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jhgerber

Whats The Story With Star 129?

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I'm probably halfway through engagement ring shopping. I've been able to talk to almost 10 different retailers and I've narrowed it down to 3! I noticed though I was not comparing eggs to eggs. One of the retailers has suggested a Star 129 diamond because of it's "brillance and shine". In the store it looked like there really was a sparkle difference, but I know how some retailers might put thier diamond next to a lesser quality diamond to make thiers seem better. I have found very few opinions about this diamond. I know the star 129 has "129 facets instead of 58" but is the Star 129 a more appealing diamond? I was hoping someone could help me with this big decision?

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Different strokes for different folks. Everybody has different tastes. My opinion: don't get any extra facets unless your diamond is over 1.5 carat and if getting a diamond with extra facets the Solasfera diamond will look a lot nicer than the Star 129. If the diamond is under 0.75 carat, having the extra facets will just make the light flashes it gives off seem underwhelming although there will be more of them.

Edited by H and A

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I just purchased a 1.25ct SI1 Star129 H in color and you should see it. I did my homework and shopping and viewed this Star129 diamond I purchased side by side with an ideal H&A cut round SI1 H color 1.25ct. and the Star129 BLEW IT AWAY. I let my fiance' pick her diamond between the two whichever she wanted, she said "wow this one is a lot brighter" speaking of the Star129. The ideal cut is beautiful don't get me wrong but put a Star129 in a side by side equal cut, color compairison and you will see what I am talking about.

 

Now that it is in a setting on her finger every woman in her office comes over to see it and try it on all the time she says...... People actually ask "what type of diamond is that" it's amazing !!!! It was worth the money spent. By the way the Star129 cost about the same exact price as the Ideal cut I compared it to.

 

It is 7.01mm but looks like a 8-8.5mm 1.5-1.7ct stone due to the brilliance of it. Take my advice and do the comparison test like I did and see for yourself is the only way to go.

Edited by JamesE

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Congratulations HJames!

 

Your experience is really not typical though. A really well cut 60/60 will look every bit as large as a 129facet diamond0- and in my opinion, a lot better.

This regardless of size- even in a large diamond- maybe more so, because all the additional facets (to my eye) ruin the design.

The premium sellers are charging for these "new" designs is quite a lot- and most people in the industry feel the "standard" 58facet design is the best.

jhgerber- your point about comparison shopping is a good one.

Sellers trying to convince folks to spend these hefty premiums have a lot of incentive to make the "new" design look better.

 

 

My suggestion is to stay away from any "brand" which is going to cost you money, and focus on a well cut "traditional" round diamond

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Congratulations on getting the your perfect diamond. That's the effect we all love to see. :D

 

Shoppers should be aware that one of the primary sales tactics for diamonds, and most other things, is to show customers an alternative and point how much better theirs is. This is fair enough but it’s important to pay attention. ‘Ideal’ is not used in the same way by everyone and even with AGS-0 graded stones there is a considerable difference between them. ‘H&A’ is even less precise. Finding one that looks less than complimentary in a particular lighting environment really isn’t all that difficult. The same test could be done in reverse. The brightness of a stone is not a function of the facet count, it’s a function of the geometry and someone who wanted to sell you some other brand wouldn't find it hard to come up with a dead 129 to show you as a benchmark. If you want a 129, an 88 or any other specialty design you still need to pay attention to the cutting. They're not all the same.

 

Neil


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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The simple fact is that the more facets you put on a stone the less surface area is available to each facet. More facets can make a small stone's performance look jumbled/splintery or chaotic, even if well-cut. That's why many people prefer extra-faceted cuts in larger sizes; the traditional 57/58 facet round brilliant has an aesthetic balance in traditional sizes that has stood the test of time. Different strokes for different folks though. Personal taste comes into play...but so does the lighting scheme in the store. :D

Edited by JohnQuixote

John Pollard

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I have nothing against branded diamonds and infact it can be a very good thing as long as the premium you're paying is not too high. But when one comes along and says they reinvented a shape and there's is better then everyone else I always question it.

 

Do the diamonds you're considering come with a Gemex light performance report? I forget which brand it was when I was shopping around for diamonds to hear sales pitches, etc. Maybe it was Zales or Helzberg, I don't remember, but they both have their own 100+ facet branded diamonds. They came with a Gemex report, and it wasn't a triple "very high", I didn't see anything with a perfect score. You can get something with just as much light performance out of a well cut round brilliant, perhaps even more.

