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Clarity: Eye-Clean definition, interpretation and taste

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JohnQuixote

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Clarity is a person-sensitive issue, much like color. Interpretation and taste come into play for each person. Individuals differ in their level of clarity comfort and needs.


Definitions of Eye-Clean

With internet purchases, the most common clarity question: 'Is it eye clean?' A PS search turns up many discussions. There are no industry definitions, so each person or institution must set his/her own and communicate the definition accordingly.

We believe lighting, vision and distance are critical elements when arriving at a working definition. AGS chose their close observation point or "distance of most distinct vision" at 25cm (9.8 inches). It is the near point of accomodation - the distance at which focus is attained without strain - for a majority of humans. In very young people and in those with nearsightedness this distance is less. This near point recedes with age, possibly causing farsighted condition.

Our own working definition of eye-clean is 'No inclusions visible face-up at a distance of 8-10 inches in natural lighting to a person with 20/20 vision.'

This is a logical and reasonable judgment for our purposes. We respect the right for others to arrive at their own definitions. However you define it though, a working understanding and communication between buyers, sellers and appraisers is critical.


Interpretations Vary by Distance, Study & Eyesight

Date: 6/28/2005 6:02:57 AM
Author: Pyramid
Thread: Diamond Color Chart

Everyones eye sight is really different. A lot of times people say they can see an inclusion but this is after they have looked at the diamond with a loupe so their eyes are automatically zooming into that part of the stone whereas they wouldn't see it if they looked first without the loupe which is what consumers are supposed to do. I have also read that eye clean is meant to be at a 12 inch distance from you eyes not looking close up. Eye clean it has also been said is not a word which GIA and other labs use.

As I said above if you look at a diamond and see a white inclusion near the centre to the bottom left of the diamond with a louipe and then look at the diamond again without the loupe you will look in this area instead of at the whole round diamond.
These are good examples of dissembling interpretations. Scrutiny after studying an inclusions plot, or prolonged close study can be revealing (even with VS), but these are not normal viewing conditions. Someone who is nearsighted or has 'radar vision' may see more than others. That's okay. Give them a few years to age
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Unless you carry a grading report with you or stand posturing your diamond a few inches from peoples' eyes the normal viewing distance is a few feet - closer when you show it on request. Diamonds other than earrings are rarely closer than 25cm from viewers' eyes.

When searching for the 'eye-clean SI deal,' know that every SI diamond varies, as do 'eye-clean' definitions. Ultimately the shopper's interpretation is the one that matters. When purchasing without having seen the diamond, know both your interp and the seller's interp. It also helps to keep the grade in perspective. Bargains may be found, but remember that ultimately there's a reason it was graded SI and not VS. Someone who wants the diamond to pass every distance, eyesight and study test offered should probably focus on VS goods or better to be certain it meets his own 'eye-clean' interpretation.


Taste

Just as taste runs differently with peoples' color perceptions (some like the crisp, cold look of a D, while others prefer more warmth) there is clarity perception defined by individual taste. While many people seek eye-clean, others will shoot above and below that line of judgment, and should not be criticized for having a different flavour in mind:

Some individuals place high personal value on a flawless diamond and will not consider anything else due to religious or personal beliefs. Others find that the security and pedigree of VVS/VS suits them, and are not comfortable considering SI goods. One of our Pricescopers, Dancing Fire, alludes to finding a 'mind-clean' diamond. What a great term.
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Of course no one except the purchaser can determine what that means. The clean SI 'deal' is attractive, price-wise, but if you find yourself obsessing on clarity pureness (or just nervous about SI in general) consider that VS could be a better fit for you, personally.

Along those lines there is another inclusion point I rarely voice here (by and large Pricescopers don't embrace this notion). For some people an inclusion makes a diamond more distinctive. It can serve to identify or even 'romance the stone.' Just as taste runs differently with color, we field requests for diamonds with distinctive inclusions sometimes.


Internet Shopping and Clarity

When Internet shopping, you will likely be looking at high quality magnified photos. Remember that no one ever sees a diamond at 40x mag when they walk into a jewelry store, unless they are permitted to see it under a microscope. A large computer monitor makes that 40x photo even more revealing.

If you’re going photo-happy (have viewed so many you may be losing perspective) try this: Take a mm ruler and place it on your screen. Measure the picture on the monitor and then consider the actual size of your diamond, from the documentation. This will give an idea of the virtual compared to the reality.
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strmrdr

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Can you post that in english please? :}
Too many biiiggggg woooooords.
 

JohnQuixote

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And... For Strm...

- - - - -

Different folks like different strokes.

Defs of Eye-Clean

Definitions must be communicated. Ours: “Nothing seen face-up @ 10 inches in natural light with 20/20 vision.” 10 inches (25mm) is officially the best focal distance for most people so it’s cool. Also because a lot of science guys say so. But whatever floats your boat. At least HAVE a def.

Interpretation

People who are nearsighted or go searching an inch away might see more. That’s not normal viewing though. Diamonds are usually seen feet away and rarely inside 10 inches. If your interpretation is really strict you should consider VS+.

Taste

Some people just want Flawless or VVS or VS. That’s their choice. Other people actually like inclusions. That’s fine too. Do what makes it ‘mind-clean’ for you, but know where you should be looking.

Internet Shopping

40x mag on your screen makes stuff jump out. You’ll never see it that way in a store so don’t get spooked or cry.
 

strmrdr

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much better why didnt ya say that in the first place?
Woulda saved me 5 minutes of my life.
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ROFL!
 

