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Year of the Small Table?

TweetyBird23

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I notice a lot of preference on PS for small tables on round brilliant super ideal stones. Is this an increasing trend? Is it the aesthetic of the diamond shape with a small table and a high crown that is attractive or the supposed increased fire that smaller tables with complementary angles can produce? For those of you who have stones with 54-56 % tables, do you see a difference in fire and scintillation compared to stones with 57-58 % tables?
 
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yssie

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I notice a lot of preference on PS for small tables on round brilliant super ideal stones. Is this an increasing trend? Is it the aesthetic of the diamond shape with a small table and a high crown that is attractive or the supposed increased fire that smaller tables with complementary angles can produce? For those of you who have stones with 54-56 % tables, do you see a difference in fire and scintillation compared to their 57-58 % table counterparts?

My perspective will likely be unpopular, but I will wager good money that 99% of those who nominally prefer a smaller table wouldn't observe a whit of real-world difference in fire, white light return, or scintillation between precision-cut stones of say 55/35/40.6/78 and 58/33/41/75... let alone note a preference.

This “absorption of other people’s experiences” and subsequent sharing of those ideas as personalized prescription - until enough people have shared the same idea that it seems like gospel - is ubiquitous. It’s one of the biggest dangers of a virtual medium like PS, and it’s one of the most difficult to mitigate. It’s the reason we advocate for seeing stones with one’s own eyes as much as possible. I’m a strawberry ice cream person, the other half prefers coffee ice cream... everyone’s different and there are a lot of flavours of “beautiful RB” besides small table, high crown, and fat arrows!

We - collectively - need to do a better job of encouraging newcomers to explore different flavours and find their favourites.
 
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Karl_K

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My perspective will likely be unpopular, but I will wager good money that 99% of those who nominally prefer a smaller table wouldn't observe a whit of real-world difference in fire, white light return, or scintillation between precision-cut stones of say 55/35/40.6/78 and 58/33/41/75... let alone note a preference.
I pick the lighting and you would be losing a lot of money.
 

yssie

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I pick the lighting and you would be losing a lot of money.
You’re on.
No large photos showing arrows pattern.
No IS or ASET or H&A images.
No reports or numbers.
All similar diameter, colour, and clarity.
Just a random selection of people and some different flavours of precision-cut stones.
Have people write their preferences down beforehand. Then have them pick their favourites by eye across various lighting types.

My bet is that individual preference follows lower half length more closely than anything else - exactly what you observed in your article many years ago about mains driving light return, IIRC. Took a few years but I caught up ;))
 
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Karl_K

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Just a random selection of people and some different flavours of precision-cut stones.
Have people write their preferences down beforehand. Then have them pick their favorites by eye across various lighting types.
Picking people who have expressed a preference for small tables is not random.
 

yssie

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Picking people who have expressed a preference for small tables is not random.

Just a random selection of self-identified-small-table-preferrers and some different flavours of precision-cut stones.

^^ Fixed it.
 

Karl_K

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All kidding aside the difference does get blown out of proportion here at times but small differences can trigger I like that one better and when you have 2 stones fairly wide apart in personality there are people that will be able to tell them apart.
Before my vision went to pot i was picking 60/60 stones from near tolks from 4-5 feet away which freaked out the store owners.
 

yssie

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Being able to tell them apart is step 1, and figuring out what you prefer should be step 2 - something that comes after step 1! The danger of PS is that when a critical mass of people espouse one idea newcomers pick up on that really quickly. They’re insidiously encouraged to skip both steps and just adopt whatever idea they saw here as both (2) “best” and (1) “noticeably different from other flavours” - must be, that’s what all those rock nuts say, and if I disagree or don’t see there’s just something wrong with me :oops2:

But hey, my latest Thing is rose cuts and briolettes and there ain’t a rose cut or briolette out there that looks anything other than completely dead through all light reflector tools :mrgreen2:

You, having fun with some unexpecting store owner? Karl? Never.
 

