Clarity characteristics

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by SouL85, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. SouL85

    Jul 1, 2010
    by SouL85 » Jul 17, 2010

    Can anybody advise on what kind of clarity characteristics to avoid when purchasing diamond?
    What does it mean by cyrstal, needle and natural indent?


  2. Stone-cold11

    Sep 9, 2008
    by Stone-cold11 » Jul 17, 2010
    Depends on your clarity grade you are looking at. VS and above, if graded by GIA/AGS, nevermind, most likely eye-clean and inclusions too small to be of any problem.
  3. FB.

    Jun 29, 2009
    by FB. » Jul 18, 2010
    As mentioned above; if graded by the most stringent criteria of GIA or AGS (not all labs are as strict), you can usually go down to VS clarity and the inclusions don't matter much.
    Exceptionally large diamonds, or unusual cut styles may have "eye clean" issues at VS clarity grades.

    With a 1ct diamond, once you're into SI clarity grades, it's a stone-by-stone judgement as to whether it'll be eye clean, or whether the inclusions will cause some other problem.
    For example....

    SI1-SI2 crystals, if listed first on the inclusions list, may appear as black spots.
    SI1-SI2 clouds, if listed first, may cause haziness/milkiness.
    SI1-SI2 feathers, if listed first, may give cause for concern over the structural integrity of the diamond.

    But having said that, not all SI crystals will be black spots, not all SI clouds will cause haziness and not all SI feathers will cause a structural problem.

    Additionally, in a few instances, all of a stone's inclusions are in a tiny cluster just under the surface of the table.
    The closely-grouped inclusions can then appear as one large inclusion and their prominent position under the table can make them more noticeable. Even some 1ct VS2's are not 100% eye clean if the inclusions are all grouped together in that way.
  4. Ultimate Diamond Co.

    Jul 1, 2010
    by Ultimate Diamond Co. » Jul 19, 2010
    There are no particular clarity characteristics to avoid when purchasing diamonds. If anything, you should watch out for purchasing a stone that says under comments (i'm talking about GIA certificates here) "clarity grade based on internal graining." This means that there is graining (very similar to wood graining) in your diamond and this may cause the stone to appear hazy or milky.

    Crystal - pretty straight foward. There is a crystal in your diamond. It could be white or black.
    Needle - this could be a crystal too but shaped like a needle.
    indented natural - naturals are parts of the rough diamond that is left on the polished diamond due to weight issues and proportion issues. The cutter usually decides to keep it there or not. An indented natural is a natural that indents into the stone.
    Pinpoint - a very small crystal.... hence pinpoint
    Cloud - a cluster of tiny pinpoints or crystals
    Feather - an actual break in the diamond. When you look at it, it looks like a feather.
    Chip - chip in the diamond
    Cavity - Looks like a piece of the diamond is missing

    I think thats all...


  5. kenny

    Apr 30, 2005
    by kenny » Jul 19, 2010
    I avoid black stuff I can see and feathers, which is a nice word for cracks.

    I don't care if Harry Winston himself assures me the feather "is not an issue".
    When lots of similar diamonds are for sale so I'll find one without cracks, thank you very much.
    I'll let someone else buy the cracked diamonds.

    That said our GIA VS2 Octavia does have one small feather, opps, I mean crack.
    Fortunately it was listed second in the list, so it is not the most serious of the 3 inclusions. :tongue:
    The Octavia selection was very limited, otherwise I'd have avoided this stone.
    I'm sure the vendors hate me for saying all this because feathers are just a fact of life and they want to sell all their inventory.

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  6. Todd Gray

    Jan 20, 2009
    by Todd Gray » Jul 19, 2010
    As a diamond buyer, I generally avoid diamonds containing Knots, Twinning Wisps, Cavities and Extensive Feathers or diamonds with a series of tiny feathers which are located in close proximity, like ///// along the girdle edge. Admittedly, many of my peers feel that I'm a bit over zealous with regards to my elimination process, but hey, it's "my" elimination process ;))

    Of course, it's not necessarily the inclusion type which is the issue, but rather the extent, location and visibility of the inclusions which you are most likely concerned about as a consumer. As a diamond buyer (trade level) I choose to avoid specific types of inclusions simply because of the "potential" for durability risk, which is not to say that the types of inclusions mentioned above "are durability risks".

    Since it is practically impossible to know the extent and visibility of an inclusion based solely on the diagram provided on a lab report, you might want to work with a seller who is able to provide you with a detailed analysis of the inclusions... This might be in the form of some clarity photographs or even a good verbal description, there are many excellent vendors here on PS who are capable of helping you navigate away from diamonds which contain inclusions which are not desirable and who can help you find some beautiful options. If you're working with a traditional brick and mortar store, ask them to walk you through each diamond under a microscope, or help you find each inclusion with a loupe.

    And of course, you should always have any significant purchase evaluated by an independent Gemologist who is paid to represent your best interest with regards to your diamond purchase, there is a list available within the 'Resources tab here on PS.
  7. Rockdiamond

    Jan 7, 2009
    by Rockdiamond » Jul 19, 2010
    Hi all,
    A feather is by no means a "break in the diamond"- nor is it accurate to call it a crack.
    It's not about trying to sell anything Kenny- but this is a forum dedicated to education, so why not strive to give the most accurate info?

    Many times internal feathers represent a great characteristic for those looking for Si grade diamonds. It's incredibly rare that a diamond graded Si1 or SI2 by GIA has any durability issues whatsoever
    Same can be said for black carbon- there are times when it is a "great imperfection" simply because it blends very well into the diamond.
    Other times it stands out like a snowball in a coal mine.

    Todd- I'll fight for your right to reject ANY diamonds you feel don't work in your inventory. I'll bet that you have a great eye for what you love.
    My methods are different- I look at the stones before looking at the details on the GIA report.
    If there's a non intrusive SI2 with a twining wisp, it bothers me not at all.

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