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Proportions vs symmetry (wonky hearts image)

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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Jun 12, 2021
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I am a PS lurker (let’s just admit this first) and the recent lucky recipient of two loose diamonds from my partner’s mother. I think they were at one point earring stones, but they’ve long since been unmounted. My sweetest (future) mother-in-law gifted them to me along with a bracelet and a pair of earrings (for a bridal set), suggesting I use one as a pendant and another as my e-ring stone.

The stones are incredibly close in carat weight (0.9ct ballpark), colour and clarity. Both score below 2 in the HCA. The only differences are in proportions and (as I just discovered today) symmetry.

One has a 34.5/40.2 crown/pavilion combination and the other is a 35.0/40.6. My first thought was - this is absolutely perfect! The 40.2 can go into the pendant and the 40.6 into the ring. So today I took both stones to my jeweller to discuss the settings, and he asked if I wanted to view them through a H&A loupe just for kicks, although these are not H&A stones. And of course… I said yes and then discovered the situation was not as clear-cut as I had envisioned.

The 35.0/40.6 stone meant for my e-ring had a wonky hearts image (my heart just fell when I saw it), whereas the 34.5/40.2 stone was far more symmetrical. The wonky hearts image is below, granted some of it is camera tilt but you can clearly see the hearts are different sizes. I foolishly did not capture the more symmetrical one, but trust me, the hearts were at least the same size and it looked a lot better.

Which one should I pick for my e-ring? The hearts image looks horrendous to me, but at the same time a 40.2 pavilion angle seems way too shallow for a ring. Will such asymmetry impact light return? There is no question that the two stones are definitely going into a bridal pendant and an e-ring respectively (I do not want to disappoint the lovely woman who so generously gifted them to me!) but which to which? Proportions or symmetry?

0DF69ADB-4AC1-46F5-81BF-75E264F6C127.jpeg
 
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Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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can you post a top shot of the stone in the viewer? even a regular picture is fine.
The heart image has alignment issues and is not that informative.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Whats the lower girdle\half % of the 40.2 stone?
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Can you also post a copy of each grading report? I am curious about the other proportions that go with the crown & pavilion.

In regards to HCA, keep in mind it’s a useful prediction tool based on static information obtained from the report. Due to averaging & rounding that GIA utilizes, we know there will be variance. Also HCA doesn’t account for all minor facets. It does great at getting us in the ballpark but further analysis is required.

Also, IMO, the HCA favors shallow stones more than some prefer.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oh honey. You sound so disappointed.

That hearts image is FAR from dreadful. I promise!! Your lovely almost-MIL did well, especially since I’m sure she purchased without any tools! I’ll bet you can see arrows pretty clearly face-up, yes?

Post some face-up photos of both stones, and the reports, as @Karl_K and @sledge asked. Clean both stones really well, and dry them off, and walk around the house with them - which do your eyes prefer?

You have lots of options. You could use one of these stones for a ring. You could buy your own stone and use these for something else (trust me, you’ll come up with ways to use “spare” diamonds!). You could potentially recut, although IMO this is a distanced third compared to using as-is or buying anew, even if your MIL-to-be wouldn’t mind. Inherited stones do sometimes come with strings attached - you’ll definitely want to find out what those might be before doing anything permanent to either stone.
 

Wink

Rough_Rock
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Dear @findingsparkles,

Look at the diamonds with your eyes and enjoy them. hold them in a holder and bring each face up to a position eight to ten inches from your face. See which one you think looks better to you that close to your eye. That is your ring diamond.

These are a gift from your loving mother-in-law to be. Thus, it matters not if they are H&A or have wonky hearts. It matters that you enjoy them and treasure the giver.

Go forth and enjoy the treasures you have received. You can teach your husband what you want for your future diamonds, but these are irreplaceable treasures.

Wink
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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Jun 12, 2021
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Thank you all so much for your responses! I have included an arrows shot below, but I was having a bit of difficulty really aligning my phone with the loupe so I think it’s a bit tilted as well unfortunately. Not sure if it is of help @Karl_K?

