A customer who I’ve been chatting with for a few weeks sent me an email today asking whether I would take a look at a diamond which she located in Australia, here is what she wrote: “Jogia is a company in Perth here in Australia.
They advertise a lot on the web. They sell a RB diamond called a Crossfire. They also include ideal scope images as well as videos in both diffused and spotlight, which is quite a lot for an Aussie website. This Crossfire diamond looks ok to me, but I was curious as to your thoughts as you obviously know what to look for.”
Crossfire Diamonds GIA Diamond Dossier:
Everything looks good as far as the details provided on the GIA Diamond Dossier gemological report pictured above, the proportions of the diamond are center range zero ideal cut, just the way I like things to be. The primary inclusions are indicated as being crystals and needles which are simply different shapes of diamond crystals that were absorbed within the larger diamond crystal as it formed, these represent my favorite types of inclusions since they are merely diamond within the diamond.
Both the polish and symmetry of the diamond are graded as GIA Excellent and combined with the proportions resulted in an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent. This diamond meets the first stage of my selection criteria and would definitely be something which I would have brought in for physical evaluation when I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice.
Judging Contrast using an Ideal Scope image:
The ideal scope image pictured to the left looks pretty good, the diamond is “leaking light” in all of the normal places that a round brilliant cut diamond will be and the image is typical of the average round brilliant zero ideal cut diamond.
Notice however that there is some variance in the intensity of the contrast exhibited within the arrows… specifically, the shafts of the arrows are darker and more intense than the arrowheads which are lighter in intensity and thus telling us that there is less contrast in the tips of the arrows than there is in the shafts.
Hidden Insight provided by the Hearts and Arrows pattern:
The image of the hearts which appear to the left is used to determine the amount of optical symmetry within the diamond and subsequently the degree of Azimuth Shift which exists within the facet structure of the diamond. Consumers are led to believe that if a diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of Hearts and Arrows then it is going to exhibit a high degree of visual performance and this is true to some extent.
However what experienced diamond buyers for the diamond industry actually use the hearts and arrows images for is to determine the extent of Azimuth Shift which is present within the diamond and we look well beyond the mere presence of a pattern and actually grade them for consistency of the size and shape of the hearts and arrows patterns as well as judge them for differences in contrast, shape and whether there is any twisting or breakage within the patterns.
The Difference is in the Subtle Details:
The first thing that caught my eye is that this is not a traditional hearts pattern, the eight pointed star present within the center of the diamond is more of a flower than an eight pointed star and thus we know that this is a proprietary cut and facet design. This is essentially a round brilliant cut hybrid and without having the diamond to evaluate in-person and compare to a traditional hearts and arrows diamond, I can only provide basic insight based upon my perception of what I believe I am seeing in comparison to what I would expect to see from a similar image as presented with a traditional round brilliant ideal cut diamond which exhibits a pattern of hearts and arrows… so while I think that the basic principles of gemology apply, we’re going to approach this evaluation from the concept of “similar but different” and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions in terms of what is relative across grading platforms and what is not.
I suspect that the pavilion mains which create the eight pointed star which is present within a traditional hearts and arrows cut diamond have been elongated and curved inward at the edges which will change the manner in which light plays through the diamond. I note that Jogia Diamonds markets the Crossfire Diamond as the “Best Cut Diamond in Australia” but I could not find any data supporting that claim in terms of a side-by-side comparison to other brands of round brilliant ideal cut diamonds. Personally I’d love to take a look at one and run it through it’s paces. One thing which I’ve noticed with the majority of round brilliant cut hybrids which I’ve evaluated is that they seem to produce a smaller number of virtual facets and smaller flashes of light than traditional round brilliant ideal cut diamonds… people often refer to this as “pin fire sparkle” and market the concept with phrases like “the most brilliant diamond…” and it seems to work well with people who don’t understand that there is a defined difference between the terms “brilliance” and “fire” or “dispersion” and that a diamond which is “more brilliant” is often “less fiery” and thus something has been lost for the other to be gained… I tend to prefer a diamond which offers more of a balance of brilliance and dispersion along with a high degree of “scintillation” which is the sparkle factor created when the diamond is moving or being observed by somebody who is moving.
More Facets Does NOT Necessarily Equal Better Light Return:
Usually what I find is that additional facets on a round brilliant cut diamond result in smaller virtual facets and thus a lesser degree of sparkle factor and this observation is supported by research conducted by the AGS Laboratory. Keep in mind that I am merely explaining gemological theory at this point because I was unable to locate a diagram for the facet structure of the Crossfire Diamond and thus I’m not drawing the conclusion that this diamond exhibits a smaller number of virtual facets, nor that it has a lesser degree of sparkle factor, I’m merely talking out loud and explaining things which I think about while evaluating modified round brilliant cut diamonds for visual performance.
