shape
carat
color
clarity

SI2 VS SI3 WHAT THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

YMA

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
171
I know some people don''t believe in Si3 but is there a huge difference between si2 & si3 ????

Does one shape of stone show inclusions more then others?

I put all the stats in the Gem Appraiser DIY cut chart and it rated 1B for princess cuts.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 11/17/2006 11:43:22 AM
Author:YMA
I know some people don''t believe in Si3 but is there a huge difference between si2 & si3 ????

Does one shape of stone show inclusions more then others?

I put all the stats in the Gem Appraiser DIY cut chart and it rated 1B for princess cuts.
I''m a clarity gal and I *might* go to si1 but I prefer it higher... I wouldn''t be happy with an si2 or 3 stone.

and yes, some cuts will show them more... if you hve those clear type of inclusions they''ll hide more in crushed ice type stones and to a lesser extend the rounds.... they will NOT hide in an antique cushion, asscher, or emerald. The more chevrons the princess has the more likely it will be to hide the inclusions IMO UNLESS they are black ones, only gloves hide those!
 

jaz464

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,022
Well, if you are talking about SI3, you will be talking about one of the lesser trusted labs, like EGL. GIA and AGS don''t grade SI3. So to me, that is a big difference. I would consider an SI3 EGL to be an I1 in a more reliable lab. That is too low for me.
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
10,285
the difference between si2 and si3 can be huge for a couple of reasons...
the main one being that the two major grading labs (ags & gia) don''t use si3 grading. so, being an si3 automatically means you are getting a clarity grading from a lesser known and quite potentially much ''softer'' lab. we have seen here, numerous occasions when a stone graded by a lab other than gia/ags gets appraised at least a couple of grades lower than what is stated on the certificate. a stone with a si3 grade would probably be graded I1-2 by ags/gis if not even lower.

stone shape does play a part in hiding inclusions but so does the cut. a poorly cut rb will show inclusions more readily than a well cut rb because there is not so much sparkle to hide the inclusions. in the same regard, step cuts (square emeralds, asschers) will not hide inclusions as well.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,593
For all practical putposes SI3 is nothing more than a GIA I1 stone. One lab may argue that SI3 is the upper end of I1 and the lower part of SI2. ANother lab may say all SI3 stones are I1 stones, in their opinion.

The price for an SI3 is the same as for a good GIA I1. What more is needed? The price is as good indication of quality as it is an indication of value.
 

YMA

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
171
What should be the going price for a 3C princess cut ?.

I color Si3 clarity

I did the Gem Appraiser Cut analyzer and it rated a 1B for princess cuts.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 11/17/2006 1:08:54 PM
Author: YMA
What should be the going price for a 3C princess cut ?.

I color Si3 clarity

I did the Gem Appraiser Cut analyzer and it rated a 1B for princess cuts.
it''s about 10-11k, cut quality undetermined. I would HIGHLY advise against an I1 though. Of course everyone is different... if size is your #1 criteria then cut quality and clarity won''t matter much. Personally with a princess I might go to si1 and a smaller size if your budget is fixed.
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
With due respect to everyone here, i beg to differ.

While both GIA and AGS do not have an SI3 category, EGLUSA (which admittedly is "softer" but fair and reasonable") does. In my opinion the category of SI3 is critical in differentiating between the "doables" and the "non-doables". I''ve sold many SI3''s of this nature (true SI3, not just a cover up for an I1) where the SI was completely to the side of the diamond and coverable by a prong and the customers were thrilled at having a diamond that was face up an SI1 or better and paying 40% less of the price.

BUT in this case for a 3 carater i''d advise against it. The large stones are both good for the beauty and as an investment. An SI3 or I1 won''t give as good of a return as a 3 carat (or even 2 1/2 carater) SI1 or SI2.

Go to below 3 carats and have something that will be good for you in the long run to sell or trade-in.
 

mtrb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
207
I have always assumed that SI3 was just a way for a jeweler to sell an I1 stone for more profit by calling it an SI while having the unknowing customer dancing in the street, because they believe they were not buying an I1 stone.
If I went to a jeweler and that jeweler started talking about SI3 stones, I would immediately consider him/her unreputable and leave the store..honestly. I could never buy from the website above due to the above comments.