The other proportions are:
Stone 1: 34.5/40.2, T-59%, D-59%, LGH-75%
Stone 2: 35.0/40.6, T-56%, D-62%, LGH-75%

They are indeed a precious gift that I am so fortunate to have received, and I just want to be sure these two stones go into the most suitable setting for them to exhibit their beauty! My lovely future mother-in-law most definitely did not choose these with any tools, I’m quite sure it was only through the recommendation of a jeweller, but these are precious to her nevertheless.

I’m going to try to bring them around the house and view them under different lighting conditions to better understand their characters as many of you have suggested :)

8A4312AB-0490-46B9-9365-010209F8CEB2.jpeg
 

findingsparkles

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Thank you @Garry H (Cut Nut) :) out of curiosity, you mentioned it would outperform a super ideal cut of the same dimensions, but don’t proportions like the crown pavilion angles determine whether the stone is more suited for a ring or pendant? Please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood what you meant!
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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@Garry H (Cut Nut) thank you, I think I just got confused because you mentioned a super ideal cut “of the same dimensions”! It seems from a proportions angle (pun intended) it is clear which stone should go into the pendant :)

I’m hoping the symmetry issues in the 35.0/40.6 aren’t going to be very detrimental to its performance? I’ve tried looking at both stones but honestly with my untrained eye it’s just so hard to tell, and I think it’s gradually becoming a mind clean issue about whether I should prize proportions over symmetry for an e-ring stone or the other way around!
 

sledge

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The stone with 40.2 pavilion should obstruct more than the 40.6. Once you cross below 40.5 light reflects differently creating more darkness in the stone when viewed closely and when your body & head partially blocks light.

Because the angle and viewing distances are different for a pendant, the shallower pavilion is likely the best fit to maximize beauty and not introduce obstruction.

Granted with GIA gross rounding, you have to consider there are 8 actual pavilion angles all averaged and then rounded to the nearest 0.2 degrees to see the PA shown on the report.

So it’s plausible the 40.6 may also exhibit some obstruction if some of the actuals slip below 40.5 but it should be less severe than the other stone. Also consider there is 5% rounding in the LGF’s so a 75 can have actuals between 78-82. Longer LGF’s may help counter balance obstruction issues, but again the 40.2 is starting from a disadvantage being more shallow. All this supporting the 35/40.6 may likely be the better candidate for the ring.

Have you tried making both stones obstruct yet and have you noticed differences?

835363
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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Thank you @sledge for that informative graphic! I have tried doing as the graphic suggests, and I have found that in bright lighting conditions both stones look acceptable to me even as I bring them closer and loom over them. I even wore a black shirt for good measure!

However when I experimented under relatively dimmer lighting (diffused light in a relatively huge room from a single light source on the ceiling) I could definitely see the 40.2 stone getting darker faster than the 40.6. And not just the table, but even over the crown facets as well. It was like watching the stone close up and go to sleep! The 40.6 on the other hand did darken as well when I did that, but not quite as quickly or severely, it became more “hushed” instead of “asleep”. I hope this description makes sense!

Also, am I understanding correctly that a variation of hearts as seen in the 40.6 is due to variations in the cutting of the pavilion mains? I.e. there might be quite a bit of variation from the averaged 40.6 value? Why do the arrows look better than the hearts? Is it because more variables come into play to create the arrows?
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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The pavilions form both the hearts & arrow patterns that we see. In the example below the green pavilion at 7 o'clock is reflecting to create 1/2 the heart in the 12 o'clock position and the other 1/2 heart in the 1 o'clock position. Just as the yellow pavilion facet is doing similar things.

1623651724237.png

The blocked shoulders/lobes are created from table and star facets. If you look closely you can see the upper image shows the original points in a darker red, but the lower green image shows it blocked properly.

shoulders.jpg

Using this same image, the chevron I highlighted in blue lines is defined by the lower girdle facets (LGF's). The shorter (numerically smaller) the LGF number, the more skinny that space becomes. Just as the longer (numerically larger) the LGF number, the more space you will see.

FYI, LGF's also affects the arrows pattern. A larger LGF = skinnier arrows and smaller LGF = fatter arrows.

shoulders2.jpg

Next we see how the pavilion facets form the arrows. This time the pavilion is reflecting to create the arrow shaft & head directly across from it.

