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Visible VS2 inclusion from the side common?

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vancityguy

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I just received my e-ring which is 1 carat F VS2. It looks beautiful and eye clean in the face up position but I noticed in the side pavilion view there is a tiny black dot when viewed with indirect sunlight. Is this really a VS2 or SI1? It has AGS certification.

It was mentioned to me that: "Diamonds are graded in the face up position so it is acceptable in the industry that a VS stone has an inclusion that is visible from the side."

Hmmm, I thought diamonds were graded from all angles. Is a visible side inclusion really that common with VS2 and does this affect it''s value as a VS2?
 

Gypsy

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:26:16 PM
Author:vancityguy
I just received my e-ring which is 1 carat F VS2. It looks beautiful and eye clean in the face up position but I noticed in the side pavilion view there is a tiny black dot when viewed with indirect sunlight. Is this really a VS2 or SI1? NO. It has AGS certification.

It was mentioned to me that: 'Diamonds are graded for clarity in the face up position so it is acceptable in the industry that a VS stone has an inclusion that is visible from the side.' TRUE

Hmmm, I thought diamonds were graded from all angles.NO. FACE UP FOR CLARITY, FACE DOWN FOR COLOR. Is a visible side inclusion really that common with VS2 YES and does this affect it's value as a VS2? NO
 

JulieN

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Diamonds are graded for clarity face up.

It is not common if you''re talking about probability. However, that is the standard way diamonds are graded. If it is a VS2 face up, it is not an SI1 from the side.
 

chrono

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No, the grading would be correct. There are some VS2s where the inclusion is visible from the side but it would be fairly small. It should be totally eyeclean from the top though. This does not affect the value in any way as a VS2 stone.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:30:51 PM
Author: JulieN
Diamonds are graded for clarity face up.

It is not common if you're talking about probability. However, that is the standard way diamonds are graded. If it is a VS2 face up, it is not an SI1 from the side.
Ditto, also it can depend on the size of the diamond, even with VS2 clarity you might see something from the side view especially with a large diamond and on occasion you might be able to see something from the top. Bottom line - always check with your vendor whether a diamond is eyeclean to your standards from VS2 and lower in my opinion.

And your particular diamond sounds fine concerning the inclusion unless it bothers you.

This thread might give you further insight concerning clarity and the matter of ' eyecleanliness.'

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/clarity-eye-clean-definition-interpretation-and-taste.30483/
 

vancityguy

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Thanks for the amazing responses. Not sure if it''s good or bad luck, but I guess I was one of the few who got a VS2 with a visible side inclusion. I was hoping it would look clean to at least my eyes. I think I''m more bothered by it than my gf since I showed it to her and I think she was just too excited. I guess at least there is an upgrade policy if this inclusion bugs me too much down the road. (I''m a bit of a perfectionist and thought VS2 would be fine.)

Would going to VS1 ensure it''s eyeclean from all angles? Does having a visible side inclusion for the VS2 make it less desirable?
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:50:45 PM
Author: vancityguy
Thanks for the amazing responses. Not sure if it's good or bad luck, but I guess I was one of the few who got a VS2 with a visible side inclusion. I was hoping it would look clean to at least my eyes. I think I'm more bothered by it than my gf since I showed it to her and I think she was just too excited. I guess at least there is an upgrade policy if this inclusion bugs me too much down the road. (I'm a bit of a perfectionist and thought VS2 would be fine.)

Would going to VS1 ensure it's eyeclean from all angles? Does having a visible side inclusion for the VS2 make it less desirable?
VS1 might be a better fit for you, but always check with the vendor concerning the visibility of any inclusions to be absolutely safe. An inclusion which is visible from the side in a 1 ct VS2 wouldn't bother me but it depends on you and your GF, maybe another diamond might be a better fit to be ' mindclean' for you - but also bear in mind that not all VS2 will show inclusions from the side, another VS2 might be just fine - but in every case check with the vendor and make your expectations clear. For example, if you don't want to see any visible inclusions from any angle, in any lighting and at close scrutiny, make sure you tell the vendor words to that effect so you are both on the same page.
 