I don't believe in SI3, just as I don't believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. Sorry.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,999

On the little conversion chart that EGL-USA provides to translate their grades to the GIA standards, EGL-SI3 is entirely a subset of GIA-SI2. This is clearly not the case. It is, in fact, almost never the case and, in any situation where it might be true on a significant stone, it would be decidedly profitable for the dealer to misplace their EGL-SI3 paperwork and resubmit it to GIA for the SI2.


This all suggests that EGL-SI3 is, at best, a subset of GIA-I1. The issue of whether it’s identical or not will be at the I1/I2 boundary and whether some EGL-SI2’s would also be graded I1’s by GIA. Using the EGL translation chart, the I1/I2 boundary is supposedly identical on both scales. Is it? It’s hard to tell. Few people submit I2’s to GIA for grading and, when they do, I suspect they were expecting an I1 result. Based purely on anecdotal evidence, I’ve seen a lot of EGL-I1’s that I would describe as I2 as well as quite a few EGL-SI2’s that I would call I1. I don’t recall ever seeing an EGL-SI3 that I would describe as SI2.


SI3 exists for a good reason. I1 is a huge grade range and the best are considerably more desirable than the worst. This leads the dealers to be interested in finding a way of describing a ‘good’ I1 differently from a ‘bad’ I1. The problem is that shoppers want to rely on grading reports instead of actually looking at the stones and/or consulting with an expert. No dealer wants to describe their stone as bad so they’re willing to take a hit from using an off-brand lab in exchange for the benefits of a bit of grade inflation. EGL-SI3 will generally sell for more than the same stone described as GIA-I1. EGL-I1 will command a higher price than the same stone with an AGS-I2, etc.

It's not a vast conspiracy and it can be almost completely solved by a few simple steps:
1) Buy from dealers that you consider to be reliable.
2) Actually look at the stone before you commit to the final purchase
3) Use outside experts if you're in doubt.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 11/19/2006 10:00:48 AM
Author: mtrb
I have always assumed that SI3 was just a way for a jeweler to sell an I1 stone for more profit by calling it an SI while having the unknowing customer dancing in the street, because they believe they were not buying an I1 stone.
If I went to a jeweler and that jeweler started talking about SI3 stones, I would immediately consider him/her unreputable and leave the store..honestly. I could never buy from the website above due to the above comments.

I don't believe in SI3, just as I don't believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. Sorry.

I respectfully disagree and am personally offended. I've worked too hard and sacrificed too much for the sake of integrity and ethics in my dealings to be written off with the touch of a keystroke. i'll leave it at that.
daniel
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Thank you Neil. That is exactly my point. A true SI3 grading is very practical in differentiating a nice I1 to an ugly one. This is an important thing for consumers that GIA and AGS categories pass over IMO. Of course by GIA standards an SI3 is an I1.. but there are I1s and there are I1s :)
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,593
You can always increase the number of grades in a system so long as you can define the steps between each grade. When you study and use the GIA clarity grading system you begin to realize that the existing steps between grades are unclear and subjective. Increasing the number of grades, steps, does nothing for accurately defining a clarity grade. It actually muddies the waters even further.

Retailers often use the defense of SI3 as useful and meaningful because they can confuse people who don''t want an I1, but who can be talked into an SI, albeit an SI3. Remember, we are speaking of the use of SI3 by only one major lab where a degree of controversy exists in their interpretation of the grading system the other major labs use. I don''t care if they are loose or tight in their approach, but it is the market that dictates the discount in asking prices and points to this situation as a fact of the free market''s opinion.

One can make a case for VS3 for the best SI1''s. One can make many finer steps in the I category, from I1 to I6, if you wanted to.
Using the added grades in a clear way would be more difficult than using the existing, accepted terminology. I know it is tempting to attempt to define precisely, but experts can''t do it now with perfection and will not do it better if there are more grades and no better definitions.

