Author Topic: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?  (Read 13834 times)

Offline Foxylady

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« on: September 05, 2010, 06:29:04 PM »
I'd run through brick walls to get to this one, its unreal.

Foxylady  :heart2:

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 08:05:33 PM »
I had to look this one up,,,but, it's nice to learn something new every day.  
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 11:22:47 PM by Diamondsbylauren »

Offline clgwli

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 09:04:49 PM »
I have a feeling that I will be buying one of those ASET kits myself.  They really look like they are fun to play with.  Particularly with a few of the vintage stones I own. 

That is really cool.  I think that is the first fancy I've seen taken like that!
Squiggly

Offline Mrs Mitchell

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 03:34:03 PM »
LOL! An ASET photo! I thought I was on the wrong site for a moment there.  ;D Nice toy!

That is one beautiful diamond. Truly gorgeous. Love it!
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Offline Trinkette

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 04:13:27 PM »
Quote
LOL! An ASET photo! I thought I was on the wrong site for a moment there.

Now, THAT is funny.  :rotflmao:

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 06:52:15 PM »
I'm trying to have an open mind about it.
No question it's a great business.
The thing looks like it cost all of two bucks to make, and it sells for $50.

I have been experimenting- but the results are way to mixed to make it seem like a dependable evaluation tool.

Still, if anyone wants to see an aset photo, we can now provide them.


Did you guys notice the new intense yellow we just bought? ;D
David
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 06:52:53 PM »
Maybe you'd like to see it this way......
David
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Offline Trinkette

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 08:27:11 PM »
I noticed it.  >:D

Offline Trinkette

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2010, 08:00:40 AM »
The Wowser Asscher looks like one of those killer-crystal stones.

Offline Mikla

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2010, 08:10:18 AM »
The Asscher is stunning!   :1237387oyy519k20r:
Diamonds make me jump for joy! :bliss:

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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2010, 11:26:40 PM »
After having used this tool for a little while I'm firmly convinced there's no value in it with regards to actually assessing the beauty.
In terms of quality of cut it's only valuable for people looking for Hearts and Arrows type symmetry

In this youtube I compare two stones, one is a 60/60, the other more of a H&A type of stone....
The 60 60 is just a lot more dazzling, to me. The aset makes it look like the patterned stone is just better.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iThUVa5ND6Q" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iThUVa5ND6Q</a>
David
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2010, 02:20:58 AM »
After having used this tool for a little while I'm firmly convinced there's no value in it with regards to actually assessing the beauty.
Agree

Quote
In terms of quality of cut it's only valuable for people looking for Hearts and Arrows type symmetry
Disagree

Offline clgwli

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2010, 07:24:54 AM »
After having used this tool for a little while I'm firmly convinced there's no value in it with regards to actually assessing the beauty.
Agree

Quote
In terms of quality of cut it's only valuable for people looking for Hearts and Arrows type symmetry
Disagree


I admit I am totally curious.  Why do you disagree with the last part?  I personally don't find them helpful for me, bu I do want one to look at and play with (and learn from).
Squiggly

Offline GracefulLion

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2010, 12:02:59 PM »
I definitely prefer the non-H&A stone.  To me, the H&A just looks like it has a circle of shadows bordering it, heart shaped shadows or not.  I would pick the non-H&A in a heart beat!

Offline clgwli

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, 12:33:58 PM »
I don't like H&A RB either.  I much prefer older cuts or ones that aren't "ideal"  The patterning with the circle and the the arrows bugs the living daylights out of me.

I find I prefer no real pattern or extremely large patterns like asschers or emerald cuts.
Squiggly

Offline oldmancoyote

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2010, 01:42:58 PM »
...which is why I entirely agree with David (and yourself) that ASET images are useless to evaluate beauty. There is too much personal preference in what is beautiful.

Where I disagree is in that ASET images provide input about the way the stone looks - regardless of its underlying level of symmetry. Symmetrical images are easier to interpret, but the value of the ASET is in providing a standardised "look" at the stone.

David's images are far more beautiful - and provide info about colour, which an ASET does not, and for those that have seen enough of David's stones and the corresponding photos an ASET image has limited value indeed, even for a new stone. However, we aren't all so lucky...

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2010, 03:02:16 PM »
Intersting OMC!

After using the aset to look at a lot of stones that I consider well cut, and some that I did not like, I came away feeling like the results were so mixed.
The image below is a perfect example.
Both stones are GIA triple EX. The one on the right shows much more distinct patterning.
Yet, in real life there's no comparison where I'm concerned. The stones on the left sweeps me off my feel- the one on the right is nothing to sneeze at- but the non patterned stone flashes a lot more sparkle in my opinion.