Todd Gray

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As stated previously, diamonds are graded for clarity in relationship to what degree the inclusions are visible from a face up position with and without 10x magnification. It is common, in fact expected, to be able to locate inclusions within a diamond from a side profile since the pavilion facets are larger and intended to direct light back up towards the observer rather than designed to hide inclusions (as the crown facets are). Most of the time I can find inclusions from a side profile rather easily if I''ve evaluated the inclusions previously with a loupe and know what to look for and often I can find them with careful scrutiny by looking at the diamond from a side profile facet-by-facet.

"How visible are the inclusions from a side profile?" is a good question to ask online vendors prior to purchasing a diamond, providing that there is a reasonable assumption that the inclusions may be visible to some degree. Obviously more translucent inclusions such as translucent diamond crystals, clouds, pinpoints, needles, etc. are more likely to be more difficult to locate without magnification. And of course, the degree of visibility decreases accordingly with higher clarity grades and is likely to increase with lower clarity grades - that''s just common sense.

The good news is that the setting will help hide the inclusions and people rarely look at their diamond from a side profile... In addition, the fact that the inclusion can be found from a side profile without magnification can be of assistance when verifying your diamond when picking it up and dropping it off with a local jeweler for maintenance, repair, etc.
 
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Couldn''t have worded it better myself, Todd!
 

Rockdiamond

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Hi All!
vancityguy was correct- At GIA the grader will examine the diamond frm all angles to detect the presence of imperfection. I don''t work with AGS often, but I''d think they do the same thing.
An exmple of this might be an eye clean I1 graded diamond.The imperfection might be located in a spot that is completley invisible from a face up position. Still, the grader needs to thouroughly examine the diamond to check for the presence of imperfection.
The converse is also true- if a diamond has a VS2 sized imperfection, it could be visible- the size of the imperfection is what the grade is based upon, as opposed to it''s visibility.
vancityguy- my exeprience is a VS2 imperfection which is visible through the pavillion will have no detrimental effect on the diamond''s value.
 

JulieN

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Date: 2/5/2009 3:48:27 PM
Author: Rockdiamond
Hi All!

vancityguy was correct- At GIA the grader will examine the diamond frm all angles to detect the presence of imperfection. I don't work with AGS often, but I'd think they do the same thing.

An exmple of this might be an eye clean I1 graded diamond.The imperfection might be located in a spot that is completley invisible from a face up position. Still, the grader needs to thouroughly examine the diamond to check for the presence of imperfection.

The converse is also true- if a diamond has a VS2 sized imperfection, it could be visible- the size of the imperfection is what the grade is based upon, as opposed to it's visibility.

vancityguy- my exeprience is a VS2 imperfection which is visible through the pavillion will have no detrimental effect on the diamond's value.
It is true that the labs will try to find the inclusions any which way they can or want. But the clarity grade is based on face-up position.

Date: 2/5/2009 3:48:27 PM
Author: Rockdiamond
An exmple of this might be an eye clean I1 graded diamond.The imperfection might be located in a spot that is completley invisible from a face up position. Still, the grader needs to thouroughly examine the diamond to check for the presence of imperfection.

The converse is also true- if a diamond has a VS2 sized imperfection, it could be visible- the size of the imperfection is what the grade is based upon, as opposed to it's visibility.
Eye-clean, or inclusions seen with the naked eye, and clarity grading which is done under magnification, are two different things.
 

vancityguy

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Date: 2/5/2009 3:48:27 PM
Author: Rockdiamond
...

vancityguy- my exeprience is a VS2 imperfection which is visible through the pavillion will have no detrimental effect on the diamond''s value.

Thanks for the reassurance about the value! The imperfection looks to me like a tiny black dot which is visible within a foot under certain lighting and angles of the pavilion side view. It''s actually a WhiteFlash ACA diamond so there is already a price premium for the ACA branded diamond but they do have a lifetime upgrade so I''m reassured. I have to admit the "cut" of this diamond is really nice.