1623653001460.png

1623653029896.png

Good arrow formations will have heads that extend to the edge of the stone. The shaft & arrowhead will be aligned in the center.

1623655546086.png

The arrows picture you uploaded does appear better than the hearts image but it too is misaligned & tilted creating some effects that look worse than I think they are in reality. That said I did take a moment to start checking symmetry.

You can see a few questionable areas, but the table reflection is off center with the intersection of the various lines due to the tilt so I am just not clear if they are issues or misrepresentation.

8A4312AB-0490-46B9-9365-010209F8CEB2.jpeg


 

Fabulous50

Shiny_Rock
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494
Dear @findingsparkles,

Look at the diamonds with your eyes and enjoy them. hold them in a holder and bring each face up to a position eight to ten inches from your face. See which one you think looks better to you that close to your eye. That is your ring diamond.

These are a gift from your loving mother-in-law to be. Thus, it matters not if they are H&A or have wonky hearts. It matters that you enjoy them and treasure the giver.

Go forth and enjoy the treasures you have received. You can teach your husband what you want for your future diamonds, but these are irreplaceable treasures.

Wink

What a lovely thing to say!!! :)
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
10
Useful resources as always @sledge thank you! That made for great reading. It is interesting to me that while the arrow shafts of my stone don’t seem to line up in that shot (possibly tilt, possibly an inherent symmetry issue) the arrow heads seem perfectly symmetrical. I also spot these white shadows behind the arrow shafts on the right side of the diamond (11 to 5 o’clock in a clockwise manner). What might be causing those? Those shadows seem to line up nicely with the arrow heads.
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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Jun 12, 2021
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Also perhaps a newbie question, but I have been looking around on different threads and I noticed that some “arrows” images have arrows that are grey/black instead of white. Definitely taken through a loupe since the diamond’s body is coloured blue, red, etc. When I Google it seems white arrows show up more commonly under a loupe. What makes some of these arrows show up black/dark grey then?
 
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Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Also perhaps a newbie question, but I have been looking around on different threads and I noticed that some “arrows” images have arrows that are grey/black instead of white. Definitely taken through a loupe since the diamond’s body is coloured blue, red, etc. When I Google it seems white arrows show up more commonly under a loupe. What makes some of these arrows show up black/dark grey then?
If the arrows are very black like the True Hearts on JamesAllen.com then they are my ideal-scope images for the arrows side. They use H&A's scopes on the pavilion side.
Ideal-scope shows the same arrows info PLUS leakage as white.
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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@Garry H (Cut Nut) thank you for responding! I don’t think those I saw were ideal scope images since in one the diamond’s body was coloured blue. A photo would provide greater clarity but unfortunately I can’t seem to find that thread at this point. The arrows aren’t pure black, more like grey? It’s like having all arrows look like the 1 o’clock arrow in my image above, with the stone a brighter blue. Is this even possible through a H&A loupe?

Maybe a better question would be - in a normal H&A loupe image (even those small pocket loupes) what turns a diamond’s arrows white? Are dark arrows because of potential leakage/obstruction?
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Maybe a better question would be - in a normal H&A loupe image (even those small pocket loupes) what turns a diamond’s arrows white? Are dark arrows because of potential leakage/obstruction?
The pocket h&a scopes are extremely hard to get everything aligned correctly for photos, our brains tend to align it much better when looking through the scope.
So dark arrows in a h&a scope are possible when everything is not aligned just right.
The distance the stone is into the scope is absolutely critical a few millimeters one way or the other can give weird results.
That said there may be a combo of diamond proportions and scope proportions where the mains draw light from the viewing hole in the scope and are dark instead of white.
Every pocket h&a scope I have used gave inconsistent results and took some fidling to look right.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Also removing the white top from the h&a scope would result in dark arrows
 

findingsparkles

Rough_Rock
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Jun 12, 2021
Messages
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Thank you @Karl_K and @Garry H (Cut Nut)! Definitely experienced for myself how difficult it was to get everything aligned for photos using a pocket H&A scope! It just wouldn’t show up the way it did when I looked at it with my eye. That image with the 40.25 pavilion is indeed similar to what I was referring to! Perhaps it could be a shallow pavilion at work there, or a wonky scope image. Thanks for answering these strange questions of mine!
 
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