Some Jewelers are Selling what is Called an SI3 Clarity Diamond!
Is SI3 for Real?
No, Not Really!
SI3 Clarity is a Scam!
There is no such thing as SI3 Clarity.
If you look at the Clarity Grading System as Implemented by GIA (The Gemological Institute of America), you’ll see that there is no Such Category called “SI3“!
So if SI3 Clarity doesn’t Exist, then Where does SI3 come from?
Diamond Clarity Chart
The GIA Clarity Grades are: Flawless, Internally Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3.
There are 11 Categories in all.
And SI3 is NOT one of them! (See Picture!)
What are SI3 Clarity Diamonds?
Why are SI3 Diamonds being Sold Today if they don’t Exist?
SI3 Diamond Clarity is supposed to Fall between the SI2 Clarity Range and the I1 Clarity Range. (See Picture Again)
Some Jewelers and Certificate Companies Claim that the SI3 Clarity fills a much needed Void in the GIA Grading System.
They say that some Diamonds are Borderline Clarity and are Too Good to really be considered an I1, but not Good Enough to be Considered an SI2.
Since SI2 is The Most Subjective Clarity range out of all the Clarity Ranges, a man named Tom Tashey decided to Stuff one more Grade, “SI3“, in the Middle of that to fill that Gap.
But GIA Doesn’t Recognize SI3
The Problem is: GIA Doesn’t Recognize SI3 Clarity!
All it does is Lead to Confusion for Jewelers, Pricing, and Customers!
An SI3 Stone is Supposed to be a Diamond that Faces up really well. It’s Supposed to Almost look like an SI2 Clarity Diamond… But… it may have Eye Visible Inclusions close to the Side of the Stone, near the Girdle’s Edge!
You see, these Inclusions that fall towards the Outside of a Diamond can Keep that Diamond from being Graded an SI2 Clarity.
It’s Sad! I’ve seen Diamonds like this. Truly Beautiful Diamonds that have one big Black Carbon Spot near the Edge. And that one Spot that’s Visible to the Naked Eye is the only thing Keeping that Diamond from being Graded Higher and Selling for a Much Higher Price!
Customers can be Tricked!
A lot of Jewelers know that Customers can be Tricked. They know that if you set a Diamond Properly, turning it just right in the Head, that a lot of times the Prongs can actually Cover up those Identifying Black Marks and Flaws.
Prongs can make Flaws Practically Invisible!
Some Jewelers will Actually do this. They Won’t Tell Customers. They’ll just Hide the Inclusion and Sell the Stone as an SI2 Clarity Diamond.
Just because you can’t see the Flaws, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
You can even Scope the Diamond and not see Black Spot because it’s already Mounted. The inclusions are Covered up. The Customers don’t Notice the Big Carbon Spots… Not Good!
This is why I always Advise Buying a Diamond that’s LOOSE!
Never Buy a Pre-Mounted Diamond! You Never know what the Prongs are Hiding! Buying it Loose allows you to Microscope the Entire Diamond and View it from all Angles and Sides. If there are any Imperfections in the Diamond, you’ll be able to spot them!
Not only is SI3 a Hot Topic with Jewelers, but there’s also a Debate over where the SI3 Clarity Range really Fits into the Chart.
Does it Fit Directly in the Middle, Spreading the Clarity Chart Further Apart?
Does it Chop some of the SI Clarity into more Pieces making SI1 and SI2 Smaller Grades?
The Company states that this is what SI3 is Supposed to be:
Added to the SI Side!
But in my book, that’s just Ridiculous to even think about.
Why would you want to take a Diamond that you could Sell as an SI2 and Lower the Grade on it (and the Price) and Call it an SI3 instead?
That’s not going to happen.
That’s Idiotic and Insane!
SI3’s Are Really I1’s
What most Jewelers Believe is that SI3 is taking up some of the I1 Grade.
They take a really Nice Looking I1 Clarity Diamond and try to Pass it off as a Better Quality Stone. It just Sounds Better calling it an SI.
Most customers will Hear “SI” and Think “SI is Good!” Jewelers Love it because it Helps them Sell more Lower Quality Diamonds. They turn these over and get Paid more Money.
An SI3 Rating will Bank 20% More Profit then an I1 Clarity Rating!
It’s All Perception!
Customers are Aware that I Clarity Diamonds are BAD, and SI Clarity Diamonds are GOOD.
(Jewelers have Planted that Seed for Years and Years, and I Believe that to be True!)
But Sadly, some Customers won’t Hear the “3” on the end of SI3. They won’t Hear… Or maybe just Won’t Understand!
It’s Rare for a Customer to get into the Intricate Details of Diamonds like Girdles, Angles and the Depth of your Diamond. Normally they’ll get a Quick Course about I, SI and VS. They’ll Hear about G-H Color and how it’s White. They’ll Hear the Price… and that’s it!
These people are just setting themselves up for a TRAP!
It’s a Fact. Most customers only look for a Clarity that’s SI Clarity or Higher.
They won’t even consider Purchasing an I Quality Diamond.
This is why the SI3 Clarity was born!
It’s made to fool the public. Watch out! It makes it easier for Jewelers to help sell low quality I1 Clarity Diamonds. It makes it Easier to Rip the People off!
There is No Such Thing as SI3!
It’s all made up!
If you take an SI3 Clarity Diamond and send it to GIA, you’ll find out what it really is! GIA Will Always Call that SI3 Clarity Diamond an I1.
