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Some Questions (mainly Reguarding Branded Cuts)


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first off, wanting to say hi.


Some background: I'm searching for a center-diamond for a ring, round brilliant, from 0.3 to 0.7 carats (big range, i know, but it's more important to fit her finger and have a ring design i like). If anything i'd go smaller and better, but that's just me.


And now some questions:


1) Super ideals/branded, are they still worth it? I see there have been several threads about this in the past. But they are all generally several years old (the acronym "8*" is unfortunately unsearchable). So in '02 the Eightstar was better than anything, and yet much more expensive. Has the rest of the market improved in these last few years? What about HoF? I guess i'm wondering why they've stopped being mentioned? Do you know any jeweler that used to carry the 8star or another brand and dropped them, and if so, why they did so? Which would you recommend?


2) Polish, I work in semiconductors so I notice polish because i'm doing it daily on the sub-micron level. When looking at several local stores i've seen lots of terrible polish, with visible scratches and or a buffed appearance. One of the jewelers had a HoF fire diamond to show me, it was only 0.25 and "i" color, but it was so much smoother than any of the others i've seen. Do the super-ideal companies use a finer slurry when they're polishing? And is this part of the major difference of the super-ideals to normal stock?


3) This is a geek question, does anyone know how diamonds react with corrosive gases like xenon-difluoride. I was just thinking of etching our wedding vows into the diamond or the ring with an FIB (ion beam), but maybe it would be better to use a laser instead (yes i have lots of toys at work, and the diamond will definitely be inspected in a SEM once it is purchased).



Oh, and i'm going to be posting this same post on a few other boards, just so i can get a more rounded opinion. Just so if you see it on another message board, it's still me.

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The state of cutting has definitely improved in the last decade or so. Some of this is due to the efforts of innovators like eightstar, some is due to improvements in the equipment and technology used by cutters and some is the result of increased demand for ‘premium’ goods caused largely by Internet marketing. The premium for awesome cutting is coming down as more companies enter the business and, in my opinion, yes it’s worth it.


Good polish takes time and good tools. More recently cut stones tend to be better than stones from a decade or more ago for the reasons mentioned above and the ones that are competing for that super-premium market that you mention are more likely to commit the resources to doing it well than the ones who are selling to customers who are unlikely to notice either way.


I’ve no idea how diamonds react to your gas but they are fairly inert things so I wouldn’t expect a great problem. I would be more concerned about the solder used to assemble your ring. You can probably get a test diamond from your local jeweler for $10 or less since size and even condition doesn’t matter. Find someone who does repair work and they will have an inventory of small diamonds and possibly will have small broken stones that they'll just give you for use in an experiment. Inspect it under the SEM, expose it to the acid and then inspect it again. Let us know how it goes.



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I like Neil's idea of running a test, I would be interested in hearing how it goes. Very neat idea btw!


When it comes to "branded" diamonds, I usually recommend against them. These companies, paricularly HOF invest massive dollars into advertising and in the promotion of their brand - the customer is the one who foots the bill through inflated prices.


The only time I recommend them is if the buyer is lazy, to be frank. You will get a gorgeous stone, no doubt about that. But with a little time and effort, you can find an equally beautiful diamond for FAR less. Remember that diamonds of the same quality exist outside of these brands, you just need to know how to find them.

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