Having read more since then, her words make me think of the descriptions of Golconda diamonds, . . "of the first water."
I talked myself out of it, said I don't need to burn a hole in someone's placemat at a restaurant. But never say never. And if I have the resources, I'm going to ask for Layla.
 

monipod

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
592
I'm sorry your Asscher wasn't what you hoped for. They are indeed a tricky cut and I was so scared that I wouldn't love my Asscher when it arrived. Fortunately I did. If only there was the perfect set of numbers for them but they are very much a need-to-see cut. Keep up updated!
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
10,070
So interesting. I have read somewhere that all MMD have some internal graining. Is that what "strain" means? In some situations the internal graining will affect how the diamond looks, and in others not so much. This is one of my concerns going with MMD. I used to own a MRB that had internal graining, and it didn't affect how it looked. It just bothered me when I saw it under a loupe.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    A Perspective on Pearls- Vol. I
    A Perspective on Pearls- Vol. I
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)

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