If you are looking for the most beautiful diamond in the world, you are looking for a Super Ideal Cut Diamond. A Super ideal Cut Diamond is cut with exceptional craftsmanship, with angles and proportions that give it maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation. At RockHer, you can now use the legendary HCA score right in our search to find the Super Ideal Cut Diamond that’s right for you to create a custom engagement ring that outshines and outsparkle all others. Here’s a complete guide to the patented HCA tool and how to use it in RockHer’s search to shop for Super Ideal Cut Diamonds.
A Cut Above
If you’ve done much research into the 4Cs of diamond quality, you already know that cut is the most important C when it comes to diamond beauty. The facets of diamonds are like tiny mirrors, angled to reflect light back to your eyes, bend it into spectral fire, and create patterns of bright and dark areas that sparkle with life. Some diamonds do this better and some diamonds are the absolute best. These maximum sparklers are called Super Ideal Cut Diamonds or Hearts and Arrows Diamonds. These diamonds are the best of the best: the world’s most well-crafted diamonds with the maximum possible brilliance, fire and scintillation. If you buy a Super Ideal Cut Diamond, your engagement ring or other diamond jewelry won’t just sparkle, it will dance with light and draw every eye in the room.
The Super Ideal Cut is the pinnacle of diamond cutting because it has excellent craftmanship with the combination of angles and proportions that maximize light performance. A Super Ideal Cut diamond dances with brilliance, scintillation and fire. Brilliance is the bright white light reflected from a diamond. Fire is the scattering of light into rainbow colors, also known as dispersion. Scintillation is the flashing pattern of bright and dark areas as a diamond or the light illuminating it moves. Diamonds with the perfect combination of all three attributes have one thing in common: they have a high HCA score that qualifies them as a Super Ideal Cut Diamond. That means they score between 1 and 2 on the Holloway Cut Advisor, which uses the angles and proportions on a diamond’s grading report to calculate how well it can handle light.
What is the HCA Score?
The Holloway Cut Advisor calculates how well a diamond’s proportions reflect and refract light. The HCA score was developed by Australian gemologist and diamond cutter Garry Holloway, who has researched diamond cut for decades, building on the work of Marcel Tolkowsky, who created the first formula for ideal cut diamonds in 1919. Created in 2001 and patented soon after, the HCA tool was a breakthrough in explaining cut quality to consumers, beginning the ideal-cut diamond revolution that ultimately resulted in cut grades being added to diamond grading reports.
How do you know if a diamond is the best of the best when it comes to cut? The GIA report alone won’t tell you. The Gemological Institute of America grades cut quality on round brilliant diamond grading reports but it doesn’t identify Super Ideal Cuts. GIA has five possible cut grades: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Because these categories are broad, excellent cut grades include Super Ideal Cuts as well as diamonds that are great but not the absolute best. But if all the ordinary well-cut diamonds as well as the Super Ideal Cut diamonds have the same “excellent” cut grades from GIA, how do you tell which diamonds are Super Ideal Diamonds? Consumers everywhere use the Holloway Cut Advisor, or HCA tool.
When you search for diamonds, the HCA tool helps you screen out diamonds that don’t have the right proportions to perform at the highest level. According to Holloway, only 15% of diamonds with a GIA “Excellent” cut grade qualify as super ideal diamonds. For more than a decade, consumers have used an HCA calculator to assess the cut of individual diamonds on Pricescope.com, entering the measurements one by one.
But now RockHer has incorporated the HCA score right into its diamond search so that finding super ideal cut diamonds with top HCA scores is easier than ever before. That’s especially important today because AGS Laboratories, the leading source of ideal cut grades, was recently acquired by the GIA and will no longer issue its signature triple zero cut grades for ideal cut diamonds.
At RockHer, we want to help you find the very best diamond for you and to be able to quickly compare the proportions of different round brilliant cut diamonds to find a Super Ideal Cut Diamond that fits your budget.
How Do You Buy Diamonds Using the HCA?
The HCA tool was created to allow consumers to screen out diamonds that don’t have the right proportions to reflect and refract the maximum amount of light. It uses the table percentage, depth percentage, crown angle, pavilion angle, and culet from the grading report to assess how a diamond handles light. Every small change in one parameter requires changes in all the others to direct the light back to your eyes. That’s why charts that give ranges for each value aren’t accurate enough to assess light performance.
The HCA score ranges from 0-10, with scores between 1-2 qualifying as Super Ideal Diamonds. Interestingly, a score of 1 may not be better than a score of 2. Why? Because there is always a tradeoff at the highest level between brilliance and fire. A diamond with a balance of brilliance and fire is called a TIC, or Tolkowsky Ideal Cut. A FIC, or Fire Ideal Cut sacrifices a bit of brilliance for more spectral fire. A BIC, or Brilliance Ideal Cut, sacrifices a bit of fire for extra brilliance. Which you prefer is a matter of taste but all three are beautiful diamonds.
The HCA score isn’t foolproof. If a diamond has a facet or two that are angled incorrectly or a slight asymmetry, the path of light can be diverted to make it less than optimal. That’s why RockHer gemologists confirm all our Super Ideal Cut Diamonds to make sure that they are worthy of the distinction. In conjunction with the GIA cut grade, the HCA score can quickly find you diamonds that are exceptionally beautiful. Shop for diamonds with a high HCA score on RockHer by selecting “Super Ideal Cut” in our diamond search tool.