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rgm

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
11
OK, so I'm not a very artistic person and outside of a business sense I don't have much attention to detail. I've been looking online and in stores for a couple days now and spent a ton of time lurking on this board prior to that (btw this place rocks). I've found a guy I like and trust to buy from (friend of a friend that owns a very reputable company) and the paper stuff all works out (he actually showed me a little nicer than I found online here and elsewhere for the price range I'm at ($6000-$7000 stone, $1500-$2000 setting).

I'm looking for an Asscher/sq emerald in halo setting similar to this: http://ringspotters.com/2010/05/halo-aschher-cut-engagement-ring-with-pave-wedding-band.html , which looks similar to the Tiff Legacy to me.

Anyway he has four stones in my price range and I honestly can't tell the difference. That's not to say there's not a difference I just suck at the game "which is prettier A or B" when it somes to diamonds. So, how is one to decide at that point? Is it safe to just go by stats, should I just ask the guy selling it which one he likes best?

For some help, here's 2 of the 4 (these 2 have GIA's I requested to see if I could tell the difference)
Stone 1:
Sq Emerald 5.91X5.91X4.03
1.27 ct
F, VS2
Depth 68.2, table 64
No Fl
Polish Ex, Symm Good.
Flaws: Crystal, Feather, Needle (none of which I could see, but again I'm not good at this game. The guy selling said he saw them relatively easily when he knew where to look). two of them are just off center, one is way off in a corner.

Stone 2:
Sq Emerald 6.21X6.06X3.76
1.21 ct
G, Vs2
Depth 62, Table 66
No Fl
Polish Good, Symm Good
Flaws: Cloud, Crystal, Need, Extra Facet. All are slightly more off center than the other ring.

I also have stone 3&4 AGS guys I haven't gotten secondary stats on:
1.22 E/ VS2 or 1.32 G/VS2

When I see all 4 together I can tell they're a little different, but don't like one more than another and probably could put them back in original order if you mixed them up.

So.... How should I decide? Does the above lean towards a clear winner? Thanks for ANY advice.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Asschers are picky stones. They need higher color and higher clarity than brilliant cuts. And symmetry is a big deal. And, like all fancy's the numbers are just a starting point, and you can't buy one without seeing it.

We really can't tell you much from the numbers about how the stone will look. Generally we recommend step cut stones with higher than "good" for symmetry.

If these are GIA graded get some pictures. And also get the crown height. Generally anything over 10% is acceptable. But I prefer the look of stones with a crown height of 14% and higher.

Here's what I mean about the stats not helping.

Here are two stones with VERY VERY similar stats. One is frankly a dog, and the other has potential? How do I know? Not the stats. From the picture.

You have to see a fancy cut to evaluate it.
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/F-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1281553.asp Stone with some potential (I didn't look very hard so it's not perfect, but it is much nicer than the other)

And here is the ugly stone: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Asscher-Diamond-1275910.asp

You got to seem them to evaluate them.
 

rgm

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
11
You got to see them to evaluate them.
That's the problem I'm not sure I amde clear after re-reading my post. I did see them and I saw no difference. Outside of the extremes (like when he he put an I next to an E and a 1.5 next to a 1) I can't tell. I can't see inclusions under the loupe(he even drew a circle around the cloud on the one and I couldn't see it), I can't tell if it is shiny enough. I just don't have an eye for this. Now, if she doesn't too, I guess on some level we're fine, but I'd like not to get hosed too and to get her the best possible for what I can do.

From your feedback, I am concerned, though. I know it all matters, but I figured symmetry was a tertiary thing. (being an accountant, I categorized priority into ct, color, clarity being primary. Then, depth & Table, then the rest). However, another quick search led me to simialr stones that scored a lot higher on thoser attributes.

On your pictures I can tell becuase you've told me which one is the dog. If not, I might make a lucky guess but once I get past saying, yeah its square and has the step things, I can't tell a ton of difference.

Let's tackle this another, if I were to say I was 80% blind, how would you tell me to buy a diamond for my girlfriend? From an evaluation of diamond beauty standpoint, I may as well be.
 

rgm

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
11
I'll tack on to my original question (which is still very open for answers :wink2: ) based on more web browsing this morning....