TreeScientist

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My perspective will likely be unpopular, but I will wager good money that 99% of those who nominally prefer a smaller table wouldn't observe a whit of real-world difference in fire, white light return, or scintillation between precision-cut stones of say 55/35/40.6/78 and 58/33/41/75... let alone note a preference.

This “absorption of other people’s experiences” and subsequent sharing of those ideas as personalized prescription - until enough people have shared the same idea that it seems like gospel - is ubiquitous. It’s one of the biggest dangers of a virtual medium like PS, and it’s one of the most difficult to mitigate. It’s the reason we advocate for seeing stones with one’s own eyes as much as possible. I’m a strawberry ice cream person, the other half prefers coffee ice cream... everyone’s different and there are a lot of flavours of “beautiful RB” besides small table, high crown, and fat arrows!

We - collectively - need to do a better job of encouraging newcomers to explore different flavours and find their favourites.

*slow clap*

One of the reasons I've been slowly migrating away from the RT forum. It gets old hearing the same personal preferences repeated as gospel ad nauseam, when I highly doubt that most people parroting these preferences have even seen enough diamond IRL to form such opinions, or would be able to differentiate small differences in cut characteristics with their naked eyes.

That, and I've been getting into colored stones more. It's such a beautiful world, and infinitesimally more interesting than diamonds. The regular posters on the CS forum also seem to place a much larger emphasis on the importance of seeing stones IRL and forming your own preferences in such a manner. I haven't been posting on there too much yet, mainly just absorbing knowledge and reading books on the topic, but I hope to become a regular poster over there in the near future. :)

IMG_20190512_083406899.jpg
 

JT123

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I didn’t notice a big difference.One of the reasons I returned my WF H&A A Cut Above.I was expecting a fire bomb and was a little disappointed.
Of course there are a lot of people on PS that DO see a difference and can appreciate the H&A. If they do I totally get it’s worth it. Kind of similar to some people being color sensitive?
 

Karl_K

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Being able to tell them apart is step 1, and figuring out what you prefer should be step 2 - something that comes after step 1! The danger of PS is that when a critical mass of people espouse one idea newcomers pick up on that really quickly. They’re insidiously encouraged to skip both steps and just adopt whatever idea they saw here as both (2) “best” and (1) “noticeably different from other flavours” - must be, that’s what all those rock nuts say, and if I disagree or don’t see there’s just something wrong with me :oops2:

But hey, my latest Thing is rose cuts and briolettes and there ain’t a rose cut or briolette out there that looks anything other than completely dead through all light reflector tools :mrgreen2:

You, having fun with some unexpecting store owner? Karl? Never.
Why I would never do that *grin*
The forum swings, lately it has taken a swing back towards brandism versus science and eventually it will swing back the other way.
 

cflutist

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Being able to tell them apart is step 1, and figuring out what you prefer should be step 2 - something that comes after step 1! The danger of PS is that when a critical mass of people espouse one idea newcomers pick up on that really quickly. They’re insidiously encouraged to skip both steps and just adopt whatever idea they saw here as both (2) “best” and (1) “noticeably different from other flavours” - must be, that’s what all those rock nuts say, and if I disagree or don’t see there’s just something wrong with me :oops2:

But hey, my latest Thing is rose cuts and briolettes and there ain’t a rose cut or briolette out there that looks anything other than completely dead through all light reflector tools :mrgreen2:

You, having fun with some unexpecting store owner? Karl? Never.
@yssie

Who started this small table, high crown, more fire anyway? I chose my newest CBI because of color, clarity, and mm size (within .01mm of my old stone so I could reuse the mounting). The 54.2 table and 15.7 crown height were not part of the equation.

@TreeScientist , yes the wonderful world of colored stones. So much to learn. You might consider taking the GIA Colored Stone courses, Colored Stones, Colored Stone Grading, and Gem Identification when I took them in the late 80s. The 20-stone Gem ID challenge for the Final Exam, correctly identify all 20 specimens to pass, miss just one and you fail.
 

