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Professionals RE: inclusions, can I get some opinions.

Gypsy

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So I know what my own preferences are, and so do most of our long time posters. But for our first time shoppers inclusions can be really scary. And getting to a mind clean space can be hard because sometimes clarity can be the hardest of the C's to figure out how to prioritize and rank.

So for the purposes of this thread, I want your personal opinions, if you don't mind. I have 5 questions.

The first one is really broad: If YOU are picking a stone FOR YOURSELF what do you look for in clarity? Assume we are talking a brilliant cut withOUT a point like a modern cushion, a oval, round, radiant. Not a step cut, princess, pear or marquise.

The second is more specific: what types of inclusions do you consider are "best" and 'worst" at VS2. I know this is a complex question. Do you best, if you don't mind.

Three, if the clarity is VS1 do the inclusions even matter? Seriously? feather? Natural? Does it matter at VS1 or is it just irrelevant in terms of safety or stone integrity.

Four: In an TOTALLY (viewed from any distance or position) eyeclean VS2 what do you think of a stone with a couple of small black crystals on the table/crown facets if they are the grade setting inclusions? Specifically do you think : "fabulous I'm getting a hell of a deal because of the clarity on a gorgeous stone," or are you thinking, "ugh, black crystals. Well, that disqualifies that stone for me."

Five, what do you advise YOUR CUSTOMERS on clarity (for brilliant stones without points), if they come in with NO personal preferences. Just shape and budget and color. They leave clarity completely up to you. What do you recommend to them?
 

Dancing Fire

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1-VS2-eye clean SI1...if I have a big budget then I'll go VS1
2-Best IMO would be small white crystals,needle, small feathers. Worst would be bruise, cavity,extra facet or knot.
3-VS1 is very safe, but I don't want see the words like indented natural,cavity or knot on the lab report.
4-At VS2 I want a clean white table.
5-A nice clean VS2 G-H color.
 

Gypsy

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Dancing Fire|1456135272|3993911 said:
1-VS2-eye clean SI1...if I have a big budget then I'll go VS1
2-Best IMO would be small white crystals,needle, small feathers. Worst would be bruise, cavity,extra facet or knot.
3-VS1 is very safe, but I don't want see the words like indented natural,cavity or knot on the lab report.
4-At VS2 I want a clean white table.
5-A nice clean VS2 G-H color.
DF should you be sporting a vendor badge I missed? J/K
Long time members can post as well, of course.
 

Jimmianne

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I like getting the opinions of long-time prosumers as well. Asking vendors could be a bit of a loaded question. Vendors want to sell stones and SI1 is very popular, so would a vendor who likes a VS1 or higher admit that in public? Maybe? Maybe not?

I am of the mind-clean school and love to loupe my stones. Would rather have smaller-high-quality than large-with-inclusions. My stones are for me, not people who may look at them, and I personally cannot spend money on a VS2 diamond if the inclusion is black or has any inclusion on the table.
 

gr8leo87

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1. The inclusions shouldn't affect transparency. Inclusions shouldn't be eye visible.

2. White crystals, needles, feathers, clouds that don't affect transparency, twinning wisps.

3. Every inclusion matter in terms that it effects value. But much less in higher clarity stones.

4. It's okay if price compensates for it. These are nice commercial stones sold in mauls. Especially that GIA dossier doesn't have a plot.

5. Eye clean, biggest size in FGHI colour. VS1 - SI2

Feathers aren't a problem not at least how much it is on this forum. Considering an inclusions reliefs feathers are good to have. More than 99% are invisible to naked eye.
 

Michael_E

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1. My personal preference are with stones that are eye clean in the table and with small hard to see inclusions as close to the perimeter as possible. The best one of this type that I ever had was an I1. It looked flawless under the loupe until you noticed a little reflector out at the perimeter.It was a vertical feather that was positioned directly under a star/break facet junction that was impossible to see unless you louped it and tilted the stone. I do need to add that my personal preference is for inclusions which are colored. I have seen a handful of diamonds that had included crystals which had color, (small garnets mostly), that really appealing. Having one of these would convince me to carry a loupe around all the time.

2. There really aren't any best inclusions, since it all depends on how noticeable they are. How noticeable they are depends on their size, location, and color. Black inclusions of small enough size can be really hard to see since they blend well with the rest of the contrasting spots in a diamond. Seeing stuff with a loupe, (or magnified pictures), really doesn't matter much, since your average person almost never uses these things once they own their diamond. In fact they can be hard pressed to keep the darn thing clean.

3. Nope. Buying VS1 is really a mind clean game. It helps to have them around just to show people the difference, but with well cut diamonds the difference between a good SI1 and a VS1 can be impossible to see without a loupe.

4. Black crystals in a VS1? What black crystals? Seriously, if there is anything black showing in a VS1 then it will be very difficult to see with a binocular microscope, meaning it is impossible to actually see without magnification. This sort of scenario could be the definition of mind clean vs eye clean and might even be useful in diagnosing OCD. (The next step would be to mess up the edge on a fringed rug and watch the subject/client go nutty). :lol:


Jimmianne|1456146324|3993934 said:
I like getting the opinions of long-time prosumers as well. Asking vendors could be a bit of a loaded question. Vendors want to sell stones and SI1 is very popular, so would a vendor who likes a VS1 or higher admit that in public? Maybe? Maybe not?
I think that every jeweler I've ever met would have no trouble admitting to wanting to sell higher grade diamonds. In my view it is a something of a disservice to one's clients to not show them a range, explain how grading works and let them decide how to spend their money. When you do this, most people, maybe 95%, will buy an SI1 in a larger size. This is probably because most people have limited budgets and feel that if they can't see the inclusions, they don't matter.
 