So if you Bought a Diamond that’s Supposed to be an SI3, I Feel Sorry For You!
You just got Suckered!
You were led to Believe that a Low Grade Diamond was Better than it really is.
Don’t Buy into the Game.
SI3 is Fiction!
GIA Doesn’t Acknowledge the Concept of SI3.
The Diamond either has Eye-Visible Inclusions in it… Or it Doesn’t! Period! End of Discussion!
It’s Not a Gray Area!
I Clarity means that the Diamond has Inclusions in it that are Visible to the Naked Eye. Just by looking at the Diamond you’ll be able to see Flaws and Marks and Dark Spots and Lines, Dots and Feathers in it. That’s the Nature of I1 Clarity.
The only Exception to this Rule is the SI2 Clarity Diamonds.
SI2 Clarity has one Stipulation…
From the Top Down View, looking Straight Down into the Diamond, you won’t see any Eye-Visible Inclusions. None! They’ll all be Microscopic.
But here’s the Difference…
From the Side View or Bottom View, SI2 Clarity Diamonds CAN have Eye-Visible Inclusions.
Usually they’re Very Small and Hard to Locate, but SI2 Clarity Diamonds WILL have Inclusions Visible to the Eye from these Angles.
As long as the Top Down View is Eye-Clean, GIA will always call it an SI2!
If it has Inclusions you can see with the Naked Eye from the Top View, then it’s an I Clarity Diamond!
All Jewelers know this. They Buy and Sell Diamonds every day based upon the 4C’s.
Trust me, Jewelers Fully Grasp the True Meaning of SI Clarity and I Clarity. But… If they have a Diamond that’s Borderline, or one that’s been Certified by one of those Smaller Independent Appraisal Companies, then I’m sure the chances are good you’ll be seeing that Diamond marked as an SI3 Clarity Diamond instead of an I.
Suddenly, with the Right Diamond, these Jewelers have no Problems with Fudging Quality. They’ll Sell these Fake Clarity Ratings as a Higher Graded Stone. Shady Jewelers will come out of the Wood Work and Sell them (Dump them) on Unsuspecting Customers and Get Paid Big Bucks! Shocking? YEP!
If it benefits their Pocket Book, it may Sway their Diamond Gradings. If the Jewelers were Smart they wouldn’t Buy these Borderline Diamonds themselves. Why would one Risk their Reputation? And if they did happen to run across these Great Deals and Buy them, they should sell them as an I1 Clarity Stone instead! After all, that’s what it really is!
The Sad Thing is, Most of the SI3 Clarity Graded Diamonds come with a Certificate!
A Diamond Certificate that says it’s an SI3!
Let Me Tell You Something…
That Certificate is Worthless!
It means Nothing! It’s Bogus! All Diamond Certificates are Not Created Equal! Just because it’s Certified, does not mean it’s Certified Properly. If it says SI3, it really means Squat!
Don’t Buy SI3!
Don’t let yourself get Scammed for a Clarity Grade that Doesn’t Exist!
Learn about Clarity Before you Shop
Don’t let Jewelers take Advantage of your Lack of Knowledge. Jewelers will do Everything they can to Sell their I1 Clarity Diamonds. They don’t Want them Sitting around in their Inventory. Sometimes these Stones have sat there for Years!
The good thing is, I Clarity Diamonds are normally Really Good Deals! I’ve got No Problems with I Clarity Diamonds. They are what they are. If you Find a Nice I Clarity Diamond and want to Buy it, Go for it! I’ve seen some Absolutely Beautiful Diamonds that are I1 Clarity. And yes, you can Save Tons of Money on them.
As long as you know it’s I1 Clarity and have No Concerns with it, Who Cares!
Buy it! Enjoy it!
Just Stay Away from those SI3’s!
Don’t Pay more for that Nice Looking I1 Clarity than you have to.
Common Sense says, if you’re Buying a Diamond Make sure you Microscope it! Always!
And I would Greatly Advise Buying a Loose Diamond and not one that’s Pre-Mounted. Mounted Diamonds can Hide Inclusions and make a Low Quality Diamond look Better than it really is.
Buy Loose Diamonds Only!
Until GIA (The Founders and Creators of the 4C’s!) adds SI3 Clarity to their Clarity Chart, then don’t even look at SI3 Diamonds!
And I would also go so far as to say, Don’t even Buy from a Jeweler that’s Trying to Sell you an SI3 Clarity Diamond! If they think they can Pull the Wool over your Eyes, what else are they trying to Hide?
The Best Advice I can give you is to Trust in GIA
GIA is the True Leader in the Diamond Grading Industry!
The Bottom line:
If you want to keep from Getting Ripped off, Buy GIA!
They are the Best Security System in the World for Diamond Grading and Diamond Certificates.
Buy ONLY GIA “Laser Inscribed” Loose Diamonds! With GIA you’ll never Regret or never have to Worry about a Fictitious Clarity Grade and getting Scammed into a Low Grade Stone that you didn’t want!
If you want to learn more about GIA read my Post about “GIA Certified Diamonds!”
Plus I have other helpful Posts that you may be interested in. Be sure to Check out my Diamond Guide Section on my Website. It’s FULL of Useful Information.
Lastly, Learn more about Purchasing Loose Diamonds in my “Loose Diamond Buying Guide!”
May you never be Scammed again!