 

I'm not doubting they're premium cut stones which perform well but just how premium of a cut, and how premium of a price it's worth paying extra for is debatable. But if you have any paperwork I'd love to see it.

 

Kind Regards,

Yosef

Edited by Adylon

Yosef Adde

Adylon.com - Diamonds & Bridal Jewelry (Burbank, CA)

http://www.adylon.com

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The cost factor retail price of a Star129 is 98% the same as an ideal cut with the same cut, color, etc... Trust me folks I did months of price comparisons, study and homework beforehand and eye to eye in hand comparisons with 57-58 facet ideal cuts. I decided on my girlfriend's 1.25ct Star129 after all of this. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder summing it up. Now try to find a quality stone at a retail outlet like Zales, Helzbergs,etc.... you are really not going to find a SI-2 stone and something better than an H color at best period, been there done that. An I-1 I-J is about the norm they carry.

 

Many of you professionals ( I am not) are "hooked" on the traditional AGS 0, H&A, Ideal cuts etc... which are truly some of the best of the best but it seams to come with a closed mind at some of your "traditional" beliefs. I put an Ideal stone with the same color, cut and clarity as the star129, side by side in the same lighting GIA grades by and the proof is in what you see, the "bling". The Star129 clearly outshines them all. After all that is what 99% of the ladies are looking for and correct me if I am wrong......

 

A brilliance scope report does not lie. How can you dispute that fact a Star 129 is more brilliant "bling" on a brilliance scope other than it's a non-traditional newer cut?

 

One question I would like answered please. Is there less dealer profit margins in 88 facet, star129 etc...(non-traditional cut) diamonds is what I really want this forum to answer for me...? If there is less profit is that what helps drive opinions towards "traditional" diamonds?

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One question I would like answered please. Is there less dealer profit margins in 88 facet, star129 etc...(non-traditional cut) diamonds is what I really want this forum to answer for me...? If there is less profit is that what helps drive opinions towards "traditional" diamonds?

 

 

I'd say just the opposite. Branded diamonds usually allow for more profit because you're supposed to be adding more value for the consumer (light performance documents, country of origin documents, special certificate, fancy box, generous trade in policy, etc, etc) as well as building a brand image (advertising), all of which costs money.

 

A lot of diamond retailers are now carrying their own brands, a lot of them add great value, and others just add marketing fluff. They don't do this to make less money, they do this to set themselves apart from others and try to offer a better product (or at least claim to) so people buy from them and not the other store.

 

Why do people buy a Tiffany diamond? Is it a premium quality product? Yes. Good marketing/brand image? Definately, yes. Fancy Box? Yes. Is it better then many premium cut diamonds out there? Yes, sure. Is it just as good as most "ideal" cut diamonds out there? Debatable, depends on your defintion of ideal. Is it the best ideal cut diamond in the world? No :rolleyes: Best Ideal cut diamond for the price? Definately not :unsure: Does it make Tiffany unique? Of course, and that's why they have it. And you can take it to the bank their profit margins are quite high.


Yosef Adde

Adylon.com - Diamonds & Bridal Jewelry (Burbank, CA)

http://www.adylon.com

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A brilliance scope report does not lie.

 

Actually, it does. Providing useless, inconsistent information is tantamount to telling less than the truth.

The point is, that how a brilliance scope sees a diamond is completely irrelevant to how a diamond actually looks to a person.

Some of the most amazing diamonds will score horribly on this useless machine.

 

I agree that, in general, branding allows for greater dealer profit margins.

All due respect, but I would also question your "cost factor analysis"

 

The reasons you don't see a lot of these extra facet diamonds:

1) Most cutters feel that 58 facets has proven to be the most pleasing to the eye - which is borne out by the market.

2) why risk expensive rough diamonds if you know people will buy a traditional cut, while the extra facet cuts are questionable in terms of being able to sell them on the market? I would not buy one.

 

 

By all means, of you like one, buy it! And enjoy!

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The cost factor retail price of a Star129 is 98% the same as an ideal cut with the same cut, color, etc... Trust me folks I did months of price comparisons, study and homework beforehand and eye to eye in hand comparisons with 57-58 facet ideal cuts. I decided on my girlfriend's 1.25ct Star129 after all of this. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder summing it up. Now try to find a quality stone at a retail outlet like Zales, Helzbergs,etc.... you are really not going to find a SI-2 stone and something better than an H color at best period, been there done that. An I-1 I-J is about the norm they carry.

