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Chances of a feather inclusion spreading?

eddiexp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
41
Here is the background on this particular diamond. It is a GIA certified stone graded at SI2, the report is only a diamond dossier so it does not have a plot, but it did note that there are feather inclusions. Back when I purchased these years ago, I was not really diamond savvy at all, so I honestly never bother to carefully look at these when I bought them, besides checking the girdle inscription to make sure they match the certificate numbers. I figured since they are certified that should be enough, haha…

Lately I've been doing diamond shopping for a center stone for an e-ring, and now know how to work a loupe :lol: , and recently noticed that there's a feather across the table.

This is a 0.50 carat brilliant round cut stone, and the line is about 1mm long on the surface of the table and stops right about where it meets the crown. The line when view from the top down is pretty much just a very thin white hairline, so hardly noticeable unless someone points it out to you. But once you know where it is, it's pretty easy to spot even from about 12" away. If I didn't know better I'd just call it a hairline crack, you can't even feel it when you run a nail across it. After examining it with a loupe, it looks like just a very clean feather that goes straight downward into the diamond, pure white in color. The stone is otherwise clean from what I can tell under a loupe.

My question is, could this have possibly been there all along and still qualify as an SI2, or maybe it has since spread over the years?

The diamond to my knowledge has never experienced any impact damage as it's set in a solitaire stud earring, so it's not likely to experience any impacts when worn, nor has it been dropped. The problem is I honestly have no clue if it was there all along or not, since when I purchased it I never bothered to examine it at all.

I am trying to figure out if it was possibly damaged during the last cleaning I had done at the jeweler recently....

Thanks all for the advice!
 

eddiexp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
41
For what it's worth, I'd guestimate the feather is about as deep as a thickness of a sheet a paper. I determined this by comparing the feather next to sheet of paper under a loupe :tongue:
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
eddiexp|1308023031|2945306 said:
My question is, could this have possibly been there all along and still qualify as an SI2, or maybe it has since spread over the years?

I am trying to figure out if it was possibly damaged during the last cleaning I had done at the jeweler recently....
No way at all to guess about either issue without a clarity plot on the lab report. That type of inclusion and size does not sound unusual for an SI2, but of course I can't say, not being a gemologist and not having seen the stone.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,220
As dreamer says there's no way anyone can give you a definitive answer from afar, but if you want speculation here's my take. Most probably the feather was there to begin with and your new awareness and facility with the loupe has made the feather seem to "grow"!

Through the years I have seen this kind of thing happen after cleanings. It may be the first time in years that the owner of the diamond looked at it critically in a condition where it could actually be evaluated Suddenly inclusions that were there all the time seem dramatically more apparent. I have a theory that this phenomenon alone accounts in large part for consumer fear concerning jewelers switching diamonds.

The feature you describe is consistent with an Si2 grade. And many Si2 stones can be eye-clean or borderline eye-clean, so it is not unusual that you would not have noticed it before you started louping it. Furthermore, while diamonds can on occassion be damaged during wear, it is pretty unlikely- especially in studs.

Feel better?
 

Stone-cold11

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
14,069
Is the feather the grade setting inclusion? Listed first among the clarity characteristics?
 

eddiexp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
41
I believe on the GIA report, there was only a feather inclusion listed, so it's probably the grade setting inclusion?

But, I completely understand that I am not going to get a definitive answer on this one, it's really my own fault for not paying more attention when I bought it.

I was more curious about the durability of a diamond with a feather on it, and after searching for quite a bit, I've only come to the conclusion that a surface feather reaching the girdle is something to be cautious about. I did not find much about surface feathers on the table, so I figured why not ask.

And yes Texas Leaguer, I do feel better knowing that there is a possibility that it was there to begin with :) Though realistically, it does not bother me too much at all, no one is going to be inspecting her earrings from less than a foot away.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,313
Texas Leaguer|1308060414|2945519 said:
As dreamer says there's no way anyone can give you a definitive answer from afar, but if you want speculation here's my take. Most probably the feather was there to begin with and your new awareness and facility with the loupe has made the feather seem to "grow"!

Through the years I have seen this kind of thing happen after cleanings. It may be the first time in years that the owner of the diamond looked at it critically in a condition where it could actually be evaluated Suddenly inclusions that were there all the time seem dramatically more apparent. I have a theory that this phenomenon alone accounts in large part for consumer fear concerning jewelers switching diamonds.

The feature you describe is consistent with an Si2 grade. And many Si2 stones can be eye-clean or borderline eye-clean, so it is not unusual that you would not have noticed it before you started louping it. Furthermore, while diamonds can on occassion be damaged during wear, it is pretty unlikely- especially in studs.

Feel better?
Great post!
I think your theory about assumptions made regarding stone switching is spot on Bryan.

I think internet based research is a double edged sword.
Sometimes info gleaned is extremely useful- other times, hopelessly inaccurate- and misleading to boot. The part in bold below is a perfect example. I can totally understand how someone might get that idea based on things written on the web- but it's simply a broad generalization- more times than not, such a feather in a GIA SI clarity grade is nothing at all to be worried about in terms of durability

eddiexp said:
I believe on the GIA report, there was only a feather inclusion listed, so it's probably the grade setting inclusion?

But, I completely understand that I am not going to get a definitive answer on this one, it's really my own fault for not paying more attention when I bought it.

I was more curious about the durability of a diamond with a feather on it, and after searching for quite a bit, I've only come to the conclusion that a surface feather reaching the girdle is something to be cautious about. I did not find much about surface feathers on the table, so I figured why not ask.

And yes Texas Leaguer, I do feel better knowing that there is a possibility that it was there to begin with :) Though realistically, it does not bother me too much at all, no one is going to be inspecting her earrings from less than a foot away.
 

druidtime

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
44
Sounds to me like a SI1 sized feather that got knocked down to SI2 because of the location: Table and facet junction. Deduction for being on the table.

