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Question from newbie: VS2 vs. SI1?

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iluvchoc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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19
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum, and I am looking for an engagement ring. I already know that I want something around 1 carat, G color, ideal cut. My question is about VS2 and SI1. I saw a stone on whiteflash(SI1) that on the AGS report had few very inclusions and were on the periphery. I called whiteflash, and they said:

"This diamond is eye clean at both 8 and 25cm. The inclusions are white and mostly located outside the table. They can be seen from the side view."

So if inclusions can be seen from the side is that still considered "eye clean?" I also saw VS2 stones that appeared to have more inclusions than the SI1 stone so it appeared to me that clarity wise the VS2 stone looked "worse" than the SI1 which was confusing to me. Is there a reasoning behind that? There seems to be somewhat of a significant price difference between SI1 and VS2. Is it worth the money to go for a high grade VS2 to be safe or a high grade SI1 with no inclusions that can be seen including from the side if it exists? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
26,924
It is hard to tell from the marks on the reports what it will look like in person.
Some inclusions are black.
Some are barely noticeable even with a loupe.
You can be pretty sure than an AGS VS2 is going to look better than an AGS SI1.
If that VS2 has more inclusions than the SI1 they are probably very faint compared to the ones in the SI1, or placed where they are less noticeable.

Inclusions that are visible face up are considered more serious than the ones you can only see from the bottom.
Under the table is more serious than off to the side.

Whiteflash has a description on their website of what they consider to be eye clean.
They also encourage talking to them so you are on the same page.

Eye clean is not a scientific line.
Some people have very good vision and others have very good vision and training on spotting things.
An older person may not notice things a younger person would.

Is visible from the side eye clean?
I don't know, but I think the criteria is face up.

If it is going into a tension setting side view may be important if the inclusion cannot be covered by the side against the metal.
If it is a small spot it may be hidden by a prong of the setting.

Fortunately it has an AGS certificate, a very strict lab, and you are dealing with Whiteflash, a very reputable vendor.
You can examine the stone for 10 days and return it if you don't like it (they deduct about $55 for the shipping from your refund.)

Selecting a grade is all about comfort level.
personally I am a VS or VVS guy but I am not the norm.
Many are very happy at SI1 when a reliable vendor tells them it is eye clean.
 

Beacon

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
2,037
I don''t mind an eye clean SI1 in a round brilliant. If the stone is a step cut, like an emerald or asscher you have to really get a special SI1 and even then it may be difficult not to see the inclusions so for those cuts it is better to stay with higher clarity.

AGS is a strict grader of clarity so you can have confidence. It is hard to judge the eye cleanness from the cert, especially with SI stones. Sometimes there is only one mark on the cert, but when you see the stone it is a big black spot you cannot miss! Some certs look like a graffiti wall, but when you see the stone it looks fine.

SI1 is defnitely less costly than VS2. You have to decide for yourself if that is a priority for you.

Usually eyeclean means from the top, not from the side. Depending on your setting you may never see the inclusions from the side once it is set.

Good luck with your selection!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
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9,143
Date: 1/3/2007 1:04:14 AM
Author: kenny

You can be pretty sure than an AGS VS2 is going to look better than an AGS SI1.
I wouldn't categorically agree with this......for a few reasons.

Clarity grading is done *only* from face-up, so side view has zero impact on clarity grading. Hence, one cannot assume that a VS2 will look better than an SI1 any percentage of the time as it relates to side view.

Inclusions can sometimes be seen from the side in VS2 diamonds, too. There have been a number of posts on PS over the last few years from folks who's seen inclusions from the side view in VS2 diamonds.

Further, since many people can't see a visual difference with the naked eye between VS2 and SI1, it's unlikely that one will clearly "look better" than the other. It's more likely that they will appear the same to the average viewer.

Finally, VS2 and SI1 are only one step apart, so how they will look in loupe conditions really depends on the nature/color of the inclusions and their placement.

Don't get me wrong....there is absolutely a difference (most of the time) between VS2 and SI1.....just as there is a measureable difference between .001 and .002. But that doesn't mean the difference is necessarily appreciable or even discernable....especially to the average Joe.
 

iluvchoc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
19
Whiteflash also mentioned the inclusions that be seen on the side are "white" so does it make it much less obvious? I would like a stone in which I can''t see the inclusions on top or the side. However, I''m wondering if perhaps the white, side inclusion will not be visible once its placed in a setting? Is the only way to find that out is actually receiving the stone and seeing how it looks with the setting?
 

luvthatstone

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
19
Generally speaking from when I was shopping for a stone yes, white inclusions are better then black inclusions.

Black inclusions are much easier to see with the naked eye.

Also keep in mind that with an ideal cut round stone, in many cases the light performance of the stone will do a nice job at making the inclusions less easier to see.

I have a VS2 Ideal cut with a small white inclusion (cloud) right under the table which is impossible to see with the naked eye, and is a real pain to find with a 10X loupe.

You might want to ask WF if they can take pics of the stone for you from different views (side view, top down, etc) and at different magnification powers, etc. to help you judge for yourself.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
You could have a VS2 graded stone that on the plot has a smattering of clouds drawn everywhere, but you can''t see them when looking at the stone. So just because the plot has a bit of marking on it, doesn''t mean it''s worse than an SI1 even though by the plot it may appear that way.

''Eye clean'' as I know it refers to the diamond facing up, and usually at a distance of 10 inches or so. That the SI1 is eye clean at around 8 cm (a little over 3 inches) is great - that''s more what I consider eye clean than at 10 inches. That the inclusions are visible from the side could be a moot point depending on how you plan to set the stone. Are you going to bezel set it? Prong set it? If the area will be covered by the setting...then it''s not as big a deal.
 
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