How Diamond Proportions and HCA Score Factor Into Performance

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June 26

I was wondering if you could help me with evaluating if the 5.5 Holloway Cut Adviser score for a diamond is truly an issue. I have seen this diamond and another diamond that scores a 3.4. Is there any sort of analysis you could show me on these two?”

“In-person I really did like the one that scored a 5.5, but someone on Pricescope indicated that it means it is a leaky diamond. Is that really true? Diamonds are: GIA 1136845732 (F, VS2) and GIA 1139620716 (F, SI1). Thanks!!!

Thanks for reaching out to me, of course I’m happy to help! This is a subject that I think will benefit lots of people, so I’m going to respond via a blog post. That way you’ll be able to walk through these diamonds with me and follow along with my thought process.  So obviously the first thing that I need to do is visit GIA Report Check and download a copy of the lab reports so that we can discuss the details.

Option #1 ~ GIA 1136845732:

Copy of GIA Diamond Grading Report #1136845732So here we have a copy of the GIA Diamond Grading Report for GIA #1136845732, which according to the GIA Laboratory is a round brilliant cut diamond weighing 1.20 carats, which is VS-2 in clarity and F-color with no fluorescence.

The diamond measures 6.75 – 6.80 x 4.25 mm, with a total depth of 62.7% and a 58% table diameter. It also has a 36.0° crown angle that is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.2° with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

The GIA gave the diamond an overall cut rating of GIA Excellent which is based on their opinion of the polish, symmetry, and proportions. The inclusions which are the basis for the VS-2 clarity grade are listed as being cloud, crystal, feather, and needle.

Now you mention that you’ve seen this diamond in person and you like the way that it looks, but that you’re concerned because the diamond scored a 5.5 on the Holloway Cut Adviser and somebody on Pricescope told you that it is a “leaky diamond” which refers to the proportions of the diamond not being optimized for light return.

All right, let’s take a moment to clarify a few things… First off, I’m going to assume that you’ve seen this diamond in person and that you’ve most likely had the opportunity to view it either in a jewelry store or a room with lighting that has been designed to make diamonds like this sparkle.

In that case, I’m going to make a very general statement: Practically all diamonds look great when viewed under jewelry store lighting because the store spent a small fortune to install a lighting system that is specifically designed to make diamonds look amazing!

But the majority of diamonds don’t look near as incredible when they are viewed under normal lighting conditions, because, in 99% of cases, the diamonds have not been cut for maximum brilliance, dispersion, or scintillation… Very few diamonds are cut within a tolerance of Marcel Tolkowsky’s Diamond Design and even fewer are optimized for visual performance.

Diamond Proportions = Light Return:

Let’s take a moment to define a few gemological terms that we’ll be using throughout this article:

  • 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 that is created within a diamond by the light and dark patterns created by the facet pattern; it is also the overall sparkle effect that is created when the diamond is in motion.

The article on Tolkowsky provides a lot of the background that is necessary to understand why the proportions of a diamond are critical to light return and further discusses how optical symmetry affects visual performance, such as the sparkle factor, so I’m not going to repeat all of that here.  But I do want to take a moment to reference my preferred range of proportions:

Total Depth between 59 – 61.8%
Table Diameter between 53 – 57.5%
Crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees
Pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees
Girdle thickness between 0.7% thin to slightly thick
Culet: GIA “none” or AGS “pointed” (same thing)

If you take a moment to compare the proportions of Option #1 ~ GIA #1136845732, you will see that none of the measurements provided for this diamond are within my preferred range of proportions.

Thus the diamond never would have been brought in for physical evaluation when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice, of the diamonds which were brought in for physical evaluation, approximately 40% were rejected during the physical evaluation process.

The fact is that diamonds that are cut beyond this limited range of proportions are likely to leak more light than diamonds that are cut to this very precise range of proportions. Let’s face it, you’re spending a lot of money on a rock.

In that case, I think that you should focus on buying the most beautifully cut rock available within your price range.  A rock that has been designed to reflect the majority of the light which enters it back up towards you (the viewer) and which has not been cut to leak light out the sides of the stone.

So the most important angle on the diamond in terms of light return is the pavilion angle, which in this case is too steep at 41.2° but the diamond still looks good because the 36.0° crown angle is creating a lot of fire (colored flashes of light) because the diamond is being pumped full of light by 300-watt halogen bulbs which are quite likely being filtered with dichromatic filters to increase the sparkle factor.