I just discovered that Octavia Asscher thing and am blown away. What kind of quantities are those produced in? I only saw 4 for sale and only one in my price range (I'm willing to go higher for something that blows me away as well as her). Should I expect that inventory to turn a lot or if I'm looking to buy in the next month am I looking at those 4? The only reason I was scared away from that one was the I color. As I mentioned above, I can't see much but even I saw the difference in color when we went down there.

Thanks, again, for any advice.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Octavia is designed here on PS and only GOG is selling it. Call them to ask if they have any stones in the pipeline.
 

rubybeth

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
2,567
rgm|1310618479|2968559 said:
You got to see them to evaluate them.
That's the problem I'm not sure I amde clear after re-reading my post. I did see them and I saw no difference. Outside of the extremes (like when he he put an I next to an E and a 1.5 next to a 1) I can't tell. I can't see inclusions under the loupe(he even drew a circle around the cloud on the one and I couldn't see it), I can't tell if it is shiny enough. I just don't have an eye for this. Now, if she doesn't too, I guess on some level we're fine, but I'd like not to get hosed too and to get her the best possible for what I can do.
You really don't see the difference between the two asschers Gypsy posted? :wink2: To me, it's all about the step pattern with asschers, not whether or not it is 'shiny.' Step cuts are just totally different than brilliant cuts (bigger flashes of reflected light). The nice asscher she linked has even steps, and is quite symmetrical (like, you could fold it in half along any part of it and it looks to be a very good mirror image), and the steps all seem clear and none are significantly darker or lighter than the others. The 'ugly' asscher has a lot of weird things going on: some steps bigger than others, some really dark areas and some really light, plus it doesn't look very symmetrical to my eye (left side in the image looks 'squished' to my eye). Part of that may be photography differences, but I think you'd be able to see the difference in step pattern with a 10x loupe if not with your naked eye.

The Octavia is an amazing cut and a good alternative to trying to pick out an asscher somewhat blindly (they will all be awesome). :naughty:
 

sarahharris

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
21
If they all look the same, and you don't see any inclusions even under a microscope, than I don't think you will go wrong with whichever one you choose. I say if that really is the case, to choose the least expensive one. And even better, why don't you ask her opinion? Or is this supposed to be a surprise? I know it's nice to surprise her with the ring, but you might be better off making sure she really likes it before you go spending $5000-$8000 on something.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,406
HI rgm,
Umm- looking at the photos gypsy posted, I can't say that one is "heads and shoulders' above the other- I say this so you don't feel crazy if the two photos did not make it seem like the two stones are all that different.
They might have greater differences in person.

Symmetry- you were correct with your "tertiary" idea.
Symmetry is an important aspect to an Asscher cut- yet the differences between the GIA grades of Good, Very Good, and Excellent are very rarely visible to the eye- and even then only to a very trained eye.

Here's what I look for :
1) I like larger corners- which seem to emphasize the Asschers' octagonal nature
2) Step cut personality- to me, this is like stripes of on-off areas in the stone.
A dark area that turns bright as you rotate or move the diamond in relation to your eye, and the lighting source.
A round diamond has a lot of smaller "sparkles" while the Asscher has larger areas of "glitter"

That's what I'd look for- shape and glitter areas.
 

rgm

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
11
Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately, she does want me to tackle this one solo. She's more of a traditionalist. So, I got a few guidelines and the rest is up to me :)

I'll call up on the Octavia today. I have a few more general questions, though.

First, looking at this guy: http://www.goodoldgold.com/diamond/7583/ Are those yellow spots at 11:00 at the edge, & 5:30 about midway (look like candle reflections to me) due to the stones I color or the lighting of the photo or something else entirely? This is one of the things I saw when I looked at the two GIA Asschers in my original post. One had little yellow glimmers. I wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

Second, I've been using this as my benchmark for table/depth for Asschers. Is it reasonable? http://www.diamondarticles.com/diamond-proportions.php
When I read very good & good values for Asscher on there are those reasonable values I should look to keep in my filters as I search or should I only do ex/vg, or do it all and hope I can tell by looking at it? or is the a better rule (I think I read somewhere more depth is always better, for instance).

