Hmmm, I wonder what might be in this box from Brian Gavin Diamonds? It’s too light to be chocolate, wine, or anything edible. I wonder what they are trying to bribe me with today? Yes, I openly admit that I am a literary whore, I exchange my writing talents for nefarious vices, such as dark chocolate, wine, and… well, there’s no way that they shipped me a hot super model from Russia, because there are no air holes in the box. Could it be the BRAND NEW • Patented • Brian Gavin Signature • Cushion Cut Diamond? Let’s see…
Since I’m in the mood to confess my sins, I might as well admit that I’ve been privy to the production of this puppy for quite some time! I’ve watched the development of this diamond from stage-to-stage and discussed it many times with Brian Gavin, and it’s been a real challenge to keep quiet about it! With exception of a couple of email messages between clients where I swore them to mutual secrecy and suggested that they “wait for it” because I’d gotten a sneak preview of this Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamond which exhibits a crisp pattern of Hearts & Arrows, as it came off the wheel and was headed to the American Gemological Society Laboratory (AGSL) as he dangled it in front of his web cam while we chatted via Skype one day… and then I flipped Brian Gavin upside down at the JCK Trade Show in Las Vegas, and shook him real hard until one just happened to fall out of his pocket. !!! WOW !!! It was gorgeous… and as soon as I whipped out my phone to take a picture of it, do you know what Brian told me?!?!
Brian told me “No!” and I was like “What?!?!” and then the air was filled with all of this “Blah, Blah, Blah” about lawyers and patents (USD 639202) and the development process of proprietary cut diamonds, and media packets, and press releases, and all I really heard was “You can’t photograph it or write about it yet…” Now I don’t know whether you’ve been following my blog for very long, but I don’t really do all that well with, uh, restrictions, and I honestly considered making a run for it… but I just sat there, staring at Brian blankly with this rather obvious look of total shock and disbelief. And then he caved and said “I’ll send it to you when we get back from the trade show.” Winning.
I wonder if I have to send it back? I mean, they sent it to me, and they say that possession is nine tenths of the law. This 1.770 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Cushion Cut Diamond with Hearts and Arrows pattern from the Brian Gavin Signature collection is one of the most amazingly beautiful diamonds that I’ve ever seen! It arrived wrapped inside of this very pretty black box by the way, safely tucked away in its parcel paper. I snapped this picture with my camera phone and no special lighting, it didn’t turn out all that bad, but it’s definitely not a glamour shot, and fails to do the diamond justice.
All Cushion Cut Diamonds are NOT Created Equal:
One of the primary differences between the modern round brilliant ideal cut diamond and practically all fancy shape diamonds, is that there is a consistency of facet pattern and production standards with round brilliant cut diamonds which spans across all of the manufacturers… thus it’s rather easy to look at a round brilliant cut diamond and get an accurate idea of how it is going to perform in terms of light return based upon the proportions. No matter how you slice it, the modern round brilliant cut diamond has 57 facets (58 if you count the culet) and because it is round and symmetrical in shape, the factors of visual performance (brilliance, dispersion, scintillation) are dictated by the precision of facet shape and alignment. But as you can see by the diagram provided to the left, there are a myriad of facet patterns which are commonly used in the production of cushion cut diamonds, and these are just a few of them…
Now the challenge presented by all of these different facet structures, especially when attempting to buy a cushion cut diamond online, is that there is not a consistent way to know the differences between how light is going to break apart and sparkle out of each diamond, as a result of the broad variation of facet designs. What I can tell you with great certainty, is that the options with the greatest amount of facets, are likely to exhibit smaller “virtual facets” which in turn, will produce smaller flashes of light, and thus the diamonds may appear to be more brilliant, but will likely be less fiery, and exhibit less scintillation. To be clear…
- Brilliance is used to describe how bright our human eyes perceive a diamond to be. However it is not only the amount of light return, but also the perception of intensity created by the internal and external reflections of white light, as judged by looking at the diamond in a face-up position.
- Dispersion, which is also known as “fire”, is the flashes of colored light that is created by the facets of a diamond. Technically these flashes of light are actually white, but our eyes break them up into colors like red, green and blue.
- Scintillation is the contrast which is created within a diamond by the light and dark patterns created by the facet pattern; it is also the overall sparkle effect which is created when the diamond is in motion.