 

Many of you professionals ( I am not) are "hooked" on the traditional AGS 0, H&A, Ideal cuts etc... which are truly some of the best of the best but it seams to come with a closed mind at some of your "traditional" beliefs. I put an Ideal stone with the same color, cut and clarity as the star129, side by side in the same lighting GIA grades by and the proof is in what you see, the "bling". The Star129 clearly outshines them all. After all that is what 99% of the ladies are looking for and correct me if I am wrong......

 

A brilliance scope report does not lie. How can you dispute that fact a Star 129 is more brilliant "bling" on a brilliance scope other than it's a non-traditional newer cut?

 

One question I would like answered please. Is there less dealer profit margins in 88 facet, star129 etc...(non-traditional cut) diamonds is what I really want this forum to answer for me...? If there is less profit is that what helps drive opinions towards "traditional" diamonds?

 

There's more margin in recognized brands, which is why stores will often push specialty diamonds. Since most brands give permission only to negotiate down to a certain point the margin is more of a 'lock' for a dealer than when he/she's competing to sell his own inventory or items on memo.

 

I've not been in the trade long enough to have "traditional" beliefs :rolleyes: but I get great joy from near-Tolk modern rounds w/ high crowns & lower halves in the high 70s. I'm a fan of those medium & larger flashes and extra faceted cuts in the 1-2ct range aren't quite so much in harmony with my taste. I will admit that working with a diamond cutter has made me a huge lover of optical symmetry - but I'm not a snob (yet!). Meanwhile, others pros here might prefer different configurations than what makes me most cozy (I know David is a tremendous proponent of finely made 60/60s).

 

I am a huge fan of technology but the BrillianceScope must be taken with a grain of salt. It's not meaningful for comparing different configurations (try putting the world's most beautiful cushion on it for example). It is consumer-friendly and I like it when sellers can represent performance to a shopper, but its consistency and relevance is dubious. We had one at Whiteflash for a trial period and measured 50 diamonds from our branded H&A line. They earned highest marks and we enjoyed analyzing the machine but decided against it, since the nuances it reported did not consistently agree with viewers' eyes (in terms of the three 'bar graphs').

 

Machines aside, what's important is how things look to you. It sounds like your eyes love the Star129 and if you were a client that's the way I'd steer you. In our office there are several people with firm opinions about what 'look' they like best - and we love to debate all the Cs and shapes - but taste is taste. I love going to the annual JCK show with friends and their spouses because you never know just what will turn one person on while the person next will just raise an eyebrow. Diamonds really are like music and I have respect for all different kinds, as long as the quality is there.

Edited by JohnQuixote

John Pollard

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First, let me say that there is absolutely NO substitute for the human eye in evaluating and deciding upon a diamonds visual beauty. Does the diamond 'speak' to you? Does it grab you and make your heart flutter? There is not, at this time, a machine or technology on the face of this Good Earth that can accurately quantify or qualify a visceral, emotional, psychological gut reaction to buying a diamond for the Love of Your Life.

 

The human eye is a marvel that no current technology can duplicate or mimic.

 

We are very strong proponents and advocates of "seeing" the diamond for yourself live and in person.

 

The fact is though, that Internet diamond shopping has grown by leaps and bounds in the past several years, so how do you, can you? convey a diamonds visual face up appearance to consumers in a way that makes relevant sense? We believe that the Brilliancescope is a current technology to do this.

 

And therefore have to strongly disagree with your take on the Brilliancescope whose results, for us, is based on "LIVE" reactions from consumers coming to our Showroom here in New York and visually comparing a diamonds face up beauty and light performance to the results provided by the Brilliancescope.

 

We were one of the first in the Industry to obtain the Brilliancescope from Gemex.com and have had it in-house in our Diamond Lab since the year 2000.

 

We find that there is an amazing visual correlation between what consumers "see" live and in-person to what the Brilliancescope reports.

 

In addition, one of the tools that the Brilliancescope non-believers and critics do strongly advocate as being an essential and spot-on "technology" to accurately report light performance: the Idealscope, dovetails beautifully, is in sync, and correlates with results provided by the Brilliancescope. So how can you tout one but trash the other? Makes no sense.