My mom''s G VVS1 is nice but it seems this F VS2 ACA outshines hers and it also faces up whiter, but her diamond wins out on clarity since it has no visible inclusions whatsoever in any type of lighting.
 

Rockdiamond

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Thanks Julie!
"But the clarity grade is based on face-up position."
The words "based on" are ambiguous in this phrase.
I know that the labs may use such a statement- but if a diamond has to be viewed upside down to see an I1 sized imperfection, it''s still going to grade as an I1.
Which is how we end up with eye clean I1''s, and non eye clean VS2''s
 

John Pollard

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I'm not sure whether everyone is on the same page or not. I thought I would try to add clarity (get it?).

The clarity GRADE reflects only what the gemologist saw face-up at 10X. It does not take side or pavilion views into account.
Clarity PLOTTING, however, involves close examination from all angles.

GIA makes a clear distinction between setting the grade and drawing the plot. This is because plotting is so involved that it can skew perspective...the lab manual instructs to "plot after setting the clarity grade." The grader's instinctive first look is usually correct (whenever I've assigned clarity grades my classmates and I found this to be true nearly 100% of the time). You use a face-up look at 10X to get an idea of the grade in mind...zoom in for closer examination of the whole stone...then back out to 10X once more.

This is why SI-I diamonds can be eye-clean from the crown; because the grade was set based on 10X. Outside of magnification those inclusions may or may not be visible. It's also why we have side-visibles in VS+; because the grade was set based on the crown view only.

Plotting is a different animal. The grade has been set. Now, in addition to face-up and pavilion view the diamond is observed from the side, rotated using the GIA 'wedge' technique to map each sector, corroborate inclusion position and ID surface features. Reflected and darkfield lighting are both used and the stone is frequently flipped, turned, zoomed & unzoomed. The focus knob is constantly in-motion, adjusting depth of field to bring layer after layer of the diamond into focus. By the time you finish with a diamond you know it well enough to bring it home to meet the parents.

Although you know its deepest secrets the final plot will only include characteristics seen at 10X. Everything you see in the crown view is plotted in the crown unless a characteristic touches/breaks the pavilion surface - or is only seen through the pavilion (like internal graining or pinpoints in VVS). For a stone to be IF there can be no red (inclusions) drawn anywhere on the diagram.

So to be clear, the clarity grade reflects only what the gemologist saw face-up at 10X with few exceptions. One exception is a diamond that is VVS with inclusions visible only from the pavilion side...since IF can’t have even that it's a case where the pavilion view was considered to make the grade separation. Another exception is a diamond penalized to I due to durability concerns.

Hope this is helpful.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/5/2009 4:21:55 PM
Author: vancityguy

Date: 2/5/2009 3:48:27 PM
Author: Rockdiamond
...

vancityguy- my exeprience is a VS2 imperfection which is visible through the pavillion will have no detrimental effect on the diamond''s value.

Thanks for the reassurance about the value! The imperfection looks to me like a tiny black dot which is visible within a foot under certain lighting and angles of the pavilion side view. It''s actually a WhiteFlash ACA diamond so there is already a price premium for the ACA branded diamond but they do have a lifetime upgrade so I''m reassured. I have to admit the ''cut'' of this diamond is really nice.

My mom''s G VVS1 is nice but it seems this F VS2 ACA outshines hers and it also faces up whiter, but her diamond wins out on clarity since it has no visible inclusions whatsoever in any type of lighting.
If it bothers you, then you could contact WF and explain the situation if you are still within the return window and see if they have another ACA VS2 which might not have a dark inclusion, or maybe VS1 might be a better fit for you. If you don''t mind a little '' birthmark'' then its no problem but it depends on your comfort level.
 

Rockdiamond

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Thanks John!

I''m basing my statements on experience of looking at stones graded by GIA.

