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Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows: An American Jewelers Quest for The Rarest Round Brilliant Cuts
by Jonathan Weingarten

It was January of 2000 and we were introduced to the very first Hearts & Arrows Round Brilliant Cuts we would ever lay eyes on. About 2 years earlier in 1998 we decided to enter the uncharted waters of the Internet while it was still in a fairly young stage and quite unsure of what would happen. Would we lose? Would we gain? What exactly was it people wanted really? As the first website to publish photomicrographs along with Sarin results and the GIA Reports together, we began getting inquiries for these "Hearts & Arrows" diamonds and dang ... they were gorgeous. Never before had we witnessed cutting done at such precision and cut to the traditional Tolkowsky proportions all in one diamond, and now we had a tool (ie. a Hearts & Arrows viewer) to demonstrate to our clients such rare levels of precision in cutting. Later that year in June of 2000 we were introduced to our first technology to help us critically analyze light return vs light leakage in a diamond via a technology called The FireScope. The FireScope not only showed us optical precision but also showed us important contributing factors to determining diamond beauty, not only in round brilliant cuts but all shapes and cutting styles of diamond. We were amazed at how the technology, for the most part, correlated with what our eyes were seeing. The introduction of this tool was the beginning of my journey into the world of diamond cut grading, but cut grading in way that would forever change the landscape of diamond cut grading and eventually be employed into what is today the strictest cut grading system in existence.

As the months would pass we would eventually acquire even more new technologies to help us analyze light return, light leakage, the intensity of that light return, where exactly the diamond was drawing it's reflections from within the atmosphere, optical symmetry, etc. Factors which at the time were not employed into either GIA or AGS cut grading systems. Over the years from June of 2000 till the present I have worked intimately with the most advanced optical technologies on the market as well as having the finest diamond scanners to measure the exact facet lengths and angles that contributed to what we knew were the rarest and most beautiful diamonds in the world. These technologies include the

GemEx BrillianceScope, the Isee2 Machine which was later bought out by Sarine, Octonus Ray Tracing software, etc. If you have been following us for any length of time you also know we have invented 4 ideal cuts on the market today. This is strictly due to this intensive time studying all of the above and correlating it with human observation. As we have traditionally referred to our top tier of rounds simply as "Superior Hearts & Arrows" we are, with the launch of our new website introducing a new breed of Hearts & Arrows that must meet the strictest of criteria you'll find on the web. This is to ensure our clients are getting the best spread combined with the best optical performance attainable in the round brilliant cut. We introduce you to Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows diamonds.

So ... what is it that constitutes the rarest round brilliant cuts on the market today? Here ya go.
The Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows represents not only our strictest criteria but constitutes that of any round brilliant cut featured in the world today. No website or store holds to a higher standard than what we are going to outline here. The following is what constitutes Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows.

1. The diamond must be accompanied by either a GIA triple Excellent or AGS Triple Ideal Report.

2. If it is a GIA Triple Excellent it must have confirmed AGS Ideal Light Performance via the AGS PGS analysis.

3. If the diamond is an AGS Triple Ideal it must receive GIA Ex via the GIA Facetware analysis.

4. The diamond must exhibit a uniform and even Hearts pattern on the pavilion demonstrated with photographic evidence.

5. The diamond must exhibit no extraneous light leakage via FireScope/DiamXray analysis.

6. The diamond must exhibit a perfect saturation of reds combined with the perfect distribution of blues/greens via AGS ASET technology.

7. The diamond must have proportions that fall into what we know are the absolute rarest “orthodox” proportion set for modern round brilliant cuts. This includes the following criteria…

  • Table sizes between 53-58%.
  • Crown angles between 34-34.9 degrees.
  • Pavilion angles between 40.6 – 41 degrees.
  • Total depth must be =<62.2%.
  • Upper and lower half facets must not exceed 4° painting.
  • Crown and pavilion angle deviations must be =<.5°

8. Policies: Full Lifetime Trade Up and Buy Back Policies

FAQ's on Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows

If I am considering an AGS ideal cut, doesn't this fact alone guarantee I am getting the best optics in a diamond?

No. While AGS is perhaps the most conservative lab on the planet with regards to cut quality and DOES in fact take into account light leakage, tilt etc. AGS does in fact allow for certain amounts of light leakage and painting which impacts a diamonds optics.

