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Comparing Diamonds Using Images From H&a , Ideal Scope, Aset Etc


Mainer
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Can a novice determine between two similar diamonds which one will return  more light,  sparkle brighter, have more fire,  be better in regular lighting,  or need direct lighting to look good with only the on line reports and images?

 

I am looking at two diamonds very similar in caret and price;  both I and VS2.   Both have good HCA and CCDG ratings (the only two I know how to use),   however the measurements and dimensions (angles and %)  are different and their H&A, ideal scope, ASET and 10x pictures look quite different.  Can a newbie use  these resources to make a judgement and if so what should I look for or is it pretty hopeless and I should just post the images and let experts have a look.

 

 

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Oops  that's my own abbreviation for AGA/NAJA Cut Class Diamond Screening.

 

By lots of color across the entire stone you are referring to the idealscope images and looking for red not pink in that image?

Edited by Mainer
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Yes, AGSL has tutorials.

 

They're different. As a shopper, I would put more stake on the scan generated models because they're more consistent.  The advantage of the photographic things is that symmetry issues are more apparent.  The problem with them is that photographic issues are also more apparent, and they're difficult to separate.

 

IS images have a similar situation.  A lot of the ones you see are computer generated from Sarine scans, just like the computer ASET images, and others are photographs.  It makes comparing images from multiple sources, which I assume is exactly what you're trying to do, a bit tricky.

Edited by denverappraiser
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" It makes comparing images from multiple sources, which I assume is exactly what you're trying to do, a bit tricky."

 

Yes,  that is what I'm trying to do since I don't have access to the diamonds images and reports are all I have. I've read many of the tutorials and I think I understand enough to use the images to tell a pretty good diamond from a pretty bad one.  That said the tutorials  don't get into the fine points of discussing how much or what kind of  in order to really compare two close diamonds.  For example the tutorial indicates the white patches in the ideal scope should be limited,  but it doesn't define "limited"  or "how much is too much".    Everything has a range of acceptability and the tutorials don't really address the range in ways that are useful to the novice. 

 

 

Which of the images are the scan generated models  and which are the photographic images?

Edited by Mainer
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Yep.  It's a bit like deciding which is the best painting.  Is it the one that looks the most like a photograph?  In some sense, yes, but that's not an absolute sort of answer.  There is no 'best' answer and not everyone would agree even if there was, but it's fairly easy to separate out the crap and you mostly WILL get agreement on that. 

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 I have an uneasy feeling that the two  diamonds are very different but I don't know how they are different or how this difference translates into the look of them.  

Edited by Mainer
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The way the computer images are generated starts with a scan from a tool made by Sarine.  It spins the diamond on a stage and views it from the side to generate a 3D model of the stone.  That's the source of the data you see on the lab documents as well for dimensions, angles and so on.  AGS makes a bit of software called PGS to display this data in graphical format.  There's another piece of software called Damcalc that's more readily available and that also does H&A and IS images the same way.  A lot of dealers use it but, of course, the ones on AGSL reports are done by the AGS version.

 

The scans are subject to the calibration of the equipment as well as simple errors.  Sarine has a couple of competitors and all have their fans.  I've been a loyal Sarine customer for 20 years and an Octonus customer for at least 10.  They're both fine companies but it's important to understand the limits.  It's not looking at a diamond, it's looking at the results of a scan of a diamond.  It's similar, but different. 

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When you say scan generated models give more information which specifically are you talking about?

They don't give more information; they (typically) give more consistent information, which in turn makes them more useful for comparison purposes.

 

All of this doesn't solve the main problem - which is that you still have very limited information/experience about how a certain pattern of red/blue/green/white translates into a real diamond's looks, and perhaps most importantly how a given real diamond's looks translate into your aesthetic enjoyment of it.

 

At this point you have 3 routes:

 

1. You go by "what's best by the numbers" (or reflector images) and ignore the fact that you may like more a different look. You won't end up with a bad diamond; just possibly not the one you would like most (but you'll never know, since you will only look at that one).

 

2. You trust the vendor to steer you - however this has the same issue: until you know what you like, how can you describe it to the vendor?

 

3. You bite the bullet, buy yourself an ASET viewer ($25) and organise a trip to a good vendor to spend the day trying to understand how certain things relate to others.

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Exactly  the problem;  how do I translate what I am seeing in the images. Since I don't have access to diamonds I will probably have to go with options 1 and 2 but I'm curious about #3. 

 

Are jewelers actually willing to let someone spend time looking  at their diamonds with an ASET viewer or perhaps a jeweler isn't the same as a vendor.  

Edited by Mainer
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Jewelers can be pretty helpful and many are even happy to provide you with the tools, but they're not going to take the time required to turn you into a diamond cutting expert.  Most salespeople don't know themselves, and free education is not what they're selling in any case.  That said, within the reasonable limits of respecting their time and inventory, yes they'll talk to you about it and let you look at stones for 'free'.

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.... or perhaps a jeweler isn't the same as a vendor.  

I use the term 'jeweler' to mean someone who is selling gems and/or jewelry to the end user, meaning you.  There are other definitions, like the craftsmen who actually manufacture or repair things and yes, they're called jewelers too.  Curiously, the folks I'm calling jewelers regularly describe themselves as something else like diamond dealer, wholesaler or whatever.  It doesn't really matter.  In this context I'm using the terms jeweler and vendor interchangeably. 

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