I have here a stone recently graded SI2 by GIA- the imperfection is virtually impossible to see from the top- even using a 10x loupe.
Turn it over and you can make out a white feather- the feather is difficult to see, even from the back, but that''s where you can actually see the full length of the imperfection. I agree with the grade- the size of the imperfection warrants the SI2 grade- but only if viewed from the pavilion. Face up this stone would grade VS1.
I understand the theory behind what you are saying John, and that you are accurately stating GIA''s written policy on this..... but my experience is that in practical use, it''s different.
There is a fair percentage of stones graded I1 that are eye clean from the top.
Then there''s the other side of the coin. If only face up examination is used for clarity, then we''d have stones graded VS1 and 2 that have sizable imperfections hidden- ones that could only be seen from looking through the pavilion.
SO- while I agree that GIA''s line on this is as you stated, the physical reality of stones graded by GIA seems to differ.

Interesting conversation though!
 

Gypsy

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Date: 2/5/2009 4:27:48 PM
Author: John Pollard
I''m not sure whether everyone is on the same page or not. I thought I would try to add clarity (get it?).

The clarity GRADE reflects only what the gemologist saw face-up at 10X. It does not take side or pavilion views into account.
Clarity PLOTTING, however, involves close examination from all angles.

GIA makes a clear distinction between setting the grade and drawing the plot. This is because plotting is so involved that it can skew perspective...the lab manual instructs to ''plot after setting the clarity grade.'' The grader''s instinctive first look is usually correct (whenever I''ve assigned clarity grades my classmates and I found this to be true nearly 100% of the time). You use a face-up look at 10X to get an idea of the grade in mind...zoom in for closer examination of the whole stone...then back out to 10X once more.

This is why SI-I diamonds can be eye-clean from the crown; because the grade was set based on 10X. Outside of magnification those inclusions may or may not be visible. It''s also why we have side-visibles in VS+; because the grade was set based on the crown view only.

Plotting is a different animal. The grade has been set. Now, in addition to face-up and pavilion view the diamond is observed from the side, rotated using the GIA ''wedge'' technique to map each sector, corroborate inclusion position and ID surface features. Reflected and darkfield lighting are both used and the stone is frequently flipped, turned, zoomed & unzoomed. The focus knob is constantly in-motion, adjusting depth of field to bring layer after layer of the diamond into focus. By the time you finish with a diamond you know it well enough to bring it home to meet the parents.

Although you know its deepest secrets the final plot will only include characteristics seen at 10X. Everything you see in the crown view is plotted in the crown unless a characteristic touches/breaks the pavilion surface - or is only seen through the pavilion (like internal graining or pinpoints in VVS). For a stone to be IF there can be no red (inclusions) drawn anywhere on the diagram.

So to be clear, the clarity grade reflects only what the gemologist saw face-up at 10X with few exceptions. One exception is a diamond that is VVS with inclusions visible only from the pavilion side...since IF can’t have even that it''s a case where the pavilion view was considered to make the grade separation. Another exception is a diamond penalized to I due to durability concerns.

Hope this is helpful.
Very helpful. Thanks John!
 

John Pollard

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Cool David.

I have two takes on it all. First, I can easily 'splain the example you gave...the factors are size, number, position, relief (visibility) and nature of inclusions present.

Date: 2/5/2009 5:07:32 PM
Author: Rockdiamond
Thanks John!

I'm basing my statements on experience of looking at stones graded by GIA.

I have here a stone recently graded SI2 by GIA- the imperfection is virtually impossible to see from the top- even using a 10x loupe.
Turn it over and you can make out a white feather- the feather is difficult to see, even from the back, but that's where you can actually see the full length of the imperfection. I agree with the grade- the size of the imperfection warrants the SI2 grade- but only if viewed from the pavilion. Face up this stone would grade VS1.
The nature of the feather set this grade. VS stones are permitted to have small crystals and feathers but a mid-size or larger feather will cause a fall to SI, regardless of location. This is just like pinpoints which, though invisible from the crown, move IF down to VVS. You chose a good example btw; the GIA manual is pretty clear that feathers typically have a greater impact on the clarity grade than any other inclusion.