Wink

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Wow, what a great question Gypsy. I've spent more than 40 years staring deep into diamonds and this is a fascinating topic.

Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
The first one is really broad: If YOU are picking a stone FOR YOURSELF what do you look for in clarity?
For myself, absolutely no interference with the diamond's performance, including any undisclosed haze or tint, especially green tint as it has some uncomfortable implications. To be absolutely sure of this requires using a trusted cutter who's looking for the same things, since they are not yet universally and fully disclosed on grading reports. When you know the cutter you are using rejects all such starting crystals before cutting them, it allows greater comfort and better sleep at night for the diamond retailer.

Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
The second is more specific: what types of inclusions do you consider are "best" and 'worst" at VS2. I know this is a complex question. Do you best, if you don't mind.
Not something I pay much attention to. I look at the whole diamond, first with the eye, then with the loupe and then, always, with the microscope, no matter how much I trust a lab or even my cutter. Even inclusions that I love, like small transparent crystals, can be problematic for different reasons.

For me, inclusions are a fascinating gift. Once I have shown an in-house client their diamond under the microscope, they never need fear leaving their diamond with anyone, even a random jeweler for cleaning, because they will be able to ID it under magnification. I place the road map of their diamond in their minds. Some inclusions are incredibly beautiful, others fascinating and unusual. Some need coaching to find. To me, all are interesting.

I still remember fondly the time a client came in looking for a new diamond. Meanwhile she wanted to move her original diamond to a pendant, so we took a look at it to be sure she would recognize it when she received the pendant. WOW! It contained an inclusion, visible only with the microscope that look just like the "runabout" spacecraft from Deep Space Nine, a show that was popular with the Sci-Fi crowd when she came in to see me.

Do you think she will EVER forget what the inclusion in her diamond looks like? No chance. It was formed a billion or more years before the TV show, yet for my client the timing was perfect, and she learned something new about the diamond. A few years earlier and it was just a strange looking inclusion, a few years later and no one would remember what the runabout looked like. Right place. Right diamond. Right time. It was so much fun.

Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
Three, if the clarity is VS1 do the inclusions even matter? Seriously? feather? Natural? Does it matter at VS1 or is it just irrelevant in terms of safety or stone integrity.
Let's widen the range a little. Throw in the pinpoint or two of a VVS1, or the slightly larger or more numerous ones in a VVS2. For that matter, depending on the diamond, we can go down to a nice SI grade. It's about the specific diamond. No label captures everything about it. I'm proud to say in my time I've even had the very unique I-clarity diamond with no fear of durability issues whatsoever. That is not usual, to be sure!

New readers should know that diamonds go through such amazing stress and pressure during sawing, bruiting and polishing that NOTHING in normal wear will threaten them as much. Of course, we will still want to examine feathers, knots and crystals that show strain under crossed polarized filters…as a few of them might just be waiting for an excuse to become smaller and more numerous diamonds. And don't forget that you can chip a Flawless diamond just as easily as one that has a feather. All it takes is a knock on a hard surface at just the right angle and "look mom, I finally lost some weight."

IF, VVS, VS, SI, those are all secondary to me to actually looking at the diamond, both with the eye and with the tools of my trade to see what I think of each and every diamond that I sell. I have sold and not sold (using my best Yoda voice here) diamonds with twinning wisps, feathers, indented naturals and knots. Each decision to stand behind a diamond is made based on my thoughts of that specific diamond as a total entity.

Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
In an TOTALLY (viewed from any distance or position) eye clean VS2 what do you think of a stone with a couple of small black crystals on the table/crown facets if they are the grade setting inclusions? Specifically do you think : "fabulous I'm getting a hell of a deal because of the clarity on a gorgeous stone," or are you thinking, "ugh, black crystals. Well, that disqualifies that stone for me."
Wow, loaded question. I do not grade diamonds from ALL views, I am in the trade and grade them, properly, from the top. I have seen some inclusions in VS1 diamonds from the side that were completely eye clean from the top, but just in the right position to be barely discernible from the side if you squint your eyes just right and know where to look.

While I know it is often stated that it is better to have the inclusions near the girdle, my experience is that it is often actually easier to spot small inclusions near the girdle than in the center of the stone where the increase sparkle in a well cut diamond hides them better.

Remember though, that I like inclusions and will often spend an hour or two just looking at my diamonds through the microscope to revel in them.

As a professional however, I know that clients vary dramatically and I respect what they desire, whether it be from cultural, philosophical or collection reasons. For this reason, it is important to me, and to my clients, that I form a relationship with them and seek to understand what they are looking for and why. That makes it possible for me to look specifically for that one thing that is important to them. If I know that you want a diamond that is eye clean from all positions, I will look for it for you and not bother offering that incredible VS2 with the eye clean from the top two dark crystals that can be seen from the side.

