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Si Versus Si3


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I'm looking at a diamond solitaire ring for my wife. One ring is rated at SI clarity, with H-I color...the other is rated SI-3 "eye clean" clarity with F-G color. Any suggestions as to which might be the better diamond? There is a $525 difference in price between the two. Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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It depends entirely on the credibility of the dealer and the grader involved. 'SI' usually means that the grader thinks it is somewhere between SI-1 and SI-2 and for some reason were unable to make the decision. Usually this is because the stone is being graded mounted and they therefore can't see the entire stone to grade it properly. Ask them. Of course, a lot of graders idea of SI-2 is another graders I-1, hence the warning about the credibility of the grader.

 

SI-3 is a term used by some dealers and labs to describe a portion of the I-1 grade. Sometimes it's a tiny fraction, sometimes it's the entire grade and then some. This too will depend on the credibility of the grader and, ultimately, on the dealer who hired them. I don't use it.

 

Which is better? I don't know. Which is prettier?

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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So what does "eye clean" mean when you're talking about clarity? Specifically, since they said the diamond was "SI-3 Eye Clean". Thanks.

 

 

 

It depends entirely on the credibility of the dealer and the grader involved. 'SI' usually means that the grader thinks it is somewhere between SI-1 and SI-2 and for some reason were unable to make the decision. Usually this is because the stone is being graded mounted and they therefore can't see the entire stone to grade it properly. Ask them. Of course, a lot of graders idea of SI-2 is another graders of I-1 hence the warning about the credibility of the grader.

 

SI-3 is a term used by some dealers and labs to describe a protion of the I-1 grade. Sometimes it's a tiny fraction, sometimes it's the entire grade and then some. This too will depend on the credibility of the grader and, ultimately, on the dealer who hired them.

 

Which is better? I don't know. Which is prettier?

 

Neil

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So what does "eye clean" mean when you're talking about clarity? Specifically, since they said the diamond was "SI-3 Eye Clean". Thanks.

 

I don't use the term. Ask whoever is using it what they mean. The position of GIA, AGS and most other major labs is that this is even more imprecise that most grading terms because it's so dependent on your eyesight, the lighting the room, and similar conditions. In a dark enough room, a sugar cube is eye clean. :)

 

Neil

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SI-3 is a bogus grade that confuses more than it enlightens and is used by many Jewelers to sell legit I-1's for more money.

 

GIA does not give a SI-3 clarity grade.

 

AGS does not give a SI-3 clarity grade.

 

It's SI-2 or I-1 clarity.

 

SI-3 is no-man's land and does not clarify a differential between an SI-2 to an I-1 clarity designation.

 

A clarity grade based on Primary grade inclusions is evaluated on the basis of location, size,color, and reflectivity.

 

I'd like to see experienced diamond graders consistently and accurately determine SI-3. Can't be done and that is why the two best diamond grading labs; GIA and AGS don't use it.

 

Consumers should take their cue from them.

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SI-3 is a bogus grade that confuses more than it enlightens and is used by many Jewelers to sell legit I-1's for more money.

 

GIA does not give a SI-3 clarity grade.

 

AGS does not give a SI-3 clarity grade.

 

It's SI-2 or I-1 clarity.

 

SI-3 is no-man's land and does not clarify a differential between an SI-2 to an I-1 clarity designation.

 

A clarity grade based on Primary grade inclusions is evaluated on the basis of location, size,color, and reflectivity.

 

I'd like to see experienced diamond graders consistently and accurately determine SI-3. Can't be done and that is why the two best diamond grading labs; GIA and AGS don't use it.

 

Consumers should take their cue from them.

 

EGL does grade there stone SI3, but let me tell you they are not eye clean, And you are right SI3 are I1 at the GIA and AGS.

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Hey Barry, AGS has 11 levels of cut analysis vs. GIA's 5.... and they have an extra level of polish/symmetry grading which is a humanly observed metric just like clarity is, as apposed to parametric proportional grading. Does that mean there's is bogus as well?

 

SI3 was never intended to imply eye clean. It was meant as a way of describing a better quality, legit-I1. Make no mistake -- if you send an SI3 diamond to GIA or AGS there's a very high probability you will get an I1 grade. I think any dealer who leaves out this little peice of information is being less then honest but there's nothing shadey about how one lab chooses to scale their grading vs. another.

