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I have a question about clarity ratings for large round diamonds - approximately 3 carets. I realize that clarity is not the only factor; indeed it isn't even the most important factor. That said, it is one that has been confusing me in my search. The following is the philosophy I am going by - I am interested in getting a diamond that appears as beautiful as any other out there. That said, I do not want to pay extra for any rarity the effects of which cannot be detected by the naked eye. Based on lots of reading, I settled my search on a minimum quality of G/SI1. Everything I read said that SI1 would be eye-clean, and that seemed to fit my philosophy.
I do not live in a major city and am finding it quite difficult to see a wide selection of diamonds. To date, I have been able to get the two jewelers I am talking with to get in a total of three different diamonds - a G/SI1, a F/VS2, and a F/VS1:
G/SI1 (EGL cert) - Has a visible white inclusion near the center of the table. Once I saw it with a loupe, it was quite easy to also see with the naked eye.
F/VS2 (GIA Cert) - Has two visible black inclusions near the edge (off the table). One is probably too close to the center to be covered by a prong. Again, I did not notice it until I used a loupe, but then it was also quite easy to see with the naked eye.
F/VS1 (GIA Cert) - I can't find a single thing wrong with this one with or without a loupe. I even looked at the Cert to try to guide me as to where to look, but can't find a thing.
Being relatively uneducated, this last diamond is more what I expected with all of these diamonds. I'm not an expert - until about two weeks ago, I knew next to nothing about diamonds. The fact that I had no trouble finding with a loupe and then with my naked eye has me a bit concerned. After more reading, I see things about how GIA is more lenient on larger stones, etc. So here is my question:
#1 - Are the three diamonds I saw representative? In other words, should I expect to be able to see inclusions with the naked eye in SI1 and VS2 clarity? Or if I keep looking might I find a VS2 or SI1 that is completely eye-clean? If I want eye-clean stone at this size, should I narrow my search to VS1?
#2 - How do you suggest that I increase my selection? Should I just wait and hope that my local jeweler is able to get me more choices over time? Should I visit NY, San Francisco, or some other major city? I'm more than willing to do this if it would help - I travel enough for work that I could spend a day in just about any city at a reasonable cost.
Thanks for the advice.
What you have said is very common. In the size diamond your looking at I would tell you to be very careful buying a SI1 or VS2. I would feel much better saying to buy in the VS1 range unless you can really sort through several SI1's or VS2's.
As the size goes up the grade seems to get more loose, but it doesn't.
Think of a clarity grade as a percentage of the diamond that is flawed. Well, if you looking at a 1/10 carat and it is 5% flawed it is still very difficult to see if not impossible. Now say a 5 carat that is 5% flawed, same calrity grade but much larger imperfections and much easier to see.
Be careful in the SI1 to VS2 if you want truly an eye-clean diamond in that size.
Hope this helps.
In response to your questions:
#1b. Not necessarily. There are SI's
that definitely "face-up" eye-clean.
You should be able to find such SI's
without having to go up to VS-1.
2. This is certainly a viable option
as jewelers in major metropolitan
centers will assuredly be able to
present you with a larger, more varied selection.
Of interest, is that nowhere in your post do you mention the cut-quality of
the three diamonds you examined.
'Cut' is the most important of the
5-C's. A beautifully cut diamond will emit more light to your eye and
in a SI grade that increased light output will tend to 'mask' such
Thanks for all the advice. I think I have found my diamond (I really liked the Ideal cut when I saw it) and have two more questions.
#1 - Any red flags on the following before I buy?
Clarity: VS2 and eye-clean by MY definition
Cut: AGS Ideal
Total Depth%: 61.6%
Crown Depth%: 15.7%
Pavilion Depth%: 42.6%
Girdle: Faceted 1.2% to 2.2%
Crown Angle: 34.9
Pavilion Angle: 40.6
Price: still working with my jeweler, but it will be between $10k & $11k per caret plus sales tax (jeweler is local)
#2 - How do I make absolute sure I'm getting what I think I am, and that it remains the same throughout the purchase and setting process?
I'm buying the loose diamond from a local jeweler that I have done business with in the past.
We used his scale to weigh the diamond and it was 3.19ct.
We used his measurement tool to measure and the diameter was always > 9.4.
We used his measurement tool to measure and the depth was 5.8.
We used his microscope to look at the inclusions - there is only one that is marked - it is on the far edge on exactly the facet and position that the cert specifies.
So I feel pretty good - but should I? Is this a naive consumer's false sense of security?
Things are further complicated by the multiple parties involved. The ring is a Michael B. ring that I purchased through a different jeweler in my city that carries the Michael B. line. It is being made as we speak by the Michael B. folks. This jeweler said they recommended having the stone set by Michael B. as well. If I bring them the stone, they will ship it to Michael B. and I'll get back the ring + diamond.
Should I trust this process? When the diamond comes back the only test from above I will be able to perform is the diameter measurement (the inclusion will be under a prong and I'm not sure I will be able to see it, can't weigh or do depth inside setting - right?).
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