However, the odds are that the appearance of this diamond will flatten out considerably when it is starved for light. Take the diamond into a dark closet, and run a match or a lighter around the diamond from a distance of a foot or so, and you’ll see what I mean… Hey take the clothes out first so you don’t ignite yourself, and by the way, thanks to the late gemologist “Rock Doc” for teaching me this trick so many years ago!

There is also a difference in diamond proportions rating systems between the GIA, which this diamond is graded by, and my preference which is the scale of the proportion developed by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) which I feel is much more strict.

For instance, this diamond has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, but it would score no better than AGS-2 Very Good on the AGS system because the proportions fall along the edge of the criteria for that proportions rating, and the laboratories always drop the overall cut grade of the diamond to the lowest denominator.

So if you were to send this diamond to the AGS for grading, the best that you could hope for is an overall cut grade of AGS-2 Very Good, and I’m guessing that it would be graded lower than that if it were submitted for grading on the AGS Platinum Light Performance grading platform which takes light return into account (the GIA does not offer anything comparable to this).

How to use the Holloway Cut Adviser:

According to Garry Holloway,  the Holloway Cut Adviser is a “diamond rejection tool” and not a diamond selection tool… it is intended to help people eliminate diamonds from the vast list of options that they might be considering online.

In that regard, the fact that this diamond scored a 5.5 Good, which is accompanied by the comment “only if the price is your main concern” is irrelevant if you happen to like how this diamond looks in real life.

But I believe that the indications that the diamond exhibits “good” light return; and only a fair amount of”fire” (dispersion). It should also exhibit a good amount of scintillation. The HCA also indicates that better light return and visual performance are available in diamonds of better cut quality.

The second diamond, which I’ll post the details for in a moment, scored a 3.4 Very Good on the Holloway Cut Adviser, the comment which accompanies that rating states “worth buying if the price is right”  and here again I agree with the indication that the diamond will exhibit very good light return; fair dispersion; and good scintillation.

The reality is that it’s all a matter of mathematics, we know from experience (and a great deal of computer modeling of diamonds) that certain proportions deliver specific amounts of light return.  Marcel Tolkowsky worked this all out on a chalkboard in 1919, we modeled his work using computer-aided drafting and ray tracing, it’s accurate and my selection criteria is based upon his work.

If you take a moment to punch the numbers from my recommended range into the Holloway Cut Adviser, you’ll see that the overall score will be lower, and the indication will be that this diamond is “TIC” which is the abbreviation for “Tolkowsky Ideal Cut” and the only thing it will score Very Good for is “Spread” which is the relationship between the total depth of the diamond and the diameter.

It’s pretty difficult to get an Excellent score for Spread on the HCA because the diamond has to be cut really shallow and most diamond cutters aren’t producing that sort of diamond with any regularity… Even master diamond cutters like Brian Gavin aren’t knocking those out of the park on a regular basis and they are my two favorite producers of round brilliant super ideal cut diamonds.

Clarity Characteristics of Option #1 ~ GIA #1136845732:

Plotting diagram for GIA#1136845732 rejected for extensive feathers.Now let’s assume for a moment that the proportions of this diamond were “perfect” to the extent that they fell within the range specified for my selection criteria. The reality is that I would still not have brought the diamond in for physical evaluation. Because the GIA has indicated the presence of several feathers that run through the body of the diamond, from top to bottom.

As a matter of fact, the feathers run through the girdle edge, and they look pretty big to me. Imagine a dotted line running down between the two halves of the diamond, fold the right half under the left half, and you can see that the two red arrows located at the top would line up with each other… so do the light blue arrows located at the bottom.

And that orange arrow which I placed to the right side of the lower plotting diagram, well I just don’t like the look of those three small feathers which are stacked together like little fractures which are stacked upon one another and just waiting for an impact to spread.

By the way, have I mentioned that diamond cutters and retail jewelers HATE ME because of my selection criteria? Guess what? My selection criteria is designed to help consumers select diamonds that are right for them, not the diamond industry or the retail jewelry trade. Sorry (not really).

Option #2 ~ GIA 1139620716:

Diamond grading report for GIA#1139620716This is a copy of the diamond grading report for the second option which is graded by the GIA as weighing 1.20 carats, SI-1 clarity, F-color with no fluorescence.

