What is the Difference Between ASET And Ideal Scope Images?

In spite of the similar looks, there are different benefits and drawbacks to these two technologies. Obviously, both can be used to indicate the light performance of diamonds and if you look at an Idealscope, you can see that it consists of the black lens and a red belt.

On the other hand, when you are looking at an ASET, you will see a blue, a red and a green belt. Both tools reveal areas of light leakage indicated in white (or black if it is not backlit), but the ASET image contains more information. Thanks to the lower green belt, the ASET is also able to highlight the intensity of light that is being returned to the eye.

1.232 H VS2 Hearts and Arrows Round From Brian Gavin

idealscope and aset image for ideal cut round diamond

1.050 G VS2 Signature Series Princess Cut From Brian Gavin

difference between ASET and ideal scope images

Idealscope images are depicted on the left and ASET images on the right.

Which Tool Should Buyers Choose? Is There a Reasonable Choice?

The answer is “it depends”. The ASET scope obviously provides more information with regards to the light performance of the diamond. However, it does take a little more knowledge to decipher what the individual colors mean and how they co-relate to a diamond’s optics. In general, the ASET is the preferred tool for evaluating fancy cut diamonds.

However, the simplicity of the idealscope brings certain lucidity to the table. You do not really need any gemological qualification to figure out which type of Idealscope images to look out for. Red is desirable and indicates light return while diamonds with too much white areas indicates problems with light leakage.

ASET vs Idealscope

Which Is Better For Evaluating Light Performance?

Neither of the tools is black magic and both are highly useful. In my opinion, you should proceed according to the following. If you are buying an expensive piece of jewelry, it might be worthwhile to hire an individual appraiser who is familiar with ASET/Idealscope technology. Let them work with the ASET images and make him/her explain the findings to you.

However, if you are buying on your own and you want to see a little more than what a simple 10x jeweler’s loupe might tell you, an Idealscope is – pun intended – the ideal tool you should use. Either way, both scopes will offer you compelling information in a non-technical manner.

If you are buying diamonds online, you should always request Idealscope/ASET images on top of photographs or videos. This will enable you to scrutinize performance in more details.

WhiteflashJames Allen and Brian Gavin are 3 online vendors who readily provide these data and I highly recommend readers to check them out.

Related Articles

Share This Page on Social Media!


  1. tan-
    November 7, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Hi Paul,

    Are there any cases where the Ideal scope is giving a good light return image but the ASET scope is giving the same diamond a bad light return?

    Is the ideal scope giving a sufficient data for round diamond?

  2. Paul Gian-
    November 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

    To answer your first question, no. Images from both scopes should correlate to each other.

    For round diamonds, the idealscope image provides sufficient data by itself if you know how to interpret it correctly. Likewise, the ASET scope image would too. If you are unsure about the scope image, send me an email with the picture attachment and I can help you take a look at them.

  3. Tan Sook Hoong-
    November 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Thank you so much for assisting,
    Do I need an ideal light device in order to get a better image of ideal or ASET image?

  4. Paul Gian-
    November 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Are you buying a loose diamond or a diamond that is already mounted on a setting?

    For a loose diamond, you may want to use a back lit source of lighting. For a mounted diamond, you can simply hold the ring up against normal fluorescent ceiling lighting in a well-lit room. That should do the trick.

    In both scenarios, try to snap the image during the morning or the afternoon when you have additional background sources of light. That will improve the quality of the image.

  5. Tan Sook Hoong-
    November 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I will be buying a loose diamond.
    Thanks for the opinion and advice. I will share the information with you once I have the diamond image :)

  6. Anna G-
    October 25, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Thinking of buying a 2.22 XXX Gia certified, g color SI2 brilliant round diamond. Excellent polish and excellent symmetry with medium blue fluorescence. Measurements are 8.32-8.36*5.22. For about 24k can you please advise if this is a good deal?

  7. Paul Gian-
    October 26, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Refer to this webpage: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  8. Vin-
    December 31, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks a ton for your insights. Is it true that two diamonds with dimensions that fall into the super ideal range, as defined by several websites, including whiteflash’s ACA criteria, should have the same light performance? This is assuming other things being equal, including clarity, etc.

    I have dilemma on which of these two diamonds to get. Could you weigh in if you don’t mind. Both of which have ideal scope images.

    1) https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3703109.htm

    2) https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-2336286

    Also The James Allen diamond has a dark red, does that mean the light return is superior?

  9. Paul Gian-
    January 2, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Nope. Proportions are only a prerequisite. You will need scope images to determine whether they are really well cut or not. Most diamonds aren’t well cut even if they have the right proportions.

    Anyway, I reviewed the diamonds and think you did well.

    Both are well cut diamonds and are eyeclean.

    https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.20-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-2336286 is the diamond I would prefer for its cut quality and better value for money. It’s the diamond I would personally buy.

    Good find!

    https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-3703109.htm would be my second choice. The first diamond is a much better option. Go for that.

  10. Faye-
    June 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for the informative post! i am in the market for a diamond necklace and have located 3 diamonds on James Allen website that I think are of good value (also within my budget). I contacted James Allen customer rep yesterday via chat to request the Ideal scope images and was told that they could not provide them as they did not have those images on file. Is this expected? I thought I could be able to request that and have it done in 2-3 working days…

    Can you kindly take a look at these 3 and let me know which one you would recommend? Thank you so much!


  11. Paul Gian-
    June 15, 2017 at 7:22 am

    The first diamond has some issues with clarity and the clouds are causing haziness. My top choice would be the 2nd stone with its larger carat size. The 3rd stone would be my 3rd choice. Hope this helps!

Leave A Comment