TreeScientist

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@yssie

Who started this small table, high crown, more fire anyway? I chose my newest CBI because of color, clarity, and mm size (within .01mm of my old stone so I could reuse the mounting). The 54.2 table and 15.7 crown height were not part of the equation.

@TreeScientist , yes the wonderful world of colored stones. So much to learn. You might consider taking the GIA Colored Stone courses, Colored Stones, Colored Stone Grading, and Gem Identification when I took them in the late 80s. The 20-stone Gem ID challenge for the Final Exam, correctly identify all 20 specimens to pass, miss just one and you fail.

I'm not sure how the small table/high crown preference emerged (aka who started it) but I do remember seeing it mentioned with increasing regularity shortly after I started posting on PS, which was around a year and a half ago. Has definitely grown out of control recently though.

I've considered the GIA GG, but it will probably be something that I'll do after retirement. I know that's far in the future, but you've got to have goals, right? haha

Seriously though, it's just too much of a time and money sink to consider right now. I have bought some gemological equipment (grating spectroscope, calcite dichroscope, chelsea filter, polariscope, refractometer, and high-powered white/yellow/LWUV/MWUV torch) and I'm beginning to play around with them, but for now I'm remaining purely a hobbyist.

On the topic of courses though, Richard Hughes' "Ruby and Sapphire: A Gemologist's Guide" is just about as close to a complete "course" on Corundum as you'll possibly find. It's up there with the most complete scientific coverage of a single topic that I've ever come across, from ANY field. He is an incredibly talented writer. It’s not often that you find someone who can weave some fairly dense, technical information into a compelling story that reads like a novel. The fact that a technical text can be described as a “page-turner’ is a testament to his gift for storytelling. I just started reading a Collector's Guide, and it's just as informative as the Gemologist's Guide, only geared more towards appreciating sapphire/ruby as gemstones, with just a light dusting of scientific/technical information.

Anyway, I'll stop gushing about Dick's books. I'm sure you're familiar with him. :)
 

TweetyBird23

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I've learned a lot on these boards but before I joined PS, I was perfectly happy with an uncerted very good cut G SI2 rb - even preferring its bold flashes of light over my GIA XXX 80 LFG e-ring.

From the beginning, all I cared about was a sparkly, eye clean, white enough stone in the biggest size my money could buy. I still don't know my tolerance for color. All this online nitpicking makes me want to see super ideals within my budget in person, without knowing their specs beforehand, and choosing based on what my eyes like rather than prescribed specs.
 

Yang Kin

Rough_Rock
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Aug 25, 2017
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I notice a lot of preference on PS for small tables on round brilliant super ideal stones. Is this an increasing trend? Is it the aesthetic of the diamond shape with a small table and a high crown that is attractive or the supposed increased fire that smaller tables with complementary angles can produce? For those of you who have stones with 54-56 % tables, do you see a difference in fire and scintillation compared to stones with 57-58 % tables?

I have a 59% table, 34 crown angle, and 40.8 pavilion angle with 60.4% total depth, 50% star length, and 75% lower girdle. Hearts & Arrows. IdealScope is excellent, ASET is excellent (both using handheld ones). Diamond works like a charm. It is GIA graded btw.

I bought this diamond, a small one, 0.2ct, to understand the popular 60% table 60% depth. This is as close as I can get after factoring in my budget and cut quality. Comes out, it is unnecessary to bash 60% table 60% depth without further details like the CA and PA, among others.

I believe the reason why people are buying into smaller table is because it is a "safer" choice to produce better fire, not guaranteed, but higher chance. It is not that a normal person can see many diamonds everyday, so it is good to be safe. Such is the way to buy online any way, at least to me. However, one can also rely on the actual diamond video with specific lighting to judge its performance, I have seen people that tell me two diamonds from the same brand, but having a very distinctive look, after he upgraded a diamond from a 60-pointer to a 90-pointer. Pull out both videos and we can see that the 90-pointer is performing better than the 60-pointer.
 

