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Real Hearts and Arrows?

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michigan guy

Rough_Rock
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Feb 10, 2003
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11
The diamond I am considering buying is listed as a Hearts and Arrows Ideal cut, but when I plug the details into the HCA formula I get a score of 3.5 percent. I was hoping for one 1.5 or less.
So is it possible to have a H & A diamond with this low of HCA score?

Here are the sarin report details:

Round brilliant diamond
Carat weight: .93
Measurements: 6.18 x 6.22 x 3.89
Depth: 62.6% (little too deep?)
Table: 56.5%
Girdle: Slightly thick to thick, faceted
Culet: 0.2 %
Pav. Angle: 40.8
Crown Angle: 35.9 (too much?)
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Clarity: SI1
Color: G
Floresence: None
GIA cert report
Price: $3750
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Hi Michigan,

I've written about my impressions of H&As and the marketing behind the whole thing several times, so I thought I'd chime in here by cobbling together some previous comments I've made about the phenomenon. I hope this helps...

My general opinion of H&As is encapsulated in an excerpt that I sometimes paste into H&A threads, and it goes like this: "Hearts and Arrows" is the result of cutting a diamond extremely symmetrically, with precise facet alignment. Although the marketing dollars thrown at the cut would say otherwise, I think it's important to remember that an H&A cut is only a definitive indicator of the overall symmetry of the diamond's facets, and doesn't always mean it's a well-proportioned diamond. In my experience H&As typically are also very well proportioned (probably due to the fact that a cutter who puts the level of craftsmanship required into producing an H&A will also go to the trouble of making sure the proportions/angles are ideal as well), but the H&A pattern by itself isn't a concrete indicator of brilliance/fire/scintillation.

There's an awful lot of marketing behind the H&A, but the pattern itself doesn't really prove anything. A great many H&As are indeed wonderful performers, but it's also a fact that there are H&As that do NOT perform that well. And yes, it's even quite possible for an H&A AGS0 stone to be less than spectacular visually. Don't get me wrong, having a nice crisp H&A pattern can be a definite psychological plus and a nice indicator of the quality of the make, but the amount of emphasis that's put on an optical trait that by itself really has little bearing on the overall visual performance of the diamond would sometimes seem out of proportion (pardon the pun).

So, yes, it's entirely possible that a diamond with less than perfect proportions can still be H&A, just as a very well-proportioned (but not quite symmetrically faceted) diamond might lack the pattern. In the end, I think the buyer needs to decide whether the pattern is an end in itself or just another thing to consider. I know that in my search I DID take H&A patterns into account, but I looked at it as more of an indirect indicator of the quality of craftsmanship displayed by the cutter rather than a concrete "performance" characteristic.

-Tim
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274
Hey Tim,

Good post but there is a facet to your arguement that I beg to differ with. First you are correct in pointing out that true H&A diamonds can vary in their light return/performance. I know this first hand as I inspect and test these daily for optical analysis. HOWEVER H&A diamonds, even ones that don't do as well as some would like on the B'scope/LightScope still have a beautiful optical quality to offer the person purchasing an H&A and that is one in the soft or diffuse light condition. Optical symmetry (as opposed to light return) is best observed in those conditions and even an H&A that say only has intense light return off the arrows (which they generally will have) will still have a beautiful "contrast" brilliance to be observed in soft light conditions that the person NOT getting an H&A will receive. Keep in mind that certain proportion factors MUST be met in order for a diamond to attain it's H&A optical symmetry. Your point only focus' on these diamonds in "direct light conditions" and not both direct and diffuse light conditions.

I would also add this comment to the Internet purchaser of diamonds. When a diamond is listed as an H&A off of a vendor list from one that does not analyze the diamonds ... ASSUME IT IS NOT A GENUINE H&A. I've called in many diamonds listed as H&A from various suppliers off of the Internet that are listed as H&A that simply are not. My advice to the Internet consumer is to insist that you want PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE. There are alot of suppliers trying to hop on the bandwagon and today when someone tells me their looking at a diamond with so and so my first question to them is where is the photographic evidence. There's too much bogusness going on today so if you are looking at or considering H&A diamonds INSIST on it.

My .02c,

Rhino
 

3Richmond

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
22
Michigan, great post - I've always wondered the same thing.

Rhino & Optimized

Is it correct then to say that you can only tell if a diamond is H&A if there's an idealscope image?
Why wouldn't your "facet symetry" on your AGAS OOO or GIA excellent/excellent ideal diamond not
be perfectly aligned? Some certificate will have H&A lasered inscribed on the girdle. Can you trust that
it is an H&A?

I never understood this. Look forward to your respones
 

michigan guy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
11
Thanks for the information guys. I will ask the company to provide photographic evidence and post it so you can tell me what you think.

In your opinion what diamond do you think would be more pleasing to the eye. A Hearts and Arrows that scored a 3.5 HCA or a normal ideal cut diamond that scores a 1.5 HCA? It's probably impossible to tell without looking at them, but which is a better indication.... the HCA score or the brand H & A?
 

Yupi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
74
To Rhino,

So may I conclude that the most significant difference, in terms of "performance" between a true H&A and one that is not, is under dimmer/soft lighting environment ?

Regarding photographic evidence that comes with the certificate, for a true H&A, correct me if I am wrong, are only provided by two international well-known labs : IGI Antwerp and Central Gem Laboratory, Japan. I don't know about other labs in the States but plesae advice if anyone knows.

