It is impossible to comparison shop for a diamond merely by considering the clarity grade.
Just because two stones have the same letters and numbers—VS1 or VS2—does not mean that the stones are of the same value, even if they are both cut the same way.
There are huge differences between one VS and another, and no two SI’s are similar. (That is why we do not have SIs listed in our price ranges.) These are differences that you cannot see by reading a GIA report.
Consulting an experienced diamond expert—one who can point out the minute but significant differences which affect the brilliance of the stone—is, therefore, a must.
Unfortunately, these days, there are Internet sites that sell diamonds from “lists” of diamonds that are actually located in Tel Aviv, Antwerp or New York. These stones are sold without being seen by the Internet seller and are shipped under that dot-com name to the consumer.
The salesclerks at these Internet sites often do not see the stones, so it’s very difficult for them to advise on these variations. That is why consumers should not only check the affiliation of the seller to various diamond organizations, but also check their experience in buying, selling and grading diamonds.
Consumers should ask any diamond salesperson questions like:
“Have you actually seen the diamond itself?”
“How many years of experience do you have evaluating diamonds?”
Consultation with a qualified jeweler or diamond dealer is usually the best protection for the consumer and every retailer should advise their customers of these facts.
It’s alright to find a diamond on the Internet, but to buy it on a click without expert advice is risky.