 

The reason SI3 was invented was more for dealers then the public. There is a huge grand canyon size differential between SI2 and I1 in pricing. Dealers know there are good I1s and there are poor I1s and feel they should get top dollar for their good I1s and who can blame them. EGL filled that role and that's why dealers send borderline SI2-I1 diamonds there. It's just another example of how EGL sees a need in the market for a product and delivers, just like AGS saw a need for very strict grading of round ideals and now princess, etc. There's nothing wrong with labs trying to differentiate themselves from one another and improve their product offerings to better serve their customers.

Edited by Adylon
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Who ever mentioned or said anything about eye-clean?

 

You said; "The reason SI3 was invented was more for dealers then the public."

 

Correct, Adylon. You've finally said something accurate.

 

And you know why?

 

SI-3 is a bogus grade designed for dealers to squeeze extra money out of unsuspecting and un-informed consumers; and EGL is accomodating them, not consumers.

 

The fact that GIA and AGS do not issue a SI-3 grade tells consumers everything they need to know about their integrity of clarity grading versus EGL.

 

Don't put EGL on the same level as GIA and AGS because they're not. That dog won't hunt.

Edited by barry
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I'm sorry you feel that way Barry, you have something against EGL / EGLUSA. I can understand your pessimism towards the first, not the second.

 

It can be argued AGS's 000 grade is not a true measure of a round diamonds beauty because things like polish and symmetry over VG are not discernable to humans and they are just trying to create a new market to squeeze dollars from unsupsecting people as well who happened to be obsessed with perfect ideal cuts. I'm not saying AGS000 is a bogus grade. It works for some people and not for others and is a quick easy way to know you at least have a well cut diamond. Whether you put value in it is your opinion.

 

EGLUSA is not on the same level as GIA or AGS? That's you're opinion. My opinion is all 3 are reputable labs that grade diamonds accurately and as far as I'm concerned that puts them on the same level. However all 3 specialize in something different so in that respect they're not on the same level, even GIA/AGS are very different. You seem to think borderline SI2-I1 diamonds don't exist, that's silly. Nothing in nature exists identical. Of course there are diamonds that fall between grades. Of course SI2-I1 can be split 3 ways instead of 2. And of cours this adds value to the dealer's stone, but it also adds value to the consumer. If they're comparing SI3 EGLUSA to AGS/GIA I1 at least they know it's not an ugly I1 or a borderline I1-I2 stone.

 

Talking about Rounds: It's no secret people send "important non-ideal" and "fancy colors" to GIA... that people send "ideal cut" to AGS and that people send "borderline SI2-I1" or "bread and butter" stones to EGLUSA, because they're all looking to legitimize their stones in a different way and do so in terms that is adventageous to them. There's nothing deceitful about this, it's called business. Everyone may choose to operate their business in whichever manner they see fit. But unless you can prove "SI3 is bogus" or Lab X grades innacurately, I think you're just being biased towards the products you sell. I think it's great that you believe in your product, ever seller should, but please don't try to illegitimize other products/services out there unless you have proof.

Edited by Adylon
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What I object is is your constant attempts to put EGL on the same level as GIA and AGS. They are not. GIA and AGS are the best diamond grading labs currently working. The fact that they refuse to issue the bogus "SI-3" clarity grade speaks volumes. Am I biased? No. Just going by what these two Premier diamond grading labs protocol and approach is to clarity grading. You mean they don't want to provide Customer service? You mean to say that they want to leave all that money on the table for EGL by not issuing SI-3? C'mon.

 

You talk about providing "proof"! The "proof" is that GIA and AGS do not issue SI-3 clarity grades.

 

Your previous attempt to 'prove' and equivalize EGL to GIA and AGS in another thread on this forum by "claiming" that EGL is stricter on clarity grading based on ONE diamond is not "proof", rather only 'ludicrous' pseudo-science, misleading and confusing to the consumers coming to this Forum for accurate information.

Edited by barry
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Yosef,

 

I think we all agree that EGL-SI3 is, at best, a subset of the GIA-I1 clarity grade so the real question is whether it’s useful and, if so, to whom?