I hope this also answers 3Richmond's question.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Is it correct then to say that you can only tell if
a diamond is H&A if there's an idealscope image?
-----------

Hi 3Richmond. An IdealScope would show the "arrows" from a faceup view, but to see both the "arrows" from the faceup view and the "hearts" from the facedown view, you would need to view the diamond under a Hearts & Arrows viewer.

-----------
Regarding photographic evidence that comes with the
certificate, for a true H&A, correct me if I am
wrong, are only provided by two international well-
known labs : IGI Antwerp and Central Gem Laboratory,
Japan. I don't know about other labs in the States
but plesae advice if anyone knows.
-----------

Yupi, I know the CGL lab in Japan provides the photographic evidence. I wasn't aware that IGI Antwerp did. Giangi probably will know.

As far as US labs providing the photographic evidence, RockDoc's Consumers Gem Lab and my Sarasota Gem Lab both provide H&A photographic confirmation, and I think Dave's Accredited Gem Appraisers lab does as well.
 

Yupi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
74
Richard,

Thanks for your reply. Any knowledge about the credibility of CGL ?
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Hi Rich!!!

Yes, IGI Antwerp makes a special report for h+a stones.
HRD also makes a comment, upon request, for H+A stones.
EGL Israel writes one of those misleading 'stories' like they do for premium, tolkowsky ideal and excellent ideal cuts.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Any knowledge about the credibility of CGL ?
-----------

Yupi, I don't have firsthand knowledge of the credibility of CGL in regards to their H&A assessment, but I have heard (secondhand) reports that they do an excellent job.

The only two (non-H&A) CGL certs which I have examined personally gave me a favorable impression of the lab.
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Nevermind. I tried to post a pic but got some problems. Sorry.

BTW, I've never seen a CGL report, but their reputation is really good.
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274

Hi Rich,

In answer to your questions ...

----------------
On 6/20/2003 6:38:34 AM 3Richmond wrote:
Michigan, great post - I've always wondered the same thing.

Rhino & Optimized

Is it correct then to say that you can only tell if a diamond is H&A if there's an idealscope image?

While you can see the Arrows pattern in an idealscope the entire H&A optical symmetry is best observed under an H&A viewer. You can not see the hearts in an IdealScope.

Why wouldn't your "facet symetry" on your AGAS OOO or GIA excellent/excellent ideal diamond not
be perfectly aligned?

Because an H&A is not dependant soley upon the precision of the crown/pavilion angles. If the minor facets (not covered on most OGI and Sarin machines) are not properly cut as well this can distort and affect the H&A optical symmetry. Getting Sarin or OGI results alone guarantees NOTHING in terms of optical symmetry. Optical symmetry as observed in the H&A viewer empasses a certain level of precision in ALL of the facets of the diamond. Not just the 8 bezel/pavilion mains. The precision to which the lower girdle facets are cut can dramatically affect the optical symmetery AND light return of the diamond.

Some certificate will have H&A lasered inscribed on the girdle. Can you trust that
it is an H&A?

Not in and of itself Rich. There are some companies that do this who are reputable and have a consistent accuracy in their H&A cutting and there are some that do not.

I never understood this. Look forward to your respones


Hope that helped.

Peace,
Rhino
----------------
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274

----------------
On 6/20/2003 8
1:57 PM michigan guy wrote:
Thanks for the information guys. I will ask the company to provide photographic evidence and post it so you can tell me what you think.

In your opinion what diamond do you think would be more pleasing to the eye. A Hearts and Arrows that scored a 3.5 HCA or a normal ideal cut diamond that scores a 1.5 HCA? It's probably impossible to tell without looking at them, but which is a better indication.... the HCA score or the brand H & A?----------------
Haha... my short response would be neither! One diamond suggests optical superiority in diffuse light one suggestion optical superiority in direct light. If I were purchasing a diamond I would want optical superiority in ALL LIGHT CONDITIONS. An H&A with HCA of 3.5 I would not suggest no matter what the brand name was. If these were the only 2 diamonds in the world then of course I'd suggest the 1.5.

Rhino
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274

Hi Yupi,

Scroll on down ...

----------------
On 6/21/2003 7
3:10 AM Yupi wrote:
To Rhino,

So may I conclude that the most significant difference, in terms of "performance" between a true H&A and one that is not, is under dimmer/soft lighting environment ?

Yep. This is where optical symmetry is appreciated most. I show our clients this in every demonstration we give on cut. The analogue BrillianceScope viewer shows the diamond in the same direct light conditions than it does on the digital version except the viewer can see every light position conceivable as opposed to the 5 primary light positions used in the digital version PLUS the viewer can see how the diamond "performs" in diffuse light as it will give you that light condition as well. There is a marked difference between super ideal H&A's vs regular ideals and more common cut qualities.

Regarding photographic evidence that comes with the certificate, for a true H&A, correct me if I am wrong, are only provided by two international well-known labs : IGI Antwerp and Central Gem Laboratory, Japan. I don't know about other labs in the States but plesae advice if anyone knows.

There is a lab/store here in NY that also provides actual H&A & LightScope images in their appraisals. I believe they are located in Massapequa Park NY.
Hehe.

I hope this also answers 3Richmond's question.

Kind regards,
Rhino
----------------
 

Rhino

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
6,274
Ah ... RICH!!! YES!!! AMERICAN LABS THAT PROVIDE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE!!!

You, Bill and Dave!!! Rich ... you do H&A images on your reports of the actual stone? If so, please forward me an example in my email. I'm not sure if Dave does this or not but it would be a nice addition if he did.

Rhino
 
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