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Uncertified Diamonds - How bad can it get?

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BlingChaser

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
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21
I was considering buying a 5 stone bangle for my 2nd half and the stones i was thinking would range from 0.4 to 0.49 in carat weight.

I asked the merchant for H and I GIA graded diamonds which i used as basis for color on a white piece of paper.

My objective was to buy H or I SI2 stones.

Armed with a Loupe, IdealScope and Ideal Light, i was able to sift through a good many stones and the IdealScope was really handy for cut and inclusion spotting.

Before i make my final decision on the stones, i was wondering if this very informative forum has some pointers for me in selecting uncertified stones.
 

C Smith

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
176
Date: 11/24/2006 5:30:24 PM
Author:BlingChaser
I was considering buying a 5 stone bangle for my 2nd half and the stones i was thinking would range from 0.4 to 0.49 in carat weight.

I asked the merchant for H and I GIA graded diamonds which i used as basis for color on a white piece of paper.

My objective was to buy H or I SI2 stones.

Armed with a Loupe, IdealScope and Ideal Light, i was able to sift through a good many stones and the IdealScope was really handy for cut and inclusion spotting.

Before i make my final decision on the stones, i was wondering if this very informative forum has some pointers for me in selecting uncertified stones.
If you are not qualified, arrange to have an independant gemologist assess the stone for you before purchase.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Doing it yourself is kewl but if you feel the vendor cant atleast make the selection and then have you approve them well.... then why are working with that vendor?
There is a lot that goes into matching stones that some people wouldnt consider.
Then an Appraiser to verify everything is a good idea.
If there is a good local independant id consider having him/her check them unset then set.
If I had to send it off id get a return policy and send it off to the appraiser set.
 

mdx

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
570
One small thing you must bear in mind when matching stones and using an Appraiser.
It is not uncommon when matching from a large parcel that the appraiser may assign one color difference to some stones you have selected.
This is because matching multiple stones is a face up exercise where multiple factors as seem by the human eyes come into effect.
It’s usually much better to have a good visual match than worry too much about one color difference as determined by the appraiser. (Unless this is important to you)
An Idealscope is excellent for matching, Try keep table size the same

Johan
 

BlingChaser

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
21
I am certainly not qualified but my thought was that if i restriced my purchases to I SI2 stones, i was hoping that these criteria would be low enough to cover my bases. Here is what i was thinking:

I would ask the vendor for loose 0.4-0.49 stones of H and I, SI2 stones.

I think there is a big difference bet. SI2 and I1 clarity grade and the combination of Loupe/Idealscope is very good at picking up inclusions. So as long as i look for clear tables and the odd inclusion around the edges and try and stay away from black inclusions, i was thinking maybe i would be able to not fall into the I1 grade.

As for Color, i''d get a GIA H and I color graded stones as benchmark for comparison. I find that if you get a white business card, fold it along the length and place the stones culet up within the fold definitely helps identifying differences in color grades. I absolutely cannot tell a color grade on its own but putting stones next to each other seems to work for me in spotting differences. Also putting the stones culet up hopefully will remove any fluorescence effect.

In terms of cut, i''ll be relying heavily on the IdealScope/IdealLight and would be definitely looking for the prominent dark 8 arrows and consistent hue.

"ladykemma" and "mdx" had a good point in terms of trying to match table size and diameter but on that i would only be able to eyeball it. (if i can''t eyeball it, i think it at least 50% of the population woudl not be able to).

I will be paying my vendor a visit again this Saturday to look at the stones again so any extra pointers would be helpful.
 

mdx

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
570

Bling Chaser


Sorting through H and I will be fine, The methods you describe will work well. In terms of table size visual judgment will work just fine, you will easily see the one that does not fit

Johan
 

BlingChaser

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
21
Date: 11/27/2006 2:37:32 PM
Author: Garry H (Cut Nut)
You are right at the safe end of town.
If you were trying to do D-E IF to VVS1 then this would be crazy.

Ask to see some certified H-J SI2''s to compare as masters.
I would never dare attempt to buy a D,E,F colors and IF - VS2 clarity uncertified as i can hardly distinguish amongst those as it is right now.

Regarding SI2 vs I1, are there tell tale signs in that 0.5 carat range i should look out for so as to not mistake an I1 for a SI2?

www.goodoldgold.com had some pictures of what I1 and I2 look like but these were blatantly not SI2''s.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,581
my advice is if you cant see it with naked eye in diffused lighting then it does not matter.

After you make your selection LOOK at them all lined up - that way if any are cloudy you will see it.

Check for UV in daylight as any fluoro stones will look whiter and may make the others look sad (better still - select all fluoro stones)
 

briank

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
5
Here''s my take on it ... if you''re looking for a center stone, always go with a certified stone (preferably GIA or other respectable grading institutes). If you''re looking for smaller side stones, I think people can be a bit more lenient here as long as the stones look nice and you trust the dealer.

You should be able to get a feel for them after looking at them.

Worst comes to worst, you could always get the same diamonds and have them certified. I bet you could find reasonably priced certified stones as well.

Brian
 
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