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Are your VS2 – SI1 diamonds always "eye clean"?

Feb 4

Are Your VS2-SI1 Diamonds Eye Clean?
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This is a continuation on the blog post Brian Gavin Blue vs Hearts and Arrows wherein Jason asked a series of questions, one of which is whether all of our SI-1 and VS-2 clarity diamonds are “eye clean” which is something that happens to be kind of subjective, depending on the quality of vision possessed by the person viewing the diamond at that particular moment in time…

How diamonds are graded for clarity:

I’d like to begin by shedding some light on the process used to grade diamonds for clarity, the first thing to understand is that diamonds are graded for clarity in laboratory conditions, where the intent is to simply identify the inclusions, determine the extent to which they are visible with and without magnification, and to map the location and extent of the inclusions on a plotting diagram which will appear on the diamond grading report.

Diamonds are graded for clarity from a top-down perspective and not from a side profile, because the facet structure is designed to mask the appearance of inclusions by directing light up through the top of the diamond and creates sparkle which distracts our eyes from the inclusions.

Thus when as vendor makes a reference to a diamond being eye clean, it is important to realize that they are only referring to the diamond as viewed from a top-down perspective, from a side profile it might be possible to see inclusions through the pavilion facets of a diamond regardless of the clarity grade, because the facets are larger in structure and are primarily intended to direct light which enters the diamond up towards the table and crown facets.

The determination as to the extent that a diamond is “eye clean” is made from a distance of 9 – 12 inches, however the visibility of inclusions can vary depending on lighting conditions, whether the diamond is wet or dry, and based upon the individual vision of the person viewing the diamond.

Are VS-2 clarity diamonds eye clean?

The vast majority of VS-2 clarity diamonds are “eye clean” from a top down perspective, I think that I’ve seen four over the years that contained an inclusion or two which I was able to locate with just my eyes after very careful examination of the diamond… VS-2 clarity diamonds which are not eye clean from a top down perspective are pretty rare, so it’s a pretty safe bet that unless you have “eagle vision” the VS-2 clarity diamond which you select from Brian Gavin is going to be eye clean.

Of course if you have any question at all about whether any diamond in our inventory is eye clean or not, all you have to do is ask and we’ll be happy to examine the diamond in a variety of lighting scenarios and let  you know the extent to which it is or is not eye clean.

Are SI-1 and SI-2 clarity diamonds eye clean?

The clarity grade “SI” is an abbreviation for “Slightly Included” and is split into subcategories SI-1 and SI-2 on the GIA clarity grading system. Diamonds which are graded as being Slightly Included in clarity will contain inclusions which are readily and immediately visible when the diamond is examined using 10x and higher magnification, the inclusions may or may not be visible without magnification.

The inclusions within diamonds which are graded SI-1 in clarity will be immediately visible when the diamond is examined using 10x and higher magnification, but might not be visible to the unaided eye (without magnification), however they might sometimes be visible if the diamond is scrutinized carefully, especially if the inclusions are located first using magnification and then you look for them with the knowledge of where they are and what you are looking for…

But not all SI-1 clarity diamonds will contain inclusions which are visible to the unaided eye, it is something which must be determined on a stone-by-stone basis. If you would like to know whether a specific SI-1 clarity diamond in our inventory is “eye clean” simply ask us using the contact form or give us a call.

Practically all SI-2 clarity diamonds contain inclusions which can be seen without magnification if you examine the diamond carefully, however they are not always glaringly obvious and can even be somewhat difficult to notice in ideal cut diamonds which tend to be brighter and exhibit more sparkle than non-ideal cut diamonds.

There is perfection in imperfection:

Of course not everybody wants their diamond to actually be eye clean, there is perfection to be found in the imperfections exhibited by the stone, which is a natural crystal and as such each diamond contains a variety of inclusions which are unique in structure and location.

It is said that no two diamonds contain the same inclusions, in the same location, to the same extent, and as such, each diamond is as unique as a snowflake. Quite a few of our clients have expressed a desire to purchase SI-2 clarity diamonds, either because they don’t mind a few inclusions which might be visible with close scrutiny, or because they actually like being able to see the inclusions within their diamond.

Other people prefer not to see any inclusions within a diamond when they look at it, they simply want to see the brightness and sparkle created by the facets and proportions. Regardless of what your preference is with regards to the visibility of the inclusions within the diamond which you purchase from Brian Gavin, just know that we’re happy to help you select the perfect diamond for your preferences.

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