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Oval cut - Do good, very good, ideal exist?

brucie1855

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It seems like different websites have different search criteria for cut in oval stones. For example on Blue Nile your options are Good and Very good. James Allen doesn't have that as a criteria option at all. Brilliant Earth has good, very good, ideal and super ideal. When cut is such a big consideration, how do you search?
 

lovedogs

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GIA and others don't grade ovals on cut, so when you see "cut" on blue nile, JA, etc, it's just their opinion about the stone and typically means nothing. You just need to look at the stone to see if you like it or not.
 

brucie1855

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lovedogs

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brucie1855

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It's super hard to buy an oval without video, bc video shows the facets turning "on" and "off", whereas pictures alone dont do that. So unfortunately I can't judge this one very well. I'm also not an oval expert, but can mostly guess at it when I can see a video
There's a video on the last image, if you swipe over (at least that's how I can see it on my phone)
 

Rockdiamond

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Hi Brucie!
Yes, it's so easy to get confused by the various cut ratings consumers find for Oval ( and any fancy shape) diamond.
In fact, a strong case could be made that the only cut grade that matters would be GIA, and AGS. GIA does not grade the cut of Oval ( or any Fancy SHape) diamonds- and virtually no cutters send Oval diamonds to AGS, other than branded stones cut specifically for this purpose.
IMO, the AGSL cut grade is not inclusive of many of the most beautiful oval diamonds.

It is a tough shape to buy without hands on inspection.
 

Texas Leaguer

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AGSL does light performance cut grading on ovals. So Ideal ovals do exist in the market. But they are in very limited supply at this stage. Cutting to AGS Ideal involves more skill, time and weight loss, so most cutters don't see it in their economic interest to do so. Hopefully this will change over time.

Currently there are a few propriety ovals that carry AGS Ideal certificates.
 

Rockdiamond

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I think it's important to point out that the word "Ideal", in this context, is a brand name.
I know a few extremely skillful, creative cutters that don't want to have their hands tied on fancy shapes to fit into what is, an arbitrary classification.
Of course, the majority of cutters are far more fixated on yield and profitability.
Still- as a buyer, I would prefer to see a wider variety of designs and executions
 

AV_

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how do you search?
I am looking for fairly even brilliance - preferably high, which is allot to ask from oval brilliants. If you search for the ovals admired & bought lately around here, there are a few early style brilliant cuts (see @KKJohnson) & several impressively deep stones. There are so many types of oval cut!

From a recent search over Blue Nile for sport, two stones caught my imagination for their cut: www & www Obviously, Blue Nile thinks they are (not) 'Good' - on account of their greater depth, then again, AGS Ideal models also are deep - such proportions allow brilliance, sure enough.

It is possible to find exremely beautiful shallow ovals, large for weight, but there was none on the Blue Nile list today. I would not be surprised to see beautiful examples of any depth / table numbers - each pairing works for some range of proportions or model & no one has written general rules down (as has been done for round brilliants) - it would be quite some task.

ramble
 
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brucie1855

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I am looking for fairly even brilliance - preferably high, which is allot to ask from oval brilliants. If you search for the ovals admired & bought lately around here, there are a few early style brilliant cuts (see @KKJohnson) & several impressively deep stones. There are so many types of oval cut!

From a recent search over Blue Nile for sport, two stones caught my imagination for their cut: www & www Obviously, Blue Nile thinks they are (not) 'Good' - on account of their greater depth, then again, AGS Ideal models also are deep - such proportions allow brilliance, sure enough.

It is possible to find exremely beautiful shallow ovals, large for weight, but there was none on the Blue Nile list today. I would not be surprised to see beautiful examples of any depth / table numbers - each pairing works for some range of proportions or model & no one has written general rules down (as has been done for round brilliants) - it would be quite some task.

ramble
What is the blue nile list?
 
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Karl_K

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AGSL does light performance cut grading on ovals. So Ideal ovals do exist in the market. But they are in very limited supply at this stage. Cutting to AGS Ideal involves more skill, time and weight loss, so most cutters don't see it in their economic interest to do so. Hopefully this will change over time.

Currently there are a few propriety ovals that carry AGS Ideal certificates.
Not always do they involve more weight loss you need to compare and consider the mm measurements of any oval your considering.
 

Texas Leaguer

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I think it's important to point out that the word "Ideal", in this context, is a brand name.
I know a few extremely skillful, creative cutters that don't want to have their hands tied on fancy shapes to fit into what is, an arbitrary classification.
Of course, the majority of cutters are far more fixated on yield and profitability.
Still- as a buyer, I would prefer to see a wider variety of designs and executions
AGS Ideal is ANYTHING BUT but an 'arbitrary classification'. Light performance grading is based upon quantifiable metrics of brightness, contrast, fire and leakage.