 

I very vividly recall, John, that when you (in Consumer Mode) were shopping for a diamond engagement ring several years ago and came to visit us with your fiancee on a Sunny Sunday here in New York as well as visiting another New York Diamond Vendor who has a Brilliancescope on his premises, that the Brilliancescope was a foundation and integral component in your decision making process and that, indeed, you found a very strong, direct, and accurate correlation between the Brilliancescope results and what your eyes saw. You reported the results of your visit and findings in great detail on another Diamond Forum. That thread ran almost as long as The Sopranos. :rolleyes:

 

Now that you're on the Trade side of the fence, employed by a company that does not use the Brilliancescope, your 180 degree turn is not surprising.

 

We at Exceldiamonds use both the Brilliancescope and the Idealscope on our website to showcase a diamonds light performance and we believe that for consumers shopping on the Internet, these technologies provide important and relevant information upon which to make a buying decision. We also add upon this and provide further input to the client by physically examining each diamond and reporting nuances that we may see that may not be picked up by either the Brilliancescope or Idealscope. The final decision, of course, is the Clients.

 

Insofar as the Bar Graph results provided by the Brilliancescope are concerned, these are relative not absolute

indicators. Gemex makes this very clear that a diamonds beauty can not be quantified in absolute terms on a numeric scale of 1-10; with for example a 9.8 being considered "better" than a 9.0.

 

It is also very important to point out that Gemex continuously stresses that all results from the Brilliancescope must be immediately submitted to them for review and validation before being presented to Consumers. Gemex Engineers can spot and pinpoint problems in the output that must be corrected before they will validate and sign off on the results. Results that are not validated are tagged as "Sample" on the output results page and therefore according to Gemex should not be relied upon by the Consumer as being accurate and valid.

Currently, there are close to 1.5 million validated diamonds in the Gemex database!

 

The Brilliancescope compares a diamonds light performance with thousands of previously run and archived diamonds of the same shape in the Gemex database. The machine has a variance of approximately half the width of a bar so that a space differential of this distance when comparing two diamonds on any metric measured by the machine ( white light, dispersion, and scintillation) essentially is "quantitatively" equivalent.

 

Results from one shape should not be compared to results of another diamond shape, e.g.; a round brilliant to a Princess or Cushion, as the architecture of these shapes differs significantly and hence light entry/exit will also differ.

 

Diamonds scoring in the High to Very High areas on the Blue Bars are visually beautiful diamonds.

But, you should certainly consult with your Diamond Vendor to determine if he sees any qualitative differences, e.g.; does one diamond sparkle more than the other? or does one diamond show more fire than the other?

 

The Bottom line is the "eyes" have it and must be the final determinator [sic] in your buying decision but there is no gainsaying that the introduction of these technologies over the past several years have been of immeasureable benefit to the diamond-buying public and certainly much more preferable than buying "blind".

 

Happy Shopping! :unsure:

Edited by barry

Barry
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Hey Barry, I simply said BrillianceScope can’t be used to compare different shapes (you agree), the bar graphs are not absolute (you agree) and that it’s debatable technology, which is obvious since there is debate. :rolleyes:

 

From your post:

 

...Insofar as the Bar Graph results provided by the Brilliancescope are concerned, these are relative not absolute

indicators. Gemex makes this very clear that a diamonds beauty can not be quantified in absolute terms on a numeric scale of 1-10; with for example a 9.8 being considered "better" than a 9.0...

 

...Results from one shape should not be compared to results of another diamond shape, e.g.; a round brilliant to a Princess or Cushion, as the architecture of these shapes differs significantly and hence light entry/exit will also differ.

 

...Diamonds scoring in the High to Very High areas on the Blue Bars are visually beautiful diamonds.

But, you should certainly consult with your Diamond Vendor to determine if he sees any qualitative differences, e.g.; does one diamond sparkle more than the other? or does one diamond show more fire than the other?...

That’s what I’m saying.

 

Back in 2001 you, Brian Gavin and others inspired me immensely when I was a consumer. In fact, it’s partially your fault that I’m in the trade now! :unsure: I approached everything with an open mind and loved my intro to BrillianceScope (who wouldn't!?) but when all was said and done my conclusions were that it was consumer-friendly, but also fallible. No different than now. I looked up that long-ago thread while waiting for steaks to marinate...