TreeScientist

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after he upgraded a diamond from a 60-pointer to a 90-pointer. Pull out both videos and we can see that the 90-pointer is performing better than the 60-pointer.

That's because the 90 pointer is 30 points larger. Larger diamond = larger facets = larger fire events. When comparing two well cut diamonds of significantly different sizes, the larger diamond will always exhibit more/larger fire events than the smaller diamond, despite any minor differences in geometry between the two.
 

Yang Kin

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That's because the 90 pointer is 30 points larger. Larger diamond = larger facets = larger fire events. When comparing two well cut diamonds of significantly different sizes, the larger diamond will always exhibit more/larger fire events than the smaller diamond, despite any minor differences in geometry between the two.
Yea, that's one of the point too.
 

rockysalamander

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I'll confess that I prefer small tables on MRB and 60/60 stones in MRB. I prefer this in both MRB and old cuts. I've had the chance to study several branded stones side-by-side and know my personal preference, which is more intangible as to why I prefer it if I'm honest. I learned my preference long before anything was certified and people talked about the science. It was just based on seeing lots of diamonds (and CS) and finding out what made the ones I gravitated to similar. I had very good eyes (darn you turning 46) and the "flavors" stood out dramatically for me. I also prefer brown over yellow tint, which is also less popular and often not supported here on PS, but its a personal thing like color preference. But. the right brown tint is like the quality of light over the desert vs. the leafy forest. For myself, I buy with my eyes or science+trusted eyes. But, it does not work for everyone.

Since so many buyers are not able to see the stones, we are left to try and help them through a virtual world. I've found many posters simply don't have the patience or information about the intended wearer to answer important questions to lead to one flavor over another. So many buyers have never seen a diamond, let alone beautifully cut diamond of any flavor, in order to make an hard choices.

How would you like to see this "small table" preference overcome in a market where most stones will be bought from a drop-shipper without being seen. Once received by the buyer, they will not have any point of comparison to judge them. I've struggled with this and don't know how to help overcome this barrier.
 

kmoro

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I'll confess that I prefer small tables on MRB and 60/60 stones in MRB. I prefer this in both MRB and old cuts. .....

@rockysalamander sorry I’m confused ... what is it that you prefer? A small table in MRB or 60/60 in MRB? And what is it that you prefer in both MRB and old cuts?

ETA: Also, if you look at PS diamond search, there are higher prices for 60/60 stones ... so a lot of people are just looking for 60/60 and buying that, it seems.

There are two things that get pushed hard here on PS, and that is the small table (because the theory is the other crown facets are larger ... but no one mentions that this is just fine within a range and a table doesn’t have to be 54 or 55 for a diamond to have good fire, imo ... a minuscule difference to 56 and 57 it seems to me) ... and the other one is the 75 lower half. ACA doesn’t even include 75 in the specs, the shortest in ACA range is 76. Yes, 75 would mean bigger flashes, but I think that this disregards the effect it has on scintillation ... but it’s always this thing about a 75 lower half. Maybe for GIA the 75 is good, since it would include up to 77. The 55 or smaller table and 75 lower half seemed to the thing on PS when I joined less than a year ago, so I can’t comment on when or if this was a change.
 
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rockysalamander

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I prefer a small table (54-56) in MRB and I like 60/60 in MRB. I like small tables in OECs (but I give them a lot of grace and have many that have wider tables).=)2
 

kmoro

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I prefer a small table (54-56) in MRB and I like 60/60 in MRB. I like small tables in OECs (but I give them a lot of grace and have many that have wider tables).=)2

Would that not mean you are open to liking diamonds in the 54 to 60 range? I mean, if you like 60/60, then it’s quite possible you would like a 58/60, for example ... or 59/61, etc etc. ETA, sorry I mean for MRBs

My opinion is anything in the range 53-60 ... I have seen beautiful 60/60 ... my in real life views are scarce ... so I just assume that there are many combinations that I would find beautiful given no bad light leakage and beautiful ASET. I figure it must be a bunch of different personalities that I sure would like to see in person, lol. I’m glad this tropic came up ... I saw a ton of fire in the 60/60 and a 55.3/60.6 that did not seem to have as much ... often think it was just my eyes ... maybe it was ... *shrug*
 

Gussie

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I cannot see an appreciable difference in fire between a 55 table and a 58 table. I do notice a difference when the crown is higher. However, the main reason I prefer a smaller table/higher crown is primarily architectural.
 