Ideally what you want is a diamond which has proportions and a facet structure which is designed to produce larger virtual facets and more of them, which in turn will produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, while producing a high amount of scintillation… enter the Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows, Cushion Cut Diamond U.S. Patent #USD639202, a cushion cut diamond optimized by design to produce AGS Ideal-0 Light Return and superior visual performance through superior optical symmetry. Check out the uniformity of the facet structure:
Optical Symmetry = Visual Performance
Optical Symmetry is a factor which is not presently graded by any of the primary gemological laboratories, such as the AGS or GIA, which is kind of absurd since it is the factor which controls the sparkle factor of a diamond. Why isn’t it graded like Polish and Symmetry as part of the Overall Cut Grade? Well, if I had to guess, it’s probably because the majority of diamond cutters would flat out boycott any gemological laboratory that attempted to introduce optical symmetry grading because fewer than 0.001% of round brilliant cut diamonds produced in the average year would likely receive an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 or GIA Excellent if optical symmetry were taken into account.
One of the best ways to judge optical symmetry in a round brilliant cut diamond is to look for a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows using a scope which is specially designed for that purpose. In order for a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows to be visible, the facet structure of the diamond must be uniform, the facets must be consistently and evenly shaped, and they must be precisely aligned with each other from all positions. As you can plainly see, the Signature Cushion Cut Diamond from Brian Gavin exhibits a crisp and complete hearts pattern! I can only imagine how difficult it is to create this pattern in a cushion cut diamond! I am truly impressed.
One thing to realize about the Hearts and Arrows patterns which are visible with the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds, is that they will never be as perfect or as uniform as the hearts which appear within the Brian Gavin Signature Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds. Quite simply, this is because these diamonds are not round… they are cushion cuts which are pillow shaped. So don’t get all caught up in looking for absolute perfection in the hearts pattern, you’re not going to find it in any shape other than a round, but this is still light years ahead of the majority of cushion cut diamonds out there.
Optimized for Maximum Light Return & Visual Performance:
Seriously, how many cushion cut diamonds have you seen which are accompanied by a Diamond Quality Document (DQD) from the AGS Laboratory with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the Platinum Light Performance grading platform? I know that fewer than 1% of round brilliant cut diamonds are cut well enough to warrant the overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, but I don’t even know if there is an estimation for how few fancy shape diamonds are cut precisely enough to achieve this type of fame… I imagine that the number is something like 0.0001% and the reason is because most diamond cutters are primarily focused on retaining carat weight during the cutting process, but a few diamond cutters like Brian Gavin, are primarily focused on light return and visual performance. Just look at the symmetry of light return indicated within the ASET image featured on the lab report!
I’ll be honest, Brian Gavin is not the only diamond cutter producing a version of a cushion cut diamond which is capable of receiving an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0. I am aware of one other online dealer who sells something similar, but when I looked through the inventory, I noticed that the majority of them have overall cut ratings of AGS Excellent-1 because the polish and symmetry ratings are not Ideal, and they don’t exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows. And there is a branded version of a square brilliant which exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows, which is only sold through authorized retail dealers and I have to tell you that I almost choked on my tongue when the salesperson told me the price! And I used to own and operate a brick and mortar retail jewelry store, so I’m no stranger to retail mark-up!
Light Leakage in Cushion Cut Diamonds:
This is what the diamond looks like when viewed while unmounted through an Ideal Scope, which was designed by Garry Holloway of Australia to identify the extent which a diamond is leaking light. Understand that all diamonds exhibit light, but some leak more light than others. Light leakage is indicated by white areas within the image, what we look for is not only a minimal amount of light leakage, but also consistency of pattern, which you can clearly see is quite good in this image. Red indicates light being returned to the viewer and black contrast created by the camera lens being reflected by the pavilion main facets.
Bolting Out the Door for Recess:
All right enough rambling on about all the reasons why I think that the Cushion Cut Diamond from Brian Gavin’s Signature collection is superior to other cushion cut diamonds which I’ve seen, let’s play with the diamond that Brian sent me for evaluation! It’s all right to say “Finally” 😉
My favorite place to look at diamonds is under the shade of a leafy tree on a bright sunny day, because the leaves of the tree filter the light in such a way that it creates amazing sparkle in the diamond, while shading the diamond enough that I can still see how it performs in terms of light return and visual performance. The picture to the left was taken under just such a shady tree, and as you can see the diamond looks outstanding! Although my ability to photograph the diamond outside with a camera phone leaves a little to be desired… it is gorgeous and plays with the light enthusiastically! This Signature Cushion Cut Diamond from Brian Gavin is definitely one of my all time favorites!