Hi Todd, I really appreciate the diamond buying tips and advice. My girlfriend likes the split shank French halo setting from Ritani, but they don’t seem to offer hearts and arrows diamonds that are comparable to the Brian Gavin Signature, Crafted by Infinity, or James Allen True Hearts diamonds that you recommend. How important is a hearts and arrows pattern for a round brilliant cut diamond? How does a hearts and arrows pattern affect the sparkle factor? I’m looking for a round diamond, 1.20 – 1.30 carats, G/H color, VS clarity; perhaps with a little bit of blue fluorescence, but nothing too extreme. Thanks for your time, I’ll be sure to use the links you provide so you receive credit. — Patrick D.
With a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees, the proportions of the diamond are well within the scope of my preferred selection criteria, which is outlined in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success. The diamond should exhibit a high volume of light return with a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) however I do feel that the sparkle factor would be intensified by the presence of a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows that is exhibited by diamonds that are cut to the highest level of optical symmetry.
It is important to understand that this 1.20 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, round diamond from Ritani is easily within the Top 2% of the round brilliant cut diamonds that are produced in the average year, but there are diamonds available which are within the Top 0.001% of annual production. The decision that you have to make is what level of optical symmetry and diamond cut precision meets your personal preferences… and yes, there are likely to be differences in the sparkle factor presented by the various options for several reasons.
The term “virtual facets” refers to the perception of facet shaped objects which are created virtually by the overlapping of actual facet shapes which are present on the surface of the diamond. The appearance of virtual facets changes with every degree to which a diamond is tilted or rotated.
The article also states that “If the size of the virtual facets approaches the limit of the eye’s resolution then fire and flash scintillation will tend to appear as pinpoint events. If the size of the facets is several times larger than the eye’s resolution then the effect of facet interplay can be observed. This effect is desirable and consists of the sudden change of appearance of groups of alternate facets becoming dark, illuminated, or colored. Facet interplay is reminiscent of the sudden changes in pattern produced by a kaleidoscope when it is in movement.”
The degree of static contrast which is created by the presence of a strong pattern of hearts and arrows, tends to result in a higher number of virtual facets and the perception of sparkle.
In addition to creating a higher number of virtual facets within a diamond, a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows also increases our perception of diamond sparkle when the diamond is actually being viewed in low lighting circumstances, because the degree of contrast that exists between the arrows pattern and other sections of the diamond create the illusion that the diamond is sparkling.[separator]
Therefore this 1.207 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond is likely to exhibit a higher volume of light return, a higher degree of both actual and perceived sparkle, and flashes of light which are broader, brighter, and more intense, than the 1.20 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, round diamond from Ritani, which was probably not cut to exhibit a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows… How do I know? Well the fact that Ritani doesn’t post photographs of their diamonds as seen through a hearts and arrows scope is a pretty good indication; but so is the 45% star facet and 80% lower girdle facet lengths indicated on the diamond grading report if you happen to be enough of a diamond geek to know how those measurements would screw up a hearts and arrows pattern.
And do you think that a Master Diamond Cutter / Craftsman is suddenly going to change his approach to diamond cutting simply because a diamond exhibits blue fluorescence? Not hardly… I flew out to Houston, Texas last August to meet with the staff of Brian Gavin and look over their operations; I had the opportunity to look at quite a few Brian Gavin Blue diamonds while I was there, and every one of them looked fantastic through a hearts and arrows scope. Therefore I would not hesitate to buy something like this 1.231 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue that exhibits medium blue fluorescence. It’s going to look amazing!
This James Allen True Hearts diamond has the proportions that I look for in a round brilliant cut diamond, the 34.4 degree crown angle is an excellent offset for the 40.9 degree pavilion angle, and the diamond has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, so it is definitely a contender in my book… it just exhibits a little less optical symmetry than the options provided by Brian Gavin and Crafted by Infinity, the decision that you have to make is what degree of diamond cut quality are you willing to settle for and how much are you willing to pay for it… Based upon the insight provided by the study conducted by the American Gem Society Laboratory, we know that the degree of optical symmetry does affect the visual performance of a diamond.
If you found this review of Brian Gavin, Crafted by Infinity, James Allen True Hearts, and Ritani ideal cut diamonds helpful, and would like help reviewing the diamond options available in your preferred range of quality and price, feel free to take advantage of my free diamond concierge service. Who knows, I might even blog about it…
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