MissGotRocks

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I cannot see an appreciable difference in fire between a 55 table and a 58 table. I do notice a difference when the crown is higher. However, the main reason I prefer a smaller table/higher crown is primarily architectural.[/QUOTE]

And that is another good point - the architecture of a small table and high crown produce a beautiful side view of a diamond. I always remember @DancingFire talking about a 'flat pancake' look of a low crown but sometimes factored with a smaller table you get some good crown height. However, that being said, I'm not sure most folks would ever notice the difference in performance face on.

This stone for example brings that to mind -
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4091551.htm
 
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Karl_K

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On the topis of fire, one thing that bugs me is that in lighting highly conductive to fire a well cut 60/60 could have better fire than a smaller tabled well cut diamond. The difference is across a wide range of lighting the smaller tabled well cut stone is more likely to show fire more often.
The same thing is true of an OEC vs modern RB, the OEC shows fire more often.
 

GearGirly

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It seems like the preference emerged from the love of old cuts. Small table high crown. But I sometimes wonder about many of the things discussed here. I see people tell newbies I has too much color for an e-ring and I looks ice white to me lol, so I don’t know this happens with many aspects of a diamond.
 

Lula

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Why I would never do that *grin*
The forum swings, lately it has taken a swing back towards brandism versus science and eventually it will swing back the other way.

Yes, agree with the underlined. And I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, given the increasing number of stones cut to "game" the GIA XXX grading system, and, more worrisome, the growing numer of diamonds that have issues with transparency due to poor quality rough. My understanding is that ten years ago, the chances of ending up with a sleepy dud from virtual inventory was less likely than it is today because of the influx of poorer quality rough, @Garry H (Cut Nut) and @John Pollard, among others, have commented on this. Today, because of the issues with GIA gaming and the influx of poorer quality rough, I believe it is essential to have a trusted vendor vet a stone for me for visible inclusions, transparency issues and undertone (BGM, which stands for brown, green, milky), and, of course, cut quality. It costs more money to work with vendors who vet their in-house stones, but it's worth it, unless you've seen a lot of diamonds and know what you're looking at and looking for. In addition, one of the best virtual inventory vendors, James Allen, recently changed their business model so that online customers are basically buying blind -- just like customers do in most B&M stores across the country. This is a significant step back for consumers.

I've been loyal to a particular brand for 10 years now, not only because of the brand's excellent customer service and upgrade policies, but because of the brand's consistent cut quality. I've learned that it's the combination of all angles/measurements that make the difference in observed fire and scintillation, not a specific set of angles (e.g., smaller tables). This may not be true for all branded; but it is for the brand I'm loyal to. I've seen many stones of all sizes from this brand -- both in person and at in-store events -- and they are all nearly identical in performance, no matter their specific "specs."

Many other posters here are loyal to one brand or another. Again, I don't think it's a bad thing -- consumers here on PS are fortunate to have access to so many high-quality vendors who own their inventory and who vet their stones -- which eliminates the need for a micro-examination of the stone's "specs."

Just going out on a limb here, but I think the preference for small tables in MRBs is due in part to the increase in popularity of old cuts, which typically have very small tables and "puffy" crowns (edit: I see that @GearGirly beat me to it!) And I agree with @ceg -- the preference for higher crowns and smaller tables relates more to the stone's architecture than it does to performance -- at least in a branded cut.
 

JT123

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I prefer a small table (54-56) in MRB and I like 60/60 in MRB. I like small tables in OECs (but I give them a lot of grace and have many that have wider tables).=)2
I just put a deposit on a 60/60 ,after returning my h&a ACA. It is beautiful!
 
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