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Review of 1.60ct GIA/SI2/E round cut


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Hi there. I am interested in some advice on a stone I have been looking at (1.60ct, SI2, E, triple excellent, round). The GIA report is available here:


I have viewed the stone a couple of times, and to my very untrained eye it looked eye-clean. I also had it next to a similar SI1 and I couldn't see any difference to be honest. I  paid the initial deposit from a store in the UK, however, I was uneasy about its SI2 grading (despite not seeing anything myself) and since looking at the GIA report in more detail can see the presence of a few feathers. 

Would be grateful for your views on whether the GIA report would give you any cause for concern?



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The primary concern is in terms of the visibility of the feathers - which unfortunately the report tells us nothing about. In-person observation - which you can do - is the only reliable test in this respect.

In terms of durability, the fact that GIA decided to grade it SI2 rather than I1 means that they don't think the feathers pose significant risks to integrity and durability; again the report doesn't tell us very much (and I am not a setter!), but GIA makes generally good calls from this point of view.

Couple of points to keep into account as you finalise your decision:

1. Things tend to become more visible over time - not because they change, but because our eye/brain system becomes more attuned to them. If you (your to-be-fiancée) tend to be the obsessive types, think carefully whether you want to go for an SI2.

2. A dirty stone (and it will get dirty) tends to show inclusions more easily - smear the pavilion with a little skin grease off your forehead or nose (or use hand cream if you are squeamish...) and see if things become "too apparent" that way.

3. Check the stone - clean and dirty - in different lighting environments: a jeweller's spotlights are great for making a stone look good, but they are not where you (it)'ll be for 99.99% of the time. Try some flat overhead /diffused lighting, fluorescent if possible, try natural light - both direct and indirect - and some very dim lighting (say under a desk). Try looking at things through the side as well, especially if your intended setting design is very "open" in that way.

4. Bear in mind that on the other hand setting the stone will make the inclusions more difficult to see. How much so depends on where the inclusions are, the shape/design of the setting and how skilled the setter is, so it's difficult to reassure you precisely in this respect, but it is generally true.

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Thank you davidelevi for your prompt and informative response. That is very helpful.

I didn't spot anything but that was 'blind', i.e. not knowing where the feathers were, so can see it again and follow your advice.  It will be set in a 6 prong tiffany style setting.

We are not particularly obsessive, and while I appreciate the GIA report provides very limited information, its more just my own (probably unfounded) prejudices about an SI2 grade that is gnawing at my mind i.e. am I missing something? Is it a risk? Feedback from someone on Rarecarat.com was that the plot looked very clean for an SI2 so it had them "slightly concerned". Is that something you would agree with?

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In short - no. The "cleanness" of the plot tells you very little as to the severity and visibility of the inclusions. It's provided to help you identify the characteristics and thus the stone, not to say whether there is a lot or a little. The SI2/I1 grade is supposed to provide indications about the integrity, not the amount of ink on the plot. 😉

I could show you I1 plots that look "cleaner" than the one we are talking about, and SI2 plots that look totally clean - yet are awful in reality, and vice versa ("Much ado about nothing"). But there are also awful I1 (and SI2) with plots that are practically "all red".

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Davide.  In 40 years of jewelry, I don't think I've ever seen a customer deliberately grease up a stone just to see what it looks like. It's not that this is an especially bad idea, but do make sure the salesperson is on board before doing this. Someone with heart trouble may be at risk.  

SI2 gets a bad rap on the Internet and I'm finding myself increasingly irritated when I hear people mention Rarecarat.  It's not that they're necessarily wrong as much as these 'advisors' are commission salespeople who have NO additional information to impart. Sometimes the sellers don't either, but sometimes they do, and at least they're usually upfront about their position. You are much better off calling THEM to see if they have something to add. 

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denverappraiser can feathers like those seen in the plot for this diamond affect the brilliance at all? Or is the key concern that it is eye-clean. 

It looked good to me but the SI2 grading is gnawing away at me, as I'm worried I may have missed something! It's a big decision, and so I am wondering whether to go for a better clarity for peace of mind...

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Well, the definition of I-1 includes things that affect the beauty or durability of the stone so, theoretically, no.  In reality, it's more like 'it depends'.  That's why SI2s are cheaper than SI1s. I've heard a rule that the prettiest flowers grow on the edge of the cliff.  As Davide points out, the only real way to answer this question is by looking at it, which it sounds like you have done. Perhaps someone else can also go in with you and take a peek and, I presume, the seller has looked.  FWIW, my wife's diamond is an eye clean I-1.  That's the edge of the cliff.  

This is what's called a 'mind clean' problem.  It's important, but it's not really a gemological question. If it bugs you, even in concept, move up in clarity. If you choke on the price, move down in color and/or size to compensate. 

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