While all of my personal diamonds have inclusions in them that I enjoy, I'm currently having an Internally Flawless diamond Cut to Order for a client. She is fully aware that we can Cut to Order a range of diamonds which would be completely eye clean for a LOT less money, but has her own personal reasons for wanting an Internally Flawless diamond. I am excited that my cutter found the perfect starting crystal and is crafting her dream diamond.

Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
Five, what do you advise YOUR CUSTOMERS on clarity (for brilliant stones without points), if they come in with NO personal preferences. Just shape and budget and color. They leave clarity completely up to you. What do you recommend to them?
Finally, a question with a simple answer. I'd like to share a patented John Pollard challenge. First, put your loupes away you cannot use them. John Pollard says, "I will now take a dozen DEF GIA graded diamonds of equal size and throw them on the table. Who here will bet me $1,000 that they can, without exception, put the diamonds in the correct color grades as GIA did? Miss one and I get your $1,000. Get them all correct and you get my $1,000." John does presentations in front of crowds of professionals, around this country and in China. Not one gemologist or jeweler has ever accepted his challenge… In the same way, he will then challenge them with clarity. He says he will put a dozen GIA graded diamonds on the table from IF to VS2. No one has yet accepted that challenge either.

Then he speaks of cut. How absolutely mind blowingly INSANE is it that even gemologists cannot distinguish between 3-4 color grades and 6-7 clarity grades decisively with their naked eyes. But if John were to offer to put a dozen diamonds on the table, all GIA Excellent, everyone in the room could separate the 60/60's from the Ideals and the Transitional Cuts in a minute. I could teach an absolute neophyte to do so in well under ten minutes, no loupes or scopes required! Yet they all received the SAME grade from the lab and, if you choose a big range, you'll ALSO see quality and performance differences…in the SAME grade.

That mystifies me. Everyday average people can easily see the differences between diamonds with the same GIA cut grade with the naked eye, yet with those same naked eyes, it is virtually impossible to see the difference between 3 to 4 color grades and 6 to 7 clarity grades.

This brings me to the answer of your question about MY CUSTOMERS. I first advise them about this all-important difference: Color and Clarity are very slightly nuanced grade-to-grade, while one CUT grade has many appearances all lumped together.

Once I have properly explained that to my clients, I will go with them wherever they would like to go with color, clarity and price. I often find myself correcting the concept that higher color or clarity has any correlation with better performance. Better cutting is the sole determinant of performance until the color is so thick that it in and of itself restricts light performance. (Think black diamonds and other opaque colors, cut them like a pancake and it will make no difference to their non-light performance.) The same is true of clarity. When you get a diamond where you need a road map to find a clear spot, cutting will not save that diamond. (In the trade we often refer to such diamonds as frozen spit.)

For every customer this boils down to a personal choice. With color too. Just as I am currently having the IF diamond Cut to Order, I've had my cutter search out and Cut to Order a P color. It actually took MUCH longer to find a viable starting crystal for that diamond than the IF diamond that is being crafted right now.

Goodness, I did not mean to write a chapter for my book here Gypsy. Your questions stuck a sweet spot for me, and I thank you again for the wonderful time I have spent ruminating with you and the other Pricescopers who take the time to read this. Have a wonderful week!
 

dk168

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Interesting read and thanks for the contributions so far, and I believe this thread should be pinned.

DK :))
 

lovedogs

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I agree with DK--this should definitely be pinned! I've really enjoyed reading these responses--keep them coming!
 

Gypsy

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Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to reply. I am not going to reply to everyone, if that's okay. Just comment on what caught my eye.

Jimmianne, I think PSers are a breed apart. And that can be what makes it so difficult as prosumers for us to advise people. We DO loupe our stones with regularity. Heck, I own and ASET and an IS to boot. I ASET mine from time to time. But the average consumer is not US. And when that person is buying for another, who really just wants the proposal and a pretty ring, we have to put aside our own preferences and do what's best for them. My goal with this thread was to find out how the vendors manage the inclusion issue. But of course, hearing from our long time posters is valuable as well. I will post my own preferences and answers later.

gr8: My own stone has a grade setting feather. I agree with you. But again, as I stated in my opening post, for a first time buyer hearing that a stone has a CRACK is scary. I think that's why it gets so much attention on here. Because we are trying to make this as smooth a process as possible and know that if they take the stone to an outside jeweler or an appraiser after they buy the feather will come up so we want them to be informed at prepared for that.

Michael E: LOL! On the OCD test. I actually asked about Vs2 not VS1. And I agree with you that it's a great OCD test. My husband actually has OCD (mild and stress activated) and I know with my diamond (VS1 with tiny feather off to the side on the table that I cannot find, frankly) being mindclean was very important to him.

Wink, Thanks so much for your thoughtful and through post! I really appreciated your response. You really got the spirit of what I was asking. I myself have gone from a place of "inclusions bad" to "inclusions are birthmarks and useful for identifying stones, plus YAY money savings as long as eyeclean." In the time I've been on this board. One of the most interesting experiences I had was at a Hearts on Fire dealer who showed me a FABULOUS (and I mean fabulous) SI2 that I actually had to work to find the inclusions on.

