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OEC: vintage-cut vs modern

sparkle45

Shiny_Rock
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I love OEC's and am trying to decide if the premium on the modern ("ideal") cuts is really worth it.

For comparison's sake, I've found 3 similar stones via Grace, Canera, and GOG, linked below. Would you more experienced Pricescopers mind helping me understand what you're really paying for in each instance?

Grace: http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/1-ct-to-2-00/1-58ct-old-european-cut-diamond-gia-i-vvs1#.V0M1u_krK70

Canera: https://www.victorcanera.com/diamonds/dahhmu-1.505-i-vs2-ideal-estimated-old-european-cut

GOG: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond-search/1.56-AVR-I-AGS-H-SI1-diamond-stock-12642-cert-104074214002


Grace Stats:
$12,695
1.58 ct
GIA I VVS1
7.32 x 7.37
Polish: Good
Symm: V Good
Table: 52%
Depth: 63.2%

Canera Stats:
$14,930
1.505 ct
GIA I VS2
7.23 x 7.25
Polish: Ideal
Symm: Ideal
Table: 50.8%
Depth: 63.4%

GOG Stats:
$15,112
1.564 ct
AGS H SI1
7.17 x 7.21
Polish: Ideal
Symm: Ideal
Table: 45%
Depth: 67.5%

In this comparison, it seems to me that the Grace stone is the clear winner. I can't imagine the gap in polish/symm between good/v good and IDEAL is worth the loss of weight, color, and clarity (not to mention the much larger price tag) of the modern stones. Is it??

I guess what I'm trying to say is the only difference I see between well-cut vintage OEC's and the modern OEC's is the polish/symm ideal that they just could not get in the old days. Does the ideal/ideal of the newer stones really make the increased price worth it? If the sparkle and perceived size/color really change a lot with the ideal, I can see the premium being worth it, but not if it's just words on a piece of paper.
 

rubybeth

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I would guess the Canera and GOG stones have slightly better/more organized patterning and light return images like ASET. But I prefer the actual antiques for the history/romance of the older stones, and am more willing to 'forgive' small imperfections, especially for the price. To each her own!
 

Fulvia

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Dec 15, 2015
Messages
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Modern antique-style cuts like GoG's AVR are cut to the highest optical standards so that they have optimal light performance. This isn't the case with 'real' OECs which vary significantly and often do not have optimal optics (but are very charming nonetheless -I love love OECs).

Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzYE2qM9qHQ
 

Jimmianne

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To me the new "old" cuts are not as interesting as true old cuts which have individual personalities and often a wonderful quirkiness to them.
However, new "old" cuts are beautiful performers.
I think if would help if you could see both in person.

I happen to have an old cut. It has so many personalities that I never tire of looking at it. It loves dim lighting, but not jewelry store lights. I think your choice depends on your perception of beauty and what you expect from your diamond.
 

arkieb1

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It's entirely personal preference, I like both new old cuts and genuine Antique diamonds for different reasons, only you know what you can and can't live with....
 

Gypsy

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40,198
So, personally I think that particular OEC from Grace is going to ASET very well. I wouldn't be surprised to see an ASET that is the equivalent of one of the AVCs.

I don't like the faceting of the AVR. I prefer that particular Canera stone. So for me it's between the first two. And I would get the Grace stone in person and see what you think.

The girdle being very thin is spots is the only concern I have with the Grace stone. How are you planning on setting it?
 

Mayk

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4,567
I love, love the diamond at JbG. I have a J VS 1 from her and it's a ball of fire. Mine is set in the Laurel by EW but I also adore the Grace and Margot so many choices make the decision tough. I think Grace has a great eye for these beautiful old stones and I color :love: :love: I love everything Victor makes so it would be a tough choice but there is something about having an old stone that was romantic to me. Adding a picture of mine Grace found for me. Since you have a three day review to decide I would suggest seeing it in person. It might help make the choice easier.

