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A Consumer Guide to Diamonds
Today the 3P’s are as important as the 4C’s.

The viewers also produced a new genre of ideal cut diamond—crafted with mathematical precision and symmetry never before possible.

When cut with proper proportions and scientific exactitude, diamonds exhibited distinct eight-rayed light reflection patterns in the new viewers. The highest caliber cuts displayed kaleidoscopic patterns whose parts were equally well-defined and symmetrical. Stones with poorer cutting showed distorted, partial, or indistinct patterns. These light reflection readers became a means of teaching cutters to produce high-performance diamonds as well as a means of proving their success in doing so.

Stones with very coherent reflection patterns became known as “hearts and arrows” diamonds. When looked at on the crown, they displayed eight arrows; when looked at on the pavilion, they displayed eight hearts. As a mass market for these diamonds developed in Japan, manufacturers focused on making diamonds that displayed sharp hearts and arrows.

If your jeweler uses light reflection readers to demonstrate the performance capabilities of diamonds, make sure they are the kind that evaluate the diamond in its entirety (all 57 facets) and enable users to decipher the complete light performance properties of a stone. When a diamond’s light reflection pattern is as coherent as it should be, stones are said to possess “optical symmetry.” No wonder one popular modern light reader is called a “symmetriscope.” You may also encounter a handheld device, reminiscent of a jeweler’s loupe, called the “Idealscope.”

Most reflection readers show fields of red and pink, against which form, or fail to form, distinct patterns. Red is used because it allows for high-contrast reflection displays. Some viewers also use blue. Recently, the American Gem Society introduced a multicolor light reader called “A.S.E.T.” (Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool) which reveals even greater detail about the quality of the diamond’s light performance. (see image 9)

Predicting Diamond PERFORMANCE

The invention of light reflection readers showed—for the first time—the degree to which a diamond processed light properly. They also accurately represented a stone’s overall light output. This was a major step in the evolution of the modern ideal cut round brilliant diamond. In no time at all, these light readers became a useful comparison tool for jewelers to judge diamond performance when buying stones and demonstrate it when selling them.

But now that jewelers had new standards for perfection of cutting, they needed means to scientifically prove such perfection. Proof required measurements that could be translated into reliable performance ratings and expectations.

Diamond ring
Image 1 - Diamond ring from the “Rose” collection by Dalumi.
Image 2 - Ring featuring a Crisscut center diamond by Christopher Designs.
diamond ring bridal set
Image 3 - Bridal set featuring marquise-like shaped Calla cut diamonds from Nelson Jewellery.
diamond circle necklace
Image 4 - Diamond circle necklace featuring a Lady Heart three-stone diamond pendant from David Arabov & Sons.
diamond engagement ring
Image 5 - Princess cut diamond engagement ring by Amy Levine.
diamond earrings and pendant
Image 6 - Earrings and pendant with Rand ideal cut diamonds from Rand Diamond.
swirl diamond pendants
Image 7 - Stylish swirl diamond pendants from Stuller.
cut diamond
Image 8 - Under very favorable, high contrast white illumination, the ideal cut diamond is capable of emitting fire from every facet of its crown. Photo by Michael Cowing, ACA Gemological Laboratory.
diamond engagement ring and wedding band
Image 9 - Diamond engagement ring and wedding band from Uneek.
diamond engagement rings
Image 10 - Engagement rings featuring invisible set diamond side accents from Jewelex.
diamond brilliance
Image 11 - The Isee2 light measurement system from Overseas Diamonds gives diamond brilliance, fire, and sparkle ratings.
14k white gold engagement ring with baguette diamonds
Image 12 - Semi-mount 14k white gold engagement ring with baguette diamond sides from Dora Wedding Bands & Rings.
rose and white gold diamond ring
Image 13 - Rose and white gold diamond ring by Doron Isaak.
heart shaped diamond pendant
Image 14 - Heart shaped diamond pendant by Uneek.