Does an SI1 Clarity Grade Cause Cloudiness?

milky diamond

Milky Looking Diamond Kills Brilliance


I had spent the last weekend reading through your website and found it super useful. I’m a guy in the late twenties doing some research on engagement rings prior to hitting the malls.

Yesterday, I had visited some local stores to check out some diamond rings in person. Interestingly, I was showed a couple of rings and noticed that one of them had a cloudy look to it while the other look clear to my naked eyes.

These 2 diamonds were graded by GIA and came with the smaller Dossier report. One was a G color, VS2, 0.75 carat stone and the other was an F color, SI1, 0.71 carat stone. The jeweler told me that the cloudy appearance of the diamond was caused by the inclusions inside it. I was pointed out to the GIA report which showed “Clouds” under the headline of Clarity Characteristics.

Perhaps I was mistaken, but I was under the impression that inclusions in the SI1-SI2 ranges will show up clearly under a loupe and are normally not noticeable to the naked eye. With what I saw in the store today, there is a stark difference between these 2 stones when viewed with the naked eye.

Is the jeweler telling me the correct stuff? I just thought that it would be wise to run it through you and get a 2nd opinion on this.

Dear Jackie,

Thanks for writing in. It does seem like the jeweler might be right and he/she is telling you the correct information. First of all, a cloudy diamond can be caused by various reasons.

– Did you make sure that the diamond is clean? Very often, rings in the stores have lots of fingerprints and smudges left behind by other shoppers. The best way to avoid any potential issues is to have the jeweler clean the ring with their polishing cloth before you view the jewelry.

– Does the diamond have medium/strong fluorescence? Sometimes, fluorescence can negatively impact the outlook of a diamond by giving it a hazy appearance. I made an entire article on this topic here.

– Stones with clarity grades of SI1-SI2 need to be examined carefully before making purchases. Excessive clouds and pinpoints can definitely affect the brilliance of the diamond. Imagine having lots of small particles existing in the body of the stone, light is partially obstructed when it tries to pass through the diamond.

Personally, I have seen similar examples in a number of SI1 diamonds. The easiest tell tale sign is when the inclusion plot shows a lack of plotted inclusions in slightly included diamonds. When you see similar diagrams for slightly included diamonds (plots that are too clean!), it is wise to have a closer inspection of the stone by an appraiser before you commit to purchase it.

common looking si clarity grade plot

Inclusion Plots of SI1 Diamonds

With that said, without examining the diamond in person myself, there’s no way I could give you an accurate assessment. Hope this helps!

For further reading on this topic, I suggest you check out this link.

A grading report contains limited information about the diamond’s inclusions because it doesn’t tell you exactly how the diamond looks like in real life. That’s why I recommend shopping at James Allen because their 360˚ videos will enable you to examine and interact with diamonds upclose.

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  1. Paul-
    December 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Gary,

    The 2nd diamond looks like a better choice. It should be eye clean and have inclusions that won’t be observer of the naked eye.


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