_3793.jpeg
 

Fulvia

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AprilMay:

I posted the link and explanation only for information's sake. As for voting, I say JbG's OEC all the way. :love:
 

LLJsmom

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It would be between Canera and Grace. I would have to look at both.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I love a well cut OEC and that looks like it is! Great color and clarity combo, too! I will say, though, that with a 52 table, it may be closer to the transitional period? OECs used to be a better bargain, but prices are higher now so I would not settle on cut. When I was searching I wanted outstanding cut regardless of whether the stone was old or new, but I just did not see an OEC that pleased me as much as the AVR I ended up getting (in terms of cut, color, clarity). But I do love beautifully cut OECs and certainly may end up with one eventually. One factor that needs to be mentioned in general is that all OECs are not in their original condition. Some have had rehab to make them better cut, and I am in favor of that, but I think it needs to be disclosed (not speaking of any specific vendors, to be clear. Stones may have had rehab before these vendors buy them. Antique stones are very popular now.). Just saying there is a continuum of antique style stones and it is not just old and new. I am also not speaking about this particular OEC because it does have a partial very thin girdle which would make me think it hasn't had rehab. I would talk to Grace about that to see how much of the girdle is very thin. If you are setting it in a halo or bezel, it won't matter. But if you are setting in a solitaire, I personally would have girdle rehab to even up that girdle and get rid of the very thin area.

I love the Canera diamond and see nothing negative about it. The GOG stone just doesn't have as flattering pictures, unfortunately, but I am sure it is gorgeous in person with a tiny 45 table. It is a color grade higher which is part of the reason it costs more than the I color stones.

If it were possible, I'd order all three to look at. That's how you'll truly know.
 

ericad

Ideal_Rock
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2,033
The best way to know if you prefer old cuts or repros is to see some in person. I've had clients go both ways. There are those who prefer the more structured, precise look of the repro and others who prefer the softer, more organic look of an antique stone. There's no wrong answer, but it's difficult to know which camp you're in from just pics. Are there any local shops that carry old cuts? If so, maybe you could buy one of the repros and take it with you to compare it to some old cuts in person?

Either way, you will end up with a beautiful diamond - obviously I'm biased, but I'll take the chunky facets of an OEC over any other cut! Good luck with your search!
 

sparkle45

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Jul 18, 2013
Messages
123
LLJsmom, YES, your link help so much! And congrats on your new ring, it's gorgeous! I think reading your story helped me realize, more than anything else has, that I'll really just have to look at a few in real life, and possible buy/return a few times to really find a keeper. I'd love to compare a precision cut to a well-cut antique and see if I can pick out the modern one. I like the convenience of being able to just decide on one diamond via the precision cutters' sites and know the light return will be fantastic, but I think the cost savings and quirky factor of a true old cut may be worth the extra effort to find a good one.

Gypsy, do you mind explaining why you prefer the Canera stone? I'm having a hard time seeing much of a difference between the Canera and the GOG. And I agree with you about Grace's stone's likely beautiful ASET - it's the most gorgeous stone I could find on her site by far. Unfortunately, it's already been sold, so it's not a real option for me. :(( I just linked to it because it was the most gorgeous true old cut I could find in that range.

Mayk, thank you so much for the suggestion - and is it silly that I didn't realize Grace would be open to sourcing for customers? I thought we just have to choose from available stock? Your ring is absolutely beautiful!!! :love:

diamondseeker2006, you caught me. I think I might actually prefer the checkerboard patterning of the later OEC's to the prevalent flower petal patterning, although I think both are to die for, and prefer them both to anything any other cut has to offer. I THINK (?) the checkerboard patterning is achieved with a slightly larger table? Here are two examples of what I mean:

http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/sold/loose-diamonds/1-08ct-old-european-cut-diamond-gia-f-si1#.V0SjGfkrK70 1_60.png

http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/sold/loose-diamonds/1-04ct-oec-diamond-gia-l-vs2#.V0SjFvkrK70
2_32.png

Do you know what aspects of the cut make the difference between the two patterns? Is the light return just as good for each? Or does the flower petal pattern achieve better optics and that's why all modern cutters go that route?

