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Eye Clean & Value Of Si 1 Vs Si 2


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I am looking for a 4-5 carat RB for my ten-year anniversary ring. My question for you experts is....what % of SI 1 vs. SI 2's are eye clean, if you had to approximate? I have been looking for an I color / SI 1 stone, and have not yet found one with excellent cut in my price range. I'm thinking about going to SI 2, but do not know whether it is likely that I could find an eye clean SI 2, given some patience and time. Or whether it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I would rather not go down to J color.....


Also just in case I want to change my stone later, is SI 1 a lot more resalable than SI 2, or is it about the same?


Thanks for any help!!

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Percentages are of limited use - there are eye-clean SI2 stones, and since you are not buying a parcel (!) what matters is that the specific stone that you are looking at is eye clean. Besides, there are few enough large stones without you having to restrict your search to "only SI1".


That's the good news - I suppose. The not-so-good news is that on a stone of that size "eye-clean" can be difficult to find tout court if you want the diamond not to show inclusions from the side as well as face up. The decidedly bad news is that nice, eye-clean SI2 will go for prices that are not much different from nice, eye-clean SI1.


In terms of (re)saleability, it is not going to make any difference.


On the other hand, particularly with this size/price stone, insist on a GIA or AGS-graded stone. Not that they are intrinsically "better", but the grading is reliable and it enables you to compare diamonds. An EGL (or other lab) grade does NOT allow you to do that, and it exposes you to significant commercial risk (i.e. rip-off). Do not accept excuses such as "GIA is expensive". A GIA report for a 4 to 5 carat stone is $3-400.


Finally, if you are having budget problems, focus on stones below 5.00 carats. Going over the 5.00 threshold almost doubles the price - which not only causes problems with the budget, but many stones near the threshold are poorly cut, the incentive being to "hit 5" rather than to make a nice stone. A 4.50-4.75 will be about 0.5 mm smaller than a 5.00-5.25 - less than 10% smaller visually, but 40% less money.

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I"m seeing several stones like this in the market so I'm guessing that the problem is with the budget. Not to worry, that's always the problem in this business but as Davide aludes, that tends to lead to some funny assumptions and some questionable decisions. I would second his advice of sticking to your guns on AGS/GIA grading ONLY. At that size, an SI2 is unlikely to be 'eye clean' by any normal sort of definition and an SI1 probably won't. It depends on your eyes, the lighting, and whether or not you know what your looking for as much as it does the details of the stone. That's why 'eye clean' isn't part of the grading standards in the first place.

Edited by denverappraiser
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My general rule of thumb--from my experience--is that the larger you go, the harder it is to find eye-clean SIs. It doesn't meant that you can't or won't find them, but they're going to be fewer and far between. Why? Because the larger that the stone is, the larger the table; the larger the table, the larger the "window" into the stone, so there's more chances to see any potentially visible inclusions. This does not mean that you won't find an SI stone (1 or 2) that have just something like Twinning Wisps (which are generally inoffensive under magnification, and not really noticeable to the eye without magnification), or maybe a few little feathers on the pavillion or maybe a clear included crystal over to one side. But, whatever you do while you're searching, if your budget is going to require that you stay in the SI category, make sure that if you're talking to an online e-tailer that you're dealing with someone who can actually bring in the stones and look at them with their own eyes and tell you about the inclusions, rather than one that is going to just have it drop-shipped, sight-unseen, from their vendor. It is so much more important that a person be able to see it and tell you about it at this size than at the smaller "average" sizes, IMHO.

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