There are some excellent clarity systems that go way further than GIA. Venus Diamonds has a superb system which they employ in house. Its highly defined and detailed. Although it remains subjective, it is clearly a better, more complete approach. I have doubts if the industry or retailers would like to reveal more. I wouldn''t bet on it.
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
The difference between a grade of VS3 and that of SI3 is in what comes after. A harshly graded SI1 can still be sold even after adding a small premium onto the price given it's being a borderline VS2. But, the perception of market to the word I1 is that of "A clearly noticeable inclusion to the eye a.k.a UGLY" which in many SI3s is not the case. The list price for an I1 is so far discounted from that of an SI2 (because of this conditioned "perception" of the market) that it is truly unfair to the vendor (yes there is a concept of vendors getting unfair deals also!) who has what is a truly beautiful stone but has been stigmatized by a label of I1.

I am curious to know of this Venus grading system you mentioned.. what's that about??
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,999

The difference between SI3 and I1 is clearly more relevant than the one asked in the headline and these both go directly to David’s comment about the scales used, the details that are determined to be relevant and the ranking of which are more relevant that others. The GIA scale is clearly incomplete but the SI3 grade is also clearly intended to seem like a subset of the other SI grades when it equally clearly is not. It would be far more meaningful for shoppers if people who chose to use a non-GIA approach would be upfront about what they were doing and why. Until a more meaningful scale becomes a more broadly accepted standard, I will continue to use the GIA grading with additional details as needed to fully describe the stone. I1 is not a sufficient description. Neither is SI3.


Dealers would be wise to follow the same advice regularly given here to consumers. Buy the diamond, not the paper. Don’t assume that the grading is accurate or useful just because it came from a ‘lab’, even a good lab. The broad range of I1 is an opportunity to differentiate YOUR stones from the masses of dealers who are less careful in their buying.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

mtrb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
207
For me there is a stigma attached to the SI3 grading and the jewelers that push them. Many of the maul jewelers use this SI3 rating and their questionable certificates to benefit themselves. That is where I am coming from here. For me, it is a trust issue with companies that use this grade, and not a personal attack on anyone here. GIA invented these grades, and many unreputable jewelers have perverted them for their own benefit. If you honestly believe in the SI3 grade thats fine.
Please note, that there are many who feel like me though. There are educated consumers that would question a jewelers intentions if he/she were not familiar with their practices and SI3 grading was something they were using.

26.gif
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 11/19/2006 2:46:24 PM
Author: mtrb
For me there is a stigma attached to the SI3 grading and the jewelers that push them. Many of the maul jewelers use this SI3 rating and their questionable certificates to benefit themselves. That is where I am coming from here. For me, it is a trust issue with companies that use this grade, and not a personal attack on anyone here. GIA invented these grades, and many unreputable jewelers have perverted them for their own benefit. If you honestly believe in the SI3 grade thats fine.
Please note, that there are many who feel like me though. There are educated consumers that would question a jewelers intentions if he/she were not familiar with their practices and SI3 grading was something they were using.

26.gif
Fair enough. I can accept that :) .
Would it ease your mind at all in knowing that the Rapaport List Price (which I think non would dispute is held in high regard) does have a separate column and price listing for SI3s and not that it''s just an invented label to fool the masses?
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
my filter for si3 goes like this....

si3 == I1/2 == crap

Using si3, igi and egl Israel certs == as used by many(not all) sellers is the crime of "deceptive practice".
I again will say that we need U.S. Government grading standards for diamonds. :}
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,999
Date: 11/19/2006 3:24:45 PM
Author: DBM

Would it ease your mind at all in knowing that the Rapaport List Price (which I think non would dispute is held in high regard) does have a separate column and price listing for SI3s and not that it''s just an invented label to fool the masses?

There’s a lot of people who will dispute that. The Rapaport pricing report is regularly used as a tool to fool the masses.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,525
I worked for a diamond wholesale company from 1987-1990. The company was established in 1920 and very reputable.
At that time, they were using the GIA grading scale and also added their own "in house" VS3 and SI3.
Most retailers at the time were curious about these grades, but not very concerned.
As an independent appraiser and conservative grader, I do not use SI3, but quite honestly, I feel that it fills the gap for those "borderline" calls.
When AGS and/or GIA adopts SI3...I will also.

www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 11/19/2006 4:09:48 PM
Author: denverappraiser

Date: 11/19/2006 3:24:45 PM
Author: DBM

Would it ease your mind at all in knowing that the Rapaport List Price (which I think non would dispute is held in high regard) does have a separate column and price listing for SI3s and not that it''s just an invented label to fool the masses?

