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How useful is the GIA clarity plot?

Guess the clarity, based on the GIA plot

  • I1

    Votes: 7 23.3%
  • I2

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • SI1

    Votes: 9 30.0%
  • SI2

    Votes: 12 40.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 7, 2009
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8,449
Hi everyone!
I often look at GIA plots, and the actual stone, then scratch my head.....
What would you estimate the clarity grade on this stone is?
guess-clarity.JPG I'll post the answer Wednesday.....
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 25, 2014
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8,191
What's the weight / dimensions? ;-)
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Ok, I'm calling SI1 - if they're scattered white crystals then they will likely be barely visible.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Can you make the image bigger?
I will try!!! I see we've had some votes!! Excellent.
It's probably clear that my point is how difficult it is to judge clarity from the GIA plot.....
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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The reason I posted this was that I find that clarity grading is one of the most misused shopping parameters for diamond consumers.
My method of selling does not involve “convincing” some to buy.
So when someone calls and says “ Don’t show me an SI diamond because I want it to b sparkly”
Sounds like a non problem- just sell them VS goods, right?
So I find myself working to educate people that call.
I’ll post the grade later today
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 24, 2005
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1,498
Usually its the "twinning wisps" that create confusion in diamond grading. Not the case with your plot but I'll wait for the results thinking this might be a "trap" for the trade professionals!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Hi all!!

SO the answer is.....
SI1
And it's a desirable SI1 at that, in my opinion.
While we can't use the plot to fully assess the impact of the imperfections on the appearance of the stone, the fact that there's so much on the plot- yet it's still an SI1 grade gives us a hint.
When I examine this stone - with a 10 power loupe- I can only see the feathers and crystals from behind. They're impossible ( or super difficult) to spot using a loupe, looking into the table.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I did not reply because plots should not be used to guess clarity grades. They can be misleading.
Often times si graded stones with multiple items on the plot are cleaner to the eye and or hazy than one with only 1-3 items on the plot more so if there is a comment of clouds not shown.
The way to tell that is not looking at the plot.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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You're correct Karl....one should never guess a clarity grade based on a GIA plot....unless it's on a PS poll:)

Seriously- my experience is exactly that- the plot is often misleading in a certain sense.
It's useful for identification purposes- but even that is truly intuitive.
It's nothing like looking at a photograph, for example.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Often times si graded stones with multiple items on the plot are cleaner to the eye and or less chance of being hazy than one with only 1-3 items on the plot more so if there is a comment of clouds not shown.

edit to be more clear.
 

monipod

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 25, 2019
Messages
565
I was just admiring my 2ct oval that is uncertified but if it came with a plot, I may not have bought it. It is a 'bluffy' I1 with all sorts of odd inclusions in it but in terms of sparkle, it punches well above its weight. I'm surprised the stone got an SI1 though.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Insight into the clarity grade is provided on a lab report by more than the clarity plot itself. It involves the keys to symbols, the order in which those symbols are listed, and info in the Comments section. That is why you need to read the report as a whole - there are many nuances that are not obvious to the consumer.

The GIA report was originally conceived as a document that would be provided to the consumer by a professional (retailer) who would be able to interpret the finer points for the consumer. With internet shopping today many consumers are on their own to learn the subtleties of reading a lab report. That's the kind of thing that makes this forum great!

The primary role of the stone plot is to positively identify the diamond. Only those features necessary to achieve that goal need to be plotted. The plot is also intended to help support the clarity grade. But again, additional info on the report is intended to help provide that support.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Do you have a photo of the diamond you can share?
I should have one...I'll post it later today.

I like Bryan's comment - he's got a great point in that the GIA report was designed more as a tool for a professional, as opposed to the end user.
From my perspective, that is still very much the case.
Part of my point of this post is how difficult assessing a diamond for clarity is in general- but trying to "reverse engineer" how a stone looks from the plot ( and or the comments) does not work.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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I just noticed something....
AS you can see, the specks are not visible from the front, yet they can be seen from behind.
Yet the GIA plot shows it exactly opposite.
You'd have to hope that a human would evaluate this.
Based on my observations, the feathers, crystals, needles, etc are located in the center of the stone ( speaking for in terms of depth within the diamond)- looks like they are below the girdle.
 

Diamond Girl 21

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 26, 2017
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I just noticed something....
AS you can see, the specks are not visible from the front, yet they can be seen from behind.
Yet the GIA plot shows it exactly opposite.
You'd have to hope that a human would evaluate this.
Based on my observations, the feathers, crystals, needles, etc are located in the center of the stone ( speaking for in terms of depth within the diamond)- looks like they are below the girdle.
That's really interesting. When I took the lab class, we were instructed to plot the characteristics on the diagram specifically where they are seen. That point was stressed. I'm really curious about what happened in this case. Also, the plot looks busy to me. Usually you start with the grade setting and most identifiable characteristics. Not every characteristic is specifically identified. Thanks for sharing.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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IF this were a white diamond...do you think the occlusions would be easier to see from the front? Does the yellow color act as a filter?
That is an amazing question!!!
No, personally I do not believe the color is "hiding" the crystals/feathers....however I have seen many cases of super-saturated diamonds where large imperfections were hidden by the color. Generally browns....maybe in the case of "Deep" yellow.
The stone in this example is graded Fancy Intense Orange Yellow.
So- it may be possible that color does affect visibility- but in my experience only stones with dark colors.
But it does beg the question- does GIA grade fancy color clarity differently?
In my experience, no.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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long light paths+color you could hide a semi if the stone was big enough.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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long light paths+color you could hide a semi if the stone was big enough.
I can see how you might say this....but we are talking about diamonds. Unless the color is really dark, you can still easily see into the stone.
If this diamond were 10 carats, it would possibly be easier to pick out crystals.....but by no means a sure thing.
Racking my brains, I can't think of stones other than deep brown where I clarity grading becomes near impossible
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I can see how you might say this....but we are talking about diamonds. Unless the color is really dark, you can still easily see into the stone.
If this diamond were 10 carats, it would possibly be easier to pick out crystals.....but by no means a sure thing.
Racking my brains, I can't think of stones other than deep brown where I clarity grading becomes near impossible
was a joke.........
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,475
A clarity plot helps to protect a consumer when there is a situation of possible damage to a stone and the insurance company resists the claim for whatever reason they might choose. A GIA clarity plot or even one made by a decent gemologist, might prove that there is or is not new damage present in the diamond. A plot can be very good evidence of the condition of the diamond on the date the report was created. It is also useful to identify a diamond on occasion as you can refer to the grade setting inclusions which should be evident on such a plot. Unfortunately, clarity plots often hardly resemble reality. We know that dealers want the lightest amount of red and green on report plots. However, the more accurate and distinct the plotting is should be seen as increasing the usefulness of the plot.

The GIA Dossier reports which substitute a laser inscription for a plot are fine most of the time, but are far less useful in damage claim determinations.

Clearly, it is not safe to judge the clarity of a diamond by the plot alone.
 
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