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Professionals RE: inclusions, can I get some opinions.

Sunstorm

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Gypsy this was an amazing thread and I missed it! Now I am glad you directed people to it with another recent thread.

I find this a fascinating subject as many other professionals do too. I also find it hard to limit myself to MRBs (due to my personal preferences) even if customers select them the most.

I love inclusions, I wish I could call myself and inclusionist but I am not that full of myself. They are the coolest things. Interestingly enough many professionals agree.

My personal favorite inclusions for fun are trigons left in and perhaps tiny garnet inclusions (in eye clean stones) and of course wild and cool patterns.

A stone with inclusions has a character, a personality, individual identification characteristics which is yes why I also recommend them to clients. Thank you Wink. With certain inclusions synthetics are not likely. Clients can also identify their stones easier especially if there is something that is a very unique inclusion. I have also seen the coolest inclusion maps inside diamonds.

What I like and what I recommend are different things and it depends on who is the client, say a jeweler or a private client. Depends if it is a person understanding diamonds.

For those that do and myself my favorites are of course SIs and even select I1s that hardly have anything visible, harder to find but you absolutely can. What I consider the best are clouds, twinning wisps, colorless or white crystals without causing diminished light return, i.e., prongable or possible to position between prongs.

I too consider certain near girdle inclusions a problem, in my mind at least they create more durability issues.

The best "deals" are SI1s that look like VS.

I personally hate black inclusions I call them flea dirt. I want none of that in a VS stone. So the answer is no thank you to black crystals under the table in VS2; def. not but I do own one such stone.:)))

To private customers I would mainly recommend the VS range. It is very safe but a good value. Due to the popularity of SIs today, they are not always such great deals anymore. Like I said an SI can also be better than a VS2 so yes it depends great on the individual stone.

While I do not like perimeter inclusions so much especially close to the surface my favorite stone has them and an intended natural as well, so diamonds are personal but then the stone is not an MRB and also not a colorless stone. In general, I personally do not care what the clarity grade is, I look at the stone concerned. Clarity is the least important factor to me.

You did not ask about color but that would be another great subject, albeit even more subjective

Finally, Wink is absolutely right what he mentions in that cool challenge idea. You can see cut quality with the naked eye in a nanosecond. The first glance you take at that stone will tell you about the cut, this is just what jumps at you. I often blind challenge myself with that, pick out the best, then do numbers, take a loupe out, a daylight lamp, etc. I love doing that with rounds and no, whoever has the eye and a bit of training cannot be too wrong about grading cut (even if there are some personal preferences there too).

This was my version of the novel for now and absolutely loved your thread.
 

WinkHPD

Ideal_Rock
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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.

I am pretty sure that was me Karl, but I was unable to find it in my uploaded pictures file and I am working from home today. If my memory serves, it came from the book mentioned below. This picture did "survive" the upgrade.

I do remember loving the photo of the "frog" inclusion that you posted some years ago.

Wink

topaz-rainbow.jpg
 

whitewave

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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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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!

I have seen IMO 3 higher color BGM choices posted here in the last 4 months. Frightening!! :eek-2:

I seem to have an eye for picking up on it.
 

jadesilver

Shiny_Rock
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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.

Omg I was the creep who was stalking Wink’s 2016 post today haha. But I found what he wrote above extremely meaningful and relevant. Thank you Wink for sharing your experience and this story. It is a good reminder that a GIA grade is not a hard and fast grade, just a trusted gauge that may not be perfect. As well as of course emphasizing the important of cut!
 

Karl_K

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I am pretty sure that was me Karl, but I was unable to find it in my uploaded pictures file and I am working from home today. If my memory serves, it came from the book mentioned below. This picture did "survive" the upgrade.

I do remember loving the photo of the "frog" inclusion that you posted some years ago.

Wink

topaz-rainbow.jpg
There was also the kissing fish that I believe the image came from WF.
It was not eye visible from the top but from the side under magnification looked like 2 fish kissing.
 

cflutist

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pyramid

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Good Old Gold posted one with a red heart, can't remember if ruby or garnet. I loved it. I think it was around a valentines day and they, maybe was Rhino, posted later that it had then been sold.
 

metall

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Such an interesting post. I have nothing to add, but I do want updates so that I can learn what all the professional and prosumer thoughts are.
 

december-fire

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Karl_K

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thank you!!!!
 

WinkHPD

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So, Layla,

Now that you are in the trade, have you had enough time in it to have a new perspective and perhaps answers to the questions you posed?

Wink
 
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