I understand the theory behind what you are saying John, and that you are accurately stating GIA's written policy on this..... but my experience is that in practical use, it's different.
Second, I am sure there are such cases and I'm not being argumentative. However my company is in a position where we must command complete understanding of the practices in-use David. I hope you don't mind some elaboration:

The process of bidding on rough at tender is one of the most intense and nerve wracking things I've ever witnessed. You are alone for a limited time with the parcels and it requires significant gemological skill to analyze mixed, unwindowed rough in non-dividable containers of all colors and pique, while making deductions about geometry of shape, yield, color, clarity & finish on cursory examination (around 30 seconds per crystal). This is followed by confident decisions of moment which put hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on the line. Every company bidding dances a razor’s edge between never winning a single parcel if offering too little, and losing money at the end of production if offering too much. The best case scenario is potential profitability which won’t even be realized for another six weeks of mapping, production, post-production, shipping to the grading lab and (eventually) sale - this as long as your work process all goes smoothly, your analysis holds up at the labs and market forces remain reasonably stable.

Why describe the above? Because it is far simpler (and absolutely necessary) for us to accurately project color and clarity grades when the uncut diamond still lies in the rough. It's critical to our bidding process. Lieve Peeters is a genius at it. She rose to become Coordinator of the Diamond Expert Division for the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Customs before joining Infinity. Her expertise as a color & clarity grader is held in highest regard. Once we win bids at tender she assists Paul in planning cut design for each crystal, observes it through polish and pre-grades it before we ever send the diamond to the lab. She has kept notes on how it will grade three separate times and has spent more time with each stone than any grader at the lab ever will. As a result she's more thorough than the lab will ever be. Thankfully AGS and GIA are largely accurate, but only because they and Lieve follow the same process. Her predictions and the grades returned by the labs are spot-on better than 9/10 times. If they weren't we could not be profitable. This is not to say that thresholds don't flex slightly (and when they do we catch it), but that is a different topic than approach/procedure.

There is a fair percentage of stones graded I1 that are eye clean from the top.
Then there's the other side of the coin. If only face up examination is used for clarity, then we'd have stones graded VS1 and 2 that have sizable imperfections hidden- ones that could only be seen from looking through the pavilion.
I love the subject of eye-clean I1 clarity. When possible their frequency is greatly increased by careful planning. In our situation Paul works to plan the “lay” of a grade-setting inclusion so that its face-up visibility is reduced. A crystal inclusion seen in one orientation may become invisible with a slight design adjustment, for example. It may be impossible to omit a primary characteristic (and the resulting clarity grade) but a skilled cutter can orient the rough so that a grade-setting feature becomes transparent or less visible when seen without magnification. This is particularly true for SI2 and I1. As for VS2 diamonds, some are going to have side-visible inclusions if you're intent on finding them. That's logical since the facets act as windows from the side, allowing you to see through the diamond better.

SO- while I agree that GIA's line on this is as you stated, the physical reality of stones graded by GIA seems to differ.
I don't doubt you've seen some head-scratchers. Anyone with legs in the biz knows theory and practice aren't always bedfellows, but in the shapes, sizes and ranges we cut we feel what GIA is teaching and doing is largely the same. However you work with a wider range of shapes and colors than we do and in practice the rules may get fuzzier as you trek the roads less traveled.

Interesting conversation though!
It completely entrances me. They had to kick me out of lab class at the end of each day because I was always seeking the 'next groovy feature' in a handful of practice stones. For fun I went ahead and plotted one with notable pique at 40X instead of 10X. It looked like someone sneezed red on the plot. No one was impressed.

I had a question for you by the way. Sent it an email address from some time ago. Did you get it? If not perhaps I'll ring you.
 

Lorelei

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Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/6/2009 3:51:33 AM
Author: Lorelei
Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
Ditto!

And lol at the "snot" plot!
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/6/2009 8:27:51 AM
Author: Ellen


Date: 2/6/2009 3:51:33 AM
Author: Lorelei
Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
Ditto!