AGSl supports the creativity of cutters by developing grading metrics for proprietary cuts (such as the Forevermark Black Label oval), and working with cutters to enable them to help them achieve Ideal light performance.
 

elizat

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I am looking for fairly even brilliance - preferably high, which is allot to ask from oval brilliants. If you search for the ovals admired & bought lately around here, there are a few early style brilliant cuts (see @KKJohnson) & several impressively deep stones. There are so many types of oval cut!

From a recent search over Blue Nile for sport, two stones caught my imagination for their cut: www & www Obviously, Blue Nile thinks they are (not) 'Good' - on account of their greater depth, then again, AGS Ideal models also are deep - such proportions allow brilliance, sure enough.

It is possible to find exremely beautiful shallow ovals, large for weight, but there was none on the Blue Nile list today. I would not be surprised to see beautiful examples of any depth / table numbers - each pairing works for some range of proportions or model & no one has written general rules down (as has been done for round brilliants) - it would be quite some task.

ramble
The 2.01 is very pretty.
 
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Rockdiamond

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AGS Ideal is ANYTHING BUT but an 'arbitrary classification'. Light performance grading is based upon quantifiable metrics of brightness, contrast, fire and leakage.

AGSl supports the creativity of cutters by developing grading metrics for proprietary cuts (such as the Forevermark Black Label oval), and working with cutters to enable them to help them achieve Ideal light performance.
Hi Bryan!
From Merriam-Webster

Definition of arbitrary

1a: existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will//an arbitrary choice//When a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary.— Nehemiah Jordan
b: based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something//an arbitrary standard


Please note letter "b"
Yes, there are standards used by AGSL. But they are based on "individual preference". Arbitrary, in that sense.
Remember the "Original Radiant Cut"?
They were ( are) amazing stones- that somehow, AGSL could NEVER figure out how to quantify.

In my opinion- as well as Stan Grossbard ( since retired)- AGSL wants stones that fit their metric- as opposed to figuring out how stones that don't fit that metric can be rated on the same scale.
They really can't- and that's the issue.

I'll bring up the oft-maligned phrase- "Crushed Ice"
Sometimes an oval ( generally Oval Modified Brilliant) can totally avoid any bow tie effect by using the pavilion facets to create a dazzling jumble of sparkle. Looking like a bottomless bucket of crushed ice.

AGSL has no metric for dealing with this- therefore the name "Ideal"- when used by AGSl means "Ideal to them ( or those that share their opinion of how a diamond should look")

It gets confusing to consumers and this thread is evidence of that.
 
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AV_

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how stones that don't fit that metric can be rated on the same scale.
If there is a metric (by some definition; here, of some diamond physics), there is a scale; you may have a set of metrics for which there does not exist a scale - taste is a great source of some such & the notion of 'contrast' as already talked about around here can express contrarian aesthetics well.
 
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Rockdiamond

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If there is a metric (by some definition; here, of some diamond physics), there is a scale; you may have a set of metrics for which there does not exist a scale - taste is a great source of some such & the notion of 'contrast' as already talked about around here can express contrarian aesthetics well.
Yes, we can accurately measure a diamond. But how to measure the light coming out of it?
Keep in mind we would need to use an arbitrary set of parameters to consistently measure the light coming out.
What if normal viewing environments are not consistent with the parameters set by AGS- and of course, they won’t be.
That makes light return measurements of any kind, arbitrary.
Aesthetically- Even if we all agreed on the method for measuring the light coming out the top, I don’t see how any case can be made for any sort of consistent scale, given how much people’s tastes very.

Take a diamond and look at it under different lighting sources and see how much it changes.
Keep the lighting consistent and tilt the stone a few degrees. Everything changes.
 
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Texas Leaguer

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Hi Bryan!
From Merriam-Webster

Definition of arbitrary

1a: existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will//an arbitrary choice//When a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary.— Nehemiah Jordan
b: based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something//an arbitrary standard


Please note letter "b"
Yes, there are standards used by AGSL. But they are based on "individual preference". Arbitrary, in that sense.
Remember the "Original Radiant Cut"?
They were ( are) amazing stones- that somehow, AGSL could NEVER figure out how to quantify.

In my opinion- as well as Stan Grossbard ( since retired)- AGSL wants stones that fit their metric- as opposed to figuring out how stones that don't fit that metric can be rated on the same scale.
They really can't- and that's the issue.

I'll bring up the oft-maligned phrase- "Crushed Ice"
Sometimes an oval ( generally Oval Modified Brilliant) can totally avoid any bow tie effect by using the pavilion facets to create a dazzling jumble of sparkle. Looking like a bottomless bucket of crushed ice.

AGSL has no metric for dealing with this- therefore the name "Ideal"- when used by AGSl means "Ideal to them ( or those that share their opinion of how a diamond should look")

It gets confusing to consumers and this thread is evidence of that.
Because AGSL has not yet developed the appropriate metrics to fairly grade ALL facet arrangements does not mean that the ones they have developed are somehow invalid. Developing a light performance standard requires a great deal of research and development, and consultation with the trade.