 

4/24/2001 << PARENTAL ADVISORY: Moms and dads, DON’T allow your kids to split hairs with the Brilliancescope: Promote it - because it provides statistics consumers can instantly appreciate. Cherish it - because it unerringly separates medium performing stones from high performing stones. But DO NOT treat it as ABSOLUTE, as the results are marginally inconsistent and are certainly FALLIBLE when comparing closely matched stones. Human eyes must perform the tiebreaker. >>

 

So I held this position six years ago (talk about memory lane), three years before I decided to enter the trade and pursue my GG.

 

Fast-forward to now. With experience as a pro my opinion is the same; although I can discuss cut strategies, optics and spectrophotometers in technical terms now. After further review, BrillianceScope, ISEE2 and Imagem all have merit, but each looks for something slightly different - and none is absolute. My opinion.

 

Whiteflash had a great run with BrillianceScope (here’s a link to all 50 reports) but chose not to buy it, for reasons Barry posted above. We’ve tested others too but have always declined and stuck with the approaches of the major labs. We show AGS light performance, Sarin, Ideal-Scope, ASET and photo for every ACA and use human interaction to describe any qualitative differences. For us another machine would be redundant and add cost to client purchases.

 

That’s simply our situation. We respect different philosophies and my comments are not intended to criticize those choosing to use BrillianceScope, ISEE2 or Imagem. Consumers will discover that the most important values are in-harmony between reputable sellers and pros (things like lab strictness, having diamonds in-hand for analysis and fundamental consumer protection). When philosophies depart on something like this it’s healthy to hear different perspective and opinions.

 

Most importantly, we applaud continued research on all fronts. Researchers in all fields are to be commended because everyone contributes to our knowledge base. Still, technological advancements in many disciplines can make what we are doing today obsolete next week. You never know, and those of us in the trade are humbled by the efforts of all the researchers out there.

 

And... Happy July 4th! - and to friends outside the USA, cheers from us yanks.

Edited by JohnQuixote

John Pollard

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I said above:

 

"In addition, one of the tools that the Brilliancescope non-believers and critics do strongly advocate as being an essential and spot-on "technology" to accurately report light performance: the Idealscope, dovetails beautifully, is in sync, and correlates with results provided by the Brilliancescope. So how can you tout one but trash the other? Makes no sense."

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Important to note that I have not seen anywhere any attempt at an explanation from the Brilliancescope critics to this dichotimization between the Idealscope and the Brilliancescope. The former indicates light leakage whereas the latter measures light performance. Perforce there is logically a direct correlation. You cannot have a diamond leaking light yet show strong light performance. So why the partial singular focus on "debating" the Brilliancescope but total embracing of the Idealscope?

 

Is there an answer?

 

After further review, BrillianceScope, ISEE2 and Imagem all have merit, but each looks for something slightly different - and none is absolute. My opinion.

`

The Brilliancescope should DEFINITELY NOT be lumped together with the Isee2 and Imagem machines.

 

Grist for the revolving mill to criticize and "debate" the Brilliancescope but the fact of the matter is that Gemex Systems has fully disclosed it's technology and the "how" the machine works and measures light performance. Randy Wagner and Kurt Schockert of Gemex are totally transparent in detailing how their machine works.

 

OTH, there is no transparency with Isee2 or Imagem machines. No one knows how these machines work and how they measure light performance. The Principals of these companies have not disclosed their technologies

and it is therefore impossible to determine whether they have any merit at all.

 

In the case of Isee2, there is a clear conflict of interest as Davey Lapa makes it very clear that he manufactures the machine to showcase and highlight his in-house manufactured Ideal Cut Isee2 diamond.

Retailers who want to lease his machine for in-store presentations and demonstrations to their Customers must also sign a contract to purchase a significant dollar amount of Isee2 diamonds per year. No Isee2 diamonds purchase-no machine.

 

Gemex does not manufacture or sell diamonds.

 

Imagem is literally a closed box in that they have stonewalled every attempt to find out how their machine measures diamond light performance. Based on the little information that is currently available it appears as if they are using very similar technology and methods as Gemex. If this indeed turns out to be the case, that would be infringement of the Gemex Patent with legal ramifications.

 

Stay tuned.


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
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I said above:

 

"In addition, one of the tools that the Brilliancescope non-believers and critics do strongly advocate as being an essential and spot-on "technology" to accurately report light performance: the Idealscope, dovetails beautifully, is in sync, and correlates with results provided by the Brilliancescope. So how can you tout one but trash the other? Makes no sense."