My favorite part of your post is this:
"As a professional however, I know that clients vary dramatically and I respect what they desire, whether it be from cultural, philosophical or collection reasons. For this reason, it is important to me, and to my clients, that I form a relationship with them and seek to understand what they are looking for and why. That makes it possible for me to look specifically for that one thing that is important to them. If I know that you want a diamond that is eye clean from all positions, I will look for it for you and not bother offering that incredible VS2 with the eye clean from the top two dark crystals that can be seen from the side."

But my follow up question is... if the customer really is a novice and is just asking for high clarity out of fear, do you have a conversation about that incredible VS2 and ask them to trust you and give it a shot? Or no?

I am trying to decide where the customer service aspect line (giving them what they ask for) meets the "advisor and educator" line.

;))

dk, I will post the link to the helpful threads archive so it can be found easily. Good point! And thank you.
 

Wink

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Gypsy|1456190047|3994217 said:
<Snip>

But my follow up question is... if the customer really is a novice and is just asking for high clarity out of fear, do you have a conversation about that incredible VS2 and ask them to trust you and give it a shot? Or no?

I am trying to decide where the customer service aspect line (giving them what they ask for) meets the "advisor and educator" line.

<Snip>
Thank you again Gypsy, you continue to ask interesting questions.

When clients are in house I get to play a fun game. By the time we are through playing, the fear will be gone and a better understanding of what color, clarity and cutting mean will have been generated. I will get at least three and usually four to five diamonds that are in their budget and of varying sizes, colors and clarities.

I will put them one at a time on a slotted tray using tweezers and tell them nothing about each diamond as I am doing so other than. "all of these diamonds are within your budgetary range." If a stone is a way low color like a J or K I will ask them while the diamond is face up if there is anything about this diamond that they do not like. Almost always the answer is, "No." I then turn the diamond sideways and let them see the color and say something along the lines of, "Now that the diamond is viewed from the side, do you see the color in this diamond?" I will then ask if it bothers them again from the face up position as I put it in the tray.

If, for example, we are looking at a 1 carat diamond, the highest color and clarity in their budget might be a 0.90 ct "light carat" and the biggest 1.25 carat and two or three somewhere in between. Then I let them look at them and tell me what they like best with their eyes. It is very normal for someone to choose a lower color and clarity than they came in looking for when they see how incredible the larger diamonds look because of the (Branded name deleted to follow forum rules) fantastic cutting. By not telling them what the color and clarity are, I give them a chance to love a diamond that the other diamond dealers in town have tried to scare them away from as they try to bump the budget of the buyer.

If I have an out of town client, about 95 to 98% of my business nowadays, I have a different conversation. I explain John's challenge and ask them if they want a VVS or VS1 diamond out of an educated place, having a cultural, emotional or collector's reason for wanting such a high clarity. If they do, I give it full and complete respect, as it is my joy to assist people in filling their wants and needs, not to insist that they do it my way.

I also offer to send them the diamond on my nickel for shipping with my See It To Believe It program rather than asking them to trust me. (People who ask me to trust them instantly accomplish the opposite, usually for good reason!.) I would rather encourage them to see the diamond with no obligation to keep it. In the best of all situations, they live near another Crafted by Infinity dealer who will be happy to show them the diamond in their area, again with no obligation or pressure to buy the diamond. They can even buy it at that other dealer's location and I am totally happy with the outcome, as obviously, are they.

In the end, it all comes down to providing the best possible solution for the person looking for the diamond. I know many will not believe me when I say it is not important to me that I be the seller, only that the client be satisfied. If they are happy and had a good experience with buying a diamond, whether mine or someone else's, they will tell others and the jewelry business will continue to expand. As a seaman will tell you, a rising tide floats all boats.

So to answer your question in a more direct manner, I will tell them about the incredible VS2 and ask them if they would like to see it. If not, I will try to find them what they want. If they have fears from what others have tried to tell them, especially when I consider the fears to be misguided, I will attempt to explain why the fears are misguided, but if they want to stay away from certain diamonds, I will respect that decision. At the end of the day, helping people find a beautiful diamond that makes their eyes and their hearts happy is what gives me the joy I need to go to work every morning with a song in my heart.

Wink
 

Gypsy

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What was a great answer and really helpful Wink. Thanks so much.
 

Jimmianne

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Gypsy, thank you for your thoughtful response.
I am reading your thread with great interest and learning a lot in the process.
 

the_mother_thing

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Excellent read! :clap:

For those new to diamonds (and dummies like me with swiss cheese memory), might someone have a link or summary they can post that explains what the different types of inclusions are? It might be a good informational item to have for reference in this thread, given the topic. I have a couple I've referred to online on other sites, but would much prefer to rely on something recommended/referenced by someone here to make sure readers get accurate info.
 

Karl_K

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Gypsy|1456124179|3993894 said:
So I know what my own preferences are, and so do most of our long time posters. But for our first time shoppers inclusions can be really scary. And getting to a mind clean space can be hard because sometimes clarity can be the hardest of the C's to figure out how to prioritize and rank.

So for the purposes of this thread, I want your personal opinions, if you don't mind. I have 5 questions.