GIA hasn't even figured out their first fancy cut yet!
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
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@Rockdiamond Accounting for varied light environments seems such a small (ahem!) problem relative to taste, I left it aside.


Because AGSL has not yet developed the appropriate metrics to fairly grade ALL facet arrangements does not mean that the ones they have developed are somehow invalid.
Accounting the look of any cut at any time! (ahem)
I'd wish for something intuitive - perhaps just a way to think through viewing than a tool. The ideas are already around, in the foundations of the current standards, but more so in the considerations of composing cut models - or so I herd them.

thinking out loud
 
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Rockdiamond

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Bryan- if we declare one oval design as "Ideal", without acknowledging that other designs may be just as nice, we're using the word "Ideal" arbitrarily- or, as a brand name. A deceptive brand name, because "Ideal" indicates ( to me) some sort of pinnacle.
Everything else can be declared to be "less than ideal".
Referring to GIA- they were working on Fancy Shaped Cut grades years ago- I participated in one of their study groups.
Maybe they've simply decided Fancy Shaped Cut grades are simply unworkable.

Also- in regards to yield: Let's put aside the "SuperIdeal" stones- I agree wholeheartedly that they are in a category of their own, and not cut to increase yield.
But if we look at round diamonds in general, and GIA cut grading- cutters are thrilled to be able to leave more on the stone- so now we have average depths surely far higher than they were 20 years ago- and the average spread of a 1.00ct diamond has decreased- cutters who want to increase yield will learn how to game the system.
 

Rockdiamond

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@Rockdiamond Accounting for varied light environments seems such a small (ahem!) problem relative to taste, I left it aside.
Yes, lighting environments are a "can of worms"......
But if we ignore that aspect, we're ignoring the essence of a diamond- which uses light to creat beauty ( my concept)

I find myself speaking to consumers about this all the time.
With Fancy Colored stones finding a neutral way to depict them is part and parcel of good representation.
I've learned that different colors require different lighting environments to really show off their colors.
And in fact, the same is true for different shapes. A round will look terrible in a lighting environment that makes an oval look great.
My point is that taste- and how we look at the diamonds are inexorably intertwined.
 
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Rockdiamond

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And we can see easily how ( well-meaning) consumers buy into the "ideal" idea, and freely recommend branded stones which are cut to fit into AGSL's narrow criteria.
The AGSL site leaves no room for interpretation...there's a sliding scale so consumers can see that their diamond gets top marks in Brightness, Fire, Contrast, and Overall Performance"
How is this NOT subjective????
Overall Performance???

Then many sites rely on consumers' lack of knowledge on this to arbitrary cut grade ( I'm sure @Texas Leaguer will agree, the cut grade for ovals on the many diamond selling sites is arbitrary) to sow the seeds of confusion in consumers.
Again, this thread- and many others like it- show what's happening here.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
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My point is that taste - and how we look at the diamonds are inexorably intertwined.
Point taken: taste, or expertise are the sum total of what is seen - a version of this statement, quoted from a fabled dealer of old master paintings, used to be my tag line here not long ago.

[e.g. the first large diamond I have seen was a screen - of course I love those to this day]



I've learned that different colors require different lighting environments to really show off their colors.
So may say the same - a collection of testimony here! & I agree; then, the most beautiful light of my world requires light brown/yellow diamonds [mid day sun of Europe's deserts].
 
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AV_

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the "ideal" idea
I understand it as: 'the best thing about ~ six mm. diamonds is their being bright up to a slight tilt' - not against common sense, but this is not about diamonds, is it.
 
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Rockdiamond

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I understand it as: 'the best thing about ~ six mm. diamonds is their being bright up to a slight tilt' - not against common sense, but this is not about diamonds, is it.
This is a great point!!!!
Say we can accurately measure at what angle the diamond stops reflecting a lot of light to the eye.
OK. We can make a scale, from 1-10, to classify this aspect.
Great.
Now, how much weight do we put on this particular aspect- when comparing to say.....spread?
Maybe I'd rather a stone that measures larger, yet goes a bit dull at less of an angle than a stone that weighs the same, but looks smaller.
Who's right?
 
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AV_

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@Rockdiamond You are seeing spread, I am seeing the transparent rain of light - be it far, one way or the other, from the critical angle.

This is love, not humour. Diamonds are beautiful in so many ways, most seen to be done, none superseeded - admitedly, some have always been rare: eg. the table cuts of the Al Thani collection, remond the first large diamond I have handled - a screen


ramble
 

Rockdiamond

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Hi @brucie1855
Any true professional- someone who works with diamonds- will tell you they need to actually examine an oval in person to determine how well it's cut.
 
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