Regardless of differences within the facet design and structure of the diamond, I see what I believe to be a reasonable amount of Azamet Shift within the facet structure of the diamond and if this were a traditional round brilliant hearts and arrows diamond, I would deem this to be a B-Grade Hearts and Arrows Pattern based upon the standards set forth by the Zenhokyo and Central Gemological Laboratory of Japan, meaning that it’s a nice pattern, but it’s not top notch… so if this were a traditional round brilliant cut diamond, I would deem it to be within the top 1% of annual production for round brilliant cut diamonds, but it’s not in the top 1/10th of 1% if that makes sense. It’s kind of like an exotic sports car without a $3,000.00 precision tune-up or a turbo charger…
If I Wanted to Play “Twister” I’d Buy the Game:
Specifically what I’m seeing in the hearts pattern is a subtle difference in the size and shape of the hearts as well as splitting of some of the lower clefts of the hearts and some twisting of the tips of the hearts and this extends downwards through the tip of the diamond (culet bottom point) through the arrow heads which are also twisting a bit in the tips. So what this means in terms of visual performance, aka sparkle factor, is that the flashes of light off of the diamond are going to be fewer and a smaller in size than would be typical for a true hearts and arrows quality diamond.
Keep in mind that this diamond is still in the realm of exotic sports cars, it’s just missing the turbo charger and hasn’t been as finely tuned as a true hearts and arrows quality diamond would be. This is essentially because the diamond was most likely cut to hit the right proportions and achieve an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent and the pattern of hearts and arrows which does exist is merely a reflection of the overall facet design of a round brilliant cut diamond.
To achieve true hearts and arrows status, the cutter would have to spend a great deal of time and effort to ensure that the facets of the diamond are very consistent in size and shape and that they align very precisely over and across from each other – this in turn will create a larger number of virtual facets (facet shapes designed within the facet structure of the diamond as the diamond is moved or viewed by a person who is moving).
This in turn creates sparkle, when the facets are aligned beyond the precision required for the GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal symmetry grade which is based on “meet point precision” and taken to the next level, a brighter more vibrant diamond is created and it also costs more to produce. This is typical of the production for Brian Gavin, Crafted by Infinity and Hearts on Fire all of which I have had the opportunity to evaluate extensively and am thus more qualified to comment upon.
Analyzing the Computerized Proportions Analysis:
Pictured to the left is the proportions analysis provided for the diamond, it basically confirms the proportions data provided on the GIA Diamond Dossier, although there are some discrepancies in the measurements which is pretty common because of differences in the type and calibration of equipment.
Needless to say that I would rely more on the measurements provided by the GIA Laboratory because they are most likely using a higher quality piece of equipment and it is most likely calibrated more often to factory specifications.
Regardless of what is missing from this proportions analysis are the high and low measurements which comprise the average measurements for crown angle and pavilion angle which are stated on the lab report. This is critical information because it lets me know how much sway exists within the facet structure of the diamond, which in turn tells me a lot about how the light will travel through the diamond per section.
Consider for a moment that the average crown angle of 34.5 degrees as stated on the GIA Diamond Dossier could be the result of a tight variance like a low of 34.3 degrees and a high of 34.7 degrees or something much broader like a low of 33.5 degrees and a high of 35.5 degrees and the same principle holds true for the average pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees.
The solution is to ask the seller for the detailed manufacturer’s proportions analysis which will show provide this information and then we’ll have a better idea of how the puzzle pieces which make up the picture of this diamond are shaped.
By the way, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the “predicted light performance” portion of the “cut report” which appears above on the cut report as a multi-colored bar graph located in the lower right corner of the cut report because it is not something which is produced based upon the diamond actually being scanned for light return. In other words, this is not a concept that is comparable to the ASET Scope results or the Light Performance report issued by the AGS Laboratory.
Rather it is a computerized estimation of “light performance” based upon the proportions of the diamond as determined during the computerized proportions analysis. It’s something which I consider to be a marketing feature that might seem impressive to consumers, but which actually provides nothing in terms of actual insight into the visual performance of the diamond beyond what is already provided by the analysis of the proportions.
So overall you’ve found a nice rendition of a round brilliant cut diamond hybrid, it is certainly worthy of consideration, it’s just a matter of how far you want to take things in terms of precision and overall sparkle factor.