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Subject: Clarity and Eye-Clean

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kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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People want to know if a stone is "eye-clean".
I find this kind of subject to be very interesting.
It is a good example of something where people have expectations that just don't match reality.
People expect an absolute definition.
But eye-clean really depends on agreeing on a definition.

As Dave Atlas has pointed out eye-clean has no absolute scientific definition.
Whiteflash has helped the problem a lot by describing reasonable conditions they consider eye-clean, so the customer and WF can start out on the same page.
But as Dave Atlas said there are a few of those X-Ray Vision people walking around with super-human ability to spot faint inclusions with the naked eye.
Then there is me.

My 50-year old eyes do not have X-ray vision.
But I do have what I'll describe as an X-Ray Personality.
I am the type of person who is obsessed with understanding certain things.
It has served me well in my career.
I'm an engineer who frequently must analyze things under microscopes and draw important conclusions based on my understanding of what I see.

This makes me a diamond customer from Hell.
Fortunately I am willing to go with VVS stones, but I still put them under our laboratory microscopes.

I understand the 10x loupe grading standard, but I just love to understand as much as possible about the diamond I am buying.

I'm just making the point that customer personality is a factor.
People vary.
But educating them about the 10x loupe grading standard should put the nit-pickers in their place.

That said I recently got a lesson about the super-human skill those gemologist at GIA and AGS have with their loupes.
My VVS2 asscher has 4 or 5 tiny faint inclusions under the table that I could not find with a very fine 10x loupe.
Only after locating them with a fancy stereo microscope at 66x and understanding what I was looking for could I find them with my loupe.
Even then the light had to be just right.
So I think even the "10x grading standard" is somewhat squishy and dependent on the skill and experience of the person.

The whole subject of clarity, customer's expectations and visual skills, and sales is very complex and nuanced.
I must say that John Pollard of Whiteflash and Rhino of GOG have been very understanding and patient with this customer from hell with microscopes from heaven.
Of course, my checks don't bounce.
That helps.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Kenny, good points! I''ll have to say I''m one of the minority here that likes my diamonds close to loupe-clean (I certainly don''t have the vision to see the inclusions with my eyes since I am close to your age!). So I only look at VS stones and up for myself.

I don''t think it is much different from the wine connoisseur and the person that buys the $7.95 bottle of wine from the grocery store. Some people have an interest in refining their preferences to the highest quality of a certain item, and that is personal preference.

I am faaar from being a wine connoisseur, but I do like diamonds that have great cut, color, and clarity. Yet without unlimited money, we all have to make some compromises!
 

:)

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
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1,864
Kenny, I need to borrow your microscope! I am having trouble finding any inclusions with my loupe on my SI1!! They have to be there, right?!

eta: Normally I can see inclusions very easily with a loupe on SI stones
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Try light coming in from the bottom.
 

ejh

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
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Kenny - I can understand where you are coming from. I am not too hung up on clarity (only a little bit - I just bought a VS2 stone), but I am picky about what I want. I am also an engineer (or I will be one soon - graduate in May), so maybe this feeling just comes with the territory
.

I have visited several B & M stores and online vendors, and I was very specific about the quality of cut that I wanted. Unfortunately, I think I frustrated some of the salespeople I was working with. I feel kind of guilty, because I certainly do not mean to be difficult. I just keep telling myself that if I am going to plunk down a significant amount of change, I am going to get exactly what I want - especially if I know where to get it.

Anybody else get this feeling, or am I just crazy?
 

:)

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 12/9/2006 4:26:52 PM
Author: kenny
Try light coming in from the bottom.
Really good idea - I cleaned it and angled a flashlight from the bottom (heh heh, when I put it straight on I almost blinded myself with flashlight in the eye!)- still having some difficulty, but will spend more time looking. Thanks for the idea!
 

Midway

Rough_Rock
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Nov 29, 2006
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65
Somtimes I think it would almost be better not to look at stones too closely. I bought a 1.4, SI2. Initially I thought it was eye-clean, after staring at it for a while I realized that I could see a small inclusion on the table. Now, it''s all I can see when I look at the stone!
I know that SI2''s are a gamble anyway.

Now I''m having the agonizing debate of trading size for clarity. Wish me luck!
 

Kim N

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,167
Date: 12/12/2006 1:57:48 PM
Author: Midway
Somtimes I think it would almost be better not to look at stones too closely. I bought a 1.4, SI2. Initially I thought it was eye-clean, after staring at it for a while I realized that I could see a small inclusion on the table. Now, it''s all I can see when I look at the stone!
I know that SI2''s are a gamble anyway.

Now I''m having the agonizing debate of trading size for clarity. Wish me luck!
That is exactly the same thing that happened to me recently. I got a stone that had a small inclusion on the table, and I could not stop fixating on it once I found it the first time. The first thing my eyes did was look for it, even though the stone performed amazingly. I love a good SI1 or SI2 for the value, but I''ve now realized they must be completely eye-clean from any distance at any angle for them to be "mind-clean" to me. I still don''t think I''ll go up to VS; I''ll just be patient until the right stone comes in.
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
I wanna borrow a good microscope. I had problems seeing the inclusions on the diamond I bought (VVS2) even using a microscope. For a second, I had a minor paranoid attack that what if it wasn''t the same stone if I couldn''t see any inclusions. Course, if I couldn''t see any inclusions, that meant that even if they did switch stones, the clarity was just as good. I can barely see where the inclusion is on the GIA report.
 
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