Regular Guy

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John,

Nice job as usual. I especially like your customized messaging, as well.

Re your comments: "Diamonds other than earrings are rarely closer than 25cm from viewers' eyes...."

I kind of thought that with either or both pendants or earrings, the thinking might be that concerns for both color and clarity could go down, with less overall viewing attention going to them...and with this tripled with respect to the wearer, who will just about never see her earrings. But, I guess you're saying earrings might actually be seen more closely by others than an engagement ring. Still, maybe from the point of view of the wearer's attentions, since she will be the main customer to be pleased...maybe the original logics can apply, and since the diamond she will most readily be viewing herself would be the e-ring, on that basis principally, more attention can still be given to that item than these others.

Do ya think?
 

JohnQuixote

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Thanks Ira.

Interesting about earrings, huh? In short (for Strm) Yes.

Longer version:

Earrings are viewed closer than e-rings in many situations, but keep the viewer in context: It's the person next to the earring-wearer on the elevator. In the bank line. In the church pew. At the cocktail party. The focus of the earring wearer's attention may not be seeing them so closely, and the ones seeing them close may be sneaking glances.

Moreover, earrings are typically smaller than finger blingers, so relative size versus distance may even out some (where's Val and her statistical spreadsheets?)
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...As for pendants? I try to stay >10 inches away and don't stare.
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Dancing Fire

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Definitions of Eye-Clean

when buying SI stones, is don't EVER loupe the stone first, try to find the inclusions under different light conditions with your naked eyes (top view) without knowing where the inclusions are located (no looking at the plot) this way your MIND can't play tricks on you,if it's eye clean then it's eye clean.


Definitions of Mind Clean

you know the inclusions are there.the question is... how far up the clarity scale would it take to satisfy your MIND ? i think any clarity grade above VS 2 it's just to satisfy their mind (not their eyes).some may need to go all the way up to IF to be satisfy.
 

solange

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If a stone is perfectly eye clean from all angles even when looking up close and knowing where the inclusions are, does the color of the inclusions that can be seen with a 10 power loupe affect the price--e.g. numerous small black inclusions in an SI2?
 

noobie

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Date: 6/28/2005 10:43:27 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

Defs of Eye-Clean

Definitions must be communicated. Ours: “Nothing seen face-up @ 10 inches in natural light with 20/20 vision.” 10 inches (25mm) is officially the best focal distance for most people so it’s cool. Also because a lot of science guys say so. But whatever floats your boat. At least HAVE a def.

John, that''s one of my biggest beefs about internet diamond shopping. I agree that clearly communicating the definition by BOTH buyers and sellers is key.

When I ask is a stone eye-clean, I usually get a yes or no anwer. I rarely get asked what do you mean by eye clean or yes, from 10" face up in normal light with 20/20 vision. Then I need to ask close scrutiny, turn it over, color of inclusions, etc.

I know enough to check and ask, but many new buyers may not. I think ALL vendors should state what their defination is when a customer asks the question. After all, they are relying on you to be their eyes. It also reduces the risk of returns and bad will due to misunderstandings
 

moremoremore

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My definitiion of eye clean- I can't see anything with my eyeballs, contacts in, under the bathroom vanity lights, about 4 inches away from the stone, after using a loupe to find the inclusions LOL. I wish I was kidding. So I have been disappointed in the past because that's not really the industry standard... and my being fully aware that that is not a realistic expectation... I know that now! But I think it's complete BS that a lot of vendors post on their sites "Vs2, not visible with nakes eye" Complete BS.
 

Lynn B

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Great thread! John, thanks for sharing this very valuable info.
Haha -- "finger blinger" -- LOVE THAT!
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(And thanks for the good laugh, too!)
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Lynn
 

valeria101

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Great idea John! This thread may well be the reason why those questions about what is ''eye clean'' and what is not stopped flooding in
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I would add a couple tid bits. They are not really closely related but have a common streak: each considers ''eye clean'' a subjective judgement (which it is).


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Open Letter to whoevershops for an ''eye clean diamond''

#1. so, the seller says that the lucky GIA I1 bargain is ''eye clean''. Than, well, he must believe that you will be pleased with it, or the shop gets an award for returns and complaints. What you ask for makes the greatest difference. Seriously - the more diamonds one sees, the better he gets at seeing any sort of imperfection. No one has a stricter understanding of ''eye clean'' than professionals do.

#2. settings hide flaws. This is good if you have an open mind for it and bad if you bought that flawless, ungraded diamond alreay set.

#3. diamons are stones. The only perfect diamonds are found in undergrad textbooks. All real ones are tweaked and torn in some intriguing way. The nicest diamond in the store may well be far from ''Flawless''. Even if you don''t believe me, take a look anyway.

PS: for someone who was mainly interested in colored gemstones before considering diamonds
... look at SI first, ''cause the other grades are awfully impractical !
 

pyramid

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Date: 7/26/2005 9:48:41 AM
Author: valeria101

#3. diamons are stones. The only perfect diamonds are found in undergrad textbooks. All real ones are tweaked and torn in some intriguing way. The nicest diamond in the store may well be far from 'Flawless'. Even if you don't believe me, take a look anyway.

What if it is a D, Flawless, Ideal Cut H&A, huge diamond though, would that not be the nicest diamond in the store?
 
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