Watch Out For Cloudy Diamonds!

Q:

Hi Liz,

I have been doing my research on the stones but it is so hard to choose an “ideal” one! Would appreciate it heaps if you could lend a hand. I am going for a Tiffany style (six prong knife edge) solitaire platinum setting if that helps. My budget is around USD8,600 (AUD11,000) but am willing to go up to USD9,300 (AUD12,000) for a super ideal stone!

I would like to know your opinion on this particular stone: 1.69 I SI1 

This is my super ideal one I would go for if I had some spare cash: 1.51ct I VS1

Looking forward to your response!!!

Thank you in advance for helping!

Jon

A:

Hi Jon,

I am more than happy to help you.

The 1.69ct I SI1, is very questionable due to the fact that its grade making inclusion are clouds. These normally aren’t a major issue if they are small and scattered, but generally, if there are numerous clouds (microscopic clusters of pinpoints make a cloud inclusion) then it can make a diamond appear ‘cloudy’ and blurry. Check out my diamond clarity page to view a cloudy diamond set in ring. Therefore, I don’t recommend this diamond for you.

Cloudy SI1 Diamond

This 1.69ct I SI1 has a grade making inclusion of clouds. These microscopic clusters of pinpoints are easily visible with 10x’s magnification and in this case appears visually cloudy/blurry. Although small clouds in a diamond typically pose no issue, if they are large enough they will affect the overall brilliance of the stone.

If your max budget is $8,600.00 and you are looking for around a 1.50ct then I recommend:

1.48ct J VS1 for $8,020.00, this diamond is a GIA triple Excellent and also falls within AGS ideal cut proportions. The cut is gorgeous and the dark arrows contrast are crisp and symmetrical. As a VS1 the grade making inclusion is a tiny crystal which is not visible without magnification. No blue fluorescence and graded by GIA last year, this diamond is the size and cut quality that you are looking for and also impeccably clean. It will face up bright white with a gorgeous sparkle. Overall, a very nice diamond for the price.

Another great option is your previously mentioned 1.51ct I VS1 for $9,360.00, which has a larger table % than depth % which results in a more shallow cut diamond. This 1.51ct measures 7.5 x 7.47mm in diameter as opposed to the 1.48ct which measures 7.28 x 7.25mm. So, it will face up larger in carat weight which is great. It is still within AGS ideal cut proportions, so no worries there. As this diamond is a VS1 clarity grade, there is nothing to worry about with the grade making inclusion of additional clouds. This is a confirmed eye-clean, brilliant diamond.

Shallow Spread Ideal Diamond

A 1.51ct I VS1 with great light performance and symmetrical dark arrows. This diamond is considered a ‘shallow’ diamond as it’s table % is larger than it’s depth %. In this instance, this diamond will appear visually BIGGER than other typical 1.51ct sized diamonds. Definitely a great value for money!

Please do let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to hearing which diamond you decide on!

Take care,

Liz

Q:

Hi Liz,

Thank you so much for the follow up email! It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Your recommendations have been really helpful in narrowing down the list of stones!

If I may pose another question – I am torn between the 1.5ct I VS1 from before and this 1.51ct I VS2. My budget hasn’t changed and have yet to find any comparable stones to the ones above.

Which would you highly recommend?

Thanks again and looking earnestly for your reply.

Jon

A:

Hi Jon,

Ok, the 1.51ct I VS2 for $9,140.00 has fantastic light performance! However, what I don’t like is the dark crystal under the main table facet. In the magnified image, you can see it on the 12 o’clock position just on top of the dark arrow. This is the grade making inclusion, so if you have fairly good eye-sight I would say that this diamond is likely not eye-clean. However, I will say that because it falls directly on top of the dark contrasting arrow, it will not be immediately visible. This diamond measures 7.37 x 7.34mm with no blue fluorescence so everything else is fine. This diamond is on the fence for me due to that dark crystal inclusion.

The other 1.51ct I VS1 for $9,360.00 is of course a ‘spread’ diamond and measures a large 7.5 x 7.47mm (size of a 1.6ct) for the exact same carat weight. The light performance is ideal, so it will face up beautifully white with gorgeous sparkle. You really do get more ‘bang for your buck’ with this one. It is also much cleaner in clarity with no visible inclusions in this VS1 (as mentioned to you before).

If it were me, I’d go for the 1.51ct I VS1. For $200 extra you get a visually bigger and also cleaner diamond.

I hope this helps!

Liz

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