There’s a lot of people who will dispute that. The Rapaport pricing report is regularly used as a tool to fool the masses.



Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
I''m really surprised to hear you say that Neil. Within my circles Rapaport is known as highly ethical and fair, making a point of owning no share in diamond stock, taking strong proactive measures on important issues such as conflit diamonds and synthetic grading, and in general has a very good reputation. i''m surprised to hear you say that... in what way do you think it''s used as a tool to fool???
 

WinkHPD

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,516
Date: 11/19/2006 11:02:08 AM
Author: denverappraiser

I’ve seen a lot of EGL-I1’s that I would describe as I2


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
LOL! Neil, I have seen a lot of GIA I1''s that I would describe as I2. It is one of the problems with the I1 grade, there are some incredibly beautiful diamonds in it, and there are some complete dogs in it. It would be nice if there was a better way to lable them that did not scare the consumer with the thought that the stone was automatically ugly if it is an I1.

Unfortunately I do not believe that SI3 is working the way that it was intended when Tom Tashey developed it. There are definitely I1''s that are worth more than other I1''s, but it is hard to tell by looking at the grade. As you also said, one must be able to look at the stone, not just the paper.

Wink
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,999
Date: 11/19/2006 5:16:01 PM
Author: DBM
I''m really surprised to hear you say that Neil. Within my circles Rapaport is known as highly ethical and fair, making a point of owning no share in diamond stock, taking strong proactive measures on important issues such as conflit diamonds and synthetic grading, and in general has a very good reputation. i''m surprised to hear you say that... in what way do you think it''s used as a tool to fool???

Mr. Rapaport is a highly ethical man and I only wish I could be half as successful. I’m definitely not disparaging him, his businesses or his staff. The problem is his customers and how they use the pricing sheet. Part of the tactics for almost every sleezy dealer out there is to produce a copy of the Rap sheet and proudly point out that the prices therein are ‘wholesale’. Any price that’s close to that must, by definition, be a good deal. As you know, this is flatly untrue. The grid is based entirely on 4 parameters; general shape, size range, clarity, and color to determine a price. Some stones are a terrific deal at full Rap while others are a ripoff at 50% back.


It completely sidesteps issues of grading accuracy, cutting, and any value added that is being supplied by the dealer. Not to mention the details within a particular grade. It’s used to sell poor makes and badly misgraded stones on the basis that diamonds are a commodity and that the discount from Rap is the primary difference between superficially similar stones.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,593
I think we all agree that the current frequent misuse of SI3 is unethical. We also all agree that if a better system was created or if this system is modified for the better, we'd have no problem with adapting to using it. We all want consumers to have meaningful and honest information.

The misuse of Rapaport Sheet prices is commonplace. People need to be aware that this is a problem for consumers as they do not grasp the meaning or lack of meaning on the Rap Sheet.

There definitely is a wide range of what grades a fair I1 diamond. There are better ones and poorer ones. They do command differing prices, all within the single grade. However, Rapaport SI3 prices are NOTHING but the AVERAGE of SI2 and I1 pricing. This is not a report on any actual prices, but just an average between to other columns of numbers.

Dealers can use SI3 for describing clarity with other dealers. They always mean upper range I1 stones. When used with consumers, SI3 can mean anything, but the misuse is more commonplace than the correct dealer use.
 

lojack_ii

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
39
Date: 11/17/2006 11:55:16 AM
Author: Cehrabehra
Date: 11/17/2006 11:43:22 AM

Author:YMA

I know some people don''t believe in Si3 but is there a huge difference between si2 & si3 ????


Does one shape of stone show inclusions more then others?


I put all the stats in the Gem Appraiser DIY cut chart and it rated 1B for princess cuts.
I''m a clarity gal and I *might* go to si1 but I prefer it higher... I wouldn''t be happy with an si2 or 3 stone.


and yes, some cuts will show them more... if you hve those clear type of inclusions they''ll hide more in crushed ice type stones and to a lesser extend the rounds.... they will NOT hide in an antique cushion, asscher, or emerald. The more chevrons the princess has the more likely it will be to hide the inclusions IMO UNLESS they are black ones, only gloves hide those!

Well, I just bought an SI2 and you can''t see a hint of an inclusion. I don''t know why you''d go for an SI1 but shun an SI2. SI3 on the other hand is merely an I1 diamond in disguise, in my opinion.
 