The first one is really broad: If YOU are picking a stone FOR YOURSELF what do you look for in clarity? Assume we are talking a brilliant cut withOUT a point like a modern cushion, a oval, round, radiant. Not a step cut, princess, pear or marquise.

eye clean si to vs with no knots. cavities, feathers open to the crown. or clouds, wisps or graining that interfere with the transparency of the diamond or its light retun

The second is more specific: what types of inclusions do you consider are "best" and 'worst" at VS2. I know this is a complex question. Do you best, if you don't mind.

I dont like knots because the crystal can come out and lower the grade, cavities are another I do not care to have because they create weak points that can alter the clarity grade. Twinning wisps can both be bad or good and is one of the harder inclusions to classify when it comes to a specific diamond as good or bad. They can be totally eyeclean but effect the diamond performance same with clouds. To me clarity grade set by ......... not shown comment is a red flag that I would only consider after examination.

Three, if the clarity is VS1 do the inclusions even matter? Seriously? feather? Natural? Does it matter at VS1 or is it just irrelevant in terms of safety or stone integrity.

Yes, no knots. cavities, feathers open to the crown. or clouds, wisps or graining that interfere with the transparency of the diamond and its light return
Naturals can be a problem if they make the girdle too thin.

Four: In an TOTALLY (viewed from any distance or position) eyeclean VS2 what do you think of a stone with a couple of small black crystals on the table/crown facets if they are the grade setting inclusions? Specifically do you think : "fabulous I'm getting a hell of a deal because of the clarity on a gorgeous stone," or are you thinking, "ugh, black crystals. Well, that disqualifies that stone for me."
eyeclean is eyeclean black inclusions make me take a harder look at the diamond because they can be easier to see.

Five, what do you advise YOUR CUSTOMERS on clarity (for brilliant stones without points), if they come in with NO personal preferences. Just shape and budget and color. They leave clarity completely up to you. What do you recommend to them?
eye clean si to vs with no knots. cavities, feathers open to the crown. or clouds, wisps or graining that interfere with the transparency of the diamond and its light return. If they prefer a higher clarity for whatever reason that is fine also
 

Rockdiamond

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Great thread Gypsy!!
Here's my take:
1) To me, the eye clean aspect is important- but at 58 y/o, not a deal breaker. The old eyes can't see things without the loupe that used to be easily visible, and I'd rather a larger stone with a spot, that same money smaller cleaner stone for a man's ring. But if I am buying for DW, I'd make sure she could not pick out any imperfections. When I do buy for her, I want to pick an SI1 or 2- or even an I1. More size for the money.

2) What sort of imperfection is best? Impossible to answer as there's so many variations of imperfections of each sort.
Plus we have placement to consider.
A given carbon crystal in disappears if it's in one place in the stone, but if fate placed it in a different spot, it might be easily visible.
Important to point out that the placement of that carbon spot will certainly affect desirability of the diamond, yet not change the GIA grade.

3) No, in general. If someone is buying a 3ct+ VS1- I'd still at least ask the seller to verify there's no visible imperfections. But based on my experience the chances of a VS1 having visible imperfections is imperceptible. If we are speaking of larger, I have seen VS2's with exactly the right ( wrong) placement of a crystal that was visible to the eye.
I've never seen a VS1 or 2 imperfection that would impact the stone's integrity.

4) I am totally not prejudiced when it comes to imperfections. I love black, white,rainbow, red, green....if I can't see it naked eye, who gives a $hit?
I have also found that different sorts of imperfections have little bearing on the price, comparing eye clean VS2 to VS2.

5) I always ask some demographic questions to see what will work for any given client.
IN the vast majority of cases, a 21 year old is going to have completely different considerations and desires than a 51 year old

It is a very important subject- and I find it to be widely misunderstood by consumers.
I probably get a few people a week asking for VVS stones.
IN a large percentage of cases, the consumer just wanted a nice eye clean stone, and figured they'd have to go to VVS to achieve that. I generally talk them down from the ledge.

SO thanks for posing this Gypsy, it's a discussion that's needed.
 

Gypsy

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Not surprising considering Karl was and is my PS mentor, my own preferences are similar to his. This is my general preference too is as follows: " no knots. cavities, feathers open to the crown, or clouds, wisps or graining that interfere with the transparency of the diamond and its light return." Although at Vs1 I don't give a hoot generally. But I wouldn't buy a brilliant stone without a point at VS1 unless it was a one of a kind (old cut) because I think spending money on clarity, for myself, is a waste. As long as the diamond is safe, I don't care if I can't see it. And I consider inclusions birthmarks.

I also should have added, but I think everyone one understood, that I was talking about preferences for ring stones.

Personally, I've been eyeing an I clarity stone pear for a bezeled pendant for a while. If I had the money for it, I'm not sure what I'd do. Get the stone in and check it out, of course, but whether it would be mindclean enough for me for even a pendant stone, I'm not sure.

