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selecting a diamond with best appearance

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oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,320
There have been many discussions and cat fights about Ideal Cut diamonds on Pricescope over the years. Not everyone agrees with everything that has been said, but we sort of have a truce agreed upon that states that there is no one single cut configuration which is "the best" and that "ideal" is a range of looks, and levels of light performance. Ideal cut are diamonds which the trade has decided are the best range of stones, but the consumer must select a single diamond they like the best. Often a consumer selects a less than ideal range stone just like people often select other than a D color or IF stone. A diamond that suits your budget, your needs, your style, your eyes and makes everyone pleased, is the ideal one for you despite what we promote. Common sense dictates that compromise and moderation are allowed to enter into decision making for most people.

One clear thing that I see people doing which confuses them is looking at a diamond for appearance at angles away from face-up. There is NO diamond which should be chosen for any view except the face-up view. Sure, you can look at a diamond from any angles you want to, but ALL the best diamonds ALWAYS look their best face-up to your eyes. If someone sees a stone which looks excellent at 20 degrees off face-up, but looks just okay straight on, it won''t be one of the best. Keep the process as simple as you can by concentrating on "what does the face-up view do for me?"

The best diamonds ALWAYS perform beautifully face-up and also may do well when viewed at an angle. Some strange diamonds look better from an angle than face-up, but what is the purpose in choosing such a stone? It needs a fine face-up view to succeed in ultimate beauty. So, spend the time to compare diamonds all in the face-up position to weed out any that don''t make the cut. It is easier to concentrate your efforts on side by side stones facing your eyes.

You will find this very valuable for princess and radiant cuts as well as rounds and other shapes. The fancy shaped stones often degrade faster in appearance to an angled view than rounds, but the face-up view is crucial to decision making.
 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
312
Good advice.

My sense is that with consumer diamond evaluation, there are two worlds - Reality and The Mental.

In Reality, face-up is what counts, as you say, because once in a setting, this is how the diamond will be viewed (and how it is indeed engineered to be viewed!). There is a small note here to be made for settings where the side view of the diamond is visible, most likely showing color "issues" (more than, say, clarity).

In The Mental world, because we all on pricescope have become scientists evaluating differences in diamonds based on minutiae, we are aware of flaws in our minds, even if they are otherwise not visible face-up. This principle applies to inclusions, symmetry, color, an exta facet, etc. Although we can rationally "forgive" flaws that do not significantly affect the performance of the diamond, the power of the mind is great, and even latent flaws have an effect on our perception of the diamond. For some people, this means nothing short of buying a D/FL or IF stone. For others this means having an "eye-clean" SI2.

While I think anyone would be hardpressed to argue that a diamond that looks excellent at 20 degrees off should be chosen over a diamond that looks excellent face-up, I doubt that's why people are tilting them around (but maybe your experience differs). Instead, it seems like a way to evaluate the diamond as a whole, and perhaps to choose from among 2 or more stones that appear roughly equal face-up. Same reason people ask to see loose diamonds upside down against a white background.

The fact that the face-up view of a well-cut diamond only hides its natural color and clarity flaws makes it particularly important for someone who has some sense of wanting a diamond with certain minimum criteria to look at those puppies every which way possible, to throw them into every machine and analysis possible, and to come up with *some* way of differentiating them. I don't think there's anything wrong with this practice.

For instance, I rationally believe that symmetry is not incredibly important to performance, and that I could not detect a difference in "ideal" and "excellent" polish, but it nevertheless is important to me to buy a diamond that is H&A or very close, and my preference is for full AGS0 stones. Its a mental thing more than anything else, but I don't think that makes it unreasonable.

Good topic!
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,320
I agree with the strong "mental" needs of diamond purchases. Once intelligent people understand more than the basics of diamonds, their needs grow rapidly and selecting a stone can be quite a painful ordeal. Truthfully, the pleasure involved should outweigh the ordeal, but we see the opposite too much of the time.

Its right to appreciate more than just the face-up view, but I want to stress a basic approach becaue it is just too much for many people to go through the entire learning process. People need smart shortcuts to the end result that won't get them lost on the way, delay their decision, or create more confusion than solid answers. Using the face-up view is just one of these rather safe approaches. You won't go wrong although you may not fulfill all the "mental" perceived needs some of those on Pricescope feel are necessary for their purchases. However, I think you won't go wrong either, and to me, that's very important.
 
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