According to the GIA, this diamond measures 6.81 – 6.84 x 4.19 mm, and has a total depth of 61.3% with a table diameter of 59% and a crown angle of 34.0° which is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.2° with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

The overall cut grade of this diamond is also GIA Excellent, and the proportions are actually on the outer fringe of the limits for the zero ideal cut proportions rating from the AGS Laboratory ~ so no surprise that it also scored higher on the HCA.

It might actually exhibit a little less “fire” because of the shallower crown angle, but it should exhibit more of a balance of brilliance and dispersion. However, I’d still reject this diamond…

Plotting diagram for GIA #1139620716 rejected for inclusions.I have multiple concerns with the inclusions within this diamond, not the least of which are the extensive feather located along the edge of the pavilion, as indicated by the red arrow; but also the two feathers which I’ve indicated with orange arrows, which run parallel to the girdle edge of the diamond.

Oh don’t get me started on these! Can you say “where did the edge of my diamond go?” OMG if only the cutter had shaved this diamond down just a little more, say to the size of one carat, those could have been eliminated, but oh that’s right… this diamond was produced for size and not beauty. And I haven’t even addressed all of those twinning wisps which are indicated within the upper plotting diagram, but I’m about to…

Quite simply, twinning wisps are twisting of the actual crystal structure of the diamond… they are striations of the diamond crystal. I’m pretty cool with them when they are small and not plentiful, but I see a lot of them in this plotting diagram, and they are all pretty extensive!

And then there is the comment “additional twinning wisps are not shown” on the diamond grading report. This diamond is a disaster waiting to happen, but it is probably priced really well because it was produced from a piece of diamond rough that was at the bottom of the pile in terms of desirability.

Options with the Nice Ice stamp of approval:

Hopefully, it was beneficial for you in terms of the learning process to follow my thought process as I looked over the characteristics of the diamonds which you’ve been considering… I’d like to continue by showing you a few options which do meet my selection process and talk about why. There is as much benefit in considering why I would select a particular diamond, as there is in learning why I would not buy a particular diamond.

Naturally, I conducted a search for round brilliant ideal cut diamonds, within the range of carat weight which you seem to be interested in and the range of clarity and color which is represented by the two options which you have been considering.

Then I added in my selection criteria for proportions, polish, and symmetry, and began narrowing down all the options by weeding out the diamonds which did not meet my criteria in terms of inclusions. This is what I found in order of preference from good, better, and best, note that all links provided below are affiliate links that help to fund the operations of this website and keep me swimming in wine and nibbling on dark chocolate:

GOOD Options from Blue Nile:

I’m really excited about this opportunity to write a comparison of Blue Nile and James Allen Diamonds, let’s take a look at these puppies and determine what the best options are!

Note: Blue Nile changed the format of how deep links were created when they switched their affiliate network from GAN to CJ, and thus the original links to the following diamonds were broken and have been replaced with links directed to their diamond search engine, which is fine since these options have probably sold by now.

Please use my free Diamond Concierge Service if you would like me to help you find the best options currently available, but the information that can be obtained by reading the article is still applicable even if the diamond details pages can not be accessed.

Blue Nile claims to be the largest retailer of GIA graded diamonds, they are certainly one of the most prominent online dealers and they do offer a wide assortment of diamonds in all ranges of quality. Arguably, very few of the diamonds which they offer, even those from the Blue Nile Signature collection, meet my selection criteria. However, I did find a few options from them within the range of characteristics that you seem to be considering:

This round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile is graded by the GIA as weighing 1.27 carats, VS-2 clarity, F-color with negligible fluorescence, measuring 6.95 – 6.99 x 4.27 mm with a total depth of 61.3% and a table diameter of 56% with a crown angle of 34.5° which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8° and a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

The overall cut grade of the diamond is GIA Excellent and the proportions are within my preferred range ~ dead center actually, it will exhibit outstanding light return. It scores 1.2 Excellent on the HCA “within TIC range” so it passes the “rejection test” which the Holloway Cut Adviser was designed for.

The primary inclusions consist of crystals and pinpoint size diamond crystals, nothing which is detrimental. This is a diamond that I would bring in for physical evaluation…

One of the things which I don’t like about Blue Nile is that they do not make clarity images readily available, so we don’t really have a way of determining how visible the diamond crystals within this diamond will be when viewed using 10x and higher magnification.

However, the clarity grade of VS-2 is a good indication that the visibility of the inclusions will be slight when viewed through magnification and they should not be readily visible from a top-down perspective at all.