Finally, how much are vendors willing to work on this? For instance, if the guy showed me 4 and I wasn't sure about any of them, is it reasonable to say 'find me more to look at', knowing that I might not be able to tell a difference or is that usually a pain inthe rear for vendors to blindly get stones not in their inventory for people who don't know what they're doing?

As always, thanks for any help.
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Lighting or dispersion of the light.

Rules, not really useful as it dose not tell the angles and width of each of the steps which are the most important thing. Look how bad Octavia does following those rules?

Depends, as it involves cost and time to bring in stones. Are you willing to pay for it or do you expect the jeweler to do that?

If you want to shop around, I suggest you buy an ASET scope and learn how to use it.
http://www.ideal-scope.com/cart_order.asp
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
Your link to the dimensions guidelines are accurate. However, it's VERY difficult to find an asscher in the excellent range. For some reason most of the table percents fall above 60%. This was frustrating when I was shopping for mine, because I really like a small table. One of the stones you posted has a larger table than depth, that would be an immediate throw away to me. I also agree with RD, that the deep corners are important, I saw some stones with moderate corners and when set they looked square, and to me the octoganal shape was important. Clarity too...the asscher is cut to emphasize its clarity, to show off how clear and perfect it is, so this too should be high on your priority list.

Octavias are cut differently than asschers, you can not use the same cut guidelines you linked to evaluate the stone. And the color that you see in the GOG diamond is color reflecting off the diamond. If you want an asscher that is going to sparkle and throw color, then the octavia is the way to go. A traditional asscher is not cut for it's fire and brilliance, rather for its hall of mirrors and clear simplicity, and steps.

There is a man named Kenny here and he has a traditonal asscher and an octavia and they are both INCREDIBLE! I think he is around here somewhere and he will be able to give you lots of advice. He was instrumental in my purchase, whether he knew it or not! ;))

I forgot to mention the windmill in the asscher, I prefer a nice large windmill effect opposed to a long skinny one. The organized step pattern, the deep cut corners, the windmill, and clarity. Are all things that you should be able to see with your eyes when shopping and if you know what to look for should help make a choosing a stone easier. Asschers show off their body color more than other cuts as well so most people like to keep the color above an I. I have an I and the color is not obvious to me unless I view the stone through the pavillion, although, I'm not as color sensitive as others....
 

rgm

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
11
Stone-cold11|1310735663|2969567 said:
Lighting or dispersion of the light.
Thanks.

So, is it safe to say that a stone with a better color/cut would still show the yellow flashes?

On the vendor side, I'll just stick to what they have, without causing trouble based on what you said. I was hoping it'd be easy enough for them to walk over to another store in the diamond district and say 'hey bob, can I steal a couple stones for an hour or two.' Doesn't sound like that's the case :)

I'm going to avoid buying hardware unless I have to. Feels like I'm learning a whole new job already.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
the yellow flashes are what you see when you tilt the stone in light as sparkle or fire.... you want that. That's what the octavia is cut for. Here's a video showing regular asschers compared to an Octavia. It also compares a poor asscher to some nicer ones. I think you can see the difference pretty clearly, and I'm not an asscher person.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjnE2fz-p8E
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,406
I would toss the guidelines page entirely- these systems don't do consumers any favor at all- one reason is it leads them to look for things that are not relevant. Such as, looking for what the page in question calls "Excellent"- as Christina mentions, stones that fall under this system's "Excellent" grade are rarely found- nor will they be cut frequently simply because the guidelines are wrong. MANY stones outside this systems "Excellent" grade are indeed "excellent" cut.

The guideline system will eliminate, or needlessly downgrade some of the nicest stones.
For example, the guidelines for round downgrades stones GIA and AGS grade as EX, or Ideal.

It's reasonable to want these kinds of concrete numbers systems- but they simply don't work.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If you were 80% blind I'd tell you to call up Good Old Gold and talk to Jonathan and tell him that you want a "Storm- Worthy" generic asscher-- give him your specification and your budget then have him do a video and a pics of the three stones he finds for you. Then I'd tell you to link us to them and have us help you chose.

Jon has a great eye, plus he has great photography and ASET and video to help.
 
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