With the feather, since you said that it shoots straight down into the stone it sounds like it would not be as bad as being a surface reaching inclusion through the table.

I doubt that you damaged it in cleaning. If the feather is the only inclusion on the diamond and got graded as a SI2, then I would not be alarmed at its size. As far as durability goes, you are still in SI range not I range which can present durability issues due to the numerous, large inclusions.

Edit: Added 'not'
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,220
Just another thought on the durability of diamonds. We all know that diamond is the hardest known natural substance, but we also know they can be damaged. Most notably, diamonds can be scratched by contact with other diamonds. That's why jewelry pieces should not be allowed to contact each other (e.g. in a purse or jumbled together in a jewelry box). And of course, a good impact in just the right spot can break a diamond. The more points you have the more risk of damage.

Round diamonds are remarkably durable. We do trade-ups on a weekly basis and we regularly review diamonds that have been out in the world now for up to 11 years. Most of these diamonds are engagement rings that have been worn day-in and day-out during all kinds of activities, moments of clumsiness, occasional carelessness, unfortunate mishaps, and even wild gesturing. And it is extremely rare for any of our trade-ups not to be in original condition. In rare instances there is a scratch or chip. Pretty impressive.

Having said that, we deal in mostly Si1 and up, although we do sell Si2 to limited extent. Arguably, diamonds with more internal features have more weaknesses and are therefore more prone to damage. Cutting factors also play a role- for instance extremely thin girdles are prone to chipping. And surface breaking features can certainly represent increased risk.

GIA does take into account potential durability issues in assigning clarity grades. In the case of a surface breaking feather, it it posed a significant risk, it probably would not have recieved an Si 2 grade in the first place. It most likely would have been graded imperfect.
 

eddiexp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
41
Rockdiamond|1308081130|2945857 said:
I think internet based research is a double edged sword.
Sometimes info gleaned is extremely useful- other times, hopelessly inaccurate- and misleading to boot. The part in bold below is a perfect example. I can totally understand how someone might get that idea based on things written on the web- but it's simply a broad generalization- more times than not, such a feather in a GIA SI clarity grade is nothing at all to be worried about in terms of durability
That's the one thing that did not make sense in my head even after I came to that conclusion.....if it has achieved an SI grade by GIA, it should mean they've determined that whatever inclusion is present would not jeopardize the structural integrity of the stone correct?

Anyway, thanks again to all of you for the great information, I was getting quite confused after a weekend of compulsively searching!
 

eddiexp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
41
Texas Leaguer|1308083451|2945880 said:
Just another thought on the durability of diamonds. We all know that diamond is the hardest known natural substance, but we also know they can be damaged. Most notably, diamonds can be scratched by contact with other diamonds. That's why jewelry pieces should not be allowed to contact each other (e.g. in a purse or jumbled together in a jewelry box). And of course, a good impact in just the right spot can break a diamond. The more points you have the more risk of damage.

Round diamonds are remarkably durable. We do trade-ups on a weekly basis and we regularly review diamonds that have been out in the world now for up to 11 years. Most of these diamonds are engagement rings that have been worn day-in and day-out during all kinds of activities, moments of clumsiness, occasional carelessness, unfortunate mishaps, and even wild gesturing. And it is extremely rare for any of our trade-ups not to be in original condition. In rare instances there is a scratch or chip. Pretty impressive.

Having said that, we deal in mostly Si1 and up, although we do sell Si2 to limited extent. Arguably, diamonds with more internal features have more weaknesses and are therefore more prone to damage. Cutting factors also play a role- for instance extremely thin girdles are prone to chipping. And surface breaking features can certainly represent increased risk.

GIA does take into account potential durability issues in assigning clarity grades. In the case of a surface breaking feather, it it posed a significant risk, it probably would not have recieved an Si 2 grade in the first place. It most likely would have been graded imperfect.
This is exactly the kind of explanation I was looking for, I understand that anything's possible and things are really hard to speculate without having seen it in person. But it’s good for me to be able to grasp the rarity of such occurrences.

Just to clarify, I was not trying to point fingers at the jeweler for having "messed up" something that was probably already there to begin with. It just one of those things I wish I had paid more attention to when I purchased it, which is kind of after the fact.


While I am on the subject of clarity grading, could someone clarify what was meant by "the grade setting inclusion"? (Stone-cold11 had mentioned this earlier in the thread)

For example, I am looking at a GIA cert right now for a stone I might purchase(SI1 clarity grade), in the “reference diagrams” section, it is listed in the following order:

KEY TO SYMBOLS
-Crystal
-Needle
-Feather
-Natural

And in the "additional grading information" section, the comments state that "Clouds are not shown."

Would this mean that the grade setting inclusion is the crystal since it is listed first? Or is it the clouds that are not shown, since it is in the additional grading information?
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,220
While I am on the subject of clarity grading, could someone clarify what was meant by "the grade setting inclusion"? (Stone-cold11 had mentioned this earlier in the thread)

For example, I am looking at a GIA cert right now for a stone I might purchase(SI1 clarity grade), in the “reference diagrams” section, it is listed in the following order:

KEY TO SYMBOLS
-Crystal
-Needle
-Feather
-Natural

And in the "additional grading information" section, the comments state that "Clouds are not shown."

Would this mean that the grade setting inclusion is the crystal since it is listed first? Or is it the clouds that are not shown, since it is in the additional grading information?
Yes, the features under Key To Symbols are listed in order of influence on the clarity grade (though some can have equal infuence). Not all features are necessarily plotted- only enough to adequately identify the stone. Clouds are often not plotted, but mentioned in comments. Comments can contain other relevant information not specified on the plot or keys.
 
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