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What is more important... clarity or color?

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Talonnav

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
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110
Still searching for the perfect diamond....

I know that CUT is the number #1 factor when buying a diamond. However I'm unsure what the next thing I should be looking for.. is it cut or clarity?

First I thought it was color, but after finally realizing what the term "faces up white" meant, does this mean I should put my priorities into cut, clarity and then color?

I know the minimum color and clarity I will accept in a diamond is H & VS2... obvivously prefer better. Looking to spend around $6K to $8K on a 1 carat diamond. Suggestions on what you would pick?

TIA
Doug
 

DiamondOptics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Messages
380
Hi T...

Yes! Cut does play the determing role in a diamonds beauty, but I would then place an emphesis on color,
because that too adds to the beauty.

Generally, many people are quite satisfied when purchasing
a clarity grade of vs-si, and rarely see that as an obstacle to satisfaction.

kirk
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213
Going to agree with diamondoptics. Get a clarity that is "eye clean" (VS-SI) and the focus on color. Go look at different colored diamonds in person to find what color you like. Mara posted a chart or two showing the difference in color yesterday. You might want to dig around for that too.
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441
I'm not sure there's a universal answer for this question. A lot of people, especially those who deal with diamonds frequently, can easily spot differences in color even in the colorless--near-colorless range (D-J). But by no means can everyone do this, especially in mounted face-up stones. A lot of consumers can't tell a D from a J once mounted, even side by side.

In the VS range and up, differences in clarity are supposedly harder to spot, but there are people who can do that too.

Your eyes may not work like everyone else's. The thing to do is just look at as many diamonds as you can. You may find that you prefer top color and can't tell an IF from an SI. But you might have other preferences. The only way to know is to see for yourself.
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Hi Doug,

Given your stated minimum acceptable parameters you should be able to do quite well in both color and clarity with your budget. If it were me, I think I narrow the range to "F/G or better" and "VS1 or better," which will still afford you plenty of options within your budget.

A search on PS for stones within the parameters I mentioned (also narrowing the search to H&A/AGS0) yielded a number of choices for you, any of which would likely be very nice diamonds. Do a search and see what you come up with. Since my favorite brand has several options within the parameters we've talked about, no doubt there will be many more out there worth considering as well.

While I don't actually disagree with what Kirk and Lugus have said, I would also note that there are very fine distinctions in color and clarity grades at the upper end of the scale. It may be worth considering the fact that at these levels the stone is going to look "colorless" and "eye clean" regardless, so it may come down to which factor is going to be more important to you "on paper." While having a colorless or near-colorless stone is nice, having a very clean-looking plot on the cert is pretty darned nice as well
. It's a very personal choice. If it were me, I would probably keep an open mind while looking at D-G/F-VS1 stones and try to find one that "speaks to me" in some way.

-Tim
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Lawgem,

I think it's indeed the rarest of individuals who would be able to tell the difference in color between a D>E, E>F, etc. (or even D>F) without reference stones available. Also, by definition any diamond with a clarity of VS or better has minute inclusions that are only observed "with effort under 10X magnification." While there indeed may be some savant-like folks who can see things that others can't, at the level we're dealing with I think it's safe to say the chances of getting a diamond with noticeable imperfections (even to a professional) is miniscule.

-Tim
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441
----------------
I think it's indeed the rarest of individuals who would be able to tell the difference in color between a D>E, E>F, etc. (or even D>F) without reference stones available. Also, by definition any diamond with a clarity of VS or better has minute inclusions that are only observed "with effort under 10X magnification." While there indeed may be some savant-like folks who can see things that others can't, at the level we're dealing with I think it's safe to say the chances of getting a diamond with noticeable imperfections (even to a professional) is miniscule.
----------------
Between D and E without masterstones? Probably not. But between D and, say, G or H, it's not that hard once you've been doing it a while.

Clarity grades are tricky, and a grade is an overall evaluation. Visibility (graders call it "relief") of clarity characteristics is only one factor. Actually, by definition, a VS stone can have eye-visible inclusions in very rare cases. And what's "eye-visible" varies from person to person. I know experienced graders who can spot things that would be undetectable to an average consumer simply because their eyes are so well-trained. Some people are just better at it than others.
 