But in terms of the quality of cut, according to GIA, both stones are equal.
There's the rub, for me.
It would be easy to make a case that the stone with the better aset is a better cut. If one wanted such a pattern, then the aset is useful.
But too many times the implication is that the better aset is the better cut.
And we're only talking about round diamonds.
Once we get to fancy shapes, it's even less useful to consumers.
There are stones with some dark areas- such as a bow tie- that aset does not identify.
And vice versa- times that the aset indicates potential dark zones where none exist in real life
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:03:25 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline shiba

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2010, 03:16:40 PM »
I would assume that the H&A would be considered "better" in terms of cut based on this tool.  The other stone looks, messy or uneven, for lack of a better word.  But yet, GIA considers both triple Ex.   ???   As a consumer, unless I was looking for a H&A, that confuses me.  

As an example, having seen this stone in person, which is a 60/60 triple Ex, without H&A.  I found it to be beyond stunning.  Perhaps my personal preference is not the H&A but the flash that is brought by a different cut?
R3558



Is this tool more about "potential" issues rather than a definitive yay/nay?  What does a poor aset look like and what does it mean?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:20:05 PM by shiba »

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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aset- useful or distracting to consumers?
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2010, 03:20:23 PM »
Hi Everyone I recently got an aset. We can now provide aset photos by request.
The whole subject, to me, is controversial.
If you provide info that is irrelevant, though it's seemingly important, it's misleading.

Here's the aset of this Cushion



What does it tell us?
David
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2010, 03:23:09 PM »
I would assume that the H&A would be considered "better" in terms of cut based on this tool.  The other stone looks, messy or uneven, for lack of a better word.  But yet, GIA considers both triple Ex.   ???   As a consumer, unless I was looking for a H&A, that confuses me.  

As an example, having seen this stone in person, which is a 60/60 triple Ex, without H&A.  I found it to be beyond stunning.  Perhaps my personal preference is not the H&A but the flash that is brought by a different cut?
R3558



Is this tool more about "potential" issues rather than a definitive yay/nay?  What does a poor aset look like and what does it mean?

Shiba- believe it or not, the aset on the left is R3558!
Case in point
David
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2010, 03:26:31 PM »
Hypothetically, white areas mean leakage.
White light from beneath the diamond is flowing upwards at the camera lens.
What it really means is that light from underneath the diamond can shine through.
What if it's not the same for light going in the other direction.
If the white areas reacted consistently with aset that would be noteworthy.
It's important to note that the diamond does not allow light to pass through as the aset implies - you can't see your finger through it.
This is inconsistent with aset
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:27:37 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2010, 04:18:26 PM »
The problem, as I see it, has nothing to do with aset- rather, the use of it by unsuspecting consumers to evaluate the images.
When I refer to one aset as conventionally thought of as "better", it's simply because in this case, the aset photo on the right is seemingly more distinct.

The stone on the left, is the 4.36 H/VS1



A very interesting stone.
Cut by a company that specializes in Natural Fancy Colors, I think they felt less bound by current "conventional" thinking in terms of the overall look of the diamond.
that means a slightly larger table- combined with a longer lower girdle facet. That makes the arrow shaft far more narrow- and jumbles up the light as it quickly turns it around, back to your eye.

The reason I feel it's so important, in terms of GIA's calling this combo a 'Triple EX" is that for years I've literally had battles with people over this cut.
Until 2006, GIA did not have a cut grade, and a stone like this would have been called "lesser" in terms of cut.
In 1980, stones like this were more the norm for "premium make" and the shorter LGF smaller tabled diamonds looked kind of "old fashioned"

So, yes, there's a range in any GIA grade.
A G can be closer to an F. A VS2 might be a borderline SI1
But with cut grade it's a completely different type of analysis as compared to color- and clarity.
One end of the EX cut grade is not necessarily closer to VG, for example.

I am a bit sensitive about this subject, as it's near and dear to me, and I'm passionate about it.
I really felt vindicated when GIA's study- using extensive human observations- to verify that the patterns of the "Ideal" make are indeed beautiful- yet given the choice, many observers preferred the more splintry look of the longer LGF, larger table
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 04:48:45 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2010, 04:46:46 PM »
In terms of the info provided.
If we can say that a diamond uses light coming from the side more effectively than it uses it from directly above, what does that tell us?
It might very well mean that a stone showing a lot of green looks a lot better than one showing red or blue in sunlight.
That's a huge aspect to this.
Any of the "tools" to analyze light return invariably measure it under their one particular measuring stick.
IN the real world, certain type ( different cuts) of diamonds look better in certain viewing environment. I believe well cut "crushed ice" stones react better to direct sunlight.
In effect, a well cut RBC is too efficient at utilizing light from directly above.

With regard to standardization- if we can get past my objections to the lack of useful info:
It's not standardized.
I have a relatively easy time taking the aset photos- but someone else's might look different- even if they had the same camera.
There's no set way to take the photos. AGS who developed the took has an aset camera but it's not intended for use in publishing internet imagery.
David
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2010, 05:20:32 PM »
I fully admit I don't get the draw to using an ASET all the time the way many do.  I find it neat and kind of cool to read about.  However after looking at hundreds of ASET pictures and videos of stones I don't see how it can help *me*. 

I think many people are simplifying what an ASET is used for and trying to judge stones on that when it should be at most, IMO, maybe one aspect to look at.  I see many people judging stones and making a final pic on the ASET alone.  They ignore the photos and videos that they could get.