Thanks so much for your input, Erica! I'm on your site just about every day, waiting for you to add inventory in my ranges!! :naughty:
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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LLJsmom|1464073437|4035650 said:
This is my recent experience. Maybe it will be helpful to you...

https://www.pricescope.com/communit...going-from-mrb-to-oec-avr-antique-cut.219320/
Note that the true OEC Jonathan is using for this comparison is an extremely shallow stone - Jon suggests as much when he says that other OECs may fall between the two extremes used for this video. I have three OEC's that perform wonderfully under many lighting conditions, and one that's only so-so. Of course you are eliminating a lot of uncertainty by buying a modern cut OEC, but there also many beautiful antique OEC's out there.
 

Rockdiamond

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Isn't "light performance" totally subjective?
It's true that AGSL grades" Ideal Light Performance". We could call that a standard. Also true that modern OEC's are generally far more symmetrical, if that's important. Which is to some, and not to others.
But what about "Excellent" light performance, or "Optimal" light performance. Are they better than Ideal?
We're talking about the way a diamond looks, it's not supposed to be a mirror- so what standard can we use to determine what's "better" light performance?
I think we're mixing up promotional advertising terms with gemological standards.
Basically anyone can say their diamond has "Excellent" or "Optimal light performance, and there's simply no "meter" or gauge to dispute that claim.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I simply prefer the faceting pattern of the Victor stone. And it's a hair bigger.
 

Rockdiamond

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Good point Gypsy.
Bigger- now that's an easy to measure "performance" aspect! ( and often overlooked)
 

Victor Canera

Shiny_Rock
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Hi Rockdiamond,

I understand your opinion on some performance benchmarks for diamonds but I respectfully disagree.

One of the standards that you acknowledge is AGSL's light performance score and the research that they've conducted there. It might not be an absolute industry standard in that every dealer knows about it but that does not mean that it's not valid or that the research is without merit. In a lot of industries, new research takes time to trickle down to the larger industry as a whole.

I guess as you say, that anybody could claim ideal light performance but in that case they should have some analytical proof to back up their claim which we do using our ASET imagery so for me it's not just a marketing term. Having worked on the design of two diamonds (a third one in the works) I personally think that LP makes a big difference in the appearance of a diamond.

As to which standard we should use, I think the AGSL standard does a great job. To my eyes, the designs that I've worked on look better when their light performance is factored into the design of the stone.

My Best
 

Rockdiamond

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HI Victor,
I have also worked on diamond design- and specifically wanted a stone that did not have the type of optical signature produced when the cutter goes for AGSL Ideal.
It's not about right or wrong, it's just personal taste.
Having said that, it's true that if one does go for AGSL Ideal in a cushion or old mine brilliant, the diamond will achieve a consistency that other stones will not.
In that sense, yes, it's a repeatable standard, achieved through science.
This type of look also can be determined and judged using ASET- which I find to be much less effective on other styles of cutting.
If that's the look that "floats your boat" the consistency is a tremendous plus, I agree.
So we agree there's a lot to be said for AGSL approach.


The part where it gets tricky is associating science with the word "Ideal"- which is an AGSL marketing term, not a scientific one. I don't see how anyone can validate a claim that a diamond cut to AGSL Ideal proportions is better than an authentic antique diamond which may be less symmetrical and lack other features of AGSL Ideal stones- yet the older/ antique style diamond may excel in other areas. Like spread.

Even trickier is the fact the the general term- and concept - of "light performance" is then (ab)used constantly when we're not even considering AGSL grading.

Always an interesting discussion.
 

Victor Canera

Shiny_Rock
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Rockdiamond,

I've read some of your posts regarding light performance in cuts like radiant cut diamonds which would probably equally apply to cushion modifieds etc. With (pardon the expression) crushed ice type faceting, stones polished for LP might produce a look that's different than what these diamonds are famous for. I can appreciate the fact that some people like this type of look.

With diamonds having large pavilion mains like OECs and OMBs, I find the structured facet look to be a really pleasant one. Polishing these types of stones for LP produces really nice reflections from a broad spectrum of light from blues to greens and pastel colors depending on surrounding light. This (combined with the minimizing virtual facets) results in the pavilion mains becoming even more prominent which in an OEC for example can make the flower pattern in the diamond even more prominent and the stone even more beautiful IMHO.