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Important to note that I have not seen anywhere any attempt at an explanation from the Brilliancescope critics to this dichotimization between the Idealscope and the Brilliancescope. The former indicates light leakage whereas the latter measures light performance. Perforce there is logically a direct correlation. You cannot have a diamond leaking light yet show strong light performance. So why the partial singular focus on "debating" the Brilliancescope but total embracing of the Idealscope?

 

Is there an answer?

I can provide our answer Barry. To us, the most important practical difference is that Ideal-scope & ASET show the diamond’s overall performance level without confusing the issue with arguable qualitative judgments (like the bar graphs). You said it well before:

 

Diamonds scoring in the High to Very High areas on the Blue Bars are visually beautiful diamonds.

But, you should certainly consult with your Diamond Vendor to determine if he sees any qualitative differences, e.g.; does one diamond sparkle more than the other? or does one diamond show more fire than the other?

We agree. Ideal-Scope & ASET show overall level of performance. We prefer to discuss quality nuances in human terms.

 

Another difference is that diamonds of equal appeal can score differently on BrillianceScope, depending on what best fits its programming. This means the most attractive diamond for a given person might not return the ‘highest’ score. In that sense the machine is like a beauty contest with judges who will pick the finalists correctly, but won’t necessarily choose the same first place winner as the client would.

 

I realize you explain these things to your customers. In your hands this is a positive tool that reinforces the quality of your product. Unfortunately not everyone is as responsible as you are Barry. In some markets the people using it give misinformation to consumers. This makes its critics more vocal, and makes things harder for all of us.

 

One more difference is that natural reflectors have been used by cutters & gemologists for decades and form the foundation of the AGS cut grade. The fact that leading experts and science professionals endorse them boosts consumer confidence. Having said all the above, we remain open to new research.

 

Thank you for the clarifications and providing your insight on the different machines. WF tested BrillianceScope before my time but I hear great things about Randy Wagner. One of these days someone will get the NIST involved which could boost relevance. No reason that can’t be GemEx.

Edited by JohnQuixote

John Pollard

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I can provide our answer Barry. To us, the most important practical difference is that Ideal-scope & ASET show the diamond’s overall performance level without confusing the issue with arguable qualitative judgments (like the bar graphs).

 

Ideal-Scope & ASET show overall level of performance. We prefer to discuss quality nuances in human terms.

 

Another difference is that diamonds of equal appeal can score differently on BrillianceScope, depending on what best fits its programming. This means the most attractive diamond for a given person might not return the ‘highest’ score. In that sense the machine is like a beauty contest with judges who will pick the finalists correctly, but won’t necessarily choose the same first place winner as the client would.

 

John;

 

I believe in fairness that this argument can be equally applied to the The Idealscope: Judging by the consumer questions to us as well as on the various diamond forums, there does exist some doubt and confusion on how to interpret the leakage or light performance of a diamond as indicated by the white areas on the image as well as the paler shades of red or pink (irrespective of the lighting environment and photographic variables employed by the Vendor).

 

How do the areas and extent of leakage correspond to the overall face up visual appearance of the diamond? How do you compare two diamonds?


Barry
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I can provide our answer Barry. To us, the most important practical difference is that Ideal-scope & ASET show the diamond’s overall performance level without confusing the issue with arguable qualitative judgments (like the bar graphs).

 

Ideal-Scope & ASET show overall level of performance. We prefer to discuss quality nuances in human terms.

 

Another difference is that diamonds of equal appeal can score differently on BrillianceScope, depending on what best fits its programming. This means the most attractive diamond for a given person might not return the ‘highest’ score. In that sense the machine is like a beauty contest with judges who will pick the finalists correctly, but won’t necessarily choose the same first place winner as the client would.

 

John;

 

I believe in fairness that this argument can be equally applied to the The Idealscope: Judging by the consumer questions to us as well as on the various diamond forums, there does exist some doubt and confusion on how to interpret the leakage or light performance of a diamond as indicated by the white areas on the image as well as the paler shades of red or pink (irrespective of the lighting environment and photographic variables employed by the Vendor).

 

How do the areas and extent of leakage correspond to the overall face up visual appearance of the diamond? How do you compare two diamonds?

 

 

 

Glad to see that the debate about the BrillianceScope is alive and well! I participated in those debates on another Diamond Forum in early 2002. Recently, I've returned to the diamond market again and not much has changed as far as the controversy surrounding this instrument. [in fact, I just made reference to those controversies on yet another Diamond Forum a couple of days ago and managed to get myself banned! :rolleyes: touchy stuff!].