To me that is a terrible misuse of the tool.
Squiggly

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Aset, useful or a distraction to consumers?
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 07:03:45 PM »
Warning - if some of you get a sense of deja vu is because this was initially posted a couple of days ago, then got lost when David split this thread from the "Asscher" thread. Thanks to David's presence of mind, the post's contents were saved, and despite my reply being somewhat critical of David's position, he has invited me to re-post on this discussion. Double kudos to David for caring about potentially lost forum content, and more so for recovering it when it contains some disagreement.

So, here it goes...

Interesting OMC!
 
After using the aset to look at a lot of stones that I consider well cut, and some that I did not like, I came away feeling like the results were so mixed.
The image below is a perfect example.
Both stones are GIA triple EX. The one on the right shows much more distinct patterning.

But the use of ASET is not that of helping to identify patterns... or at least it's not only the symmetrical pattern that matters. Like Clgwli - and perhaps yourself - I like best slightly irregular cuts, and modern H&A leave me relatively cold. The ASET of the stone on the right does not interest me - it's a lot easier to tell from a standardised image than it is from two photos of perhaps two vendors using totally different lighting, photo techniques and post-processing.
 
Quote
Yet, in real life there's no comparison where I'm concerned. The stones on the left sweeps me off my feel- the one on the right is nothing to sneeze at- but the non patterned stone flashes a lot more sparkle in my opinion.

Which is why entirely agree with you that an ASET (or indeed any other standardised viewing tool, such as a Brillancescope, ISEE2, IdealScope, or whatever other gizmo will be invented next) is useless to evaluate beauty. First of all because to a large extent beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, and secondly because to some extent even to the eye of the same beholder beauty is contextual. In a brand new piece of jewellery, scratches are not nice. Patina on a 30, 50, 100 year old piece can be, yet it's still scratches!
 
Quote
But in terms of the quality of cut, according to GIA, both stones are equal.
There's the rub, for me.

I'm sorry, but I feel this is simplistic, particularly coming from you. There are good, nice eye-clean SI2 or I1 and very nasty ones. There are Fancy Yellows that are a lot closer to Intense than to Fancy Light and viceversa. There is surface graining leading to a "Good" polish grade, and there is sloppy(ish) polishing leading to the same grade. Even where one is not issuing a judgment on "beauty", you have always emphasised that a grade is a range, and it encompasses a variety of individual situations which can make the difference between a "good" and a "so-so" (or "bad") stone.
 
Quote
It would be easy to make a case that the stone with the better aset is a better cut. If one wanted such a pattern, then the aset is useful.
But too many times the implication is that the better aset is the better cut.

Ah, but there are two "buts". First of all, AGS has not developed the ASET to detect arrow patterns or to assess optical symmetry in a stone, although it may help to do so. There is an H&A viewer to do that (not developed by AGS, although not dissimilar from an ASET in its operating principles - which incidentally are nothing new - darkfield illumination has been around by roughly 100 years, and ray tracing to assess diamond performance was used by Tolkowski in his 1919 book).
 
Secondly, there is no "better" ASET. There are two different ASET images and they tell me the same things about the stones. The distribution (% surface) of blue, green and red  is what I need to know to assess the likely amount of light reflected back into my eye, the presence or absence of contrast, and  the presence or absence of windows. Of course it also helps to assess the symmetry or otherwise of the pattern, but the judgement that the "symmetrical" ASET is the better one is yours, not mine. There is nothing anywhere that says I have to interpret the ASET in a certain way or that one image is better than the other. However, if you showed me an image of a round that is mostly blue, white or green - regardless of its symmetry - I would be cautious about approaching that particular stone. Can one say the same thing about a standard photo? No - there are plenty of "nice" images of crappy diamonds, taken using "tricksy" lighting.
 
And please don't give me any BS about your photos being "standard". There ain't nothing standard in those. To start with, they are truthful and unretouched. ;D
 
Quote
And we're only talking about round diamonds.
Once we get to fancy shapes, it's even less useful to consumers.
There are stones with some dark areas- such as a bow tie- that aset does not identify.
And vice versa- times that the aset indicates potential dark zones where none exist in real life

The issue is that - if taken correctly, and thus under standardised conditions, including stone height and orientation - ASET images add information. Whether that information is easy to use, is another matter entirely. I can - to some extent - interpret ASET images of emerald and Asscher cuts as well as rounds; I cannot claim to have used it to any extent in other shapes. Interpret in the sense that I can form a pretty good idea of the manner in which contrast and reflection will play in the stone. Will it tell me "oh, this is a beauty"? No. Will it tell me "this is definitely best avoided"? Quite likely. With time (and enough exposure to ASET images and corresponding real stones)
 
Incidentally, I'd be quite interested to see a bow-tie under an ASET tool. If the stone is positioned correctly, the bow-tie should show as blue or white. I wonder though if the fact that the ASET sphere is round and bow-ties tend to show up in elongated shapes means that the reflection patterns are somehow distorted, and/or whether the fact that elongated shapes tend to be shallower than rounds... it would be interesting to test.