Rockdiamond, great post. Thank you for the thoughtful response, sincerely. To follow up, in your experience (and others in the trade) you don't think a VS2 with let's say, completely harmless twinning wisps and a small white crystal (totally eyeclean) on the table would cost much more than one that say has a couple of (completely clean to naked eye) small pepper crystals including one also on the table? I ask this because I was told the exact opposite by a salesman recently, but he had skin in the game, let's just say I noted the information but took it with a grain or two of salt. ;))

Inclusion list (as requested) can be seen here at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_flaws Lists it better than anywhere else (and with less hysteria) I've seen.
 

gr8leo87

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Usually any black crystal (commonly called naatts in trade) does discount the stone a bit. It's also about how the stone is under the loupe along with how it's to naked eye. Diamond is still inspected and valued according to how it looks under the loupe.
Infact many of the biggest DTC sight holders have pricing systems to incorporate the kind of inclusions a stone has and it's ranking.
For crystals its N0, N1, N2 (meaning natts/black crystal)
Then the location of the crystals and the corresponding codes BC1 (meaning black in crown), BT1 (black in table), and then inclusion patterns S1-S3 (spreaded 1 to spreaded 3), C1-C3 (concentrated) and so on....
With that in mind inclusions is and has been a great influence on how stones are priced. If a stone looks bad under the loupe with black crystals and still totally eye clean it may still get more discount.
 

RockBrat

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
116
I am not a professional but have seen many diamonds and know what I like and don't like as a consumer. I prefer clarity of SI1 or above but love old euros, mines and transitions and am not picky at all about clarity or the inclusions in an older diamond. If I find an old diamond that I consider pretty, I don't care what's on the inside.

The inclusions I prefer are wisps, needles, bubbles, and anything that looks like some other sort of stone. I would prefer to not have knots, feathers, clouds, naturals, indented naturals, or an extra facet unless there are several extra facets intentionally done for cut. Would I rule out a very pretty diamond for a cloud or feather? No, I wouldn't, but I think my inclusions should have personality so that's why I like the inclusions I do. I do not want to see any brown, black, or spit (for lack of better description) in my diamonds. I do not want anything on the table at all, even eye clean, however, I would consider say an SI1 diamond which really has inclusions that should be classified as VS2 except for an inclusion on the table, then I consider that a bonus. I know many people who don't mind black pinpoints or brown in their clouds or feathers but I don't want to see any. However, I'd rather have a black pinpoint than something that looks like spit.

I would pay a premium for any inclusions that look like some other sort of stone. I have never seen a diamond like that but would snatch it up in a heartbeat at any clarity I1 or above.

To me, it is a balance of what's inside the stone that matters. It must have personality. I'm not a person who worries about structural integrity in anything SI1 or better and I'm not someone who always has to have eye clean (unless it's a step cut but again I'd take an I1 step cut in a heartbeat if it were I1 due to some other stone that grew inside of it- which I'd pay a premium for). I just want personality, like what I like, and forgive old stones much more than modern stones.

Maybe my views on inclusions are ignorant, but I'm okay with that. Inclusions are there, they happen, I don't mind them and even like some of them. But I want the inclusions to be what I like, find pretty or whimsical and I'm pretty stubborn about them. I have gone from an I1 engagement ring to an internally flawless stone to what I have now which is an SI1. I appreciate this thread so much because I love seeing what the professionals think and how inclusions are classified. Would I change my mind about inclusions I have a stigma against? Maybe I could.

This is such a great thread! Thank you for starting it, it's very informative and maybe I'll learn something about my biases and change them.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
9,466
RockBrat|1456336120|3994967 said:
I would pay a premium for any inclusions that look like some other sort of stone. I have never seen a diamond like that but would snatch it up in a heartbeat at any clarity I1 or above.
Interesting you mention that I would love to have a diamond with an eye visible red to redish garnet inclusion.
One of the trade members posted a picture one time here of one with a garnet shaped like a heart in it.
It was wicked kewl.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,177
gr8leo87|1456315651|3994859 said:
Usually any black crystal (commonly called naatts in trade) does discount the stone a bit. It's also about how the stone is under the loupe along with how it's to naked eye. Diamond is still inspected and valued according to how it looks under the loupe.
Infact many of the biggest DTC sight holders have pricing systems to incorporate the kind of inclusions a stone has and it's ranking.
For crystals its N0, N1, N2 (meaning natts/black crystal)
Then the location of the crystals and the corresponding codes BC1 (meaning black in crown), BT1 (black in table), and then inclusion patterns S1-S3 (spreaded 1 to spreaded 3), C1-C3 (concentrated) and so on....
With that in mind inclusions is and has been a great influence on how stones are priced. If a stone looks bad under the loupe with black crystals and still totally eye clean it may still get more discount.
I think we're mixing rough and polished here. I agree that rough diamonds might be categorized as you describe- but polished stones are traded differently in my experience. Especially if the stones have GIA reports.
Without a doubt cutters try to get more on stones they feel were unfairly graded ( they believe it was a VS2, but it got SI1) But I've not seen it done specifically for one type of imperfection. A stone with a tiny black carbon crystal can certainly sell for more than same size/color/clarity with a white crystal, if that particual white crystal is in a bad place on the stone and the carbon spot in a good place.