 

I'm an amateur in diamonds but a professional in optics.

 

To me, there are obvious differences in IdealScope and BrillianceScope, even if they claim to measure the same thing. One is an analog instrument where the result is an image interpreted by my eye and brain, while the other is based on digital readings (which are converted to a qualitative scale for my interpretation). I have a basic intuitive understanding that complicated symmetry relationships must be satisfied to produce a nice hearts and arrows pattern. I can grasp that the absolute shade of red of the image doesn't matter, it's the relative shades that are important. I can get my mind around the idea that different combinations of angles can produce a nice hearts and arrows pattern if the facets are oriented correctly to one another.

 

 

The BrillianceScope is a much more complicated device than an IdealScope. I am assuming that it requires the accurate measurement of the light source intensity, in absolute quantities, and the measurement of light return with another detector, also in absolute quantities. The light sources and detectors I work with are periodically sent for calibration at NIST, thus they are NIST traceable. This is not the case with the IdealScope. Furthermore, these absolute measurements are somehow converted to a qualitative scale. In other words, they are not expressed in scientific radiometric or photometric units. And for the same reasons that cut types other than round brilliant can't be analyzed due to the relative position of the light sources and detectors, I can grasp the argument that slight different round cuts will respond better to the positioning of light sources and detectors in this instrument.

 

It's easy for me to imagine ways in which a BrillianceScope result could have error. It's a complicated instrument that tries to produce an easy to interpret result. The IdealScope is a very simple instrument producing a more complicated result. But for me, the overall result is one that is easier to grasp: it is a visual representation of the diamond's symmetry. It's impossible for me to imagine how one could "fake" an IdealScope image without switching out the diamond. While I'm not suggesting anyone is doing this with the BrillianceScope, because it is such a complicated instrument requiring calibration, I would have a lot more confidence in it if the GIA or AGS added BrillianceScope results to their reports, rather than the vendor.

 

my $0.02.

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Diasurfer;

 

Gemex scientists have made important changes to the Brilliancescope software so that it is tamper-proof. There is no way the Operator/Vendor can manipulate the machine or the diamond in such a way as to improve the results.

 

The Operator must insure the the diamond is clean and the glass plate upon which the diamond is placed with Table down is also clean. The diamond is centered within the bullseye pattern on the screen, the lid closed, and the "Run" tab on the software program is clicked on. Results are displayed within 45 seconds, a file name is given to the diamond, and this output is then directly e-mailed to Gemex for analysis, evaluation, and validation.

 

We recently provided edification for Consumers here:

 

http://www.exceldiamonds.com/diamond-tips/...ine_measur.html

 

Gemex notifies the Operator within 24 hours with their findings. If the diamond passes muster, the results are validated and a laminated report is printed and mailed to the Operator/Vendor. If a problem is found, the Operator/Vendor is informed of corrections that need to be made and advised that the diamond has to be run once again.

 

So to be crystal clear: It is not the Operator/Vendor who processes and supplies the Gemex report, it is Gemex that does so as they are the final decisor in determining if output will be converted into a validated report.

 

It's also refreshing to see, Diasurfer, that you're being an equal opportunity questioner RE: The Idealscope; as many are vis-a-vis the Brilliancescope. The Idealscope has gotten and continues to get a free-pass by it's coterie of supporters, promoted as a visual Holy Grail for interpreting a diamond's light performance and it is therefore not surprising in the least that you were banned from that other diamond forum. "New" ownership (?) but lock-step marching continues.

 

To reiterate a point I made earlier in this thread: No current technology can mimic and reproduce the wonderous human eye. But machines like the Brilliancescope provides a good start point and and with the ever increasing growth of the Internet and the easy purchase of diamonds on-line is preferable to buying "blind" and having a diamond drop-shipped to you direct from the Manufacturer-Wholesaler without the Vendor you're working with ever looking at and evaluating the diamond for possible problems that will not appear on the Lab Grading Report.

 

Consumer consultation with the Vendor for nuance interpretation of results of any technology is highly recommended. No doubt technologies will continue to evolve to the benefit of Consumers and the Trade.

 

Open, civil debate is wonderful, informative, and beneficial for the consumer.

 

Good to see that Diamond.info is probably the only current Diamond Internet Forum where charged topics like this one can be discussed civilly without fear of having to look over your shoulder.

