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Clear Vs. Not Clear Diamonds


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I was checking out diamonds at a couple of different places at the SF Jewelry Mart. Both had stones that were GIA certified, very good graded cuts, etc. However, one stone had diamonds that were totally clear/translucent, whereas the one had diamonds that seems to be silvery in the middle. Is this normal? Which is standard? Is it just a matter of the cut (too deep of a pavilion or something)?



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Hi. Did they look hazy? Clouds are a clarity characteristic which can cause this in GIA SI2 and below. Fluorescence can cause a milky appearance, but only in rare cases. Do you recall the clarity grades? I may be misinterpreting what you mean by 'silvery.' A diamond that is cut quite shallow or deep can look dead or dark in the center.

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This may be as simple as the store lighting, especially if it consistent across all of the stones you saw in a particular store. Sensible jewelry stores put a lot of effort into their lighting environments but, for some reason, some of the ‘discount’ places will use almost warehouse lighting. When you look into a diamond, you are looking into a bundle of mirrors and what you see has a lot to do with what is reflected in those mirrors. Lots of bright spotlights over your head will produce lots of sparkles in just about anything and a cavernous grey or yellowish ceiling with the cheapest fluorescent tubes you can buy will make almost anything look bad.


It’s really hard to compare the cutting on two stones in two different stores. It’s actually easier to see the difference in bad lighting. Bad lights will make a good stone look marginal while they’ll make a bad stone look crappy. Good lights will make them all look good.


Neil Beaty


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All of them were VS1/VS2 range. It may be the lighting, but at the one store's other location, they had the same thing.


It's hard to describe. The middle didn't seem milky. It was almost like a tootsie pop with a clear outer shell and a silvery inner piece.

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