Also the term "black naats" refers to melee stones in very poor qualities- such stones have nothing whatsoever in common with a GIA graded VS2 with a carbon crystal- here in the US anyway.....maybe the term is used differently where you are.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,630
I suppose my clarity preferences are more on the mind clean level. I like balance in specs. So if I am going for a top cut quality stone, then I absolutely prefer VS clarity (and near-colorless range), preferably VS1 for an e-ring stone for myself. However, when I help people here, I never go to VS1 or higher unless they have expressed that preference, or perhaps if that is all that is available with the other specs they want. I think VS2 is a safe grade for buying online. For anyone who doesn't have a cultural (or other) preference for highest color and clarity, I will always focus on G-H-I VS2-SI1. The SI1 is for those for whom size is the most important factor and the budget doesn't allow for VS2. I will say that my current studs are superideal and VS2/SI1 because those were the closest matches in my size range. I knew I could always trade in the SI1 if it bothered me, but at a little over a carat, I really can't even see the inclusions with my 10x loupe. So I have no plans to change it.

I will add this. Since a lot of people here have the tendency to change rings more often than the general population, I have noticed that there have been a couple of highly desirable cuts not selling because of I1 clarity. So I still stand by near colorless, VS2-SI1, and excellent cut (particularly for rounds) being the best choice for resale. I have sold VS1's, but that takes a little longer.
 

RockBrat

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
116
Karl_K|1456341400|3994992 said:
RockBrat|1456336120|3994967 said:
I would pay a premium for any inclusions that look like some other sort of stone. I have never seen a diamond like that but would snatch it up in a heartbeat at any clarity I1 or above.
Interesting you mention that I would love to have a diamond with an eye visible red to redish garnet inclusion.
One of the trade members posted a picture one time here of one with a garnet shaped like a heart in it.
It was wicked kewl.
Oh wow! That is seriously my dream stone! I have to see if I can find that thread. What would such an inclusion be classified as on a grading report?
 

gr8leo87

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
381
Rockdiamond said:
gr8leo87|1456315651|3994859 said:
Usually any black crystal (commonly called naatts in trade) does discount the stone a bit. It's also about how the stone is under the loupe along with how it's to naked eye. Diamond is still inspected and valued according to how it looks under the loupe.
Infact many of the biggest DTC sight holders have pricing systems to incorporate the kind of inclusions a stone has and it's ranking.
For crystals its N0, N1, N2 (meaning natts/black crystal)
Then the location of the crystals and the corresponding codes BC1 (meaning black in crown), BT1 (black in table), and then inclusion patterns S1-S3 (spreaded 1 to spreaded 3), C1-C3 (concentrated) and so on....
With that in mind inclusions is and has been a great influence on how stones are priced. If a stone looks bad under the loupe with black crystals and still totally eye clean it may still get more discount.
I think we're mixing rough and polished here. I agree that rough diamonds might be categorized as you describe- but polished stones are traded differently in my experience. Especially if the stones have GIA reports.
Without a doubt cutters try to get more on stones they feel were unfairly graded ( they believe it was a VS2, but it got SI1) But I've not seen it done specifically for one type of imperfection. A stone with a tiny black carbon crystal can certainly sell for more than same size/color/clarity with a white crystal, if that particual white crystal is in a bad place on the stone and the carbon spot in a good place.

Also the term "black naats" refers to melee stones in very poor qualities- such stones have nothing whatsoever in common with a GIA graded VS2 with a carbon crystal- here in the US anyway.....maybe the term is used differently where you are.
Hi RD

Certainly where I have trained and gained experience naatts is used to refer to black inclusions in any size of the stone.

However having moved to Australia the terminologies are slightly different here.

And I was referring to polished stones being graded by the bigger companies grading systems and priced accordingly. And I agree with you on the location of crystal. A bad location (directly under table, mid of the pavillion etc) will most definitely discount a stone over a black crystal of same size in a hidden location. Those pricing systems take this into account as well.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,177
Interesting and Thanks!
BTW- my name is David- if you are comfortable sharing, what is your name gr8leo87?

Speaking of pricing of goods by cutters: Here in NYC I'm finding that any sort of finer stone above 1/2ct are generally not being offered without GIA reports lately......the report would supersede whatever the cutter calls the stone.
Is it different where you are?
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
gr8leo87|1456349160|3995096 said:
Rockdiamond said:
gr8leo87|1456315651|3994859 said:
Usually any black crystal (commonly called naatts in trade) does discount the stone a bit. It's also about how the stone is under the loupe along with how it's to naked eye. Diamond is still inspected and valued according to how it looks under the loupe.
Infact many of the biggest DTC sight holders have pricing systems to incorporate the kind of inclusions a stone has and it's ranking.
For crystals its N0, N1, N2 (meaning natts/black crystal)
Then the location of the crystals and the corresponding codes BC1 (meaning black in crown), BT1 (black in table), and then inclusion patterns S1-S3 (spreaded 1 to spreaded 3), C1-C3 (concentrated) and so on....
With that in mind inclusions is and has been a great influence on how stones are priced. If a stone looks bad under the loupe with black crystals and still totally eye clean it may still get more discount.
I think we're mixing rough and polished here. I agree that rough diamonds might be categorized as you describe- but polished stones are traded differently in my experience. Especially if the stones have GIA reports.
Without a doubt cutters try to get more on stones they feel were unfairly graded ( they believe it was a VS2, but it got SI1) But I've not seen it done specifically for one type of imperfection. A stone with a tiny black carbon crystal can certainly sell for more than same size/color/clarity with a white crystal, if that particual white crystal is in a bad place on the stone and the carbon spot in a good place.

