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Clarity-how much does it matter?

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lawmax

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
1,317
O.K. guys and gals,Here's the question-what,in your opinion, is the effect of clarity on a diamond's light return? I know I don't like to see visible inclusions. Other than that, how much worse is an SI1 than the higher clarities? Consumers want to know how high up they have to go in terms of clarity. What do you like, what would you buy, and what would you recommend to consumers playing around with combos of the Cs?
lawmax
 

bacon

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
72
lawmax-In my opinion small crystals near the girdle are "best" inclusions.I am not sure about grain lines. In my limited understanding the lines they may have little effect. If oriented wrong I think it could channel light in the wrong direction.Fractures are less desirable. I think they could reflect light away from the viewer. JoeB
 

StevL

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
598
To each their own, but my wife's major diamonds are SI1, no fractures, feathers, or cleavages.I can tell you that most of my upper end customers seem to like the VS grades, and a few like VVS. ------------------
 

Jeremy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
4
lawmax,
I have heard many opinions on this matter and have come to the grand conclusion (through my engagement ring search) that - it really depends. Most people are working on a budget, we all make tradeoffs to get the best "bang for your buck". Since everyone has their own opinion which "C" has the greatest affect on a diamond's beauty, we typically sacrifice in the areas that we feel are less important. For me, the most important qualities (from most to least important) are as follows.1. Cut - by far the most important
2. Color
3. Size
4. Clarity Most people would not agree with my putting size before clarity, so let me explain. For me clarity is the least important factor as long as it meets several minimum requirements - this is just my personal opinion. I have found that it is far more important to actually see a stone than to go strictly by the clarity grading.
The stone must be absolutely "eye clean" - this is a must for me. Since my eyes are not too great (very farsighted), I use some general guidelines when viewing the inclusions though a ten loupe. I try to stay away from diamonds with notable inclusions under the table. I dislike black or dark inclusions, even if smaller because I think they are more likely to be seen. A feather or cloud, if present, are much more preferrable if they run perpendicular to the table (some feathers can not be when looking at a diamond "face up"). Even better, if the inclusions are near the crown and close to the girdle - they are more likely to be masked by the diamond's scintillation and crown facets. Pinpoints should generally not a problem for me, but I prefer them to be white and not under the table.
I have seen SI2's with one significant inclusion which could be easily hidden by a prong. After set, they might look like a VS1 or better. For me, a lower clarity stone with "desireable" inclusions is better than a high clarity stone with undesireable inclusions. I have seen VS2's which I would not accept and SI1's that were GREAT - my opinion, of course.
This should go without saying, but I must mention that the grading lab is very important. I have seen many diamonds - GIA and AGS are definitely the most consistent. I learned long ago not to trust second-tier gem labs or the jeweler's opinion of a stone's clarity grade.
An expert could tell you how inclusions affect the refraction of light through the diamond and how they might affect the strength of the diamond. I would prefer to get good insurance and not worry about a diamond being more succeptible to breakage.
I could go on for hours about clarity, because it truly varies from diamond to diamond. I think it is very important to LOOK at the diamond rather than using a clarity grading. Personnally, an SI1, with "desireable" inclusions might be good enough for me and would allow me to get a large diamond of the same cut and color without sacrificing the diamond's beauty to the naked eye. I would rather buy a larger "good" SI1 or VS2 diamond than a smaller VVS or IF diamond of comparable cut and color.
Just my opinion - hope this helps.

Jeremy
 

lawmax

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
1,317
Thanks for your reply Jeremy. I always wonder how inclusions break up light. Have you already bought your engagement ring?
lawmax
 

bacon

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
72
Jeremy-Very good post!!!! I think you got it right!!You have learned so much in your hunt for the right daimond.I hope you share what you learn with other diamond seekers.JoeB
 

Diamond Lover

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 21, 2000
Messages
17
Before I knew all that I do now, I bought what I thought was the perfect combination of qualities in a diamond...2 carat..F..VS1..AGS 000 H&A. I was unwilling to budge from any of those characteristics in my hunt until I found it, which took some time! Since then, and even though I absolutely love my diamond, I have changed some of my thinking slightly for future purchases:1. Cut--still the most important factor
2. Clarity...Nothing below an SI1, but must be completely eyeclean. For very small diamonds, maybe even an SI2, depending on the type and location of the inclusions.
3. Color...Anything from E through J
4. Budget...which at this point, will dictate the
5. SizeWith a superior cut, I've seen "J" color diamonds face up as almost indistinguishable from F's and G's when mounted. And true SI1s can be really beautiful if strictly graded.I guess "for that special ring", I might be pursuaded to lean towards the "unseen" qualities, but for subsequent purchases, I definitely would aim for eye beauty, regardless of color or clarity, while still demanding superior cut.Funny how our perceptions change.
Diamond Lover
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,363
When you boil it down, you MUST pick a diamond that gives YOU the maximum pleasure for the minimum amount of expense. This can include all degrees of clarity and/or color because we all have different values and goals when it comes to this unique substance, diamond.Some areas of the world subscribe to the idea that a diamond must be very fine in color and clarity to be given as an engagement ring. Other regions of the world largeer size and overall cost play a bigger role. There are many places that don't care about diamonds at all, too. Glad there aren't many...As a diamond dealer I prefer diamonds for personal use in the VS2/H range with an acceptable cut such as 2A for rounds and 2B for fancy shapes. These decent stones hold their own against the very finest stones and represent a good value compromise for general use in better quality jewelry. There will be other dealers who feel slightly better or slightly less quality stones do just about as well.We have appraised many diamonds in excess of 5 carats that have been far lower in quality and belong to very happy consumers. Some of the big diamonds seen in the last five years or so have been somewhat imperfect and many have been off-color. You have to allow that many folks will opt for size over nearly all other parameters.------------------
 

lawmax

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
1,317
Hi oldminer,You're right! Diamonds are a special, luxury item and are meant to bring pleasure. Whatever diamond makes the wearer happy is the right diamond!
lawmax
 

Jeremy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
4
lawmax, As a matter of fact, I did recenly purchase a ring and proposed to my girlfriend! She said YES - we are both so excited. The diamond is absolutely stunning!The diamond search was a long and, at times, painful journey, but there was a happy ending! I don't have time right now, but I can't wait to share the details of my proposal (very unique) and give due credit to those who helped me with my diamond purchase. During my search, I visited literally several dozen jewelers, e-retailers, and learned much from the forums. My eventually purchase was an unbelieveably wonderful experience and my fiance is now wearing the most beautiful diamond I have even seen on an engagement ring! I can't wait to publically praise those who gave me a tremendous value on a beautiful hearts and arrows diamond - not to mention the best customer support I could imagine. I never thought I would actually be happy about my diamond buying experiance - but I was! Until I have more time for details, all I can say is heartfelt "thank-you" to the people at Whiteflash!!!

Jeremy
 

lawmax

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
1,317
Jeremy,I can't wait to read your post on your story and your diamond!
lawmax
 

StevL

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
598
Congrats on your purchase Jeremy. You dealt with some very fine people, and you can be proud of your purchase.
------------------
 
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