Here is one example. Note the precision in the Hearts image. It is a perfectly executed Hearts & Arrows diamond.

Note also it's FireScope/DiamXray results. Solid red indicating no blatant light leakage! Great right?!

ASET results (on the left below) indicate excessive greens around the upper half region. Notably more than our Ascendancy H&A's (depicted on the right).

Big whoop or no big whoop? Well ... GIA would disqualify this degree of painting from the Ex grade. Here are GIA Facetware results. The reason? Painting of the upper halves.

And while we have seen diamonds like this make AGS Ideal Cut, the AGS PGS (Performance Grading Software) reveals that this one *just* teeters over the "Ideal" zone for Light Performance giving a .50 score in a deduction for "Dispersion" (aka Fire). Anything => .50 in the sum of all the metrics will disqualify a diamond from being AGS Ideal.

In the video below is a comparison of this diamond alongside of one of our signature (now Ascendancy) Hearts & Arrows diamonds

Aren't all Hearts & Arrows diamonds equally beautiful?

Nope. The video above is an example of a Hearts & Arrows diamond exhibiting too much painting of the upper half facets and suffers decreased brightness and fire. Diamonds with precise or superior optical symmetry can also suffer from extraneous light leakage. Here is another example to learn from. Note the optical symmetry on this diamond below. Below is a diamond with Hearts & Arrows (ie. precise) optical symmetry and it does have photographic evidence demonstrating a certain level of precision.

Look what happens when we run more optical exams on the diamond though. The blatant white areas you see under the table facet are areas of light leakage.

As a result the diamond gets an AGS 2 in Light Performance.

But was and is a GIA Triple Excellent. A clear example of why we do not endorse all GIA Triple Excellent diamonds.

  • What if the diamond has AGS Ideal optics but just isn't a Hearts & Arrows? Will it be as beautiful?

  • They can be. After all, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Below is a great example of a comparison of two diamonds with AGS Ideal optics, one is our signature Hearts & Arrows (Ascendancy) alongside of another non Hearts & Arrows diamond with AGS Ideal optics. Even though Hearts & Arrows patterning is best viewed under the Hearts & Arrows scope for critical reasons you can still see the symmetrical differences between the 2 diamonds below.

  • I found a Hearts and Arrows diamond on another website that is comparably priced. Why should I buy yours over theirs?

    While we certainly aren't the only company featuring Hearts & Arrows diamonds there are a number of reasons you should consider purchasing with us.

    • We are the only company that puts their diamonds through the battery of gemological examinations above and beyond the GIA or AGS Reports to ensure you are getting the absolute best diamond for your dollar.
    • On top of the criteria listed on this tutorial there is also the additional gemological exams we perform here.
    • Every one of our Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows are accompanied with a full Appraisal Report which includes all the data, photography & reports featured on that diamonds web page. This is vital since, God forbid, you ever lost the ring the insurance company is only obligated to replace what is described in your Appraisal Report. Few appraisers around the world give the details and photography we include in ours which will accompany your purchase. An appraisal of this magnitude is a $250 value(minimum) in and of itself.
    • We often get inquiries from other people who want to trade in a diamond they purchased elsewhere with one of our Ascendancy or other Ideal Cuts. While you may or may not ever take advantage of it, our clients are not limited like you are on other websites and have the option of trading up your Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows for ANY kind of Ideal cut we feature. This includes ...
      • Other Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows,
      • August Vintage European Cuts
      • August Vintage Cushions
      • August Vintage Asschers
      • Solasfera Rounds or Princess
      • Star129 or Eighternity Round Brilliant's
      • ANY DIAMOND WE FEATURE! On other websites you are limited to only their Hearts & Arrows.
      • Bottom line ... we are so confident you'll be 100% satisfied with your diamond and buying experience with us we back the diamond with the most solid policies being offered on the Internet.

    • Are Ascendancy the only diamond you cut for the best optics possible combined with the tightest precision?

      Nope. We feature a number of diamonds with Ideal optics that are cut to the same level of precision. Our August Vintage European Cuts & Cushions as well as The Solasfera rounds are other personalities of diamonds cut to equal precision coupled with the rarest optics. The difference between them is in the nature in which they reflect light back to the eye.

  • Now that you know about the Ascendancy Hearts and Arrows diamond click here to view our Ascendancy Hearts & Arrows diamond inventory.