My Best
 

Gypsy

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diamondseeker2006

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Gypsy|1464142798|4036002 said:
If your budget is up to 15k then this one is gorgeous: http://www.jewelsbygrace.com/loose-diamonds/1-ct-to-2-00/1-73ct-old-european-cut-diamond-gia-i-vvs1#.V0UKkOS_pKq Although the lab report isn't showing up.

It has a girdle issue as well. And it's pretty much bezel or bust with this one (or girdle re-hab).

The faceting is amazing. It's picking up all kinds of colors. And It's big at 7.6-7.7.

If I were looking for a stone to bezel, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
I think it is beautiful, too, but I am not wild about a 56 table in an old cut.

AprilMay...I almost bought the first stone in this picture. I do not think all transitional stones have large tables.(Just looked and Dreamer and Demelza's diamonds below have a 50 table.) I don't recall that the one I was considering did anyway. I think they are beautiful, too!

_37301.jpg
 

Gypsy

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I have a more holistic view with old cuts. If I like the faceting and the crown has a nice height (which this one does) I don't get too hung up on the numbers. A 54 table is fine with me. Do I prefer smaller tables? It depends on the stone as a whole there too.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Gypsy|1464147155|4036033 said:
I have a more holistic view with old cuts. If I like the faceting and the crown has a nice height (which this one does) I don't get too hung up on the numbers. A 54 table is fine with me. Do I prefer smaller tables? It depends on the stone as a whole there too.
I absolutely agree...the whole stone has to be right. I certainly don't like 45 table (or any size table) OECs with asymmetrical facet patterns!
 

missy

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Gypsy|1464147155|4036033 said:
I have a more holistic view with old cuts. If I like the faceting and the crown has a nice height (which this one does) I don't get too hung up on the numbers. A 54 table is fine with me. Do I prefer smaller tables? It depends on the stone as a whole there too.

Completely agree. With old cuts more so than any other stones one must see with their eyes and heart and not rely on the numbers.
 

Mayk

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I love the diamond Gypsy recommended. You really do have to see it in person. I owned a trannie I didn't love as much as I love my OEC. I also had two AGS 000. My OEC is so different and for me preferred. But it took me a few tries to find this out. Absolutely see your top options in person.
 

Rockdiamond

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Victor Canera|1464138288|4035968 said:
Rockdiamond,

I've read some of your posts regarding light performance in cuts like radiant cut diamonds which would probably equally apply to cushion modifieds etc. With (pardon the expression) crushed ice type faceting, stones polished for LP might produce a look that's different than what these diamonds are famous for. I can appreciate the fact that some people like this type of look.

With diamonds having large pavilion mains like OECs and OMBs, I find the structured facet look to be a really pleasant one. Polishing these types of stones for LP produces really nice reflections from a broad spectrum of light from blues to greens and pastel colors depending on surrounding light. This (combined with the minimizing virtual facets) results in the pavilion mains becoming even more prominent which in an OEC for example can make the flower pattern in the diamond even more prominent and the stone even more beautiful IMHO.

My Best
Hi Victor,
Although it's easy to paint my position as "crushed ice" is better than "chunky" that's not at all accurate. In my opinion neither is better, it's just a matter of taste.
Given that we both deal with a lot of folks, I'd guess that you agree that tastes vary- and both styles of cutting are beloved.

About the part in bold- if a cutter is not cutting for LP, what is the alternative?
IN some cases, the alternative is cutting for beauty, as opposed to trying to meet AGSL LP specs. Remember, the AGSL specs are a design, not a scientific improvement. There's plenty of cases where the world's best cutters are going for something totally different than LP as defined by AGSL

IN terms of asymmetrical, there's a large range of designs that vary from totally wonky, to a stone that may look quite symmetrical, yet not to the degree necessary for AGSL ideal.

The fiery pastel flashes are not necessarily diminished in stones not cut to AGSL LP standards- in fact I'm sure we can find examples of stones not cut for LP that show more fire than other cut for LP.
 

diamondseeker2006

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AprilMay, did you decide? I see you have a stone in your avatar picture, but both Grace's and Victor's stones are posted as not available.
 
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