Another thing which I don’t like about Blue Nile is the fact that they do not provide images of the diamond as seen through an ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, or a Hearts & Arrows viewer… so there is no way for me to judge the optical symmetry of the diamonds which they offer.

It’s not that Blue Nile is trying to hide anything, it’s just that their business model is built upon a foundation of offering virtual inventory which they don’t have to handle in order to fulfill all of their orders. The staff which they would have to employ in order to photograph every diamond which they offer for sale would be enormous and cost-prohibitive.

So why is it a big deal that I can’t judge the optical symmetry of these diamonds? After all, they’re all graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent and have proportions that fall within my preferred range, and which score incredibly well on the Holloway Cut Adviser for Light Return, Fire, and Scintillation.

Because “optical symmetry” is different than the “symmetry” grade which is provided on the diamond grading report, optical symmetry dictates the actual “sparkle factor” of the diamond.

Proportions control Light Return, as in the volume of light that is pumping out of the diamond… But “optical symmetry” controls “Visual Performance” which is the volume and size of the sparkle, and the only way to judge the optical symmetry of a diamond is to view it through the various scopes which are designed to provide insight into that rather unknown factor of diamond grading that is only embraced by diamond dealers who work with high-quality stones.

A Better Option from Blue Nile:

Blue Nile Signature Diamond GCAL #231370009This 1.32 carat, VS-2 clarity, F-color / negligible fluorescence, Round Brilliant Signature Diamond from Blue Nile is a slightly better option because the GCAL report which accompanies it tells me a little bit more about the diamond.

It should be noted that while GCAL has a section on their lab report which they call “optical symmetry” we differ in our understanding of the concept because what they’re showing is basically an image that is based upon an adaptation of the Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) used by the AGS Laboratory and it’s an indication of light return (brightness).

I spent several hours with the people who own GCAL while I was at the JCK Trade Show this month, and I have to say that the service which they are providing Blue Nile with is of tremendous value. Although we had a rather long debate about the difference in opinion in the terminology used on their diamond grading report, the reality is that we share a lot of common ground when it comes to recognizing the importance of providing the public with this kind of detailed information.

So, what they call “Optical Brightness” enables me to determine where the diamond is “leaking light” in the form that is similar to the format of an ideal scope with the contrast reversed… long story short, the diamond looks great and is leaking light in all the right places (as strange as that sounds).

The clarity images of both the top and bottom halves of the diamond, enable me to get a good idea of the visibility and extent of the inclusions within the diamond, I would still prefer to have access to larger clarity images of the diamond.

While these images are not intended to be used to judge optical symmetry, the reality is that an image of the diamond as seen through a Hearts & Arrows scope is not provided on the GCAL reports issued for Blue Nile Signature Diamonds, they are however available from GCAL as part of their service if the vendor is willing to pay for it…

Hmmm, now that’s an interesting concept. So I have to guess at what the optical symmetry of the diamond is, and based on the slight variance that I’m seeing in the hearts pattern which is kind of visible in the lower clarity photograph, it looks to be a little off… but not a lot off, so this is probably a really pretty diamond which exhibits a great amount of light return and sparkle.

A Very Good Option from James Allen:

James Allen, 1.22 carat, F-color, VS-2, Round Brilliant Ideal Cut Diamond, GIA #1145818046This 1.22 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from James Allen has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent AND the proportions qualify for the zero ideal cut proportions rating from the AGSL

According to the GIA, the diamond measures 6.86 – 6.90 x 4.21 mm, and has a total depth of 61.2% with a table diameter of 57% and a crown angle of 34.5° which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8° with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

The Holloway Cut Advisor gives this diamond a score of 1.3 Excellent within Tolkowsky Ideal Cut range. Shallower Total Depth = Larger Diameter = Larger Looking Diamond = Money Well Spent.

According to the GIA, the clarity grade of this diamond is based upon crystals and needles, which are tiny diamond crystals that were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed… so nothing that is detrimental to the longevity or crystal structure of the diamond.

You can see them scattered about within the diamond in the clarity photograph above, they might look kind of big here, but keep in mind that we’ve taken a diamond that has an average outside diameter of 6.88 millimeters and blown it up to the size of a tennis ball. For perspective, the average diameter of the eraser on a standard #2 pencil is 6.50 millimeters.