 

I-1 constitutes a huge range and it’s something of a problem. Some are quite nice and others are pretty ugly. Nice ones cost significantly more so for most shoppers this is not sufficient information to base a buying decision. If a customer is shopping for an I-1, it’s entirely reasonable for them to want to know if it’s a good one or a bad one so now the question becomes how should they decide the difference? The advice of both GIA and AGS is that consumers should consult with a credentialed expert about what there reports do and don’t mean. This strikes me as a sound advice.

 

Who then is served by the SI-3 grade? Consumers, dealers or both? To be sure it sounds better, but if that were the only objective the jeweler could describe their products with non-standard terms with marketing panache. The stone is what it is, just the advertising is changing. “Awsome #2 (A2)†has a nice ring to it. The problem here is that it doesn’t sound like GIA language. An A2 grade would be summarily dismissed as the malarkey that it is but SI3 carries some level of credibility because it sounds similar to terms used by GIA. Herein is the root of the problem. If the value is that it causes consumers to believe that they are receiving a stone that they can expect GIA to grade as an SI2 when this is not the case then we are describing a deceptive trade practice. The name would suggest that it is more appropriately grouped with the ‘SI’ stones and the little conversion chart on the back of the EGL consultations spells it out. They say that it’s entirely a subset of GIA-SI2. The fact that people are confused by this is made clear in both the headline and original post of this thread. Confusion over this, where people want to know how to translate and compare EGL grades to GIA grades is one of the top questions repeatedly asked on the forum.

 

Dealers argue that the GIA-I1 moniker is the kiss of death for a sale and that the same stone will sell better with EGL-SI3 grading. This is probably true and the real reason for the grade. It allows dealers to trade on GIA’s reputation and language without the inconvenience of complying with GIA’s standards and the difficult logistics of doing business with them. Is this really a benefit for diamond shoppers? Perhaps it is, and it obviously depends on what they consider to be important but few seem to understand the tradeoff that's happening.

 

By the way, AGS-000 is not a measure of beauty, nor does AGS claim that it is. It’s a measure of how a subject stone compares to their particular metric with regard to certain proportions, polish and symmetry. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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What I object is is your constant attempts to put EGL on the same level as GIA and AGS.

 

In terms of accurately grading diamonds, I believe EGLUSA is and EGL-Int'l is not.

 

You talk about providing "proof"! The "proof" is that GIA and AGS do not issue SI-3 clarity grades.

 

Your previous attempt to 'prove' and equivalize EGL to GIA and AGS in another thread on this forum by "claiming" that EGL is stricter on clarity grading based on ONE diamond is not "proof", rather only 'ludicrous' pseudo-science, misleading and confusing to the consumers coming to this Forum for accurate information.

 

I didn't set out to prove EGLUSA is on par with GIA or AGS. I only set out to prove there are deviations between labs in general and show the human element in the reports which is not 100% absolute. Why is it that in that case AGS and GIA do not agree if they are both "premier labs"? Who was correct? If you don't understand that, and don't understand there is nothing really scientific about diamond grading in general because it's all human observations then I don't know what else to tell you.

 

You have provided no proof that EGLUSA grades innacurately yet you continue to blast them as an illegitimate lab. The only thing they're guilty of and the reason for which their diamonds trade at a disadvantage to GIA (in my opinion) is due to being associated with EGL-Int'l which has really gone down in reputation and dragged their name in the mud.

 

You never seem to want to seperate EGL and EGLUSA and continue the stigmatism and bias that they are the same and that their diamonds are graded poorly, and this is not true at all.

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Yosef,

 

Who then is served by the SI-3 grade? Consumers, dealers or both? To be sure it sounds better, but if that were the only objective the jeweler could describe their products with non-standard terms with marketing panache. The stone is what it is, just the advertising is changing. “Awsome #2 (A2)†has a nice ring to it. The problem here is that it doesn’t sound like GIA language. An A2 grade would be summarily dismissed as the malarkey that it is but SI3 carries some level of credibility because it sounds similar to terms used by GIA. Herein is the root of the problem. If the value is that it causes consumers to believe that they are receiving a stone that they can expect GIA to grade as an SI2 when this is not the case then we are describing a deceptive trade practice. The name would suggest that it is more appropriately grouped with the ‘SI’ stones and the little conversion chart on the back of the EGL consultations spells it out. They say that it’s entirely a subset of GIA-SI2. The fact that people are confused by this is made clear in both the headline and original post of this thread. Confusion over this, where people want to know how to translate and compare EGL grades to GIA grades is one of the top questions repeatedly asked on the forum.

