The first time I ever Heard of a sailor diamond, I was standing in the office and my boss was looking at a customer’s diamond with a 10x jeweler’s loupe.
The customer was wanting to sell their stone and we were giving them a price on it.
My boss smirks and shakes his head, “I don’t really need this quality,” he said;
“It’s a sailor diamond!”
I tilted my head and looked at him…
“A what?” came my reply.
“A sailor diamond,” he said “It’s an old phrase used to describe a diamond that’s I clarity and I color.”
I looked more confused.
“You know,” he continued “What a sailor says…
I got it.
I-I, as in I clarity and I color.
And obviously, so do a lot of people, because I clarity and I color is a very popular diamond quality when it comes to jewelry.
I clarity and I color probably make up most of the diamonds you see in diamond earrings, diamond pendants and diamond tennis bracelets.
They’re also used greatly as side stones in mountings and channel set into anniversary bands and wedding rings.
Most gemstone rings use them. Men’s rings. Even cocktail rings take advantage of this quality.
Just about everything in the jewelry stores utilizes I clarity and I colored diamonds.
I clarity means that there will be eye-visible inclusions inside the diamond.
Flaws that you can see with the bare eye.
Things like pinpoints, black spots, cracks and clouds.
I clarity actually makes up half of the diamonds in the world. It’s a huge clarity range that goes from I1 (the best of the I clarity group), to I2 clarity (larger and more noticeable spots, clouds and flaws), to I3 clarity, which is the lowest clarity range known to man.
I3 clarity diamonds will usually look lifeless, dull, are full of inclusions, cracks, black spots and most will even look like broken pieces of salt.
Not good! (Some I3’s are not that bad, but it’s very rare to find a good one.)
I color, is in the near-colorless range and will actually be considered an off-white color. They aren’t bad. But not great either.
When you go lower down the color charts from an I (like a J, K or L), that off-white color turns yellow in hue.
And when you go up higher in the color chart (like an E,F,G or H), the diamond gets whiter and brighter.
White color is always better than yellow.
Plus it will help the diamond “POP” more.
I clarity and I color make up most of the earrings, pendants and bracelets in stores today.
But why do they use I-I if it’s not a great quality?
Because people don’t scrutinize earrings and pendants like they do an engagement ring. Do people grab your earlobes and tug them closer to really look at your earrings?
Plus, most people wouldn’t spend that kind of money on earrings like they would an engagement ring.
“$6,000 for earrings? Are you kidding?”
Trust me… You’d say the same thing.
I clarity and I color is fine.
They look good everywhere (except the engagement ring) and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for them.
Sure you can buy higher quality like SI or VS, but you’ll also spend a lot more money for them.
Probably double-triple the price!
So is I, I, a big deal?
No, not really.
But it will be in price.
If they look good and are pretty, go for it.
If you’re like most people you’ll see that there is nothing wrong with sailor stones in your ears or around your neck.
Some things just aren’t worth all that extra chunk of change.
But for your wedding ring finger…
Well, that’s a whole different story.
For the engagement ring, I’d recommend more like SI1 or higher clarity, and G-H or higher in color (like these beautiful diamonds HERE at James Allen.)
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Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist\Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
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