Now James Allen does not routinely provide images of Hearts & Arrows for diamonds that are not part of their True Hearts Diamond collection, but I know that they have the capability of taking those images if asked for them.

Consequently, they can also provide images of the diamond as seen through an ASET Scope and an Ideal Scope, so if this diamond is of interest, we’ll ask for them, but I have to say that I like the look of this one… the arrows pattern is showing some nice contrast and contrast is a good indicator of scintillation.

Exceptional Options from Brian Gavin:

Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond, AGS# 104064813013Now we’re getting into the category of diamonds which are comparable to those which I specialized in when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice. Without a doubt, Brian Gavin is one of my favorite producers of round brilliant super ideal cut diamonds!

This 1.208 carat, VS-2 clarity, G-color, Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond might be a color grade lower than the F-color diamonds that we’ve been looking at thus far, but I’m confident that it will outsparkle everything else.

If you’re truly looking for “Nice Ice” then you’ll buy a Brian Gavin Signature, Brian Gavin Blue (fluorescence), or Crafted by Infinity Diamond, nothing else comes close.

What makes this diamond so amazing in terms of light return and visual performance is the incredible level of precision that the facet structure of the diamond has been cut. Quite literally, every facet of the diamond has been carefully aligned so that it aligns practically perfectly with every other facet in its section.

With all of the facets interplaying in order to correctly move light through the diamond for maximum light return and visual performance. I’ve watched diamonds like this be cut and it takes an incredible amount of planning, skill, and patience… it’s like watching a Rolls Royce be built by hand from the ground up, it’s simply mesmerizing and so is the sparkle factor!

So this diamond is graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) which quite simply is my favorite gemological laboratory, I make no bones about it… I recognize that the GIA has been around longer, they are the cornerstone of the principles upon which all gemological practice has been built, but personally, I think that their cut rating system sucks!

You could drive a truck through it, and that’s why so many diamond cutters send their diamonds through the GIA for grading, it’s much easier to get an overall cut rating of GIA Excellent than it is to get an overall cut rating of AGS Ideal-0, and one of the reasons is that the AGS actually takes the light return of the diamond into account, using their Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET).

According to the AGSL, this diamond measures 6.83 – 6.86 x 4.22 mm, with a total depth of 61.7% and a table diameter of 57%, and a crown angle of 34.9° which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.9° and a thin to medium, faceted girdle with a pointed culet.

The primary inclusions consist of tiny diamond crystals and small clusters of pinpoint size diamond crystals called clouds, all of which are no big deal. The ASET image provided on the Platinum Light Performance Diamond Quality Document issued by the AGSL looks fantastic!

The diamond is gathering light from all the right places and sending it back out into the world in a way that demonstrates that it is going to be a super bright diamond!

I contacted Brian Gavin Diamonds because the ASET image, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows images for this diamond have not yet been added to the diamond details page, but Brian looked them over and tells me that they are everything that I expect them to be… and we’ve been friends long enough that he knows exactly what my expectations are! I’m pretty certain that this is a diamond which I would purchase for myself!

Another Great Option from Brian Gavin:

ASET image for Brian Gavin Signature Diamond, AGS #104064813017This Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond weighing 1.228 carats, SI-1 clarity, G-color with negligible fluorescence. Just like the last diamond, this one is graded by the AGSL on their Platinum Light Performance grading platform.

It has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 and it reportedly exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts & Arrows. That is the best indicator that there is in terms of knowing that the diamond exhibits superior optical symmetry!

This puppy should be incredibly brilliant and full of sparkle! The ASET image, featured to the left, looks amazing, it is showing mostly red (which is perfect) with perfect contrast (blue) and enough green to indicate that it is pulling light from all across the room!

The little bit of black that you see along the edges of the diamond is an indication of symmetrical leakage which is typical of a round brilliant ideal cut diamond. In fact, if you wander back up the page to the image of the GCAL report for the 1.32 carat, VS-2 clarity, F-color, Signature Diamond from Blue Nile you’ll be able to see what I was referring to as the reversal of contrast in the pictures that they provide under the heading “Optical Brilliance Analysis” because the black areas are the same, they are just scanning it using a slightly different technology…

Here again, all of the images have not been posted for this diamond yet, but I’m told that they will meet my expectations. The primary inclusions consist of clouds and crystals which are indicated in the center of the table facet on the upper plotting diagram of the lab report.