 

Saithchel Paige, you can rest easy, Bro; and kudos to you Hermann.

Edited by barry

Barry
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The point remains that how any machine sees a diamond is totally irrelevant to how people see it.

To users of the BrillianceScope machine...isn't it true that by simply placing the diamond on the machine differently, you will get two totally different results?

Of course anyone that's put money into these things will try very hard to show how they are useful. I do not believe they are useful for consumers who actually want to know what the diamond looks like.

If sellers want to advise folks to buy blind, there's plenty of sites showing nothing but stats.

If sellers are advising people to go in with their eyes open, my feeling is that these machines give nothing usefull.

Edited by diamondsbylauren

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...isn't it true that by simply placing the diamond on the machine differently, you will get two totally different results?

 

 

No, this is not true. The diamond has to be placed and centered within a very defined area each and every time.

The software picks this up and reports it and the Operator will be instructed to re-run the scan.


Barry
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First, let me say that there is absolutely NO substitute for the human eye in evaluating and deciding upon a diamonds visual beauty.

 

 

Barry, it would seem we agree- based on your statement above.

 

Regarding the placement of the diamond on the machine:

The diamond is placed by hand in an "area". That is to say, the diamond is not "fixed" or held by a tool, is that correct?

 

If so, is the operator expected to place the diamond in the exact same position, by hand, including rotationally?

Let's assume the operator could actually place the diamond in the exact same spot twice. How could they make sure the facets were in exactly the same position in relation to the machine.

In contrast, let's look at how a diamond is fixed in position when it's cut.

It must be placed in the exact position to polish a particular facet.

There's simply no way to position the diamond free hand- it's placed in a special tool that holds it in a very precise position.

 

Wouldn't the positioning of the diamond make the results inconsistent?

 

Of course to me it's a moot point as I agree with the statement of yours above.

If you looked at the diamond and told me about it, I'd have far more meaningful data than ANY light measuring machine could provide.

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David;

 

Even if the stone is rotated from one run to the another the results will be the same.

 

Photos attached.

post-5339-1183753933_thumb.jpg

post-5339-1183753949_thumb.jpg


Barry
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The way it looks to me in the photos of the Brilliance Scope you could never put the diamond down exactly the same way twice.

 

There are machines that measure diamonds dimensionally- which face the same dilemma in design. Precise placement.

 

Diamond cutting is a specialized skill which includes the knowledge of how to "fix" the diamond to a tool ( called a dop) so it can be positioned and polished exactly as the cutter wants.

 

For the measuring machines to be "user-serviceable" a person with minimal training must be able to simply "place" the diamond on a platter of sorts.

However machines that use lasers to precisely measure a diamond's dimensions do not require such precise repositioning to get statistically identical results in multiple tests of the same diamond.

 

The essential difference is what the results mean.

Measuring millimeters requires a totally objective view. An inch is an inch- 1.00000001 inches is larger. Period.

 

Whereas interpreting "light return" is clearly subjective.

I mean who's to say the the diamonds we love the most return the most light?

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No argument from me, David.

 

I made my position on current diamond technologies and where we're coming from very clear in previous posts on this thread.

 

Have a great weekend.


Barry
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John;

 

I believe in fairness that this argument can be equally applied to the The Idealscope: Judging by the consumer questions to us as well as on the various diamond forums, there does exist some doubt and confusion on how to interpret the leakage or light performance of a diamond as indicated by the white areas on the image as well as the paler shades of red or pink (irrespective of the lighting environment and photographic variables employed by the Vendor).

 

How do the areas and extent of leakage correspond to the overall face up visual appearance of the diamond? How do you compare two diamonds?

 

Good point and a valid question. In the big picture, under-table leakage and paler shades are easy to explain. There is a 5 grade reference chart at ideal-scope.com which shows examples (grades Ex-Poor) in terms of light return and (optical) symmetry. We refer clients to that chart and have tutorials on our site. Concepts requiring more explanation are obstruction and contrast leakage. Once understood, consumers have no problem interpreting IS and ASET images. We find IS more user-friendly but not nearly as effective to communicate overall light return in fancy shapes as ASET.

 

I’m sure you can testify that those of us who specialize in premium cut have many diamonds of similar pedigree, especially in a branded line with tight tolerances. When images look so similar there are consumers who attempt to read far more into a reflector image than is actually represented - but that will be true for any metric including GemEx (did you ever know any consumers like that Barry?!). :rolleyes:


John Pollard

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