Post by StoopidMonkey » November 4th, 2011, 8:05 am
I suppose this journey of mine started a few months ago when my girlfriend playfully started window shopping in mall jewelry stores. Since the beginning we knew we were sizing each other up for marriage potential, and after 8 months or so we both knew we were perfect for each other. I took that early opportunity to figure out what she generally liked. She liked rounds and princesses, but expressed a desire for something unique or at least less common. Later in my research I found the Princess of Hearts diamond, something that seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. Square shape, cool cut corners, H&A optics, great light performance. What's not to love? There was something about its straight edges and the symmetry of the arrows that I found really attractive. That and the fire it gave off in Good Old Gold's YouTube videos were beautiful. For months, I thought I was set and a few weeks ago, I actually reserved one and went in to see it for myself.

That was when things changed. I arrived at GOG after a 2 hour drive and sat down at the counter while waiting for Charles to come around from the back. Out of the corner of my eye I was hit with some beautiful diamond fire. I peered down at the diamond and noticed the signature maltese cross facets in the center of the table and knew instantly that it was one of the much talked about August Vintage Cushions I've read about here at PriceScope. Moments later I was viewing my prized Princess of Hearts I had on reserve and, much against my wishes, I was a tad underwhelmed. It was a good looking diamond alright, but it didn't "wow" me like it did on the online videos. I came to realize the feeling was a familiar one, as I had a similar feeling of mild disillusionment when I first saw the round .81ct H&A stone I picked out for my first wife. Pretty, bright, and sparkly, yes, but I was expecting more fireworks and more of a visible arrows pattern. This being the second time I've noticed this, I came to the conclusion that the beauty and precision I saw in the 50x magnified images and videos just don't come through that clearly on stones 1ct size and lower. Somehow, especially with the tiny faceting on the diamond's edges, it doesn't come through at "real world" viewing distances. While I wouldn't use the dread term "crushed ice" to describe H&A stones, in that size and at a regular viewing distance the facets looked very tiny and crushed looking. It was even hard to appreciate the straight, hard lines of the PoH shape due to the optics at the edge.

Remembering the sparks that hit my eye at the counter, I asked to see the August Vintage Cushions for kicks. I was pretty convinced I wouldn't like them as much due to its cushiony pillow shape and lack of cool-looking arrow facets (which I thought were the epitome of modern light return cutting design). I also am not a "vintage" loving guy who likes antiquey looking things, so the "old world-ness" of it didn't appeal to me when I first heard about them. That changed the instant I saw one again. WOW! :cheeky: Unlike the PoH, I was instantly impressed with the beautiful, fiery, and clean looking facets on this baby. Not only that, but unlike the PoH which to me had a smallish appearance, this looked like a 1ct stone! Despite its roots & marketing this didn't look like an antique to me, but a modern wonder that surpassed H&A's light performance by a mile. I did some looking through their inventory, and came across this steal of a stone:

It's an absolutely eye clean VS2, it's an amazing icy white E color, and it's the most square looking variety of cushion cut I've seen (many of their AVC's were rectangular). I had to get over the mental/paper block of missing the coveted AGS 000 mark by its 1 rating for polish and it "only" being .94ct, but considering that slight mathematical deviance saved me $2,000-$3,000, it was almost a no-brainer. Right now it's on its way to Vatche to be set on a platinum solitaire ring with channel set baguettes in the band. It should be done in 2-3 weeks, and I can't wait to see it and post the pictures up in the bling section! Huge thanks to all involved! Jon at GOG for creating those modern yet vintage beauties, Charles for all the time he spent showing me the inventory as my mind shifted from one diamond to the next, Sarah and Lynda at GOG for their advice and patience with all the questions I sent to them over the past few months, and all of you at PS who helped along the way! If anybody is in the market for a round, square, or rectangular diamond you must check out the August Vintage line because nothing will emit such beautifully fiery bling as those babies. H&A and modern faceting, to me, is no longer all it's cracked up to be, especially in non-huge diamonds.

Big moral of the story: no lab report, light analysis, high-mag image, or even high-def video can ever substitute seeing the diamond in person. You'd be surprised at what your own eyes will tell you in the "real world". That, and if you live within a possible driving distance of Good Old Gold, go there. Just make it happen. You will not be disappointed. :)