Greg G

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
36
My stragegy was to set minimums and consider anything that at least met them. My goal was to pay for things I can see with the naked eye. I felt that a clarity above Si1 to not make sense because you need a microscope to see the difference while I could tell the difference in color with my naked eye. I set a minimum color of G and a minimum clarity of Si1. The Si1 is sure to be eye clean (Si2 should be eye clean it doesn't always work out that way). The color was important to me since I could really tell the difference side by side. They say that once it's mounted the difference is harder to see so I was willing to go below the colorless by one grade. I ended up with a color of D on a clarity of Si1 and am VERY happy.

-Greg
 

Greentree

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
96
As you become more familiar with diamond grading, you'll probably conclude that the grading labs "split hairs" when grading color and clarity. Just think, over twenty separate grades for color alone!

Since most consumers can't really detect differences that have been so finely discriminated, what do the 4 C's really mean --from the consumer's point of view? I think the 4 C's are most important in determining if a diamond is fairly priced.

This means if you have found a diamond you really like, you don't necessarily have to fret over whether it's a D or an J, or a VVS1 or an SI2. If you like the stone and want to buy it, you must decide what price it should command. You use the cert, in part, to determine if the selling price is commensurate with the stone's grading characteristics. Don't pay D prices for an I or VS1 prices for an SI2, etc.

What is a fair price? Well, the PriceScope search engine can give you a good feel for what a certain stone should bring. You should always consult an independent appraiser before buying a high dollar stone.

Cut is a different matter. The problem with cut is there is no accepted way of pricing a stone according to its cut. Certain labs will comment on a stone's cut quality, but GIA does not. Someday all stones will be graded according to cut, too, and the consumer won't have to worry about paying a premium for a dead stone. But for now you'll have to use information provided by PriceScope and others to decide if your stone is properly priced and a great cut, or if it's just properly priced.
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
All that Clarity & Color stuff is a little bit too theoric for me.

Please, if you own a diamond, try this test :

Cover that ring with some sort of hand lotion
Now, put some dirty water on it,
some ketchup,
rinse it,
try to dry it with your clothes...

then have a look at it under 10x.........
héhééhéhéh.....you'll find so much dirt on it...you won't believe it...
diamonds ATTRACT dirt.....
your VVS stone, excellent polish will become an SI stone with a thin to extremely thick
OILY girdle and a fair polish................!!!

So.... basically..aim for cut, get a decent color & clarity (for the durability issue)...and
get the more for your $$$ can buy.

Trichrome.
 

Talonnav

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
110
----------------
On 3/6/2003 5:52
9 PM Greentree wrote:
You should always consult an independent appraiser before buying a high dollar stone.
---------------
This hits on another question I had about appraisals. I will be ordering a stone via the internet. I've heard of say GOG will send a stone to Rock Doc. So, do most people have their stone appraised before purchasing it or wait until they have the stone in hand to have it appraised by their local jeweler?

Doug
 

Heyjud

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
243
Hi Doug!!!

Top to bottom, side to side
If it looks eye-clean
You can wear it with pride

As far as color, I've heard say
Never venture beyond a "J"
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
Hello Talonnav,

This one is too easy. Go to Search by cut Quality here on pricescope and put in 1.00 to 1.04 ct, D-F color, VS1-VS2 clarity, AGS cert, Hearts and Arrows, EX EX and hit go :)
You get a very nice selection of super diamonds much higher than you were looking for and in your price range and you get it all.
 

Talonnav

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
110
----------------
On 3/6/2003 10:11:23 PM dimonbob wrote:
Go to Search by cut Quality here on pricescope and put in 1.00 to 1.04 ct, D-F color, VS1-VS2 clarity, AGS cert, Hearts and Arrows, EX EX and hit go :)
----------------
Oh I certainly didn't mean I was just looking for a H VS2... I just didn't want to go below those ranks.
 

Greentree

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
96
----------------
On 3/6/2003 8:31
1 PM Talonnav wrote:

----------------
On 3/6/2003 5:52
9 PM Greentree wrote:
You should always consult an independent appraiser before buying a high dollar stone.
---------------
This hits on another question I had about appraisals. I will be ordering a stone via the internet. I've heard of say GOG will send a stone to Rock Doc. So, do most people have their stone appraised before purchasing it or wait until they have the stone in hand to have it appraised by their local jeweler?

Doug

----------------
I'll comment generally without regard to GOG or any other particular jeweler.