WinkHPD

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,516
Date: 11/20/2006 9:28:33 AM
Author: lojack_ii


Well, I just bought an SI2 and you can''t see a hint of an inclusion. I don''t know why you''d go for an SI1 but shun an SI2. SI3 on the other hand is merely an I1 diamond in disguise, in my opinion.
And this is the problem. (I am not meaning to sound rude to you, please read a pleasant tone to my voice.)

In your opinion, based on your experience, there is nothing to see in an SI2 but an SI3 is bad news.

There are many I''s that are nearly eye clean and some that are completely eye clean and many SI1''s that have eye visible inclusions. I have seen a 3.5ct VS1 GIA papered diamond with a clearly visible inclusion, a black pinpoint. I was at a continuing education class in Tucson and the whole class argued with the instructor that this was in no way a VS1 diamond and he ensured us that it was due to the diminutive size of the inclusion, even if it was for some reason visible because of the poor cutting of the diamond. I don''t think any of us in the class could ever have tried to sell such a stone as a VS1, but having seen it I know it exists.

In many threads like these I see consumers stating opinions as fact when often the questions being debated are still in hot discussion amongst those in the trade who have years of experience and have seen thousands of stones.

It is unfortunate that some unethical people have destroyed the practicality and the usefulness of the SI3 designation that was intended to lump together those stones that were too nice to call I1''s and not quite nice enough to safely call SI2''s. In the beginning you could sometimes send an SI3 EGL Los Angeles (Tom Tashey''s lab at the time) and get an SI2 ranking from GIA which made the stone more valuable. Of course, sometimes you could send a similar looking stone to GIA and get back an I1 which made the stone in theory less valuable, but there was already a discount for the EGL cert, so the difference was not as great as you might have imagined.

But I digress. What I am wanting to say is that blanket statements about the acceptability or vileness of a particular grade without seeing the stone in question serve only to limit the trade of stones in those categories, whether or not such limitation is warranted. This is not to say you are not entitled to knowing what you want, but I feel that blanket pronouncements that this grade or that is unacceptable do not help the person searching for the best stone in his/her budget.

Sometimes an I1 that is well cut is a prettier diamond and of far greater value than an SI1 of the same color and size that costs more and is a lifeless lump of crystallized carbon due to the cutting. Many times going to such a stone will allow a consumer to have a larger diamond for less money than a higher quality smaller stone. If the lady WANTS a larger diamond it offers the man a great opportunity to have that larger diamond in a price he can afford, and if he shops carefully he can get a stone that is just as beautiful as the smaller higher quality stone, or even more beautiful if the larger stone is better cut than the smaller diamond.

I have said consistently for several years, and will continue to stress, that buying the diamond is MUCH more important than buying the paper. I know that the paper gives comfort to the buyer, but if the buyer does not make some effort to learn what the paper actually means, then he/she is fair game for those who will take advantage of the paper chase. What pricescope offers is the chance for the consumer to learn as much as he/she wants, and to tell you the truth, many of the pricescopers know more than the average jeweler. Now THAT is a sad statement about the educational level of our industry.

Wionk
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,525
Well stated Wink
2.gif


I strongly believe that one must "see the diamond" as beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.


www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Wink really said it very nicely.

The fact is there, for better or worse, the online diamond revolution is creating an ever growing trend of consumers "buying paper" and not the stone, no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise. This leads to a significant divergence of consumer types. One being the cautious protective consumer who buys out of trust for the paper (regardless of whether in truth it''s a horrible VS2 as wink mentioned for example) and not out of trust of his jeweler. OR the consumers who just trust their jewelers.

I think in general with progressive education comes progressive "second guessing" and insecurity so that with the growing trend of public education going around we''re going to have a world full of worried obsessive-compulsive diamond buyers :) -- tongue in cheek of course!
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    November Birthstones 2021 - Topaz and Citrine
    November Birthstones 2021 - Topaz and Citrine - 10/27
    WHAM! The Other Shoe Drops
    WHAM! The Other Shoe Drops - 10/25
    A Hesse Horror - The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara
    A Hesse Horror - The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara - 10/22

Holloway Cut Advisor



Top