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Warning: Please read the Disclaimer before proceeding!

EightStar (from Kehns & Co.)

EightStars are beautiful diamonds. They are very well known in the US, Europe and Japan for their beauty and consistent performance. Kehns & Co. is the sole distributor of EightStar Diamonds in Singapore. Unfortunately, they have closed down the last time I checked. So, you will have a hard time finding an EightStar in Singapore.

What are EightStar Diamonds?

Aside from all the marketing talk, the reason why EightStar Diamonds will perform is because they are cut to very exacting standards, using a device called the FireScope. A FireScope is essentially a tool similar to an Idealscope or Lightscope. EightStar cut their damond to produce edge-to-edge light return. Essentially, the Firescope image is fully red or black. If you buy an EightStar diamond, you can leave your Idealscope at home because they are guaranteed to look red and black, from edge-to-edge. Hence, you can be assured that it will perform.

Frequently, EightStars are cut from existing poorly cut diamonds. The EightStar Diamond Company hunts down diamonds that are suitable for recutting and buys them. Usually, these diamond will lose about 20% of their weight during the recutting process before they become EightStars.

You can buy your own (poorly cut) diamond and have them cut into an EightStar for a fee, but it is usually cheaper to ask the EightStar Diamond Company to buy the diamond in question because they would know best which are the diamonds that are most suitable for recut (and hence lose less carat weight in the process).

   
 
1.085ct Eightstar set in platinum Mark Morrell ring (with EightStar Firescope image)
 
   

Be careful what you believe

There is no doubt that EightStars are beautiful diamonds. However, you must careful about what to believe when the sales pitch is thrown at you.

If you manage to find an EightStar retailer, they will show you a chart with the Firescope image of a GIA Ex/Ex diamond next to an EightStar. They would then tell you that most cutters cut their diamonds with some light leakage, so the EightStar is superior. This is far from the truth.

First of all, EightStar is not the only company that can cut their diamonds to edge-to-edge light return. Other diamond manufacturers can as well. If you possess an Idealscope, or buy from a vendor who can provide you with such an image, it is possible to pick out a diamond with edge-to-edge light return if that is really what you want.

The picture on the right is the Idealscope image of a diamond sold by Diamond Ideals (an internet vendor I almost bought from). Note that it is fully red, right to the edge.

Secondly, edge-to-edge return is not necessarily a great thing. If you have read the tutorial on Girdle Painting , you will understand that a little controlled light leakage at the edge of the diamond improves contrast brilliance. Edge-to-edge light return is a symptom of girdle painting, and it is not for everyone. The picture below is my proposal ring. The diamond has some deliberate light leakage around the edge. I think the diamond is just as beautiful. Whether you prefer one or the other, is a matter of taste. (The pictures are not meant fore you to compare which is more beautiful because they are taken with different cameras under different lighting conditions.)

 
     
 
 
 
0.62ct D VVS2 Diamond form Good Old Gold in custom setting (with Lightscope image )
 
     
 

They are just different

A diamond cut with thinner arrows like my proposal ring has a different look. It has more, but smaller flashes of light when the diamond is moved because of the smaller arrows, and the numerous 'hotspots'. Read the section on Scintillation, Optical Cut Analysis and Key Minor Facets to learn about 'hotspots' and their optical effects. It also has some slight leakage around the edge, delibrately cut to improve contrast brilliance.

A diamond cut like the EightStar, with big black arrows have broader but fewer flashes. Broad flashes can be seen from further away. Also, some people prefer the bold broad flashes. Also, all EightStar daimonds have painted girdles. Whether you like that or not is a matter of taste.

To me, they are both beautiful diamonds. I have my own preference and so do you. Just do not let the sales people convince you that one is better than the other before you actually look at both of them. Also, do not buy from any vendor that fails to inform you that a diamond has painted girdles because that would bother on being dishonest. You will be paying a lot for an EightStar, so you should make sure that you actually prefer the way it looks.

Pricing

EightStars are expensive. You pay for the quality control that comes with the brand. I have been told not to reveal the prices of EightStars, so I will not present a chart of the prices.

However, the price of EightStars at Kehns & Co. were easily derived. The prices of diamonds within the 0.5ct to 0.69ct range in September 2004 appeared to be exactly 180% of its Rap Price, using the FX Rate of S$1.75 per US$1. If you can get your hands on a Rapaport report, you can calculate the prices yourself. Since Kehns & Co has closed down, there is no way for me to give you an update of the prices.

Conclusion

EightStar is a well known international brand. The premium may be high, but you pay for the brand and the quality craftsmanship it promises. I have never seen an EightStar that did have edge-to-edge light return under the IdealScope/LightScope. However, you should take a look at them to decide if you like the EightStar look. Actually, the premium you pay is comparable to other local brands with lower quality. If you like branded diamonds you may consider an EightStar. However, you must also be aware that it is very possible to find a quality unbranded diamond that performs as good as (if not better than) an EightStar, minus the premium.

 
 
 
     

Next: The Lazare Diamond...