 

HI Niel, You're entirely correct. I can see how GIA could be upset by EGL's use of the SI-grade, inparticular inserting SI3 in the scale. Should they have called it I0? ... I1, I2? Then would it carry more weight? It would sound less attractive that's for sure. I think the problem is people are taught "I is ugly", "SI means eye clean", "VS means you won't see anything" and "VVS/FL means you overpaid". Maybe EGL should have called it MI1, MI2 (moderately included 1, 2) and create a new sub-set between I and SI. If I was GIA I'd also be pretty pissed that AGS uses their entire scale for polish symmetry (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent) and then just adds "ideal" on the top of the list as though their ideal is better then GIA excellent. Is that fair? I guess in busiiness nothing is really fair.

 

I think Barry's arguement that the GIA scale doesn't include Si3 therefor EGL's use of it in their scaling is illegitimate is not accurate or fair. Would he say that for the AGS's scaling as well? Everyone is free to scale their grading as they see fit to better serve their customers, the public, whomever, that in itself does not make one illigetimate, it makes them competitive.

Edited by Adylon
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The Trade does not consider EGL on par in grading quality, accuracy, stringency, or consistency to GIA and AGS.

They send their important diamonds to the aforementioned labs. This is accurate and a fact. Borderline clarities and colors are sent to EGL because Dealers/Vendors know they'll get better grades and make more money.

 

Don't change your story. You did clearly conclude in the other thread that EGL-USA is 'stricter' than GIA/AGS based on one ( 1 ) diamond, and provided a lengthy discussion to support this "scientific" conclusion.

 

If you want to show that EGL is as good as the GIA and AGS, you will have to do a correctly designed study involving hundreds of diamonds. In spite of the fact that color/clarity grading does entail a subjective element, such a parametric study would yield some interesting data.

 

In the meantime, Consumers should realize that GIA and AGS's avoidance of the SI-3 clarity grade indicates that it is very difficult to accurately and consistently describe and differentiate such a grade to a SI-2 and I-1.

 

The best solution is to work with a Vendor that has the diamond in his possession and can provide accurate information on the diamonds face-up appearance.

Edited by barry
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They send their important diamonds to the aforementioned labs. This is accurate and a fact.

Yes, that's correct. I'll even assume your fact is a fact. But where is the WHY?

 

The Trade does not consider EGL on par in grading quality, accuracy, stringency, or consistency to GIA and AGS.

Hold on now, this is not the WHY. Unless you can prove so. I say the WHY in your first statement above is because EGL-Int'l has damaged EGL-USA's reputation, therefor why send a diamond to EGLUSA when you can send it to GIA which has a stronger brand and image with the public and is not assosciated with EGL-Int'l.

 

Borderline clarities and colors are sent to EGL because Dealers/Vendors know they'll get better grades and make more money.

And this surprises you? If a stone is borderline then why not send it to any other lab to get a second opinion and potentially a better grade? Most labs have a policy where if you don't agree with the grading you can resubmit to get a second opinion, even the GIA has such a policy, therefor they have achknowledged their grading is not absolute and is subject to error/opinion of the person(s) who graded it.

 

Don't change your story. You did clearly conclude in the other thread that EGL-USA is 'stricter' than GIA/AGS based on one ( 1 ) diamond, and provided a lengthy discussion to support this "scientific" conclusion.

I never ever said that. I concluded nothing on any grand scale. My conclusions were in reference to one stone only. I never said EGL-USA was stricter, GIA said so. I never said AGS was stricter, GIA said so. Vica versa, AGS said EGL-USA graded accurately, EGL-USA said GIA graded softer, and all 3 said EGL-Int'l graded soft, etc, etc. And again, I'm talking about that ONE STONE only. You still haven't told me why GIA and AGS graded one full color differently on that diamond? Who is correct? The fact of the matter is it's all opinions, and nothing more.

 

The best solution is to work with a Vendor that has the diamond in his possession and can provide accurate information on the diamonds face-up appearance.

Agreed.

Edited by Adylon
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