And lol at the 'snot' plot!
There went ANOTHER keyboard!!!!


* goes to get cloth*
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/6/2009 8:29:40 AM
Author: Lorelei

Date: 2/6/2009 8:27:51 AM
Author: Ellen



Date: 2/6/2009 3:51:33 AM
Author: Lorelei
Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
Ditto!

And lol at the ''snot'' plot!
There went ANOTHER keyboard!!!!


* goes to get cloth*


sorry


 

tyty333

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Ok, here is a glass is half full way of looking at it...you can always tell that you got your diamond back after dropping it off at
the jewelers for cleaning or work
.
 

vancityguy

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Date: 2/6/2009 8:42:00 AM
Author: tyty333
Ok, here is a glass is half full way of looking at it...you can always tell that you got your diamond back after dropping it off at

the jewelers for cleaning or work
.
Thanks for everyone''s reassurance and thanks for all the great info from all you amazing pricescopers! I never thought I''d end up purchasing a ring online but when I learned about how important cut and how my gf loved the thought of hearts & arrows I started spending so much time on these forums researching. It was definitely a big purchase since the Canadian dollar has been so weak but none of the local vendors I visited here in Vancouver really earned my trust due to their knowledge of diamonds.

The bottom line is the gf loves the ring so I won''t be exchanging it unless she has a change of heart. The Legato setting just fits her style and the diamond cut is really nice.

I said I was fine keeping it as long as I have the option of upgrading her ring but she countered back asking if this ring is for her or for me so basically says it would have to be a mutual decision when that time comes.

I didn''t see any other F VS2 ACA to exchange with so suggested I get her a F VS1 ACA but she didn''t want it. She said all she wants is to be my wife.
 

John Pollard

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Date: 2/6/2009 8:27:51 AM
Author: Ellen

Date: 2/6/2009 3:51:33 AM
Author: Lorelei
Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
Ditto!

And lol at the ''snot'' plot!
Finally! It got some attention. I''ve needed closure on that for years. Thanks Ell.

I wonder if I kept that thing...


Date: 2/6/2009 1:42:36 PM
Author: vancityguy

I didn''t see any other F VS2 ACA to exchange with so suggested I get her a F VS1 ACA but she didn''t want it. She said all she wants is to be my wife.
If you''re a normal OCD-er (like I am) I predict that in a few months'' time you''ll chuckle that you ever gave it this much thought. Kind of like obsessing over the possibility of a scratch on a new car...you comb it bumper to bumper with a chamois for a while. In the long run you learn to relax and enjoy the performance.

Great quote from your lady. You chose wisely.
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/6/2009 1:51:47 PM
Author: John Pollard

Date: 2/6/2009 8:27:51 AM
Author: Ellen


Date: 2/6/2009 3:51:33 AM
Author: Lorelei
Thanks Sir for yet another excellent and fascinating post - I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes!
Ditto!

And lol at the ''snot'' plot!
Finally! It got some attention. I''ve needed closure on that for years. Thanks Ell.

I wonder if I kept that thing...



Date: 2/6/2009 1:42:36 PM
Author: vancityguy

I didn''t see any other F VS2 ACA to exchange with so suggested I get her a F VS1 ACA but she didn''t want it. She said all she wants is to be my wife.
If you''re a normal OCD-er (like I am) I predict that in a few months'' time you''ll chuckle that you ever gave it this much thought. Kind of like obsessing over the possibility of a scratch on a new car...you comb it bumper to bumper with a chamois for a while. In the long run you learn to relax and enjoy the performance.

Great quote from your lady. You chose wisely.
lol No problem, always here to help.



And vancityguy, I agree with John, on both points!
 

Todd Gray

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Date: 2/6/2009 1:51:47 PM
Author: John Pollard
If you''re a normal OCD-er (like I am)
Wait? John Pollard is OCD?


Sorry buddy, I just couldn''t resist... But isn''t it amusing that OCD is actually a "normal" trait here on Price Scope. Pretty cool!

I don''t have much to add to what has already been said, but do want to say that I''ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread!
 
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