So I open up Google Analytics today, and apparently somebody found my web site by searching for “are there lots of inclusions in James Allen diamonds?” and I thought to myself, this might be a good topic for a blog post because if one person is trying to determine whether diamonds from James Allen have lots of inclusions, then the odds are that other people might also think that James Allen diamonds have a lot of inclusions. It’s an interesting topic.
When I see search terms such as “a lot of inclusions on James Allen diamonds” I have to wonder what the person was thinking… because why would they think that the lab graded diamonds from James Allen are going to be any more or less included than the lab graded diamonds from another vendor?
Did they perhaps see the 3D clarity image for a diamond like this 0.90 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, round brilliant cut diamond from James Allen and think “Whoa! It’s really easy to see the inclusions in that SI-1 clarity diamond!” without realizing that in “real life” the diamond faces up a little smaller in diameter than the eraser on a standard #2 pencil, but that in the picture to the left, James Allen has blown it up to the size of a tennis ball to make it easier for you to see the inclusions? While the industry standard for clarity grading is 10x magnification, that photograph was taken at about 20x, so the inclusions are going to be a lot more noticeable on your computer monitor!
Since most of those inclusions look translucent to me, I think it is doubtful that any of them could be seen without magnification, but the clarity photograph is really helpful because you wouldn’t have any idea what the inclusions looked like within this diamond without it… This 0.90 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, round brilliant cut diamond from James Allen is accompanied by a GIA Diamond Dossier, which does not feature a plotting diagram of the inclusions. The GIA lists what inclusions are present in the diamond under “clarity characteristics” but you’d be buying this diamond “in the dark” without the clarity photograph, which very few vendors provide.
This 1.01 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity diamond from James Allen looks pretty good when we’re only considering it on the basis of the inclusions indicated on the plotting diagram off of the GIA diamond grading report. According to the GIA, there are just a few small diamond crystals and tiny feathers. In the absence of a detailed clarity photograph taken at 20x and higher magnification, the appearance of the inclusions is left up to our imagination. And if the diamond looks eye clean to the customer when they take a look at it, they probably won’t give the inclusions a second thought. Out of sight, out of mind…
But James Allen has to go and confuse the issue by providing us with this 20x ++ clarity image of the diamond, which prominently shows the inclusions in such a way that they look huge and really easy to see… And then we start to wonder whether we’re going to be able to see them with just our eyes, and things like “are there a lot of inclusions in James Allen diamonds?” When in fact, this diamond has an average outside diameter of 6.4 millimeters, imagine how tiny those inclusions would look on your computer monitor if this photograph was shown on the web site to scale, actual size. The diameter of this diamond is smaller than the eraser on a standard #2 pencil.
In the real world, the inclusions within this diamond are probably pretty difficult to see, and so are most inclusions in diamonds graded as SI-1 and above, by first tier gemological laboratories such as the AGS and GIA. But the larger than life clarity images that James Allen provides for their diamonds, makes them appear to be more included than diamonds sold by other vendors who don’t provide this kind of detail.
So the answer to questions like “Are there lots of inclusions in diamonds from James Allen?” is actually “No more, or less, than GIA and AGS graded diamonds from other vendors” it’s just that the size of the clarity photographs makes them a little too easy to locate.