There’s also a minute feather which is indicated in the 2:30 region of the lower plotting diagram, it looks pretty small and is not extending into the upper half of the diamond, so I’m comfortable with it. I had Brian pick up the diamond and take a look at it and am told that the feather is benign, which is our way of saying that it’s of no consequence.

Another Beautiful Diamond from Brian Gavin:

Brian Gavin Signature Hearts & Arrows Diamond, AGS #104063650004I’ve mentioned “Hearts and Arrows Diamonds” throughout this article, this is what one looks like when viewed through a scope. As you can see, this 1.233 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Heart & Arrows Diamond exhibits a perfect pattern of eight hearts!

It is only visible in round brilliant cut diamonds which have been cut to a very specific set of proportions and which have incredible optical symmetry.

If the facets are not aligned perfectly, the pattern will be distorted or simply not present. Brian Gavin does not Photoshop his images of Hearts & Arrows to make them appear better than they are, he lets the diamond speak for itself, and trust me it’s got a lot to say!

The reason why I know this is because the separation in the middle of the hearts is created by the facet line which divides the lower girdle facets which create part of the hearts pattern, and there is variation in the contrast of the hearts which is indicative of light hitting the diamond from different angles.

I’ve seen a lot of “perfect hearts and arrows patterns” which lack this kind of detail on a lot of diamond details pages and it always ticks me off because I realize that the company is editing their images to make the hearts look perfect, when in fact they never are… but some are more perfect than others, like this one.

Once again, this diamond is graded by the AGSL on their Platinum Light Performance grading platform with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 and the ASET image looks phenomenal.  So does the ideal scope image which is available for this diamond if you want to see what one looks like, just visit the diamond details page.

The primary inclusions are a couple of small diamond crystals and clouds of pinpoint size diamond crystals, it’s all good.  And it goes without saying that all of the diamonds which I’ve recommended score exceptionally well on the Holloway Cut Adviser and are all within range of Tolkowsky’s Diamond Design which is optimized for brilliance and dispersion, but they’ve also been cut to produce maximum scintillation.

An Exceptional Option from Crafted by Infinity:

Crafted by Infinity produces one of the finest Hearts & Arrows quality diamonds on the planet, the challenge is that they are not so good at photographing their diamonds and the patterns always look wonky in the photographs and incredible in-person when viewed through the scope.

I’ve purchased a lot of diamonds cut by Paul Slegers over the years and I’ve never rejected a single one of his diamonds for light return or visual performance, that’s saying a lot… you have no idea!

Crafted by Infinity, Hearts & Arrows Diamond, AGS #104063757001So take my word for it… this 1.228 carat, F-color, VS-1 clarity, Hearts & Arrows, Crafted by Infinity Diamond which is being offered through High-Performance Diamonds is going to knock your socks off!

The image to the left is off of the AGS Platinum Light Performance DQD, it shows the top and bottom halves of the diamond, as seen through an ASET Scope.

Needless to say, everything looks great! According to the AGSL, the diamond measures 6.86 – 6.91 x 4.25 mm, with a total depth of 61.8% and table diameter of 55.8%.

The 34.3° crown angle is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.9° and there is a thin to medium, faceted girdle and a pointed culet.


The primary inclusions consist of small diamond crystals, needle-shaped diamond crystals, and a few very small feathers which are located well within the body of the diamond… no worries.

If you’re after a diamond that exhibits the type of light return and visual performance that I insisted upon when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice, then I would purchase one of the options which I’ve highlighted from the inventory of Brian Gavin or Crafted by Infinity.

They are all top-notch diamonds that are quite literally cut within the Top 0.001% of all the round brilliant cut diamonds that are produced in the average year! No kidding… they’re that good.

The options which I selected from the inventory of James Allen and Blue Nile are easily within the Top 1% of annual production, the primary difference is the optical symmetry. However, the light return is going to be top-notch because the proportions are within the threshold set by my selection criteria.

Plus, the inclusions within all of these diamonds look great, they don’t scare me like the inclusions within the two diamonds which you asked me to evaluate do.  So I hope that this helps you and others in the evaluation process, let me know if there are any other diamonds that you’d like help evaluating.

About the Author

Dive deep into the glittering world of diamonds with Todd Gray, the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC. Todd has 35+ years of experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant. He ghostwrites content for several online vendors and is an avid Freediver, currently exploring the Cenotes of Yucatan, Mexico. Dive into brilliance with Todd Gray!