Also the term "black naats" refers to melee stones in very poor qualities- such stones have nothing whatsoever in common with a GIA graded VS2 with a carbon crystal- here in the US anyway.....maybe the term is used differently where you are.
Hi RD

Certainly where I have trained and gained experience naatts is used to refer to black inclusions in any size of the stone.

However having moved to Australia the terminologies are slightly different here.

And I was referring to polished stones being graded by the bigger companies grading systems and priced accordingly. And I agree with you on the location of crystal. A bad location (directly under table, mid of the pavillion etc) will most definitely discount a stone over a black crystal of same size in a hidden location. Those pricing systems take this into account as well.
Hi Rockdiamond :wavey: - I'll back gr8leo87 on his use of terminology and explanation of how polished goods are graded/traded up the supply chain - - 'natts' for example is a pretty common generic trade term for dark inclusions used in India - - a comparable trade term in the US/Israel would be something like a 'gletz' to describe a feather.
Even amongst goods with certs, because the cert grade doesn't actually tell you anything about the inclusion itself, there are 'in-house' trading/grading terms that are used all the time when dealing with the cutting houses who are selling their polished goods - it's like its own language...actually it's like learning a few different languages as none of them use the exact same system... :lol:
For example you could have a GIA graded SI1 that would be broken down and priced based on the inclusion being 'SI1- BL1 T2 C1 E1' (low end SI1 with a minor black inclusion that has medium table coverage which isn't overly concentrated but is slightly visible to the eye)...each component demanding its own premium/discount.
And to comment on your point "Without a doubt cutters try to get more on stones they feel were unfairly graded (they believe it was a VS2, but it got SI1) But I've not seen it done specifically for one type of imperfection." - this happens ALL the time :) , but...believe it or not (and I'm sure the cynics here on PS won't :lol: ), it is just as common for the report to be given an in-house downgrade (like in the SI1 example I gave above, the SI1- would be slightly discounted for being a low end SI1). Where I think the 'cynics' have a case, is that the discount received by the retailer isn't always passed onto the consumer :wall: ...but that's a different thread...actually :think: ...this whole post is a different thread :lol: ...sorry gypsy... :shifty:
There are many more variables that go into describing & pricing a diamond at this BSB level. Thankfully the trade grade terms drop off from wholesaler to retailer...and then completely from retailer to end consumer.
To gypsy - sorry for jacking the tread a bit :doh: - - I just saw this post you've started - I'll jump in with my perspective on inclusions shortly in a seperate post - hope I'm not coming too late to the party :lol:
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Definitely not too late. Hoping for Rhino and maybe some of the old cut ladies to reply as well.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,177
HI ADN!
I agree there's a term "naats", and it refers to goods that are black spotted.
I was filling orders for them back in the 1980's at Fabrikant:)
But I haven't heard a stone that would grade VS2 by GIA standards referred to that way.
In the way I know them, naats are more than just stones with a small black inclusion, it's more of a pervasive darkness consisting of a lot of carbon. Such stones trade at less than half of commercial white ( G-H/SI) stones and they're a bit dull overall.'
Someone offered a parcel of black naats to us the other day, cheap. I didn't even look because I associate the term with dull stones. "Gletz" can refer to any sort of inclusion.
We may have different experiences due to different locales.
In terms of experience with prices, and how clarity grades affect it. None of the large sightholders I deal with use the system you referred to.
Although I have not seen the specific demarcation system you refer to, I agree, if a cutter is going to stay in business they need to know how to maximize the best SI1's and discount the bad ones.

I also agree that pricing downgrades will occur in the bottom end of VS and SI clarity grades. It's basically the market forces in action. Some SI1's are far easier to sell than others.
I frequently find inequities when looking through large inventories. As someone trained as an assorter, I often think I'd do it differently. Some aspects of clarity are easily agreeable but as this discussion highlights, opinions clarity are diverse. It's not that precise a science.
The good thing is that a sharp consumer may be able to find a bargain due to the inequities.
 

gr8leo87

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
381
Rockdiamond said:
Interesting and Thanks!
BTW- my name is David- if you are comfortable sharing, what is your name gr8leo87?

Speaking of pricing of goods by cutters: Here in NYC I'm finding that any sort of finer stone above 1/2ct are generally not being offered without GIA reports lately......the report would supersede whatever the cutter calls the stone.
Is it different where you are?
Hi David

My name is Furqan. You probably recognize me from another forum where I have recently started contributing. :)
 

gr8leo87

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
381
Rockdiamond said:
Interesting and Thanks!
BTW- my name is David- if you are comfortable sharing, what is your name gr8leo87?

Speaking of pricing of goods by cutters: Here in NYC I'm finding that any sort of finer stone above 1/2ct are generally not being offered without GIA reports lately......the report would supersede whatever the cutter calls the stone.
Is it different where you are?
And I agree with you. More and more goods even in the smaller sizes are going for certificates.
Australia is a much smaller marker, there aren't cutters here and Diamonds inventory is not readily available as in the US. Australia is still to catch up with the developed world ways. But it could take a slight bit of time considering that it has virtually no polished diamond exports that are polished here. Although it may have a sizable rough exports thanks to the the valuable pink Argyle diamonds. Australian diamond market is largely import based and a bit of a challenge at that. The 'virtual' inventories aren't readily available as in the US and GST is collected up front on the imports.
 
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