Once you have purchased your diamond, it's cert and appraisal will be put in the fire-proof box and forgotten. If you accept the jeweler's appraisal without verification, you might go for years before discovering things are not what you thought they were. So to quote President Ronald Reagan, "Trust, but verify!"

The reason it's important to use an independent on a high dollar item is really to verify several things: Is this a geniune diamond? Is there anything seriously wrong with it? Does this cert match this diamond? Is the asking price competitive in the current marketplace. While one might fancy himself to be a diamond expert, it's just foolhardy to spend large amounts of money trusting in your own judgement. A consumer just doesn't have the expertise.

Having the appraisal done before purchase is preferable, of course. If it is done afterwards, you might have big trouble getting your money back if something is seriously wrong: it's not diamond; it's fracture filled, clarity enhanced, or has some other problem; the cert doesn't match the diamond; or it's way overpriced.

You have to pay an independent to do an appraisal so it's probably not cost effective to have diamonds much under a thousand dollars independently appraised. In this case the jeweler's appraisal is probably OK.
 

Beith

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Messages
21
I think all the 4Cs are relative.

1) Cost puts a boundary on how much you can afford.
2) Carat: All women want their ring "BIG". If they think it is too small, they are not going to like it.
3) Fire and Brilliance: I think both cut and clarity fall into the same category. The lady wants a a sparkling stone with liveliness and fire. She really doesn't care about the definition of cut or clarity. A heavily included stone, no matter how good is the cut, will look dead and lack of fire. A good cut will bring out the stone's natural beauty, but the stone needs to be a good rough to start with. I don't agree that a SI stone will look as beautiful as an IF given the same cut. The inclusions will disrupt the light reflections/refractions, resulting in a less brilliant stone. Of course, the flaws might be located in less strategic areas but these SI stones are rare found too. I have seen vs2/SI1 stones side by side with IF/VVS, given the proper lighting, the difference in brilliance is not subtle.
4) Color: Even though set in the mounting, one can easily spot an E color from G. It is hard to believe that people cannot tell the difference between D and J. You can call H/I/J the warmer color, or in other words, tinted color. It seems like it is always a good idea to stay at G or above.
 

dbretton

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
50
The lady wants a a sparkling stone with liveliness and fire. She really doesn't care about the definition of cut or clarity.

Very true.


A heavily included stone, no matter how good is the cut, will look dead and lack of fire. A good cut will bring out the stone's natural beauty, but the stone needs to be a good rough to start with. I don't agree that a SI stone will look as beautiful as an IF given the same cut. The inclusions will disrupt the light reflections/refractions, resulting in a less brilliant stone. Of course, the flaws might be located in less strategic areas but these SI stones are rare found too. I have seen vs2/SI1 stones side by side with IF/VVS, given the proper lighting, the difference in brilliance is not subtle.


From my rather limited experience, I have to disagree with this.

I agree that, given two stones completely identical in all aspects sans clarity, the better clarity stone would give more fire and brilliance than the lower clarity stone. The true question is whether or not this is perceptible to the human eye, under *any* lighting conditions.
Though I cannot quantify this right now, I would venture to say that the affect of the inclusions on light return/fire/brilliance is not perceptible.


4) Color: Even though set in the mounting, one can easily spot an E color from G. It is hard to believe that people cannot tell the difference between D and J. You can call H/I/J the warmer color, or in other words, tinted color. It seems like it is always a good idea to stay at G or above.


I would have to disagree with this as well. Just last Friday, I set a 1.22ct G stone, upside-down, against a white background, immediately adjacent to a 1.2ct E stone. Under white light, flourescent light, and flood (sodium?) light, conditions we tested the stones. While we could see a difference in color, it was difficult to notice it. Face up and set in a ring, I know I would not be able to discern the difference in color. My girlfriend was also with me, also had a difficult time.

If a small inclusion (~70-130 microns) would perceptibly affect the brilliance and fire of a diamond, then wouldn't diamond color as well? If I recall correctly, a diamond which is not emitting yellow light, but filtering out all colors other than yellow. This would, in turn, mean diminished fire from the stone due to the absorption of colored light wavelengths. Not that I agree with this...
Heck, if the stone is absorbing various wavelength of light, then it is absorbing some energy, and, most likely, emitting it as heat. That would mean that a J color stone truly is a warmer stone!

-Dennis
 
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