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Why are OECs generally accepted in lower colors?

seedslinger

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
45
Is it because the cut hides color better ot because older diamonds tend to be lower colors?
 

smokey99

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
124
Just from what Ive read, I'm thinking its the latter of the two. Lower, whiter colors are much more rare in antique cuts like the OEC's, OMC's and cushions.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
It's kind of a chicken-and-the egg question. Yes, the older cuts do a better job of camouflaging color, but that's partially because they had to - while reports vary, the two popular options are either that the big mines of the time tended to produce more low-color, high-clarity rough, or that the bulk of the high-color stones were recut to match changing fashions over the years. Personally, I think it's a little bit of both.

Speaking just for myself, I like warmth in pretty much all rounds and cushions (less so in cuts where the color pools at the points) - old, new, and in-between. But I can see how people might argue that the facets of the old cuts, designed for candlelight and natural light, lends themselves more to the variety of "looks" a low-color stone produces, whereas a modern ideal cut, developed for cool, strong, modern lighting, seems more mete in a crisp, defined shade ....
 

seedslinger

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
45
Really interesting points Circe, especially thinking about how cuts were designed for "light" i.e. candle v. electric.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
seedslinger|1317403592|3029829 said:
Really interesting points Circe, especially thinking about how cuts were designed for "light" i.e. candle v. electric.
I agree! A very interesting post, indeed.

I have a low-colored OMB and I really love the way it looks. (It's an O-P.)
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Haven|1317403994|3029831 said:
seedslinger|1317403592|3029829 said:
Really interesting points Circe, especially thinking about how cuts were designed for "light" i.e. candle v. electric.
I agree! A very interesting post, indeed.

I have a low-colored OMB and I really love the way it looks. (It's an O-P.)
I think I speak for the class when I say we all love the way it looks .... :cheeky:
 

Bella_mezzo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
5,754
Because they look scrumptious :lickout: I think that Circe covered all the points i would have raised and i will second that Havens diamond is my all-time fave diamond!
 

rubybeth

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
2,567
Circe|1317404336|3029835 said:
Haven|1317403994|3029831 said:
seedslinger|1317403592|3029829 said:
Really interesting points Circe, especially thinking about how cuts were designed for "light" i.e. candle v. electric.
I agree! A very interesting post, indeed.

I have a low-colored OMB and I really love the way it looks. (It's an O-P.)
I think I speak for the class when I say we all love the way it looks .... :cheeky:
Yup. Love the lower colors in the old cuts (or the new cuts designed to look old). There's an L-M-N AVC in my future, for sure. :lickout:
 

kelpie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,362
I do think low colors complement the cutting but it mostly has to do with the mines producing at the time. When they were mined these slightly tinted stones were known as "cape yellows".
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Because they look amazing that way?

I've bought a J (at least it was advertised as a J) and I'm still getting an M in to look at it because I REALLY might prefer it.

RB's don't look right to me in M-lower until they get to fancy yellow range. But old cuts just work with the warmth.
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,242
I would tend to agree with Circe's points, from what I have heard. I have often heard the second point that she made stated--basically that the higher colors got re-cut when the old cuts were completely out of style. It is hard to believe now, I know, but when I was girl, out cuts were not only considered ugly (out of style like the 80's marquise rings are now) but it was thought that diamond cutting had continually improved to the high point of the modern round brilliant, and that the only thing to be done with old inferior cuts was to to recut them--if they were worth it. It was considered that they were 'worth it' if they were larger AND higher colored. I believe that is what makes larger high colored old diamonds so rare now. You will notice that many SMALL oldcuts are high colors. the higher colors suddenly become much more avaiable in sizes under about .40 ct because recutting is pointless at that size, you have nothing left afterwards.
I don't think the color being higher or lower has anything to do with old cuts performing best in candlelight. I have an F color old cut (it is small, .25 ct) and it performs beautifully in candlelight--the higher color doesn't make a difference. However, I don't know that I would say that my more modern cuts, such as my H & A don't perform well in candlelight. What it seems to be is that the older cut looks AS beautiful as the H & A in candlelight--but nowhere near as good in any other situation--at least in terms of sparkle and light return. However, it has a charm that goes beyond sparkle--the chunkier facets and the 'handmade' look it has are very beautiful as compared to the more machine-made look of the more modern stones. It is a transitional between old mine and OEC and though it is in a 1920's style ring, the actual diamond was cut at least 20 years before the ring was made, the jeweller told me.
Anyway, I think saying that older cuts tend to be lower in color is about the same as saying that medieval people were way smaller than we are, because the suits of armor we see left behind are small. The is a common statement, but actually medieval people who were of the social class to be wearing armor (nobility) were the same size that we are now. We see the smaller armor because it's from they were pre-teens and teens and growing out of it quickly. They used the armor they had as adults so much that it tended to wear out. The same with the diamonds. The lower colors are the ones that weren't recut,not all that there were.
the South African rough was darker than the rough from India or from Brazil that was all that was available previously (when diamonds were truly rare) and Circe is probably right that that had some effect also, but I never heard that whiter colors were less available than they are now. Maybe the less stringent grading system also had something to do with lower colors being more acceptable? Before the GIA began grading with the system that we are used to now, terms describing diamonds were vaguer and jewellers described their stones the way they wanted,s o very probably they did get away, to more extent than now, with selling more diamonds that had some color. I would bet it's easier to sell a diamond described as 'silver cape' than it is to sell the same diamond when it gets called 'k-m' when people know the top is 'd'. I may have the exact term wrong, but you know what I mean. And it has little or nothing to do with whether the diamond is beautiful or not, when the 'grade' it gets sounds like a failing grade on a letter scale.
 
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